Thursday, October 28, 2021

Amazon & Facebook: Revenge is worth the wait

“He says it was all music and comedy” 
“It was. Plus a few films”
“Now it’s all silence and death”

Fast Company: “It doesn’t matter that Jeff Bezos has stepped down: No industry is safe from the company’s relentless ambition. A complete guide to Amazon’s staggeringly large and ever-mutating domain, most of which you can’t even see…”

The Verge: “Facebook is planning to change its company name next week to reflect its focus on building the metaverse, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter. The coming name change, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28th, but could unveil sooner, is meant to signal the tech giant’s ambition to be known for more than social media and all the ills that entail. The rebrand would likely position the blue Facebook app as one of many products under a parent company overseeing groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and more. A spokesperson for Facebook declined to comment for this story…”

See also Fortune’s Datasheet by Robert Hackett: “When companies rename themselves, it often signals that they’ve run out of other options. “It’s a strategy of last resort,” says Prashant Malaviya, professor of marketing at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, “because brands are one of the biggest assets that companies own.”

See also Bloomberg: Meta? Horizon? Facebook Renaming Report Sparks Speculation

ROGER KIMBALL: How 1984 Has Become a How-to Manual.

The new resolution will establish “Xi’s core position and authority,” placing him alongside Mao as a charismatic revolutionary leader.

What about the scores of millions murdered by Mao?

Silly question. That is not part of the narrative. Therefore it doesn’t exist.

The news reports outlining this new “resolution on history” note that “past resolutions on history have not only reshaped power structures within China, but have had extensive effects on the world beyond as well.”

It is too early, perhaps, to say what the effect of Xi’s new initiative will be.

But it seems clear that, whether or not he has read Orwell, Xi is an able student of the teaching Orwell described.

The irony, of course, is that Orwell regarded “1984” as a warning. Xi, like our own masters, seem to regard it as a how-to manual.

Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were deeply impressed by another acolyte at the renegade Church of Orwell, the “community organizer” Saul Alinsky.

In his book “Rules for Radicals,” Alinsky notes that “He who controls the language controls the masses.”

Orwell couldn’t have put it any more clearly.

It’s a thought that has the Xi Jinping mark of approval. What more can you ask for?

The Washington Post agrees: Holy hell:’ WaPo lets education experts explain why parents don’t ‘have the right to shape their kids’ curriculum.’

License plate readers are rapidly reshaping private security in American neighborhoods, bringing police surveillance tools to the masses with an automated watchdog that records 24 hours a day.

More than 100,000 people have had their eyes scanned for free cryptocurrency.” (FT, how long ago would this headline have been inconceivable?)

PopSci: “The story often starts the same way: you find a funny picture on the internet and want to add it to your work presentation or turn it into a meme to share with your friends. You download the image and realize there’s not much you can do with it because your platform of choice does not support WebP format.   You don’t have to give up your title of the funniest person at the office—there can be a happy ending. Use these three simple steps to quickly turn WebP photos into classic, easy-going JPEGs…”

The media hides the information we need about Julian Assange

Our mainstream media have treated Julian Assange as the bad guy for over a decade. Which is where the virus again raises its ugly head. 

The Atlantic – Human History Gets a Rewrite A brilliant new account upends bedrock assumptions about 30,000 years of change. By William Deresiewicz. “…The Dawn of Everything is written against the conventional account of human social history as first developed by Hobbes and Rousseau; elaborated by subsequent thinkers; popularized today by the likes of Jared Diamond, Yuval Noah Harari, and Steven Pinker; and accepted more or less universally. The story goes like this. Once upon a time, human beings lived in small, egalitarian bands of hunter-gatherers (the so-called state of nature). Then came the invention of agriculture, which led to surplus production and thus to population growth as well as private property. Bands swelled to tribes, and increasing scale required increasing organization: stratification, specialization; chiefs, warriors, holy men. Eventually, cities emerged, and with them, civilization—literacy, philosophy, astronomy; hierarchies of wealth, status, and power; the first kingdoms and empires. Flash forward a few thousand years, and with science, capitalism, and the Industrial Revolution, we witness the creation of the modern bureaucratic state. The story is linear (the stages are followed in order, with no going back), uniform (they are followed the same way everywhere), progressive (the stages are “stages” in the first place, leading from lower to higher, more primitive to more sophisticated), deterministic (development is driven by technology, not human choice), and teleological (the process culminates in us)…”

Crew member in charge of prop gun that killed cinematographer was a ‘replacement brought in after workers walked off set of Rust’ following row about conditions and ‘two misfires’ days before tragedy: Alec Baldwin was told weapon was safe to use Daily Mail (J-LS). Wowsers.

DM is actually very good at this sort of reporting, but for those who want MSM verification: Alec Baldwin ‘Rust’ camera crew walked off before shooting Los Angeles Times. Kevin W: “So, not so much a tragic accident but an accident waiting to happen.”