Jeez, it’s like it’s all a giant scam or something

Michael Moore has turned his documentary gaze towards alternative energy, and–surprise, surprise!–found that it’s not the Save the Planet Panacea everyone says it is.

“It turned out the wakeup call was about our own side,” [Moore’s film director] Gibbs said in a phone interview. “It was kind of crushing to discover that the things I believed in weren’t real, first of all, and then to discover not only are the solar panels and wind turbines not going to save us … but (also) that there is this whole dark side of the corporate money … It dawned on me that these technologies were just another profit center.”

Alternative energy critics have been saying the stuff for years.  Mikey, you’re late to the party.

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College is Vastly Overrated

Charles Cook thinks College Does Not Make You a Better Person.

In a 1780 letter to Abigail, John Adams wrote that he “must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy,” while his “sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.” There is a great deal in this observation, and, within the context of late-18th-century, mid-revolutionary America, Adams’s assessment was spot-on. Nevertheless, were his words to be taken literally, such a progression would eventually create a society without any food.

I think he’s on to something.

The Urban Chicken Sicken Movement

Salmonella anyone?  Looks like the country’s largest source of salmonella infections comes from personal poultry.


From tainted pre-cut melons to pig-ear dog treats, there’s been a slew of recalls this year due to outbreaks of salmonella infections. Yet by far the biggest source of the bacteria hasn’t involved a recall at all. It stems from backyard flocks, the growing trend of raising chickens and other poultry for eggs and companionship.

What kind of sick-pup lightweight keeps chickens for companionship?  Eggs, meat, compost, manure, bug control, and a back-up alarm clock, OK.  But companionship?  That’s some kind of seriously anti-social tic.

Especially troubling is nearly a quarter, or 24%, of the illnesses involve kids. This year, there are “156 children under the age of five that have come into contact with poultry and gotten sick,” Nichols said. “Young kids are more likely to kiss, cuddle or snuggle with poultry and then may not wash their hands as thoroughly,” she explained.

Jeez, what disgusting dirty child abusers!  Anyone who’s watched chickens scratch and eat knows they’re the original Dirty Birds, and keeps their kids from using them as cuddly playtoys.  Amazing to see such backwoods trash behavior pop up in folks who ought to know better.

Spicing Up the Kitchen

Ellen Bennett is the Marie Kondo of kitchen organization.  She has lots of clever ideas, my favorite one is this:

ellen-bennett-spice-drawer
I’m only two dozen bottles away from my own personal Spicetopia!

I found a good quick-drying paint marker at my favorite art supply store yesterday, and started labeling.  It works!

Update (30 July 2019):  Two caveats: (1) them little bottles ain’t cheap, so it’ll take a while to put together a nice set like those in the picture, and (2) if you’re labeling a glass container destined for the refrigerator, make the label long enough to completely wrap around and stick to itself, else condensation will eventually slide the label right off.

Dust Yourself Off

Phylagen, a San Francisco biotech company, has developed a technique for tracking previous locations of objects based on the composition of dust the object has collected.

In another experiment, the sampling technology allowed researchers to determine where a person had walked within 1 kilometer in San Francisco, because of the microbes picked up by their shoes.

Right now, this technique is proposed for use in tracking manufacturing locations in supply chains.  If it’s successful, expect it to be used first in forensics, and then in ubiquitous “backwards” location tracking for behavior profiling.

Oh, great.  Now, in addition to fresh clothes and a good scrub in the shower, I need to swap/brush/scrub my shoes to keep the snoops of the world at bay.

The Cyberfascism Bulleting #3: Spring Cleaning Edition

BIG BIZ

  • Uh, oh. The punditry is starting to wise up. Here’s 4 Reasons Why Big Tech is Hazardous to Our Lives.
  • Google AI Ethics Council is Falling Apart. Part artistic ethical differences, part Googloid mau-mauing. Only the truly clueless would use “Google” and “ethics” in the same sentence.
  • Time for a ‘Third-Party Audit’ of De-Platforming Policies. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo) doesn’t think folks like Twitter are holding up their end of the bargain

    Social media platforms have been given a “sweetheart deal,” according to Hawley, which includes “immunity from liability for illegal content posted by third parties.”
    They were given special consideration, he said, because they promised to provide “a forum for a true diversity of political discourse.”

  • Pop antiquarian James Lileks tries to pull a fast one and cadge an extra discount on a Coke 12-pack, and runs afowl of real-time big data.

    Went to Lunds. They had a sale: $1.99 on Coke 12-packs. Well! I bought one, the new Orange-Vanilla Dreamsicle flavor. LIMIT ONE PER DAY said a handwritten sign, because obviously people had been loading up. Drove south, decided I would check the other Lunds for the large paper bags. They had them! I also picked up another 12-pack, and I was thinking: this goes against the rules. I wonder if I can get away with this.

    On the way out I noticed that the receipt did not give me the sale price; I went back. A manager asked: did you buy one earlier today?

    “I did!” I said. “I’m sorry! I wasn’t trying to get away with anything. Well I guess I was.”

    “The computer knows everything,” she said.

    Doofus. If you’re going to sail close to the wind, pay cash. It leaves no footprints.

  • Google is thrashing.

    For a while there has been a subset of people concerned about Google’s privacy and antitrust issues, but now Google is eroding trust that its existing customers have in the company. That’s a huge problem. Google has significantly harmed its brand over the last few months, and I’m not even sure the company realizes it.

BIG MED

CYBER CREEPS

Surveillance technology enables bad behavior from individuals as well as large institutions. Looking for a new way to be a creep? a pervert? an asshole? There’s an app, or gadget for that.

ANTI-SOCIAL MEDIA

  • UNIX guru Linus Torvalds: “I absolutely detest modern “social media”

    The whole “liking” and “sharing” model is just garbage. There is no effort and no quality control. In fact, it’s all geared to the reverse of quality control, with lowest common denominator targets, and click-bait, and things designed to generate an emotional response, often one of moral outrage.

  • Writing in USA Today, Glenn Reynolds says “It’s too easy to form a mob today.” Quoting John Hayward

    Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, mob action no longer requires any significant investment of time or physical energy. In essence, mobs have been subsidized, so we’re getting more of them.

GOING DARK

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Zones of Order and Chaos. Richard Fernandez lays out a model for the New World (Dis)Order.

    What if live-streaming required a government permit, and videos could only be broadcast online after a seven-second delay? What if Facebook, YouTube and Twitter were treated like
    traditional publishers, expected to vet every post, comment and image before they reached the public? Or like Boeing or Toyota, held responsible for the safety of their products and
    the harm they cause?

    Imagine what the Internet would look like if tech executives could be jailed for failing to censor hate and violence.

    Bledsoe The Conspirators
    https://remodernreview.wordpress.com/2019/03/31/paintings-the-conspirators/
  • My continuing review of Shoshanna Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance CapitalismZuboff’s focus is the explosive growth of the invasive exploitation of metadata by large corporations like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. She is much less concerned with the advent of surveillance states, who she treats mainly as enablers of Big Data. I think Big Biz and Big State are in competition (cahoots?) and both exploit both our metadata and the CyberMob to advance their agendas. The value of Zuboff’s analysis is that she builds frameworks that describe and predict the behavior of both Big State and Big Biz. For example, in collecting metadata, the Biggies follow the simple dictum “more is better.” Zuboff calls this the extraction imperative. How do they get “more?” Through economies of scope: “…behavioral surplus must be vast, but it also must be varied.”
    • Expand the scope of data collection. Google Maps and Streetview anyone? How about that FitBit?
    • Expand the depth of data collection. Amazon tracks your purchases. In the future, the store freezer case doors will track your gaze with facial recognition displays.

ZuboffBook