A Royal Society for the Protection of Billionaires might be needed to battle the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. / USFWS Mountain-Prairie
The Baffler,  August 5, 2015

Daily Bafflements

A Royal Society for the Protection of Billionaires might be needed to battle the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. / USFWS Mountain-Prairie
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• What with so many futurists being white men, “the questions that many people face about their futures”—childcare, water-access, police brutality, and so on—“are lost in the futures being imagined,” argues Rose Eveleth over at The Atlantic. Perhaps white men are best placed to offer “the most optimistic vision” for days to come, but the optimists won’t prevail: “As systems collapse, currency, energy, the ability to get water, the ability to work, the future will increasingly belong to those who know how to hustle.” Our very own Monica Byrne, whose story “Gustus Dei” appeared in Baffler no. 27, has the final word.

• It’s your lucky day! Here’s an ad that writes itself for you, using a “Darwinian algorithm” to “evolve to be more and more effective”! It’s currently a little ropey, coming up with phrases such as “It’s late excellent blend time” and “Bahio is the new steam,” but on the other hand it’s still a super-ad, which has the potential to target twelve different people at once. Quoth the chief innovation officer behind it, “We’re not trying to be creepy.” Gotcha. (Via The Guardian.)

• Today in Billionaires: billionaire bird-lover Crispin Odey, who spent six figures on “‘Cluckingham Palace,’ a chicken coop in the style of a Greek temple,” has accused the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (R.S.P.B.) of launching a class war against the rich, because of their stance on grouse-shooting.

• Google is acting like our communal dad again, buying up patents in order to “prevent them from falling into what Google perceives as the wrong hands.” (Thanks, Vice!)

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Further Reading

 April 4

Official oversight commissions tend to perform all of the trappings of democratic accountability while rarely resulting in lasting reform.