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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • A great LeGuin quote on capitalism, from The Dispossessed [wikipedia.org]. The speaker is visiting a capitalist planet called "Urras".

    ...there is nothing here but States and their weapons, the rich and their lies, and the poor and their misery. There is no way to act rightly, with a clear heart, on Urras. There is nothing you can do that profit does not enter in, and fear of loss, and the wish for power. You cannot say good morning without knowing which of you is 'superior' to the other, or trying to prove it. You cannot act like a brother to other people, you must manipulate them, or command them, or obey them, or trick them. You cannot touch another person -- yet they will not leave you alone. There is no freedom. It is a box -- Urras is a box, a package, with all the beautiful wrappings of blue sky and meadows and forests and great cities. And you open the box, and, what is inside it? A black cellar full of dust, and a dead man. A man whose hand was shot off because he held it out to others. I have been in Hell at last.


    The "man whose hand was shot off" was a character in the book who was shot by police while trying to help someone during a police riot.
    • From a weblog I saw just days ago, via Justin Mason [taint.org]: John Rogers [blogspot.com] writes about hybrid cars [blogspot.com]:

      Kevin Drum [washingtonmonthly.com] recently quoted (and no, I’m way too stoned to track it down) a study which re-iterated that there’s no “real” advantage to buying a hybrid. It’s only just as convenient – so if you’re driving a hybrid, you’re doing it for some other reason than financial incentive.

      That made me think: what a perfect example of just how fucking useless as a society we