Daily Bafflements

The BafflerMay 26, 2015
Copy of a Lamassu statue, like the one destroyed by ISIS in Nineveh. / stannate

Copy of a Lamassu statue, like the one destroyed by ISIS in Nineveh. / stannate

• George Clooney’s latest blockbuster Tomorrowland disappoints at the box office, and the Times diagnoses the flaws in its ambition: “Mr. Bird wanted to offer a more optimistic portrait of the future. But there is a reason studios continue to churn out dystopian fare.” That is, as Jeff Jarvis comments, on Medium, that “the people of today slurp up pessimism like éclairs.”

• Semifinalists in a tournament of Bafflements: 3D printing vs. ISIS, and Elon Musk vs. Larry Page. In the former contest, over at Vice, an artist is printing replicas of artifacts destroyed by ISIS: “3D printing itself relies on plastics derived from oil, Allahyari reminds us. As they respond to the barbarity of ISIS, her historical replicas are also a reflection of the sort of progress that has little use for history: the latest in technocapitalism’s obsession with the new, an obsession that never quite breaks from the destructive systems and practices of the old.”

• Today in Billionaires: The Sun is Setting on the Gilded age of Billionaires, long live the Second Gilded Age of Billionaires

• Smartphone and theme park conglomerate Samsung has heir-strengthening technology.