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.

9:07 – Mon 22 January 2024

A hand working at a laptop showing the message "You Are Not Connected to the Internet" in front of a Dragon Blood Tree
A hand working at a laptop showing the message "You Are Not Connected to the Internet" in front of a Dragon Blood Tree
Image credit: presumed Image by Noran Morsi for Global Voices, presumably made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license

The Socotri language straddling survival amidst the absence of technology from Global Voices

In the turbulent Yemeni seas, the ancient Socotri language fades amid the surge of Arabic dominance, the enduring war in Yemen since 2015, and the shifting winds of power in the region.

Hashtags: #Yemen #Language

Despite my by-now-well-documented interest in language preservation efforts, I find it absurdly comfortable to fall into the trap that the article points out, of forgetting that the Middle East and North Africa once contained a wide variety of cultures and languages that—similar to, but not quite the same as, English, Spanish, and Chinese around the world—Arabic has almost entirely displaced.

12:05 – Mon 22 January 2024

Quoted on Mastodon

In the midst of the fountain of wit there arises something bitter, which stings in the very flowers.


Hashtags: #Quotes

9:05 – Tue 23 January 2024

Image Not Shown: Collage from FOI documents

How Universities Bend Over Backwards to Accommodate Food Delivery Robots from 404 Media

The emails also discuss how ordering delivery via robot should become a “habit” for a “captured” customer base of students on campus.

Hashtags: #Education #Advertising #Health

I assume that you could probably already guess this, but I find this objectionable on almost every level. In college, I already had issues with a “meal plan” that handed money to a—in all fairness, not terrible—contracting company so that I’d have an obligation to eat their food. Handing that same money to a faceless corporation, now, who in turn uses it to buy fast food? That feels like a great way to have a cohort of extremely unhealthy college graduates and only enriching the wealthy.

12:06 – Tue 23 January 2024

Quoted on Mastodon

When you see a man elated with pride, glorying in his riches and high descent, rising even above fortune, look out for his speedy punishment; for he is only raised the higher that he may fall with a heavier crash.


Hashtags: #Quotes

9:04 – Wed 24 January 2024

Image Not Shown: An American flag overlaid on a screen of stock quotes

The Rich Own Nearly All Stocks. Here’s How We Level the Playing Field from OtherWords

Under this proposal, children would be provided with a $1,000 savings account at birth, with annual contributions up to $2,000, depending on family income.

Hashtags: #Wealth #Inequality

While I tend to believe that this will have less of an impact that heavily taxing the wealthy—because their wealth gives them disproportionate advantages, not to “make them pay their fair share”—and building public services to a point where one can get by with little income, this certainly helps, and causes less of a backlash.

12:07 – Wed 24 January 2024

Quoted on Mastodon

Through torrid tracts with fainting steps they go, / Where wild Altama murmurs to their woe.

Oliver Goldsmith

Hashtags: #Quotes

9:03 – Thu 25 January 2024

Image Not Shown: High angle view of stethoscope and American Dollar banknotes on colored background

Rising health insurance costs have ‘robbed’ American workers from Futurity

If ESI costs had remained the same proportion as in 1988, the average family with ESI could have earned $8,774 more in annual wages by 2019.

Hashtags: #HealthCare #Money

While this had already begun, I strongly objected to the Affordable Care Act on largely these terms. While the media tried to frame the national argument over “we shouldn’t require people to have insurance” versus “but some people can’t afford insurance and need it,” I saw it as handing the country off to an industry whose entire business model revolves around making things cost more than they should. And unfortunately, the modern Congress would never even consider a bill creating a publicly owned health insurance entity to compete, so the best move involved trying to simulate a “public option” through regulation.

I say all this to make the point that any solution to health care that involves privatized insurance will inevitably take as much money out of the economy as it can, because the vast majority of people can’t afford to go without.

12:02 – Thu 25 January 2024

Quoted on Mastodon

The good extend their loving care /To men, however mean or vile; / Even base Chándálas’ dwellings share / The impartial sunbeam’s silver smile.


Hashtags: #Quotes

9:02 – Fri 26 January 2024

A ceremony to punish people for heresy, called an ‘auto da fe,’ in the town of San Bartolome Otzolotepec, in present-day Mexico
A ceremony to punish people for heresy, called an ‘auto da fe,’ in the town of San Bartolome Otzolotepec, in present-day Mexico
Image credit: Unknown artist, public domain

Latin America’s colonial period was far less Catholic than it might seem − despite the Inquisition’s attempts to police religion from The Conversation

They created worlds of knowledge and faith often out of alignment with the strictures of Catholic doctrine. Many of these beliefs have persisted against the odds, surviving into the present.

Hashtags: #LatinAmerica #Catholicism #Inquisition

I find this history fascinating in that we (I imagine) presumably all know it already, but we don’t realize that we know it. For example, the end of the article points out Santería and Ifá as surviving practices, which if you don’t know a practitioner of either personally, you’ve certainly seen them represented in fiction. But we don’t associate the origins of those traditions with their history…until reading something like this.

12:01 – Fri 26 January 2024

Quoted on Mastodon

A man of pleasure is a man of pains.

Edward Young

Hashtags: #Quotes


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: An anti-abortion activist holds up a sign that read "We Dissent" in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 25, 2022, in Washington, DC

Since Roe was overturned, fewer Michigan adults want kids from Futurity

In late 2022, following the passage of Proposal 3, which protects the right to reproductive freedom, the Michigan Constitution was amended to protect access to abortion. However, Watling Neal explains, “That protection came only after a lot of uncertainty and legal chaos, which may have led potential parents to decide having children simply isn’t worth the health risks.”

This fits with the broader trend of people—for decades—wondering if they should risk having children in a world and society that don’t seem at all healthy. If some official might also want to throw you in jail for a miscarriage or needing to terminate an unviable pregnancy, that feels like it makes the decision far easier, as long as you haven’t prioritized child-rearing.

By the way, I question validity of the caption on the image. In late June 2022, what “anti-abortion activist” would have dissented from Alito’s anti-abortion screed disguised as a Supreme Court opinion? They got exactly what they wanted.

Content Warning: US Politics, Trump

Image Not Shown: Trump scowling and waving from a car door

Trump’s closing argument to New Hampshire: Presidents must be able to commit crimes from Daily Kos

“If you take immunity away from the president—so important—you will have a president that’s not going to be able to do anything,” Trump stressed. “Because when he leaves office, the opposing party—president, if it’s the opposing party—will indict the president for doing something that should have been good.”

Those “good” things, by the way, which Trump wants immunity for, include…

  • Defaming E. Jean Carroll.
  • Stealing secret documents and spreading the country’s nuclear secrets.
  • Taking bribes from foreign countries.
  • Extorting foreign countries.
  • Inciting an insurrection, because he didn’t like the outcome of an election.

I found Trump tiring before DC Comics based their then-new version of Lex Luthor on him, and can’t believe that I still need to deal with him in the media…

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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.