Secret Service releases study on mass shootings: It’s economics, misogyny, and conspiracy theories:

The last two weeks have brought back the reminder that mass shootings in the United States continue unabated. In their wake, the Secret Service published a 60-page report on Wednesday that details the data they have about mass attacks. The study, conducted by the U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center, examines 173 mass shooting incidents that occurred between 2016 and 2020. Each attack included in the report resulted in at least “three or more individuals injured or killed across public or semi-public spaces, including businesses, schools, and houses of worship.”

First off – The fact that there were 173 incidents over 4 years should be a sign we have a problem.

Notable statistics/predictors:

  • 96% of the attackers studied were male, 3% were female, and 2% were transgender. (IE This is a dude thing)
  • 72% of attackers experienced some kind of financial stressor sometime prior to the attack.
  • Just under 20% of attackers had an “unstable housing” situation at the time of the attack.
  • While there was a large age range, the average age of an attacker was 34 years old.
  • 41% of attackers had a history of “engaging in at least one incident of domestic violence.”
  • Less than a quarter of those firearm attacks involved guns acquired illegally.

Demographics wise, the breakdown pretty much represents the racial diversity of the nation: (IE Dude problem not a race problem)

  • 57% of attackers were white.
  • 34% of attackers were Black.
  • 11% of attackers were Hispanic.
  • 4% of attackers were Asian.
  • 1% of attackers were American Indian.

Remembering Challenger

January 28, 2023

Remembering Challenger:

37 years ago today, I watched this happen in real time while my class crammed in around a tiny TV. For all intents and purposes it was the end of an era of NASA, and the death of an innocent dream of space exploration for me.

Supreme Court failed to disclose that guy who signed off on leak report is on their payroll:

CNN reports that the court has “longstanding financial ties” with former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who Chief Justice John Roberts tapped to endorse the leak investigation that found no leaker and let the justices and their spouses off the hook. Chertoff has a contract with the court for security consultations that has “reached at least $1 million.”

The Enshittification Lifecycle of Online Platforms:

The Amazon example he uses is really easy to follow. Early in the company’s history, the site used to be a great place to shop; their customers loved Amazon. But then Amazon’s sellers became their real customers and the user experience started to suffer. And now, much of the value generated by the users and customers goes to the shareholders (which, functionally speaking these days, means several dozen people who run hedge funds or large investment funds).

Things to do and not to do during a wave of tech layoffs | Christian Heilmann:

Be there for others

If you worked in a place resembling some human society, you will have colleagues that reach out to you and tell you how sorry they are. Take these moments and thank them. Also reach out to people who have been laid off and just offer to be available for a chat. These are annoying, frustrating and bad times, and there is period of flooded job markets and even more layoffs coming.

Florida teachers told to remove books from classroom libraries or risk felony prosecution:

Teachers in Manatee County, Florida, are being told to make their classroom libraries — and any other “unvetted” book — inaccessible to students, or risk felony prosecution. The new policy is part of an effort to comply with new laws and regulations championed by Governor Ron DeSantis (R).

Evil.

Mastodon Brought a Protocol to a Product Fight | by M.G. Siegler | Dec, 2022 | 500ish:

But, but, it’s not a product, it’s a protocol. Yeah, that’s a nice thing to say. And to believe in. But I truly believe the ship has sadly sailed for such idealism in this space. Jack Dorsey can talk about how this should have been what Twitter was from the get go until he’s bluesky in the face. It’s just not going to happen. And he’s more to blame for that than most everyone else. As is he for the Elon element of this current equation. But that’s a different story.

I mean, who thinks this “Web” thing is ever going to unseat Prodigy or CompuServe – I’m don’t trust these link things, and it’s ludicrous to think people are going to host their OWN servers.

Snark aside – It’s probably dubious to expect everyone to host their own ActivityPub/Mastadon servers… But the idea should be sharding much more by identity/community rather than jumping onto the same service. That’s where the power begins, taking the control of identity and server control closer to people you trust, and spreading the social footprint far enough that no single pillar can take down the roof.

Amy Grant pisses off conservative Christians, again | Boing Boing:

“To me, it’s so important to set a welcome table. Because I was invited to a table where someone said ‘Don’t be afraid, you’re loved.’ …Gay. Straight. It does not matter,” the longtime supporter of LGBTQA+ rights told Proud Radio podcast host Hunter Kelly in 2021.

Angelo Badalamenti, David Lynch’s composer on Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet and more, dies aged 85 | Music | The Guardian:

Angelo Badalamenti, the acclaimed composer who created haunting music for David Lynch projects including Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive, has died at the age of 85.

Lynch and Badalamenti would become close friends and collaborators, working together on Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, Lost Highway, The Straight Story and Mulholland Drive. Badalamenti also appeared on screen as the coffee-loving gangster Luigi Castigliane in Mulholland Drive, and played piano with Isabella Rossellini in Blue Velvet.

The classically trained musician also worked with the likes of Nina Simone, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Shirley Bassey, Marianne Faithfull, Liza Minnelli, Pet Shop Boys and LL Cool J over his varied career, and composed themes including Inside the Actors Studio and the torch theme for the 1992 Olympic Games.

On 1986’s Blue Velvet, his first collaboration with Lynch, he was brought in to work as a vocal coach for Rossellini. Lynch asked him to write a tune for the score, saying “let it float like the tides of the ocean, make it collect space and time, timeless and endless”, which became the song Mysteries of Love, performed by Julee Cruise. Eventually Lynch tasked him with writing the film’s score, asking for Badalamenti to be “like Shostakovich, be very Russian, but make it the most beautiful thing but make it dark and a little bit scary”.

Diablo IV developers allege mismanagement, crunch and disturbing creative decisions in new report | Rock Paper Shotgun:

Employees also spoke about the “disturbing” creative decisions by Sebastian Stępień, the former creative director on The Witcher 3 and head writer on Cyberpunk 2077, who became creative director on Diablo 4 in 2019. Stępień allegedly undertook a rewrite of Diablo 4’s entire script, creating what multiple employees called the “rape version” due to repeated references in the script to the rape of a love interest, and to the script referring “to this female character as the raped woman as her primary description,” according to the Washington Post.

Two employees also told The Post of a line in the script which read, “And then she was raped, brutally”, and that employees would repeat the punctuation out loud to each other, “comma, period – alarmed by the direction Stępień had gone with the script.”

Maybe it’s time to just let Blizzard burn.