We need a theory of jerks. We need such a theory because, first, it can help us achieve a calm, clinical understanding when confronting such a creature in the wild. Imagine the nature-documentary voice-over: ‘Here we see the jerk in his natural environment. Notice how he subtly adjusts his dominance display to the Italian restaurant situation…’
Shiva has a flair for incendiary analogies. Recently, she compared what she calls “seed slavery,” inflicted upon the world by the forces of globalization, to human slavery. “When starting to fight for seed freedom, it’s because I saw a parallel,” she said at a food conference in the Netherlands. “That time, it was blacks who were captured in Africa and taken to work on the cotton and sugarcane fields of America. Today, it is all of life being enslaved. All of life. All species.”
[I]t is important to preserve sources of resiliency where they exist. And the current waste in the world’s food system is such a source. It’s a tragedy that rich Westerners and aspiring rich Westerners eat wasteful meat and that supermarkets and individuals throw away so much food (indeed half the food purchased in Europe and the US is thrown away by consumers). But what that means is that there is a lot of slack in the system. If disaster struck, we could go back to eating more vegetables and carefully preserving excess foodstuffs. Even if half the world’s food production was wiped out by a super-plague, we’d still have enough to feed most of the people we feed today.
Some companies, such as Ditto Labs Inc., use software to scan photos—the image of someone holding a Coca-Cola can, for example—to identify logos, whether the person in the image is smiling, and the scene’s context. The data allow marketers to send targeted ads or conduct market research.
I realized during one of my conversations with Janet that she was the author of a particularly fucked-up post titled “Why Don’t We Have a Dumb Fucking Whore Registry? Now That Would Be Justice,” a piece she penned in response to the much-publicized 2013 trial of two small-town football players in Steubenville, Ohio, who were found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl who had passed out after drinking at a party. “That is a tragedy for the boys, for justice and for the victims of actual rape,” she wrote of the verdict, adding: “Comparing a stupid, drunk, helmet-chasing whore who gets fingered while passed out to an actual rape victim is completely and utterly absurd.”
So Google’s algorithms took the two similar photos and created a moment in history that never existed, one where my wife and I smiled our best (or what the algorithm determined was our best) at the exact same microsecond, in a restaurant in Normandy.