Comcast was the first last mile provider to recognize this and move peering from the realm of network engineers to the MBAs and started systematically refusing to upgrade existing private interconnects and in some cases systematically de-peering in other cases. Comcast neatly side-stepped the entire net-neutrality debate by degrading service to everybody who wasn’t willing to pay for a private interconnect. Comcast has had a relatively free hand because their customers are blissfully unaware of the politics of global peering and instead will just go somewhere else when a website is ‘slow’.
This has put a lot of pressure on companies like Amazon who know that a 100ms delay in the order process can result in a 1% decrease in sales. Since private interconnect arrangements aren’t public my guess is a lot of companies have caved and are paying Comcast to peer.
- an anonymous network engineer commenting on The really strange Comcast-Netflix deal - Bronte Capital (via llimllib)
When I go to contemporary Asian restaurants, like Wolfgang Puck’s now-shuttered 20.21 in Minneapolis and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market in New York City, it seems the entrées are always in the $16–$35 range and the only identifiable person of color in the kitchen is the dishwasher. The menus usually include little blurbs about how the chefs used to backpack in the steaming jungles of the Far East (undoubtedly stuffing all the herbs and spices they could fit into said backpacks along the way, for research purposes), and were so inspired by the smiling faces of the very generous natives—of which there are plenty of tasteful black-and-white photos on the walls, by the way—and the hospitality, oh, the hospitality, that they decided the best way to really crystallize that life-changing experience was to go back home and sterilize the cuisine they experienced by putting some microcilantro on that $20 curry to really make it worthy of the everyday American sophisticate. American chefs like to talk fancy talk about “elevating” or “refining” third-world cuisines, a rhetoric that brings to mind the mission civilisatrice that Europe took on to justify violent takeovers of those same cuisines’ countries of origin. In their publicity materials, Spice Market uses explicitly objectifying language to describe the culture they’re appropriating: “A timeless paean to Southeast Asian sensuality, Spice Market titillates Manhattan’s Meatpacking District with Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s piquant elevations of the region’s street cuisine.” The positioning of Western aesthetics as superior, or higher, than all the rest is, at its bottom line, an expression of the idea that no culture has value unless it has been “improved” by the Western Midas touch. If a dish hasn’t been eaten or reimagined by a white person, does it really exist?
What may be some of the reasons that pushed Jean-Jacques Dessalines to declare in Haiti’s first national constitution of 1805 that all Haitians were “black,” regardless of the actual diversity of the island? Historian Julia Gaffield argues that:
"A third way that the constitution of 1805 sought to construct national unity was by attempting to eliminate colour distinctions within the country. As Trouillot and Nicholls have shown, internal colour differences affected political and social hierarchies throughout the county’s history. Dessalines’s solution for the colour differences in Haiti can be seen in article fourteen of his constitution: “all acception (sic) of colour among the children of one and the same family, of whom the chief magistrate is the father, being necessarily to cease, the Haytians shall hence forward be known by the generic appellation of Blacks.” While some whites were allowed to remain in Haiti and not all non-whites in Haiti considered themselves to be ‘black’, this article conceptualizes ‘race’ in ideological terms rather than biological terms. The identification of all Haitians as being the same thus attempted to create an “imagined community” by proposing a new definition of ‘black.’”
The term culture industry (German: Kulturindustrie) was coined by the critical theorists Theodor Adorno (1903–1969) and Max Horkheimer (1895–1973), and was presented as critical vocabulary in the chapter “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception”, of the book Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944), wherein they proposed that popular culture is akin to a factory producing standardized cultural goods — films, radio programmes, magazines, etc. — that are used to manipulate mass society into passivity. Consumption of the easy pleasures of popular culture, made available by the mass communications media, renders people docile and content, no matter how difficult their economic circumstances. The inherent danger of the culture industry is the cultivation of false psychological needs that can only be met and satisfied by the products of capitalism; thus Adorno and Horkheimer especially perceived mass-produced culture as dangerous to the more technically and intellectually difficult high arts. In contrast, true psychological needs are freedom, creativity, and genuine happiness, which refer to an earlier demarcation of human needs, established by Herbert Marcuse.
It may be true, in some cases, that the relative wages of different workers reflect the relative market values of the goods and services they produce after managers and capital owners have taken their cut. But when the magnitude of this cut is unrelated to social contribution, and actually constitutes the bulk of total value, the value of the residual paid to those actually engaged in production is not related to social contribution, either. The dominance of the financial sector distorts all prices and wages in the economy, not just those directly related to the activities of the financial sector.
This claim was supported by the supposed “Great Moderation” in economic volatility, a reduction in the variability of Gross Domestic Product observed in the US between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. In fact, even during the Great Moderation, reductions in aggregate volatility concealed what Jacob Hacker described as the “Great Risk Shift,” from business and government to workers and households. Employment became less secure, even in the public sector and in profitable firms that would previously have avoided layoffs except as a last resort. Defined benefit pensions were replaced by defined contribution schemes in which individual workers and their families bore the risk of market fluctuations. The spectacular collapse of 2008 revealed the Great Moderation as an illusion. In the process, tens of millions of households saw their savings wiped out.
When women do it, it’s marketing. When men do it, it’s growth hacking. The masculine re-branding of marketing work as a technical skill — “hacking”, the implication of a more analytical or mathematical focus — is disingenuous, ahistorical. Marketing has always involved analytical and mathematical skills, and in technology, it has always required technical literacy and competency.