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Walkaway (Akron)

The new Akron, built on the site of the leveled buildings, refused to be a graveyard. The people who’d flocked to it to rebuild after the army and the mercs and the guardsmen had joined returning locals to build new kinds of buildings, advanced refugee housing straight out of the UNHCR playbook, designed to use energy merrily when the wind blew or the sun shone, to hibernate the rest of the time. The multistory housing interleaved greenhouses and hydroponic market-gardens with homes, capturing human waste for fertilizer and wastewater for irrigation, capturing human CO2 and giving back oxygen. They were practically space colonies, inhabited by some of the poorest people in the world, who adapted and improved systems so many other poor people had improved over the disasters the human race had weathered. The hexayurt suburbs acted as a kind of transition zone between default and the new kind of permanent walkaway settlement, places where people came and went, if they decided that Akron wasn’t for them.

– p. 553 Excerpt From Walkaway

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Happy Easter

Happy Easter from Church of St Pius X.

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Have free time, will bake

Recipe via Smitten Kitchen

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On to new adventures

Yesterday was my last day at ABB US Corporate Research. It’s been an incredible 9 years!

I’m taking a few weeks off. After that I’m ready for a new adventure as a Senior Software Engineer at UserVoice.

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The Controversial Process of Redesigning the Wheelchair Symbol – Atlas Obscura

“We really like the situation we’re in,” Glenney says. “It gives visibility to the context of people with disabilities. It keeps them ‘in the market’ of ideas, so to speak. Our symbol is most successful when it’s not fully legal—when there’s lots of wrinkles and questions.” As long as conversation channels are open, he says, there’s still the possibility for change even greater than the simple replacement of one blue and white sticker with another.

The Controversial Process of Redesigning the Wheelchair Symbol – Atlas Obscura

I love the idea that the success of this project is not in adoption but in conversation. It’s successful because it raises questions instead of answering them.

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From Tape Drives to Memory Orbs, the Data Formats of Star Wars Suck (Spoilers)

In other words, the archival system on Scarif appears to be designed in a deliberate act of sabotage by anti-Imperial archivists attempting to undermine Palpatine’s rule. Like Galen Erso, the archivists chose to remain embedded inside the Empire, and as their act of resistance, build the most useless, asinine archival system the galaxy had ever seen.

As part of their plan, they adopted a magnetic tape format, to maximize the size of the facility and make it necessary to manufacture massive amounts of interoperable technology to support the tapes. Given that the tapes are never seen before or after Rogue One, it may be that the archivists developed the tape format using military funding, in hopes that diverting money away from weapons and into a bad R&D project would, in the grand scheme of things, save lives. From Tape Drives to Memory Orbs, the Data Formats of Star Wars Suck (Spoilers)

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Slavery Made America

Picking up from yesterday’s readings on racism as a “done thing,” as a choice, these readings helped me understand why that choice was made and how essential it was to the American project. And if that is the case, if enslavement was essential, how could it be that its effects faded in 1860? Douglass says “a man is worked on by what he works on.” For 250 years, Americans worked on the breaking of people for profit. What I found, going forward, is that enslavement had worked on us too. You can see its ghost all over American policy, especially in the realm of housing.

And so the sources:

1.) Battle Cry of Freedom, by James McPherson
Just a beautiful read. One of my favorite books of all time, and a book that does not entertain Neo-Confederate dissembling.

2.) “The Civil War and Reconstruction,” David Blight’s lecture series
Blight is a great lecturer and covers the essentials of both periods.

3.) “The Economics Of The Civil War,” by Roger L. Ransom
This is a really short but essential read. Perhaps more than any article I’ve read it explains the forces that led us to war.

4.) The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, by Frederick Douglass
Just beautiful. Don’t just read this to understand enslavement; read it because it is an incredible work of literature.

5.) Out Of The House of Bondage, by Thavolia Glymph
I actually came to this after the reparations article was in the queue, but it crystalizes something that Douglass demonstrates–the horrific violence that was slavery. You can not divide the two. The Cliven Bundy fantasy of black people happily picking cotton, and living in two parent homes with food and shelter provided is the exact opposite of what slavery was. You can not plunder a people nonviolently Slavery Made America

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Lin-Manuel Miranda, Donald Glover, Issa Rae and Damien Chazelle in One Epic Conversation

GLOVER Nerdy is just liking stuff that takes work to like. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Donald Glover, Issa Rae and Damien Chazelle in One Epic Conversation

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My President Was Black

Pointing to citizens who voted for both Obama and Trump does not disprove racism; it evinces it. To secure the White House, Obama needed to be a Harvard-trained lawyer with a decade of political experience and an incredible gift for speaking to cross sections of the country; Donald Trump needed only money and white bluster. My President Was Black

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My President Was Black

There are no clean victories for black people, nor, perhaps, for any people. The presidency of Barack Obama is no different. One can now say that an African American individual can rise to the same level as a white individual, and yet also say that the number of black individuals who actually qualify for that status will be small. One thinks of Serena Williams, whose dominance and stunning achievements can’t, in and of themselves, ensure equal access to tennis facilities for young black girls. The gate is open and yet so very far away. My President Was Black