I attended GenCon for the first time last week and wrote three pieces about it for Paste, including the top ten new games I saw, the summary of every other interesting title, and an essay on the experience of attending for the first time.
And now, the links:
- This piece on Twitter’s ongoing failure to deal with harassment sheds much light on how and why the site has allowed abuse to flourish. Lack of diversity in company leadership has been one major problem.
- Vox advances the thesis that NBC’s coverage of the Olympics is terrible because they view the games as entertainment, not sports. I find their broadcasts unwatchable; we record them and fast-forward through maybe 90% of the content, including every recorded feature they’ve prepared on the athletes, because all I’m interested in is certain events.
- Deadly bacteria, like the one that causes cholera, are spreading as ocean temperatures rise. Climate-change deniers tend to focus on air temperatures, but I’ve yet to find one who can rationalize away our warming and increasingly acidic oceans.
- A woman who was sexually assaulted while a student at Harvard Law School explains why the school needs to apologize, part of the “just say sorry” campaign for schools to at least accept that modicum of responsibility. I’m ashamed to read the details of how HLS mishandled her case, including the subsequent readmission of her rapist and the actions of 19 professors who have defended him and participated in shaming her.
- Anita Hill spoke to NPR about progress in workplace since her sexual harassment claim, which became a story in 1991 but never really threatened the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas. If a nominee today were accused of doing what Hill said Thomas did – and I see no reason to disbelieve her – would he sail through to the bench as Thomas did?
- Amazon is quietly eliminating list prices in response to a number of complaints, including lawsuits over misleading discounts off prices that never really existed.
- Three student-scientists at Stanford believe they’ve developed proteins that will kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They’re seeking investors and aren’t disclosing the details – which I hope isn’t too similar to Elizabeth Holmes’ history – but this could be very good news in what is about to become a huge public-health crisis.
- Clay Shirky explains why there’s no such thing as a protest vote. I happen to agree, and I have in fact cast such a vote in the past – but won’t this year.
- On the other hand, Reason has an op ed on why Republicans voting for Trump would be wasting their votes, although the author is really just arguing that Trump is not a conservative and that he’d be a disastrous president … but I believe he’s arguing conservatives should vote for Gary Johnson instead.
- Texas, which has executed more prisoners since 1976 than 45 other states combined, is about to execute a convict who didn’t kill anybody. He was in the getaway car when his partner in the planned robbery killed the store employee.
- So far, the Rio Olympics have not led to any of the disasters predicted for them. That doesn’t mean giving Brazil the Olympics was a good idea; the economic harm done to the country could be long-lasting, such as wasting $62 million on Olympic posters to hide a favela from public view.
- The pseudonymous surgeon and scientist Orac weighs in on the latest Medscape survey on vaccine-refusing or hesitant patients, with some prescriptions for the best strategies in dealing with them. He also notes that the media (hi!) have become less tolerant of anti-vax bullshit over the last few years.
- The DoJ report excoriating the Baltimore police department included a note where a prosecutor called a woman who reported a rape a “conniving little whore.” Much of the coverage has focused on the department’s problems with racial bias, but the BPD has an abysmal record at investigating rapes, too.
- Vanity Fair has a longread on the Bill Cosby rape case(s), explaining how this one particular incident reached a courtroom and opened the gates for fifty-nine other victims to come forward.
- A judge in Louisville, Kentucky, has gotten some positive attention on social media for two cases where she showed some human decency. The first case, of a female defendant who appeared to have been seriously mistreated by jailers, is about much more than just a judge showing compassion.
- Australia has a large detention center for asylum seekers on the remote Pacific island of Nauru – a functionally insolvent island state that depends on the center and foreign aid for its economic survival – and a Guardian investigative report found widespread abuse of children in the camp.