Saturday, October 30, 2010

You rely on us to deliver quality food, and we take that responsibility seriously

(Harry Whopper, via Arte callejero).

Whopperation McDonalds: Self-service is cost efficient. You (the customer) pick up your order and many clear up afterwards. The layout of the restaurant emphasizes your role. Prominent bins for disposal signal what is expected of you. The system choreographs your behavior and ensures the scripted interactions with staff. Consumer expectation of satisfaction is lowered as the system delivers predictable quality at a standardized level of acceptability. Quantity gets conflated with quantity. Choice is narrowed, despite the appearance of variety.

Have a nice day!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


A system of established auTHOrity can be characterized by the disproportion of the results obtained with the personal authority of the men who operate it. Indeed, I shall have occasion to note that the AUThority required to work one's way up within the system is not only much less than that which would be necessary for direct compliance, but also may be different in kind. A system of well-established authority can be run by men of mediocre authorITY: indeed, I would be tempted to stress that it requires such men, because its multiplier effect is so great as to make it very dangerous in the hands of a man with huge personal autHORrity. It is therefore not unreasonable that there should be a tendency to recruit, into anciently established systems of aUTHority, individuals with decreasing ability to move people on their own account. But in time this slowly rots the collective authORIty of the system, while on the other hand competing AuthotiTY rears its head outside the system: these combined phenomena finally result in a violent change.

Friday, October 15, 2010

now, i wanna be your dog

In the United States of this day the first procedure consists of calling upon the President, or upon Senators and Congressmen, and putting the case for the decision. The second procedure consists of mobilizing people who 'have the ear' of these important people and may bring up the matter. The same methods can be practiced in a despotic regime. The despot is seldom inaccessible: the case can be put to him; also he lives surrounded by courtiers, and these may mention the request at favorable moments. Of course some requests have no chance at all of being listened to by the despot: but the same is true in any regime.--The Pure Theory of Politics, Bertrand Juvenel.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Is Theory the key to everything?

I. I will publish nothing, favorable or unfavorable, about books or articles I have not read through at least once.
II. I will try to publish nothing about any book or article until I have understood it, which is to say, until I have reason to think that I can give an account of it that the author himself will recognize as just.
III. I will take no critic's word, when he discusses other critics, unless he can convince me that he has abided by the first two ordinances. I will assume, until a critic proves otherwise, that what he says against the playing style of other critics is useful, at best, as a clue to his own game. I will be almost as suspicious when he presents a "neutral" summary and even when he praises.
IV. I will not undertake any project that by its very nature requires me to violate Ordinances I-III.
V. I will not judge my own inevitable violations of the first four ordinances more leniently than those I find in other critics.
Wayne Booth, Hippocratic Oath for the Pluralist, Theory's Empire.

"Part of me suspects I'm a loser, and the other part of me thinks I'm God Almighty"

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Donald Duck discovers Glenn Beck in "Right Wing Radio Duck"

Via Boing Boing.

definitions are hazardous, things modified by human understanding, subject to varieties of complications and changeable, as experiences advances knowledge or accidents influences caprice

And I will venture to lay it down, as the first Maxim and Cornerstone of this our Art, that whoever would excel therein must studiously avoid detest and turn his head from all the ideas, ways and workings of that pestilent Foe to Wit and Destroyer of Figures, which is known by the name of Common Sense. His business must be to contrast the true Gôut de travers, and to acquire a most happy, uncommon, unaccountable Way of Thinking.

Alexander Pope, "Peri Bathous."