Links For March 22, 2014

Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for ‘irreversible collapse’?

These factors can lead to collapse when they converge to generate two crucial social features: “the stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity”; and “the economic stratification of society into Elites [rich] and Masses (or “Commoners”) [poor]” These social phenomena have played “a central role in the character or in the process of the collapse,” in all such cases over “the last five thousand years.”


Today's Apps Are Turning Us Into Sociopaths

And that’s not to mention the very algorithmic, linear way of thinking James and Tom share here that glosses over the non-linear, tricky negotiations and nuances of relationships. Narratives of frictionless bliss like the one espoused by BroApp persuade because they depict scenarios where interpersonal exchanges become efficient without degrading the quality of communication. But just as laconic expressions of gratitude undermine the pro-social dimensions of etiquette, using duplicitous technological contrivance to increase the frequency of exchanges between romantic partners chips away at the moral commitments that make these relationships special.


How clones, fear, sanitisation and free-to-play soured Apple's iOS gaming revolution

Where we once saw a promising new marketplace of fresh ideas, unrestricted creativity, and daring new ways to play, the App Store of 2014 is swamped with cash-guzzling junk, shameless knockoffs and predictable sequels. Games worth discovering still exist, but they mostly dwell on the fringes and in the shadows, while endless horror stories suggest that paid-for games are simply no longer profitable and are dying out. What happened to the iOS gaming revolution?


Julie Ann Horvath Describes Sexism And Intimidation Behind Her GitHub Exit

Two women, one of whom I work with and adore, and a friend of hers were hula hooping to some music. I didn’t have a problem with this. What I did have a problem with is the line of men sitting on one bench facing the hoopers and gawking at them. It looked like something out of a strip club. When I brought this up to male coworkers, they didn’t see a problem with it. But for me it felt unsafe and to be honest, really embarrassing. That was the moment I decided to finally leave GitHub.


This Insane New App Will Allow You To Read Novels In Under 90 Minutes – Neat, though it turns text into a temporal medium, losing a lot of text’s advantages.


You can now download your tax return transcripts from the IRS – download them at Get Transcript.