Emperor Norton Bridge, Second Try

Petition: The Bay Bridge should be renamed to honor its original 19th-century visionary -- not turned into a modern-day political spoil.

Today, there is a June 2013 resolution afoot in the California State Legislature to name the western span of the Bay Bridge for former California Assemblyman / Speaker and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.

To be sure, it is not uncommon for living politicians to be commemorated with their names on buildings, roads and the like. And, no doubt, a suitably significant facility can be found with which to honor Willie Brown's many contributions to California and to San Francisco.

But the Bay Bridge -- not just the western span, but the entire landmark -- is unique. The 140-year-old vision that this landmark fulfills -- the vision of a Bay-spanning suspension bridge that unites the people of San Francisco, Oakland and the East Bay -- a vision that has shaped the lives of generations of the area's residents and visitors -- this vision is specific to Emperor Norton.

If the Bay Bridge is to be named for anyone, it should be named for him.

The last attempt at this failed nine years ago.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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Gigantic Pentagram Found in Kazakhstan

Geoengineering via industrial-scale ritual magic is the only possible rational explanation.

A gigantic pentagram was found in Google Maps in an isolated region of Kazakhstan, West of the city of Lisakovsk (coordinates +52° 28′ 47.14″, +62° 11′ 8.38″). The circle's circumference is over 1000 feet wide and contains a clearly defined, mathematically correct pentagram.

A few days ago, when one would zoom into the pentagram with Google Maps, two strange locations would pop up, one named "Adam" and another "Lucifer". However, since the story came out on the web, these locations disappeared and zooming into pentagram is now disabled.

Since yesterday, there is Russian text appearing on the pentagram which is apparently translated to "unfinished summer camp Denisovsky area Kostanay Kazakhstan".

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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OAuth of Fealty

Ian Bogost:

The Facebook Platform is a shape-shifting, chimeric shadow of suffering and despair, a cruel joke perpetrated upon honest men and women at the brutish whim of bloodthirsty sociopaths sick with bilious greed and absent mercy or decency. Developing for the Facebook Platform is picking out the wallpaper for one's own death row holding cell, the cleaver for one's own blood sacrifice.

Like the catcall of "whore" or "crook," the Facebook Platform passes judgement before you even signed up for it. The Facebook Platform is the relief promised under the pressure of thumbscrews. If you were innocent, why did you start using the Facebook Platform in the first place?

Developing for the Facebook Platform is punishing oneself for the corporeal scars of abuse. Maybe it's me, maybe it's me, Facebook devs whisper quietly, alone, every Tuesday, before heaving the deep, lumbering sighs of resignation beyond sorrow.

[...]

The short truth is this: Facebook doesn't care if developers can use the platform easily or at all. In fact, it doesn't seem to concern itself with any of the factors that might be at play in developers' professional or personal circumstances. The Facebook Platform is a selfish, self-made altar to Facebook, at which developers are expected to kneel and cower, rather than a generous contribution to the success of developers that also happens to benefit Facebook by its aggregate effects.

[...]

Software development has changed a lot in the last twenty years, to be sure. The rapidness of web distribution has made older development practices seem quaint and antiquated. But something that's not antiquated, or shouldn't be, is providing a service that does what claims, that provides more value than it takes back, and that earnestly cares about the way it gets used, not just about the fact that its use can be sufficiently assured so as to obviate concern for its quality.

It's well documented that Facebook allows its developers unusual permission to push experimental updates live, and that the company has internal propaganda posters with mottos like "What would you do if you weren't afraid?" I wonder, what would be different if the posters read, "What would you do if you cared about the result?" Then again, that's not exactly fair, since it's clear that Facebook's leaders and employees care a great deal about the output of their work insofar as that output pleases and benefits them until their equity vests. So perhaps a different compass bearing: "What would you do if you cared about someone other than yourselves?"

That's what building a set of tools made for others ought to be all about. Self-effacement. Facilitating the goals and successes of others by means of an apparatus or implement, rather than making every touch and strike of that tool return some favor or back-pat to its creator. The problem is, corporations today (and tech companies in particular) are too selfish to care. Software platforms aren't made for making things anymore. They are made for pledging fealty to a technology king.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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