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Arabic fonts provider, Arabetics is a foundry and consulting firm specializing in Arabic typeface design, Arabic logo design, and Arabic lettering design, and related Arabic script typographic software solutions, providing traditional and non-traditional
"Welcome to Arabetics website!   Select and search Fonts Images to browse all samples, or Test Fonts to dynamically evaluate them.

Arabetics™ is a private foundry and consulting firm specializing in Arabic fonts and lettering design, and related Arabic typography software solutions. One of Arabetics primary goals is to introduce Arabic fonts that diversify and enrich Arabic users typographic options and address the Arabic script, and related Arabetic scripts, challenges of literacy, education, economics, technology, global competition, as well as style and legibility."
arabic  fonts  design  typography 
3 days ago
CommUNITY
"CommUNITY Exhibition + Auction
Leading San Francisco and acclaimed international designers will celebrate the 2019 CommUNITY theme by showcasing original artifacts they have produced specifically for this event which will include posters, typefaces, product, sculptures, digital art and more. The original works will be sold in a silent auction during the opening night party on June 20th with proceeds benefiting San Francisco Design Week (SFDW) to enable its mission to bring together the local Bay Area and international design community. The 2019 theme is the result of a collaboration with Mucho. Buy opening night tickets here.

How to purchase posters
CommUnity prints are available for purchase as limited editions through our partners platform plotnetprints.com

Plotnet Prints has been a long-term partner for AIGA SF Design week and is a printing sponsor for CommUnity exhibition 2019.

Website
sfdesignweek.org"
posters  design  graphicdesign  community 
4 days ago
the millennial/gen-z strategy - the collected ahp
"“Tell a subset of your population that they are entitled to economic security if they play by certain rules, provide them with four years of training in critical thinking and access to a world-class library — then deny them the opportunities they were promised, while affixing an anchor of debt around their necks — and you’ve got a recipe for a revolutionary vanguard.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about this article by Eric Levitz, published earlier this week, with the straightforward title “This One Chart Explains Why the Kids Back Bernie.” The chart (or rather, the stats that create the chart) are indeed explanatory:
(1) The unemployment rate among recent college graduates in the U.S. is now higher than our country’s overall unemployment rate for the first time in over two decades, (2) More than 40 percent of recent college graduates are working jobs that do not traditionally require a bachelor’s degree (while one in eight are stuck in posts that pay $25,000 or less), and (3) the median income among the bottom half of college graduates is roughly 10 percent lower than it was three decades ago.

This is the millennial (and Old Gen-Zer) reality: an “anchor of student debt,” as Levitz puts it, taken out in the hopes of achieving fabled economic security. But who convinced us that college was going to solve, well, everything? In the book I’m finally finished writing on millennial burnout (actual cover coming soon, I promise) I try to work through that question: how did we come to believe in “(the best) college at any cost”? (See also: grad school at any cost).

A lot of the answer can be traced to “the education gospel,” a term coined by an economist (W. Norton Grubb) and a sociologist (Marvin Laverson) to describe the nexus of ideologies (about the future of America and democracy; about how to beat the USSR, then Japan, then China; about how the economy could replace the manufacturing jobs displaced by globalization) that undergird “college at any cost.”

Grubb and Laverson chose the word “gospel” to evoke just how ideological integrated — how naturalized — the idea had become. Of course more education is better than less education; of course you should go to college by any means necessary — even when the costs of that college outweigh the benefits, despite increasing evidence that college is not “worth” its cost for those who drop-out, or for those who come from lower-class backgrounds. They point to a study from the National Commission on the High School Senior year, released in 2001: “In the agricultural age, post-secondary college was a pipe dream for most Americans,” it declared. “In the Industrial Age, it was the birthright of only a few. By the space age it became common for many. Today, it is just common sense for all.”

The roots of this “common sense” go back to the mid-20th century, when the government decided to create the grant and loan programs that made it much, much easier for people to go to college. In 1947, 4.2% of women and 6.2% of men had a college degree; in 2018, those numbers had risen to 35.3% and 34.6% — but that’s of the entire population. A more useful statistic is the percentage of high school graduates who immediately enroll in college: which, in 2016, was 69.7%.

And here’s where the stats become really telling. For the group of students who started college — any type of college — in 2011, only 56.9% had finished their degree by 2017. Around 70% of graduates have student debt of some sort; in 2016, the average debt load was $37,172. That’s a huge amount of debt, especially given the fact that it’s $20,000 more than it was in 2003.

But that’s the people who have degrees. If you reverse the completion stat above, you realize that 43.1% of students who started college in 2011 had not finished their degree in six years. These are students who believed that college could be a pathway towards success, of stability, or their dream job — but couldn’t make it work. There are so many reasons why people are forced (or choose) to drop out of school, and some do find success and stability because they quit school. But they often have nearly as much debt as those with a degree but none of the credentials to put on their resumes — which helps explain why they’re three times as likely to default on their loans.

The institution that pisses me off the most in this scenario are for-profit colleges, where only 23% of students graduate, and 48% of those who do leave with more than $40,000 in debt. A whopping 52% of student loan defaults come from graduates of for-profit colleges. If you don’t know about the general scamminess and ethical grossness of the for-profit college, I can’t recommend Tressie McMillan Cottom’s Lower Ed enough (you can buy it here, and read an excerpt here).

But if college is theoretically an “equality machine,” then for-profit colleges are inequality machine: they target first generation students, they disproportionately enroll (and fuck over) students of color, they charge massive amounts of money for degrees and education that could be obtained for far less at local community colleges, they jack up their price to the maximum allotted under loan guidelines, and they get away with it because 1) Betsy DeVos and 2) millennials have been so inculcated with the education gospel that, again, we believe that no matter how much it costs, how difficult it will be to complete a degree, how tight the market might be in the field we’re pursuing, the degree itself will be worth it.

To be clear: people with college degrees make more, statistically speaking, than people without college degrees. But the “equality” component of the machine is broken. There’s a massive gap between the promises that floated around that degree — and that includes graduate degrees — and the lived post-degree experience. We’re not talking about liberal arts graduates ski-bumming until they decide they’re ready for that six-figure job. We’re talking about those 40% of graduates working jobs that don’t even require a college degree, and the one in eight working jobs that pay $25,000 or less.

I’ve talked to and heard from hundreds of millennials in this position. If they have loans, they’re either on income-based repayment (and they’re convinced that they’ll be paying them off forever), in default (with reverberations and shame across the rest of their lives), or in deferment (amassing huge amounts of interest). They feel stupid and ashamed that they took out as much money as they did, or pissed that so many forces in their lives — parents, guidance counselors, professors, culture, peers — assured them that it would all work out, if they could just get that degree. It’s hard to convey just how difficult and devastating it is to pay down a broken dream every single month for the rest of your life.

I’ve written extensively about student loans, and the broken state of the student loan forgiveness program, here. That piece was the first thing I wrote after the original millennial burnout article, because it was the most tangible expression of the gap between what millennials were told their future would look like, if only they worked hard enough, and the lived, post-Recession reality. To understand millennial burnout, you can’t just understand the amount of student loans we’re carrying; you have to understand what they feel like. And if and when you understand that, it’s incredibly straightforward to see why so many support Sanders and Warren.

Back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, middle-class boomers and young Gen-Xers were faced with the reality that their parents’ broadly stable middle-class existence would not necessarily pass down to them. The so-called Golden Age of American Capitalism had lasted just long enough that those who grew up under it could believe that it might last forever. They responded to the decline in stable middle class jobs in a number of ways: many of them, too, went to college, but because public institution funding had yet to be gutted by tax cuts, it cost much, much, much less. (Cue: your boomer uncle who loves to tell you he worked his way through college and graduated without loans).

But as Barbara Ehrenreich persuasively argues in Fear of Falling, they responded by turning decisively inward: how can I do whatever is possible to help me and mine? You could work tirelessly at cutthroat, soulless jobs (investment banking!) no matter the cost (to yourself, to your family, to the environment, to society), adopting what Ehrenreich calls “the yuppie strategy.” Or you could vote for politicians who promised to lower your taxes, make your life better, regardless of the effects on those who didn’t act and spend and look like you. (See: the widespread embrace of Reaganism). As Levitz points out, in 1984, 61% of voters under 25 voted for Reagan. Conservativism — think Michael J. Fox as Alex Keaton from Family Ties — was, I dunno, cool? Not actually cool, but very much mainstream.

The strategy makes “sense,” in so far as it was motivated by self-preservation and fear. And a whole lot of millennials were raised by parents who lived through, if not fully embraced, the guiding ideologies of that period. But it’s fascinating to watch as millennials and Gen-Z — — faced not just with the fear of falling, but the widespread reality — embrace a profoundly different one."
genz  millennials  generations  geny  education  highered  highereducation  debt  studentdebt  boomers  wnortongrubb  ericlevitz  unemployment  employment  wages  loans  unschooling  deschooling  educationgospel  marvinlaverson  ussr  coldwar  japan  china  highschool  inequality  commonsense  investment  parenting  betsydevos  nonprofits  nonprofit  forprofits  capitalism  berniesanders  elizabethwarren  barbaraehrenreich  ronaldreagan  reaganism  conservatism  familyties  alexkeaton  michaeljfox  tressiemcmillancottom  race  generationz  generationy 
4 days ago
A victory over Sweden's colonialism | Climate Change | Al Jazeera
"A recent court verdict could affect Indigenous rights in Sweden and beyond."

"In late January, the Indigenous Saami reindeer-herding community, Girjas, won a significant legal battle against the Swedish state. The Swedish Supreme Court legally recognised the Indigenous community's ancestral claim to the land they live on and awarded Girjas Saami Village in Gallivare the right to manage hunting and fishing in its territories without the Swedish state's approval.

This landmark ruling comes amid a climate emergency which threatens the lives and livelihoods of billions of people. Indigenous governance of lands and biodiversity are key measures that can help address the climate crisis. As such, Girjas' fight to take back the control of their lands should be seen as urgent climate action, too.

Indigenous communities the world over have the necessary traditional knowledge and experience to survive and thrive without hindering the future of the planet. Yet, they bear the brunt of the climate crisis.

The dominant lifestyles and politics of countries that are currently in control of ancestral Saami lands, from Sweden and Norway to Finland and Russia, have long been threatening Saami culture, food security, traditional livelihoods and the wellbeing of the lands we all depend on. But the threat is more serious now than it has ever been before because of the ongoing climate crisis.

The ancestral lands of the Saami people make up almost half of Sweden's territories. If it was not for the colonial theft of these lands, Sweden could not have become the prosperous and "progressive" nation that it prides itself to be today.

Sweden is the product of a mentality which sees it fit to exploit Indigenous lands and people to its benefit. And this mentality is still alive and well today in its state-backed extraction industries that deplete Indigenous lands, policies that force Indigenous communities to migrate and persistent cultural genocide efforts such as the eradication of Saami languages that cause invaluable losses and intergenerational trauma.

Despite the victory, the Girjas' court case against the state made it clear once again that Sweden is not willing to acknowledge and address its colonial history.

Throughout the trial, the state tried to frame the issue at hand as an administrative dispute, rather than what it actually is: A people's righteous fight to take back what was stolen from them.

State attorneys even tried to claim that Girjas' Indigenous identity is "irrelevant" to the case. Emphasising the fact that Sweden has not yet ratified the International Labor Organization Convention 169 on the rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, they argued that "Sweden has no international obligation to recognise special rights for the Saami" and invited the court to assess the case relying solely on the state's own laws, without giving any special consideration to the identity of the Girjas and their connection to the land.

Julia Rensberg, from the Saami youth association Saminuorra, outlined during the final proceedings of the case last autumn how the state has tried to resolve the dispute through laws and regulations that were unilaterally imposed on the Saami and that fit the state's agenda only. She said it was necessary to "remember who founded those laws and during what time they were founded".

Indeed, the state's lawyer opposing Girjas, Hans Forssell, did not shy away from citing outdated and blatantly racist 19th-century documents to legitimise Sweden's non-recognition of Saami rights to land. Asa Larsson Blind, Chairman of the National Union of the Swedish Saami People, responded to the citation saying "This is quite upsetting. Everybody knows that these texts exist, and the state said that they would no longer support these kinds of statements. I do not understand why they gave weight to them by pressing them into a legal process."

While the lines of argument used by the Swedish state in its case against Girjas were undoubtedly disturbing, they were not shocking to anyone familiar with the Scandinavian state's established attitudes towards Indigenous rights.

Beyond referring to racist 19th-century documents in court proceedings and refusing to ratify the ILO Convention 169, the Swedish state also uses a problematic discourse of renewable energy to argue that Saami interests must give way to broader environmental and economic concerns. As Stockholm University's Rebecca Lawrence explained in a 2014 research paper, it attempts to make "legitimate the argument that there is, quite simply, more room for wind power 'up north' than in the more heavily populated and industrialised southern areas of Sweden", rendering Saami land uses invisible.

The Swedish state's treatment of the Saami has also been under repeated criticism from international organisations like the Office of the High Commissioner of the UN and the Council of Europe.

Indeed, we can no longer ignore the problem that is at the core of the ongoing fight against climate change. But climate actions, technologies and Green New Deals cannot achieve sustainable change if they ignore the plight of Indigenous communities, serve colonial interests and help sustain the same harmful systems and mechanisms that we have today.

Countries like Sweden should no longer be allowed to show off their green credentials while actively contributing to the looming climate catastrophe by ignoring the plight of Indigenous communities.

A delegation of Saami and Inuit activists at the COP25 in Madrid last year tried to draw attention to the importance of "land back" movements in the fight against climate change. Julia Rensberg, who was part of the action in Madrid, said:

"The land is us, and we are the land. We are here to stand in solidarity with our Indigenous relatives and we call on you to have our backs! We must come together to break the toxic culture of Green Colonialism that is taking a hold of the environmental movement."

Girjas' victory against the Swedish state should be seen as proof that despite all obstacles, Indigenous communities have the power and resolve to take big and powerful actors to task who stand in the way of sustainable climate action. While it is not clear what this victory would mean for Saami beyond Girjas, the court's decision provides new hope to find communal ways to survive and thrive on this planet.

Indigenous activists from Sapmi in Europe, to the Amazon, and the Wet'suwet'en territory in lands claimed by Canada, are holding the frontline of ecological and social breakdown for all of us. Through resistance and community organising they are working tirelessly on multiple fronts to dismantle social constructs that feed into Indigenous invisibility, anti-blackness, hetero-patriarchy, and white supremacy. This is the kind of resistance that is key to averting the climate crisis.

Non-Indigenous people must become allies and follow the lead of radical Indigenous visionaries like Girjas. Only then, will there be a real chance for just, democratic and sustainable futures for all of us."
sweden  jennilaiti  sami  colonialism  foriancarl  decolonization  indigenous  climatechange  governance  biodiversity  saami 
5 days ago
Harvard’s Progress Is Not Our Progress
"any of us have come together tonight, some no doubt interested to see how this idea of “class warfare” suits Harvard. Since we announced this event, I have heard and seen people remarking with surprise and irony that Harvard should be the site of anything to do with a class war. But I assure you, Harvard has always played a key role in the class war.

Perhaps you have read an article from one of our panelists, Meagan Day. “Defend Your Class,” which ran in Jacobin last April, is named for the slogan that Harvard deployed to inspire its students to leave the classroom in 1912 and take up arms with the National Guard to break the Lawrence, Massachusetts “Bread and Roses” textile workers’ strike.

What was the threat from which Harvard elites needed defense? It was a movement of the working class, men, women, and children, of thirty countries of origin, speaking forty-five languages, demanding freedom from the daily threats to their lives posed by underpaid and dangerous jobs — and, even more radically, the freedom to exist beyond the value assigned to their labor by the capitalist bosses.

What was the value of those three words, “Defend your class,” to the Harvard undergraduate militiamen? Perhaps you know that hundreds of strikers were beaten and thrown in jail by the strikebreakers, and two were murdered. For demonstrating their allegiance to their class, the Harvard students received course credit.

The Harvard brand has expanded fabulously in its prestige and in its power since that strike. And above all, it has expanded its capacity to defend its class. About a mile from where we are gathered here, a new engineering school complex is being built, described by our President Lawrence Bacow as “a jewel of a building.” To Bacow, Allston has long been “just an idea, a vision of the future,” but with the construction of the engineering school, a billion-dollar project, “that future is rapidly coming into focus.” It’s a bleak “future” for one of the last affordable neighborhoods in Boston, while hundreds of our neighbors sleep on the streets every night and a minimum-wage worker must work 210 hours to make rent on a one-bedroom apartment in Cambridge.

President Bacow’s praise for the new Allston campus is just pretty talk for a class war. Harvard’s progress is not our progress.

Has anyone, watching our teaching fellows and course assistants strike for fair pay and decent health care, taken comfort in the fact that sixty-two of the world’s current billionaires are Harvard men and women? Who among us reads that the Harvard endowment has reached $40 billion in fiscal year 2019 and celebrates, knowing that those dollars rebound from investments in private prisons and the global destruction of fossil fuels?

We do not, because Harvard’s progress is not our progress. This institution stands shoulder to shoulder with the National Guard of 1912, the Henry Kissingers of 1969, and the war-mongering presidents of the 2000s, Republican and Democrat. In these 384 years, it has not missed a single step.

My task is not to build up a pile of evidence against Harvard out of hatred or spite. I want to illustrate that the war-making, strike-breaking impulses of this institution are not random; they are not unrelated. Harvard is a case study in the unified power of the elite in pursuit of the almighty profit motive, the power of the next dollar and the dollar after that.

That is what we all are worth to it. But every single one of you is worth the world to me. And I hope that you feel that way about one another, because our shared future depends upon it. We can comfort, rally, mourn, and transform the face of the earth with this knowledge.

At the heart of that approach to each other is the indispensable ethic of solidarity. In the words of St Augustine, “Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.” When our homeless brothers and sisters walk into an apartment and call it home, we will say: this is justice, and not charity. When working-class children enroll in free college instead of the army in order to build a better life, we will say: this is justice, not charity. When we realize and honor Fred Hampton’s vision for a rainbow coalition against a racist police and incarceration system, against the starvation of children, and against the commodification of health care, we will say: this is not charity, this is not generosity, this is justice.

Behind the idea of charity is the sense that we do not deserve the things we need for our own survival. In our time, in which class warfare is reaching a great crescendo, something tells me that the powerful institutions of this world will continue to become ever less charitable. Let us take the matter of our survival out of their hands and into our own. Let us have justice, a justice made possible by solidarity. There is no substitute on earth for that.

I am a literature student, so I am thinking of a verse written by W. B. Yeats in praise of a friend “bred to a harder thing than Triumph.” As a volunteer for the Bernie Sanders campaign, I have knocked hundreds of doors in Iowa and in New Hampshire. I will not forget the Iowans that I met shortly before the New Year. I spoke to a woman who was on leave from her low-wage job because a physical disability made the work too painful. But what decided her vote was the idea of a world in which she could afford mental health care.

She told me about the struggle she faces every day to get out of her bed, and then told me that on February 3, she would get out of bed, get into her car, and drive to a caucus site to caucus for Bernie Sanders. She planned to do all of these things in the name of a harder thing than triumph.

Here in Massachusetts, the great antiwar activist Al Johnson canvassed among us in Nashua every weekend. Al passed away on January 1, 2020. From his deathbed on December 31, 2019, Johnson made two hundred phone calls for Bernie Sanders. Born to a Kentucky coal miner, raised in Massachusetts public housing, he was imprisoned as a conscientious objector of the Vietnam War. He spent a year in that military prison for loving peace. So great was Johnson’s love for peace that it led him not only to work alongside the Black Panthers and the Poor People’s Movement, but ultimately to join Bernie Sanders’s movement for an end to war and poverty across the globe.

Al Johnson was bred to a harder thing than triumph. Al Johnson was bred to solidarity his entire life.

Let us be bred to a harder thing than triumph: the thing that makes triumph possible. Let it be solidarity. For then our work can never come to nothing.

In the last day of his life, Al Johnson placed two hundred calls in the name of a world he would not live to see. What great certainty he had in those final hours — not a certainty in victory, but a certainty in the value of your life and mine. Let us be so certain in our shared purpose and certain in our shared way forward.

With every undocumented family, with every climate refugee, with every community devastated by the “war on drugs,” with every unionized worker, we are more certain that the world must change, because we belong in it. The day will come when the working class lives in the housing it has built and benefits from the labor it has exerted. We must work for that day together in solidarity, and we must accept no substitute. We must vote for solidarity in 2020 — but this is only the beginning."
labor  work  class  elitism  harvard  piperwinkler  exploitation  workingclass  2020  endowment  progress  charity  philanthropy  staugustine  fredhampton  survival  wbyeats  justice  society  socialjustice  berniesanders  socialism  solidarity  organizing  aljohnson 
5 days ago
What I learned at the Ayn Rand conference
"Yet just because Objectivism fails to grapple with the conditions of our time, that doesn’t mean it has no use. For those who value individual rights, Rand’s philosophy is helpful precisely to the extent that it reveals how poorly our social systems are set up to grant these rights to the majority of people. By defining an impossible ideal of freedom, it unexpectedly exposes the societal impediments that prevent so many people from realising any such freedom in the first place.

It also, perhaps inadvertently, illuminates a path for progress. The most compelling aspects of the Randian worldview stem from its acknowledgment of the importance of the self. Individuals are encouraged to act in accordance with self-interest, rather than guilting themselves into sacrificing for others – and then guilting themselves further for not sacrificing enough. This isn’t an unreasonable principle; but given a narrow conception of self, it can lead to destructive, isolating ends.

What if we turned that impulse towards different ends? What if we began with a more collective notion of “the self”, beyond just our immediate families, to include our communities and the systems that sustained the things we value? Seen from that perspective, seemingly “altruistic” activities such as voting for higher taxes, volunteering for causes, or refusing to cross a picket line no longer look like sacrifices. They look, instead, like investments – investments in the kind of world you want to live in. And as much as Ayn Rand has to say on the topics of reason or selfishness, she can’t tell you what that world should look like. That part is all up to you."
wendyliu  2020  aynrand  objectivism  self  selfishness  identity  collectivism  socialism  libertarianism  community  taxes  families  altruism  sacrifice  safetynets  policy  politics  philosophy  interdependence  interconnectedness 
5 days ago
Community Defense Zone Guide « Mijente
"This document lays out a roadmap for setting up Community Defense Zone campaigns in local communities. We know that many people are doing different kinds of work right now, but we also have heard from many that templates are needed for where to start under the new reality of the Trump Era.

It is meant to be adaptable for small towns and big cities, relevant to red state and blue, meant to get us beyond our usual circles, and it’s best paired with other ‘know your rights’ materials (coming soon.)"
mijente  communitydefensezones  organizing  howto  instructions  tutorials  community  2017 
5 days ago
This Is Taco Nation | Bon Appétit
"HAS THERE EVER BEEN A MORE IMPORTANT TIME in this country for tacos? Not only are they more dynamic and widespread than ever (jackfruit birria in East L.A.! Duck fat tortillas in Kansas!), they’re a cultural lightning rod for some of today’s most pressing issues. So we called upon some of America’s notable taco fanatics and asked: What, exactly, do tacos mean to you? For some, it’s a matter of simple pleasure. For others, an identity. A form of political expression. This is a collection of those stories, along with our picks for must-try tacos across the country and some really excellent recipes courtesy of our resident taco maestro, Rick Martinez. So let’s, uh, taco ’bout tacos, shall we?"
rickmartinez  2020  food  tacos  mexican 
5 days ago
In Praise of French Novelist Marie NDiaye | by Madeleine Schwartz| The New York Review of Books
"Reading her books, you see a voracious, condensed history of much of twentieth-century literature. Here is an “I” reminiscent of what is often called autofiction, cool and probing; here is an interest in every tick of a woman’s mind that recalls the miniatures of French writers like Marguerite Duras. Here, where the women turn into dogs, where the birds may have a human spirit, is what seems like magical realism, though the line between what is happening and what is imagined is never quite clear."

...

"It is a particularity of NDiaye’s books, and one of her strengths, that she often focuses on women who are uneducated and unlikely to be publishing accounts of their own experiences. Her work is populated by women of the working class, servants, maids, cooks—the kind of people whom certain readers might only want to hear from when the book they are reading comes stamped with the words “Prix Goncourt.”"

...

"Who is this writer? And how did she get to be so good? The biographical facts point to a person who would like to discourage being read biographically. The catalog copy for her books, only a handful of which have been published in English, describes NDiaye as “born in Pithiviers, France, in 1967; spent her childhood with her French mother (her father was Senegalese); and studied linguistics at the Sorbonne.”

The parenthesis has an odd questioning quality to it, as if to highlight the apparent un-Frenchness of her name (oh, that’s why). But if NDiaye has insisted on a single biographical fact, it is that she is a French writer, through and through. “My father returned to Africa when I was a year old,” she told Paris Match. “I’ve never lived with him. I lived in the suburbs. I am 100% French.” She has regularly told interviewers that she didn’t travel to Senegal until she was in her late teens.

The statement has been seen by some as a cop-out, since her books so often take place in France’s former and current colonial territories. But the heart of her work is just as often in towns like Pithiviers, population nine thousand, located somewhere between Paris and nowhere, with an increasing track record of voting for the far right. It’s the kind of town that NDiaye evokes in Three Strong Women, where Rudy, the son of a colonialist who works at minimum wage, gets angry when he sees that the local Romani have cell phones: “How come—he wondered—all those people manage to have lives so much better than his?” He becomes paranoid that his Senegalese wife will leave him, that she is sleeping with his boss. Yet he is unable to fully admit what he has threatened her with: “You can go back where you came from.” The book, it’s worth mentioning, was published in France eleven years ago.

NDiaye spoke up once against Nicolas Sarkozy, saying that she hated the police atmosphere that he created as president. A member of Sarkozy’s party publicly reprimanded her, saying that she had not shown sufficient “respect.” She has made few political statements since. She lives in Berlin now with her husband, also a novelist, and their children. She rarely writes commentary or talks to the press. For all further information, we just have her work."

...

"
It is, from NDiaye, a powerful reminder that any act of creation requires an act of patronage; there is no pure creation without the audience that consumes it. (Reading this book, I felt led to ask: Is this chef not like NDiaye herself, who manages to devour so many twentieth-century styles—from the pacing of thrillers to the intimate detail of the 1950s French nouveau roman—and create from them something new? The comparison feels stronger as the book unfolds.) The Cheffe builds her success by playing with her power to both delight and threaten. Her most beautiful dishes are also a form of punishment. The meal that heralds her as a genius is a chicken she has ground up, sliced, and put back in its skin, brought out “in its bloodred enameled cast-iron oven dish…massacred and then resuscitated, like a savage joke.” Her dessert is famous because it has no sugar."
mariendiaye  2020  madeleineschwartz  literature 
5 days ago
Let Them Eat Tech | Dissent Magazine
““Tech-for-all” campaigns build on a deep-seated tradition of modern liberals framing the problem of rural poverty in terms of the geographic and technological remoteness of rural areas. The famed Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) hydroelectric infrastructure project was one of the more notable accomplishments of New Deal liberalism, in no small part by virtue of its success in more fully integrating struggling rural communities into the national economy. Franklin Roosevelt and his brain trust believed that one of the main problems of “underdeveloped regions” in Appalachia and the broader South was their physical isolation from urban centers of capitalist production. Many New Deal architects, beginning with TVA chairman David Lilienthal, saw the project as a way of spurring economic growth by luring industry to rural places. During the early Cold War, growth-oriented liberals also funneled billions of dollars of research-and-development funds into previously overlooked areas, transforming cities like Atlanta and Charlotte and building the modern Sunbelt in the process.

Nevertheless, by the 1960s, rural areas across the South began experiencing new waves of economic uncertainty. Decades of agricultural modernization resulted in fewer rural workers being supported in farming occupations, which led to an increase in outmigration to cities, where there were more job opportunities. State leaders from both political parties responded by implementing a model of economic development that came to be known as “smokestack chasing”: using public subsidies and the promises of a low-wage and non-unionized workforce to recruit manufacturers to rural communities. This approach produced a surge in one-company towns and cities throughout the rural South—places like Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and Rocky Mount, North Carolina—which generated jobs and provided momentary economic stability. But by the late 1970s, those companies were finding even cheaper labor outside the United States, and rural towns began to undergo debilitating rounds of deindustrialization and capital flight.

A new generation of Democratic Party politicians burst onto the national scene at the height of this crisis. These “New Democrats” or “Atari Democrats” went to great lengths to distance themselves from the party’s traditional associations with the industrial manufacturing sector and its powerful labor unions, shifting their focus to relentless high-tech growth instead. Many of them hailed from Southern or Midwestern states with large rural populations that were experiencing the devastating effects of rural disinvestment, including James Blanchard (Michigan), Al Gore (Tennessee), James Hunt (North Carolina), Charles Robb (Virginia)—and, of course, Arkansas’s Bill Clinton. Their vision for how respond to the coordinated crises of deindustrialization and the decline of the agricultural sector offered a clear departure from the recent past; as Clinton boldly announced to Forbes in 1979, his first year as governor, “smokestack chasing doesn’t work.” Instead, Clinton and the other Atari Democrats looked to the success of Silicon Valley and Route 128 outside of Boston, which had recently become bastions of tech-focused industrial activity.

The New Democrats who served as governors pursued strategies that fostered collaboration between government and business, touting public-private partnerships with the high-tech sector (which had already developed a reputation for being anti-union) as the best way to help struggling communities in their states generate economic activity. The Southern New Democratic governors were members of the Southern Growth Policies Board, a state-funded research agency and policy shop focused on creating new development plans for the region. In the early 1980s, the board began laying out plans to incubate tech startups throughout the region—both in already-established local markets, like North Carolina’s Research Triangle, and in previously untapped rural areas. Clinton oversaw the creation of the Board’s Southern Technology Council, which promoted the more efficient transfer of knowledge and research between academia and industry. Tennessee Senator Al Gore, meanwhile, spearheaded the passage of a series of laws that turned the research networks controlled by the National Science Foundation over to the commercial sphere, so that both public and private sources could fund and benefit from its growth.

Clinton and Gore’s shared Southern roots, and their shared commitment to a new technology agenda, became key pillars of their successful bid for the White House in 1992. In stump speeches throughout the country, they discussed the power of technology to connect people and transcend not just partisan but also rural and urban divisions. They pledged to create a “door-to-door information network to link every home, business, lab, classroom, and library by the year 2015.” In a ceremony held in Silicon Valley during the first days of their administration, Clinton and Gore unveiled a new initiative called “Technology for America’s Economic Growth,” which affirmed that “accelerating the introduction of an efficient, high-speed communications system can have the same effect on U.S. economic and social development as public investment in the railroads in the 19th century.” They requested expanded public funding for research and development work and called on the federal agencies and Congress to eliminate regulations that hindered the private sector from investing in such a network.

These efforts culminated in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the most sweeping overhaul to U.S. communications policy since 1934. The act deregulated all segments of the industry, premised on the idea that a more competitive marketplace would help to make phone, cable, and internet service cheaper and more readily available. Taken together, these policies put into action the Democratic neoliberal faith that fueling the growth of the tech sector offered not only the clearest route to ongoing economic prosperity but also the surest means of providing a key social service.”
newdeal  neoliberalism  billclinton  hillaryclinton  rural  technology  politics  digitaldivide  broadband  broadbandforall  internet  utilities  development  ruraldevelopment  2019  lilygeismer  tennesseevalleyauthroity  algore  ataridemocrats  democrats  ronaldreagan  liberalism  fdr  franklindelanoroosevelt  appalachia  davidlilenthal  south  us  newdemocrats  jamesblanchard  jameshunt  charlesrobb  virginia  tennessee  northcarolina  michigan  arkansas  siliconvalley  technosolutionsism  capitalism  public-privatepartnerships  economics  growth  telecommunications  whiteville  hillbillyelegy  jdnance  amyklobuchar  betoo’rourke  berniesanders  elizabethwarren  california  newyork  centrism  thirdway  antipoverty  poverty  comcast  finland  switzerland  spain  españa  publicoption  publicgood  kentucky  texas  southdakota 
5 days ago
AUDIO PLAYGROUND: LOW-STAKES HIGH-RISK AUDIO ASSIGNMENTS, STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX.
“Each week, I’ll send you an audio assignment and some inspiration, via the Audio Playground Newsletter. When you complete the assignment, send me back the mp3.

I’ll post all the responses on this site, like it’s our collective refrigerator door.

The point isn’t to make something good — though fine if it is — but to make it. And maybe surprise yourself in the process.

The project’s inspired in part by Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher’s collaboration, Learning to Love You More. About that project, they wrote: “Like a recipe, meditation practice, or familiar song, the prescriptive nature of these assignments [is] intended to guide people toward their own experience.” Ditto, about this one.

The whole idea here is to foster an audio doodle culture, with some community and accountability, whatever that means to you. Some of you might want to do the assignments in one take, or give yourself, say, half an hour start to finish. Others might want to use the opportunity to craft something more intricate. Figure out what you need from this, then do it that way.

DO I NEED AUDIO EXPERIENCE TO PARTICIPATE?
No way. Feel free to use your phone to record. Garage Band comes with lots of computers, and I love Reaper editing software and its free trial.

WHEN ARE ASSIGNMENTS DUE?
I’ll post your response whenever you send it to me. But, I suggest you experiment with starting it now. It’ll feel so good to get it done.

DO I OWN THE RIGHTS TO MY ASSIGNMENT RESPONSES?
Absolutely.

WHO ARE YOU?
I’m Sarah Geis, a radio and podcast maker, editor, and teacher working in Chicago and beyond. I’m a former artistic director of Third Coast. This year, I’m a senior fellow at the Invisible Institute, working on developing some kind of co-op for producers in the Midwest. You can reach me at sarah@audioplayground.xyz”

[See also:
https://mailchi.mp/audioplayground/qsc1e3deno
https://www.audioplayground.xyz/assignments
https://www.audioplayground.xyz/assignment-1-results ]

[via:
https://twitter.com/izziezahorian/status/1228153978078126081
https://twitter.com/sarahegeis/status/1225868433222488065 ]
audio  assignments  classideas  sarahgeis  recordings  sound  2020 
7 days ago
““Todas Invertidas”: una re-interpretación de las banderas del continente americano, creando así una bandera plurinacional Invertida en color rosado” –Esvin Alarcón Lam (@esvinalarconlam) • Instagram photos and videos
"Me alegra compartirles que desde hoy en The Americas Society, Nueva York se presenta “Todas Invertidas”, la cual es una re-interpretación de las banderas del continente americano, creando así una bandera plurinacional Invertida en color rosado. El proyecto curado por @aimelukin y quien le agradezco esta invitación, comprende distintas intervenciones que re consideran los símbolos nacionales frente al mundo actual. Si están en Nueva York no dejen de asistir a la exhibición que inaugura hoy sobre el trabajo de Feliciano Centurión, curada a su vez por @gperezbarreiro en @americassociety.visualarts ~

I am thrilled to announce the opening of the facade installation at The Americas Society in New York, showcasing this new commissioned flag that inverts American continent and creates in this way one single pink flag installed on 68th street and Park Avenue.

Photos courtesy of @hffanewyork @schoolio @eusucre and many thanks to @ardeproyectos for their valuable help in design and @dflatts for logistics 💕"
flags  via:javierarbona  americas  latinamerica  pink 
7 days ago
The Hard Copy | Zine for Indian designers, creators & innovators
“The Hard Copy is a new publication chronicling the design, product and innovation ecosystem in India. Sign up to get content that will help you stay on top of this fast-changing landscape.”



“I started The Hard Copy because I found it frustrating that there was so much information asymmetry in the creator ecosystem in India.

Despite a rich, diverse and growing set of creators and makers, there is no documentation, no single point of reference, no one place where the community could share and learn.

As I started this journey, I realised that there was a bigger issue to be solved – and that was to redefine the way creators and creativity are commonly viewed. Instead of living and working in our own bubbles, we need to help businesses, government and investors understand the true value of what this community brings to the table.

The Hard Copy is for and by practitioners. Our focus is on the intersects between design, technology, data, product and brand. We will always attempt to behind the scenes to uncover the ‘how’ – at the end of every story, you must feel like you have discovered something new, something that will add value to your career or your life.

So, welcome on board. I very much hope you will be part of our community and our journey. I’ll be sharing everything we do and I’d love to hear your feedback.

We’ll send you a roundup of interesting stories, analysis and events every Sunday. Do sign up here. I think you’ll enjoy hearing from us.

Meeta Malhotra, Founder, The Hard Copy”
design  india  meetamalhotra 
10 days ago
銭湯図解 Official Website [enyahonami, Ayami Shioya]
[See also:
https://twitter.com/enyahonami
https://www.instagram.com/enyahonami/
https://note.com/enyahonami
https://voicy.jp/channel/867/47
https://artsticker.app/share/artists/515 ]

[about page via Google Translate:

"With sento illustration

It was a sento that saved me when I was taking a leave of absence from my previous design office due to poor physical condition.

In order to give back to the public baths, more than 40 houses have begun to draw “Sento Illustrations” that illustrate the charms of their favorite public baths, mainly in Tokyo.

A public bath that expresses the charm of a wide variety of public baths with watercolors, such as interaction with people in the bathroom, how to enjoy the bath and sauna, architectural fun, tasteful public bath accessories, a moment of bliss after bathing Please enjoy the illustrated world view.”]

[profile page using Google Translate:

"Author Profile
Ayami Shioya (Enya / Honami)

Born in 1990. Leader and illustrator of Koenji's public bath and Kosugiyu.

President of the public bath revival project. After graduating from Waseda University Graduate School (Department of Architecture), he worked for a famous design office, but became ill. She was saved by a public bath that she began to go to during her leave of absence, and an illustration of the public bath "Sento Illustrated" was announced on SNS.

This calls for reputation, and Kosugi-yu calls out to work as a leader.

He is currently serializing "Enya no Sento Illustration Tour" in the web media "Netrabo" and "Hyakusen Sento" in the magazine "Tabi no Techo".

It has been featured in numerous media such as NHK documentary "Life Design U-29".

My favorite water bath temperature is 16 degrees."]
art  japan  illustration  srg  enyahonami  drawing  sento  ayamishioya 
10 days ago
Planetary
"Social media that keeps you in control instead of corporations

Don’t you deserve a better social network?
Wouldn’t you rather have a social network that respected your privacy, resisted abuse and harassment, rewarded content creators and was open by default? We would too, that’s why we’re building the world’s first mainstream client for a truly distributed social network.

Here’s how we’re different

You own your content
Your posts belong to you. You choose how and when to share them, and can move to another app at any time

Control who you see
You only see posts from your friends and their friends, meaning it’s much harder for people to abuse or harass

There’s no advertising
We’re funded by providing services you actually want to pay for, not by selling your data or attention

We respect your privacy
We don’t collect loads of data on what you do. And there’s no central database to mine for data to sell

End-to-end encryption
Your private posts can only be seen by you and the people you send them to. Not even we can see them!

Naturally spam-resistant
Planetary only downloads content from your friends and their friends - it’s impossible for people to spam you

Works off the grid
In the wilderness? At a festival? Download posts and send yours out through peer to peer connections

Fully distributed
There’s no one big database where your posts are stored. You can connect to our relay servers or make your own

A public space
Like email or the web, Planetary is built on an open protocol that no one company can own

You can leave at any time
Don’t like Planetary? Pick up and take your identity, posts, and friends to another compatible app

Native transactions
Send money securely to friends and family or receive payments or donations for your work

Revenue for creators
Keep some posts back for paid subscribers. And you can choose precisely how much you want to charge

Built on the open ‘Scuttlebutt’ protocol
No one company should own the Internet’s public spaces, which is why we’re working with—and contributing back to—the open source Scuttlebutt project. Their core technologies let us recreate a social network experience, but in an open decentralized way that no one organisation can dominate."
socialmedia  privacy  decentralized  distributed  indieweb  social  alternative  planetary  scuttlebutt  offline  offgrid  transactions 
10 days ago
Welcome to the Bullshit Economy - The American Prospect
"The Iowa caucus disaster is a function of a broken economic structure that rewards con artistry over competence."
economics  us  conartists  waste  experts  meritocracy  insiders  2020  iowa  money  politics  inequality  bullshitjobs  grifters  daviddayen  elections 
10 days ago
Old CSS, new CSS / fuzzy notepad
"I first got into web design/development in the late 90s, and only as I type this sentence do I realize how long ago that was.

And boy, it was horrendous. I mean, being able to make stuff and put it online where other people could see it was pretty slick, but we did not have very much to work with.

I’ve been taking for granted that most folks doing web stuff still remember those days, or at least the decade that followed, but I think that assumption might be a wee bit out of date. Some time ago I encountered a tweet marvelling at what we had to do without border-radius. I still remember waiting with bated breath for it to be unprefixed!

But then, I suspect I also know a number of folks who only tried web design in the old days, and assume nothing about it has changed since.

I’m here to tell all of you to get off my lawn. Here’s a history of CSS and web design, as I remember it."
css  webdev  history  html  web 
10 days ago
Phones Are the Best Technology - The Atlantic
“As you kneel beside your bed tonight, and dote briefly on each of the world’s miseries, expend a few seconds on Shawn Sebastian. As a Democratic precinct secretary in Story County, Sebastian needed to report the results of his local caucus to the state party.

“I’ve been on hold for over an hour with the Iowa Democratic Party,” he told Wolf Blitzer, the CNN anchor, around 10 p.m. last night. The party “tried to, I think, promote an app to report the results. The app just, like, doesn’t work, so we’ve been recommended to call into the hotline.” Muzak piped in the background. “I’m just waiting on hold and doing my best,” Sebastian repeated.

Then, suddenly, the hotline came alive—a woman’s voice asked if he needed help. “Hello? Hello?” said the voice. “I’ve got to get off the phone,” Sebastian said. Yet before he could actually greet the operator (“Okay, hi. Hello?”) came the tell-tale click of a dead receiver.

And with the rising resignation of a trained Shakespearean, Sebastian turned to Blitzer and announced: “They hung up on me.” It took him roughly another hour to finally deliver his results. (They are: Sanders, 2; Warren, 2; Buttigieg, 2.)

The point of this story is not that technology is bad. In the pandemonium of the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucus—in which a custom-made and little-tested app failed, with no apparent backup plan, delaying the results nearly a day—that argument will be advanced loudly and often. The point of the story is that telephones are, in fact, the best technology. If the Iowa Democratic Party had recognized this truth, Sebastian would never have been left lingering on hold. And not only should the Iowa Democratic Party have relied more eagerly on telephones, but we all should use them more. Phones are efficient, irreplaceable, and essential to civic life. And we are reckless and stupid, as a society, to be abandoning them in pursuit of software’s siren song.

Iowa is a microcosm of this effect. There was an obvious alternative to developing a new piece of software: Just get a bunch of volunteers to sit in a big room in Des Moines and talk to precinct secretaries on the phone. Had the state party developed some form of authorization ahead of time—perhaps by giving each precinct secretary a codeword, on a sheet of paper—callers could have provided results quickly and securely. Iowa has 1,681 precincts: Assuming the state party could find several hundred volunteers, and that each conversation with a local secretary lasted 20 minutes or so (as Sebastian later reported), the task would be complete in about two hours. If the party were asking only for final caucus results, it could complete the same task with about 60 volunteers.

Such a system could be infiltrated, maybe, but it could not be easily hacked. It requires little training: Almost everyone, of every age, knows how to place a phone call. And simple voice calls are accessible to the roughly one in five Americans who do not own a smartphone.

A telephone-based system is also proven. Year in and year out, in races big and small, the Associated Press provides gold-standard election-result data. It compiles those data through an old-fashioned phone tree: First, a local AP stringer calls a set of county clerks and gets vote tallies, then she calls an AP vote-entry clerk in Spokane, Washington, and reads them over the phone. This seemingly low-tech process has produced nearly every live election result that you have seen on TV or website—emphasis on live. “It’s an essential process that requires dedicated people and documented expertise,” brags the AP. That may be true. But it is not so mysterious that it should elude a local political party.

Yet it should not surprise us that the Iowa Democrats declined to use phones. We all do. Every single day, for no good reason, Americans now eschew making phone calls, even when they will provide the best information in the most efficient way. If it’s 5 p.m. on a Monday of a three-day weekend, and you want to know whether your local pizza place is open, the fastest and best option is to call it. But time after time, I have seen people satisfy themselves with Google’s sheepish approximation. “Well, it looks like they’re usually open till 6, but that may change because of the holiday,” announces whoever happens to be in the car’s passenger seat, their nose three inches from the glowing iPhone. “I guess we’ll see,” says the driver, turning onto the interstate. Twenty minutes later, you have no one to blame but yourself when you find Vito’s of Poughkeepsie uses Sunday hours on President’s Day.

Already I can hear the roars of “OK Boomer” that will inevitably meet this post. So let me clarify, first, that I was born in the 1990s. I have come to love the phone as an adult. There remains an immense amount of information in the world that is easiest to access by phone. Should you worry about your child’s mild flu symptoms? Call the pediatrician. Need to know if funding for the town library increased last year? Call city hall.

And while I hear my fellow Millennials complain about phone anxiety, I wonder who is encouraging that particular neuroticism. For in every other realm, the country’s largest companies have midwifed this societal retreat from telephony. It is far easier for corporations, of course, if we use their apps, whether it be to complain or query or order a grande nonfat chai latte. If we order on the app, our request is tabulated and measurable; it is automatically monitored and easier to optimize. Best of all, local employees—those people called, in any other context, our neighbors—can be judged based on how fast they respond to our needs. The rise of what the writer Malcolm Harris calls “servant apps” is stripping the world of the easiest form of solidarity, which is geography. It used to be that, when you moved into a new home, the previous occupants left you their binder of local takeout and delivery menus. In those first months, you tried out the local offerings; over the years, you got to know the voice on the other side of the phone. Today, when city dwellers move to a new neighborhood, they reload Seamless.

Talking on the phone is also—let’s be clear—very easy. Toddlers can do it with aplomb. First graders learn how to call 911. Whereas texting or Instagram DMing proceeds as a kind of ambient chatter with no clear start or stop point—allowing all sorts of innovative new forms of passive-aggression, chief among them ghosting—a phone call is simple. It requires a greeting. Then it requires a statement of purpose. Then the two parties talk. Then eventually someone needs to get off the line, and the conversation ends. This discrete pattern holds whether you called to report Story County Precinct 1-1 or whether you just called to say “I love you.”

Phones are beautiful, really. “The telephone lets anybody say what he wants to the person of his choice; he can conduct business, express love, or pick a quarrel. It is impossible for bureaucrats to define what people say to each other on the phone, even though they can interfere with—or protect—the privacy of their exchange,” observed the philosopher Ivan Illich in 1973. To him, phones had the best quality that a technology could have: conviviality. “They can be easily used, by anybody, as often or as seldom as desired, for the accomplishment of a purpose chosen by the user,” he wrote. Phones, in his view, were a tool of both liberty and equality.

Which is to say: They are a tool of democracy. Make no mistake about the end goal of all of this. As Americans, we have spent the past several decades building a sociotechnical system that aims to free people from ever having to talk to strangers. “‘Don’t talk to strangers!’ That is a lesson for four-year-olds,” writes the political theorist Danielle Allen. She points out that only the president gets to pretend that no American is a stranger: He can look into everyone’s eye and shake everyone’s hand. “The more fearful we citizens are of speaking to strangers, the more we are docile children and not prospective presidents; the greater the distance between the president and us, the more we are subjects, not citizens,” she says. “Talking to strangers is a way of claiming one’s political majority and, with it, a presidential ease and sense of freedom.” (It is also a good way of figuring out who should run for president.)

We hate talking to strangers—so instead we argue by tweet, order by servant app, and address the world from behind constructed veils of personal comfort. What a calamity. Talking to strangers is good. It is good for you, and it is good for the stranger. It is an economic good, as a kind of public luxury; it is a moral good, as a form of ethical instruction. Exodus 22:21 famously commands its readers not to mistreat or oppress a stranger, “for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” To this we should add an American epilogue: Do not abandon the stranger on the phone, for you were left on hold in Des Moines.”
robinsonmeyer  2020  elections  telephones  technology  communication  social  society  strangers  iowa  reliability  accessibility  ivanillich  conviviality  toolsforconviviality  danielleallen 
10 days ago
Hayao Miyazaki’s Cursed Worlds
“I brought a friend with me the first time I saw Princess Mononoke in an American movie theater. He had no experience with Miyazaki or with Japanese culture or animation, but he was intrigued to see what promised to be a grand adventure story, especially one that was appearing in the United States under the auspices of Disney. In the middle of watching the movie, however, he started nudging me. “Who’s the good guy?” he hissed irritably. “I can’t tell which is the good guy and which is the bad guy!” “That’s the whole point!” I whispered back.

Princess Mononoke inaugurated a new chapter in Miyazakiworld. Ambitious and angry, it expressed the director’s increasingly complex worldview, putting on film the tight intermixture of frustration, brutality, animistic spirituality, and cautious hope that he had honed in his manga Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. The film offers a mythic scope, unprecedented depictions of violence and environmental collapse, and a powerful vision of the sublime, all within the director’s first-ever attempt at a jidaigeki, or historical film. It also moves further away from the family fare that had made him a treasured household name in Japan.

In the complicated universe of Princess Mononoke, there is no longer room for villains such as Future Boy Conan’s power-hungry Repka, the greedy Count of The Castle of Cagliostro, or the evil Muska of Laputa: Castle in the Sky. Miyazaki instead gives his audiences the ambitious but generous Lady Eboshi and the enigmatic monk Jiko-bō, who insists that we live in a cursed world. Jiko-bō isn’t the only one who thinks this, apparently. In the darkest moments of his tale of humans battling the “wild gods” of the natural world in fourteenth-century Japan, Miyazaki seems to be saying that all the dwellers of this realm, human and nonhuman, are equally cursed. Princess Mononoke raises questions Miyazaki had implicitly asked in the Nausicaä manga: Given what humanity has done to the planet, do we have a right to keep on waging war against the nonhuman other? Is there any way that humans and nonhumans can coexist?

These questions struck a deep chord in Japanese audiences, and the movie opened a new chapter in Miyazaki’s influence on Japanese society. Princess Mononoke became not simply a hit but a cultural phenomenon. The Japanese media celebrated the more than two thousand eager fans who lined up for the movie’s first screening in Tokyo, then vociferously commemorated the moment when the film surpassed the country’s previous highest earning movie, Steven Spielberg’s E. T. Magazine articles and even special issues on the film flooded Japan, tackling everything from the movie’s reworking of traditional history and its varied and impressive group of voice actors to its innovative animation techniques, including Studio Ghibli’s first use of computers and digital painting.

Miyazaki was interviewed on subjects ranging from environmental degradation to his judgment on whether children should see such a violent movie (on which he reversed himself, initially saying that they should not see it and then insisting that children would make the best audience). His fame among anime fans had been building for many years, and the success of his 1989 film, Kiki’s Delivery Service, opened up a still wider audience, but it is with Princess Mononoke that Miyazaki became a celebrity of sorts. This does not mean that he built a flashy house and started dating supermodels. He remained in the unpretentious Tokyo suburb of Tokorozawa and continued to welcome friends and staff members to the rustic cabin his father-in-law had built in the mountains of Nagano prefecture. In an interview after Princess Mononoke’s release, he spoke longingly of a desire “just to go away and live in a cabin in the mountains.”

This desire for retreat was understandable. As numerous articles and a six-hour documentary on the making of the film make clear, Princess Mononoke was the most stress-inducing film the director had created. Notably longer and far more expensive than any previous Studio Ghibli film, the work required almost superhuman efforts on the part of Miyazaki and his increasingly weary staff. Given Miyazaki’s obsessive attention to detail, the film’s epic scope, historical setting, and wide cast of characters made the preparation period alone intensely time-consuming, to say nothing of the time that the actual production took. Exhausted by the experience, some of the veterans who had worked on Princess Mononoke left the company when the film was finished to be replaced by new animators.

Toshio Suzuki, who produced Princess Mononoke, recalls a moment when Miyazaki finally “exploded” after being asked to do too many things in too short a time. The director was “correcting the storyboards, checking the originals, aligning the music to the story, and presiding over the ‘after recordings’ ”—vocals added after the initial animation is complete. He was also giving interviews on television and to newspapers and magazines, all while being involved with the marketing and with introducing the film to audiences as it was rolled out over Japan. As Suzuki puts it, Miyazaki had “given his body and soul” to the movie and was beyond exhaustion. Suzuki remembers being with the director the night before the movie’s premiere in the provincial city of Kochi. Miyazaki lay in bed and with a felt pen drew a sketch of his own face. Handing the paper to Suzuki, he said curtly, “Here, you put this on and go out and pretend to be me at the movie tomorrow.” Princess Mononoke’s aftermath would mark the beginning of the director’s retreat from extensive public-relations responsibilities.

The all-out marketing campaign that surrounded the movie marked a first: the studio marketed it as a Ghibli film rather than a Miyazaki film. This change was more than symbolic, attesting to the ascendance of Suzuki as Ghibli’s main producer in the widening realm of Miyazakiworld. Involved with Miyazaki and Isao Takahata since his days as an editor at Animage, he was widely credited with successfully marketing Kiki’s Delivery Service. But Princess Mononoke’s record-breaking box-office performance was deemed Suzuki’s most spectacular success to date, launching him firmly into a highly visible position in the animation industry. Viewed as the pragmatist who enables Miyazaki to express his idealistic vision, Suzuki became an increasingly dominant force at Ghibli. Indeed, the documentary on the making of Princess Mononoke sometimes appears to be allotting almost as much face time to the producer as to the man who actually directed the film.

New faces were also coming in from overseas. In 1997, Ghibli’s parent company, Tokuma Shoten, announced a deal with Disney to distribute its products worldwide. Suzuki had arranged the agreement, and it was a huge achievement for him and for Ghibli. The deal expanded Ghibli’s influence globally in one stroke and achieved an enormous public-relations coup at home. More than a thousand reporters attended the press conference announcing the deal. As Suzuki disarmingly explained, “The announcement that [Princess Mononoke] would be opening across America was important only in that it helped us capture market share at home.”

In fact, Princess Mononoke, despite an elegant English-language script written by the fantasy writer Neil Gaiman, and an impressive roster of American and English voice actors, did not perform particularly well in the United States. While the film critic Janet Maslin of the New York Times praised the film’s “exotically beautiful action” and Miyazaki’s construction of “an elaborate moral universe,” she also felt compelled to mention its occasionally “knotty” plot and sometimes “gruesome” imagery. A Japanese journalist wondered later, “How could [Americans who were] used to stories about good versus evil, full of musical numbers and comical sidekicks, and always with a happy ending, be expected to appreciate the appeal of Studio Ghibli’s offerings?”

Miyazaki’s feelings about the new arrangement with Disney are cloudy. Beyond a rather vague speech at the press conference, I can find no public pronouncement by him on the subject. Over the years, neither he nor Suzuki had had much good to say about Disney, so it seems likely that the arrangement was a purely practical one for the benefit of both parties. But Miyazaki and Suzuki could at least be satisfied that they had broken new ground for quality Japanese animation. Furthermore, the Oscar later awarded to Miyazaki’s 2001 film, Spirited Away, would show that American audiences could indeed appreciate something beyond “happily ever after.”

Although groundbreaking in many ways, Princess Mononoke did not come out of nowhere. By the early nineties, Miyazaki had completed his first adult-oriented feature film, Porco Rosso, and was finally finishing the Nausicaä manga. Always searching for new inspirations, he became intrigued by the idea of doing something with the Hōjōki, a classic work from the thirteenth century. A brief, beautifully written reflection on the world and the transience of life, the Hōjōki is still part of the curriculum in most Japanese schools.

The Hōjōki is not an obvious candidate for a movie, animated or otherwise. Written by Kamo no Chōmei, a former courtier who had grown disillusioned by the ways of the world and became a Buddhist monk, the work appeared in 1223, at a time when military takeovers, famine, pestilence, and natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods rocked the capital and claimed thousands of lives. The Hōjōki chronicles these disasters from a safe distance, through the viewpoint of a thoughtful, poetic man who sees in the apocalyptic events around him a reason for retreat and reflection.

Miyazaki’s interest in the Hōjōki was stimulated by a book called Hōjōkiden, by a favorite novelist of his, Yoshie Hotta. But beyond such influences, … [more]
hayaomiyazaki  2018  susannapier  princessmononoke  film  animation  worldbuilding  akirakurosawa  filmmaking  japan  hōjōki  emptiness  yoshiehotta  porcorosso  nausicaä  kamonochōmei  spiritedaway  storytelling  studioghibli  manga  castleinthesky  futureboyconan  war  multispecies  morethanhuman  mythology  environment  environmentalism  interconnected  interconnectedness  interdependence  industrialization  landscape 
10 days ago
Class Carpetbagger | Corey Pein
“When he speaks about education and opportunity, Pete reminds me of my high school guidance counselor. That guy was a jerk.”



“But my comrades on the “housekeeping” crew did not need more paperwork, or whatever else Pete is selling. They needed free health care, housing subsidies, and a labor union.”



“Like so many bourgeois strivers, Pete takes up space wherever he goes.”



“The most delicious thing about Pete’s campaign is that, possibly for the first time in his life, his privileged class position is a liability, not an asset.”



“can someone explain to me why rich kids feel so gratuitously entitled to tell the working class how to live? Go ahead. I’ll wait. I really want to hear this explanation, especially from Pete, but any rich kid will do.”



“Clinton’s ability to speak authentically about his underclass upbringing is part of why his charisma clicked with so many Americans. And yet “the boy from Hope” was, in the end, a class traitor. I’d like to think Bill might have turned out better without the Rhodes.”



“Pete is no Bill. He has no story to tell; he has studiously collected anecdotes. He is an unapologetic conservative in that he doesn’t think class matters at all, except to the extent that he can exploit it.”



“His pitch is based on a phony heartland appeal. Nobody’s falling for it, except people who are even more out of touch than he is with working-class struggle.”



“When I look at Pete, I see the face of America’s rotten sham meritocracy, and I know I am not alone.”
petebuttigieg  2020  us  capitalism  equality  politics  coreypein  elections  meritocracy  billclinton  class  poverty  entitlement  bourgeoisie  education  elitism  ambition 
10 days ago
(Self-Directed) Education is a Political Act | Alliance for Self-Directed Education
“With that said, I created the following diagram as a visual aid to help understand the many various SDE methods at work, how they generally are similar and different, how their sense of “freedom” is ideologically politicized, and how they are allied as trust based models in contrast with fear based counterparts in the top section of the diagram. This diagram seeks not to pigeonhole any one model into a political ideology but rather to provide a broad understanding of where each model lies on a spectrum of definitions and methodologies of “freedom” and education as a political act.

[image: “A chart showing fear based and trust based models of education"]

Since freedom is rooted and established in trust, the act of stripping away that freedom starts with fear and control. Therefore, I have simply distinguished these two overarching philosophies into “Fear Based” and “Trust Based” categories. The fear based models of education are out of scope for this article (for more on that, start with this excellent article). However, I want to briefly touch upon why “Democratic Schools” are listed under this category. Note that “Free Schools” are listed under the trust based model; while most Free Schools are also democratic, it is possible to have democratic decision-making in fear based schools (e.g. “Vote on whether we’re studying the Nile or the Pyramids first…”) This distinction is not always clear and earlier in my research caused me a lot of confusion, especially in my travels to Europe where I learned that visiting a “democratic” school did not necessarily mean I could expect the school to be self-directed as well. It is also important to note that often (but not always) this did not mean the educators there were not interested in SDE. Rather, they were often working constrained by laws that make SDE illegal in countries like Greece, Turkey and Germany. Meanwhile, in the United States the adoption of democratic education within conventional schools can also be seen in classroom meeting trends and in the work of organizations like the Institute for Democratic Education in America (IDEA).

On the “trust based” side of the diagram, most notable might be that I have placed unschooling under all three political ideologies. Unschooling is certainly the most difficult SDE methodology to pin down, since it is practiced for so many different reasons and in so many different ways. I broke it down into three general sub-groups:

- Self-Governed Unschoolers under the Libertarian label are generally those unschoolers looking for independence from institutionalization. These are families who are focused on the liberation of their learners. While they might be a part of some collective or taking classes in various places, ultimately their focus is their own freedom and learning, not the welfare of any collective or group they may temporarily be a part of.

- Decolonizing Unschoolers is best described by Zakiyya Ismail, who simply wrote, “It is about stepping out of an oppressive system and into a liberatory one.”20 For these unschoolers, this is not just about independence of one’s own learning; it is also about dismantling the oppressive system of conventional schooling in order to create an equitable world, and so, this model fits well under the Anarchism label.

- Communal Unschoolers is admittedly a term I made up for clarification and distinction in this diagram. However, this is a very real type of unschooling, a type that I run across often in my own work with unschoolers. Communal Unschoolers are families who unschool as a collective in order to make it possible to do so for each individual family. There’s a reliance on each other and a buy-in in order for each learner to be able to unschool. Therefore, this model fits best under the label of Socialism.

As for schools and centers, I’ve placed Sudbury Schools and Liberated Learners under the Libertarian umbrella. Liberated Learners are listed here for the same previously mentioned reason that Self-Governed Unschoolers are in this category. And while Sudbury Schools are communities, their standard of no adult offerings and policy of barring parent involvement align with the notion of learning based primarily on the individual’s needs. Their School Meeting and Judicial Committee structures reflect the Libertarian idea that governance is necessary but should be made as small as is necessary to maintain autonomy.

I have listed Free Schools and Summerhill on the other end of the spectrum, under the Socialist label. While individual freedom is certainly valued highly in these schools, Summerhill and Free Schools generally emphasize being a collective reliant on communal equity. In contrast to Sudbury Schools, these schools generally have communal offerings (or classes in the case of Summerhill) and often rely on parent involvement in the community (or the adult “House Parents” and older youth “Beddies” who foster a sense of “family” at Summerhill, which is a boarding school). There is a real sense that a culture needs to be developed for a healthy learning atmosphere to thrive (much like the nineteenth century SDE Swiss educational reformer Johann Pestalozzi’s premise that an “emotionally secure environment” needs to be present for “successful learning” to take place).

Judith Suissa compares Summerhill to the third category listed in the diagram, anarchism, when she writes, “What Neill was really after was an appreciation of freedom for its own sake– a far cry from the social anarchists, who viewed freedom… as an inherent aspect of creating a society based on mutual aid, socio-economic equality and cooperation.”22 From this reasoning, I have placed in the anarchistic category Agile Learning Centers, as well as the more obvious Free Skools and Modern Schools (which directly declare/d themselves anarchistic). Agile Learning Centers were a direct reaction to the Free School model, retooling and reframing Free School practices for meetings, conflict resolution, and so on. These consent driven structures and nonhierarchical systems align with anarchist ideologies. Additionally, the ALC Network’s intentional dedication to social justice and equity separate it from the other SDE models and also fall under the definition of anarchistic values.

With all of this said, it is important to remember that each individual and each center is different, and that such diagrams are only useful as a general guide to understanding the methodologies. At the same time, this comparison of SDE models to political ideologies is also an important reminder that, while one does not need to support radical politics to believe in SDE, a young person practicing Self-Directed Education will experience radical freedom and trust based ideologies, and those experiences will influence the development of their framing of the world. The same is also true of children being raised in conventional fear based environments, different as the politically ideological implications may themselves be.

Articulating these SDE model differences while holding as foundational their trust based alliance is a practice intended to establish a greater bond. With this understanding, all of us in this world of Self-Directed Education can learn more from one another. During this time period where partisanship is dividing humanity so severely, it is important to remember our similarities and to remember that all individuals, regardless of political beliefs or educational beliefs or any other beliefs that diversify humanity, all deserve to be approached with respect and kindness. I am proud to be in alliance with other members of this trust based Self-Directed Education movement, and I celebrate our many flavors and methods.”
alexanderkhost  via:derek  2020  politics  self-directed  self-directedlearning  freeschools  summerhill  sudbury  sudburyschools  education  schools  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  anarchism  anarchy  socialism  individualism  society  radicalism  children  modernschools  autonomy  mutualaid  freedom  liberation  community  communities  progressive  sfsh  lcproject  tcsnmy  libertarianism  doctrine  authority  authoritarianism  conservatism  moderatism  moderation  permissiveness  liberalism  publicschools  conventionalschools  agilelearningcenters  waldorf  waldorfschools  montessori  montessorischools  charterschools  trust  fear  parenting  schooliness  indoctrination  judithsuissa  asneill 
10 days ago
Cynthia Nixon on Twitter: “In 2016 I supported Hillary for President.   But this year, I’m all in for Bernie. His ideas are wildly popular, and he’s our best chance to beat Trump.  We can’t afford to nominate a candidate who will leave voters si
"In 2016 I supported Hillary for President.
 
But this year, I’m all in for Bernie. His ideas are wildly popular, and he’s our best chance to beat Trump. 

We can’t afford to nominate a candidate who will leave voters sitting at home, uninspired.

[video]"
cynthiadixon  berniesanders  2020  elections  politics  hillarytobernie  hillaryclinton  2016  us 
13 days ago
I Hated Bernie Bros Until I Loved and Lost One
“About 45,000 people in the US die every year from not having health insurance. My boyfriend was one of them.”
berniesanders  2020  katewillett  elections  hillaryclinton  hillarytobernie  medicareforall  death  love  feminism  berniebro  health  depression  us  democrats  raghavmehta  socialism 
13 days ago
In 2016 I was all in for Hillary but now I'm feeling the Bern | Porochista Khakpour | Opinion | The Guardian
"Maybe I picked Clinton because I wanted a woman to be president. I still do. But Sanders is a leader we can believe in"
berniesanders  2020  porochistakhakpour  elections  hillaryclinton  medicareforall  hillarytobernie 
13 days ago
Berniebros and Hillarealists - The Atlantic
"It's Not Just Berniebros: I coined the term—now I’ve come back to fix what I started."
berniesanders  robinsonmeyer  2016  language  politics  internet  web  online  berniebro  words  webspeak  facebook  twitter  socialmedia  discourse 
13 days ago
nsangimwanawange[👻] on Twitter: "big ghost/spirit/light energy 👻🖤 https://t.co/DzPGUap0ep" / Twitter
“catastrophes. My writing hand becomes a dumb stump in my head… I mean I can’t write or utter a sound or metaphor. But Sycorax comes to me in a dream and she dreams me a Macintosh computer with its winking _io_ hiding in its margins which, as you know, are not really margins, but electronic accesses to Random Memory and the Cosmos and the _lwa_.

And she dreams me these stories (see _DreamStories_ 1994)—what Rohlehr calls “Night Journeys” or “Night Healings”— and shows me how to find _jo_ to write them out on the computer. And the two together introduce me to fonts and the fonts take me across Mexico to Siqueiros and the Aztec murals and all the way back to ancient Nilotic Egypt to hieroglyphics—allowing me to write in light and to make sound visible as if I am in video.”
kamaubrathwaite  computing  howweread  howwewrite  poetry  memory  sound  video  fonts  computers  writing  reading 
17 days ago
nsangimwanawange[👻] on Twitter: ""the computer has moved us away from scripture into some other dimension which is writing in light" https://t.co/lTbVyoUk7R" / Twitter
“I think the computer has moved us away from scripture into some other dimension which is “writing in light”. It is really nearer to the oral tradition than the typewriter is. The typewriter is an extension of the pen. The computer is getting as close as you can to the spoken word–in fact it will eventually I think be activated by voice and it will be possible to sit in front of the computer and say your poem and have it seen.” –Kamau Brathwaite
kamaubrathwaite  secondaryorality  orality  typewriters  pens  computing  computers  writing  howwewrite  typing  spokenword  oraltradition  speechtotext 
17 days ago
diana / on Twitter: "This is very small but: when I was the dept receptionist, Brathwaite would always stop and thank me for whatever small task I had done, & give me copies of his books, & explain that education could not function on bureaucratic
"This is very small but: when I was the dept receptionist, Brathwaite would always stop and thank me for whatever small task I had done, & give me copies of his books, & explain that education could not function on bureaucratic time, & just generally be the most open-hearted prof"
kamaubrathwaite  time  learning  howwelearn  education  academia  highereducation  highered  deschooling  undercommons  bureaucracy  srg  process 
17 days ago
What if Darwin’s ideas about competition aren’t as correct as we’ve long thought?
"Scientists are slowly understanding collaboration’s role in biology, which might just help liberate our collective imagination in time to better address the climate crisis."
competition  cooperation  2020  johnfavini  science  evolution  charlesdarwin  biology  culture  via:debcha 
19 days ago
Over 3,000 Materials From the Black Mountain College Archives Will Be Digitized
"Thanks to a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources, the Asheville Art Museum will digitize its largely hidden Black Mountain College Collection."
blackmountaincollege  bmc  archives  digital  2020 
19 days ago
Here are some terms to mute on Twitter to clean your timeline up a bit. · GitHub
"Here are some terms to mute on Twitter to clean your timeline up a bit.

twittermute.txt

Mute these words in your settings here: https://twitter.com/settings/muted_keywords

ActivityTweet
generic_activity_highlights
generic_activity_momentsbreaking
RankedOrganicTweet
suggest_activity
suggest_activity_feed
suggest_activity_highlights
suggest_activity_tweet
suggest_grouped_tweet_hashtag
suggest_pyle_tweet
suggest_ranked_organic_tweet
suggest_ranked_timeline_tweet
suggest_recap
suggest_recycled_tweet
suggest_recycled_tweet_inline
suggest_sc_tweet
suggest_timeline_tweet
suggest_who_to_follow
suggestactivitytweet
suggestpyletweet
suggestrecycledtweet_inline"
twitter  hacks  howto 
19 days ago
Against Activism | The Baffler
“Self-Directed Action

In the sixties, Rudd, Dunbar-Ortiz, and their respective cohorts learned about organizing almost by osmosis, absorbing a model “developed and tested over many generations,” as Rudd put it. (Their ambient awareness of organizing, Rudd clarified in his talk, informed the years of preparation that made the celebrated 1968 Columbia occupation possible; ignoring those efforts in a fit of hubris is where the Weather Underground went wrong.) Today’s activists have come of age in a very different milieu. No one has a parent in the Party, trade unions are in terminal decline, and the protracted struggle of the civil rights movement, which has so much to teach us, has been reduced to a series of iconic images and feel-good history highlights.

To be an activist now merely means to advocate for change, and the hows and whys of that advocacy are unclear. The lack of a precise antonym is telling. Who, exactly, are the non-activists? Are they passivists? Spectators? Or just regular people? In its very ambiguity the word upholds a dichotomy that is toxic to democracy, which depends on the participation of an active citizenry, not the zealotry of a small segment of the population, to truly function.

As my friend Jonathan Matthew Smucker, whom I met at Zuccotti Park during the early days of Occupy Wall Street, argues in a forthcoming book, the term activist is suspiciously devoid of content. “Labels are certainly not new to collective political action,” Smucker writes, pointing to classifications like abolitionist, populist, suffragette, unionist, and socialist, which all convey a clear position on an issue. But activist is a generic category associated with oddly specific stereotypes: today, the term signals not so much a certain set of political opinions or behaviors as a certain temperament. In our increasingly sorted and labeled society, activists are analogous to skateboarders or foodies or dead heads, each inhabiting a particular niche in America’s grand and heterogeneous cultural ecosystem—by some quirk of personality, they enjoy long meetings, shouting slogans, and spending a night or two in jail the way others may savor a glass of biodynamic wine. Worse still, Smucker contends, is the fact that many activists seem to relish their marginalization, interpreting their small numbers as evidence of their specialness, their membership in an exclusive and righteous clique, effectiveness be damned.

While there are notable exceptions, many strands of contemporary activism risk emphasizing the self over the collective. By contrast, organizing is cooperative by definition: it aims to bring others into the fold, to build and exercise shared power. Organizing, as Smucker smartly defines it, involves turning “a social bloc into a political force.” Today, anyone can be an activist, even someone who operates alone, accountable to no one—for example, relentlessly trying to raise awareness about an important issue. Raising awareness—one of contemporary activism’s preferred aims—can be extremely valuable (at least I hope so, since I have spent so much time trying to do it), but education is not organizing, which involves not just enlightening whoever happens to encounter your message, but also aggregating people around common interests so that they can strategically wield their combined strength. Organizing is long-term and often tedious work that entails creating infrastructure and institutions, finding points of vulnerability and leverage in the situation you want to transform, and convincing atomized individuals to recognize that they are on the same team (and to behave like it).

Globally, we’ve seen an explosion of social movements since 2011, yet many of us involved in them remain trapped in the basic bind Rudd described. “Activism, the expression of our deeply held feelings, used to be only one part of building a movement. It’s a tactic which has been elevated to the level of strategy, in the absence of strategy,” he lamented. “Most young activists think organizing means making the physical arrangements for a rally or benefit concert.” Add to this list creating a social media hashtag, circulating an online petition, and debating people on the Internet, and the sentiment basically holds. The work of organizing has fallen out of esteem within many movement circles, where a faith in spontaneous rebellion and a deep suspicion of institutions, leadership, and taking power are entrenched.

That isn’t to say that there aren’t times when rallies, concerts, hashtags, petitions, and online debates are useful—they sometimes are. The problem is that these events or tactics too often represent the horizon of political engagement. “I think it’s generally a good thing that large numbers of people have been inspired in recent decades to take action, and that developments in technology have made it easier for them to do so,” said L. A. Kauffman, who is putting the finishing touches on a history of direct action. “Divorced from a deliberate organizing strategy, all of this can just be a flurry of activity without much impact, of course, so we return to the need for our movements to recognize and cultivate organizing talent, and to support this work by treating it as work—e.g., by finding ways to pay people a living wage to do it.” To state what should be self-evident, people taking small concrete actions—signing a petition or showing up at a rally—are more likely to have a real influence when guided by a clear game plan, ideally one with the objective of inconveniencing elites and impeding their profits.”



“All things considered, the word activist isn’t that bad. It is, at the very least, certainly preferable to social entrepreneur, change agent, or—god forbid—social justice warrior. Unlike activist, with its hazy etymology, the history of social justice warrior, or SJW, can be traced in remarkable detail thanks to the website Know Your Meme. It first appeared in a blog post on November 6, 2009, and by April 21, 2011, merited its own entry on Urban Dictionary: “A pejorative term for an individual who repeatedly and vehemently engages in arguments on social justice on the Internet, often in a shallow or not well-thought-out way, for the purpose of raising their own personal reputation.””
2016  astrataylor  organizating  activism  politics  markrudd  socialism  sjw  socialjusticewarriors  coalition  marginalization  ows  occupywallstreet  tactics  socialmovements  roxannedunbar-ortiz  engagement  institutions 
19 days ago
The Right to Listen | The New Yorker
“n 2016, during one of the first shoots for “What Is Democracy?,” I stood near Miami Beach, asking people to share their political opinions on camera. Three middle-aged men on vacation from New Jersey sat down on a park bench to chat. They sang the praises of a Republican candidate for President named Donald Trump, and offered their thoughts about immigration (bad), taxes (too high), and police violence against black people (not a problem). It was only a few minutes before one of them mentioned free speech. “Here, we have freedom to express,” he said, of the United States. “Like when Joe was just explaining about his racism, six large black men walked by. I thought there might be a problem. Not in this country! They heard it, it’s democracy. Joe can say whatever he wants.” What made America great, they suggested, was every individual’s right to say anything, without reserve and without inviting a response. This was a conception of democratic life that centered on self-expression, with listening left out. In its version of democracy, speech need only go one way.

The men on the bench were hardly unique in overlooking listening as an important component of democracy. As an activist on the left, I long assumed that my role consisted entirely of raising awareness, sounding alarms, and deploying arguments; it took me years to realize that I needed to help build and defend spaces in which listening could happen, too. As citizens, we understand that the right to speak has to be facilitated, bolstered by institutions and protected by laws. But we’ve been slow to see that, if democracy is to function well, listening must also be supported and defended—especially at a moment when technological developments are making meaningful listening harder.

By definition, democracy implies collectivity; it depends on an inclusive and vibrant public sphere in which we can all listen to one another. We ignore that listening at our peril. Watching “What Is Democracy?” today, I find that the answer lies not just in the voices of the people I interviewed. It’s also in the shots of people listening, receptively, as others speak.”
astrataylor  2020  listening  democracy  freedomofspeech  organizing  activism  power  speech  whatisdemocracy?  filmmaking  documentary  voices  gender  marginalization  politics  collectivism  collectivity  inclusivity  technology  facebook  forums  speaking  institutions  law  legal  constitution  us  facilitation  awareness 
19 days ago
Down-Ballot Fights with Jessica Cisneros, Stephen Smith, and Heidi Sloan - The Dig
"We need Bernie but a lot more too. Dan does three interviews with down-ballot left insurgent candidates: Jessica Cisneros, a Justice Democrat running against incumbent conservative Democrat Henry Cuellar in Texas’s 28th congressional district; Stephen Smith, who is running a populist campaign for West Virginia governor; and Heidi Sloan, a DSA candidate in the Democratic primary for Texas’s 25th Republican-held 25th congressional district."
justicedemocrats  organizing  notmeus  berniesanders  jessicacisneros  texas  westvirginia  2020  electronics  stephensmith  heidisloan  left  populism  dsa  socialism  democrats  politics  policy  campaigning  congress  us  henrycuellar  power  republicans  inequality  organizers  grassroots  listening 
21 days ago
Digging Into 'American Dirt' - Latino USA
“At the end of 2019, newsrooms across the United States were sent a book for review: American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. The book has a white jacket cover featuring blue birds, reminiscent of traditional Mexican Talavera tiles surrounded by barbed wire. In the center of the page is a blurb from author Don Winslow. He calls American Dirt, “A Grapes of Wrath for our time.”

The novel tells the story of Lydia Quixano, a middle-class bookstore owner in Acapulco, Mexico. Her entire family is gunned down after her husband, a journalist, publishes an article about the head of the local cartel—a man Lydia was flirting with. She and her son Luca escape the massacre, and in fear of the cartel, find themselves taking a dangerous trek north to the United States.

American Dirt was released with much anticipation—acclaimed Latina writer Sandra Cisneros called the book “the great novel of las Américas.” Julia Alvarez, Reyna Grande and Erika Sánchez also wrote positively about the novel. And this month, American Dirt got one the most important endorsements there is when it comes to sales: it was chosen as the next book in Oprah Winfrey’s book club.

But when American Dirt was finally released in January of 2020, it came with an overwhelming outcry from Latinx writers and readers. Many people felt that Cummins, who identifies as white and Latina, furthered harmful stereotypes about migrants from Mexico and Central America, that her novel included several cultural inaccuracies, and that the marketing campaign surrounding her book was tone-deaf and indicative of a publishing industry that only has 3% Latinx workers. Cummins writes in her author’s note, that she wishes someone “slightly browner” then her had written the book.

For this story, Maria Hinojosa spoke to four people at the heart of the American Dirt controversy: Myriam Gurba —writer and author of Mean— who wrote an explosive critique of the novel; Cisneros, who speaks publicly about the book for the first time; Luis Alberto Urrea, a Mexican-American author who has written extensively about border life; and finally, Cummins, the author of American Dirt.”
americandirt  myriamgurba  sandracisneros  2020  luisalbertourrea  juliaalvarez  reynagrande  erikasánchez  jeaninecummins 
23 days ago
Don’t leave jazz to the jazz guys | The Outline
“The music is more than a personality trait.”



“I prefer to pay attention when I listen to music, so if I need background noise while I’m doing something else, I put on a TV show that I don’t expect to be good. One show that met my expectations recently is ABC’s Stumptown, a private-eye procedural with forgettable mysteries and gratuitous action sequences.

One character on the show is a police officer named Miles, which has a significance that was not initially clear to me. But as I was puttering around the house with the TV on, I took notice of a line of dialogue. It came up during a conversation Miles has with his boss, after he is scolded for going off-book and taking the law into his own hands.

“You like jazz, lieutenant?” he asks. My ears perked up.

“I mean, I’m more of a Joni Mitchell fan,” says the lieutenant. “But super excited to hear where this is going.”

Same! Or maybe not so much excited but mortified. It turned out he was doing some kind of extended metaphor.

“Coltrane,” says Miles. “He was the master of perfectly composed music. And then there was Mingus. He was raucous, free-form, rebellious. Nothing polite about him, rejected the mainstream. I’m a Mingus guy. I get him. I understand him.”

Let’s just set aside how cringe-inducing this is as fictional dialogue — the relevant thing is what it tries to say about the subject under discussion: jazz. Here, jazz represents something other than a genre of music; it is meant to evoke a sensibility, that of being unscripted, authentic. The improvisational aspects of the music are meant to designate the free spirit of the vigilante cop.

Not surprising, really. The jazzy detective is a familiar archetype, even if crime fiction rarely includes any meaningful engagement with the music itself. One rare contemporary exception is the character Harry Bosch, title character of the show Bosch. He has a record collection that would impress a real-life jazz collector, but he doesn’t talk about it unless someone brings it up.

This is the approach I take. I’ve been listening to jazz my whole adult life, or more. But I generally do not raise the subject with anyone unless I know they are also into it, as though it was a sexual kink or a fringe religion. This is because if you disclose this kind of interest out of context, you risk being typecast. Later in the season, Miles — obviously named for trumpeter Miles Davis — is seen on a date with a different Stumptown character, at a punk rock concert. Aftwards, his date tells a friend that it wasn’t an ideal outing. “Wasn’t really his thing,” she says. “He’s more of a jazz guy.” The “jazz guy” is certainly a type.

The first “jazz guy” — the kind of person who would invoke jazz as a metaphor for his personality, as opposed to someone who just likes to listen to jazz — was probably Jack Kerouac, whose On the Road includes effusive descriptions of concerts by George Shearing and Slim Gaillard. “The madness would lead nowhere,” Kerouac notes after seeing Shearing. The jazz guy is most often white and usually insufferable. He probably knows relatively little about jazz. Indeed, in 1949, the English pianist George Shearing should not have been your favorite jazz musician.

The worst thing about jazz guys, as Kerouac epitomized, is the tendency to talk about jazz a lot without really having much to say about it. Stumptown’s Miles fits the bill. It’s bad enough to lecture people about a subject they may not share your interest in; what makes it even worse is if you get it all wrong. I try my best not to participate in that kind of conversation, but since Miles started the ball rolling, I reserve the right of response.

The specifics of the above dialogue are rather severely off-base. The musicians in question, John Coltrane and Charles Mingus, are characterized nearly inversely. Coltrane, a saxophone player, was hardly a player of perfectly composed music — he was possibly the most influential, and at times “free-form,” improviser of his era. Mingus, on the other hand, is one of the few figures in modern jazz whose reputation takes the shape primarily of a composer rather than a performer, after Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. As a bass player, he played improvised solos far less frequently than Coltrane, at times leading his ensemble through material performed more or less as written.

There is already an oversight embedded into whole framing of the conversation, which counterposes Joni Mitchell against jazz, as presumably a polar opposite: the frail, folksy white lady. But if either participant in this conversation really knew their favorite musician’s work, they would know that Mitchell was one of Charles Mingus’s major collaborators late in the composer’s life, recording an album with his supervision in 1979, called Mingus. Joni Mitchell was arguably a jazz guy — or at least she could have been mistaken for one.

***

That being said, the jazz guy is almost always a guy. However, the Claire Danes character on Homeland was a jazz guy. In her, like Miles, a fondness for jazz was supposed to symbolize a coloring-outside-the-lines approach to law enforcement — in this case, the war on terror. John Mayer is a notable jazz guy, though he does seem to genuinely love jazz, making occasional winking references to classic Blue Note records. Ken Burns doesn’t even appear to listen to jazz, but became one of the worst jazz guys of all time for the purposes of his documentary miniseries on the subject.

The most prominent contemporary jazz guy has to be Damien Chazelle, director of the films Whiplash (2014) and La La Land (2016), the latter of which is best-known for not winning the Academy Award for Best Picture. Whiplash is a sports movie in which the athletes compete using musical instruments. The protagonist, a student jazz drummer, is an admirer of Buddy Rich, a big-band celebrity whom hardly anyone who has heard more than a little bit of jazz would consider a favorite. The climactic big game is a competitive concert where the music itself is thoroughly boring. As Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen, whose body of work shows an ongoing engagement with modern jazz, put it in Rolling Stone, Whiplash “has nothing to do with actual jazz unless you consider it to be a species of martial arts.”

La La Land managed to be even worse — a story about black music that is overwhelmingly white, a movie musical that is inspidly heterosexual. The movie’s hero, Sebastian, is a jazz pianist played by Ryan Gosling. He has stepped up from Buddy Rich, copping licks in one scene from a Thelonious Monk solo. Much of the movie’s dialogue consists of him offering his perspective on why jazz is good, or what jazz really is. As he tells Emma Stone’s character, Mia, on their first date:
I just think that people, when they say that they, you know, hate jazz, they just, they don’t have context, they don’t know where it comes from. Jazz was born in a little flophouse in New Orleans, and it’s just because people were crammed in there, they spoke five different languages, they couldn’t talk to each other. The only way they could communicate was with jazz.

This is a bit ridiculous, for one thing. People in New Orleans at the turn of the century were surely speaking English, French, Spanish, and Creole dialects, rather than carrying out conversations by blowing trumpets at each other. But cringier still is the shape this takes: a man lecturing a woman on a date about her lack of appreciation for a particular art form.

This is, unfortunately, a thing, one that particularly haunts women who play or listen to jazz. I once witnessed a first date at the Village Vanguard, the world’s most famous jazz club, where a man pointed at a picture of Joe Henderson and told his date it was Dexter Gordon. He then proceeded to sing her the bass line to Miles Davis’s “So What,” the first song on the first jazz album most people listen to. As Alexander Pope once wrote: “A little learning is a dangerous thing.”

***

My own interest in jazz grew in parallel to other kinds of music, and one of the things that has most confused me about the public perception of it is its depiction as something entirely distinct from different genres. Think of the way people ask each other, as part of a variety of getting-to-know-you processes, “what kind of music do you like?” People draw a variety of conclusions about your cultural background based on your answer, but if your answer is “jazz,” that seems to carry more of a connotation about your personality, like that you are a white guy who wears a fedora and calls people “cat.” It’s the type of thing you don’t list on a dating profile. An interest in jazz too often signifies the things it is depicted as in either Whiplash — a preening display of technical ability — or La La Land — a nostalgic fixation. It’s as though you admitted to being a Civil War reenactor, or worse, a snob. But for me, it’s never had anything to do with either.

Miles Davis’s 1959 album Kind of Blue — the one with “So What” — was probably also the first jazz album I heard, though I don’t remember the first time I heard it. There was a copy at my local library, and I do remember flipping past it many times. I began to recognize it as the token jazz album on Rolling Stone-type best album lists, but in the back of my mind, I thought, “that one is boring.”

[audio embed]

The first jazz album I liked was Grant Green’s 1963 Idle Moments, which I saw in the same bin, and chose for the unsophisticated reason that I liked the cover — a classic of Blue Note’s distinctive design. The 15-minute title track is like a film noir in miniature, and I’d never heard a vibraphone before, an instrument that sounds like a wisp of smoke in black and white. It’s played here by Bobby Hutcherson, and I started keeping my eye out for his name in lists of credits. Jazz was still a curiosity… [more]
jazz  music  2020  shujahaider  bosch 
23 days ago
The First Rainbow Coalition | Season 21 Episode 6 | Independent Lens | PBS
"In 1969, the Chicago Black Panther Party formed alliances across ethnic and racial lines with other community-based movements in the city, including Latino group the Young Lords and southern whites the Young Patriots. Banding together in one of postwar America's most segregated cities to confront issues like police brutality and substandard housing, they called themselves the Rainbow Coalition."
rainbowcoalition  blackpanthers  blackpantherparty  1968  1969  chicago  patriotism  us  history  race  ethnicity  younglords  youngpatriots  segregation  policebrutality  housing  resistance  freedom  liberation  solidarity  education  inequality  urbanrenewal  urbanism  socialjustice  socialism  join  risingupangry  fredhampton  bobbylee  self-defense  revolution  organizing  cointelpro  oppression  fascism  exploitation 
23 days ago
Bookshop
[https://twitter.com/AndyHunter777/status/1222180101544120321

“bookshop.org launched our beta today! We hope to provide an alternative to Amazon affiliate programs that support independent bookstores AND media that covers books! We will be improving it every week this spring, but it works right now, so please visit & buy a book!”
books  shopping  amazon  bookstores  independent 
24 days ago
ZigZag ALC
“We are a transformative Agile Learning community of diverse people of all ages in Asheville, NC. We practice Self-Directed Education, empathy-based communication, consent, and liberation. Liberation means freeing ourselves and our children from oppressive systems and schoolish mindsets of perfection, conformity, compliance, and zero sum games. We grow, discover, and celebrate our kids and ourselves exactly as we are. 

Agile Learning at its core is about giving kids genuine choice about how to spend their time throughout their day, and this self-direction works best when done with intention and as part of a vibrant community. Facilitators and mentors offer classes, projects, activities, and weekly field trips based on the interests of the kids enrolled. We believe in the importance of play, nature, community, intention-setting, and trust-centered decision making. We practice power-with instead of power-over, which means that all of our needs matter, kids and grownups alike. 

We are an alternative to public/private schools for kids ages 3-13. We want to help families that never intended to pull their kids out of school, but find their kid is stressed, losing their curiosity, being bullied, etc., and needs help finding another way forward. We can help with that transition and be a resource in creating an education that is more meaningful and fun. ​

We are also a resource for unschoolers and homeschoolers already happy and comfortable with their education and just looking for another wonderful opportunity to enrich their lives.”

[via: “Unschooled Asheville: A day in the life of homeschooling's boldest movement”
https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2020/01/22/asheville-unschooling-homeschool-zig-zag-gains-popularity/4419234002/ ]
unschooling  agilelearningcenters  self-directed  self-directedlearning  education  deschooling  asheville  northcarolina  homeschool  lcproject  openstudioproject  agilelearning  learning  children 
25 days ago
A Manifesto of Rural Futurism. Rethinking a New Rurality
“‘A Manifesto of Rural Futurism’ is a project of Liminaria and Manifesta 12.

Rethinking a New Rurality

Italian theorist and curator Leandro Pisano, and Australian sound artist Philip Samartzis collaborate to present ‘A Manifesto of Rural Futurism’, a lecture supported by series of recordings exploring the sounds of remote southern Italian communities. The Manifesto provides a critical perspective in which multiple points of view converge to afford new and striking ways to rethink ‘rurality’.

This sonic programme is a journey through more than fifteen years of Interferenze, a research project carried out across several rural areas of southern Italy, from Irpinia to Sannio, from Cilento to Fortore, from Molise to the peripheral area of Palermo. It features a selection of context-specific works realized by international artists during a series of art residencies in the region of Campania, thus resulting in an “invisible” sound map made of voices, places, people and landscapes.

Firstly conceived as a sound art, techno-culture, and rurality festival, over time Interferenze turned into a wider research platform, which in turn created and produced several different outputs, such as workshops, art residencies, and field-work research projects. Among these are Mediaterrae Vol. 1, Barsento Mediascape, Risonanze di Vino, and Liminaria.

This exhibition is just one of the many possible routes along the project’s very long journey across the South. It presents just one of the countless sonic possible worlds that generated over time from the flux of listening practices, bodies, and ideas activated within the project.

In this context, sound becomes a research tool in itself, which can help tackle various material, cultural, social, economic and ecological processes beyond the merely “visual”, thus accessing levels that are imperceptible to the sight. This “acoustemological approach” where sound is linked to knowledge - is a challenge raised to the current political discourses and paradigms that relegate rurality to invisibility and to a marginal position in the contemporary era.

This programme was presented for the first time in a different version during the 2018 edition of Liminaria, a project curated by Leandro Pisano and Beatrice Ferrara, as collateral event of the Manifesta12 Biennale.

Download a PDF version of the Manifesto here
https://ruralfuturism.com/assets/temp/Manifesto_eng.pdf

1.
“Rural futurism” is a challenge raised to the current discourses about rurality as authentic, utopic, anachronistic, provincial, traditional and stable, and the binaries that support such discourses: belonging vs. alienation, development vs. backwardness.

2.
A critical approach to rurality is necessary, today more than ever before, to imagine other futures for rural communities, territories and places beyond the “otherness” vs. “identity” dichotomy.

3.
It becomes apparent that rurality today cannot be seen merely as a geographical space; rather, it has to be seen as an expression of “positionality”, in terms of an actual political position.

4.
We need to understand rural areas as complex spaces actively immersed in the dynamism of encounters, flows and fluxes of contemporary geographies, and critically question modern discourses of capitalism and metropolitanism in which rural territories are marginalised and considered as doomed to oblivion.

5.
“Rural futurism” addresses the complex dynamics between rural territory and urban space through technoculture, encompassing a range of issues such as “generation” and “time” within local communities (depopulation, movement, resilience and cultural heritage) and the peculiar geophysical characteristics of the place (remoteness, wind, energy, infrastructure and/or lack thereof).

6.
Different (human and non-human) life forms exist and insist on a territory, any territory, and they are mutually implicated in one another. Sometimes, they co-exist together peaceably; at other times, they are in conflict with each other. Conflictual coexistences are valuable too, as they generate “grey zones” within a rural territory, which can productively challenge any inherited notion of “environment”, “nature”, and “ecology”. Through its co-existences (and conflictual co-existences), the rural territory can in fact be approached otherwise, leaving aside contemplative, romantic or decadent clichés about “rurality”.

7.
Even if dominant narratives insist that rural spaces should be relegated to a space-time that can only undergo involution, there are many practices — theoretical, artistic, agricultural and technological — that attest to rurality’s potential resistance.

8.
“Rural Futurism” is a critical perspective, in which multiple points of view (and listening) converge: art, and techno-culture(s) more specifically, provide new and striking ways to rethink what ‘rurality’ is (and could be). In this way, rural areas become places of experimentation, performativity, critical investigation and change. It is possible to create future scenarios, starting from the assemblage of the seen and the unseen, of human and non-human elements. These objects, materials, speech, relational infrastructures and technologies give form to (and are formed as) specific modes of governance.

9.
Through the practice of listening it is possible to get a sense of the complexity and dynamics from which the territory reveals itself in unexpected ways and different perspectives. This emphasizes the value and the values of “deep listening” to feel the different topologies of a rural territory. Tones, harmonies and dissonances vibrate while these processes take place, and that can be registered through an “acoustemological” approach.

10.
In its materiality, sound invites us to experience rural locations and abandoned places as spaces in which to question our approach to history and landscape, our sense of living in a specific place and the relationship that we have with it. The sound of environments, spaces and landscapes reveal the challenges and territorial transformations that inform the ideological, infrastructural and biological ecosystems to which we form a part. In this sense, listening practices are deployed as a way to critically traverse the “border territories” of rural territories, challenging persisting notions about “inescapable marginality”, “residuality” and “peripherality”.“
rural  manifestos  futurism  leandropisano  sound  philipsamartzis  italy  irpinia  sannio  cilento  fortore  molise  palermo  campania  sicily  sicilia  place  landscape  maps  mapping  interferemze  liminaria  manifesta12  research  exhibitions  listening  recordings  fieldrecordings  audio 
25 days ago
Octobering
"After the Russian Revolution, the new Bolshevik government conceived a system of socialist rituals and civic ceremonies to encourage a new and modernist culture. For example, instead of baptism, babies were “octobered” and given names like Electrifikatsia (Electrification) to represent the values of the new society.

Rituals and ceremonies—through special images, gestures, objects, and spaces—have always guided and continue to reinforce our social values. They impact our emotions and shape how we see the world. In this workshop, we will investigate the values that present-day rituals reinforce and we will challenge them.

We will start by renaming ourselves with an Octobering ceremony. Then we’ll invent a new ritual or anti-celebration for the kind of world we want to live in. Where should it take place? What kinds of tools are needed? And what architecture?

Join us to prototype rituals and ceremonies for a new world."
octobering  names  naming  prototyping  ritual  rituals  ceremonies  ceremony  celebration  modernism  culture  baptism  celebrations  socialvalues 
25 days ago
Figures & Fictions: Santu Mofokeng - YouTube
“Mofokeng lives in Johannesburg where he began his career as a photojournalist. But he has long been engaged with the poetic and symbolic potential of black and white photography. As he has noted: ‘My approach has always been based on poetry and philosophy, in standing back. I don’t believe in one truth: I like to look at things from many sides.’

The series Chasing Shadows documents a set of caves used both as a Christian prayer site and a place of traditional healing. Mofokeng’s concern with the rituals, costume and ceremonies is balanced with personal interest, in a portrait of his brother, seeking a cure for AIDS. Another series, Child-Headed Households, registers the blight of AIDS without depicting it directly. Here, Mofokeng frames the new reality of families formed of sibling communities who fare for themselves in impoverished circumstances.

Interviewed by Tamar Garb, South Africa, 2010

This film was originally produced as part of a series for the Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography exhibition on display 12 April – 17 July 2011.”

[via: https://twitter.com/ztsamudzi/status/1221806667211214853

https://twitter.com/ztsamudzi/status/1221799429927161856
"I went to bed having just heard about Santu Mofokeng’s passing & woke up thinking about him. He was a man with extraordinary vision, an extraordinary ability to capture a layered subject within layered materiality. He showed us time and again that the camera can capture spirit."]
santumofokeng  photography  southafrica  capitalism  photojournalism  apartheid  2010  townships  soutafrica  johannesburg  life  poverty  class  race  movement  spirit  spirits  spirituality  society  socialissues  aesthetics  documentary  stories  meaning  storytelling  captions  meaningmaking  perception 
25 days ago
Clementine Cake | Nigella's Recipes | Nigella Lawson
"This is a wonderfully damp, dense and aromatic flourless cake: it tastes like one of those sponges you drench, while cooling, with syrup, only you don't have to.

And it's such an accommodating kind of cake, too: it keeps well, indeed it gets better after a few days; and it is perfect either as a pudding with creme fraiche, or as a sustaining slice with a mug of tea at any time of the day."
food  recipes  clementines  cake 
25 days ago
Eric Mustin on Twitter: "Quick thread: I think what everyone is missing about Lambda School / bootcamps is this: they are first and foremost Recruiting Companies before they’re an educational institution. They get paid on placement. It’s what drives a
"Quick thread: I think what everyone is missing about Lambda School / bootcamps is this:

they are first and foremost Recruiting Companies before they’re an educational institution. They get paid on placement. It’s what drives all the curriculum hyperbole+outcomes sleight of hand

They’re trying to sell to two groups of people:

1. the *partner* tech companies who either explicitly or implicitly pay for their placement services

or

2. the really good applicants that want to move into SWE and feel confident about their outcomes chances

This is why so many students feel abused by bootcamps, if they aren’t in the top X% of their class or seen as having good placement potential, the schools can just stop allocating them resources, abuse/force them out so they aren’t considered a “graduate”, then fudge the outcomes

The clusterfuck of bootcamps unable to formalize consensus on how to represent outcomes stats speaks volumes. These ppl speaking out about feeling ripped off aren’t *all lying* , understaffing forces LS+others to be stingy with who gets allocated instructional resources

It’s not that bootcamps are maliciously trying to rip off students, but bc *everything* is driven by the recruiting side of the company , it makes them push the envelope everywhere else, overpromising instructional quality + results to entice good applicants and good partner co’s

The best applicants will be *fine* regardless. They have good resumes and , having quit jobs and already bet on being able to level up fast enough as a SWE, will just learn autodidactically. They’ll still have to play life on hard mode for the next few years to stay employed tho.

Meanwhile, partner co’s will churn pretty quickly after cherry picking 1 or 2 good hires (Of course the bootcamp will still tout the logo), + the bottom 80% of students will feel swindled and have lost income from not working. AND, upfront cost bootcamps rarely give a full refund

This is the bs that drives Austen’s “forgetting the denominator” tweet on outcomes the other day, and having a report “in the next 6 months”. These co’s are trying to value at *billions* of $ and you think they can’t calc the outcomes math for a few hundred entry lvl SWE? Cmon

They just can’t do it in a way that paints them well, so they fudge it, and they’re gonna kick the can on any real moderation of the misinformation about their value add and all that Joseph Smith style proselytizing, all for a “school” thats really just curated udemy + recruiters"
ericmusin  coding  bootcamps  education  2020  lambdaschool  money  capitalism  recruiting  codingbootcamps  instruction  via:audreywatters 
25 days ago
Ep. 20: The Half Baked Politics of Half Measures (feat. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor) by RUMBLE with MICHAEL MOORE • A podcast on Anchor
[also here:
https://player.fm/series/rumble-with-michael-moore/ep-20-the-half-baked-politics-of-half-measures-feat-keeanga-yamahtta-taylor
https://open.spotify.com/episode/6YcwDWPeMrcZ9DfBN3cMFX ]

“The failures of liberal half measures, compromise and “third way” politics has opened the door for right-wing demagogues to take power. It has also re-awakened a militant and energized left to combat both the wackadoodle right and the tepid center. We’re seeing this play out in American politics and the 2020 Democratic primary. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is a scholar, author and activist. Her writing and speaking has incisively and ferociously exposed the failures of capitalism and the necessity of a fierce struggle to overcome it. She joins Michael to discuss how the hell we got here and how we liberate ourselves.

**********

“Five Years Later, Do Black Lives Matter?” https://jacobinmag.com/2019/09/black-lives-matter-laquan-mcdonald-mike-brown-eric-garner

“How Real Estate Segregated America” https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/how-real-estate-segregated-america-fair-housing-act-race

Read about and order Keeanga’s books here: http://www.keeangataylor.com/books.html

Follow Keeanga on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/KeeangaYamahtta
keeanga-yamahttataylor  politics  us  berniesanders  2020  statusquo  power  organizing  barackobama  notmeus  hope  change  revolution  socialmovements  interdependence  interconnectedness  michaelmoore  elections  thirdway  blacklivesmatter  housing  healthcare  medicareforall  capitalism  neoliberalism  latecapitalism  socialism  flint  michigan  segregation  democrats  congress  corruption  centrism  moderates  moreofthesame  struggle  policy  inequality  joebiden  donaldtrump  hillaryclinton  cynicism  troydavis  poverty  elitism  rulingclass 
27 days ago
The Kingdom of This World by Alejo Carpentier
“Ti Noel’s escape eventually comes through mysticism rather than rebellion. He learns the
art of transforming himself into other creatures—a bird, a horse, an ant, a wasp. This shift from fact-based realism to mythical extravagance must have shocked Carpentier’s first readers, especially given the prominence of historical materialism and other pieties of class conflict that were on the rise in Latin American intellectual circles at the time he wrote.

But with the benefit of hindsight, we can taste the distinctive flavor of magical realism in these pages, a tone that would emerge as the single most influential current in Latin American fiction over the next several decades. And just a few short years after the publication of The Kingdom of this World, Claude Lévi-Strauss would draw on his own Latin American research in asserting the primacy of myth in the annals of storytelling, and showing—much as did Carpentier—that the borderline between mythology and history is not as sharply
delineated as many long believe.

Yet even without this later validation, Carpentier’s choices here seem quite fitting. In a book so aligned with the tragic mutability of human conditions, the further leap into a modern-day equivalent of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, that ultimate literary celebration of changeability, feels right and proper. In a work that delves into both the force and futility of change, Carpentier both delights and instructs by bringing into play the most powerful change agents—magic, politics, wealth, and brute force—and teaching us how much they have in common.

Certainly other writers before Carpentier drew on the phantasmagorical, and any claim that this novelist invented ‘magical realism’ must be treated with a degree of skepticism. (By the way, I’d go back another thousand years in locating the origins of the magical realism novel.) Yet Carpentier’s unwillingness to escape into the beguiling charms of fantasy or even highlight its strangeness when it appears in these pages would prove especially influential. In this regard, he anticipates the distinctive tone of later classic works by Gabriel García Márquez, Günter Grass, Salman Rushdie and others. The title says it best: Carpentier focuses on the kingdom of this world, not some other one—no Middle-Earth or Narnia for him. And Carpentier’s ability to forge fantasy without escapism stands out as his defining achievement, and one that the current-day literary community (and, even more, the publishing industry) could still benefit from emulating.”
alejocarpentier  elreinodeestemundo  magicrealism  tedgioia  literature  haiti 
27 days ago
El reino de este mundo; Alejo Carpentier - Las cabezas de cera - Wattpad
"Sólo un tabique de madera separaba ambos mostradores, y
Ti Noel se divertía pensando que, al lado de las cabezas descoloridas de los terneros, se servían cabezas de blancos señores en el mantel de la misma mesa."
alejocarpentier  elreinodeestemundo 
27 days ago
The Kingdom of This World | Work in Progress
“In January 2004 Haiti observed the two-hundred­-year anniversary of its independence from France in the midst of a national revolt. In the capital, as well as other cities throughout the country, pro- and antigovernment demonstrators clashed. Members of a disbanded army declared war on a young and inex­perienced police force. Mobs of angry young men, some called chimè (chimeras) by their countrymen and others calling themselves cannibals, battled one another to assure that then Haitian president Jean­ Bertrand Aristide—worshipped by chimeras and re­viled by cannibals—either remained in office or left.

A few weeks later Aristide departed in the early hours of a Sunday morning. By his account, he was kidnapped from his residence in Port-au-Prince and put on a U.S. jet, which took him to the Central African Republic, where he was held prisoner for several weeks. By other accounts, he went willingly; even signing a letter of resignation in Haitian Cre­ole. As Aristide began his life in exile, he echoed in his statements to the international press nearly the same words that Toussaint L’Ouverture—one of the principal leaders of the first successful slave uprising in history—uttered when he was forced to board a ship headed for a prison in France: “In overthrowing me, you have cut . . . only the trunk of the tree of liberty. It will spring up again from the roots, for they are nu­merous and deep.”

Haitians were not surprised that Aristide chose to link his exit with such a powerful reverberation of the past. After all, there has been no more evocative moment in Haiti’s history than the triumphant out­come of the revolution that L’Ouverture had lived and died for. Though Haiti’s transition from slavery to free state was far from seamless, many Haitians, myself included, would rather forget the schisms that followed independence, the color and class divisions that split the country into sections ruled by self-declared monarchs who governed exactly as they had been governed, with little regard for parity or autonomy.

In The Kingdom of This World, Alejo Carpentier al­lows us to consider the possibility—something which his own Cuba would later grapple with—that a revolution that some consider visionary might ap­pear to others to have failed. Through the eyes of Ti Noël—neither king nor ruler but an ordinary man­—we get an intimate view of the key players in an epic story that merges myth and lore with meticulously detailed facts and astonishing lyricism. That this book is so short seems almost miraculous, for even with leaps in time and place, one feels neither short­handed nor cheated, because the words and sen­tences are as carefully mounted as the walls of the massive citadel that the ambitious King Henri Christophe commands and Ti Noël and his country­men build. What might take a more long-winded writer an entire book, Carpentier covers in one chapter. Yet we still encounter some of the most memorable architects of the Haitian revolution, along with some fictional comrades they pick up along the way. We meet the one-armed Mackandal, who is said to have turned into an insect in order to escape his fiery execution; Bouckman—most com­monly spelled Boukman—who held the stirring Vodou ceremony that helped transform Toussaint L’Ouverture from mild-mannered herbalist to heroic warrior. And of course we come to know King Christophe, a former restaurateur who shoots him­self with a silver bullet but not before forcing his countrymen to experience the “rebirth of shackles, this proliferation of miseries, which the least hopeful accepted as proof of the uselessness of any sort of revolt.”

Though Ti Noel does not remain among the re­signed for too long, he is certainly tested through his disheartening encounters with those who have shaped (and misshaped) his country’s destiny. What we ultimately must accept is that he is neither phan­tom observer nor ubiquitous witness. Like Haiti it­self, he cannot be easily defined At most, one might see Ti Noël as a stand-in for Carpentier.

Born of a Russian mother and French father, Car­pentier shows with his skillful handling of this narra­tive that the essence of a revolution lies not only in its instantaneous burst of glory but in its arduous ripples across borders and time, its ability to shame the conquerors and fortify the oppressed, and, in some cases, to achieve the opposite. For if history is recounted by victors, it’s not easy to tell here who the rightful narrators should be, unless we keep re­-defining with each page what it means to conquer and be conquered.

Carpentier once disclosed that during a trip to Haiti in the 1940s he found himself in daily contact with something he called the real maravilloso, or the “marvelous real.”

“I was stepping on ground whereon thousands of people eager for freedom believed,” he wrote in the preface to the 1949 edition. “I had visited the Citadelle of La Ferrière, a building without architectural precedent . . . I had breathed the atmosphere created by Henri Christophe, a monarch of remarkable endeavors . . . Every step I took, I came across the marvelous real.”

The marvelous real, which we have come to know as magical realism, lives and thrives in past and pres­ent Haiti, just as it does in this novel. It is in the ex­traordinary and the mundane, the beautiful and the repulsive, the spoken and the unspoken. It is in the enslaved African princes who knew the paths of the clouds and the language of the forests of their homelands but could no longer recognize them­selves in the so-called New World. It is in Dambal­lah, the snake god; in Ogun, the god of war. It is in the elaborate cornmeal drawings sketched in the soil at Vodou ceremonies to seek help from these loas or spirits. From Haiti’s fertile communal imagination sprang a fantastic sense of possibility, which certainly contributed to bondmen and -women defeating the most powerful armies of the time.

Whenever possible, Haitians cite their cosmic connection to this heroic heritage by invoking the names of one or all of the founders of our country: Toussaint L’Ouverture, Henri Christophe, and Jean­-Jacques Dessalines. (The latter’s fighting creed dur­ing the Haitian war of independence was Koupe tèt, boule kay [“Cut heads, burn houses”].)

“They can’t do this to us,” we say today when feel­ing subjugated. “We are the children of Toussaint L’Ouverture, Henri Christophe, and Jean-Jacques Dessalines.”

As President Aristide’s opportune evocation of L’Ouverture shows, for many of us, it is as though the Haitian revolution were fought two hundred days, rather than two centuries, ago. This book re­minds us why this remains so. For is there anything more timely and timeless than a public battle to control one’s destiny, a communal crusade for self-determination? The outcome, when it’s finally achieved, can be nearly impossible to describe. It certainly was for one Haitian poet: who was given the task of drafting Haiti’s Act of Independence. To do it appropriately, Boisrond-Tonnerre declared, he would need the skin of a former master—a white man—for parchment, his skull for an inkwell, his blood for ink, and a bayonet for a pen. Though not inscribed with the same intention, Carpentier’s words have no less sting or power.”
alejocarpentier  2017  edwidgedanticat  elreinodeestemundo  haiti  cuba  jean-bertrandaristide  literature  magicrealism  politics  revolution  2004  history  revolt 
27 days ago
Barbara Smith: Why I Left the Mainstream Queer Rights Movement - The New York Times
"A black feminist describes her disillusionment, saying many people are still marginalized, even in progressive circles.

I have not been active in the organized L.G.B.T.Q. movement for a long time.

I enthusiastically participated in the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1979. About 100,000 of us were there from around the country, a good turnout but much smaller than subsequent marches — when being out and proud was less dangerous.

At the second national march, in 1987, I was invited to be one of eight major speakers. It was exhilarating to speak before a crowd of nearly one million people.

At the same time, it was devastating to see the vast AIDS quilt on display in one place for the first time, symbolizing so much human loss.

I felt ambivalent about the 1993 march. For me it was overly focused on gays in the military and in presenting our community as an affluent consumer group to win favor from the corporate mainstream. This supposed affluence was not even real except for a privileged sector of largely white gay men.

In 1999 the tight circle of organizers of the Millennium March in Washington reflected how narrow and hierarchical the movement had become.

A group of us established the multiracial Ad Hoc Committee for an Open Process. Ted Beck, Mandy Carter, Chandra L. Ford, Kara Keeling and I wrote an open letter to the march organizers titled “Will People of Color Pay the Price?”

Our efforts at opening up the organizational process were not successful. I did not attend the 1999 march or any subsequent ones. For me the Millennium March was the last straw.

I prefer to put my energy into multi-issue organizing. In the 1970s and 1980s, I co-founded the Combahee River Collective, a black feminist group, and Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press to give women of color, lesbians of color and even gay men of color a voice.

Three decades later, despite some genuine efforts to increase diversity, especially in progressive movement circles, exclusivity and elitism still divide us. We have won rights and achieved recognition that would have been unimaginable 50 years ago, but many of us continue to be marginalized, both in the larger society and within the movement itself.

One in four people in the L.G.B.T.Q. community experienced food insecurity in 2017. Twenty-four percent of lesbians and bisexual women earn less than the federal poverty line. L.G.B.T.Q. youth have a 120 percent higher risk of experiencing homelessness than heterosexual, cisgender youth.

Black men who have sex with men have the highest rates of new H.I.V. diagnoses. People who are transgender, particularly transgender women of color, experience appalling levels of violence, and this violence is exacerbated by poverty and racism.

These statistics show it is not possible to achieve justice in a vacuum. Marriage equality and celebrity culture will not solve it. Neither will political agendas focused on unquestioned assimilation. Gaining rights for some while ignoring the violation and suffering of others does not lead to justice. At best it results in privilege.

Unless we eradicate the systemic oppressions that undermine the lives of the majority of L.G.B.T.Q. people, we will never achieve queer liberation."
2019  barbarasmith  progressives  activism  oppression  inclusivity  elitism  liberation  combaheerivercollective  collectivism  gayrights  lgbtq  queer  feminism  queerrights  disillusionment  marriage  hierarchy  tedbeck  mandycarter  chandraford  karakeeling  race  poc  blackness  rights  society  us  politics  policy  homelessness  homeless  violence  marriageequality  celebrityculture  justice  socialjustice 
27 days ago
21 Stories of People Who Walked Away - The New York Times
"21 People Who Walked Away From Their Jobs, Their Religion, Their Relationships and Even This Assignment

I Quit

My Job, A Band, Gum, The Presidential Campaign, New York, Sex, The Priesthood, Cars, My Smartphone, Dating, Caring, My Church, Skincare, Dating Apps, My Laundry Service, An Affair, Yale, Friendships, Buying Things=, Quitting, This Assignment

Is there a more exciting and complicated phrase than “I quit”? It can feel exhilarating to the person saying it, crushing to the person hearing it and envy inducing to those learning of it (who hasn’t been following Harry and Meghan’s royal departure obsessively?). Quitting can be an impulsive act or a tortured decision. But if there’s a common thread in these personal stories, it’s this: Very few people quit without good reason, and even fewer go back — unless they played drums for the Black Crowes."
quitting  2020 
29 days ago
Pedagogy, Otherwise: the Reader | Ecoversities
https://ecoversities.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Pedagogy-Otherwise-Reader.pdf
https://www.are.na/block/5983033

“Pedagogy, Otherwise: the Reader was assembled in the context of /and in conversation with the Eco-versities Alliance, a trans-local community of learning practitioners from around the world committed to cultivate and reclaim knowledges, relationships and imaginations. Most of the texts appeared originally in the series Pedagogy, Otherwise, as part of the line of inquiry Learning, Education and Pedagogy on ArtsEverywhere.ca, an online platform for artistic experimentation and exploration of the fault lines of modernity.

Editor Alessandra Pomarico, member of the Ecoversities Alliance and publication group, hoped through this compilaion, to give voice to “a wide range of perspectives, explore a diversity of ways of knowing, attempting to decolonize the structure of education, contesting universal dominant frames, and focusing on pedagogy as politics. Artistic perspectives, convivial/militant research, theoretical discourses, as well as praxis of both affects and cognition, embodied and land-based practices – these are some of the tools and processes through which we witness today how learning communities are unfolding in different contexts, reclaiming autonomous yet interconnected zones of knowledge, even in the most diring geopolitical conditions”.”
via:todrobbins  ecoversities  unschooling  deschooling  education  community  learning  communities  lcproject  openstudioproject  altgdp  alternative  schools  schooling  experientiallearning  interdisciplinary  transdisciplinary  decolonization  emplacement  place  solidarity  inquiry  emergence  emergentcurriculum  knowledge  unlearning  howwelearn  howweteach  culture  intercultural  ecology  consciousness 
29 days ago
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