jwz: Playing old PS3 games:

About once a year I think, “Hey, maybe I’ll play that old video game that I used to enjoy.” It never ends well.

With more recent consoles, PS3 and Wii U onwards, it can be a nightmare to keep access to old games working… A tide of Bit Rot is wiping away a ton of art in the form of games from this era.

Catwoman vs. the White House:

n 1968, singer, actress, and activist Eartha Kitt was invited to a “Women Doers” luncheon at the White House by Lady Bird Johnson, the First Lady. Kitt’s focus on actual problems and solutions didn’t jibe well with the self-congratulatory platitudes of a DC working luncheon. First she pointedly questioned a caught-off-guard President Johnson about childcare for working parents after he stopped by to gladhand a little bit. Then, after remarks from several other women in the room, Kitt rose and spoke out against the war in Vietnam:

The children of America are not rebelling for no reason. They are not hippies for no reason at all. We don’t have what we have on Sunset Blvd. for no reason. They are rebelling against something. There are so many things burning the people of this country, particularly mothers. They feel they are going to raise sons — and I know what it’s like, and you have children of your own, Mrs. Johnson — we raise children and send them to war.

After the luncheon, Kitt’s career in the United States took a turn for the worse.

DNA Lounge: 9-Feb-2022 (Wed): Wherein nobody’s boosted, and nobody believes that Long COVID exists:

Cholera cases are declining in our community. Now’s the time for everyone to resume drinking fecal contaminated water from the Broad Street pump! #FecalUrgencyOfNormal

William Gibson’s Neuromancer: Does the Edge Still Bleed? | Tor.com:

Fiction, even science fiction, is not about the future: I think everybody knows that. So what is the “future” that Gibson describes here? It’s a future that in some ways looks remarkably like the present: the US hegemony is fading, the poor have gotten even poorer than they were in 1984, and the truly rich have power that the rest of us can’t even imagine. Although often described as glorifying computer programmers as a cohort of romantically wild console cowboys, Neuromancer pushes back at the idea that technical advance always results in progress. This book is still surprising, still relevant, and it still deals with unanswered questions.

The History of Blue Jeans

February 16, 2022

The History of Blue Jeans:

Daina Berry, Historian: In fact we know the names of all the enslaved people that were owned by the Lucas and Pinckney family. These are generations of families. We’re not just talking about a husband and a wife, or a mom and a dad. We see grandparents on this list. They’re the ones that came from communities that dyed all kinds of cloth beautiful colors. They’re the ones that had the knowledge of indigo; they’re the ones that created generations of wealth for these white slave-holding families.

Pixel art commercial from Japan traces a century of changing work habits | Boing Boing:

Toni Morrison’s Ten Steps Towards Fascism:

In a convocation address delivered at Howard University in March 1995, Toni Morrison noted that before fascist movements arrive at a “final solution” (the euphemism used by Nazi leaders to refer to the mass murder of Jews), there are preceding steps that they use to advance their agenda. From an excerpt of that speech published in The Journal of Negro Education:

Let us be reminded that before there is a final solution, there must be a first solution, a second one, even a third. The move toward a final solution is not a jump. It takes one step, then another, then another.

Morrison then continued, listing the pathway to fascism in ten steps:

  1. Construct an internal enemy, as both focus and diversion.
  2. Isolate and demonize that enemy by unleashing and protecting the utterance of overt and coded name-calling and verbal abuse. Employ ad hominem attacks as legitimate charges against that enemy.
  3. Enlist and create sources and distributors of information who are willing to reinforce the demonizing process because it is profitable, because it grants power and because it works.
  4. Palisade all art forms; monitor, discredit or expel those that challenge or destabilize processes of demonization and deification.
  5. Subvert and malign all representatives of and sympathizers with this constructed enemy.
  6. Solicit, from among the enemy, collaborators who agree with and can sanitize the dispossession process.
  7. Pathologize the enemy in scholarly and popular mediums; recycle, for example, scientific racism and the myths of racial superiority in order to naturalize the pathology.
  8. Criminalize the enemy. Then prepare, budget for and rationalize the building of holding arenas for the enemy — especially its males and absolutely its children.
  9. Reward mindlessness and apathy with monumentalized entertainments and with little pleasures, tiny seductions, a few minutes on television, a few lines in the press, a little pseudo-success, the illusion of power and influence, a little fun, a little style, a little consequence.
  10. Maintain, at all costs, silence.

As I have said before, you can see many of these steps playing out right now in America, orchestrated by a revitalized and emboldened right-wing movement that has captured the Republican Party. Jason Stanley, a scholar of fascism, recently wrote of Morrison’s speech:

Morrison’s interest was not in fascist demagogues or fascist regimes. It was rather in “forces interested in fascist solutions to national problems”. The procedures she described were methods to normalize such solutions, to “construct an internal enemy”, isolate, demonize and criminalize it and sympathizers to its ideology and their allies, and, using the media, provide the illusion of power and influence to one’s supporters.

Morrison saw, in the history of US racism, fascist practices — ones that could enable a fascist social and political movement in the United States.

Writing in the era of the “super-predator” myth (a Newsweek headline the next year read, “Superpredators: Should we cage the new breed of vicious kids?”), Morrison unflinchingly read fascism into the practices of US racism. Twenty-five years later, those “forces interested in fascist solutions to national problems” are closer than ever to winning a multi-decade national fight.

See also Umberto Eco’s 14 Features of Eternal Fascism and Fighting Authoritarianism: 20 Lessons from the 20th Century. (via jason stanley)

Tags: lists   politics   racism   Toni Morrison   USA

jwz: Today on Sick Sad World: How The Cryptobros Have Fallen:

In the 80s and 90s, hacker culture was flush with tech utopians who thought that computer networks in general, and cryptography in particular, would allow them to route around the world’s problems. These nerdy, young, sheltered, wealthy white men believed that you could code your way to freedom and good governance, and they could thereby avoid the yoke of whatever oppression they were suffering.

For many of these people, the oppression they felt seemed mainly to be paying taxes, or being told that they couldn’t hoard guns, or that they simply couldn’t get to do whatever they wanted to do whenever they wanted to do it. That latter particularly sociopathic part of hacker culture now calls itself “black hat”, but the Libertarian end of it, that metastasized out of hacker culture and took over the tech industry in toto.

Why saying “I don’t see race at all” just makes racism worse |:

In a way, color blindness makes the civil rights movement a victim of its own success: Legal segregation is over, so now it must be up to people of color to finish the work themselves. As Bonilla-Silva puts it, if racism is no longer actively limiting the lives of people of color, then their failure to achieve parity with whites in wealth, education, employment, and other areas must mean there is something wrong with them, not with the social systems that somehow always benefit white people the most.

Social scientists look to this question — whether you believe that racism is to blame for disparities or that Black people just need to work harder — to help them determine what they call racial resentment. And racial resentment, in turn, is a predictor of opposition to policies that would improve the economic security of millions.

Five Ways Donald Trump Tried to Push a Coup – The Atlantic:

Last year, John Eastman, whom CNN describes as an attorney working with Donald Trump’s legal team, wrote a preposterous memo outlining how then–Vice President Mike Pence could overturn the 2020 election by fiat or, failing that, throw the election to the House of Representatives, where Republicans could install Trump in office despite his loss to Joe Biden. The document, which was first reported by the Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa in their new book, is a step-by-step plan to overthrow the government of the United States through a preposterous interpretation of legal procedure.

  1. I love drop-cap typography, but it shouldn’t break the actual text on the page.
  2. For something this important, I wish the big sites had exceptions to their paywalls, because this should be public record.
  3. Nothing #2, this may be paywalled when you try to read it. I normally wouldn’t link to potentially paywalled content but … Big Deal stuff.