Wild Times, 27
January 23, 2017
1 – Stop Making Sense, or How to Write in the Age of Trump – Aleksandar Hemon @ The Village Voice
*Favorite from this bunch*
"The only unbearable consequence of the electoral outcome was that the reality — the world — in which I lived had become instantaneously unimaginable. It was clear to me not only that nothing would be as it used to be, but also that nothing had ever been the way it used to be. I knew neither what had happened nor what would. Overnight, America — its past, present, and future — had become unreal."
2 – We Must Simply Build Their Cradle First – by Bryce Hidysmith
"There is no scorecard at the end of time that tells us if what we did was right. There is only our conscience in the present, the relieved smiles of those we can shelter through the storms. There is the beauty of looking out on what you have made and knowing that you would do it all again, replaying every heartbreak, for decency is its own reward."
3 – A message to my doomed colleagues in the American media – by Alexey Kovalev
"He’ll always wriggle out of whatever carefully crafted verbal trap you lay for him. Whatever he says, you won’t be able to challenge him. He always comes with a bag of meaningless factoids (Putin likes to drown questions he doesn’t like in dull, unverifiable stats, figures and percentages), platitudes, false moral equivalences and straight, undiluted bullshit. He knows it’s a one-way communication, not an interview. You can’t follow up on your questions or challenge him. So he can throw whatever he wants at you in response, and you’ll just have to swallow it. Some journalists will try to preempt this by asking two questions at once, against the protests of their colleagues also vying for attention, but that also won’t work: he’ll answer the one he thinks is easier, and ignore the other. Others will use this opportunity to go on a long, rambling statement vaguely disguised as a question, but that’s also bad tactics. Non-questions invite non-answers."
4 – Nothing To Be Done – by Joe Edelman
"I’d like to address this feeling there’s nothing to be done. Despite what activists say, I believe this feeling is somewhat justified. I believe it shows where our society is stuck. It’s not a simple story — it’s not just about apathy, or consumer comfort, or the rise of clicktivism, or whatever. We must uncover a deeper cause, before we can see what’s holding us back. We get some help by looking at attitudes toward our institutions: elections, mass media, the global economy, representative government, public education, Facebook. Some have become counterproductive, and most are causing problems. Yet it’s common to think that, despite their problems, these institutions are somehow the end of the line."
5 – The Coming Tech Backlash – Ross Mayfield @ NewCo Shift
"A recent study found 50% of occupations today will be gone by 2020, and a 2013 Oxford study forecasted that 47% of jobs will be automated by 2034. A Ball State study found that only 13% of manufacturing job losses were due to trade, the rest from automation. A McKinsey study suggests 45% of knowledge work activity can be automated. 94% of the new job creation since 2005 is in the gig economy. These aren’t stable jobs with benefits on a career path. And if you are driving for Uber, your employer’s plan is to automate your job. Amazon has 270k employees, but most are soon-to-be-automated ops and fulfillment."