Link Roundup 2/25/2024

I don’t make much art or anything else very interesting these days, so when the hosting for this site expired a week or two ago, I thought to myself, “Do I really need a vanity website anymore?” The ready answer was “no”, although I did have a bit of sadness at the thought of discarding this site that I’ve maintained in some version for over 25 years. I made a note to myself to take a few days to think about it, and if I decided to keep it, come up with some valid justification for doing so.

Anyway, a few days ago came the news that the website Vice was being killed by the private equity raiders that bought it, and it made me think of all the other sites on the Internet that have been bought and gutted for parts or otherwise turned into garbage (Google search) for short-term profits. I know that’s not just happening online – it’s happening in a bunch of other industries (see my first link, below). The thought of maintaining my own private little patch of the Internet outside the influence of Mark Zuckerburg or Elon Musk or Blackstone Group or some other group of billionaire creeps suddenly became a lot more appealing.

I still don’t know what I’ll do with this site, but I’ll go ahead and keep it. I’m plenty busy with other projects, so it might be that I don’t touch it again for another three or four years.

For now, here’s some of the links I’ve been reading this week:

  • NPR: “After his wife died, he joined nurses to push for new staffing rules in hospitals“. A man’s wife died unexpectedly in an ICU unit and it was likely due a shortage of nurses. As the article explains, the hospital is run by a for-profit company and since they can’t bill patients directly for nurses’ labor, they instead try to cut costs and maintain a level of staffing that is actually life-threatening.
  • NPR: “Scientists scanning the seafloor discover a long-lost Stone Age ‘megastructure’“. “Megastructure” made this sound a lot more exciting than what it is: a half-mile, 1.5′ tall wall of rocks, probably used for hunting purposes. It’s still pretty interesting, just not, like, a caveman fort or anything like that.
  • Freaky Trigger: “Aard Labour 2: High Society“. This is the latest in the series of posts reviewing and evaluating the 6,000 page run of the comic Cerebus by weirdo/extreme-misogynist Dave Sims. When I was in my late teens I had a roommate that had the “High Society” and “Church and State” collections of the comics and I read some of them but ultimately found them to be not for me – there was something off-putting to them that I couldn’t put my finger on although they were fun in sections. The writer of these posts is doing a good job of breaking down the good and bad.
  • Washington Post: “Tax records reveal the lucrative world of covid misinformation“. This isn’t stated in the article but it’s basically a story about the nexus of QAnon anti-vax conspiracies and right wing grifters.
  • Prospect: “The Neglected History of the State of Israel“. If you oppose Israel’s genocide of Palestinians (in the West Bank, too, not just Gaza), you’re going to get called anti-Semitic by some people who I think are either saying that naively or disingenuously. Not all Jews want to kill their Arabic neighbors, but there sure is a far-right extremist party that wants to do exactly that, and it’s not too hard to find evidence of their success. The linked article provides some historic context for that group, which includes Netanyahu. It’s linked in the article, but it references the Isaac Chotiner interview with settler Daniella Weiss, which is still such a shocking thing to read that I’ve linked it here.
  • Wikipedia: “List of unusual deaths“. A jumping off point in case you want to go down a Wikipedia rabbit hole.

Portland specific links:

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