A-frame in Dydiówka, Poland.
Contributed by Katka.
When I close my laptop, it goes to sleep. It’s a curiously domestic metaphor but it also implies that sleep in humans and other animals is just a kind of low-power standby mode. (Do computers dream of electric sleep?) Last year, Apple announced a twist on this idea: a new feature for the Mac operating system called “Power Nap”. Using Power Nap, your computer can do important things even while asleep, receiving updates and performing backups.
The name Power Nap comes from the term describing the thrusting executive’s purported ability to catch a restorative forty winks in 20 minutes but the functioning of Apple’s feature symbolically implies a yet more ultra-modern and frankly inhuman aspiration: to be “productive” even while dozing. It is the uncanny technological embodiment of the dream most blatantly sold to us by those work-from-home scams online, which promise that you can “make money even while you sleep”.
Sleep, indeed, is a standing affront to capitalism. That is the argument of Jonathan Crary’s provocative and fascinating essay, which takes “24/7” as a spectral umbrella term for round-the-clock consumption and production in today’s world. The human power nap is a macho response to what Crary notes is the alarming shrinkage of sleep in modernity. “The average North American adult now sleeps approximately six and a half hours a night,” he observes, which is “an erosion from eight hours a generation ago” and “ten hours in the early 20th century”.
Back in 1996, Stanley Coren’s book Sleep Thieves blamed insufficient rest for industrial disasters such as the Chernobyl meltdown. Crary is worried about the encroachment on sleep because it represents one of the last remaining zones of dissidence, of anti-productivity and even of solidarity. Isn’t it quite disgusting that, as he notices, public benches are now deliberately engineered to prevent human beings from sleeping on them?
While Apple-branded machines that take working Power Naps are figured as a more efficient species of people, people themselves are increasingly represented as apparatuses to be acted on by machines. Take the popular internet parlance of getting “eyeballs”, which means reaching an audience. “The term ‘eyeballs’ for the site of control,” Crary writes, “repositions human vision as a motor activity that can be subjected to external direction or stimuli … The eye is dislodged from the realm of optics and made into an intermediary element of a circuit whose end result is always a motor response of the body to electronic solicitation.”
You can’t get more “eyeballs” if the people to whose brains the eyeballs are physically connected are asleep. Hence the interest – currently military; before long surely commercial, too – in removing our need for sleep with drugs or other modifications. Then we would be more like efficient machines, able to “interact” with (or labour among) electronic media all day and all night. (It is strange, once you think about it, that the phrase “He’s a machine” is now supposed to be a compliment in the sporting arena and the workplace.)"
Mana Shim as the Mona Lisa
Part of today’s end-of-season tifo, before the Thorns beat seattle 1-0 to clinch a playoff spot. Traditionally the TA/RCR do player-specific tifo for the last game of every season (remember the Simpsons tifo? like that), and this was one of the best I’ve ever seen. After the game the fans give the players each their own banner (here’s Kat Tarr with herself as Rosie the Riveter).
Excellent work by all the Riveters who made this happen - and what a treat they beat s—tle and made the playoffs too! :)
Starting to feel like ninety one thousand damn degrees outside? We got you. Chill the fuck out with a big ass cup of this tropical treat. All you need are five fucking ingredients and a blender. You should be able to handle that shit even if it feels like the world is melting.
PIÑA COLADA ICE CREAM
Makes about 1 ½ pints, enough for 2-3 sweaty motherfuckers
3 cups of frozen pineapple*
1 frozen banana, broken into chunks
1 ½ cups canned coconut milk
1 tablespoon liquid sweetener like agave or maple syrup, whatever you got
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Throw everything in a blender and run that shit until it’s all smooth. Pour it into a loaf pan or similar shaped container and smooth it all around so it’s even. Don’t go freezing some uneven chunky bullshit and waste everybody’s time.
Cover and place in the motherfucking freezer until it is nice and solid, at least 5 hours depending on how shitty your freezer is. You know what the fuck you should do with ice cream after that. This is best eaten the first day or two after it’s made because it can get harder to scoop the longer it sits. But no doubt you or your roommates will get after it long before then.
*about one 16 ounce bag
Multiple videos have been posted online showing what uploaders described as hockey fans destroying a Los Angeles Police Department drone outside the Staples Center Friday night after the LA Kings won the NHL’s Stanley Cup.
Riot police were called in to break up what the LA Times described as a “melee” outside the arena following the King’s victory over the New York Rangers.
In one clip posted online, a drone can be seen hovering over the crowd of hockey fans before it was knocked out of the sky by people throwing shoes and clothing.
Hockey fans can be heard chanting, “We got the drone! We got the drone!”
And that’s how you take out a drone.
"I suspect that most peace building efforts don’t end up helping very much, and all the experienced peace workers I’ve spoken to agree. If this seems harsh, consider that there are good reasons to believe that much international aid is ineffective, and quite plausibly that a wide range of non-profit work in general is ineffective. Preventing or resolving violent conflict is probably even harder than those things.
"There seems to be very little solid evidence that conflict resolution work does any good at all — certainly not anything up to the standards of a controlled study, because you can’t really do a controlled study in conflict areas. You go in and try to stop the violence because not attempting to stop it would be unethical (assuming, of course, you Do No Harm.) Then the violence diminishes or it does not. But there is no counterfactual to compare against. That is, we don’t know what would have happened had we done nothing."
If you use Netflix, you’ve probably wondered about the specific genres that it suggests to you. Some of them just seem so specific that it’s absurd. Emotional Fight-the-System Documentaries? Period Pieces About Royalty Based on Real Life? Foreign Satanic Stories from the 1980s?
If Netflix can show such tiny slices of cinema to any given user, and they have 40 million users, how vast did their set of “personalized genres” need to be to describe the entire Hollywood universe?
This idle wonder turned to rabid fascination when I realized that I could capture each and every microgenre that Netflix’s algorithm has ever created.
Through a combination of elbow grease and spam-level repetition, we discovered that Netflix possesses not several hundred genres, or even several thousand, but 76,897 unique ways to describe types of movies.
thefirmamentblog said: What's the most distressing issue about our modern human condition that your Sci-fi extrapolation (in fiction or comics) can alleviate?
That’s not what sf, or any fiction, is really for. I had this conversation the other day with a friend. I’m currently of the position that art isn’t effective when it seeks to provoke either hope or despair: that the most art can aspire to do is tell you that you’re not alone.