Virus update

March 15th, 2020 by harold

I’ve been following the tracker since its inception. I’m trying to get a sense of what’s going to happen in the US.

First interesting thing to me is that there are roughly as many cases in France and Germany, yet Germany has about ten times less deaths. Germany has one of the highest rate of ICU per 100,000 citizens in the world, that could explain that. The tracker is overwhelmed and states 91 deaths in France but French news confirm about 120 who died from the virus.

Italy is insanely concerning. Stratospheric rise of cases and deaths. Almost 400 dead in one day today, that’s crazy.

Spain is growing massively too.

What I get from this is that older white folks from South Europe are extremely sensitive to covid-19. I still connect this partially to the dismissive culture that enabled that mess in the past month or so. Now they pay the price.

Which is going to be exorbitant here in the US. They barely started to lock down things this weekend, in a country way bigger than Europe. People stuck for 6 hours in an airport? Before spreading out all over 52 states? Oh boy. People were still partying last night at the end of the street.

I still can’t believe this presidential press conference on Friday. What the actual fuck. They’re absolutely not ready, at all. Epidemiologists must be losing their shit, yelling at White House staff for the past four weeks at least.

So now knowing that the pandemic is brutal in countries with way better healthcare than the US, we’re not ready. I wouldn’t be surprised if the virus mutates to an even more potent form here. But before that, tons of people are going to die.

On the business side, because everything is so tight, there’s going to be a wave of bankruptcy like we’ve never seen before. If no one works on that $10B stadium that no one wants to go for a while anyway, it’s going to crash. Hard.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

Automatelypse

March 15th, 2020 by harold

So I think the apocalypse is double-bladed: while automation kicks a bunch of current workers out by making them immediately redundant, it also freezes out the next generation by removing entry level jobs and not really replacing them with anything equivalent. Meanwhile, universities and vocational ed programs won’t get this memo for another ten years so they will continue to happily propel waves of students onto a set of closed and locked doors. 

Finally, people start getting it. I think it was a comment on Hacker News.

There are no jobs left and it’s getting worse by the minute. The hockey stick exponential curve thing: most people know the first part -the slow part but fewer experience the fast part that dramatically changes, all the time. That part is now.

There are mostly no entry level jobs these days, only jobs and gigs. And rare good jobs and good gigs. Career has a wild spectrum of definition. Everything is contracted out, as much as possible, with no more benefits. The system is just ruthless.

I could still make some money just a few years ago, as a web developer. No one is on anything but social media. And if you do have a website you use a service, click a bunch of shit and you have a beautiful page now. The entire web designer/developer career: 1999-2015ish (unless you work for a campus or a giant company; wayyy fewer jobs and harder to get). That’s a good-paying job in a thriving environment, growing and shrinking in fifteen years. We can’t build a future society on moving parts like that.

It’s a colossal change from pre-2010s, yet hard to really see. 

We’re a big bunch of human beings, living longer than ever, and we’re automating everything faster than ever, producing more wealth than ever. 

It can’t work without serious wealth redistribution. It just can’t. And it shouldn’t be hard to change. It’s the right thing to do, the only thing to do too. 

A bunch of signatures over a few laws and contracts, a few people get way less extremely wealthy, another billion breathes, everything changes smh.

Two days later

March 14th, 2020 by harold

Well. As the virus spreads, like millions in this country, I lost most of my income. I imagine all hiring is frozen as well. I fought a couple hours to grab water and food for my friends this morning. I made a three off dribble, in the rain. And then had to retreat because it was pou-ring.

For some reason, there’s no entertainment that interests me in the moment. Cuddling sounds delicious though, omg.

Okay. Let’s have a real, “everything on it” combo right now. We just need an earthquake. *grabs bass* Earth, hit it!

lol corona

March 12th, 2020 by harold

Well.

I guess I’m screwed in so many ways. Visiting France looked good this past January, coming through during Spring right?

Family is in France, parents have gotten sick all winter like never before and my sister doesn’t have the strongest immune system. Grandma is 94 and was supposed to get some dental work done at the hospital.

I’m in California and I just lost quite some money because of events cancelled. I might lose a lot more because they’re going to have to cancel this entire year in many ways. The only thing I have for me right now is a strong immune system and this mofo is going to have to work even harder for the foreseeable future.

Then there’s the NBA and this French dude who was touching the mics and laughing at the virus. I don’t even want to say his name. South European culture (France, Spain, Italy) is so dismissive sometimes that it summons entire pandemic by itself. This NBA season being cancelled is some wild shit. LA has blue balls. The Spurs are giggling into madness. So many businesses are going to close shop.

It’s like, we know death is coming. But man, let’s slow down.

Cory Booker and Rosario Dawson

March 11th, 2020 by harold

This election is disheartening. It seems pretty easy to identify what needs to change. But even a political couple can’t agree on which candidate to support. Look, Rosario is right to vote for Bernie and she’s also my celebrity crush so she’s totally right x100.

Cory is playing the political game and believes that Joe would win, thanks to him being behind one of the most beloved president for 8 years.

I think Cory is wrong. The game has been hacked, bro. Vote for policies and laws, not a smile and a good story.
How does all this play in the bedroom? It must be awkward. Vaguely intense, silent resentment while cuddling, watching Elizabeth Warren flipping the switch on SNL? Uncomfortable AF.

Work routine

March 7th, 2020 by harold

Power on laptop

Connect to the wifi

Accept the terms of said wifi

Search for edit keyboard options

Start typing fran to reach français only to be forced to scroll down to Français (France) because it doesn’t show up first

Add FR keyboard, switch keyboard from US to FR

Search for touchpad settings

Select new scrolling

Search for update

Select advanced options and pause the fuck outta updates

Start effing Chrome

Type chrome://flags and disable tabs-hover-whatever the fuck this shit is for

RELAUNCH THE BROWSER BECAUSE THAT’S HOW WE ROLL IN 2020

Select new search engine because Chrome refuses to remember anything

Log in to Outlook.com

Go to online document and click on the link to go to Classic Outlook.com

I have arrived. Until the next reboot. Which could happen anytime. I got more BSOD with Win10 on a 2017 laptop than any previous Windows combined.

It used to be, you set up your stuff and unless you re-install the entire OS, you are good to go. No more.

The computer experience these days is horrendous. I have no control. Absolutely no control.

Coronavirus

February 26th, 2020 by harold

I am no expert of course.

But looking at the numbers, 57 cases in the US seems very low and very much underreported. It, statistically, can’t be that low in a giant country like that.

The economic impact is unfolding right now. Business meetings and agreements are being cancelled or postponed all over the world. It almost feels like everyone is lingering, so that they can blame the virus for everything going wrong economically. Cute.

I just hope it won’t mess with my plans of visiting family in France. It might.

Hair Love

February 24th, 2020 by harold

As I quickly bragged on Twitter, I’m one of the many producer of Hair Love, an Oscar-winning short animated movie about black hair. Most likely, Kickstarter backers were just polling money to attract a real investor and producer like Sony Animation is. The money collected probably wasn’t enough to produce the movie, which is how and why Sony stepped in.

Nonetheless, this movie won an Oscar and I didn’t even dream of that to happen. I remember seeing the Kickstarter campaign. I immediately put some money in and volunteered to do the sound design, of course. At that time, the campaign had a third of the money asked, Matthew A Cherry the creator had not much of a following on social media. I hit him up and as the sound budget was pretty small, he said he was interested.

But then social media took over. Big black names started talking about the project and in no time the campaign exceeded all expectations, going from raising $25,000 at that time to $284,058 when $75,000 was the goal. Even that money isn’t enough to produce a short animated movie though. Then things got quiet on the production side. Matthew blossomed into a social media beast, gathering a huge amount of clout while Hair Love updates were rare and not very exciting.

This is where Kickstarter dreams usually stop. The campaign is successful, producing the project isn’t. Not with Hair Love.

Just like that, the movie was done. Issa Rae had given her voice (for what I hear, through a voice message), the movie had also spawned a book, which had spawned a book tour around the country with Matthew and Vashti Harrison, Hair Love’s visual designer. During that time I had made a little sound design teaser to showcase what I envisioned but Sony had already stepped in. I really wanted to do this and record all the black kids I have around me in my life these days. Next time!

Black hair is such a massive thing. I remember my first time at the hair salon in France. White hair stylists had never done anything with black hair. They were giggling at that thick mass of curly black little trees. I cried when they hurt me. They gave up immediately, couldn’t do anything. Later on my grandmother learned to manipulate the clipper to do a decent job. I wanted a flat top so bad. I think I got it like once, thanks to a hairdresser who was willing to learn. I wanted cornrows so bad. There was not even a person who actually knew how to make that hair style in a 30 miles radius. So I started to buzz cut my early balding skull and never looked back. I still fantasize of sitting down between legs and having someone work that hair, and work it, and make it look good while music flows in the background.

Hair Love is real.

Kobe

February 2nd, 2020 by harold

I never gave a fuck about Kobe at first. He was a brat copying/pasting MJ far too much and who had the chance to have a once in a lifetime basketball center recovering his misses.

Then, the trial. I felt like that was on par with the brat personality.

Now I live in LA and Kobe is finishing up his career, kind of killing the Lakers chances of landing good players because of his contract. I read more about him. The good things he does, how his loyalty to the Los Angeles Lakers is perceived. His impeccable work ethic.

It’s a whole mess. I can’t forget what he did and I can’t condemn kids looking up to him. It’s a whole mess. We have Diddy, Kevin Hart and Jay Z talking about “to us” like they’re damn role models. They are, for too many black men. It’s a whole mess. Terry Crews completely turning his back on black women in one little TV segment like wtf. It’s a whole mess. The need for black role models is excruciating. Charlamagne, Kanye, Drake? Please. It’s never been that bad. I miss you Prince. It’s a whole mess.

So losing one of the less-worse role model hurts. It also hurts to see how few good examples there are for black men out there. Kobe’s tragic death highlights this with the brightness of a 6,000 kW-powered LED.

Then, there’s the eerie fate, the weird karma of super-rich people who don’t give a fuck about doing what nobody else can do that is, be at different places in “not possible” time, thanks to ludicrous amount of gas being burned (have you been close to an helicopter landing? Nasty fuel smell a hundred meters away). Extremely wealthy people thinking that they’re smart flying in a capsule propelled by rotors going really fast, in a fog thicker than mashed potatoes.

A week later, the sky is blue as hell.

Alcohol

January 24th, 2020 by harold

I think I was tipsy twice in 2019 and that was it. I basically didn’t drink last year. A first in my adult life.

It’s something that happened just like that, I didn’t call it. Being overworked has perks I guess.

Anyway the last time I did get a bit inebriated, I was noticing something that I had completely forgotten about drinking: it’s how much you want to see shit go down. To go to eleven. You want that nasty drama.

It doesn’t matter what. An argument? You want the other to be mean as hell in the response. Sound? LOUDER. Sports? I want some BLOOD on this field. Someone falls, you kind of hope that person to hit it hard or harder. You want a chain of bad stuff to happen. Being part of it or not doesn’t really matter. It needs to go down. When drunk there’s a huge high from witnessing chaos. It’s just there and it’s pretty universal.

But you have to stop drinking, let your body clean itself out from any trace of alcohol  to realize it. It takes months. In our drinking societies, most people have forgotten. Forever.

Which leads me to television. TV analyses its customers and they realized that most people have drinks at night. Especially the increasingly single, adult population from the past twenty years, right? A glass of wine (it’s never just one, as we all know) in front of the TV has become standard. Which means TV executives can go ahead with the sociopaths, zombies and other “whatever it takes” type of shows where, as you are under influence, will be entertained. You don’t drink and all of those shows look quite harsh if not psychopathic. You do drink and you’re amused: this person had to die, too bad! This one will go on a revenge tour and I’m all for IT.

The interaction between what we do and consumer offering. It fascinates me.