So, what’s the trade-off here? In general, we are safer (automation makes airline flying safer, in general) except in the long-tail: pilots are losing both tacit knowledge of flying and some of its mechanics. But in general, we, as humans, have less and less understanding of our machines—we are compartmentalized, looking at a tiny corner of a very complex system beyond our individual comprehension. Increasing numbers of our systems—from finance to electricity to cybersecurity to medical systems, are going in this direction. We are losing control and understanding which seems fine—until it’s not. We will certainly, and unfortunately, find out what this really means because sooner or later, one of these systems will fail in a way we don’t understand.


Son Finds His Late Dad’s ‘Ghost’ In A Racing Video Game

This is lovely, strange, and wrenching all at the same time. A teenager whose father passed away when he was just six had pulled out an old Xbox game that he and his dad used to play together, only to discover a part of his father lived on in the game, as a ghost car.

This is less supernatural than that sentence sounds. In racing video games, a ghost car is a representation of a previous player’s inputs and actions as they drove the track previously. Usually, the fastest laps are stored as ghost cars and then used by players to help them find the best line around a track, or have a way to compete with another player in a time-shifted way.

Via Jake H.

I am not superwoman. My mother is not superwoman. My mother’s mother is not superwoman. I am, we are, soft. Can shatter. Crumble in your hands. Our survival does not mean we prosper. We are like other women but unlike them. So do not tell us we can handle anything. We only seem like superwoman, a figment of your imagination, because you have forced our lives to be perpetual labor with only seconds of relief. If we carry the world on our shoulders and the children on our backs, what are we but your glorified mules slapped with guilt praises of perseverance and strength. Our bones and our blood and our sweat have built the wealth of nations. Our burial should not be the first time we rest.

39 Pieces Of Advice For Journalists And Writers Of Color


I’m in good company here, giving some advice about freelancing.

"It’s uncomfortable to advocate for diversity. It’s uncomfortable to tell white people that they need to broaden their networks, that they need to make sure they get out of their comfort zones, that we have no economic future if our newsroom does not look like the world it purports to serve."

— S. Mitra Kalita, Ideas Editor, Quartz

Anonymous: I am of European heritage, considered white and it seems as though I face many of the same issues that you face in terms of beauty. I know your argument about feminism for WoC extends far beyond physical appearances, but I find it a little insulting when you basically put the need to shave to only WoC. As a child I was teased endlessly regarding my 'hairiness'. Most women have an issue with body hair so distinguishing between white/WoC feminism counterproductive and unfair in this sense. Thanks!

While I was writing that comment I had exactly this thought but I am highly aware that when I speak about these topics, I can only speak on behalf of the person or group that I represent. Because I am Anglo-Indian, I speak for a broader community of brown people, half Indian people, Anglo-Indian and biracial coloured people (among others, and also very generally). I can empathise to some degree with your experience of course, but it is not the same because it does not have the same histories as mine. I can’t talk about your experience as a European person because it’s not my lived experience and for this reason I think it’s inappropriate for me to be a voice in what is essentially your conversation. You are entitled to your experiences and of course, your feelings and opinions shaped by these are completely valid – it would be so wrong of me to invalidate them! Especially because this validation of experience is what I aim for by participating in intersectional feminist discourse.

It is important that you remember too that intersectional feminism only exists because identity is intersectional and of course, experiences are common among many women from all walks of life. Intersectionality as a branch of cultural studies considers that experience as a coloured woman intersects with many cultural issues – for example, my experience as a half-Indian woman can’t be divided up into “half-Indian issues” and “women’s issues” as for me, these two parts of my identity are so entwined and their issues are often common ones. Because my experience intersects with issues that are common among many women, both white and non-white, it’s a more appropriate discourse for me to be involved in because it caters to me but also to a broader range of women.

I am always very explicit about the context at which I speak from, which of course is the perspective of an Anglo-Indian woman in White Australian society. I am explicit about this because, as I stated earlier, I am not able to truly empathise with your experience and so have no right to control this discourse – I can contribute, but should only foster conversation, not direct it. This is exactly how I feel about white women in the black feminist conversation – participation in this discourse is important, but white women must stand beside or behind coloured women, and not tell them how it’s going to be or what they “deserve” but instead stand in support. This is because whiteness is coded with a long history of institutionalised privilege and Western standards of living aren’t necessarily appropriate for all women (but that’s a whole other conversation).

Distinguishing between coloured feminism and white feminism is extremely important, and not differentiating them is damaging and counterproductive for every community that doesn’t fit the mainstream ideas of feminism (which are overwhelmingly middle class and white). Distinguishing differences and celebrating cultural pluralism is important because to not do that is to render my experience invalid which of course, is exactly what you took from my comment and have been offended by. It is also incredibly important for us to learn from the experiences of the Other, whether it be through cultural practices or expressions, or through ways of making, living and doing. To not do this is the effectively “colonise” the feminist conversation as being one that can only conform to mainstream ideas of “freedom”, “liberation” and “civility”, which unfortunately exist almost exclusively within Western, European grammar (because “globalisation”/”colonialism”/”Western dominance”). Intersectional feminism allows a negotiation of these terms, which is a major, major part of all the work that I do.

Unsurprisingly, the blame game is now playing out on Wikipedia, where editors battle to record the polemics that best reflect their side of the story. Earlier this morning, the Russian-language Wikipedia entry for commercial aviation accidents hosted one such skirmish, when someone with an IP address based in Kyiv edited the MH17 record to say that the plane was shot down “by terrorists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic with Buk system missiles, which the terrorists received from the Russian Federation.” Less than an hour later, someone with a Moscow IP address replaced this text with the sentence, “The plane was shot down by Ukrainian soldiers.”

Thanks to a Twitter bot that tracks anonymous Wikipedia edits made from IP addresses used by the Russian government, we know that the second edit to the MH17 article came from a computer at VGTRK, the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company.


Eric Garner and the Plague of Police Brutality Against Black Men

If you haven’t heard about Eric Garner yet, let me fill you in. He was a 43-year-old father of six who lived in Staten Island, and he died in the street on Thursday after as many as four New York police officers choked him and slammed his head on the ground. The NYPD told the Associated Press that they stopped Garner because he was selling untaxed cigarettes, something he’d been arrested for before. However, witnesses who spoke with local news website Staten Island Live have basically said that’s bullshit. Ramsey Orta, who was on the scene and shot a now infamous video that is making the rounds, can be heard in the clip saying that all Garner had done to get bothered by the police was break up a fight.

In the video, Garner denies any wrongdoing and asks why he’s being hassled. “Every time you see me you want to mess with me,” he says in an exasperated tone that most men of color across this country can relate to. Garner, who was 400 pounds and has been described by people who knew him as a “gentle giant,” suffered from chronic asthma and police claim his death was the result of a heart attack suffered during the arrest.

Police say that Garner made a “fighting stance” and resisted arrest. Which, based on the video clip, is complete nonsense, considering we can see him pleading to the officers, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe!” before going completely silent as several officers pile on him.

The video of Garner’s death is disgusting, but I can’t say I was shocked or even outraged the first time I watched it. At this point, as someone who’s read and written about some of these stories time and time again—and who’s had firsthand experiences with the way cops treat black males—this kind of reprehensible shit is not surprising at all. After so many cases like Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell, you start to feel desensitized by the seemingly insurmountable injustice that plagues communities of color.