The American “Far-Left”

We don’t have a movement, but if you neutrally ask Americans their opinions on a variety of topics, a very significant number of us would prefer the far left if we at all thought it was feasible to pursue.

Look no further than the popularity of Star Trek, or as some like to call it, “Fully Automated Luxury Space Communism.” Our world is bountiful enough that we could establish that society now. It doesn’t actually take sci-fi “replicators” or or technological advancements that border on magic, the sole obstacle at this point can be summed up in a single word: Greed.

A very small number of people want to accumulate resources they don’t need and will never be able to fully use themselves, even while others are currently suffering. And instead of rebuking them, we collectively choose to beg for their scraps—or worse, to beg for scraps of their scraps from their reliable lapdogs.

GG was a trial run


it’s so clear to me that all the bullshit of the past 8 years was stoked so that we’d be too divided to enter this fight

I mean, I think everything. I think Brexit, Gamergate, Q-Anon.

In the end all of this feels like the weaponization of exploits in both our general and specific social cognition: General in that it represents an entire class of exploit, and specific in that it was tailored to the signifiers, mores, and normative style of the Anglosphere.

Within any group there’s a tendency to use similar metaphors and representations, as well as values, rooted in a shared literary traditions, and to use similar forms of argument to persuade (at least at the level of the laity). So if you want to intentionally spread specific ideas among a population, you could do worse than to study just what that populations literary tradition (and therefore metaphors and values) and preferred style of argument are.

The ways you spread an idea among Anglophones and Francophones may be very different, but the way you determine how to spread an idea among each is the same.



Cupertino is at one edge of the Santa Clara Valley, one of the best places on the continent to grow fruit.

This display is in our Whole Foods, one of the (if not the) largest stores they have. All of the brands are local and don’t exist any more, because we paved them over in favor of single-family homes and office parks and fucking *lawns*.

It’s really sad, and would have been easy to avoid, too, by building **up** instead of **out**. Instead, there are always new ballot measures in Cupertino to try to limit the “scale” of building – in other words, to prevent building up – and ensure the sprawl stays. And I expect that applies to the rest of the Santa Clara Valley as well, and a huge percentage of the United States as a whole, everywhere a “subdivision” has replaced farmland.

Even if we could build high-rise apartments and offices, it’s not certain that the land we’ve covered with little shitbox houses, chemically-maintained lawns, and asphalt could even be used for agriculture again. The land may well be “used up” and require extensive rehabilitation to even support parkland, much less farming.

Someday people will look back on this as a monumental disaster, an utter failure of urban planning ands demonstration of our society’s lack of any capacity for forethought. Probably once all of humanity is facing permanent food and water shortages, later this century.

New bike! Marin Belvedere 2007

I just got my first bike since junior high, and rode a bike today for the first time since high school! Many thanks to Meg for helping me pick it out and to Dan and others for listening to me ramble about what I might or might not want.

What I wound up getting was a 2007 Belvedere from Marin Bikes, in matte coal (of course). I test-rode it and it felt great, I could even shift — something I could never do in junior high or high school without losing control, damn post-shifters — and the only limit I felt with it was me!

So after accessorizing a bit, Meg and I rode home and then walked back to pick up the car. Cupertino and the South Bay in general are so bike-friendly I can tell I’m going to put a lot of miles on it just this summer, and if I get a good set of panniers there’s no reason I won’t be able to keep doing so into the fall and even winter.

And as tired as I am just from riding a couple miles today, it feels a hell of a lot better than contributing to the climate crisis while paying nearly $5/gallon for gasoline.

I fucking hate this city

Meg rode her bike down from the hotel to Union Square to meet me for dinner, locking it up at a bike station right outside Borders.

After we walked back from dinner, we discovered it had been stolen. Right in the middle of dinner, right on the corner of fucking Union Square.

I fucking hate San Francisco. What a shit-hole of a city.