@aram@aoir.social avatar



Writer, professor, musician.

The lesser ½ of Dunia & Aram.
The lesser ½ of https://zirk.us/@RASinn.
The lesser ⅛ of Comm Studies @ AU.

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pluralistic, to random
@pluralistic@mamot.fr avatar

As a science fiction writer, I find it weird that some sf tropes - like space colonization - have become culture-war touchstones. You know, that whole "we were promised jetpacks" thing.


If you'd like an essay-formatted version of this thread to read or share, here's a link to it on pluralistic.net, my surveillance-free, ad-free, tracker-free blog:



@aram@aoir.social avatar

@pluralistic Lonny Avi Brooks and I did a whole issue of the International Journal of Communication on this a while back. We called those tropes "futuretypes" and a bunch of us wrote collaborative essays about their political and cultural significance. https://annenbergpress.com/2016/11/17/ijoc-publishes-special-forum-section-on-imagining-futuretypes/

aram, to music
@aram@aoir.social avatar

🚨 alert

TLDR: Now that offers audiobooks, they're only paying songwriters based on 50% of their revenue, even though music is still the main offering (and probably the majority of listener hours). So a collective representing composers' rights is suing.

Here's the complaint:
https://www.themlc.com/hubfs/Complaint - MLC-Spotify (2024.05.16).pdf

aram, to random
@aram@aoir.social avatar

Imagine there's no countries


aram, to music
@aram@aoir.social avatar

Text-to-music is getting closer and closer to an everyday commodity.

As a songwriter, performer, and lover to my core, I say BRING IT ON

Pop music has been created by committee for decades anyway. At least now the kids will have a seat at the committee table.

Can't wait to hear how this gets fucked with.


dangillmor, to random
@dangillmor@mastodon.social avatar

Not the Onion (though if it was on that site we'd all have a good laugh at the fine satire).

Sadly, but predictably, it's in the New York Times.

"Stormy Daniels as We Had Never Seen Her

During her time on the stand in former President Donald J. Trump’s criminal trial, the adult entertainer dressed for history — and a jury."

h/t @jeffjarvis

@aram@aoir.social avatar

@dangillmor @jeffjarvis what an utter embarrassment to the profession of journalism

aram, to history
@aram@aoir.social avatar

Here's a question for all you folks:

Would/could the "inalienable rights" of IHR exist without the intellectual precursor of the "divine right" of kings?

That is to say, did the latter provide a necessary model (or negative model) for the former? And if so, is that why divinity/god-given is still foundational to so much rights discourse?

Also, is there a model for IHR that's not based on a divine creator? eg One based on a Buddhist or other non-theistic cosmology?

aram, to random
@aram@aoir.social avatar

It's a very odd feeling, having played a role in Web 1, 2, & 3, to be mentoring students who only know of those moments via third-party scholarship.

Much of that scholarship is very good. But it's all coalesced around received wisdom & fixed narratives, and those tend to leave out a lot of important details.

I'm always torn about whether and how much to use my own memory/experience of the events to add nuance, or to just let the official story be the official story.

#academicchatter #commodon

@aram@aoir.social avatar

@luis_in_brief @davidthewid @henryfarrell

The importance question is exactly what I'm asking.

Of course, all cultural distances are reduced in the rear-view mirror of history. Nobody knows or cares now about mods vs. rockers, OS vs FS, East Coast rap vs West Coast rap, bop vs. swing, AOL vs. FidoNet... and maybe they shouldn't.

But having once known, and cared, it's hard not to add a little bit of context to discussions that treat the camps and concepts as interchangeable.

aram, to random
@aram@aoir.social avatar

Rest in power to the great #SteveAlbini. Hard to overstate what an important role he played in shaping the sound of American popular music in the 90s. Also his explainer about record contract fuckery is a classic I've included on many a syllabus.


@aram@aoir.social avatar
Jennifer, to scifi
@Jennifer@bookstodon.com avatar

I need some new science fiction to read, who has some suggestions? I don't like military sci-fi. For reference, my favorite series is the Expanse, I also enjoyed Scalzi's Collapsing Empire, I love Robert Charles Wilson's books. I mostly enjoy space operas and unique stories about technology, for example I really liked the recent book Mountain in the Sea about AI and intelligent octopus. Suggestions from the awesome Bookstodon community? @bookstodon

@aram@aoir.social avatar
aram, to random
@aram@aoir.social avatar

So proud of my brother-in-law #AhmedBest for sticking to his guns and sharing his truth in this @nytimes profile. I love you, brother! https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/03/movies/jar-jar-binks-actor-star-wars-ahmed-best.html

aram, to books
@aram@aoir.social avatar

🥳 After five years of dreaming, listening, writing, editing, and hustling, our book THE SECRET LIFE OF DATA is finally available to the public!!!

Happy launch day to my dear friend and coauthor @jesse and thanks to the @themitpress team for all the support.

Buy it here: https://mitpress.mit.edu/9780262048811/the-secret-life-of-data/

#newbook #books #bookstodon #data #surveillance #privacy #commodon

aram, to random
@aram@aoir.social avatar

Trump is on trial while he's running for president again and somehow that's not the biggest story in the nation. Strange.

aram, to books
@aram@aoir.social avatar

My book THE SECRET LIFE OF DATA comes out tomorrow (4/30) from @themitpress. Please help us launch with a splash by preordering today:


#bookstodon #newbooks #books #data #commodon @commodon @bookstodon

aram, to random
@aram@aoir.social avatar

Hi, I'm a US Jewish professor & Columbia University graduate and I'm here to say:

  1. Killing civilians is evil whether Hamas or Israel does it.

  2. Students should be able to say anything they want, short of threatening/inciting violence or harrassment.

  3. Protesting the mass killing of Gazans is not anti-Semitic.

  4. Anti-Semites are part of the protests, which makes them dangerous for Jews.

  5. Israel = less colonialist than US, China or UK. Heal thyself.

aram, to random
@aram@aoir.social avatar


aram, to random
@aram@aoir.social avatar


Secret Russian document, 2023:

"escalate the situation in the Middle East around Israel, Iran and Syria to distract the U.S. with the problems of this region."


@aram@aoir.social avatar
kfury, to random
@kfury@mstdn.social avatar

Twitter has plunged in value by 71.5% since Elon bought it.

@aram@aoir.social avatar


economically, yes.

Socially, it's plunged 100% in value.

aram, to random
@aram@aoir.social avatar

I miss being able to teach my students about the Comstock Act as a cautionary tale from ancient history https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/17/us/politics/trump-allies-abortion-restrictions.html #academicchatter #commodon

aram, to ai
@aram@aoir.social avatar

What fresh hell

#AI @academicchatter

aram, to Israel
@aram@aoir.social avatar

The people of #Israel have been on the streets for over a year, double digit percentages of the population, week after week, demanding Netanyahu's resignation and raging against his #Gaza policy, but you wouldn't know it by looking at US media. All we get to see is how the war is bad for Biden.

Screenshot of a Washington Post article headline reading: "MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT - Six months into Gaza war, Biden confronts the limits of U.S. leverage," by Karen DeYoung.

@aram@aoir.social avatar

I attended some of the early anti-Netanyahu rallies in Tel Aviv when I was there last Spring. Seven months before Oct 7, and the Israeli people, including Palestinians, were already up in arms, calling him a white supremacist and a fascist and demanding his ouster.



@aram@aoir.social avatar

And they're still out there today, facing increased police violence and worse, including murderous nut jobs ramming cars into the peaceful protesters, just to voice their opposition to that monster.


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