On Beeing: Beekeeping today is big agribusiness, with bees used more to fertilize crop fields than for creating honey. Beekeeping is ancient; 8,000-year-old cave paintings show people gathering wild honey. But the bee population is threatened. 99percentinvisible.org

Back to Tumblr

Now that Automattic, which owns WordPress, is buying Tumblr, I’m moving my linkblogging and microblogging there. I’ve got confidence that Tumblr has a future now.

Find me at mitchwagner.tumblr.com.

You can also find me microblogging at:

19th century young people wooed each other over the telegraph, encountering similar situations to users of dating apps today, nearly 150 years later. [The Secret History of the Future] slate.com

Trump’s 'Invasion' Was a Corporate Recruitment Drive www.theatlantic.com

Trump's so-called immigrant “invasion” is a response to decades of recruitment by big agribusiness, who see immigrants – legal and illegal – as a workforce they can easily exploit. The owners of these businesses are Trump donors, so of course they escape prosecution.

Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser, writing at The Atlantic:

No top executive of a major meatpacking company has been arrested for violating immigration, worker-safety, food-safety, antitrust, or environmental laws. The adjectives shameful and disgraceful don’t approach the reality of what is now taking place.

Over the years, I’ve spent time with countless farmworkers and meatpacking workers who entered the United States without proper documentation. Almost all of them were hardworking and deeply religious. They had taken enormous risks and suffered great hardships on behalf of their families. Today workers like them are the bedrock of our food system. And they are now being scapegoated, hunted down, and terrorized at the direction of a president who inherited about $400 million from his father, watches television all day, and employs undocumented immigrants at his golf resorts.

The Black Panthers became one of the first groups in the US to claim gun ownership as a Constitutional right in the 1960s, opposed by conservative groups, who favored gun control. [Backstory] audioboom.com

Here’s the new way I’m going to conclude phone interviews from now on: “Please provide the spelling of your name and contact information. Lets not have a conversation now about whether the PR person will send it to me by email, let’s just do it.”

Podcast: SES Networks Takes ONAP Sky-High www.lightreading.com SES Networks is leveraging ONAP to automate management of its network of 70 data networking satellites, and let its customers seamlessly integrate into their own terrestrial networks. I talked with CEO JP Hemingway on the Light Reading podcast.

I saw this fellow enjoying the sun at Lake Murray.

I saw this fellow enjoying the sun at Lake Murray

Is the British Empire Largely Misunderstood? [Casey Chalk] www.theamericanconservative.com

Jeremy Black’s “Imperial Legacies: The British Empire Around the World,” argues that the British Empire wasn’t all bad – the nations it conquered were often brutal empires and dictatorships in their own right, worse than anything the British did. And the British brought a lot of good with them.

Casey Chalk reviews the book for the American Conservative.

Black doesn’t seem to be defending the British Empire or imperialism here; rather simply arguing for a nuanced view.

On our trip to Africa, I got the sense that 21st Century Africans – most definitely including black Africans – do not view their own imperial history as a stain that must be expunged. They seem to view their entire culture as a single fabric, with African and European threads woven together, all of it equally valued.

The official, business language of Botswana, a former British protectorate, is English. Tswana is a common language spoken by the black population, and there are also about 20 separate tribal languages. The people we met seemed to move easily between all three languages. One of the people we met there was a young black man who spoke with a proper received British English accent and who was a Matthew McConaughey fan; we said “Alright alright alright” to each other a lot (which maybe he got sick of but he seemed to take it in good spirits).

There are only two pure evils in recent history: American slaveocracy and the Nazis. Everything else is shades of gray. (And even the slaveocracy produced George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, two of the greatest people who ever lived.)

While Black, the book author, does not seem to be defending imperialism or urging America to resume its imperialist ways, Chalker, the book reviewer, does. He notes that the American empire now seems to be receding, and China is moving in, and China is pretty awful. I’m not so sure about that – at the moment at least, the US seems to be run by looters. Trump and the Republican Party look at America the way investors look at a dying business – break it apart and sell everything from the factories to the office furniture for whatever you can get, and get every dime of work you can squeeze from the workers too. The Chinese, for all their horrors, at least seem to be building something for the future.

WeWork combined old-fashioned real-estate – renting out desk space by the month – with financial engineering, a rah-rah ethos of self-actualization guided by artificial intelligence, and funding from one of the world's most brutal dictatorships. It's the perfect business model for the 2010s [Ranjan Roy] themargins.substack.com

We watched the second episode of “Years and Years” tonight. I don’t think we should watch scary shows like that before bedtime. We should stick with relatively peaceful, calm programming, like “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” or the “Saw” movies.