New Yorkers, Take Back Your City
This is not normal. It is state-sponsored, corporate-driven and turbo-charged.
Manhattan has become a Corporate Abyss.
There’s no place in midtown where you can place your eyes that doesn’t hit a corporate logo.
The Blade Runner-like ads are just the tip of the iceberg.
The Bloomberg push to “clean up” things have led to a city-corporate one-two punch driving out small businesses for the sake of national brands.
I’m newly disgusted every time I venture into Manhattan. I’m totally disoriented, not finding familiar landmark stores that were once present for ages. Now replaced by shiny national corporate brands and national brand wannabes.
And it’s encroaching on Chinatown too, perhaps the last part of Manhattan that has any actual human life remaining in it.
I don’t know how it can be changed. But it has to be stopped.
Go look. Just go look. There are no words I can add.
Apparently the President was in Manhattan yesterday. This is the shit he brought:
There have been some stunning images via Twitter of the Presidential Palace captured by victorious Ukrainian protesters.
This image …
… exemplifies everything that is wrong with those who currently — and temporarily — hold power.
More photos here.
The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night – and the International Media Is Asleep At the Switch
Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting.
While in Kiev,
the government those in power have deployed snipers to kill whoever they can in the mass of protesters.
It’s clear that those who hold power will do anything to retain that power. The law is shredded and all that matters is who has the most force — or who is willing to do the most killing.
Something to keep in mind here in America.
Scientists find secret to writing a best-selling novel: Computer scientists have developed an algorithm which can predict with 84 per cent accuracy whether a book will be a commercial success — and the secret is to avoid cliches and excessive use of verbs
What’s behind the future of hit movies? An algorithm
What happens when the screenplay of the book that was successful passing through the first algorithm is sent through the second algorithm?
Fuck you is what.
The Rise and Rise of Television Torture
But this prevalence of torture that you see in otherwise very comparable shows is not limited to [the TV series] Fringe. It is everywhere in American entertainment now.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
The Smartest Book About Our Digital Age Was Published in 1929
Ortega’s brilliant insight came in understanding that the battle between ‘up’ and ‘down’ could be as important in spurring social and cultural change as the conflict between ‘left’ and ‘right’. This is not an economic distinction in Ortega’s mind. The new conflict, he insists, is not between “hierarchically superior and inferior classes…. upper classes or lower classes.” A millionaire could be a member of the masses, according to Ortega’s surprising schema. And a pauper might represent the elite.
The key driver of change, as Ortega sees it, comes from a shocking attitude characteristic of the modern age — or, at least, Ortega was shocked. Put simply, the masses hate experts. If forced to choose between the advice of the learned and the vague impressions of other people just like themselves, the masses invariably turn to the latter. The upper elite still try to pronounce judgments and lead, but fewer and fewer of those down below pay attention.
Burn the Fucking System to the Ground
The older I get, the more I see, the more I read, the more clear it becomes to me that the entire game is rigged.
What neither side seems to realize is that the system is not reformable. There are multiple classes of people, but it boils down to the connected, and the not connected. Just as in pre-Revolutionary France, there is a very strict class hierarchy, and the very idea that we are equal before the law is a laughable nonsequitr.
There is a word, a fine word, a noble word, for what we are experiencing.
That word is tyranny.
The Degeneracy Of Law And Order
The NSA and the Corrosion of Silicon Valley
All this leads back to trust. Billions of people let Silicon Valley into their daily lives and they hug it close. They trust our products to find information, to get work done, to talk to each other, to buy and sell stuff, and to have fun. That trust is a decades-old endowment built up by inventor-founders from Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore through to the present day. The magic of compound growth works in our favor when trust is accumulating. But now we are making trust withdrawals every day as people around the world learn how the NSA has woven surveillance, search, and seizure into and around our products. This is the painful flip side of compound growth: the trust withdrawals compound too.