Fredrick Douglass, on 5 July 1852:
I shall see this day, and its popular characteristics, from the slave’s point of view. Standing, there, identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this 4th of July! Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the constitution and the Bible, which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery—the great sin and shame of America!
This entire speech should be required reading. Especially today.
The United States imprisons more people — both per capita and in absolute terms — than any other nation in the world, including Russia, China and Iran. Over the past four decades, imprisonment in the United States has increased “explosively,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reports.
From this piece on privatized prisons (which also says that the prison population has declined slightly in recent years).
Your Independence Day reminder that we don’t deserve to call ourselves the “land of the free.”
An old saying that I can’t stand is, “You don’t get if you don’t ask.” [My career really started when] I did a little reading in Chicago at a club. It was just a silly show, but Ira Glass happened to be in the audience. He introduced himself and then he called me a couple of years later and…
We rode Harley-Davidson’s incredible electric motorcycle
Outside of Harley-Davidson’s Lower Manhattan store on Monday, a group of Harley enthusiasts leaned against the railing of a construction canopy, smoking cigarettes and chatting about work while they waited in line to be one of the very first people in the world to take a ride Harley’s newest motorcycle. The bike they were waiting for wasn’t the latest loud, hulking monument to two-wheeled American chrome though: this was something altogether different. Harley was introducing Project LiveWire, its first electric motorcycle, and it had brought over a dozen of them to its Manhattan store for a limited preview of the bikes before they go on tour around the US for the rest of the year, beginning today. LiveWire is far from the type of bike that Harley enthusiast are used to. It has a single gear, a touchscreen dashboard, and no gas to speak of. Oh, and it’s quiet. Really, really quiet.
So fucking bucolic out here.
A very interesting project from Matthias Laschke.
Objects that prompt you to reconsider choices. They remind me of dark patterns, but there’s no deception here. The intentions of each of these objects is obvious, consider taking the bike instead, think about the amount of power that appliance is using in standby, how long have you had the light on?
Our technology has removed us far from the true cost of it’s conveniences. These objects re-introduce some of the effort and consciousness that would have come with creating the same effect manually. I.e. getting kerosene, trimming the wick and lighting your lamp, then being cautious to not waste the fuel.
My Grandparents had to fetch water by foot from a stream. You can be sure they did not waste water. Until, i guess, they tapped the aquifer.
I’m tempted to agree with this guy that we’ve made life too easy. That we, enabled by our technological prosthesis, are disrupting natural systems. I also think that we can put more design and more knowledge into our technologies and solve the problem. Though I’m not sure we can do it fast enough to avoid major losses.
These little gadgets are a provocative and deserved poke in the eye. A little protest staged by the minerals, metals and energies orphaned from the environment acting through the hand of a designer.
The animation of the objects is compelling. They’re little entities representing the environment by pushing back on it’s behalf. Or in the case of the Never Hungry Caterpillar crying out for compassion and respite from your inconsiderate behavior.
The late John Britten. #boss #garagebuilt #britten #superbike #hero
“Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.
When I started out with my first company, Zip2, I thought patents were a good thing and worked hard to obtain them. And maybe they were good long ago, but too often these days they serve merely to stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors. After Zip2, when I realized that receiving a patent really just meant that you bought a lottery ticket to a lawsuit, I avoided them whenever possible.
At Tesla, however, we felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla. We couldn’t have been more wrong. The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn’t burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales.
At best, the large automakers are producing electric cars with limited range in limited volume. Some produce no zero emission cars at all.
Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis. By the same token, it means the market is enormous. …
Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.”