Saturday, February 16, 2019

Active shooter - travels in gun country

David Sedaris, bringing his dark humor with serious overtones, to his experience going to a shooting range with his sister.

Sedaris, as usual, is remarkable and writes in an amazingly captivating style.

No more secrets - the streamers who broadcast their lives online

Mostly a profile on the live streamers "Ice Poseidon". Strange and, in many ways, sad to me. 

A quote that captures some of the essence:
"The biggest problem was the swattings. People would call 911 with false reports of hostage situations or bomb threats, in order to get a swat team sent to Denino’s apartment. Swatting has its origins in the subculture of Internet trolls, where it is a favorite tactic for harassing and bullying people. Swatting has exploded in popularity in recent years, owing in part to the rise of live streaming. Previously, the hoaxer would have to imagine his target’s distress when a team of heavily armed police officers broke down his door. But, if the target is broadcasting himself live, the hoaxer can see his handiwork play out in real time. On YouTube, you can watch compilations of famous streamers being swatted. "

The Bullshit-Job Boom

The Bullshit-Job Boom
For more and more people, work appears to serve no purpose. Is there any good left in the grind?

Pretty interesting, not quite sure it was worthy of a post, but I found interesting. I don't buy into the full premise, but do absolutely agree that we have a problem with being so focused on job creation, with almost no care about what  the jobs are.

Classic example is the gas stations here in Oregon, where the law requires them to be full service (you can't pump your own gas, by law). Because we need jobs! And why don't we force companies to hire people that walk in circles, since that would also be a boon for job creation! We need to think about what increases the overall well-being of society, and focus on job-creation (or elimination in some cases) that improves our society...

Stop Pretending You’re Not Rich

Stop Pretending You’re Not Rich
Richard V. Reeves

A couple years old now, but solid article. I liked the comparisons with England, and think there are lessons there.

I'll just quote a couple good paragraphs:
"The rhetoric of “We are the 99 percent” has in fact been dangerously self-serving, allowing people with healthy six-figure incomes to convince themselves that they are somehow in the same economic boat as ordinary Americans, and that it is just the so-called super rich who are to blame for inequality."

And the idea of legacy:
"The United States is the only nation in the world, for example, where it is easier to get into college if one of your parents happened to go there. Oxford and Cambridge ditched legacy preferences in the middle of the last century. The existence of such an unfair hereditary practice in 21st-century America is startling in itself. But I have been more shocked by the way that even supposedly liberal members of the upper middle class seem to have no qualms about benefiting from it."

I don't recall it discussing how easy it is for rich folks to look at the super-rich and feel like they are the real problem, and how, as I've read in another article, even the rich feel their status is threatened due to growing inequality, but still plenty of food for thought.