Wednesday Walk Around the Web – 06/24/2020

  • This Week in Our Technological Dystopia: As more and more companies build more and more petty levels of DRM into their products, you’re going to see more stories like that of the person who tore the RFID chip off of the water filter in his GE refrigerator so that it would dispense water through a third-party filter. Coming soon: the oven that won’t turn on the heating element unless you’re using a bespoke Kitchenaid-brand casserole dish.
  • This Week in Hearing Both Sides: Perhaps, for the sake of fairness, we should hear a cop’s perspective on cops — a view from the inside. One person with a decade of police work under their belt provides some detail on why all cops are bastards and an inside perspective on how cops are systematically drained of empathy to make them bastards, before echoing the point that we don’t need bastards with a license to kill brought in where a social worker could actually do some good.
  • Also in hearing people’s perspectives on their own professions: As restaurants and bars reopen outdoor (and some indoor) seating, one worker is here to implore you not to go. Support your local restaurants through delivery or curbside pickup if you must order out, and for fuck’s sake tip the people who’re still at their jobs for your convenience.
  • For those of us who aren’t on the front lines of the battle for liberation from the cops, but who are lucky enough to be able to contribute financially to the cause, it’s important to consider where our money can do the most good.
  • The Phillies canceled spring training when five players tested positive for COVID-19. The Blue Jays closed down when a player started showing symptoms. Five Lightning employees have tested positive, and NHL teams are no longer reporting positive tests to the public. Maybe it’s time to admit that team sports in the age of COVID is a fucking terrible idea and if they just stop it may actually be safe to come back in a year or two.
  • There have got to be some competitions that are safe to keep going through the plague, though. Riding in to the rescue is fencing, where, as they say, participants have masks & gloves and make all efforts possible to stab anyone who gets within six feet of them. This is the only good COVID-era advertising campaign.
  • The inspirational toppling of Confederate monuments (the majority of which, remember, were erected in the 20th century in a drive to assert and reassert white dominance) is spreading to other racist monuments, such as this Teddy Roosevelt statue in New York. How far can this go? Should we really go after any statue of anyone who ever happened to own a slave or kick off centuries of racist mass murder?? It’s a very interesting question. Perhaps we could give it a try for a few decades and see how it turns out.
  • Every community has to have a reckoning with its relationship with systems of domination, and the current movement is a great motivator to do just that, everywhere from government to media production to elite-level competitive Scrabble.
  • 4500 years ago, not far from Stonehenge and contemporary with it, the amazing Durrington Shafts have been discovered. As the famous henge reaches into the sky, the shafts delve deep into the earth. As above, so below.