Intro / Preface / Extra Words
Happy Thanksgiving! This is the twentieth issue of Mark as Read, so I'm kinda proud of that.
We've got quite the issue this week, even featuring a "discussion" between Brian and I about Net Neutrality. Remember when your parents would be arguing loudly – some may call it yelling – and then you'd ask why they were fighting and they would say "we're not fighting, we're having a discussion"? Like that.
I hope you have a wonderful day (or two) of relaxing and spending time with family. In fact, if you happen to be reading this when you could be hanging out with your family, stop reading this and go hang out with your family. Then when they all fall asleep after eating too much you can keep reading.
Becoming a Steelworker Liberated Her. Then Her Job Moved to Mexico.
I've spent my professional life in factories all over the world. I've been involved in all the sides of this process. I needed to read this. – Brian
100+ Consecutive Speed Bumps High Speed Testing
This is a 10 minute video. I KNOW you don't think you will watch a 10 minute video listed in some newsletter you barely read and are only subscribed to because Calvin or I guilted you into giving us your email address. But you are wrong. You WILL watch this video, all 10 minutes of it, then you will watch 4 other related videos. I know this because that is what happened to me AND the other 7 people I've shared this video with. You'll probably also share it with a few friends and/or include it in your own newsletter.
Also... in the category of things that cannot be unseen, apparently 10 minutes is some magic minimum length required for full youtube monetization... like just long enough to potentially also have an ad in the middle. This video is 10 minutes and one second. I believe you will now notice every high view, "professional you tuber" video is somewhere in the 10:01 to 10:35 length. It is uncanny. Or it would be except it is clearly intentional to maximize the ad revenue from selling you (their product) to their customers (advertisers).
Anyway enjoy cars hitting speed bumps at 150 mph. -Brian
Do filmmakers actually wreck cars for stunts in movies? - Quora
I love Quora. I don't know how these questions make it into my daily digest but I'm happy that they do. This is a link to my favorite answer, but the other answers are worth a scroll for lots of fun trivia. – Calvin
REVOLUTION SE | BOBgear
My wife calls my obsession with a stroller we actually no longer even own "unhealthy". I happen to know for a fact she is NOT a licensed psychotherapist. Anyway, if you or someone you know has progeny-transportation related needs the BOB is for you. It folds up in less than 5 seconds, is basically friction-less, and can be carried with one hand. When we gave ours away a few years ago (after half a decade of international trips, laps around Disney World, and daily use in our local park) it was a genuinely emotional experience for me. I regularly have an urge to call the recipients to check in on it and make sure they are appreciating it as much as they should be. Ok so maybe I do have a problem here... -Brian
The 5 Best Appetizers to Bring to This Year's Friendsgiving
Here's this. It's too late, sorry. But for future reference: if you need to bring an appetizer somewhere, go buy some frozen puff pastry. Defrost it, cut it into squares. Put stuff on it (anything with cream cheese). Cook it. Everyone will think you worked really hard when you did not. – Calvin
I have an idea for an app, now what?
I get asked this often, and I don't ever feel as though I have a very good answer. This is not a "see look at all this stuff you have to do, now don't you feel dumb for having an idea" kind of post; I've seen plenty of those and they're unnecessary. This is actually a very helpful list of things you can do to validate your idea and some next steps to take once you're ready. – Calvin
Basically a Rap Battle
...except not as entertaining. Brian and I decided to go head-to-head-ish on a topic we have different opinions about. Brian probably won this one, but you can decide. If you do enjoy this though, shoot us an email with GIFs in it. – Calvin
F.C.C. Plans Net Neutrality Repeal in a Victory for Telecoms
I predict this is going to be a huge problem. I hope the large tech companies fight this irresponsible and idiotic proposal.
Here's why this grinds my gears: I think the whole Internet (and the same Internet) should be available to everyone that pays to access it. I realize that Mr. Pai thinks that I'll benefit from having more competition in a deregulated industry, but I don't trust those giant telecoms to actually do right by me. Sure, in theory there would be more competition but in reality, I don't foresee a ton of companies being able to construct the physical infrastructure needed to actually compete. I don't foresee having a "surf local" bumper sticker for my in-town, locally owned and operated ISP.
I think Google and Facebook have the financial firepower to take on the FCC on this issue and win if they want to, but I'm not sure they'll deem it important enough. They'll probably just build a way around it or start offering their own Internet services. Er, Google already started doing that. Yeah Google isn't gonna care at all. – Calvin
Net Neutrality should be called the Government Regulator Full Employment Act
Name one thing in your life that you are glad is strictly regulated by the 1.4 million non-military government employees your taxes go to give jobs? So called "net neutrality" regulations were preemptively rolled out in 2015 to give those 1.4 million people more authority over what had been a free market economy that actually hadn't exhibited any of the horrible behaviors used as scare tactics by proponents of net neutrality.
All of the regulatory actions taken since net neutrality went to effect have actually been to prevent companies from offering you more... think T-Mobile's or MetroPCS' unlimited streaming plans which may not be allowed under NN. NN has limited pro-competitive, pro-consumer behavior and has not taken any substantive anti-competitive actions, primarily because a free market does a great job of limiting those things, as long as there is competition. But NN would regulate your internet as a monopoly system, like your utilities. How happy are you with the customer service and innovation you get from your utility provider? Regulating an industry like a monopoly historically LIMITS investments in infrastructure and innovation. And in fact in 2015 the US investment in internet infrastructure (the first year NN was in effect) DROPPED for the first time EVER that wasn't caused by an actual recession.
NN has been marketed as about a free internet but what it really is about is the big silicone valley incumbents not wanting to face competition for selling you as their product to advertisers from other sectors like ISP's and telecoms. And competition is the only thing that will benefit you in the long run. Get those 1.4 million regulators out of your living room, look beyond headline scare tactics from late night hosts with english degrees and gimmicks like we have seen from reddit (who has a ton to lose as one of those current incumbents selling you to their advertisers) and decide for yourself if you feel extreme regulation is required to squash one of the world's only completely open and accessible free markets.
Already a number of small fiber companies and municipal wifi entrepreneurs are being strangled just by the compliance costs of making those 1.4 million regulators happy. The only people excited about crippling regulation are the gigantic companies who are already at scale and have fully staffed legal departments. Two guys in their garage trying to come up with a kickass new internet service or company have a lawyer friend named Andy who will maybe write a letter for them in exchange for a bottle of Jack. Who wins out when 1.4 million regulators are trying to justify their existence?
Regulation strangles innovation and investment and should only be used when actual harm has been actually observed, not when maybe possibly it could maybe happen... and if it did a free market would stamp it out with a better offering. -Brian
The Great Wave: Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History David Hackett Fischer
Every now and then you read a book that either is total tosh or absolutely explains the world around you to a level that is scary. This is one of those books. Thanks to archaeology, the prices people paid for certain commodities are known going back thousands of years. We also have some idea of the population of the earth during that same timeframe. This book makes a compelling argument about the relation between those two data sets that has enormous implications for our future. If you figure out if this actually makes sense please let me know. – Brian
Thanks as always for reading. Y'all are the best.
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