ISA HOPKINS

Raconteur. Adventurer. Kimchi Enthusiast.

Truth!

Remember when the sharing economy was about, you know, SHARING?!   Yeah. It’s been a while.

The Inheritance of Plunder

Sometimes facts that we’ve known for a long while can become remixed to have new meaning – an “aha” moment, such as it is, and I had one earlier today while watching the film “The Corporation”*.  The history of corporate personhood in the US finds its roots in an 1886 Supreme Court ruling, in a case entitled Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad (or, more commonly, Santa Clara).  Corporate personhood was read into the fourteenth amendment.. Read More

The World Around Us

Urging African-Americans to become superhuman is great advice if you are concerned with creating extraordinary individuals. It is terrible advice if you are concerned with creating an equitable society. The black freedom struggle is not about raising a race of hyper-moral super-humans. It is about all people garnering the right to live like the normal humans they are.   –TNC   People do what they need to do to survive. But when survival is.. Read More

On SF, From London

I had plans to write an epic post about the Google bus situation and the social divides and false meritocracy of the tech economy (titled “Class: Warfare, Bus Fare, & What is Fair?”) – but then Rebecca Solnit beat me to it.  Her essay reaches beyond the typical technocratic solutioneering on the topic that has populated my Facebook feed (Change zoning laws! Eliminate rent control!) to meditate on what cities and society actually.. Read More

This Is Black Hoodie Rap

A textual collage exploring inspiration, technology, and identity.   On Wednesday night I finally saw “Fruitvale Station” (not out in Australia, at least not yet).  A phenomenal film; an imperfect one, yes, but then perfection is a meaningless concept outside of abstract mathematics anyway.  Some reviewers have come in armored with preconceptions, that this is a Message Movie, or else so programmed by the preponderance of anti-hero narratives that they find a deeply.. Read More

This is a business school mentality, that education can be measured with precision on sheets of papers with lists and checkmarks. Accreditation—it’s about who gives you credit, and how you can persuade them to do so. It’s trust and confidence again. Who do we trust? Who do we have faith in to say that we’ve done the right thing? … The reduction of the moral to the financial is so complete that risk is.. Read More

Duly Noted

The last few weeks have entered into a period of crazy-busyness, kicked off with my move from the existential hell I’ve written of before.  Though there is a lot going on, I will make efforts to update more regularly – as it is I’ve accumulated quite a backlog of links to share:   – Firstly, for those who haven’t yet read it, Russell Brand’s essay on Margaret Thatcher is empathetic, intelligent, and generally.. Read More

Nobody Knows How to Fund This: A Brief History of the Arts

The “Veronica Mars” Kickstarter project has just closed, but the conversations about how it might impact film financing have only just begun.  The idea of bottom-up financing for major projects – with profits going to the rights-owning studio, rather than to the individuals who have invested in the project – is disconcerting, to say the least (it also runs afoul of SEC regulations as written, although the crowdfunding bonanza has them rethinking some of.. Read More

Duly Noted

Catching my eye in the last few days:   – As I wrote in Grist: mixing financial incentives with the sharing economy affects both intentions and outcomes.   – The library is one of the most obvious and entrenched manifestations of the sharing economy.  As the nature of books changes, libraries are discovering other things to be shared.   – The history and incentives behind bottle redemption.   – Our economic approach is.. Read More

Poor mothers suffering from generalized anxiety disorder were found to be anxious not because of mental illness but because of poverty. -from Harper’s weekly “Findings” column, summarizing new scientific research  There is a lot of ignorance about what poverty really entails.  "Get a job" is a common enough refrain to those who might dare to ask for help; it’s easier to pathologize behavior than to recognize our own culpability in the social structures.. Read More