Things Mitch Wagner saw
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Mitch Wagner's Newsletter

Things Mitch Wagner saw
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When you lied in your job interview about prior experience


Spectacular double rainbow at Lake Murray Saturday. You could see the entire arc


Office Space turns 20: How the film changed the way we work

Yeah, I’m gong to need you to go ahead and read this article about how “Office Space,” which came out 20 years ago, holds up today.


The Perfect Rent-Controlled Apartment

In 1955, a retired actor found the perfect rent-controlled apartment in Greenwich Village for $90/mo. He’s still there. Rent’s higher, though.


You Don’t Need Sports Drinks To Stay Hydrated

Shockingly, pro-Gatorade studies, which are conducted by Gatorade, turn out to be junk science. Drink when you’re thirsty, and make it water— you’ll be fine.


High-speed rail in California and the Green New Deal: It could work in America, but we’re screwing i t up.

High speed rail is an alternative to air travel in China and Europe, even between cities hundreds of miles apart.

High speed rail seems to be like single-payer healthcare — American conservatives point their fingers and laugh at anyone who proposes an idea that in fact has proven workable multiple times around the world. This kind of skepticism is no better than flat-Eartherism.


Google Cloud Chief’s Plan to Catch Amazon and Microsoft: Sales Reps

“Mr. Kurian is emulating a piece of his former employer’s strategy. Oracle built a massive sales staff over decades that holds specific expertise in various industries. At Google, Mr. Kurian said he plans to boost market specialization as well, so sales reps who talk to financial institutions “can talk the language of banking,” he said…. Google’s success has largely come from serving “digital-native” companies—businesses that were born in the internet era and never built their own data centers. Mr. Kurian said he wants to improve Google’s ability to address the needs of companies with legacy systems.”


Why the PDF Is Secretly the World’s Most Important File Format

PDFs will be with us long after we’re gone.


The left’s quest for purity could destroy potentially worthy leaders

Northam is a strange outlier in all of this. The author of this article asserts — rightly — that there needs to be room for redemption, and notes that Northam has been an enthusiastic advocate of civil rights during his political career.

Indeed, he’d simply left things as they were in the first day, if he’d stuck with his original apology, I’d argue we should leave him in place.

But instead he issued this weird denial which indicated that he didn’t see anything wrong with blackface.

Ultimately I say throw the bum out out. The author of this article is arguing with a straw man. Democrats aren’t saying that their leaders need to be perfect. Democrats are just saying their leaders should not be racists or sexual creepers. As Obama said in another context: This is not a difficult hurdle to clear.


Capitalism & Politics: A Cold War

“Government should govern rather than try to act as a dealmaker and kingpin in the business world…. A New York City with a functional subway system and schools you wouldn’t mind sending your children to wouldn’t need to bribe Amazon to set up shop there.“


Everything you need to know about GM’s new electric bikes

I’ve been wanting an electric bike for years. This is a great-looking machine, although of course we don’t know how well it actually runs.

I haven’t bought an electric bike because I don’t know if I’d use it enough to justify the expense.

Also, I know from experience that the shopping is sometimes a lot more fun than the buying and owning.


Insurance Giant Allstate Buys Independent Phone Repair Company, Joins Right to Repair Movement

Allstate now has a big financial state in securing legislation giving you the right to repair your own property — smartphones, farm equipment, anything. It’s ridiculous that if my iPhone screen cracks, I can’t by law just bring it anywhere I want to be repaired. Similarly for farm equipment, says John Deere.

Related: It should be legal to jailbreak or mod your iPhone. And you should be able to pay someone to do it too. It’s your property, do what you want with it.


Why Is Amazon Leaving New York? Jeff Bezos Knew When to Bail

Escape from New York: Amazon simply failed to understand how local politics in New York works. “In retrospect, the helipad was probably a bad idea.”


The “Surprise” of Authoritarian Resilience in China

Authoritarianism has proven resilient in China because the Chinese population is generally happy with it, according to numerous surveys.

And, yeah, the surveys corrected for the possibility that the respondents might simply be lying because they’re afraid of the government. Even accounting for that possibility, Chinese people are STILL satisfied with their government.


Democracy and its discontents

Science fiction is often cynical about democracy. But it also re-imagines democracy, offering a hopeful look at a more egalitarian world.

It’s even more pronounced in fantasy; there are about a million stories about deposing the Evil Usurper and replacing him with the Good King, but I can’t think of a single example of replacing the king with a democratic republic.



We loved “Tin Star.” I seldom watch shows or movies or read novels where the protagonist is an antihero, but when I do I can see the appeal, particularly in action-adventure.

The hero is constrained in his choices, because he must do good. The antihero can do whatever he needs to do, and as long as he’s sympathetic and we agree with his cause, we’ll go with it.


This ceramic mug that looks like it’s made of cardboard is $80

Sure, that’s a lot of money for a coffee mug, but think of how practical it is!

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