I never carry cash. This shouldn’t seem like a big deal, because debit cards can be cancelled if you lose them; parking meters, farmer’s markets, and even jukeboxes in the good dive-y bars all accept Visa these days.
I went to my first Halloween party of the season Saturday night, which meant it was time to put together my Halloween costume.
As you know from earlier postings, this year I’m costuming/cosplaying Julia Wicker from Lev Grossman’s Magicians series. (One of the parties I’m attending is themed “come as your favorite author or book character,” so that’s where I got the idea.)
Julia doesn’t have a specific look to copy, which makes the costume a bit easier. I decided to make the base level of the costume pajamas, because if there’s one thing I know about people who spend all day studying magic and posting to online message boards, it’s that they’re probably doing it in their pajamas.
Since I already own pajamas, that meant I only needed to buy a few additional items:
Glittery letters to spell “Spellbinder” on binder: $5.49
Blue star stickers to simulate Julia’s star tattoos: $2.79
And, of course, the wig.
People saying it’s not nice for a popular brand not to include clothes for the chubbier among us are missing the point.
Anonabox, the Washington Post reports, may not just be a silly name for a product; it might have the distinction of being a Kickstarter cautionary tale.
But the Anonabox, which has raised more than $600,000 from 9,000 people since going online four days ago, is a curious case. Most Kickstarter controversies erupt after the fact, when a project has been funded and the creator fails to deliver. (Earlier this year, in fact, Washington’s attorney general sued a Tennessee-based project that did just that.) But funders began to notice problems with the Anonabox — a tiny, affordable Internet router that anonymizes your online activity — long before that point. There were glaring discrepancies, they noted, between creator August Germar’s original description of the Anonabox and actual pictures of the device online. Germar claimed that he had designed the hardware from scratch, when, in fact, the primary components were bought almost off-the-shelf from China.
Haha oops! And backers are not happy.
Since 9 a.m. today, donors have withdrawn roughly $14,000 in pledges, or 2 percent of the project’s earnings to that point. (Under Kickstarter policy, backers can change or cancel their donations at any time before a project closes, with some exceptions if they cancel in the last 24 hours.) According to Anonabox’s Kickstarter page, more than 200 people have contributed at least $250 to the project, and a handful have donated considerably more.
Funny that Kickstarter refuses to get involved in a case of fraud and misrepresentation, whereas GoFundMe was quick on the draw when it discovered that a woman was trying to raise money for a lawful abortion. But the bigger lesson is, of course, caveat emptor, everyone.
I was the only person in Gap at 9:30 in the morning on a Saturday, which I would recommend for anyone who has tried to avoid thinking about their body for a very long time and is ready to face the music in the most boring way possible and at a 40% discount.
Lodging: Free! The advantage to having a huge family is that there are so many places to stay!
I’m hooked. What do my ethics and I do now?
It was bound to happen. After years of concern about how our brains would change when we could look up any information we wanted in seconds, spearheaded by the Society of Adults Who Told You There Wouldn’t Always Be A Calculator In Your Pocket, now we’re getting some concern that our brains will be further altered by the ability to buy anything we want with a single click, or—in the case of Amazon’s Fire Phone and Firefly technology, by simply waving our phones over stuff and then buying the stuff with a single click.
To quote Slate’s Future Tense:
When your phone encourages you to make up shopping lists of items you encounter daily, it may be difficult not to begin to see the world as made of readily consumable items.
Maybe my brain has already started to change, but I’m not quite sure how that’s different from what we have now. The world is made up of readily consumable items, and the friction doesn’t come from the time it takes to type “Amazon.com Crocs Malindi black” and then click “add to cart,” it comes from our own budgets and our own spending capacities.
At last, purely by chance, they appeared on sale in my size at a store across the street from my apartment at the beginning of 2008. I snatched them up, feeling less like I had spent money than that I had won some kind of prize.