Amazon is ready to pull the plug on Scout, its futuristic "home delivery robot." It seemed like a good idea, when it was pitched to the corporations' top brass. The robot would roll to a consumer's digs and give them the things they bought online. Also, robots do not unionize. Also, robots can work all day and night without registering a complaint. Also, robots do not expect high wages. But it turned out Scout was not better than troublesome human beings. Not being able to hurt workers hurts.
“During our limited field test for Scout, we worked to create a unique delivery experience, but learned through feedback that there were aspects of the program that weren’t meeting customers’ needs. As a result, we are ending our field tests and reorienting the program. We are working with employees during this transition, matching them to open roles that best fit their experience and skills,” said Alisa Carroll, Amazon spokesperson.
October is finally cooling down. We can wear light sweaters during the day. The thick sweaters, however, must still wait and wait. Maybe November will be their month? But for sure our raincoats are stuck hanging. October has been dry and even on the verge of breaking yet another Capitalocene record, the longest dry streak since 1999.
It wasn’t much (at all!), but it was enough.— Seattle Weather Blog (@KSeattleWeather) October 11, 2022
0.01” of rain fell at Sea-Tac last night, snapping our October dry streak at 9 days.
October 1991 remains the only October with no rain in the first half of the month.
Just reminding readers that we are in the age where capital is so powerful that it's forcing us, its subjects, to adapt to its dangerous transformation of the biosphere. This is why our meteorologists talk in this way: Today isn't as bad as yesterday. The smoke is gone. We can enjoy some clean air. That's a good thing. Life isn't so bad.
Western Washington is getting a break from wildfire smoke today, but poor air quality is a growing concern in central areas of the state. https://t.co/eXZ3IEY14W— WA Department of Ecology (@EcologyWA) October 11, 2022
The horror, the horror. The city of SeaTac will "have the highest minimum wage in the nation next year." Beginning on January 1, workers in this place, whose economic base is the region's largest airport, will get a minimum of $19.06 per hour. Much of the money will, of course, return to the economy. As the Polish economist Michał Kalecki put it way back when: "Capitalists earn as much as they spend and workers spend as much as they earn."
Let's take a look at this Mariners story in MyNorthwest. It involves a statue of Dave Niehaus, a man who spent a good part of his "time pan ert" describing, play-by-play, Mariners games from 1977 (the birth of the team) to 2010 (the death of the announcer). The statue, which is in T-Mobile Park, has its back to the field. Some fans of the baseball team think this is just horrible because they feel "the likeness" of Niehaus can't see "the Mariners' first home playoff game in a generation." What is interesting here is not just the petition, which is "gaining social media attention," but what it reveals about humans in general. We are the haunted animal, and we can blame this spectral condition on the extraordinary and species-specific abundance of our sociality. There's so much of it (our theory of mind, our hyper-culture, our cooperative agility) inside of us that it overflows from the living and spreads across and soaks the non-living.
Adam Smith put it this way in The Theory of Moral Sentiments:
[Humans] conceive, in the same manner, a sort of gratitude for those inanimated
objects, which have been the causes of great, or frequent pleasure to us. The sailor,
who, as soon as he got ashore, should mend his fire with the plank upon which
he had just escaped from a shipwreck, would seem to be guilty of an unnatural
action. We should expect that he would rather preserve it with care and affection,
as a monument that was, in some measure, dear to him.
Today, it's Angela Lansbury's turn to remind us of this passage in one of the greatest poems in English, T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets:
O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark,
The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant,
The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters,
The generous patrons of art, the statesmen and the rulers,
Distinguished civil servants, chairmen of many committees,
Industrial lords and petty contractors, all go into the dark...
Legendary actress Angela Lansbury has sadly passed away at the age of 96. pic.twitter.com/WHkMmOKV5t— Film Updates (@FilmUpdates) October 11, 2022
So, Fox's Sean Hannity and his team had the brilliant idea that releasing a very private and emotional exchange between Joe (loving father) and Hunter (troubled son), would somehow make the president, who expresses nothing but love for his Hunter, look bad. This miscalculation makes it clear that the GOP is really running on empty as the mid-terms approach. As always, The Onion put it perfectly.
Sean Hannity Plays Voicemail From His Dad Calling Him A Piece Of Shit To Demonstrate Healthy Father–Son Relationship https://t.co/3b52AO3TM9 pic.twitter.com/oLje0ch20v— The Onion (@TheOnion) October 11, 2022
President Biden wants the three Los Angeles City Council members caught saying all manner of racist things on a leaked recording to resign. The game is up. It's time to go. None of this "leave absence" stuff. Just go. A fourth person who participated in this ugly moment in LA history, Ron Herrera, the city’s labor chief, resigned today.
Let's end this PM with Goldie's classic "Inner City Life"