In my latest podcast (MP3), I read my Globe and Mail column, Why do people believe the Earth is flat?, which connects the rise of conspiratorial thinking to the rise in actual conspiracies, in which increasingly concentrated industries are able to come up with collective lobbying positions that result in everything from crashing 737s to toxic baby-bottle liners to the opioid epidemic.
From climate denial to anti-vax to a resurgent eugenics movement, we are in a golden age of terrible conspiratorial thinking, with real consequences for our species’ continued survival on our (decidedly round) planet.
Ideas spread because of some mix of ideology and material circumstances. Either ideas are convincingly argued and/or they are delivered to people whose circumstances make them susceptible to those ideas.
Conspiracies aren’t on the rise because the arguments for them got better. The arguments for “alternative medicine” or against accepted climate science are no better than those that have lurked in the fringes for generations. Look up the 19th-century skeptics who decried the smallpox vaccine and you’ll find that anti-vax arguments have progressed very little in more than a century.
Reddit: Chandra Oppenheim’s story is one of the most innocent but interesting stories to come out of post-punk NYC. After glam moved into punk and punk moved into post-punk/new wave/no wave/noise/outsider disco/mutant disco/art punk/etc/etc, it was a musical free for all. So it makes sense that an unassuming 12-year-old from Brooklyn would enter the scene […]
Revenger, a fast-paced space opera by Alastair Reynolds with strong women as protagonists and few surprises certainly took my mind off things for a bit. Worldbuilding galore takes place in Revenger’s galaxy, a place littered with the detritus of humanity and other species. Kind of steam-punky and certainly the baubles offer a lot of ‘Roadside […]
Parasite director Bong Joon-ho drew out beautiful storyboards before rolling film. He’s combined his drawings and all of the movie’s dialogue into Parasite: A Graphic Novel in Storyboards coming out in May. In the videos above and below, Through the Viewfinder compared the storyboards and the scenes from the actual film. (via Kottke)
There are few things more satisfying than the clickety-clack of an old keyboard. So old, in fact, that it’s really more of a typewriter sound and feel than that of a keyboard. But if you want to enjoy the benefits of both, check out this Rymek Retro Bluetooth 3.0 Mechanical Keyboard. Bringing you an impressive […]
There are plenty of productive ways to spend time while stuck indoors. While it’s undoubtedly fun to binge all 15 seasons of Supernatural or sink days of playtime into an Overwatch campaign, learning something new is definitely a more meaningful and long-term beneficial use of open hours. And if you’re going to invest time in […]
If you’ve ever had any musical aspirations — or even if your talent extends no further than turning on the radio — you’ve probably dreamed the “impossible” dream. You dream that maybe you could record some of your songs at home, post them online, build an armada of fan support, attract major label attention and […]