Surved up


A quarter-century after the advent of the World Wide Web, communication has become synonymous with surveillance. The only unrecorded speech is the chatter of two friends spending a moment together, and one day soon that will change. Sensors and cameras proliferate through our homes and cities like spores, appearing in eyeglasses, phones, cameras, streetlights, cars, game systems, shoes, jewelry, and wherever else a signal may be found. Eventually, if the technology industry’s most fervent boosters are to be believed, our whole world, and all of our sensations and thoughts within it, will be transcribed. Not because it is right or good, but because we can, and because this information, they promise, will be useful. In this temple, anything is worth sacrificing on the altars of efficiency and productivity.

–Jacob Silverman, Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection

Jul 06


The Greek crisis got me thinking along these lines again, about yet another one of those huge cultural shifts that has occurred in my lifetime and that a great number of people will frantically insist has never been any other way.

This one is back in the “old” days — say pre-2005 or so — if a bank made a bad loan, nearly all of the responsibility for taking such an ill-advised risk rested on the creditor — that is, the entity making the loan.

Since ~2005 however, the responsibility both actuarially and just as important morally has been shifted in the common discourse to the person or entity receiving the loan.

This is a huge shift, symptomatic of the now utterly dominant neoliberal mindset and benefiting no one but a very few rich and large institutions.

In other words, if TBTF, Inc. made a loan to Rianne in 1990 and Rianne could not pay back her loan, the question would have been, “Why would the bank have been so stupid to have loaned $500,000 to a waitress making $8,000 a year?”

Now this has shifted almost completely to, “Rianne is an evil scoundrel for taking a loan out from a bank with terms she didn’t understand, marketed at her ceaselessy, meanwhile she was assured that she’d later be able to refinance — and oh yeah the loan officer lied to her, changed her application without her knowledge to be fraudulent, and also signed her name for her after she had doubts. Obviously Rianne is the evildoer in this scenario!” says the neolib apologist.

The same with Greece. It’s all the Greeks’ fault, despite the fact that the EU and Germany knew that the loans given were extremely unlikely to be repaid.

I don’t intend to delve into the details here. Debate them elsewhere. The point is that the responsibility for making a bad loan used to lie 90% with the creditor. Now that has irrationally shifted to the receiver of the loan.

A huge shift that nearly everyone now takes for granted and many insist has never been any different. Very strange.

Jul 05

Dove right in

There’s someone doing good research on this now which is not yet completed, but I bet if you scratch the surface the HAES and Fat Acceptance movement receives large amounts of funding from the US processed food industry. And:


I will be absolutely shocked if the FA/HAES movement is not mostly funded by food interests. I think there is about a 100% chance of that being the case. Otherwise it makes no sense as a cultural phenomenon.

(Yes, GSElevator seems like a real tool. Which is why I didn’t link directly to his Twitter feed. But being an asshole doesn’t make someone wrong.)

Jul 05


We’re having elk burgers tonight.

Found it on sale for $3.00 a pound at the local grocery store. Well worth it as it’s so much more flavorful than beef.

So yeah, good grub tonight to say the least.

Or for the more erudite, a cervid comestible which is immensely digestible.

Jul 04

Spelled out

I’ve embedded this before. I’ll probably embed it again. It’s my favorite rock/blues performance by anyone, ever.

The way she bends those notes. I could practice for a decade and couldn’t do that. That’s a song I didn’t even like till she owned it so hard the stage about melted.

Conventional wisdom is that women just can’t play the guitar because their dainty little hands or something. I’d invite anyone to watch this performance and claim such a stupid fucking thing.

Jul 04

Blasphemy and triggers

It’s interesting how human thought always follows parallel tracks even in supposedly positionally opposed groupings.

Blasphemy is profaning the sacred. “Triggers” in Tumblr-speak and its outgrowths is the broaching of taboo topics that violate the supposed sensitivities of various assumed-to-be traumatized groups.

However different these may seem, both evolved eventually to achieve the same end: to control the ideological direction of thought and to proscribe any out of bounds thinking on any issue.

Humans shamble down the same worn paths time after time. It gets a bit boring, really.

Jul 03

Cos I am

Science, Chance, and Emotion with Real Cosima.

OMG there’s a real Cosima. Well, she’s on the dinner list. Along with real fake Cosima. Or fake real Cosima.

In other words, Tatiana, you’re invited too. Ha.

But it’d be cool if Tatiana M pretended to be Cosima Herter, while Cosima Herter pretended to be Cosima Niehaus.

“The hand-wavey, pacing around, going off on tangents about all kinds of weird things while she talks, is a similar characteristic (one that my friends often tease me about). She’s cheeky, mischievous, curious about everything, and sincere – I think that’s pretty true-to-life. And, the ‘I’m kind of always late, so I’m kind of always sorry’ is embarrassingly accurate.”

-Cosima Herter about what qualities she and Cosima Niehaus share