Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] 21 Maps Of Highly Segregated Cities In America

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?

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] Meet Gael Faye, Jamming Poet Extraordinaire From Burundi

Ted Rogers [bikinginla] Good post. Well meaning criticism of Sunday’s @ciclavia, and my thoughts exactly. #bikeLA #ciclavia

africatechie [africatechie] Les 10 pays africains qui attirent le plus d’investissements chinois

Veerle Pieters [vpieters] The big one tomorrow! Here’s the recon of Paris-Roubaix from @kristoframon

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

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] America’s Underground Economic Recovery

africatechie [africatechie] African students invent anti malaria soap – Celebrating African solutions to African problems

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] Bangladesh Factory Disasters Are Becoming ‘More And More’ Common

vernissagetv [vernissagetv] Imran Qureshi: Artist of the Year 2013 at Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle in Berlin:

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] Milk Is Far From Nature’s Perfect Food

Chris Sells [csells] John Cleese – a lecture on Creativity: #Recommended

africatechie [africatechie] Air France fined for discrimination

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] Japanese 77-year-old to return £2.5m given by her lover, 79, for ‘sexual favours’

Chris Sells [csells] School were designed to train kids to fit into the bureaucracy the British used to rule the world 300 years ago.

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] Parisian Coffee Is Like “Sock Juice” And Other Diktats From French Cafe Snobs

Matthew Jordan Smith [Matthew_JordanS] A Chilling Look Inside Mexico’s Violent Drug War #photography

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] You Can Hear When Trees Are Thirsty

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

ReadWrite [RWW] Is BioShock Infinite The Last Gasp For The Triple-A “Art Game”asks @nickstatt

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.

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…

African Entrepreneur [africatechie] RT @VC4Africa: Africa’s Food Market Has Trillion Dollar Potential – World Bank

AJELive [AJELive] #Egypt fact-finding commission says police were responsible for nearly all 900 killings during 2011 revolution |

Shadow And Act [shadowandact] Looking For A Story For You Next Film? Why Not Consider A Novel By A Black Author?

Panashe Chigumadzi [panashechig] RT”@Tomi_Oladipo: Telling the African Story – great talk by @bbckomladumor

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite] The name: “safe house” gains a new meaning now.

Danielle Belton [blacksnob] Essence’s last editor says she was forced out by Time Inc. in clashes over “the way black women were portrayed”

Shadow And Act [shadowandact] Buni TV & Partner In First Marriage Of African VOD Space

Anna North [annanorthtweets] Breaking the rules works well for white men, not so much for everyone else:

Shadow And Act [shadowandact] First Trailer For Nelson George’s ‘Finding The Funk’ (Doc On Origins & Influence Of The Music)

Tiffany B. Brown [webinista] #nerdland Thomas Shapiro’s book “The Hidden Cost of Being African-American” is an amazing look at how wealth works

African Entrepreneur [africatechie] Ethiopia and Kenya: An ideological competition between two diametrically opposed economic models via @billzimmerman

For Harriet [ForHarriet] Sex Work: Advancing the Cause or Perpetuating Subjugation

Visually [Visually] An Interactive Analysis of Tolkien’s Works

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

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

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

vernissagetv [vernissagetv] Preview for VernissageTV Members: Mona Ardeleanu at Wagner + Partner Berlin:

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

First of all it was not Carl Franklin’s fault. In fact, it was Carl that brought up the topic—“something we should get into”—during the pre-show warm-up for .NET Rocks! #416, recorded in 2009. Second of all, the fact that it has taken me three years to respond to this issue is an indicator of not how little talking about “race” means to me but how many obstacles have been holding me back from addressing this issue properly.

Hanselminutes on 9 - ASP.NET 4 and David Fowler on LinqExtender

In fact, for those who are left alive who claim to know me well—my negligence to bring up the “race issue” in detail on a popular show like .NET Rocks! would be considered yet another “contradiction” about my supposed personality. You mean to tell me Bryan did not pull the “race card” on a talk show that gets over 20 million downloads a month? What’s wrong with Bryan? Is he scared to lose his job or something? How can he look down on Microsoft and Telerik employees—and their golden muzzles when clearly he is muzzling himself with some nasty twine he found in a back alley—right?

The short response to all of these “questions” is that Carl wanted to bring up the topic. Once we got talking it was clear that I was not going to find the opportunity to get into the topic—and it would be too much of a risk to suddenly question me about it “for no reason”—surely more than one listener would accuse Carl of going way, waaay off topic.

In 2009, I was still struggling with XSLT and XML—two very, very unpopular technologies in the Microsoft world. I remember talking about the importance of the obscure System.Data.Common namespace in the .NET Framework—which is now applied in the famous Entity Framework. My struggles show up in my voice. I have a speech impediment—very similar to the one the awesome David Fowler of Microsoft has. But unlike David Fowler, I do not have Damian Edwards to stand in for me when things get a little tight and I begin to stutter.

—And for those of you who are “clever” you may now assume that I am talking about “race”… (as a reminder, I put words like “race” in quotes because this is current vernacular of the time—not my time…)

In the-history-according-to-me, David Fowler is the first Microsoft personality that is a day-to-day, social-networking power player being continually recognized for his excellence by self-described “white” people (—this is quite different from simply having one’s existence recognized, by the way). Now for the complexity: Dare Obasanjo is a Microsoft employee—what about him? There are hundreds of thousands of corporate colored folk like Dare Obasanjo—but the following is not flattery: Dare is too “high up” (or “long gone”) to be as accessible as David Fowler. I consider Dare Obasanjo to be senior—he was there before Twitter. He was there, like me, when blogging first came out—he has developed patterns and practices that do not include the activities that a young cat like David Fowler does every day. It follows that:

One of the reasons why you see so few qualified African-descended people in the usual nerd social circles is that they have no time for it. They have been so successful their lifestyle shows no need for it.

Let’s take an extreme case. Think about the Indian-descended Om Malik in the nerd circles of Leo Laporte. Om showed up on Leo’s shows a few times and then started sending his employees to appear on Leo’s shows. So what we have is a tech elite that seriously have no time to be playing around with all due respect. (What of course is subtly racist is to be angry with Om—or to accuse Om of being “arrogant” for not having time for Leo—but Leo strikes me as not being that type of guy…)

But this observation should beg the question, “Where is African-descended ‘middle-class’ of tech in this brave-new Twitter world?” I’ve got four names: David Fowler (and he’s getting richer every day so his time is running out), Tiffany B. Brown, Denise Jacobs and the super-fine network-administration geek, Adria Richards. Yes, I’m sure there’s more but few (including the people aforementioned) would want to be in my little list.

When I’ve walked into a “blacks of tech” meeting here in Southern California over the years, I have rarely run across a straight-up, hard-core software developer with strong African features. Too many (for my taste) are managers or “entrepreneurs.” It’s like being a musician with a love for the music continually trying to socialize with (and being disrespected by) predators of the music—exploiters of the music—dudes who don’t give a f’ about the music—dudes pretending to know how to play but you never see them get down.

The first hard-core software developer I ever met was a super-fine, super-model-looking database programmer from Sierra Leone. I was so excited to talk to her about tech and she was so not interested in talking about her “day job” (granted: this was before the Internet as we knew it and we were at a 20-something house party). The second hard-core software developer I met was another super-fine sister, Kathy Lott. She hired me for a while to run a program she called “Kids 2000”—using computers to teach literacy to children. The third hard-core software developer I met at a “Blacks in tech” meeting was an older brother that did work for the government. His grasp over the concepts of computer science were sage like—he was a Thelonious-Monk character, kept in the shadows like a freak while the other mediocre manager-types dominated the show.

So the previous paragraph sounds like my talk about “race” and IT has nothing to do self-described “white” folks being total assholes. No. Not so… But my point would be that I have less control over self-described “white” folks being assholes. I still assume that I have more control (and resources better spent) when talking about the deep, deep flaws in the so-called Black “community” that fails to serve/revere/encourage/respect women and men with a technical background. However, I am not going to talk about these deep, deep flaws in forum like .NET Rocks.

Now I’m going to throw out a few flippant remarks within this context constructed by me:

  • Many of the issues facing women in tech are identical to those faced by people of color in tech—especially African-descended peoples. So any new-media show about women in tech is (for me) a show about African-descended peoples in tech. …And many of these shows suck.
  • The research skills that I used to study Black History are the same skills I use to study technology. And these are quite effective. So my habit of quoting sources and providing references comes from an “unexpected place.” Thank you Dr. Gerald Horne!
  • The challenges that I face in the corporate-American IT world are largely amplifications of the same problems everyone of any skin color might have in the workplace. Think about an agile convert trying to survive in a waterfall world.
  • What is rarely explored in the context of “race” talk is something we took for granted at the beginning of our Black education: that the world as it exists today is based on foundations that are fundamentally incorrect—and this why many actual “Blacks in tech” embrace new technologies faster than their “mainstream” counterparts because we are always looking for better technical tools in this wickedly wack bullshit called “the developed world.” You think the relationship between Stevie Wonder and Ray Kurzweil was a freak accident?
  • My relationship with the concept of “correctness” is independent of any contemporary organization in the existence of my awareness. These ancient connotations—timeless connotations (after the first three minutes of the universe)—with “correctness” should be a well-known “ethnic trait” among us African descended people. It is my relationship with the sacredness of “correctness” that is the root of any conflict I may have had—and, sadly, will have—with self-described “normal” people.

I’ve heard Carl Franklin on a few rare occasions on .NET Rocks assert with a hint of irritation that he understands what is being said to him. The person talking at him is usually an asshole-like guy laying down some condescending, sophomoric “intellectual framework”—and Carl will interrupt this guy with the words, “I understand!” The world of Information Technology is full of these condescending, sophomoric characters—many of these minions are middle managers. You notice how “race” has nothing to do with this asshole situation? “Race” merely amplifies this situation. What racism does is help me find these assholes (and often unemployment) faster.

There is no need to slay the wicked.

Just leave them to themselves.

And they will perish…

Related Links

Galaxy Cluster Abell 1689 Nathalie Rothschild via Emeka Okafor via “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” “…‘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” “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?’