I grew up in the American Dream. It’s become a nightmare

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My Green Card, which I let expire. After college I never moved back

I grew up in the American Dream. Now I’ve lived long enough to see it become a nightmare. This was not what I was promised, growing up in 1990s Upper Arlington. This was not what I learned in school. Now I have to ask. WTF even happened? What was even real?

The weird thing about the present moment is how it collapses the past. …

To cool the Earth

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Energy workers of the world, unite! Old Chinese propaganda poster modified by me

The world needs another Cold War. Literally. America and China should compete to cool the Earth. Would it be better if they got along? Absolutely but A) lol too late and B) competition is motivation. The Cold War put a human on the moon. We need a second Cold War to remain on Earth.

In 1966 alone the US dumped 2% of its GDP into the Apollo program, and God knows what the Soviets were doing. Both spent huge amounts on nuclear weapons and horrible hot conflicts around the globe. …

How little things can make you a better person, according to Mengzi (300 BC)

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First Steps, after Millet, by Vincent van Gogh

“Does Your Majesty know about sprouts?” the sage Mengzi asked the king. Strange question, but an excellent one. The king was not good, but he had goodness in him. Mengzi could see it.

One day the king spared a sacrificial ox and Mengzi came to see him. This was a most promising sprout.

Mengzi said, “This heart is sufficient to become King.”

Thinking about it, the king laughed, saying, “What was this feeling, actually?”

And so they went into it.

“There is no harm,” Mengzi said. “What you did was just a technique for cultivating your benevolence.”

The king was pleased and quoted from “The Odes”, the meme generator of the day. …

It honestly can’t happen soon enough

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Study of Perspective (aka F*ck! the White House). Ai Weiwei

Asia’s middle class is growing faster than the West’s. In a few decades, we will replace you, a trend only accelerated by COVID-19. As the top 20% of the globe becomes more diverse, it will be our people, our economies, our art that rule the world.

So get used to BTS, and buy a rice cooker. There’s more to come.

The Graphs

Branko Milanovic has been looking at global incomes for years. In 2012 he published his famous elephant graph, essentially an economic dick pic of the 1%.

It shows three interesting trends.

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Who global income growth was going to (by decile)
1. High income growth among Asian middle classes 
(the bump at the global median)
2. A lack of such growth among the Western middle classes
(the dip at the top 20-1)
3. Fast growth of income among the global top 1%
(what it says on the…

You’re a donkey. Find your carrot

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I used to ignore my children because I was in the middle of an online game. Now I still ignore my children, but I don’t feel bad about it. Now I only play while exercising (stationary bike, not in traffic). I still game, but I don’t have a gaming problem. I’ve used my addiction to discipline myself.

Forget a fitness app that gives you more information. What about one that gives you less, unless you move? Unlocking your phone would take 10 push-ups. If you don’t get 10,000 steps, no social media. No YouTube unless you’ve slept for 7 hours.

Nobody needs more health data. …

It’s time to leave the capitalist jungle and become civilized

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Bridge Construction with Elephants & Workers in Day, 2018. By Nick Brandt

I have worked since I was 14 years old, but I’ve never worked to live. I worked for money, but never for my next meal, my health, or a roof over my head. I’ve worked for better housing or food, but never so that I wouldn’t die.

Why should I? Why should anyone?

No one should work for a living. It’s inhumane, and bad economics to boot.

We’re not wild animals. What is the point of civilization? Basic public services should be universal. Health, housing, food, education, internet. This is both the right thing to do and the economic thing to do. …

The Endarkenment? The Coaxial Age?

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We Live in Silence XVIIII, 2017 Kudzanai Chiurai

History is change. Frankly, it’s histrionic. As a child of the 90s I thought we were at the end of history and a long, gradual cost towards capitalist democracy all over the world. Nope.

Turns out that capitalism is indistinguishable from cancer from the Earth’s perspective. Turns out that white democracy got scared of colored voters and is doubling back to ‘originalism’, ie white supremacy.

We’re at a moment where many, many ideas are up in the air, and even the idea of where and who ideas should come from.

As they say, we are cursed. …

How the sage connects to Computer Science today

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From Confucius, Philosopher of the Chinese, 1687

Kongzi (Confucius) goes on and on about ritual. When to bow, how to sit, what kind of inner and outer coffin to use. It seems pointless.

I truly did not understand what Kongzi meant when he said “One governs a state by means of ritual” until I looked at the state I’m in. Are we so different?

What is the signing of a bill, the exchange of wedding rings, the Oscars? …

A specter is haunting the world — the specter of Champagne Socialism

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Twerkers of the world unite

How can I be rich and talk so much about the poor? To me it’s simple. I don’t want everyone to be poor. I want everyone to be rich.

How rich? Not destroy the planet rich, not greedy, not the too much it currently takes to have enough. Everyone should be rich enough to buy champagne and not worry about their healthcare or education or housing or material needs. No one should have to work to live. That’s all I mean. I’m a champagne socialist.

I must clarify one very important thing.

When I say champagne I mean Prosecco, sparkling, any sort of bubbly. Which costs about $10 here. No appellations without reparations. Until France at least cancels their onerous debts they can shove a cork up their colonial asses. …

The journalistic fraud of Rukmini Callimachi

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The “new model’ looks a lot like just making shit up

In The Departed, Matt Damon is a cop that’s cracked the case (with fake evidence lol). He’s really working for the mob. His nominal boss Alec Baldwin sits in front of a bowl of ice water, looking exhausted.

“Yeah, but cui bono? Who benefits?” he asks.

Matt looks bewildered.

“Cui gives a shit? It’s got a friggin’ bow on it,” he says.

Alec smiles and makes the sign of the cross in front of his face.

“I think you are a cop, my son,” he says, and dunks his face in the water.

The cops get a collar. The mob eliminates a rival. Everybody wins. Well, that’s not quite right. Everybody on screen wins. The poor schmucks off screen are screwed. …



Views from the Dirty South

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