Spain, Phones, Land, Fairies, Thought

The Fight In Catalunya

Anonymous | CrimethInc | 23rd October 2019

Rioter’s eye-view of the past week’s riots in Barcelona triggered by the sentencing of Catalan separatist politicians to long prison terms. Interesting throughout. “Some question the necessity of the property destruction that is taking place. No one questions attacks on the police — they are the common enemy. I glimpse what becomes my favorite graffito of the night: ‘Violent fags seeking revenge’. Another is also spot on: ‘In the riots, we aren’t so alone’. It’s true: people take care of each other” (3,700 words)


Drug Traffickers’ Phone Company

Joseph Cox | Motherboard | 22nd October 2019

They tortured. They killed. And they ran a phone company. The one thing led to the other. Two Scottish gangsters known as “The Brothers” needed secure communications for their international drug trafficking business. So they built their own mobile phone network and marketed it to the underworld in general. Business boomed — as did the car bombs they used to deter competitors. “They secured a serious chunk of the organised-crime technology market through threats, intimidation, and violence” (2,800 words)


Airbnb In The Himalayas

Shanu Athiparambath | Veridici | 21st October 2019

Letter from the eastern Himalayas about the social and economic impact of Airbnb. “It’s expensive to farm in Himalayan villages like mine. The farms are small and cannot leverage economies of scale. Hill people see the process of selling land as a humiliating ordeal they would never consider. Everybody chips in to cultivate the land. Women spend many hours a day cutting grass for their cows. This is not yet a division of labour society. It is this world that Airbnb has penetrated, turning it upside down” (2,040 words)


In The Halls Of The Mountain Kings

Francis Young | Lapsus Lima | 23rd October 2019

All about fairies. They eat a lot, they live below ground, they can sleep for centuries, and they come in all sizes. They acquired wings early in the twentieth century. “Fairies are chthonic, inter-dimensional other-worlders who can enter our world but who are not bound by its rules in the same way we are. The point has frequently been made that the fairies of modern mythology are extraterrestrials, insofar as aliens seem to occupy the same niche in the collective cultural psyche once occupied by fairies” (1,950 words)


The End Of Modern Philosophy

Graham Harman | Philosophical Salon | 21st October 2019

Modernity is a relative concept in the arts and humanities. “Modern jazz” was invented in the 1940s, “modern architecture” in the 1910s, “modern art” in the 1860s. But “modern philosophy” strains any notion of modernity to breaking point. Four hundred years have passed since René Descartes inaugurated modern philosophy by arguing that knowledge must proceed from the Self rather than from God. Can Cartesian philosophy ever be superseded? Is a new system of thought even thinkable? (2,380 words)


Video: Paradox. Riding the rails with the Berlin graffiti artist known as Paradox, who apparently works best when clinging to the roof of a high-speed train or dangling from a wind turbine (2m 42)

Audio: Henry Farrell | Conversations With Tyler. Political scientist and blogger Henry Farrell talks to Tyler Cowen. Topics include China, trade wars, banking, Facebook, Twitter, basketball, Italy, Ireland (1h 11m 06s)

Afterthought:
“A man who dies at the age of 35 is at every point of his life a man who dies at the age of 35”
— Moritz Heimann