May 17, 2010

the soul always yearns


Ron Mueck, Untitled (Big Man), 2000

* From Harper's June 2010:

-- Percentage of all U.S. stimulus funds for renewable energy since last September that have gone to foreign companies: 79

-- Percentage of its public schools that Kansas City, Missouri, will close before the school year begins: 46

-- Chances that a school cafeteria does not serve either fresh fruits or raw vegetables daily: 2 in 5

-- Percentage, by revenue, of PepsiCo's products that the company classifies as "good for you": 18

-- Percentage that it classifies as "fun for you" or "better for you" 82

-- Percentage change since the fall of 2008 in total DEA seizures of marijuana: +94

* From a 1999 article by Douglas Adams:

"So people complain that there's a lot of rubbish online, or that it's dominated by Americans, or that you can't necessarily trust what you read on the web. Imagine trying to apply any of those criticisms to what you hear on the telephone. Of course you can't 'trust' what people tell you on the web anymore than you can 'trust' what people tell you on megaphones, postcards or in restaurants. Working out the social politics of who you can trust and why is, quite literally, what a very large part of our brain has evolved to do. For some batty reason we turn off this natural scepticism when we see things in any medium which require a lot of work or resources to work in, or in which we can't easily answer back -- like newspapers, television or granite. Hence 'carved in stone.' What should concern us is not that we can't take what we read on the internet on trust -- of course you can't, it's just people talking -- but that we ever got into the dangerous habit of believing what we read in the newspapers or saw on the TV -- a mistake that no one who has met an actual journalist would ever make. One of the most important things you learn from the internet is that there is no 'them' out there. It's just an awful lot of 'us'." [via]

* "Electronic aids, particularly domestic computers, will help the inner migration, the opting out of reality. Reality is no longer going to be the stuff out there, but the stuff inside your head. It's going to be commercial and nasty at the same time.” -- J.G. Ballard

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