Greg Bales

North, West, South, West

If you only go left, there’s nothing to stop you from going forever.

  • It’s impossible to read about Jaroslav Flegr’s research into toxoplasmosis and not wonder, who in my family is infected?
  • Undercurrents of this Times story about why iPhones are made in China include: (a) from Silicon Valley executives, extortion of the US government (“If you give us job training/tax holidays/unicorns, we might make some jobs”); (b) what Chinese workers accomplish while being treated like shit is amazing; (c) a guy who wants to spend time with his family and get paid a living wage has no place in the world; (d) modern business practice assumes that manufacturers and other corporations that pretend they have any obligations to their employees are ripe for bankruptcy; (e) in Shenzhen, China, you get engineers for nothing and factories for free (and that’s the way you do it). Related: If you yet haven’t listened to “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory,” it’s worth your time.
  • The sex-ed I remember in school featured filmstrips and line drawings of dangly testicles in profile. Lots and lots of filmstrips and line drawings. And sexually transmitted diseases, too. Needless to say, it bore no resemblance to this.
  • Prince has fantastic rollerskates.
  • In describing the day he was beaten by police at Occupy Berkeley, Robert Hass makes the point that a public university system is a public good that belongs as much to past and future as to the present: “[the university] is theirs,” says Hass, referring to the students, “and it ought to be everyone else’s in California. It also belongs to the future, and to the dead who paid taxes to build one of the greatest systems of public education in the world.” It’s an argument that Marilynne Robinson takes up and examines and eventually concludes that embracing the wealth of culture and the promise of the future is the only wealth there is that’s worth embracing.

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