Posts Tagged ‘anarchism’
1. You are more likely to complete NAVY SEAL training than click a banner ad.
2. Only 8% of internet users account for 85% of clicks on display ads (and some of them aren’t even humans!).
3. You are more likely to get a full house while playing poker than click on a banner ad.
4. The average person is served over 1,700 banner ads per month. Do you remember any?
5. You are more likely to summit Mount Everest than click a banner ad.
6. The average clickthrough rate of display ads is 0.1%.
7. You are more likely to birth twins than click a banner ad.
8. About 50% of clicks on mobile ads are accidental.
9. You are more likely to get into MIT than click a banner ad.
10. You are more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad.
Pagel and his collaborators have come up with a list of two dozen “ultraconserved words.” It contains both predictable and surprising members. The most conserved word is “thou,” which is the singular form of “you.” “I,” “not,” “what,” “mother” and “man” are also on the list. So are the verbs “to hear,” “to flow” and “to spit,” and the nouns “bark,” “ashes” and “worm.” Together, they hint at what has been important to people over the past 15 millennia.
* In a post-employment economy, many are working simply to earn the prospect of making money.
So when a publisher comes to you and says “We like your book, can we buy it?” do not treat them like they are magnanimously offering you a lifetime boon, which if you refuse will never pass your way again. Treat them like what they are: A company who wants to do business with you regarding one specific project. Their job is to try to get that project on the best terms that they can. Your job is to sell it on terms that are most advantageous to you.
Oakland Police kept a man on its Most Wanted list for six months though he was not wanted for anything, the man claims in court.
And the most amazing part:
After “nearly a week of hiding in fear,” Van turned himself in on Feb. 13, “to resolve this devastating mistake,” the complaint states.
He was held for 72 hours, never charged with anything, then released, according to the complaint.
Yet on Feb. 14, the Oakland Police Department released a statement, “Most Wanted Turns Himself In,” which began: “One of Oakland’s four most wanted suspects has been taken off the streets. Last week, Oakland’s Police Chief Howard Jordan named Van Chau as one of the City’s four most wanted criminals. Today, the Oakland Police Department reports that Van Chau is off the streets of Oakland and is safely behind bars after turning himself in due to media pressure. Chief Howard Jordan said, ‘A week ago I stood with community members and asked the community to stand with me to fight crime and today we have one less criminal on our streets. Today a victim is one step closer to justice.’”
* The State Department’s latest environmental assessment of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline makes no recommendation about whether President Obama should approve it. Here is ours. He should say no, and for one overriding reason: A president who has repeatedly identified climate change as one of humanity’s most pressing dangers cannot in good conscience approve a project that — even by the State Department’s most cautious calculations — can only add to the problem. Good conscience! Good conscience! Hilarious.
* “It’s not for everyone”: working as a slavery re-enactor at Colonial Williamsburg.
* Nation’s Millionaires Agree: We Must All Do More With Less.
* The world’s most useless governmental agency, the FEC, is still trying to figure out fines for crimes committed three elections ago.
* Anarchism: illegal in Oklahoma since 1919!
* Also from the Teens: Dateline 1912: The Salt Lake Tribune speculates about “vast thinking vegetable” on Mars.
* Charlotte Perkins Gilman was right: New Experiment Suggests Mammals Could Reproduce Entirely By Cloning.
* 11 More Weird & Wonderful Wikipedia Lists. Don’t miss the list of fictional ducks and the list of films considered the worst.
* And let freedom ring: Judge strikes down NYC ban on supersized sodas.
‘You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.’
Author Ursula K. Le Guin says she is in full sympathy with Occupy Oakland protesters who reportedly safeguarded themselves behind shields made to look like The Dispossessed, her 1974 sci-fi novel about anarchism on an alien world.
* In an 8-1 vote, the City Council of Greensboro, North Carolina approved a resolution opposing a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban any legal recognition of same-sex couples. Greensboro joins Raleigh and Chapel Hill all in opposition to Amendment 1, which comes to a vote on May 8. The Durham City Council opposes the measure too.
* In an interesting piece at An und für sich, Adam Kotsko tries to dive beneath the politics and explain just why it is the Catholic hierarchy is so interested in birth control.
I propose that the answer can be found in a historic compromise set forth by one of the most influential thinkers you’ve never heard of: namely, Clement of Alexandria, a second-century Christian philosopher.
* From David Graeber—Concerning the Violent Peace-Police: An Open Letter to Chris Hedges.
Surely you must recognize, when it’s laid out in this fashion, that this is precisely the sort of language and argument that, historically, has been invoked by those encouraging one group of people to physically attack, ethnically cleanse, or exterminate another—in fact, the sort of language and argument that is almost never invoked in any other circumstance. After all, if a group is made up exclusively of violent fanatics who cannot be reasoned with, intent on our destruction, what else can we really do? This is the language of violence in its purest form. Far more than “fuck the police.” To see this kind of language employed by someone who claims to be speaking in the name of non-violence is genuinely extraordinary.
* Facebook has found a way to make money from its new Timeline feature less than five months after launching it, repackaging what people “listen” to, “watch,” and “read” into ads and delivering them to their friends.
* Tomorrow’s TV Tropes today: my friend @drbluman finds another example of Sitcom Entropy, the inexorable law of nature that shows how sitcoms degrade in quality over time.
* And James Fallows attempts to explain Obama.
This is the central mystery of his performance as a candidate and a president. Has Obama in office been anything like the chess master he seemed in the campaign, whose placid veneer masked an ability to think 10 moves ahead, at which point his adversaries would belatedly recognize that they had lost long ago? Or has he been revealed as just a pawn—a guy who got lucky as a campaigner but is now pushed around by political opponents who outwit him and economic trends that overwhelm him?
When it comes to their most basic political sensibilities, most Americans are deeply conflicted. Most combine a deep reverence for individual freedom with a near-worshipful identification with institutions like the army and police. Most combine an enthusiasm for markets with a hatred of capitalists. Most are simultaneously profoundly egalitarian, and deeply racist. Few are actual anarchists; few even know what “anarchism” means; it’s not clear how many, if they did learn, would ultimately wish to discard the state and capitalism entirely. Anarchism is much more than simply grassroots democracy: It ultimately aims to eliminate all social relations, from wage labour to patriarchy, that can only be maintained by the systematic threat of force.
But one thing overwhelming numbers of Americans do feel is that something is terribly wrong with their country, that its key institutions are controlled by an arrogant elite, that radical change of some kind is long since overdue. They’re right. It’s hard to imagine a political system so systematically corrupt – one where bribery, on every level, has not only been made legal, but soliciting and dispensing bribes has become the full-time occupation of every American politician. The outrage is appropriate. The problem is that up until September 17, the only side of the spectrum willing to propose radical solutions of any sort was the Right.
As the history of the past movements all make clear, nothing terrifies those running the US more than the danger of democracy breaking out. The immediate response to even a modest spark of democratically organised civil disobedience is a panicked combination of concessions and brutality. How else can one explain the recent national mobilisation of thousands of riot cops, the beatings, chemical attacks, and mass arrests, of citizens engaged in precisely the kind of democratic assemblies the Bill of Rights was designed to protect, and whose only crime – if any – was the violation of local camping regulations?
David Graeber on anarchism, politics, and Occupy Wall Street. There’s more highly quotable words at the link.
* Naomi Klein: Capitalism vs. the climate.
* And ladies and gentlemen, for the last time anywhere: the Western Black Rhino.
* As you may have seen on Twitter, the National Council of the American Studies Association endorsed Occupy Wall Street this weekend. Political Dissent in a Time of (Economic) Crisis.
In order for that clique to create full consensus on a decision, minority dissenters were often subtly urged or psychologically coerced to decline to vote on a troubling issue, inasmuch as their dissent would essentially amount to a one-person veto. This practice, called “standing aside” in American consensus processes, all too often involved intimidation of the dissenters, to the point that they completely withdrew from the decision-making process, rather than make an honorable and continuing expression of their dissent by voting, even as a minority, in accordance with their views. Having withdrawn, they ceased to be political beings — so that a “decision” could be made. More than one “decision” in the Clamshell Alliance was made by pressuring dissenters into silence and, through a chain of such intimidations, “consensus” was ultimately achieved only after dissenting members nullified themselves as participants in the process.
On a more theoretical level, consensus silenced that most vital aspect of all dialogue, dissensus. The ongoing dissent, the passionate dialogue that still persists even after a minority accedes temporarily to a majority decision, was replaced in the Clamshell by dull monologues — and the uncontroverted and deadening tone of consensus. In majority decision-making, the defeated minority can resolve to overturn a decision on which they have been defeated — they are free to openly and persistently articulate reasoned and potentially persuasive disagreements. Consensus, for its part, honors no minorities, but mutes them in favor of the metaphysical “one” of the “consensus” group.
* Two from Rolling Stone: The Keystone Pipeline Revolt: Why Mass Arrests are Just the Beginning and Climate Change and the End of Australia.
“In fact, according to Rosenbaum the Justice Department attorney said, ‘We don’t believe that the VA has any authority or any responsibility to provide housing.”
* The “Do cell phones cause cancer?” pendulum has swung back around again. This week they don’t.
* Steve Jobs reviews Barack Obama: Steve Jobs Told Obama He’d Be a One Term President.
* What do you call a bunch of law schools getting sued for lying about employment data? A good start.
* MetaFilter has all your Breaking Bad finale links. We haven’t seen the last episode yet, but the buzz is good.
* The word “new” has no place in the title of this document. Nearly all of these chancellors were in office during the twenty years of UC public funding decline, and have come together to advocate the acceleration of what they have been doing all along. This consists of advocating business-as-usual non-public revenue growth on a base of doubled tuition.
* In 1979, traveling unsupervised around the neighborhood was a developmental milestone for six-year-olds. Nowadays my parent friends tell me it’s widely considered child abuse.
* And science has finally proven optimism is a mental illness. Have a good night.
* If you were offered a true statistic about an alien civilization, but only one, what would it be? MR, true to form, wants information about “the real rate of return on capital.” I’d want a measure of the class inequality in their society; “infant mortality rate” is suggested in the comments, but of course we don’t know what their lifecycle is like so that answer might not tell us anything. “How many other civilizations have you exterminated?”, also from the MR comments, seems a good choice too…
* All six hours of The Staircase, a true-crime documentary set right here in Durham, is now available on Google Video. Jaimee and I watched this a few years ago and quite enjoyed it. The discussion in the MetaFilter thread is preoccupied with the documentary’s veracity, but this aspect doesn’t really trouble me; I don’t think the film presents itself as an objective or dispassionate approach to “the facts,” which is not something I think documentaries are really capable of achieving in the first place. The film is very engaging and not deceptive, which is good enough for me.
* This Indexed fantasy league is incredibly flawed. There’s no way a single zombie could defeat a werewolf, a vampire, an elf, and a ghost to win the championship; I believe the word you’re looking for is zombies.
* And please be advised your doomsday seed vault is functioning perfectly.
* The protests in St. Paul turned violent yesterday, with police tear-gassing the crowd.
They had come in their thousands – grandmothers, veterans, young families and even disgruntled Republicans bearing banners and peace flags, to demand an end to the five-year conflict. And for the most part, the demonstrations passed off peacefully.
But once the main antiwar march had finished, splinter groups embarked on a violent rampage, smashing windows, slashing car tyres, throwing bottles and even attacking Republican delegates attending the nearby Xcel Centre.
Many of those involved identified themselves to reporters as anarchists. These protesters, some clad in black, wreaked havoc by damaging property and starting at least one fire.
* Washington Monthly has a nice pair of posts detailing the entire Sarah Palin fiasco so far, if you haven’t been following the coverage closely here and elsewhere. And for a good articulation of the gambling frame I’ve been pushing as the best way to understand John McCain, see Josh Marshall.
* Barack Obama loves science and science funding.
* Google releases its long-awaited browser, Chrome, tomorrow. MetaFilter’s talking about it.
Premise Ten: The culture as a whole and most of its members are insane. The culture is driven by a death urge, an urge to destroy life.
The premises and other excerpts from Derrick Jensen’s anarcho-primitivst tract Endgame are online, a polemic that quickly leapfrogs past the ecotage tactics of groups like ELF to essentially call for open, final warfare against capitalism.
I think we all know that goes.