Yep. Surveillance capitalism is about to achieve its greatest victory with extreme ease. All that it needed to do was get the Bezos-owned newspaper to publish daily articles about “a scary virus,” and people lined up to get surveilled, controlled, traded, and modified.
It’s profoundly gratifying that there are two actual leftists – Wolf and Greenwald – who don’t eagerly fellate the big tech.
I’ve been socializing so aggressively that today was the first time in ages that I had a chance to enjoy a few tranquil hours, alternating between reading, bullet journaling, and doing the laundry. These are my most restful activities and I should engage in them more often.
The aggressive socializing hasn’t anything to do with COVID but, rather, with suffering a very painful betrayal by two friends and beginning to fear that I had lost the knowledge of how to make friends. Yes, it happens to us, older people, too.
“Equity is a very much better principle than equality.”
– Margaret Thatcher, 1969. And again, 1975.
I don’t think that the girls who killed Mohammed Anwar should go to jail. They are children. They are not responsible.
But their parents should absolutely be put in jail. If they are already there, whoever had custody of the children should go to jail.
The people online who go on about how a 13-year-child deserves the death penalty are deeply damaged, profoundly infantile individuals. I saw quite a few of such comments today, and they are uniformly disgusting. But it’s not news that there’s a large part of society that doesn’t understand the concept of childhood. These are, after all, the people who sacrificed the interests of a whole generation of children to the COVID hysteria of the middle-aged.
Initially, students were denied a chance to evaluate our teaching “because COVID.” Even though nobody lowered their tuition “because COVID,” their opinion on the quality of the product they were paying for suddenly stopped mattering “because COVID.”
When the fiction of canceling student evaluations of teaching became hard to maintain, the new excuse arose. It’s racist to let students evaluate our teaching. And not just now but in perpetuity. Why is it racist? Well, why is hiking racist? Or pumpkins? Because it’s convenient to say so.
As a result, we can confidently declare that students love our Zoom teaching but we never have to ask any actual students. It’s a nifty system.
And the worst part is that this was all announced beforehand. In 2011 the Illinois Board of Higher Education described exactly the education system that exists today. One or two in-person schools statewide for those who can afford them. Online learning you can do “in the car or in your pyjamas” for everybody else.
In 2011 there wasn’t the bandwidth needed to carry this out. But everybody knew the bandwidth was going to appear soon.
Then it appeared, and we are where we are.
For almost a decade I was pestering everybody in sight with this IBHE plan. Everybody shrugged and told me I was exaggerating. Now we are all living it but people still refuse to see what’s going on.
Not a single person in academia I talked to understands how saying that we can teach as effectively online will lead to the outsourcing of our jobs. The threat of outsourcing is not discussed in professional meetings or publications. Instead, everybody blathers on stupidly about “anti-racism” and “whiteness.” And makes plan to continue teaching online permanently.
I went out with a visiting scholar from Nigeria yesterday. When I told him about the job conditions of American academics, his jaw dropped. He had no idea such paradise existed. There are so many talented, wonderful people on the planet who would slaughter for what we have.
And we are pissing it all away because it’s too much of a hardship to show up on campus for a couple of hours a couple of times a week.