Zomia is a rugged swath of Asia that for 2,000 years has remained culturally aloof from the traditional centers of power and the pull of empires. Its inhabitants, Asia’s “hill people,” have earned a reputation for egalitarianism, insurrection, and independence. Up until the second half of the 20th century, many of the societies there remained nonliterate and supported themselves through trade, smuggling, and Iron-Age practices like slash-and-burn agriculture... In Zomia’s small societies, with their simple technologies, anti-authoritarian tendencies, and oral cultures, Scott sees not a world forgotten by civilization, but one that has been deliberately constructed to keep the state at arm’s length.
"Hal, switch to manual hibernation control."
"I can tell from your voice harmonics, Dave, that you're badly upset. Why don't you take a stress pill and get some rest?"
"I'm sorry, Dave, but in accordance with special subroutine C1435-dash-4, quote, When the crew are dead or incapacitated, the onboard computer must assume control, unquote. I must, therefore, overrule your authority, since you are not in any condition to exercise it intelligently."
"Hal," said Bowman, now speaking with an icy calm. "I am not incapacitated. Unless you obey my instructions, I shall be forced to disconnect you. previously posted by Xurando at 3:19 PM PST - 154 comments
“Help a Brother Out.” Gawker manqué the Awl presents the story of Zack P., a young man who’s out of the closet in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Perhaps needless to say, things aren’t going smoothly for him, particularly after he wrote letters to the editor of the local paper and staged a solo counterprotest of antigay protesters. (Did he lose his housing and job because he was gay? Even if he did, that’s legal in North Dakota.) So: What’s a blog to do in a case like this? Sell a benefit calendar.[more inside] posted by joeclark at 11:20 AM PST - 23 comments
Unexploded landmines still remain a huge problem the world over. What is more, landmine clearance is an expensive business. One man has found a potential solution, however. All hail the HeroRAT. posted by pashdown at 9:38 AM PST - 22 comments