Sleeping pods. / Tom Bennett
The Baffler,  March 29, 2016

Daily Bafflements

Sleeping pods. / Tom Bennett
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• Andrew Auernheimer, the hacker also known as weev, is claiming to have printed anti-semitic and racist fliers remotely so that they landed right on the printer trays of US universities. Angela Nagle wrote about this fascist sympathizer in the current issue of the magazine (why not subscribe?), as well as about his supporters in the liberal press. “Significantly, weev’s sensibility fuses elements of the anti-establishment far right, like the militia movement (which styles its anti-government activities a form of ‘leaderless resistance’),” writes Nagle, “with the left-leaning vision of the old anti-establishment counterculture.”

• If startups didn’t come up with such godawfully twee composite names (TaskRabbit? SpoonRocket?!) they might not need to “pivot” to different business models quite so regularly. Hey ho, though, bit late for The Baffler to start backseat driving now, the damage is done—Salon has officially called a “contagion of pivots”: “Companies like Cherry (car washes), Prim (laundry), SnapGoods (gear rental), Rewinery (wine) [no shit], HomeJoy (homecleaning) all went bust.” There is a moral to this story (beyond not to trust the Economist): “If they want good workers, they need to offer decent jobs.”

• Today in “pod culture”: Ever wanted “a social network with a physical address”? Us neither. But it exists, for startup entrepreneurs, and it claims to “end world loneliness,” to boot. “We built the pods facing each other so that the community polices each other,” making sure the hepped-up young so and sos follow rules like “No PodSex.” Sounds incredibly lonely to us, but what do we know.

• Baffler founding editor Thomas Frank was on the radio: “We sit back and say, ‘these people, they want to live in the past.’ No, these people want to live in a country where the government responds to the needs of its citizens, not its lobbyists.’” You can hear his dulcet tones in person, in Cambridge, at this event.

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