"I can see the logic behind organized boycotts, but I am generally suspicious otherwise of “consume-wisely” type advice as some form of political practice. That way lies madness as well as vulnerability to grifters."
Nietzsche’s Marginal Children: On Friedrich Hayek | The Nation
In their war against socialism, the
philosophers of capital faced two challenges.
The first was that by the early twentieth
century, socialism had cornered the market
on morality. As Mises complained in his
1932 preface to the second edition of
Socialism , “Any advocate of socialistic
measures is looked upon as the friend of the
Good, the Noble, and the Moral, as a
disinterested pioneer of necessary reforms, in
short, as a man who unselfishly serves his
own people and all humanity.” Indeed, with
the help of kindred notions such as “social
justice,” socialism seemed to be the very
definition of morality. Nietzsche had long
been wise to this insinuation; one source of
his discontent with religion was his sense
that it had bequeathed to modernity an
understanding of what morality entailed
(selflessness, universality, equality) such that
only socialism and democracy could be said
to fulfill it. But where Nietzsche’s response to
the equation of socialism and morality was
to question the value of morality, at least as
it had been customarily understood,
economists like Mises and Hayek pursued a
different path, one Nietzsche would never
have dared to take: they made the market the
very expression of morality.
"I am one of the people who will define the decency of destruction. And I am going write this definition while I look at every single photo shot in Boston. I’m going to do this because it is my job during major national crises. I am the de facto photo editor for a Midwest news organization’s website. This isn’t what I normally do. Nope. Not at all. Most days I am the pond scum of the news gathering world. I am the toe cheese of the newsroom. I am a news aggregator, which is the ambiguous way of saying that I steal other people’s work, change just enough so I can’t be accused of plagiarism, and all the real reporter gets is one lousy link in the third paragraph. But then there are days like the London bombings, Sandy Hook or Boston. These days are different because the newsroom’s unwritten emergency response plan includes temporarily promoting me from pond scum to photo editor."
The Blind Man Who Taught Himself to See
Daniel Kish has been sightless since he was a year old. Yet he can mountain bike. And navigate the wilderness alone. And recognize a building as far away as 1,000 feet.
"Analyzing data is as old as tabulating a record of all the Pharaoh’s bags in the royal granary, but now that you can’t saydata without putting “big” in front of it, the—very necessary—practice of data analysis has been swept upin a larger and less helpful fad. Here, for example, is a post exhorting readers to “Incorporate Big Data Into Your Small Business”that is about a quantity of data thatprobably wouldn’t strain Google Docs, much less Excel on a single laptop. Analyzing data is as old as tabulating a record of all the Pharaoh’s bags in the royal granary, but now that you can’t saydata without putting “big” in front of it, the—very necessary—practice of data analysis has been swept upin a larger and less helpful fad. Here, for example, is a post exhorting readers to “Incorporate Big Data Into Your Small Business”that is about a quantity of data thatprobably wouldn’t strain Google Docs, much less Excel on a single laptop. Analyzing data is as old as tabulating a record of all the Pharaoh’s bags in the royal granary, but now that you can’t saydata without putting “big” in front of it, the—very necessary—practice of data analysis has been swept upin a larger and less helpful fad. Here, for example, is a post exhorting readers to “Incorporate Big Data Into Your Small Business”that is about a quantity of data thatprobably wouldn’t strain Google Docs, much less Excel on a single laptop."
"Tony built the original Arc Reactor — the one thing that makes the suit work — as part of a government contract. Hell, the original armor prototype he threw together in the cave was built out of parts from missiles he created under another defense department contract. All of that research and development was done on the taxpayer’s dime, and then Tony uses it to turn himself into a superhero and claims that nobody else has a right to put their filthy paws on it. In reality, it would be illegal for Tony to use an Arc Reactor to power his goddamn TiVo, let alone use it to fly halfway around the world and punch tanks in half (which incidentally is also illegal, because crossing national borders with that suit constitutes the trafficking of defense technology)."
"In reality, however, a 401(k) plan is an icon of futility and the way in which the owners of capital extract rents from the owners of labor. Yves Smith is good on this, as is Matt Yglesias, although the real expert is Helaine Olen: the 401(k) is a way for both your government and your employer to disown you, and to leave your life savings to be raided by the financial-services industry and its plethora of hidden and invidious fees. The well-kept secret about old-fashioned pension funds is that, for the most part, they’re actually very good at generating decent returns for their beneficiaries. They tend to have extremely long time horizons, and are run by professionals who know what they’re doing and who have a fair amount of negotiating leverage when they deal with Wall Street. Savers are always strengthened by being united: disaggregating them and forcing them to take matters into their own hands is tantamount to feeding them directly to the Wall Street sharks"
"[…]it’s simply wrong that today’s world is “tailored” for anybody who happens to be “self-motivated”. Both the self and the motivation are components of labor, not capital, and as such they’re on the losing side of the global economy, not the winning side."
"My real frustration was not that I had to be the family Apple Genius. My frustration was that they needed my help to begin with because the experiences of these products was so complicated."
"The Pentagon claims it aims to “portray the military as it actually is,” but don’t planes sometimes have technical difficulties? Doesn’t torture sometimes lead to bad information? Don’t soldiers come home with post-traumatic stress because the enemies are human, not vague abstractions? Does the Pentagon truly want to “accurately portray” history? Let’s examine two cases studies. The first is the 2000 movie, Thirteen Days, in which the military brass urges President Kennedy to engage Cuba militarily. David Robb recalls that Pentagon pushed the producers to tone down the implications, but they refused and went without military assistance – a risky move since, “most studio heads tell their producers, ‘We’re not going to make this film unless we get military assistance, because it would be too expensive. So you’d better make sure the script conforms to what they want.’” One such case is Charlie Wilson’s War, the movie about Charlie Wilson’s attempts to aid the Mujahedeen during our proxy war with Russia in Afghanistan. In the original script, says Matthew Alford, in an interview with Al Jazeera [30:00] “there is a very clear link between the U.S. arming the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the 1980s and the causes of 9/11. Now, we know from a CIA advisor who was on set, he says ‘we deliberately made sure we excised that film.’” I asked Alford, author of Reel Time: Hollywood Cinema and American Supremacy, whether the Pentagon’s thumbs down had ever silenced a movie entirely. He cited Countermeasures, a 1994 movie that requested an aircraft carrier but was turned down because, “There’s no reason for us to denigrate the White House or remind the public of the Iran-Contra affair.” As to the “accurate portrayal” question, he replied, “Since when was it ‘realistic’ for the US military to go to war against Transformers?"
"It is tempting to embrace all the new ‘stuff’ that comes out almost daily. For example, photographing landscapes, wildlife, close ups, architecture, portraits, weddings, cars, pets and more. Using HDR, collages, textures, blending, plug ins, layers and more. Printing on watercolor, glossy, luster, bamboo, Baryta and other papers. Mounting and framing with white mats, colored mats, decorated mats and more. Mounting photos on wood, aluminum, Gatorboard, acrylic and so on. Marketing by offering prints in 12 different sizes, in both ‘fine art’ and ‘poster’ form, matted in 32 different mat colors, framed in 17 different moldings, all with the choices of papers and mountings that I previously mentioned. That’s cool. And if you can do all this it is certainly very impressive. But besides shortening your life expectancy due to the resulting stress, it will do nothing to define your personal style."