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Today in Tabs: Tabola

Tab on over and pull up a screen, it’s time for Today in Tabs again!

Today in Tabs: Tabola
[Protective hazmat suit: Martin Lisner via Shutterstock]

Ebola is clearly not “the Fox News of explosive incontinence,” because Fox News is already that. How did we get here? Newsweek has a timeline of the current outbreak, which looks increasingly permanent. With the death of our one confirmed victim so far, America is bravely facing ebola with our customary range of responses, from capitalist panic all the way through to unvarnished racism. We’ve instituted air travel security measures, because our air travel system is America’s Freudian anus, the national sphincter where we locate and clamp down on all of our most visceral anxieties. “But,” you’re asking yourself by now, “is there a way we could make this both racist and political?” You bet there is, friend-o! Meet the #Obola hashtag, where our Truly Stupid make our implicit xenophobia explicit. With ebola cases in Spain and western fear increasingly hampering aid efforts in West Africa where the situation “continues to deteriorate, with widespread and persistent transmission of EVD,” the only certainty is that this will keep getting worse.

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Yes, ebola is bad, but at least it’s not sentient. The same can unfortunately not be said for Andrew Auernheimer, also known online as weev, who is the internet’s worst person by choice. Programmer and game developer Kathy Sierra was effectively harassed off the internet in 2007 in a campaign of terror enabled by Auernheimer releasing her personal information. Auernheimer is unfortunately out of jail again, and is no longer bothering to cloak his antisemitism and white supremacist beliefs in their former winky veil of “maybe I’m just trolling.” Which is why it’s so very strange that journalist and longtime net freedom activist Quinn Norton can simultaneously publish a long Medium post on white racism which concludes “It is obvious that if white racism is going to be fought, white people have to fight it,” but at the same time say this about Auernheimer (who tweets as @rabite):

I guess if white racism is going to be fought, it will have to be fought by other white people, who aren’t busy temporizing over whether sociopathic racists are “villains or heroes.” Auernheimer is not an isolated case, by any means. Inspired by Kathy Sierra, Adria Richards told her own story of the campaign of abuse waged against her. And of course #gamergate is still going on, unfolding and ramifying and spreading and growing more vicious and unhinged. I’ve known Quinn Norton for a long time, and I know she won’t care what anyone thinks of her, but her position is essentially that of nerd culture–the putative outsider, the free-speech absolutist–and I haven’t seen any better response to it than Pete Warden‘s “Why Nerd Culture Must Die.”

Mustachioed taxi humper Thomas Friedman is still allowed to write, if that’s what you call it. Hamilton Nolan does a delightful Friedman impression in Gawker. And in case you were wondering if Friedman was somehow ever not garbage at thinking and writing, here’s what Edward Said wrote in the Village Voice about his first book, in 1989. At least George Will faced some consequences for calling rape victim a “coveted status.” Ban opinion columnists.

The Times takes on #hashtags and it’s everything you hope/fear it would be:

“If this was the year 1300,” [Will.I.Am] said, “we would be communicating sending falcons. If this was 1988, we would use FedEx. Now it’s 2014, we use hashtags.”

Ok, first: it’s “if this were the year 1300.” Second: literally none of that makes any sense.

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes is distributing pink drill bits in a corporate breast cancer awareness pinkwashing effort that is repellent and incoherent in roughly equal measures. In Adobe, books read you. The Atlantic‘s rogue social media manager is unmasked, and it’s… some 22 year old who wants a social media job. This is like if Scooby-Doo pulled the mask off the mummy and underneath it was also a mummy. Paul Ford explains tilde.club. Further adventures in making the implicit explicit. Radio man clarifies views. Who’s afraid of Olivia N’Gowfri? Flavorwire‘s 9 Real-Life Women Who Would End Christian Grey is surprisingly good. Today in Dads.

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Bijan I see you looking thirsty in Hazlitt. What are the #brands up to?

TODAY’S INTERN TAB, by BIJAN STEPHEN
Corporations are people; brands are #teens.

Red Bull: not a teen, not yet a person. Consider the following. After settling two class-action lawsuits, Red Bull will now mail you $10 (or, if you prefer, $15 of Red Bull). Why? Because it doesn’t actually give you wings.

I hope no one died or was maimed trying to prove that canned piss doesn’t change one’s physiology—but if anyone did, maybe they deserve it?

What if, somehow, we invented an ebola that only #brands could catch? Makes u think.

#FF: Kanye Dreams

Learn 2 Code: Erlang!

~REPENT / THE TABS / ARE EXTREMELY / FUCKING / NIGH~

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Today in Tabs exists in the increasingly forlorn hope that you find us in your email somehow, or remember to look for us on FastCoLabs, at least. It seems doubtful though.

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