Things like climate change and inequality and fascism are not really “problems” — they are emergent processes, which join up, in great tendrils of ruin, each piling on the next, which result from decades of neglect, inaction, folly, blindness. We did not plant the seeds, or tend to our societies, economies, democracies, or planet carefully enough — and now we are harvesting bitter ruin instead.
Impeaching Trump or backing out of Brexit won’t solve our problems.
In both scenarios – impeachment or a second referendum – the suspicion of elites would become even greater, and the political alienation and economic marginalisation that contributed to it would still exist. That’s not a reason not to support them. It is a reason to be wary. In isolation, both actions seek to press pause on the post-crash period, and the stagnant wages, class calcification, escalating inequality and growing uncertainty that came with it, rather than pressing stop and changing the tune. [Source: Think we can rewind to the heady days before Trump and Brexit? Think again | Gary Younge | Opinion | The Guardian]
I have mixed feelings about the whole “resist” movement in the US because it’s so focused on stopping Trump instead of building something better and it’s hurting our ability to build something better by constant references to some imagined pre-Trump good time.
It wasn’t a good time and it’s not possible to go back.
Many progressives want a return to something like the Obama era, despite its massive harms with regards to war, civil liberties, and deepening economic inequality and its ineffectual movement on issues like healthcare and climate change.
We should push back hard against bad things the current administration is doing, but it isn’t going to matter if we don’t also push hard for different ideas.
I want to see less sputtering outrage, less looking at the last 25 years of Democratic neoliberalism with rose-coloured glasses, and more pushing for and building something new and awesome.
The movements and ideas are there, they just aren’t getting the kind of support the latest #outrage is. Being constantly on the defensive means the best we can hope for is what we’ve got now. And that’s not good enough.
I know people are mad about Trump. And with good reason. But it’s exhausting to use all that anger resisting because there doesn’t seem to be a way out, a way to something better.
AWS not only made OpenStreetMap planet data available on S3, but it also made it query-able with Athena. Pretty cool, no? Now, in theory, you can just construct an SQL query, send it to Athena, and then do whatever you want with the results. No more:
Updating OSM planet data yourself; it gets updated on AWS whenever OSM publishes it, once a week.
Transforming the data into a query-able format; Athena handles that for you.
Query/request frequency limits (it’s still AWS though, so other limitations might apply 💸 💸)
At door2door, we had a pretty straight-forward use-case for this: we needed to get buildings in specific regions based only on where they were, and transform those buildings into GeoJSON that we can attach our data to, and visualize on the front-end on top of our base map.
Can civilisation prolong its life until the end of this century? “It depends on what we are prepared to do.” He fears it will be a long time before we take proportionate action to stop climatic calamity. “Standing in the way is capitalism. Can you imagine the global airline industry being dismantled when hundreds of new runways are being built right now all over the world? It’s almost as if we’re deliberately attempting to defy nature. We’re doing the reverse of what we should be doing, with everybody’s silent acquiescence, and nobody’s batting an eyelid.”
The analogy with individual mortality is telling: most people refuse to acknowledge their own impending death in any meaningful sense. The brain cannot usefully grapple with it, so the thought is suppressed.
(That said, unlike programmed individual death in humans it is not completely clear that climate change will kill humanity entirely, just dismantle the current civilizational structure. The long term lifecycle of our potential descendants just rapidly turns into speculative fiction over that horizon: nobody knows how long they'll last, or how.)
What rich people don't like to do when they solve problems is talk about who did it. There's always this thing when I'm at every event I do, it's always like, "Okay, great. Yeah, yeah. But what are the solutions? Let's just move forward." [...]
I make the following analogy to people, which is, some kinds of problems are like engines that need to be tweaked. Right? And there are many problems that are analogous to that. You turn this dial, you turn this, you tighten that and you fix the engine. Other types of problems are like crime scenes. A crime scene is a very different kind of problem than an engine that's not working.
You don't show up at a crime scene and say, "You know what? Let's just move forward. What's done is done. Let's just solve this." Right?
That's a preposterous response to a crime scene.
A crime scene, it's entirely for the larger sake of preventing it -- for various forward-leaning goals -- you have to first look backwards. "Who did this? How did this happen? Where is the person who did this? How do we help the person to whom this has been done?" [...]
I just had this long argument on a podcast with Mark Zuckerberg, right? I kept saying, "And how do you feel about what you did?"
That was painful. Four times. [...] Four. We didn't edit anything. It was four times that I asked the same question.
"How do you feel about the deaths in Myanmar and India based on your creation?" "What we really want to do is fix the problem. We really want to get to solutions. I think getting to solutions is important."
I was like, "Yeah, I got that. But what was your fault here? What did you do wrong and how do you feel about that? How do you feel about people dying? Right? Dying?" "Well, you know, solutions are what is important to us. I think whenever there's a problem, there's a solution."
"Well, you caused the problem, so how do you feel about causing that problem?" And it went like that, it was four to five times. Finally, he goes, "What do you want me to say?" I said, "I want you to say, 'I'm sorry and I cannot believe that what I made did this and I feel sick to my stomach.'" I said, "You might start there. Not to give you any cues about what it was."
But the point I wanted to make there is they can't get there, they cannot get to that idea that they are at fault or take responsibility and contemplate what went wrong. They don't want to do that. [...]
It goes against the positivity that the elites like, the relentless positivity. And one of the things, I think asked Sheryl Sandberg onstage, "Who got fired for this?" She couldn't answer. "Well, we don't look at it that way." I'm like, "Why? People get fired for all types of things when they fuck up, and it seems like this is a fuck-up. Looks like a fuck-up to me."
And she wouldn't answer... Not wouldn't, couldn't. They don't think like that. "Well, that's not how we wanna... Well, let's just move forward with this." The concept of "The bill always comes due" never occurs to people.
It's hard to hear Zuck call Facebook a company. He always calls it a community. Like they're like a drum circle [when] nation state is closer to the reality. It's not just a verbal tic or a clothing thing. They understand completely what they are doing. By not being seen as power, they get to behave like babies. [...]
Emmett Carson said something very interesting. When he was at other foundations, he always talked about social justice and inequality, and those were his buzzwords. He gets out to the Valley, it's made very clear to him, very quickly -- I mean, he's a counselor to Zuck and all these others -- it's made very clear to him very quickly, drop this language. Social justice doesn't work, inequality ... You gotta stop talking like this. Talk about opportunity.
And I said, "What did you understand by having to cater and dance around these people's needs in the Valley?" And what he basically explained to me was they really want to help people, as long as, as you say, they're driving the ship. The help is voluntary. It's not the government compelling them to give money for programs the government decides about. It's them deciding where their money goes. They like to feel useful. They like to feel involved.
But can I tell you what those are the values of? Those are the values of a feudal culture.
This is feudal giving, right? I mean, to go back to where we started, when I used to travel to India as a child, the thing that strikes you is all these affluent families, they all have servants. And they all tell you, "Oh, our servant is just like family to us." The problem is the servant sleeps on the floor. There's no restrictions on their hours. They're not subject to any labor laws. Their passport is usually kept in a lock and key somewhere, which is the definition of human trafficking.
Pretty sure I have more regret for my prehistoric role in enabling the existence of Facebook than Zuckerberg ever will.