Trump's Media & Technology Grift

We'll get to that, but first: Yesterday in Crabs

Well, Donald Trump did a thing and I guess we have to talk about it, like it’s 2015 and we’re not already in the After Times, all of us fully deranged and ready to die historic on the fury road. But what if we started with Yesterday In Crabs instead? Look at this bodacious Cretaceous pinchy boi:

The crab fossil record extends back into the early Jurassic, more than 200 million years ago. Unfortunately, fossils of nonmarine crabs are sparse and largely restricted to bits and pieces of the animals carapace—claws and legs found in sedimentary rocks. That is until now with the discovery of Cretapsara athanata. "The specimen is spectacular, it is one of a kind. It's absolutely complete and is not missing a single hair on the body, which is remarkable," said lead author Javier Luque, postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University.

The paper is in Science Advances, and it’s full of crabby goodness. Check out this 3D mesh and try to tell me you don’t hear the music.

While I was writing about crabs, the Trump SPAC has become a meme stonk, so let’s put that aside again and talk about horses instead. Majestic creatures, horses. “Slender legs, a muscular back and a mane that shimmers in the wind.” That evocative description is by Sabrina Imbler, who wrote about a new paper in Nature that may have found “the smoking hoof” in the horse’s genetic record that answers the longstanding question of where modern horses were first domesticated. “A little over a year ago, they were able to pinpoint the precise location: the Volga-Don region in what is now Russia,” Imbler writes. In more unsettling ungulate updates, the owner of the escaped Maryland zebras has been charged with three counts of animal cruelty, and it sounds like the rest of his half-ass zoo isn’t doing much better than the zebras were.

Imagine you were a Viking exactly one thousand years ago, in 1021. You wouldn’t have any idea that Donald Trump’s dumb new social media venture is just a Mastodon fork that probably violates the GPL. You’d have no clue that they’re calling a post a “TRUTH” and sharing someone else’s TRUTH is called a “Re-TRUTH.” Instead, a group of researchers believe, the blissfully ignorant Viking-you might be happily settled “on the windswept northern tip of Newfoundland” at l’Anse aux Meadows. They’ve pinned it down to a single year via a clever combination of radiocarbon dating and counting tree rings, and sure you might be in danger of starving to death but at least you’d have the satisfaction of being the first to cross the Atlantic, and never seeing a single page of the Trump Media & Technology Group’s pitch deck.

And briefly, before we really get into this Trump news: women don’t think things are so great for them, but men haven’t noticed. Not that it’ll probably make any difference but Tom Scocca has memorialized Joe Manchin’s absurd corruption, so if there any historians in the future, they can be like: “here was one problem at least.” The educational implications of iOS 15’s ability to extract text from images are lit. Crypto exchange FTX had a nice fundraising round. WeWork finally limped onto the public market for a nearly six times lower valuation than it expected in 2019. Mini-Kiwi Korner: In Kawerau one thing impedes the effort to vaccinate Māori: New Zealand’s history.

Oh no, would you look at that, we’re all out of room to talk about the malignant fascist and his new bullshit. What a shame. If you want more on Trump’s Media and Technology Grift, Sean O'Kane, Elizabeth Lopatto, and Russell “B.” Random have an extensive explainer up on The Verge. And you know Matt Levine’s keen nose for a financial scam has already sniffed out what is probably going on here:

The point is that if you launch a company with the goal of making it profitable, you have to, like, have a workable business plan and execute on it and deal with a million different operational complexities. If you launch a company with the goal of selling a lot of stock, you have to get people to trust you and give you their money. There is some overlap between those things! But they are different things!

I have nothing to add.

Today’s Song is the answer to the question “what if Lana Del Rey covered David Bowie in the opening scene of Bladerunner (1982)?” It’s Transviolet, “The Man Who Sold the World”

~ I searched for form and tab, for years and years I roamed ~

Tomorrow Today in Polly is back, and Heather and I have some deep deep questions to answer. This one is gonna be subscriber-only, so you have until about 10am U.S eastern time tomorrow morning to sign up, if you haven’t done that already. The good news is your first year is just $35, and I think I will leave that open as an introductory deal for the foreseeable future. One other note: Tabs will be off this coming Monday, so I can do a volunteer thing this weekend without stressing. Take care of yourselves my friends, and I’ll see you online.