Finally got around to reading Elizabeth Sandifer’s essay and if there was any doubt, this makes it clear how much of an unserious and malicious person Scott Alexander/Siskind is. Siskind’s writing deliberately pretends to be respectable to provide ideological cover to some real evil.
Let the historians wring their hands about Foucault and power; off campus, numbers make you sound like you know what you’re talking about.
Unashamed to admit that I’m a Tooze Bro as mentioned in the article.
I’ve loved listening to Adam Tooze during his many appearances in Talking Politics and listening to Ones and Tooze now is a way to keep that feeling alive.
We have housing crises in many places and it’s remarkable how pernicious this issue is given the number of problems it would fix for us to have enough affordable homes for everybody.
This bit of Chinese social media uproar is interesting peek into feminism in Asia and Sino-Japanese intellectual exchange.
It’s super lovely that Berlin has a lab which does these kind of user tested innovations on city processes. The work that needs to be done is written up here and it’s relatively straight-forward (there are just no short-cuts).
What we need with the Bürgeramt though is not 10% more appointments but the automation of at least half of the processes there to no longer need human intervention. We needed that 10 years ago.
One state, BW, in Germany took the opportunity with the reform of the property taxes to implement something like a Land Value Tax (at a very moderate 1.3‰ rate) and it is doing exactly what it should be doing.
The man crying for sympathy in the video is sitting on a plot of land worth €2.5M.
It is beyond funny that the right wing conspiracy theorists have latched onto the idea of creating liveable, walkable cities as the next threat to humanity.
There is a lot in this piece on the Khaleeji Ideology and the collapse of future and landscape that is happening in the Gulf.
“you think money can’t buy you happiness? 7bb come to Dubai”
“the color of the Khaleeji Ideology is decidedly green. The acid green of chromakey, the hacker green of a terminal screen, the subtle green of glass, which intensifies with an infinity mirror effect; the greens of astroturf and of lawns and golf courses maintained with desalinated water.”
Hey Datenschutz, leave those kids alone
The next bit of insanity has to do with the German Datenschutz nutters. This is a small but virulent group of people who have blown up privacy issues to the point where most of Germany is still afraid to use the internet.
It started with this:
A bunch of schools in Karlsruhe were attacked by ransomware and their servers had to be taken offline.
Now the first question that comes to mind is of course: Why does a school have servers? Don’t all schools run in the cloud these days?
Well, in Germany they don’t. There are lots of agencies and levels of decision makers all of whom are too busy covering their own ass and none of them will say: “Schools can use cloud solutions.” People and organizations being as risk averse as they are in Germany, nobody will use cloud solutions without such a declaration.
So what do they do instead? They have to get servers and people to install and maintain barely useable non-cloud collaborative software tools. Nobody in their right mind would use these tools and kids in private schools of course don’t either, but this dysfunctional ideology is foisted upon kids who have no other choice.
These tools are not usable in any way, barely work even in the best of circumstances, are tremendously costly in maintenance and then break like in the news above. If you ever get to see from the inside how a normal organization manages their IT (i.e. poorly), from that point on you will beg, plead and scream to have everything put in the cloud.
That’s where somebody like the poster above from KRITIS comes in. That’s an organization representing people who get off on pushing around physical servers and whose founding member sells an alternative private collaboration suite, exactly like the ones that they recommend people use.
I agree with their core point that critical infrastructure should be protected better and in just doing that they’ll generate more than enough work for all the security consultants in their network. Just stop scaring normal people because you benefit from the widespread climate of fear and hands off the kids.
Out with Bungacast and their tankie/nutter agenda
Several online situations today where I think I’m going insane so I might as well document them.
I listened to the last episode of Bungacast with the authors of the new book “The Covid Consensus”.
Both the book and the episode are highly questionable. There is little more there than pandering to the COVID sceptic horseshoe left by fishing in the murky pond of anti-authoritarianism, pseudo-science and neoreaction.
Now I wouldn’t think it weird that COVID nutters would write a book. What is odd is that Bungacast would give that much prominence to something which is obviously dumb. Not sure if it’s a cynical play on the alternative/controversial left or whether the podcasters truly believe this way of looking at the world has any merit. In any case, for me this is Schluß with this particular pod.
A while back I had listened to an episode of Politics Theory Other which has long been a favorite podcast of mine where Richard Seymour utterly demolishes that very same book. PTO is actually serious, actually left, actually critical and very much recommended.
That episode is well worth a (re)listen and I’m now a fan of Richard Seymour who comes in like a sledgehammer.
If I lift this one level, the so called “Lockdown” is being used as a scapegoat for anything and everything that people don’t like. Here in Europe the lockdowns felt very long but were brief in retrospect. The longest probably being the 3 month school/daycare closure at the start of the pandemic during which we also suffered immensely. Real hard lockdowns happened in a country like China. Claiming that the relatively mild restrictions that we had for a couple of months (and then twice more) created irreparable damage in the general population is very fucking rich.
They may be right about Lockdown in one way that the concept of it has become big enough and detached from reality enough to house whatever theories or madness anybody wants to house in it. As such, lockdown was a huge psychohistoric event.