The Wyrd

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Homebody.

What young people buy isn’t the best way to understand them, [Malcolm] Harris argues, since they don’t control what’s for sale. What’s more pertinent is their relationship to labor, which is “a bad one.”

Millennials are ordering from Postmates and they’re the ones doing delivery for Postmates, he points out. Service work constitutes a higher percentage of American labor than it has in the past, which means more “affective labor, the work of feelings,” is required of today’s workers. “That can be a strain on your ability to perform socially.”

“Wages are down, exploitation is up,” Harris says. “A heavy divergence between productivity and the wage rate is what characterizes the millennial experience more than anything. Being exploited, that’s going to make you want to stay home.”

Kaitlyn Tiffany on the tired Millennial.

2020-09-27T08:22:29+10:0028th September, 2020|Tags: culture|

A modest meal.

Have I heard that Dr. Lecter kills and eats people? Yes. But at the party I attended, Dr. Lecter denounced people who seek to eat human flesh as monsters. Also, Dr. Lecter welcomed more than a dozen guests and DID NOT EAT ANY OF THEM! What an optimistic vision, the thing the country is craving right now.

I hate a sad party, and the other dinner parties I’ve attended recently were all remote, because they say it is not safe to go out in the night because of some sort of man on the loose who hunts fellow humans in a transparent plastic raincoat. At Dr. Lecter’s dinner party, I felt as though none of that was happening! You know, maybe it’s — not? I would sure prefer to think it wasn’t!

Is it my responsibility to be at all skeptical about anything that is happening? I don’t think so.

Alexandra Petri just wants a nice night out

I would point out this article is wrong about one thing: cannibalism is (at least in the US), not actually illegal per se. If you can legally obtain human meat in some way then, yes. You absolutely can eat it. Y’know. If that’s something you really want to do.

2020-09-27T08:21:31+10:0027th September, 2020|Tags: politics|

Blue plague.

Most of the cops I know retired out long ago. They were good cops. They honored the Badge. But there’s a reason they got out when they did. They tell me that policing has changed. They tell me about the corrupt guys who are dealing drugs, seizing property and acting like street gangsters. They tell me about the heavy steroid use that is turning some cops into ‘roid raging monsters. They tell me about the guys who didn’t have the cojones to join up to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan who are now playing “soldier” on the streets of America instead. They describe the sadists who figure a badge gives them the right to beat in the heads of anyone who “crosses” them. They emphasize with the cops who are basically good guys who joined up to be the heroes and protectors of their neighborhoods, but who are ground down by their corrupt gangster wannabe co-workers, the police unions who shield the bad guys no matter what they do, and the higher ups who still subscribe to that devil’s bargain.

Mike Pondsmith on cops.

2020-09-07T08:54:52+10:0025th September, 2020|Tags: culture|

Inside riot.

Relatedly to questioning the lionization of nonviolent protest, an anarchist’s look inside the Siege of the Third Precinct in Minneapolis.

Regardless of what you’re personal line of tolerance for violent protest happens to be, it is very much worth noting that one of the key, intentional strategies to defang protest movements in the last generation or so has been to centralized them. The more “organized” and “official” a protest is, the easier it is to control, threaten, disperse, and regulate. So… just something to keep in mind.

2020-09-07T07:59:21+10:0024th September, 2020|Tags: culture, politics|

Performative virtue.

The social narrative of the United States locates virtue in whiteness; its power and entitlements are justified by white altruism, white benevolence, white entitlement. We see black trauma turned into white virtue signaling, a process to which the murder of Floyd has already been converted. Social media features a plethora of white people who are—all of a sudden—justifying their every decision: a firing they may have seen coming, a donation they may have given, a phone call they may have made, as stemming from their deep-sprung empathy toward black people. Crowing for themselves under the pretext of feeling for Floyd, they are underscoring again just how good (and hence deserving of commendation) they are.

A useful counterpoint to this habit was given by Cornel West in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper this week. Speaking immediately after George Floyd’s funeral, West described the black tradition of marching for justice without words of hatred or revenge. He described the insistence on freedom for everybody as a “grand gift to the world.” “White America ought to give black people a standing ovation,” West said. “After four hundred years of being terrorized, we refuse to create a black version of the Ku Klux Klan.” West noted that Floyd’s funeral in Houston was marked with uplift. “You can put us down, but you’re not going to put us down in such a way that we’re going to hate you, because you become the point of reference.” The presumption of goodness cannot be allowed to rest with white America. But if Gandhi’s precepts for British India modeled anything, it is the fact that it is not enough for the oppressed to actually be good; they are continually asked to perform their goodness, to prove it against the decrepitude of the other side.

Rafia Zakaria on virtue.

From a broader article looking at Gandhi’s model of non-violent resistance, specifically in light of the criticism he received at the time from Jewish activist currently struggling against annihilation in Europe (what form of “nonviolence” or performative virtue could have stopped the Holocaust?).

One of the things that was kind of… eye opening to me when I first encountered it was that the narrative white Westerners have about Gandhi and the narrative a lot of actual South Asian people have… do not match up. Like. At all. For a variety of reasons, not all of them “good” per se (ref. parochial nationalism), but still…

2020-09-07T07:18:55+10:0023rd September, 2020|Tags: culture, politics|

You are what you make.

It’s not just how people use what you make. It’s how you make what you make.

Any time you design and build something, you do so through the lens of your values and beliefs. Implicit bias is present in everything we make.

The decision to force people to use their real names, or to not let people block users (I’m looking at you, Slack), expose how likely a designer or decision maker is to have experienced harassment themselves. This is often closely correlated to gender and ethnicity. […]

The tech recommendations someone makes are also driven by their own preferences, biases, and lived experiences. Do they recommend something expensive and powerful? Something cheap and accessible? Do they provide a mix of options or just offer one?

These decisions all reveal the politics, to an extent, of the author.

Chris Ferdinandi knows all tech is political.

2020-09-03T08:11:29+10:0021st September, 2020|Tags: politics, tech|
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