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The Bitter Southerner: "Killer Mike's More Perfect Union" by Christina Banks

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Killer Mike by Brinson + Banks Writing in The Bitter Southerner , Christina Lee looks at why Atlanta legend Killer Mike is so successful and why he continues to surprise and confound: But as Mike has discovered, being what he calls a “connector” is tougher than ever to actually put into practice, especially when America’s political and cultural divides have deepened. “I wish to be someone from the westside of Atlanta who keeps his community connected to hope and opportunity, and I don’t mean that in an abstract, vague way,” he says. “There’s a real hope in growing up as a Black person in America and seeing Black success. And there’s a real hope in seeing Black people and white people cooperate.” Mike is invoking the storied “Atlanta Way,” an unwritten and informal code of conduct between Black activists and white business leaders that dates back to the Civil Rights Movement. Proponents of the Atlanta Way credit it with achieving gradual but steady reforms by putting business interests

Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center: "The Road To Florida" (June 3 to June 24, 2022)

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It is my honor to have three paintings in "The Road To Florida," a new juried show at The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center on First Street in Fort Myers. The shows asks of the artist and the audience to consider what brought us to Florida, and what keeps us here.    The show opens Friday, June 3rd at 6:00 p.m. and runs through Friday, June 24th at 10:00 p.m. Dona and I will there in the Grand Atrium on opening night and it would be great to see you!   Regular gallery hours are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours on Wednesdays and Fridays 10 a.m to 10 p.m. Admission is one dollar.

Harper's Index June 2022: Gun Ownership, Transgender Identification, And More

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  From the Harper's Index for June 2022: Percentage of the U.S. population that owns a gun, according to the average American’s estimate: 54 That actually owns a gun: 32 Percentage of the U.S. population that is transgender, according to the average American’s estimate: 21 That is actually transgender: 0.6 Full index and sources here.

Pluralistic: "Attacking Machine Learning Training By Re-ordering Data" by Cory Doctorow

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Writing in Pluralistic , Cory Doctorow explains how certain weaknesses of machine learning (and perhaps of human nature). In particular, he looks at the special problem of initialization bias — that the results of machine learning are dependent on the order in which the algorithm gets fed data. This matters to everyone, because the stakes are high: We have increasingly outsourced our decision-making to machine learning models ("the algorithm"). The whole point of building recommendation, sorting, and "decision support" systems on ML is to undertake assessments at superhuman speed and scale, which means that the idea of a "human in the loop" who validates machine judgment is a mere figleaf, and it only gets worse from here. There are real consequences to this. I mean, for starters, if you get killed by a US military drone, chances are the shot was called by a machine-learning model. And it's worse than that, since these errors probably aren'

Stay, Stay, Stay: The Day After The School Shooting

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By algorithmic happenstance, today I came across "Stay" by Matt Rollings, featuring Allison Krauss and Vince Gill . It was originally recorded by Alisan Porter in 2016 . This recording with Krauss' angelic voice caught my attention, and so I didn't skip through it. As I listened, I was struck by the beauty of the chords and of course by Krauss' abundant soul gushing out of every syllable.  I realized I was feeling the new-to-me song a lot stronger than I would have expected when it finally dawned on me that this song is about a mother speaking to her children. What was apparently on my mind as I listened to the sweet lyrics was the mothers and fathers of the children murdered at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas yesterday. I am yours and you are mine Bound together from the start I will carry you until it's time to go And I'll always be the home You come back to in your heart Oh stay, stay, stay What must it feel like, I keep wondering, to never hold

How It's Going In Florida: Commencement Address By Zander Moricz

Zander Moricz, the Pine View School Class President is also a plaintiff in a suit challenging Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law. School officials forbade him to discuss it during his commencement speech, so he did not. At least not directly.

Current Affairs: Why This Computer Scientist Says All Cryptocurrency Should “Die in a Fire” by Nathan J. Robinson

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Writing in Current Affairs , Nathan J. Robinson interviews UC-Berkeley professor (and noted cryptocurrency skeptic) Nicholas Weaver. The interviews by recalling a famous previous statement from Weaver summarizing part of what concerns him about cyrptocurrency: This is a virus. Its harms are substantial. It has enabled billion dollar criminal enterprises. It has enabled venture capitalists to do securities fraud as their business. It has sucked people in. So either avoid it or help me make it die in a fire. It gets darker from there. Full article here.