Sunday Morning Reading Material Third Sunday in May 2012- Narcissistic Personality Disorder Edition

It’s Sunday Morning. Sundays are for trying to remember where you drunkenly put your commodore’s greatcoat. Sundays are for playing Rugby. Sundays are for sleeping. Sundays are for treasuring custom Dork Tower artwork. Maybe, if you’re very lucky, Sundays might be for celebrating a relationship milestone with the woman you love.

This week a war crimes trial for a Bosnian general began- his crimes occurred in the 20th century, but- as President Bush should fear- there’s no statute of limitations on these things. Also this week: 3 days after I write this- but the day before this post goes live- a private space craft will have left the Earth and docked with humanity’s future. Also also: Both the As and the Giants slipped to under .500. Oh well.

As a person who is well aware of how much undue difficulty has been heaped upon my life, it is difficult to admit that being male, straight, cis, and white made my life easier. Instead, I can recognize that American society is basically designed to make sure that people like myself have as much help as they need to succeed. Had I born with identical problems, but without my corresponding straight white cis maleness I would have had a significantly more difficult life. I may well not have survived this long.

It would be wonderful to think that the hideousness that happened to African Americans was an aberration. We humans, frustratingly, have gotten very good at doing bad things to one another. I’m not sure there’s an easy way to solve the problem.

Actually, there really is one way to ensure that humanity doesn’t repeat its mistakes: empathy. We humans must come to understand that the differences in the circumstances of our birth are morally arbitrary. Once we understand that we could just have easily have been born the Other, the idea of Otherness falls away. We are our siblings keepers because we are are own siblings.

Have you noticed that the last few week’s posts have been light? I’m still reading Rise and Fall of the 3rd Reich. Every spare moment of my day is spent reading that fascinating, awesome book. And I’m only 60% done. One of the more interesting passages was Hitler explaining that he didn’t fear America– we had racial problems and incredibly wealth inequality. These were real problems, and Truman vowed to fix them. That’s what made the Greatest Generation so damned great- they beat fascism abroad and worked hard to root out it’s smallest manifestations at home. And their kids brought it all roaring back…

World War 2 was the last time America declared war. so, you know, back then wars had to end.

So: The American people own a bunch of stuff that’s intrinsic to the territory we claim. Things like mineral rights, air, spectrum, and water. One of the functions of Government is to divvy that stuff up in a way that is most beneficial to the American people. So when Cox Cable realizes they don’t have the ability to create a cell phone company, what right do they have to sell of America’s bandwidth? It’s not theirs- it’s ours.

Best video game feature ever?

If you click just one link:

If you read the quote below, and aren’t moved to read more, you have no soul.

Code is like a poem; it has to follow certain structural requirements, and yet out of that structure can come art. But code is art that does something. It is the assembly of something brand new from nothing but an idea.

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2 Responses to “Sunday Morning Reading Material Third Sunday in May 2012- Narcissistic Personality Disorder Edition”

  1. I had to stop reading the article about Yahoo’s acquisition of Flickr about halfway through… too sad.

    I started using Flickr in 2009, and I still haven’t quite given up on it. You can just SEE the potential — the space for an essay to go with your photo. The comment interaction. Even the prizes and rankings — the chance to measure you best work against other photographers. The everyday opportunity to be blown away by the work other photographers are doing. Some days, even now I look at it and say — but, but, look! It can do social! It has the potential to be used as a blog!

    The article names Facebook and Instagram as Flickr’s successors, but their “all things to all people” approach is too broad to be a viable replacement for what used to be a special little corner of the internet just for photographers.

    It’s not like the takeaway is news to anyone, but… goddammit, Yahoo, you SUCK.

  2. your comments re “birth rights” made me proud.

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