190 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2019
    1. In November last year, Gordon Brown suggested that an assembly might resolve the Brexit crisis. Last month, Damon Albarn, Rowan Williams and a number of other public figures wrote an open letter to the Guardian in support, and the idea now has this newspaper’s backing.

      Further, a group of Labour MPs tabled amendments to the Brexit deal that included a Citizens' Assembly on Brexit, and a host of other campaigning and civil society organisations have started looking at this as a potential solution. Devolved administrations such as the Scottish government are also increasingly interested in this model of deliberative democracy

  2. May 2019
    1. To win a majority in the country, Labour needs to win seats in the parts of the UK that backed leave. There is no route to 10 Downing Street that doesn’t run through areas that voted heavily to leave and heavily to remain.

      The difference between Labour and the Lib Dems/Brexit Party is that Labour is the only party that can realistically aim for government at the next GE. Given the current state of British politics, this means bridging the Brexit divide.

    2. I am yet to meet more than a handful of people who have changed their minds.

      If People's Vote was intended to change people's minds on Brexit, then there is no doubt that they failed disastrously by repeating the same mistakes on the 2016 Remain campaign. Labour can only succeed if it commits to taking a different, more democratic approach to Brexit

    3. Labour is urged to pick a side in this ongoing tug-of-war. That is a dead end for the party and for a very divided country.

      Labour's split in the 2016 referendum between Leave and Remain mirrors the UK's own split: most constituencies where Remain support was the highest voted Labour in the 2015 general elections, and yet, seven out of ten Labour MPs represent constituencies that voted Leave.

  3. Feb 2019
    1. Is the freedom of the individual served by neoliberalism? Centrality of the state for this freedom, which NL denies. “neoliberal thinkers deliberately sustain the fiction that ‘the market economy’ is a natural and spontaneous order that must be placed beyond politics … The question of how authority can be something other than domination and private power shaped the ideas and action of those who built the tradition of constitutional democracy in western societies from the 16th to the 20th centuries … basic needs were those that had to be met before the individual could practically enact the status of a free subject or person. It was such needs provision that made it possible for individuals to be both personally secure and to enjoy an equality of opportunity to develop as individuals free to discover their talents and gifts … the representation of market society as a spontaneous order is pitched to the punters while, within the tent of the doctrine’s initiates, it is fully understood that the state has to be both a strong state, and to be re-engineered in order to impose neoliberal institutional design.” YeatmanFreedom.pdf
    1. “Constitutional patriotism”—as understood by those who originally put forward the idea and as understood in this essay—designates the idea that political attachment ought to center on the norms, the values and, more indirectly, the procedures of a liberal democratic constitution. Put differently, political allegiance is owed primarily neither to a national culture, as proponents of liberal nationalism have claimed, nor to “the worldwide community of human beings,” as, for instance, Martha Nussbaum’s conception of cosmopolitanism has it. Constitutional patriotism offers a vision distinct from both nationalism and cosmopolitanism, but also from republican patriotism as traditionally understood in, broadly speaking, the history of Euro-American political thought.” (Müller)




    1. Agreeing that the Condorcet criterion is desirable is equivalent to saying that moderate candidates should always win.

      Yes, candidates who are moderate relative to the voters should always win.

      The goal of an election is to find the candidate who best represents the electorate. If the electorate is left-wing on average, the winner should be too. If the electorate is "strong on both personal freedoms and economic freedoms", then the winner should be too.

      Anything else is undemocratic.

  4. Jan 2019
  5. Nov 2018
    1. Entscheidend ist, dass sie Herren des Verfahrens bleiben - und eine Vision für das neue Maschinenzeitalter entwickeln.

      Es sieht für mich nicht eigentlich so aus als wären wir jemals die "Herren des Verfahrens" gewesen. Und auch darum geht es ja bei Marx. Denke ich.

  6. Aug 2018
    1. Are there, in other words, any fundamental "contradictions" in human life that cannot be resolved in the context of modern liberalism, that would be resolvable by an alternative political-economic structure?

      Churchill famously said "...democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time..."

      Even within this quote it is implicit that there are many others. In some sense he's admitting that we might possibly be at a local maximum but we've just not explored the spaces beyond the adjacent possible.

    2. What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.

      What if, in fact, we've only just found a local maximum? What if in the changing landscape there are other places we could potentially get to competitively that supply greater maxima? And possibly worse, what if we need to lose value to get from here to unlock even more value there?

    3. The triumph of the West, of the Western idea, is evident first of all in the total exhaustion of viable systematic alternatives to Western liberalism.

      Total exhaustion?

    1. But events in Europe unfolded more or less according to Fukuyama’s prediction, and, on December 26, 1991, the Soviet Union voted itself out of existence. The Cold War really was over.

      Or ostensibly, until a strong man came to power in Russia and began its downturn into something else. It definitely doesn't seem to be a liberal democracy, so we're still fighting against it.

    2. There would be a “Common Marketization” of international relations and the world would achieve homeostasis.

      Famous last words, right?!

      These are the types of statements one must try very hard not to make unless there is 100% certainty.

      I find myself wondering how can liberal democracy and capitalism manage to fight and make the case the the small tribes (everywhere, including within the US) that it can, could and should be doing more for them.

    3. Fukuyama’s argument was that, with the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union, the last ideological alternative to liberalism had been eliminated.

      "Last" in the sense of a big, modern threat. We're still facing the threats of tribalism, which apparently have a strong pull.

    1. If you want to understand the Christian extremism that represents the single greatest threat to democracy and human rights in America today, it’s important to understand how authoritarian Christians read the Bible.

      Very likely true.

    2. I think it’s important for liberal Americans who do not come from a patriarchal religious background to hear our stories and to sit with that shock. Why? Because I remain convinced that if American civil society and the American press fail to come to grips with just how radically theocratic the Christian Right is, any kind of post-Trump soft landing scenario in which American democracy recovers a healthy degree of functionality is highly unlikely.

      I haven't directly experienced this patriarchal religious background to the extreme that the writer has, but I grew up in "Jesus Land" and know it exists. I suspect he's largely correct here.

  7. Jun 2018
    1. Epistemic democratic theories refer to the capacity of the populace, either through deliberation or aggregation of knowledge, to track the truth and relies on mechanisms to synthesize and apply collective intelligence.
  8. Apr 2018
    1. Hillman accuses all kinds of leaders – from religious leaders to scientists to politicians – of failing to honestly discuss what we must do to move to zero-carbon emissions. “I don’t think they can because society isn’t organised to enable them to do so. Political parties’ focus is on jobs and GDP, depending on the burning of fossil fuels.”
  9. Nov 2017
  10. Oct 2017
    1. Some interesting takeaways from this video ...

      Some democracies, like the US and France, started with principles and constitutions first. The rest of the world, had to build democracies out of pre-existing orders There's a strong debate about whether democracy and religion can co-exist. In the end, it seems to be most compatible when those pre-existing beliefs are abstracted and distilled for their most humanistic principles. For democracy to have a religious or cultural element, that religion or culture has to be a humanist interpretation Democracy without rights is not only imperfect, but susceptible to reversal or failure. In any aggregation of power, the power has the ability to construct, so fundamental irreversible rights of those who are not in power are essential to know that democracy is fair and complete. Democracies can evolve, just as the US did. They can evolve through the evolution of the rights of the citizens. Politics also follows social change -- politics is a trailing phenomenon. It requires social change and demand for rights for rights to be politically distributed. Politics that try to lead social change don't have the ability to sustain attack over long periods of time.

    1. The abuse is the free speech issue. Kicking Nazis off of Twitter reduces the platform of a small number of people who are using that platform to terrify and silence others. Leaving them on suppresses, in all meaningful terms, the voices of entire classes of female intellectuals, people of color, and any other subgroup the mob decides to turn it spotlight towards when that subgroup gets a little too uppity.

    1. Ethics

      I would be curious to see how the founders would have pictured and wanted an 'ethics' class to be like. It would be interesting to compare how they would be taught today and see concepts like democracy that are held equally but human rights and equality possibly have a large discrepancy.

    1. DEFCON, the world’s largest hacker conference, will release its findings on Tuesday, months after hosting a July demonstration in which hackers quickly broke into 25 different types of voting machines.


      Though the report offers no proof of an attack last year, experts involved with it say they’re sure it is possible—and probable—and that the chances of a bigger attack in the future are high.

      “From a technological point of view, this is something that is clearly doable,” said Sherri Ramsay, the former director of the federal Central Security Service Threat Operations Center, which handles cyber threats for the military and the National Security Agency. “For us to turn a blind eye to this, I think that would be very irresponsible on our part.”

  11. Sep 2017
    1. mainstream pundits with more legitimacy

      This is what is so hard about democracy in the modern digital age. Habermas tells us that democracy requires an open and free exchange of idea in a equally accessible public space. While the internet is not entirely open, free and equally accessible, it is very close. Yet, we have lost the ability to vet, validate and trust most information. What does that mean about democracy in the modern age?

  12. Jul 2017
    1. The backfire effect is getting turbocharged online. I think we’re getting more angry and convinced about everything, not because we’re surrounded by like-minded people, but by people who disagree with us. Social media allows you to find the worst examples of your opponents. It’s not a place to have your own views corroborated, but rather where your worst suspicions about the other lot can be quickly and easily confirmed.

    1. “The only way to save a democracy is to explain the way things work,” says Linus Neumann, a CCC spokesman and information security consultant. “Understanding things is a good immunization.”

      democracy and web literacy

    1. The GOP intends nation-wide voter suppression.

      • The House Appropriations Committee voted to defund the Election Assistance Commission, which helps states protect voting machines from hacking.
      • The DOJ sent a letter to all 50 states, essentially instructing them to purge voter rolls.
      • The White House commission on election integrity sent a letter to all 50 states, asking for detailed voter data including political party.
  13. May 2017
    1. Lawrence Lessig is concerned about impeachment happening while polls show that only 2% of Trump voters would change their vote. He says it's our duty to convince them Trump needs to go -- in spite of "how impossibly hard that seems".

    1. The world has arrived at an age of cheap complex devices of great reliability; and something is bound to come of it.

      Part of what we now know is that the large-scale manufacture of such "cheap and complex devices of great reliability" is linked to our excessive depletion of natural resources, our pollution and destruction of the global environment -- most especially our large and ever-increasing impact on the atmosphere. Heavily industrialization and consumerism are provoking long-term climate change across the planet. In the second decade of the 21st century, we realize that we are at a tipping point where the negative impacts are likely to exceed, increasingly, the positive effects that Bush evokes. So... how do we proceed from here? That's the important question. [Addendum: Donald J. Trump's undoing of environmental regulation and climate-change-mitigation and monitoring initiatives is, very clearly, a wrong pathway, unless the intent is to hasten the destruction of the stable and sustaining natural environment that allowed humanity to rise to this kind of thriving and global dominance.]

      Are there ways of harnessing tagging, linking and associative tools like Hypothes.is to help pull together the disparate webs of evidence and arguments on climate change that will help us as a species understand the dangers and the risks? Are there ways in which such tools might increase the democratic and ecological effectiveness of knowledge and learning? Do they have the potential to shift cultures and mindsets? Can technology prove helpful here?

  14. Apr 2017
    1. Massanello

      Masaniello (an abbreviation of Tomasso Aniello) led a revolt against Spain in 1647. Born and raised in Naples, Masaniello was a fisherman and fishmonger. In the 1640s, Spain, which ruled Naples, imposed a series of heavy taxes in order to help fund its wars elsewhere. The Neapolitans revolted on July 7, 1647, and Masaniello, a well-known man, attempted to discipline the mob. Eventually, he became the rebel leader, negotiated terms with the Spanish, and became "captain-general of the Neapolitan people." However, he began to act erratically, and by July 17, 1647, he had been assassinated.

    1. Obviously, in this situation whoever controls the algorithms has great power. Decisions like what is promoted to the top of a news feed can swing elections. Small changes in UI can drive big changes in user behavior. There are no democratic checks or controls on this power, and the people who exercise it are trying to pretend it doesn’t exist

    2. On Facebook, social dynamics and the algorithms’ taste for drama reinforce each other. Facebook selects from stories that your friends have shared to find the links you’re most likely to click on. This is a potent mix, because what you read and post on Facebook is not just an expression of your interests, but part of a performative group identity.

      So without explicitly coding for this behavior, we already have a dynamic where people are pulled to the extremes. Things get worse when third parties are allowed to use these algorithms to target a specific audience.

    3. any system trying to maximize engagement will try to push users towards the fringes. You can prove this to yourself by opening YouTube in an incognito browser (so that you start with a blank slate), and clicking recommended links on any video with political content.


      This pull to the fringes doesn’t happen if you click on a cute animal story. In that case, you just get more cute animals (an experiment I also recommend trying). But the algorithms have learned that users interested in politics respond more if they’re provoked more, so they provoke. Nobody programmed the behavior into the algorithm; it made a correct observation about human nature and acted on it.

    1. The ACLU of Iowa reports that 11 percent of eligible Iowa voters--260,000 people--don’t have a driver’s license or non-operator ID, according to the US Census and the Iowa Department of Transportation, and could be disenfranchised by the bill.


       So far in 2017, 87 bills have been introduced in 29 states to restrict access to the ballot, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. (And that’s on top of the 21 states that already passed new voting restrictions since 2010.)

    1. The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters, Tom Nichols

      These are dangerous times. Never have so many people had so much access to so much knowledge and yet have been so resistant to learning anything. In the United States and other developed nations, otherwise intelligent people denigrate intellectual achievement and reject the advice of experts. Not only do increasing numbers of lay people lack basic knowledge, they reject fundamental rules of evidence and refuse to learn how to make a logical argument.

    1. It looks like French voters might make the same stupid mistakes Americans and British made -- either falling for bullshit lies, or failing to vote at all because they don't think their vote matters or they aren't thrilled with their options.

  15. Mar 2017
    1. I feel that, however feeble the influence my voice can have on public affairs, the right of voting on them makes it my duty to study them: and I am happy, when I reflect upon governments, to find my inquiries always furnish me with new reasons for loving that of my own country.

      This excerpt goes to show that Rousseau's main reason for supporting democracy of laws and regulations is so that the voices of various crowds of people are more well heard than in a dictatorship. Rousseau states, "voting on them makes it my duty to study them", which he is saying that his job as a citizen when voting is to make the most justifiable decision based on what he has obtained for knowledge of the subject. I agree with democracy, but this statement by Rousseau shows the issue there is when it comes to democracy. There is not always a background of knowledge amongst crowds that vote for various future laws or regulations. I do agree that it is the duty of the citizens whom chose to vote that they should dig deep in history to obtain at least a background knowledge on an ideal, but today public is mostly swayed by simply the media. I also agree with Rousseau that, "My inquiries always furnish me with new reasons for loving that of my own country", because the more you get to discover of your country and how it was brought up based on the various ideals gives you a more appreciative mindset on what needs to be adjusted for the future.

    1. When asked to explain a topic, students often realize that they don't understand it as well as they thought. The same thing happens when someone is asked to explain the consequences of a government policy. They tend to realize they don't understand the issue very well, and moderate their opinion.

    1. in every society the pro-duction of discourse is at once controlled, se-lected, organized, and redistributed by a certain number of procedures whose role is to ward off its powers and dangers, to gain mastery over its chance events, to evade its ponderous, formi-dable materiality.

      We've read before about discourse as democratic, and this seems to challenge that.

    1. Another way to implement the ten proposals would be to create new, unorthodox institutions. For example, it could be made compulsory for every official body to take on an “advocatus diaboli”. This lateral thinker would be tasked with developing counter-arguments and alternatives to each proposal. This would reduce the tendency to think along the lines of “political correctness” and unconventional approaches to the problem would also be considered.

      Hypothes.is annotators should be active on this article...

  16. Feb 2017
    1. The climate scientists gave the conspiracy theorists an opening by letting their advocacy color their science, which compromised the legitimacy of their enterprise and, ironically, weakened the political movement itself.

      Check out this book on the intersection of science and democracy.

    1. Growing up as a conservative Christian, I was warned about secular, liberal relativism. Nothing’s really bad, who knows, it’s all relative. We had to be careful about such slippery slopes.

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Balance_fallacy<br> balance fallacy - The mistaken assumption that two sides of an argument have equal merit, so the truth or solution lies somewhere between the two. In reality, one view is often entirely wrong, and should be rejected. Or both views may be wrong, and the truth or solution has not yet been considered.

      Why won't "liberals" just accept that Trump is president? Because Trump is an evil, incompetent piece of shit who should not be allowed to hold any government position, let alone the presidency. It isn't just liberals rejecting Trump -- it's anyone with common sense and decency.

    1. irresistible power over the thoughts and purposes of his audience. It is this which hath been so justly celebrated as giving one man an ascendant over others, superior even to what despotism itself can bestow; since by the latter the more ignoble part only, the body and its members arc enslave

      Well that's intense. And on the next page, with the thunder and lightening, it seems like oratory has even a godlike power. I guess I'm surprised to read this since he was so influenced by Enlightenment thinkers like Locke, and I tend to associate the Enlightenment with democracy and rhetoric in general with democracy, but at the same time, the idea of words and knowledge as power and the importance of rhetoric for leaders is also a huge thing. So I wonder to what extent Campbell's view of rhetoric was present, not just during the Enlightenment but throughout its history? Has there always been a tension between this "irresistible power" and democracy in terms of rhetoric?

    1. Andrew Postman says his father Neil got it right in "Amusing Ourselves to Death": our situation is more like Brave New World than 1984. But it's like both. Constant entertainment is a big part of what got us here, but we also have politicians practicing newspeak, and excessive surveillance.

    1. Jay Rosen on the challenges journalists face under Trump, and several suggested countermeasures. An important one is making direct connections with common people and listening to their concerns, which will help build trust.

  17. Jan 2017
    1. A rant against those on the far left who refuse to compromise, and criticize centrist Democrats -- yet don't hold their leaders to the same standards.

    1. How could political leaders betray what were supposed to be national values? How could brutal practices be embraced by ordinary Americans?

      Or, as she put it, “Why did no one stop people from doing bad things?”

      The answer you’re supposed to give to children – one I heard myself as a child – is “That’s just the way things were.” You’re supposed to say “Lots of good people owned slaves” or “It was legal then”. You’re supposed to pretend that historic injustices have either been resolved or that they were never that bad, that they didn’t linger and structure the politics of the present.

      You’re supposed to normalize cruelty, and in doing so exonerate those who practiced it.

      A lot of people will do whatever they can get away with. There aren't always enough people brave enough to bluntly say something is wrong.

    1. One of the most alarming aspects of the rise of Trump is (or should have been) his embrace of the Orwellian lie.<br> ...<br> we are not talking about garden variety lying here — we are talking about the totalitarian lie: lies told, repeatedly, loudly and insistently, in direct confrontation with the indisputable truth. Lies purposefully designed to undermine the very capacity to make truth claims.<br> ...<br> It is a plain fact that our political system is compromised. Nowhere is this more evident than in the financial sector and its (non-) oversight, a bipartisan catastrophe two decades in the making<br> ...<br> It is simply not possible to shy away from the ugly fact that racism was an essential ingredient to his election.<br> ...<br> the playing field has changed, empowering some actors at the expense of others. Or put another way: no internet, no Trump.<br> ...<br> The internet is exponentially more pernicious: entry is free, accountability is absent, and — here we are more stupid — the ability of people to distinguish between fact and fiction has virtually vanished. We are living in a post-fact, post-rationalist, post-deliberative society, in which people believe what they want to believe, as if they were selecting items from different columns of a take-out menu.<br> ...<br> from this point forward we will always be the country that elected Donald Trump as President. And as Albert Finney knew all too well in Under the Volcano, “some things, you just can’t apologize for.” This will be felt most acutely on the world stage.

    1. What Is Emotional Intelligence?

      Three key skills of emotional intelligence -understanding emotion in self and others -harnessing emotion for useful purposes -regulating emotions in self and others

    1. Obama to Urge Protection for Chip Industry

      Finally, the free traders are beginning to understand how China has been using a pretense of "free trade" in its effort to dominate the world. It is almost certain that China will become more powerful than America. The only questions is whether America and western democracies can remain relatively strong enough to resist Communist China's domination. And to do this we have to prevent China from dominating electronics, computing, cyber, and artificial intelligence.

    1. Lessons From the Media’s Failures in Its Year With Trump

      This is a very important issue -- the mainstream media bears much of the responsibility of Trumps having been elected, because they gave him so much free publicity.

    1. But for me, hope is not a feeling. It is not an emotion. Hope is action. Hope is found in motion.


      Hope begins the moment that somebody stands up and says, “Let’s roll.”


      It is clear to me though that hopelessness and despair often lead to an inability to act. When that happens, we must rely on others to act. Anyone that was gone through trauma and faced extended periods of indecisiveness can understand this. This is why a sense of community is so important, and that we share in our action by relying on others to back us up.

  18. Dec 2016
    1. The question that I think we should be asking ourselves is, what is it that my culture is preventing me from seeing?


      It seems that education is more about filling brains, than teaching people to think.

      Education ought to be about drawing something out, not putting something in. One of the things that people should be taught at school, is to think critically about the things that they consider most indisputably correct.

      -- Iain McGilchrist (The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World)


    1. Despair and Hope in Trump’s America

      In general I consider James Fallows a valuable public voice, but I find this article disappointing. It fails to talk honestly about the serious reasons for fear or anger than many Americans have toward the mainstream media and the liberal intelligentsia. Let me quickly list some of these reasons.

      America's relative power in the world is rapidly decreasing. For the first time since the late 1800's America is no longer the world's largest economy by certain important measures. China is, and it it still growing much faster than we are. China is rapidly arming, and is already ahead of us in multiple different types of weapon systems. In thirty year it it could have an economy twice the size of America's and much more sophisticated weaponry.

      There are large areas of America in which the real value of average incomes has decreased substantially, such as in the rust belt.

      Political correctness means that many tens of millions of people with traditional values are being constantly told by the mainstream media that their value are all wrong. Any one who publicly dares question or provide counter arguments to this political correctness is subject vicious public attack.

      Race relations are not allowed to be honestly discussed in our media. For month after month in both the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases the mainstream media's propaganda message was that those killings were unjustified murders -- when, in fact, the majority of the evidence in both cases indicated those killings were totally justified as self defense. The politically correct racism of the media hypes the notion of white guilt, but greatly downplays the much larger problem of black guilt, including the fact that blacks have seven times the per capita violent crime and murder rates as whites and that blacks murder twice as many whites as whites murder blacks.

      So why aren't whites allowed to protest that White Lives Matter? Because that would be racist? No! It's because political correctness, itself, is a racist/sexist double standard.

      And no major candidate but Trump has had the balls to attack political correctness as much as he has (although his crude attacks are neither well reasoned or articulate).

    1. Deborah Meier points out that democracy has to be learned, and we aren't teaching it adequately. Most schools are authoritarian environments where students are taught, explicitly and implicitly, to do what they're told. We need to give kids experience with democracy -- productive debate, compromise, trial and error, and acknowledging one's own mistakes.

    1. The escapist appeal of looking at other people’s beautiful homes turned Home & Garden Television into the third most-watched cable network in 2016, ahead of CNN and behind only Fox News and ESPN.

      You want to know how stupid our democracy is: Home & Garden Television has more viewes than CNN.

    1. In this trenchant book, Brennan argues that democracy should be judged by its results—and the results are not good enough. Just as defendants have a right to a fair trial, citizens have a right to competent government. But democracy is the rule of the ignorant and the irrational, and it all too often falls short.

      I have not read this book by I saw the author's BookTV one hour interview. He said that only about 1/4 of U.S citizens know enough about most issues being voted on to vote intelligently. So no wonder our government does so many stupid and wasteful things.

      To make democracy intelligent -- i.e., capable of making decisions that provide the greatest good for the large majority of its citizens over long periods of time -- we need to deal intelligently with the issues of voter ignorance, apathy, and stupidity.

      We also need to eliminate the censorship of political correctness and mass marketing sponsored media, each of which in their own way prevent important sides of many issues from being properly aired in the public forum.

    1. What Drives Successful Crowdsourcing?

      An article relevant to intelligent democracy, because it shows that opensource-like collaboration often out performs corporate of governmental organizations at solving problems well.

    1. It seems that some (or many?) people who vote Republican consciously ignore policies that are against their interests. They either think the Republicans won't actually try to do the things they say, or won't be able to pass them into law.

      In one of the most heartbreaking interviews in Kliff’s piece, a voter whose husband is waiting for a liver transplant was able to get health insurance for her family thanks to Obamacare. Yet she told Kliff that she backed Trump because “I guess I thought that, you know, he would not do this, he would not take health insurance away knowing it would affect so many people’s lives.”

      In 2012, a Democratic super PAC convened a focus group to assess whether Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s support for the GOP’s fiscal proposals could be used against him. Yet the focus group’s reactions to these proposals resembled the conversations Kliff had with Trump voters in Kentucky. When the super PAC “informed a focus group that Romney supported the Ryan budget plan — and thus championed ‘ending Medicare as we know it’ — while also advocating tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the respondents simply refused to believe any politician would do such a thing.”

    1. TV writer and producer Danny Zuker suggests putting on a big televised music and comedy concert on inauguration day to oppose Trump, with all proceeds going to non-profit organizations.

    1. Mike Caulfield points out that "digital literacy" needs to include solid knowledge of the Web and how to use it, such as search techniques and uses of specific websites. Principles of site evaluation are not enough.

    1. From 15 Nov 2016, an insightful and entertaining rant about the 2016 election campaign and its outcome.

      "Hillary Clinton didn't fail us, we failed Hillary Clinton."

    1. Paul Krugman points out that our current situation is like that during the rise of fascism in the 1930s. And it is also like the situation during the gradual decline of the Roman Republic. Political norms are being ignored. Republicans are placing their party, their wealthiest campaign donors, and their careers, before their nation.

      "Famously, on paper the transformation of Rome from republic to empire never happened. Officially, imperial Rome was still ruled by a Senate that just happened to defer to the emperor."

    1. For most of my friends on the Left, the argument against Trump is about fitness: Trump, they say, is not fit to be President. I agree with this claim.

      But that claim has been rendered democratically irrelevant. 62 million Americans heard that argument, and disagreed with it. That doesn’t make the claim “Donald Trump is unfit” false. But it does render it unusable by an elector as a reason not to vote for Trump. Whatever they were meant to be originally, we cannot now see electors as democratic guardians of our Republic. They cannot be entitled to second guess the judgment of the people with respect to an issue the people can reasonably be said to have considered.

      I disagree with this. The very purpose of the Electoral College is to judge the candidate. That can mean telling the majority that their choice was stupid. (And depending on how many Electors think so, the House is still likely to consider the issue yet again.)

    1. In an online guide made public Wednesday night, a number of those onetime Hill staffers say that the best way for individuals to derail the policy agenda of Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is to organize locally and badger their own congressional representatives to vote against individual pieces of legislation.

      The guide argues that, like the “Tea Party patriots” who found common cause in their unified loathing of President Barack Obama, progressives who oppose Trump should stand against him before all else rather than try to articulate a policy agenda that has no hope of advancing while the GOP controls all three branches of government.

      Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda

    1. Lawrence Lessig on the legal constraints and ethical obligations of the Electors. (First published in The Daily Beast, 13 Dec 2016.)

      In my opinion, if the Electors don't reject Donald Trump, they have failed to do the only duty for which the Electoral College was created. (Putting aside the fact that the actual majority voted for Hillary Clinton...) The majority can make a stupid decision. It should be the sworn duty of the Electors to judge the candidate.

    1. http://digipo.io/doku.php<br> The Digital Polarization Initiative<br> "The primary purpose of this wiki is to provide a place for students to fact-check, annotate, and provide context to the different news stories that show up in their Twitter and Facebook feeds. It's like a student-driven Snopes, but with a broader focus: we don't aim to just investigate myths, but to provide context and sanity to all the news – from the article about voter fraud to the health piece on a new cancer treatment."

    1. The Web has become an insidious propaganda tool. To fight it, digital literacy education must rise beyond technical proficiency to include wisdom.

      • Double-check every claim before you share.
      • Be wary of casual scrolling.<br> Everything you see affects your attitudes.
      • Don't automatically disbelieve the surreal (or unpleasant).
      • Do not exaggerate your own claims.
      • Be prepared to repeat the truth over and over.
      • Curate good resources, and share updates to them.
        • It will reinforce the previous information.
        • it will boost search engine rankings of the collection.
    1. A survey of voters asked if they remembered seeing a headline, and if so, whether they believed it was true.

      It may come as no surprise that high percentages of Trump voters believed stories that favored Trump or demonized Clinton. But the percentage of Clinton voters who believed the fake stories was also fairly high!

      familiarity equals truth: when we recognize something as true, we are most often judging if this is something we’ve heard more often than not from people we trust.


      if you want to be well-informed it’s not enough to read the truth — you also must avoid reading lies.

    1. This is our internet. Not Google’s. Not Facebook’s. Not rightwing propagandists. And we’re the only ones who can reclaim it.

      This is our nation, and our world.<br> It is up to us to reclaim it.

    1. a new set of ways to report and share news could arise: a social network where the sources of articles were highlighted rather than the users sharing them. A platform that makes it easier to read a full story than to share one unread. A news feed that provides alternative sources and analysis beneath every shared article.

      This sounds like the kind of platforms I'd like to have. Reminiscent of some of the discussion at the beginning of TWIG: 379 Ixnay on the Eet-tway.

    1. A legal argument that winner-take-all allocation of Electors is a violation of the rights of the voters in the minority.

      1. In summary, a winner-take-all system of allocating Electors by the states denies the minority of voters within each state any representation whatsoever within the Electoral College and ultimately in the case of the 2000 and 2016 elections, denies the plurality of voters nationwide their choice for President under circumstances in which the constitutionally established small state advantage made part of the Electoral College wouldnot. This is neither a reasonable nor a rational result in a representative democracy. This result was dictated by the winner-take-all method of allocating Electors used by the states. It is this state law method of allocating Electors that is an unconstitutional violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and its bedrock principle of one man one vote.


      It’s perfectly clear that the Attorney General of New York or California could walk into the Supreme Court tomorrow, and ask the Court to hear the case. Delaware tried to do this exactly fifty years ago, but the Court ducked the question. But based on that complaint, were I a citizen of California, I’d ask my current AG (and future Senator) why hasn’t CA done the same thing? And were I a citizen of New York, I’d ask my AG the same. Why are these big states standing by quietly as their voters are essentially silenced by the unconstitutional inequality?

    1. It is not only the right, but the duty of the Electoral College to reject Donald Trump. But we've never had a candidate as unfit for office as Trump, so that duty has been ignored and subverted. We need to do all we can to let the Electors know that we expect and support that they will exercise personal judgment to do what is best for the nation and the world.

  19. Nov 2016
    1. This is an interesting look at Trump's personality, but it shrugs off the danger we're in.

      Donald Trump is a liar, a cheat, a narcissist, and a petty bully with no principles. And Trump himself is only part of the danger. I have no doubt that some members of the 1% are actively looking for opportunities to flush democracy down the toilet for the sake of making an extra billion. And they may be colluding with wealthy Russians.

      That’s how you move Trump. You don’t talk about ethics. You play the toughness card. You appeal to the art of the deal. You make him feel smart, powerful, and loved. You don’t forget how unmoored and volatile he is, but you set aside your fear and your anger. You thank God that you’re dealing with a narcissist, not a cold-blooded killer. And until you can get him safely out of the White House, you work with what you have. People in other countries have dealt with presidents like Trump for a long time. Can we handle it? Yes, we can.

    1. I have watched as tobacco, coal, oil, chemicals and biotech companies have poured billions of dollars into an international misinformation machine composed of thinktanks, bloggers and fake citizens’ groups. Its purpose is to portray the interests of billionaires as the interests of the common people, to wage war against trade unions and beat down attempts to regulate business and tax the very rich. Now the people who helped run this machine are shaping the government.

      Donald Trump has filled his staff with these liars.

    1. Yascha Mounk of Harvard and Roberto Stefan Foa of U. Melbourne have proposed 3 criteria to measure the strength of a democracy.

      • How important do citizens think it is for their country to remain democratic?
      • How open are citizens to the idea of non-democratic forms of government such as military rule?
      • How strong are political parties with an antisystem platform calling the current government illegitimate?

      If support for democracy is falling, while opposition to democracy is rising, the democracy is "deconsolidating" -- in danger of falling to an authoritarian government. Under these criteria, democracy is in danger in a number of Western countries, including the US, UK, and AU.

    1. Trump is dangerous. But his election has also angered many millions of people who don't like him. We need to take advantage of that.

      We've been too dependent on the theory of monolithic power, "the idea that government and the representative leaders within our institutions are the primary means to change people’s lives." Government and civil rights organizations are necessary, but not sufficient. We can't sit back and depend on them to work for us.

      "Together, we can redefine civic participation not by organizational membership but as movement-building. Movement-building is an ongoing process of building leadership, relationships and avenues for getting involved."

      Strategic Unity and Common Purpose: "We may disagree on specific policies, but we can be united around values and a common vision for the future — the American ideal of inclusivity, around civil liberties, around a secular government that protects the freedom of diverse religions, and around the right to decide what happens to our bodies."

      Participatory Leadership: "We need participation-oriented leaders whose job is to empower and activate rather than represent and control, allowing communities around the country to replicate the same behavior"

      Strategic Action: protest is good, but it isn't a strategy. "Strategic action feeds movement growth by ensuring each action leads people to another action."

      Existing movements have been working hard (and sometimes bleeding) to fight for the rights most of us have taken for granted. "White Americans ready to fight must either prioritize minorities' struggles or we will all lose."

    1. Donald Trump's "lies about voter fraud are a prelude to massive voter suppression." This has become typical of the Republican party. But Trump and his staff are sure to make it worse, and they're already showing it.

    1. Lawrence Lessig is tired of hearing that the US is not a democracy. The US is not a direct democracy. But it is a republic -- a representative democracy.

  20. www.npr.org www.npr.org