A bet on the ‘entitlement effect.’

A red-tinted image of the capital dome. In the foreground, a hand-lettered protest sign bearing a crude hammer and sickle, reading ‘Government keep yore (sic) hands of (sic) my Medicare! Don’t steal from Medicare to support SOCIALIZED MEDICINE.’

This week, millions are playing Congressional Kremlinology, guessing whether House/Senate Dems have the votes for the $3.5T reconciliation package, playing Fantasy Football Sophie’s Choice to cut programs if corporate Dems whittle it down.

https://prospect.org/infrastructure/building-back-america/infrastructure-summer-sophies-choice-of-the-reconciliation-bill/

But as Harold Meyerson writes for The American Prospect, there’s a high-stakes, high-risk gambit that would let the willing, principled Democrats pass the whole package — simply cut the programs’ funding to four years, rather than a decade.

https://prospect.org/infrastructure/building-back-america/how-democrats-can-pass-entire-reconciliation-bill/

That reduces the package’s bill to a level that can be covered with agreed-upon “payfors” (these are the self-inflicted, nonsensical budget-balancing measures Dems insist upon, as though…


2001, 2016, 2020.

#20yrsago Make a Pringles can wifi antenna https://web.archive.org/web/20011007171836/https://www.airshare.org/sd/installfest.html

#5yrsago Inside a multimillion dollar fake Kindle book scam https://www.zdnet.com/article/exclusive-inside-a-million-dollar-amazon-kindle-catfishing-scam/

#5yrsago Youtube’s new “offline first” product for India treats telcos as damage and routes around them https://blog.youtube/news-and-events/youtube-go-youtube-reimagined-for-next/

#5yrsago Wells Fargo execs will lose a few millions out of the hundreds of millions they got for abetting massive fraud https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/09/wells-fargo-ceo-stumpf-hit-with-41-million-in-clawbacks-head-of-community-bank-dinged-19-million.html

#1yrago The Trump financial method https://pluralistic.net/2020/09/28/cyberwar-tactics/#grifts

#1yrago Zombie banks https://pluralistic.net/2020/09/28/cyberwar-tactics/#aligned-incentives

#1yrago Newsletters’ glorious history https://pluralistic.net/2020/09/28/cyberwar-tactics/#mimeograph


NIMBYism is a fatal disease.

A vintage ad for Lincoln Homes; it is burning at the bottom.

Housing is a human right and a human necessity.

Housing is also the designated path to intergenerational wealth accumulation and class mobility (it used to be housing and labor rights, but America got rid of those in the Reagan years).

https://gen.medium.com/the-rents-too-damned-high-520f958d5ec5

Housing can’t be both an essential speculative asset and a human right. If the way you provide a better life for your kids is to buy a house and wait for its value to go up, then you require one of the essentials of human existence to get much more expensive.

This has an immediate effect: people who don’t…


Market health care is a fatal disease

An abandoned, ruined hospital wing; in the foreground, a dancing Uncle Pennybags figure from the Monopoly game, he has removed his face, revealing a skull. Image: Nitram242 (modified) https://www.flickr.com/photos/25165196@N08/7082538687/ CC BY: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

As the US health care system reels under shortages and capacity issues, Matt Stoller reminds us that the brittleness of the US health care supply chain predates covid, and is directly attributable to monopolization, and its handmaiden, corruption.

https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/the-villains-behind-our-medical-supply

As Stoller writes, the last decade has seen the health care industry plagued by shortages of basics: “from saline to epinephrine to chemotherapeutic agents to antibiotics, to sterilized water.”

The FDA has maintained a drug shortages advisory page for years, long before covid hit, with doctors prescribing less-familiar, more error-prone meds to patients because the standard-of-care drugs were unavailable.

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/drug-shortages

Now…


Why you shouldn’t take career advice from successful writers.

Judith Merril introducing Doctor Who on TVOntario, some time in the 1970s.

This week on my podcast, a reading of “Breaking In,” my latest column for Locus Magazine. It was inspired by the writers who are just starting out and looking for advice on how to advance their careers — and my realization that I have none to give.

https://locusmag.com/2021/09/cory-doctorow-breaking-in/

After all, when I broke into science fiction, the web barely existed, the field was dominated by three print magazines, and the publishing, distribution and bookselling worlds were radically different in nearly every way.

When I was just starting out, I’d hang on established pros’ accounts of how they broke in, and…


2006, 2016, 2020

#20yrsago TSA: calling Kip Hawley an idiot is not allowed https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/checkpoints-borders-policy-debate/606142-i-detained-tsa-checkpoint-about-25-minutes-today.html#post6440005

#5yrsago Ex-Wells employees who were fired for refusing to commit fraud launch $2.6B lawsuit https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/26/495454165/ex-wells-fargo-employees-sue-allege-they-were-punished-for-not-breaking-law

#1yrago Ransomware for coffee makers https://pluralistic.net/2020/09/27/junky-styling/#java-script

Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction author, activist, and blogger. He has a podcast, a newsletter, a Twitter feed, a Mastodon feed, and a Tumblr feed. He was born in Canada, became a British citizen and now lives in Burbank, California. His latest nonfiction book is How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism. His latest novel for adults is Attack Surface. His latest short story collection is Radicalized. His…


Copyright reversion, bargaining power, and authors’ rights.

Stationers’ Register entry for the transfer of Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, Love’s Labor’s Lost, and twelve other books in 1607.

Few labor markets are as dysfunctional as the market for creative labor. Writers, musicians, graphic artists and other creative workers often produce because they feel they have to, driven by a need to express and discover themselves. Small wonder that creative workers are willing to produce art for lower wages than they’d accept for other types of work. This leads to a vast oversupply of creative work, giving publishers, labels, studios and other intermediaries a buyer’s market for creative labor.

For the most part, arts policy pretends this isn’t true. When economists and business-people talk about labor markets, they lean…


John M Ford was a goddamned WIZARD.

The cover of John M Ford’s ‘Scholars of Night.’

John M Ford (“Mike” to his many friends) was one of science fiction’s most accomplished writers, by which I mean, his accomplishments were so prodigious as to be slightly bewildering.

If he hadn’t been so mind-bogglingly quick-witted in person, it would be tempting to believe that his books were the product of several eccentric geniuses. Everything he did, he did brilliantly, and he did so very much.

He was the author of several bestselling, award-winning RPG modules, and a Star Trek novel that was also a Gilbert and Sullivan musical, and a string of genre-crossing novels that used pulp conventions…


2011, 2016

#10yrsago That’s Disgusting! Awesomely gross picture book https://memex.craphound.com/2011/09/26/thats-disgusting-awesomely-gross-picture-book/

#5yrsago Climate denial’s internal contradictions spring from a need to defend economic doctrine https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11229-016-1198-6

Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction author, activist, and blogger. He has a podcast, a newsletter, a Twitter feed, a Mastodon feed, and a Tumblr feed. He was born in Canada, became a British citizen and now lives in Burbank, California. His latest nonfiction book is How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism. His latest novel for adults is Attack Surface. His latest short story collection is Radicalized. His latest picture book is Poesy the Monster Slayer


2001, 2006, 2016, 2020.

#20yrsago Phil Zimmermann has no guilt over PGP https://slashdot.org/story/01/09/24/162236/philip-zimmermann-and-guilt-over-pgp

#15yrsago RIP, sf writer John M Ford http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/008033.html#008033

#15yrsago Gigantic Little Nemo book does justice to the loveliest comic ever https://memex.craphound.com/2006/09/25/gigantic-little-nemo-book-does-justice-to-the-loveliest-comic-ever/

#5yrsago How many Wells Fargo employees were fired for NOT committing fraud? https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2016-09-22/whistle-blowers-and-good-activists

#1yrago Adventures of a Dwergish Girl https://pluralistic.net/2020/09/25/dwergish-girl/#you-are-a-pickle

Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction author, activist, and blogger. He has a podcast, a newsletter, a Twitter feed, a Mastodon feed, and a Tumblr feed. He was born in Canada, became a British citizen and now lives in Burbank, California. His latest nonfiction book is How to Destroy…

Cory Doctorow

Writer, blogger, activist. Blog: https://pluralistic.net; Mailing list: https://pluralistic.net/plura-list; Twitter: https://twitter.com/doctorow

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