"How do we expect others to do the right thing when we think doing the right thing is dangerous? It’s a question that people won’t ask, if they’ve found a violence that makes them feel safe. The questions that people ask when they’ve found a violence that makes them feel safe ask usually focuses exclusively on the behavior of the people who suffer under that violence."
"The coastal homeowners and the private insurance companies and the reinsurance companies and the state governments are all looking at one another to rescue them, without acknowledging that they are all in the same sinking ship. The real solution is to deal with climate change, which will be a long global struggle. But even on a slightly more practical level than that, this is at minimum a federal government problem."
"Reporters and editors have unconscious biases. In the case of trans people, that often manifests in worrying more about people who may mistakenly identify as trans — and regret that decision — than about the challenges that trans people face."
"It should also be stressed that this radical shift in our approach to emerging infectious diseases is probably only the beginning of wiping out the hard-fought public health gains of the last 150+ years. This should be gravely concerning to any individuals and institutions concerned with workers and citizens rights. "
"Our networks don’t create harms, but they reveal, scale, and refine them, making it easier to destabilize societies and destroy human beings. The more densely the internet is woven into our lives and societies, the more powerful the feedback loop becomes."
"Technoableism is a particular type of ableism, one that is highly visible in media and entertainment and omnipresent in the ways most people casually talk about technologies aimed at disability.... Technoableism is a belief in the power of technology that considers the elimination of disability a good thing, something we should strive for. It’s a classic form of ableism: bias against disabled people, bias in favor of nondisabled ways of life. Technoableism is the use of technologies to reassert those biases, often under the guise of empowerment."
"Whiteness encourages whites to reject policies designed to help the poor and reduce inequality because of animosity toward people of color as well as being unaware that the poor include a great many white people."
"Well planned, inclusive and accessible infrastructure benefits all members of society, especially the marginalised. Lack of cycle infrastructure is negligent, ableist and ageist."
"Gender is how women are oppressed; sex is the excuse patriarchy uses for the oppression of women. Reality—the reality shared by women, actual women, in the world—really does matter for feminism. Metaphysical definitions of the category “woman” really, really don’t."
"Facts about long COVID, about COVID deaths, continue to exist as stray facts; some invisible force stops those facts from coalescing into a map, a narrative. From becoming knowledge." [...] "In the U.S., only if you pledge to die for capitalism, do you get a chance to live"
"a linked collection of poems that respond to a Chinese elegy carved into the walls of the Angel Island Immigration Station... translat[ing] this elegy character by character through the lens of Chinese and other transcontinental railroad workers’ histories" grand, ambitious work of elit/epoetry
"These AI jobs are [the] bizarro twin [of 'bullshit jobs']: work that people want to automate, and often think is already automated, yet still requires a human stand-in." [...] "When AI comes for your job, you may not lose it, but it might become more alien, more isolating, more tedious."
"In the US, women are underrepresented in high-paying occupations, but data shows that gender representation across most industries has improved significantly over time. Stable Diffusion depicts a different scenario, where hardly any women have lucrative jobs or occupy positions of power. Women made up a tiny fraction of the images generated for the keyword “judge” — about 3% — when in reality 34% of US judges are women, according to the National Association of Women Judges and the Federal Judicial Center. In the Stable Diffusion results, women were not only underrepresented in high-paying occupations, they were also overrepresented in low-paying ones."
on the perils of "art-as-investigation": "Latour was influential in asking people to question the ways that knowledge is produced. But late in life, he made an important clarification: in questioning tools and infrastructure, he said, he never meant to pave the way for post-truth. As Farocki and Latour advocated, we ought to abandon our faith not in truth but in tools. [...] Art does not have protocols for verification or accountability the way other disciplines do"
"The combination of these interconnected shifts - declines in home values for some and increases in home values for others - will result in a shift in wealth away from residents of climate vulnerable places to those in climate durable ones. This climate wealth shift will become a mega-trend in the years ahead."
"AI is not a way of representing the world but an intervention that helps to produce the world that it claims to represent. Setting it up one way or another changes what becomes naturalised and what becomes problematised. Who gets to set up the AI becomes a crucial question of power."
"because the needs of these groups are devalued, that struggle is largely seen as a tolerable sacrifice, as the system more or less working, rather than a warning sign that something's wrong."
'If you understand the two tendencies that I just described — outsiders’ propensity to identify with cis parents rather than their trans children, coupled with parents’ tendency to disbelieve that their children are “really trans” (at least initially, and in some cases permanently) — then it becomes obvious how easy it is for journalists and media producers to manipulate audiences’ opinions of trans youth and gender-affirming healthcare with a few well-placed quotes from reluctant or skeptical parents.'
"This micro-syllabus offers materials to help students historicize current anti-trans legislation, contextualize it within broader legacies of repression and resistance that stretch beyond the law, and think across multiple strands of political struggle."
"If all bank deposits are backed up by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, banks in their capacity as depositories and payment processors are essentially public institutions. And if that’s the case, well, why is all my government-insured money funding privately held and profit-generating institutions? Why can’t I just open a free checking and savings account at the Post Office?"
"I started putting a dividing line between literary novels written before and after World War II. It seemed like the books from the before times were good at doing lots of things. They could world build and philosophize. They could be love story, adventure novel, and satire all in one. Books written after the war, however, could only do one thing at a time. Mostly that one thing was soul-searching or introspection. Serious postwar fiction, whether it was what I was being fed in school or read in the pages of The New Yorker, was about sad white people with relationship problems."
Pluralistic: 21 Aug 2022 The Shitty Technology Adoption Curve Reaches Apogee – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow
'Kraemer discovered that the only way to avoid wage-theft was to do "mindless busywork" that produced the clicks that her bossware demanded, even if it got in the way of her work. This is yet more proof that "you treasure what you measure," or, more formally, "any measurement becomes a target" (AKA Goodhart's Law).'
Against the Logic of the Guillotine: Why the Paris Commune Burned the Guillotine—and We Should Too | libcom.org
"The premise of revolution is that subversion can spread across the lines of enmity, destabilizing fixed positions, undermining the allegiances and assumptions that underpin authority. We should never hurry to make the transition from revolutionary ferment to warfare. Doing so usually forecloses possibilities rather than expanding them."
brilliant essay on nfts, arts, politics, economics: "This comparison isn't really rigorous at all so i won't spend more time on it, i just thought the concept of a bourgeois failson containment zoo was funny." also: "The artists have exactly as much depth of existence as everyone, but they had the time and means to develop tools to communicate it in specific ways, and access to specific platforms. Any attempt to naturalize these privileges into an intellectual, emotional, creative superiority of artists over the rest of the people is absolute garbage, and should be treated with the disdain it deserves."
"Griswold also formed the basis of Obergefell v. Hodges (the right to marry someone of the same gender) and Lawrence v. Texas (the right to have queer sex, ever, at all, without being criminalized). If there is no “right to privacy” and no sovereign right to control one’s healthcare decisions, then bans on HRT and gender-affirming surgery for adults are within the realm of realistic possibility..."
"libertarian systems are built specifically to exploit people based on imagined freedom"
"In liberal capitalism or plutocracy, on the other hand, the oligarchs will use their power to resist development. For them, hoarding capital to preserve high returns and asset values is preferable to investing in growth at lower returns—if not always on an absolute basis, then at least relative to the rest of society." the last section on silicon valley is chef's kiss
"Liberal capitalism would cast our transitions as products we buy as individual consumers, or as treatments we receive as individual patients, but in fact a transition under capitalism is a commodity we labour with others to produce, a process from which surplus value is extracted to accumulate capital for bosses and in which everyone else is paid but us." 🔥
"the new and the first are temporalities that often attract and accrue value in the art market"
Center for a Stateless Society » No Ethical Activism Under Capitalism: DAOs, DeFi, and Purity Politics
a dissenting view. "Within this obviously capitalist and market-oriented system, are their windows for radicalism or at least harm reduction? To me this is an unequivocal yes (at least on the latter) as long as you don’t subscribe to hyper-campism and the original sin of proximity to libertarianism. Minimally, there are a lot of really cool BIPoC projects popping up."
"Molly Millennial’s condition is sincerely aestheticized precarity."
"Gambling relies on addiction for its business model to function; everybody knows that. But addiction is also the business model for a huge chunk of Silicon Valley. Gambling ruins lives by way of soul-crushing debt; everybody knows that too. But so do the American educational system and the health-care and real-estate markets, which have been rigged by the people at the top to extract as much as possible from the suckers otherwise known as regular people. For most Americans, to participate in the economy in the most basic ways requires engaging in existential risk."
"So here we have a dire warning — illiberal leftists are banning books! — followed by two anecdotes in which no books have been banned."
'The product being labored over for the contemporary artist of social media is not "the work of art" but "the gestalt experience of art-posting".'
well this is fucking horrifying. '“We call them tentacles,” Ricketts said. “When you see them wash up from the sea they’re very long, you know they can be eight feet to 30 feet (2.4m to 9.1m), and sometimes three feet wide,” she said. “When we’ve done clean-ups here, we’ve been digging 15 feet and still find tangles of clothing.”'
"a software license that developers can use to prohibit the use of their code by applications or companies that threaten to accelerate climate change through fossil fuel extraction"
Electric Vehicles Won’t Save Us. Why EV’s are false prophets in the… | by Coby Lefkowitz | Jun, 2021 | Marker
"Cars, however they’re powered, are environmentally cataclysmic, break the tethers of community, and force an infrastructure of dependency that is as financially ruinous to our country as it is dangerous to us as people. In order to build a more sustainable future and a better world for humanity, we need to address the root problems that have brought us to where we so perilously lie today."
"But the smartest and most effective move the industry made (the aforementioned measures wouldn’t work without it) was to push people from My to Me. To introduce forms that would motivate people to see themselves as the main – and then the only – content of what they do online. I’d like to stress that although early web pages (or home pages) are remembered as personal, the person who made it was not the initial content; that turn took place later."
"Cryptocurrency is one of the worst inventions of the 21st century. I am ashamed to share an industry with this exploitative grift. It has failed to be a useful currency, invented a new class of internet abuse, further enriched the rich, wasted staggering amounts of electricity, hastened climate change, ruined hundreds of otherwise promising projects, provided a climate for hundreds of scams to flourish, created shortages and price hikes for consumer hardware, and injected perverse incentives into technology everywhere. Fuck cryptocurrency."
very skillful "in the style of the GOP" inversions of new testament verses
'Our leaders will blather on about the burden these programs put on "taxpayers" but they don't actually care about that, they only care that the solution feels sufficiently punitive. This pointless refusal to implement workable policies has been a catastrophe for society, directly costing billions to taxpayers and sucking literally trillions out of the economy in lost productivity and excess crime'
New anti-trans bills are trying to ban youth medical treatments in Republican-led states - The Washington Post
"So conservatives shifted from blocking marriage equality to blocking restroom access for transgender people in 2016. Having lost that round, they’ve shifted to “protecting” young people from gender-confirmation treatment, still grounded in the same theories of sex and gender as biologically determined."
'Slowly, slowly we reconnect the threads that connect me typing at my laptop in 2021 CE London backwards in time... to the dawn of the written word in the fertile crescent, when the gala priestesses of Inanna, who spoke only in the women’s tongue, sang in praise of her, “To turn a man into a woman and a woman into a man are yours, Inana” nearly four thousand years ago.'
"In all the noise of the 2020 election, it was easy to miss the signal that was not being sent. The incumbent president made no effort even to go through the motions of presenting a future open to deliberation by citizens. He had no policy agenda for a second term—the GOP merely readopted its platform from 2016, without even bothering to delete its multiple attacks on “the current president.” Why? Because arguments about policy are the vestiges of a notion that Trump has killed off: the idea that an election is a contest for the support, or at least the consent, of a majority of voters. Such arguments implicitly concede the possibility that there is another, equally legitimate choice. That is precisely what the posthumous Republican Party cannot and does not accept."
legislation in us states
"I don’t understand why Taibbi cites these incidents as part of his case that the Left has turned into a bunch of “Twitter Robespierres.” The accusation here is that bosses were racist and that people of color were treated differently and paid less. How is that not a legitimate complaint? I can only conclude that Taibbi either thinks people need to shut up about racism in the workplace and that going public on social media about it makes them a bunch of snowflakes, or that he simply hasn’t thought his argument through."
"White Savior Complex causes a lot of money to be wasted in order to, for example, give children sneakers and headphones that are of little to no use to them. At its most harmful, it can lead to an entire country being colonized. Creative Savior Complex works in similar ways: without proper consideration, many of the ways we try to help as creatives may mean valuable resources that could’ve done a lot of good are wasted, or, at its worst, it can lead to people getting hurt."
"Is it really so radical to suggest that this is the right thing to do? Given the choice between millions of deaths, and slightly shrinking the fortunes of a few super rich people, how could anyone conclude that the death of millions is preferable?"
"Pirate Care is a research process - primarily based in the transnational European space - that maps the increasingly present forms of activism at the intersection of “care” and “piracy”, which in new and interesting ways are trying to intervene in one of the most important challenges of our time, that is, the ‘crisis of care’ in all its multiple and interconnected dimensions."
Chinese WeChat Users Are Sharing A Censored Post About COVID-19 By Filling It With Emojis And Writing It In Other Languages
"[T]o avoid the censorship, people have converted parts of the interview into Morse code, filled it up with emojis, or translated it into fictional languages like Sindarin from The Lord of the Rings or Klingon from Star Trek. In one particularly creative example, someone inserted it into the iconic opening crawl of Star Wars."
sam and tega. very good
"[W]e are told that the Green New Deal is an impossibly expensive boondoggle – by precisely the same people now eager to pour blood and treasure down a hole in the desert. A trillion dollars spent on war returns nothing except trauma and misery; a trillion dollars spent on solar panels leaves behind a nation that gets its power for free each morning when the sun comes up."
"[W]ealthier people are more likely to agree with statements that greed is justified, beneficial, and morally defensible. These attitudes ended up predicting participants’ likelihood of engaging in unethical behavior."
such a great summary of how we got here and what's at stake, including a link between interstate highways and redlining; "commuter culture" being yet another example of how conservative americans have been tricked into thinking that "freedom" is the same thing as "maintaining the wealth of fossil fuel corporations"; breaking "car culture" is "not about making people who love cars to stop loving them. It’s about allowing those who don’t to stop needing one."
"We don’t just have a graded distribution, we have combinatorial variation."
"To be fair, some of the research is useful and nuanced, especially in the humanities and social sciences. But the majority of well-funded work on 'ethical AI' is aligned with the tech lobby’s agenda: to voluntarily or moderately adjust, rather than legally restrict, the deployment of controversial technologies. [...] It is strange that Ito, with no formal training, became positioned as an 'expert' on AI ethics, a field that barely existed before 2017. But it is even stranger that two years later, respected scholars in established disciplines have to demonstrate their relevance to a field conjured by a corporate lobby."
"It will crash down on the reputation of evangelical religion and on the world’s understanding of the gospel. And it will come crashing down on a nation of men and women whose welfare is also our concern."
"Artists aim differently than sharpshooters. They are not typically trying to take something out, but to draw something out. The mark Holzer hits in this case is the mark in the most cave-drawing sense: the effort to leave (or find) a trace of something that is not an opinion, but a register of some kind, certifying a lived experience. There may be no such thing as a permanent record, but the fact that the Washington Post contributor found Holzer’s work dangerous is a sign in and of itself that it has achieved one of its goals: it has carved a deep enough mark to leave a strong impression (for that writer, a menacing one). That’s the most any language or other kind of mark-making can hope to accomplish."
"[A] dataset of UN Security Council debates between January 1995 and December 2017... split into distinct speeches" with metadata on "the speaker, the speaker's nation or affiliation, and the speaker's role in the meeting" and "the topic of the meeting." 65393 speeches extracted from 4958 meeting protocols (!). via data is plural
'[W]e can certainly identify which political and social realities must be abhorrent to a Christian conscience: a cultural ethos that not only permits but encourages a life of ceaseless acquisition as a kind of moral good; a legal regime subservient to the corporatist imperative of maximum profits, no matter what the methods employed or consequences produced; a politics of cruelty, division, national identity, or any of the countless ways in which we contrive to demarcate the sphere of what is rightfully “ours” and not “theirs.”' via https://www.metafilter.com/182022/has-filled-the-hungry-with-good-things-and-sent-the-rich-away-starving
"Instead of merely accommodating some people’s desire to drive, our laws essentially force driving on all of us—by subsidizing it, by punishing people who don’t do it, by building a physical landscape that requires it, and by insulating reckless drivers from the consequences of their actions."
"The popular misunderstanding, even among educated people, that Islam and Muslims are recent additions to America tells us important things about how American history has been written. In particular, it reveals how historians have justified and celebrated the emergence of the modern nation-state. One way to valorise the United States of America has been to minimise the heterogeneity and scale – the cosmopolitanism, diversity and mutual co-existence of peoples – in America during the first 300 years of European presence." also "‘New England’s business is cod not God!’"
"Spectre, a new interactive installation by Bill Posters and Daniel Howe, reveals the secrets of the Digital Influence Industry in a cautionary tale of technology, democracy and society, curated by algorithms and powered by visitors’ data. Premiering at the Sheffield Doc/Fest Alternate Realities exhibition, Spectre leverages the technologies and techniques of the tech giants, advertising firms, and political campaign groups to show how our behaviours are being predicted, influenced and controlled."
"To think of climate change as something that we are doing, instead of something we are being prevented from undoing, perpetuates the very ideology of the fossil-fuel economy we’re trying to transform." this seems key for rhetoric in the US at least. dems should stop talking about climate change as an opportunity for pious forbearance or tree-hugging. instead, say: the people lying to you about climate change are actively trying to prevent you from exercising your right to protect your family. via https://botsin.space/@M_PF/102130535228075079
"Cars are the freedom to be lonely and stuck in traffic. Trains are the freedom from having to maintain your own personal transportation container. I think the libertarian is right: If you want to get a taste of the future capitalism promises you, sit in a car for five hours and don’t move."
"Social-practice artworks with a commitment to sociopolitical change have the inexplicable potential to be valued as morally good works, regardless of the impact of the project as measured by the community’s criteria. They allow sociopolitical issues to be subsumed into aesthetic issues, such that a work can fail a community but still be considered good art. [...] Perhaps the takeaway is: The limited attention span for art is not enough. Do the work, and do it whether it’s in the context of art or not. Don’t pretend that doing good as part of a creative practice is better than just doing good. And definitely don’t pretend that good intentions make inherently good acts."