Omnium Gatherum: 30may2021

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for May 30, 2021

Here’s a variety of notable things I’ve recently found that you may also be interested in checking out:

  • Upcoming release from one of my favourite artists: Amy Denio’s Pandemonium, due to release in June. Via email: “This is my 18th solo recording. Enjoy. This album contains material I created during my quarantine in Seattle between April 2020 – May 2021. Some pieces are remixes from my Corona Sonora digital album, others come from a commission by Wayward Music Series. Many thanks to all who helped bring this audio adventure to life.”
  • June 4 -LIVE Watch Party for W.B. Yeats Poems: Words & Music.”—”This June, Irish Classical Theatre Company will present an intimate concert on screen of traditional Irish music and enchanting poems from the William Butler Yeats catalog, filmed on ICTC’s stage, entitled “In Performance and Conversation-W.B. Yeats Poems: Words & Music.” This spoken word and music performance captures artful recitations from ICTC Co-Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus, Vincent O’Neill, intertwined with Irish music and song performed by Mary Ramsey, the lead Singer & Songwriter of the internationally renowned music group 10,000 Maniacs, and features contextual introductions by Yeats Scholar and Author, Joseph M. Hassett. This fundraiser performance will mark the official release of O’Neill, Ramsey, and Hassett’s Spoken Word Album: “W.B. Yeats Poems: Words and Music.” To celebrate this momentous occasion, ICTC will host a live and interactive, virtual “Watch Party” on June 4th. This premiere event will be hosted by ICTC Executive Artistic Director, Kate LoConti Alcocer, and will include commentary from the Artists, and a Q&A session, in addition to a viewing of the filmed performance. Patrons will have access to three ticket options: the live one-night-only fundraiser Watch Party, the filmed poetry concert, or the recording of the fundraiser Watch Party. The second two options can be streamed on-demand from June 4-27 to benefit the Irish Classical Theatre Company. Closed Captioned viewing options will also be available. Tickets start at $45 and go on sale Friday, May 14.” Also. Watch “ICTC’s W.B. Yeats Poems: Words and Music” Trailer. Buy tickets.
  • Crowdfunding with 9 days to go: “Abyss of Hallucinations Vol. 1 – A MÖRK BORG setting. MÖRK BORG compatible screenprinted zine inspired by Aleister Crowley’s Book of Lies.”—”For decades, I have been pulling inspiration from Aleister Crowley’s Book of Lies in my games. Since playing Mork Borg, I found it was perfectly ripe for the Beast’s profane world and imagery in which death is embraced and thought itself is untrue. Volume 1 of the Abyss of Hallucinations is a Mork Borg compatible setting intended to expand over multiple volumes. Bringing Frater Perdurabo’s nihilistic death-obsessed whimsy to taint your players’ imaginations. Enter the psychedelic void in which love is the law and death is born anew. Prepare to be broken. You’re IT.” An add-on of Book of Lies in the same style as the game book is available too.
  • “We were standing in our house with our titties out and our ritual props”: Twin Temple on their new single Babalon. Satanic doo-wop duo Twin Temple give us the lowdown on their new single Babalon, that’s out today.”—”With their new “unholy hymnal” Babalon, LA-based husband and wife duo Twin Temple (aka Alexandra and Zachary James) have served up another spellbinding helping of Satanic doo-wop, that’s an ode to the Goddess Babalon. From rituals to Cardi B, they give us the lowdown on the new track and what’s been going on in their world.” Buy “Babalon” [Amazon, Twin Temple] or listen to the whole track on YouTube.
  • Jesus is Bi and Non-Binary, confirmed. Watch “An interpretation from an innocent mind…“—”So … any other fun facts about Jesus?”
  • DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH #9: Making Magic.”—”The story operates on two levels. One in the physical reality we follow Cole and Department of Truth hatchet man Hawk through a series of actions that ultimately lead to an explosive ending and a second journey as Hawk educates Cole on how the department does things, the real history of the world, and the true nature of “Magic” Tynion IV once again brilliantly incorporates real world historical elements including everything from Eastern mysticism to the Freemasons, Aleister Crowley and the Third Reich to UFO’s in the writing while still tieing the characters actions to the present and the Denver Airport incident from the previous issue. This comic is exceptional at digging itself into the psyche and making you think about the nature of the things we hold true while still weaving a believable fictional narrative that perfectly blends the factual with the fictional that run parallel to each other often touching at certain points as Tynion really makes you feel like this could be in the real world even while you know it’s not. We learn a bit more about the possible nature of the woman in red and Cole learns something he didn’t know about his partner which is right there on the cover in case you missed it…”
  • A Memorial for Scotland’s Witch Trials.”—”Two such people who are doing their best to remember the victims of the Scottish witch trials in particular are Claire Mitchell QC and Zoe Venditozzi, hosts of the podcast Witches of Scotland, and the driving force behind a campaign to get the Scottish parliament to pardon and posthumously apologise to those convicted of witchcraft.”
  • Saddleback ordains 3 women, leading to another Mother’s Day dust-up over women pastors. The two largest churches in the Southern Baptist Convention featured women preachers on Mother’s Day, despite the convention’s ban on women pastors.”
  • God is Not a Math Problem: Feasting on the Holy Trinity.“—”But in recent centuries, this vision of God’s Three-in-One-ness has fallen onto hard times. The Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant famously quipped, all the way back in the 18th century, that “Absolutely nothing worthwhile for the practical life can be made out of the doctrine of the Trinity, taken literally.” Taken ‘literally,’ Kant is quite right: ‘God’ is terribly impractical in general, the Trinity moreso. But Kant and his fellow Enlightenment-era thinkers conjured this idea of literality out of the zeitgeist of an increasingly industrialized world.” From Mike Morrell, co-author of The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Richard Rohr, with Mike Morrell—”What if changing our perception of God has the potential to change everything? God is not what you think. Visions of an angry, distant, moral scorekeeper or a supernatural Santa Claus handing out cosmic lottery tickets to those who attend the right church or say the right prayer dominate our culture. For many others, God has become irrelevant or simply unbelievable. In The Divine Dance, Fr. Richard Rohr (with Mike Morrell) points readers to an unlikely opening beyond this divinity impasse: the at-times forgotten, ancient mystery of the Trinity—God as utterly one, yet three. Drawing from Scripture, theology, and the deepest insights of mystics, philosophers, and sages throughout history, Fr. Rohr presents a compelling alternative to aloof and fairytale versions of God: One God, belovedly in communion, as All-Vulnerable, All-Embracing, and All-Given to you and me. The Divine Dance makes accessible and practicable the Christian tradition’s most surprising gift… God as Community…as Friendship…as Dance. Are you ready to join in?” Also, coincidentally, tweet.
  • Book Review: “The Fascination of What’s Difficult: A Life of Maud Gonne” — Ireland’s Unlikable Joan of Arc.” About The Fascination of What’s Difficult: A Life of Maud Gonne [Amazon, Publisher] by Kim Bendheim—”Maud Gonne, the legendary woman known as the Irish Joan of Arc, left her mark on everyone she met. She famously won the devotion of one of the greatest poets of the age, William Butler Yeats. Born into tremendous privilege, she allied herself with rebels and the downtrodden and openly defied what was at the time the world’s most powerful empire. She was an actress, a journalist and an activist for the cause of Irish independence. Ignoring the threat of social ostracism, she had several children out of wedlock. She was an independent woman who charted her own course. Yet Maud Gonne was also a lifelong anti-semite, someone who, even after the horrors of the Second World War, could not summon sympathy for the millions murdered by the Nazis. A believer in the occult and in reincarnation, she took mescaline with Yeats to enhance visions of mythic Irish heroes and heroines, and in mid-life converted to Catholicism in order to marry her husband, the Irish Catholic war hero John MacBride. What motivated this extraordinary person? Kim Bendheim has long been fascinated by Maud Gonne’s perplexing character, and here gives us an intensely personal assessment of her thrilling life. The product of much original research, including interviews with Gonne’s equally vivid, unconventional descendants, The Fascination of What’s Difficult is a portrait of a powerful woman who, despite her considerable flaws, continues to inspire.”
  • Why the tailored suit — not ruffles and lace — became synonymous with power.” More about Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Richard Thompson Ford—”A revelatory exploration of fashion through the ages that asks what our clothing reveals about ourselves and our society.”
  • Group think: why art loves a crowd. From flâneurs to rallies, protests to parties, human beings are drawn to congregate. With social gatherings a possibility once again, Olivia Laing considers the crowd in art and literature.” By Olivia Laing, author of Everybody: A Book About Freedom [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]—”The body is a source of pleasure and of pain, at once hopelessly vulnerable and radiant with power. In her ambitious, brilliant sixth book, Olivia Laing charts an electrifying course through the long struggle for bodily freedom, using the life of the renegade psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich to explore gay rights and sexual liberation, feminism, and the civil rights movement. Drawing on her own experiences in protest and alternative medicine, and traveling from Weimar Berlin to the prisons of McCarthy-era America, Laing grapples with some of the most significant and complicated figures of the past century—among them Nina Simone, Christopher Isherwood, Andrea Dworkin, Sigmund Freud, Susan Sontag, and Malcolm X. Despite its many burdens, the body remains a source of power, even in an era as technologized and automated as our own. Arriving at a moment in which basic bodily rights are once again imperiled, Everybody is an investigation into the forces arranged against freedom and a celebration of how ordinary human bodies can resist oppression and reshape the world.”
  • How Michel Foucault Lost the Left and Won the Right.”—”One of the strange things about the last year in Western political debate is how rarely the name of the departed philosopher Michel Foucault came up — and not for want of opportunity. One of Foucault’s key concepts, ‘biopolitics,’ an account of the way that modern state power involves itself in the biological life of its citizens, was amply illustrated by the various governmental responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.” In part about Confessions of the Flesh: The History of Sexuality, Volume 4 by Michel Foucault, ed. Frederic Gros, trans. Robert Hurley—”The fourth and final volume in Michel Foucault’s acclaimed History of Sexuality, completed just before his death in 1984 and finally available to the public. One of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century, Michel Foucault made an indelible impact on Western thought. The first three volumes in his History of Sexuality—which trace cultural and intellectual notions of sexuality, arguing that it has been profoundly shaped by the power structures applied to it—constitute some of Foucault’s most important work. This fourth volume posits that the origins of totalitarian self-surveillance began with the Christian practice of confession. The manuscript had long been secreted away, in accordance with Foucault’s stated wish that there be no posthumous publication of his unpublished work. With the sale of the Foucault archives in 2013, Foucault’s nephew felt that the time had come to publish this final volume in Foucault’s seminal history. Philosophically, it is a chapter in his hermeneutics of the desiring subject. Historically, it focuses on the remodeling of subjectivity carried out by the early Christian Fathers, who set out to transform the classical Logos of truthful human discourse into a theologos—the divine Word of a pure sovereign. What did God will in the matter of righteous sexual practice? Foucault parses out the logic of the various responses proffered by theologians over the centuries, culminating with Saint Augustine’s fascinating discussion of the libido. Sweeping and deeply personal, Confessions of the Flesh is a tour de force from a philosophical master”
  • Mind over matter: the contradictions of George Berkeley. He did not believe in the existence of the material world. But the 17th-century philosopher’s arguments are less radical than they seem.” About George Berkeley: A Philosophical Life [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Tom Jones—”A comprehensive intellectual biography of the Enlightenment philosopher. In George Berkeley: A Philosophical Life, Tom Jones provides a comprehensive account of the life and work of the preeminent Irish philosopher of the Enlightenment. From his early brilliance as a student and fellow at Trinity College Dublin to his later years as Bishop of Cloyne, Berkeley brought his searching and powerful intellect to bear on the full range of eighteenth-century thought and experience. Jones brings vividly to life the complexities and contradictions of Berkeley’s life and ideas. He advanced a radical immaterialism, holding that the only reality was minds, their thoughts, and their perceptions, without any physical substance underlying them. But he put forward this counterintuitive philosophy in support of the existence and ultimate sovereignty of God. Berkeley was an energetic social reformer, deeply interested in educational and economic improvement, including for the indigenous peoples of North America, yet he believed strongly in obedience to hierarchy and defended slavery. And although he spent much of his life in Ireland, he followed his time at Trinity with years of travel that took him to London, Italy, and New England, where he spent two years trying to establish a university for Bermuda, before returning to Ireland to take up an Anglican bishopric in a predominantly Catholic country. Jones draws on the full range of Berkeley’s writings, from philosophical treatises to personal letters and journals, to probe the deep connections between his life and work. The result is a richly detailed and rounded portrait of a major Enlightenment thinker and the world in which he lived.”
  • New York’s Hyphenated History.” About Hyphen [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Pardis Mahdavi, part of the Object Lessons series—”To hyphenate or not to hyphenate has been a central point of controversy since before the imprinting of the first Gutenberg Bible. And yet, the hyphen has persisted, bringing and bridging new words and concepts. Hyphen follows the story of the hyphen from antiquity-‘Hyphen’ is derived from an ancient Greek word meaning ‘to tie together’-to the present, but also uncovers the politics of the hyphen and the role it plays in creating identities. The journey of this humble piece of connective punctuation reveals the quiet power of an orthographic concept to speak to the travails of hyphenated individuals all over the world. Hyphen is ultimately a compelling story about the powerful ways that language and identity intertwine. Mahdavi-herself a hyphenated Iranian-American-weaves in her own experiences struggling to find a sense of self amidst feelings of betwixt and between. Through stories of the author and three other individuals, Hyphen collectively considers how to navigate, articulate, and empower new identities.”
  • We share the same birthday anniversary day. “What’s Wrong With Bob Dylan’s Biographers? The fiercely competitive field of Dylanology pits expert against expert. No one is spared—not even Dylan himself.” About The Double Life of Bob Dylan: A Restless, Hungry Feeling, 1941-1966 [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Clinton Heylin—”The definitive biography of one contemporary culture’s most iconic and mysterious figures. In 2016 Bob Dylan sold his personal archive to the George Kaiser Foundation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, reportedly for $22 million. As the boxes started to arrive, the Foundation asked Clinton Heylin – author of the acclaimed Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades and ‘perhaps the world’s authority on all things Dylan’ (Rolling Stone) – to assess the material they had been given. What he found in Tulsa – as well as what he gleaned from other papers he had recently been given access to by Sony and the Dylan office – so changed his understanding of the artist, especially of his creative process, that he became convinced that a whole new biography was needed. It turns out that much of what previous biographers – Dylan himself included – have said is wrong. With fresh and revealing information on every page A Restless, Hungry Feeling tells the story of Dylan’s meteoric rise to fame: his arrival in early 1961 in New York, where he is embraced by the folk scene; his elevation to spokesman of a generation whose protest songs provide the soundtrack for the burgeoning Civil Rights movement; his alleged betrayal when he ‘goes electric’ at Newport in 1965; his subsequent controversial world tour with a rock ’n’ roll band; and the recording of his three undisputed electric masterpieces: Bringing it All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde. At the peak of his fame in July 1966 he reportedly crashes his motorbike in Woodstock, upstate New York, and disappears from public view. When he re-emerges, he looks different, his voice sounds different, his songs are different. Clinton Heylin’s meticulously researched, all-encompassing and consistently revelatory account of these fascinating early years is the closest we will ever get to a definitive life of an artist who has been the lodestar of popular culture for six decades.”
  • Architecture: From Prehistory to Climate Emergency review – how energy shaped the way we built the world. Barnabas Calder’s engaging study of construction and its environmental impact is at its best when it doesn’t dwell on ancient masterpieces.” About Architecture: From Prehistory to Climate Emergency [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Barnabas Calder, due June in the UK—”A groundbreaking history of architecture told through the relationship between buildings and energy. The story of architecture is the story of humanity. The buildings we live in, from the humblest pre-historic huts to today’s skyscrapers, reveal our priorities and ambitions, our family structures and power structures. And to an extent never explored until now, architecture has been shaped in every era by our access to energy, from fire to farming to fossil fuels. In this ground-breaking history of world architecture, Barnabas Calder takes us on a dazzling tour of some of the most astonishing buildings of the past fifteen thousand years, from Uruk, via Ancient Rome and Victorian Liverpool, to China’s booming megacities. He reveals how every building – from the Parthenon to the Great Mosque of Damascus to a typical Georgian house – was influenced by the energy available to its architects, and why this matters. Today architecture consumes so much energy that 40% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the construction and running of buildings. If we are to avoid catastrophic climate change then now, more than ever, we need beautiful but also intelligent architecture, and to retrofit – not demolish – the buildings we already have.”
  • Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary and the soft, squishy science of language. A deep dive into xenolinguistics, pragmatics, the cooperative principle, and Noam Chomsky!” More about <a href=”https://amzn.to/3uzl42A”>Project Hail Mary [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Andy Weir—”An irresistible interstellar adventure as only Andy Weir could deliver, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian—while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.”
  • From 2012: The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Jonathan Gottschall—”Humans live in landscapes of make-believe. We spin fantasies. We devour novels, films, and plays. Even sporting events and criminal trials unfold as narratives. Yet the world of story has long remained an undiscovered and unmapped country. It’s easy to say that humans are “wired” for story, but why? In this delightful and original book, Jonathan Gottschall offers the first unified theory of storytelling. He argues that stories help us navigate life’s complex social problems—just as flight simulators prepare pilots for difficult situations. Storytelling has evolved, like other behaviors, to ensure our survival. Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience, psychology, and evolutionary biology, Gottschall tells us what it means to be a storytelling animal. Did you know that the more absorbed you are in a story, the more it changes your behavior? That all children act out the same kinds of stories, whether they grow up in a slum or a suburb? That people who read more fiction are more empathetic? Of course, our story instinct has a darker side. It makes us vulnerable to conspiracy theories, advertisements, and narratives about ourselves that are more “truthy” than true. National myths can also be terribly dangerous: Hitler’s ambitions were partly fueled by a story. But as Gottschall shows in this remarkable book, stories can also change the world for the better. Most successful stories are moral—they teach us how to live, whether explicitly or implicitly, and bind us together around common values. We know we are master shapers of story. The Storytelling Animal finally reveals how stories shape us.”
  • What We Lose When Literary Criticism Ends. With mainstream media uninterested in books coverage that doesn’t get clicks, writers and readers are being left out in the cold.”
  • I’m okay with chewing, but, wow, I can’t handle buzzing fluorescent lights and CRT monitors for long, myself: “Supersensitive connection causes hatred of noises. A supersensitised brain connection has been identified in people who suffer from misophonia, an extreme reaction to ‘trigger’ sounds.”
  • Greener AND cheaper: [email protected] solves concrete’s big problem.”—”In a world-first for the sector, the team has laid the floor slab of a new gym in Amesbury, Wiltshire with graphene-enhanced ‘Concretene’, removing 30% of material and all steel reinforcement. Depending on the size of onward projects, Nationwide Engineering estimates a 10-20% saving to its customers.”
  • Dark energy: The eerie force accelerating the expansion of the universe.”
  • Huge egg from extinct dwarf emu found in sand dune. The egg was startlingly large.”
  • Caffeine is less effective than you thought, and it doesn’t improve this 1 important function. Talk about a coffee comedown.”
  • The Spacefaring Paradox. Deep-space human travel is a lose-lose proposition.”—”If the dream of space travel involves new horizons and feelings of unbound freedom—to explore, to discover, to spread humanity—a nightmare lurks just around the corner of consciousness. There will be no real ‘arrival’ on this fantasy trip: It’s enclosures and pressurized chambers all the way down. When it comes to human space travel, the destination really is the journey. And the journey will be long, and claustrophobic.”
  • Scientists induced hallucinations in mice to learn more about human psychosis. Study uncovered a surprising link between how human and mouse minds malfunction.”
  • Heads up! The cardiovascular secrets of giraffes. Giraffes: Scary high blood pressure, yet few of the issues plaguing people with hypertension.”
  • Ancient cemetery tells a tale of constant, low-level warfare. Men, women, and children were repeatedly wounded in skirmishes along the Upper Nile.”
  • Human life span may have an ‘absolute limit’ of 150 years. After that, the human body can’t repair itself.”
  • NASA’s Mars helicopter had a midair brain fart. Ingenuity made frantic attempts to correct ‘phantom errors’ based on glitchy navigation data.”
  • NASA’s Curiosity Rover Captures Shining Clouds on Mars. The science team is studying the clouds, which arrived earlier and formed higher than expected, to learn more about the Red Planet.”
  • Biologists construct a ‘periodic table’ for cell nuclei.”—”One hundred fifty years ago, Dmitri Mendeleev created the periodic table, a system for classifying atoms based on the properties of their nuclei. This week, a team of biologists studying the tree of life has unveiled a new classification system for cell nuclei and discovered a method for transmuting one type of cell nucleus into another.”
  • Miss the Super Flower Blood Moon this week? Here’s when to see the next total lunar eclipse.”—”If you missed the total lunar eclipse on Wednesday (May 26), you’ll have to wait nearly a year for the next one.” “Although there is another lunar eclipse coming up in November, that eclipse won’t be a so-called “blood moon,” or total lunar eclipse. The next blood moon will occur on May 16, 2022, but it will be another 12 years before a supermoon coincides with another blood moon.”
  • We’re Speeding Toward Climate Hell, UN Warns.”—”The world may surpass the key 1.5-degree-Celsius (2.7-degree-Fahrenheit) global warming threshold within the next five years, a major new outlook on climate trends shows. It’s the latest sign that we’re speeding toward the grim future that climate scientists have warned about for years unless we change course.”
  • Giant tortoise thought extinct 100 years ago is living in Galapagos, Ecuador says.”
  • Europa’s Interior May Be Hot Enough to Fuel Seafloor Volcanoes. Jupiter’s moon Europa has an icy crust covering a vast, global ocean. The rocky layer underneath may be hot enough to melt, leading to undersea volcanoes.”
  • Good bacteria can temper chemotherapy side effects. Naturally occurring gut bacteria can clean up chemo toxins in the body, study finds.”
  • From the Can’t Pick Your AI’s Nose dept: “Slender robotic finger senses buried items. The technology uses tactile sensing to identify objects underground, and might one day help disarm land mines or inspect cables.”
  • Can regulating a novel brain circuit help control obesity?
  • Verdens mindste frugtplukker styret af kunstig intelligens. Inspireret af insekter, der lever af at suge næring direkte i planteårerne, har fysikere fra DTU undersøgt, om værdifulde kemiske stoffer kan høstes direkte fra cellerne i planter. Med en høster på et par mikrometer har de nu fået et gennembrud i teknologien.” (The world’s smallest fruit picker controlled by artificial intelligence. Inspired by insects that live by absorbing nutrients directly in the plant veins, physicists from DTU have investigated whether valuable chemical substances can be harvested directly from the cells in plants. With a harvester of a few micrometers, they have now made a breakthrough in technology.)
  • Serendipitous discovery could lead to treatment for strokes, cardiac arrest. Researchers identify a mechanism that could lead to new treatments for brain injuries caused by oxygen deprivation.”—”Oxygen deprivation in a mammal’s brain leads to increased production of hydrogen sulfide.” “Interestingly, the mice that became tolerant to hydrogen sulfide were also able to tolerate severe hypoxia. What protected these mice from hypoxia? Ichinose’s group suspected that enzymes in the brain that metabolize sulfide might be responsible.”
  • New technique breaks the mould for 3D printing medical implants. Researchers have flipped traditional 3D printing to create some of the most intricate biomedical structures yet, advancing the development of new technologies for regrowing bones and tissue.”
  • Study confirms longer-term lung damage after COVID-19. A study by Sheffield and Oxford researchers using a cutting-edge method of imaging has identified persistent damage to the lungs of COVID-19 patients at least three months after they were discharged from hospital, and for some patients even longer.”
  • Apple Employees Are Going Public About Workplace Issues — and There’s No Going Back. Employees say the recent leaks might have changed the tech giant forever.”—”Even to the workers who wrote the letter, the leaks came as a shock. Apple employees rarely speak to the media, particularly about the company culture. In Silicon Valley, Apple operates with an unprecedented level of secrecy, managing personnel issues and product launches with complete authority.”
  • Even a Dystopia Would Wince at Amazon’s ‘ZenBooth’. Warehouse workers need more bathroom breaks, a union, and dignity. Instead, they get a box to meditate in.”
  • Covert channel in Apple’s M1 is mostly harmless, but it sure is interesting. Technically, it’s a vulnerability, but there’s not much an attacker can do with it.” Also “Apple’s M1 has an unfixable security flaw that’s effectively harmless. The flaw creates covert channels that let malicious apps communicate with each other.”
  • Wanted: Millions of cybersecurity pros. Salary: Whatever you want.” If governments, and companies like Microsoft and Google and Facebook all can’t manage their own hardware and software security, what hope in hell, except obscurity, is there for the rest of us?
  • Speaking of privatization and corporate responsibility to keep us all safe … How’s that working, again? Oh, right. Not so well. “Texas’ ‘failsafe’ generators failed, risking weeks-long catastrophe. Black start generators—and their backups—failed en masse during deep freeze.”
  • Israel’s operation against Hamas was the world’s first AI war. The IDF used artificial intelligence and supercomputing during the last conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.”
  • Facebook’s AI treats Palestinian activists like it treats American Black activists. It blocks them.
  • A Worker-Owned Cooperative Tries to Compete With Uber and Lyft. About 2,500 drivers in New York are organizing to create what they say is a better deal for drivers than what the ride-hailing giants offer.”
  • Women suing Google over gender bias win class-action status. Four female former employees of Google can now pursue their gender-pay disparity lawsuit against the tech giant on behalf of almost 11,000 other women.”
  • The Open-Source Software bubble that is and the blogging bubble that was.”—”People think that Google killed weblogs in 2013 when it discontinued Google Reader. Which isn’t entirely true. Google Reader was a murder weapon, not a victim.” “Our world is built on looting what others have to give—what we make them give. And we’re fine with it. We’re all fine with looting.”
  • Sandwell Bitcoin mine found stealing electricity. A suspected Bitcoin “mining” operation illegally stealing electricity has been found by police who were searching for a cannabis farm.”
  • Tesla Activates In-Car Cameras for Driver Monitoring on Autopilot. In the wake of controversies around Autopilot use and inattentive drivers, it appears the automaker is instituting a change.”
  • Futuristic Autonomous Buses Will Soon Roam the Streets of Cambridge, UK. The futuristic vehicles will soon hit the streets of the English town, transporting passengers along the way.”
  • Senators Want NASA To Give Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Space Company A $10 Billion Consolation Prize.”
  • Competitor fears Musk’s SpaceX could ‘monopolise’ space.”
  • A Culture of Fear at the Firm That Manages Bill Gates’s Fortune. At least four employees at the firm, Cascade Investment, complained to Mr. Gates about Michael Larson, his longtime money manager.”
  • What Breakthrough Infections Can Tell Us. Post-vaccination infections reveal how effective vaccines are—and which variants are sneaking past our defenses.”
  • CDC loosened mask guidance to encourage vaccination—it failed spectacularly. FDA approval and paid time off would make people more likely to get a shot, poll finds.”
  • Faster than a PCR test: dogs detect Covid in under a second. Study in London used six enthusiastic dogs in a double-blind trial.”
  • Ohio lawmakers want to abolish vaccine requirements—all vaccine requirements. Someone would only have to verbally decline vaccination and cite ‘reasons of conscience.'”
  • The Unique Pain (And Anger) Of Grieving Someone Who Refused A COVID Vaccine. ‘Knowing there’s something that was free, accessible, and could have prevented their death, it’s heartbreaking.'”
  • Stetson pulls hats from Nashville shop selling Star of David anti-vaccine badges. Owner of HatWRKS appeared to apologize Saturday as protesters outside the store held signs including ‘no Nazis in Nashville’”
  • What’s Happening In Arizona Is Not Really An Audit Or A Recount. It’s A Partisan Inquisition.
  • Can Removing Highways Fix America’s Cities?“—”As midcentury highways reach the end of their life spans, cities across the country are having to choose whether to rebuild or reconsider them. And a growing number, like Rochester, are choosing to take them down.”
  • Why Everyone Hates Think Tanks. The world needs policy professionals. Respecting them is another matter.”
  • Biden’s Internet Plan Pits Cities Against Dominant Carriers.”—””‘We could sit and wait for the private sector to do this—we just didn’t really know when that would be,’ says City Administrator Scott Darrington. Residents have complained of slow broadband, and Utopia’s fiber network holds out the promise of fast speeds that don’t lag as more households log on, Darrington says. It will also reach areas not served by current providers.”” Huh. Carriers don’t like their de facto monopoly put in jeopardy? Who could have guessed. Also, this is yet another example of ways that private enterprise isn’t about enterprise, and there are things that governments of people organized for mutual support can do better. Also, double huh: “Charter charges more money for slower Internet on streets with no competition. Spectrum costs $30 for 400Mbps on one street, $50 for half the speed on another.”
  • From the trouble in Cascadia dept: “‘Greater Idaho’ took one step closer to being a real thing as 5 more counties voted to explore leaving liberal Oregon for conservative Idaho.”
  • Industry groups sue to stop Florida’s new social media law. Yes, the one with the theme park exception.”
  • Disability Rights Groups Join Lawsuit Over Georgia Voter Suppression Law. The Georgia-based groups state in an amended complaint that the law violates the Americans with Disabilities Act by discriminating against disabled voters.”
  • ACLU Joins Lawsuit Over West Virginia Banning Trans Girls And Women From Sports. House Bill 3293 prohibits trans girls and women from playing on women’s sports teams at any public secondary school or state institution of higher education.”
  • Oscar Isaac will star in Disney Plus’ Moon Knight series. They’re giving Poe Dameron a cape.”—”Moon Knight, or Marc Spector, is a mercenary possessed by an ancient Egyptian moon god named Khonshu. That possession is what gives him his superpowers but also multiple conflicting personalities, including a taxi driver, wealthy playboy, and masked vigilante. Marvel and Isaac’s announcement — ‘WE ARE MOONKNIGHT’ — seems to directly reference the character’s complex psychology.”
  • Watch “The Economics of IKEA: Why Does Labor Lead to Love?“—”Counterintuitive though it may seem, part of furniture giant IKEA’s success stems from its policy requiring its customers to build its products. In this video, WSJ explains the behavioral psychology behind the ‘IKEA effect.'”
  • Why Economics Is Failing Us. The profession suffers from a lack of boldness and imagination.”
  • An Elementary School Teacher’s Secret Life As A White Nationalist Writer. Benjamin Welton uses pen names to write racist articles. He’s also a teacher, PhD student, and freelance writer for major media outlets. Now he’s been exposed.”
  • Should we censor art? Tearing down sexist paintings or racist monuments raises as many problems as it resolves. There’s a better way to combat hate.”—”We can challenge, refute or even undo the harms of hate speech with more speech” and curatorial activism.
  • Daily investigation finds divergence in U-M, outside organization’s handling of allegations against CSE professor.”—”This article is the first part of a two-part investigation by The Michigan Daily’s Focal Point team into allegations of sexual misconduct against computer science professor Walter Lasecki and the University of Michigan’s handling of these allegations. It is based on emails, documents, notes and interviews with 12 individuals knowledgeable of these events.” “UPDATE: According to an email sent to CSE faculty on May 28, Walter Lasecki resigned from UM effective August 30. In the interim, he has been barred from “in-person interaction” with UM students.”
  • Scientology’s secrets spill into open in Danny Masterson rape case.”—”The Church of Scientology works hard to keep its inner workings out of the public eye. … But at a hearing last week in the rape case against actor Danny Masterson, church officials were unable to stop their practices from being debated in open court.” “In ruling that there was sufficient evidence against Masterson to allow the case to proceed toward trial, Olmedo concluded Scientology has “an expressly written doctrine” that “not only discourages, but prohibits” its members from reporting one another to law enforcement. The policy explained why several of the women did not report Masterson’s alleged crimes to the police for more than a decade, the judge found.”
  • Treating Ethno-Racial Trauma With Cultural Humility. How mental health professionals are confronting collective psychological distress.”
  • The Relatable Emotions of Depressed People From 3,000 Years Ago. ‘He eats bread and drinks beer but it does not go well for him, then says, ‘Oh, my heart!’ and is dejected.'”
  • Here’s How People Tried To Buy Happiness During The Pandemic. ‘While money can’t buy true and lasting happiness, it most certainly can still create moments of joy and it can ease a lot of suffering.'”

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