As discussed previously, this is my weekly Twitter roundup. Note that tweets of articles generally include header images from the articles, which I don’t include here unless their creators happen to have released them for use under a free license. Most have not. But I now add most of my commentary here, where I don’t feel restricted by the message length.

diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week

I also don’t generally attach pictures to posts with quotations.

9:02 – Mon 06 June 2022 🔗

Nicaraguan government outlaws feminist groups serving vulnerable people from openDemocracy

President Daniel Ortega’s regime has outlawed 267 NGOs since 2018, including 40 women’s groups serving vulnerable groups, according to the Mesoamerican Women Human Rights Defenders Initiative. Many of them were affected by a 2020 law that forced any group receiving funds from international donors to register as a “foreign agent”.

This story shows the “policy laundering” of the global right. Many members of the Trump administration have gotten disciplined for actually serving foreign organizations without declaring it. Their peers in authoritarian regimes around the world learned from that, and—probably starting with Russia—has begun harassing its enemies to register as foreign agents, which often requires onerous disclaimers when interacting with the public. As Republicans hope to regain power over the next few years, they will surely bring this idea back to the United States, forcing every media outlet with even a single overseas viewer to identify themselves as foreign, all to stoke fear against their opposition.

12:01 – Mon 06 June 2022 🔗

What Art really reveals to us is Nature’s lack of design, her curious crudities, her extraordinary monotony, her absolutely unfinished condition.

Oscar Wilde

9:05 – Tue 07 June 2022 🔗

Overcoming the Distorted Narrative of Christian Nationalism from OtherWords

It led many of us to blame other struggling people — across race and religion — for our own legitimate suffering.

One of the most important realizations about history revolves around how Christianity compromised itself and rejected its own lofty principles in its expansion, particularly the push to attract and convert leaders. Legends around the Battle of Tolbiac say that Clovis swore that he would convert to Christianity, if its God would help him split his enemies’ skulls.

His conversion meant rapid spread across the now-French landscape, but it also meant allowing the Christian God to serve as a war-god. Support of the divine right of kings concept means explicitly rejecting equality. The church rarely even fights against anti-Semitic tropes about the execution of Jesus in its own ranks, except for a couple of Popes or other leaders mentioning it occasionally.

Christians need to come to terms with this and work to reform it, if they want people to take them seriously.

12:04 – Tue 07 June 2022 🔗

Without a master, without a model, without a guide, without artifice, I go to work and earn my living, my well-being, and my fame. What do I need more? With a goose quill and a few sheets of paper I mock the universe.

Pietro Aretino

9:03 – Wed 08 June 2022 🔗

Internal Documents Show Amazon’s Dystopian System for Tracking Workers Every Minute of Their Shifts from VICE Motherboard

A set of guidelines for TOT reveals that Amazon asked managers at JFK8 in 2019 to use a tracking tool every shift to identify a “top offender,” the person who accumulated the most time off task in a shift as calculated by inactivity on their item scanner.

While this extrapolates beyond the story, the companies that monitor information like this almost never make it available to employees, often hypocritically citing privacy. This secrecy allows them to lie about the data. A manager merely needs to report someone—a union organizer, say, or an employee whose identity the manager doesn’t approve of—as a top offender, and they (in their eyes) they can magically skirt all the inconvenient laws that prevent them from firing people vindictively.

12:02 – Wed 08 June 2022 🔗

What after all, has maintained the human race on this old globe despite all the calamities of nature and all the tragic failings of mankind, if not faith in new possibilities, and courage to advocate them.

Jane Addams

9:01 – Thu 09 June 2022 🔗

House sales are cratering but inventory is soaring from Pluralistic

Without exception, every older person I talked to about the housing crisis — for that’s what it was! — was convinced that they were the second coming of Warren Buffet, a genetic sport born with the mutant power to unerringly spot underpriced homes.

As someone who, in my personal life, has screamed about this for almost twenty years, it both disappoints me to have proven correct and heartens me that other people can finally say this with a larger platform.

Whenever someone tells you that “prices always go up,” they mean that they need you to buy something to drive up the value of what they own.

12:05 – Thu 09 June 2022 🔗

You can tell the values of a nation by its advertisements.

Norman Douglas

9:04 – Fri 10 June 2022 🔗

The Economist draws fire after criticizing independent media in Myanmar from Global Voices

It cited the junta’s unprecedented military losses in the field, the low number of new army recruits, the difficulty in collecting tax payments from citizens opposed to the coup, and the growing number of multinational companies withdrawing from the country.

One day, humans will recognize that corporations function as authoritarian regimes, with workers who follow the leaders’ whims or risk exile. A particular CEO might have slightly more sensible whims, and that whim might permit some dissent, but we build the entire model around the idea that one person directs the rest. I assume that we don’t recognize it, yet, because it keeps surprising people that corporate-owned media keeps “accidentally” siding with authoritarians.

12:03 – Fri 10 June 2022 🔗

And reaching up my hand to try, / I screamed to feel it touch the sky.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Bonus 🔗

Because it accidentally became a tradition early on in the life of the blog, I drop any additional articles that didn’t fit into the one-article-per-day week, but too weird or important to not mention, here.

Tree of life from Wellcome Collection

No doubt the healthy, natural connotations of a blooming tree fitted with the worldview of people who were promoting selective breeding.

I enjoy retrospectives like this. Tree symbolism feels intuitive, but it also implies many ideas that go in terrible directions.

Credits: Header image is Circular diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week from a manuscript drafted during the Carolingian Dynasty.