Looking forward to the “Outliers” episode (there will be one, right?)

This is classic economics-guy thing, where they act like the narratives that they map onto the data, are themselves just as infallible as the data…The idea that there is always something hidden, right, seems to be lurking here…

Peter Shamshiri, “Freakonomics,” If Books Could Kill

I’ve read enough college composition history to know that there is a long stretch of time in the academy where the English department wanted to be more quantifiable, like the sciences, to justify their importance. This quote reminds me that economics is a pseudoscience with a desire to do the type of interpretation with data that we usually reserve for fiction.

Also, great new podcast: If Books Could Kill podcast with Michael Hobbes and Peter Shamshiri

The non-human animal..

Just finished watching Jordan Peele’s brilliant Nope. I don’t do reviews much. I’m no good at them. But I will say that it wasn’t until I looked through my notes for a quote for this post that I realized how this is a movie about animals. That should have been obvious, but the nonobvious is how we think we must descend to them. Ah. I have some thoughts.

One thing is for sure, I will never not look suspiciously at a cloud.

Screenshot from Nope

The future is urban, apparently

One of my areas of interest is how science fiction movies do exposition. So I took a screenshot from Elysium just to save, though I’m only watching this for fun (it’s not on my exam list). I’ve seen it before.

I’m sure this isn’t new to anyone who hasn’t been paying attnetion, but so many dystopian visions of the future are just slight exaggerations of contemporary fear mongering about city livin’.

EVERYONE WILL LIVE IN A CITY, WILL YOU SURVIVE??!?!?!?! Weird.

The real trouble is rural, since I just heard a loud boom coming from the “new” neighbors. They like to make noise. Lots of ratatatatat or bang bang bang.

Five, Seven, Five

The winning haiku at the top of the article is a cold, hard comment on our current American political environment, yet Sanki’s poems, written on one year after the bombing in Hiroshima, produce a different, deeper chill.

Sanki was imprisoned by Japan’s Special Higher Police for writing haiku like the first one. The second was published in a magazine but was omitted from Sanki’s second collection for fear that the book would be censored by American Occupation officials, who suppressed information about the atomic bomb.

By Clark Strand, “Poems of Protest and Political Conscience”

How am I supposed to perform academia if I don’t have time to Tweet?!?

One of the problems with committing to a new public-facing medium is that you get busy and overwhelmed and it suddenly feels abandoned. Two days since I posted here and my instinct is to just quit. The endless scroll is the problem. It’s always hungry and it’s never sated. As meager contributor, even I’m susceptible. When the dust settles and the archaeologists of the future dig through the radioactive waste, our archive will be nothing but “sorry I haven’t posted” posts and Tumblr.

Everything in content moderation…

Content moderation is what Twitter makes — it is the thing that defines the user experience. It’s what YouTube makes, it’s what Instagram makes, it’s what TikTok makes. They all try to incentivize good stuff, disincentivize bad stuff, and delete the really bad stuff.

From Nilay Patel’s “Welcome to hell, Elon” at The Verge