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Yonatan Zunger
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Attended Stanford University
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Yonatan Zunger

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Significant updates to Google Voice starting to roll out today!
As it turns out, the rumors of Google Voice's abandonment have been greatly exaggerated.
Google Voice is getting a fresh design and new features, across Android, iOS and the web.
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Simone Bissi's profile photoSarah Rios's profile photoJohn de Largentaye's profile photoRonny Terhuerne's profile photo
Android Pay, Fi and Voice need to be pushed more broadly.
Germany is in dire need for competition in all those sectors.
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Yonatan Zunger

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On Twitter, a debate has emerged in the past few days about punching Nazis. But much to my relief, it hasn't been much of a debate; pretty much everyone agrees that punching Nazis is only effective if you swing from the hip, not the arm, and follow through.

As I was writing essays on the limits of tolerance just a few weeks ago, it makes me glad not to have to give that explanation every ten minutes. (It's at, if you want to see it)

But several people have more detailed questions about Nazi-punching, and for them, I can heartily recommend this FAQ I encountered:

I'd say it answers pretty much any question you might potentially have about the propriety of punching Nazis.

If you want to hear about some other interesting Nazi-punching–related stories, I recommend this little tidbit from the life of Joseph Greenstein, aka "The Mighty Atom," famed circus strongman:

Or just go over to Twitter and search for "Nazis." The subject has been trending for the past day or so, and there are quite a lot of excellent things to be said on the subject.
Alanna Fumagali's profile photoEdward Morbius's profile photo
+John Wehrle Punching isn't a strategy, per se. It's a weapon. Use of weapons is tactics and strategy.

I suggest Sun Tzu, as both informed and concise, though there are other authorities (Clausewitz is on my list).

It is the rule in war, if our forces are ten to the enemy's one, to surround him; if five to one, to attack him;

if twice as numerous, to divide our army into two.

If equally matched, we can offer battle;

if slightly inferior in numbers, we can avoid the enemy;

if quite unequal in every way, we can flee from him.

I recommend both the commentaries and other chapters (particularly Dispositions, Terrain, Dispositions, and Spies) as well.

Sun Tzu doesn't mention here the use of what we'd call guerilla tactics, of which, say, randomly sucker-punching a Nazi on camera might be. - The Art of War by Sun Tzu - Chapter 3: Attack by Stratagem
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I'm disappointed to see this. A few days ago, I described the platform as one I could endorse without reservation -- but with the edits made to it, and with the attempt to make these edits without telling anyone, I can no longer offer that level of confidence.

Sex workers' rights are human rights; sex workers' rights are labor rights. These rights are crucially important because sex workers are, by both legal and extralegal means, excluded from many of the critical protections which our society offers, down to the level of the protection of one's physical safety that the law is supposed to provide. The sex workers' rights movement, a movement both of and for sex workers, is an important representative force, and the previous platform's support for them was notable and highly commendable. The strange linguistic mush with which it was replaced -- from "we stand in solidarity with sex workers' rights movements" to "we stand in solidarity with all those exploited for sex and labor" -- seems to open the door to joining up with the anti-trafficking movement, a movement notably not composed of sex workers, but instead claiming to "help" them.

And like many claims of help that don't seem to involve the group being "helped," this movement has been helping itself at the expense of others -- from handing people over to the police, to taking away people's livelihoods, all the way out to kidnapping people and putting them to work in sweatshops. There is a political movement afoot to make the "war on trafficking" the new "war on drugs," and it should be viewed with equal suspicion.

I am very concerned that the Women's March decided to make these changes, and even more so that they did so without explanation or notice. This went from a clear and forthright policy statement to one that makes me immediately wonder who they're making deals with.

Four days ago, the Women's March platform took the web by storm for being one of the most progressive and intersectional we've ever seen ( At the time, the document read: "We believe that all workers – including domestic and farm workers -- must have the right to organize and fight for a living minimum wage, and that unions and other labor associations are critical to a healthy and thriving economy for all. Undocumented and migrant workers must be included in our labor protections, and we stand in solidarity with sex workers’ rights movements."

In the past 12 hours, that language has been modified repeatedly, without any acknowledgment of the changes. These are the changes that +Kitty Stryker has identified:

"We believe that all workers -- including domestic and farm workers -- must have the right to organize and fight for a living minimum wage, and that unions and other labor associations are critical to a healthy and thriving economy for all. Undocumented and migrant workers must be included in our labor protections, and

1.) "we stand in solidarity with those exploited for sex and labor."

2.) "we stand in solidarity with sex workers' rights movements."

3.) "we stand in solidarity with the sex workers' rights movement. We recognize that exploitation for sex and labor in all forms is a violation of human rights."

This is confusing and disappointing. I look forward to seeing more transparency from organizers about this.

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Grant Lanning's profile photoMarla Caldwell's profile photoChristian MUKAWA Capable's profile photo
why uncoscious like ours?
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Yonatan Zunger

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Random interesting discovery: the FSB page that lists its various directors over the years goes seamlessly through all its various reorganizations and renamings, all the way back to "Iron" Felix Dzherzhinsky running the Cheka.

It also lists both Yagoda and Yezhov, despite their both having, um, vanished from the formal records for a while.

I find this straightforwardness oddly pleasing. Terrifying, perhaps, but oddly pleasing.
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Andres Soolo's profile photoDmitriy Bykov's profile photoJ The Colossal Squid's profile photoMichael Verona's profile photo
FSB - terripleasing since 1917. Or else.
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In the past week, the US has gotten its first introduction in a while to the Russian notion of "kompromat" – compromising material quietly acquired (or sometimes manufactured) and used for blackmail or for more overtly political purposes.

Since there's every reason to believe we'll be seeing a lot more of this in the years to come, Julia Ioffe has written a helpful introduction to its nuances, and to one of its great masters, Vladimir Putin.

Not Putin as the unquestioned leader of Russia: Putin's reputation for skillful use of kompromat goes back to his previous job, as head of the FSB.* In fact, it was Putin's masterful use of the technique against a Prosecutor General in early 1999 which helped cement his rise to the presidency.

* The FSB was the domestic branch of the national police, split off from the KGB by Gorbachev at the end of 1991. Putin, who had been a KGB officer since 1975, was its head from 1998 to 1999, when he became Prime Minister. It remained the largest Russian intelligence agency until last September, when the SVR (the old foreign directorate) was folded back into it, and the combined organization renamed the MGB. This re-merger is still in progress and is expected to take several more months.
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+Steven Jones "Its first introduction in a while." Americans have gotten out of the habit.
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Having read this policy statement, I will make the rare statement that I can sign on to it without reservation. It's a clear statement of a number of ideas which I believe are morally crucial, things which I must support as a matter of conscience.

(If you read this platform and note that there are many things it doesn't say - for example, that several of its points about the rights of women are important and pressing when applied to more than just women - I certainly agree. But this document is meant to center its focus there; there are plenty of things I believe which aren't on it, and I would be rather alarmed if someone managed to write a platform that contained literally every statement I believe in.)
The Women’s March on Washington has released its official policy platform, a far-reaching four-page statement that takes clear stances on reproductive rights, immigration reform, and worker’s issues, including those of sex workers. 🙌🙌🙌

Organizers have laid out an unapologetically radical, progressive vision for justice in America, placing the march in the context of other past and ongoing movements for equality.

The platform supports increased accountability for perpetrators of police brutality and racial profiling, demanding the demilitarization of American law enforcement and an end to mass incarceration. It calls for comprehensive antidiscrimination protections, health care, and gender-affirming identity documents for LGBTQ people. It calls unions “critical to a healthy and thriving economy” and aligns the march with movements for the rights of sex workers, farmworkers, and domestic workers.

With regard to sex workers, the platform states: "We believe that all workers – including domestic and farm workers - must have the right to organize and fight for a living minimum wage, and that unions and other labor associations are critical to a healthy and thriving economy for all. Undocumented and migrant workers must be included in our
labor protections, and we stand in solidarity with sex workers’ rights movements."
The Women’s March on Washington has released its official policy platform, a far-reaching four-page statement that takes clear stances on reproductive ...
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+Yonatan Zunger
No I didn't, Yonatan. That fit's YOUR perception. You're defending your own agendas (or your friends).

I just said essentially two things:

1. United we stand, divided we fall.
2. There's a time for talk, and there's a time for action.

I mention nothing about Who/what feminism was involved. I only highlighted where I come from (because you guys judge books by their covers so much ... and you especially on the transgender issue ... and I mentioned where I actually came from).

I really stress the ERA because like I said for years: without the ERA in the Constitution no women's rights are guaranteed.

Whatever you're talking about going all over the spectrum of political correctness, isn't what I'm talking about unity to get ANYTHING done and ANYTHING guaranteed.

Unity isn't division and certainly not having yet another man dictating what is or isn't feminism.

(Or another WHITE woman complaining about Second wave feminism and doing exactly what she's complaining about OF Second wave feminism!)

You're talking window dressing for your political views (or fellow travelers); I'm talking the reality if we don't get guarantees, it's all just talk.

One agenda brings: the 19th amendment.
Divided agenda: this thread (or another example: Trumpster, with using identity politics and going NOWHERE).
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Yonatan Zunger

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By Presidential decree, January 20th, 2017 has been named "National Day of Patriotic Devotion."

I shit you not. It is in the Federal Register, right here:

Our new government's propaganda department apparently has very twentieth-century tastes. I'm mentally interpreting this as an attempt to say "Все-страны день преданности Родине" in English, possibly by a non-native speaker.

h/t to @kenklippenstein over at Twitter for spotting this.
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Yonatan Zunger

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For most magazine publishers, if someone shows up with incontrovertible proof that your magazine has a long history of association with Nazi groups - say, your own back issues dedicated to Holocaust denial together with detailed money and personal trails linking your founders, your contributing writers, and your staff to a wide range of openly Nazi organizations between the second World War and the 1980s - the normal response would be to issue a statement that you regret the past affiliations of your magazine, and that these things in no way reflect your current editorial stance.

Today, I learned some really interesting things about Reason magazine, that darling of political Libertarianism. For example, that when faced with such evidence, not only is their response not to disavow Nazism, but instead to attack the journalists who turned this up as part of an "anti-Libertarian conspiracy."

Also, that when this is the response journalists get, their first instinct is to dig deeper and find out why, which is what leads us to discover that it is not merely their past staff, funders, and contributors who have these associations, but their present ones as well. And that they and their funders (including Charles Koch, personally) have been routing significant sums of money towards neo-Nazi groups since the 1960s at least.

Journalism is interesting.

h/t +A.V. Flox​
—Reason magazine, January 1976 Last weekend, I wrote about how Reason magazine — and their backers, the Koch brothers — was supporting a major push to further sell Silicon Valley on the “virtues” of libertarianism.
Jessica Smith's profile photoSarah Rosen (Silencieux)'s profile photoEdward Morbius's profile photoKatherine Phelps's profile photo
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In Judaism, the Torah is divided into 54 portions, one read each week until you go through the whole Bible. Each week's portion is a sort of message for the week, something to remember and interpret.

And what is this week's portion? The beginning of the story of Moses: from the oppression of immigrants to Let my people go.
The Torah is divided into 54 portions, which are read over the course of a year in the synagogue. Each week’s portion is meant to be a…
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Yonatan Zunger

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This site is one of the coolest things I've encountered on the Internet in a while. Basically, it channel-surfs through YouTube videos uploaded in the past week which have zero views, showing just a few seconds of each before flipping to the next.

You would think this would be terrible, but instead it's really soothing. It feels like channel-surfing over the world itself, just seeing a few moments of people's lives at a time. In the past few moments I've encountered Hindu chants, someone mortaring bricks, a conversation with a hockey player in some unidentified Slavic language, a band tuning up, a class singing a song in some Southeast Asian language I couldn't identify, and an elephant eating some grass.

h/t +Lauren Weinstein
Home videos from the past week
Michael Verona's profile photoMahlen Morris's profile photoRita Bitzer's profile photoRomeo Graham's profile photo
One very interesting thing to me (as an English speaker) is how much of the content was NOT English. Great reminder of how truly global YT is.
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"Genre Soup," or, "[Editor], when you said the author of the series you just bought was a model, I didn't think you meant a Markov model."

h/t +Jaym Gates and KC Cole.
Yonatan Zunger's profile photoLucas Appelmann's profile photoXenophrenia's profile photoJon Gritton's profile photo
Personally, it holds no interest for me; it could do with some aliens in it...
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I think this needs to take its place in the Annals of Congressional Trolling.
I love that he's been sitting on this for 8 years. Some serious dedication to the art of long-form trolling.
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Sarah Rosen (Silencieux)'s profile photoAnne-Marie Clark's profile photoONLNEGLDRSH...'s profile photoCC Crump's profile photo
Definitely, the SIGN of the times, oops my ass;-)
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Mountain View, CA
Boulder, CO - Rehovot, IL
Distinguished Engineer on Privacy at Google
The obligatory (very important!) disclaimer: I'm not on this system as an official representative. While I'm listening to user feedback and interacting about the system, I'm also here for perfectly ordinary social networking purposes. If I am saying something official on behalf of Google, I will make that explicitly clear; anything else that I say here is not the position of Google, or of anyone other than myself.
  • Stanford University
    Ph. D., Physics, 2003
  • University of Colorado, Boulder
    B. A., Mathematics, Physics, 1997
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