02 February 2024

Mixed-Species Link Sausage Platter

Lots of weirdness from the arts and banking on this platter.

  • Consider The Broadsheet Hit List of 1648 (some of which remain disturbingly contemporaneous).
  • But that's just amusing, not as cringingly predictable as the impending implosion of gatekeeper-subculture-centric periodicals. Now when have I heard this before? Or seen it as a rather thin roman à clef that ultimately demonstrated just how irrelevant the allegory itself and its subject were?
  • Even that's less deliciously damning than a garden supply business chewing on Louis Vuitton, a business whose narcissism is a positive feedback loop. It is, unfortunately, a positive feedback loop encouraged by, and embedded in, the "must always defend against everyone" meme built into trademark law — a meme that clashes, at a fundamental level, with the concepts of "satire," "parody," and "egotism." Europe may be beyond help, but at least we have a First Amendment over here to (eventually) rein this sort of thing in. Oops. Too late (PDF).

    Go ahead, Vuitton. Sue me for the pinpoint URL of this link sausage. But make sure that your attorneys read Rule 11 first.

  • The family of the only true guitar god (the rest just want to be that good) is already experienced with litigation, and now his bandmates can join the fun. This exposes one of the critical problems with collective efforts in the arts: Who is the author? Cinema's so-called "auteur theory" was, at its core, an attention-getting device that actually evaded any real consideration — especially for films and even TV episodes adapted from preexisting material that wasn't a "script." Wait, is that the ghost of Raymond Carver trying to blend into the mantelpiece over there, snuggling up to that Hummel-like figurine of a walrus and the shockingly overpriced glass sculpture?

    My point here is that determining "the" author of a collective work requires intense examination, not acceptance of commercially-convenient labelling — and may, and indeed should, often result in "well, all of them" as an answer. Yes, that's commercially (and library-catalogingly) inconvenient; so is statistical mechanics.

  • The preceding sausages on this platter verge on navel-gazing. Sometimes, however, the arts look outward, and are then promptly forgotten or reappropriated for other purposes — purposes that seldom acknowledge their own virtual self-parody.
  • Turning from the healthier chicken sausages (no "natural hog casings" either) to pure pork, consider inflation targets. But not too broadly, or you might start considering the psychological fallout of inflation on trust-fund kids whose trusts were invested in long-term fixed-return securities and real property, and remain illiquid for Reasons… and then, rather sarcastically, ponder who disproportionately ends up in control of both banking policy and the messaging about it. Or that the monetary velocity of the consumer-facing portions of the economy is now an order of magnitude greater than when that "2% target" meme was developed, and since velocity inherently expands the apparent money supply, just maybe even a Friedman-worshipper would reconsider. Nothing to see here, no conflicts of interest here. Move along, citizens, back to your lives.
  • …which explains, all too well, why banks are not paying attention to customer safety. On the one hand, the banks are overenthusiastic about purported "two-factor authentication" (and it's only purported, because if the authentication comes through the same device or decisional funnel it's only a multistep authentication, not a two-factor authentication — not a self-defeating mirage that convenient-use-of-smartphones-for-everything advocates want anyone to think about) that uses inherently insecure methods plus a "time-out." They don't want it good, they want it Tuesday (at 1406 to pay for that three-martini lunch, and delaying to 1408 would be inconvenient and unacceptable).

    On the other hand, the banks do not implement a duress-word system that would sandbox transactions as prospectively subject to further, later reexamination. It would be incredibly simple to implement — but it could not be fully automated. And that's why the banking system doesn't want anything like it: It would require injecting humans and human judgment into "banking," and there would be "personal responsibility" involved that they can't foist off on others. Plus it would blow up some of the nineteenth-century conceits of UCC article 3, and we can't have that!