Science fiction author William Gibson has long been predicting the future, and he’s been writing long enough to know that many of the things he has predicted have eventually come true in contemporary society. Now he has a new prediction: future generations will look at the present day as a joke....more
Posts Tagged: mother jones
This week, San Francisco’s Hattery will host Gary Kamiya, cofounder of Salon.com and author of Cool, Gray City of Love (2013), an exploration of San Francisco from 49 different perspectives. Kamiya divided San Francisco into a grid during his journey uncovering forgotten history and cultural narratives, and he mixes academic research in alongside personal experiences as a cab driver and urban wanderer:
From the shark-haunted islands 28 miles off its coast, and the teeming tenements of Chinatown; from the dreamlike summit of Russian Hill, and the mad depths of the Tenderloin; from the patrician mansions of Nob Hill, and the windswept dunes of Larsen Peak, Kamiya approaches his subject from many perspectives, uncovering the endless views afforded by the unique natural and cultural melange that makes San Francisco so compelling.
In The New Yorker this week, George Packer covers what sounds like a battle between serf states but is actually the heated war between Amazon, Apple and the Big 6 publishers. He gives us the low-down on Amazon’s tumultuous foray into online publishing and their monopoly on the ebook industry....more
Mother Jones features a gripping story by Shane Bauer, who in 2009 was apprehended on the Iraqi border and imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin Prison in Iran for 26 months, 4 of which were spent in solitary.
Using his experience as reference, he probes American prison policies on solitary confinement, particularly the processes of California’s Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing Units, or SHUs....more
Before yesterday, I suspect most people outside Missouri had never heard of Representative Todd Akin. I barely recognized the name myself, even though I consider myself a bit of a political junkie and I currently live in the neighboring state. All I really knew is that he was beating Senator Claire McCaskill pretty handily in her re-election bid, and that the Democrats were likely to lose that seat come November....more
“The ads declare that ‘in any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man’—a paraphrase of an Ayn Rand quote—while also urging readers to ‘support Israel’ and ‘defeat jihad.’”
Geller ran similar advertisements with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority last year, citing her first amendment rights as grounds to keep them posted....more
What happens when a nerdy science show experiments with live stage performances? A sneak peak:
“‘Even Charles Darwin himself—Chuck D!—says, “The eye, to this day, gives me sort of a shudder,”‘ Abumrad declares....more
“Recent research and reports on violence against transgender women have found that, in 2010, 44 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and HIV-affected hate-crime murder victims were trans women. In 2009, trans women accounted for 50 percent of LGBTQH hate-crime murder victims.”...more
“So when it’s time to pass pro-gun laws, emotionalism over a single incident is the order of the day. But when those laws go awry, we need to put on our Spock ears and soberly weigh all the facts and evidence in the cold light of day.”
At Mother Jones, Kevin Drum points out the contradictions in NRA comments about Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” laws....more
Barbara Ehrenreich looks back at Michael Harrington’s The Other America, and how the concept of a ‘culture of poverty,’ which became entwined with conservative ideology, has failed to address the actual (economic) problem at hand.
“…If we look closely enough, we’ll have to conclude that poverty is not, after all, a cultural aberration or a character flaw....more
At Mother Jones, Mac McClelland writes a must-read piece about her time working in an online-shipping warehouse, exposing an appalling workplace reality at the center of popular and profitable cyber-retailers.
“It’s the first time anyone has ever tried to comfort me because I got a job, because he knew, and everyone in this industry that’s growing wildfire fast knows, and accepts, that its model by design is mean....more
Mother Jones converses with Dan Savage about his long-term vision for the “It Gets Better” campaign and his new MTV series. Savage also dishes on whether reading about “freaky stuff” makes someone freaky, and shares anxieties about Santorum’s recent surge.
“The goal is to build and maintain these videos and all the support in them for LGBT kids who are growing up right now: 13-, 14-, and 15-year-olds; people who are nine years old right now but who will see these videos in five to six years....more
In this Mother Jones essay, Eleanor Cooney tells her story of getting an abortion before Roe v. Wade, shedding light on what it means to live in a society in which abortion is illegal.
“That year in the 1960s, several thousand American women were treated in emergency rooms for botched abortions, and there were at least 200 known deaths....more
“It’s worth considering how the hell those goods get to you, so fast, and for free, when the company you bought them from is posting profits in the millions, or even, in the case of Amazon, billions.”
At Mother Jones, Mac McClelland explains why we should remember the warehouse employee–working overtime at low pay in workplaces that have been deemed “unsafe” and “designed to crush employees’ spirits”–before placing an order with an online retailer....more
At Mother Jones, our friend Mac McClelland reports from Uganda, focusing on the defiance of the country’s gay community in the face of bigots (some of whom have American allies). McClelland calls attention to the fact that despite the media’s recent focus on Uganda, anti-gay violence and attacks on gay rights is occurring elsewhere, including here in the United States....more
“…Substantial wealth inequality is so embedded in American political culture that, standing alone, it would not be sufficient to trigger citizen rage of the type we are finally witnessing.”
At Mother Jones, Glenn Greenwald looks back at the history of inequality, examining the founding fathers’ view of inequality as “not merely inevitable, but desirable,” as well as its lasting pervasiveness and acceptance....more
“The stimulus failed.” “The deficit is our biggest problem right now.” “Lower taxes are the best way to grow the economy.” “Regulatory uncertainty is clogging the economy.” “If you unshackle the rich, they’ll rev up the economy.”
According to Mother Jones, those are the six myths that “that must die for our economy to live.”...more
Piranhas have gotten a bad reputation, and the media was all over the little stunt they just pulled. But that was more a display of affection than “attack,” according to this article, which provides some much-needed perspective on the risk piranhas actually pose: “In reality, the freshwater fish typically avoids preying on people, and statistically you have a far greater chance of getting executed by Rick Perry than being torn apart by piranhas.”...more
“It was easy for me to be ridiculed and for both men and women to perceive that maybe I’m a bit crazy because I’m educated in the West and I have lost some of my basic decency as an African woman—as if being educated was something bad....more
Michael Kenneth Williams, the actor who played Omar on the highly-praised HBO series The Wire, is interviewed on Mother Jones. The show is often described as “the greatest television show ever made,” and Williams offers his perspective on why the show has been so successful....more
“..currently, there isn’t a single federal law requiring state-run jails and prisons to report detainee deaths, or what caused them. Not one.”
After the Death in Custody Act expired back in 2006, there has been no accountability for the reporting of in-prison deaths, making the mortality rates data completely voluntary for the past 5 years....more
A summer spent abroad at an Indian call center sheds light upon the many people who work in business process outsourcing, a competitive field that promises only the equivalent of around $2/hr.
Training for the job includes “‘culture training,’ in which trainees memorize colloquialisms and state capitals, study clips of Seinfeld and photos of Walmarts, and eat in cafeterias serving paneer burgers and pizza topped with lamb pepperoni.” Read about one American journalist’s experience being outsourced....more
Mother Jones published an article about the latest battle on the education front—evaluating teachers, which is re-raising issues about what public school model works best.
The implementation of the new evaluation methods involves both “internal measurements” (where teachers are measured by other experienced teachers and principals) and “external measures” (performance-based measures like test scores)....more
A new article over at Mother Jones gives us summer nonfiction picks from some of the biggest writers working today. Susan Orlean recommends The Looming Tower, Jennifer Egan selects The Image, and Michael Chabon has this to say about The Encyclopedia of Fantasy:
“A single, immense, thrilling work of literary theory disguised as a reference book.”
Hmm… Doesn’t sound exactly like beach material to us....more