"Don't, for even one moment, fall for the song and dance about cat-lovers being animal-lovers, they are anything but that. They don't give one damn about any other animals nor even other humans. Cat-lovers are just like cats, the only thing they care about are themselves. Nobody else and nothing else matters to them."
So begins a very long and very persuasive blog comment on this site about the evils of cats—an argument that this unknown person makes over and over again on various websites, word for word. What drives a person to begin a holy war against cats? I mean, he's not wrong, in part! [...]
"When Frank Sutton bit into his sandwich, scalding grease 'flew all over his mouth,' a fellow diner recalled. Mr. Sutton's wife took ice from her drink and applied it to his face, but his lips blistered. When he told one of the employees, he testified that she said 'this is what happens' to the sandwiches 'when they aren't drained completely.'" -Apparently, the obesity epidemic is not working fast enough for the folks at McDonald's, who are always coming up with new and better ways to hurt people with fried chicken. Makes those Olympics commercials suggesting the world's top athletes maintain their supreme physical fitness by eating french [...]
The long knives have been out for TED Talks for some time. Benjamin Bratton called them "middlebrow megachurch infotainment." Evegny Morozov called the TED publishing arm the "insatiable kingpin of international meme laundering." The gist of these arguments is that TED Talks are vapid, culty mass-selfies that fetishize technology for every solution. It is "placebo science" meant to make its audience feel good about learning and themselves, where ideas can hang out and do whatever, man—just turn the safety off on your brain-gun.
If not read in the voice of a perpetual techno-cynic, these might not be such terrible things. Is middlebrow entertainment bad? If cynics want [...]
America is the world's fourth-largest producer of wheat; wheat is the third-largest non-meat American farm product, almost a $9-billion industry. Half of U.S. wheat goes overseas. Now we get to find out if Monsanto destroyed the entire American wheat export industry, now that its abandoned genetically modified pesticide-resistant wheat has been found growing in Oregon. Japan has already banned U.S. imports. Wheat prices are on their way down. There will be lawsuits! And very big settlements. And then everyone will stop worrying for a while.
"I don't think that any iteration of modernism was ever intended to convey coldness, though it's certainly been codified that way in various pop cultural vehicles, Hollywood movies among them. I suppose it's funny, in the end, that even these happy, vibey California homes can somehow be retrofitted to house vice. And that the filmmakers would deem them appropriate containers for villainy in the first place is something I can't help but smile at." —Benjamin Critton discusses his "tabloid treatise," Evil People in Modern Homes in Popular Films, now on sale at Printed Matter. (via, via)
"Goldman Sachs staff can look forward to the biggest bonus payouts in the firm's 140-year history after a spectacular first half of the year." Got it.
"The information economy that we are currently building doesn't really embrace capitalism, but rather a new form of feudalism," writes Jaron Lanier, in Who Owns the Future? That book is published today, and you can order it from all the usual places. (Indiebound; Amazon; McNally Jackson; Barnes & Noble; Powell's. See what I did there?)
Jaron Lanier is the author of You Are Not a Gadget, and is a "scholar-at-large" at Microsoft Research. LOL he's also working on an alternative to the space elevator.
But right now, he's looking at how things have come to work on the web. "The primary business of [...]
Will-I-Am's been quiet lately, hasn't he? Since making that song from that movie that nobody went to see at the start of the summer, he's been oddly removed from the public eye. You think, maybe he's working on a new Black Eyed Peas album or something? Or a 3D concert film with James Cameron? Well, it turns out he's been in Europe. You know what else is in Europe? Amsterdam. What else is happening in Amsterdam? Oh, right, the 150-year-old chestnut tree that was a rare source of comfort and joy for Anne Frank for the two years she spent hiding in an attic [...]