The present looks less sinister, the past less innocent. The mind always focuses on current threats, and takes for granted the violent events that don’t happen but could easily have happened a few decades ago. A sniper in Norway kills dozens of innocent people—and the population does not riot or lynch the perpetrator and his extended family, but holds candlelight vigils. The Egyptian government falls—but the new one does not vow to push the Israelis into the sea. North Korea sinks a South Korean ship, killing 45 sailors—but instead of escalating to war, the Koreans go back to life as usual. Every day I notice the dogs that don’t bark.
This plaque hangs in an unnamed jeweler’s mens’ restroom over the urinals. Wonder what impacts the reader’s comprehension more – how much they drank that day, or the girl waiting for them outside? [via]Read more
The community that you may find (at least in part) repugnant spent a considerable amount of its resources, maybe even a disproportionate amount, making sure you could achieve. Then you left. So, let’s be honest; when you talk about going back to some Godforsaken place to save it from its intellectually regressive nincompoops, you’re talking about fixing what you’re partly responsible for to begin with. Those who leave are part of a phenomenon that has done a great deal to create the wild incongruity of modern America, where the reactionaries and the progressives huddle in their respective zones and fling invective back and forth.
Clay Shirky on the collapse of complex business models: In 1988, Joseph Tainter wrote a chilling book called The Collapse of Complex Societies. Tainter looked at several societies that gradually arrived at a level of remarkable sophistication then suddenly collapsed: the Romans, the Lowlands Maya, the inhabitants of Chaco canyon. Every one of those groups […]Read more
I think people will find a great deal of their lives co-opted by games, sort of like how we saw advertising co-opt huge amounts of our lives in the 20th century.
We’re going to be forced to adjust as a society. I firmly believe that we will simply become much more accepting of indiscretions over time. Employers just won’t care that ridiculous drunk college pictures pop up about you when they do a HR background search on you.