Five Things: July 14, 2022

I’ve obviously not kept up with the bi-weekly schedule and am not sure how consistent I’ll be throughout the summer. Hopefully a random issue appearing in your feed is a pleasant surprise! Sign up to get this as a fancy email newsletter whenever it comes out: As in Guillotine


US Crosses the Electric-Car Tipping Point for Mass Adoption | Tom Randall

“For the past six months, the US joined Europe and China — collectively the three largest car markets — in moving beyond the 5% tipping point. If the US follows the trend established by 18 countries that came before it, a quarter of new car sales could be electric by the end of 2025. That would be a year or two ahead of most major forecasts.”

My interest in electric cars has steadily grown over the past couple of years, especially as a broad range of legitimate alternatives to Tesla have entered the market. I’ve been extremely skeptical about the rate of adoption matching the aggressive targets many automakers have announced to shift production away from traditional cars, though, so this data is encouraging.

We won’t be in the market for a new car for at least 3-5 years, by which time I expect the options to become even more enticing, but if I had to buy one today and didn’t have to worry about access to charging stations or being able to afford it, I’d lean towards one of Hyundai’s offerings or the Mustang Mach-E.


Parked in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: What Fred Rogers Taught Us About Cars | Joe Ligo

“And so, it turns out Mister Rogers, the modest-living, Honda-driving, vegetarian who walked everywhere was also a classic car owner. Given the colossal amount of material that’s been researched and written about his life and work, I never would’ve guessed this would fly under the radar. But upon further reflection, a nicely maintained Ford Model A seems the perfect car for him. The small blue coupe wasn’t fast or luxurious, but it had an understated elegance. Rogers always had an affinity for numbers and birthdays, and perhaps driving a car from 1928—the year he was born—held special meaning for him. It’s also fitting that he would share the joy of this family heirloom by giving rides to his friends.”

Pretty much every story about Mister Rogers is worth reading, and this is a good one. 10/10; no notes.


Publishers, Internet Archive File Dueling Summary Judgment Motions in Scan Suit | Andrew Albanese

“[Controlled Digital Lending] is ‘fundamentally the same as traditional library lending,’ IA lawyers go on to argue. ‘Because every book in the Internet Archive’s print collection has already been bought and paid for, everyone agrees the Internet Archive could loan those books by handing or mailing them to a patron. The only difference is that the Internet Archive is loaning the books over the Internet. Either way, the books on loan are not available to other patrons until they are returned.'”

Copyright law is above my pay grade and gives me a headache thinking about it too much, but the ongoing lawsuit between the Internet Archive and some major corporate publishers is back in the news and causing a stir in various overlapping circles.

My two cents: the IA got the legal battle they’ve long wanted by using the pandemic to launch their ill-advised National Emergency Library, and their goal to provide “Universal Access to All Knowledge” [by any means necessary] is less about championing the traditional libraries they hide behind than it is furthering their own agenda.

The real pros and cons of Controlled Digital Lending are totally obscured by their brazen disingenuousness, alongside the equally disingenuous pushback from publishers and their lapdogs at the Authors Guild. Libraries and authors deserve better representation; instead, both are being used like pawns.


Nice White Librarians | Miss Julie

“Librarianship is rife with nice white lady librarians. They dominate the profession and thereby the professional culture. And boy, few things are more terrible than a nice white lady when it comes to EDI. You see, nice white ladies like to be comfortable, and to dismantle white supremacy you need to realize you don’t have a right to comfort.”

I’ve been guilty at times of romanticizing librarians and libraries, but I’ve also never hesitated to call them out for being their own worst enemies on things like letting Amazon in the back door via OverDrive; favoring heavily promoted and more expensive “Big 5” ebooks over smaller publishers’ catalogs; or the bullshit lie that is neutrality.

As the ongoing wave of disingenuous book challenges spreads across the country — supported by pre-emptive self-censorship, continued lack of interest in diversifying collections, and/or defending “neutrality” — it’s more important than ever to have white librarians challenging white librarians to do and be better, and Miss Julie is just one of the most recent examples.


I’m probably not the first person you’ve heard recommend watching Reservation Dogs, but if by some chance I am, do yourself a favor and watch it ASAP. If you’ve heard others rave about it and weren’t convinced, trust me; they’re right.

It’s an extremely reductive comparison, but if you liked Atlanta or On My Block at all, I think you’ll love this show, too. I did, and I can’t wait for Season Two to start.

Willie Jack [Paulina Alexis] is the best!

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