“A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”
“In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by century’s end, technology would have advanced sufficiently that countries like Great Britain or the United States would have achieved a 15-hour work week. There’s every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless. Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.”
On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs: A Work Rant, by David Graeber, The Strike, Issue 3 The Summer Of… August 2013
The post that got a book deal for a great book.
Work From Home Like LibraryThing Does, Library Thing blog, 17 March 2020
“The company could have easily turned off the app so that the drivers could afford the same safety — but each day, they continue to put their “partners” at risk. They can do this, in part, because L.A. drivers are like Han “don’t tell me the odds” Solo. Since the beginning, we have been driving at night with drunks in the back; we drive through notorious gang territories, we wind our way up and down some of the worst freeways in the country and we go in and out of LAX nightmares several times a day.”
An Open Letter to Uber and Lyft Drivers During Our Coronavirus Concerns, by Tony Pierce, Los Angeleno, 17 March 2020
“Work or job simplification is the process of removing tasks from existing roles in order to make them more focused. The objective of work simplification is to develop improved work methods that maximize output while minimizing expenditure and cost.
“Let’s look at an example of job simplification at work.
“Amy works at the reception of a fast-growing company. Her role is to handle administration, take care of office chores, and receive guests. Amy loved her work. However, when the company grew from 50 to 150 people over a two-year period, she started to drop the ball on her administrative tasks and started showing burnout symptoms. Over this two year period, Amy’s responsibilities stayed the same but the group of people she had to take care of, increased by 300%!
“Her manager then sat her down and asked which parts of the role she loved the most. Amy loved the chores and receiving guests but the administrative tasks became too much for her. The company then decided to create an additional office manager function who would be dedicated to these administrative tasks. Amy’s responsibilities were reduced to the other two activities.”
What is work simplification? A definition, by Erik van Vulpen, Digital HR, 11 March 2020
“Uber is poised to file a federal lawsuit over Los Angeles’s demands for what the company (as well as privacy advocates and, presumably, state law) consider to be the city’s privacy-invading demands for real-time location data of its users.
“Uber had already threatened to sue the city in October 2019 after the LA Department of Transportation (LADOT) instituted data demands on ride-hailing, scooter/bike-sharing companies. Uber wound up delaying that suit as it tried to hash things out with the city. LADOT suspended Uber’s permit, but it still allowed Uber to operate its scooters during the discussions.”
Uber to file federal suit against LA over users’ real-time location data, by Lisa Vaas, Sophos blog, 18 March, 2020
“Just because a website offers critical public information about the COVID-19 virus pandemic doesn’t mean Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attackers won’t be out to get it.
“It’s a point underscored by the news that on Sunday cybercriminals attempted to disrupt the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website using an unidentified flood of DDoS traffic.
“The HHS site is one of the first ports of call for US citizens looking for a range of health information, including HHS announcements and links to COVID-19 updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“It seems attackers – later described by officials as a ‘foreign actor’ – twigged its importance too.”
DDoS attack on US Health agency part of coordinated campaign, by John E. Dunn, Sophos blog, 18 March 2020
“Examples include 1679 pocket globe and 1730 terrestrial globe showing California as an island.”
Around the world from your sofa: British Library to put rare globes online, by Mark Brown, The Guardian, 18 March 2020
“As it works to meet the surge in demand for ‘household staples, medical supplies, and other high demand products,’ Amazon has told other suppliers, including publishers, that their goods will receive a low priority until at least April 5, according to both a letter PW has obtained that was sent to independent publishers earlier today and an article Amazon posted on its Amazon Seller Central website.”
Amazon Deprioritizes Book Sales Amid Coronavirus Crisis, by Jim Milliot and John Maher, with reporting by Calvin Reid and Rachel Deahl, Publishers Weekly, 17 March 2020
“‘There are times in life when differences should be put aside,’ reads a brief memo from Macmillan CEO John Sargent addressed to librarians, authors, illustrators, and agents. ‘Effective on Friday (or whenever thereafter our wholesalers can effect the change), Macmillan will return to the library e-book pricing model that was in effect on October 31st, 2019. In addition, we will be lowering some e-book prices on a short term basis to help expand libraries collections in these difficult times. Stay safe.'”
Macmillan Abandons Library E-book Embargo, by Andrew Albanese, 17 March 2020
Books I’m reading/re-reading/staring at:
Sound of the Mountain, by Yasunari Kawabata
Cheri; Last of Cheri; Claudine novels; Gigi, Julie de Carneilha, and Chance Acquaintances; Collected Stories, by Collette
Bullshit Jobs, by David Graeber
A Rhetoric of Bourgeois Revolution: The Abbé Sieyes and What is the Third Estate?, by William H Sewell Jr.
Try to keep your soul young and quivering right up to old age.
The true art of memory is the art of attention.
He who loves with purity considers not the gift of the lover, but the love of the giver.
Thomas a Kempis
No great art has ever been made without the artist having known danger.
Rainer Maria Rilke
What nature delivers to us is never stale. Because what nature creates has eternity in it.
Isaac Bashevis Singer
I can speak Esperanto like a native.
Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.
The secret of happiness is something to do.
We all become great explorers during our first few days in a new city, or a new love affair.
I don’t believe in art. I believe in artists.
A forest bird never wants a cage.
Camping is nature’s way of promoting the motel business.
A will finds a way.
Orison Swett Marden
Every burden is a blessing.
The world is not comprehensible, but it is embraceable: through the embracing of one of its beings.
Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.
Blue thou art, intensely blue; Flower, whence came thy dazzling hue?
Ask five economists and you’ll get five different answers – six if one went to Harvard.
My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.
To live is to think.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Be brave, young lovers, and follow your star.
Oscar Hammerstein II
What I didn’t know was I was deeply attracted to the big space.
The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life.
The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.
Charles de Gaulle
Fortune favors the prepared mind.
Courage is the ladder on which all the other virtues mount.
Clare Boothe Luce
A so-called happy marriage corresponds to love as a correct poem to an improvised song.
Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel
To curb the machine and limit art to handicraft is a denial of opportunity.
I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.
Frank Lloyd Wright