A company that’s supposed to prevent outages caused a big one: A CrowdStrike update crashed Microsoft systems and took down a slew of businesses around the world, including airlines, banks and more. My colleague Diana Goovaerts reports. fierce-network.com

My husband was slowing down. He needed protecting. wapo.st A moving essay by Sally Quinn, widow of Ben Bradlee, about his final descent into dementia.

Occasionally, Bradlee would snap back to his old, fierce self. Is that what we’re seeing with Biden?

I’m regularly checking github for progress on @Mtt’s new Sumo theme for Micro.blog, about which I am absurdly excited.

Bye Bob. #TooSoon

Again with this shit, Facebook?


Hamilton Nolan: “You patsy. We don’t have time for this bullshit”

How Things Work: Labor can become more powerful if unions organize the 90% of American workers who don’t belong. Sucking up to Republicans is not the answer.

Making the Republican Party less hostile to the interests of the working class is a nice goal but if you think that this will be the result of electing a fascist who tried the steal the last election and who famously stiffs people who work for him and who is an egomaniac and who has never supported the electoral agenda of unions and who lies constantly and who is running on a racist platform of demonizing immigrants—you are stupid. You are a patsy if you think this.

Philosopher Alan Watts ponders the nature of consciousness

The Nature of Consciousness:

Let’s suppose you were able, every night, to dream any dream you wanted to dream, and that you could for example have the power to dream in one night 75 years worth of time. Or any length of time you wanted to have. And you would, naturally, as you began on this adventure of dreams, fulfill all your wishes. You would have every kind of pleasure you could conceive. And after several nights of 75 years of total pleasure each, you would say ‘Well, that was pretty great. But now let’s have a surprise. Let’s have a dream which isn’t under control, where something is going to happen to me that I don’t know what it’s going to be.’ And you would dig that, and come out of it and say ‘That was a close shave, now wasn’t it?’ Then you would get more and more adventurous, and you would make further and further gambles as to what you would dream, and finally you would dream where you are now. You would dream the dream of the life that you are actually living today.

Watts also brings to life the cliched observation that we are not separate from the universe. We are a part of it. We did not come into the world when we were born, we are agglomerations of atoms that existed for billions of years before we were born and will continue to exist for billions more after we die. The distinction between “self” and “other” is an illusion.

just as a magnet polarizes itself at north and south, but it’s all one magnet, so experience polarizes itself as self and other, but it’s all one.

Our individuality was implicit in the universe from the time it began.

It takes time for an acorn to turn into an oak, but the oak is already implied in the acorn.

So don’t differentiate yourself and stand off and say ‘I am a living organism in a world made of a lot of dead junk, rocks and stuff.’ It all goes together. Those rocks are just as much you as your fingernails. You need rocks. What are you going to stand on?

Watts also has a theory of consciousness I quite like: Our bodies do almost everything without consciousness. Consciousness is not involved in circulating blood, digesting food, or breathing (most of the time). Even when we consciously decide to walk or move our hand, consciousness is not involved in the micro-movements. I’m sitting here typing just now, but I’m not consciously making my fingers move. I just look at the screen, and I perceive the words appearing on the screen directly from my brain.

Consciousness evolved to handle the small fraction of tasks that our bodies can’t do without consciousness. We think our consciousness is our entire selves — some philosophers say you are not your body — but that’s wrong. Consciousness is only part of our selves.

The wolves are circling Biden

Obama Says Biden Has to Rethink His Candidacy [politicalwire.com]

Also on politicalwire.com:

President Joe Biden’s political world is collapsing. Top allies have either publicly or privately called on him to step aside. Major donations have fallen off a cliff. Grassroots fundraising is not keeping up with the demands of a campaign that needs to aggressively scale up three months before the presidential election. Members of his own re-election effort have already declared he has no path to victory.

DARPA is launching a program to sift through quantum computing hype


“Our opening position is skepticism," stated Dr. Joe Altepeter, the DARPA program manager of the project, in a blog about QBI. “Specifically, skepticism that a fully fault-tolerant quantum computer with a sufficient number of logical qubits can ever be built.”

”We will walk into the room and say, ‘We’re pretty sure whatever you’re doing is not going to work.’ I will bring a small army of scientists and engineers, we will listen to your evidence, and we will double and triple check using our own analysis," Altepeter wrote. “And if we’re convinced the technology you’re developing checks out and you’re onto something big, we’ll tell the rest of government and become a strong advocate for your approach.”

Heartbreaking: This Guy Has No Idea That He’s So Strange And Memorable-Looking That Everyone From His Flight Is Using Him As A Landmark To Figure Out Which Baggage Claim Area Is Theirs [clickhole.com]. I have absolutely done this. I’ve probably been this guy, and I’m OK with that.

The Verge: “Dune: Prophecy hits HBO in November. The series is a prequel to Denis Villeneuve’s films, and it just got a fresh trailer.” I didn’t love the movies but I loved the original books. Sure, I’ll give the series a try.

Ask a Manager: “let’s discuss napping at work.” We can talk about it as soon as I have my nap.

PoliticalWire: Trump says “God was with me” during the failed assassination attempt. I guess God must have hated Corey Competore.

Competore, 50, was a volunteer firefighter who was shot by the assassin who aimed at Trump. Competore died protecting his family.

I’ve been warming to the idea of Kamala Harris for President and I just now realized why: Kamala has powerful Chrisjen Avasarala energy.

CBS Austin: Texans are assaulting and threatening linemen working to restore electrical power after Hurricane Beryl.

HOUSTON – Drawn guns. Thrown rocks. Threatening messages. Houston’s prolonged outages following Hurricane Beryl has some fed-up and frustrated residents taking out their anger on repair workers who are trying to restore power across the city.”

Ryan Broderick at Garbage Day: You May Not Realize It Yet, But You’re Already Forgetting About The Trump Shooting.

Today I learned that “Dogs Playing Poker” refers collectively to 18 paintings by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, comprising one each in 1894 and 1910, and 16 commissioned in 1903 to advertise cigars. Individual paintings have been auctioned for up to $658,000.