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“We are still at a point that emoji semiotics are extremely malleable and where meaning can be actively created. This is especially true where the gaps between Japanese and Western culture have created a vacuum between original intent and subsequent interpretation, leading to a corral of seldom-used emojis, ready to have new meaning assigned to them.”
The problems of understanding cunnilingus in the Middle Ages: “This constant emphasis on the male experience is all we have to try and see the full range of sexual experience.”
NOW THEN: an extraordinary piece by Adam Curtis on the history of surveillance, computing, AI, crime prediction and a great deal else. I’ve read it three times looking for a key quote and it’s too enmeshed to produce one. You should read it.
“The reason sickness is undesirable is not that it causes distress or discomfort but that it results in what is often called “lost productivity”. This is a sinister and absurd notion, predicated on the greedy fallacy of counting chickens before they have hatched. “Workplace absence through sickness was reported to cost British business £32bn a year,” the researcher claimed in Metro: a normal way of phrasing things today, but one with curious implications. The idea seems to be that business already has that money even though it hasn’t earned it yet and employees who fail to maintain “productivity” as a result of sickness or other reasons are, in effect, stealing this as yet entirely notional sum from their employers.”
Law of unintended consequences: Key-copying apps, designed to help you out by storing backups of your keys in case you get locked out, are also a potential boon for burglars.
The Darkness, an excellent comic drawn in 24 hours.
Pathfinder’s new iconic shaman is a badass trans dwarf woman.
“what tech-focused people often see of the games industry is the ugly side — for example, the rampant misogyny of mainstreams game developers, thoroughly illustrated by Anita Sarkeesian’s series Feminist Frequency. In response, there are frequent calls for better representation (of women, people of color, queer people, etc) in games — but what we often miss is that these people are, themselves, making games, which usually do include such representations — but which all too often go ignored or financially unsupported” – the missed connections between tech feminism and videogame zinesters
Tumblr of the week: Annals of Nope
Poem of the week: not one of my choosing, this week; instead I’m going to direct you to Ars Poetica, a new twice-weekly email of hand-picked poetry by a friend of mine.