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Showing posts from July, 2024

Bookshot#179: Five Past Midnight In Bhopal

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Another book that's been on my shelf far too long, Five Past Midnight In Bhopal is a harrowing story of the world's worst industrial accident. Before reading this book, I knew the basic outlines of what happened. An industrial plant in Bhopal, run by Union Carbide had some kind of a gas explosion, that killed a ton of people, and then Carbide refused to take responsibility for it. (There were some court cases/decisions in the early 2000s that put this in the news back in the day, so I was vaguely aware of it.)  This book, however, lifted the veil on the horrible details you don't get from reading random news articles about court cases. I don't want to say something trite like "Man, this was way worse than I realized" but that's more or less what I was left with. Honestly, comparing this to Chornobyl in scale and long-term after-effects probably wouldn't be too far from the mark and I don't want to say it's a 'searing indictment of corpora

The Hysteria Meter: Summer Edition

I had to close the internet last week a few times because it just got to be way too much. I get that the algorithms are designed to feed into rage and hysteria. It's just a general byproduct of social media these days, but sometimes, it gets to be a little much. Especially lately, so let's look at the HYSTERIA METER of late June and early July: 1. The Biden Thing:  I was torn when I first heard about the debate schedule. On the one hand, I've always thought that the Commission on Presidental Debates was a festering pile of horseshit designed to shut out and an all third party candidates to preserve the duopoly as much as possible. (If you can get to 270 electoral votes on paper, you get an invite to the first debate. 15% in the polls get you to the second debate should be the rule.) On the other hand, I didn't know why they were scheduling debates before the convention until it actually happened. You have a debate in June because if you're 81 and people are concern