Who Does She Think She Is?
This techno-orientalism reflects both a sense of inevitability about an Asia-forward future, and a fear of it, which is maybe why its primary characters are almost never Asian.
It's as if the trade-off for considering a future in which the West is no longer dominant is that the non-Westerners who would come along with this shift must be rendered invisible.
This is such a great framework for discussing the current landscape and I think it can be applied in more than just the American context.
The abstract is this: the Blue Church is a kind of narrative / ideology control structure that is a natural result of mass media. It is an evolved (rather than designed) function that has come over the past half-century to be deeply connected with the Democratic political “Establishment” and lightly connected with the “Deep State” to form an effective political and dominant cultural force in the United States.
“For the perfect accomplishment of any art,” Watts tells us, “you must get this feeling of the eternal present into your bones — for it is the secret of proper timing. No rush. No dawdle. Just the sense of flowing with the course of events in the same way that you dance to music, neither trying to outpace it nor lagging behind. Hurrying and delaying are alike ways of trying to resist the present.”
Assuming that women are simply a tamped down, smothered version of men—and would always choose what men choose if they only had the chance—is neither respectful of women’s autonomy nor supported by the data.
What is clear by now is that our societies lack systematic and institutionalised ways of enhancing citizens’ mental autonomy. This is a neglected duty of care on the part of governments. There can be no politically mature citizens without a sufficient degree of mental autonomy, but society as a whole does not act to protect or increase it. Yet, it might be the most precious resource of all. In the end, and in the face of serious existential risks posed by environmental degradation and advanced capitalism, we must understand that citizens’ collective level of mental autonomy will be the decisive factor.
By July 2019, the bitcoin network will require more electricity than the entire United States currently uses. By February 2020, it will use as much electricity as the entire world does today.
Such a great read!
“In every serious doctrine of the destiny of men, there is some trace of the doctrine of the equality of men. But the capitalist really depends on some religion of inequality.”
“In building our narrative, humans forget one big thing about computer algorithms: They don’t work like human brains. What’s complicated to us is simple to them, and vice versa.
In the Reply All episode, Alex Goldman tries to guess which of Facebook’s many data sources led to certain ads, but as he admits, it’s very hard to guess this. Facebook’s own developers often don’t know how their algorithm makes certain choices. Most people barely grasp the implications of this. They don’t understand how this is scarier than if Facebook simply listened to us. They don’t understand that Facebook doesn’t need to listen to us—because it already knows what we want and need, before we do.”
In the earlier stages of the process, capitalism becomes more and more uncoupled from its previous job as an optimizer for human values. Now most humans are totally locked out of the group whose values capitalism optimizes for. They have no value to contribute as workers – and since in the absence of a spectacular social safety net it’s unclear how they would have much money – they have no value as customers either. Capitalism has passed them by. As the segment of humans who can be outcompeted by robots increases, capitalism passes by more and more people until eventually it locks out the human race entirely, once again in the vanishingly unlikely scenario that we are still around.
So we have all this amazing technological and cognitive energy, the brilliance of the human species, wasted on reciting the lines written by poorly evolved cellular receptors and blind economics, like gods being ordered around by a moron.
This is very important reading, not just for parents, but anybody engaging with media in the 21st century.
“If living within a capitalist framework makes us expendable, most of us are then capable of being cloned, of being replaced by more compliant, cheaper, less difficult labor. RZA’s failure to defend Banks in that moment a year ago, as problematic as she can be, suggests that he might be the sort of person who would rather retain his Hollywood valuation (and connections) than challenge it when the moment arises.”
This is an amazing conversation about leadership and organisation design.
Title of article is pretty “click-baity”, but solid read.
Antibiotic resistance is like climate change: it is an overwhelming threat, created over decades by millions of individual decisions and reinforced by the actions of industries.
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.”
… The first thing we usually do when someone disagrees with us is that we just assume they are ignorant. You know, they don’t have access to the same information we do and when we generously share that information with them, they are going to see the light and come on over to our team.
When that doesn’t work. When it turns out those people have all the same information and they still don’t agree with us we move onto a second assumption. They’re idiots …
public life has always been bound up with the economy and shopping. The two are linked, but they are not synonymous. In 2017, the right to safely assemble in public has never been more vital nor more important. We should be fighting for truly public spaces, and using the ones we have more frequently–not ceding them to a sub-genre of retail designed and managed by companies. Calling a store a “town square” just dilutes the value of actual public spaces.
"The “creative class” were just the rich all along, or at least the college-educated children of the rich."
"The notion that the metaphorical “court of public opinion” should be a truth-seeking body was chucked overboard long ago. Today, a peculiar, pluralistic ideology dominates the “free market(place) of ideas”—an ideology cast in the same mold as liberal multiculturalism. The noblest virtue of this ideology, we’re taught, is not the bare-knuckle struggle for truth, but the equal protection and representation of variegated perspectives and identities, especially those that have been historically excluded from the mainstream (or feel like they have been)."
Capitalism is a Paperclip Maximizer.
Forgot how great this article is. Needed to read this again.
The Earth has experienced five mass extinctions before the one we are living through now, each so complete a slate-wiping of the evolutionary record it functioned as a resetting of the planetary clock, and many climate scientists will tell you they are the best analog for the ecological future we are diving headlong into. Unless you are a teenager, you probably read in your high-school textbooks that these extinctions were the result of asteroids. In fact, all but the one that killed the dinosaurs were caused by climate change produced by greenhouse gas.
Every summer brings comic book spectacles that attempt new heights in extravagance and waste. Each time, the distinction between what might be authentically popular forms and those that win us over through sheer monetary bulk and grim “seriousness” is further mystified.
"This is the ground of politics as administration and necessity and the root of the technocratic age. Once the life and death of every living thing can become a matter of calculation without ideology or ethics, so is everything else. People can starve to death in empty flats because there’s no magic money tree; thousands can drown on the Mediterranean because we don’t have the resources to take in any more. It’s common sense. Common sense in the twenty-first century is always common sense from the point of view of an atomic bomb."
What becomes clear here is that ours is a system that is programmed to subordinate life to the imperative of profit.
Some revelations aren’t very revealing. Following the release of Donald Trump Jr.’s email correspondence with publicist Rob Goldstone, we have learned that the Trump campaign would have been happy to receive from the Russian government damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Indeed they loved the idea. But we already knew that