Hey, it’s been 27 Weeks, over half a year and … it feels like it’s been twice that long. Week 27 was out of control. I told a few people that it used to be thing a day, but now it feels like 500. A few minutes later I joked about remembering what it was like when there was only one thing a week that was destroying our democracy. My, how things have changed and not for the better.
Week 26 and you thought things couldn’t get worse. This time Amy tells us all the things we missed while, you know, 45 was reenacting scenes form his former job as TV show host. And yet again I say, this week has been crazier than the last. What the hell?
The links! The first three are recent articles (I know, right?) and the last one is older, but still interesting and useful.
So sorry! I forgot to post yesterday and so much has already happened this week that week 25 feels oddly irrelevant already. Anyway, onto the links.
This week I have two ProPublica links:
And two from Tor:
Wasteland: The tough economic times on Tatooine hit everyone hard, including the Jawas.
(c) JD Hancock
Sorry this is late! Doctor’s appointments and leaking upstairs neighbor bathrooms always get in the way (not on the same day, though, and luckily no lasting damage to my bathroom).
Week 24 marked the first 100 days of 45’s regime. I’m currently rereading The Handmaid’s Tale and when I got to the section of the novel where Offred talks about how her world went from normal to an authoritarian regime, what struck me was how insidious it was. One day things seemed normal, and the next day too, but when you look back you see how dramatically things changed, but at the time you barely even noticed until something dramatic (in her case it was a bankcard not working and then losing her job) happens to you. I struggle, sometimes, to keep myself cynical enough to be aware that what’s happening in this country, in the United States, is not normal. In the novel Atwood talks about how humans adapt, how people normalize what’s going on around them because it’s how we survive and much of Offred’s story is about exactly that. And I worry that we, as a country and as individuals, are doing the same thing. That’s why I will continue to share Amy Siskind’s links/commentary as long as she posts them. We need these reminders.
Now, onto my links.
- Texas Voter ID Law Led to Fears and Failures in 2016 Election Efforts to implement the nation’s strictest voter ID requirements — a solution in search of a problem, according to one critic — foundered amid court defeats, confusion and at least one giant oversight. (ProPublica) Note: I donate to ProPublica every month. Also, if you only read one article from this list, read this one. It’s long, but worth every second you spend on it. Why? Because, among other things, it exposes why the voter fraud lies are so widespread and why the damage they do is so dangerous,
- How America’s Leading Science Fiction Authors Are Shaping Your Future The literary genre isn’t meant to predict the future, but implausible ideas that fire inventors’ imaginations often, amazingly, come true (Smithsonian Magazine) Note: My only complaint is that they didn’t interview any women SF authors.
- In Music, DRM Is Back While Ownership Is Going Away (Copyright and Technology)
- What Goes Through Your Mind: On Nice Parties and Casual Racism (The Toast)
Taken by me on a walk.
Here is Week 23. What I did this week was attend the March for Science in downtown Detroit with some friends. It was good, there were some decent speakers and we walked down Woodward. You can see some of the photos I took over on my Instagram.
As for the links? Everything old is new again as in I’m digging in the bottom of my pile of articles to read and have pulled four. Please enjoy them!
- Fewer Americans Are Visiting Local Libraries—and Technology Isn’t to Blame
Only one trend is closely associated with their use. (The Atlantic) Note: The reason may
not surprise you!
- A Lost Scottish Island, George Orwell, and the Future of Maps A 141 square-mile island vanished from Google Maps, and the company has yet to restore it. What do glitches mean for little-known places? (The Atlantic | CityLab) Note: If you look on google maps, Jura is back, but this article is still fun and interesting.
- Taxonomy: The spy who loved frogs To track the fate of threatened species, a young scientist must follow the jungle path of a herpetologist who led a secret double life. (Nature) Note: I recommend listening to the podcast (about 13 minutes) as well as reading the article. Also, I have mixed feelings about specimen collection and those feelings were not changed by this article.
- How Andrew Carnegie Turned His Fortune Into A Library Legacy (NPR) Note: Two library articles in one post! You’d think I was still a librarian.
Howell Carnegie District Library in Howell, MI. Photo (c) Paul Cooper
A few years ago a (now former) coworker and I went to Howell to hear an author speak and we walked to this library, although it was closed and we couldn’t go inside. Maybe next time.
Week 22 brings us every closer to World War 3 or the end of the world, or perhaps both (or neither, should we be lucky — are you feeling lucky?)
To make up for that, have an article about The Rock aka Dwayne Johnson and some really beautiful artwork of birds. And some other stuff, too.
- Toxic Shock: Why This Woman Is Suing a Tampon Company After Losing Her Leg (Vice)
- The Lock Pickers Victorian England made the strongest locks in the world—until an American showed up and promised he could pick them. (Slate)
If you skip these weekly posts I link to, you shouldn’t. I have been skimming them, but for week 21, I read it all the way through. I realized several things while reading it, the most important was how much I have already normalized, as Amy describes it, the Trump regime. While I try never to refer to him by his full title and I shudder when I hear others do it, sometimes I do forget or ignore how bad things are. Reading week 21 made me realize that, well, things are bad and they’re getting worse. Please remember that this is not the world we want and yet, here we are.
Anyway, your links this week:
- Redux: You’ve got mail, you idiot! This post originally ran on October 26, 2011, back when Donald Trump was relentlessly propagating an easily debunked conspiracy theory about President Obama. As we ponder the triumph of “alternative facts,” it’s worth considering what makes bullshit so appealing and why it’s so hard to debunk. (The Last Word On Nothing)
- Letter to My Younger Self by Pete Sampras (The Players Tribune) Note: For most of the time he was active, Pete was one of my favorite tennis players. The others are current player Gilles Simon and legend Bjorn Borg.
A lot happened in Week 19. One of the things was good, the rest … well, you know. And on this line of thinking, there is so much news that a few minutes, an hour, a whole night, away from your phone (or the news in general) feels like a vacation. My dad visited me last weekend and I didn’t spend a lot of time on my phone or looking at the news, but when I did, it was like getting crushed. BuzzFeed wrote a really great article about this, which you can read:
It doesn’t necessarily offer any solutions, but it does help to know that we’re all in this together. And now onto the links.
Last week was something else. Wednesday was A Day Without Women, our President released his health care “plan” and so many things happened. I missed a lot of it due to being out of town because Southeast Michigan, where I live, was hit with a huge windstorm and myself, along with around a million others, lost power. I have power again and it’s very nice. It was a sharp reminder how quickly our world can change. Stay safe, everyone. Stay warm (or cool, depending where you are).
Here is week 17.
Due to the above mentioned issues, I haven’t read many articles recently, so here are more old ones. Including one about one of my most favorite movies, Chungking Express. If you haven’t seen it, please do, it’s fantastic.
- In Dreams: 20 Years of ‘Chungking Express’ (mxdwn)
- William Gibson Sees the Future: But he’s not trying to predict it. (Slate) Note: Gibson is my favorite author and I loved The Peripheral, which is what this article is partially about.
- Did My Best Friend Really Know Me? For 27 years, the writer had a dutiful relationship with her most devoted friend. Only later did she question who needed who more. (Dame)
Tony Leung Chiu Wai in Chungking Express
Faye Wong in Chungking Express
Last week, huh? I’m ready to watch Hunt For Red October or some Sean Connery as James Bond movies. Anyway.
Each week things get worse and worse: Week 16
The links. Please enjoy the story of Keanu Reeves and then read Gail Simone’s Grand Unified Keanu Theory. And yes, I am a fan and have been for quite some time.
- The Myth of Police Reform: The real problem is the belief that all our social problems can be solved with force. (The Atlantic)
- Scorched Earth, 2200AD: Climate change has done its worst, and now just 500 million humans remain on lifeboats in the north. How do they survive? (Aeon)