Links 7/2/2023

UPDATE Triage, organization, and bucket-tossing complete. Sorry for the excitement!

Patient readers, I reset my computer clock to attempt to deal with the Twitter debacle, and having done so, forgot to reset. So I was an hour behind, which I only realized at the very last minute. Hence you get the full firehouse of un-cut-down Links, which I will organize shortly. –lambert

Watch a Wild Turkey Attack a Drone Field & Stream

A rebellion at the Federal Reserve — can it avoid the next bank collapse? The Hill

Bond fund giant Pimco prepares for ‘harder landing’ for global economy FT

Starbucks reverts to cash amid tech glitch Payments Dive

Markets and Speech: Where Does the Public Reside? Corey Robin. On 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis.


Thomas Ferguson – Central Banks, Green Finance, and the Climate Crisis Brave New Europe. Commentary:

* * *

White House report signals openness to manipulating sunlight to prevent climate change FOX

EU Looks Into Blocking Out the Sun as Climate Efforts Falter Bloomberg

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Deadly wet-bulb temperatures strike the US Nate Bear, ¡Do Not Panic!

The Arctic and Atlantic Oceans Are Merging. It Could Be Disastrous. The Atlantic

Highly radioactive spill near Columbia River in E. Washington worse than expected Tri-CIty Herald

East Palestine, Ohio, Railroad Derailment—Lessons to Learn, Actions to Take American Journal of Public Health (mrsyk).

What are soil pores? Soils Matter, Get the Scoop!

The Jackpot

I Lived Through Collapse. America Is Already There, Medium. Sri Lanka.


Why does so much of the world’s manufacturing still take place in China? The Conversation

The whole village’s surname is changed back to nià? Technically not a problem, but the surname is related to historical and cultural inheritance (Google translation) Southern Weekend

Okinawa’s surging COVID cases may signal another wave NHK. Okinawa is a popular domestic tourism destination in Japan.

Australian Submarine Agency Commences Operations Naval News

European Disunion

France riots: The Champs Elysees was saved from looting – but only by a massive show of force Sky News

“The language of the unheard”: The French riots and the gig economy The Gig Economy Project

Home of French mayor ram-raided and torched by rioters Reuters. L’Hay-les-Roses, a Paris suburb.

Who was Nahel, the teenager shot dead by French police? France24

* * *

Middling Kingdom New Left Review. Belgium.

South of the Border

Bolsonaro barred from holding public office in Brazil until 2030 Reuters

New Not-So-Cold War

CIA director, on secret trip to Ukraine, hears plan for war’s endgame WaPo. Not all that secret, apparently.

Ukraine’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, wants shells, planes and patience (interview) WaPo

Ukraine counteroffensive will take ‘very, long’ time and be ‘very very bloody,’ top US general says NY Post

Ukraine’s costly counteroffensive must produce results before NATO summit – Zelenskyy New Voice of Ukraine

* * *

Russian terrorist attack on ZNPP to be considered as nuclear weapons use and Ukrainska Pravda Zelenskyy holds off-site Supreme Commander-in-Chief’s Staff meeting at Rivne NPP. Ukrainska Pravda. NPP = Nuclear Power Plant. A Ukro-Nazi Götterdämmerung is far more likely than Russians attacking a power plant they control, and on Russian territory, too.

* * *

The Wagner Mutiny Jacques Baud, The Postil

Wagner, I hardly Knew Ye Scott Ritter Extra. A history, starting with “the little green men” in February 2014.

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The Maidan Massacre Trial and Investigation Revelations: Implications for the Ukraine-Russia War and Relations (PDF) Ivan Katchanovski, Russian Politics (2023).

Biden Administration

Playbook: Inside Biden’s Plan B on student debt Politico. “Those we spoke to last night were actually pleasantly surprised that a Plan B was already in the works — a stark contrast to the criticism that the White House invited last year for not immediately laying out next steps after the court knocked down Roe v. Wade.”

US private equity faces extra scrutiny under new merger review rules FT


Hunter Biden’s Daughter and a Tale of Two Families NYT. “Her parents ended a yearslong court battle over child support on Thursday, agreeing that Mr. Biden, who has embarked on a second career as a painter whose pieces have been offered for as much as $500,000 each, would turn over a number of his paintings to his daughter in addition to providing a monthly support payment. The little girl will select the paintings from Mr. Biden, according to court documents.” “Offered,” mind you.

Republican Funhouse

GOP hit list: Biden officials targeted by Republicans for impeachment The Hill

Digital Watch

What Will AI Do to Your Job? Take a Look at What It’s Already Doing to Coders WSJ but see also James Noble, Robert Biddle, Notes on Postmodern Programming (worth reading in full, because it gets even more deadpan funny as it goes on; the tipping point is here: “To write this program, we first connected our computer to the Internet….”

The Bezzle

The Super Connector Who Built Sam Bankman-Fried’s Celebrity World NYT

How Did One Man Steal $2 Billion in Art? GQ


Movement as Medicine: The Many Health Benefits of Dancing (press release) Hospital for Special Surgery

Groves of Academe

Dean caught saying Berkeley Law uses ‘unstated affirmative action:’ ‘I’m going to deny I said this’ FOX. I wonder what Bourdieu would make of this.

Zeitgeist Watch

Sex, Analysis, and 40 Communal Apartments on the Upper West Side New York Magazine

The art of keeping Elvis alive in small-town Florida Tampa Bay Times

Sports Desk

Shattered Nerves, Sleepless Nights: Pickleball Noise Is Driving Everyone Nuts NYT

Imperial Collapse Watch

To Foreign Policy Veteran, the Real Danger Is at Home NYT. The deck: “Richard N. Haass says the most serious threat to global security is the United States.”

The Military Recruiting Crisis: Even Veterans Don’t Want Their Families to Join WSJ

Guillotine Watch

The Titan Submersible Was “an Accident Waiting to Happen” The New Yorker (Furzy Mouse). Beware of squillionaires with bright ideas. Well worth a read.

Locked-Up Shelves ‘Irritating’ Workers and Shoppers at San Francisco Target, Walgreens and Safeway The San Francisco Standard

Class Warfare

Teamsters say strike still on the table at UPS The Hill

Communications Workers Seek Answers and Accountability from Top Leaders Labor Notes

A $100 Billion Wealth Migration Tilts US Economy’s Center of Gravity South Bloomberg

A Deeply Misleading Narrative International Socialist Alternative

150 Most Legendary Restaurants in the World & Their Iconic Dishes Taste Atlas. 22, 25, 43. Though I wish the restaurant industry would solve its ventilation issues (and pay workers a decent wage).

Twitter Limits Number of Posts Users Can Read, Prompting Disruptions for Some WSJ. The real story is Musk breaking embeds, thereby breaking 15 years-worth of Internet posts. If anyone wants a walled garden, there’s always Facebook.

Antidote du jour (via):

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Stephen

    “Ukraine’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, wants shells, planes and patience.” WaPo interview.

    The more of this propaganda that I read, the less any of it makes sense. Which is really saying something given that it has never exactly been coherent from the start. If you bother to think, that is.

    Firstly, this interview is allegedly with Zaluzhny but it does not prove in any way that he really has returned after his absence from being featured pretty much everywhere in the west. Could easily have been with some staffer or even ghosted by WaPo themselves and then signed off.

    Secondly, Zaluzhny seems to want planes but not too many of them. I struggle to see the point. A few planes will just get destroyed and will not be enough to achieve the air dominance that he seems to want.

    Thirdly, the strength of the Russian defences and lack of Ukrainian air power was known before the “offensive” started. It is a bit late now to use these factors as reasons for failure.

    The mind also boggles at what he talks about for hours with Milley. Surely, he has a war to run? Still, most subordinates like face time with the “boss”.

    Hard to conceive of this “interview” as anything other than “cope” and an attempt to hold up yet another straw to clutch at in pursuing an illusory victory. “If only we had a brand new air force….”

    These Ukrainian elites are either very ideologically driven, well remunerated by the US or perhaps fearful of personal downsides if they rebel. Maybe all three of these factors are present simultaneously. To state the obvious, the WaPo along with pretty much all western legacy media has stopped doing any form of real journalism too. They do resemble our stereotype of Soviet era TASS.

    1. The Rev Kev

      In about four months from now mud season commences again so both sides will not be able to launch any offensives. Lob missiles at each other yes, but columns of armoured vehicles? No. This being the case, perhaps the point of all these demands is that so by the time they trickle in, it will be too late to use them because of the mud so they will have to wait for next year – and all the while Zelensky will have billions of dollars being shipped to him each and every month.

    2. Bugs

      These Ukrainian elites are either very ideologically driven, well remunerated by the US or perhaps fearful of personal downsides if they rebel.

      I’ve also noticed that a lot of them are really young and seem kind of stupid.

      1. Monkey see, monkey do

        The are run by and learn from the most prominent representatives of stupid too: Ursula von der Leyen, Borrell, Blinken, Nuland, Biden, Sunak, Macron…

        It seems as if the misleadership is contagious. I find it hard to believe that these morons have any didactic skills to transfer stupid.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Well, allegedly Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the one selected by Nuland to lead the New Ukraine, has seen the light (youtube) lately.

          I did see that video first in twitter, but since then twitter raised the shields and is not accessible. It was likely Big Serge or Russian with Attitude, though.

          But yes, Yatsenyuk seems to now think that one can’t build a civilized nation by nazifying it and by committing war crimes. Maybe he wants to return to the top, albeit this time as Russia’s choice….

    3. maipenrai

      perhaps it is all a distraction from the real story of the sovereign debt being paid off by USAID?
      And who owns that debt? Any guesses?

  2. bwilli123

    Re the Twitter rate limiting.
    An alternate reason is that AI groups are hammering the Twitter API (at an enormous uncompensated cost to twitter) in order to build large language models. According to the following, this restriction will seriously hamper DARPA & the Censorship industry in their maintenance of the mighty dis-information Wurlitzer.

    1. flora

      Just to be clear (I can’t read twts anymore), is Benz saying that twtr restricting who can view twts will seriously hamper DARPA & co ?

      1. The Rev Kev

        I suppose if the only people that can view tweets are those that have an actual Twitter account instead of anybody that is just viewing them, then for the spooks a large part of the net has gone dark.

      2. NYT_Memes

        I can’t read tats anymore. Same situation for me, and I haven’t been paying close attention.
        In the last week or so I suddenly can’t read any tweets. None. What has changed at TWTR?

        Being the weekend, and extended at that, I thought this is the time to ask.

      3. Socal Rhino

        I’ve heard but not confirmed tht it is still possible to read tweets on mobil device by going to rather than via the app.

        1. Will

          I don’t have an account and only interact with Twitter via its website. I haven’t been able to see I tweet on my iPad or iPhone since this all started.

          On the iPad, I get redirected to a login screen, on the phone, the page won’t load and get a Twitter error message.

          Being cut off, I’m a little upset about how much I notice its absence.

      1. cnchal

        Apparently not paying Amazon either.

        Twitter has also stopped paying Amazon, Platformer reported, leading to threats from Amazon to stop paying for Twitter advertising.

        Amazon’s PE > 300 means Amazon is a threat to Mr Market. Any realistic assessment would conclude that at least two or three earths ready for exploitation are needed for Amazon’s earning to grow into it’s multiple.

        1. Geo

          I hope they follow the Musk/Zuckerberg playbook and settle these debts in a cage match.

          Seriously though, these are the dweebs who idealize a future Mars utopia when it’s clear it would turn into Lord of the Flies in the first fifteen minutes over a dispute about Soylent Green rations.

    2. Mikel

      Weep for what is being done to language.
      For the longest, Twitter featured a limited number of characters to express yourself.

    3. albrt

      I don’t know why people are talking about “rate limiting.” I am not seeing a limited number of tweets. I am not allowed to see any tweets at all. Any attempt to click on a tweet or navigate to a specific user (usually Big Serge) just goes to a sign up page.

      1. NYT_Memes

        I don’t even get to the sign up page. I just get “Something is wrong. Try again.”
        Try again never works.

      2. marym

        The first change a few days ago required an account even just to view anything. The additional change yesterday was the “rate limit” – the number of tweets was limited even after signing on with an account, with some variation in the limit size depending on the type of account.

    1. griffen

      Scanning the list for US locations, number 45 is in New Orleans. Are we breaking the rule of thumb, and going to Mother’s anyway. Testing the adage I guess, don’t eat at a place called Mom’s (I’m sure the listed gumbo is quite worthy. Now I’m thinking about jumbalaya!).

      1. dougie

        Best ham I ever tasted in my life? Hands down, Mothers. Every visit to NOLA (yearly, before the pandemic. Now, not so much) included a meal or two at Mothers, depending on how long the line out front was.

        1. John k

          Yes, excellent. It’s a diner.
          We bought a pound or so, plus bread, gave us lunch for a few days.
          Traditional local soups were good, too. Line out the door fed the inside line where you ordered.
          they did let me sit down while wife waited outside.

      2. ChrisPacific

        Mama’s Fish House on Maui definitely follows the adage. The fact that it’s immensely well reviewed and has a waiting list of months to years tells you more about what most tourists in Maui are looking for than anything else.

        The branding suggests a small, family place with seafood just off the boat, but appearances are misleading – it’s huge, and has its own expanse of parking lot complete with Disney World style ersatz fishing boats and signage. The setting is gorgeous but you’ll be sharing the experience with several hundred others on any given day. The food was decent but forgettable, and enormously expensive. The bright spot was the staff, who were very good and unfailingly polite and cheerful. I bet they were underpaid, though.

        If I went back I’d go to The Flatbread Company in Pa’ia proper, which felt more authentically hospitable at a fraction of the price, and the pizzas were great.

    2. Stephen

      It’s a good list but a bit eclectic. Figlmuller at #1 is interesting. It’s a nice restaurant and I guess very iconic but these days a real tourist place too. Still, Vienna is a city where you are spoiled for choice when it comes to high quality, traditional restaurants.

      To be fair too, in much of Continental Europe, including Vienna, restaurant staff are typically paid a living wage. Even without tips, which are typically moderate in these cultures. They are also trained and you will see middle aged people who have made careers as front of house staff. Reflects the high value that is even today perceived in these occupations. It is in the Anglophone countries that we seem to treat service occupations poorly.

      1. Expensive Tourism

        Judging by the German locations on the list, this is a list of tourist traps, not great restaurants.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Funny how this crack-down on Twitter appeared after the first few shows of Tucker Carlson on it. I’m not saying that is was the main reason why but I am sure that more and more news sources will be censored or put behind paywalls as the 2024 Presidential elections hove into view.

      1. flora

        Or Musk saw Tucker’s viewership as a way for Musk to collect more user data. (twtr can then ‘$hare’ the data with ‘partners’) That’s my bet. You’re probably correct about politics and the next election having an influence. / ;)

        adding about this particular Tucker episode 8: did someone say the military is having trouble recruiting? Maybe “fashion” shows on military bases for family night isn’t a winner for recruitment? / ;)

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Three guys from the Belmont Hlll School lived over me my freshman year in college. Real hell-raisers. One of them owned a Porsche at 18. That was nothing new, though. One of my high school classmates received a Porsche at 16 because he had not failed any classes that semester.

      When will Tucker tackle the Pritzkers? They’re funding a lot of these gender affirming care clinics.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      Interesting – when I clicked the link I could see all the comments, and I checked another Rumble account, I could see them there too. I’ve been watching a few journalists on Rumble over the last few months once they moved over there, and previously the only way to see comments had been to create an account and sign in, which I had declined to do since I didn’t want to hand over all my info either (and didn’t really care to read the comments anyway).

      I wonder if this change is a response to twitter shutting down watchers without accounts? Seems to have happened at about the same time.

    4. petal

      Thank you for the rumble link Flora. I, too, refuse to open a twitter account. Had been wondering how I’d be able to watch.
      Funny opening about Milley.

    5. marieann

      I also can’t access twitter anymore nor can I access rumble.

      I also can’t access many of the links here so my news has been seriously compromised

      1. lyman alpha blob

        There are browser add ons you can get that will allow you to read a lot of paywalled articles. When I opened the GQ link today in Brave it was paywalled so I opened it up in Firefox instead which I use a paywall blocker with, and I was able too read the whole thing no problem. Try searching on “firefox addon bypass paywall” and you will get a few different options. I’m sure there are similar add ons for other browsers too.

    6. Mark Gisleson

      Hang tough and appeal every five-six weeks or so to keep reminding them you’re still waiting. As I’ve said, it took me a year to get back on without surrendering a phone number but they did relent.

      Not saying what I wrote in my appeals, but after speculating about the FBI installing cameras in Twitter’s bathrooms I was escalated from being frozen for suspicious activity to some phrase that implied bad behavior on my part. I find the appeals process to be an ideal opportunity for sowing discontent among underpaid workers dealing with appeals. They also love it when you include links to appropriate office workers unions in your appeals.

      If you have any Lists you’ve bookmarked outside of Twitter, I used one to backdoor back in but since I did so anonymously I could only look for something, not see my usual feed (and my lists were so OLD — turns out I no longer follow hardly anyone I followed in 2009 : (

  3. Mikerw0

    I had already read the Newyorker article on the Titan submersible and glad you posted it. It makes clear that people who actually know about submersibles knew the Titan was a defective death trap. Shocking. It belies the typical master of the universe nonsense that “I did my due diligence “. What garbage.

    While at one level I feel for the people who died, at another level they did it to themselves.

    Worth the read.

    1. Carolinian

      There was a guy in Australia once who made his own cruise missile using a pulse jet engine like the V1. People just wanna invent!

      Plus there are lots of other examples of rich people being able to afford to do dangerous things. Climbing Mt.Everest would be one.

    2. Stephen

      It also highlights how hard it is to call out these problems. David Lochridge clearly tried but it seems that officialdom did not act too rigourously. In his circumstance, I can easily see that I might well have given up too, or not even have gone as far as he did to blow the whistle.

      Interesting too that a retired Coast Guard admiral (as an aside, fascinating to us foreigners that the Coast Guard has such ranks and is an armed service, given that the navy exists…) served on the Board. I am sure everything was legal and proper but gamekeepers moving on to work for potential poachers does seem to be a feature of much of the west these days. Conflict of interest seems to be another forgotten topic along with many others that were once considered important such as Economic Rent.

      The sinking of the Titanic itself was followed by Courts of Inquiry in both Britain and US, with various maritime safety recommendations that are still in force today. I wonder what this will lead to. Not even 100% clear either I guess where the jurisdiction lies.

    3. Dr. John Carpenter

      The more I read about the Titan crew, specifically their huge belief that safety regulations were a hindrance to innovation, their desire to Uberfy sea travel, etc., the less sympathetic I am to their plight. They had plenty of people who were experts telling them this wouldn’t work (and according to reports, many of their own employees tried to warn them about failed tests but they flat out refused to hear it.) I do give them credit for putting their money where their mouths were, so to speak. But the whole thing plays to me like yet more idle wealthy convincing themselves they’re an expert on something they have about a child’s understanding of.

    4. Mikel

      “People are so enthralled with Titanic,” OceanGate’s founder, Stockton Rush, told a BBC documentary crew last year. “I read an article that said there are three words in the English language that are known throughout the planet. And that’s ‘Coca-Cola,’ ‘God,’ and ‘Titanic.’ ”

      How could he forget ‘money.’?

        1. Mikel

          He was thinking about it when he cut all those corners like Boeing reject carbon fibers and hiring teenagers for $15 an hour.

          The Titan submersible is an allegory for the USA.
          I feel like we are in a Titan submersible, but captive to squillionaires egos.

    5. Mikel

      Reading the article reminds me that most of the planet has always been unhabitable for humans.

    6. Cat Burglar

      Rush ticked all the boxes.

      Outsourced the carbon-fiber hull construction to an unsupervised contractor — check.

      When the sample showed delamination, slap on a technical fix (“acoustic monitoring”) and call it good –check.

      When people direct you to ways to physically solve the real problem, say it is too slow and expensive — check.

      When criticized, say you’re an innovator — check.

      When it looks like they have you, use your money to lawyer up and sue — check.

      Venue shop globally to avoid all legal liability in case they are right about what you are doing — check.

      Rush’s flight from the physical reality of making a safe vessel that could withstand undersea pressure on the hull is like a nation that wants to be a global military power without having an industrial base. I used to call it “F-35 America,” but “OceanGate America” might work, too.

      Rush quoted Mac Arthur, but forgot about what happened right after the march to the Yalu.

    7. William

      I found myself laughing about the incident involving the thruster being installed backwards on a previous titanic dive.. think super Mario Brothers cheat code. Funniest thing I have read in weeks.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Australian Submarine Agency Commences Operations – Naval News”

    The story is a headfake and could be compared to another called “First Australian Submariners Set To Graduate From U.S. Navy’s Nuke School’-

    So the first group of Australian submariners to attend the U.S. Navy’s Nuclear Power School is set to graduate next week. That’s great. Wonderful. Fantastic. OK then, what are we going to do with them? We won’t be getting our first nuke subs for a coupla decades – by which time these guys would have retired from the Royal Australian Navy. Maybe they will lend/lease them to the US Navy to help them with shortages of US sailors in the meantime. Whatever. At the moment, being a qualified Aussie nuke sailor has all the prestige of being an Admiral in the Swiss Navy.

    1. Carolinian

      There’s an opening in the Titanic tour guide category. Still will need a submarine.

      1. Mildred Montana

        Launch of “Feeling Lucky?” expedition coming soon. Huge discounts on price!

    2. ambrit

      They will be “offered” private contractor gigs in the Ukraine Navy Black Sea fleet.

    3. scott s.

      Well, if the first boat is to be operational in 2032, then yes, it probably takes that long to build the needed training/experience infrastructure. The hallmark of the USN nuke program was the development of the Rickover culture. That takes time to institutionalize.

      1. The Rev Kev

        If American ship building industries cannot even keep up with building enough nuke boats for the US Navy, where will there be capacity to also build those for our Navy? I find that 2032 target to be, ahem, aspirational at best.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      > We won’t be getting our first nuke subs for a coupla decades

      Not so. From the article:

      Mead revealed that of the three Virginia class SSNs Australia has committed to buying, only one of them will be a new-build vessel. The other two will be transferred directly from the United States Navy (USN) with approximately 20 years of life remaining.

      It’s not going to take twenty years to transfer two used subs to Australia. That’s why I included the link; the used subs detail was new to me.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I read that before but the problem remains. If US shipyards can’t deliver on the new subs, then the US Navy will have to hang onto the ones that they have at present, especially if it looks like there will be a fight in the Pacific against China. And the US Navy is having all sorts of problem getting delivery of those new boats from those shipyards.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Actually US Navy is having all sorts of problems even getting the Virginias out of midlife maintenance. Turns out that aiming for cheap price to get as many as possible means that a lot of the parts are subpar compared to earlier designs.

          On average they spent nine months overtime on the overhaul, and are rather expensive to maintain. No wonder they hope to get somebody else to pay for that.

  5. griffen

    I can’t help but think those ought to be, super adorbs otters. Not quite the basket of puppies on the cute scale but close!

    Breaking news. It’s gonna be a hot one this week in much of the USA.

  6. SocalJimObjects

    Notes on Postmodern Programming. “Universities must return to programming”. How can they when most professors don’t even know how to code. That might be a surprise to some, but people living in Ivory Towers would not deign to do plumbing, which is what programming amounts to in the end IMHO. I received my Masters in Computer Science from one of the top 20 universities in the United States back in 201X so I am pretty confident that nothing has changed much since then. Back then, students would receive points for simply getting a program to compile, which is fine if you are just starting to code, but not when you are a “Master” candidate surely. Also, error handling code is never a priority in academic settings, any problem can always be attributed to wrong input or user error ;)

    I am not saying there’s no value in getting a post graduate degree in Computer Science, because there’s a wealth of interesting researches out there that you get to discuss with people at a theoretical level, but you are fooling yourself if you think you will learn to do any good programming at a university.

    1. flora

      Wow. It sounds like unis have gone backward from when I was in school studying computer science, learning to code, compile, machine language, stacks, stack overflows, error handling. That was the basic undergrad classwork at a state uni. I think the idea of profs then was fitting students to go out into the world of working at large businesses – banks, large retail stores, military, etc. Most of the profs then had worked in the “real world” of computer departments in businesses before joining academia as profs. Almost everything was mainframe. PCs barely existed. That was a long time ago.

      I’m shocked by what you’ve described.

        1. jsn

          The political right is setting up to blame “the collapse of competence” on “EDI” when in fact it is the result of neoliberalism asset stripping in erstwhile “higher education.”

          Before the Administrative Blight set in, the academy was set up for the cultural reproduction and expansion of knowledge. This endeavor has been replaced with the tax farming recruitment of student debtors, the embubblement of celebrity “educators” for marketing and the sale of research and resulting IP to the highest bidder. Critical thinking was the first casualty of the business school boom begun in the Reagan era.

          Blame now will be placed on Civil Rights for the disasters of market cannibalism, “efficiency” having devoured it’s own reproductive tract.

          1. Geo

            Same excuses used in the military recruitment article:

            “veterans have become disillusioned with recommending military service due to a tight labor market, concerns over low pay, debilitating injuries, suicides, and inconclusive wars. This recruiting crisis is further exacerbated by the Pentagon’s focus on left-wing issues, such as transgenderism and critical race theory.“

            I could be wrong but the issues presented in the first sentence seem much more convincing reasons to abstain from joining than the second sentence. If someone is cool with failed wars, high suicide rates, lifelong injuries, etc, but turned off by race/gender stuff they have serious personal issues.

      1. MT_Wild

        Side note to self-staffing at Walmart. Was recently at our local store and asked the guy running the self-checkouts why they didn’t have any of the cashier lanes open. He said they had 10 cashiers scheduled for that shift and only two showed up. Barely enough to handle the self checkout lanes.

        In the absence of age-restricted items, self-checkout doesn’t need much staffing. Still waiting for walmart to test out a store where you have to swipe ID and credit card to enter and shop. Notice this model on a small scale at airports already.

        1. John Steinbach

          Amazon Fresh already goes it. Scan prime app (CC info already loaded), shop, and walk out. Expensive though.

          1. Bsn

            And quite a bit of your personal information including facial recognition and gait tracking walks right into their coffers to be sold to multiple data storage corporations who are accountable to no one. I can’t imagine why someone would shop at amazon – the shopper is being sold.

        2. dougie

          My standard reply before I walk away from a loaded cart at a self checkout where staff won’t check me out? “I don’t work here. Goodbye”.

          1. ambrit

            I’m stealing that line!
            My standard answer when some “helpful” customer Service Agent tries to ‘nudge’ me towards the self checkout line has been; “Sorry, I prefer to keep a live person employed.” As you can guess, the responses run the gamut.
            Stay safe. Shop defensively.

            1. marieann

              I actually don’t know how to work the machines…and I like to keep it that way.

              In a drug store lineup a helpful clerk came and took me to the self checkout, I just stood there and watched as she rang my item in and then took my card and entered it…all I had to do was put my code in….just like at a regular cashier

          2. Jason Boxman

            Generally I have even less time available to just walk away and do without the resources I came for in the first place, but I totally get the sentiment. I have walked away when there’s no self checkout and no lanes without at least 2 or 3 people with huge carts completely full; I really don’t have time for that.

            Otherwise I begrudgingly do self checkout because it’s 90% of the time much faster if every lane has people already checking out. The era of staffing enough people is long over, sadly.

      2. Daryl

        > That was the basic undergrad classwork at a state uni.

        State uni might be the keyword there.

        Back when I was applying around, the snootier schools’ CS programs invariably included a statement on how programming was really just kind of a side gig for what was effectively an applied math degree, and that justified why they were so slow in keeping up with any kind of technological change. In the end I dropped out and got myself a real education instead. No regerts.

        1. TimH

          In a hotel room in Texas, Clive Sinclair had a big problem. He wanted to sell a cheap scientific calculator that would grab the market from expensive calculators such as the popular HP-35. Hewlett-Packard had taken two years, 20 engineers, and a million dollars to design the HP-35, which used 5 complex chips and sold for $395. Sinclair’s partnership with calculator manufacturer Bowmar had gone nowhere. Now Texas Instruments offered him an inexpensive calculator chip that could barely do four-function math. Could he use this chip to build a $100 scientific calculator?

          Texas Instruments’ engineers said this was impossible – their chip only had 3 storage registers, no subroutine calls, and no storage for constants such as π. The ROM storage in the calculator held only 320 instructions, just enough for basic arithmetic. How could they possibly squeeze any scientific functions into this chip?

          Fortunately Clive Sinclair, head of Sinclair Radionics, had a secret weapon – programming whiz and math PhD Nigel Searle. In a few days in Texas, they came up with new algorithms and wrote the code for the world’s first single-chip scientific calculator, somehow programming sine, cosine, tangent, arcsine, arccos, arctan, log, and exponentiation into the chip. The engineers at Texas Instruments were amazed.

          1. Will

            In school, I was regularly told by my computer engineering friends that very few if any programmers could match up with what people were doing in the early years. Also, it’s not really the fault of modern day coders, schools, etc. Its become much easier to be a computer programmer because computers are much more powerful and resource constraints don’t really exist. That was +20 years ago.

            I, most assuredly not a genius, have been able to pick it up fairly easily the last few years (lock down hobby) because it’s been made so accessible. Also, the most common issues have already been addressed and solutions readily available. Much of the time, it seems more of a project management / integration task getting ready made components to play nice with each other than it is programming. Standing on the shoulders of giants and all that. But would you rather everyone busy themselves reinventing the wheel?

            But, to be fair, I’m strictly at a hobbyist level, so please take the above with a large grain of salt.

            1. Daryl

              Well, there’s still plenty of heroics here and there.

              But if it makes your life a bit easier and isn’t that hard, that’s also progress :)

    2. sbarrkum

      We learnt on the I as they say in a State Uni, Earth Sciences Masters, PhD program. Early 90’s

      Programs to Analyze Data, (plenty of it including satellite images), connect to instruments, do system admin for the high end Unix boxes. Never did a formal computer programming class.

      That experience came in useful, started working on Risk Analysis of Derivatives. Had the math and programming skills, had to get to speed on business side of things.

    3. Synoia

      Programming is easy.

      All you have to do is to sit and think about the problem until little drops of blood appear on your forehead.

      My last effort was to put TCP into UBoot. Took me a year. The hostility from some of the uBppt regulars was immense.

      TCP is the most used data transfer protocol in the world, and is the protocol at the foundation of the Internet. Is is an extremely simple and brilliant protocol.

      1. Offtrail

        Elegant code is be a joy to behold, let alone write. A beautiful program matches the task completely, with nothing left undone and not an instruction out of place. May that always be appreciated and never go out of style.

        I have been in the presence of code like that from time to time. Haven’t often matched it.

      2. hunkerdown

        > TCP into uBoot

        Respect! Systems programming ain’t easy. But I can see how TCP at the bootloader could be contentious, and I can see the value in early-stage bootloaders remaining incapable of booting from any file on the entire Internet. Some things shouldn’t be quite so easy to subvert…

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Programming is easy.

        Reading is not… Many interesting comments on this topic, but most don’t seem to realize that the article is a jape, a parody, tactically “grievance studiesavant la lettre. Search on the string I gave, and you will see!

    4. Duke of Prunes

      My son has a computer engineering degree and graduated 4 years ago. He’s now at the point where he is involved in hiring new people. He has told me that most Comp Sci grads he has interviewed are pretty worthless. He prefers to hire engineers because their curriculum is much more project based (build something to solve this problem) vs testing theoretical knowledge.

      About his education in the engineering school of a large public university, he had to learn calculus on YouTube, and networking from me. At graduation, a few of his classmates thanked me for helping them pass their networking class. Great way to spend $100k.

      1. GramSci

        Apropos Flora’s initial comment at top of thread about ‘progress’ at university: $100k buys a lot of adjuncts and may not buy much education, but it sure pays a lot of administrators.

      2. digi_owl

        What is really crazy is that thanks to smartphones, tablets and chromebooks, most reach high school, if not university, without knowing the basics of file managers etc.

      3. Socal Rhino

        Really? My program back in prehistoric times required 3 semesters of Calculus and one of differential equations.

        1. Duke of Prunes

          He had that too, but his professor was horrible, and he could not understand his TA…at least for his Calc 1 and 2 (iirc) So he took the courses, but learned the content from the internet. Seems like I paid a $150 for the subscription to the internet classes vs the $1000s that went to the university for the privilege of taking the tests.

          All’s we’ll that ends well. He’s been off my payroll and living a good life since he graduated so I guess I shouldn’t complain too much.

      4. ChrisPacific

        On a similar note, I am firmly of the opinion that working in a support and maintenance team as part of an on call roster is some of the best possible training for writing high quality code.

        If you’ve regularly been up in the small hours of the morning in your pajamas, staring at an unfamiliar program while fielding frantic calls and messages from upper management, you tend to get concepts like robust error handling and self-documenting code in a way that classrooms don’t teach you.

    5. scott s.

      My MSCS goes way back to 1981, so in a different universe I guess. At the time my emphasis was on AI, which was an entirely different beast (the holy grail was “understanding natural language”). These days I have been playing around with openAI Whisper to do speech-to text of Japanese with translation to English, and it does a pretty good job but I don’t think it “understands” anything.

      As far as “coding” (what we called programming) I can see why python is so popular. What’s really amazing to me though is the IDE available (been using MS Visual Code and I don’t see how a student could possibly fail to complete a project with tools like that). Nothing like “the good ole days” when programming meant taking your flow chart down to the basement keypunch room, keying your “deck” and submitting it to the gods of the mainframe to pick up your results next day.

    6. ArvidMartensen

      Not just in the US. Enrolled in a couple of Masters subjects in IT 15 years ago. The continuous assessment mostly revolved around “group” assignments. To teach us all to work in groups (guffaw).

      So one of the main assignments was to be done in a group of 4.
      I and another student turned up to all group progress meetings – about 15. The third turned up sporadically to about half, with no prior notice of absence (full-time student paid by employer, with childminding duties and working spouse ). The fourth turned up to two, the first and last.

      We two students did almost all of the work to meet the deadline, as we needed to do well.
      The third student got upset that we were deciding on content without him and dropped out until the assignment was due, when he turned up to make sure his name was on the paper. The fourth student turned up to the last meeting and offered to write the title page, his sole contribution. That tipped me over the edge.

      I went to the lecturer and complained that 2 out of 4 had done nothing but would have their names on the paper. The lecturer cut our group into 2, and made a new group of 2, the students who had done little to nothing.
      The fourth student verbally abused me, told me that I was unreasonable since I did not know his situation. What situation? Being in a new country without his mother to help him. He would have been mid to late 20’s. I replied that I was co-parenting, working full-time in addition to studying and so had no sympathy for him.

      I could not believe that this is what tertiary education had become. At least our lecturer took action, but peers tell me that some don’t and just shrug and ignore the problem. It is all to do with not upsetting international high-fee-paying students.

  7. flora

    Gonna be hot. Yep. It’s July. Do your errands or yard work early in the morning when it’s still cool, before the sun get too far up and the heat index heads into the upper 90s F. or higher.

    1. ambrit

      Lucky you! Heat Indices only in the upper 90s F!
      It’s like what the Devil told the Politico when said ‘Public Servant’ arrived Down There: “Yes, but it’s a dry heat.”
      We are nearing the end of a heat wave. Temps pushing 100 F with Heat Indices over 110 F.
      I think that is bad? Just ask ‘amforats’ out in Tejas. He is having real heat now.
      Note: Look at the overnight lows. When those temperatures stay at 75 F and above, the daytime heating doesn’t have “far to go” to reach dangerous levels. A ‘virtuous cycle’ is then set up. Luckily for us near the coasts, the standard system of afternoon and evening showers ‘cools’ the atmosphere just enough to save us from adopting trogloditic lifestyles.
      Stay safe, keep your cool.

      1. Daryl

        > If I owned Texas and all Hell, I would rent out Texas and live in Hell.

        – Philip Sheridan

    2. Daryl

      I moved from the Gulf Coast to the high desert and am enjoying the mild to me temps that actually go down overnight instead of remaining at roasting heat and humidity.

    3. Rita

      On the whole, it’s been a noticeably cooler Spring/early Summer than usual here in southeastern NJ. The one glaring exception was an early stretch of unseasonably hot days a few months back.

  8. Bemildred

    So many good arguments today for why we should not let rich people have money because of all the dumb things they wil do with it.

    1. Geo

      Affluenza is a serious condition and we as a society have really dropped the ball in protecting those afflicted by it. We really need to do more to protect this minority group from the harm affluence brings to them and their loved ones. Start with making affluence a Class A controlled substance and anyone in possession or distribution of affluence should be given severe prison time. Then offer rehabilitation programs to help those suffering from affluence addiction readapt to society through work-release programs where then can learn a useful trade and become productive members of society again.

  9. Carolinian

    Re locked shelves–we used to have a chain called Service Merchandise where you’d take a paper ticket for the displayed item to the main desk and someone in the back would put it on a conveyor to the cashier. I don’t know if this was about shoplifting so much as simply not having to stock display shelves.

    However they mostly sold electronics and larger household items, not toothbrushes. Without a doubt the modern “always low prices,” minimum staff approach to retail depends a great deal on self service even up to–these days–running your own checkout. Sounds like in some cities Walmart is simply leaving if they can’t make their business model work.

    1. MT_Wild

      Side note to self-staffing at Walmart. Was recently at our local store and asked the guy running the self-checkouts why they didn’t have any of the cashier lanes open. He said they had 10 cashiers scheduled for that shift and only two showed up. Barely enough to handle the self checkout lanes.

      In the absence of age-restricted items, self-checkout doesn’t need much staffing. Still waiting for walmart to test out a store where you have to swipe ID and credit card to enter and shop. Notice this model on a small scale at airports already.

    2. herman_sampson

      Local Service Merchandise store had small electrics and electronics, luggage, gifts and especially jewelry. Most everything was ordered and delivered from the back on conveyor belt – only thing on floor were LP’s. Thought it was mainly to minimize number and skill of employees. Prices may have been a little lower than traditional retailers. SM took over building from a store called Govco or Gemco.

      1. digi_owl

        Seeing a resurgence of those here in Norway, particularly regarding small but valuable electronics.

        While they will have a small selection of cables etc out front, most will be brought to you from the back room on request.

        That said, that is how most stores used to work back in the day.

    3. griffen

      Locked shelves, spent my teenage years working at a regional retailer based in North Carolina, Roses, which went kablooie at least once by the early to mid 1990s. Leaders didn’t see Wal Mart coming, but I digress. We kept a display of simple rifles and a few shotguns behind the counter, and the department attendant kept the key. I want to say the various ammo was also kept locked away, all for the obvious reasons. Can’t say I ever worked in that department and actually sold much that was locked away. I did a lot elsewhere, in housewares and moving boxes of Clorox bottles and Charmin tp, respectively.

      This time period was late ’80s to circa 1992 so times have changed. I think jewelry (such as it was) and your Casio or Timex watches were locked away as well.

    4. Dr. John Carpenter

      I think it had more to do with the store being a “catalog showroom” as opposed to a department store. Iirc, the idea was kind of an early experiment in a kind of just in time whereas they didn’t have merchandise on the floor so they needed less space because it was all in the warehouse to be caked down as needed. I was in high school when ours closed, so I may be misremembering.

  10. Watt4Bob

    Anyone else notice that Stockton Rush bears a striking resemblance to John Galt?

    He found a way around the pesky regulations that constrained his genius, founded his own ‘Galt’s Gulch‘ in the wild west that is international waters and, and among other accomplishments, proved to the world that;

    “…at some point, safety is just pure waste.”

    1. digi_owl

      speaking of international waters, i seem to recall The World was marketed as a tax refuge as it would allow one to register ones residency outside of any nation.

  11. Henry Moon Pie

    LOL. Lambert, I was really excited about the “Out of the Wild” piece in the original “uncurated” version of this morning’s links, especially the way it connected with the tree plantations article about the Canadian fires (which contained a big shout-out to you-congrats).

    “Call of the Wild” doesn’t mention but is highly relevant to the “30 by 30” project favored by the Ecomodernists. The idea is for nations to set aside 30% of their land area for wilderness by 2030. While that sounds nice, the project is likely to be executed in a way that displaces subsistence farmers and pastoralists to create wilderness amusement parks with a landing strip that can accommodate private jets close by while the rest of us are crowded into giant high rises to spend hours on VR while munching on bugs.

    Framed around the author’s story about birds, snakes and vols in his back yard, “Call of the Wild” deals with this fundamental issue:

    But, so the story goes, things were not always this way. Long ago, there was harmony between us and the wild. We killed for food and to defend ourselves, but at some point in history something changed. We became alienated from nature because of our tools, which made us masters of nature rather than part of it.

    The author then tracks various points at which this alienation took place: invention of the moldboard plow in the 7th century CE, the beginning of agriculture, Descartes and his dualism. My own candidate is when humans began to use spears and knives combined with hunting in groups, a combination of innovations that led to many extinctions among megafauna in the Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages. This was significant because it was the first time that humans abandoned their ecological niche in which they gathered fruits and nuts and ate small mammals and bugs. Leaving that niche greatly disrupted the ecosystems where these humans lived. We might say that step was the first in a path that led to industrial farming and fishing, innovations that threaten to drive even more of our fellow creatures into extinction.

    As for how and when humans should intervene in ecosystems to do things like getting rid of invasive species or defending “underdogs,” Wendell Berry provides what strikes me as the best way to evaluate those choices:

    We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it.

    The lumber companies in Canada are good examples of humans who don’t seem to have the slightest concern for what is good for the Earth. Monocropping conifers is good for the bottom line, so who cares about the effect that policy has on wildlife and climate resiliency, unless the outrage over all this smoke forces the Canadian government to do something about it. And even then, will the regulatory efforts be counterproductive because they’re not based on solid knowledge about how our intervention could accomplish the goal of doing what’s good for the Earth?

    The transhumanists actually celebrate the arrival of the Anthropocene even though the departure of the mild, civilization-friendly Holocene is due to our doing what we thought was good for us, not the Earth. The reality is that the Anthropocene is here. Trying to restore the Earth of even 100 years ago is a fool’s errand in the face of all that we have done to disrupt that world. What we’ll need is much more of the kind of knowledge of Earth’s ecosystems along with development of the philosophical underpinnings that clarify our role–let’s say our ecological niche–in this much-modified natural world. Such an approach would be the opposite of the Biden administration’s official adoption of geoengineering, especially in the form of shooting sulfur in the sky every two years, which aims to moderate temperatures for the sake of human agriculture and settlement patterns in a complete flauting of the precautionary principle.

    1. ambrit

      The “narrative” about early hunters wiping out the megafauna is under attack. The pivot ‘event’ in that extinction is now being seen as whatever sparked the Younger Dryas climate excursion.
      Items like the ‘Black Mat’ earth layer, the disappearance of the Clovis Culture suddenly alongside the disappearance of the megafauna, the sheer scale of the megafauna extinctions, the Carolina Bays, the appearance of tektites, elevated iridium samples, nano diamonds etc. in a very thin layer of sediments worldwide are suggesting an alternative and, thus far, superior ‘story’ concerning the early Terran human experience on this ball of ours.
      The Earth is bombarded by meteors daily. Most are tiny, harmless grains of sand. Occasionally, a larger one shows up. Some are big and do devastation on a grand scale. This has now been shown to happen more often than previously thought. If, as a main theory has it, these big ‘celestial visitors’ are associated with the annual, with some bi-annual, meteor streams, think Gemenids or Perseids annual meteor “shows,” then the sources of the space streams of rubble are still out there and still whizzing past Earth irregularly spaced out, but consistent with the established “meteor shower” events.
      It’s a fascinating study and just emerging from “Rabbit Hole” classification as reliable data is accumulated. The ‘dreaded’ Randall Carlson is a pioneer on this. So is the Comet Research Group.
      Many will now say; YMMV. Sure, until the next big meteor hits. We live in a dangerous neighbourhood in Space.
      Stay safe. Eyes to the sky.

      1. Stephen V

        Somebody is “reading” perhaps his Graham Hancock and Randall Carlson? Amazing stuff. Thanks for the resume’ Ambrit.

        1. ambrit

          Yes. One needs to read widely and use some discernment in what one accepts. The strength of the Comet Impact Theory is the physical data available. Since no one can go back in time and film the ‘event(s)’ that triggered the Younger Dryas and associated effects, an analysis of the evidence to prove or disprove various theories is needed. We see the past through what past events leave as clues. When a cluster of evidence appears at the same time horizon, most pointing to a large impact on the Earth’s surface, originating from space, then such an event should become the prime theory to explain the evidence. A competing but similar theory is that of a major Solar Coronal Mass Ejection event striking the Earth at that time.
          I will be the first to admit that I do not know very much. However, I must point out that credentials do not guarantee continuing expertise in a field. The old standby Appeal to Academic Authority is not only a logical fallacy, it is also a positive hinderance to the advancement of most sciences.
          That’s my non-credentialed story and I’m constantly refining it.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        I will have to look into that theory. If true, it would push the time of our alienation later. But wait, what about early man’s use of fire to hunt? That may be a pre-agricultural example.

        In any case, the most interesting question for me is whether technology leads inevitably to the kind of alienation from Nature predominant in our society. Is it like the Baptists teach about dancing: it may not be sex, but it leads to it? Even the Primitivists allow for hand-made tools. For that matter, we’re learning that tool-use among our fellow animals is more widespread than we thought. Is the fact that they’re able to use tools without “advancing” to a point where they’re mucking up the biosphere merely a matter of humans’ greater intelligence getting them into trouble, or do the crows say to themselves, “Let’s not get carried away with this tool thing. Look at what all that tool-making has done to the humans?”

        Berry’s prescription is a good one, but it could use some fleshing out.

  12. Carolinian

    Re A Deeply Misleading Narrative

    The exploitation of the Americas also required huge numbers of laborers. In Capitalism and Slavery, Trinidadian scholar Eric Williams shows how colonial landowners turned to the Atlantic slave trade after experimenting with indigenous labor and then British and Irish emigrants. As Walter Rodney explains, Africans were brought to the New World not because they were Black, but because they were the cheapest way to extract surplus labor from the colonies. Pioneering Black writer Lerone Bennett and later, Theodore Allen, showed that in the English speaking colonies, racist laws had to be created in order to allow for their status as slaves, and to incentivize poor whites to side with the slave-owners when slaves rose up in revolt. In his book The Invention Of The White Race, Allen made an intensive study of the records to show that the first time the word “White” was used in a legal description of a person was in colonial Virginia, after Black and white indentured servants had united to rebel against their colonial masters in 1676. No such study supports Robinson’s ahistorical claims about a precapitalist racial order.

    Plus the Africans were better suited to the climate of the tobacco and eventually cotton growing South than the Irish from higher latitudes. Racism had to be invented to justify actions that were actually motivated by the more universal emotion of greed. That one we still have and a new cadre of crackpot philosophers like Ayn Rand to justify it.

    All about class (money a requirement), not race. Those Twelve Oaks barbecues don’t pay for themselves. Always has been?

    1. Mildred Montana

      >”…the more universal emotion of greed.”

      I’ve often thought that greed is the “original sin” of humankind. It is one of the “Seven Deadly Sins” and perhaps the most consequential today. 𝘏𝘰𝘮𝘰 𝘴𝘢𝘱𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘴 is the only species that clear-cuts forests without thought, strip-mines mountains, burns Amazon rainforest, destroys habitats and other living things willy-nilly, hunts for sport, and creates weapons of war for profit, all in the name of more, more, more.

      Then it drives half-a-mile to the nearest fast-food drive-thru so that it can eat until it weighs 300 pounds. Last I looked no bear ever ate until it weighed 2000 pounds nor did it say, “I’ve got a den, now I need a vacation den.”

      When I think about it too much, human beings disgust me. Because the problem is not in our stars (the sun). It is in ourselves.

      1. digi_owl

        Keep in mind that the consumerism had to be induced after WW1, thanks to the surplus output of factories tuned for war. Heck, note how the typical word for the masses in politics these days is not citizens or workers but consumers. The English language has, since the first East India Company returned laden with goods, been tuned in favor of the merchants. Keep in mind that England dragged China into open war over opium, that English smugglers were bringing into China in order even out a massive trade deficit.

        1. Mildred Montana

          >”…note how the typical word for the masses in politics these days is not citizens or workers but consumers.”

          Unfettered capitalism’s ultimate goal: Eager consumers and docile workers. In other words, high prices and low wages.

      2. Bart Hansen

        “I’ve got a den, now I need a vacation den.”

        The foxes on our property have two dens. One is very near the house, the other down a slope near a stream. The first one is where the young are born and seems to be the province of the female. The second one is where the male teaches them to be adults. A lot of coming and going between the two when the young are first needing to be fed solid food.

        1. Mildred Montana

          Thank you, Bart. You’re lucky to be able to observe nature in the raw. I live in a city so all I see are pigeons, sparrows, crows, and seagulls, all feeding on the leavings of on overfed humanity.

      3. MT_Wild

        Largest Kodiak bear in captivity was 2400 pounds.,at%20the%20age%20of%2022.

        In prep for hibernation bears consume calories with no stopping until they somehow get a sense that the food supply has tapered off and foraging for more calories would burn more than they’d gain.

        When feeding on the salmon runs at a certain point they’ll only consume the brains and eggs because that’s where the most fat is located. But this is all driven clearly by survival where I think what you’re pointing out in humans is better called gluttony.

        1. Wukchumni

          The only time I ever guaranteed a bear sighting was about 5 years ago in early November, a trio of friends had been in Sacramento for a wedding and showed up around 3 pm and one of them had never been to Sequoia NP and had never seen a bear, but was wavering until I made my offer.

          The Generals Highway (just opened yesterday for the first time since February) winds up to the Giant Forest from around 1,500 to 7,000 feet and up until 5,000 feet there are oodles of oak trees on either side of the highway, and its time for an acorn buffet-all you can eat.

          The most bruins i’ve ever seen on one drive up to Crescent Meadow and down was 9, to give you an idea. They aren’t hard to find as you look for stopped cars, along with with a sharp eye for movement of the ursine movement, as they are all fattening up for hibernation…

          But back to the guarantee, we drive up to Crescent Meadow and back down with only about 15 minutes of daylight left, when my friend saw her first black bear 100 feet away and down a hill, a husky fellow weighing in at around 350 pounds, large for around these parts.

          I’ve decided to keep my guarantee record @ 100% by not bearing the burden of future expectations.

        2. MT_Wild

          Should also point out that many animals hunt for sport which is really just practicing highly specialized hunting and gathering techniques.

          House cats are probably the best example and one most people are familiar with. It doesn’t matter how well fed and pampered your cat is it’ll still go outside and kill birds with abandon.

          Cheatgrass and other invasive grasses are in fact mindlessly destroying millions of acres of sage brush landscape in the West. Sea urchins devastate kelp forests, deer destroy Eastern deciduous forest, barred owls are hybridizing spotted owls into extinction, etc, etc.

          My perspective is it’s not that other species don’t do these things we only attribute to humanity but more that we wish we wouldn’t or were somehow above them and could do better.

          1. Wukchumni

            Einstein (the brains of the outfit) is an assault weapon who eats what he kills be it a lizard, vole, gopher or bird (no turkeys so far), and my friend from Tucson has been here about a month along with Dusty the Adventure Dog-a Wire hair terrier-Australian cattle dog mix, and if anything Einstein has picked up the pace, as I think he must feel pressure from the odd looking cat trapped in a dog’s body.

            If we lived in a Big Smoke, the tables would be turned and Einstein would be somebody else’s meat, coyote ugly after they had their way with him.

            1. MT_Wild

              We are in grizzly expansion country, with 2 sows with cubs and one lone male spotted nearby in the past two weeks. This is in addition to black bears, mountain lions, and wolves.

              It’s not just the kitties that need to watch their back, but doggos and humans as well.

    2. hunkerdown

      Greed isn’t an emotion. It’s a Christian myth designed to keep the slaves hungry and labile. The real principle at work here is systems of property that allow whatever this “greed” business is to have a material effect and not be simply ignored, undone, and marched right back out of the usurper’s estate.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Starbucks reverts to cash amid tech glitch”

    Should it be noted that if there was only digital cash, then Starbucks would have found themselves without a business? Actually I have seen an example of this in my own town. On those occasions when power is lost, many places can keep going and will balance out the receipts when the power is restored again. Except for the post office and the supermarket that is. When the power goes down, they shut their doors as they cannot do any transactions whatsoever so I guess that their cash registers require both power and an internet connection. Maybe they figure that they will make up the money later as people will have to return to them. If we are going to have a resilient society, perhaps one thing we need is cash registers that can take batteries and have a flash drive. With the power down, they can keep working and all transactions are saved to that drive. When the power is restored, then the data on that flash drive is used to update the financials. Just a thought.

    1. ambrit

      The alternative scenario is what we observed just after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. A crowd of surviving locals, which was, curiously enough, sorted financially, such as the ‘stayers’ just didn’t have the resources to leave, broke into the only local “corner store” and looted the place. It was a literal mob scene. Towards the end of that day, the tearaways began to trash the place out of an excess of “animal spirits” I guess. The next day arrived and the place looked like a bomb had gone off inside.
      Moral of the story, those ‘closed ‘ enterprises will need to invest in ‘robust’ security.

    2. .human

      This happened to me one morning at a Panera. Their system was down for some reason. I noted that I intended to pay cash for my morning coffee and offered to just leave the payment, but they refused saying that it was not possible to make a record of the transaction, which I hadn’t asked for, so nothing could be sold.

      Another time, I was notified that since they were out of bread crumbs (?!?!) they could not assemble my requested meal.

    3. digi_owl

      Best i can tell, more and more registers do not let the employee handle the money at all. Any notes and coins go into machines that do all the counting, and any change is dispensed automatically.

      This may also be a way to discourage robberies btw, as the cash is always locked away.

      1. BobNKimmie

        Whenever some Yokel is waving an iPhone around at the checkout line without success, we loudly announce
        ‘WE’RE READY TO PAY CASH’ and walk up to the front.

        Another thing one can do in that situation is to plop down exact price, rounded up to nearest dollar, “You keep the change” and walk out with merchandise.

        1. Skk

          I remember once, 80s, the private/ unlicensed minibus service between mumbai and pune that i was on, broke down in the ghats/mountains, we had to wait till it got repaired. I need to get a move on so I stood by the roadside, waving a fan of 100 rupee notes. Not one truck, and they pass by 1 or more a minute stopped! I just had to wait like everyone else.
          Never mind love, sometimes money can’t even buy you a ride !

    4. Geo

      Started a screenplay years back about a wealthy family trapped in a “smart home” during a long power outage (inspired by my experience during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in NYC). Had a fun horror-ish vibe similar to the first Purge movie but I got bored of writing it because I have so little interest in writing stories about rich people.

      But, as society does move to more and more digitization of our infrastructure from currency to communication and pretty much everything else I do wonder how well this will hold up as the electrical grid faces off against climate change and excessive demand. Remember during that Sandy outrage seeing pilgrimages of people making their way past 42nd Street where power was still available to charge phones standing in line outside of Starbucks like well dressed refugees awaiting food rations. That was just a few days without power. Interesting times ahead.

  14. griffen

    One can file under Sports Desk commentary, or alternately Class Warfare among millionaires. ESPN, a unit of Disney, has laid off 20 or so well known commentators, game analysts, and Sportscenter desk announcers. Meanwhile in Bob Iger’s world, the work must continue ( on his estate, not the share price of Disney ). I am surprised that Max Kellerman is out, along with his weekday morning show co-host Keyshawn Johnson.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The rumors going back were they were axing people who didn’t move the needle relative to absurd salaries and wouldnt negotiate down. A few like Scott Van Pelt were safe. The top show is PTI. The golden age of ESPN was when Dan and Keith followed by Craig were there. Corso and The Ohio state guy became stars via ESPN. Some of the here guys seem to be getting long in the tooth agenda don’t bring much. The Fab Five? Who cares? Steve Young is a dull Mormon in the shadow of Montana. I don’t see any of these people as a team where you can’t simply replace them. David Pollack is the dullest man alive.

      Pat McAfee is a punter with a sports show.

    2. Louis Fyne

      imo, with so many people looking at their phone or using ESPN ( and other TV) as white noise while the game is on, the value-added of commentators is lower.

      and their salary is way out-of-line with the viewership that they draw.

      (and Disney in general is a hot mess: Lucasfilm, Disney Parks losing to Universal, Disney+, Pixar)

    3. lyman alpha blob

      I hope A-Rod and his softball sidekick (whose name I forget) were on the list – they are execrable broadcasters. I never understood the A-Rod hire, given how widely hated he was even by his former teammates. I couldn’t watch baseball on ESPN with them around so who knows, maybe they’d already been canned.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      When I saw “White House report signals openness to manipulating sunlight to prevent climate change,” my first thought (always) is that it seems entirely and terribly possible that the Canadian forest fires may have been set with that in mind. Scarcely seems credible but from a political point of view, having people talking about the bad air is better than having them talk about the climate getting worse. So far as crimes go, maybe not as bad as stovepiping proxy war between nuclear powers, but still definitely a crime against humanity.

      My greatest climate engineering fear is that if it is done, it will be done by whichever private company had the best lobbyists/connections.

      1. Kouros

        A prequel is the miniseries “Extrapolations” by Apple+ TV.

        Quite a good one I would say. And yes, the calamity has been privatized…

  15. griffen

    Student debt forgiveness. Keep seeing reference to a Nancy Pelosi statement from 2021, and ABC just ran the video clip. If she was saying in 2021 that the POTUS does not have the power to eliminate debt, then is this a situation of pot meeting kettle? Wasn’t Joe in the Senate for a long time…I am so confused by our “leaders” and the elites they serve. Ignore what they say, watch what they do on behalf of their voters (eh, I mean donors).

    I know that it’s those mean, evil Republicans and it’s the sole rationale. Yes they are mean, but Democrats are equal to the task.

    1. Louis Fyne

      just change the Bankruptcy Code.

      If only Dems. could be in control of the White House and Capitol Hill at some point in the last 30 years!

      1. griffen

        Listening to a best of album from Jackson Browne…the Pretender and Joe Biden kind of intertwined as it were.

        Joe started out young and strong, only to surrender ( to them greedy finance companies based in Delaware, that is ). Added…Fast asleep at the traffic light…

          1. Hepativore

            I was listening to some Talking Heads yesterday. Biden could also be the character being portrayed in the song, Don’t Worry About the Government.


            David Byrne was ridiculously prescient about so many things in the material of the Talking Heads during the late-1970’s through the 1980’s.

            1. griffen

              I’ve been favorable to their tune Life During Wartime, especially since oh March 2020. Can’t immediately put my finger on why that is ( ha ha ).

      2. Jason Boxman

        Watching MSNBC or reading the NY Times seems to completely inoculate you against facts; I’m not sure liberal Democrats will ever figure it out.

    2. Verifyfirst

      “In 1976, Congress amended the Higher Education Act to make federal student loans nondischargeable through bankruptcy unless the borrower meets the undue hardship standard…..Nearly three decades later, Joe Biden — then a senator serving Delaware — had a large role in making it that standard stricter. In 2005, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, and its implications for student-loan borrowers were dire.”

      Kind of like Biden put Clarence Thomas on the SCOTUS and then says the Court is awful. Arsonist playing fireman.

  16. GramSci

    Re: Elvis

    Not having friends, one often finds oneself in the company of mere acquaintances, two of whom dragged Juana and me to a backwoods Florida dinner theater performance of Dwight Icenhauer, the Elvis ‘tributor’ pictured at the top of today’s kitsch feature. I’m not that kinda sewer, but the ladies of a certain age all had a great time. IMHO, and, I think, that of the audience, Dwight did a good Elvis, but a better Neil Diamond.

      1. GramSci

        Our tour guide made us pay extra $$$ so she could sit in the front and have ‘Elvis’ toss his sweaty scarf to her at the finale.

    1. Polar Donkey

      What the hell Florida? While we don’t have much left in Memphis, can we at least keep Elvis. Even Elvis is fading away. It’s been 46 years since he died. Fewer and fewer people come in August and January for the primary Elvis celebrations. It was a civic embarrassment that Elvis movie was made in Australia a couple years ago. This isn’t even all Florida stole from us. Memphis used to be a major player for professional wrestling. Now most wrestlers live in Tampa area, along with most of the wrestling schools. Does Florida want our BBQ and Fedex too.

  17. Skip Kaltenheuser

    Re: Highly radioactive spill near Columbia River in E. Washington worse than expected

    In 1979 I had a one year appointment to a then very small environmental office in the Dept. of Energy tasked, among other things, with implementing the National Environmental Policy Act into DOE regs, the ultimate thankless task in an agency with large swaths hostile to such concerns. After the year, I fled.

    While there I reviewed an alarming report about radioactive waste, (maybe leaking barrels that had corroded, it’s been a long time), at the Hanford facility, (which produced plutonium for the Manhattan Project and during the Cold War). The waste was thought to be working its way underground and ultimately at risk of making its way to the nearby Columbia River. Wrote a memo on it, it stuck in my mind. Obviously a serious matter, one hard to imagine wouldn’t be properly dealt with after the problem was understood.

    So this threat was well-known at least forty-four years ago.

    I shudder at the health risks to workers involved in cleanup but also more generally in plant operation throughout this long and ongoing saga. Cancer is just the start of health problems that have long plagued them. As nuclear plant cooling waters were returned to the Columbia River, there have also been impacts like elevated leukemia and thyroid disorders in the children of local Indian tribes that depend on salmon fishing.

    I don’t know how much if any of what I saw in 1979 was or became classified, but you can bet it’s the sort of thing about which critical information is hidden from the public by over-classification, particularly if tangential to defense. A DOE public relations video that challenges the gag reflex is shown at the top of the more informative article beneath it. It typifies the government gloss-overs, tantamount to disinformation by omission, that come our way, and is worth a look.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      There are all kinds of TV commercials playing now about an upcoming star-studded television special for the cause “Stand Up To Cancer.”

      I read somewhere awhile ago that 99% of cancers were environmental in origin.

      Maybe the “special” should be “Stand Up To Rapacious, Environment Destroying Corporations Causing Cancer.”

      See also the link on East Palestine–“lessons learned.”

        1. hunkerdown

          They’re commercials for the false importance of petit-bourgeois subjectivity and “inner life”. To believe that such idealistic nonsense is somehow “higher” than mere commercial propaganda is as preposterous and symptomatic as Platonism itself.

    2. upstater

      Giving some credit to NYT, better late than never on May 31

      A Poisonous Cold War Legacy That Defies a Solution
      A $528 billion plan to clean up 54 million gallons of radioactive bomb-making waste may never be achieved. Government negotiators are looking for a compromise.

      I have ZERO confidence this will ever be half remediated. The incompetence and grifting are endemic. When does it reach the Columbia River?

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      The nuclear industry and the DOE have made-their-bed. An industry with the kind of tail risk inherent to nuclear power and nuclear weapons is ill served by the many accidents, lies, and cover-ups that fill its history.

    4. Lexx

      Husband joins two pals every year at the end of July to watch the Columbia Cup races. River water all day long kicked up into the air and spread across the large crowds on shore by jet-fueled high-speed boats. They also sleep there for three nights and it’s considered an expensive privilege to hold one of the camping spaces.

      Next year he’s taking the 5th-wheel over the Rockies and sleeping elsewhere… I insisted. Getting too old to be sleeping on the ground when overnight temps are that high… and he assures me it’s actually cooler nearest the river.

      Two of my brother’s sons (and their families) live and work in the Tri-Cities as well (last I heard).

      The Columbia River from almost any viewpoint is absolutely beautiful, awesome to behold. What’s happening to it and all who depend on it is shameful. And ya see, it’s on that subject — a river’s health — I like Kennedy. He’s bonkers but that didn’t (and still isn’t) stop Trump or voters. ‘Yeah, he’s nuts but it’s right out there where we can see it.’

      Uh-huh, read this one too: ‘I Lived Through Collapse. America Is Already There’

    5. Anthony G Stegman

      Hanford will never be cleaned up. Not now and not in 500 years. The 5000 square mile reservation has been accurately described as a “national sacrifice area”. And so it is.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. Foreign Policy Veteran Says Real Danger Is Here in America”

    This is all a bit late, isn’t it? I mean that the guy is stepping down and is now coming out in public to raise his concerns. Was he doing so when he had power? Thing is, the guy is strictly establishment. He was a fanboi of Ronnie Reagan and Maggie Thatcher and I do not think that he has changed. He was one of those against the US leaving Afghanistan, even after 20 years. His book “The Bill of Obligations” sounds like a bit of a joke too. Be Informed? How do you do that with mass censorship and de-platforming? Put Country First? Any sign of people in Congress are doing so? In his 20 years as President of the Council on Foreign Relations he has watched the US go around the world setting country after country on fire. That degree of unpredictability and a lack of reliability that he was complaining about is just how Washington acts and does business. Countries no longer trust the US to keep their agreements, even if under international obligations and law. And guess what? Actions have consequences. So people like him have helped steer America into the position that it finds itself today. A bit late to complain now.

      1. Bart Hansen

        As I recall she was not on there to push her misinformation job, but for being the subject of fake pron videos.

    1. digi_owl

      Always the same with these career types. Seen the same where a prime minister that kicked off the house price thread mill came out against his own policies once retired.

    2. John Wright

      The article did mention that Richard Haass opposed the Vietnam war.

      Unmentioned was any opposition of his to any US military action SINCE Vietnam.

      And he was concerned about the rather harmless Trump, with no mention of the massively destructive G.W Bush.

      The article has:
      “The threat that costs him sleep? The United States itself.”
      “It’s us,” he said ruefully the other day.”
      “That was never a thought this global strategist would have entertained until recently. ”

      Wow, only recently has he entertained this thought.

      With long tenured, influential strategists such as Haass, it is no wonder the USA is flailing in the world theatre.

      1. Kouros

        In a recent podcast with Scott Ritter, he mentions his interaction with Israeli security services in the 1990s, while he was running the WMD inspection in Iraq for the UN.

        Apparently # 1 threat on the Israeli security agenda was right wing Israeli extremism… Which now runs the country such that UK, Canada, and Australia had to lodge a complaint about the abuse and mistreatment of Palestinians by the settlers…

  19. Will

    re turning off the sun / geo engineering to fight climate change

    Whenever I hear of plans like this, my thoughts immediately turn to a podcast I heard years ago. The BBC In Our Time program’s episode on the Mt Tambora eruption in 1815 and its aftermath, 1816, The Year Without Summer.

    Of course, totally different from what our leaders and experts are planning. They have everything well in hand so no need to fear consequences, anticipated or otherwise.

    1. flora

      What could go wrong?

      As one wag wrote, “Bill Gates has to stop watching The Simpsons.”

    2. Geo

      There’s a great song about this by the cello art rock band Rasputina.

      From the album “Oh Perilous World”. The whole album is fascinating. It came out at the height of the Iraq War and frames historical stories and folktales as cautionary tales for the modern era. The 1918 song is great but the Yellowcake song and “The Infidel Is Me” are musical and lyrical perfection.

  20. .Tom

    I flew to Denver last week to take part as an exhibitor in the conference of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, their first in four years. I’ve a few observations to share with my NC friends. An antidote is coming.

    It was my first flight in five years. Airports, airlines and air traffic systems are clearly stretched to capacity limits.

    I estimate about 1 in 50 were masked at the airport. At the conference itself it was more live 1 in 20. Of those masked, nearly all were using proper high-filtration respirators that looked well fitted, afaict.

    This conference provides lots of break time relative to speaker-sessions and during those breaks the density of loud people was high. As exhibitors, this was our work environment. This crowd is way beyond collegial. More like a Grateful Dead crowd than a Friday art opening. At least half of them are friends or belong to stations that are our clients so there’s a lot of greetings and hugs and love to share, stories of what’s been going on over the last 4 years, and learning how our software is working out at stations and helping them use it better. I love it and it’s what motivated me to overcome my resistance to travel and go to the conf.

    The hotel’s meeting rooms and lobbies had high ceilings but apart from that my estimation of air risk was close to red-alert. High density of unmasked people talking loudly to be heard over neighboring conversations. And yet confronted with this I didn’t put my KN95 on. The psychology of this is very interesting to me. I guess my need to fully communicate with normal body language and/or my need to fit in overcame my risk assessment.

    I should probably ready myself for verbal chastisement and accept it stoically. Otoh, I may have a better understanding of the behavior of others now, not that I want to justify it.

    Perhaps I should avoid situations where I might feel an overwhelming need to unmask despite my intellectual understanding, like keeping ice cream at home makes it too easy to break a personal rule about heathy behavior.

    Could acoustic architecture design could play a part in mitigating airborne pathogen transmission? e.g. decorative acoustic absorbers dangled overhead? 4 to 6 inch of fiber glass under the carpeting isn’t hard to do or very expensive.

    Antidote time! I made this 1-minute video of Clover, a European common buzzard, who was working at one of the other exhibitor tables. — Happy Sunday to y’all!

    1. Lexx

      Make your own ice cream. Today I’ll make ‘Stout’, earlier in the week it was ‘White Peach’. Commercial ice cream is formulated to be eaten in large portions. It’s rich but just rich enough, not so rich as to trigger satiation too soon. Pack your homemade ice cream in small single portions, limit the number per week. Play with different recipes and share with others.

      There’s a lot of small batch producers in the market now but I haven’t found one yet that compares to what I can make and pull out of my freezer. It’s all in the attention to details… like those 150 restaurants above. Beautiful venues, famous for one dish.

    2. kareninca

      It’s possible that some variants change the pheromones of infected people, leading the uninfected to want to smell them as well as they can, or to simply lose their sense of risk. Leading to the removal of their mask.

      This is just a random thought, of course, but I wouldn’t put anything past this virus.

  21. antidlc

    RE: Movement as Medicine: The Many Health Benefits of Dancing

    Singing also has many benefits. Unfortunately, it can spread COVID far more easily than conversation does.,1655541911

    Why singing is good for your body and mind

    Well, studies suggest that belting out a tune and singing in a choir can enhance your mood, your immune system, your blood pressure, and reduce feelings of chronic pain. Some GPs in England are starting to prescribe singing for a range of conditions. In his podcast, Just One Thing, Dr Michael Mosley explores how and why belting out a tune could help your body and mind.

    1. Bsn

      Movement equals creation. And a favorite quote of mine ….. “If you don’t move, you don’t move”.

    2. britzklieg

      It must be the secret to my good health. As a professional singer, I lived large and with abandon, practiced my art daily for 40+ years (and sang endlessly as a kid, to the annoyance of my siblings). The only vice I eschewed completely was alcohol – all the others I engaged copiously… yet here I am at 67 with nary a serious health problem, although I’ve noticed a small flaring recently of what must be sciatica. I also have a strange version of migraine that does not result in headache, rather a certain disequilibrium (they call it MAV – Migraine Related Vertigo, although in my case it isn’t vertigo, i.e. no spinning, just a weird heavy-headedness) which I treat OTC with a capsaicin nasal spray. I take no meds. Those familiar with my past posts know I have a special affinity for THC…

      1. Mildred Montana

        67? You are a veritable spring chicken. Just wait. Hate to be a buzzkill but here are a few quotes from a few who should know:

        1. Jacques Barzun, Columbia University historian, who lived to be 105. “Old age is a job; one for which one has no experience for.”
        2. “Old age is not for sissies.” Commonly attributed to Bette Davis.
        3. “Old age is a shipwreck.” Charles De Gaulle.

        I am 71 and though I hope for the best and take the usual precautions I am expecting the worse. That’s the nature of the beast.

    3. Wukchumni

      Yesterday @ her 100th birthday celebration, the maid of honor sung for our supper and we all joined in, following her lead and the lyrics on the screen of a song she wrote for the occasion, in regards to the rivers here in Tiny Town and how her life has flowed concurrently.

    4. Anthony G Stegman

      Aside from singing and dancing I can attest to frequent matches of “fast & furious” indoor badminton as being a fountain of youth. Badminton increases range of motion, improves reflexes, improves cardiovascular conditioning, can be addicting, and is oh so much fun and enjoyable!! Forget pickleball. Play badminton instead. Even 70 year olds can play indoor badminton.

  22. Mildred Montana

    >Shattered Nerves, Sleepless Nights: Pickleball Noise Is Driving Everyone Nuts NYT

    Why is pickleball noise so annoying to so many? This is the best explanation I could find in a short search:

    “Pickleball has a high pitch, with a frequency of about 1.2k Hz, which is similar to the beeping noise that a reversing garbage truck makes. The garbage truck is intended to be loud and “annoying” in order to catch your attention on the roads. So, this “annoying frequency” is an issue for pickleball.”

    Also (again from my cursory search), the ball and the paddle are both made of plastic which seems to amplify the, er, racket.

    1. John k

      Wife plays. I’ve wondered if the hard plastic couldn’t be coated with a rubber skin to dull the noise, both from the ball hitting the court and hard racket.

  23. Roger Blakely

    I Lived Through Collapse. America Is Already There, Medium. Sri Lanka.

    I expected to see a recycled essay drafted by Demitri Orlov. Demitri Orlov wrote the book Reinventing Collapse where he compares present-day America to post-Soviet Russia of the early 1990s. By the way, I am officially an Orlovist. I have the t-shirt that Demitri made as his official merch.

    I expected to see a recycled essay drafted by John Michael Greer, something along the lines of his famous essay with the line, “Collapse now and avoid the rush.”

    I was pleased to see a new writer,, a self-described rich Colombo f-boy. writes, “For some people it destroys their bodies, others their hearts, but for most people it’s just a low-level hum at the back of their minds. What’s that buzzing sound you hear now?”

    Yes, I hear that buzzing loud and clear.

    1. Lex

      I expected warmed over Orlov too. But it was an excellent essay.

      I got to see Russia in depth in the 90’s, so this essay struck deeply in its description of just getting on with life. That is my most prominent memory of Russia then. The overt signs of collapse blur into a teacher getting on a bus every day to work for barely enough to survive, or not enough to survive. Except there isn’t another choice. Survival is the only choice so everyone just gets on with it.

      I agree with the author that we’re already experiencing it, though I strongly suspect that the US still gets to experience some shocks rather than just going gently into that goodnight. My question has always been how Americans will react. The lower classes will continue getting on with life as best as they can, just like they’ve always done. My concern is for the middle classes of the American dream.

      I guess it depends on how long the anger lasts before the understanding that it’s time to get on with surviving sets in.

  24. Mikel

    “Middling Kingdom” New Left Review.

    Maybe this hints at the reason Belgium has served as one of the pathways used to turn European wars into global wars.

  25. VT Digger

    What will AI do to your job? Nothing. I have been a software developer for almost 20 years and this is just more red meat for management.

    The current round of autocomplete is not AI. What it can do is search Stackoverflow for you.
    The current thing called “AI” cannot code.
    At best it can spit out an approximate outline to an already-solved and well understood problem.
    “Generative AI” is grifter bafflegab for ‘copying someone else’s pre-existing work’

    What IS happening is many basic and repetitive programing tasks related to connecting various APIs together have been made incredibly simple by platforms like Zapier, Make, or Power Automate.

    This absolutely does have the effect of allowing companies to have 1-2 fewer programmers on staff. These simple and repetitive tasks were once the foot in the door for junior developers looking to break into the industry.

    There has been an absolute glut of junior people flooding into the market over the past 5 years which means yes, it is harder to break into the labor aristocracy with just a 6 month ‘boot camp’ certificate now.

    1. Geo

      That is my biggest worry about AI in the short term is how it will impact entry level positions. How anyone starting out or wanting to change professions is going to get that first gig seems to be hard to comprehend when entry level jobs are being automated.

      Have seen that happen due to tech innovation in my field. So many of the jobs that sustained me in my early days as a videographer are done by apps on smartphones now. And it’s exponentially becoming easier and easier for anyone to make professional looking* videos.

      *The definition of “professional looking” is open to debate.

    2. Jason Boxman

      I’m moderately proficient with JavaScript over the past five years. Almost never got any interviews. Getting in is brutal. I never succeeded. For every junior position which wants 3 years of experience there are 50 senior roles. It’s possible I just suck, don’t know. Don’t think so though.

    3. Acacia

      Repeating a comment from last month: I tried asking ChatGPT to give me code to parse a CSV-formatted string. This is a very lightweight task, but the bot kept giving me code with calls to a differently-named bogus function that doesn’t exist. On the third try, it gave me code with two bogus functions. Lol. Good luck to the believers.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Depends on the language. Go lang is stable and ought to get good answers. JavaScript less so. Python ought to be okay. Once you mix external libraries all bets are off. You might look at SudoLang.

  26. GramSci

    The Brill ‘forensic’ history of the Maidan massacre is a good, workmanlike exhumation of attested facts, marred only by the myopic concluding naivete of a Yale J.D.

    «Bringing the actual perpetrators of the Maidan massacre in Ukraine to justice is a difficult, but necessary, step in resolving these dangerous conflicts.»

    As if these ‘actual perpetrators’ do not include Victoria Nuland, her various bosses, and their predecessors.

  27. spud

    why so much manufacturing still in china?

    “When all of these actions are thoroughly investigated, these deals will reveal that the Democratic Party’s globalization initiative is mostly a scheme to get rich by trading U.S. governmental authority, and American jobs, to enrich a tiny number of people. As the Clintons and Obama get richer the American people lose jobs and become poorer. Those are facts.

    This is primarily done by shifting the authority of government. Bill Clinton bestowed the authority to reauthorize China’s MFN status to the Secretary of State. Hillary Clinton bestowed upon herself the authority to negotiate with companies with foreign interests and the foreign nations themselves. And Barack Obama seized the power of Federal agencies through his 32 czars, bypassing the restraints imposed by the Constitution. The basic strategy is to shift authority, then control that newly created authority, bypassing the role of Congress. It’s only just begun. Voters can decide if they want to see more unrestrained power brokering by Hillary.”

    1. tevhatch

      Das Capital. Everything else flows from there. Capital would have invented the Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump, and even Biden schema with other names, and if a China didn’t exist, it would have been willed into being.

      1. spud

        that’s a excuse, i have heard “if i had not done it, someone else would have done it”, which is a justification of immoral or illegal behavior.

        Lenins explanation is better, its the rope thingy. Deng knew bill clinton was committing treason.

  28. Acacia

    Re: Champs-Élysées was saved from looting

    Won’t be even the slightest bit surprised when a bank on the Champs-Élysées gets blown open and heisted with a black market HIMARS from Ukraine.

    1. Bugs

      Some real money owns those buildings on the Champs. They will be protected at all cost. Even the Arc de Triomphe was sacrificed to the dirty Gilets Jaunes to protect that sweet avenue.

    2. Club at the end of the street

      Considering the President’s residence and the US embassy are located at the end of the street, i am guessing that the security is probably pretty good around there :)

      1. digi_owl

        I seem to recall the go to design for a US embassy these day is a modern re-imagining of a frontier cavalry fort.

        1. John k

          Yeah, but don’t forget the all important rooftop heli landing site. No embassy should be without one.

        2. Acacia

          Yeah, the last times I’ve visited one, the thought was “Entering the Baghdad Green Zone”.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Some guy was filmed in Paris carrying a belt-fed, light sub-machine gun. That’s not good.

  29. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “I Lived Through Collapse. …”

    I am not sure the collapse described in this link is anything like the Collapse I expect. Random acts of violence characterize civil disorder — a collapse of civil order — but as described do not constitute my notions of a collapse. The end of a civil war usually occurs as the resolution of conflict nears.

    The u.s. experienced a collapse of its economic systems in the 1930s. There was civil disorder and much more than “just a series of ordinary days in between extraordinary bullshit, most of it happening to someone else.” The Great Depression was up-close-and-personal for all but a fortunate few who continued to party with the abandon of the author of this link. At the time of the Great Depression the u.s. was not at the heart of a global Empire like it is today. The Collapse of the u.s. Empire is underway but far from the relative stability of the end of a civil war. The u.s. Empire has much much further to fall.

    When it happens, the Collapse of the u.s. Empire will reach far and wide across the land emptying store shelves that will not be filled again. As the Empire’s grip on the world’s fossil fuels weakens most most travel and transport of goods will slow or close down. The flows of goods from far far away will slow to a trickle as the Empire loses its ability to pull the goods in. There are few left who make goods inside the Empire. Many key inputs to the production of goods are no longer made inside the Empire making efforts to rebuild the gutted production economy problematic, even futile. After the u.s. Elites gutted the Empire’s domestic Industry for private and Corporate gain, they salted the earth that Industry had grown upon. There will be very few among the Populace who could claim: “This can’t be collapse, because nothing’s collapsing for me.” Those who might make such a claim will not enjoy restful sleep. Much of u.s. Industry and domestic life is crucially dependent on a ready supply of electric power. The u.s. electric Grid is neither healthy nor readily able to recover from failures. The u.s. Industry such as remains does not manufacture many of the giant transformers supporting the backbone of the Grid, and spares if any are in short supply.

    I think Collapse of the u.s. Empire will become plainly evident from images of its night sky — if any are available. I do not want to imagine the Collapse at ground level with its shortages of food, water, and medicines wrapped in the darkness of night punctuated by gunshots, fires, explosions, and the howl of mobs.

    1. britzklieg

      Prof. Richard Wolf is Galloway’s guest today on MOATS and offers a blistering description of the “collapse” we’re witnessing… his segment begins at the 44 minute mark. Worth a listen… George lets him loose and and Wolf does all the talking:

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Thank you for the link. I can not quite agree with Prof. Wolf’s discussion of Biden’s policy mistakes. I believe he credits Biden with more agency than I believe Biden has. I view Biden as an empty talking head attempting to stay on script, but forever blowing his lines. I also cannot view the recent actions by the u.s. as mistakes, as in “mistakes were made” — although Prof. Wolf did not use that expression. More than their self-destructive impacts, the recent series of u.s. policies and actions most impress me for their incoherence.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > the recent series of u.s. policies and actions most impress me for their incoherence.

          The ruling class (capital) is not coherent, except in their desire for capital accumulation on behalf of their family or clan. So if we see a decrease* in relative autonomy in the governing class (the PMC) relative to the ruling class, incoherence is exactly what we would expect to see. An analogy would be a failing business that which the boss attempts to salvage by taking over all the decision-making — decisions which, alas, they are not or no longer competent to make.

          NOTE * A decrease, because we would expect to see the PMC govern through soft power (credentials, gatekeeping, and such). The resort to hard power (cops, censorship) is a sign of weakness, not strength.

      2. britzklieg

        actually, the segment starts 44 minutes from the end at the 1hour 40 minute mark.

    2. Anthony G Stegman

      You may be under-estimating the resourcefulness of every day people. When the empire begins collapsing in earnest it may well be the elites who suffer the most, as they are most dependent on the essential people they have long abused. Under normal capitalism ordinary people are forced to be self-centered, greedy, and lacking in compassion. However, as has been demonstrated when natural disasters strike ordinary people can be quite generous, caring, and willing to share what they have with others.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        This comment by Matt Stoller suggests there may be limits to the generosity of strangers. The power outages in New York City that resulted from Hurricane Sandy made very apparent the crucial importance of electric power to life in a big city: “Every age gets the metaphorical crises it deserves, and New York’s came in 2012, when Hurricane Sandy hit the city and caused power outages across half the city. I was there, and at first everyone was really nice to each other. Within a few days, a Mad Max vibe [crazy potentially violent desperation] began to creep into daily interactions. The lights came back on in time to get the city more or less back to normal, though not everywhere.”
        [“Why New York City Is On the Verge of Disaster”, Matt Stoller, BIG issue 8-20-2019, ]

  30. Mikel

    “The Super Connector Who Built Sam Bankman-Fried’s Celebrity World” NYT

    I thought of the perfect name for an organization that provides those services: Fair Weather Friends, Inc.

  31. Jason Boxman

    From What Will AI Do to Your Job? Take a Look at What It’s Already Doing to Coders

    “Simple off the shelf issues can be tackled relatively easily now,” says Jerome Choo, head of growth at AI-enabled, business-focused search startup Diffbot. “I can see hiring skew more senior because of this.”

    So this is without a doubt true. Moreover, companies rarely hire junior software engineers in the US anyway, so it was already a difficult slog if you didn’t come out of a CS program with a few internships. The liberal Democrat rallying cry, “learn to code!” is finished. Period.

    That said, the double bind that many earlier-career developers currently find themselves in is a cautionary tale for us all. If AI disrupts a field at the same time that workers in it face other challenges, no matter what historians say, the impact of automation on jobs, and those who hold them, can be swift.

    1. VT Digger

      As mentioned above, I can confirm this is accurate. It has nothing to do with “AI” though

    2. hunkerdown

      In that case, we’re back to coding for use-value, as long as we can still develop things and instruct machines to act on our behalf at the network edge. For giggles I tried out chatdocs, which loads documents into a full-text database and enriches the user’s queries with keyword-based snippets from the database for the LLM to consider, and the results are not actually that bad even on modest hardware (by AI standards). I wonder when plain vanilla development tools will become as illicit as lockpicks and under the same assumptions. Can’t have the slaves giving orders to machines; the slaves might free themselves.

  32. ThirtyOne

    The Neo Generation at Pacifica Radio

    ‘Why review Sonali Kolhatkar’s Pacifica programming now?
    Although Pacifica Radio established its pro-peace bona fides largely by countering efforts to promote imperialist wars and regime change operations, when it came to Syria, different considerations seemed to be at play. Instead, Kolhatkar represents a new generation of Pacifica hosts who enthusiastically embrace establishment media narratives.

    A faction within the Pacifica audience and its elected governance structure put forth Kolhatkar and another Pacifica host, Ian Masters, as prominent endorsers on their website, New Day Pacifica. If New Day wins the internal elections, listeners are likely to hear a lot more of them at the five major metropolitan stations (KPFA-Northern California, KPFK-Los Angeles, KPFT-Houston, WBAI-New York City, WPFW-Washington, D.C) in the run-up to the 2024 US presidential election.’

    If I want MSM talking points, I’ll watch MSM.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Thanks for that. Hadn’t heard about that before, but it does help explain Amy Goodman’s turn. I haven’t listened to Democracy Now! at all really since she started talking the establishment line on Syria. Very sad, as she used to be one of my most trusted news sources.

      1. reality bites

        Helen Buyniski did in-depth investigation of Pacifica entitled “What Happened to Pacifica? The Decline & Fall of the People’s Radio” which makes a very compelling case that it was/is largely Amy herself who is to blame for the entire network’s decline.

        Amy secured an entry-level position and was able to rise quickly – and run things her way – because of a “long-term charitable donation” her wealthy grandfather gave to the always-struggling Pacifica:

        “Amy Goodman arrived at WBAI as an entry-level reporter, her way paved by a long-term charitable donation bestowed by her grandfather as a reward for allowing Goodman opportunities above and beyond a typical internship.”

        The piece quite fairly casts serious doubt about Amy’s basic emotional health and stability.

        I don’t think DemocracyNow! was ever as good as its fans do – even back in the alleged glory days – though I do recognize the obvious retreat from anything resembling an “antiwar” voice more recently.

        The piece is available at Helen’s website:

        A pdf is available here:

        1. ThirtyOne

          Thanks for this. I was aware of some kind of internal conflict, nice to see an account of it.
          At least the music programming is still mostly good.

        2. ThirtyOne

          Just finished reading; that’s some strong stuff. I think the summary is a good epitaph.
          ‘To anyone who might complain that I “only” attack the Left, I will say that it is because of the sheer incompetence of what passes for the “Left” in the 21st century that the country is where it is today. This appalling culture of appeasement, navel-gazing, and infighting has given us a “Left” that cheers on the CIA and FBI, embraces endless war, and shuts down any discussion of controversial subjects with an authoritarian response that would make any right-wing fascist proud.’
          Right on, sister.

    2. reality bites

      Thank you for this comment.

      I posted a reply to lyman alpha blob below which contains links to an article that details much of what has gone on at Pacifica over the years. The article includes facts that were gathered via many interviews with various people who’ve worked at Pacifica, including in upper level management.

      I believe it’s well worth everyone’s time to read it – particularly given that Amy Goodman and DemocracyNow! were such stalwarts of “the left” for so long.

    3. John Wright

      I frequently listen to KPFA here in Northern California on my morning commute.

      My listening samples have consistently presented a pro-Ukrainian and anti-Putin/Russia narrative.

      One KPFA host frequently sighs, seemingly to indicate that what she is presenting is obviously correct to anyone with any sense of decency.

      Maybe I’m too much of the Rodney King school of diplomacy (“Can’t we all just get along”) that never went mainstream.

      I don’t characterize KPFA as anti-war at all.

      More of a humanitarian hawk with a sanctimonious bent.

  33. Donald

    I finally read ( or partly read) the Scheer interview with Ray McGovern linked here recently. ( I couldn’t read all of it— there is way too much rambling on both sides.)

    I don’t completely buy into what I will call the pro- Russian narrative, but one would think that any serious dissident would be looking at what they have to say, both on the causes of the conflict and on what is happening on the military level.

    Scheer apparently hasn’t done any of this. It’s stunning how gullible he is. He seemed completely shocked and flabbergasted at the notion that Western media might be lying about much of what is going on, even though you can see some of the lies simply by comparing what the press used to say about Ukraine before 2022 and what they say now. This doesn’t mean the other side is right about everything, but how could someone who runs an alternative media site be so utterly incurious?

    I think McGovern probably goes too far the other way— if Ukraine doesn’t collapse soon Scheer will probably dismiss everything else he says.

    1. John k

      Sheer seems pretty feeble, and seemingly not noticing any of msm contradictions. Granted, many have said the end is nigh ever since the beginning; I’ve always hoped for an early end, but no longer count on it. Best might be 2 full years.

  34. GramSci

    Re: Who was Nahel?

    «He was also enrolled in a programme designed to help with the integration of young people from troubled neighbourhoods through sports…»

    I’m sorry, but you don’t integrate people into a society through sports. Sports is a placebo. Part of the “bread and circuses” con that oligarchy panders as “integration”. If a society wants to integrate “young people from troubled neighborhoods”, it has to offer them a real life.

  35. LawnDart

    Re; New Not-So-Cold War
    How the libs got owned:

    Report Shows How Military Industrial Complex Sets Media Narrative on Ukraine

    Wealthy donors have long funded think tanks with official-sounding names that produce research that reflects the interests of those funders (Extra!, 7/13). The weapons industry is a major contributor to these idea factories; a recent report from the Quincy Institute (6/1/23) demonstrates just how much influence war profiteers have on the national discourse.

  36. Wukchumni

    Deadly wet-bulb temperatures strike the US Nate Bear, ¡Do Not Panic!

    You can avoid the high heat by getting high or going low, and there isn’t much chance of getting to altitude in the deep south where hell has shown up, but why we aren’t making circa late 1950’s fallout shelters, i’ll never know?

    The issue isn’t the reds pushing the button down, but survival especially if the grid is compromised.

    Take a page from Deidesheimer and utilize a bulldozer to carve out a fallout shelter about a dozen feet down and use square-set timbering to make it safe and then cover it over with dirt and you’re golden, er cool.

    1. Airgap

      Won’t work in much of Florida where you hit the water table at less than 5′. The good news is that you can tap into the table with a pump and water your lawn for free – of course there is the ultimate risk of subsidence/sinkholes. So wear a hat and keep up the hydration.

  37. YOTJ’s article is from 2020. And follow the link for “what does that make you” — which is also from 2020, full of dire predictions about the Trump dictatorship we’re just one event from, and even a dig at his children. I’d like to think he’d apply the same lens to the current Administration, but given his tone and the fact it’s Medium, there’s zero chance of that.

  38. none

    Anyone know what the French rioting is really about? Nominally they are about the French cops shooting that teenager, but I think there must be some other tension busting loose as well. The pension regression still? I can believe that the French cops are violent enough to deserve being protested, but I don’t see how they can be nearly as violent as US cops. Yet, I would say there was a similar situation with the George Floyd protests/riots.

      1. ThirtyOne

        I should also include this blurb:
        Terror Alarm · @Terror_Alarm. REMINDER: @Terror_Alarm. ‘s is the best AI-generated news source on Twitter.

  39. kareninca

    I just started reading the Atlantic article about the merging of the Arctic and the Atlantic oceans. The first line of the article is:

    “In the Fram Strait off Greenland’s west coast, Véronique Merten encountered the foot soldiers of an invasion.”

    I thought, “cool, I’ve never heard of the Fram Strait, I can look at a few maps.” So I did. Am I going crazy? As far as I can see the Fram Strait is off of Greenland’s east coast. Not its west coast. It does matter. I’m not sure I should continue reading the article. But maybe I am reading the maps incorrectly?

    1. MaryLand

      It’s definitely off the east coast. Maybe a typo or autocorrect? Still, it’s a rather bad error.

  40. chris

    I spent the day walking around Montemarche and the area around the Seine called St. Germain. I think I finally found the part of Paris that feels like a city. The food is still wonderful. The shops are still delightful. But there’s a different energy on the street, nothing is pristine, and there’s a lot more graffiti. A lot of “Nahel” related tagging on walls. Also, lots of surly kids hanging out on the street. I didn’t see anything resembling a burnt out car or trash receptacle or building today. The whole city felt quiet and tired when I was walking around.

    The Montemarche area feels right compared to the very touristy area I’m staying in. But all of Paris is amazing. And the parts of the city that are getting fixed up for the Olympics are fascinating to visit.

    1. flora

      What I’ve watched reminded me eerily of US cities in summer 2020, the “mostly peaceful” riots… which were not organic in nature, imo. The peaceful protests mostly during the daytime were organic, imo, but the nighttime rioting and looting was not. / my 2 cents

    2. Duke of Prunes

      Most of the demonstrations are in the suburbs. Paris, like many European cities, is the opposite of the US – poor immigrants live in the suburbs, wealthy folks in the urban center. Those areas you speak of while a bit scruffy, are still quite wealthy, especially relative to many suburbs

  41. tevhatch

    The whole village’s surname is changed back to nià? …. inheritance (Google translation) Southern Weekend
    The copy of CiHai (【辞海】 ~ “Sea of (Chinese) Characters”) I donated to the undergraduate language program in Uni, was the equivalent of Oxford’s unabridged dictionary. It had at that time if memory serves 28,000+ characters, including references to sometimes only one recorded use. I often wondered how many more exotic entries were due to “spelling errors” in a memorial to the court by an isolated 3rd tier mandarin, duly preserved in the archives, possibly unseen by the inner court despite the dictionary scholar’s best efforts.

    The KMT and then the CPC spent considerable efforts as part of their education schema of condensing the basic necessary list for a civilian to be engaged with self and national government to 2,500 characters, the requirement to graduate from middle school, the end of compulsory education in both KMT and CPC China until recently. There is an accessible youtube video on the first practicable mechanical Chinese Typewriter by the polymath Lin Yutang. (a search with “Jeremy Fielding” and “Chinese” should work)

    All of this is just to get to the point that Chinese is a lot more flexible than at first appearance if 28,000 Characters have almost all been disposed of to get to the basic necessary list, and a short story. A story for which I wish I had kept better notes 40 years ago. I was reading a internal memo of one of the British Foreign Services agents dispatched to China after the 2nd opium war happened, and while all the names escaped me, one of the items he reported was how amazingly ordered to science was the Chinese language, for example the characters for all of the chemical elements could not only tell if they were metal or non-metals by the current system, but some of their properties; he expressed surprise that a people so organized had not surpassed the west. What he did not realise was all of these characters were created for the Ming and Qing courts by Jesuit Missionaries about 100 years earlier, who had a whole Latin system in place when they arrived in China and were thus set up to create orderly Chinese equivalent without all the hiccups of a piece by piece acquisition of knowledge. It reminds me of the cries these days that the Chinese are “stealing our property”, as if ideas had physical attributes, complaints still sometimes published on “The Chinese” pulpwood paper and printing press.

    It would be an easy task to assign a Chinese character to the tribe, to recycle one from CiHai or create a new one, but the CPC fell into the early Bolshevik revolutionary practice of attempting to keep ethnic minority cultures alive and vital by giving them special rights. (This is one reason why the claims of cultural genocide, much less good old fashion Banderaist genocide, against the Uyghur aggravate the CPC to no end, it’s so antithetical to the CPC it’s ridiculous). The problem here is with the increased mobility of minorities thanks to anti-poverty programs there is a greater need for people to engage with banking, travel security, internet access, etc around a system built mostly to accommodate the 5 largest peoples/ethnic groups in China, Das Kapital. Simply assigning a Chinese equivalent could hasten the demise of a unique language and culture that the CPC has a duty to preserve. It’s tough. Just imagine getting Oklahoma to issue a driver’s license in the (Sequoya) Cherokee syllabary and getting a ticket (and not a bullet in the skull) in California. I wish them all the best.

    I think the AI ate this comment earlier so I removed all the links.  I wonder if I have to remove the Chinese this time, but will first give it a go this way with a few small tweaks.

  42. Michael Mck

    Less sun equals less solar power and less photosynthetic Carbon fixation. Very bad idea.

  43. scott s.

    “The whole village’s surname is changed back to nià”

    So technically IS a problem. It’s a “feature” of East Asia language that dealing with personal names tends to be more complex than what we in the west are used to. Especially today where key entry of pinyin/bopomofo/romanji seems to be a thing. I guess the Koreans figured it out in the 1500s, long before computer text input concerns. Likewise Vietnamese, though I guess they have the problem of wanting to enter text without use of all the diacritics. But the technical issue is in the exhaustion of coding space in the so-called unicode basic multi-lingual plane, so new ideographs need to go into supplemental extension blocks. “CJK” unification itself was never perfectly unified, and too many programs were not designed to handle codepoints outside the BMP (most often seen today with emojis). And that’s before we get into LTR/RTL/vertical text handling, and proper shaping of Arabic/Farsi/Indic scripts (though thanks to the www we seem to have a handle on that).

    1. tevhatch

      Funny thing is they said class discrimination is okay, and what is parentage if not a class determinate. It’s two parties agreeing to talk past each other, for now.

  44. Wukchumni

    He took a trip down to L’America
    To trade some beads for a pint of gold
    He took a trip down to L’America
    To trade some beads for a pint of gold
    L’America, L’America, L’America
    L’America, L’America, L’America

    Come on people, don’t you look so down
    You know the Ukraine man’s comin’ to town
    Change the weather, change your luck
    And then he’ll teach ya how to find yourself

    Stand up comedian came to town
    All the glad handers couldn’t turn him down
    And the President loved his ways
    Come again some other day
    Like the gentle rain
    Like the gentle rain that falls

    He took a trip down to L’America
    To trade some beads for a pint of gold
    He took a trip down to L’America
    To trade some beads for a pint of gold
    L’America, L’America, L’America
    L’America, L’America, L’America

    L’America, by the Doors

  45. some guy

    When I clicked on that Tweeter-thing about ” the broken economic system” . . . I encountered ” the broken Twitter system” which I have been reading about just lately.

    I hope some serious people are giving serious thought to creating a new just-Twitteresque-enough social media platform to be called Cricket. And all its little tweets could be called “chirps”. And it could do what Twitter at its best could do, and then do what Twitter woulda coulda shoulda done in a perfect world.

    And find a way to protect it from ever being sold to an Elon Stench. Either this Elon Stench or a future Elon Stench.

    ( And if “cricket’ seems too cute for some, then call it Wise Owl and call its tweets by the name ” hoots”.)

  46. Acacia

    Commentary on the ‘new’ Japanese economic policy:

    “Kishida reveals his ‘new capitalism’ scheme has shifted its focus to ‘encouraging everyone to play the market and get rich quick,’ from ‘It’s redistributing income and making smaller the gap b/w rich and poor that will enable the economy to grow again.’

    If my memory is correct, they put up the slogan ‘from saving to investment’ 20 yrs ago, and have never succeeded.

    They’re sure this time is different b/c Nikkei is over 30K and ppl are getting excited.💪

    Govt will be condemned sooner or later for acting like a securities company that sells a lot of financial products to ignorant ppl and say ‘It’s all your fault’ after they suffer losses.”

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