Bookmarks for June 21st through July 24th

These are my links for June 21st through July 24th:

  • TALK- Kenneth Goldsmith – Tank Magazine- “NR: Who contributes to Ubu, and how is it curated?KG: Ubu doesn’t generate any of its own content. Instead, films and sounds are taken from very exclusive file-sharing groups and released to the public. The decision as to what goes on Ubu is made by the section’s curator, or by me. There is no committee, no discussion. Whatever we think is good goes on the site”
  • Capitol Journal: Study puts term limits in a new light – “Anyone who has watched the legislative process in Sacramento has witnessed the obvious: Newly elected lawmakers start plotting to capture their next office even before they’re sworn in to the one they’ve just won.”"They’re running all the time, for one office or another,” complains Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor
  • Ciudad Juarez is all our futures. This is the inevitable war of capitalism gone mad- “Mexico’s carnage is that of the age of effective global government by multinational banks – banks that, according to Antonio Maria Costa, the former head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, have been for years kept afloat by laundering drug and criminal profits. Cartel bosses and street gangbangers cannot go around in trucks full of cash. They have to bank it – and politicians could throttle this river of money, as they have with actions against terrorist funding. But they choose not to, for obvious reasons: the good burgers of capitalism and their political quislings depend on this money, while bleating about the evils of drugs cooked in the ghetto and snorted up the noses of the rich.
  • So Mexico’s war is how the future will look, because it belongs not in the 19th century with wars of empire, or the 20th with wars of ideology, race and religion – but utterly in a present to which the global economy is committed, and to a zeitgeist of frenzied materialism we adamantly refuse to temper: it is the inevitable war of capitalism gone mad. Twelve years ago Cardona and the writer Charles Bowden curated a book called Juarez: The Laboratory of Our Future. They could not have known how prescient their title was. In a recent book, Murder City, Bowden puts it another way: “Juarez is not a breakdown of the social order. Juarez is the new order.”
  • How to Land Your Kid in Therapy – Magazine – The Atlantic – “Consider a toddler who’s running in the park and trips on a rock, Bohn says. Some parents swoop in immediately, pick up the toddler, and comfort her in that moment of shock, before she even starts crying. But, Bohn explains, this actually prevents her from feeling secure—not just on the playground, but in life. If you don’t let her experience that momentary confusion, give her the space to figure out what just happened (Oh, I tripped), and then briefly let her grapple with the frustration of having fallen and perhaps even try to pick herself up, she has no idea what discomfort feels like, and will have no framework for how to recover when she feels discomfort later in life. These toddlers become the college kids who text their parents with an SOS if the slightest thing goes wrong, instead of attempting to figure out how to deal with it themselves. If, on the other hand, the child trips on the rock, and the parents let her try to reorient for a second before going over to comfort her, the child learns: That was scary for a second, but I’m okay now. If something unpleasant happens, I can get through it. In many cases, Bohn says, the child recovers fine on her own—but parents never learn this, because they’re too busy protecting their kid when she doesn’t need protection.”
  • Lessons from the swipe fee war – David Sirota – Soon, though, the true story comes out: the one about how the real power behind the push to end swipe fees is not Mom and Pop at the General Store, but some of the biggest multinational retailers in the world — small-business-eating godzillas like Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Home Depot — armed with some of the most powerful lobbying firms in Washington.Bloomberg, not surprisingly, fails to mention this truism: Despite the saccharine rhetoric to the contrary, executives from huge corporation don’t altruistically deploy political and financial muscle on behalf of customers — as is their fiduciary responsibility, they deploy it in search of cold, hard profit for shareholders. But frankly, that fact doesn’t have to be explicitly stated — after a few throwaway lines about “small businesses,” the story makes clear that the swipe-fee fight was actually all about “how far the richest interest groups” “are willing to “go when a single decision puts billions of dollars up for grabs.”
  • Comment of the Day: Who Needs Private School? – “Now, many years later, I’m finishing my degree at a certain highly ranked CUNY college on the Upper East Side, with kids who are mostly fresh out of the NYC public school system. The difference is unmistakable. My new, poor classmates lack that degree of polish and sophistication — they know nothing about art or politics and a lot about TV and videogames — but they’re smart, motivated, interested, respectful of one another and of the teachers, and love to sit around talking about books, movies, politics, etc. etc., and are filled with ambition and enthusiasm for their careers in a way that is noncompetitive and highly supportive of one another. I could not be happier with the academic environment. My tuition is approximately 5% of what it was at my old school, and I’m getting ten times the education, because not only are the teachers fantastic but there’s an amazing value placed on learning by the students themselves, and to me that has made all the difference in the world.”
  • Juxtapoz Magazine – The Children of the Russian Rich | Current – “This is just one of those photo series’ that is so random but interesting and almost bizarre that we had to post it. Photographer Anna Skladmann has spent years chronicling and spending time with the children of the super rich of Russia, creating this series of the mini-wealthy. (We credit Spiegel Online for that line). “
  • Spammers Ruin Yet Another Cool Thing | Mother Jones – “The higher the quality of input to this training process, the higher quality the resulting engine can translate. So the increasing amount of “polluted drinking water” is becoming more statistically relevant. Over time, instead of improving each time more machine learning data is added, the opposite can occur….This results in potentially lower quality translations over time, rather than improvements.”
  • The Quietus | Features | A Quietus Interview | Antennae Up & Receiving: Steve Reich Interviewed – “Let’s put it this way, till about 1980 every European performance of my music was a disaster, almost every single time. Well, time passes, a new generation of musicians grows up listening to the recordings, their teachers have played some of my music and now they play it beautifully. “
  • Developing Your Creative Practice: Tips from Brian Eno – “…a practice of some kind … It quite frequently happens that you’re just treading water for quite a long time. Nothing really dramatic seems to be happening. … And then suddenly everything seems to lock together in a different way. It’s like a crystallization point where you can’t detect any single element having changed. There’s a proverb that says that the fruit takes a long time to ripen, but it falls suddenly … And that seems to be the process.”
  • The Zapatistas 17 years of Rebellion | Anarchist Writers- The Zapatista’s themselves were comparatively dismissive of the military aspect of their struggle. Their spokesperson Subcomandante Marcos said “We don’t see armed struggle in the classic sense of previous guerrilla wars, that is as the only way and the only all-powerful truth around which everything is organized. In a war, the decisive thing is not the military confrontation but the politics at stake in the confrontation. We didn’t go to war to kill or be killed. We went to war in order to be heard.”In a 1995 letter to the Mexican and international left Marcos explained “It is not our arms which make us radical; it is the new political practice which we propose and in which we are immersed with thousands of men and women in Mexico and the world: the construction of a political practice which does not seek the taking of power but the organization of society.”
  • ‘A Frightening Time in America’: An Interview with David Foster Wallace – “DFW: Well, those are the two possibilities. Either American voters will figure out that there need to be some counterbalances to corporate and capitalist forces, and that balance can be achieved through political process. Or we may very well end up here with a form of fascism. Many people in America throw the term “fascism” around, particularly for Middle-Eastern terrorists, but in fact what fascism really is is a close alliance between a unitary executive and a state and large corporations and a state. We could be entering a period much like the period Russia went through [for] much of the twentieth century, with a great deal of repression and hollowness and artificiality of the culture.”
  • Confessions of a Traveling Music Teacher: Let’s Get Sirius- “And this to serious Sirius listeners: Everything you enjoy listening to—from Jean Ritchie’s Wondrous Love to James Brown’s Popcorn to Mozart’s Requiem to Thelonious Monk’s Round Midnight and beyond came from a particular time and a particular place and a particular culture and a particular person or group of people who were living it at the height of their senses, emotions and intelligence. They weren’t just entertaining themselves pleased that they had videos, recordings, games, at their fingertips. They were actively making and shaping the culture by actively making and shaping art.Let’s not forget that. To make art one must live an authentic life larger than the constant distraction of instant entertainment. You gotta get your hands dirty, your heart broken, your shoulder punched, your car repossessed—and then tell about it. You gotta turn off the flickering screens and look around you, take the earphones out and listen, put down the book and talk to someone.”
  • Golan v. Holder: Should Shostakovich be Public Domain? | IMSLP Journal – “In fact, the music of these three composers was public domain before URAA § 514 restored copyright in 1995. This restoration is very dangerous precedent: Congress believes it has the power to usurp the public domain for the benefit of a few copyright holders, despite the Constitution limiting copyright to “limited Times”. This limitation would seem meaningless if Congress could restore copyright whenever it wants. If we allow URAA § 514 to stand, we would be one big step closer to perpetual copyright.”
  • Feedback Loops Are Changing What People Do | Magazine – The signs leverage what’s called a feedback loop, a profoundly effective tool for changing behavior. The basic premise is simple. Provide people with information about their actions in real time (or something close to it), then give them an opportunity to change those actions, pushing them toward better behaviors. Action, information, reaction. It’s the operating principle behind a home thermostat, which fires the furnace to maintain a specific temperature, or the consumption display in a Toyota Prius, which tends to turn drivers into so-called hypermilers trying to wring every last mile from the gas tank. But the simplicity of feedback loops is deceptive. They are in fact powerful tools that can help people change bad behavior patterns, even those that seem intractable. Just as important, they can be used to encourage good habits, turning progress itself into a reward. In other words, feedback loops change human behavior. And thanks to an explosion of new technology, the opportunity to put them into action in nearly every part of our lives is quickly
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