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We Live In The Cyberpunk Dystopia We Imagined In The 90s


2020/05/21


So, it's been a bit over a month since my last update. To some extent, that's because I have nothing to say. Everyone in my household is still healthy. We're going to the grocery store as little as possible, and getting take-out when I'm too burned out to cook dinner. I'm throwing together some links to rant about here. They tend toward the recent, because I kind of zoned out for about a month there.


Daily Life


I'm used to being behind on podcasts, since I mostly listen in the car and I don't have a very long commute; short enough that I'd still be biking it like I used to if I didn't have to drop a kid off at school on the way. But now I'm *way* behind on podcasts. I've currently got 22 hours of stuff to listen to, and the oldest is about a month old. I wish I could listen at work, but I can't concentrate if I'm hearing words. Sometimes I get an hour at 1.25✕ while I'm doing dishes, but that's definitely the exception.


I continue being busy juggling work from home with homeschool, but now I've also got pressure from gardening – the clock is ticking to get everything done before it gets too hot to work in the garden anymore.


This post has already been delayed at least two days. How are people finding time to binge-watch Netflix?


The Presidential Campaign


Well, the primary pretty much ended well before I was expecting it to, with the pandemic dragging out longer. This month's news is that there are credible rape accusations against Joe Biden from Tara Reade, a staffer in the 1990s[1]. While there's very little corroborating evidence, it does fit with Biden's well-known history of violating people's personal space[2].


[1] Tara Reade interview

[2] Pattern of behavior


The fallout of this has been the exposure of the absolute hypocrisy of neoliberals on #MeToo and #BelieveWomen. The accusations aren't airtight, but they're more detailed than those against Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh, and at least as credible. The reaction of liberals has been completely the opposite, however: Reade has been smeared as a Russian asset who's making the whole thing up. Liberal twitter is 24/7 rape apology these days.


That's not to say that Trump isn't a rapist. The accusations against him are more numerous and with better evidence. But who cares! A rapist is a rapist. And the difference that really matters is that Trump's supporters don't even pretend to care. Really, hearing that he sexually assaults women makes them like him more, because they are, morally, sucking pits of pure id and rationalization. But Biden's supporters are supposed to at least pretend to care!


Pandemic in a Cyberpunk Dystopia


Over the last few years, it's become a truism among hackers of a certain age that we are living in the cyberpunk dystopia we imagined in the 1990s. Oppressive government, ubiquitous surveillance by all-powerful megacorps, crime is the only form of resistance. Well, here's a bright spot. Ohio's department of job and family services set up a web page for employers to narc on employees who 'refuse' to return to work so that they can be kicked off of unemployment. Thankfully, the Internet community stepped up by setting up bots to flood the system with fake data [3]. It's a low bar for hacking, but a high point for collective action, since the state backed down.


[3] Cleveland.com: Ohio reconsiders...


Since we're living in science-fiction times, here's a science fiction story [4] about social distancing written like a year and a half ago, before COVID-19 was a thing. It's in the form of a food blog.


[4] So Much Cooking


You absolutely have to read lel's blog on commie.space [5]. It's about being an "essential" retail worker (at a drugstore) during the pandemic. It's a riot, and one of the most cyberpunk things on the internet.


[5] Commie.space blog


My county was the first county in my state to surpass 1000 cases of COVID-19. [6]


[6] Richland County Surpasses 1000 Cases



Government response to this pandemic has been absolutely shambolic in the best of cases, and downright murderous in the worst. In a case of the latter, the architect of Florida's COVID-19 dashboard was fired for refusing to falsify data to support the "ready to reopen" narrative that business interests and the far right are pushing [7]. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is claiming to be taking hydroxychloroquine, the antimalaria drug he's been pushing as a coronavirus treatment/preventative, despite the fact that it's been shown to be ineffective for that purpose and raises the risk of heart failure. [8] Inshallah, right? He's probably not even taking it though; he's just hyping it because he owns a stake in the company that makes it [9].


[7] Florida data architect fired.

[8] Trump claiming to take hydroxychloroquine

[9] Trump stake in drugmaker


While you were distracted by this, the Senate voted to let the FBI look at your browser history without a warrant.[10]


[10] Senate FBI Browser History


Music to listen to


Been listening to a lot of synthwave and similar over the last month, going with the feeling of living in a cyberpunk dystopia. Here's another influence, The Cassandra Complex's 1990 album, Cyberpunx.


Cyberpunx


Apologies for the YouTube link; the playlist interface on [invidio.us] is just not as good.


[invidio.us]

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