See update for July 16, 2021, at end of post.
Defenders of Israel’s genocide against Palestinians, including the government itself, frequently label even their mildest critics, including U.S. presidents, as “anti-Semitic.” And it has become clear to me that there are so many phrases and archetypes that some Jews view as anti-Semitic that the term itself is losing any coherent meaning as it becomes increasingly difficult to discuss Jews without somehow transgressing into a vocabulary some of them find offensive. Read more
There is considerable reason for skepticism that autonomous vehicle technology will pan out any time soon, but that isn’t stopping some big high technology players from pouring money into it. Read more
See updates through July 8, 2021, at end of post.
Thanks in large part to people refusing COVID-19 vaccination, the delta variant, which is more contagious and more dangerous, is likely soon to be the dominant strain in the U.S., and the country will likely miss Joe Biden’s vaccination target for July 4. I’m pissed. Seriously pissed. Read more
Fig. 1. An abandoned church at Kalida Drive and Larimer Avenue in the East Liberty neighborhood, Pittsburgh. Photograph by author, May 3, 2020.
Outgoing Mayor Bill Peduto is being an ass on Twitter again. In this latest, he retweeted this from East Liberty Development, a real estate development organization that emphasizes affordable housing:
To put it mildly, this is an optimistic view, that is, unless you’re among the well off whom Peduto favors, who have prospered from East Liberty neighborhood redevelopment. Read more
One of the virtues of my Human Science program is that it taught me some serious epistemological humility, which is to say that I have learned caution in my criticism of other ways of knowing. The downside is that I get extremely annoyed with people who arrogantly deny other people’s experiences, making claims that are themselves unverifiable in their absolute certainty—faith, really—that because those other folks’ experiences cannot be verified, they cannot be true. Read more
See updates through September 17, 2021, at end of post.
The story, pretty consistently since April, has been that there aren’t enough Uber and Lyft drivers on the road, resulting in sky-high fare increases that aren’t very much being passed on to drivers. And so Uber and Lyft continue to have difficulty getting drivers back on the road even as they foresaw a problem clear back in March. A project led by Dr. Julia Ticona, at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication has been exploring why and basically what emerges is that drivers are fed up with the disingenuous games that Uber and Lyft have been playing with drivers, largely on pay, certainly as long as I’ve been driving for these companies. Read more
Cory Doctorow has a late addition to the already sleazy story of how Uber and Lyft won passage of California’s Proposition 22, limiting the scope of AB 5, which would have ended the “independent contractor” scam and made drivers employees. Read more
Um, not just a Catholic problem:
I haven’t been on the road much lately—I’m waiting for a new car to arrive, hopefully now around July 9th—but judging from the news, I’m guessing those Trump flags continue to fly high around southwestern Pennsylvania.
Some Pennsylvania legislators are exploring the possibility of following Arizona’s footsteps in “auditing” last November’s election results. Even so, activists pushing the idea are unsatisfied: Read more
See update for June 18, 2021, at end of post.
When I was still living in California, I went into a vegan restaurant in east Oakland. There was one other white guy in there and he asked a question of the lady behind the counter that I had felt too sensitive to broach.
“Why,” he boldly (I thought) asked, “are so many vegan restaurants in Oakland owned by Blacks?” She answered by pointing to health reasons. Not the ethical reasons preferred by animal rights activists. Not even referring to the environment. Read more