An indisputable upshot. / Roger W.
The Baffler,  September 10, 2015

Daily Bafflements

An indisputable upshot. / Roger W.


• Happy George Scialabba Day! Today we celebrate the man sometimes known as “the People’s Republic’s answer to Harvey Pekar,” whose boxes of papers, written “when not busy scheduling room usage or checking on the progress of air-conditioning repairs,” are currently sitting in the Baffler office.

• Over at the LRB, John Lanchester compares the Wright brothers and Elon Musk: “There are a number of suggestive parallels between Musk and the Wrights, beyond the obvious ones to do with an interest in flight.” He takes in their “unusual tolerance for risk,” but draws a line: “the sheer scale of the capital and resources deployed in Musk’s businesses shows just how hard it is to innovate fundamentally in these industries. Two tinkerers changed the world with an invention they knocked up in their spare time in a workshop. Musk deploys tens of billion dollars in capital and a huge amount of brainpower and gives a lot of pleasure and entertainment in the process, but the upshot is still disputable.”

• Today in billionaires: the pitchfork is a fantasy, yet ”the idea of a popular worker uprising that results in loss of property or violence against America’s rich is a bogeyman to which we keep returning.”

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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.