Your Phone Was Made By Slaves: A Primer on the Secret Economy


Kevin Bales | Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide, and the Secret to Saving the World | Spiegel & Grau | January 2016 | 34 minutes (9,162 words)

Below is an excerpt from Blood and Earth, by Kevin Bales, as recommended by Longreads contributing editor Dana Snitzky

* * *

We think of Steve Jobs in his black turtleneck as the origin of our iPhones.

It’s never a happy moment when you’re shopping for a tombstone. When death comes, it’s the loss that transcends everything else and most tombstones are purchased in a fog of grief. Death is a threshold for the relatives and friends who live on as well, changing lives in both intense and subtle ways. It’s the most dramatic and yet the most mundane event of a life, something we all do, no exceptions, no passes.

Given the predictability of death it seems…

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Racism? Apparently, it’s not their fault

Media Diversified

by Shane Thomas

In case you missed it, Ben Affleck was in the news recently. No, not because of the Batman vs. Superman trailer[1]. It was revealed that while being featured on the PBS programme, Finding Your Roots (a show similar to the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?), Affleck requested the show omit mention that one of his ancestors (Benjamin Cole) owned slaves. The programme’s presenter and executive producer, Henry Louis Gates Jr acquiesced to this request.

The subsequent public disclosure has led to something of a PR embarrassment for Affleck, leading him to address the issue on his Facebook page.

Truth be told, I found it odd that some have used Affleck’s ancestors as a figurative stick to beat him with. Likewise, it seems curious that he would be surprised by his bloodline. Any honest look at history indicates that if you’re white, go…

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A Plea for Penis – Striving for Realism and Maturity in Games

CJ's Blog Thing

Nudity in video games has been a mostly one sided affair – with the amount of visible female anatomy far outweighing that of men. Video games have featured women completely nude, breasts and groins exposed. Similarly to the movie industry, men – pardon the pun – get the shaft and rarely have their parts visible on-screen even during nude scenes within mature-rated content.

The absence of male nudity within games is ignorant, dismissive of a variety of demographics, and in some cases, nonsensical. A variety of scenarios across a breadth of genres have equal opportunity for tasteful and non-sexual nudity – as a means to show maturity within the medium.

There is an issue of inequality present. Publishers believe that the targeted male demographic can only handle seeing women exposed in video games. Bare penises in video games are few and far between. I’m not talking about the occasional suggestive…

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[video] 45 Black Men Respond to the word ‘Police’


So when are they gonna do one with police officers asking them about their true feeling towards black people and black men in particular? Police depts. across the country are being exposed in recently released reports, as using racial profiling in their policing of urban communities which is old news in itself.

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So.. What about those Japanese IP addresses in the SONY Hack Anyway?



Just a little note in the derpstorm (another post to follow on that after this one) that I wanted to drop on you all. See, I mentioned this in one of my first posts on the Sony Hack but it has gone little noticed. In the malware samples of Destover-C on Virus Total you can see in the strings a huge list of IP addresses that belong to someone in Japan… I reckoned that they were in fact Sony addresses because they track down to a location in Japan where Sony HQ is and I left it at that. I had made my comments on how Japan and Korea just don’t get along and that they have a long history of unhappy relations, and thus a keyboard map, if taken on face value, might have relevance in this way.

Well, later on someone who shall remain un-named contacted me and…

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Zuma’s Resignation Handed In This Afternoon

Earlier today there was a post about Jacob Zuma’s resignation from his position as South Africa’s president. There has been some confusion since then.  Please allow me to explain what’s happening.

Jacob Zuma, Former President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, Former President of South Africa

Seeing as presidency is not a birthright that Jacob Zuma can hold on to or give up as he pleases, but a prerogative that we can give or take back, we have handed Jacob Zuma’s resignation in.  #ZumaResigns.  Presidency is not an office that Luthuli House can deploy who they choose into: it’s an office that exists because it’s recognized by the peopleThe people can cease recognizing the person in that office.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what the multiplying committees, tribunals and courts say (not that Jacob Zuma spends much time in court). This is not the media’s business to confirm, but to receive as fait…

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When Professor’s Fall..


My mother is an academic professional.


She’s one of those people with so many academic distinctions that you begin to wonder what you’re doing with your life. Especially people, like me, who are very anti-school.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying education is pointless. I’m just against the current structure of the institutions through which education is disbursed. And I have been since I was old enough to pull an Encyclopedia off a shelf by myself.

This attitude only got worse once Encarta 95 found its way into the library and the 98 edition landed in our house. By the time I was toggling between Altavista and Google, I was barely listening to teachers.

They had this syllabus that was engineered to evenly distribute a set amount of specific information to a large group of students. Booooring. Every chance I would get, I was plucking books off shelves that…

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