Final Wednesday

Morning Reading – Wednesday, December 30, 2020

A snippet of beauty appropriate for this time of year from the poem New Year Resolve by May Sarton:

The time has come

To stop allowing the clutter

To clutter my mind

Like dirty snow,

Shove it off and find

Clear time, clear water.

The Trümperdämmerung Is a Fitting End to 2020 | The New Yorker

Now that 2020 is finally almost over, I find that I don’t want to remember it at all. (Though you should read Lawrence Wright’s definitive account of this Plague Year in this week’s New Yorker.) Perhaps this is simply because Trump has remained so defiantly and obnoxiously unrepentant, continuing his antics all the way to the end. He does not want to let go, to cede the spotlight, to renounce his outsized claim on our collective consciousness. It is my protest, our protest, to want so desperately to do so.

Opinion | Coronavirus vaccinations are off to a very slow start. That should set off alarms. – The Washington Post

The vaccine rollout is giving me flashbacks to the administration’s testing debacle. Think back to all the times Trump pledged that “everyone who wants a test can get one.” Every time this was fact-checked, it came up false.

It’s not all bad! 20 things that made the world a better place in 2020 | WIRED UK

This is not a year we’ll look back on fondly. It began with Australia on fire and ends with more than 1.5 million dead in a pandemic. But there have been bright points in this annus horribilis. While many of us saved lives by hunkering down at home watching Netflix, a communal act of selflessness that shouldn’t be soon forgotten, progress was made in science, the environment, and even politics – Biden won!

Looking Back On Tech, Startups, And VC In 2020 – Semil Shah Blog

While the statistical odds of the world being put into lockdown because of a global pandemic were incredibly small, perhaps even smaller was the likelihood that a young mayor of a major U.S. city in a state without income taxes would not only woo and recruit technology founders, executives, and investors to his city on Twitter, but that he would engage in a way that triggered an ongoing dialog for weeks on end. Sure, parts of this have turned into a meme, but there is a real shift going on, not just in Miami.

How Texas Can Become the Next Silicon Valley – Bloomberg

Noncompetes lock that pool away; if all your potentially best hires are legally prevented from working for you, you might as well move your company out to the middle of Wyoming or the Philippines, where at least the rent is cheap!

Everybody Spies in Cyberspace. The U.S. Must Plan Accordingly. – The Atlantic

The recently revealed SolarWinds hack unfolded like a scene from a horror movie: Victims frantically barricaded the doors, only to discover that the enemy had been hiding inside the house the whole time.

Resolutions for 2021 after a year working from home | Financial Times

I never used to appreciate the phone. Between calling people for interviews as part of my job, I opted for WhatsApp or email. That was until I became overwhelmed by Zoomageddon.

You can escape this room, but you’ll never escape Google Docs – The Verge

“Escape: A Game” by Anthony Smith is styled as a choose-your-own-adventure game set in a series of interlinked Google Docs. You “wake up” from a mysterious dream in a cabin room filling with smoke, and are tasked with getting out.

When Nashville Bombing Hit a Telecom Hub, the Ripples Reached Far Beyond – The New York Times

“It is crazy to have a networking service center like that facing one of the busiest streets in the United States,” Mr. Gill said, suggesting that it would be better situated in a rural area: “Buy as much land as they can and put it behind as many chain-link fences as they can build and create Fort Knox.”

The 2020 Good Tech Awards – The New York Times

Perimeter, a small start-up in the Bay Area, makes collaborative mapping and data-sharing software for emergency workers. Its founder, Bailey Farren, is the 24-year-old daughter of a retired fire captain and a paramedic

How Disney tried to turn the Queen Mary into a Haunted Mansion at sea

It turns out, when you think something is haunted for long enough, it can actually start showing signs of a haunting.

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