And yes, Cassie posed naked for this one:
Welcome to stop #58 on the Brews and Choos project.
Brewery: All Rise Brewing Co., 235 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago
Train line: CTA Pink and Green Lines, Ashland
Time from Chicago: 6 minutes
Distance from station: 200 m
In terms of breweries and distilleries accessible from one Metra station, mine (Ravenswood) tops the list. But the single densest train station of any kind is actually Ashland on the CTA Pink and Green lines. Two stops from Clinton, which is close to both Ogilvie and Union Station, and three stops from the Loop, you have an easy walk to 11 distilleries and breweries.
The Fulton Industrial District also has a lot of factories, as its name implies. You won't get a warm and fuzzy feeling from the neighborhood after dark like you would from the more-residential Ravenswood area. And as you might expect, the first brewery you come to in the zone feels like a real dive.
OK, it's a real dive. But they make good beer.
From right to left, and for $11 including tip, I tried the Hooligan Bitter, the Cease & Desist Lager, the Sell Out New England IPA, and the Wonder Beer No-Coast IPA. I liked them all. The Hooligan (4%) had a lot of malt flavor but also a good hop content, coming in on the American side of the English bitter taste spectrum. The Cease & Desist (4.4%) tasted like any decent lager, like what the mass-market beers try to be. I found it a bit sweet, but I find most lagers sweet. The Sell Out (6.5%) had a lot of grapefruity Citra flavors rounded out with a nice bitterness on the finish that I enjoyed. And the Wonder Beer (6.2%) was not too bitter or not too malty, with a bit more complexity than I expected.
I'd go back, and I'd bring Cassie. I still have to try the food.
Beer garden? Yes (summer only)
Dogs OK? Outside
Televisions? 2, avoidable outside but not inside
Serves food? Full menu
Would hang out with a book? Maybe (it's loud)
Would hang out with friends? Yes
Would go back? Yes
Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, which burned for two days and left 100,000 people homeless. But only for a short time; by 1874, when the city had a second big fire, our population had already grown by about that number.
Flash forward to now:
Finally, last night I attended an actual live theater performance for the first time in 19 months, and it was amazeballs. If you live in Chicago, right now you need to go to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater website and buy tickets to As You Like It, which plays through November 21st.
So many things this morning, including a report not yet up on WBEZ's website about the last Sears store in Chicago. (I'll find it tomorrow.)
- Jennifer Rubin advises XPOTUS "critics and democracy lovers" to leave the Republican Party.
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) completely caved against a unified Democratic Party and will vote to extend the (probably-unconstitutional) debt limit another three months.
- An abolitionist's house from 1869 may get landmark approval today from the Commission on Chicago Landmarks. (It's already in the National Register of Historic Places).
- Could interurban trains come back?
- Arts critic Jo Livingstone has a mixed review of No Time to Die, but I still plan to see it this weekend.
- 18 retired NBA players face wire-fraud and insurance-fraud charges for allegedly scamming the NBA's Health and Welfare Benefit Plan out of $4 million.
- Even though we've had early-September temperatures the past week, we've also had only 19% of possible sunlight, and only 8% in the past six days. We have not seen the sun since Monday, in fact, making the steady 19°C temperature feel really depressing.
- Two new Black-owned breweries will go on the Brews and Choos list soon.
- Condé Nast has named Chicago the best big city in the US for the fifth year running.
Finally, President Biden is in Chicago today, promoting vaccine mandates. But because of the aforementioned clouds, I have no practical way of watching Air Force One flying around the city.
Update, 12:38 CDT: The sun is out!
Update, 12:39 CDT: Well, we had a minute of it, anyway.
After 2½ years and one unfortunate crunching sound last week, I've finally gotten a new phone. I decided to go with the Samsung Galaxy S21. So far, I like it, though with any new hardware you also get new software. Some of the basic apps work differently.
Switching phones got really easy in the past couple of years, though. The only dicey part came when I had to transfer all my multifactor codes over. And I have to keep my old phone handy for a while in case I missed one.
Now my eyes hurt from squinting at all the screens for two hours, though.
Remy Porter, owner of the hilarious blog The Daily WTF, responded to Facebook's catastrophic BGP update by pointing out how software actually gets made:
IT in general, and software in specific, is a rather bizarre field in terms of how skills work. If, for example, you wanted to get good at basketball, you might practice free-throws. As you practice, you'd expect the number of free-throws you make to gradually increase. It'll never be 100%, but the error rate will decline, the success rate will increase. Big-name players can expect a 90% success rate, and on average a professional player can expect about an 80% success rate, at least according to this article. I don't actually know anything about basketball.
But my ignorance aside, I want you to imagine writing a non-trivial block of code and having it compile, run, and pass its tests on the first try. Now, imagine doing that 80% of the time.
It's a joke in our industry, right? It's a joke that's so overplayed that perhaps it should join "It's hard to exit VIM" in the bin of jokes that needs a break. But why is this experience so universal? Why do we have a moment of panic when our code just works the first time, and we wonder what we screwed up?
It's because we already know the truth of software development: effing up is actually your job.
You absolutely don't get a choice. Effing up is your job. You're going to watch your program crash. You're going to make a simple change and watch all the tests go from green to red. That semicolon you forgot is going to break the build. And you will stare at one line of code for six hours, silently screaming, WHY DON'T YOU WORK?
Yep. And still, we do it every day.
Josh Marshall points out that the harm Facebook causes comes from its basic design, making a quick fix impossible:
First, set aside all morality. Let’s say we have a 16 year old girl who’s been doing searches about average weights, whether boys care if a girl is overweight and maybe some diets. She’s also spent some time on a site called AmIFat.com. Now I set you this task. You’re on the other side of the Facebook screen and I want you to get her to click on as many things as possible and spend as much time clicking or reading as possible. Are you going to show her movie reviews? Funny cat videos? Homework tips? Of course, not. If you’re really trying to grab her attention you’re going to show her content about really thin girls, how their thinness has gotten them the attention of boys who turn out to really love them, and more diets. If you’re clever you probably wouldn’t start with content that’s going to make this 16 year old feel super bad about herself because that might just get her to log off. You’ll inspire or provoke enough negative feelings to get clicks and engagement without going too far.
This is what artificial intelligence and machine learning are. Facebook is a series of algorithms and goals aimed at maximizing engagement with Facebook. That’s why it’s worth hundreds of billions of dollars. It has a vast army of computer scientists and programmers whose job it is to make that machine more efficient. The truth is we’re all teen girls and boys about some topic. Maybe the subject isn’t tied as much to depression or self-destructive behavior. Maybe you don’t have the same amount of social anxiety or depressive thoughts in the mix. But the Facebook engine is designed to scope you out, take a psychographic profile of who you are and then use its data compiled from literally billions of humans to serve you content designed to maximize your engagement with Facebook.
Put in those terms, you barely have a chance.
He goes on to draw a comparison between Facebook's executives and Big Tobacco's, circa 1975:
At a certain point you realize: our product is bad. If used as intended it causes lung cancer, heart disease and various other ailments in a high proportion of the people who use the product. And our business model is based on the fact that the product is chemically addictive. Our product is getting people addicted to tobacco so that they no longer really have a choice over whether to buy it. And then a high proportion of them will die because we’ve succeeded.
So what to do? The decision of all the companies, if not all individuals, was just to lie. What else are you going to do? Say we’re closing down our multi-billion dollar company because our product shouldn’t exist?
You can add filters and claim you’re not marketing to kids. But really you’re only ramping back the vast social harm marginally at best. That’s the product. It is what it is.
Yesterday's 6-hour reprieve from Facebook seems to have hurt almost no one. The jokes started right away, about how anti-vaxxers could no longer "do research" and how people have started reading again. I didn't even notice until I read that it had gone offline, because I had too much work to do. So maybe that's what regulators should do: limit the company to 8 hours a day or something. What a thought...
BGP stands for Border Gateway Protocol. It's a mechanism to exchange routing information between autonomous systems (AS) on the Internet. The big routers that make the Internet work have huge, constantly updated lists of the possible routes that can be used to deliver every network packet to their final destinations. Without BGP, the Internet routers wouldn't know what to do, and the Internet wouldn't work.
The Internet is literally a network of networks, and it’s bound together by BGP. BGP allows one network (say Facebook) to advertise its presence to other networks that form the Internet. As we write Facebook is not advertising its presence, ISPs and other networks can’t find Facebook’s network and so it is unavailable.
The individual networks each have an ASN: an Autonomous System Number. An Autonomous System (AS) is an individual network with a unified internal routing policy. An AS can originate prefixes (say that they control a group of IP addresses), as well as transit prefixes (say they know how to reach specific groups of IP addresses).
At 1658 UTC we noticed that Facebook had stopped announcing the routes to their DNS prefixes.
We keep track of all the BGP updates and announcements we see in our global network. At our scale, the data we collect gives us a view of how the Internet is connected and where the traffic is meant to flow from and to everywhere on the planet.
A BGP UPDATE message informs a router of any changes you’ve made to a prefix advertisement or entirely withdraws the prefix. We can clearly see this in the number of updates we received from Facebook when checking our time-series BGP database. Normally this chart is fairly quiet: Facebook doesn’t make a lot of changes to its network minute to minute.
But at around 15:40 UTC we saw a peak of routing changes from Facebook. That’s when the trouble began.
So, someone at Facebook may have applied a router update incorrectly. And as of now, they've corrected the problem.
The United States Supreme Court began their term earlier today, in person for the first time since March 2020. Justice Brett Kavanagh (R) did not attend owing to his positive Covid-19 test last week.
In other news:
So how did facebook.com disappear from root DNS, the day after 60 Minutes aired a segment on Haugen?
The Great Chicago Fire started 150 years ago this coming Thursday. It not only destroyed almost every building in the city, but also it burned up official property records. Even today the consequences linger:
Official property deeds stored in the Cook County Courthouse were destroyed when the building went up in flames in October 1871, as were many private records kept at home.
Stored on microfilm in filing cabinets at the Cook County Court Archives and in boxes at the archives’ warehouse is a set of documents, some dating back nearly 150 years and often handwritten, called the “burnt records.” These are records of some of the attempts to reestablish property ownership after the Great Chicago Fire.
The archives estimate there were at least 1,767 burnt records cases in the decades after the fire. But details about the documents are scarce, and the exact number of cases is unknown. Many may be missing entirely.
Other property owners turned to private records. Decades before the fire, firms had begun keeping their own indexes and abstracts of land transactions. These records were saved from the fire — often dramatically, according to legends passed down through generations of abstract and title companies — and they were given legal status in Illinois courts when state legislators passed the Burnt Records Act.
The story also explains why a single grave sticks out of an industrial site on the south side.