Newsletter #180: Bail is Bad Technology

Hello Recompilers,

It’s been a good week, which is a strange sentence to write. So far, no civil war. Trump is no longer in office. Without a doubt, Biden will commit war crimes and further the tendrils of American empire the same as every president, but Trump is out of office. The fight continues.

For updates about the Portland protests, Audrey is still maintaining a blog about what’s going on there.


The Portland General Defense Committee has written an open letter regarding the monstrously, cruelly bad technology that the county uses for its bail system. It’s a fascinating read because it exposes both the technological and social problems baked into the system that activists have poured tens of thousands of dollars into in the past year.

In this week’s union news, Instacart is laying off its unionized workers, cops arrested peaceful strikers who were fighting for a $1 an hour raise, and Motherboard has a good expose on how union-busting companies collect dossiers on employees.

Finally, I just want to share this paper by Ed Whitfield, a senior fellow at Seed Commons, that describes anticapitalism and how to enrich communities in an accessible, clear way that I found particularly compelling. What Must We Do to be Free? On the Building of Liberated Zones.


Ghetto Symposium: On Freedom and Surplus
Ed Whitfield, who wrote that paper, also gave a short talk about how the nature of surplus and how it can be used to for the benefit of the people and how it hasn’t been.

Talk of the Week:

This talk is part of our “Favorite Talks” YouTube Playlist. Check it out and subscribe! 

Nonsense verse with Python and machine learning

Allison Parrish presents a tutorial at PyCon 2020 about how to use machine learning to find nonsense words that contain the types of sounds you want.


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This newsletter compiled by Margaret Killjoy (@magpiekilljoy). Margaret is an author, activist, and musician based in Appalachia. Her most recent book series is the Danielle Cain novella series, which starts with The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion.

Image by Ichigo121212 from Pixabay (Pixabay License)