/Tag: culture

More speech than others.

In a study by George Washington University comparing white nationalists and ISIS social media usage, Twitter’s freedom of speech was not granted to ISIS. Twitter suspended 1,100 accounts related to ISIS whereas it suspended only seven accounts related to Nazis, white nationalism, and white supremacy, despite the accounts having more than seven times the followers, and tweeting 25 times more than the ISIS accounts. Twitter here made a moral judgment that the fewer, less active, and less influential ISIS accounts were somehow not welcome on their platform, whereas the prolific and burgeoning Nazi and white supremacy accounts were.

So, Twitter has shown that it won’t protect free speech at all costs or for all users. We can only conclude that Twitter is either intentionally protecting white supremacy or simply doesn’t think it’s very dangerous. Regardless of which it is (I think I know), the outcome does not change the fact that white supremacy is running rampant on its platforms and many others.

Tatiana Mac asks whose peaches?

On a charitable reading, it’s possible Twitter experiences more direct legal pressure (e.g. from law enforcement and/or intelligence agencies) to shut-down certain types of extremist content than others, which is a manifestation of shitty trends within the broader sociopolitical spectrum but also, on the flip side, not exactly exonerating…

2019-04-29T12:06:53+10:0018th September, 2019|Tags: culture, social media, twitter|


[Greg] Lukianoff and [Jonathan] Haidt go out of their way to reassure us: “Neither of us has ever voted for a Republican for Congress or the presidency.” Like Mark Lilla, Pinker and Francis Fukuyama, who have all condemned identity politics in recent books, they are careful to distinguish themselves from the unwashed masses – those who also hate identity politics and supposedly brought us Donald Trump. In fact, the data shows that it was precisely the better-off people in poor places, perhaps not so unlike these famous professors in the struggling academy, who elected Trump; but never mind. I believe that these pundits, like the white suburban Dad in the horror film Get Out, would have voted for Barack Obama a third time.

Moira Weigel on liberal elites.

From a review of Lukianoff and Haidt’s execrable book and a look at the rightwards trend of white, mostly male, liberals more broadly but, even more relevantly, that last sentence is such a sick fucking burn.

Incidentally, as an Australian, it is no mystery whatsoever to me that self-proclaimed liberals always seem to end up in bed with the far right whenever they’re even remotely challenged on anything. Pretty much the only mystery is how the hell American liberals apparently managed to hide themselves for so long…

2019-03-26T08:42:27+10:0017th September, 2019|Tags: culture, politics|

Dirty, boring, legislated.

Tech isn’t just software anymore. They’re coming for ag, food, & manufacturing- & they’re bringing a negligent attitudes towards risk & safety that they learned in the cushy world of apps.


Those “ossified corporate structures” [in non-tech industries] that Silicon Valley hates so much because they “keep you from moving fast”? Yeah, a lot of them exist to keep top brass from doing hideously stupid things.

SV doesn’t see the need, because the mistakes that SV understands- broken code- can be fixed with software patches. Why do you need a social structure in the company that prevents errors, when you can just move fast, break things, & fix them?

Dr. Sarah Taber on industries.

This is totally one of those “Twitter threads that should be a blog post” but, mostly, I do think Taber glosses over the fact that all Really Real World industries have developed things like safety standards because governments made them.

Silicon Valley now is basically where manufacturing was in the late 1800s, with depressingly similar problems, as any disaffected former techgrrl1 who has, for example, just sat through all fifty-ish hours of Capital: Volume One would be forced to admit…

  1. Not naming any names or anything. []
2019-03-25T10:24:05+10:0012th September, 2019|Tags: culture, tech|

Capitalism killed the flying car.

David Graeber on how capitalism (specifically, the boom of neoliberal capitalism in the ’80s and ’90s) has, contra popular opinion, ground “big idea” style technological innovation to a halt.

Also nice to see Graeber still using this essay as an excuse to bang his favorite drum, i.e. how much he hates doing academic administrative work (which is also something he covered extensively in his book), although to his credit he does link it into a broader criticism of how university adoption of neoliberal ideas like branding, competition, and marketing have ruined academic research.

2019-03-22T09:18:36+10:009th September, 2019|Tags: culture, economics, pop culture|


When people are so used to ‘shopped photos, they can’t tell when they’re seeing the real thing.

(I mean, as the photographer admits, the photos are “‘shopped” in the sense they’s show in RAW format and color-adjusted in Photoshop. But they’re single-moment photos, not composites.)

2019-03-21T08:39:56+10:004th September, 2019|Tags: culture, photography|

Displaced princes of diaspora.

Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians, different in many ways […] share similarities.  Both follow the plight of a second-generation immigrant of modest means who wishes to claim a place in a world of opulence and wealth, a place that is imagined simultaneously as ‘foreign’ and as an ‘original homeland’. Rachel, the protagonist of Crazy Rich Asians, visits her boyfriend’s home in Singapore, to be confronted with a world of nearly unimaginable wealth, comfort and beauty. The film’s opening quote, ‘Let China sleep, for when she awakens she will shake the world’ does not represent a Singapore remotely representative of the country. Instead, it shows a world of the mega-wealthy Chinese, who seem to signify a kind of ‘authenticity’ and untaintedness; they refer to Rachel as a ‘banana’ – yellow on the outside, white on the inside. Similarly, Eric Killmonger in Black Panther goes to Wakanda to claim his rightful place. Wakanda signifies both original ‘Africa’ and a kind of futuristic utopia. It is populated by Africans who are rich, talented, beautiful, and comfortable in their own skin, as opposed to the African-American Eric, who is represented as being damaged, fearful, and full of rage.

This hierarchy and perspective essentially places the working-class diasporics in both films as the underdogs, while the elite inhabitants of the non-western nations are in a position of power and desirability.

Kavita Bhanot and Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi on colonial fantasy.

This is from a really interesting longer essay that looks at the intersection between race and class, specifically in media produced by American creators of color (and, more often than not, sold for the consumption of white audiences).

Also definitely worth reading the essay it cites critical of Afrofuturism—at least in the context of authors from Africa, as opposed to diasporic authors—from South African novelist Mohale Mashigo.1

  1. And good luck getting the song she references out of your head. []
2019-03-06T08:52:37+10:002nd September, 2019|Tags: culture, pop culture, sff|


The Campbells are gone (or at least renamed).

Also big shout-out to the announcement post’s hand-wringing description of Campbell’s provocative editorials and opinions on race, slavery, and other matters, which.

2019-08-28T08:02:19+10:0028th August, 2019|Tags: books, culture, fandom, hugo awards, pop culture, sff|

A short history of the Russian internet.

Insert obligatory “In Mother Russia” joke here.1

Reminds me of all the discussions that went around when the Russian-owned SUP bought out LiveJournal a decade ago…

  1. Literally, in this case, given it’s the title of the post… []
2019-04-29T12:06:45+10:0027th August, 2019|Tags: culture, internet, tech|