The Old Reader: behind the scenes – Thanks, Google!:

It’s now clear that the demise of the Google Reader was first really loud warning that you can’t rely on a publicly traded, profit-driven Silicon Valley tech company to deliver content. There is no way that story ends well. They will feed you sponsored crap, undermine your democracy, or pull the rug out from under your feet entirely.

I’m not going to pretend life is necessarily easier with Google gone from the game. The problem is that the tech giants are successful because they make things so easy. I know that RSS may never have as many users as it once did when Google was invested in it.

But online publishing isn’t supposed to be easy. And being an informed citizen isn’t supposed to be easy, either. The idea that we just casually check our phone every hour or so and Google, Twitter, or Facebook would give us a quick dose of everything we need to read is a fantasy.

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While this set of rules was written for journalists covering city planning boards, I think they would be helpful for anyone thinking about planning and zoning issues.
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Today’s catch

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I am enjoying this book quite a bit.

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Books I am not going to finish – The Overstory by Richard Powers

I have gotten a little past the midway point of Richard Powers’ latest novel The Overstory, but I don’t think I am going to finish it.

I was really liking the book when I first started it, but it has been dragging for the last 100-150 pages, and I am finding it to be increasingly preachy and didactic. I feel like it is a case of a technically gifted author telling a story that is not all that interesting

The book is also not helped by yet another middle-aged male author having a young, attractive female character fall for his middle-aged male protagonist. I think I need to stick with the rule I have adopted for myself over the last year of only reading novels written by women.

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Is there someone at PBS Kids whose job it is to make sure every single episode of every single show has a narratively superfluous shot of kids buckling seatbelts and/or putting on safety helmets?
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I wonder how much of the “People are homeless/poor/addicted etc. because of the bad choices they’ve made” argument is rooted in people not wanting (unconsciously or otherwise) to admit how close to the edge they are.
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I just saw someone mention on Twitter the idea that we nationalize Amazon and run it like a library.

This plan is one that I can get behind. Let’s do it.

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Kevin Drum asks a good question.

It’s one that I have been wondering as well:

So Rudy says that Trump’s longtime attorney and fixer is a “pathological liar.” But why did Trump need a pathological liar on his staff? Should we assume that everything Cohen has said for the past few years while he was defending Trump is a lie? Should we assume that Trump’s need for pathologically lying attorneys continues to this day, which is why Rudy is on TV every day retailing the most ridiculous lies imaginable?

And yeah, the Weisselberg subpoena seems like a pretty big deal.

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