Mutation Vectors is my weekly round-up of what media I’ve been consuming.


One highlight of the week was this interview with Peggy McIntosh, the women’s studies scholar who popularized the term “privilege” in the context of social justice. This part was heartbreaking:

The right wing wanted to paint it as craziness. But there were so many people saying it wasn’t crazy that I was able to put them aside. David Horowitz named me one of America’s ten wackiest feminists; that used to get to me. Now I think, If you’re going to do work for racial justice, you’re going to get attacked.

Have those reactions changed much? It’s been more than twenty-five years.

The truth is that it hasn’t changed much, except in the universities.

I’d like to think this isn’t actually true, but I’m really afraid that it is.


Every so often I like to order my Pocket reading list by oldest-to-newest. I’m still working through articles I saved during the first half of 2011. Here’s a couple interesting things I read recently:

Also, this Washington Post story from about a year ago floated up into Pocket’s “highlights,” so I read it: “Maximizing shareholder value: The goal that changed corporate America“. Here’s the most important part:

Lynn Stout, a professor of corporate and business law at Cornell University Law School, traces the transformation to the rise of the “Chicago school” of free-market economists.

In 1970, Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman wrote an article in the New York Times Magazine in which he famously argued that the only “social responsibility of business is to increase its profits.”

Then in 1976, economists Michael Jensen and William Meckling published a paper saying that shareholders were “principals” who hired executives and board members as “agents.” In other words, when you are an executive or corporate director, you work for the shareholders.

Stout said these legal theories appealed to the media — the idea that shareholders were king simplified the confusing debate over the purpose of a corporation.

More powerfully, it helped spawn the rise of executive pay tied to share prices — and thus the huge rise in stock-option pay. As a result, average annual executive pay has quadrupled since the early 1970s.


I started watching Orphan Black this week and like it so far.


I haven’t heard their albums, but I came across these videos by White Lung and dig the ’90s nostalgia aethstetic: