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Link Log 2020-06-30

A Non-Euclidean View of California as a Cold Place to Be

I don’t think we’re ever going to get to utopia again by going forward, but only roundabout or sideways; because we’re in a rational dilemma, an either/or situation as perceived by the binary computer mentality, and neither the either nor the or is a place where people can live. Increasingly often in these increasingly hard times I am asked by people I respect and admire, “Are you going to write books about the terrible injustice and misery of our world, or are you going to write escapist and consolatory fantasies?” I am urged by some to do one – by some to do the other. I am offered the Grand Inquisitor’s choice. Will you choose freedom without happiness, or happiness without freedom? The only answer one can make, I think is: No.

The Long Shadow Of The Future

It’s generally a mistake to make long-term forecasts in the midst of a hurricane, but some outlines of lasting shifts are emerging. First, a government or society’s capacity for technical competence in executing plans matters more than ideology or structure. The most effective arrangements for dealing with the pandemic have been found in countries that combine a participatory public culture of information sharing with operational experts competently executing decisions. Second, hyper-individualist views of privacy and other forms of risk are likely to be submerged as countries move to restrict personal freedoms and use personal data to manage public and aggregated social risks. Third, countries that are able to successfully take a longer view of planning and risk management will be at a significant advantage.

Punishing the Innocent

For the ones doing the mobbing, ruining the lives of innocent people is not a bug in their program, it’s an essential feature. There can be no reign of terror when only the guilty are punished.

Hardcore UFOs

In his 2018 book New Dark Age, James Bridle identifies the conspiracy theory as an essential coping mechanism of late modernity. He writes, “Surrounded by evidence of complexity, the individual, however outraged, resorts to ever more simplistic narratives in order to regain some control over the situation.” Bridle’s observation has proven especially useful lately, with even the most composed of us experiencing a prolonged sense of collective powerlessness in the face of a global pandemic.

Wireless is a trap

I want my tools to be predictable – to have consistent performance and fail in ways that I understand. Wireless protocols are inherently more complex (because many devices share the same airspace) and have more different ways to fail, so they’re much less predictable than wires. For me, the convenience often isn’t worth that cost.

So this is the famous JavaScript

Tank Hill

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Link Log 2020-06-14

Stochastic Resonance in Reading

It’s when the current environment lies outside the scope of your attention, when you neither seek nor expect any connection to it, that you make room for random resonances to form.

How Google Docs became the social media of the resistance

“Hyperlinks are the most succinct and quickest way to access things, and you can’t do that on Facebook or Twitter.”

Garbage Language: Why do corporations speak the way they do?

In an environment of constant auditing, it’s safer to use words that signify nothing and can be stretched to mean anything, just in case you’re caught and required to defend yourself.

A Portrait of Eliane Radigue (Institute for Media Archaeology, 2009)

Derailleurs - an introduction

Deport Racists Mouse

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Link Log 2020-06-07

Changing Stripes: a History of Tiger Stripe Camo

While it has been called “tiger stripe camo” unofficially, as the name derives from its resemblance to the stripes on the big cats, it is unique in that the pattern has no name. And unlike OCP, UCP, or the other official camouflage patterns, tigerstripe camouflage is also not really one specific pattern.

The Overmilitarization of American Foreign Policy

U.S. policymakers have many nonmilitary tools at their disposal. But those tools will remain inadequate for the challenges ahead if Washington does not overhaul its outdated national security apparatus. The current structure, established by the National Security Act of 1947—which created the Department of Defense, the U.S. Air Force (as a separate military service), the CIA, and the National Security Council (NSC)—has outlived its usefulness.

Judoka (Josef Reeve, 1965)

I don’t think Kimura recognizes physical limitations. He just trains us beyond any that happen to come up.

The Boogaloo Movement Is Not What You Think

About Face: Death and surrender to power in the clothing of men.

COVID-19 Occupied Japantown, San Francisco

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