Check out a fake Modern Love article, not from the New York Times:
But for now, just wanted to say that everything feels like the Wild West: Politics, neural network/AI, blockchain tech, new normals. Everything's changing so fast. And computers can write brilliant, beautiful, hilarious imitations of us. We can make them imitate us so weirdly. That's fucking sexy.
Check out a fake Modern Love article, not from the New York Times:
Physics: Nothing isn't nothing and... it would make things make more sense if the future affected the past
The wonderful world of physics tickles me... two new theoretical frameworks could help explain why shit doesn't make any sense:
1) The future might influence the past (a.k.a. retrocausality): there isn't necessarily evidence of this, but it would explain why quantum doesn't make any sense. I love how physics does this - takes a totally head-boner and adds new head-boners to try to make it all fit together nicely. Serious shit-thrown-at-the-wall until it's our societal paradigm!
2) Nothing is actually something: this is just true and has to do with the fact that, due to Heisenberg's other uncertainty principle around time and energy, if we know for CERTAIN that nothing exists somewhere at a certain time, then we don't know the energy at that time, so there might in fact be some energy and thus there might in fact be something. They theorize this could be how the universe just spontaneously erupted.
Disclaimer: I am being loose and have a loose conception of this stuff from years ago as a physics major in college, so let me know if it isn't completely accurate.
How have I never heard of Antoni Gaudi and Catalan Modernism before? It's amazing to see something so very modern, rich, and wild and to realize it was made more than a century ago. I instantly want to see everything he's ever made. Thanks to thisiscolossal.com for showing me this incredible Casa Vicens. I guess I want to go to Barcelona now...
Get out (of the white house)
This is absolutely brilliant. Also, if it isn't obvious yet, you should see Get Out. And you should see it in theaters.
The data behind Trump and Brexit
This is a great article about psychometrics and Cambridge Analytica - the UK firm behind the data behind the surprisingly successful shitshows of 2016. Psychometrics is the attempt to measure a person's personality, only made possible (and useful) recently thanks to facebook likes.
"The strength of the model depended on how well it could predict a test subject’s answers. Kosinski kept working at it. Soon, with a mere ten “likes” as input his model could appraise a person’s character better than an average coworker. With seventy, it could “know” a subject better than a friend; with 150 likes, better than their parents. With 300 likes, Kosinski’s model could predict a subject’s answers better than their partner. With even more likes it could exceed what a person thinks they know about themselves."
An Oscar-nominated documentary short - 4.1 miles is the distance from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos. Great if you're looking for a healthy dose of despondent devastation today that doesn't have to do with our federal government. Though, really, it does when you think about it, so never mind. All news is Trump news now. Ugh.
Anyway, watch the movie.
"You cannot deport our minds"
This is still the only thing that has truly, passionately, vibrantly fired me up and made it all seem ok lately. I want to tattoo it as many places as possible. Please read this poem.
Since you mention it, I think I will start that race war.
By Elisa Chavez (from kottke.org)
Donald Trump IS the corporate trisceratops business B.P. Richfield from the 90's TV show Dinosaurs.
See for yourself:
My delight is limited only by my absolute terror, sir. (from films for action)
Here's a great article/interview with Dean Spade (an associate professor at Seattle University School of Law, founder of the the legal collective Sylvia Rivera Law Project and author of the book Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law.) on how our government treats progressive movements as insurgencies. Counterinsurgency responds with repression, then with recuperation ("increasing the legitimacy of the government and marginalizing the views of resistant movements"). This recuperation involves absorbing the cause, which we see with the widespread co-opting of progressive causes by governments, causes, and companies that really only superficially support them. When a movement grows, they first ignore, then marginally acknowledge the problem and finally say it's a problem and that they will handle it. The problem persists, but sinks into the unsaid. Preservation through transformation.
n the face of a powerful, disruptive, widespread movement for black freedom, the United States made the concession of civil rights laws, which formally make racism and racial segregation illegal. So, the surface of the law changed, and the story the U.S. tells about itself changes (“racism is a thing of the past”). But the material conditions facing black people did not change much. Schools are wildly segregated and unequally funded, the racial wealth gap continues to widen and the imprisonment of black people and other people of color has skyrocketed in the last half-century. This is a major danger of reforms—that they change the surface, but the injustice and suffering that movements were raising hell about goes mostly unchanged.
As much as it pains me to say, Obama has done this by embracing LGBT rights, repealing DADT, and allowing women to serve in combat - meanwhile, the American military is still the most powerful and potent force of violence in the world, drone warfare is widespread and unchecked, and Gitmo is still open.
However, understanding counterinsurgency will be just as important for shaping our resistance during this period, particularly because with Trumpism on the scene, so many elected officials, corporations and institutions will be declaring themselves progressive or “anti-hate” since he makes it a low bar, meanwhile continuing to take actions that harm people and the planet.
The big question for any progress we've achieved, will attempt to eke out in the next (hopeully only) 4 years, or will attempt to strive for in the future: "how you tell whether a reform (that we’re proposing or that the powers that be are proposing) advances our struggle or recuperates their institutions?" No easy answers, but the gist is to follow the money. Is more money going to the police for police reform? Be wary of it.
In the end: "The work we need to do is deeply local. It is not glamorous, but it is satisfying and radical."
Star Wars: The Musical
This has been the biggest source of joy for me over the past few weeks. Please do yourself a favor and pick up some non-sequitur Star Wars earworms today.
Disturbia, dancing, detritus, huge problems