The Sims Scandal

But beyond criticisms of Sims’s tone, his tactics run counter to the desires of providers: Many health-care centers offering abortion services don’t actually want their supporters pushing back against protesters, a practice they see as counterproductive to patient safety.

This is a great point. To the women coming to the clinic, an angry, screeching guy doesn’t look helpful. He’s adding to an already fraught atmosphere.

Sims is a disgusting, self-aggrandizing poseur who tried to get social media likes without any concern for the women who come to the clinic in an already sad and desperate situation. Plus, filming outside a clinic is cruel. If he cared about these women, he wouldn’t do any of it.

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More SVU

SVU is being renewed, folks!

This week’s episode was based on Ilhan Omar and the Covington boys. The Covington boys turned Jewish, and Ilhan Omar became a closeted lesbian in the episode. Priceless!

I’m very glad it’s been renewed.

Surveillance Capitalism, 11

One of the most useful concepts Zuboff introduces is “the division of learning,” which is modeled on the foundational idea of capitalism: the division of labor.

The division of learning manifests when a robot is brought on to the factory floor, and workers have to unlearn making things and learn to operate the robot. Some can learn while the others are fucked.

The division of learning is when journalists mock these workers with “learn to code!”

The division of learning is in the fact that we have no idea what tech companies know about us and are unaware of how they purposefully modify our behavior using this knowledge.

The division of learning is that most of us are unaware that democracy is dying not because of some ridiculous Russia collusion or Barr’s testimony but because technology outpaces the slow and laborious march of the democratic institutions and makes them irrelevant.

Zuboff doesn’t say it in the part I’ve read so far, but it’s also in the formation of the cognitive elite. There was always a cognitive elite but it was formed by nature and chance. Now, on top of the differences created by nature and luck, we have consciously engineered ones.

Imaginatively and intellectually, we live in the world that is long gone. We spend tons of time bickering over the things that mattered in that dead world as if they still mattered. The division of learning is also this. Some people are aware that things have changed but most aren’t. Those who figured it out are leaving those who can’t in the dust.

And the saddest part to me is that people intuit what’s happening. The reason we keep hearing that our democratic institutions are in danger is because they are. Just from a different threat. The reason we keep obsessing about open borders is because they are already open. They are open to capital and these new surveillance giants.

We know what’s going on but we can’t articulate it correctly precisely because the division of learning is the basis of this new world.

Language Question

Folks, is the expression “wild capitalism” not used in English? I’m told to use “wild West capitalism” instead but that’s not at all what I’m trying to say. I know I’m using a calque from Russian but does it not exist in English?

I’m talking about the form of capitalism that exists in the post-Soviet space. It’s the primitive stage of accumulation. Would you use “wild capitalism” or something else?