Hasbro’s robot cat costs $99, a steal compared with these $5,000-dollar robot harp seals. / happysteve
The Baffler,  November 24, 2015

Daily Bafflements

Hasbro’s robot cat costs $99, a steal compared with these $5,000-dollar robot harp seals. / happysteve


• “Fast casuals,” fast food chains of a perceived higher quality, such as Chipotle, haven’t yet been the focus of movements like the Fight for $15, but that’s not to say they treat their employees any better than franchises like McDonalds. According to Helaine Olen, writing in The Atlantic, these supposedly holistic outlets are growing and their execs are the richest in the restaurant business—yet Chipotle’s data-driven targets for employees remain harsh, while the pay is low. Even the touted “internal mobility” at the company is a scam: a promotion to a managerial role means “an increase in work hours without the benefit of the overtime pay.”

• Looking for a backhanded gift to give an old person this holiday season? We’ve just the thing. This adorable robot cat, a “Companion Pet,” was developed for the senior market. As Professor Sherry Turkle writes, when we outsource the basic human need for company, “We are tempted to focus so much on whether you can get an elderly person to talk to a robot that you forget that . . . in the case of the robot no one is listening.”

• Airlines are gracelessly bowing to racist customers by kicking Muslims off their flights, so here’s a reminder that “You’re More Likely to Be Fatally Crushed by Furniture than Killed by a Terrorist.

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