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It’s easy to become intellectually intimidated where I live. Yesterday, I was at Philz Coffee, which was crowded, as always. I don’t make a habit of reading other people’s laptops, but as I was looking for a place to sit down (a task at which I failed), I noticed the contents of several screens. They were populated with dense computer code, complex mathematical formulas, and other stuff that I don’t have sufficient grey matter to comprehend. I felt quite diminished.

The Palo Alto Daily Post rode to the rescue this morning, with the story below on its cover page. Apparently some of my fellow citizens couldn’t quite grasp what the rumbling was in the sky, so they called 911. I have long believed that there should be a meaningful fine for people who call 911 for non-emergency reasons (any time there’s an earthquake, 911 is flooded with people asking what just happened). Think of it as a stupidity tax.