questionable topic – uneasy matters since 2008

Mike Monteiro | F*ck You. Pay Me.

Posted in industry, internet, work by questionabletopic on Tuesday, May 24, 2011

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Бисер перед свиньями

Posted in amazing, anthropology, consumerism, culture, entertainment, experiment by questionabletopic on Tuesday, May 24, 2011

12 Января 2007 года в Вашингтоне скрипач мировой славы 43 минуты играл перед безликой толпой у станции метро. За то время, пока он исполнил 6 классических пьес на скрипке ценой 3,5 млн. долларов, 1097 людей (среди которых большинство – столичные бюрократы) прошли мимо. За все выступление Joshua Bell собрал 32 доллара и обратил на себя внимание горстки людей.

Для справки: этот человек собирает своими академическими концертами полные залы ценителей, средняя цена билета при этом 150 долларов.

Современное общество победившего консьюмеризма – слепое, глухое и интеллектуально немощное. Зерна от плевел отделить само не может, ему обязательно нужны костыли в виде провокационной рекламы, мнений экспертов и мощного продвижения.

How many other things are we missing?

Steve Jobs Oldie but Goodie

Posted in amazing, consumerism, industry, PR, story by questionabletopic on Sunday, May 22, 2011
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Waterboarding to be Introduced For 2012 Olympics

Posted in internet, joke, religion by questionabletopic on Thursday, May 19, 2011

I just came from my niece’s baptism…
How many babies do we have to waterboard before we learn the location of Jesus’s hidden compound?

звідси: reddit.com

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My Rapist Friended Me on Facebook (and All I Got Was This Lousy Article) | xoJane

Posted in anthropology by questionabletopic on Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Me: Well, I was…and my background contributed….I craved that sexual attention and put myself in bad situations. And I didn’t know how to … I said no, but I didn’t scream or bite or kick because that’s not what I knew how to do. I just asked you nicely to stop.

via My Rapist Friended Me on Facebook (and All I Got Was This Lousy Article) | xoJane.

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American Thinker Blog: It’s harder to get a job at Walmart than it is to be admitted to an Ivy League school.

Posted in amazing, industry by questionabletopic on Thursday, May 12, 2011

Harvard College accepted just 6.9 percent of applicants for the class of 2015, its lowest rate ever. The numbers were not much better elsewhere in the Ivies: 8.2 percent at Princeton, 11.5 percent at Dartmouth.

In other words, there were nearly 15 applicants for every freshman freshperson class opening at Harvard, slightly over 12 for each spot at Princeton and just under 9 at Dartmouth.

In contrast, a new Walmart in Cleveland recently received 6000 applicants for 300 positions, and, not long ago, two Walmart stores in the Chicago area received 25,000 and 15,000 applications. The Cleveland store hired one in twenty applicants. The Chicago hiring rates were far more modest.

via American Thinker Blog: It’s harder to get a job at Walmart than it is to be admitted to an Ivy League school..

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О некоторых аспектах современного арт-активизма

Posted in Uncategorized by questionabletopic on Monday, May 9, 2011

В 2007 году молодая художница из Дании Nadia Plesner, запустила арт-проект “Simple Living“. Его цель была в том, чтобы показать ситуацию в современных медиа: в выборе между освещением геноцида в Дарфуре и новостями об очередном фак-апе какой-то селебрити – приоритет у последних. В октябре 2007 года Плезнер начала продажу футболок и плакатов с тематическими принтами, передавая всю прибыль от этого фонду помощи “Divest for Darfur“.

13 февраля художнице прислали письмо из парижского офиса LVMH group (которая, среди прочих, представляет интересы брендов Moet, Hennessy и Louis Vuitton). В нем было требование прекратить кампанию – они считали, что сумка на рисунке нарушает авторские права, закрепленные за Louis Vuitton.

22 февраля Плезнер ответила, что не будет останавливать кампанию, так как верит в свою творческую свободу и верховенство человеческих прав над авторскими.

15 апреля она получила гигантский иск от Louis Vuitton: за нарушение прав интеллектуальной собственности и “паразитическое поведение”. В случае отказа приостановки кампании, она должна была выплатить по $7500 за каждый день продаж, $7500 за каждый день упоминания бренда Louis Vuitton на своем сайте, $7500 за каждый день публикации их письма на своем сайте, $15000 за возникшие проблемы, все юридические издержки и €1 за нанесенный ущерб. В общем, $22500 за каждый день работы проекта “Simple Living”.

Дальше были несколько этапов традиционных качелей юриспруденции: дьявол в деталях. Да-да, или в Прада. (Для педантов и летописцев – детали истории здесь.)

Что было дальше: история попала в прессу, адвокаты и правозащитники предложили помощь Плезнер, художница и люди из Louis Vuitton встречались, переговоры ни к чему не привели, претензии со стороны Louis Vuitton остались, акция продолжалась.

В июне 2008 года Надя Плезнер решила приостановить проект “Simple Living” и начать новый, по сбору мед.оборудования и передаче его в госпитали Дарфура. Параллельно был начат проект “Simple Living 2“.

История скучная, изложение безграмотное, но вы уже прошли большую часть ее. Спасибо за усилия, не бросайте меня. Ваш пост.

В июне 2009 года Плезнер начала работу над своим magnum opus – “Darfurnica“. Большое полотно (350 см х 776 см), вдохновленное “Герникой” Пикассо, показывает трагедию, о которой должны помнить, чтобы больше такой не допустить. Выставка затрагивала темы игнорирования этого конфликта центральными медиа и всеобщей пассивности в вопросе ликвидации этого конфликта. На полотне, среди всего прочего, была изображена наша старая знакомая сумка.

В феврале 2009 произошло то, чего следовало ожидать – новый иск от Louis Vuitton. Иск в суде Гааги требовал €5000 за каждый день демонстрации этой картины на сайте художницы или любом ином начиная с 28 января 2009 года.

16 марта 2011 года Плезнер подала встречный иск.

Что было дальше: собрали деньги на юридические услуги, проведено слушание, проведена экспертиза картин, ущерб марке Louis Vuitton не доказан, 4 мая 2011 года отклонено требование на взыскание €485000 с Нади Плезнер и постановлено компенсировать €15000 юридических издержек художнице.

А в качестве особой иронии, я предлагаю вам посмотреть этот раздел на корпоративном сайте LVMH group.

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Герострату нечего делать в Детройте

Posted in Uncategorized by questionabletopic on Sunday, May 8, 2011

Согласно отчета биржи труда города–героя Детройта, 47% взрослого населения по сути не умеют читать.

The National Institute for Literacy estimates that 47% of adults (more than 200,000 individuals) in the City of Detroit are functionally illiterate, referring to the inability of an individual to use reading, speaking, writing, and computational skills in everyday life situations.

The remaining 100,000 of these functionally illiterate adults (age 25 and older) lack a high school diploma or GED, another prerequisite for employment success.
These figures are aggregates and communicate a city–wide issue. We also know some neighborhoods and census tracts within the city have more significant concentrations of adults who are functionally illiterate and/or lack educational credentials.

These figures are aggregates and communicate a city–wide issue. We also know some neighborhoods and census tracts within the city have more significant concentrations of adults who are functionally illiterate and/or lack educational credentials.

По этой теме есть неплохая статья (но в ней неправильный вывод):

Keep in mind that this is despite some pretty lavish education spending in Detroit:
Median compensation for a DPS teacher is $76,000 and Detroit spends the third highest amount of money per student among 76 large cities nationwide. Statewide, Detroit’s spending per pupil is in the 91st percentile and DPS teachers are paid at the 96th percentile.

(и это при щедрых вливаниях ($76,000 — годичная зарплата старшего учителя, третье место по городах США))

Detroit has been described as “the most liberal city in America,” a veritable bastion of progressive policy. How has that worked out? In addition to illiteracy rates, Detroit has gone from the wealthiest city in America in 1950 to being ranked by the US Census Bureau as the 2nd poorest city in the nation per capita, second only to Cleveland.

(кроме того, это город в котором постоянно применялась “мягкая” либеральная политика решения социо–экономических вопросов; не в последнюю очередь, благодаря им этот город превратился из одного из богатейших в второй по бедности город)

материал по теме:

U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences “A First Look at the Literacy of America’s Adults in the 21st Century
National Adult Literacy Survey “ADULT LITERACY in America

демографические данные по по городу, без учета пригородов и аггломераций:

The flight of middle–class African–Americans to the suburbs fueled an exodus that cut Detroit’s population 25% in the past decade to 713,777, according to Census Bureau data released Tuesday. That’s the city’s lowest population level since the 1910 census, when automobile mass production was making Detroit Detroit.

Glencore Prospectus Confirms IPO Will Create Six New Billionaires

Posted in industry, prominent persons, work by questionabletopic on Thursday, May 5, 2011

Glencore Prospectus Confirms IPO Will Create Six New Billionaires
By CHRISTOPHER HELMAN

The 1,600-page Glencore prospectus has finally been released (though it wasn’t easy to track down). The figures confirm what was rumored this morning–that some colossal wealth is being unleashed in this IPO.

After the float the company will be valued at roughly $60 billion, from whence we derive these seven new mega-fortunes.

1. CEO Ivan Glasenberg will have 1.09 billion shares, or 15.8% of the company, for a net worth of $9.5 billion. Glasenberg would tie for 93rd wealthiest person on Forbes list of Global Billionaires, alongside Russia’s fertilizer king Dimitry Rybolovlev and just after another Russian, German Khan. Glasenberg’s salary this year is 925,000 pounds sterling.
2. Daniel Francisco Mate Badenes: $3.6 billion (416.4 million shares, or 6%).
3. Aristotelis Mistakidis: $3.6 billion (411.8 million shares, or 6%).
4. Tor Peterson: $3.2 billion (366.3 million shares, or 5.3%).
5. Alex Beard: $2.76 billion (320.5 million shares, or 4.6%).
6. Steven Kalmin: $600 million (70.7 million shares, or 1%).
7. And then there’s the mysterious “selling shareholder” who is parting with 238.8 million shares in the IPO (or 4%), worth $2.4 billion. My suspicion is that this is former CEO and departing Chairman Willy Strotthote.

Ivan Glasenberg, aged 54 (Chief Executive Officer)
Ivan Glasenberg joined Glencore in April 1984 and has been Chief Executive Officer of Glencore since January 2002. Mr Glasenberg was appointed to the Board on 14 March 2011. Mr Glasenberg first worked in the coal/coke commodity department in South Africa for three years as a marketer, responsible for sourcing coal in South Africa and then in Australia for two years as head of the coal/coke commodity division, Asia, responsible for sourcing and marketing coal in regions including Australia, Asia and South Africa. Between 1988 and 1989, he was based in Hong Kong as manager and head of Glencore’s Hong Kong and Beijing offices, as well as head of coal marketing in Asia, where his responsibilities included overseeing the Asian coal marketing business of Glencore and managing the administrative functions of the Hong Kong and Beijing offices. In January 1990, he became director of the coal/coke commodity department, responsible for the worldwide coal business of Glencore for both marketing and industrial assets, and remained in this role until he became Chief Executive Officer in January 2002. Mr Glasenberg is a Chartered Accountant of South Africa and holds a Bachelor of Accountancy from the University of Witwatersrand. Mr Glasenberg also graduated in 1983 from the University of Southern California with an M.B.A. degree. He is currently a director of Minara as well as Xstrata and UC Rusal. Before joining Glencore, he worked for five years at Levitt Kirson Chartered Accountants in South Africa.

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Why Aren’t Gays Funny? | The Awl

Posted in anthropology, culture, entertainment, joke by questionabletopic on Thursday, May 5, 2011

Why Aren’t Gays Funny?

By Choire Sicha | May 3, 2011

Sure, there are funny gays in various entertainment fields, such as shoe design and Condé Nast magazines, but let us think of gays in actual comedy. Okay, so there’s Ellen. That guy ANT. Neil Patrick Harris. And… hmm.

Oh right. Scott Thompson. And Graham Chapman, of Monty Python. These two might prove a comedy “rule” that gays are often funny when in groups of straight people. Or when they are English: Stephen K. Amos, Simon Amstell, Matt Lucas, Julian Clary, Paul O’Grady. And Kenny Everett and Frankie Howerd and Kenneth Williams, RIP! Or when they are of an English province: Trey Anthony, say, from Canada. And Tommy Sexton. And I guess Trevor Boris counts! Then there’s… oh, Dave Rubin!

There’s a pretty equal number of ladies, of course. Don’t ever confuse Judy Gold and Julie Goldman. (Jews! I know!) Also don’t confuse Wanda Sykes, Elvira Kurt and René Hicks. That’s racist. (I’m kidding, it’s not. See what I did there?) Margaret Cho still counts. Also I will namedrop Alec Mapa in the interests of diversity!

Of the greats, you have Rip Taylor and Lily Tomlin. And more, hmm… I guess Eddie Murphy, if you count those who may prefer our sexual partners to be in that wonderful middle ground between gender norms. And Andy Dick counts. (There is such a thing as bisexuality!)

But now. Think of the least funny people you know: Susan Sontag, Bret Easton Ellis and Jeffrey Dahmer. All gay. All devoutly unhumorous. Why aren’t gay people funny?

via Why Aren’t Gays Funny? | The Awl.

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John Ashcroft Is Blackwater’s New Ethics Chief | TPMMuckraker

Posted in industry, PR by questionabletopic on Thursday, May 5, 2011

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft has signed up as an “independent director” for Xe Services, the infamous private security company that used to be known as Blackwater.

Spencer Ackerman reports:

Ashcroft will head Xe’s new “subcommittee on governance,” its backers announced early Wednesday in a statement, an entity designed to “maximize governance, compliance and accountability” and “promote the highest degrees of ethics and professionalism within the private security industry.”

In other words, no more shooting civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan; no more signing for weapons its guards aren’t authorized to carry in warzones; no more impersonations of cartoon characters to acquire said weaponry; and no more ‘roids and coke on the job.

“This is a company with a strong history of service to its country, and a reputation of best-in-class offerings to its public and private customers,” Ashcroft said in a statement. “I look forward to helping [U.S. Training Center, aka Blackwater] enhance its governance and oversight capabilities as the company moves forward.”

via John Ashcroft Is Blackwater’s New Ethics Chief | TPMMuckraker.

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