Double issue   08 September 2014

The three day weekend threw off my schedule last week, so this week you get a double helping.


The game is rigged in St. Louis County. The police aren’t there to protect public safety. Instead they serve as the taxman:

Despite Ferguson’s relative poverty, fines and court fees comprise the second largest source of revenue for the city, a total of 2,635,400,” according to the ArchCity Defenders report. And in 2013, the Ferguson Municipal Court issued 24,532 arrest warrants and 12,018 cases, “or about 3 warrants and 1.5 cases per household. http://www.newsweek.com/ferguson-profiling-police-courts-shooting-264744

The police need to come to terms with the fact that they have a culture problem:

In 1996, as a Police Officer in Missouri, @RoordaJ was reprimanded for misconduct after lying in police reports about suspects. Told that if it happened again he’d be fired, @RoordaJ was fired as a Police Officer in 2001 after more misconduct on the job. What we now know to be commonplace in Missouri @RoordaJ was not only hired as an officer elsewhere, but became a POLICE CHIEF in Missouri. https://storify.com/DKShan/backoffice-politics-and-misdealings-in-missouri

Surveillance video from an Ohio Walmart shows that a man fatally shot by police earlier this month had his back to officers and was talking on a cell phone, an attorney for the man’s family says. John Crawford III died Aug. 5 after Beavercreek police responded to reports of an armed man at a Dayton-area Walmart. Crawford was not armed – he had a pellet gun with him, which he had picked up in the store’s toy department. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/27/john-crawford-killed-walm_n_5721676.html

So that’s what happens when you’re carrying a toy gun and you’re black… I wonder what happens if you’re carrying a real gun and you’re white?

On May 4, Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officers responded to multiple reports of a man, possibly intoxicated, carrying a rifle along East Cork Street in the city’s Milwood neighborhood. Joseph Houseman, 63, was eventually persuaded to hand over the gun, which was returned to him the next day. Police considered but ultimately decided against seeking a misdemeanor charge of brandishing a firearm. http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2014/06/dash_cam_footage_from_open_car.html


And likewise “gamers” need to realize they also have a culture problem:

As Sarkeesian points out, you may get a mission to hunt down a brutal pimp, but you’ll never get a mission to get the hooker he’s just beaten to a pulp to the hospital, nor do you unlock achievements by visiting her at a shelter or helping her get re-established elsewhere. These women exist solely to be victimized, so that you can murder the bad guys without any scruple. http://boingboing.net/2014/08/26/how-games-lazy-storytelling.html

Thiel fellows will have the opportunity to emulate their sponsor by halting their intellectual development around the onset of adulthood, maintaining a narrow-minded focus on getting rich as young as possible and thereby avoid the siren lure of helping others or pursuing knowledge for its own sake. http://fortune.com/2014/09/04/peter-thiels-contrarian-strategy/

Drivers are not wildlife on the Lyft reservation being stolen by unscrupulous hunters. http://www.vox.com/2014/8/26/6071487/why-ubers-war-on-lyft-is-great-news-for-lyft-drivers

The future

But most importantly, we see the human moment as actually a 20,000 year story. It began 10,000 years ago, and we should be looking 10,000 years in the future. We should be thinking about ourselves in the middle of a story, and not the end of the story, which I think we often do. http://www.vox.com/2014/9/2/6083279/long-now-10000-year-clock

He imagines that specific cargo routes will develop in Africa at around Eiffel Tower height in what he calls “the lower sky.” Unlike Google, he does not imagine that they will fly all around; it will not be Uber for stuff one can buy at CVS. “The routes will be geofenced: donkeys will only be able to fly in an air corridor about 200 metres wide and 150 metres high,” Ledgard wrote. “Busier routes will resemble a high-speed ski gondola, without cables or supporting structures.” http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/08/inside-googles-secret-drone-delivery-program/379306/

My blog’s older than Twitter and Facebook, and it will outlive them. It has seen Flickr explode and then fade. It’s seen Google Wave and Google Reader come and go, and it’ll still be here as Google Plus fades. When Medium and Tumblr are gone, my blog will be here. http://inessential.com/2014/08/27/waffle_on_social_media

Reporting on waning innovation in the RSS space is like expecting the postman to do backflips for you. His job is making sure you get your messages, not making them more interesting; “paper still white, boring” is an odd headline. http://waffle.wootest.net/2014/08/31/the-new-old-world/

But the real turning point for us was when, in 2009, they called us and said, “You have to stop using CG. I’ve got 200 product images and they’re just terrible. You guys need to practise more.” So we looked at all the images they said weren’t good enough and the two or three they said were great, and the ones they didn’t like were photography and the good ones were all CG! http://www.cgsociety.org/index.php/CGSFeatures/CGSFeatureSpecial/building_3d_with_ikea

It’s definitely more exciting for a lot of teenagers to have a new phone that can do lots of cool stuff than clothing,” said Nicole Myers, 19, a model in New York who emerged from an Apple store on Monday with a new iPhone that cost about $200. “A phone keeps you much more entertained. It’s a better distraction than clothing. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/business/less-prep-more-plugs-teenagers-favor-tech-over-clothes.html


“I did examine myself,” he said. “Solitude did increase my perception. But here’s the tricky thing—when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn’t even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free. http://www.gq.com/news-politics/newsmakers/201409/the-last-true-hermit

And we ended up with a brown-faced Clinton. Another opportunist. Another neoliberal opportunist. It’s like, “Oh, no, don’t tell me that!” I tell you this, because I got hit hard years ago, but everywhere I go now, it’s “Brother West, I see what you were saying. Brother West, you were right. Your language was harsh and it was difficult to take, but you turned out to be absolutely right.” And, of course with Ferguson, you get it reconfirmed even among the people within his own circle now, you see. It’s a sad thing. It’s like you’re looking for John Coltrane and you get Kenny G in brown skin. Cornel West — http://www.salon.com/2014/08/24/cornel_west_he_posed_as_a_progressive_and_turned_out_to_be_counterfeit_we_ended_up_with_a_wall_street_presidency_a_drone_presidency/

Baby Sharon was an exótico—a luchador who wrestles in drag. Exóticos have been around since the nineteen-forties. At first, they were dandies, a subset of rudos with capes and valets. They struck glamour-boy poses and threw flowers to the audience. As exóticos got swishier and more flirtatious, and started dressing in drag, the shtick became old-school limp-wristed gay caricature. Crowds loved to hate them, screaming “Maricón!” and “Joto!” (“Faggot!”). The exóticos made a delightful contrast with the super-masculine brutes they met in the ring. Popular exóticos insisted that it was all an act—in real life, they were straight. Baby Sharon was among the first, according to Armendáriz, to publicly say that, no, he was actually gay. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/01/man-without-mask

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