Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
“West coast street artist Hijack Art has created a mural of two soldiers fending off the coronavirus in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of LA. ‘This particular issue involving the coronavirus and all the devastation it’s leaving in its wake, was a no-brainer for me,’ said the artist. ‘The fear and call to action of this pandemic has really captured the imagination of many in and outside my city.’ Located at the intersection of West Pico Boulevard at Reeves Street, the two characters in the piece are wearing Hazmat suits, while attempting to fend off the virus with a feather duster, Windex, hand sanitizer and a vacuum bearing a ‘No Covid-19’ symbol. It taps into the dire need for alcohol-based hand sanitizers. ‘It’s been a mixed bag of careless spring breakers, toilet paper hoarders, conspiracy theorists and hypochondria,’ adds Hijack. ‘I’m being told “it feels like we’re in wartime,” so I also wanted to add that element to the piece.'”
‘It feels like wartime’: how street artists are responding to coronavirus, by Nadja Sayej, The Guardian, 25 March 2020
Ah, the muralists of Los Angeles.
Continue reading New Normal? What New Normal?
The more I think about it, the more I realize there is nothing more artistic than to love others.
Vincent Van Gogh
“At the time, my friend Brian argued that if it came down to it, he wanted to be able to defend himself. That if he didn’t have a gun, he was really just prepping for his someone else, who could just come and take all his carefully curated supplies.”
The Case For Not Panic Buying A Gun, by Jacob Margolis, LAist, 18 March 2020
Continue reading And the Internets go on and on and on and on
“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.
Continue reading Oh Internet Oh Internet
“But if the argument for abolition is primarily moral, it must be made more carefully than it often is.”
In defence of America’s prison-industrial complex, The Economist, October 17, 2019
Well, here’s my moral argument against private prisons: if the great and glorious State is going to turn a citizen into a non-being for a period of time, then the great and glorious State is morally obliged to look after that non-being’s mind and body for that period of time. The State enriching the private sector is not new, but this version of that seems particularly heinous to me. I hope it becomes illegal for anything other than the State to incarcerate another human being for any reason. Lastly, if taxpayers foot the bill for the sick society they seem not to notice they live in, well, they might notice, and demand rehabilitation and cheaper prison deterrent programs in their communities to lower the understandably high costs of being our brothers and sisters keepers, for God’s sake. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. What’s wrong with America? Greed and stupidity? Oh, that’s right.
“Over the past decade Amazon Web Services (AWS) lured untold numbers of consumers and corporations onto its billowing cloud. The division earned its giant e-commerce parent $7.3bn in operating profits last year. It could soon be earning more. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s boss, is going after a potentially more lucrative customer: the government. Amazon has outspent all technology firms on lobbying in the first quarter, and is building a second headquarters in Virginia, near the Pentagon.”
Amazon is eyeing billions in federal contracts, by The Economist, July 11, 2019
Y’know, even I thought I was kind of kidding when I’ve been saying that one day either Google or Amazon, particularly AWS, was going to own us all. Alas, I think we just got one day closer to that day.
“No wonder. Next month the Defence Department may award a cloud-computing contract worth $10bn. The Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure (JEDI) initiative aims to create a unified ‘war-fighter cloud’ to modernise the Pentagon’s existing networks and data centres. In April AWS and Microsoft edged out Oracle and IBM onto the final shortlist.”
JEDI. Really? And something else for Russia, N Korea, and Billy in his mom’s basement to hack into for fun and profit. Is there a forest I can live in somewhere?
Google seems to regrouping.
“Confronted last year with an employee backlash against its sale of artificial-intelligence software to America’s armed forces, Google backed off and withdrew from the JEDI tender.”
Retreat, hell, they’re just fighting in a different direction.
Oh well. Is it better to know these things? I wonder.