The Rule of One Hundred

Start with the total U.S. population, then divide by 100, since that’s the size of the current, more deliberative upper chamber. Next, allocate senators to each state according to their share of the total; 2/100 equals two senators, 3/100 equals three, etc. Update the apportionment every decade according to the official census.


Using 2017 census estimates as a proxy for the official one coming in 2020, the Rule of One Hundred yields the following outcome: 26 states get only one senator (having about 1/100 of the population or less), 12 states stay at two, eight states gain one or two, and the four biggest states gain more than two: California gets 12 total, Texas gets nine, and Florida and New York get six each. This apportionment shows how out of whack the current Senate has become.

Here’s How To Fix the Senate” – The Atlantic

Support your local newspaper

To the extent that you know your local school board is corrupt or that your city’s subway expansion plan is millions of dollars over budget or that your local power plant is dumping coal ash into your water supply, it’s usually because of a reporter. You may think this stuff just comes drifting in on the air, or the Internet, like water flows when you turn on the tap, but no: Reporter. Newspaper. Journalism.

Zach Baron, “The Fresno Bee and the War on Local News” in GQ

Heike Geissler’s “Seasonal Associate”

While many on the left have long discussed the loss that comes with alienating people from their labor, Geissler offers a detailed description of the alienation from the self that accompanies it. No longer free to live according to her preferred rhythms, she begins to eat faster, to walk faster, and to push and shove her colleagues as they rush to leave the warehouse. She counts the days until her contract’s expiration date: Christmas Eve. “It’s all about sheer endurance, about presence, about translating your time and energy into money,” she writes. 

The Nation, “No Space To Be Human

The Problematic, Privacy-Invading Spy Machine

So you bought a loved one an Amazon Echo. Maybe it was on sale, or maybe it was on someone’s list. But inevitably, an Echo is a bad gift. It’s also a lazy gift. But don’t worry. It’s not too late to return it and get a better gift.

The Echo is still the problematic, privacy-invading spy machine it was last year and the year before. In fact, recent reports show that Amazon is not only still mishandling Echo recordings and user data, but it’s also actually getting worse about it

Gizmodo, “The Amazon Alexa Eavesdropping Nightmare Came True”

…the radioactivity of Facebook’s data hoard…

For a company that is user data, Facebook sure has made a lot of mistakes spreading it around. By the looks of it, other tech players have been happy to let Facebook get beaten up while their practices went unexamined. And then, in this one story, the radioactivity of Facebook’s data hoard spread basically across the industry. There is a data-industrial complex, and this is what it looked like.

Alexis Madrigal, “Facebook Didn’t Sell Your Data; It Gave It Away

Science and politics

…encouraging open scientific communication helped the US learn what the international scientific community was up to. For another, this ideology of scientific freedom set American science apart from the more visibly controlled science of the Soviet Union — even as the US curtailed the freedoms of American scientists at home.

Rachel Becker, “cold War propoganda sPread the myth that science isnt political

Treeleaf Zendo’s Han

The han (wooden block) hanging outside the door of Treeleaf Zendo in Tsukuba, Japan.

This is the han hanging outside Treeleaf Zendo in Tsukuba, Japan. I just participated in a 2-day online retreat with the Treeleaf sangha around the world. The han functions as a sort of wooden “bell”, struck to start the retreat. It reads:

“Life and death are the great matter.
To waste time is a pity.
All is impermanent and passes swiftly away.
Time waits for no one.”