A $30 Billion W

A crane caught fire and collapsed in Manhattan. Also, the Teamsters got a huge bag, your thoughts are increasingly unsafe, a look at the ongoing writers/actors strike, and a noteworthy premiere.

A $30 Billion W

Uh, Heads Up

A construction crane in Manhattan caught fire this morning and crashed over, hitting a building before slamming into the street.

This happened at about 10th Ave and 41st Street

There's no reports yet of injuries, which is either a miracle or we just haven't heard of the injuries yet, but hoooopefully there were actually no injuries.

Keep uh... keep an eye out for falling cranes, will ya?

GG, Teamsters

The Teamsters union won in their negotiations with UPS, avoiding a nationwide strike among delivery workers which could have brought the economy (and specifically, UPS) to its knees.

Here's a few notable things they won from their negotiations. As a reminder, UPS could have done these extremely basic things at any time, but instead chose to exploit their workers rather than treat them with dignity and respect, forcing the workers to leverage their collective power to demand change since their employers didn't have their backs.

  • Part time wages will be no lower than $21/hour
  • Wage increases across the board with the average top rate going up to $49/hour
  • They get MLK day off for the first time (for non-US folks, that's a federal holiday that many places have off)
  • Delivery vehicles get air conditioning. Like….???? Bruh? That seems like table stakes???

The list continues. You can read the full rundown from the Union's announcement here: https://teamster.org/2023/07/weve-changed-the-game-teamsters-win-historic-ups-contract/

The negotiations got $30 Billion in new money out of UPS for their workers. Weird that they couldn't find that sooner.

Welp, Your Thoughts Aren't Safe Anymore

We've now reached the point where technologists, researchers, ethicists and policy makers are discussing what the actual fuck we should be doing about the fact that our technology is now capable of literal mind-reading.

In a world where Elon Musk wants to put a chip in your brain, actual scientists have made advances using machine learning and human brain interfaces to semi-accurately decode thoughts into text. On the one hand, that would be an incredible way to allow some people with severe medical conditions to be able to communicate, or perhaps open up new ways for doctors to determine the state of an otherwise unresponsive patient.

On the other, far larger hand: HOLY SHIT, WE CAN READ OUR THOUGHTS. There's so, so many bad things that can come of that. Like, this is an existential leap in the way humans can interact with computers—or just as precisely—how humans can leverage computers against other humans.

Lemme temper things a bit though: this technology is still very young, not totally accurate, and intensely invasive. You would very, very much know if your thoughts are being read, because at this stage you probably would have actively volunteered and had to undergo psych evaluations and collaborate with scientists and whatnot. It's not quite "point a thought stealing gun at your target" yet.


Writers/Actors Strike Updates 'n Such

So the Writers and Actors guild strikes are still going strong and will likely continue to go strong for a while, given that they have already proven their resilience. But I wanted to give a quick update and a quote or two.

First the quote. This comes from Bryan Cranston during a rally in NYC:

We will not have you take away our right to work and earn a decent living. And lastly, and most importantly, we will not allow you to take away our dignity!

Meanwhile, Dwayne "Ye Olde Rock" Johnson reportedly made a seven-figure donation to the SAG-AFTRA relief fund which helps support striking actors and writers to afford rent, groceries and basic living necessities while they are striking.

If you want to donate as well to help out striking actors and writers, head to https://entertainmentcommunity.org/

On This day…

Today in 1951 was the premiere of Disney's Alice in Wonderland, running first in London and then showing two days later in the United States.

Disney advertising execs had a new and thrilling idea: use the wonderful advent of television to promote the upcoming film. They produced a Christmas day special called "An Hour in Wonderland" as well as a "making of" special which played on TV.

Bad call imo. Who does ads, anyway?

Here's the Weather

Source: VentuSky

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