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.