You could block Microsoft from your life, if you did not work. But if you work for a corporation? Good luck with that.
As an Android person, Apple is pretty much self-blocked already with almost no consequence. Facebook could go as well, except I would absolutely lose touch with many people. I could live without Amazon, too, but it would be hugely inconvenient.
For me, Google is the only really indispensable entity. But of course, this is all because we do want convenience.
You could almost make an argument that the greatest threat to humanity is convenience.
Copy and paste:
<cfloop index="i" from="1" to="100">
<cfif i mod 3 eq 0 and i mod 5 eq 0>FizzBuzz
<cfelseif i mod 3 eq 0>Fizz
<cfelseif i mod 5 eq 0>Buzz
I guess it was just a matter of time until an episode of Black Mirror became reality. If you haven't seen the episode mentioned in the article, you absolutely should -- it's one of the best.
No doubt there will be money in this -- I used a "shoebox scan" service many years back to have my shoebox full of photographs scanned into files by a machine. It's not hard to fathom a similar service in the future where you can feed someone's texts, emails, and photos to a server and have it crank them out. You could even have a party-type of chat with all of your dead friends together. Then after you're dead, you can join the neverending conversation, the machine talking to itself.
As far as the writer wanting to talk to a younger, more optimistic version of Mazurenko, that can be easily done since just about all communication is timestamped. So you should be able to ask for Joe Schmoe at 21.
I can't say I'm for it or against it; doesn't matter, as it's bound to happen. Too much money for it not to.
I never knew of Schopenhauer until I read Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, which references him quite a bit.
Lately I'm getting a bad feeling that podcasts are really hindering my thought processes. I used to think about all sorts of things while doing the mundane (folding laundry, taking a shower), but now podcasts have invaded my brain. They're like fast food for the mind...
But the truth is that intellectual curiosity—let alone risk-taking—is now a liability at The Times.
If a newspaper is a reflection of the world, then the Times is accurately reflecting the times. This is the state we live in now, and it'll most likely take some sort of a revolution to stop it. Sorry, Bari. But I'm not too worried for your future, and I'm sure you aren't, either. I have no doubt you'll land quite nicely on your feet.
It's all rather tiring, if I can be honest. To quote Danny Glover from Lethal Weapon, "I'm too old for this shit."
It wouldn't surprise me in the least if this was many people's favorite story of Murakami's. It certainly is one of mine. I read everything he wrote up to Kafka on the Shore. After that I've found him a bit repetitive, but lord, if you've never read Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, are you in for a treat.
My favorite story of his is "Barn Burning," which I read in The New Yorker back in the fall of 1992, at my college library. I not only remember that story, but I remember reading it, where I sat, the light in that vast reading room, my utter absorption as I got to the last page, the last sentence, the last word -- and then feeling the shiver down my spine as realization set in.
It was made into a movie a couple of years ago, but that story -- it's the real goods. And only that version in the magazine, translated by Philip Gabriel. The one that's in the collection The Elephant Vanishes is translated by Alfred Birnbaum and not nearly as good. In fact, the endings are different enough that I wonder if the source material changed...
I personally have never understood the reason for gold's value. It actually has very little intrinsic value -- I think it's used in some electronics, and I guess there's some value in being flaked into the bottom of Goldschlager; it's just something humans have agreed that it has value. Bitcoin is a better imaginary store of value, but not enough people believe in it. Not yet, at least, which is why it's so volatile.
The idea that a return to the gold standard would suddenly solve all of our economic problems is ridiculous. It would cause a worldwide depression. The fiat genie has been let out of the bottle; there is no turning back.
Worth mentioning -- when I suggest the return to the gold standard would cause mass chaos, what I really mean is gold standard = actual monetary limitation/containment. If you do end up reading the PE gold standard article, you'll see this:
The second misconception pertains to the idea that US financial system was somehow on a gold standard after 1933. It was not. The gold standard ended in the Spring of 1933, when FDR issued executive order 6102. This order made it illegal for individuals within the continental United States to own gold. If gold can’t be legally owned, then it can’t be legally redeemed. If it can’t be legally redeemed, then it can’t constrain the central bank.
I look forward to the days ahead when we again have people as smart as Doctorow help run the government.
He's 100% right. If you think about all the gains we've made through all the tech innovations (IC engine, computers, smartphones), we're still just as busy as ever, if not more so. The blue-collared class have been decimated, but that's a phase and they'll die out (sorry to be so blunt, but it's true). Even the dumb kids nowadays can use tech to a decent degree, and for those who still would rather have a physical-labor-intensive job, like Doctorow says, there will be plenty of that through the natural catastrophes we've created.
That hole digging and filling metaphor is quite apt. You could make an argument that this is all human beings have been doing since the dawn of time.
Social media birthed cancel culture, of course. No way it could've ever happened without it. You simply couldn't gather a large enough mob in the old days to move the needle of famous people.
The more I think about it, the more I believe social networks aren't the future. Tech is all about fixing problems of existing infrastructure, and someone will come along with something better. At least that's my hope, anyway.
Really interesting -- I love the caloric breakdown that leads to these conclusions. No doubt we rule the planet. When the new Tappan Zee Bridge was being built, I remember driving through and seeing these massive structures and thinking, "Humans are making this." We're amazing. Amazingly clever. Let's just hope our collective cleverness keeps it all going for a good while longer.
I can actually say that I have felt this very heat -- I visited Doha almost ten years ago. No doubt it was slightly cooler then, but it still felt like I was walking in an oven. It is a strange place -- never have I felt more like a foreigner than in that city.
It's a muscle like anything else, though I have to say, as I get older, it is absolutely more difficult to get anything done faster. Now it's entirely possible that my brain and my body are indeed slowing down -- in fact, I'm sure they are both happening. But more than that, it's motivation -- I just don't have what I used to. That, more than anything, I believe is the reason why we slow down as we age.
Why are we here? What are we doing? Does anything really matter?
All we can ever do is create meaning in our lives, because the bigger meaning will forever elude us (highly, highly likely that it doesn't exist). One of my favorite quotes of all time is by Douglas Adams:
“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”
Quite the primer on Thiel. I'm still not sure whether this guy is good or bad for the world. I'm reminded of the Seinfeld episode where the gang talks about Woody Woodpecker -- "What is he, an instigator?" "That's right, he's a troublemaker."
The year 2020, before it got here, seemed so futuristic, so full of promise.
Boy, was I ever wrong. 2020 has shaped into a year nobody will ever want to remember. And yet remember we must, because, as the saying goes, those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it. Let's never forget any of this, ever.
I was a die-hard meat eater until I read Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens. Since reading that book a couple of years ago, I've eaten very little meat. I eat plenty of fish and if I'm stuck with horrible choices, I'll eat the very occasional chicken or turkey (haven't had beef in a couple of years).
If you haven't had an Impossible Burger, you're missing out! Very meaty, but without the grease. That's what I miss the least when I come into contact with meat nowadays -- it all tastes super fatty and greasy.
From one of my favorite movie critics -- one who doesn't suffer fools gladly and has never met a bad movie he didn't relish in destroying -- comes an essay about an old video store that's so imbued with nostalgia that I dearly wish I could visit it. It may be gone, but it certainly isn't forgotten.
Holy cow, is this ever just the most moving thing. You can just feel all of it -- her frustration, her disdain, her fury, her desperation -- and most of all, her love.
What breaks my heart the most is that what she's pining for, she lost a long time ago. The city will return to life, but her city will never come back. For her sake, I hope she gets the hell out of there and starts fresh somewhere else, somewhere far away from NYC where she'll have more space, less rent, where she can once again recapture the very reason why she started cooking at a restaurant for diners. Not guests. Diners.