Tuesday, August 29, 2023

The Color of Memory

First, the red cloth in the marketplace
Shimmering prints. Dakar was a revelation
First time abroad. First time on a plane.
The sounds, the laughs, friends and family
They have different jollof these Sénégalais
And, mon dieu, how about that poisson braisé
Black and white world cup matches on the TV
Then, a treat, we watched the final on a color screen
The orange of the Dutch team and their fans.
They lost. Orange was the color of memory

Again, a few years on, back home
Black and white TV. Monochrome.
Charles and Diana. A royal wedding.
We drove across Accra to my cousin's
A dash to their impromptu watch party
Just in time. We caught the carriage ride in color
Bright imprint, young mind. Colonial press
Strangely pallid, the prince and princess
Crown jewels from the Gold Coast. British monarchy
Our former rulers. Red velvet was the color of memory

Later. Exile. Someplace called Golders Green
Our own Babylon, mother and son, not quite refugees
Creature comforts, we bought our first color TV
This 9 year old's research pointed to a Panasonic
This was during the 1982 world cup, football fanatics
Fresh. The first thing we watched: Brazil vrs Italy
So unexpected, enter Paolo Rossi
A blue bandit overcame heroics from Socrates
Transcendent beauty outdone by clinical speed
Gutted. Frankly, everything has been downhill since
Contra the poacher, yellow was the color of memory

rainbow installation at The Contemporary Austin

Colors, a playlist

A soundtrack for this note. I give you sixty odd flavors of a rainbow spectrum, listen without prejudice (spotify version)

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Writing log: December 11, 2021

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Until Such Time

Mystical spirits loom
Natural healing will soon come
Bringing justice promised us

Maroons, these searchers roam
The men of the hills journey
With rhythms of defiance

Crossing effervescent streams
Marking sanctified borderlands
Truths disclosed in light of day

Guidance duly salves the soul
It's the force of freedom
Protection until such time


Until Such Time, a playlist

soundtrack for the maroons courtesy of that griot Burning Spear (spotify version)
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Writing log: December 7, 2021

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Coinage Capitalism

Hottakes galore, call it coinage capitalism
Reification of the zeitgeist, the books proliferated
Bearing weighty tomes laden with keen, academic discourse
Along came the bright observers and the futurists

Cassandras calling, heady charges were duly leveled
Observe well the rhetoric of these social synthesizers
But scratch the gleaming surface of their mooted frameworks
And behold a fundamental misdiagnosis of the economics of networks

Such edifices they erected
   as they bemoaned the newfangled platforms
Perverse incentives touted by the lawyers among them,
   stern demands for reform
Bullet points on their charge sheets,
   not your garden variety contrarianism
A veritable rush to be the first to pinpoint the original sin

They extolled the perils of the day,
   but it was a new age of puffery
Their research probed the fatted calf
   or, at least, its dark underbelly
These pundits, badged with brows of concern and alacrity
Were minting think pieces full of shrink-wrapped profundity

Talking to themselves,
   the commentariat selling policy prescriptions
Data is the new oil, and other slogans that belied their fictions
But to take them at their word would be a crying shame
For, at the end of it all, they were merely playing a shell game

Tell us something new, there's no such thing as a free lunch
Captain Obvious, if you aren't paying, you are the product
Dark patterns applied as you skipped over the fine print
Taken hostage, the convenience of the Faustian pact in one click

Blinders on, the profit imperative,
   next they'll be fleecing you
Slouching wide awake, you customer,
   as they extract surplus value
Still, was there really anything novel
   in this dark empire of fear?
Methinks their sole invention
   was a new way of saying buyer beware


Cheap Talk, a playlist

A soundtrack for this note (spotify version)

Timing is everything
Observers are worried

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Writing log. Concept: January 29 2019. November 21 2021

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

An Hour Away

Cape Point. Near the southern tip of the continent
From the cliff, we watched the famed seascape
The blue waves that were said to rival Zanzibar
Then, the Cape of Good Hope.
Tourists. Escapism.

Later, an hour away lay the township
Punishing. We took in the juxtaposition
Apartheid painted from its drab palette
Slum life. Journalism.

(South Africa, Christmas 1993)

capetown capepoint

capetown khayelitsha slum

Put all this behind you, the scripts were being readied
The recent unpleasantness was all ancient history
Welcome to the New South Africa, they'd started to say
After all, you know, the elections are only months away

A Temporary Inconvenience, a playlist

Some sounds from South Africa. (spotify version)

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Writing log: December 30, 1993, December 1, 2021

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Workforce Rebalancing

We recorded workforce rebalancing charges in the combined income statement
Structural actions to simplify and optimize the increase in employee exits
The allocation of corporate expenses was not meaningful


Structural actions
Simplify and optimize
Employee exits

After The Company's 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission

sweet shell

See previously: Restructuring Activities and The Annual Report

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Writing log: November 7, 2021