Since Christmas, the oh-so-woke fashion and lifestyle press has aggressively ignored first lady Melania Trump. Unlike her husband, she doesn’t bluster, tweet, or speechify; instead she speaks in the language of fashion. For French President Macron’s state visit, she wore this:
On these official occasions, the first lady sometimes appears to be dressing for a fashion-shoot version of the event — a kind of heightened reality of an already rather surreal circumstance. But there is also the sense that she is stubbornly and confidently dressing up and refusing to relax into today’s accepted decorum. The result is that she sometimes seems to have a tin ear for empathetic dressing. And sometimes, she wears a hat, which, for women, long ago ceased being about fashion in this country and became more of an affectation, whether it be the religiosity of Sunday church service or the self-conscious flamboyance of the Kentucky Derby.
A hat is a celebration of oneself. It is about presenting one’s most adorned, spit-shined, upright self to God, social media or, in this case, the history books.
“Empathetic dressing?” What kind of woke bullshit is that? “Today’s accepted decorum” is sweatpants or basketball jerseys at a wedding reception, t-shirts at a funeral, and airheads in phony ripped jeans; grown men don’t even own a suit to be buried in. Melania Trump reminds us that sometimes clothes do make the man; that we can be our very best selves.
The best part? “Taxpayers do not pay for the first lady’s wardrobe.”
This is Luhn’s legacy: He helped show that computers and computation weren’t just the province of mathematics, statistics, and logic but also of language, linguistics, and literature. In his day, this was a revolutionary way to think about machines.
Turns out there may be an upper limit to automating retail businesses. When confronted with self-serve checkouts, many folks turn into thieves:
“There is NO MORAL ISSUE with stealing from a store that forces you to use self checkout, period. THEY ARE CHARGING YOU TO WORK AT THEIR STORE.”
It’s so pervasive that it’s not even called shoplifting any more; it’s “external shrinkage.”
This is going to continue until retailers wise up to the idea that it’s cheaper to have a flesh-and-blood cashier ringing up–and collecting payment for–purchases, than it is to have the stuff just walk out the door.