Some backers have had a long wait for the razor of the future. / Jörg Schreier
The Baffler,  October 15, 2015

Daily Bafflements

Some backers have had a long wait for the razor of the future. / Jörg Schreier
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• Today in innovation trials and (mainly) tribulations: pity the poor startup tycoons behind the Skarp Laser Razor (say that three times fast.) Their much-ballyhooed razor, which promised customers they’d never need to buy blades again, raised $4 million on Kickstarter before the site canceled its campaign and refunded donors as it became clear that the magical razor would not exist any time in the foreseeable future. Undaunted, these dedicated businessmen moved their funding drive to IndieGoGo and released a video of a “working prototype.” If you’ve ever longed for the uncomfortable experience of watching a stranger shave very, very slowly, you should check it out. Alas, for all its futuristic look and bright flashes of light as it works, the Skarp razor can only shave one hair at a time.

The Atlantic asserts that given the constant surveillance we’re under from government agencies emboldened by “national security concerns” and tech companies in endless search of more granularly personalized ads, we should all invest in a little more healthy paranoia. “It struck me that [Google] might know more about my unconscious than I do,” writes Walter Kirn, “a possibility that would put it in a position not only to predict my behavior, but to manipulate it. Lose your privacy, lose your free will—a chilling thought.”

• A previously unpublished transcript has recently surfaced in which Ayn Rand is, well, Ayn Rand. The ur-mother of contemporary libertarianism was in rare form in the 1974 Q&A session at West Point, which followed her famous rant “Philosophy: Who Needs It?” In the newly published ramblings, Rand asserts that Native Americans did not “have any right to live in a country merely because they were born here and acted and lived like savages.”

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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.