Punch. / Jamie
The Baffler,  December 29, 2015

Daily Bafflements

Punch. / Jamie
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• According to the Washington Post, Robert Atkinson of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation is, touchingly, “worried that books by people such as [Baffler contributing editor] Astra Taylor will create a thought contagion that will infect Washington policymaking.” Here are some of her ideas, Washington policymakers, if you’re reading! Tech punditry is “simplification with an undercurrent of sexism”; there’s a difference between “‘free’ as in beer” and “‘free’ as in serfdom”; and imagine a world where finance “invested in the community instead of always sucking money out.” You’re welcome.

• Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian are now “Living and Breathing Intellectual Property,” by Silicon Valley decree. The “personalization of media” is an “enduring trend”: 

Games like Glu’s megahit Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and the recently released Katy Perry Pop are made to mirror real life rather than a fictional story, and will be constantly refreshed and extended indefinitely . . . We’re looking to turn these games into permanent services.

That’s right, “services.”

• Evgeny Morozov and Baffler editor in chief John Summers are in Salon, discussing love, Ayn Rand, and “drinking the liberal Kool-Aid of global philanthropy.”

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Further Reading

 January 11

Enmity, rendered gamelike through this remove into the virtual, is the same as it’s always been, only now maybe even worse.

 January 11

For now, Iranians don’t seem to be telegraphing the need for or hunger to dismantle their government and rebuild it from the from the ground up.