• The Hacker Issue

    I Can Cry If I Want To

    The Hacker Issue
    Pope

    Bad News

    I Can Cry If I Want To

    My condolences, dear reader, you’ve arrived at the melancholic bay window bench seat of the internet. That’s right, it’s Bad News, a weekly register of the week’s worst occasions. If it’s you’re first time reading, you’re in for a treat!

    Worst news of the millenium: it’s my golden birthday today! Yep, despite all predictions to the contrary, I failed to join the prestigious 27-club and wound up on the other side of my life, doomed to roam the earth looking for the severed spirit I was tragically seperated from in my youth. If you’d like to help my replenish supplies in this fool’s errand, you can buy me a birthday present here and here. If you’re broke, just follow me on Twitter, that should suffice.

    That’s enough about me. Unfold the blanket, sidle up onto the window sill, wrap both hands around a mug of something warm, and gaze out from our purgatory onto the blustery autumnal chaos of reality. It’s loud and scary and oh so harsh out there, so maybe pop in the old earbuds and dampen the whistling wind:

    Monday, September 21

    Like every single Monday before this one, shit was bad. A tremor of that badness was felt in the Bay Area today, as a report published today found that many of Silicon Valley’s corporate shuttle drivers have been living in their cars.

    Been snapping a lot of nudes lately? Better hope you’re ‘legal,’ because today a teenage student in North Carolina is being prosecuted as an adult for sexually exploiting a minor: himself. Possessing naked pictures of himself and of his girlfriend taken before either were of photographic consenting age could land him in jail, with a registration in the sexual offender database. *Rubs eyes. Cleans eyeglasses. Screams inside.*

    A little gender equality bad news for you today, as the Pentagon announces a new lean-in strategy to develop women leadership. Actually, I support women’s right to commit war crimes ... just a little sad to see them poached by the competition.

    Speaking of wanting to disappear because of the state’s monopoly on violence, the new cloaking technology I mentioned last week is getting new attention from the US military.

    American’s are so afraid of heart attacks that they’ve been avoiding sex for evidentally no good reason: a new study of cardiovascular health finds that unlike other strenuous physical excercise, sex after a heart attack does not increase your risk of having another. My arm hurts just thinking about this.

    Is the Earth ripping the moon apart? Lunar scientists seem to think so: the Earth’s tidal force on the moon is breaking up the moon. That’s bad news for us, but especially bad news to the aliens living inside the hollow moon, feeding off of energy produced by our souls. Fix your roof, soul-sucking aliens.

    What’s in your refrigerator? Three different bottles of almost-empty barbecue sauce and some droopy green onions? Think about that while you inspect the seemingly endless glory of this massive, record-breaking Russian super yacht priced at $400 million, the same price as 200 million bottles of barbeque sauce.

    Tuesday, September 22

    As summer ends, we return to the world of warm showers. Steamy meditations on the filth of the human body. I was really digging this fact earlier today, before I saw this new report on identifying people based on the unique signature of the microbial cloud emitted by the human body. Uh ya, you didn’t misread that: your body is surrounded by a cloud of cooties that follows you around and its composition is as unique as your fingerprint. That must be what dogs and serial killers catch a whiff of when they sense us coming. Trend forecast: networked noses on every street corner tracking us in a global regime of surveillance.

    A sniff or two would have been useful for this man found over a decade ago behind a dumpster in Georgia with no knowledge of who he was or how he got there. Is this an elaborate PR stunt for the new show Blindspot or a serious situation that complicates the notion of the concious self? Time will tell!

    This is pretty chill: evidentally German automaker Volkswagen had manufactured cars designed to deliberately cheat at pollution tests that have been responsible for nearly a million tons of unregulated greenhouse gas emmissions. Big scandal. Also big scandal: car culture destroyed the planet decades ago. What’s a million more tons of irreversable damage anyway?

    Sometimes, when I’m sunbathing under a pair of cucumbers, sipping a refreshment through a crazy straw, feeling the nuclear warmth of our star reach through my flesh ... a thought occurs to me: are industrial polluters war criminals? Today, Obama declared the deadly fires in California a “major disaster.” Hmm, just a little food for thought I guess. Could you be a dear and grab me a few more ice cubes?

    Wednesday, September 23

    Today was a day of enlightened sobbing, ushered in by an off-tempo blessing from the Dalai Lama, who officially supported the idea of being reincarnated as a woman, so long as that woman is attractive.

    But the tears go on: this footage from Syria of a militant saying his goodbyes before heading out on a suicide bombing mission on behalf of Imam Bukhari Jamaat is utterly morose. We live in a world of unspeakable and constant violence.

    While we’re on the subject of Syria: if you thought I was being hyperbolic about the apocalypse, try this on for size: the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a bank of over 850,000 seeds stored in the artic in case a global catastrophe wipes out the world’s crops, got its first official withdrawl today. Less than a decade after it was built, the seal of the “last backup” was broken on behalf of war-torn Syria, which desperately needs seeds after their reserves were completely destroyed in an attack near Aleppo.

    Today, US officials announced that hackers broke into a system storing the fingerprint and social security information of millions of Americans. 5.6 million fingerprint profiles, and 21.5 million social security numbers. So, you know, no big deal. Just the entire identification infrastructure of the US Government. Nothing to see here, folks.

    Lol, maybe a chip in your brain would be more secure? At least, that’s what the Department of Homeland Security thinks – they’re contracting Boeing and General Motors to develop a brain chip that can sync with networked devices and learn about a body through synaptic connections to the brain. I’m cool with this, if it means we can take out federal agents with a refridgerator magnet, and very much not cool with this under any other circumstances.

    Thursday, September 24

    It was a sad day just outside Mecca, home to the Kabba mosque, where millions of Muslims arrive each year after a pilgrammage to the holy site. Among many rites performed during the convergence is the symbolic stoning of the devil in Mina. Today, at least 100 people died during a tragic accident at the site.

    More birthday themed tragedy today, as the CDC announced that binge drinking while pregnant is at an all time high, and among women who binge drink, pregnant women do it even more than their peers. So here’s to you, deeply miserable society of inescapeable powerlessness – to your health!

    New research finds that Americans eat for 15 hours a day, basically only stopping only to get some rest. I’m not sure if this is true – I haven’t eaten in days – but if our constant snacking doesn’t stop, we are all going to die. I love this report because they refer to erratic meals as “consumption events” which is exactly how I refer to looking at the internet.

    Bad news for Isreali zionists and my wardrobe of Real Tree workwear: Caterpillar, the heavy machinery company, is collapsing and restructuring with layoffs and record stock price lows. Good news for the victims of colonist expansion, the rainforest, those displaced due to urban development, and my roommates.

    The Japanese company that created Pepper, the emotionally intelligent robot, just wants to reiterate that having sex with its robots is a violation of the terms and conditions. So yeah, we’re in that part of human history now. You know, the one we hypothesized about for the last two centuries? Yeah, that one. Let’s hope literally every single science fiction author was wrong!

    I know, I know. I have a propensity for the hyperbolic. In truth, things will probably be just fine. Just so long as the emotionally sensitive robots can’t read our minds. Bleep bloop.

    Friday, September 25

    Nothing happened today, unless you count the Australian court that found ‘Unfriending’ co-workers to be cyberbulling. Or, the announcement that IBM is trying to create artificial intelligence that can learn ettiquete. Or, the report that girls outnumber boys in juvenille detention. Or, the rise in kids robbing pharmacies for adults. Or the fucking lake in California that disappeared in a single day. Or, the most powerful legislator in the country quitting his job.

    Besides that, today was a regular day.

    Saturday, September 26

    Fresh from the total-control-over-our-lives desk, a dossier alleging that Google may have a monopoly on the mobile device market by making the Android operating system the de facto software running on the majority of handheld devices. I’m outraged about this possible antitrust violation. *Types on Apple keyboard into Apple computer. Looks away from Apple screen at Apple watch. Grabs Apple phone. Calls Apple spouse. Asks about the Apple grocery store. Sends texts to Apple friends about my Apple birthday party.*

    Ever read that book about a cabin on a pond by that one anarchist? If not, it’s basically this story about how if you live by yourself in the woods it’s like anarchy or something. Funny thing about that is ol’ Henry David got all of his food and supplies from his mom, lol. Honestly same, but you could maybe metaphorically same these tech billionaires who are moving into the woods, and building their own #CabinPorn commune in upstate New York.

    Sunday, September 27

    About five thousand Sundays ago, damp linen bedsheets were flapping on the clotheslines of the RMS Titanic, drying out for the last time. Today, the mayor of Paris banned cars in her city’s center, to celebrate a pollution-free day of crisp autumn air. Not unrelated sentences.

    If you could travel back in time and tell my bug-eyed, dirty, patched-up primitivist friends that in 2015 McDonald’s would sell an organic hamburger, could you also tell them to buy stock in Apple and start the incredibly long process of emotionally preparing to shave their dreadlocks off?

    Huge news if you’re a fucking nerd about the history of anarchism in Spain (sorry literally everyone but me, and like, four people), but the Catalan autonomous nationalists who have been fighting to succede from Spain for a few centuries just had a landmark vote in favor of creating a new nation, Catalonia. This is probably bad news if you’re an anarchist like me, but good news if you belong to one of the last indigenous groups in Europe and have been fighting to defend your culture and language from extinction for generations. Different strokes, I suppose.

    I know what you’re thinking: there can’t be two different government brain chip stories in one week. That’s the same thing I thought.

    If you were busy looking into the sky on Sunday night, you may have missed the millions of shitty pictures of the rare Super Blood Moon display on social media. Better luck next time!

    Happy birthday to me! Thanks, Mom!

    Tune in next week!

    Nestlé buys the rights to all the water on Mars! Global food cache only large enough to feed two of every animal! Pope does a kickflip after third try!

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