January 24, 2021
Godzilla vs Kong - the first full trailer is now out. No dates available for release, but in the US, it'll be on HBO Max.
"I can’t bear the thought that art is a zero-sum game, that we have to choose which kinds of stories are relevant, which lives have value"
"I studied code because I wanted to do something great like you / And the real tragedy is half of it was true.... If only you could be what you pretend you are." Via Casey Fiesler (who used it as background music for a TikTok video recommending books about tech ethics): "Rät", a song by Penelope Scott "on the promise, failure, and disappointment of technology" and about complicity and vulnerability, available on the album "Public Void". Analysis by Fiesler. "When I said take me to the moon, I never meant take me alone / I thought if mankind toured the sky, it meant that all of us could go / But I don't want to see the stars if they're just one more piece of land / For us to colonize, for us to turn to sand." Lyrics on Genius.
Gary Gates, 82, managed a multibillion dollar pension fund for the state of Wisconsin until he retired in 1993. Since then, he has recycled two million cans. He bikes around Madison from dumpster to dumpster, collecting cans. (Student apartments on fraternity-dense Langdon St. are the richest source.) He also moves cardboard and glass he finds in trash cans to recycling bins, and non-recyclables from the recycling bins to the trash. Most of his clothes come from dumpsters. He and his wife give tens of thousands of dollars to charity every year.
Miriam A. Cherry gives a glimpse of an alternative economic and industrial history and future in which the Luddites were successful in their battle against alienating technology. Part of the Economic Science Fictions book.
BrachioGraph: build one in an hour or so, make wiggly portraits for days afterwards. Built-in software too slow? Render and preview on brachio.me.
161 years ago last month, convicted insurrectionist and incorrigible abolitionist John Brown (PDF) was put to death by the united Commonwealth of Virginia for masterminding his final attempt to ignite an American version of the Roman Republic's Servile Wars: the tactical raid on the United States Armory at Harper's Ferry, an intentional attack on the US Federal Government as a planned first step in unraveling a slave empire founded on notions of freedom. [more inside]
An entry in the 2005 Guinness Book of World Records sends comedians and podcasters Alexei Toliopoulos and Cameron James on an increasingly bizarre search for the elusive Lord Sydney Ling - the record holder for the youngest person to direct, write and produce a feature-length movie - Lex, the Wonder Dog (1973). [more inside]
What's the difference between a theory about a conspiracy and a Conspiracy Theory? How to spot a conspiracy theory when you see one begins The Conversation's Expert Guide to Conspiracy Theories, which includes a 6-episode podcast if you prefer audio. [more inside]
I call this Death Star thinking. Many of us grew up profoundly influenced by Star Wars. What’s the lesson too many people take from that first and most influential episode in the franchise back in 1977? One incredibly well-placed shot into the thermal exhaust port and the entire apparatus of our oppression explodes spectacularly. All we really needed were the plans to the Death Star and a very talented fighter pilot guided by the truth (“the Force”.) Never mind that there are countless Death Stars ahead of us as the Imperial war (and the franchise) continues.Jennifer Pahlka: Death Star Thinking and Government Reform.