I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me [WaPo]
L.A. police officer in Washington Post op-ed proudly declaring what he says is the mindset of most cops:
Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me.
So.. there’s that.
GEORGE MILLER 1981
IMDb / Amazon
Email Is Still the Best Thing on the Internet [Atlantic]
Email is actually a tremendous, decentralized, open platform on which new, innovative things can and have been built. In that way, email represents a different model from the closed ecosystems we see proliferating across our computers and devices.
Email is a refugee from the open, interoperable, less-controlled “web we lost.” It’s an exciting landscape of freedom amidst the walled gardens of social networking and messaging services.
Email: still the best thing on the internet, indeed.
GEORGE MILLER 1979
IMDb / Amazon
Political advice bestowed on Richard Nixon by Nikita Khrushchev:
If the people believe there’s an imaginary river out there, you don’t tell them there’s no river there. You build an imaginary bridge over the imaginary river.
Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert [Guardian]
The popular red meat requires 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, 11 times more water and results in five times more climate-warming emissions. When compared to staples like potatoes, wheat, and rice, the impact of beef per calorie is even more extreme, requiring 160 times more land and producing 11 times more greenhouse gases.
GOTZ SPIELMANN 2008
IMDb / Amazon
Inequality Begins at Birth [NYRB]
Inequality in America begins at birth, or, for those born to women who are ill during pregnancy or do not have adequate prenatal care, even before. Through no fault of their own, up to one quarter of American children start off well behind, and another quarter live in families that earn only twice the poverty line—about $48,000 a year for a family of four. Armed with the unambiguous findings of twenty-first-century neuroscience, we can no longer just tell children raised poor to study harder and find jobs as they grow up.
This Jeff Madrick essay on inequality is profound. I urge you to read it (and re-read) twice.
The upshot is that in the twenty-first century, our species will be subjected to global water torture: alternately raising unaffordable dikes to hold it back, then desperately trying to coax it from any possible source. But like topsoil, there is no practical way to create more fresh water. Removing salt from seawater – the result of millions of years of rain and runoff dissolving rocks en route to the sea—is undercut by the cost of the energy required, and defeated by the distance that separates most arable land from the oceans. Desalination may be the most literal example of how the technological species that we’ve become stands in defiance of nature: As University of California–Santa Cruz Director of Integrated Water Research Brent Haddad told the Santa Cruz Sentinel after a seven-year study of the economic and ecological effects of desalination, “We are reversing the water cycle that has flowed in one direction since the beginning of Earth.”
Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? [Amazon]