The Return of Bruno Latour

Welcome to the Parliament of Things

I love to learn. You know who else loves to learn? MC Hammer, who tweeted this incredible take on the philosophy of science:

Does this seem surprising? It shouldn’t! Hammer tweeted his love of “the sweet science” of science back in August, and many times before. And who else said (I’m paraphrasing here) “when you measure, include the measurer?” Bruno Latour. Where do musicians go? On tour. Which is presumably where “Bruno” was returning from in Bruce Willis’s 1987 debut albumThe Return of Bruno.” If you knew that happened, you’re welcome for the reminder, and if you didn’t, now you do. Want a Bruce who is good at music? That’s right, it’s Bruce Springsteen but tough luck, because he’s doing a podcast, with Barack Obama (Today in Dads). I’m just dropping facts down your cranial Plinko machine here. Where they’ll come out, neither of us know. That’s learning!

90% of the discourse is people making up a fact and then getting mad when they learn it’s not true. On TikTok people are getting mad that you can’t melt a snowball with a lighter. Matt Novak chalks it up to sublimation, but Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait has a more likely explanation. We still haven’t learned that revealing gender can be fatal. Like the rest of us, Daft Punk learned that wearing a mask all the time sucks and decided to quit. We already learned how to find out if you can pet the dog, now learn whether you can violate the Gevena Conventions in your favorite game. When Boston Dynamics (“Home of happy fluffy robot killers, just like Grandma used to make!”) found out that MSCHF armed one of its murder dogs with a paintball gun to collaboratively destroy some art (tomorrow!) they were not happy. But what can they do about it? That’s right: kill us with robots. And Coachella for racism CPAC learned what happens when you announce that your theme is “America Uncanceled:”

Speaking of canceled, yesterday’s main character Jodi Shaw learned that Smith College President Kathleen McCartney did not come to play. McCartney released a statement in response to Shaw’s accusations yesterday which said (again, I’m paraphrasing):

“The employee suggests that Smith tried to buy her silence. But it was the employee herself who demanded payment of an exceptionally large sum in exchange for dropping a threatened legal claim and agreeing to standard confidentiality provisions,” writes McCartney. Shaw, in her response to the response, calls the above a “mischaracterization,” but then goes on to confirm every detail, so the mischaracterization is presumably how embarrassing it looks when you write it down like that. Shaw continues to tease the video, which is the only thing that can bring this story to its natural, awful conclusion.

What happens if you just can’t seem to learn? Radio host and podcaster Mike Pesca found out last night, when he was suspended indefinitely without pay from Slate after a Slack conversation about whether it’s ever ok for white people to use the n word that lasted longer than the required two letters. Defector’s Kelsey McKinney reported on this one lone apparently harmless discussion. And the time it happened in 2019. Oh, and the time in 2007. And the time in 2006. “I hate the idea of things that are beyond debate,” Pesca told Katie Robertson and Ben Smith in the Times. But the point isn’t that anything is beyond debate. It’s that we’ve had the debate1, and the answer is “no.”

Here’s a football you can smoke. The New Yorker of the week is Huge Ma, creator of vaccine appointment finder TurboVax and owner of the most delightful name I have heard all year. The UX on this Small Child is Terrible: “I’ve been in the business long enough to know that there’s one word you do not want to describe your UX copy, and that word is “terrifying.” Brooke Jarvis confirms that the “5 to 9” ad did suck. Interactive narrative scripting language Ink hits version 1.0.

Today’s Song: This was basically a full semester of Tabs college so let’s spark up a football and crank some Floyd.

~ They flutter behind you, your possible tabs ~

Special thanks today to Laura Simone for the excellent Daft Punk mask joke.

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1

See: American history, 1565-present.