Archive for the ‘around the web’ Category
When lab-grown meat was first announced a few years ago, science fiction fan Paul Krugman (whose economic theories in support of the Clintons have also been called science fictional) mentioned the "Chicken Little" episode in Pohl & Kornbluth's book The Space Merchants. That was P&K's name for a monstrous mound of non-sentient chicken flesh, filling a small underground cavern, flensed off in strips to feed the populace. The meat Krugman was comparing to it was pork, or perhaps nu-pork, but last week the feat was achieved in San Francisco startup-land with actual chicken, or nu-chicken. (hat tip m.po)
Since the source is Business Insider they don't call it Frankenfood, but rather a form of venture-capital-funded disruption. If brainless meat ever becomes economical, the idea is, its various purveyors will do to chicken farmers what Uber does to cab drivers. Or, as BI puts it:
They're all hoping to disrupt America's $200 billion meat industry (and $48 billion poultry industry), by offering foods that mimic meat but are more environmentally friendly.
The details are pretty disgusting, even if you aren't excited by a food that is "eerily similar" to real meat (BI's telling phrase):
...lab-grown meat still requires fetal serum, which comes from unborn calves and chicks, to start the cultivation process. Memphis Meats told The Wall Street Journal in 2016 that it expects to replace the serum with something plant-based soon.
Right, sure. It's the nu-ethics: Disrupting baby cows is bad, disrupting family farmers is OK.
In praise of cash (Brett Scott, Aeon) reminds us of the not-so-wholesome political agendas behind a "cashless society."
Amazon warehouse workers describe the future of non-elite work in the 21st century (Outis Philalithopoulos, Naked Capitalism -- part 1 / part 2). Read before clicking "add to cart." This is techno-dystopia and it's not a fiction series from Amazon streaming video.
The Story of ORCH5 (via Cosmic) How an orchestral stab from The Firebird Suite became a hiphop staple. Thoughtful tracing of cultural currents even if you don't buy the thesis of a "fundamental epistemological crisis that besets Western music." Was intrigued to learn about the role of White Noise's David Vorhaus (he digitized the sample in the late '70s) and the happy accident of a pricy Fairlight synth (which contained ORCH5) being in the studio when Arthur Baker and Afrika Bambaataa went in to record "Planet Rock."
FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) notes that the Washington Post Ran 16 Negative Stories on Bernie Sanders in 16 Hours. That's the same Jeff Bezos-owned news entity that's currently peddling Russian conspiracy garbage. (hat tip Lambert)
Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I've grown older and wiser
And that's why I'm turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal
Three "long-form" posts that give you something to mull over:
Netherlands-based cyber-thinker Geert Lovink considers the state of theory after the Sn0wd3n m0m3nt. (Caution: arty not-safe-for-work photo from e-flux also graces the page.) This essay from April 2014 makes a nice (though more opaque) bookend to the talk by cybersecurity expert Dan Geer about opting-out. Lovink isn't saying we should opt out, precisely, but acknowledges a "God is dead" situation for new media types: after the years of accelerated transparency and sharing that were going to change everything we suddenly realized we had compiled a dossier on ourselves. So, now what?
Matt Stoller's piece on the censored 28 pages in the government's 9/11 report that possibly tell us about the involvement of U.S. "allies" in the attacks. If this information had been known years of pointless violence might have been avoided, etc. Stoller posted this on Medium, another startup content-suck.
Richard Prince reminisces about his days hanging out with Jeff Koons in late-'70s NYC. The item is dated 9/17/2014 and can currently be found at the top on this large wad of non-permalinked writing on Prince's personal website. Prince makes a good case for Koons' art, woven into a rambling autobiography. (hat tip sdb)