Mossimo Chossico writes:Guyana:
the Exxon deal will bring in $300 million in 2020, or about a third of the country's entire tax revenue, and surge to $5 billion by 2025.[...]"We don't have a culture of democracy," he says over a meal in one of Georgetown's many Indian curry houses. "The constitution is weak and open to abuse. Problems are swept under the carpet. It's frightening. All the elements of a resource curse are there."
Would you like to talk about:
1. Mission creep of fact-checking sites, and how they have an axe to grind and are biased against lefty ideas? It's particularly infuriating when someone pretends their agenda is actually a fact, and they're just the calm messenger reporting the news, and why are you getting so worked up about reality?
or would you prefer to talk about:
2. minor variations in gravity around the earth due to the varied densities of rocks found under a given spot?
When Missed Connections turns into Made Connection, for better or for worse.
I had absolutely no idea who the person was, despite the fact that the post said that we 'had a vibe.' Since I was still in my 'year of yes,' I replied and met him for a date. It turned out he was decades older than me, really wanted to talk about the LSAT, and was the intern who (famously?) sued Black Swan for not paying its interns. I ran the fuck away very quickly and then later looked him up and discovered he had become a corporate lawyer.
(It reads like she disapproves of his Black Swan lawsuit. I am not endorsing that, of course. Unless it is more complicated than "pay your interns" in which case I have no idea.)
Most of them are very mundane, but whatever, I found it fun.
The 100 worst ideas of technology-for-education of the decade. It's long (unsurprisingly, there's a 100 of them) but you can skim. It's depressing how many of these I'm familiar with.
Via one of you at the other place
Via Mossy, some weird media company run by Russians, operating out of Cyprus:
TheSoul's numbers are undeniably impressive. Its largest channels have millions of subscribers and billions of views, according to information publicly available on the YouTube channels themselves. As of Dec. 16, 2019, 5-Minute Crafts had more than 62.8 million subscribers, and a total of 16,648,886,677 views; Bright Side had more than 32.3 million subscribers and 6,286,157,368 views.
According to Tubular Labs, a company that provides insights into metrics for each brand creator, in November 2019, TheSoul Publishing had the third most views of any media and entertainment creator on YouTube and Facebook, behind only the Walt Disney Company and WarnerMedia. In October, it was fourth. And in November, 5-Minute Crafts was the second most viewed of any media and entertainment channel...It has also built an enormous Facebook presence--which is impressive given that the pages I have examined were all developed after 2015 and thus have had only a few years to attract an audience. For example, Bright Side, whose Facebook presence claims to have begun in June 2004--Facebook's transparency measures put the start date on July 2, 2015--has more than 44 million followers. By contrast, the New York Times's Facebook page has a comparatively paltry 16 million followers. Lawfare's meager Facebook page has just over 24,000 followers.
It's got some creepy political stuff along side the tidal wave of semi-nonsensical arts and crafts and self-improvement tips.
I feel like this is likely to have an almost Darwinian explanation: it exists because it can, and it expands to fill all possible crevices with its squirmy little fractal-like tentacles. So it's got nefarious political content insofar as nefarious political content gets clicks.
Nworbie writes: TS Eliot was miserably married for decades to Vivenne Haigh Wood, who died in a lunatic asylum. Late in life he married his secretary, the gorgon Valerie, who made him profoundly happy. Between those two marriages, his muse was apparently an American woman, Emily Hale, whom he had known as a young man at Harvard, before he came to England in 1912.
The two resumed contact in the Thirties, when he spent a year as a professor at Harvard, and she, it's clear, fell in love with him. He strung her along, or he thought he was also in love with her -- it's now disputed. They corresponded for thirty years but her letters to him were burnt. His to her have just been opened -- she gave them to the library at Yale.
Along with his contemporaneous letters is an explanatory note that he insisted should be added once he learned that these letters would all be published some day. It is remarkably chilling. He says in it that he never loved her, only the man he might have been had he not married Vivienne. He says they never had any sexual relationship; that she never understood his theology or his religious objections to divorce, or even his poetic nature.
I think that all I wanted of Vivienne was a flirtation or a mild affair: I was too shy and unpractised to achieve either with anybody ... To her, the marriage brought no happiness: the last seven years of her life were spent in a mental home. To me, it brought the state of mind out of which came The Waste Land. And it saved me from marrying Emily Hale. Emily Hale would have killed the poet in me; Vivienne nearly was the death of me, but she kept the poet alive. In retrospect, the nightmare agony of my seventeen years with Vivienne seems to me preferable to the dull misery of the mediocre teacher of philosophy which would have been the alternative.
Upon the death of Vivienne in the winter of 1947, I suddenly realised that I was not in love with Emily Hale ... So long as Vivienne was alive I was able to deceive myself. To face the truth fully, about my feelings towards Emily Hale, after Vivienne's death, was a shock from which I recovered only slowly. But I came to see that my love for Emily was the love of a ghost for a ghost, and that the letters I had been writing to her were the letters of an hallucinated man, a man vainly trying to pretend to himself that he was the same man that he had been in 1914 ... Gradually I came to see that I had been in love only with a memory, with the memory of the experience of having been in love with her in my youth. Had I met any woman I could have fallen in love with, during the years when Vivienne and I were together, this would no doubt have become evident to me. From 1947 on, I realised more and more how little Emily Hale and I had in common. I had already observed that she was not a lover of poetry, certainly that she was not much interested in my poetry; I had already been worried by what seemed to me evidence of insensitiveness and bad taste. It may be too harsh, to think that what she liked was my reputation rather than my work. She may have loved me according to her capacity for love
So, I was talking about this with the woman I love, and she thought it was a terribly shocking and heartless letter. I said this didn't matter at all. What hurt he could have caused her he did while she was alive and they've both been dead for fifty years now. What matters now is whether it was true: whether he had in fact felt and acted as he now describes. Of course it was cold and heartless — life is cold and heartless — and every writer needs a splinter of ice in his heart that will resonate like an aerial on that frequency. My ex wife used however to snarl at me that every writer has a splinter of hatred in his heart.
So — how much charity do we owe the dead? How much do we owe to our past selves? When does truth telling fade into self-justification?
Heebie's take: All three of these questions seem to imply a single clarity exists when assessing one's emotional state, either currently or retroactively. But really, the human condition is to have several simultaneous emotional states which just coexist and sometimes conflict.
So here are my answers:
How much charity do we owe the dead?
- Not much. They're dead. But we can still appreciate the context that mitigated the bad act.
How much [charity] do we owe to our past selves?
- It depends if you're still making the same mistake, or if you've outgrown it. I have a theory which I call "the uncanny valley of past selves" which is pretty self-explanatory. When you grow and change just a little bit, you feel repulsed by your past self that lands in the uncanny valley. That's the self that you're likely to be least charitable towards. But as you keep changing and get a little more distance from that past self, you can regard it more fondly. The hostility you feel towards your past self stems from whether or not you have enough distance and perspective on the former bad behavior. It is good to get to a point where you can be charitable with your past self (without excusing the bad behavior).
When does truth telling fade into self-justification?
- These things coexist. All the narratives that we attach to reality aren't wrong, but they're not complete, because we can't really hold all possible narratives in our head.
Eliot may very well be completely correct in his cruel letter and have been in love with Emily for at least part of their affair. We ebb and flow from day to day, and when you look back in hindsight and look for trends, you're picking out sample days that have similarities. That doesn't mean that there's not a different selection of sample days that lend itself into a whole different story. The story you tell blends your current perspective with your choice of sample days.
So: when does truth telling become self-justification? When your sample days become too cherry-picked. Who gets to determine when this has happened? Probably no one, or maybe someone else who was there, who has their own axe to grind. These things sure can be messy.