Blurt!Commonplace Book

“[L]iberal democracy cannot function without a shared understanding of reality. As long as the zone is flooded with shit, that shared understanding is impossible.”

posted Jan. 22, 2020, 8:37pm

“The Nazis were dedicated trolls who weaponized their insincerity to take advantage of liberal societies ill-equipped to confront them. This was not done just for political advantage—rather, the insincerity itself was a moral act, an expression of contempt for the weak.”

posted Jan. 16, 2020, 8:38pm

“In [Edward Baptist’s] 2014 book The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism … he rejects ‘plantations’ (a term pregnant with false memory and romantic myths) in favor of ‘labor camps’; instead of ‘slave-owners’ (which seems to legitimate and rationalize the ownership of human beings), he uses ‘enslavers.’ Small changes with big implications.”

posted Jan. 16, 2020, 8:33pm

“Claims about a gap between consumer preferences and behavior serve a capitalist system, putting responsibility on the individual when markets currently rely on unsustainable growth rates.”

posted Jan. 16, 2020, 8:28pm

“I’ve written a memoir that dealt with my worst periods of destitution, but I’ve never told any interviewer my real feelings around getting a book published: the abject terror that the book won’t sell and I’ll end up poor again, homeless again, in the street in the rain with whatever I can carry, with a cold, looking at the windows of restaurants and homes, at all the warm life I can’t afford.”

posted Jan. 16, 2020, 8:20pm

“Unless your organization is staffed with zombies, members of the organization will constantly be subverting standard operating procedure in order to get actual work done. Even ants improvise. An accurate accounting of these hidden costs can only be developed via an honest, blameless, and continuous end-to-end analysis of the work as it is happening.”

posted Jan. 16, 2020, 8:06pm

“Glantz and Mauro made several propositions over the coming days, including one in which they’d sign the union’s contract with the stipulation that it never be enforced, and another that offered $10,000 to buy the union’s cooperation. It was all rejected. Local 338 wanted union bakers inside the Bagel Boys shop, and nothing less.”

posted Jan. 16, 2020, 8:03pm (edited)

“Madgwick and his colleagues found strontium isotope ratios representing every major geological area in Britain, and oxygen and carbon isotope ratios were also all over the map, suggesting that the pigs who ended up at the four sites had been reared in diverse landscapes.”

posted Jan. 14, 2020, 9:03pm

“Before California was West, it was North and it was East: the uppermost periphery of the Mexican Empire, and the arrival point for Chinese immigrants making the perilous journey from Guangdong.”

posted Jan. 14, 2020, 8:59pm

“An unkind summary, then, of the past half decade of the consumer internet: Venture capitalists have subsidized the creation of platforms for low-paying work that deliver on-demand servant services to rich people, while subjecting all parties to increased surveillance.”

posted Jan. 14, 2020, 8:40pm

“[W]e find that ‘vegetable’ rarely applies to the entire plant (or to the same parts of the plant), while it also has a way of applying to things that aren’t actually vegetables. It is a category both broader and more specific that the thing it’s supposed to describe.”

posted Jan. 14, 2020, 8:35pm

“[C]onversion disorder, or mass psychogenic illness, as it is also known, is essentially stress that strikes a close-knit group, like an embassy under siege, and behaves epidemiologically — that is, it spreads like an infection.”

posted Jan. 14, 2020, 8:27pm

“My devices try to reach Amazon via 3,800 different IP addresses, which suggests that there are a lot of different apps and websites attempting to connect to Amazon throughout the week.”

posted Jan. 14, 2020, 8:21pm

“[The study] estimated that Uber and Lyft increased traffic fatalities last year by an astonishing 1,100 — an enormous human toll. The study also found, surprisingly, that Uber and Lyft have no effect on drunk driving.”

posted Jan. 14, 2020, 8:14pm

“Amazon imprint Thomas & Mercer publishes mysteries, thrillers, and true crime novels; Little A handles literary fiction and nonfiction; AmazonCrossing is responsible for translated texts; 47North does science fiction and fantasy; Skyscape is for teen and young adult books; there’s Two Lions for children’s books….”

posted Jan. 13, 2020, 10:36pm