Crochet, power dynamics, and eavesdropping technology

Most of my productive work these last couple of low mood days has been crocheting. Has anyone else noticed that crocheting is awesome? No? It’s just me? I literally invented it? Yeah well crochet is awesome.

I’m tearing through a hex cardigan with amazing patience. I have no idea where this came from. I can say “I’m going so fast on this!” after I’ve spent like, four hours a day working on it for at least five days. And I mean it! I just don’t care that it’s taking so long to put together.

I did care before I made my Buttons Collection. That’s a group of ten crocheted purses made with prefab fake leather bases, each in increasing complexity. They started out taking a long afternoon to make, then turned into week-long projects by the end. They actually *aren’t* the same stitch repeated endlessly, but in fact pretty complicated! So I don’t know why I gained this new degree of patience from making those, but I have.

It’s super nice. Maybe I will have time to crochet a couple other smaller presents before Christmas.


I reviewed Barbie. It’s one of my longer reviews; the unabridged version is 2000 words. There’s a more focused version on Letterboxd.

I think that I managed to get across the complexity of thought and emotion that I hoped to impart, but I almost think it’s silly to engage on that level? Because once you do engage on that level, the movie’s a bit of a glass onion. It looks like a very layered movie to sell toys. If you peel through the layers of metaphor and aesthetic, you find…it wants to sell you toys.


Mayim Bialik declined to host a Jeopardy event during the SAG-AFTRA strike. Subsequently she will no longer be hosting Jeopardy. (NPR)


I’m suddenly seeing articles about how all our devices (Ars Technica) with microphones are eavesdropping (Variety) as if we didn’t know about it already.

Confirmation does make it feel different, but on a practical level, nothing has changed.


AJE talks about Javier Milei’s three-year rise to power as a bad-haired far-right Argentinian president. I was trying to pick a paragraph to pull quote but it’s kinda too big a picture to reduce it in that way.

He came up in the desperation of COVID-19, but there are a lot of other factors, many of which rhyme with other populist figures.


The US decided pandemic aid was good enough and let it run out. Homelessness has hit record highs. (NPR)


Oppenheimer 4k Blu-rays are selling out in a time when retailers are trying to offload all their stock of physical media. (Variety)


Larian Studios informs us that Baldur’s Gate III will never come to Game Pass. (Engadget) The reasoning is more than fair.

Vincke says that Baldur’s Gate 3 is a “big game” that’s available for a “fair price.” He also touted the title’s lack of microtransactions and its complete story, saying “you get what you pay for.” To that end, a completionist run in Baldur’s Gate 3 takes more than 140 hours, according to HowLongToBeat. That breaks down to about 40 cents an hour, which seems like a good value to me.

I agree. It’s a great value. This game is all I ever want from games. I’ve been doing the thing where I restart games about a thousand times before I actually finish it, so I think I’ve cleared 140 hours and I’m not even out of the first act. lol


The difficulty we’re having discussing Israel and Palestine in America (NPR) reminds me of McCarthyism a bit, but I wasn’t actually alive for that so I don’t know if it’s a good comparison. Pretty grim though.


Just kidding! Keep the nudity off Twitch. (Engadget) I had predicted that the updated policy would benefit pornbots rather than normal folk, but actually, AI-generated porn immediately swamped the system and they got rid of it again.


Digby’s Hullaballoo challenges us to put our ferocious feelings into actions. It’s a fair challenge. But it also feels a bit like more finger-wagging from author Anand Giridharadas, a professional pundit. Saying, “You’re not doing the thing” is easy. Saying, “Come do the thing with me!” and following through is a lot harder.

Most of us don’t have the skills for organization; many of us do not have the capability. A lot of leftists are disabled and, one way or another, stuck in our houses. We organize online, which is meaningful; I have been lucky to be adjacent to rather massive community movements to see it happen. I see how organizers (many of whom are also disabled in another way) bring people together with awe and admiration.

I can name a few organizers in my community I’m grateful for, since I tend to orbit around romancelandia’s political activism at a distance, and they’re so much more motivational than a dude on Chris Hayes saying “you aren’t doing the thing.” And most of us honestly aren’t organizers, but followers. We wanna follow.

Do the thing and invite us to join you, please?

As physically quiet as the anti-Trumpism is, I expect an absolute tidal wave of quietly terrified voters in November. The question to me is whether our extant so-called democratic systems will matter. Reformation on the institutional level hasn’t been happening very quickly, has it?


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