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  • October 18th 2018 at 17:08

The Hidden Money Funding the Midterms

By Derek Willis
Strategies that let super PACs delay revealing their donors until after the election are gaining popularity among both Democrats and Republicans.
  • October 18th 2018 at 17:08

Revising Lovecraft: The Mutant Mythos

A VAST TIDE of Lovecraftian fiction, revisionist or otherwise, is published every year. I remember reading a claim — which I’ve been unable to track down — that roughly 50 percent of titles published each year in the weird/dark fiction metacategory are more or less Lovecraftian. Why do we see this current fascination with Lovecraft, […]

The post Revising Lovecraft: The Mutant Mythos appeared first on Los Angeles Review of Books.

  • October 18th 2018 at 17:05

A Polish Snow Globe: On Adam Mickiewicz’s “Pan Tadeusz: The Last Foray in Lithuania”

WHO IS Adam Mickiewicz? In 1833, the year before he published his epic poem Pan Tadeusz, the question would have sounded ridiculous, not just to Poles, but to most literate Europeans. For by 1833, Adam Mickiewicz had already become much more than a poet. He was a prophet and a rock star–level celebrity, whose every […]

The post A Polish Snow Globe: On Adam Mickiewicz’s “Pan Tadeusz: The Last Foray in Lithuania” appeared first on Los Angeles Review of Books.

  • October 18th 2018 at 17:05

California Sons: Miriam Pawel’s “The Browns of California”

DO WHAT YOU ARE DOING — age quod agis — is a personal motto for California governor Jerry Brown. He learned it as a teenage Jesuit seminarian, printed it on banners in his 1976 campaign for governor, and emblazoned it on the crest of the charter high school he later founded in Oakland. Intentionality and […]

The post California Sons: Miriam Pawel’s “The Browns of California” appeared first on Los Angeles Review of Books.

  • October 18th 2018 at 17:05

Himmler’s Antiquity

IN 1924, as a secretary and propaganda assistant for the young Nazi Party, Heinrich Himmler was spending a great deal of time on a train as he traveled Bavaria promoting his party. He had with him a small treatise on the German race called de Origine et Situ Germanorum, or On the Origin and Situation […]

The post Himmler’s Antiquity appeared first on Los Angeles Review of Books.

  • October 18th 2018 at 17:05

Writing Algeria

KAMEL DAOUD IS the author of The Meursault Investigation, first published in France in 2014 and here in the United States a year later, leading to international critical acclaim, including the Prix Goncourt and glowing profiles and reviews in The New Yorker and The New York Times. The novel, a response to Albert Camus’s The […]

The post Writing Algeria appeared first on Los Angeles Review of Books.

  • October 18th 2018 at 17:05

Grabbing the Narrative for Yourself: An Interview with Jamie Bernstein

THE CENTENNIAL OF Leonard Bernstein’s birth has inspired lavish, seemingly unending celebrations around the world — concerts, museum exhibits, and competing biopics starring Bradley Cooper and Jake Gyllenhaal extolling the musical genius of the great conductor, composer, and showman. But there is one clear-eyed insider’s view that should not be missed: a new memoir from […]

The post Grabbing the Narrative for Yourself: An Interview with Jamie Bernstein appeared first on Los Angeles Review of Books.

  • October 18th 2018 at 17:05

Ted Hearne’s Political Soundscapes

POLITICAL MUSIC IS, typically, a tactical art. It tends to target political figures, regimes, movements, or ideologies, and tap the capacity of music to rally listeners in support of or opposition to its subjects. It usually qualifies as “art for use,” to apply an old Marxist-theory frame, whereby music acts as a tool of exhortation […]

The post Ted Hearne’s Political Soundscapes appeared first on Los Angeles Review of Books.

  • October 18th 2018 at 17:05

Cold War Cold Files

AS SOMEONE WHO HAS spent a decade researching and writing about unofficial or semi-official visual art in Eastern Europe during the Cold War, I have come to believe that the American wing of my academic discipline — art history — is deeply disinterested in the place I study. Eastern Europe is too obscure and un-canonical […]

The post Cold War Cold Files appeared first on Los Angeles Review of Books.

  • October 18th 2018 at 17:05

Philips Hue dimmer switch kit for $30

By Mark Frauenfelder

I wanted to be able to control a light above our bed without having to get out of bed. The Philips Hue Wireless Dimming Kit (currently on sale for $30 on Amazon) was an easy way to do it. The kit comes with an LED bulb that connects wirelessly to the dimmer. The dimmer is mounted to the wall with adhesive tape, but you can remove it from its magnetic housing if you want to control your light from another part of the room.

The remote is much easier to use than a smartphone app (and more secure, too, I imagine). I've learned that the remote can be used to control up to 10 light bulbs.

Trump and Nietzsche

By Jules Evans

I wasn’t a big reader as a youth. I was more of a jock and a class clown. It was only around the age of 17 that I suddenly became a moody adolescent book-worm – it was both a quickening and a sickening. In one term, I read Hamlet, King Lear, Heart of Darkness and Freud’s Five Cases of Hysteria, and also watched Blue Velvet. Strong medicine! I had a sudden horrifying and fascinating sense of the dark subconscious bubbling beneath civilized appearances.

The book that made the biggest impression on me, by far, was Friedrich Nietzsche’s Birth of Tragedy. I was transfixed by his description of the play of two opposing forces in ancient Greek culture – the Apollonian, which seeks limits and moderation, and the Dionysian, which seeks excess and ecstasy. I started to see these forces everywhere. Every essay I wrote weaved its way inevitably back to the Apollonian and the Dionysian. The obsession continued at university. Fifteen years later, I wrote my first book on the Socratic path to flourishing, and my second on the Dionysian path. How long a shadow that book has cast!

Strangely enough, I never finished other books by Nietzsche. I got my Nietzschean philosophy second-hand, from the novels of DH Lawrence. I occasionally dipped into Thus Spoke Zarathustra, just enough to come across a few memorable passages like his great diss of English utilitarians: ‘We have invented happiness’, say the last men, and blink.

But now, I’ve been sent a new biography of Nietzsche by Sur Prideaux, called I Am Dynamite. I devoured it – it’s a beautiful, moving, and very absorbing account of a heroic and pathetic life. And it gave me the chance to consider Nietzsche, and his influence on our time, a little more deeply.

Nietzsche grew up in a fairly well-to-do German family in Prussia, but the family fortunes took a turn for the worse when his father – a Lutheran pastor – died of a degenerative brain illness in his 30s. The family became hard-up, but Nietzsche lifted them up through his academic brilliance. He was appointed a professor of philology at the age of 25, but he dreamt of being a composer. He managed to befriend Richard Wagner – already a European celebrity – and spent the happiest days of his life at the Wagner castle, where he was embraced as one of the family. For a few years, he moved in the exalted atmosphere of Chateaux Wagner – all high ideals and swooning ecstasies.

But his 30s were not as glorious as his 20s. He wrote The Birth of Tragedy at 28, but it was greeted with ominous silence by the press and academic peers. It was so over-the-top in its ecstatic style, compared to the average plodding academic work. Then he fell out with Wagner, and fell in love with a 20-year-old Russian, named Lou Salome, who ultimately rejected his advances and humiliated him. He was prone to terrible migraines and digestive troubles, and was often confined to bed for days. He found himself tramping across Europe, from city to city, self-publishing his own books, and almost always alone.

Yet somehow, out of these inauspicious circumstances, his ideas burst forth, more and more confident and radical. He was certain that he had an entirely new vision of existence, which would destroy the last 2500 years of morality, and pave the way for a bold new adventure for mankind.

When one reads the great prophets of moral philosophy – the Buddha, Plato, the Stoics, Christ, the author of the Upanishads – one notices that they all preach self-knowledge, self-examination, self-control, sobriety, chastity and asceticism of the body. Only through this self-denial, we are told, can the virtuous person go beyond desires and appetites, beyond appearances, beyond impermanence, and arrive at some transcendental resting place – the One, God, the Logos, Buddha-nature, Brahman.

Nietzsche, through his great ‘transvaluation of values’, turns all these systems on their head. Their morality is not virtue and health. It is sickness, weakness, pessimism, nihilism, a symptom of decadence and decline. It is the consolation of the weak, the broken and the disappointed, those who turn wearily from life and ‘put their last trust in a sure nothing rather than an uncertain something’.

He writes, perhaps with the Buddha in mind: ‘They encounter an invalid or an old man or a corpse, and straightaway they say ‘Life is refuted!’ But only they are refuted, they and their eye that sees only one aspect of existence.

These famous moral systems are really an outgrowth of ‘slave morality’. The slave-philosopher Epictetus is a perfect example. He has no power over external things, so he says that true power, true freedom, is power over one’s thoughts and desires. How convenient. Then, like Socrates, he preaches this acceptance-of-weakness to strong aristocratic youth, and ruins them.

The ‘slave-morality’ was first invented by the Jews, Nietzsche says, out of their weakness and domination by various more powerful races. Judeo-Christianity pretends to be a morality of meekness and forgiveness, but underneath that mask lurks resentment and passive-aggression. ‘I forgive you’, they say to their conquerors, but what they really mean is ‘I’m better than you’. And the Romans, alas, fell for it.

Against the slave-morality, Nietzsche champions the masters, the ‘blond beasts’, those strong, carefree warriors who maraud across the world from time to time, like the Vikings, the Teutonic knights, the Mongols, the Indian Kshatriyas, the Greek aristocrats. They were young, healthy, vigorous, laughing, cruel and violent. They basically did what they liked, and called it ‘noble’, and had a gay old time of it until Socrates, Jesus, Lao Tse and the Buddha came along and ruined everything.

Nietzsche thought that liberal democracy was really an extension of Christianity, with its sympathy for the weak and the rights of man. He looked across late 19th century Europe, with its campaigns for universal suffrage, gender equality and the welfare state, and saw the triumph of slave morality, the triumph of the herd, the masses, the little people. It made him sick. He railed against the plebs, and especially against female suffrage – ‘the struggle for equal rights is a symptom of sickness’, he wrote. Healthy women loved to obey men. Only barren women fought for equality.

Democratic, plebeian, mediocre Europeans had lost any sense of greatness. They’d lost even the memory of God and of their predecessors’ heroic struggle for transcendence. They just wanted comfort and ‘well-being’. Nietzsche was no fan of well-being:

You want, if possible—and there is not a more foolish “if possible”—TO DO AWAY WITH SUFFERING; and we?—it really seems that WE would rather have it increased and made worse than it has ever been! Well-being, as you understand it—is certainly not a goal; it seems to us an END; a condition which at once renders man ludicrous and contemptible—and makes his destruction DESIRABLE! The discipline of suffering, of GREAT suffering—know ye not that it is only THIS discipline that has produced all the elevations of humanity hitherto?

Instead, he lays out a new vision for humans, a new project: the Ubermensch, or Superman. He writes in Thus Spake Zarathustra: ‘I teach you the Superman. Man is something that should be overcome.’ We should seek to transcend ourselves not in the service of ‘super-terrestrial hopes’ like God or Nirvana, but rather in the service of self-actualization. This self-actualization – becoming what we are – does not involve the disciplining of the body, the emotions and the desires, but rather letting the desires, emotions and body sing and dance. It does not mean a weary obedience to rules and precepts handed down by priests, but rather the bold creation of new values. Man creates meaning, he does not receive it from God. And this self-actualization will be here and now, in this body, on this Earth, or it will be nowhere. We must resist the urge to find consolation and security in fake metaphysical dreams like God or Nirvana, and instead learn to dance with uncertainty and chaos.

By 1888, Nietzsche felt he had blown his way clear of the old morality, and was euphoric with the new prospects he saw for mankind. He wrote four books in nine months, they poured out of him. He was filled with joy, and even lost control of his face and his emotions – he couldn’t stop grinning. He saw coincidences in everything. ‘He only had to think of a person for a letter from them to arrive politely through the door.’ His letters to his friends became increasingly manic. He started to allude to himself as Dionysus, or ‘The Crucified’. ‘I shall rule the world from now on.’ ‘In two months time I shall be the foremost name on the earth’.

In January 1889 he had some sort of breakdown in the streets of Turin. It is said he saw a man whipping a horse, and he clung to the horse’s neck and wept. How poignant if this is true – the man who condemned pity breaks down in pity! He retreated to his apartment, where he screamed and danced naked. His friend Franz Overbeck was contacted, and found Nietzsche cowering in a corner, trying to read his writings but obviously unable to comprehend them. He never recovered his mind – never seemed to know who he was or what was happening.

He was 44, but lived for another 11 years. His sister Elizabeth, who sounds an evil and selfish anti-Semite, took care of him, and cashed in on his growing success. She ran salons celebrating his work in the living-room, while Nietzsche howled in his bedroom upstairs. She controlled his estate, and turned him into a prophet of Nazism. Hitler came to visit, and emerged from their conversation bearing Nietzsche’s walking stick.

Was Nietzsche’s collapse a divine punishment for his hubris and over-reaching? Some kind of psychosis or spiritual emergency? Or a neurological illness, perhaps inherited from his father? We don’t know. But, just as he prophesized, in the years after his collapse his influence grew and grew. His dynamite philosophy blew a hole in Victorian complacency, and created a space for the fierce experimentation of modernism.

For some years after World War 2, Nietzsche was understandably out of fashion. But he’s been rehabilitated since the 1970s, and is now one of the most popular subjects for philosophy PhDs. Scholars have clarified that, unlike his sister, he wasn’t anti-Semitic – he admired Jewish culture. Nor was he a nationalist – he thought nationalism was a cheap intoxicant, despised German militarism, and called himself a ‘good European’. He was a key influence on Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, and helped to create what Paul Ricoeur called the ‘hermeneutics of suspicion’ which is so popular in left-wing humanities and social sciences: what secret interest lurks under an ideal? Aren’t all claims to ‘truth’ or ‘beauty’ really disguised power-grabs by particular interest groups?

This new biography will add to his good reputation – what a heroic man we meet, what a stylist, what a humourist! Who else has chapter headings like ‘Why I am so clever’! Who else can tear apart an entire philosophy (like Stoicism) with a few hilarious sentences. What brilliant psychological insights he threw up in his inspired frenzy – on the unconscious, the ego, projection, the wisdom of the body.

It’s awkward, then, that this new, sympathetic, rehabilitated Nietzsche should prove to be so popular with the alt-right. The American neo-Nazi Richard Spencer has said he was ‘Red Pilled by Nietzsche’, and many other angry young white men on alt-right or Red Pill websites have nothing but praise for Nietzsche. They don’t get him, insist liberal or leftist defenders of Nietzsche. They’re misappropriating him. They’re making the same mistakes the Nazis made.

Oh come off it. Foucault is right that there are many Nietzsches, but one of the most consistent notes one hears is his contempt for the masses and his hatred of liberal democracy, equality, and the rights of women, workers or the weak. As I read his books this week – particularly Beyond Good and Evil and The Genealogy of Morals  – I thought how well it fit with the alt-right worldview: Liberal democracy is a monstrous cacophony that seeks to shame and emasculate strong men. It is a dictatorship of the offended, the resentful, and the easily bruised, who seek power through victimhood and hurt feelings. This conspiracy of the weak will only work if strong men fall for it – if they become cuks or ‘white knights’, in alt-right and Red Pill terms – if they are so credulous as to believe that women or minority groups really are interested in ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ rather than simply power and domination. But the strong man, the Alpha male, will break the bonds of liberal guilt and roam free, just like Trump, Bo-Jo, Bolsonaro, Orban, Duterte, Erdogan, Berlusconi, and every other blond or not so-blond beast now strutting on the world stage.

How could the alt-right and Red Pillers not thrill to passages like this, where Nietzsche gets nostalgic about the good ol’ days of rape and pillage enjoyed by the ‘blond beasts’:

They enjoy freedom from all social control, they feel that in the wilderness they can give vent with impunity to that tension which is produced by enclosure and imprisonment in the peace of society, they revert to the innocence of the beast-of-prey conscience, like jubilant monsters, who perhaps come from a ghostly bout of murder, arson, rape, and torture, with bravado and a moral equanimity, as though merely some wild student’s prank had been played, perfectly convinced that the poets have now an ample theme to sing and celebrate.

It reminds one of Kavanaugh – it’s all just student pranks…just bants!

There are passages where Nietzsche even sounds like Trump – in his insults against women, and his absurd boasting: ‘At no moment of my life can I be shown to have adopted any kind of arrogant or pathetic posture’, he says, before continuing: ‘Anyone who saw me during the seventy days of this autumn when I was uninterruptedly creating nothing but things of the first rank which no man will be able to do again or has done before, bearing a responsibility for all the coming millennia, will have noticed no trace of tension in me.’ It reminds me of Trump’s immortal line: ‘I’m much more humble than you would understand’.

How could fascists not grin at Nietzsche’s Strangelovian denunciations of the superfluous dwarves of liberal democracy, who don’t deserve any sympathy – in fact, it is just this sympathy which has led to the ‘DETERIORATION OF THE EUROPEAN RACE’? How could they not cheer at his calls for ‘the higher breeding of humanity, together with the remorseless destruction of all degenerate and parasitic elements’, at his yearning for ‘the harshest but most necessary wars’, at his praise of violence and cruelty as the source of all higher culture, at his endless comments like: ‘The weak and the failures shall perish. They ought even to be helped to perish’.

I could give many such quotes. Are the alt-right misreading Nietzsche? Theirs is a selective reading, but it’s not an unfair one. I’m sure sometimes he is being provocative – just bants! – but words and ideas easily slip off the page and kill people.

And this champion of strength and virility was a sickly and weak man, a failure in the army, a loser in love, who claimed not to need public attention yet became more and more megalomaniac until he claimed to be a god. He’s right that there can be something morbid and unhealthy in Stoicism and other philosophies of consolation – but there is also, surely, something morbid and resentful in him, the impoverished and humiliated Prussian constantly insisting on his aristocratic rank. One can find him interesting, funny, fascinating, even sympathetic, and still be honest about the toxicity of his ideas and the damage they do.

Philosophy for life - The website of Jules Evans

Google Play update enables smaller app installs

Google has implemented changes to the Play Store, which could translate to smaller applications that are much, much kinder to your phone's storage and memory. Earlier this year, it introduced a new app publishing format called Android App Bundle that...

Welcome to Breastfeeding Class, Surrender All Hope

By MARISSA MACIEL

Welcome to breastfeeding class! You are here because you want to learn about a healthy, natural way to feed your baby. Good job, moms!

Let’s see from a show of hands how many of you read a book or watched a show about breastfeeding, or talked to a friend or family member who nursed their child?

That’s great!

Now put up your other hand. You’re showing me the international symbol of surrender. That’s exactly what you’re going to be doing for the rest of your breastfeeding life.

You took that fateful step across the precipice of sanity with your birth-ravaged, post-partum body and woefully under-rested mind to avoid things like “nipple confusion” and “bottle dependency” by refusing formula at the hospital.

To sacrifice yourself and be a hero!

And at this breastfeeding class two will enter, one will leave, as you and your baby become one — connected at your raw, unrecognizable nipples.

Quick slideshow:

  • Engorgement: Breasts that feel like twelve-pound bowling balls.
  • Blebs: Blisters in places where no blisters have gone before.
  • Nipple Vasospasms: Painful loss of circulation.
  • And the big one: Mastitis, or as we like to call it, “Puss Boob.”

These are just some of the traps that will ensnare you. All part of your journey into the maternal abyss — oozing and feverish, hungry and exhausted.

Bravo, mammas!

Now, let’s talk about nursing position. Your back should be straight, arms supported at all times, feet elevated, knees at right angles, your baby perpendicular to your nursing side, levitating on an unwieldy amount of pillows and supports, baby’s back horizontally level with the ground, attached in perfect unison with your nipple, sun pointing in your eyes — never in your baby’s.

You’ll know you’re doing things right if you start crying uncontrollably after getting in position. Don’t worry though, the crying will taper off as you start to normalize this new reality.

Madeline’s mother asked about self-care for nursing mothers. Easy question! There is no self-care.

You and your child will become one amorphous ur-baby. You will eat, sleep, bathe, and use the toilet around the venerable feeding schedule. And when you spend six hours sitting in one spot nursing the baby through a growth spurt, you will think about your “self-care” question and laugh. Laugh from pure exhaustion! Laugh from the hilarious existential confusion!

What is the “self” anymore? Whose purpose do you serve on this earth, now? Can you even claim your feelings and needs, or do they all stem from The Baby?

But one day you’ll figure out how to take a shower and get out of the house with your child. Maybe you’ll go to the park, seeking stimulation from other human beings, and you’ll see a new mother there, trying to nurse her two-month-old.

Congratulate her on her choice, maybe brag about how long you’ve been nursing. Compliment her nursing blanket. Lie to her about the impending doom of her breastfeeding path. Maybe set up a playdate for your two babies so you can suffer together.

Although, if you do get tired of nursing, and decide to fight against our society’s desire for mothers to shoulder unsustainable burdens by sacrificing their bodies, minds, livelihoods, and interpersonal relationships to nurse their babies, you can switch to formula. But I’m warning you: you’re gonna feel like a quitter!

Okay, next class will be devoted to nursing bras. Be sure to bring your pre-maternity bras to class because you’ll need something to cry into.

  • October 18th 2018 at 17:00

Twilio launches a new SIM card and narrowband dev kit for IoT developers

By Frederic Lardinois

Twilio is hosting its Signal developer conference in San Francisco this week. Yesterday was all about bots and taking payments over the phone; today is all about IoT. The company is launching two new (but related) products today that will make it easier for IoT developers to connect their devices. The first is the Global Super SIM that offers global connectivity management through the networks of Twilio’s partners. The second is Twilio Narrowband, which, in cooperation with T-Mobile, offers a full software and hardware kit for building low-bandwidth IoT solutions and the narrowband network to connect them.

Twilio also announced that it is expanding its wireless network partnerships with the addition of Singtel, Telefonica and Three Group. Unsurprisingly, those are also the partners that make the company’s Super SIM project possible.

The Super SIM, which is currently in private preview and will launch in public beta in the spring of 2019, provides developers with a global network that lets them deploy and manage their IoT devices anywhere (assuming there is a cell connection or other internet connectivity, of course). The Super SIM gives developers the ability to choose the network they want to use or to let Twilio pick the defaults based on the local networks.

Twilio Narrowband is a slightly different solution. Its focus right now is on the U.S., where T-Mobile rolled out its Narrowband IoT network earlier this year. As the name implies, this is about connecting low-bandwidth devices that only need to send out small data packets like timestamps, GPS coordinates or status updates. Twilio Narrowband sits on top of this, using Twilio’s Programmable Wireless and SIM card. It then adds an IoT developer kit with an Arduino-based development board and the standard Grove sensors on top of that, as well as a T-Mobile-certified hardware module for connecting to the narrowband network. To program that all, Twilio is launching an SDK for handling network registrations and optimizing the communication between the devices and the cloud.

The narrowband service will launch as a beta in early 2019 and offer three pricing plans: a developer plan for $2/month, an annual production plan for $10/year or $5/year at scale, and a five-year plan for $8/year or $4/year at scale.

Notable Portland: 10/18–10/24

By Olivia Olivia

Thursday 10/18: Northwest Academy invites Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, author of A Kind of Freedom, to read from her latest work. Plaza Building, 6:30 p.m., free.

John Kaag reads from his latest book, Hiking With Nietzsche: On Becoming Who You Are. Powell’s City of Books, 7:30 p.m., free.

The Blackonteurs—Portland’s black storytelling collective—presents its latest show with performances by Shanna Christmas, Jemiah Jefferson, Chris Johnson, and Carlos Kareem Windham. Deep End Theater, 7:30 p.m.,  $16.

Friday 10/19: Anastacia-Reneé debuts her new book, (v.), alongside Ashley Toliver, author of Spectra. Literary Arts, 7 p.m., free.

Walter Mosley reads from his new novel, John Woman. Powell’s City of Books, 7:30 p.m., free.

Saturday 10/20: Phoebe Robinson, star of 2 Dope Queens, reads from her new book, Everything’s Trash, but It’s Okay. Powell’s City of Books, 7:30 p.m., free.

Sunday 10/21: Fatimah Asghar reads from her debut poetry collection, If They Come for Us, and is joined in conversation by Samiya Bashir, author of Field Theories. Powell’s City of Books, 2 p.m., free.

Portland artist Stephen O’Donnell shares from his latest collection, The Untold Gaze, alongside writers Lidia Yuknavitch, Monica Drake, Scott Sparling, Margaret Malone, and Jude Brewer, who wrote stories prompted by his paintings for the anthology. Powell’s City of Books, 7:30 p.m., free.

Monday 10/22: Journalist Joshua Hunt reads from his dramatic exposé on how the University of Oregon sold its soul to Nike, University of Nike: How Corporate Cash Bought American Higher Education. Powell’s City of Books, 7:30 p.m., free.

Beth Jusino reads from her new book, Walking to the End of the World: A Thousand Miles on the Camino De Santiago. Powell’s Books on Hawthorne, 7:30 p.m., free.

Tuesday 10/23: Shelley Jackson reads from her supernatural novel, Riddance: Or: The Sybil Joines Vocational School for Ghost Speakers & Hearing-Mouth Children. Powell’s City of Books, 7:30 p.m., free.

Wednesday 10/24: Leif Enger reads from her latest novel, Virgil Wander. Powell’s City of Books, 7:30 p.m., free.

***

If you have an event listing you’d like us to consider, please write to notablePortland@therumpus.net.

***

Notable Portland logo art by Olivia Olivia.

Related Posts:

Twilio launches a new SIM card and narrowband dev kit for IoT developers

By Frederic Lardinois

Twilio is hosting its Signal developer conference in San Francisco this week. Yesterday was all about bots and taking payments over the phone; today is all about IoT. The company is launching two new (but related) products today that will make it easier for IoT developers to connect their devices. The first is the Global Super SIM that offers global connectivity management through the networks of Twilio’s partners. The second is Twilio Narrowband, which, in cooperation with T-Mobile, offers a full software and hardware kit for building low-bandwidth IoT solutions and the narrowband network to connect them.

Twilio also announced that it is expanding its wireless network partnerships with the addition of Singtel, Telefonica and Three Group. Unsurprisingly, those are also the partners that make the company’s Super SIM project possible.

The Super SIM, which is currently in private preview and will launch in public beta in the spring of 2019, provides developers with a global network that lets them deploy and manage their IoT devices anywhere (assuming there is a cell connection or other internet connectivity, of course). The Super SIM gives developers the ability to choose the network they want to use or to let Twilio pick the defaults based on the local networks.

Twilio Narrowband is a slightly different solution. Its focus right now is on the U.S., where T-Mobile rolled out its Narrowband IoT network earlier this year. As the name implies, this is about connecting low-bandwidth devices that only need to send out small data packets like timestamps, GPS coordinates or status updates. Twilio Narrowband sits on top of this, using Twilio’s Programmable Wireless and SIM card. It then adds an IoT developer kit with an Arduino-based development board and the standard Grove sensors on top of that, as well as a T-Mobile-certified hardware module for connecting to the narrowband network. To program that all, Twilio is launching an SDK for handling network registrations and optimizing the communication between the devices and the cloud.

The narrowband service will launch as a beta in early 2019 and offer three pricing plans: a developer plan for $2/month, an annual production plan for $10/year or $5/year at scale, and a five-year plan for $8/year or $4/year at scale.

Editors’ Choice: Ctrl Alt Delete – Aleia Brown Digital Dialogues Presentation

By Aleia Brown

Revolutionary dreams erupt out of political engagement; collective social movements are incubators of new knowledge.  Robin D.G.  Kelly, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

This presentation traces the arc of Museums Respond to Ferguson and #BlkTwitterstorians–two born digital projects that emerged at the height of the Movement for Black Lives. The chats started with queries that then influenced deeper dialogue on how scholars and activists together could use history to inform a world specifically void of policing and incarceration. Both projects hinged on collective engagement with a few questions (and critiques) to incubate new ideas on how to present and preserve Black history with Black futures in mind. While both projects happened online, low-tech methodologies deeply informed project decisions. Phone calls, in-person meetings and printed chats played an important role in shaping the project. There was a heavy emphasis on the public, but the projects influenced the personal in ways that ultimately led to Museums Respond to Ferguson’s end and #BlkTwitterstorians refocus.

 

Watch the full presentation here.

A ton of people don’t know that Facebook owns WhatsApp

By Taylor Hatmaker

Americans looking to reduce their reliance on products from tech’s most alarmingly megalithic companies might be surprised to learn just how far their reach extends.

Privacy-minded browser company DuckDuckGo conducted a small study to look into that phenomenon and the results were pretty striking.

“… As Facebook usage wanes, messaging apps like WhatsApp are growing in popularity as a ‘more private (and less confrontational) space to communicate,'” DuckDuckGo wrote in the post. “That shift didn’t make much sense to us because both services are owned by the same company, so we tried to find an explanation.”

DuckDuckGo gathered a random sample of 1,297 adult Americans who are “collectively demographically similar to the general population of U.S. adults” (i.e. not just DuckDuckGo diehards) using SurveyMonkey’s audience tools. The survey found that 50.4% of those surveyed who had used WhatsApp in the prior 6 months (247 participants) did not know that the company is owned by Facebook.

Similarly, DuckDuckGo found that 56.4% of those surveyed who had used Waze in the past 6 months (291 participants) had no idea that the navigation app is owned by Google. A similar study conducted back in April found the same phenomenon when it came to Facebook/Instagram and Google/YouTube, though for Instagram the effect was even stronger (wow).

If you’re reading TechCrunch it’s probably almost impossible to imagine that average people aren’t tracing the lines between tech’s biggest companies and the products scooped up or built under their wings. And yet, it is so.

Even as companies like Google and Facebook suffer blowback from privacy crises, it’s clear that they can lean on the products they’ve picked up along the way to chart a path forward. If this survey is any indication, half of U.S. consumers will have no idea that they’ve jumped ship from a big tech product into a lifeboat captained by the very same company they sought to escape.

And for the biggest tech companies, it’s at least one reason that keeping satellite products at arm’s length from their respective motherships is advantageous for maintaining trust — especially while aggressive data sharing happens behind the scenes.

A ton of people don’t know that Facebook owns WhatsApp

By Taylor Hatmaker

Americans looking to reduce their reliance on products from tech’s most alarmingly megalithic companies might be surprised to learn just how far their reach extends.

Privacy-minded browser company DuckDuckGo conducted a small study to look into that phenomenon and the results were pretty striking.

“… As Facebook usage wanes, messaging apps like WhatsApp are growing in popularity as a ‘more private (and less confrontational) space to communicate,'” DuckDuckGo wrote in the post. “That shift didn’t make much sense to us because both services are owned by the same company, so we tried to find an explanation.”

DuckDuckGo gathered a random sample of 1,297 adult Americans who are “collectively demographically similar to the general population of U.S. adults” (i.e. not just DuckDuckGo diehards) using SurveyMonkey’s audience tools. The survey found that 50.4% of those surveyed who had used WhatsApp in the prior 6 months (247 participants) did not know that the company is owned by Facebook.

Similarly, DuckDuckGo found that 56.4% of those surveyed who had used Waze in the past 6 months (291 participants) had no idea that the navigation app is owned by Google. A similar study conducted back in April found the same phenomenon when it came to Facebook/Instagram and Google/YouTube, though for Instagram the effect was even stronger (wow).

If you’re reading TechCrunch it’s probably almost impossible to imagine that average people aren’t tracing the lines between tech’s biggest companies and the products scooped up or built under their wings. And yet, it is so.

Even as companies like Google and Facebook suffer blowback from privacy crises, it’s clear that they can lean on the products they’ve picked up along the way to chart a path forward. If this survey is any indication, half of U.S. consumers will have no idea that they’ve jumped ship from a big tech product into a lifeboat captained by the very same company they sought to escape.

And for the biggest tech companies, it’s at least one reason that keeping satellite products at arm’s length from their respective motherships is advantageous for maintaining trust — especially while aggressive data sharing happens behind the scenes.

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