Culture & Entertainment

No One Can Say: Absurdifaction (OAG #4)

…the dis-assembling assembly of disconnected yet interrelated not quite anythings, not quite somewhere, with which one might or might not perform something approaching or in some ways vastly exceeding, yet not possibly entailing, disagreement.

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No One Can Say: Context/Contest (OAG #3)

We or more of us than we suspected, a muster that will in time include many for now wrapped up in shock, and grief, and fear, and rage, and despair, seeing at best only the glimmers of new or renewed possibility, have welcomed or will welcome, will someday come to love the fire for revealing who if anyone is in fact out there.

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Jordan Belamire: My First Virtual Reality Groping – Athena Talks

“Stop!” I cried. I must have laughed from the embarrassment and the ridiculousness of the situation. Women, after all, are supposed to be cool, and take any form of sexual harassment with a laugh. But I still told him to

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Casey ex Australia: Confronting the Credibility Gap for Crewed Exploration of Mars

To what extent are we responsible for the credibility gap? We should know better than anyone that there are real challenges that can’t be wished away, that Mars is hard, and that “all you gotta do” doesn’t really cut it

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What NASA plans to do if an astronaut dies in space – 3tags

Since the body would need to be isolated within 24 hours to avoid contamination, it would be immediately placed into a GoreTex bag that would be inflated into a type of sarcophagus. Funeral rites would be performed very quickly, in

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Can’t Buy Me Memes – Cyborgology

  Without any evidence beyond what the Nimble America representatives claimed, the assertion that they somehow bankroll the alt right meme machine and control a subreddit picked up steam quickly, not unlike Clinton’s flawed Pepe explainer. An hour spent scrolling

Posted in Internet, Noted & Quoted, Politics

Jedediah Purdy: Red-State Blues – New Republic

…[R]ealities people cannot see directly—global capital flows, changing manufacturing technologies, geopolitical earthquakes, and the tectonics of inequality in wealth and income—are violently shifting the landscapes where their “deep stories” and everyday efforts play out. The factory job that gave Vance’s

Posted in Books, Noted & Quoted, Politics

After Tweaking 29 Verses, Bible Translation Becomes Unchanging Word of God – Gleanings

Two of the ESV’s final changes were in Genesis, and evoked a slightly more complementarian reading. Genesis 3:16 was changed from “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” to “Your desire shall be contrary

Posted in Books, Noted & Quoted, Religion

The Ad-Blocking Browser That Pays the Sites You Visit – WIRED

The idea of funding content with micropayments even predates the web itself. But Brendan Eich, the controversial engineer who helped build the popular Mozilla web browser and created JavaScript—the most widely used programming language on the web—has a plan to

Posted in Internet, Monetization, Noted & Quoted Tagged with: ,

Brendan Eich: Introducing Brave Payments – Brave Blog

As part of our 0.11.6 release of Brave for desktop today, we are pleased to announce the beta version of Brave Payments, our Bitcoin-based micropayments system that can automatically and privately pay your favorite websites. For the first time in

Posted in Internet, Monetization, Noted & Quoted

From the Featured Archives

Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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