Self-segregation: how a personalized world is dividing Americans | Technology | The Guardian

Most people aren’t looking to self-segregate, but they do it anyway in an age of military privatization and social media on college campuses

The US can only function as a healthy democracy if we find a way to diversify our social connections, if we find a way to weave together a strong social fabric that bridges ties across difference. Right now, we are moving in the opposite direction with serious consequences.

By and large, the American public wants to have strong connections across divisions. They see the value in it, politically and socially. But they’re not going to work for it. And given the option, they’re going to renew their license remotely, try to get out of jury duty, and use available data to seek out housing and schools that are filled with people like them.

If we want to develop a healthy democracy, we need a diverse and highly connected social fabric. This requires creating contexts in which the American public voluntarily struggles with the challenges of diversity to build bonds that will last a lifetime.

Source: Self-segregation: how a personalized world is dividing Americans | Technology | The Guardian

The Basic Income Is the Worst Response to Automation | RealClearFuture

The future doesn’t come that fast, and we will get a chance to see it coming. The best response is to encourage people to respond to technological progress and to seek out the new jobs that will become available as the old ones fade away.

no matter how sophisticated the system, no matter how advanced our machines seem to be, relative to what we’re used to, somebody still needs to do the work of keeping them running. We need someone to monitor them, maintain them, and regulate them, someone who understands how they work and how they connect to other systems

the basic income, as an economic program, is a plan to lure a large group of people into withdrawing from the economy and living in a state of economic helplessness and stagnation, separate from a technological elite who enjoy wealth and influence

Source: The Basic Income Is the Worst Response to Automation | RealClearFuture

An analysis of 10,000 scientific studies on marijuana concretely supports only three medical benefits — Quartz

  • Helps chronic pain in adults
  • Lessens chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
  • Relieves some symptoms of multiple sclerosis
  • Worsens respiratory problems, such as chronic bronchitis episodes
  • Motor-vehicle accidents
  • Low birth weight in babies
  • Schizophrenia or other psychoses

Source: An analysis of 10,000 scientific studies on marijuana concretely supports only three medical benefits — Quartz

The Real Crisis in Education | Angels And Superheroes

As we implement new education legislation, I ask that teachers be treated as the experts we are. That we are not just included in the conversation, but that we are leading it. The data demands it, and our children deserve it.

United States’ schools with fewer than 10% of students living in poverty score higher than any country in the world. … Tragically, schools with 75% or higher poverty rates rank lower in reading scores than any country except Mexico.

Couple this with the 2013 data that indicates that a majority (51%) of public school students live in poverty in this country, and we see the true depth of the actual crisis of poverty, and its impact on education.

We are not in an education crisis. We are in a crisis of poverty that is being exacerbated by the school accountability movement and the testing industry.

Source: The Real Crisis in Education | Angels And Superheroes

What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class

The reasons for Trump’s win are obvious, if you know where to look.

Manly dignity is a big deal for working-class men, and they’re not feeling that they have it. … So is breadwinner status: Many still measure masculinity by the size of a paycheck.

Class trumps gender, and it’s driving American politics.

  • Understand That Working Class Means Middle Class, Not Poor
  • Understand Working-Class Resentment of the Poor
  • Understand How Class Divisions Have Translated into Geography
  • If You Want to Connect with White Working-Class Voters, Place Economics at the Center
  • Avoid the Temptation to Write Off Blue-Collar Resentment as Racism

WWC men aren’t interested in working at McDonald’s for $15 per hour instead of $9.50. What they want is what my father-in-law had: steady, stable, full-time jobs that deliver a solid middle-class life to the 75% of Americans who don’t have a college degree.

trade deals are far more expensive than we’ve treated them, because sustained job development and training programs need to be counted as part of their costs

If we don’t take steps to bridge the class culture gap, when Trump proves unable to bring steel back to Youngstown, Ohio, the consequences could turn dangerous.

Source: What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class – by Joan C. Williams

If a Best Buy technician is a paid FBI informant, are his computer searches legal? – The Washington Post

The case raises issues about privacy and the government use of informants. If a customer turns over their computer for repair, do they forfeit their expectation of privacy, and their Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable searches? And if an informant is paid, does it compromise their credibility or effectively convert them into an agent of the government?

Best Buy spokesman Jeff Shelman … “Any circumstances in which an employee received payment from the FBI is the result of extremely poor individual judgment, is not something we tolerate and is certainly not a part of our normal business behavior.”

Source: If a Best Buy technician is a paid FBI informant, are his computer searches legal? – The Washington Post

Bill Perry Is Terrified. Why Aren’t You? – POLITICO Magazine

nukes are suddenly—insanely, by Perry’s estimate—once again a contemporary nightmare, and an emphatically ascendant one.

Americans no longer think about the threat every day. Nuclear war isn’t the subtext of popular movies, or novels; disarmament has fallen far from the top of the policy priority list.

Perry’s hypothesis for the disconnect is that much of the population, especially that rising portion with no clear memories of the first Cold War, is suffering from a deficit of comprehension. Even a single nuclear explosion in a major city would represent an abrupt and possibly irreversible turn in modern life, upending the global economy, forcing every open society to suspend traditional liberties and remake itself into a security state.

As for a nuclear explosion, by Perry’s lights, the consequences are so grave that the rational thing would be for people in the United States and everywhere to be in a state of peak alarm about their vulnerability, and for political debate to be dominated by discussion of how to reduce the risk.

And just how high is the risk? The answer of course is ultimately unknowable. Perry’s point, though, is that it’s a hell of a lot higher than you think.

“Nuclear weapons are the biggest public health issue I can think of.”

“As a 90s baby I never lived in the Cold War era,” wrote one participant, with the Reddit username BobinForApples. “What is one thing today’s generations will never understand about life during the Cold War?”

Perry’s answered, as SecDef19: “Because you were born in the 1990s, you did not experience the daily terror of ‘duck and cover’ drills as my children did. Therefore the appropriate fear of nuclear weapons is not part of your heritage, but the danger is just as real now as it was then. It will be up to your generation to develop the policies to deal with the deadly nuclear legacy that is still very much with us.”

Source: Bill Perry Is Terrified. Why Aren’t You? – POLITICO Magazine

NeuroLogica Blog » The Misinformation Wars

This mental trap has always existed in the human mind, but now there is an actual infrastructure of information that caters to it, reinforces it, and solidifies it. It is not only the pathologically delusional that can fall into this trap. Now anyone who wanders even a little into the badlands can be consumed by it.

The central problem with conspiracy thinking is that it is self-contained, immune from external reality. Any information can be made to seem as if it supports the conspiracy. Any missing information is being suppressed by the conspiracy, and any evidence against the conspiracy was manufactured and is therefore proof of the conspiracy. If you disagree, you are a dupe, or you are part of the conspiracy.

Higher standards of everyday journalism would help.

One problem, however, is that there is an inherent tactical advantage to not caring about the truth at all. The truth is constraining, and if you are free to make up whatever bullshit serves your narrative, this will make you more nimble in the misinformation wars. It is as if one side is using biological and chemical weapons while the other side is limiting itself to conventional weapons and the Geneva Convention.

This is the problem to which I cannot find a solution. The inherent problem is that it is critically important for society to be free and for the media and speech to be free. How do we simultaneously defend free speech while opposing the abuse of that speech to spread targeted misinformation? The usual answer is, to use your own free speech to spread accurate information. But that just gets us back to the fundamental asymmetry.

Source: NeuroLogica Blog » The Misinformation Wars