June 2024


Cory Doctorow:

Some people are upset because they think Facebook made Grampy into a Qanon. Others, because they think Insta gave their kid anorexia. Some think Tiktok is brainwashing millennials into quoting Osama bin Laden. Some are upset because the cops use Google location data to round up Black Lives Matter protesters, or Jan 6 insurrectionists. Some are angry about deepfake porn. Some are angry because Black people are targeted with ads for overpriced loans or colleges

And some people are angry because surveillance feeds surveillance pricing. The thing is, whatever else all these people are angry about, they’re all angry about surveillance. Are you angry that ad-tech is stealing a 51% share of news revenue? You’re actually angry about surveillance. Are you angry that “AI” is being used to automatically reject resumes on racial, age or gender grounds? You’re actually angry about surveillance.

There’s a very useful analogy here to the history of the ecology movement. As James Boyle has long said, before the term “ecology” came along, there were people who cared about a lot of issues that seemed unconnected. You care about owls, I care about the ozone layer. What’s the connection between charismatic nocturnal avians and the gaseous composition of the upper atmosphere? The term ecology took a thousand issues and welded them together into one movement.

We need an anti-surveillance movement.

Sex, Lies and White Chicken Chili

The Fruit & Veg had a special on green bell peppers, so I bought too many. This… is not uncommon.

Looking for a way to use them, I found a recipe for white chicken chili which is pretty damn good. The recommended cooking times are a bit screwy though — it’s a 6-8 hour slow cooker dish which only takes 5+7+1+10 minutes on the stove? Nah-ah.

So what I did. Two chicken breasts, on the bone, cut into four pieces each. Black pot with some oil, fry until brown all over, maybe ten minutes. Remove from pot. Add some more oil, slowly fry celery, one onion, one large green pepper (all diced). Aim for 15 to 20 minutes. More if you have it. Add the four cloves of garlic, two teaspoons cumin, some chili flakes (which is what I had on hand) and maybe half a teaspoon red and another half black pepper.

Then I added some frozen chicken stock and a stock cube and one tin white beans, simmered the whole thing for maybe half an hour.

In the mean time, cook rice in the instant pot, 3/4 cup rice, one cup water, 2 minutes on high, open up, add a handful of frozen corn, close the lid and give it some time to percolate.

Fish out the chicken, shred it off the bones, stir back into the pot, serve.

All in all it took me maybe an hour and a half. I would suck in a quickfire challenge.

(And if you missed the important link above, here it is again. How to Cook Onions and How Recipes Lie.  Go read).

(Oh and I lied about the sex. Nothing to see here. Move right along).