Sovereignty to octopi! / Karen
The Baffler,  October 10, 2016

Daily Bafflements

Moscow ditches Microsoft, anxiety in America, the case for octopus rights

Sovereignty to octopi! / Karen


• Moscow is replacing Microsoft technologies with local alternatives. At the beginning of the year, Evgeny Morozov commented in The Baffler that:

Even looking at the last decade alone, one can see that Russia has pursued a pro-American technology policy, inviting many Silicon Valley giants to set up shop in its own equivalent of Silicon Valley, Skolkovo. The war in Ukraine changed all that, with Russians reversing their efforts to integrate themselves into Western networks and institutions and instead rushing to lessen their dependence on American and European partners and reclaim their sovereignty—in finance and food, but also technology.

• Over at The New Republic, Chip Colwell mines the question of why corporations, but not natural features, have rights. In the current issue of The Baffler, Astra Taylor argued that:

The 2016 Republican Party platform stipulates “that man-made law must be consistent with God-given, natural rights.” The God the drafters refer to is one widely believed to have given mankind dominion over the natural world, not one who would deign to give the natural world rights. To give rights to oceans or octopi, then, would be (. . .) an affront to the “natural right” to property best personified today by the Republican Party’s new leader, real estate mogul Donald Trump. 

Baffler friend and contributor Neda Semnani interviews Ruth Whippman, author of America the Anxious, and they touch on many themes close to our steely heart: leaning in, depression, mindfulness, the self-help industry . . .

• “Trump calls up the Trump in people that don’t like him.”

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Further Reading

 October 11

The clowns are not only fundamental to our social institutions; they're literally in charge of them.

 October 10

A masterful narrative of the Greek debt crisis, Varoufakis's Adults in the Room makes a case for the revival of a humane internationalism.