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Mirrored shade.

In the startup world, you work hard and you move fast in order to make other people rich.

Other people. Not you.

You’re a small elite of very smart young people who are working very hard for an even smaller elite of mostly Baby Boomer financiers … so they can buy national governments, shut the governments down, destroy the middle class and the nation-state.

Bruce Sterling’s big dragon.

Relatedly, it’s totally wild that there seems to be this entire genre of inviting keynote speakers to tech conferences to berate the audience and remind them of how they’re ruining the world. And all the attendees can nod along solemnly, guilt draining from their pores… and then, when the lights come up, wander off to enjoy the rest of their multi-million dollar, corporate-branded and -sponsored networking event, and change exactly not a goddamn thing.

2019-12-12T07:52:02+11:0023rd March, 2020|Tags: tech|

Extraction economics.

Here’s how it works in practice. On Wednesday March 18, the Australian government announced a $715 million rescue package for the nation’s stricken aviation sector. Qantas management, grateful for the assistance, immediately sacked 20,000 workers, cushioning the blow for their investors by casting two thirds of its employees into the street. Amazon—a trillion dollar company run by the world’s richest and least interesting man—is doing an online fundraiser to get other people to support its desperate workforce. The dynamic is familiar everywhere: a tax-avoiding queue of investors and oligarchs miraculously redeveloping a taste for the social safety net they’ve been hacking away at for four decades.

Since the mid-1970s, the ethic of public health, public welfare and mutual aid has been under sustained attack by the same people now desperate for a public bailout. The doctrine of neoliberalism views our whole society as a rich site of extraction: healthcare systems to be broken up and run for profit, public transport degraded in favour of private cars, welfare systems converted into poverty traps to ensure a pool of desperate low-wage labour. It goes well outside the boundaries of greed into the realm of the actively parasitic. Run down the public hospitals, set up private ones and then get taxpayers to subsidise them. Do the same thing with schools. It’s an ideology that allowed private interests to mine the childcare and aged care sectors for profit, blew a massive crater in the national broadband network, and even in the wake of the bushfires was seething with hatred for public broadcasters.

They’ve spent four decades trying to convert what should be universal essential services into a for-profit free-for-all, and now we’re staring at the consequences. It’s not just taking from the trailer and not putting anything back; it’s cleaning it out and then selling us back what they took.

Scott Ludlam on the pandemic bastards.

2020-03-28T08:47:48+11:0023rd March, 2020|Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, economics, politics|

Liesmith, chapter 5.

Alis’s Note
World comes atcha fast, man. So, uh. For those of you looking for things to do during lockdown, a reminder that I have various other books on offer from prices ranging from zero dollars to not-zero dollars!


Five

You’re a filthy traitor and I hate you forever.” Then, because lies always burnt on his tongue, “Or at least until lunchtime.”

“Sorry, man.” Em, apparently, had no such issues with untruths. “But the shrink moved my appointment to Friday. I can’t miss it, so . . . gotta pike on camping. Sorry.”

Sigmund groaned, slumping down across the table. Nine forty-six a.m. and they were at the café across the road from the office, having coffees and skipping work. Sigmund’s favorite pastime.

Em’s favorite, meanwhile, was ruining people’s days.

Read more »

2020-03-22T08:34:12+11:0022nd March, 2020|Tags: books, liesmith, wyrdverse|

Panic! At the Costco.

Really, we should not be surprised. Panic buying isn’t an aberration – it’s the logical extension of a political system based entirely on selfishness and indifference, on the hoarding of wealth and property. It is what happens when government persuades the public that it is the problem.

[…]

The contraction of government services across decades has left people isolated and mistrusting. They have been told to depend on themselves, and that is what they are doing. A government that won’t promise healthcare or education can’t be expected to guarantee groceries.

On logical extensions.

… mostly I just love that one of the country’s few (only?) remaining longform broadsheet newspaper—one primarily aimed at bleeding-heart pinko latte-sipping Boomers—actually used “Panic! At the Costco” as a headline.

Don’t make me have to explain the reference to my parents, Saturday Paper, please…

2020-03-24T07:46:36+11:0020th March, 2020|Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, politics|

New normal.

Today in Obligatory COVID-19 Posting: What if things never go back to “normal”?

That article touches on it a little, but the number of people I’ve seen who suddenly seem okay with going Full Fashy over transmission prevention measures is just… maybe we can dial that back a little, hey. Like, we have to be really, really careful that we’re not implementing things that will hang around beyond the length of the epidemic. Social distancing and diligent hand-washing are not (for better or for worse) going to stick around as soon as people feel they can get away with not doing them. But setting up (or further enriching) a massive surveillance apparatus for the state and normalising it in the name of “public safety”? Yeah. Nah. Don’t even go there.

2020-03-20T07:52:47+11:0020th March, 2020|Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, privacy|

So yesterday afternoon at 3:58pm Steam gave me a pop up notification that a friend, whose office is doing a working from home restriction, had just launched a game.

So basically what I’m saying here is, if you have coworkers (or, worse: bosses) you’ve friended on Steam?

D O  N O T

2020-03-23T07:40:39+11:0020th March, 2020|Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, video games|

Will it work?

Connecting an iPhone to a floppy disk.

I mean, asides from the lol factor I do think videos like this are kind of an answer to at least some of those “digital media goes obsolete too fast won’t someone think of the archivists!” hot takes…

2019-12-08T08:19:37+11:0019th March, 2020|Tags: tech|