Week 36 — acab

I don’t have the words for how angry and disgusted and sad I am about what is happening in the US right now. A family member made some comments against protests. It made me so mad I couldn’t sleep and all I wanted to say is ‘fuck you’. fuck the police. fuck the surveillance state. and fuck everyone who is watching silently, or worse, defending those with power upholding this violent and disgusting system.

I’m assuming, by nature of you being here, that you are on the internet and have seen many lists of things to do and ways to help. I urge you to do something.

Ok. Exhale.

I started a project with Digital Future Society. It is a speculative design brief to accompany a report on gender and automated decision making in welfare. Of course, I still have a job so reading this week is a little light.

The Protests Against George Floyd's Death Make Some People Uncomfortable. That's The Point.
by Scaachi Koul

The priorities in American life are wildly disordered. First comes white health and safety. Then comes white property and goods. Then white economy. Then white comfort. The safety of black and brown bodies, the right to not be killed by the police when you’re not a threat, the right to not be pepper-sprayed or teargassed while a respiratory disease is already ripping through your community at an alarming rate, is miles behind white comfort.

Emoji summary: 🧨 🚓 🔥

by Andrea Long Chu

I really wanted to like this book. And I did, but not as much as I was expecting. It was way too light on theory, for one. I should have expected that based on the length. I like Chu’s previous work on desire, and this had a bit of that, but not enough. Basically, I didn’t like it as much as some of her articles. Still… light and easy reading, purposefully provocative in funny ways, and short.

Emoji summary: ⚢ 👯‍♀️ 🤔

Where Did Software Go Wrong?
by Jesse Li

Ella shared this on twitter. An Ella recommendation is an instant bookmark.

Our websites are slow and insecure; our startups are creepy and unprofitable; our president Tweets hate speech; we don’t trust our social media apps, webcams, or voting machines. And in the era of coronavirus quarantining, we’re realizing just how inadequate the Internet turned out to be as a home of Mind. Where did it all go wrong?

Emoji summary: 🕸 👩🏻‍💻 🤖


It’s Time to Take California Back from Joan Didion by Myriam Gurba

Amado Vazquez, a Mexican botanist, named an orchid after Joan Didion. While that was a chic gesture, I don’t think of her as an orchid. I think of her as an onion. She’s very white, very crisp, and she makes people cry.

Twelve Assignments by Wayne Koestenbaum is one of those prompt lists. This one for writers. It’s a cute list.

On Watching Violence, and Elena Ferrante’s “My Brilliant Friend.” by Fariha Róisín. This one for the book club crew. We read the first book in the series last year. I loved it.

Verso is giving away a free ebook called The End of Policing.