Aug 27, 2017

This explanation of neoliberalism, from the Guardian, is highly recommended reading.

[T]he public sphere – the space where we offer up reasons, and contest the reasons of others – ceases to be a space for deliberation, and becomes a market in clicks, likes and retweets. The internet is personal preference magnified by algorithm; a pseudo-public space that echoes the voice already inside our head. Rather than a space of debate in which we make our way, as a society, toward consensus, now there is a mutual-affirmation apparatus banally referred to as a “marketplace of ideas”. What looks like something public and lucid is only an extension of our own pre-existing opinions, prejudices and beliefs, while the authority of institutions and experts has been displaced by the aggregative logic of big data.

Aug 27, 2017

From the Atlantic:

Teachers pay is 17 percent lower than other professionals with similar training.

This is one of the major reasons our schools struggle to satisfy our expectations. Our brightest and most capable college graduates will never turn to careers in education if the pay continues to hang at 83% of what they’d earn elsewhere. I have the utmost respect for those with the passion and drive to become teachers anyway, despite the low pay. Teachers are heros, and they should be financially rewarded for their service.

Apr 6, 2017

Albarn revealed today that he has around 40 to 45 Gorillaz tracks in various states of completion, tracks which aren’t on Humanz. And also that he hopes to continue releasing these songs over the next 18 months or so. To this Albarn fan, the idea of a new Gorillaz track nearly every week is amazing. Please let this happen. Gorillaz, more than most any other project out there, is perfectly suitable for this kind of release cycle.

Apr 4, 2017

Upcoming.org has relaunched. Congrats to Andy Baio on bringing it back to life. I was a backer of the Kickstarter though I barely used the original site, if at all. When Upcoming.org was in its first life, I was in Bloomington, IN, and if I’m remembering right, there wasn’t much being shared in that small town. Now that I’m in NYC, I’m hoping to find new stuff to attend.

Mar 7, 2017

People are trying to come up with a nickname for the new Republican health care plan, the American Health Care Act. Trumpcare? Ryancare? How about a portmanteau: Tryancare. Of course, a quick search reveals I’m not the first to think of it.

Mar 3, 2017

This snarky timeline of yesterday’s drip, drip, drip of Republican/Russian collusion news captures pretty well what it’s like to be living in 2017.

Mar 2, 2017

A major solar eclipse will be visible across the US this year on August 21st, on a line from Oregon to South Carolina. I’ve had this on my calendar for years, really hoping I’d be able to see it.

Mar 2, 2017

I really enjoyed this article by Oliver Lee Bateman, Should Millennials Ever Grow Up?. It lies directly the sweet spot in the perennial arguments over generational categories and life-stage judgementalism.

But childhood, far from being some mythical status existing from time immemorial, was actually a historically contingent stage. For most families, children were once units of labor, tiny adults who could be employed on the farm or, following industrialization, in mills and factories. In Pricing the Priceless Child: The Changing Social Value of Children, Viviana Zelizer demonstrated how legal changes gradually removed children from the workplace, as the nation’s growing affluence enabled mass-scale education and sentimentalization of the young, even as the need to keep these priceless babes (fewer in number than ever before, since quality now mattered more than quantity!) supplied with toys also led to an increasing “monetization and commercialization of children’s lives.”

With a healthy dose of historical context, and a resistance toward over-categorization, it’s possible to understand age and maturity as highly variable. Some children grow into adulthood more quickly, by chance or by need. Some people never really mature at all.

Feb 26, 2017

Thom Hartmann does a pretty good job at explaining why tax cuts make the rich richer, but do very little for the middle and lower classes. The basic problem lies with who has control over their salary and who doesn’t. When company executives get, say, a 25% tax cut, that’s 25% more they pocket as income. But when employees recieve the same 25% tax cut, their salaries are eventually lowered so that their after-tax income is returned to the same living wage it was before the tax cut. It may take years for the old balance to be struck again, but it always happens.

According to economist Thomas Piketty, the poorest 50 percent of Americans have seen their incomes decline by a full 1 percent since 1978— even as incomes for the top 10 percent of Americans have jumped by whopping 115 percent and incomes for the top .001 percent have skyrocketed an astronomic 685 percent.

Feb 26, 2017

Deleted the Google app from my iPad. It was the cause for the severe battery drain I had recently noticed. Though it was only onscreen for a few minutes in the last 24 hours (per the iOS settings report), it had been running nearly 2 hours in the background. I’m not okay nor comfortable with that.