Tehnologie de dragul tehnologiei

Labor-saving devices … are invested with a halo of their own. This may be indicative of a fixation to a phase of adolescent activities in which people try to adapt themselves to modern technology by making it, as it were, their own cause… It seems that the kind of retrogression highly characteristic of persons who do not any longer feel they are the self-determining subjects of their fate, is concomitant with a fetishistic attitude towards the very same conditions which tend to be dehumanizing them. The more they are gradually being transformed into things, the more they invest things with a human aura. At the same time, the libidinization of gadgets is indirectly narcissistic in as much as it feeds on the ego’s control of nature: gadgets provide the subject with some memories of early feelings of omnipotence.

Work and Pleasure: Theodor Adorno on the Psychology of “Gadgeteering” and How the Cult of Efficiency Limits Our Happiness

Asta vrea publicul (10)

There are a lot of people in this industry that staying on top at any cost and they’ll find themselves telling stories they don’t actually care about because that’s the story that somebody else wants. And that to me is like a journey into hell. And I can see how it happens and let’s face it, there’s a lot of money in this industry. So it can happen.

David Simon – Here’s the Thing

Ne place să ne ofensăm

Outrage is a kind of drug, one that gives the illusion of involvement, of caring, when really derives its power from an emotional and informational distance that the stories themselves then strive to deepen, laying the groundwork for the next piece of outrage porn to do its work. And thus proceeds an addictive cycle. (…)

And I don’t know what to do about that. In my own life, and my own writing, I strive to follow the line from “Wargames” – “the only way to win is not to play.” As a consequence, outrage, like cheap vodka, which once seemed to reduce my inhibitions and make me feel strong and confident, now makes me feel a bit ill, and puts me to sleep.

Noah Millman – Fighting Outrage Porn Addiction

Imigranți sau refugiați?

Al Jazeera, trustul media al guvernului din Qatar, a hotărât să folosească denumirea de “refugiați” în loc de “imigranți” pentru masele de oameni care ajung în Europa din Africa și Orientul Mijlociu. Justificarea acestei decizii editoriale e acuratețea:

For reasons of accuracy, the director of news at Al Jazeera English, Salah Negm, has decided that we will no longer use the word migrant in this context. We will instead, where appropriate, say refugee.

At this network, we try hard through our journalism to be the voice of those people in our world who, for whatever reason, find themselves without one.

Migrant is a word that strips suffering people of voice. Substituting refugee for it is – in the smallest way – an attempt to give some back.

In the smallest way, bine spus. Guvernul din Qatar nu numai că nu a făcut nimic pentru imigranții din zonă, dar nu are nici o problemă în a exploata imigranții refugiații care construiesc infrastructura pentru Mondialul din 2022.

Ironia jurnalistică e că o decizie luată în numele acurateții, creează de fapt efectul opus. De asta New York Times continuă să folosească termenul de “imigranți”:

While imperfect, it is accurate to refer to both migrants and refugees as “migrants,” because they all belong to the class of people moving from one place to another. It is not accurate to refer to all migrants as refugees, however, as refugees have a special status under international law that does not apply to all migrants.

Ultimele zile ale lui Clive James

While James avoids lugubriousness, he does periodically remind us that he is in truly bad shape. In one of the later essays, he recalls a night at a hospital when the plastic bag taped to his leg to collect urine suddenly broke. He buzzed for the night nurse, who told the embarrassed James to stop apologizing. She then “set to mopping it up. She had a deformed body, with limbs all the wrong lengths. Life could never have been easy for her. But now she was making the end of life easier for me. It was a night to remember, and I haven’t forgotten it for a second. I can only hope that the sum total of my writings has been as useful to the world as her kindness, but I doubt that this is so.

Michael Dirda – Clive James’s ‘Last Readings’ review: A critic’s final homage to literature, life

Scrisul drept cadou

Every single day, I get emails from aspiring writers asking my advice about how to become a writer, and here is the only advice I can give: Don’t make stuff because you want to make money — it will never make you enough money. And don’t make stuff because you want to get famous — because you will never feel famous enough. Make gifts for people — and work hard on making those gifts in the hope that those people will notice and like the gifts. Maybe they will notice how hard you worked, and maybe they won’t — and if they don’t notice, I know it’s frustrating. But, ultimately, that doesn’t change anything — because your responsibility is not to the people you’re making the gift for, but to the gift itself.

Brain Pickings – John Green’s Superb Advice to Aspiring Writers and Creators in the Digital Age

Antrenorul de somn

Littlehales has a unique and encyclopaedic knowledge of which five-star hotels are best suited to athletes and harangues the ones that aren’t up to scratch into upgrading their mattresses and bedding. Other important factors are the potential for total black-out from the sun and temperature control (16-18C is the ideal range). But the bedding is crucial. “If they don’t tick the boxes I’m bringing my own or we’ll try another hotel,” he says.

Russell Jackson – Nick Littlehales: the man who showed Cristiano Ronaldo how to sleep

Viețile celorlalți par mereu interesante

I only tweet or gram (Is that a word? Kids these days!) when I have something interesting, funny or of value to share. In reality, 99% of my day is filled with non-interesting, non-funny stuff.

I know this about myself yet when I go online and read or see other people’s stuff, I assume they’re different, and somehow, their lives are awesome and interesting all of the time. That’s because all I see are their interesting bits and bytes.

Paul Jarvis – No one on the Internet is living the life you think they are