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US Department of Energy is now referring to fossil fuels as “freedom gas”

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Bird flies above Freeport LNG terminal.

Enlarge (credit: Photo by Craig Hartley/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Call it a rebranding of "energy dominance."

In a press release published on Tuesday, two Department of Energy officials used the terms "freedom gas" and "molecules of US freedom" to replace your average, everyday term "natural gas."

The press release was fairly standard, announcing the expansion of a Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal at the Freeport facility on Quintana Island, Texas. It would have gone unnoticed had an E&E News reporter not noted the unique metonymy "molecules of US freedom."

DOE Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg is quoted as saying, "With the US in another year of record-setting natural gas production, I am pleased that the Department of Energy is doing what it can to promote an efficient regulatory system that allows for molecules of US freedom to be exported to the world.”

Also in the press release, US Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes refers to natural gas as "freedom gas" in his quote: “Increasing export capacity from the Freeport LNG project is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America’s allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy."

Slate notes that the term "freedom gas" seems to have originated from an event with DOE Secretary Rick Perry. Earlier this year, the secretary signed an order to double the amount of LNG exports to Europe, saying, “The United States is again delivering a form of freedom to the European continent. And rather than in the form of young American soldiers, it’s in the form of liquefied natural gas.”

A reporter at the order signing jokingly asked whether the LNG shipments should be called "freedom gas," and Perry said, "I think you may be correct in your observation."

If the DOE is still running with the term as a joke, then the wit in the Energy Secretary's office is bone dry. Ars contacted the DOE to see if "freedom gas" and "molecules of US freedom" are now going to be standard in department communication with the public. We are also curious if any potential drop in LNG exports could result in patriotism bloat. The DOE has not responded, though we'll update the story if it does.

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Canada, Mexico, South Korea, and Japan were the top importers of freedom gas last year. China, India, and the UK buy a smaller number of molecules of US freedom.

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1277 days ago
Glad to know that Doublespeak is now part of Trumpism.
New York, NY
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A College Student Was Told to Remove a ‘Fuck Nazis’ Sign Because It Wasn’t ‘Inclusive’


Leticia Miranda, reporting for BuzzFeed News:

Nicole Parsons said she was fed up with her university’s silence over a string of hate crimes on campus when she put up a sign in her dorm window that read “FUCK NAZIS YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE.” […]

But a week after posting the sign in her dorm window, she received an email from a resident director asking her to remove the sign over “issues of inclusion.” […]

“While Residence Education cannot force you or your roommate to take the sign down, I am asking that you or your roommate take the sign down so that all students can be a part of an inclusive residential experience, as well as having a respectful environment to be a part of here on our campus,” Eddie Papazoni, a resident director at UMass Amherst, told Parsons in the email obtained by BuzzFeed News.

“I was in absolute shock,” said Parsons. “This email tells me the university cares more about the feelings of Nazis than the safety of their students.”

Essential reading in today’s world: Popper’s Paradox of Tolerance. In the mid-20th century there wasn’t any debate in the West over whether we should tolerate the intolerant, because they had to fight the Nazis in a bloody war. We don’t want to learn this lesson that way again.

When someone draws a goddamn swastika on a “Happy Hanukkah” sign, “Fuck Nazis” is the appropriate response.

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1433 days ago
New York, NY
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Some possible career goals


I was thinking about career goals a person could have (as a software developer) this morning, and it occurred to me that there are a lot of possible goals! So I asked folks on Twitter what some possible goals were and got a lot of answers.

This list intentionally has big goals and small goals, and goals in very different directions. It definitely does not attempt to tell you what sorts of goals you should have. I’m not sure yet whether it’s helpful or not but here it is just in case :)

I’ve separated them into some very rough categories. Also I feel like there’s a lot missing from this list still, and I’d be happy to hear what’s missing on twitter.

technical goals

  • become an expert in a domain/technology/language (databases, machine learning, Python)
  • get to a point where you can drop into new situations or technologies and quickly start making a big impact
  • do research-y work / something that’s never been done before
  • satisfy your intellectual curiosity about something
  • get comfortable with really big codebases
  • work on a system that has X scale/complexity (millions of requests per second, etc)
  • scale a project way past its original design goals
  • do work that saves the company a large amount of money
  • be an incident commander for an incident and run the postmortem
  • make an contribution to an open source project
  • get better at some skill (testing / debugging / a programming language / machine learning)
  • become a core maintainer for an important OSS project
  • build an important system from scratch
  • be involved with a product/project from start to end (over several years)
  • understand how complex systems fail (and how to make them not fail)
  • be able to build prototypes quickly for new ideas

job goals

  • get your first job
  • pass a programming interview
  • get your “dream job” (if you have one)
  • work at a prestigious company
  • work at a very small company
  • work at a company for a really long time (to see how things play out over time)
  • work at lots of different companies (to get lots of different perspectives)
  • get a raise
  • become a manager
  • get to a specific title (“architect”, “senior engineer”, “CTO”, “developer evangelist”, “principal engineer”)
  • work at a nonprofit / company where you believe in the mission
  • work on a product that your family / friends would recognize
  • work in many different fields
  • work in a specific field you care about (transit, security, government)
  • get paid to work on a specific project (eg the linux kernel)
  • as an academic, have stable funding to work towards your research interests
  • become a baker / work on something else entirely :)

entrepreneurship goals

This category is obviously pretty big (there are lots of start-your-own-business related goals!) and I’m not going to try to be exhaustive.

  • start freelancing
  • start a consulting company
  • make your first sale of software you wrote
  • get VC funding / start a startup
  • get to X milestone with a company you started

product goals

I think the difference between “technical goals” and “product goals” is pretty interesting – this area is more about the impact that your programs have on the people who use them than what those programs consist of technically.

  • do your work in a specific way that you care about (eg make websites that are accessible)
  • build tools for people who you work with directly (this can be so fun!!)
  • make a big difference to a system you care about (eg “internet security”)
  • do work that helps solve an important problem (climate change, etc)
  • work in a team/project whose product affects more than a million people
  • work on a product that people love
  • build developer tools

people/leadership goals

  • help new people on your team get started
  • help someone get a job/opportunity that they wouldn’t have had otherwise
  • mentor someone and see them get better over time
  • “be a blessing to others you wished someone else was to you”
  • be a union organizer / promote fairness at work
  • build a more inclusive team
  • build a community that matters to people (via a meetup group or otherwise)

communication / community goals

  • write a technical book
  • give a talk (meetup, conference talk, keynote)
  • give a talk at a really prestigious conference / in front of people you respect
  • give a workshop on something you know really well
  • start a conference
  • write a popular blog / an article that gets upvoted a lot
  • teach a class (eg at a high school / college)
  • change the way folks in the industry think about something (eg blameless postmortems, fairness in machine learning)

work environment goals

A lot of people talked about the flexibility to choose their own work environment / hours (eg “work remotely”).

  • get flexible hours
  • work remotely
  • get your own office
  • work in a place where you feel accepted/included
  • work with people who share your values (this involves knowing what your values are! :) )
  • work with people who are very experienced / skilled
  • have good health insurance / benefits
  • make X amount of money

other goals

  • remain as curious and in love with programming as the first time I did it

nobody can tell you what your goals are

This post came out of reading this blog post about how your company’s career ladder is probably not the same as your goals and chasing the next promotion may not be the best way to achieve them.

I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of my basic goals met (“make money”, “learn a lot of things at work”, “work with kind and very competent people”), and after that I’ve found it hard to figure out which of all of these milestones here will actually feel meaningful to me! Sometimes I will achieve a new goal and find that it doesn’t feel very satisfying to have done it. And other times I will do something that I didn’t think was a huge deal to me, but feel really proud of it afterwards.

So it feels pretty useful to me to write down these things and think “do I really want to work at FANCY_COMPANY? would that feel good? do I care about working at a nonprofit? do I want to learn how to build software products that lots of people use? do I want to work on an application that serves a million requests per second? When I accomplished that goal in the past, did it actually feel meaningful, or did I not really care?”

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1517 days ago
New York, NY
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An Old-School Reply to an Advertiser’s Retro Threat

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Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway has written the best “go fuck yourself” piece I’ve seen in a long time.

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2483 days ago
New York, NY
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1 public comment
2483 days ago
Ah yes Meg Whitman. Killing another tech company while fiddling.
Waterloo, Canada

I, for one, welcome our new robot reindeer overlords

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Boston Dynamics wins the holidays with this trio of robot reindeer drawn sleigh.

Tags: holidays   robots
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2530 days ago
Well. Glad to see another thing Futurama got eerily right, anyway.
New York, NY
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22 Comments and 43 Shares
If that doesn't fix it, git.txt contains the phone number of a friend of mine who understands git. Just wait through a few minutes of 'It's really pretty simple, just think of branches as...' and eventually you'll learn the commands that will fix everything.
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2584 days ago
New York, NY
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21 public comments
2519 days ago
Olympia, WA
2579 days ago
how it really works
2581 days ago
Xkcd on git and nails it:
ÜT: 43.642301,-79.378671
2582 days ago
Atlanta, GA
2582 days ago
Git is really easy, once everything clicks. I'm waiting for it anytime now.
2583 days ago
Yeah, this is more or less how it goes.
Seymour, Indiana
2584 days ago
For us crusty old geezers still clinging to Subversion, this translates to "something didn't work, so 'svn update' and try again, and if that doesn't work, save it somewhere else and download a fresh copy" ... it's like the cirrrrrrcle ... the circle of source control
2584 days ago
xkcd did it again...
2584 days ago
You just need to appease the evil git elves.
2584 days ago
Git is amazingly productive if you *really* learn how it works and understand it. The problem is that its model is so abstract and sophisticated that it's unreasonable to expect users to all reach that level of understanding. Git's great failing is that it doesn't sufficiently hide its complexity from those users who don't fully understand its Merkle trees and how they compose.
2584 days ago
I have lived this conversation multiple times.
Bartlett, IL
2584 days ago
Orange County, California
2584 days ago
how did you get this number? stop calling me
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
2584 days ago
2584 days ago
Austin, TX
2584 days ago
I'm not alone!
Saint Charles, IL
2584 days ago
My life.
2584 days ago
This how I feel about git.
2584 days ago
It's sad, because it's true.

Alt: If that doesn't fix it, git.txt contains the phone number of a friend of mine who understands git. Just wait through a few minutes of 'It's really pretty simple, just think of branches as...' and eventually you'll learn the commands that will fix everything.
Ennis, Ireland
2584 days ago
2584 days ago
If that doesn't fix it, git.txt contains the phone number of a friend of mine who understands git. Just wait through a few minutes of 'It's really pretty simple, just think of branches as...' and eventually you'll learn the commands that will fix everything.
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