Much deserved Guardian coverage of the weird phenomenon that is the internet cat video festival. What grips me about things like this is not the fact that people are trying to make money from their cats, but rather that many others people are trying and failing to make money from their cats. Not unlike the aspiring professional pick up artists, though you’ll have to read this brilliant paper to see what I’m getting at.

I’m increasingly convinced that a tendency to publicize successful outliers to propagate the illusion‘ can be seen across the web, as a few people who make a living within a novel field wilfully co-operate with platform providers to promulgate the notion that other people could do this too. The result is inevitably a rather off-putting stampede of aspirants which must be read against the background of contracting structures of opportunity which can be seen across more established sectors within an increasingly low-wage and precarious economy.

There’s an interesting BBC programme about the rise of Vloggers which has left me thinking about this: It’s very descriptive but it’s interesting to see these people asked about what they’re doing now and how it relates to what they were doing previously.

Walking home in the rain earlier today, I encountered a very fluffy and very wet cat sitting unhappily outside someone’s front door. Upon getting my attention, the cat insistently tried to lead me towards the front door in the hope that I would open it. It’s not the first time I’ve noticed cats doing this and I think it shows something interesting about cognition. Cats have come to recognise the capacity of human beings to remove the obstacles that impede fulfilment of their wishes. However they fail to recognise that particular people have the capacity to open particular doors. That cat was convinced I had the capacity to open its front door. They presumably have the understanding they do on an inductive basis, inferring a capacity from the recurrent interventions of human beings in relation to once closed doors that are subsequently opened. To differentiate within the ensuing category, recognising the connections between particular people and particular contexts within which they can (and should) intervene, presupposes a complex web of further categories which could not in themselves be derived inductively.