There seems to be a lot of low level ridiculousness in the news right now:
1. DeSantis hitching himself to Musk and Twitter for that inevitably glitchy rollout
2. Trump having cute little dress rehearsals for how to move boxes from Mar-a-Lago ahead of the FBI. (Also, Mar-a-Lago is such an anachronistic wonderful midcentury throwback of a name for a resort. Don Draper would definitely vacation there.)(I get that the dress rehearsals aren't actually cute. What the hell was his plan with these documents?!)
3. E. Messily sends along this piece on the guy who successfully sued Mike "MyPillow" Lindell for $5 million, after Lindell promised to pay anyone who could prove Lindell's election data was not valid. It turns out that it was easy to prove this.
If your country is going to go down in flames, it definitely happens a little more slowly when the other side keeps getting distracted by seeing how many marshmallows they can fit in their mouths and still be able to say "chubby bunny".
All I got is the stupid debt ceiling.
Somewhere I read the suggestion to put Trump's face on the trillion dollar coin, to make Republicans tie themselves up in knots over whether to oppose it or not. That's as good an idea as any.
Trolling on the square
I don't know if anyone here noticed, but Ukraine has sort of just invaded Russia a bit, which seems to have caught everyone rather by surprise...
(Also investment bankers are lazy wankers with baroque schemes to make money.)
These stories about how the California Central Valley is going to flood at some point this summer are really harrowing.
I don't have one at my fingertips - the articles about reaching a deal on the Colorado River just made me think about it.
Is it the type of thing where we know thousands of people will die, but it's too hard and unpredictable to coordinate disaster plans? Or is it the type of thing where there are coordinated plans in place, and we know lots of people will lose their livelihoods, but probably not be swept away in their beds in the middle of the night by a rush of water? Both are awful, but one gives me nightmares.
Mossy Character writes:
Training your replacement. (I've been meaning for years to invest in some puppet IDs and earn something on the side cheating. Procrastination, rewarded!)
Heebie's take: This article is fascinating!
For the past nine years, Collins, a 27-year-old freelance writer, has been making money by writing assignments for students in the U.S. -- over 13,500 kilometers away from Nanyuki in central Kenya, where he lives. He is part of the "contract cheating" industry, known locally as simply "academic writing." Collins writes college essays on topics including psychology, sociology, and economics. Occasionally, he is even granted direct access to college portals, allowing him to submit tests and assignments, participate in group discussions, and talk to professors using students' identities. In 2022, he made between $900 and $1,200 a month from this work.
Lately, however, his earnings have dropped to $500-$800 a month. Collins links this to the meteoric rise of ChatGPT and other generative artificial intelligence tools.
Side note: the website logo - "rest of the world", but decorated with little bells and whistles from non-Roman alphabets - seems tone-deaf within American culture, but I'm guessing connotes inclusivity elsewhere. I just think the semiotics of it is interesting.
Check Ins, Reassurances, and Concerns, 5/21
This is intended to be our system for checking in on imaginary friends, so that we know whether or not to be concerned if you go offline for a while. There is no way it could function as that sentence implies, but it's still nice to have a thread.
Episode Kobe sixty