Maybe challenges to the status quo persist for millennia without changing the system because they aren’t actually a threat.
I’ve been browsing around the Internet while sitting in this meeting that doesn’t require my attention, and became curious about whether RE/Search is still around. Looks like it is. There’s even a Twitter account.
Even more astonishing is that the copy I had on J. G. Ballard was last selling for $70. I didn’t much care for it, and discarded it while emptying the Too Big House for sale in 2014. I wonder if I still have my copy of #11: Pranks! around here….
Jared Newman over at Fast Company noticed that some people think “cord-cutting” —cancelling your cable or satellite TV subscription— is a bad idea.
You know who thinks cord-cutting is a bad idea? The cable and satellite TV companies.
It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.Anonymous
I came across, by way of a footnote on Jason Kottke’s piece on clam gardens, an interesting review of Sam Arbesman‘s work on the half-life of facts, which apparently can be described mathematically. How long will it be before the conventional wisdom is neither conventional nor wisdom?
Mr. Kottke notes,
I’m guessing most people reading this learned in school that the Americas were sparsely populated and almost pristine before Columbus showed up, but subsequent research over the past 20 years has shown that this is very much not the case.
I should ask my kids what the kids are learning these days. I’m sure Pearson has had little incentive to update the standard texts, even though William Cronon’s Changes in the Land was published 36 years ago, in 1983. Though evidence certainly abounded before then, it was news to me when I read Changes in the Land in 1990 or so.
Update: JSTOR Daily, in “Yes, Americans Owned Land Before Columbus,” notes that our understanding of the indigenous understanding of property has changed over time, and points out Allen Greer’s “Commons and Enclosure in the Colonization of North America.” The American Historical Review, vol. 117, no. 2, 2012, pp. 365–386.
BBC Business Daily discusses 21st Century Monopolies with the Jonathan Tepper, author of The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition, and some others. Tepper talks about the need to deal with regulatory capture and the perks of revolving doors. Sounds familiar.
Alex Moazed, one of the other guests, says that the Internet monopolies are different, non-traditional monopolies, because the consumer wins–because pricing power is not exerted over the consumer, but the producer.
Which makes me wonder, when did we start thinking of the consumer and the producer as two separate and distinct people, and not aspects of a person? Or, how can I buy if I don’t sell?
I love the serendipity of an unexpected find when looking for something else. Today I found “Women Whose Lives are Food, Men Whose Lives are Money” (1978) by Joyce Carol Oates.
Where are the promised revelations?
Why have they been shown so many times?
It’s not quite despair, this picture of a week in Pleasant Valley. It is bracketed with the mundane, peaceful–terrible–cares of life.
Even accountants and lawyers need patrons.
The Idler writes:
It just seems so unfair. I feel like saying to my children: “Study accountancy, become a lawyer, go into the city.”
How did we end up with this cult of Celebrity, that we permit anything done in its name?
Look outside your window.
Take off your blinders.
We take it that when the state of things shall have arrived which we have been above attempting to describe, man will have become to the machine what the horse and the dog are to man.
It would appear that others on the Internet are as amused as I am that Congress has just realized that they delegated all of their powers to the Executive. Whoops.
This is why I block advertisements. Nice work, Disney.
Curating a feed is a bit difficult when one runs across something interesting and wants to share it immediately, particularly when the interesting thing has a deadline. Join Civil.
For the first time since I was a teenager, I’ve submitted poems for someone else’s official approval or condemnation. It’s exhilarating–and terrifying. Not unlike a roller coaster.
I hate this.
I much prefer to have a known set of guidelines, of rules, of answers. I much prefer to follow the published steps to inevitable success, know the material and get an an A+ on the test. It’s easy and predictable. Anything else seems like a popularity contest. Or cheating.
So much about life is distressing, particularly surrendering control to someone else’s whim. I’ve avoided such vulnerable exposure.
When I was born, I was one of
seven hundred seventy-five million,
seven hundred ninety thousand,
nine hundred twenty-three
Today, I am one of
seven hundred fourteen million,
five hundred seventy-six thousand,
nine hundred twenty-three
At this rate, it would need a plague
or some great calamity,
a climatic holocaust perhaps,
for me to be
twice the man I was
Somehow I doubt the cliché
had statistics in mind when age
would strip my capacity
to less than half
the man I used to be
At the end of the day
When tomorrow comes
What will the new day bring
All tomorrow’s parties
Morning has broken
A foggy day
The humid press of days
In between days
I’m not wearing underwear today
A perfect day