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MIT student blogger Allan K. '17

snapshot of the last two weeks by Allan K. '17

picture of my brain

ALBUM: i like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it – the 1975

MUSICAL: the last five years – jason robert brown

SONG: days and days – fun home

WALK: memorial drive > harvard bridge > commonwealth avenue > boston public garden > longfellow bridge > memorial drive

WORK: the mediacloud team @ the center for civic media

THING I SAW: data visualization by web du bois

THING I MADE: this twitter bot about the supreme lizard

THING I READ:  machine learning is like money laundering for tech – by maciej ceglowski

"We should not listen to people who promise to make Mars safe for human habitation, until we have seen them make Oakland safe for human habitation. We should be skeptical of promises to revolutionize transportation from people who can't fix BART, or have never taken BART. And if Google offers to make us immortal, we should check first to make sure we'll have someplace to live."

THING I LEARNED: hindi text is encoded using the devanagari unicode block. the most common hindi word in the mediacloud india collection is में (encoded as \u092e\u0947\u0902).


so how can we hope to bridge gaps, not in knowledge or reason or respect, but in two sets of people with fundamentally different languages for speaking about the world? civilization and government seem doomed in the face of fundamental difference; indeed peaceful coexistence seems impossible without at least a single commonality linking the populace, whether that be a national sense of patriotism, or a common commitment to individual liberty, or a universal open-mindedness and tolerance of difference. perhaps that is why it is in our nature to attempt to make other people more like ourselves, a dynamic equilibrium of homophilous ideological clusters influencing other homophilous ideological clusters. to say "i wish you were more reasonable" or "i wish i could make you understand" is to say "i wish you were more like me."
this is the attraction of state media; when the entire country sees the same two or three news shows, everyone's vision of the world is filtered through the same lens. but we crave difference, we crave uniqueness, we set up systems of identities explicitly positioned against other identities; when we say "this is who i am" we simultaneously say "that is who i am not".

THING I TRANSLATED: rappelons nous qu’on dit “poubelle” et pas “poumoche”

THING I FELT: on tragedy, youtube, orlando – vi hart