Hagan Blount

PlaceInvaders TableTalk Newsletter // May 24, 2019

Hagan Blount
PlaceInvaders TableTalk Newsletter // May 24, 2019

AI is coming 
We have a jobpocalypse coming. No, there won’t be a shift in demand for maintenance workers and mechanics to fix all the robots and systems that will result in an equivalent amount of jobs. There will be a requirement for basic income. It’s market economics at work, and you’re in the game. The AI is going to win. Going off on a tangent here, but all of this probably isn’t going to matter - it’s likely that we have less than 100 years left on this planet before we’re visited by an AI looking to protect its share of the resources in the galaxy. There has been an increase in UFO sightings over the last few years (this one from 2004), and who knows if they’ve all been sent by one galactic federation. We don’t have a global plan for first contact. We need one. An AI has already won the Milky Way, and it’s not ours. There is no Fermi Paradox. We’re not alone. The faster we accept this, the faster we start working together (futilely) for the common good.

Joe Beef’s Sober Owners
Joe Beef came up in conversation with friends this week, so this article felt timely, but it seems like discussions of the pervasiveness of excess and hard living in the hospitality industry are evergreen, and allegations against these guys for being or at least fraternizing with gropers and jerks are ongoing. We do respect when people in the public eye admit to being human and on a path to improvement, recognizing that they haven’t always done just the right thing. When we cancel Mario Batali and Ken Friedman (who generally doesn’t seem to have been canceled, from a recent stroll past The Spotted Pig), reading an article like this makes us wonder if the degree to which someone’s been an asshole matters less than that way they go about showing remorse for it. Also interesting to learn about how folks pushing booze and extravagance for a living handle and talk about balancing their jobs with their sobriety.

The Exponential Expansion of Rats
Summer in New York means rooftop patios, trips to the Hamptons, hot garbage piles, and loads of rats. It’s never lost on us that some of the country’s priciest zip codes are swarming with vermin. Half of us will not likely soon forget the summer evening she was walking briskly through a fancy, famously celebrity-inhabited neighborhood of Brooklyn when an extra fatso rat ran between her feet and actually, literally got scissor kicked by both her ankles. Whether they’re eating pizza, stuck in a sidewalk crack, froggering your extremities, or running along the bottom of an online newspaper article (scroll down!) rats are an everyday part of New York life. And by some measures have doubled since 2014. Check out the handy rat map to see how your hood rates.

Trump Tax Trauma 
We’d love more of these points being footnoted, but at the risk of sharing some fake news, we figured that we would let you do the research on the rest. It’s pretty shocking, and not so far-fetched, that the president is a stooge and the Trump organization is a front for the Russian mob. We especially love the “I’d rather be Russian than Democrat” right-wingers, as they refuse to accept new information and change their minds. America is bigger than one man. It has lasted longer than 4 years. It has been damaged by war hawks from both sides, it is compromised, and its integrity is in danger because the limit of its integrity is that of its representatives.

Why aren’t we recycling anymore?
Why aren’t there gigantic subsidies for new recycling plants in the US? Why aren’t companies required to pay for the entire life-cycle of a product? Why aren’t there national and statewide mandates for trash collection and recycling? Well because that’s a state issue. A state has a right to incinerate plastic because that’s what the forefathers intended. Did you know that plastic bag bans are likely a net negative? It just shows that knee-jerk responses to problems without research and careful calculation don’t necessarily serve to prevent the problems they set out to.