Posts Tagged ‘Skynet’
* Were Brutalist Buildings Really Designed to Thwart Student Riots? I’ve been to UWM; you’ll never convince me otherwise.
* The New York Times says it will slowly, laboriously, exhaustively roll out a simple and obvious change to dramatically improve their reporting.
Apple’s email to Molleindustria apparently claimed that four such lines were crossed: two lines related to “charities and contributions,” and two further “crossed lines” that suggested the game had depicted “violence or abuse of children” and “excessively objectionable or crude content.” With a curious bit of irony, the letter from Apple focuses on the very trendy discourse of protecting children from the moral hazards of the Web — a trend also picked up by the current Tory government in the UK, which promotes various protective methods to ensure kids are safe from/in the online world. Indeed, one is tempted to connect such a moral panic discourse to a wider neglect of other types of surely more direct abuse of children, as well as other vulnerable groups of workers worldwide. Protect the kids, if they get online — but not if their labor helps you get online and support the digital economy slightly further away from the actual cognitive work.
* Scenes from the BART strike: two workers killed by management-driven train.
* I think one of the most damaging effects America’s omnipresent racism has on a person’s psyche isn’t the brief pang of hurt that comes from being called a slur, or seeing a picture of Barack Obama portrayed by a chimpanzee. Those things are common and old-fashioned, and when they happen I tend to feel sadder than angry, because I’m seeing someone who engages with the world like a wall instead of a human being. Rather, I think what’s far more corrosive and insidious, the thing that lingers in the back of my mind the most, is the framework of plausible deniability built up around racism, and how insane that plausible deniability can make a person feel when wielded. How unsure of oneself. How worried that you might be overreacting, oversensitive, irrational.
* A Song of Ice and Fire as feminist epic? That may be overstating it.
* In retrospect, even though I have no reason to doubt Yanomamo ferocity, at least under certain circumstances, I seriously question the penchant of observers (scientific and lay alike) to generalize from small samples of our unquestionably diverse species, especially about something as complex as war. On just-so stories and evolutionary explanations of history.
* The ne plus ultra of Americans’ irrational free speech absolutism: Revenge Porn Is Awful, But The Law Against It Is Worse.
* At the rate things are going, tens of millions of us could end up as temps, contract employees, call-center operators, and the like: The Task Rabbit Economy.
* Moral panics we can believe in: Salsa Overtakes Ketchup as Most Popular Condiment. I don’t think this is even the first time this happened.
* The perfect rationality of markets: why don’t restaurants have dynamic, constant readjusting pricing schemes? What could possibly explain it?
* And a Rich Person Says You Should Major in the Liberal Arts. There you have it! Go!
* SF Gate review of Kill Anything That Moves The Real American War in Vietnam.
The problem, as described in Turse’s “Kill Anything That Moves,” is the tension between the “bad apples” argument – which sees atrocities in Vietnam as the exception – and the reality of the broader, official “American way of war.” Turse came to understand the latter after he stumbled onto documents of the Vietnam War Crimes Working Group. The military created the group after the My Lai massacre to avoid again being caught flat-footed.
The point, Turse found, was not to prevent war crimes but to contain the damage and stay, as the euphemism might go today, ahead of the PR problem. Finding the cache of internal documents, Turse halted his academic thesis work, and lit out in his car to spend the next several days photocopying these documents. He rounded this out with interviews with more than 100 veterans, alongside those of eyewitnesses and survivors of American atrocities in Vietnam. His verdict – more than a decade later – is damning and masterful.
* In the new New Republic: Original Sin: Why the GOP is and will continue to be the party of white people.
Wednesday is the day I historically post links.
* It all finally makes sense; Michele Bachmann says the crazy things she says because she comes from an alternate universe where Jimmy Carter was president in 1976.
* Also in alternate-universe news: South Korean scientists claim to have cloned glowing dogs.
* They’re turning Margaret Atwood’s (very good) Payback into a full-length documentary about debt.
* “Crazy” Joe Biden was a key figure in the Arlen Specter party switch. Now who’s laughing?
* The headline reads: “Student, 11, steps up to lead school band when budget constraints leave PS 37 without band teacher.” Get this kid a scholarship anywhere he wants to go, and pour some real money into public schools already.
* The Bush-Obama position on state secrets takes a much-needed hit.
* An entity passes the Hofstadter-Turing Test if it first creates a virtual reality, then creates a computer program within that reality which must finally recognise itself as an entity within this virtual environment by passing the Hofstadter-Turing Test. So now we just need to get Skynet self-aware.