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

Daily Bafflements

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

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Further Reading

 November 9

There was no quibbling over what item on the menu might be more digestible---Virginia voters just carted off the whole buffet.

 November 10

Yesterday’s twin reports on Roy Moore and Louis CK remind us that sexual assault and women’s inequality are still everyone’s problem.

 November 8

Martin McDonagh's "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" finds moral complexity where it needed moral certitude.