henry copeland @hc

Convener, runner, puzzler. Instigator of Racery, Pullquote, Twiangulate, Blogads. Via Wooster, New Haven, 85th and Columbus, Budapest, Paris. y84.

Recent quotes:

George Saunders Explains How to Tell a Good Story (watch it)

“A bad story is one where you know what the story is and you're sure of it," he says in this short film, George Saunders: On Story. For Saunders, storytelling is a stand-in for day-to-day life—and the same considerations you take when approaching how to tell a story mirror the freedom to self-determined identity that you give your loved ones.

All together or all apart

The researchers then had the teams complete a decision-making activity (in this case, act as top management for a fictional Hollywood studio tasked with green-lighting the production of one or more screenplays) and then answer a survey about the experience wherein they rated other team members. "We learned that if you want to have a clear leader emerge, you are better off having them all located face to face or all working remotely," Reeves said. "It's when you start mixing and matching -- some on site, some virtual -- that's when the real confusion comes into play."

Lord Alfred Tennyson

Though much is taken, much abides; and though We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Study Predicts Political Beliefs With 83 Percent Accuracy | Science | Smithsonian

The idea that the brains of Democrats and Republicans may be hard-wired to their beliefs is not new. Previous research has shown that during MRI scans, areas linked to broad social connectedness, which involves friends and the world at large, light up in Democrats’ brains. Republicans, on the other hand, show more neural activity in parts of the brain associated with tight social connectedness, which focuses on family and country. Other scans have shown that brain regions associated with risk and uncertainty, such as the fear-processing amygdala, differ in structure in liberals and conservatives. And different architecture means different behavior. Liberals tend to seek out novelty and uncertainty, while conservatives exhibit strong changes in attitude to threatening situations. The former are more willing to accept risk, while the latter tends to have more intense physical reactions to threatening stimuli.

For Donald Trump’s Family, an Immigrant’s Tale With 2 Beginnings - The New York Times

In an interview in his Trump Tower office, he at first claimed not to know that his father pretended to be Swedish, saying: “Is that true? I don’t know.” He later acknowledged that the two of them would occasionally discuss the concealment of their heritage, explaining that his father “didn’t want to put any pressure” on his Jewish friends. “It was a very tough time,” he said. “We have a war, we are fighting a war with Germany,” said Mr. Trump, who was born a year after World War II ended.

Les Incroyables after the French revolution

They were the children of the wealthy elite, the deposed aristocrats swept away with the revolution. In French, this generation became known as­ “the golden youth.” The Incroyables were royalist rather than republican, using their clothes as an advertisement for political beliefs that ran counter to the status quo. In itself, that was a dangerous statement. During the immediate aftermath of the revolution and the execution of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, the Committee of Public Safety attempted to use the guillotine to shape what member Maximilien Robespierre dubbed “a republic of virtue.” It resulted in the death of 17,000 at the blade, dubbed the “national razor.” Executable offenses were broad: Any individual whose actions “show(ed) themselves to be supporters of tyranny and federalism and enemies of freedom” was in danger. Offenses included dress: Infractions like displaying royalist insignia or colors (the fleur-­de-­lis, white, green or any indication of mourning), or refusal to sport the cockade, that symbolically ­loaded knot of tricolor ribbons, were, in some cases, enough to send someone to the tumbrils. The Incroyables were born out of that crucible. They willfully flouted the rules, even going so far as to affect a form of speech where the letter “r,” being too reminiscent of the revolution, was omitted. The thus­ pronounced “Inc’oyables” had a healthy gallows humor. Frequently, hair was brushed forward and shaved at the nape of the neck, as if a guillotine blade were about to fall. It is said that bals des victimes (victims’ balls) were staged, where the Incroyables’ female equivalents, Les Merveilleuses (loosely translated as “the Marvelous Ones”), wore transparent dresses reminiscent of underwear and tied red ribbons around their throats, suggesting decapitation. Photo A look from John Galliano’s Maison Margiela “Artisanal” show. Credit Pierre Le-Tan As those fashions indicate, the Incroyables and Merveilleuses were interested in altering perceptions of the body through the clothing they wore. The Incroyables tugged their cravats up high, swaddling their throats in goiters of cloth: The collar generally ended around the ears, entirely hiding the chin and jaw. Their tailcoats were creased and muddied, tailored short and tight in front, with pleats in the rear creating a hunchback effect; Heyl, the most famous tailor in Paris at that time, specialized in this intentionally bizarre shape. The most fashionable shade was couleur de crottin (horse­-manure brown), although ashen gray and muddy shades of blue also appeared. On men, nankeen or doeskin breeches, ­which, in 1794, were contentious enough to lead to imprisonment, were drawn tight against the body, delineating every nuance of the anatomy. Their hair was cut à la chien, dangling down in side whiskers like spaniel ears. The Incroyables were pilloried, parodied, emulated, reviled, attacked and much discussed. By 1799, when troubled times calmed and Napoleon ascended to power, their movement had died out.

The way we were

It’s difficult to recall now, but at Gawker’s founding there was a sense that the internet was a free space, where anything can be said. An island off the mainland, where people could be themselves. Where writers could say things that would get you fired in an instant from a print publication. Where you could say what you thought without fear of being fired, or sued out of existence. But when you try to make a business out of that freedom, the system will fight you.

Cycling as a vehicle to creativity

It is all very well to say to yourself that you are not thinking as you wheel serenely along: but you are, and that sure uncertainty of the cyclist’s balance, that unconsciously watchful suspension (solid on earth yet so breezily flitting) seems to symbolize the task itself. The wheel slidders in a rut or on a slope of gravel: at once, by instinct, you redress your perpendicular. So, in the continual joy and disgust of the writer’s work, he dare not abandon that difficult trained alertness. How much of the plain horror and stupidity is he to admit into his picture? how many of the grossly significant minutiae can he pause to include? how often shall he make a resolute fling to convey that incomparable energy of life that should be the artist’s goal above all? These are the airy tinkerings of his doubt; and as he passes from windy hill-top to green creeks and grazings sometimes the bicycle sets him free. He sees it all afresh; nothing, nothing has ever been written yet: the entire white paper of the world is clean for his special portrait of all hunger, all joy, and all vexation.

Gawker and the Rage of the Creative Underclass

“New York is a city for the rich by the rich, and all of us work at the mercy of rich people and their projects,” says Choire Sicha, Gawker’s top editor (he currently employs a staff of five full-time writers). “If you work at any publication in this town, you work for a millionaire or billionaire. In some ways, that’s functional, and it works as a feudal society. But what’s happened now, related to that, is that culture has dried up and blown away: The Weimar-resurgence baloney is hideous; the rock-band scene is completely unexciting; the young artists have a little more juice, but they’re just bleak intellectual kids; and I am really dissatisfied with young fiction writers.” Sicha, a handsome ex-gallerist who spends his downtime gardening on Fire Island, is generally warm and even-tempered, but on this last point, he looks truly disgusted. “Not a week goes by I don’t want to quit this job,” he says, “because staring at New York this way makes me sick.”

Meb Keflezighi, Bernard Lagat, and the Secret to Running Forever - The New Yorker

“There are only two ‘secrets,’ ” Joyner told me, when I asked how a runner can continue to succeed until age forty and beyond. “Keep your VO2 max up by doing intervals, and don’t get injured.”

Trump at his father's funeral

When, in the summer of 1999, he stood up to offer remarks at his father’s funeral, Trump spoke mainly about himself. It was the toughest day of his own life, Trump began. He went on to talk about Fred Trump’s greatest achievement: raising a brilliant and renowned son. As Gwenda Blair writes in her three-generation biography of the Trump family, The Trumps, “the first-person singular pronouns, the I and me and my, eclipsed the he and his. Where others spoke of their memories of Fred Trump, [Donald] spoke of Fred Trump’s endorsement.”

Individuals hospitalized with acute mania have increased exposure to antimicrobial medications - Yolken - 2016 - Bipolar Disorders - Wiley Online Library

Overall, a total of 18 of the 234 (7.7%) individuals hospitalized for acute mania were prescribed antibiotics as opposed to seven of 555 (1.3%) controls. The prescription of antibiotics was associated with being on an inpatient unit as opposed to being in the day hospital, and having increased mania symptom severity but not with other clinical ratings, demographic variables, or psychiatric medications. Hospitalization for other psychiatric disorders was not associated with the recent prescription of antimicrobial medications. The urinary tract was the most common site of infection in women, while the respiratory tract and mucosal surfaces were the most common sites in men.

Compromise nearly guaranteed when a woman is involved in decision-making pairs: Study finds when making joint decisions, men need to prove masculinity, 'push away' from compromise -- ScienceDaily

"The compromise effect basically emerges in any pair when there is a woman. However, surprisingly, when you have men choosing together, they actually tend to push away from the compromise option and select one of the extreme options. Say two men are choosing a car and the cars they are considering differ on safety and fuel efficiency -- they will either go for the safest car or the one that offers them the most fuel efficiency, but they won't choose an option that offers a little of both." In contrast, individuals and mixed-gender and female-female pairs will likely go for the middle option since it seems reasonable and is easily justified.

Pocket: My List

Just be optimistic about the future of your relationship. In a study recently published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Edward Lemay, a professor of psychology at the University of Maryland, found people who predicted that they would be satisfied with their relationship in the future were more committed to their partners and treated them more kindly in the present-day.

Rumor: Doctor Prescribes Donald Trump "Cheap Speed"

Rumors of Trump’s predilection for stimulants first started really popping up in 1992, when Spy magazine wrote, “Have you ever wondered why Donald Trump has acted so erratically at times, full of manic energy, paranoid, garrulous? Well, he was a patient of Dr. [Joseph] Greenberg’s from 1982 to 1985.” At the time, Dr. Greenberg was notorious for allegedly doling out prescription stimulants to anyone who could pay.
Overall, guests asked to make a specific commitment and who were given a pin were most likely to hang towels for re-use, and they hung a greater proportion of their used towels than guests in the other conditions.  These guests were also more likely to turn out the lights when leaving the room than guests in other conditions.  Interestingly, those guests given a Friend of the Environment pin who did not get any message were actually less likely to hang towels for re-use than those in other conditions.   Advertisement Guests who agreed to the general goal to save energy were at best slightly more likely than those who received no message at all.  Thus, the general goal had little impact on people’s behavior.  This finding is interesting, because people were somewhat more willing to commit to the general goal than to the specific one.

What Great Listeners Actually Do

To the contrary, people perceive the best listeners to be those who periodically ask questions that promote discovery and insight. These questions gently challenge old assumptions, but do so in a constructive way. Sitting there silently nodding does not provide sure evidence that a person is listening, but asking a good question tells the speaker the listener has not only heard what was said, but that they comprehended it well enough to  want additional information. Good listening was consistently seen as a two-way dialog, rather than a one-way “speaker versus hearer” interaction. The best conversations were active.

Instagram photos reveal predictive markers of depression

Using Instagram data from 166 individuals, we applied machine learning tools to successfully identify markers of depression. Statistical features were computationally extracted from 43,950 participant Instagram photos, using color analysis, metadata components, and algorithmic face detection. Resulting models outperformed general practitioners' average diagnostic success rate for depression. These results held even when the analysis was restricted to posts made before depressed individuals were first diagnosed. Photos posted by depressed individuals were more likely to be bluer, grayer, and darker. Human ratings of photo attributes (happy, sad, etc.) were weaker predictors of depression, and were uncorrelated with computationally-generated features. These findings suggest new avenues for early screening and detection of mental illness.

Virtual reality helped improve nerve function in paralysed people

"In virtually every one of these patients, the brain had erased the notion of having legs. You're paralysed, you're not moving, the legs are not providing feedback signals." said Professor Nicolelis, he went on to say: "By using a brain-machine interface in a virtual environment, we were able to see this concept gradually re-emerging into the brain."

How Vector Space Mathematics Reveals the Hidden Sexism in Language

The team does this by searching the vector space for word pairs that produce a similar vector to “she: he.” This reveals a huge list of gender analogies. For example, she;he::midwife:doctor; sewing:carpentry; registered_nurse:physician; whore:coward; hairdresser:barber; nude:shirtless; boobs:ass; giggling:grinning; nanny:chauffeur, and so on. The question they want to answer is whether these analogies are appropriate or inappropriate. So they use Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to ask. They showed each analogy to 10 turkers and asked them whether the analogy was biased or not. They consider the analogy biased if more than half of the turkers thought it was biased.

Aleppo’s Last Doctors Plead for Help in Open Letter to Obama

We are 29 of the last doctors serving the remaining 300,000 citizens of eastern Aleppo.[…] For five years, we have faced death from above on a daily basis. But we now face death from all around. […]What pains us most, as doctors, is choosing who will live and who will die. […]Two weeks ago, four newborn babies gasping for air suffocated to death after a blast cut the oxygen supply to their incubators. Gasping for air, their lives ended before they had really begun. […]We have a duty to remain and help. Mr. President, we ask that you do your duty as well.

Text analysis of Trump's tweets confirms he writes only the (angrier) Android half – Variance Explained

My analysis, shown below, concludes that the Android and iPhone tweets are clearly from different people, posting during different times of day and using hashtags, links, and retweets in distinct ways. What’s more, we can see that the Android tweets are angrier and more negative, while the iPhone tweets tend to be benign announcements and pictures. Overall I’d agree with @tvaziri’s analysis: this lets us tell the difference between the campaign’s tweets (iPhone) and Trump’s own (Android).

Why Does This Crucial Line of Trump’s Second Amendment Flap Keep Getting Edited Out? | Mediaite

“So here, I just wrote this down today. Hillary wants to raise taxes — it’s a comparison. I want to lower them. Hillary wants to expand regulations, which she does bigly. Can you believe that? I will reduce them very, very substantially, could be as much as 70 to 75 percent. Hillary wants to shut down energy production. I want to expand it. Lower electric bills, folks! Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick — if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what, that will be a horrible day, if — if — Hillary gets to put her judges in.”

Budapest's non-stops remembered

he sweet-natured but infinitely weary Egyptian Copt who sometimes has to serve us through an anti-personnel grille in his shop door when street activities get lively around 1am. The two painfully thin grizzled men with missing teeth (one customer, one salesman) in the shop with only two shelves – 12 boxes of biscuits on each shelf – who challenged me to a series of mathematical match puzzles they had stretched out across the counter at 3 o’clock one difficult night. Or the mildly busy 24-hour shop around midnight where a man and woman, both in their 20s, were intently watching a porn channel on a TV set near the ceiling, ringing up each purchase and silently handing back change without once taking their eyes off the carnal congress on the small screen.

Donald Trump: This run-on sentence from a speech in Sun City, South Carolina, is in desperate need of diagramming.

Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart—you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I'm one of the smartest people anywhere in the world—it’s true!—but when you're a conservative Republican they try—oh, do they do a number—that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune—you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged—but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me—it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are (nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what's going to happen and he was right—who would have thought?), but when you look at what's going on with the four prisoners—now it used to be three, now it’s four—but when it was three and even now, I would have said it's all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don't, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.

Instagram CEO on Stories: Snapchat deserves all the credit

“When you are an innovator, that’s awesome. Just like Instagram deserves all the credit for bringing filters to the forefront. This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it. Facebook invented feed, LinkedIn took on feed, Twitter took on feed, Instagram took on feed, and they all feel very different now and they serve very different purposes. But no one looks down at someone for adopting something that is so obviously great for presenting a certain type of information. Innovation happens in the Valley, and people invent formats, and that’s great. And then what you see is those formats proliferate. So @ usernames were invented on Twitter. Hashtags were invented on Twitter. Instagram has those. Filtered photos were not invented on Instagram. Related Articles Instagram launches "Stories," a Snapchatty feature for imperfect sharing How to use Instagram Stories And I think what you see is that every company looks around and adopts the best of the best formats or state-of-the-art technology. Snapchat adopted face filters that existed elsewhere first, right? And slideshows existed in other places, too. Flipagram was doing it for a while. So I think that’s the interesting part of the Valley. You can’t just recreate another product. But you can say ‘what’s really awesome about a format? And does it apply to our network?’