Monday, January 2nd, 2023

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Ajami, a largely forgotten and overlooked, African writing system (

1/2/2023 7:39 am | |
Tags: africa, islam, linguistics

"Why Can't America Do Taxes Like the Faroe Islands?" ( 🗝️)

I recently traveled to the Faroe Islands, a small, semi-autonomous part of Denmark out in the North Atlantic, for a joint reporting project for The American Prospect and the People's Policy Project. The idea was to investigate the country's tax authority, which is called TAKS. I'd heard it is the cleanest and most efficient in the world.

Even with those expectations, what I found impressed me. The Faroes haven't just set up a centralized system that automatically collects tax revenue and disburses welfare payments; they also continuously monitor all of your labor income and adjust your withholding as necessary if you lose a job or get a new one. Ordinary businesses and employees never have to even think about TAKS—no tax return is required.

Why can't we? Because we've allowed capitalism to drive taxation into an industry and as such now it holds a seat at the metaphorical table where money can be passed and made. Beyond the money that lobbyists spend to keep our tax system arcane and corrupt, we also have individuals who now make their living off of it, which further complicates the fixing of the system.

I hold out hope that we will one day make progress in this area, until then we'll look to these places - like the Faroe islands, and dream of the future possibilities.

1/2/2023 8:00 am | |
Tags: us politics, taxes

Oh Linux

I had the gall to dare to run apt-get update & upgrade, thinking it would be simple. But, I believe, it updated my video drivers and caused the computer to lock up in boot UNLESS -- and the stupidity of this boggles my mind -- I unplugged the third monitor from the computer and suddenly it booted correctly.

To say I am annoyed is an understatement. For now, I am just living the 2 monitor life, and rather than chase down the problem, I am inclined to continue to do so.

1/2/2023 4:54 pm | |
Tags: technology, linux, ubuntu

Tonight marks the conclusion of my 18 day winter vacation. A much needed chance to reset. Tomorrow, I'll get back to work and return to the "real world." I am 76% sad to see the holiday come to a close, and 24% eager to return to work.

1/2/2023 5:42 pm | |
Tags: life, holiday

Mark your calendars for a very rare comet sighting (

"We don't have an estimate for the furthest it will get from the Earth yet — estimates vary — but if it does return it won't be for at least 50,000 years," she said. "...Some predictions suggest that the orbit of this comet is so eccentric it's no longer in an orbit-so it's not going to return at all and will just keep going."

Now, the recently discovered E3 comet, which has been seen with a bright greenish coma and "short broad" dust tail, is set to make its closest approach to the sun on January 12. It will make its closest approach to Earth on February 2. 

1/2/2023 6:19 pm | |
Tags: astronomy, space

Thinking of Damar Hamlin

Didn't watch the game, but seeing coverage online. My thoughts go out to Hamlin, his family, friends and teammates. Here's hoping he recovers.

An important note in this story:

1/2/2023 6:29 pm | |
Tags: injury, sports, nfl

From "Noël" episode of The West Wing

A beautiful story, and one of my favorite moments from The West Wing. It's told by Leo McGarry (the President's chief of staff) to Josh Lyman, who works for him. Josh is suffering from PTSD and has just been officially diagnosed after a particularly difficult week. It's a story about friendship and dealing with trauma.

This guy's walking down a street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep, he can't get out. A doctor passes by, and the guy shouts up, "Hey you, can you help me out?" The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along, and the guy shouts up "Father, I'm down in this hole, can you help me out?" The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by. "Hey Joe, it's me, can you help me out?" And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, "Are you stupid? Now we're both down here." The friend says, "Yeah, but I've been down here before, and I know the way out."

1/2/2023 8:32 pm | |
Tags: philosophy, aphorism, television

Mastodon Favs for January, 2nd 2023

This post was automatically generated

1/2/2023 10:45 pm | |
Tags: mastodon, social media, automated

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