DeForrest Brown, Jr.: Techno is technocracy (FACT)
DeForrest Brown Jr., aka Speaker Music, breaks down the timeline of techno's history, Nina Kraviz controversy and speaks to Discowman and more.
An honest revision of techno’s history would follow a trail of themes like white extractive capitalism, white flight and re-urbanization and the economics of cultural theft. Technocracy relies on the withholding and hoarding of information and resources to uphold standards set by a controlling an often immoral elite class. An item or an experience is given value by certain standards within a technocracy and by decentralizing current narratives and allowing for creators to tell their own stories, there is opportunity for a more even and ethical cultural exchange across the unfortunate circumstance of an economic market established by violent and willfully ignorant white European colonial ideology.
Dialectical behavior therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that combines strategies like mindfulness, acceptance, and emotion regulation.
In DBT, the patient and therapist are working to resolve the seeming contradiction between self-acceptance and change in order to bring about positive changes in the patient.
Johanna Hedva lives with chronic illness and their Sick Woman Theory is for those who were never meant to survive but did. Her fellow spoonies.
If we take Hannah Arendt’s definition of the political – which is still one of the most dominant in mainstream discourse – as being any action that is performed in public, we must contend with the implications of what that excludes. If being present in public is what is required to be political, then whole swathes of the population can be deemed a-political – simply because they are not physically able to get their bodies into the street.
There are two failures here, though. The first is her reliance on a “public” – which requires a private, a binary between visible and invisible space. This meant that whatever takes place in private is not political. So, you can beat your wife in private and it doesn’t matter, for instance. You can send private emails containing racial slurs, but since they weren’t “meant for the public,” you are somehow not racist. Arendt was worried that if everything can be considered political, then nothing will be, which is why she divided the space into one that is political and one that is not. But for the sake of this anxiety, she chose to sacrifice whole groups of people, to continue to banish them to invisibility and political irrelevance. She chose to keep them out of the public sphere.
Sick Woman Theory is an insistence that most modes of political protest are internalized, lived, embodied, suffering, and no doubt invisible. Sick Woman Theory redefines existence in a body as something that is primarily and always vulnerable, following from Judith Butler’s work on precarity and resistance. Because the premise insists that a body is defined by its vulnerability, not temporarily affected by it, the implication is that it is continuously reliant on infrastructures of support in order to endure, and so we need to re-shape the world around this fact. Sick Woman Theory maintains that the body and mind are sensitive and reactive to regimes of oppression – particularly our current regime of neoliberal, white-supremacist, imperial-capitalist, cis-hetero-patriarchy. It is that all of our bodies and minds carry the historical trauma of this, that it is the world itself that is making and keeping us sick.
“Sickness” as we speak of it today is a capitalist construct, as is its perceived binary opposite, “wellness.” The “well” person is the person well enough to go to work. The “sick” person is the one who can’t. What is so destructive about conceiving of wellness as the default, as the standard mode of existence, is that it invents illness as temporary. When being sick is an abhorrence to the norm, it allows us to conceive of care and support in the same way.
The most anti-capitalist protest is to care for another and to care for yourself. To take on the historically feminized and therefore invisible practice of nursing, nurturing, caring. To take seriously each other’s vulnerability and fragility and precarity, and to support it, honor it, empower it. To protect each other, to enact and practice community. A radical kinship, an interdependent sociality, a politics of care.
Maria Bustillos: STAT: My Daughter’s MS Diagnosis and the Question My Doctors Couldn’t Answer (Longreads)
Is there a dietary treatment for multiple sclerosis? And if so, why is the medical establishment ignoring published academic research that started in the 1950s proving it?
Clinical research evolved the way it did for sound reasons, but the new standards came, as innovations will, with complications of their own. It’s easy—and tempting, given the profits involved—to paint all this as the corporate conspiracy of Big Pharma, but the real problem is rooted in something else. We’re in the middle of a generalized epistemological failure brought on by a too-narrow understanding of “proof.” We’re in thrall to the tyranny of data. This deeper problem both weakens our clinical research institutions, and makes them vulnerable to charlatans and profiteers.
In Montreal, Roy Swank made observations, took measurements, and then constructed an argument about multiple sclerosis which, while it cannot be proved, may yet be useful. But by narrowing the field of “proof” or reliable information to include only that which can be supplied by the results of randomized controlled trials, people like Dr. F. have lost the ability to evaluate the worth of a useful argument like Swank’s, let alone construct one. The growing intensity of commercial and regulatory pressures on scientific research has worsened the rhetorical climate still further. This is the source of our epistemological catastrophe in both the medical profession, and in the broader scientific community.
Open-source voice assistant.
Gladys is an open-source program which runs on your Raspberry Pi.
She integrates into your life, seamlessly communicating across your entire home network and your devices while checking your calendar.
Alexis C. Madrigal: How the Gorgeous, Sometimes Fictional Sound of the Olympics Gets Made (The Atlantic)
The audio from your favorite events isn't real. It's much better than real.
Just to walk through the logic: based on the sound of arrows in a fictional Kevin Costner movie, Baxter created the sonic experience of sitting between the archer and the target, something no live spectator could do.
"That afternoon we went out on a canoe with a couple of rowers recorded stereo samples of the different type of effects that would be somewhat typical of an event," Baxter recalls. "And then we loaded those recordings into a sampler and played them back to cover the shots of the boats."
The real sound, of course, would have included engine noises and a helicopter whirring overhead. The fake sound seemed normal, just oars sliding into water. In a sense, the real sound was as much of a human creation as the fake sound, and probably a lot less pleasant to listen to.
Ta-Nehisi Coates: How Breitbart Conquered the Media (The Atlantic)
Political reporters were taken aback by Hillary Clinton’s charge that half of Trump’s supporters are prejudiced. Few bothered to investigate the claim itself.
Indeed, what Breitbart understood, what his spiritual heir Donald Trump has banked on, what Hillary Clinton’s recent pillorying has clarified, is that white grievance, no matter how ill-founded, can never be humiliating nor disqualifying. On the contrary, it is a right to be respected at every level of American society from the beer-hall to the penthouse to the newsroom.
It is easy enough to look into Clinton’s claim and verify it or falsify it. The numbers are all around us. And the story need not end there. A curious journalist might ask what those numbers mean, or even push further, and ask what it means that the ranks of the Democratic Party are not totally free of their own deplorables.
For much of this campaign journalists have attacked Hillary Clinton for being evasive and avoiding hard questioning from their ranks. And then the second Clinton is forthright and says something revealing, she is attacked—not for the substance of what she’s said—but simply for having said it. This hypocrisy carries a chilling implicit message: Lie to me. Lie to the country. Lie to everyone. This weekend was not just another misanalysis, it was a shocking betrayal of the journalistic mission which should urge the revelation of truth as opposed to the propagation of hot takes, Washington jargon, and politics-speak.
The shame reflects an ugly and lethal trend in this country’s history—an ever-present impulse to ignore and minimize racism, an aversion to calling it by its name.
But killing off links is a strategy. It may be presented as a cost-saving measure, or as a way of reducing the sharing of untrusted links. But it is a strategy, designed to keep people from the open web, the place where they can control how, and whether, someone makes money off of an audience. The web is where we can make sites that don’t abuse data in the ways that Facebook properties do.
Kieran Hebden of Four Tet is a producer who puts the intelligence into Intelligent Dance Music.
Two years ago, Keiran Hebden released his second album as Four Tet. Pause went on to feature in numerous critics' Top Tens of 2001, and Hebden was even credited with inventing a new musical genre, 'folktronica'. Topping that achievement was always going to be a challenge, but it's one he seems to have met with his new album. Its implausible but beautiful blend of fragile acoustic fragments, brutal beats and glitchy electronica has already garnered a rich crop of five-star reviews, and Rounds looks set to be every bit as influential as its predecessor.
Adi Robertson: How to fight lies, tricks, and chaos online (The Verge)
In advance of the 2020 election, a guide to fighting viral fake news, disinformation, and simple misunderstandings across Twitter, Facebook, and the web.
There’s a term called “context collapse” that’s very useful when discussing internet news. Popularized by scholar danah boyd, it describes how the internet “flattens multiple audiences into one” — if you’re browsing Twitter, for example, an offhand comment from your friend sits right alongside a statement from the president of the United States. Internet news suffers from its own variation of context collapse: no matter how far away or long ago a story happened, it can sound like it’s happening right now, in your neighborhood.
Annalee Newitz: A Better Internet Is Waiting for Us (NYT)
We don’t have to lose our digital public spaces to state manipulation. What if future companies designed media to facilitate democracy right from the beginning? Is it possible to create a form of digital communication that promotes consensus-building and civil debate, rather than divisiveness and conspiracy theories?
Twitter and Facebook executives often say that their services are modeled on a “public square.” But the public square is more like 1970s network television, where one person at a time addresses the masses. On social media, the “square” is more like millions of karaoke boxes running in parallel, where groups of people are singing lyrics that none of the other boxes can hear. And many members of the “public” are actually artificial beings controlled by hidden individuals or organizations.
There isn’t a decent real-world analogue for social media, and that makes it difficult for users to understand where public information is coming from, and where their personal information is going.
The legacy of social media will be a world thirsty for new kinds of public experiences. To rebuild the public sphere, we’ll need to use what we’ve learned from billion-dollar social experiments like Facebook, and marginalized communities like Black Twitter. We’ll have to carve out genuinely private spaces too, curated by people we know and trust.
Phil Hawksworth: Emcee Tips for a Conference or Meetup (CSS Tricks)
• Enjoy yourself
• To err is human
• Technical difficulties
• Practice all the names
• Know more than the speaker’s bio
• Avoid in-jokes
• Don't assume or rely on speaker’s fame
• Announce and thank people with vigor
• Let the speakers give the talks
• Prep speakers for questions and answers
• Housekeeping is a good boilerplate
• Ask the organizers what they need
Kaitlyn Tiffany: How to Make a Website (The Atlantic)
wikiHow embodies an alternative history of the internet, and an interesting possibility for its future.
“The web offers us an opportunity to build whatever we want. We’ve chosen, by the way we’ve put the incentives, and the way users behaved, to spend all of our time in four big web properties,” Herrick tells me. “We didn’t have to do that, and we still don’t have to do that. We can build this web of small towns. You can get your information from small providers that have your best interests at heart and aren’t trying to just mine you for data. The web could be a totally different place.”
Meditation is a simple practice available to all, which can reduce stress, increase calmness and clarity and promote happiness. Learning how to meditate is straightforward, and the benefits can come quickly.
Remember, the purpose of meditation isn’t to achieve perfect control over your mind or stop thinking altogether. The intention should be to bring a more compassionate, calm and accepting approach to whatever happens.
Josh Dzieza: Why thousands of Amazon packages converge on a tiny Montana town (The Verge)
Amazon sellers often buy goods from Walmart and Target to resell on the platform, but the products need to be repackaged before being sent in. This has given rise to an industry of Amazon "preppers," often located in no-sales-tax states.
Christine Smallwood: Astrology in the Age of Uncertainty (New Yorker)
Millennials who see no contradiction between using astrology and believing in science are fueling a resurgence of the practice.
It’s easy to name our own opaque and inscrutable systems—surveillance capitalism, a byzantine health-insurance system—but to say that we are no longer the self-determining subjects of our fate is also to recognize the many ways that our lives are governed by circumstances outside our control.
It’s a commonplace to say that in uncertain times people crave certainty. But what astrology offers isn’t certainty—it’s distance. Just as a person may find it easier to accept things about herself when she decides she was born that way, astrology makes it possible to see world events from a less reactive position. It posits that history is not a linear story of upward progress but instead moves in cycles, and that historical actors—the ones running amok all around us—are archetypes. Alarming, yes; villainous, perhaps; but familiar, legible.
Maria Bustillos: The failures of Ayn Rand (Popula)
For those who are inclined to find such ideas ludicrous, the book will fail, and utterly; its premises betray a bottomless ignorance of the deep interconnectedness of humankind, the needs — economic, social, emotional, intellectual — of human beings for one another, and of the ultimate inalienable reality of life on Earth as a whole, the totality of which each is a part, and our need to live in this wholeness.
Rand is 100% pro-inequality; she preaches the intellectual and moral superiority of wealth, and scorn and hatred of those who have “less.” Objectivism actively praises inequality. But nobody has “less,” because all have the same, of the only thing that matters—life, for a moment, and then?—something, nothing, nobody knows. Equality is not a fantasy, nor even a goal; it is just a fact.
Rand’s books have sold nonstop from the moment they were published because people love hearing how not only can they get away with being totally selfish, it’s absolutely the right way to be. The best way to be, as in, morally the best.
The real looters, it increasingly appears, are the self-styled Objectivist “elites,” rabidly pursuing their own “happiness” at the cost of our social safety net, the prosperity and well-being of the world’s people and even, quite possibly, of this planet’s capacity to sustain life. So much for the triumph of individualism.
Will Meyer: Naomi Klein on Climate Chaos: “I Don’t Think Baby Boomers Did This. I Think Capitalism Did.” (In These Times)
I don’t think Baby Boomers did this. I think capitalism did, and there’s something both depoliticizing and isolating about the generational frame. There are people in every generation who tried so hard to stop this from happening, who raised the alarm, and people who died in the struggle. I think movements that are just of young people tend to be short lived. On the other hand, indigenous movements, and many other movements that have been fighting for hundreds of years, have a role for every generation to play, and that’s part of how we protect these young people with so much courage.
Tara Isabella Burton: The prosperity gospel, explained: Why Joel Osteen believes that prayer can make you rich (Vox)
It’s difficult to say that the prosperity gospel itself led to Donald Trump’s inauguration. Again, only 17 percent of American Christians identify with it explicitly. It’s far more true, however, to say that the same cultural forces that led to the prosperity gospel’s proliferation in America — individualism, an affinity for ostentatious and charismatic leaders, the Protestant work ethic, and a cultural obsession with the power of “positive thinking” — shape how we, as a nation, approach politics.
What is our collective approach to health care, after all, if not rooted in a visceral sense that the unlucky are responsible for their own misfortune? What is our willingness to vote a man like Trump into office but a collective cultural reward for those who brand themselves as successful?
Liza Featherstone: The Failure of the Adults (The New Republic)
Of course, children have a rich tradition of taking political action on their own behalf. Just as kids have sexuality (whether adults like it or not), they also have politics (whether adults like it or not). During the early twentieth century, American children organized against their own labor exploitation. During the civil rights movement, black kids brave enough to integrate white schools drew admiration and sympathy, often far more than the adults putting their bodies on the line to integrate lunch counters and public transit. On television, the sight of these children, facing extreme racism, dressed in their Sunday best, with such serious faces, explaining to reporters, in a matter-of-fact way, their intention to attend school, had a profound effect on white American consciousness.
We admire such children, at least when we support their cause. Yet we greet their political involvement with a sense of unease. The more we sympathize, the more we see their activism as a sign of how bad things are. It makes us feel, as adults, that we’ve failed. Kids shouldn’t have to take political action to stop mass human extinction or keep armed madmen out of their schools. Those who do are like the children of alcoholics who have to care for the parents, get dinner on the stove, and put the little brother to bed.
Western societies—though it is not only the West that clings to this construct—believe that childhood is supposed to be a separate, playful, safe realm, protected from sordid grown-up business. Kids are supposed to be kids, doing kid things.
One reason to fight for a better world is to allow all kids a real childhood, free not only from climate change and gun violence, but also from poverty and war—so that they can do profoundly inconsequential stuff.
Vanessa Marin: How to Actually Follow Through on the Relationship Advice You Get (NYT)
Not feeling particularly motivated to take action? In his book, Mr. Manson argues that we have motivation all wrong. Most people look to feel motivated before taking action. We bemoan our lack of desire, claiming that without that desire, we can’t do anything. Instead, Mr. Manson advocates his “do something” principle: take some sort of action first. You’ll feel good for having done so and will feel inspired to take even more action. In this way, we create our own motivation, instead of relying on it to strike us.
In case you still feel stuck or lazy, Mr. Manson added: “I would actually say it’s impossible to NOT work on your relationship. Your inaction is itself a form of action that affects the relationship. Every relationship is always either getting stronger or weaker, and to do nothing contributes to the weakening of the relationship.”
Mark Bittman and David L. Katz: The Last Conversation You’ll Ever Need to Have About Eating Right (Grub Street)
Mark Bittman and Dr. David L. Katz patiently answer pretty much every question we could think of about healthy food.
In fact, the basic theme of optimal eating — a diet made up mostly of whole, wholesome plant foods — has been clear to nutrition experts for generations. What does change all the time is the fads, fashions, marketing gimmicks, and hucksterism. How do you avoid the pitfalls of all that? Focus on foods, not nutrients. A diet may be higher or lower in total fat, or total carbohydrate, or total protein, and still be optimal. But a diet cannot be optimal if it is not made up mostly of some balanced combination of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and water. If you get the foods right, the nutrients sort themselves out. But if you focus on nutrients rather than foods, you quickly learn that there is more than one way to eat badly, and we Americans seem all too eager to try them all.