As discussed previously, on Fridays, I present my weekly social media roundups. Note that toots 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, and I notice. Most have not, or I don’t notice. But I now add my commentary here, where I don’t feel restricted by message length.

diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week

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

9:06 – Mon 15 January 2024

Image Not Shown: A black and white illustration in an old book of a cloaked woman whose hands are folded in prayer.

From South Asia to Mexico, from slave to spiritual icon, this woman’s life is a snapshot of Spain’s colonization – and the Pacific slave trade history that books often leave out from The Conversation

From the late 16th to early 18th centuries, Spaniards forced some 8,000-10,000 captives onto rickety galleons, where they would endure a six-month odyssey from the Philippines to Mexico.

Hashtags: #Slavery

Everything about this story makes me want to learn more, honestly.

12:02 – Mon 15 January 2024

Quoted on Mastodon

Talents are best nurtured in solitude; character is best formed in the stormy billows of the world.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Hashtags: #Quotes

9:05 – Tue 16 January 2024

Image Not Shown: A collage of faked celebrity appearances

Deepfaked Celebrity Ads Promoting Medicare Scams Run Rampant on YouTube from 404 Media

The ads, their prevalence, and the fact that they are still on YouTube despite widespread outrage from YouTube users and some of the impersonated celebrities themselves show that AI generated scams and content is either overwhelming YouTube or that Google simply is not trying to protect its users from these scams.

Hashtags: #YouTube #SocialMedia #Scams

What, you say that a company has stopped protecting people from bad actors on their platform at the same time that they have taken action to stop users from protecting themselves? You’d almost think that they don’t care about users at all and only want the ad money…

12:07 – Tue 16 January 2024

Quoted on Mastodon

I shall ne’er be ware of mine own wit ‘til I break my shins against it.

William Shakespeare

Hashtags: #Quotes

9:02 – Wed 17 January 2024

Image Not Shown: A pro-trans-youth demonstration

Anybody who values democracy must stand up to attacks on trans rights from openDemocracy

Ohio has become the latest state to ban care for trans adults via prohibitive and absurd regulations, including the head-scratching provision that the care team for any trans individual must include a bioethicist.

Hashtags: #LGBT #HumanRights #Democracy

I’ll never understand the resistance to this idea: If we value equality among and governance by the people, then we fight for a pluralistic society or reject those values. You can’t find some compromise, where we only have a pluralistic society for the people who we already find comfortable.

No, you haven’t found a loophole to act badly. Pluralistic doesn’t mean accepting of abuse.

12:03 – Wed 17 January 2024

Quoted on Mastodon

The first forty years of our life give the text, the next thirty furnish the commentary upon it, which enables us rightly to understand the true meaning and connection of the text with its moral and its beauties.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Hashtags: #Quotes

9:03 – Thu 18 January 2024

Content Warning: Junk food

Image Not Shown: Open empty aluminum can top view on blue background

Sugary drink purchases fizzled after tax from Futurity

The price increase and purchase decreases appeared immediately after the taxes were implemented and continued to be sustained months later. At the same time, there was no evidence that consumers were traveling to bordering areas without sweetened beverage taxes to make purchases there.

Hashtags: #Health #Sugar #Taxes

I can remember when New York City rolled out its restrictions on sugary drinks. People swore that they would fight “the nanny state” by drinking even more soda, even if it meant buying multiple smaller drinks or carting in beverages from home on their commute.

It never happened. A couple of weeks in, it stopped coming up in conversation.

12:05 – Thu 18 January 2024

Quoted on Mastodon

Philosophy triumphs easily over past evils and future evils; but present evils triumph over it.

François de La Rochefoucauld

Hashtags: #Quotes

9:07 – Fri 19 January 2024

Image Not Shown: Light rail in downtown Kansas City, Missouri

The Case for Free Public Transit from OtherWords

Zero fares is a direct way to put cash in the pockets of those who need it most. Most of those who use ABQ RIDE are people of color, 74 percent are low income, and 73 percent don’t have access to a car.

Hashtags: #PublicTransit #Economy #PublicServices

Running public transit like a business has never made sense. By charging, you exclude people from using it. In excluding people from using public transit, you have lower ridership. With fewer riders, you need to cut back on service and probably also raise fares. And so, you end up with a system not only slower than driving, but also more expensive and more difficult to use.

Or rather, I should say that it has never made sense to treat public transit like a business unless you intend for it to fail.

12:01 – Fri 19 January 2024

Quoted on Mastodon

Wit and wisdom differ. Wit is upon the sudden turn, wisdom is in bringing about ends.

Catharine Selden

Hashtags: #Quotes

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.

Image Not Shown: Survivor of child exploitation, Creuza works to guarantee the freedom of other children with the same experience

Creuza Oliveira: The first domestic worker celebrated with the honorary doctorate in Brazil from Global Voices

Creuza Oliveira is an organic intellectual who managed to organize Black women throughout Brazil around the labor issue. Few doctors ensure that the knowledge they produce at the university has a social impact and can transform lives. Creuza has a doctorate because she has managed to lead the human rights of domestic workers, and the UFBA understands the importance of their struggle.

It feels good to see schools realizing that honoring people from different walks of life reflects far better on them than the alternative.

Content Warning: US Politics

Image Not Shown: Riot police approaching kneeling protesters with their hands raised in surrender

Republicans actually published a blueprint for dismantling our democracy. It’s called Project 2025 from Daily Kos

The new book calls for schools to literally ban terms in our language such as “gender equality,” “reproductive health,” and “reproductive rights.” It also calls to install “biblically-based ideologies” in all facets of our government, a clear violation of the First Amendment.

If you couldn’t read between the lines of Republican actions over the last few decades to see their goals, they have published a convenient handbook for you, so that you can see them say in black and white, that they want to treat women as second-class citizens, ethnically cleanse the United States, and replace “a government of the people, by the people, for the people” with a system to enrich themselves at your expense.

This shows their impotence, too, if you give it some thought. If they had much power left, they’d work quietly in the background to make things happen, continuing the same old gimmicks of manufacturing controversy in order to manufacture support. They’d play the “long game” of continuing to subvert state legislatures so that they can draw and redraw voting maps to lend themselves some legitimacy. Instead, they realize that their only chance of winning involves getting enough literal fascists to the polls—and scare away everyone else—so they’ll campaign on how much they hate this country, because you can’t use ethnic slurs and need to treat women like people, and then they’ll probably still need someone to cheat in the Electoral College, on top of that.

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