“21 Maps Of Highly Segregated Cities In America” and other Twinks…

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] 21 Maps Of Highly Segregated Cities In America http://t.co/ly28IQYp4L

Steve Martin [SteveMartinToGo] Please, don’t make the mistake I did: Power BARS are what you eat; power STRIPS are what you plug into.

africatechie [africatechie] What Does Oil And Gas Discoveries Mean For Mozambique? http://t.co/wsQW0B5ILt

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] Meet Gael Faye, Jamming Poet Extraordinaire From Burundi http://t.co/6Tl3msYXwM

Ted Rogers [bikinginla] Good post. Well meaning criticism of Sunday’s @ciclavia, and my thoughts exactly. http://t.co/x38Hyv9zNt #bikeLA #ciclavia

africatechie [africatechie] Les 10 pays africains qui attirent le plus d’investissements chinois http://t.co/ykTfcpDgkM

Veerle Pieters [vpieters] The big one tomorrow! Here’s the recon of Paris-Roubaix from @kristoframon http://t.co/j9hbbS1sxn

Anil Dash [anildash] A glimpse of the horrible dystopia @evgenymorozov warned us about: DC residents can now read the laws they must obey. http://t.co/AUq7DEmsSL

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] America’s Underground Economic Recovery http://t.co/DTe0YfbLh1

africatechie [africatechie] African students invent anti malaria soap – Celebrating African solutions to African problems http://t.co/JSQwDJxN9P

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] Bangladesh Factory Disasters Are Becoming ‘More And More’ Common http://t.co/usPWi9dntp

vernissagetv [vernissagetv] Imran Qureshi: Artist of the Year 2013 at Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle in Berlin: http://t.co/2HI1DntiRs

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] Milk Is Far From Nature’s Perfect Food http://t.co/qnsClaZapa

Chris Sells [csells] John Cleese – a lecture on Creativity: http://t.co/uhFJgILKBi #Recommended

africatechie [africatechie] Air France fined for discrimination http://t.co/MD7LWwnof5

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] Japanese 77-year-old to return £2.5m given by her lover, 79, for ‘sexual favours’ http://t.co/NQ89yqrfgd

Chris Sells [csells] School were designed to train kids to fit into the bureaucracy the British used to rule the world 300 years ago. http://t.co/tREKarrdkV

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] Parisian Coffee Is Like “Sock Juice” And Other Diktats From French Cafe Snobs http://t.co/S8QBBKN8Gr

Matthew Jordan Smith [Matthew_JordanS] A Chilling Look Inside Mexico’s Violent Drug War http://t.co/J2RBzxMwPz #photography

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] You Can Hear When Trees Are Thirsty http://t.co/mhmXk4NHhY

Shanley [shanley] “You’re the one with the semiotics degree and shit, so you’re gonna win this argument, but you’re still wrong, I just want you to know.”

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] Ethnic minority stop and search rates doubled since 1999: get the data http://t.co/cWNZWWKnMq

ReadWrite [RWW] Is BioShock Infinite The Last Gasp For The Triple-A “Art Game”asks @nickstatt http://t.co/2rbUq7cia5

Tiffany B. Brown [webinista] vending machines are still shitty. FYI. just got jacked by one for $2

ashe dryden [ashedryden] Just announced to the table that Jesus is coming out with new mosquitos this year.

Flippant remarks about “Career crossroads, culture and community” @webinista

I like the way Tiffany B. Brown coins and uses the word funemployment in “Career crossroads, culture and community.” On the heels of the mega-debacles around what happened to Adria Richards lately, Tiffany Brown (to me) approaches the same issue in a graceful, thoughtful, but-still-strongly-critical manner (as she always is online):

Developers are awfully fond of the word “community.” The word comes up again and again when discussing programming languages. We speak of a JavaScript community, a PHP community, or just generally, a developer community. But communities have norms and boundaries, usually unspoken. It’s those unspoken boundaries that I want to talk about.

When I walk into a tech event, an interview, or any room full of strangers, I scan it for potential friends. People who match that pattern are the ones I feel most comfortable approaching. I even look and listen for signs: rainbow stickers on the laptop, Nike or Adidas high tops, or jokes that reference the music I listen to. When I don’t see people who match my pattern, I feel extremely out of place.

I think the same is true for most of us. And therein lies the problem, or my problem, anyway. Web developer communities often feel desperately homogeneous in terms of their culture.** Peppering a talk with Star Wars or punk music references is cool. But I’d feel more at home if there were more devs who could make Jay-Z jokes or catch my Drake references. I’m honestly not sure what to do about that. But I know it’s part of what keeps me from participating in these communities.

What I’m seeing here is Tiffany engaging in the 21st-century version of what bell hooks calls yearning. Tiffany is very likely to be the first developer of color to actually admit that she misses ‘her people’ (of all skin colors) because she has been locked up in these W2 labor camps mistakenly called “civilization.” It might actually help Tiffany to listen to bell hooks speak about community in “Connecting Self and Community” here in the kinté space.

1970s Nuclear Family

There are several degrees of cultural isolation that I feel in the work place. Firstly, I approach this world as an artist trying to masquerade as a philistine “engineer”—I’m oversimplifying this because the separation of artist and scientist is another bunch of bullshit I’m not going to flip into right now. Secondly, I approach this workaday world from the point of view of an armchair architect: the so-called “design” of the entire city I supposedly “live” in sucks—so the very act of commuting to work is soul draining. After working IT for four months in the gardens of the Amgen, I now know from experience how uncomfortable it is to work in a typical office building—before it was just a general yearning

From the sexist point of view (and I do have a sexist point of view), Tiffany is not “tough enough” to handle the isolation. Tiffany is actually openly, publically yearning to be a human being—which is why I feel she will be happily married for a long, long time. Most people (myself included) get into IT because of our anti-social skills—and I know what I am writing here makes me look retarded—but get some mufukkin education and see what it would have been like to grow up in South Central L.A. in my neighborhood as crack cocaine hit the streets in the 1980s. I took my Blackness straight out the ’hood and got a degree in physics with it—my Blackness does not come out of being “the only Black guy” in the all-white neighborhood. So being anti-social in a deathly sick society is actually a life-saver—and this is why I have been able to survive for so long in complete isolation pulling down paycheck after paycheck.

There are many implied “insults” in the previous paragraph. Let’s find some:

  • Too many women depend on passive social relationships rather than their internal-life-force-being. No human being should learn to “live” with isolation. We need activists who are deliberately involved in building community. Remember there were women in the Black Panthers serving breakfast for children on their way to school. After murdering some of these women, the government copied this idea and started serving breakfast/lunch to children. Too many descendants of these women are leaving much to be desired. Real talk—not pimp talk, ladies…
  • The culture of the workplace that I have experienced for the last two decades and counting is no replacement for or progressive improvement over what I grew up with as a child in South Central Los Angeles. Crack cocaine came in later to destroy this. I had real fun as a kid—some jokes and play from a 30-something, workplace “white-guy” (of any skin color) is talentless nothingness by comparison. To get a non-Black idea of what this feels like watch episodes of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and pretend that what they make fun of was actually meant to be taken seriously. You want a Tofutti Break with Grass Valley Greg?
  • Were it not for me inheriting my mother’s strength—her ability to constructively isolate herself (along with my father’s tech skills)—I would be dead by now. Period. Notice how I have no white people to thank here… okay, okay—‘Thanks Police Chief Daryl Gates for not murdering me in cold blood although a few of your officers tried indirectly a couple of times, due to your Wagnerian policies.’
  • Too many self-described “Black people” in technology aggressively avoid finding their Blackness in a technical context. Just like any devout racist, these tech folk assume that Blackness is about instinct, emotionalism and animal-like non-consciousness—decorative uselessness—while the rewards of Europeanized patriarchal intellect are both “realistic” and limitless. This is a recipe for Buster Brown mediocrity masquerading as “community of color”—one Star Trek Voyager episode after another…
  • At bottom there is the anthropomorphic love for the technical field itself. Being with Thought in the field of study is like having a relationship in thought with another person—thousands of other persons. You can hear their voices when you study any technical subject close enough… You start to imagine what they were thinking—and the purity of the thought itself can be quite beautiful and enriching—far healthier than being in physical contact with the toxic “real” person. There are plenty of Jewish music lovers who can find something to love about the work of Wagner—while they would never want to meet Wagner in person. Black intellectuals can be just like that too…

I’m glad for Tiffany that she would actually expect to find happiness in a public workplace community of her peers. For her it seems just out of reach. For me, most of my peers were killed—as in killed dead. Many of them killed by the prison industrial complex… That sounds like a irresponsible joke to dumb-asses of all skin colors who are not students of American history—let alone Black history. On the contrary, bitch: Not all of the gangsta rap you heard was based on bullshit. Too few understand what Bob Marley meant when he sang “kill them before they grow…”

You see kids, what we have been thinking of as “technology” and “geek culture” is (to me) just like American music was before Black people started picking up military marching band instruments and turned them into “jazz”—which, by the way, is a word brothers like Miles Davis never used seriously. There is a Whole Other Level of soulful intellect waiting out there—waiting within… We should be yearning for that…

“Africa’s Food Market Has Trillion Dollar Potential” and other Twinks…

African Entrepreneur [africatechie] RT @VC4Africa: Africa’s Food Market Has Trillion Dollar Potential – World Bank http://t.co/yp6FzrV9gX

AJELive [AJELive] #Egypt fact-finding commission says police were responsible for nearly all 900 killings during 2011 revolution | http://t.co/8yucOeINYo

Shadow And Act [shadowandact] Looking For A Story For You Next Film? Why Not Consider A Novel By A Black Author? http://t.co/HqtecHPHOr

Panashe Chigumadzi [panashechig] RT”@Tomi_Oladipo: Telling the African Story – great talk by @bbckomladumor http://t.co/zDSZ5fb36Y

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] The name: “safe house” gains a new meaning now. http://t.co/A4n3kaB9Zw

Danielle Belton [blacksnob] Essence’s last editor says she was forced out by Time Inc. in clashes over “the way black women were portrayed” http://t.co/PFlhwBxLel

Shadow And Act [shadowandact] Buni TV & AfricaFilms.tv Partner In First Marriage Of African VOD Space http://t.co/H9awZb7hhI

Anna North [annanorthtweets] Breaking the rules works well for white men, not so much for everyone else: http://t.co/zW8bXWjgUg

Shadow And Act [shadowandact] First Trailer For Nelson George’s ‘Finding The Funk’ (Doc On Origins & Influence Of The Music) http://t.co/7ilJllt5A5

Tiffany B. Brown [webinista] #nerdland Thomas Shapiro’s book “The Hidden Cost of Being African-American” is an amazing look at how wealth works http://t.co/speR9hvrmV

African Entrepreneur [africatechie] Ethiopia and Kenya: An ideological competition between two diametrically opposed economic models http://t.co/cvQuJjQxJe via @billzimmerman

For Harriet [ForHarriet] Sex Work: Advancing the Cause or Perpetuating Subjugation http://t.co/i2GyMMHisE

Visually [Visually] An Interactive Analysis of Tolkien’s Works http://t.co/419SnbiHLg

Tiffany B. Brown [webinista] SFO loves clam chowder… at least that’s the sense i get from all of the food options in terminal 1.

African Entrepreneur [africatechie] Why Africa’s electricity generation costs are among the highest in the world http://t.co/91bbFyuFjj

Todd Anglin [toddanglin] For those of you still using snail mail in the US: Stamps rise to 46 cents today (Sunday) http://t.co/t70qeO3R via @CNNMoney

Tiffany B. Brown [webinista] why i should probably not blog in anger: “How every conversation about race ever on the internet goes” http://t.co/qfUmWOHISQ

vernissagetv [vernissagetv] Preview for VernissageTV Members: Mona Ardeleanu at Wagner + Partner Berlin: http://t.co/i3kogWdq

Tiffany B. Brown [webinista] officially peopled out. love you. mean it. need a quiet dinner by myself. :-) #introvert

Why I failed to talk to Carl Franklin about “Race” in the IT (Information Technology) World…

After over 18 years in the IT world of Southern Californian corporate America, I have learned that it’s “good business” to never complain. So here’s my chief complaint: I almost always dislike interacting with the boss of my project manager and what I dislike is easily discovered.

The boss of my project manager appears to me too far removed from actually solving the problem that I am in his presence to solve. It follows that the relationship I have with the boss of my project manager is largely political, cultural, ceremonial, psychological and—through no fault of my own—physical (with this one word, physical, I just made a suggestion that recognizes the existence of racism—just in case it was missed).

After over 18 years in the IT world of Southern Californian corporate America, I have learned that, in order for me to be recognized as a “successful” corporate resource, the boss of my project manager must be pleasured because of me. I have learned long ago and see time and time again that simply solving technical problems for the greater benefit of the business and, of late, excelling technically is “not good enough” for the boss of my project manager. There are other ‘intangibles’ that I’ve become aware of over the years that “must” be addressed in order for my success as a professional individual can be recognized as a collective corporate asset. I have written public notes like these over the years to symbolize my abjection away from the childishness of this sophisticated adult behavior and to memorialize my survival (to date) in the IT world of Southern Californian corporate America—and to suggest that some thriving is taking place… raging in the darkness.

Here are some of these ‘intangibles’ expressed as “vicious,” “bitter,” terse statements of negation:

I do not admire who you are and what you do. I do not think you are a “bad” person. I do not think you deserve rudeness. I do not think you deserve disrespect. I simply do not admire the fact that anyone—including myself—working at will for another person, regardless of the salary, possesses a social status symbol greater than its dollar value. This lack of admiration does not come from ignorance or jealousy. It comes from decades of experience and study of history.

When it becomes clear to me that you are a “company man” (which often takes seconds), I know it will be just a matter of time before you start to construct a (racial) profile (of “moral” bankruptcy) that will justify you taking some kind of preemptive action against me (even when it means undermining the productivity of your own company). What I am supposed to do, to delay the inevitable, is pretend how much I admire you—because, after all, this stuff which has nothing to do with what I need to solve your problem is your life’s work. I refuse to indulge you not because I think I am better than you, on the contrary, I have no childhood-survival instinct to pleasure people in such a way. Being such a liar would have laid out way, way more girlfriends for me over the years. I find it quite difficult to be highly technically trained ongoing and an effective political charmer at the same time.

I am not ‘grateful’ to be working for you. Michael Palin of Monty Python fame wrote a line in a script that’s memorable to me, “Isn’t nice to free a chap?” He was making fun of the middle-class, white-liberal sentiment of providing freedom for the “underlings.” And of course, as the ridiculing joke continues, we make fun of the expectations of gratitude oozing out of our white-liberal savior (of any skin color). Every sane Black person knows who is first to be fired and the last to be hired. It has been no illusion to me that I have been working for the last 18 years in the IT world because the company could find no one else remotely qualified to the do the job. Most of my career has been spent working for companies as a Microsoft developer that Microsoft itself would be reluctant to recognize as a model for a case study.

I am very, very aware (usually within my first week) of what the company has been doing wrong before I was brought on board. In the first decade of my IT career, I allowed myself to succumb to the very strong suggestions that I was living in a technical fantasy world. Over the last eight years it has been crystal clear to me that these fools should be grateful that I have been working with them for so damn long. After what has happened to Sony Pictures and Target, it should be clear to any fool that there are serious company cultural problems around IT—making me quite a proud, poor “cultural fit” for the “team.”

I am not your friend and I am not glad to see you. When I am working for other people, these three things happen: (i) I am gathering and building economic resources that can be used to take care of my children; (ii) I am separated from my children who have never been allowed to see me work; (iii) I am placed in an uncomfortable working environment, often a food desert, polluted with noise, airborne infections, traffic jams, low temperatures (from office air conditioning) and the very subtle daily suggestions that I am not welcome (yet another unwelcome reference to racism—‘traditional’ American social rituals of the collective unconscious).

Any self-respecting person that values their true freedom has the same ‘intangible’ problems I’ve just outlined here (with or without the accelerant of racism). Many of these people would become angry that I bring these issues up like I think they are something new. No, —this is 19th century shit—these are old issues:

  • I do not admire who you are and what you do.
  • I am not ‘grateful’ to be working for you.
  • I am not your friend and I am not glad to see you.

Besides plotting for my eventual demise, is there anything else you can do for me?

Yes. You can address the bullet points listed above directly by enriching your life outside of corporate America such that the core of your identity is not dependent on your employment. When you do that, you will authentically not really care whether I admire you or not. You will also be taking care of yourself on a holistic level which definitely deserves my admiration and gratitude. You are actually helping to change the world by taking care of your true self—not your fake-ass corporate self. I would genuinely be glad to see you (even when you are still a little racist).

Yes, here it is in “company man” talk: when you hire me as a contractor treat me like one. Do not speak to me (apart from the first-day meet and greet) unless you are there to terminate me, provide some information for solving your technical/business problem or congratulate me for making your business successful. Let your project manager serve as a buffer between me and you. Your project manager works with me, boots on the ground in the shit every day—and she knows how valuable I am. Trust her trust in me. It will not hurt my feelings should you find yourself not wanting to be around me (even when you know I am helping significantly to solve your business problems), on the contrary: I only need people around me that will make me a better person holistically, provide me with technical information or teach me business skills relevant to the “ubiquitous language” of the clearly-defined problem domain. I don’t need little emotional parasites around me that are curious about me for ‘historical reasons’ (racism again) or those possessing small talk about their fucked-up little consumerist lives and the HBO (or AMC) serials that frame them. Don’t force yourself to invite me out for drinks. I don’t drink and I probably don’t like you. Consider that possibility and move the fuck on: let’s keep it strictly business. Distance and formality does not always mean hostility. The absence of a smile does not always mean sadness. Have patience and introspective respect—stop being so morbidly nosey. Have courage before the void of the unknown—unless of course you are a cowardly little man-bitch.

“Why don’t you start your own business?”

Every person who has suggested to me that I should start my own IT business are not running their own IT business. Often making suggestions around this is similar to suggesting to an obese person they should lose weight: we’ve thought about it and many of us do the research. You see, kids, I’m not one of those bitches that can forget about fundamental challenges. I’m continually listening for signals to plot a course forward.

What I hear from listening to years upon years of tech-podcast episodes, watching international-conference videos (and meeting actual people in person) are these points for consideration:

  • You can start your own business and do W2 labor at the same time (at the beginning).
  • Get at least a DBA and a business checking account for consulting jobs that need it for tax purposes. Advance to incorporation when you are confident you can maintain it (even as a vanity expense).
  • When you run your own consulting business you run the risk of doing very little coding/design and more “relationship management,” often with crappy people.
  • Don’t start a business without dedicated customers lined up, customers that recognize your social-media “brand” and its compelling story.
  • Have an escape plan for economic downturns. Don’t let a payroll burn down your personal savings just because you are too much of a cowardly fake to tell your employees it’s over.

The racist side of the American need to be liked

When I was a young Black teenager of the 1980s, I remember reading about clever Japanese business men gaining an advantage over North-American dealmakers because the ‘weakness’ Americans have around the need to be liked. “Hey, buddy!” “Hey, pal!” I remember snickering to myself ignorantly assuming that this ‘weakness’ would have no effect on me. I was profoundly wrong.

An American “company man” at the very least needs to be feared let alone being liked. Couple these base needs with “old,” traditional American rituals around instilling terror in slaves, and it becomes elementary how the neutrality of a Black person insisting on being an outsider can be interpreted as the hostility of a ‘traditional servant’ supposed to be an insider. “You are either for me or against me.” When a self-described “white man” calls me his “buddy” or his “pal” in a business situation, he is speaking volumes to me (some of these volumes, written by Mark Twain)—and, of course, he would claim nothing is going on and may ask, “What’s my problem?” On the fake-ass, glossy, corporate-polished surface, he would be absolutely correct. Surely, he’s called “everybody” buddy.

After 18 years working with corporate America, I still insist that I am a neutral outsider (when it comes to interacting with the individual persons of the organization). Most of my career, I have been given the title “business analyst,” “contractor” or “consultant”—these all seem like ‘outsider’ titles to me. Most of my career I have not been a permanent employee. Most of my career, the “family” corporate culture of America here in Southern California has effectively insisted socially that I am insider (superficially), while systematically taking the advantage of me as an outsider (no health insurance coverage… no paid sick days… no paid holidays). So from the outset, we have a fundamental disagreement. What I found is that I have not been ‘allowed’ to be respected as a neutral outsider by the boss of my project manager. What I found are a prescribed set of social roles ‘allowed’ for me (very similar to the dramatic roles ‘allowed’ for Black actors in Hollywood). When I am not playing these parts—then surely I am playing the villain (which, again, is yet another insult from the corporate narcissist).

Morgan Freeman

The situation I am describing above is very similar to what happens to young women in corporate America. There has been much talk of late about women in tech and their woes are almost always identical to mine. Almost…

But it must be said that my youth in corporate America—my 20s and my 30s—were the worst of my years when it came to these ‘intangibles.’ What I have been finding of late in my 40s (for those not savvy enough to find my writings yet on the Internet) is that I am more and more treated like Morgan Freeman’s character in the Batman movies (this is actually another Mark Twain reference which would require a whole new Blog post).

I am sure that Morgan Freeman himself would disagree with me (publically) but I assert that his career is like my career in this one aspect: when Morgan was young Black actor he was out of work most of the time and obscure but when he got his gray hair he suddenly “fit in” with “the team” and became “successful.” Morgan would be very socially adept to let “the world” assume that when he was a young man he was a complete idiot and it’s just a coincidence that his career took off when he is seen as physically past his prime (and when the world would like to see itself as less racist).

I’m not as “smart” as Morgan Freeman. Using the Internet, I think I need to explain to my children and other young Black folk what has happened to me from my point of view. Silly. I was not “of service” to you.

  • I do not admire who you are and what you do.
  • I am not ‘grateful’ to be working for you.
  • I am not your friend and I am not glad to see you.

Related Links

Today’s Google Starred Items: “NGO’s ‘They don’t give a dam about development’”

Galaxy Cluster Abell 1689 Nathalie Rothschild via Emeka Okafor via a.fricame.me: “The answer is because their interest in preserving the lifestyles of ‘indigenous peoples’ really means that they do not want Ethiopia and other poor nations to modernise and have what we in the West have: industrialisation.” The western style industrialization is not the problem to me. What the West subconsciously fears most is peoples of African descent no longer being psychologically dependent on the West to validate any productive, communal functionality. Once this return to basic conservative thought returns, the wise African version of industry will return. Until then, many of of our women will be willing to have their hair covered in acidic toxic waste and many of our men will be willing to perform empty rituals with expensive Bavarian cars.

“The Black-White Happiness Gap: Large, but Narrowing ”

Justin Wolfers: “The usual objective indicators suggest that there’s been disappointingly little progress in narrowing racial gaps in employment or income since the 1970s.  And objective social indicators like educational attainment, incarceration rates or some measures of family structure tell an even grimmer story.  Basically, the Civil Rights movement happened, and then we ran out of puff about three or four decades ago.” What’s missing from the article and probably the research (in “Subjective and Objective Indicators of Racial Happiness”) is the monumental presence of anti-depressants in all of North American “culture.” When whites are so “happy” why the need for so many happy pills?

“Falling in love costs you friends”

Jonathan Amos: “In the latest study, the team questioned 540 participants, aged 18 and over, about their relationships and the strain those relationships came under when a new romantic engagement was started. …The results confirmed the widely held view that love can lead to a smaller support network, with typically one family member and one friend being pushed out to accommodate the new lover.” One twist into this scientific data is the fact that many friendships are similar to sibling relationships and we all know about sibling rivalry. Also some relationships are based on sharing misery not intimacy—so when the “lover” shows up the party is over.

“Ayi Kwei Armah speaks”

Liberator Magazine: “Ayi Kwei Armah has been featured here previously. If you cannot tell from the bubbling enthusiasm that attend each of these posts, we here at libmag are very impressed with his work. To date, Armah is the only African writer I have encountered who has not only addressed the need of African writers to control their own artistic production, but has also shown contemporaries and future generations that it can be done through his example.”

“14th Poetry Africa in Durban”

Rethabile Masilo: “Poets from around South Africa, Africa and the world will descend on Durban for an exhilarating roller-coaster of words, rhythms and ideas at the 14th Poetry Africa international poetry festival, which takes place from 4 to 9 October. Organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), and with principal support from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Poetry Africa’…”

“We yawn because we care”

Maggie Koerth-Baker: “There’s a growing collection of research showing that very young children, and people with autism spectrum disorders, don’t succumb to contagious yawning. In fact, contagious yawning is currently thought to be related to the development of empathy and the ability to distinguish our own mental states from those of others. One study, done in 2007, even found that psychology students—who presumably spend a lot more time than average thinking about other people’s mental states—were more susceptible to contagious yawning than engineering students.”

“The War on Drugs Has Failed”

Stanford “Neill” Franklin: “It pains me to know that there is a solution for preventing tragedy and nothing is being done because of ignorance, stubbornness, unsubstantiated fear and greed.” [see video]

“Ancient Nubians Drank Antibiotic-Laced Beer”

eldavojohn: “A new analysis of millennia old mummy bones (abstract; full article is paywalled) shows high concentrations of tetracycline, which indicates empirical knowledge and use of antibiotics—most likely consumed in beer. The researchers traced the source of the antibiotics to the soil bacteria streptomyces present in the grain used to ferment the beer. Astonishingly enough, ‘Even the tibia and skull belonging to a 4-year-old were full of tetracycline, suggesting that they were giving high doses to the child to try and cure him of illness.’ The extent of saturation in the bones leads the scientists to assert that the population regularly consumed tetracycline antibiotics knowing that it would cure certain sicknesses.”

“On Light Skin Privilege”

Tiffany B. Brown: “I’d be lying if I said my ethnic ambiguity wasn’t an advantage in the privilege Olympics. I’m the Safe Negro. That’s made especially so because I’m also a smarty-art Negro from a middle class family.” Here in the rasx() context, this issue has yet to be explored in depth. However, we do have present this poem: “Pearl Cleage: Feelings of a Very Light Negro as the Confrontation Approaches.”

“‘The Negro Motorists Green Book’: A Guide To Driving While Black”

Bossip.com: “…‘For almost three decades beginning in 1936, many African-American travelers relied on a booklet to help them decide where they could comfortably eat, sleep, buy gas, find a tailor or beauty parlor, shop on a honeymoon to Niagara Falls, or go out at night. In 1949, when the guide was 80 pages, there were only five recommended hotels in Atlanta. ’”

“Black migration in America: From hominy grits to cold shoulder”

The Economist: “The Great Migration is over but its legacy is intact. Ms Wilkerson does not exaggerate when she claims that it changed American culture. The migrants brought the blues and gave birth to jazz, rock, rhythm and blues and hip-hop. They influenced the language, food, dance and dress of America. They helped create an influential black electorate and black middle class. Quite an achievement for a people once required to step off the pavement when a white person approached.”

“10 Tips from Happy People”

HowStuffWorks.com: “Just as definitions of happiness change, so too does our ability to handle adversity. Numerous tales exist of people undergoing tremendous hardships — cancer, losing a job, a bad breakup—and finding themselves in the end as happy as or happier than ever. Despite the difficulty in pinning down what happiness is and how to achieve it, we’re going to take a stab at it in this article, in which we offer 10 key tips.”

Abbey Lincoln, Bold and Introspective Jazz Singer”

Nate Chinen via Ann: “Long recognized as one of jazz’s most arresting and uncompromising singers, Ms. Lincoln gained similar stature as a songwriter only over the last two decades. Her songs, rich in metaphor and philosophical reflection, provide the substance of ‘Abbey Sings Abbey,’ an album released on Verve in 2007. As a body of work, the songs formed the basis of a three-concert retrospective presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2002.”

“Teza [trailer]”

Liberator Magazine: “A powerful, moving story by Haile Gerima. Saw this in New York and it’s DOPE. ‘Set in Ethiopia and Germany, Teza examines the displacement of African intellectuals, both at home and abroad, through the story of a young, idealistic Ethiopian doctor…’”

“Oldest signs of tool-making found”

Jason Palmer: “That pushes back the earliest known tool use and meat-eating in such hominins by more than 800,000 years. …But Lucy and her contemporaries were thought to be vegetarians, and many had assumed that tool use arose only in later, Homo species.” This yet again will sound very alien and strange but here we go: Stone Age African Thought has yet to be transcended. “We” have spent most of our “civilized” time thinking about high-tech battlefield medicine than deep human healing.

“Dark matter hunt eyes deeper home”

Paul Rincon: “The matter we can see makes up just 17% of matter in the Universe; the remaining 83% is ;dark’, meaning it does not reflect or emit detectable light.” Here some poetry yet to be released (by me): ‘In the Blackness of the Atoms is the Witness… When you dare to defy what becomes of this?’