I'm an entrepreneur and scientist. As an entrepreneur, I founded CardVine. As a scientist, I study evolution, ecology, genetics, and genomics. Learn more about me at http://ralphhaygood.com/.
On Ball Floaty
Although it's black instead of white, I kept expecting it to start smothering people, "Prisoner" style.
"I wrote back to Reput's founder and told him that his app was disgusting and a sign of the end times.": Thank you, Choire, although unfortunately, I expect we'll survive.
"Reputation is so contextual now that it just doesn't work anymore.": I have news for you, founder of Reput! Reputation IS contextual, intrinsically and inescapably, if only in the sense that some people's heroes are other people's villains. For example, is Texas Senator Ted Cruz a brave speaker of truth to power, or is he just another preening demagogue grifting the rubes? Cruz is what the polite press like to call a "polarizing figure," but the same phenomenon writ smaller is ubiquitous.
This is the fundamental implausibility of whuffie, the universal reputation system at the heart of Cory Doctorow's "Down and out in the Magic Kingdom". Humans are far too fractious for such a thing to be practical. It's also why I pay little attention to critics unless I know from experience they tend to share my tastes. And I pay even less attention to anonymous or pseudonymous reviewers on sites like Yelp.
"sex workers must prove that they have made an empowered choice": That really is darkly hilarious, as if most workers of other kinds have made "empowered" choices to be those kinds of workers, under any reasonable definition of "empowered." Most people have to choose among a few options, none of which is actually appealing but one of which must be chosen to stave off destitution.
On Website New
Plus, Ken Layne is contributing (e.g., http://bit.ly/Nxizty). I'm there!
Father Douthat is among the many "pundits" the tortuous meanderings of whose addled minds merit no attention except, perhaps, mockery.
True, everything ends in death and oblivion, but a good bowl of ramen dulls the pain a bit. The lack of same is something I used to regret about the otherwise fairly agreeable area where I live, but recently a place within walking distance of my apartment started serving excellent ramen about once a week. It's definitely helping to dull my pain.
On Meet The Awl
All I have to say is, THERE HAD BETTER BE BEAR VIDEOS.
On Chef Burnt
A sad sign of the disrespect to the reality in which all of us live, who can't bother to let go of his tribal bigotry and accept the presence of a black man in the White House, twice elected by ample margins. Pitiful indeed. Loathsome too.
I remember right-wing Kulturkämpfern (e.g., fundie pseudointellectual Francis Schaeffer) inveighing against "Last year at Marienbad". Admittedly, that isn't much of a distinction, since such people are pretty much equal-opportunity inveighers against the modern world. Still, it made me wonder if I should see the film, and now that you've reminded me of it, I think I'll try to do so.
"the fiction that the superstructure of our investment sector serves any useful economic purpose": But my dear Pareene, it *does* serve an eminently useful economic purpose - to Sorkin and the people he writes about. It seems unlikely most of these people could even get jobs, let alone get rich, outside the "investment sector". It isn't as though they have any socially useful skills like farming, medicine, constructing buildings, or even (I realize this is stretching things) programming computers (what I do for a living).