Since the Birth of Language and Art
Hooray, hooray, it's Meltdown May!
Lit Hub briefly posted a mayfly of an essay by Jumi Bello this morning sort of explaining why she plagiarized parts of her now-canceled debut novel. Unfortunately the “history of plagiarism” passage of her plagiarism mea culpa appears to have been plagiarized. Plagiarism has been with us since the birth of language and art, and for as long as there have been words to be read, there has been someone there copying the passages, as Tarpley Hitt, in Gawker’s first good plagiarism, plagiarized from Bello, who appears to have plagiarized it from Turnitin dot com, which appears to have plagiarized it from Plagiarism Today. This is allegedly not Bello’s first drink from this particular well, either. According to her Lit Hub author bio, Bello is currently a “creative nonfiction PhD fellow” at the Black Mountain Institute at UNLV, last year’s Meltdown May MVP and former publisher of the premiere hookup site review The Believer.
Today in Scams
“It's a tale as old as Tinder: Girl meets Boy. Boy convinces Girl to hand over a large chunk of cash. Boy ghosts Girl.” This Bloomberg story by Francesca Maglione and David Voreacos also explains that Girl borrowed the millions she lost to Boy from Mother, who controls the estate of Father, who was murdered by Friend who believed Father had scammed him in a med-tech investment scheme, so it’s scams all the way down. Bonus vocab: the specific scam in play here is “a growing type of crypto fraud called “pig butchering” because emotionally manipulated victims’ accounts are fattened before being drained.”
Dan Hannum, COO of “TurboTax for crypto enthusiasts” (???) ZenLedger apparently just made up his whole resumé, and got away with it scot-free until Ron Lieber from the NY Times asked, like, one question. Just the most basic possible fact checking was all it took here to unravel this criminal mastermind’s web of deceit. I guess not so much a web as a single flimsy thread of deceit? Anyway it was enough to fool his employers, The Wall St. Journal, Politico, and Forbes, among others.
Who is the Upper East Side pool pooper? Four Americans are not Havana nice vacation at Sandals. Soul Cycle founders start even more obvious cult. Lindsay Owens listened to a lot of earnings calls and discovered that “inflation” is a euphemism for “price gouging.” Elon Musk’s Twitter pitch deck is full of blatant nonsense and the sex number (69). Meghan McCain’s memoir about being a whiny piss baby who everyone hates reportedly sold 244 copies in its first week and a half, which seems like a lot tbh. WORDLE SCANDLE! After 3 months and a million dollars the Times still hasn’t managed to update Wordle to not embed the entire list of solutions in the app.
We aim to significantly expand the community powered by NFTs and tokens later in 2022. Meanwhile, readers can expect an even better Dirt newsletter, with our authoritative daily summary of streaming, digital culture, entertainment and the next phase of the internet.
The funders are a mix of media VCs and DAOs, and the investment is a mix of cash and crypto beanie babies. [Full Disclosure: I have no stake in Dirt or any other crypto or web3 project, but I am friends with Kyle and Daisy and I wish them well because at this point I’ve seen much dumber people make much more money for much worse projects. I think anyone who will be mad about that has already yelled at me and unsubscribed, but fwiw.]
Cory Doctorow has a fascinating, and by fascinating I mean “terrifying,” post about how the charming story of John Deere remotely bricking a bunch of looted Ukrainian tractors leads directly to the possibility of “a universal remote for killing people.”
Today’s Song: Mogwai, “Boltfor” (thanks May!)
~ you can tab all of the people some of the time ~
I’m pleased to report that Today in Tabs now has a wholly fictional value of $6 million worth of Chinese-property-development-bond backed crypto beanies. Unfortunately here in the real world, I still need you to subscribe so I can afford to keep writing it. Also @fka_tabs is like 75 followers away from 5,000 so get in there while you can still say you remember me before I was too famous to care about the little people. Here’s an extremely good video of a young Keanu Reeves covering a Canadian teddy bear convention.