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On Death and Dying, Actors/Writer Strike, Microsoft and Activision, I Love Threads, and a Male Problem
A sad week, with optimism on the horizon
Let’s get the sad news out of the way first. On June 25th, my dad passed away. I miss him terribly.
I wrote a piece - excerpted below - to help me grieve. If you’re currently in - or in the future find yourself in - a difficult situation dealing with grief, I hope it helps. I also welcome your perspective if you’ve encountered grief before. Thank you.
I never dwelled on death before
Now I do. In my early thirties, I knew death was inevitable, but it seemed far off. Not visible beyond the horizon. There was an infinite feeling to life.
Then my dad died this year at age 65. When he was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal cancer about two years ago, the prospect of death hit me like a sucker punch. It was the first time someone very close to me stared death directly in the face.
It was also a stark realization that I — at age 35 — may already be past the halfway point of life. I guess I had always assumed I might be like my grandpa and live into my nineties. But few of us are so fortunate.
How would I feel if I was about to die? What would I do if I had two years (or less) of life left? These were questions I had never asked myself before my dad’s diagnosis.
What happens after death? Will I have done everything I wanted by the time I die? These were questions I asked when my dad passed away.
You can read the full article here.
Actors and writers strike together for the first time in 60 years
Sure, they could all be replaced by artificial intelligence. Generative AI has made many of us content creators and creative types shudder with the fear of replacement.
But studio executives shouldn’t sit fat and happy either. If AI could replace intellectual property, why couldn’t it replace the suit in the ivory tower too?
Three further points on this story:
An all AI-generated movie would probably suck.
Anyone who crosses the picket line will probably be blackballed by the industry for the rest of their careers.
As much as this is a story about AI and corporate power, it’s also a story about unions. It’s not a coincidence their power and influence in America have significantly declined while wealth inequality has increased.
This is how revolutions start. If wealth inequality is not addressed and corrected soon, we’ll be seeing more than just actors/writers striking.
Microsoft can close its $75 billion buy of Activision
Lina Khan lost a big one here. The current FTC chair needs a new strategy; one with more precision that targets anticompetitive activities instead of mergers and acquisitions (especially of the vertical nature as in the case here, where Microsoft and Activision are not direct competitors).
The industry will not take the FTC seriously if all they do is seek to do everything in the name of “big tech is bad.” Khan and company need to stack some wins and build credibility as a promoter of a tech industry with healthy competition.
Challenging deals like this one and then appealing nonstop when losing is not the way to regulate.
I think Khan is smart. Her work on Amazon, which brought her initial acclaim, is outstanding. But she needs to leave the theories in the classroom and put some of her specific grievances into practice.
I love Threads
The Meta competitor to Twitter is awesome for one main reason: it’s not run by Elon Musk.
He’s apparently starting a new company.
I wonder what his Twitter and Tesla employees think about it? I also wonder what all of his fellow cosigners to halt AI advancement think?
Was Musk really concerned about the impact of AI on humanity, or was he trying to buy more time so he could create his new AI company?
I think we all know the answer to that question.
But that’s why I love Threads. Because Elon’s not there. And it’s basically a very basic version of Twitter. Without the hate (so far).
Follow me on Threads (@Polispandit).
A male problem?
I loved this article by Christine Emba.
Men are lost. There is a large segment of the younger male population that feels rejected by society.
Girls think these men are weird. These guys can’t find girlfriends or progress in their careers.
So they turn to extremists.
I wrote about it at the end of last year after diving head-first into the male influencer pool.
We need to redefine manliness. We need to redefine a man’s place in society. Not in an effeminate way, but in a way that channels natural inclinations while rejecting more patriarchal tendencies (like viewing women as inferior).
It should be OK to be a good guy. My dad proved that it was.