For the future

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Freshness ever sacred

fig_bar

Here’s some marketing copy I read today on the back of a Nature’s Bakery stone ground whole wheat fig bar (raspberry):

“At Nature’s Bakery, our goal is simple: To give you the fuel you need to help power life’s great journeys. Oh yeah, and to make it–and your journeys–jam-packed with flavor. With Mother Nature’s blessing, we’ve created perfect harmony among some of her very best handiwork, holding freshness ever sacred.”

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Gonzo

I’m not sure what this Guardian piece is exactly, but it made me laugh in several spots. Here’s how it starts:

I wake up from my whiskey stupor to the scent of burning motherboards, and I know that something is wrong. Out the window in New York’s Financial District, two men in torn bespoke suits roast a body over an oil drum. It looks like Thomas Friedman’s, but I can’t be sure.

“Brother can you spare a bitcoin?” one screams.

In the distance, I see fire.

I haul myself up, wipe the cigarette ash from my hair, and put on a flak jacket made solely from Golden Parachutes. “War. Horror. Hatred. Death.” I say, to no one in particular. “Looks like I’m gonna get a fucking Peabody.”

“Reporting live from the frontlines of #NYSEDown!” I tell my phone cam. Then I run out the door.

Outside, I take in the scene: street preachers denouncing Gnosticism, a lone banker trying to garrote himself with ticket tape, and the Bull – that gold, beautiful bull – running through the streets like Zeus. I chase after it for a quote, but, like the dubious financial transactions powered by super-compressors, it is too quick.

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Human optimization

From Kristin Dombek‘s essay in the July 2015 issue of Harper’s Magazine. She’s referring here to The Happiness Industry by William Davies.

In Davies’s view, the language of good feeling and scientific utopianism are a cover for an older, more insidious goal: ‘a single index of human optimization’ that would reduce all human experience to qualities that can diagnosed, tracked, graphed, and, ultimately, controlled. The methods may be new, Davies argues, but this is what the architects of free-market capitalism have wanted all along.

The full essay is available on the Harper’s website (subscription required).

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