Week of September 24, 2018

A few things of note from around the Internet this week…

Incredible Flying Robot

Incredibly insightful and easy to understand podcast with Dr. Ashish Kapoor from Microsoft Research. He described AI and autonomous vehicles in a way that I had never considered before.

Black Mirror

Dystopia is a lot closer than we think.

It’s probably the largest social engineering project ever attempted, a way to control and coerce more than a billion people. If successful, it will be the world’s first digital dictatorship.

10 Years Later

It’s really remarkable how many people were affected during the financial crisis and the reverberations that are still rocking people’s worlds.

“The latest iteration of the American dream might not be about owning a house at all. It might just be about financial stability. “To some extent, if you’ve got the financial security to buy a house and take on those financial commitments, that means in some sense that you have made it,” the University of Florida’s Mark Flannery said. “It’s not the house that means you’ve made it. It’s your ability to finance the house that means you’ve made it and you’ve attained part of the American dream.”

Invaluable

Listen to Pastor Chris Seay consider what a life is worth and then watch the video below. Truly incredible. If you’re reading this, you’re important and you matter, never forget that.

Remarkable

It’s remarkable that a likely future Supreme Court justice can barely contain (read: couldn’t contain) his extremely partisan outrage. It’s remarkable that a significant number of people still can’t understand the trauma of sexual assault and why a woman wouldn’t immediately come forward or tell someone. It’s remarkable to me that self-professed patriots always, without fail choose party over country. It’s remarkable to me that there was just as much, if not more, sympathy for Brett Kavanaugh from the Republican side of the dais as there was for Dr. Ford. It’s unremarkable to me that as the powerful incumbents are challenged by a new order, that they try to tear the whole system down around them. Brett Kavanaugh is exactly who he was expected to be.

The lesson of the United States in this moment is that misogyny and racism aren’t disqualifiers. They are the qualities the right wing considers key to their larger project — perhaps, in fact, main selling points.