Why? (Christian Science Monitor)
“It is this:
1) People use the average Joe’s poor mathematics as a way to control, exploit, and numerically fuck him over.
2) Mathematics is the subject in which, regardless of what the authorities tell you is true, you can verify every last iota of truth, with a minimum of equipment.
Therefore, if you are concerned with the empowerment of everyday people, and you believe that it’s probably a good idea to be skeptical of authority you could do worse than to develop your skills at being able to talk math in such a way that anyone can ask questions, can express curiosity, can imagine applying it in the most weird-ass off-the-wall ways possible.
This does not entirely mesh well with the actual practice of learning mathematics, because that is mostly time spent alone or in small groups being very very confused almost all the time, but it’s still the bullseye I keep in mind.” — Tom Henderson (Technoccult).
“…Thrown together for two weeks at Brooklyn Supreme Court with 22 other jurors, I was struck by how rare it is now in American life to be gathered, physically, with an array of other folk of different ages, backgrounds, skin colors, beliefs, faiths, tastes, education levels and political convictions and be obliged to work out your differences in order to get the job done.
America could use more of that kind of experience. As it is, everyone’s shrieking their lonesome anger, burrowing deeper into stress, gazing at their own images — and generating paralysis.” — Roger Cohen (New York Times op-ed)
“Nothing can really prepare you for the latest online phenomenon, Chatroulette. The social Web site, created just three months ago by a 17-year-old Russian named Andrey Ternovskiy, drops you into an unnerving world where you are connected through webcams to a random, fathomless succession of strangers from across the globe. You see them, they see you. You talk to them, they talk to you. Or not. The site, which is gaining thousands of users a day and lately some news coverage, has a faddish feel, but those who study online vagaries see a glimpse into a surreal future, a turn in the direction of the Internet.” (New York Times )
Of course, an industry that survives only if it captures your attention almost instantaneously will have its extremes. These are ads that conceptually or visually shock. Since the ad industry are today’s de facto experts in the collective unconscious, this can be read as a catalogue of many or most* of the dominant categories of revulsion and offensiveness to which we respond. (*To my knowledge, no one has used goatse imagery in advertising…) (Onextrapixel).