12

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Vacuous Lives

That the uber rich are often profoundly decadent sybarites is hardly a news flash or even noteworthy. The Egyptian Pharaohs, the Emperors during myriad dynasties in ancient China as well as the Monarchical leaders of France and England have all seen numerous corrupt and depraved members. Modern America with the infamous one hundredth of the top one percent with their philistine manners are merely following the pattern of the ultra-wealthy. Moral depravity and vacuous lives are often inherent in the lives of the worldly super rich.

Vindication (2015, August 22). Re: Dinner and Deception: Serving elaborate meals to the super-rich left me feeling empty [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/23/opinion/sunday/dinner-and-deception.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

🌁

Murky Dark

[Michael] McDonald’s numb, phantom longing is matched to music (featuring “Rosanna”-era Toto players) that comes in stormy but slowly clears up, only to drop back into the murky dark again exactly as he comes to the realization that he’s clinging to the apparition of a closeness long since departed.

Pitchfork. (2015, August 24). The 200 Best Songs of the 80’s: #147 Michael McDonald “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near).” Retrieved from http://pitchfork.com/features/lists-and-guides/9700-the-200-best-songs-of-the-1980s/?page=3

💸

[Edward Gibbon’s] father had neither the business sense nor the resilience of his grandfather, and through social ambitions, pretensions, and mismanagement, squandered much of what had been a considerable fortune.

“His gay character and mode of life,” Gibbon, in mild understatement, wrote, “were less adapted to the acquisition than to the expenditure of wealth.”

Epstein, J. (2015, September 1). The Best of Scribblers Edward Gibbon and the importance of great writing to great history. Retrieved from https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/best-scribblers/

⚙️⚙️⚙️

Engineer-wash

Just as the heavy industry can greenwash to produce the appearance of environmental responsibility and the consumer industry can pinkwash to connect themselves to cause marketing, so the technology industry can “engineerwash”—leveraging the legacy of engineering in order to make their products and services appear to engender trust, competence, and service in the public interest.

Bogost, I. (2015, November 5). Programmers: Stop Calling Yourselves Engineers. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/11/programmers-should-not-call-themselves-engineers/414271/

Handcuff Emoji

“To be accused is to lose.  Every time.” Dean Strang, speaking of the loss of reputation and character damage when charged with a crime, guilty or not.

Making a Murderer. By Laura Ricciardi. Dir. Moira Demos. Perf. Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. Netflix, 18 Dec. 2015. Web.

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It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.

Mark Twain (or not)

🎩

Paleo-Rich

“The second generation paleo-rich are the worst because they actually think they deserve their position, and they haven’t even done anything to earn it. Trump is a classic second generation paleo-rich, as are the Waltons and the Kochs.”

Classic examples of being born on third base and then insisting you hit a triple.

Jim in Austin (2017, June 30). Re: How the superrich have funded a new class of intellectual [Blog Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/167934/How-the-superrich-have-funded-a-new-class-of-intellectual#7081938

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Mirage of Happiness

Like so many Kaufman characters, the ones in this movie are struggling, stumbling even, towards what might be a mirage of happiness, while battling both their own social conditioning and pathologies and the bland indifference of the world around them—a world that includes billions of other people who all think they are the stars of their own life-movies, and at times seem deeply frustrated by the fact that they haven’t experienced one of those transformative moments that tell moviegoers, “Everything is going to be fine for this character now, don’t worry.”

Seitz, M. Z. (2015, December 29). Review: Anomalisa (2015). Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/anomalisa-2015

🔮

Thought Leader

The purpose of the thought leader is to mirror, systematize, and popularize the delusions of the superrich: that they have earned their fortunes on merit, that social protections need to be further eviscerated to make everyone more flexible for “the future,” and that local attachments and alternative ways of living should be replaced by an aspirational consumerism. The thought leader aggregates these fundamental convictions into a great humanitarian mission. Every problem, he prophesies, can be solved with technology and rich people’s money, if we will only get our traditions, communities, and democratic norms out of the way.

Sessions, D. (2017, June 28). The Rise of the Thought Leader. Retrieved from https://newrepublic.com/article/143004/rise-thought-leader-how-superrich-funded-new-class-intellectual

Startups

The upstarts who work at startups don’t often stay at any one place for very long. (Three out of four startups fail. More than nine out of ten never earn a return.) They work a year here, a few months there—zany hours everywhere. They wear jeans and sneakers and ride scooters and share offices and sprawl on couches like Great Danes. Their coffee machines look like dollhouse-size factories.

Lepore, J. (2014, June 23). The Disruption Machine: What the gospel of innovation gets wrong. Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/06/23/the-disruption-machine

School Desk

Unqualified Snobbery

The most “worldly” society I have ever lived in is that of schoolboys: most worldly in the cruelty and arrogance of the strong, the toadyism and mutual treachery of the weak, and the unqualified snobbery of both. Nothing was so base that the school proletariat would not do it, or suffer it, to win the favour of the school aristocracy: hardly any injustice too bad for the aristocracy to practice.

Lewis, C.S. “A Reply to Professor Haldane.” Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories, Edited by Walter Hooper, Harvest Books, 2002, pp. 79.

5

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“Excuse me, but…’Proactive?’…’Paradigm?’ Aren’t these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important?”

No, they are important concepts in helping potential investors understand that their money will be going towards immanentizing innovation as this group drills down to mindshare on organically dealing with the low-hanging fruit of their inter-connected passions.

nubs (2016, April 19). Re: I do not have the answer to that one [Blog Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/158751/I-do-not-have-the-answer-to-that-one#6488428

👊

Sudden Aggressive Behavior

I am not by nature a violent person but that Elkus kid has a face designed to encourage sudden aggressive behavior.

1adam12 (2016, April 19). Re: I do not have the answer to that one [Blog Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/158751/I-do-not-have-the-answer-to-that-one#6488395

🐷

Like Pigpen, But with Buzzwords

He’s supposedly a Creative Director, but he doesn’t do Creative or, seemingly, any Directing. He does, however, do a really good job of creating a cloud of buzzwords around himself. Like Pigpen, but with buzzwords.

functionequalsform (2016, April 19 7:33 AM CST). Re: I do not have the answer to that one [Blog Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/158751/I-do-not-have-the-answer-to-that-one#6488459

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…modern capitalism has nothing to do with providing goods or services.

Also, we were just talking about how the super rich in the US* still feel the need to “work” so you get these pointless groups and usually charitable organizations that only exist to hide assets and give awards to each other.

(The context was a mountaintop retreat for “influencers” where the non-US people rightly regarded it as a fun ski holiday while the US billionaires had to pretend it was about …helping the developing world by going to a lot of speeches and having their assistants make graphs)

The Whelk (2016, April 19). Re: I do not have the answer to that one [Blog Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/158751/I-do-not-have-the-answer-to-that-one#6488704

👰

Hope over Experience

Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.

Oscar Wilde

🎥

“Professional, in the sense that the people who made it were compensated.”

As in the original, the design is at once hideous and bland—like a rough draft of a CGI-driven blockbuster that filmmakers would show to studio bosses only to ask for more time and money to create something releasable.

Seitz, M. Z. (2016, May 24). Review: Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016). Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/alice-through-the-looking-glass-2016

▌🐒

Background of Life

He is now as near to contentment as he is ever likely to be; for though he is still hungry, he is not actually weak with hunger. That was the most that any hominid could hope for.

It would be very cold tonight – but cold, like hunger, was not a matter for any real concern; it was merely part of the background of life.

And in the caves, in tortured spells of fitful dozing and fearful waiting, were gathered the nightmares of generations yet to come.

Novel sensations fill his dim mind — the first faint precursors of bravery and leadership.

They have no conscious memory of what they had seen; but that night, as he sits brooding at the entrance of his lair, his ears attuned to the noises of the world around him, Moonwatcher feels the first faint twinges of a new and potent emotion – the urge to kill. He had taken his first step towards humanity.

He has combined the errors of overconfidence and bad luck.

But no Utopia is perfect, and this one had two blemishes.

If it had been alive, it would have felt excitement, but such an emotion was irrelevant to its great powers. Even if the ship had passed it by, it would not have known the slightest trace of disappointment. It had waited four million years; it was prepared to wait for eternity.

Kubrik, S., & Clark, A. C. (1968). 2001: A Space Odyssey. Retrieved from http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/2001.html

Bureaucratic Indifference

“Do you know if she can be moved to St. John’s?” she asked in an email, seeking a way to undo the past.
Again and again, bulging guardianship files show that the consequences of bad luck and bureaucratic indifference fall with disproportionate cruelty on people who lack the buffer of money.

Bernstein, N. (2016, May 15). Unearthing The Secrets of New York’s Mass Graves. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/05/15/nyregion/new-york-mass-graves-hart-island.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=photo-spot-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

👴

What Hotel Did You Stay At?

A third kind of statement casts a different spell. Barbara Hillary, an adventurer who, after reaching the South Pole in 2011 at age 79, became the first African-American woman on record to stand on both poles, said: “Often these comments have power because we are completely overwhelmed by their stupidity. They reinforce the idea that we are not born equally. And you’re made to feel guilty if you look at people and think, ‘I never seriously thought about sterilization until now.’” She added: “One person I met put this wise, erudite expression on his face and asked, ‘What hotel did you stay at on the North Pole?’ That’ll stop you in your tracks.”

Alford, H. (2016, May 20). The Remarkable Shelf Life of the Offhand Comment. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/22/fashion/comments-manners-insults.html?contentCollection=weekendreads&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=c-column-middle-span-region®ion=c-column-middle-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-middle-span-region

I’ll Be Over Here

It’s one thing to say you don’t care what people say and refuse to be tarred by association – I get that. It’s another to provide a vessel through which anti-Semitism courses, and I’ve read [Vox Day’s] site and its comments. The latter range from sarcastic sorta-mocking anti-Jew sneers to that wry, realistic tone of someone who knows what’s really up in this world, and how you can’t say it because of PC, which is fine, which is fine. All you sheeple enjoy your mud person world. I’ll be over here at this other site with the realists.

Lileks, J. (2016, June 3). Screed. Retrieved from http://lileks.com/screed/060116.html

👳

Meme-Phase

If a genie gave me three wishes, I would probably waste one of them on eliminating this idiot meme-phrase from the internet’s lazy response lexicon.

prize bull octorok (2016, Dec 21). Re: All the NOPE [Blog Comment].
Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/164143/All-the-NOPE#6850805

👚

Bespoke This

Also, [bespoke] “sounds old-fashioned and traditional,” Ms. Tannen said, naming two qualities common to the hipsterish faith that earlier generations did things in a more natural, and so, more righteous, way.

“It’s part of the authenticity hoax,” Mr. Riccio said.

[…]

“One thing’s for sure,” he said. “Calling something bespoke automatically allows you to add $50 to the price.”

Farber, J. (2016, August 8). Bespoke This, Bespoke That. Enough Already. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/12/fashion/mens-style/bespoke-word-meaning-usage-language.html?&moduleDetail=section-news-3&action=click&contentCollection=Media®ion=Footer&module=MoreInSection&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&pgtype=article