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Sunday Morning Reading Material: Second Sunday in December


Grab some coffee!

It’s Sunday. Sunday are for lounging in bed until you realize you’ve got to write a Sunday Morning post for all your readers. And judging by my Gchat list, Sundays are for sleeping. Or possibly supersaturating pig products in a delicious omelette.

This week the US government picked a fight with the internet. It appears to be losing. Fortunately, the government is using proxies (Amazon, Paypal, Twitter, etc), and the internet is fighting those proxies. Also: it looks like Stockholm was bombed. Too bad the internet won’t fight against terrorists, also. And an entire US prison went on strike. The prisoners won’t do anything for 24hrs. That this docility seems to annoy the guards says a lot about the mentality of US prison-guards.

Ta-Nehisi Coates was on fire this week. This isn’t a surprise: He’s on fire most weeks. In 2 small pictures, he manages to show the human cost of slavery.

The reason I like Coates’ writing is that he is enormously sympathetic to the human condition. It is fun- cheap- entertainment to spit hot fire at one’s enemies. But to look someone in the eye and say “I know why you did that, and I think I might have done the same thing”– that’s harder. It’s also more necessary. Think very hard about your life. Now think very hard about the life of someone living in Germany in 1925. What is the difference between you? Probably not much. The biggest difference, for me, is knowledge of what the NAZIs and the Fascists did. Knowing that at all times and all places humanity is always German- and it’s always 1925- should at the very least scare us into being better people. In this powerful post, Coates finds sympathy for the wonder of newly-freed slaves. It’s the opposite of what I was saying above. But it’s also identical.

I am incapable of producing anything that a discerning person would think resembles music. Possibly because of this, I am fascinated by the role music plays in conjunction with other art forms. For instance: video games. The right musical cue can transform a gaming experience. It can heighten terror, or give a sense of grandeur to what might be a weird series of mouse clicks. A track from the Civilization 4 soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy. There’s a reasonable chance this song will be the footer of today’s post. since I didn’t post that as the footer, here’s a link to it

Once upon a time, telephones were new. So new that it was considered rude to use them to invite people to dinner. I have to imagine that taboo existed mainly among the bourgeoisie. But then: they would have been the only ones who could afford a phone. So who knows. Anyway, go read.

I recently watched Season 1 of “The Walking Dead”. It was… interesting. And if you ask nicely, I just might remember to write a post about it. Zombie stories give us a nice window into the philosophically hypothesized “State of Nature”, but with characters we can actually recognize as our friends and neighbors. Alternately, I can just use a generic Zombie Article Template to really get the job done quickly.

We are at war with Mexicans and terrorists. We have always been at war with Mexicans and Terrorists.

Markets rely on 2 things: perfect information exchange, and competition. In advertising, there are a lot of firms competing for every dollar. If someone has a new or good idea, it’s easy to start up a new kind of company. Hell, a quick perusal of Twitter or Facebook will show thousands of “social media experts” (marketing people) who seem convinced they know how to turn those platforms into dollars. By definition they couldn’t have existed 5 years ago. Which is why I’m fascinated that advertising rates plummeted as soon as they had reliable metrics

Who uses Twitter? Women, people of color, Urbanites.

I’m an Urbanite. I live in San Francisco (home of Twitter, yo!), and walk all the time. I grew up in the suburbs, though. Every now and then I try to walk around my childhood neighborhood like I would my own. It’s really difficult. Here’s an explanation- in graph form- of why that is.

This is a long, fascinating interview with Assange. I get the impression that Wikileaks is a much bigger deal to corporations than it is to governments. It seems like an intramural fight between giant corporations doing bad things than a gun pointed at the heads of governments.

The most terrifying of all the wikileaks documents.

The US State Department is using the full pressure of the US government against Assange. Naturually they’re going to host a Free Speech event. The first Amendment is only for people who don’t embarrass the US government, right?

The biggest problem with the Government’s response to Wikileaks Is that it is being extra-legal. Near as I can tell, Assange has broken no law in the US. At least, not as relates to Wikileaks.

My friend Funranium can’t look at any wikileaks coverage. Something to do with his security clearance. Did you know that Funranium once defused a nuclear weapon? True story.

Oh hell. Have some more zombies

Team Fortress 2 fans will find this just too cool for words.

Girl Talk’s latest Album is a pleasure too sublime to be guilty. I cringe when I think about how much I want to listen to the album again. Here’s that album in charts.

Where should I locate my wretched hive of Scum and Villainy ? Space, of course!

It’s a simple market dynamic: if there is a scarce resource, we expect either more of it to be made, or the prices to rise (or both). If more of it cannot be made, and prices remain the same, then the owners of the goods are leaving a lot of money on the table. parking places are a scarce resource of which no more can be made. When cities refuse to raise prices, taxes must go up in other areas. Let’s be clear: under priced parking represents a transfer payment from people who do not drive to people who drive. Class warfare?

It’s possible that people who read Business Insider will be shocked by the growth of income inequality evidenced by these 15 charts. But people who read Sunday morning posts won’t be.

Why has income inequality grown so bad? Here’s a description about what England has gone through over the past generation or so. Same thing happened in America. Class Warfare.

Where the tax cuts are going.

There is no Social Security crisis. None. Well, that’s not entirely true. If America starts defaulting on her debts, then there will be a social security crisis. That would also mark the end of America as a sovereign nation, so what happens to the Social Security fund would be secondary. Turns out, though, that the people screaming about the need to slash social security to fund tax cuts for the rich? Rich people. Class Warfare?

Yes, Virgina, etc. Santa Claus and the multiverse.

Today’s theme seems to be zombies and class warfare. This almost begs me to play “eat the Rich” as the footer video. Instead we get a demonstration of your tax dollars at work:

Last Sunday I had to ask a friend to take a look at my butt and tell me if it really was a hernia (it was). So… what’s the most embarrassing conversation you’ve ever had? Leave a comment!

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