Categories
Reading

Sunday Reads

Five longish articles that I’ve recently read that you may find interesting. We begin a radically different view of the pandemic, followed by two articles on climate, then a article on big data. We conclude with a book review.

We Need a Radically Different Approach to the Pandemic and Our Economy as a Whole an Interview with Katherine Yih and Martin Kulldorff published in Jacobin on September 19, 2020

A piece that challenges all the expected rules of addressing the pandemic. It’s about our response and how poor households have borne a disproportionate share of the pandemic’s hardship. We need to urgently fight for a more just society.

Young evangelicals used to be skeptical of climate change. Not anymore. And we’re voting. by Rev. Kyle Meyaard-Schaap. Published in Grist on September 23, 2020.

The title pretty much says it all. “As generational cohorts, millennials and Generation Z are overwhelmingly more supportive than our parents of efforts to protect the environment and to address the impacts of climate change. These generations skew more progressive, yet this trend holds regardless of ideology.”

Naomi Klein: “We Have to Rebuild From the Wreckage of Neoliberalism” an interview with Naomi Klein. Published in Tribune on September 29, 2020.

In this interview they cover the California wildfires, Trump politics, the Green New Deal, and being involved with activism.

Is Palantir’s Crystal Ball Just Smoke and Mirrors? by Sharon Weinberger. Pubished in New York Magazine on September 28, 2020.

Learn about secretive big data software company Palantir. “Techie Software Soldier Spy Palantir, Big Data’s scariest, most secretive unicorn, is going public. But is its crystal ball just smoke and mirrors?”

Mannesplaining by Oliver Traldi. Published in Arc Digital on September 28, 2020.

A book review of Cornell philosopher Kate Manne’s book Entitled. “Does a tendency to reflexively empathize with the feelings and failures of men explain the structure of society?”


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Categories
music

Music Wednesday

This is a special edition of my Music Wednesday series that focuses on Eddie Van Halen who passed away yesterday. Van Halen was a big part of my teen years. I’ve dropped the stoner in me, but I still wear mostly black. And Van Halen was my very first concert. The concert took place near my home at the Fresno Selland Arena, September 1982.

Eruption by Van Halen
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Panama by Van Halen
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Loss of Control by Van Halen
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“5150” by Van Halen
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Beat It by Michael Jackson
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Categories
music

Music Wednesday

A short 23-minute set with five creative women coming from Scotland, Colombia, Australia, Wales and Canada. Enjoy the mix.

Kathryn Joseph is a Scottish singer-songwriter and musician. Her debut album Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I’ve Spilled won the 2015 Scottish Album of the Year Award. Track below is Tell My Lover.
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Pitchfork writes of Lucrecia Dalt, “As though channeling supernatural energies, the Colombian experimental musician uses eerie electronics and vocal treatments to imbue unsettling world-building with a mystical sort of grace.” Track below is Disuelta.
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Kelly Lee Owens is a Welsh electronic musician and producer. She released her self-titled first album in 2017 to critical praise, and her follow-up album Inner Song was released in August 2020 Track below is On.
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Emily Barker is an Australian singer-songwriter, musician and composer. Her music has featured as the theme to BBC dramas Wallander and The Shadow Line. With multi-instrumental trio the Red Clay Halo, she has recorded four albums. Track below is Where Have the Sparrows Gone?
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Dana Gavanski is a Canadian singer-songwriter, of Serbian descent, resident in London. Her first record was released in 2017 and she is currently signed to Full Time Hobby in the UK, Ba Da Bing Records in the USA and Flemish Eye in her native Canada. Track below is Trouble.
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Note: biographical information gathered from Wikipedia.

Album covers

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Categories
Environment Reading

Sunday Reads

This week the primary focus is on climate justice. We begin with a working paper on transformative climate justice and end with a report on Extinction Rebellion. In between is a piece on COVID-19 the reopening of colleges and universities and an essay on squad wealth. Don’t know what that means, then definitely read that essay. I leave you with a podcast series recommendation on Indigenous languages in California.

Towards Transformative Climate Justice: Key Challenges and Future Directions for Research, a Working Paper published by the Institute of Development Studies in July 2020

It’s a long paper, but recommend reading the first 13-pages. “Mainstream discourses are increasingly framed around the recognition that climate change is fundamentally a question of justice, in terms of the responsibility for the problem and its mitigation; that vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change are both a reflection of, and exacerbate, structural injustices; and that there will be residual impacts beyond the capacity to mitigate and adapt or what might be deemed ‘tolerable’ impacts.”

COVID-19 and the Racial Equity Implications of Reopening College and University Campuses by Shaun R. Harper published in American Journal of Education (August 2020).

“COVID-19 forced many colleges and universities to suspend in-person operations in spring 2020. Students and instructors abruptly shifted to virtual learning and teaching, and most employees began working remotely during the global pandemic. Presented in this article are 12 racial equity implications for federal and state policy makers, as well as higher education leaders, as they consider reopening campuses across the United States.”

Squad Wealth by Sam Hart, Toby Shorin, Laura Lotti and published by Other Internet, August 2020

“Squads have existed for thousands of years as vital forms of social and economic organization. Thanks to group chats and a wave of private online social platforms, squads are reemerging today as a potent cultural force that rejects a strictly individualist market philosophy. Squads play a key role not only in internet community dynamics but in emerging economic networks. Hawala, chit funds, chamas and other forms of P2P savings or credit associations are notable precursors to the kinds of financial relationships we anticipate decentralized cryptocurrency protocols will soon enable.”

Fuzzy graph is SQUAD SPACE, the network of inner-zones.
This fuzzy graph is SQUAD SPACE, the network of inner-zones where digital microcultures are born: group DMs, Discords, Slacks, Keybases. Memes forged in SQUAD SPACE bubble out into the “clearnet” above, pwning NPCs on the internet of beefs. SOURCE: https://otherinter.net

As the West Burns, the Trump Administration Races to Demolish Environmental Protections. By Sharon Lerner. Published in The Intercept on September 19, 2020.

Polluters and their agents in government want to finalize as many environmental rollbacks as possible before the presidential election. This article covers a review of the last four years and highlighting what is taking place today.

A New Climate Movement? Extinction Rebellion’s Activists in Profile by Clare Saunders, Brian Doherty, and Graeme Hayes. Report published by Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity in July 2020.

“Extinction Rebellion set out to mobilise a new generation of activists. As our data shows, they have in part succeeded: participants in Extinction Rebellion’s two major actions in London in 2019 had notably little prior experience of protest action, and we encountered many first- time activists. At the same time, however, our socio-demographic profile of XR’s activists in the UK reveals a broadly familiar kind of environmentalist: XR’s activists are typically highly-educated and middle- class (and though our survey did not explicitly ask this, white); they identify politically on the Left; and they consciously adopt multiple pro- environmental behaviours in the course of their everyday lives.”

Podcast Series

Language Keepers created by Emergence Magazine. Series was launched on September 1, 2020.

Three episodes have been released so far in this 6-part podcast series. “Adapted from our award-winning multimedia story, “Language Keepers,” this six-part podcast series explores the struggle for Indigenous language survival in California. Two centuries ago, as many as ninety languages and three hundred dialects were spoken in California; today, only half of these languages remain. In this series, we delve into the current state of four Indigenous languages which are among the most vulnerable in the world: Tolowa Dee-ni’, Karuk, Wukchumni, and Kawaiisu. Along this journey, we meet and learn from dedicated families and communities across the state who are working to revitalize their Native languages and cultures in order to pass them on to the next generation.”


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Categories
Reading

Sunday Reads

This week’s reading covers TikTok, surveillance capitalism, California farmworks, California prisoners as firefighters, and facial recognition in the schools. Settle in a pick these pieces up in the coming week.

TikTok and the Evolution of Digital Blackface by Jason Parham published in Wired

“Minstrelsy thrives on TikTok, but the phenomenon goes back a long way. The earliest American iterations emerged in the 1840s as a form of entertainment and endured for more than a century. White people would darken their skin with burnt cork, greasepaint, or shoe polish and perform in variety shows. The musical acts, comedy sketches, and dances relied on stock characters, like Sambo and Zip Coon, to parade Blackness as laughably uneducated or as a target of humiliation.”

How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism by Cory Doctorow published in OneZero

Totally worth the 109-minutes of reading! A great writer and skilled writer about technology, copyright, and civil liberties. A sample, “Facebook is heralded as the origin of all of our modern plagues, and it’s not hard to see why. Some tech companies want to lock their users in but make their money by monopolizing access to the market for apps for their devices and gouging them on prices rather than by spying on them (like Apple). Some companies don’t care about locking in users because they’ve figured out how to spy on them no matter where they are and what they’re doing and can turn that surveillance into money (Google). Facebook alone among the Western tech giants has built a business based on locking in its users and spying on them all the time.”

An extraordinary summer of crises for California’s farmworkers by Alejandra Borunda published in National Geographic

“On the first day of the smoke, Villegas got a headache after a day working without an N95—with just her cloth mask and a cotton face covering she’d sewed from an old embroidered pillowcase, its bright flowers encircling her brow. On the second, her boss showed up with a box of N95s for the crew but said a single mask would have to last for four days. “Take it home and wash it,” Villegas recalls being advised. Everyone had laughed, knowing the masks wouldn’t hold up to water.”

Cameras in the Classroom: Facial Recognition Technology in Schools by Claire Galligan, Hannah Rosenfeld, Molly Kleinman, and Shobita Parthasarathy published by George R. Ford School of Public Policy at University of Michigan

This is a very long report (115-pages), so if you only have a little time then Executive Summary is only 6-pages. They write, “On the basis of this analysis, we strongly recommend that use of FR be banned in schools. However, we have offered some recommendations for its development, deployment, and regulation if schools proceed to use the technology.”

Can California’s Prison Firefighter Program Be Reformed from Rattling the Bars. California’s Conservation Camps put prisoners to work fighting climate change-fueled fires for pennies on the dollar.


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Categories
music

Music Wednesday

Five new tracks for you musical enjoyment. We start with multidisciplinary artist and pianist Duval Timothy, who splits his time between England (where he was born) and Sierra Leone. Followed by London-based Another Sky who draws influence from a favorite of mine–Talk Talk. French-Canadian electronic musician Marie Davidson joined by L’Œil Nu on this new release. Rival Consoles is the stage name of Ryan Lee West, an English electronic musician released on a favorite label of mine–Erased Tapes. We conclude with Vivian Kuczynski, a Brasil-based indie musician.

Next Tomorrow by Duval Timothy
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How Long? by Another Sky
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Renegade Breakdown by Marie Davidson & L’Œil Nu
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Vibrations on a String by Rival Consoles
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PELE by Vivian Kuczynski
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Categories
Justice Reading

Sunday Reads

This week I include topics such as the First Amendment in the context of booksellers, racism in Germany, online court hearings, the intersection of pollution, white supremacy, and the coronavirus, and last liberation theory in social justice education.

It’s Past Time for the Bookselling Industry to Reckon with Its Institutional Racism by Angela Maria Spring published in Literary Hub

This article piqued my interest because it explores the First Amendment in the context of booksellers along with a reference to libraries (my field). Spring writes, “As bookstores across the country field an unprecedented number of orders for anti-racism books, it’s time for the bookstore industry to face its own reckoning with white supremacy.” An important read for readers and librarians.

Books

Black Lives and German Exceptionalism by Eddie Bruce-Jones published in Verfassungsblog: On Matters Constitutional

An international perspective on white supremacy. In this case, the author is looking at comparisons between Germany and the United States. If you don’t know anything about circumstances in Germany, then this is the read for you. For example, Bruce-Jones writes, “Making a comparison to the German context seems absurd to some, given that the scale of police killings is much smaller in Germany. However, scale is not the most interesting point of comparison between the United States and Germany. In Germany, if a person is killed in a policing altercation, there is no ability by the family to bring a private (civil) action on behalf of that person.”

How Fair Is Zoom Justice? By Lauren Kirchner published in OneZero/TheMarkup

Learned something new with this one. For example, video bail hearings have occurred in some places for over 30-years. But what is the impact on those being charged? And what about the dehumanizing aspect of video hearings? Kirchner writes, “some courts have reacted to the pandemic by putting almost all operations on hold for now — and with it, defendants’ right to a speedy trial. There’s an enormous pressure for courts to start back up again, and the safest way to do that is either by video or phone. What technological substitutes courts allow vary from state to state and are changing every day.”

A Surprise Surge in Air Pollution May Be Causing More Coronavirus Complications by Robert Roy Britt published in Elemental

What happens when you cross white supremacy, climate crisis, and the coronavirus? We truly have a moment of interbeing with these three topics. They are interconnected and people are dying. Britt writes, “While we might believe that the pandemic lowered pollution everywhere, that in fact has not been true, and in some places pollution increased substantially because of this rollback.”

The Future of Social Justice Education: A Liberation Perspective by Victor Lee Lewis published in The Fearless Heart

I recently had the privilege of attending a East Point Peace Academy webinar with Victor Lee Lewis and I really appreciated what he had to share of teach. Much of his topic is covered in this article. It’s a short article and Lewis is looking to redefine social justice education. The foundation of which is the question: “Is this liberating?”