If everyone’s an idiot, guess who’s a jerk?

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…’

Seeds of Doubt

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.”

Blessed are the wastrels, for their surplus could save the Earth

[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.

Smile! Marketing Firms Are Mining Your Selfies

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.

The Women of the Men’s Rights Movement

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.”

It’s Official: A.I.s are Now Re-Writing History

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.