Missives

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Sep 2

“Sharing” Economy and Self-Exploitation – The New Inquiry

The sharing economy’s rise is a reflection of capitalism’s need to find new profit opportunities in aspects of social life once shielded from the market, in leisure time once withdrawn from waged labor, in spaces and affective resources once withheld from becoming a kind of capital. What sharing companies and apps chiefly do is invite us to turn more of our lives into capital and more of our time into casual labor, thereby extending capitalism’s reach and further entrenching the market as the most appropriate, efficient, and beneficial way to mediate interaction between individuals.

Sep 2

Free to Choose A or B – The New Inquiry

But it turns out Facebook’s users don’t see themselves as compliant, passive consumers of Facebook’s emotional servicing, but instead had bought into the rhetoric that Facebook was a tool for communicating with their friends and family and structuring their social lives. When Facebook manipulates what users see — as they have done increasingly since the advent of its Newsfeed — the tool becomes more and more useless for communication and becomes more of a curated entertainment product,

Aug 5

Capitalism is, among other things, a massive process of ego formation, the creation of modern selves, the illusion of individual autonomy, the cultivation of distinction and preference, the idea that individuals had their own moral conscience, based on individual reason and virtue. The wealth created by slavery generalized these ideals, allowing more and more people, mostly men, to imagine themselves as autonomous and integral beings, with inherent rights and self-interests not subject to the jurisdiction of others. Slavery was central to this process not just for the wealth the system created but because slaves were physical and emotional examples of what free men were not.

- Capitalism and Slavery: An Interview with Greg Grandin | Jacobin

neoliberalism fits the no-alternative moment so well because its drive to universalize market dependence tends to depoliticize social life and its outcomes. “The market made us do it” becomes a national excuse

- Unmaking Global Capitalism | Jacobin

Jun 9

Most of the “work” in a software company is effort spent trying to change the in-house definition of a good programmer (and, to that end, fighting incessantly over tool choices).

- Why programmers can’t make any money: dimensionality and the Eternal Haskell Tax | Michael O. Church

Jun 7
abbyjean:

jakke:

abbyjean:

By race and ethnicity, in 2012, at least 40 percent of all African American applicants, 27 percent of Hispanic, 14 percent of white and 15 percent of Asian applicants were denied GSE loans. Yet of low credit profile applicants, at least 75 percent of African American applicants were denied GSE loans, 67 percent of Hispanic, 50 percent of white and 55 percent of Asian. (via How well do the GSEs serve minority borrowers?)
so blacks and hispanics are much more likely to be denied a mortgage than white of the same credit status.

Also when African American and Hispanic applicants get mortgages their outcomes are also much worse.
During the last bubble, banks didn’t give them mortgages until way later in the bubble than white buyers, meaning they bought at higher prices and had sunk their retirement savings completely into houses that immediately lost value.
Incidentally, hugely recommend House of Debt by Atif Mian and Amir Sufi to anyone who’s interested in who’s getting mortgages and when they get them and how well they do.

additional commentary!

abbyjean:

jakke:

abbyjean:

By race and ethnicity, in 2012, at least 40 percent of all African American applicants, 27 percent of Hispanic, 14 percent of white and 15 percent of Asian applicants were denied GSE loans. Yet of low credit profile applicants, at least 75 percent of African American applicants were denied GSE loans, 67 percent of Hispanic, 50 percent of white and 55 percent of Asian. (via How well do the GSEs serve minority borrowers?)

so blacks and hispanics are much more likely to be denied a mortgage than white of the same credit status.

Also when African American and Hispanic applicants get mortgages their outcomes are also much worse.

During the last bubble, banks didn’t give them mortgages until way later in the bubble than white buyers, meaning they bought at higher prices and had sunk their retirement savings completely into houses that immediately lost value.

Incidentally, hugely recommend House of Debt by Atif Mian and Amir Sufi to anyone who’s interested in who’s getting mortgages and when they get them and how well they do.

additional commentary!

May 9

  Oftentimes, veganism is presented as a means of achieving idealized body types.  These books are mostly geared to a female audience, as society values women primarily as sexual resources for men and women have internalized these gender norms.  Many of these books bank on the power of thin privilege, sizism, and stereotypes about female competition for male attention to shame women into purchasing.


(via The Sexual Politics of Veganism » Sociological Images)

Oftentimes, veganism is presented as a means of achieving idealized body types. These books are mostly geared to a female audience, as society values women primarily as sexual resources for men and women have internalized these gender norms. Many of these books bank on the power of thin privilege, sizism, and stereotypes about female competition for male attention to shame women into purchasing.

(via The Sexual Politics of Veganism » Sociological Images)

When asked how he viewed the chess match that he was playing with Carlisle, Popovich replied, “While that’s none of your damn business, he has me in check with his bishop, but I think I can take his queen with my knight in my next three moves.”

- About Last Night: Can’t Keep Pace «

There’s a term for this. Social psychologists, journalists and social-media users call it “lifestyle envy,” or Instagram envy, and savvy smartphone users are well-acquainted with its tell-tale sign: the little pang you get when a friend posts photos from his or her swanky vacation in Istanbul, or when actress Mindy Kaling snaps her newest pair of spike-toe Christian Louboutain pumps.

-

Lane Anderson in The Instagram Effect: How the Psychology of Envy Drives ConsumerismDeseret News.

The piece is part of a series called The Ten Today, which examines the relevance of the 10 Commandments in contemporary society. It’s kind of a a fascinating endeavor. The publication, which, as Nieman Lab reports, just came out of beta, is fascinating in itself:

The Deseret News is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but you might not detect its Mormon roots from looking at the outlet’s national site — officially came out of beta yesterday — which focuses on the self-proclaimed values of family and faith. Even in its faith section, which includes stories as wide ranging as a preview of a new PBS documentary on the history of the Jews and a piece on the Hindu holiday of Holi, there’s very little explicit coverage of Mormonism.

FJP: So most of the articles (see: popular content, for example) comes out of a set of curious, general-interesty questions about American society and the role that spirituality and family plays out in our daily lives. While most new news projects are following the niche-news-serving-narrow-interests trend, it’s an interesting ambition to keep an eye on: a publication aiming to hit such a broad audience and broad set of topics topics from a strangely narrow space. —Jihii

(via futurejournalismproject)

Apr 4

Internet slang. We used to make an effort to avoid this, and now I see us all falling back into the habit. We want to sound like regular adult human beings, not Buzzfeed writers or Reddit commenters. Therefore: No “epic.” No “pwn.” No “+1.” No “derp.” No “this”/”this just happened.” No “OMG.” No “WTF.” No “lulz.” No “FTW.” No “win.” No “amazeballs.” And so on. Nothing will ever “win the internet” on Gawker. As with all rules there are exceptions. Err on the side of the Times, not XOJane.

- Max Read, Editor, Gawker, in a memo to staff, via Poynter. Gawker bans ‘Internet slang’. (via futurejournalismproject)