Sunday, August 9, 2020

Jealousy, envy, and pettiness is rampant, even in science

 "Since the scientific method was established, every important advance in science has met with the twin obstacles, ignorance and envy."

from Jonas Salk (which, ~40% in, is very depressing.) 

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Am I stuck in Mad Men?

Sam Harris is promoting his new book. Every single person he lists -- all eleven -- are men.  

Friday, August 7, 2020

Infectious memes

If having Hamilton lyrics stuck in your brain was a sign of Covid, I would have died long ago.

With Anne, Kari N, and Amoryn S (who got the tickets), Arizona State showing, winter 2018.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Republican Priorities

Billions to rebuild the FBI building.
Liability protection for businesses who get their workers sick.
No money for election security.
No money for state and local governments (hurts teachers, first responders, local services, etc.). 
No money for the post office.

That's the choice we get to make - reject or endorse that agenda.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Insanity from the Obama Era

In this podcast about the threat of nuclear war, Lisa Perry notes that the U.S. is going to spend $1.7 trillion (trillion -- with a "T") to "modernize" our nuclear weapon inventory. $1.7 trillion

Having read about this in The Bomb, I understand the pressure the Obama administration felt to do this. But it seems relatively clear to me now that agreeing to this was a big mistake. 

More broadly, though, keep this* in mind when you hear that we can't spend money to help people, we "have to" cut social security, etc. 

*And the fact that every year, the U.S. spends more on "defense" than the next ten most profligate countries combined

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

What a world

Thanks again to the liberal media.

From Vox's daily email:

·       On Monday night, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to (re)tweet out dangerous misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic. He amplified a false claim to his 84.2 million followers that “Covid has cure” — which it does not. [CBS News / Christopher Brito]

·       The tweet — which linked to a video promoting the disproven drug hydroxychloroquine and dismissing the need to wear a mask — was quickly removed by Twitter for violating the site’s Covid-19 misinformation policy. [Vice / David Gilbert]

·       Separately, Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, tweeted out the video on Monday night, describing it as “a must watch!!!” The tweet has since been deleted, and Don Jr. lost his tweeting privileges for 12 hours. [The Verge / Chaim Gartenberg]

·       The conspiracy video that both Trumps chose to promote is objectively absurd: As the Daily Beast reported Tuesday, a doctor featured in the video has argued that the US government is run by “reptilians,” among other bizarre claims. [The Daily Beast / Will Sommer]

·       Nonetheless, the video, which was shared by the far-right site Breitbart, got substantial traction on Monday. Facebook said it was viewed more than 14 million times before it was taken down. [Washington Post / Katie Shepherd and Taylor Telford]

·       Trump defended the conspiracy theorist doctor, Stella Immanuel, telling reporters on Tuesday she was "spectacular" and "very respected." Immanuel has attributed various health issues to "people having sex in their dreams with demons" in addition to her hydroxychloroquine advocacy. [Twitter / Jeremy Diamond]

·       The tweet that finally resulted in Twitter taking action was just one of several shared by Trump on Monday night that boosted the discredited theory that the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine is an effective Covid-19 treatment. And at least one attacked the credibility of Dr. Anthony Fauci. [Twitter / Manu Raju]

·       On Tuesday, Fauci brushed off the attacks, telling George Stephanopoulos that “I don’t even read them. ... I just will continue to do my job no matter what comes out because I think it’s very important.” [TPM / ZoĆ« Richards]

·       But the coronavirus misinformation problem isn’t just coming from the White House. Over the weekend, the right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group came under fire for its plan — now abandoned — to air an interview with a conspiracy theorist featured in the Plandemic movie. [Vox / Zeeshan Aleem]

·       The video that Trump shared on Monday was backed by the Tea Party Patriots, a fundraising group that has donated more than $24 million to Republicans since 2014. [NBC News / Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins]

And while Trump continues to amplify baseless coronavirus conspiracies, the pandemic is still running rampant in the US. More than 148,000 people have died of the virus, and a federal report from this past weekend urged 21 states to tighten measures aimed at controlling the virus. [New York Times]

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Greatest Injustice in the World

At this moment in history, when innocent people like Elijah McClain are being murdered by the state, some people have gotten together to fight against the greatest injustice in the world: Meanies are mean to them on Twitter or Slack.

Snark aside, it isn't as though I do have any reason for empathy. A while back, I had a mortgage, car payment, pre-existing conditions, and a kid in college. Then I found myself out of my job because I quoted Anthony Bourdain. In addition to being suddenly unemployed, thousands upon thousands of people attacked me online.

And you know what? It just doesn't compare to being murdered. It doesn't compare to being stalked and doxxed and threatened with rape or torture (and I've been basically tortured to the point of being broken).

So if you look at this moment in history and you think it is all about you and protecting your precious privileged ideals ... maybe think again.

Update: The “free speech debate” isn’t really about free speech

Friday, July 17, 2020

796 Scandals, Color-Coded

From Andrew Tobias:

It’s impossible to read all 20,000+ lies and misleading claims Trump has made since taking office.  (In eight years, the same fact-checking apparatus found Obama had made 28.)

But it’s almost impossible not to read or at least meander amongst these 796 mostly-short paragraphs . . . “A Catalog of Trump’s Worst Cruelties, Collusions, Corruptions, and Crimes.”  Color-coded, no less.