See update for November 2, 2022, at end of post.
One of the first things an undergraduate in Communication learns is that language is arbitrary, ambiguous, and abstract.
This is a problem when seeking to police hate speech, especially for artificial
intelligence idiots, and likely explains much of the idiocy I have described previously. To explain why, I will explore each of those terms used to describe language to Communication undergraduates. Read more
Dear Mayor Gainey,
In your inaugural address, you promised “a city where economic opportunity is abundant for everyone, a city where affordability isn’t a luxury, and a city that is prepared to lead into the future, . . . [to] establish policies that create and sustain investments in literacy, career and workforce development, civic infrastructure and housing options,” “‘that Pittsburgh [will] also [be] a leader in community and police relations, economic inclusion, affordability,’ and ‘transportation access.’” Read more
See update for October 27, 2022, at end of post.
Fig. 1. Photograph via Oren Segal on Twitter, October 23, 2022, fair use.
Honestly, I try, desperately in fact, to ignore Kanye West, whose musical genre I do not appreciate and who obviously suffers from serious mental health issues, along with the entire Kardashian clan, which is just too, too much in every pathetic way imaginable. Read more
Fig. 1. “Adolf Hitler (Nazi Party party leader) Herman Göring, Franz Pfeffer von Salomon [Franz von Pfeffer], etc. at the Nuremberg rally 1929, the Nazi Party Congress held in Nuremberg, Germany on August 1–4. Parading SA members, Nazi salutes, Party flags with nazi swastika, brownshirt uniforms, etc. Public domain according to Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe.” Photograph by Robert Sennecke, August 1929, from Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe (National Digital Archives of Poland), via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0.
In an article on the global rise of illiberalism, I’m more skeptical of the second paragraph quoted here than I am the first: Read more
Fig. 1. Yard sign for sale on Amazon, fair use.
Robert Steadman has had enough.
A longtime resident of Pittsburgh’s North Side, Steadman has seen too much violence, and hours after three people were killed and another wounded during a shooting Saturday night near Allegheny Commons, Steadman said it is time for action.
“You get tired of it. It’s just too much. The police don’t do … around here,” said Steadman, 55, as he walked with his three young children all under the age of 8.
It’s a curious thing that all these Thin Blue Line flag-wavers imagine, at least according to their yard signs, their white supremacist gangsters as heroes, risking their lives to “keep us safe.” Read more
Fig. 1. Sign on a property along Miller Road, just up from North State Street, on the edge of Clairton, Pennsylvania. Photograph by author, August 8, 2020.
This post will, I fear, be a prime example of crappy writing. It’s more of a data dump, failing to offer an argument for any solution, because I don’t have a solution within the paradigm of our system of social organization.
The housing picture in Pittsburgh is, to put it entirely too mildly, paradoxical. On the one hand, you have developments like Glass House Apartments that command San Francisco-level rents in, really, not that great a neighborhood and a move to develop vacant office space downtown into housing. New subdivisions—called “plans” here—with homeowners’ associations are popping up all around the suburbs. Read more
See update for October 16, 2022, at end of post.
Fig. 1. “The atomic cloud over Nagasaki 1945.” Photograph from Office for Emergency Management. Office of War Information. Overseas Operations Branch, New York Office, News and Features Bureau, (12/17/1942 – 09/15/1945), by Charles Levy, August 9, 1945, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
Russia has launched a missile attack against several Ukrainian cities, targeting civilians and energy infrastructure, drawing international condemnation. Vladimir Putin claims it is in retaliation for what the Russians claim was a truck bomb attack, orchestrated by Ukrainian “special services,” that severely damaged the Kerch bridge between Russia and Crimea. Read more
Starbucks Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz is right in one important respect: Many of the problems at Starbucks are larger than Starbucks. During the pandemic, we as a society became meaner—much meaner. As an Uber driver, I had to put up a sign demanding what should be common sense conduct. Read more
See update for November 26, 2022, at end of post.
Fig. 1. A black crow, unattributed and undated photograph, via Birdwatching United States of America, fair use.
The kitchen exhaust fan in my present apartment is kind of an odd contraption, really a hole in the wall with a fan inserted and a door on the outside which does not fully close. The whole thing is controlled with a pull-chain that simultaneously releases the spring-loaded door to open and turns on the fan (figure 2).
Fig. 2. My kitchen exhaust fan, on the wall above the stove. Photograph by author, October 14, 2022.
Because the door does not fully close, birds occasionally come to investigate. This morning, I saw that a small crow, I presume juvenile, with a beak definitely not that of a blackbird, had actually managed to find its way in. On its second brief visit, as I moved to try to get a photograph, it flew back out the doorway. Read more