The Baffler,  September 21, 2016

Daily Bafflements

Bees, candles, and the crisis of capitalism



• In Civilization and Its Discontents, Freud describes the pre-historic man as a fellow who likes to get his jollies off by pissing on fire pits. “The first person to renounce this desire and spare the fire,” Freud explains, “was able to carry it off with him and subdue it to his own use.” So, too, with the $100 candle hooked up to the internet of things—he who subdues the fire with his app (n.b., this isn’t a euphemism, you perv) shall be able to put the wi-fi-enabled candle to his own use. This is what the internet looks like.

• Today in capitalism: Novum Pharma, an American drug company, has jacked up the prices on an ointment used to treat anything from acne to eczema to close to $10,000 a tube. 

• Can experience make death less terrifying?


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