Suspension Bridges of Disbelief

I can accept messianic alien orphan superheroes and skyscraper-sized battle robots, but I will not stand for inaccurate portrayals of structural mechanics.

It's fine to bend the laws of physics if the plot warrants it, but most suspension bridge mistakes are so needless and stupid that their only function seems to be irritating engineers.

Most of the structural elements have no purpose, and bridges are instead supported by a mix of perplexing whimsy, directorial ignorance, and nothing. I've taken a look at some notable suspension bridge disaster scenes and listed them from least bad to most bad:

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Next Economy Conference

The twit snark is strong with this one:

From tennis lessons and stock reports to antiquing and booking a private jet, technology is transforming everything about the way we live

Currently topping the leaderboard for whitest rich dude statement: "My dogs get mani-pedis; I don't". But it's a competitive field

Next talk is a vision of connecting ubiquitous surveillance technologies to a form letter generator. #nexteconomy

GE CEO talking about how they're giving back to society by competing worldwide and spreading good-old American know-how

GE CEO: it's imporant that we not live in a society where meaningful employment is precarious and limited to the lucky few. (just kidding)

Sign of how broken US spirit is that we can have a panel talk on retail-level employment without anyone even imagining paid holiday leave

Stage engulfed in sulfurous fumes as TaskRabbit founder materializes in the flaming on-stage pentagram. This is getting good #nexteconomy

Our chimney sweeps are allowed to keep and sell the creosote they scrape from their skin, making them small business owners!

Now we have a cabbie, Uber driver, and Lyft driver. This is like discussing the Protestant reformation with Calvin, Luther and the Pope

Discussion of whether you can refuse passengers based on their likelihood to puke actually a terrific analysis of driver agency and power

Second-best part of conference is techies mansplaining on Twitter why working a 60 hour week as an underpaid driver is a great livelihood

Cabbie (Kelly Dessaint) "The worst drivers in SF are tourists, and most Uber and Lyft drivers are tourists. They live in Modesto, Hayward..."

VC is describing magical feeling of pressing button on his phone, getting food. Lab rats have been living this dream for years

The trick is to not deliver the food every time the VC presses the button. Intermittent reward ensures a hefty series B

VCs now vehemently agreeing that the path to victory is pretend to be a service without incurring any of the obligations of one

"If your idea isn't big enough to warrant regulatory scrutiny, it probably isn't important enough." This is the mentality of a toddler

We're moving from a world of widespread unemployment to one where people have three, four or even five jobs. #prosperity

The BART system is a dinosaur monopoly that should be deregulated so private trains can run on it, too

Only at a San Francisco tech conference do you have to mount a basic defense of the concept of government before proposing modest regulation

Really nice to be hearing a VC getting worked up over low wages and social cohesion instead of immortality and greening Mars

"Trickle-down economics is an intimidation tactic masquerading as economic theory." Best VC ever. Last against the wall.

Fire alarm. Huge victory for the working class

O'Reilly and Hoffman on stage trying to deduce from first principles whether fire alarm is real or can be safely ignored

Any journalist looking for the world's easiest metaphor should get in here ASAP

I never thought I would live to hear Tim O'Reilly say "I'm sorry for the disruption". But the heroic hotel fire alarm made it happen

Recurring theme this morning is Minimum Viable Education, how to train future tech professionals without the baggage of reading English lit

Counterintuitively, grinding up the top 10% of employees and feeding them to the bottom 10% actually works better than the old way

"If the Soviets had proposed current US economic policy, we would have sent the USS Iowa to the Baltic Sea"

Lyft guy spent three years on public transit board in LA. $2 bus fare covers 30% of the ride, rest comes from subsidies, which are dying

Paraphrasing him, "how do we make Los Angeles more like Botswana?". So many people traveling abroad have been struck by maxi-taxis market

Based on my experiences in collective taxis in Moldova, there's a huge synergy with reconstructive dentistry

"Why is it that I always get the whole person when I want the pair of hands?" - Henry Ford. Back when the US knew how to manufacture villains

Now Ev is talking about his investment in a diamond manufacturer, and next-generation fake meat

We're high above the atmosphere now talking about abstractions. I have no idea what anyone is saying.

"Who are the people you want your customers to become?" is such an American phrase it might as well have little flags flying out of it

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The Two Faces of Nyarlathotep

Greg P Onychuk:

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Hudson Christie:

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jwz mixtape 160

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 160.

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Current Music: as noted

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