Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sending a message

Making war in Syria

Gohmert's anti-American conspiracy theory

One fascinating aspect about American culture is how insular it is.  It'd be an adorable trait were it not held by a superpower.

Despite the fact that Americans generate enormous amounts of content - on average probably at least double what your average French citizen does, and more than 10X what they do per capita in China - and basically own the web - who's got the .gov domain?  Governments in general, or just the American government? - there's this apparent belief that they can have loud arguments amongst themselves that no one can hear, and when they finally do reach a conclusion, their representatives will be able to say things clearly to foreigners and have those foreigners understand unequivocally what that message consists of.  That position appears to be completely oblivious to the fact that people can, you know, read.  They can read comments.  The regime in Syria knows that Obama has to act; if they did commit war crimes, then they know they've got some retaliation coming, and if they didn't, they know they'll never break the blockade, or pierce the carefully cultivated story about capitalism and American power and the will of the people and so forth.  So all this back-and-forth about why he's acting and what he should try to convey and so on is just hilarious.  They're listening, people.

And so you see a guy like Louie Gohmert, a genuine idiot, operating under the misapprehension that the stupid things he says to rile up his local wingnuts will go no further than his local newspaper's website.  Which anyone can read - you can get news tailored for Louie Gohmert on your Android phone in the darkest slums of Manilla, or the plains of Africa, right this very moment.

There's probably a parable here, about a group of people that think they live in a bubble, but really don't.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Some of the poultry have figured out how to use GPS

Some recent discoveries.  But first, I'm morally obligated to link to this public service announcement:

1.  Charlie Stross points out that when, as a culture, you systematically destroy the notion of reciprocal loyalty in labor contracts you cannot expect much except that rest of us will use tit-for-tat.  My parents worked for the same organizations for multiple decades, whereas my record, which is perhaps a bit more extreme than my Generation X peers but not by much, is five employers per decade.  People born after 1980 and the glorious Reagan revolution will have similar or worse experiences.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

So What

There are not enough versions of So What.  Here's a good one, though.

This is also worth listening too: