Consciously Curated: Paycheck Slavery, What Aren’t You Asking, Jim Crow Rising, Defining Dystopia, Unhappy Endings

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Here is a roundup of news and information from other sources across the web to help you keep thinking good:

Medium: 9 to 5 Slavery
“They never pay the slaves enough so they can get free, just enough so they can stay alive and come back to work. I could see all this. Why couldn’t they? I figured the park bench was just as good or being a barfly was just as good. Why not get there first before they put me there? Why wait?”

Ben Evans: Asking the Wrong Questions
“This isn’t exactly an uncommon observation – lots of people have pointed out that vintage scifi has plenty of rocketships but all the pilots are men – 1950s society but with robots. Meanwhile, the interstellar liners have paper tickets, that you queue up to buy. With fundamental technology change, we don’t so much get our predictions wrong as make predictions about the wrong things. (And, of course, we now have neither trolleys nor personal gliders.)”

NY Times: What Reconstruction Built, Jim Crow Took
“By tracing the ascent of Daniel Murray, the wealthy black civic leader, businessman and assistant librarian at the Library of Congress, Taylor reveals how black Americans after the Civil War benefited from opportunities afforded by Reconstruction policies. Out of this environment of tolerance grew a strong and dignified black community in Washington, where the black elite could advance in prominent jobs, build successful businesses, pursue education for themselves and their children, and purchase imposing homes … [But] the rug of opportunity and dignity was abruptly pulled out from under the nation’s African-American population. Murray and his circle watched nervously as white politicians and their own neighbors betrayed them. Angry white Southerners and the Ku Klux Klan claimed that blacks had come too far; Jim Crow laws denied African-Americans access to specific jobs, public facilities, restaurants, transportation; and cynical politicians galvanized white support by publicly demonizing African-Americans. After taking office in March 1913, Woodrow Wilson oversaw the segregation of federal offices, demoting and firing black employees; the few who were allowed to stay were suddenly required to use “colored only” bathrooms and eating areas.”

Expressive Egg: Four Kinds of Dystopia
“The twentieth century saw four basic visions of hell on earth, or dystopia. These were: Orwellian, Huxleyan, Kafkaesque and Phildickian”

The Ezra Klein Show: There’s not gonna be a happy ending to this story
“The first half of our conversation is political: it’s about [Ta-Nehisi] Coates’s conversations with Obama, his impressions of the president, his perspective on American politics, the way his atheism informs his worldview, why he thinks a tragic outlook is important for finding the truth but — at least for nonwhite politicians — a hindrance for winning political power … The second half is much more personal: it’s about his frustrations as a writer, his discomfort with the way “Between the World and Me” was adopted by white audiences, how he learns, his surprising advice for young writers, his belief that personal stability enables professional wildness, his past as a blogger, his desire to return to school, his favorite books.”

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