via Hannah Shaffer, Worst Draft: “”Worst Draft is a minimalist word processor that removes the two biggest roadblocks for writers: editing & distractions. Users will be unable to delete anything more than a few most recently typed words, and they will also be unable to access any other applications without first closing Worst Draft.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates writes a new shortread following up his hugely impactful Case for Reparations. The immediate context is Bernie Sanders making statements ruling out consideration of reparations; the body of the piece is showing how reparations might actually be undertaken in a meaningful way. The true message, to my mind, is how already the entire content of Coates’s reparations article has been forgotten – that piece forcefully said that reparations is not just about long-dead slaves, but also about structural injustices inflicted on millions of living people. The cultural narrative about reparations is very locked up and it will take effort to shift it! Anyway, read Coates kicking tail: The Case for Considering Reparations.
It’s a new year, 2016, and it looks like the world could need some linky. So here are some.
Matthew Dentith, a theorist about conspiracy theorists, gives a fascinating analysis of how the Serial podcast deals with evidence in the Adnan Syed case, and how the Undisclosed podcast that looks at the same case approaches things in a very different way.
Via Svend, wiki’s article on habitual be: “In one experiment, children were shown drawings of Elmo eating cookies while Cookie Monster looked on. Both black and white subjects agreed that Elmo is eating cookies, but the black children said that Cookie Monster be eating cookies.”
’tis the season for bemused articles about the Star Wars Holiday Special! Here’s the Guardian’s take (via Alastair G) and the AV Club’s. (It was actually a Thanksgiving special, but everyone associates it with Christmas these days, because that makes it funnier.)
Enough Star Wars. Here’s an exceptional piece by David Roberts explaining Trump and his crazy lies. Money quote:
“Republican billionaires and political operators have spent decades building a self-contained epistemic bubble in which they could pump up the right-wing base with fear and paranoia. Now the Frankenstein’s monster has lumbered off the table and crashed into the cocktail party.”
Dangerous Minds has a revelation – there was a Fast Times at Ridgemont High spinoff TV show! With both Cameron Crowe and Amy Heckerling involved! DM reckons it was pretty good – I wonder how it possibly could be, given the nature of 80s TV and type of movie they’re trying to adapt. All seven episodes are at the link, for now at least.
And finally, also via DM – it turns out “And so you do what they told ya” sounds, in Japanese, something like “Break the chicken nuggets, daddy”. And so:
It’s Steph Curry playing HORSE with his dad! (If you don’t know who Steph Curry is… he’s like, in the movies where an overlooked kid with none of the physical attributes rises to somehow become the champion of the world, he’s that, but he really exists and is really doing it.)
How smiling evolved over a century of yearbook photos. (I knew people maintained a neutral expression in early photos because the images took time to fix, and neutral faces were easier to hold – but this article attributes smiling in photos to a marketing campaign from Kodak!)
The Spinoff has a fascinating long report on what went on behind the scenes at “Scout”, the entertainment/gossip news hub for NZ media conglomerate Mediaworks. It’s a slow-motion trainwreck of epic proportions. Indicative anecdote: unpaid intern writes listicle about influential Kiwi youth and puts Lorde at the top; politically-connected head of Scout forces her to replace Lorde with the widely disdained son of the Prime Minister.
This one is an essential read. Watching as political leaders make policies that will cause significant social harm (“austerity” as the current example in many regions), you wonder how they can sit there so pleased with themselves. Monbiot has some leaked correspondence to and from David Cameron that shows exactly how. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so deeply, infuriatingly awful. For additional fury, consider how the politically subservient media portrays people like Corbyn and Sanders as “unrealistic”.
10 kids TV episodes that have been removed from distribution. Fascinating 6-minute video. WARNING: number 10 in this list is that Pokemon ep with the flashes that caused epileptic fits – the video shows the flashes! So if you’re visually sensitive like me, turn it off when you get to that last item!
Rugby World Cup was last weekend I know, but I liked this: top five heartwarming moments from the rugby world cup. I’ve never followed rugby that closely but it seems to me this sheer niceness in the sport these days is a new trend – not something I remember from decades past. Am I wrong?