Posts Tagged ‘Steve Jobs’
* Bady and Konczal: The Slow Death of Higher Education.
* Modest HUUUUUUUGE job gains in September. So huge.
* The wisdom of markets: Man in a “drunken blackout” bought 69 percent of the global market in oil futures.
* Rogue. Assassin. Orc. What else is Santiaga hiding?
* Map of the night: left-right reversed United States.
* Why don’t I already have a TARDIS bookshelf? Of course, the best feature is that it’s bigger on the inside.
* And Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal presents: The Human Condition(er).
* 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?
A big post, catching up from most of last week:
* Science fiction on the BBC: A brief history of all-women societies.
* News from my childhood: Another new version of Dungeons & Dragons is on the way. MetaFilter agonizes.
* News from the Montana Supreme Court: “Corporations are not persons. Human beings are persons, and it is an affront to the inviolable dignity of our species that courts have created a legal fiction which forces people — human beings — to share fundamental, natural rights with soulless creatures of government…”
* News from
the future right now: Record Heat Floods America With Temperatures 40 Degrees Above Normal.
And what ends up happening there is that the candidate with the big stack of donor money always somehow manages to survive the inevitable scandals and tawdry revelations, while the one who’s depending on checks from grandma and $25 internet donations from college students always winds up mysteriously wiped out.
* While genomic research on the super-old is in its very early stages, what’s fascinating is what the researchers are not finding. These people’s genomes are fundamentally the same as other people’s. They are clearly very special, but not in ways that are obvious.
* What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2012? Under the law that existed until 1978 . . . Works from 1955.
* Pepsi Says Mountain Dew Can Dissolve Mouse Carcasses. Keep in mind: that’s their defense.
* Romney: Elected office is for the rich.
People who stop paying bills earn lousy credit ratings but eventually are freed of old debt under statutes of limitations that vary by state and range from three years to 10 years from the last loan payment.
But if a debtor agrees to make even a single payment on an expired debt, the clock starts anew on some part of the old obligation, a process called “re-aging.”
So if borrowers again fall behind on their payments, debt collectors can turn to their usual tools: letters, phone calls and lawsuits. By restarting a debt’s statute of limitations, the collectors have years to retrieve payments.
* Wells Tower: In Gold We Trust.
* And you probably already saw Paypal’s latest outrage, but man, it’s a doozy.
If you’d heard about two different people, one of them a rich guy who investment a few million dollars in Pixar in the mid-to-late ’80s and handled the big picture dealmaking with Disney without playing a substantial role in the company’s movies and the other Steve Jobs who brought us the Apple II, the Macintosh, the iPod, the iPhone,and the iPad, you’d think it was ridiculous that the Pixar angel investor made more money than the genius consumer electronics designer.
* The zombies started it, we’ll finish the job: Anti-Zombie Propaganda Posters.
* “PhD ≠ job”: Graduate students at Occupy Baltimore.
* As one of my generation’s premier Brian Krakows, I can’t in good conscience allow this pro-Catalano fluff piece to pass without comment. In principle I like the idea of ending my subgeneration’s intractable “Are we Gen X or are we Millennials” quagmire by rejecting both labels and embracing our singularity—but we don’t want to pay that price. Please note quiet, deliberate Saved by the Bell echo. I watched it during its first run, you know.
* Colbert explains the mere fact that corporations are born in a lawyer’s office, only exist on paper, have no soul, and can never die doesn’t mean they’re not people. Not related in the slightest: Muppeteer Kevin Clash on the Daily Show promoting his truly excellent biopic, Being Elmo.
* And speaking of Muppets: Some members of the Muppet “old guard” are apparently unsatisfied with Jason Segel’s The Muppets.
A small example is in one of the many trailers Disney has released, when Fozzie makes a fart joke. “We wouldn’t do that; it’s too cheap,” says another Muppets veteran. “It may not seem like much in this world of [Judd] Apatow humor, but the characters don’t go to that place.”
There is a list of similar concerns: Kermit would never live in a mansion, as he does in this movie. The Muppets, depicted in the script as jealous of Kermit’s wealth, would not have broken up in bitterness. The script “creates a false history that the characters were forced to act out for the sake of this movie,” says an old Muppets hand.
Frank Oz, the most famous living Muppets performer — known best as Miss Piggy — spoke more harshly in a recent interview with the British paper Metro. “I wasn’t happy with the script,” he said bluntly. “I don’t think they respected the characters. But I don’t want to go on about it like a sourpuss and hurt the movie.”
* And the headline reads, “Aaron Sorkin asked to write the Steve Jobs biopic, obviously.”
* 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 the Hill’s reporting is accurate, this is major news, demonstrating the depths of the Democrats’ desperation to win me back: Reid triggers nuclear option to change rules, prohibit filibusters. I can’t find anything else about this yet. I assume this is some sort of procedural bluff, but if not—or if the bluff is called—that’s huge. UPDATE: TPM says it’s big, but not titanic.
* Lev Grossman’s The Magicians is coming to TV. My guess is the whole series takes place at Brakebills; we’ll never hit the second half of the first novel.
* Steve Jobs was a good man who loved and was loved, and earned every accolade he’s garnered. But he doesn’t deserve a hagiography, and I doubt he would have wanted one. Apple wasn’t built by a saint. It was built by an iron-fisted visionary.
* Against Tranströmer: But most healthy of all, a decision like this, which we all understand would never have been taken by say, an American jury, or a Nigerian jury, or perhaps above all a Norwegian jury, reminds us of the essential silliness of the prize and our own foolishness at taking it seriously. Eighteen (or sixteen) Swedish nationals will have a certain credibility when weighing up works of Swedish literature, but what group could ever really get its mind round the infinitely varied work of scores of different traditions. And why should we ask them to do that?
* And the headline reads, “Body suit may soon enable the paralyzed to walk.”
Ways you can tell I bought Apple stock today: Steve Jobs just announced he’s taking a six-month medical leave. Best wishes to him and his family.