No, you shouldn’t always listen to your elders.

Noam N. Levey on the losers in Trump’s victory:

Americans who swept President Trump to victory — lower-income, older voters in conservative, rural parts of the country — stand to lose the most in federal healthcare aid under a Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, according to a Times analysis of county voting and tax credit data.

Among those hit the hardest under the current House bill are 60-year-olds with annual incomes of $30,000, particularly in rural areas where healthcare costs are higher and Obamacare subsidies are greater.

In nearly 1,500 counties nationwide, such a person stands to lose more than $6,000 a year in federal insurance subsidies. Ninety percent of those counties backed Trump, the analysis shows.

And 68 of the 70 counties where these consumers would suffer the largest losses supported Trump in November.

We’re seeing a scary scenario unfolding.

Oh, and the irony:

Meanwhile, higher-income, younger Americans — many of whom live in urban areas won by Democrat Hillary Clinton — stand to get more assistance in the Republican legislation.

Is this what Trump voters think “Make America Great Again” looks like?

Pass the Heinz

50 Years Later, Heinz Approves Don Draper’s ‘Pass the Heinz’ Ads and Is Actually Running Them:

In a meta union of advertising’s real and fictional worlds, Heinz just greenlighted the ads—and will run them almost exactly as Draper intended, beginning today, in print and out-of-home executions in New York City.

So great. Mad Men is one of my favorite shows of all time (Breaking Bad is still in the #1 spot).

The ads really are clever too. This is why Mad Men was such a great show: it was well-written and Matthew Weiner’s attention to the details of the ’50s and ’60s was fanatical.

Google’s Slackalike

Google Hangouts is getting a major overhaul to take on Slack:

If you know anything about Google’s messaging strategy in the last few years, you know that it’s been a bit of a mess. Allo, the consumer app, launched without the cross-platform features users expect. Text messaging on mobile is mired in inter-carrier warfare. And Hangouts has become a punchline.

On two of those fronts, Google has been making progress. And today, in a bit of a surprise, Google has signaled that it finally decided Hangouts is supposed to be: a business communication tool to complement its consumer apps. We’re now getting a glimpse of what that means — and if the early demo I saw is any indication, it might be time to stop making fun of Hangouts.

That’s because Hangouts is turning into a group chat system that looks a hell of a lot like Slack. Like Microsoft, Google is launching a Slackalike — and like Microsoft, it’s betting that deep integration with the rest of its office suite is going to be catnip for IT managers and cost-conscious CFOs.

I’ve used Slack at different companies and projects over the last three years and I’ve never understood what all the hype was about. To me it was just the newest kid on the messaging block. Then about two weeks ago I started a new job and the company I work for uses Hipchat. I immediately became aware of how inferior Hipchat is to Slack. There is zero delight, personality, and thoughtfulness to it. Sometimes you don’t miss something until it’s gone.

For all the great thinking that went into the design and usability of Slack, I’ve always found it to be where people waste a lot of time sharing links, videos, animated GIFs, and chatting about things unrelated to their work.

If I ran a company, I’d be willing to try offsetting time wasted on Slack by eliminating email.

Tarkovsky

Frank Chimero on Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky:

When the world is brash, fast, and stupid, we must seek out what is quiet, slow, and intelligent to brace ourselves against the world’s madness. I have been under the influence of Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky’s movies for the last few weeks, finding them to be a source of the comfort and beauty which the world seems not equipped to provide right now. Tarkovsky’s movies could be interpreted as sad, but it is a typical American trait to mistake slowness for sadness.

America’s dysfunction is now wed to its antagonistic relationship with Russia, and I take comfort that the Russian powers that be did not care much for Tarkovsky either. They found his spirituality, ambiguity, and grandiosity dangerous, so they embargoed and delayed all of his films. But I adore well-earned spirituality, ambiguity, and grandiosity, so of course I like Tarkovsky too. Everything his countrymen found dangerous about his work I find essential.

It was only last year that I saw my first Tarkovsky film, Solaris. I’ve heard it described as a ‘Russian 2001: A Space Oddyssey‘, but that’s an inaccurate oversimplification.

I enjoyed it, and I agree with Chimero: it required patience (it clocks in at 2h 49m) and engagement to watch, but it was worth it.

I’m confused. Is this a plan or a plan?

Trump on the ACA replacement Republicans in the House of Representatives are proposing:

“We’re going to do something that’s great, and I am proud to support the replacement plan released by the House of Representatives,” Mr. Trump said. “This will be a plan where you can choose your doctor, and this will be a plan where you can choose your plan. And you know what the plan is. This is the plan. It’s a complicated process, but actually it’s very simple, it’s called good health care.”

Boy Trump has a way with words, doesn’t he?

It sounds like there are a number of Republicans who are not happy with it:

“This is not the Obamacare repeal bill we’ve been waiting for,” said Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, who was joined by a constellation of conservative groups, including the Club for Growth, Heritage Action for America and Charles G. and David H. Koch’s Americans for Prosperity. “It is a missed opportunity and a step in the wrong direction. We promised the American people we would drain the swamp and end business as usual in Washington. This bill does not do that.”

Since the introduction of the ACA in 2010, Republicans have been more focused on dismantling it, than conceiving of an alternative.

“There’s a glitch, and we are in it.”

Did the Oscars Just Prove That We Are Living in a Computer Simulation?:

This wasn’t just a minor kerfuffle. This was a major malfunction. Trump cannot be President; forgetting all the bounds of ideology, no one vaguely like him has ever existed in the long list of Presidents, good, bad, and indifferent; no one remotely as oafish or as crude or as obviously unfit. People don’t say “Grab ’em by the pussy” and get elected President. Can’t happen. In the same way, while there have been Oscar controversies before—tie votes and rejected trophies—never before has there been an occasion when the entirely wrong movie was given the award, the speeches delivered, and then another movie put in its place. That doesn’t happen. Ever.

And so both of these bizarre events put one in mind of a simple but arresting thesis: that we are living in the Matrix, and something has gone wrong with the controllers. This idea was, I’m told, put forward first and most forcibly by the N.Y.U. philosopher David Chalmers: what is happening lately, he says, is support for the hypothesis that we are living in a computer simulation and that something has recently gone haywire within it. The people or machines or aliens who are supposed to be running our lives are having some kind of breakdown. There’s a glitch, and we are in it.

Conan is right. Cut old Warren Beatty some slack.

It was the simulation’s fault, not his.

Greyball

How Uber Deceives the Authorities Worldwide:

At the time, Uber had just started its ride-hailing service in Portland without seeking permission from the city, which later declared the service illegal. To build a case against the company, officers like Mr. England posed as riders, opening the Uber app to hail a car and watching as miniature vehicles on the screen made their way toward the potential fares.

But unknown to Mr. England and other authorities, some of the digital cars they saw in the app did not represent actual vehicles. And the Uber drivers they were able to hail also quickly canceled. That was because Uber had tagged Mr. England and his colleagues — essentially Greyballing them as city officials — based on data collected from the app and in other ways. The company then served up a fake version of the app, populated with ghost cars, to evade capture.

It seems every aspect of Uber is shady as hell. From Greyball, to their toxic work culture filled with cases of sexual harassment, to not wanting to pay drivers as employees with benefits.

In 2015, I linked up to an interesting story of a journalist who went undercover as an Uber driver to find out if it was possible, as Uber claimed, to earn $90K a year driving for them. Spoiler: it is not possible.

Design Idea Generator

While I’m generally not down with doing pro bono design work (there are always exceptions), I’m also a firm believer in making up projects for your portfolio in the absence of paying clients/employment.

Sharpen.design is a great starting point for generating ideas.

Irony vs Coincidence

It seems I’m encountering people every other day who use ‘irony’ when they mean ‘coincidence.’

One of the best explanations of the distinction between these two words I ever read is by George Carlin in his 1998 book, Brain Droppings:

Irony deals with opposites; it has nothing to do with coincidence. If two baseball players from the same hometown, on different teams, receive the same uniform number, it is not ironic. It is a coincidence. If Barry Bonds attains lifetime statistics identical to his father’s it will not be ironic. It will be a coincidence. Irony is “a state of affairs that is the reverse of what was to be expected; a result opposite to and in mockery of the appropriate result.” For instance:

If a diabetic, on his way to buy insulin, is killed by a runaway truck, he is the victim of an accident. If the truck was delivering sugar, he is the victim of an oddly poetic coincidence. But if the truck was delivering insulin, ah! Then he is the victim of an irony. If a Kurd, after surviving bloody battle with Saddam Hussein’s army and a long, difficult escape through the mountains, is crushed and killed by a parachute drop of humanitarian aid, that, my friend, is irony writ large.

Darryl Stingley, the pro football player, was paralyzed after a brutal hit by Jack Tatum. Now Darryl Stingley’s son plays football, and if the son should become paralyzed while playing, it will not be ironic. It will be coincidental. If Darryl Stingley’s son paralyzes someone else, that will be closer to ironic. If he paralyzes Jack Tatum’s son that will be precisely ironic.

Are we all clear now? Cool.

“I always mess up some mundane detail.”

How a typo took down S3, the backbone of the internet:

Earlier this week, much of the internet ground to a halt when the servers that power them suddenly vanished. The servers were part of S3, Amazon’s popular web hosting service, and when they went down they took several big services with them. Quora, Trello, and IFTTT were among the sites affected by the disruption. The servers came back online more than four hours later, but not before totally ruining the UK celebration of AWSome Day.

Now we know how it happened. In a note posted to customers today, Amazon revealed the cause of the problem: a typo.

On Tuesday morning, members of the S3 team were debugging the billing system. As part of that, the team needed to take a small number of servers offline. “Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended,” Amazon said. “The servers that were inadvertently removed supported two other S3 subsystems.”

It sounds like a typical Michael Bolton Error to me.

It’s so great we a decentralized network of servers that keeps the Internet up and running all the time.

You know like one of the original goals of ARPANET.