4 min read

You Should Read - Aug 28

You Should Read - Aug 28

Just One Thing

Crooked Timber Coercion Versus Care

A tiny and inadequate amount of resources was routinely being put into the core work of the airport and airline; getting passengers safely and efficiently onto the plane. It was left to a single employee working in a determinedly difficult and unpleasant situation – designed to extract more money from passengers for a ‘premium’ service. She was operating in a work culture that clearly despises the customers and pressures employees to squeeze them for yet more money when they can be claimed to have disobeyed luggage rules. She was clearly overwhelmed by the task, and left to deal with the emotional as well as practical consequences of Ryanair and Stansted’s decisions. I’m not surprised that a merely irritated and resistant passenger was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Her only agency in the situation, and the only acceptable reason to request help, was to cast the passenger as abusive or even dangerous. She couldn’t ask for help to do her actual job, difficult or near-impossible thought it was. It was designed to be that way. However, she could press an alarm button that brought security men almost immediately to deal with a situation wholly produced by her impossible working conditions.

This one incident witnessed by the author is a microcosm of the perverse incentives and counterintuitive processes put in place by large organizations - public and private - in order to enforce larger systemic goals, irrespective of the negative impact they have on the purported purposes of those systems.

Collected Ephemera

The Washington Post I'm No Longer Religious. But I Still Want Church.
Perry Bacon Jr's journey away from the Christian church appears to somewhat mirror  my own, though I am not a "None", but a Zen Buddhist. So I was able to retain some of the community aspects of my prior religion that Bacon is pining for by joining a Zen Buddhist congregation

Zach Klein Sidewalk Garden
I'm sure there are unforeseen consequences of a sidewalk garden as intense as this, but this seems like a hugely positive addition to Klein's neighborhood.

Figma Paula Scher’s 10 Rules for Play

Rule #1: Meet the collaborator or client. Read their brief. Go home and do something mindless, something rote like cleaning out your closet. This will clear your brain so you can freely associate. Ideas will follow.

UX Collective The Power of Colour in UX: How to leverage colour psychology, cultural associations, and strategic colour combinations to create impactful user experiences.

Kyle Lambert Driving Clarity With Design Artifacts
For some reason, I frequently feel I have to apologize for bringing out a design exploration as part of explaining my thinking, but I shouldn't have to. Everyone should learn to speak and think visually, not just "special" people.

A Doctor of Many Things Project Management Lessons From Rogue One
Heist movies are essentially about project management. Back when I was literally a project manager, I mused about writing a series of project management essays using Reservoir Dogs as a case study. Rogue One (one of my favoriate Star Wars films) is basically a heist film, so I'm not surprised to see it similarly analyzed. One could probably do the same with the Aldhani arc from Andor.

Our Present Dystopia

Tor.com The Revolution Will Be Dramatized

This essay is about what it was like to live in an America that can rapturously and enthusiastically consume and cosplay revolution, and can look on real world resistance with disdain.

This essay contrasts the real world Ferguson Uprising with the contemporaneous fantasy rebellion of The Hunger Games, both the books and films. It is kinda incredible to find an essay like this on a commercial publisher's blog rather than in a revolutionary journal.

Slate To Be a Consumer of Culture Means Living in a Hostage Situation: The fight for the soul of Hollywood is about how little difference there now is between being a volunteer and a professional creative.

Disconnect The Media's Failure on Elon Musk: After building him up, they need to tear him down

Vox The Edgelord of the Federal Judiciary: Imagine a Breitbart comments forum come to life and given immense power over innocent people. That’s Judge James Ho.

CNBC 66% of Americans Want European-Style Vacation Policies, Like Being OOTO for the Entire Month of August

Sojourner 6 Warning Signs of Christian Nationalism in US Politics

Vice Companies That Union-Bust Must Now Automatically Recognize Union, NLRB Rules: A new framework for unionizations means that a company must voluntarily recognize a union or demand an election—and can no longer interfere with the election.

Gary Marcus What if Generative AI Turned Out to Be a Dud?: Some possible economic and geopolitical implications

...what has me worried right now is not just the possibility that the whole generative AI economy—still based more on promise than actual commercial use—could see a massive, gut-wrenching correction, but that we are building our entire global and national policy on the premise that generative AI will be world-changing in ways that may in hindsight turn out to have been unrealistic.

Technology & Marketing Law Web Scraping for Me, But Not for Thee: There are few, if any, legal domains where hypocrisy is as baked into the ecosystem as it is with web scraping.

Tom's Hardware Google's AI Bots Tout 'Benefits' of Genocide, Slavery, Fascism, Other Evils: Large Language Models shouldn’t offer opinions or advice.

The Wabbit Hole

Selections from my Wikipedia searches over the past two weeks:

Buddhaghosa | hoteps | Mary Oliver | false consciousness | HyperNormalisation | Neuromancer | Apache (instrumental) | millenarianism | Jello Biafra

Take Action

I Filed a Complaint to Disqualify Trump From the Ballot and So Should You! Copy and paste email I drafted at end of this article.