443 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. Some children have it bad. Some are miraculously unaffected. But millions of seven- to 15-year-olds are hooked, especially boys, and it is time someone had the guts to stand up, cross the room and just say no to Nintendo. It is time to garrotte the Game Boy and paralyse the PlayStation, and it is about time, as a society, that we admitted the catastrophic effect these blasted gizmos are having on the literacy and the prospects of young males.

      This is the opposite of what he later said here.

    1. George Osborne

      This man:

    2. They become like blinking lizards, motionless, absorbed, only the twitching of their hands showing they are still conscious. These machines teach them nothing. They stimulate no ratiocination, discovery or feat of memory—though some of them may cunningly pretend to be educational. . . . So I say now: stop just lying there in your post-Christmas state of crapulous indifference.

      This is from this page.

      What silliness, really.

  2. Mar 2019
    1. Mr. Fiske’s Florida Congressional Committee is one of a string of political action committees with anodyne names — NorPac in New Jersey, To Protect Our Heritage PAC outside Chicago, the Maryland Association for Concerned Citizens outside Baltimore, among others — that operate independently of Aipac but whose missions and membership align with it.

      Fund-raising conducted by satellite / affiliates

  3. Feb 2019
    1. In a 2011 Reddit IAmA, Jennings recalled how in 2004 the Democratic politicians Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid unsuccessfully asked Jennings to run for the United States Senate from Utah. Jennings commented, "That was when I realized the Democratic Party was f@#$ed in '04."[19]
    1. What is the simplest way to differentiate between a conservative and a liberal?

      Ask if a fetus is human.

    1. too individualistic, devoid of the community feeling that should bind Chris� thms together.

      It's funny how today this view of how Christians should behave with/in society would probably be labeled as socialist (or, at least, not conservative).

    1. it arises from a flawed pattern of reasoning rather than values

      Both well-meaning populist states and right-wing dictatorships share the same failure mode.

  4. Jan 2019
    1. o one, or almost no one, fads to beheve 1n climate chan~Je out of sincere ignorance. Ttiey •choose-to d1sbeheve either for material gain or 1ust to be dicks.

      "If people were more aware of x, then they would realize they're wrong about y, and they would do z" is a line that is constantly repeated in my WGST classes, and I always look like an asshole when I argue that that's not how things work.

    2. To doubt Blum was to doubt the traditional edu-cational system and therefore the entire society. Nobody wanted to do it.

      This is the politics of ignorance at play. If you acknowledge that there is a problem, you must then address that problem. You must do something about that problem. If you don't want to do something, then you will choose not to acknowledge that there is a problem.

    1. “You cannot look at ‘web 3.0’ without looking at blockchain or without looking at AI (Artificial Intelligence),” he said. “So, our hope is that through this discussion of these various digital domains, the business models, the opportunities and the risks and the unintended consequences in terms of human rights, in terms of privacy, in terms of subversion of democracy, we are able to come out with some common principles...of strengthening cooperation across borders.”

      <big>评:</big><br/><br/>联合国数字合作高级小组联合组长 Amandeep Gill 的上述观点,如同 TED Talks 讲者们勾勒的世界理想那般,昭示出强烈的国际公民精神。民众们可以为这些机构在数字化转型方面做出的努力而感到欣慰,但同时也得警惕,此刻听到的甜言蜜语,其实和总统们在电视前的新年致辞并无大异。<br/><br/>举个令国际主义者们略感沮丧的例子——联合国长期以来一直在探索区块链的多项人道主义用途,比如使用以太坊区块链将基于加密货币的代金券发放给叙利亚难民、利用虹膜等生物识别技术追踪消费情况。机构付出的努力值得肯定,但这样的技术运用其实是对历史发展轨迹的重复和既得利益体系的维护。何时,我们对技术落地场景的讨论才能从参与者的价值判断转到渠道本身?Gill 的 “strengthening cooperation across borders” 也许暗示着,在旧的世界秩序下,这就是道无解难题。

  5. Dec 2018
    1. nail-adorned jewels she gave to the heroes:

      She is well-respected within the mead hall and in return respects the men of the hall

    2. ’Mid hall-building holders. The highly-famed queen, 55 Peace-tie of peoples, oft passed through the building, Cheered the young troopers; she oft tendered a hero A beautiful ring-band, ere she went to her sitting

      Wealhtheow portrays the role of a traditional Anglo-Saxon woman at the time. Wealhtheow is first introduced to the audience, she immediately falls into her role as peaceful greeter and cocktail waitress. The author then reinforces that she is a member of the weaker gender by directing Wealhtheow to her proper position behind the king. When the queen is not serving drinks or greeting the hall guests, she may usually be found obediently following Hrothgar throughout the mead hall and "waiting for hope-news".

  6. Nov 2018
    1. In October 2017, Facebook also expanded its work with a Washington-based consultant, Definers Public Affairs, that had originally been hired to monitor press coverage of the company. Founded by veterans of Republican presidential politics, Definers specialized in applying political campaign tactics to corporate public relations — an approach long employed in Washington by big telecommunications firms and activist hedge fund managers, but less common in tech.
    1. Immediately many people will object that this is too hard, too implausible, contradictory to human nature, politically impossible, uneconomical, and so on. Yeah yeah. Here we see the shift from cruel optimism to stupid pessimism, or call it fashionable pessimism, or simply cynicism. It’s very easy to object to the utopian turn by invoking some poorly-defined but seemingly omnipresent reality principle. Well-off people do this all the time.
    1. Politicians, she believes, “owe us an answer,” and so she, in her own very Terry Gross way will “keep asking and re-asking and asking, and maybe I’ll ask it in separate ways, and maybe I’ll point out that they haven’t yet answered the question.”
    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.

  7. Oct 2018
    1. The repair of the PSLF could be a strong issue for any politician who seeks to help. It was a bipartisan, and it is has bipartisan support (outside of the Trump administration) for a fix.

    2. The Trump administration set up Mick Mulvaney to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (who has called for the elimination of the CFPB) with the intention of gutting consumer protections in favor of big business. This article shows how this policy if specifically affecting the educational loan business.

    1. Choice. The Democratic Party stands behind the right of every woman to choose, consistent with Roe v. Wade, and regardless of ability to pay. President Clinton took executive action to make sure that the right to make such decisions is protected for all Americans. Over the last four years, we have taken action to end the gag rule and ensure safety at family planning and women's health clinics. We believe it is a fundamental constitutional liberty that individual Americans -- not government -- can best take responsibility for making the most difficult and intensely personal decisions regarding reproduction. The Democratic Party is a party of inclusion. We respect the individual conscience of each American on this difficult issue, and we welcome all our members to participate at every level of our party. Our goal is to make abortion less necessary and more rare, not more difficult and more dangerous. We support contraceptive research, family planning, comprehensive family life education, and policies that support healthy childbearing. For four years in a row, we have increased support for family planning. The abortion rate is dropping. Now we must continue to support efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies, and we call on all Americans to take personal responsibility to meet this important goal.
  8. Sep 2018
    1. Now an impoverished Marxist cultural critique suggests that such encounters between people, qua humans with richly diverse lives, are the very opposite of — or further, directly opposed by — the alienated encounters underwritten, if not compelled, by money. You see this kind of argument when people say “the ‘sharing economy’ is an oxymoron that has nothing to do with sharing because people are lending their underutilized resources for financial recompense.” However, what has always seemed to me most interesting about many ‘sharing economy’ platforms is not that they are spaces outside of commercialism, but rather ways of affording a re-embedding of economic exchanges in social relations within commercialism. When I ride-share or home-share, there might be money changing hands, but the actual experience of the ‘service’ is of two people (when there are face-to-face encounters) who cannot entirely withdraw into prescribed roles of employee and customer. This is why these ‘sharing economy’ experiences tend to be awkward, in ways that I have tried to argue are in fact deconstructive of the monolithically abstract idea of capitalism.These moments underline that there can be ‘sharing’ within economies, that relations between strangers do occur at levels or in ways beyond what is covered by their monetization. Service designing, it seems to me, is precisely the pursuit of these forms of sociality that exceed commercialism even within commercial interactions. This is the quality that a well-designed service encounter will manifest, a quality that will differentiate such a service from other less-designed ways of managing or engineering services.Service designers should therefore be expertly sensitive to these emergent and sometimes even resistant socialities. Designers should understand that at the very core of their practice is all that is concealed by excessively capitalistic perspectives: the hidden labor of informal economies; the emotional and aesthetic labor provision that service interactions compel from providers without adequate recompense; the satisfiers that make care work rewarding beyond their inequitable pay scales; the moments of delight involved in the comfort of strangers. All of these, it should be clear, are political, sensitivities that acknowledge oppression and exploitation via gender, race and class.All this is why service design is never just the design of this or that service, but part of the wider project of redesigning work and generating sustainable livelihoods. For instance, service design is not tangential to current debates about the roboticization of jobs. Service design is unavoidably involved in Transition Design, toward or away from meaningful work, or rather perhaps toward or away from quality ways of organizing the resourcing of new kinds of society.
    2. Product designers tend to aim to create tools that should be appreciated in their own right for what they help accomplish — what the philosopher of technology, Albert Borgmann calls a focal thing. These well-designed products are valued for what they enable someone skilled to do with them. The service designer is less concerned with developing a refined product, valued for its versatility or finesse, and more concerned with a material means to an end, an enabler of a service interaction. This means that those products need to be more ‘alive’ to the needs of the participants in the service. They need to be less present in their own materiality, and more automated or responsive, directing the interactions between the service co-creators.This means that service designers must have a particularly acute sense of the agency of things. All designers understand the weak forces — affordances — that the forms of things exert on users in the appropriate contexts. For service designers, these forces must be more dynamically deployed because the point is less the products themselves and more the experiences they enable but even at times direct. Compared to a product that will be used regularly, and perhaps diversely, by an owner, the touchpoints that service designers design need to be more subservient to the overall experience. They should be more sensitive to a diversity of users and use cases on the one hand, but more focused on accomplishing just this or that transition in the service journey. This means that they tend to be more animated by intention than the artifacts conventionally produced by product designers. But paradoxically, this makes them less materially present as things. A product within a service pro-duces, leads forth, by being more of a sub-ject, something underlying the process, rather than an ob-ject, something jutting out with physical presence.
    3. To accomplish these goals, service designers make use of the same power that all designers deploy and that are particular to design compared to other expert professions but that the history of non-service design has tended to ignore or fail to comprehend. Design is always the design of things, of useful things for people. To be useful, a thing must communicate or influence or force its users to interact in particular ways. You cannot design a tool that will accept any kind of input. So though modern designing has mostly focused on the design of physical products, the nature of the decisions that a designer makes about the forms (and contexts and systems) of things are completely driven by attempts to sculpt the social practices involved in using those things. I use this metaphor of sculpting to indicate that design is a process of removing materials to create the negative space to be filled by certain kinds of interactions.Service design’s focus on people-to-people coordinated interactions therefore emphasizes the obverse of artifact design. All service design is still in every case still design of things, or in the terminology of service design, touchpoints — products and environments, but also communications and interactive screens. Service design is just more oriented toward the sequences of interactions between people that can be afforded by a network of designed things.
    4. Service design at its best is an expertise in forming how people interact without directly instructing them as to what to do to get paid. But precisely because what service design brings to service management is an attention to these other ways of inducing certain kinds and qualities of interactions, service design should begin with an acknowledgement of its baseline power, that which it should always seek to avoid enlisting to effect a design. This then is why I insist on calling this practice Service Design and not Design for Service.
    1. We can’t force two people to become friends, nor should we want to.

      How many social engineers does it take to change a light bulb? An infinite number. That's why they leave you in the dark till you become the change you seek and make your own light to live by.

      If you cant force two people to become friends, then how do 'diplomats' (political manipulators?) profess to do the same thing with entire nations? Especially while so often, using the other hand to deal the deck for other players, in a game of "let's you and him fight"; or just being bloody mercenaries with sheer might is right political ethos installed under various euphemistic credos. 'My country right or wrong' or 'Mitt Got Uns' or ...to discover weapons of mass destruction...etc.

      So much for politics and social engineering, but maybe we can just be content with not so much forcing two people to be friends, as forcing them to have sex while we're filming them, so we can create more online amateur porn content. LOL ;)

    1. Commandez dès maintenant les objets de l'Enlysée, pour une bonne cause et sans dépenser un pognon de dingue !
  9. biopub.hypothes.is biopub.hypothes.is
    1. E. coli, many are of metabolic enzymes. Thus, acetylation could represent a novel posttranslational mechanism of metabolic control. Yet, almost nothing is known about the regulation of these acetylations or of their metabolic outcomes.

      annotate

    1. Remember, remember, the sixth of September. In many ways, this date in 2018 is as momentous as August 15, 1947 was.

      No it isn't. Enough with the hyperbole. Getting rid of a toothless law that never stopped LGBT relationships isn't changing anything. Let's see what happens when Article 19's terms and conditions to free speech are removed, now that would be momentous.

    2. But they are actually validated by the most illiberal part of our Constitution, Article 19(2), which allows caveats to free speech on grounds like ‘public order’ and ‘decency and morality.’ Those are open to interpretation, and anything goes.

      This is the root cause of legalized sanction of censorship, but none of the dimwits who routinely protest against movies or books being shut down ever focus on it.

    3. In this great democracy of ours, where the voice of the people is supposed to find expression in its politics, not one political party in the last 71 years tried to repeal 377. Parties don’t have principles, only incentives, and all of them behaved this way because they feared that voters would not approve. That tells you what every gay person in this country already knows from lived experience: our society is homophobic. Not just that, our society and the state do not give a damn about Consent.

      No shit, Sherlock.

  10. Aug 2018
    1. anomie

      I feel like this word captures very well the exact era of Trumpian Republicanism in which we find ourselves living.

    1. Marcus Vitruvius, the classical Roman architect, defined architecture in proportion to the human body—an ideal building, as he saw it, had to reflect the ideal dimensions of a man. Today such anthropocentric design, indeed male-body centered design, seems irrelevant, perhaps even irresponsible, as the magnitude of our self-inflicted environmental disasters poses fundamental challenges to architects and designers. If the human body was the correct proportion for architecture for Vitruvius, what should the scale of design be that addresses today’s environmental challenges? Climatic change, species depletion, and oceanic pollution are worldwide problems. What is left of Vitruvius’s ideal of human reach has stretched to new global scales and millennial time frames. How can architecture conceptualize a planet on which humans have become involved in vast geological forces?

      Framing a post-humanist question for architecture. What would this mean in service design?

    1. Historian Richard Frankel:

      I do think there's certainly a very strong possibility that it's not going to end well -- and that's from the perspective of a German historian. And as a historian, my natural tendency is to always try to stop people from invoking Hitler. In most cases it was not appropriate to make such a comparison. But now, with Trump, my resistance and that of other historians to making that comparison is being overcome.

    1. The focus on details and delight can be traced to manifestos like Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think, which propose a dogmatic adherence to cognitive obviousness and celebrates frictionless interaction as the ultimate design accomplishment. Users should never have to question an interface. Instead, designers should anticipate and cater to their needs: ”It doesn’t matter how many times I have to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice.15”A “mindless, unambiguous choice” is not without cultural, social and political context.
    2. But addressing problematic internal culture of design teams is not enough. As an industry we must also confront the real-world socio-political outcomes of our practice. If we accept a code of conduct as necessary, we must also accept a code of outcomes as necessary. We must create ethical frameworks to evaluate our work at all stages, especially once it is alive in the world. Our lack of ongoing critical evaluation of our profession means that design continues to reinforce a harmful status quo, creating exploitable systems at the expense of societies.
    3. It is critical that user experience design must begin to deconstruct the outcomes of our collective body of work, especially as tech becomes more embedded and less visible or more easily ignored. Saitta writes, “All infrastructure is political; indeed, one might better say that all politics is infrastructural; we ignore it at our peril.”
    4. Beyond better design paradigms, designers must look beyond the field, toward practices that directly criticise or oppose their work. In particular, security research and user experience design have significant practice and goal overlap and this relationship is often antagonistic. Both fields primarily focus on the systems of wide-scale interactions between users and technology, but the goals of the two fields are diametrically opposed; design is to create the best possible experience for a user, security is to create the worst possible experience for an attacker. By focusing of the outcomes of the two fields, it’s clear that security research is a form of user experience design. Design should reciprocate, and become a form of security research.
    5. Design is inherently political, but it is not inherently good. With few exceptions, the motivations of a design project are constrained by the encompassing platform or system first, and the experiences and values of its designers second. The result is designers working in a user hostile world, where even seemingly harmless platforms or features are exploited for state or interpersonal surveillance and violence.As people living in societies, we cannot be separated from our political contexts. However, design practitioners research and implement systems based on a process of abstracting their audience through user stories. A user story is “a very high-level definition of a requirement, containing just enough information so that the developers can produce a reasonable estimate of the effort to implement it23.” In most cases, user are grouped through shared financial or biographical data, by their chosen devices, or by their technical or cognitive abilities.When designing for the digital world, user stories ultimately determine what is or is not an acceptable area of human variation. The practice empowers designers and engineers to communicate via a common problem-focused language. But practicing design that views users through a politically-naive lens leaves practitioners blind to the potential weaponisation of their design. User-storied design abstracts an individual user from a person of lived experience to a collection of designer-defined generalisations. In this approach, their political and interpersonal experiences are also generalised or discarded, creating a shaky foundation that allows for assumptions to form from the biases of the design team. This is at odds with the personal lived experience of each user, and the complex interpersonal interactions that occur within a designed digital platform.When a design transitions from theoretical to tangible, individual user problems and motivations become part of a larger interpersonal and highly political human network, affecting communities in ways that we do not yet fully understand. In Infrastructural Games and Societal Play, Eleanor Saitta writes of the rolling anticipated and unanticipated consequences of systems design: “All intentionally-created systems have a set of things the designers consider part of the scope of what the system manages, but any nontrivial system has a broader set of impacts. Often, emergence takes the form of externalities — changes that impact people or domains beyond the designed scope of the system^24.” These are no doubt challenges in an empathetically designed system, but in the context of design homogeny, these problems cascade.In a talk entitled From User Focus to Participation Design, Andie Nordgren advocates for how participatory design is a step to developing empathy for users:“If we can’t get beyond ourselves and our [platforms] – even if we are thinking about the users – it’s hard to transfer our focus to where we actually need to be when designing for participation which is with the people in relation to each other25.”Through inclusion, participatory design extends a design team’s focus beyond the hypothetical or ideal user, considering the interactions between users and other stakeholders over user stories. When implemented with the aim of engaging a diverse range of users during a project, participatory design becomes more political by forcing teams to address weaponised design opportunities during all stages of the process.
    6. ‘Mindless and unambiguous’ is only true for those who have both the cultural context to effortlessly decode an interface, and the confidence that their comprehension is solid. Not only is this dogma an unreasonable constraint, it also frequently fails.
    7. Weaponised design – a process that allows for harm of users within the defined bounds of a designed system – is faciliated by designers who are oblivious to the politics of digital infrastructure or consider their design practice output to be apolitical.
    1. Und hier werden Eltern die Kinder weggenommen und sie bekommen gar nichts? Nicht einmal einen Zettel?«

      how can this be possible and legal in a western democracy? how bad are we allowing our world of men to still become?

  11. Jul 2018
    1. I am generous with what I have—I choose to be generous with what I have—precisely because we are no longer committed to one another as members of a shared social structure. Instead, the shift of responsibility for the public welfare toward private entities displaces our obligations to one another in favor of individual liberties and, I think, leaves us queasy about the notion of obligation altogether.

      The game theory of things tends to pull the society apart, particularly when it is easier to see who is paying what. If the richer end feels they're paying more than their fair share, this can tend to break things down.

      I suspect that Francis Fukuyama has a bit to say about this in how democratic societies built themselves up over time. Similarly one of his adherents Jonah Goldberg provides some related arguments about tribalism tending to tear democracies down when we revert back to a more primitive viewpoint instead of being able to trust the larger governmental structures of a democracy.

    1. Actually, no, it hasn't, no matter what the Bunny's sign says. The scientific method is designed specifically to root out bias and false assumptions, including political ones. Sure, individual scientists can be political, but the scientific method is not. Its ideological agnosticism is why it works so well. In fact, the self-correcting nature of science means it is the best source of secular knowledge that humankind possesses.
    1. Such thinking has also been gaining some traction in the West, although so far only at the political fringes. The underlying idea is that some types of services, including social networks and online search, are essential facilities akin to roads and other kinds of infrastructure and should be regulated as utilities, which in essence means capping their profits. Alternatively, important data services, such as digital identity, could be offered by governments. Evgeny Morozov, a researcher and internet activist, goes one step further, calling for the creation of public data utilities, which would pool vital digital information and ensure equal access to it.
    1. Phil Tetlock, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, who has studied forecasting in depth, suggests that “vague verbiage gives you political safety.”
  12. Jun 2018
    1. Interactive visualization of the relations between members of Portuguese governments and companies

      This is one of the best and undisputable representations of politics promiscuity with business. It clearly shows that not all parties are equal...

    1. A case in point of the politics of difference within sociomaterial assemblages isoffered by Chasin (1995), who explores identifications across women, servants andmachines in contemporary robotics.
    1. ...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.

      ...

      readers of major news outlets are presented with an unrealistically benign picture of a darkly authoritarian, cult-like branch of Protestantism.

    1. “Beijing typically finds a local partner, makes that local partner accept investment plans that are detrimental to their country in the long term, and then uses the debts to either acquire the project altogether or to acquire political leverage in that country.”
  13. May 2018
    1. With news this week that EPA's Inspector General would look into Pruitt's use of multiple email accounts, he is now facing more than a dozen probes and investigations from Congress, the White House and his agency's internal watchdog.

      How does Pruitt still have a job?

    1. “We don’t want to advance something that we know will just get vetoed,” Ryan told reporters Wednesday morning.

      Says @spearkerryan the man who sent dozens of repeal Obamacare votes he knew would never become law.

      Such hypocrisy.

  14. Apr 2018
    1. Most previous explanations had focussed on explaining how someone’s beliefs might be altered in the moment.

      Knowing a little of what is coming in advance here, I can't help but thinking: How can this riot theory potentially be used to influence politics and/or political campaigns? It could be particularly effective to get people "riled up" just before a particular election to create a political riot of sorts and thereby influence the outcome.

      Facebook has done several social experiments with elections in showing that their friends and family voted and thereby affecting other potential voters. When done in a way that targets people of particular political beliefs to increase turn out, one is given a means of drastically influencing elections. In some sense, this is an example of this "Riot Theory".

    1. Can civilisation prolong its life until the end of this century? “It depends on what we are prepared to do.” He fears it will be a long time before we take proportionate action to stop climatic calamity. “Standing in the way is capitalism. Can you imagine the global airline industry being dismantled when hundreds of new runways are being built right now all over the world? It’s almost as if we’re deliberately attempting to defy nature. We’re doing the reverse of what we should be doing, with everybody’s silent acquiescence, and nobody’s batting an eyelid.”
    2. Hillman is amazed that our thinking rarely stretches beyond 2100. “This is what I find so extraordinary when scientists warn that the temperature could rise to 5C or 8C. What, and stop there? What legacies are we leaving for future generations? In the early 21st century, we did as good as nothing in response to climate change. Our children and grandchildren are going to be extraordinarily critical.”
    3. Although Hillman has not flown for more than 20 years as part of a personal commitment to reducing carbon emissions, he is now scornful of individual action which he describes as “as good as futile”. By the same logic, says Hillman, national action is also irrelevant “because Britain’s contribution is minute. Even if the government were to go to zero carbon it would make almost no difference.” Instead, says Hillman, the world’s population must globally move to zero emissions across agriculture, air travel, shipping, heating homes – every aspect of our economy – and reduce our human population too. Can it be done without a collapse of civilisation? “I don’t think so,” says Hillman. “Can you see everyone in a democracy volunteering to give up flying? Can you see the majority of the population becoming vegan? Can you see the majority agreeing to restrict the size of their families?”
    4. 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.”
    1. The strategy was to force vulnerable Democrats facing reelection in pro-Trump states to vote on making tax cuts for individuals permanent.

      This is the problem. Our tax code shouldn't be messed with just to win elections.

      Politicians should try to change laws because they believe what they are doing is right.

  15. Mar 2018
    1. The White House says Trump has addressed the matter “directly”, which is not true, and treats it as settled.

      How common it is now for a mainstream news outlet to assert that the White House (and Trump) by implication is saying untruths.

  16. Jan 2018
    1. Hoy diríamos (ontológicamente) que las políticas públicas y la planificación del desarrollo, así como gran parte de lo que se denomina diseño, son tecnologías políticas fundamentales de la modernidad y elementos clave en la constitución moderna de un solo mundo globalizado.
  17. Dec 2017
    1. I was listening today to hearings on the FBI, where the fact that FBI agents gave to Democratic candidates was cited as prima facie evidence of corruption. We saw this in summer 2016 too, where fact that people in the DNC didn’t like Sanders was presented as a massive conspiracy.

      . . .

      There has been a massive conflation of opinion (personal belief), bias (personal action), and agenda (structurally embedded goals). These things often line up, but strong institutions and processes can help stop opinion from becoming bias and bias from becoming an unintentional agenda. And where institutions don’t mitigate these things in appropriate ways they should be reformed.

      But if we collapse this chain, if opinion = bias = agenda, well, then everything immediately becomes corrupt, because everyone has an opinion.

      In the case of Republican congressmen, this isn't a matter of perception. They're lying to protect Trump.

  18. Nov 2017
    1. "it's not about the technology" because "the technology is neutral."

      Right. Technology isn’t neutral. Nor is it good or bad. It’s diverse and it’s part of a broader context. Can get that some educators saying that it’s not about technology may have a skewed view of technology. But, on its own, this first part can also lead to an important point about our goals. It’s about something else. But, of course, there are some people who use the “bah, the technology doesn’t matter as long as we can do what we do” line to evade discussion. Might be a sign that the context isn’t right for deep discussion, maybe because educators have deeper fears.

    1. Rancièrecallsbringingthesetwoaspectsofrightstogetherasdissensus.Itisdissensusratherthanconsensusbecausepoliticsisalwaysacontestationoverwhoiscountedandwhatcounts.ForRancière,apoliticalsubjectinvolvesthecapacityforstagingsuchscenesofdissensus.Thus,‘politicalsubjectsarenotdefinitecollectivities.Theyaresurplusnames,namesthatsetoutaquestionoradisputeaboutwhoisincludedintheircount.’

      Conceiving the enactment of rights as dissensus is more powerful than understanding dissent as civil disobedience. For all its illustrative history, civil disobedience still evokes a reactionary politics, whereas dissensus is creative and affirmative. Although significant as a specific act, civil disobedience is rather too narrow to understand political acts in general. Staging dissensus brings into play the imaginary, performative, and legality of rights all at once and constitutes subjects as citizen subjects of power. Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Anonymous, Aaron Swartz, and Open Rights are not only definite individuals or collectives of civil disobedience but stand for a political subjectivity enacting rights as the staging of dissensus. This is what we gather from their acts. When they enact rights that they do not have and the rights that they should have, they bring into being political subjects who cannot be known in advance. Their acts are contestations over who is counted as political and what counts as politics. To put it slightly differently, the performative and imaginary force of rights lies in the double movement between their inscription and enactment.

      Acá estaría el derecho a scrappear como una forma de reapropiación de los bienes comunes y de repolitización de lo publico.

    1. 2 Nov 2017

      A 58 percent majority say they approve of Mueller’s handling of the investigation while 28 percent say they disapprove, the Post-ABC poll finds. People’s views depend in large part on their political leanings, but overall, Americans are generally inclined to trust Mueller and the case he has made so far.

    1. Millions of Americans believe (or are willing to claim that they believe) insane bullshit. So what happens if Mueller finds evidence that Trump committed a crime, and the right-wing media says he didn't, or it doesn't matter?

    1. Robert Mercer's hedge fund owes the IRS $7 billion.

      Since the IRS found in 2010 that a complicated banking method used by Renaissance and about 10 other hedge funds was a tax-avoidance scheme, Mercer has gotten increasingly active in politics. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, he doled out more than $22 million to outside conservative groups seeking to influence last year’s elections, while advocating the abolition of the IRS and much of the federal government.

  19. Oct 2017
    1. TarletonGillespiearguesthattensionsbetweenusersandthedesignersoftheTwitteralgorithmarepartoflargerstakesinthe‘politicsofrepresentation.’Itisatensionunderscoredbyaconflictbetweenpeople’swilltoknowandbevisibletoothersandTwitter’simperativetodrawnewusersintonewconversations.Butsignificantly,Gillespienotesthatsuchalgorithmsnotonlyarebasedonassumptionsabouttheimageofapublictheyseektorepresentbutalsohelpconstructpublicsinthatimage.Thesamecouldbesaidofotherplatforms

      En el caso de los Data Selfies, lo que queremos hacer es presentar otra idea sobre nosotros mismos, nuestros gobernantes e instituciones públicas (principalmente). Particularmente por la sensación de no ser representados apropiadamente por la línea de tiempo de Twitter.

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    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.

  20. Sep 2017
    1. TheanathemaforLessigisthelossofthisfreedomincyberspace.Inrealspace,governingpeoplerequiresinducingthemtoactincertainways,butinthelastinstance,peoplehadthechoicetoactthiswayorthatway.Bycontrast,incyberspaceconductisgovernedbycode,whichtakesawaythatchoice.Incyberspace,‘iftheregulatorwantstoinduceacertainbehavior,sheneednotthreaten,orcajole,toinspirethechange.Sheneedonlychangethecode—thesoftwarethatdefinesthetermsuponwhichtheindividualgainsaccesstothesystem,orusesassetsonthesystem.’[37]Thisisbecause‘codeisanefficientmeansofregulation.Butitsperfectionmakesitsomethingdifferent.Oneobeystheselawsascodenotbecauseoneshould;oneobeystheselawsascodebecauseonecandonothingelse.Thereisnochoiceaboutwhethertoyieldtothedemandforapassword;onecompliesifonewantstoenterthesystem.Inthewellimplementedsystem,thereisnocivildisobedience.’[38]WhatLessigsuggestsisthatcyberspaceisnotonlyseparateandindependentbutconstitutesanewmodeofpower.Youconstituteyourselfasasubjectofpowerbysubmittingtocode.

      En este caso particular la bifurcación es política a través del código, porque otros lugares del ciberespacio pueden ser creados ejerciendo este poder de bifurcar, si se entienden los códigos.

      En una charla de 2008, con Jose David Cuartas, le mencionaba cómo las libertades del software libre son teóricas, si no se entiende el código fuente de dicho software (las instrucciones con las que opera y se construye). Las prácticas alrededor del código, asi como los entornos físicos, comunitarios, simbólico y computacionales, donde dichas prácticas se dan, son importantes para alentar (o no) estas comprensiones y en últimas permitir que otros códigos den la posibilidad del disenso y de construir lugares distintos. De ahí que las infraestructuras de bolsillo sean importantes, pues estas disminuyen los costos de bifuración y construcción desde la diferencia.

    2. First,bybringingthepoliticalsubjecttothecentreofconcern,weinterferewithdeterministanalysesoftheInternetandhyperbolicassertionsaboutitsimpactthatimaginesubjectsaspassivedatasubjects.Instead,weattendtohowpoliticalsubjectivitiesarealwaysperformedinrelationtosociotechnicalarrangementstothenthinkabouthowtheyarebroughtintobeingthroughtheInternet.[13]WealsointerferewithlibertariananalysesoftheInternetandtheirhyperbolicassertionsofsovereignsubjects.Wecontendthatifweshiftouranalysisfromhowwearebeing‘controlled’(asbothdeterministandlibertarianviewsagree)tothecomplexitiesof‘acting’—byforegroundingcitizensubjectsnotinisolationbutinrelationtothearrangementsofwhichtheyareapart—wecanidentifywaysofbeingnotsimplyobedientandsubmissivebutalsosubversive.Whileusuallyreservedforhigh-profilehacktivistsandwhistle-blowers,weask,howdosubjectsactinwaysthattransgresstheexpectationsofandgobeyondspecificconventionsandindoingsomakerightsclaimsabouthowtoconductthemselvesasdigitalcitizens

      La idea de que estamos imbrincados en arreglos socio técnicos y que ellos son deconstriuidos, estirados y deconstruidos por los hackers a través de su quehacer material también implica que existe una conexión entre la forma en que los hackers deconstruyen la tecnología y la forma en que se configuran las ciudadanías mediadas por dichos arreglos sociotécnicos.

    1. Whoever considers the nature of our government, with discernment, will see, that tho obstacles and delays will frequently stand in the way of the adoption of good measures, yet when once adopted, they are likely to be stable and permanent: It will be far more difficult to undo than to do.

      This is rather an apt quotation given the ongoing discussion of the ACA.

    1. Calling people out using the constructionist ideals — The American government is not living up to their high ideals.

      Poetry as a way to express frustration when there is no way to go up against actual US military power. A weapon of the weak; a powerful message.

    1. Surman and Reilly (2003) focus on appropriation of networked technologies in a strategically, politically, and creatively innovative manner oriented toward social change. In this context of advocacy, effective technology appropriation includes strategic Internet use for collaboration, publishing, mobilization, and observation. Here, the delineation between the use and appropriation occurs when technology is adapted to reflect goals and culture. Camacho (2001) describes appropriation by civil society organizations at the pinnacle of a technology use ladder. In the middle of the ladder, organizations focus on adoption of conventional technology. Toward the bottom, organizations and individuals with constrained access or slow adoption rates lag behind and seek access to technology. At the pinnacle, however, pioneers and activists appropriate technology to promote causes, for instance, creating flash mobs through mass text messaging to instantaneously organize large groups of people for social protest

      Desde el comienzo, el Data Week ha estado preocupado por la perspectiva de transformación social en la apropiación tecnológica al estar vinculada con la creación de capacidad en la base, modificación de la infraestructura y la amplificación de voces ciudadanas frente a iniciativas privadas o públicas.

    2. We first emphasize that technology is not neutral. The design of products, applications, and services embodies choices, largely made in early development stages by equipment producers and service providers, about how devices ought to be used, by whom and for what purpose. A technology’s architecture embodies power relationships between equipment makers, service providers, and users. Relationships between various stakeholders have social and economic implications

      Este caracter no neutro de la tecnología era conversado entre los miembros de la comunidad de software libre local desde hace años. Para el caso de Smalltalk, la idea de que todo el sistema se puede cambiar, es consecuente con reconfigurar las relaciones de poder, si bien hay algunas fuertemente reificadas en el sistema (por ejemplo el paradigma objetual), aunque sistemas como COLA (Colaborative Object Lambda Architecture) pretenden dar los mismos privilegios al usuario, que al diseñador del lenguaje, incluso en términos de la sintaxis, la semántica y la pragmática.

    3. This article frames appropriation as a political process.

      [...] ICTs provide unique flexibility for users to interact and re-invent. ICTs can be modified and re-programmed, whether the ability to modify is explicitly enabled through design or uncovered through hacking. Device producers, application designers, content creators, service providers, and end users can therefore engage in the creative appropriation process and insight into social, economic, and political impacts can be gained exploring appropriation modalities.

      Esto se puede conectar con la introducción respecto al caracter fluído, pero paradógico de las tecnologías digitales.

      Nótese acá la connotación de hacking en términos de apertura y reinterpretación.

    1. this is common sense.

      I too believe this is common sense. This is why I am always struck by how tightly people hold to the 'pull yourself up by your bootstaps' model of thinking. It also reveals how you can tell ideology from practice. Those who profess the bootstraps also move their children to good schools and neighborhoods b/c they know this is common sense. Does this make sense?

  21. Jul 2017
    1. James Kirchick says Democrats need to acknowledge that the Obama administration was far too soft on Russia. As it is, their concern over Russian interference in the 2016 election looks partisan.

    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. So the logical response to Trumpism is to counter him with someone who can truly challenge the economic status quo, rather than being a mere avatar for such hopes.

      And the final call to action is economic, not cultural. It makes all the earlier handwaving about culture seem beside the point. The models for change here seem contradictory and either/or.

    1. Multnomah County Republican Party Approves far-right militia groups Oath Keepers and Three Percenters as Private Security -- "where such volunteers are certified to provide private security service by the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training."

    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.
  22. Jun 2017
    1. Koromanti was a term commonly used to describe enslaved people from the Akan ethnic group from West Africa, one of the largest group among the enslaved in Jamaica at the time.

      Kromanti is perhaps the most laden term in African Diaspora history in a Jamaican or Anglophone context and, as I've written elsewhere (my Slavery and Abolition article from 2014), I think that parsing Kromanti -- or really any of these terms -- as primarily geographic misses so much of what they connoted.

      Before 1688, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, only 7% of the Africans arriving in Jamaica came from the Gold Coast, and most of these between 1676-1680. So there's no real demographic reason for this centrality of Kromanti identity, if we assume Kromanti is a gloss for people of Gold Coast origins.

      Even for those who were placed in chains on slave ships from ports in the Gold Coast, there is no reason to believe that most were Akan speakers, and in fact Apter's work would convey how deeply those on the coast associated enslavement with people from the north, who certainly did not speak Akan, even to the extent that Akan was a meaningful linguistic category in the seventeenth century.

      More importantly, however, why "Kromanti"? Kromanti is a tiny fishing village. I argue that it gained a particular kind of salience after 1717, when the Asantehene (the king of Asante) was betrayed and murdered there, and his body could not be recovered popularly memorialized. In the wake of this, the people of Asante developed an oath, Memenada Akromanti, and that oath was used by maroons and revolutionaries in seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and even nineteenth-century Jamaica of diverse origins, from Madagascar to Kongo to Biafra.

      This, of course, is early for that, and so begs the question: why Kromanti?

      Was Kromanti important earlier, as Agorsah's archeological work suggests, because of iron working? Could that reputation have resonated with ideologies about blacksmithing and political legitimacy from the Kongo?

      The plurality of musical forms here, however, if nothing else, should push us beyond thinking of Kromanti as a simple or straightforward gloss for a region cum ethnicity cum linguistic group, and try to think, again, of what these terms meant for those using them in the seventeenth century.

    1. Maryland and the District of Columbia have filed a lawsuit against Trump concerning his violations of the Emoluments Clause.

    1. Trump cabinet meeting.

      First, he boasted of his accomplishments as president. He doesn't have any.

      Then, the cabinet members took turns praising Trump.

  23. May 2017
    1. LET US now consider the matters which should be treated in the councils, and with which popes, cardinals, bishops, and all learned men should occupy themselves day and night, if they love Christ and His Church.

      What a strong start of the letter where Martin Luther says with capital letters, "LET US" it is like an emphasize on the letters by telling them clearly that we the people want everything according to the way it is supposed to be. He is starting the letter with a purpose statement where his whole demand is mentioned in these few lines. Unlike Pope who started his letter with calling Jesus and reminding Martin about how foolish he is. Martin Luther has clearly mentioned that matters should be handled in councils and churches should stay separate from it.

    2. Thus he has devised a gloss which allows him in his proper person to lie and cheat and fool us all, and all this impudently and in open daylight, and nevertheless he claims to be the head of Christendom, letting the evil spirit rule him with manifest lies.

      This entire paragraph just goes to show how money can get to people's heads. When you attend church, you assume that you are hearing God's word from someone who is a devoted Catholic, however, in this case, the Pope was just appointing whoever would give him the most money and not going off faith alone. This is another example of the Pope's abuse of power in this time, because he would rather take money over a devoted Catholic. This has little to do with religion and is more so about greed.

    3. They lie and deceive, form and make covenants with us, of which they do not mean to keep one jot. And all this is done in the holy name of Christ and St. Peter.

      The church is lying to the Germans to collect their money for this fight. The money gives the church power over the Germans but the church is claiming this is Christ and St. Peters will but in reality its the church wanting money and claiming the upper hand over Germany until they've had enough and figured them out.

    4. If the Pope can make a law on the day after his election by which he takes our benefices and livings to which he has no right, the Emperor Charles should so much the more have a right to issue a law for all Germany on the day after his coronation 4 that in future no livings and benefices are to fall to Rome by virtue of the Pope’s month, but that those that have so fallen are to be freed and taken from the Romish robbers.

      The Pope is making laws that only benefit himself and the church. Emperor Charles does not do the same because although he has every right to, he does not abuse his power. At this time, religion and political power were intertwined and the Pope understood this well and abused his power so he could reep the benefits.

    1. Therefore we, in this above enumeration, important as it is, wish to proceed with great care as is proper, and to cut off the advance of this plague and cancerous disease so it will not spread any further in the Lord's field as harmful thornbushes. We have therefore held a careful inquiry, scrutiny, discussion, strict examination, and mature deliberation with each of the brothers, the eminent cardinals of the holy Roman Church, as well as the priors and ministers general of the religious orders, besides many other professors and masters skilled in sacred theology and in civil and canon law.

      Here in this paragraph Pope Leo is mentioning the decision taken by the church against Martin Luther King. Pope has decided on the behalf of the holy Roman church that the Roman Church will try to cut off all the advancements of the King. That means he has decided to make not only churches against King but also the governments because at that time, governments were also in control of churches. This is why he is saying that a proper inquiry and procedure will be adopted against King.

    2. Excommunications are only external penalties and they do not deprive man of the common spiritual prayers of the Church.

      Men and women who are excommunicated of the church are not dammed to Hell by God. Excommunications are religious and political they stood up to the church by the churches power and political standpoint they didn't like it resulting in an excommunication. It is also not God's will for them to give up religion like the church says because they want their religion to be the only one in power.

    3. Indulgences are pious frauds of the faithful, and remissions of good works; and they are among the number of those things which are allowed, and not of the number of those which are advantageous.

      This ties with politics because the church used its political power to sell these indulgences. The church at this moment was become a fraud by charging these "good people" money for indulgences that they haven't earned. This is controversial because the church was using the power to build up the church on the citizens money while telling them they'll go right to Heaven which began problems with Luther.

    4. As far as Martin himself is concerned, O good God, what have we overlooked or not done? What fatherly charity have we omitted that we might call him back from such errors? For after we had cited him, wishing to deal more kindly with him, we urged him through various conferences with our legate and through our personal letters to abandon these errors. We have even offered him safe conduct and the money necessary for the journey urging him to come without fear or any misgivings, which perfect charity should cast out, and to talk not secretly but openly and face to face after the example of our Savior and the Apostle Paul. If he had done this, we are certain he would have changed in heart, and he would have recognized his errors. He would not have found all these errors in the Roman Curia which he attacks so viciously, ascribing to it more than he should because of the empty rumors of wicked men. We would have shown him clearer than the light of day that the Roman pontiffs, our predecessors, whom he injuriously attacks beyond all decency, never erred in their canons or constitutions which he tries to assail. For, according to the prophet, neither is healing oil nor the doctor lacking in Galaad.

      This passage discusses the inner politics from within the Roman Catholic church. When the Pope and other church leaders discussed how they should handle Luther and his crticisms against the church, they believed that he would have a change of heart and become a better Catholic. However, they soon realized their misjudgment of the situation and that they had improperly assessed it and that it went deeper than the surface. While this has to do with religion, at this time, religion was at the center of politics and this specifically shows the politics from within the church.

    5. 21. Indulgences are necessary only for public crimes, and are properly conceded only to the harsh and impatient

      This ties in religion with political power. Indulgences are when you pay money in order to be forgiven for your sins and to "reserve" your space in Heaven. It shows the strength and immense power that religion had over the politics of nations. Since the punishments of ordinary public crimes were to pay indulgences, then that just further goes to show the intersection between church and state (politics).

    1. GOP operative Aaron Nevins has admitted to receiving and sharing stolen DCCC documents from Guccifer 2.0. The DHS and DNI believe Guccifer 2.0 works for Russia.

    1. The IDEAT project launched by the Partit Nazzjonalista a few days ago offers a glimpse into how Maltese politics can be transformed through a digital platform which bridges the divide between the citizen and the Party that represents it. IDEAT is built around an eDemocracy framework in which ICT serves as a tool of choice in order to, not only engage and communicate with the population, but empower it to be better equipped to participate in the democratic process. Crowdsourcing is less a new idea than a new concept. It covers a wide array of tools that use the power and knowledge of crowds brought together through the Internet, especially by means of social media and other applications which primarily focus on bottom-up information flow. Citizens can take part in brainstorming, discussing, developing, and formulating ideas that used to be the limited domain of political elites. This IDEAT project seeks to explore methods to obtain active citizen input in the policymaking processes - an input which has been severely curtailed by this government. It serves to empower each and every one of us, enabling our voice and ideas to be heard. Politics for the people can be more than just casting your vote when a general election comes by.
    1. Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters.

    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. “but of their engagement I do.”

      Contrary to what one may conclude upon reading "engagement", in this day and age such term was meant towards a private understanding between two people. Not necessarily pertaining to marriage. As defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, an engagement in this case would be "A formal promise, agreement, undertaking, covenant."

      http://www.oed.com.jpllnet.sfsu.edu/view/Entry/62197?redirectedFrom=engagement#eid

    1. The native peoples and their land were, and to some extent continue to be, under siege.

      Here Berger is making a reference to the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada and how they have been affected through the degradation of nature around them. The history of white people bringing disease and other hardships to indigenous people is a well documented one. But the less talked about part is how modern technologies affect on the environment has affected them. Andrew Stuhl writes, "the number of reindeer in Barrow- the largest town in the region with a population of 1,200 Inuit- had dropped from an estimated 35,000 in 1935 to 5,000 in 1940." This dramatic decrease in reindeer population had a lasting effect on the Inuit population as they eventually had to negotiate with the Canadian government to get reindeer herds as a means of subsistence. As technology advanced, over fishing and whaling practices in the 1980s and 1990s drove some species of fish to near extirpation from the Arctic. Furthermore climate change is having a profound effect on indigenous populations in the more recent past. The raise of temperature is creating less sea ice and making the migrating patterns of whales and caribou less predictable. This causes it to be more difficult for Inuit hunters to track and capture their food. All of these things put together shows how white people's affect on the environment has made life harder for the indigenous populations of the Arctic. Ford, James D.1, james.ford@mcgill.ca. "Indigenous Health and Climate Change." American Journal Of Public Health 102, no. 7 (July 2012): 1260-1266. Social Sciences Full Text (H.W. Wilson), EBSCOhost (accessed May 8, 2017). Stuhl, Andrew. Unfreezing the Arctic science, colonialism, and the transformation of Inuit lands. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2016.

    2. superabundance of land and resources gave rise to a conviction that the continent’s resources were inexhaustible

      This idea has been an overarching theme in western society for the last half century but the roots of this problem goes back further than that. Since the industrial revolution, Americans have developed the reputation as the most wasteful people and rightfully so. Berger refers to the early days of frontier settlement in North America where there was flagrant misuse of natural resources. It is easy to think of examples of this but one that stands out above the rest was the extermination of the American Buffalo in the Great Plains. Ranchers and hunters were just killing these animals and leaving the corpses out in the fields. Other examples of this is the different mining practices that were used throughout North America. This includes surface mining which is a very intrusive process that leaves the entire area barren and destroyed. In many areas, "because of [surface] mining, the environment has been very bad, and destroyed the balance of the ecology, the stability of the water level and the water quality around the mine for long term." Fortunately, there has been a much stronger movement through sustainable practices within the new generation. Earth Day was created in 1970 to bring awareness to the environment and conservation efforts. In Vancouver, there is a yearly march and celebration led by high school students to help raise awareness of issues facing our planet like climate change and pollution. One student says "without this Earth, without the stuff it provides for us, and if we don't do something about it, it's going to be too late in the future." "Vancouver youth help raise awareness about climate change." Xinhua News Agency, April 27, 2015. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (accessed May 8, 2017).

      Yi, Pan, Liu Yang, Yang Min, WangLinyan, Yang Shuangchun, and Zhang Jinhui. "The environmental impact assessments of oil shale in in-situ mining and surface mining." International Journal of Applied Environmental Sciences 7, no. 4 (2012): 403+. Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (accessed May 8, 2017).

    1. Texans planning protests May 30 to June 2, 2017 at the public offices of Senator John Cornyn to demand an independent non-partisan investigation of Trump-Russia. The Senate Intelligence Committee's "investigation" has been a joke.

    1. The FCC is investigating Stephen Colbert for a line he delivered during his monologue, addressing Donald Trump: "The only thing your mouth is good at is being Vladimir Putin's c--k holster."

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaHwlSTqA7s

    1. Web comic explaining the backfire effect -- our tendency to react hostilely to information that contradicts our core beliefs. Trying to argue past this tendency is usually futile. The best thing we can do is to be aware of it within ourselves, and try to raise the same awareness in others. The kind of examples given here seem like a good way to do that.

  24. annotatingausten.sfsuenglishdh.net annotatingausten.sfsuenglishdh.net
    1. moiety

      "A half, one of two equal parts." (OED)

      Used here to explain that the father has half the control of the fortune while the son will inherit the other half when he comes of age.

    2. leave his estate from his nephew;

      “England was a very patriarchal society. Not only in the public sphere, but also in the private one as well. Women did not have any power in any portion of the nation, whether it be economic, political, or social. In England there was no law written expressly concerning inheritance other than, that the will or desire of the man of the home or estate will be carried out. This meaning that if the man of the estate wished for his nephew to inherit the land it was to be so. The common practice was that a son or nephew to the head of the family was to inherit all of the assets, because he would be more worthy of the property than a woman.” (Davis, Brooke. Inheritance Laws in the Early 1800s in England, Web)

    3. succession to the Norland estate

      “Before the nineteenth century, most families were organized according to patriarchal tradition. Household heads owned and controlled the means of production, and their wives and children were obliged to provide the unpaid labor needed to sustain family enterprises. Masters of the household had a legal right to command the obedience of their wives and children—as well as any servants or slaves—and to use corporal punishment to correct disobedience.“ (Ruggles, Steven. Patriarchy, Power, and Pay, Web)

  25. Apr 2017
    1. canvassing against the election

      Mr. Palmer is campaigning around the country for a seat in Parliament's House of Commons. Mr. Palmer is most likely campaigning for a seat as a representative for specific boroughs (Thorne, "IV. The Changing Face of the House and Political Parties," The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, (1986)).

    2. frank

      "To superscribe (a letter, etc.) with a signature, so as to ensure its being sent without charge" (OED). According to The History of the British Post Office, franking was a privilege that allowed sending letters without being charged. However, over time, this privilege was highly abused and ultimately by 1840 this privilege was finally abolished. Franking free letters for others not in Parliament and for non Parliament purposes was so serious a Franking Department was created to inspect such letter (Hemmeon, The History of the British Post Office, p. 57).