Sunday Morning Reading Material Second Sunday in November 2011- Rim of the Sky edition

It’s Sunday Morning. Sundays are for prying yourself out of a snuggly bed to go to work. Sundays are for Sunday mornings are for reading finely worded prose- or dying of hate rays. Sunday mornings might be for Saturday hangovers. Sunday mornings might be for body pump and pancakes with your favorite girls. Or Sundays might be for early birthday celebrations.

Maybe, just maybe, Sundays might be for bad ass ta-tas.

This week, Republican Presidential candidate Rick Perry killed his aspirations by failing to remember the names of 3 Federal agencies he wanted to gut. This week, Italian strongman Silvio Berlusconi resigned- it seems that after only a decade of misrule, Europe can no longer tolerate his bad economic policies. The Greek Government also saw a major turnover this week– it’s new Prime Minister might be the first ever to have been installed by the EU leadership.

The holiday that we celebrate annually on 11 November is known around the world as “Armistice day”. The First World War was so intrinsically awful that most countries in Europe and North America decided to set aside one day a year to explain that war is bad, and we shouldn’t do it ever again. I recommend opening this link in a new tab and listening to the songs as a playlist.

America is one of the most productive agricultural nations on Earth. We’re so good at growing food that our farmers have always had a very hard time avoiding debt peonage. The fact that Americans can go hungry is a shocking failure on the part of the American political system. Reading the methodology of the polling, I realized that I was a hunger statistic at the beginning of 2011. I wonder if anyone I know still is?

I’ve said it. Plato has said it. Every teenager in the world proves the truth of it. Humanity is a social species.

Speaking of speaking, I love maps. Wait. That’s a non sequitur. Let me back up. There’s an old saying that “a language is a dialect with an army and a navy”. One of the more interesting results I’m seeing is the _lack_ of Catalan. Granted, that might well be a limitation of the software.

A couple of weeks ago, the Oakland PD sent out a passive-aggressive open letter to the Oakland mayor asking her to “clarify” of their mission. It’s more than a bit shocking that the OPD doesn’t understand that their mission is to protect and serve the population of Oakland. Indeed, it seems that the Oakland Police Department has trouble understand that they are public servants. I’m not sure they realize that the Oakland protests are in large part sparked about this very lack of self-awareness on their part.

I do try and make this blog a font of useful knowledge. Not all of it has to be weighty, but I do like it to have a point. And, as we all know, this blog would be nothing if it were sans comic.

Sunday Morning comics.

In the United States of America, trials must come before verdicts. Even if “everyone knows” someone is guilty, a prosecutor cannot simply hand wave at a bunch of evidence and hand down a sentence. We have a procedure, and that procedure must be followed. When that procedure is not followed, power is abused and the innocent are inevitably harmed. Protip: if a prosecutor fears procedure, they probably have a terrible case.

Rouges with Rakes.

“Hard work” might be one of the major dividing lines in America. We liberals tend to valorize the backbreaking labor of cleaning crews, line cooks, and retail workers. Conservatives think of “hard work” as that done by people who stay up for days and shuffle digital dollars. I won’t deny that America’s loan sharks exercise their trade with great skill, but I do deny that they provide socially useful output.

This post is so gay.

We straight guys really are hemmed in. Even after I’ve demonstrated a sense of style, it is still assumed that I can’t actually be interested (or good at!) clothes shopping. Why? Because I’m not interested in men.

Ta-Nehisi Coates final column.

America seems to go through cycles of drugs. In the 1980s, we had crack. The 1990s saw a rise in meth use. We went after cocaine a lot harder than we went after methamphetamines. I can’t help but recall that crack cocaine tends to be a drug associated mainly with the African American population.

I’m not sure why anyone would be shocked by this. Assuming that it’s legal- or if they can earn more than the fines would be if it’s not- Zynga has an obligation to act in this ruthless manner. Labor is not valued. It’s called “Capitalism”. That’s not a descriptor, that’s a warning label.

For decades, space-interested people have understood that the biggest impediment to space exploration wasn’t technological, but social. Small groups of people cooped up in close quarters for months on end will tend to drive one another batty. It looks like video games have come to the rescue. I’m not sure if they simply let players blow off steam in a non-destructive way, or if it was the unbinding of the player from their immediate environment. But video games did seem to keep this crew sane. That’s a small step for [hu]mankind.

There is no question that piracy is a huge moral problem. When people simply take work of others without permission or recompense, it’s a sign of major disrespect. It would seem, however, that it’s not actually damaging in a business sense. Treating it as though it is damaging a company’s bottom line seems, ironically, to be doing far more damage.

One of the defter moves in business history has been VALVe’s Steam project. They’ve found a form of DRM that consumers are so attracted to that they will pay for it. Considering how many company’s DRM is so off putting that users will not buy a product at all, this should cause a major re-think in the games industry. And the music industry. And the book industry…

Arbitrage, the other white meat.

If you click just one link:

The nature of identity in constructed worlds. This is the sort of writing that everyone should strive to be able to accomplish.

This week’s theme was comedy and farce. Also: I’m between books. What ought I be reading?


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