Work Requirements Won’t Improve Medicaid. A Jobs Guarantee Might.

Source: Work Requirements Won’t Improve Medicaid. A Jobs Guarantee Might., by Vann R. Newkirk II

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued guidance for “state efforts to test incentives that make participation in work or other community engagement a requirement for continued Medicaid eligibility.”

In a series of tweets announcing the policy shift, CMS Administrator Seema Verma explained the agency’s rationale that requiring eligible able-bodied adults to have jobs to qualify for Medicaid will make them healthier and less reliant on welfare in the future. “Our fundamental goal is to make a lasting and positive difference in the health and wellness of Medicaid beneficiaries,” she tweeted. She also cited a 2014 meta-analysis that concluded that “employment is beneficial for health, particularly for depression and general mental health.”

The easiest way to make sure people receive the health benefits of employment could be to employ them.

Still Friends? The trouble with old sitcoms

Source: Still Friends? The trouble with old sitcoms

As 90s sitcom Friends faces a backlash for alleged homophobia and sexism, we ask, was it ever thus?

“Homophobia, racism and misogyny are not and have never been acceptable [but] if it’s 20 years old, why on earth are you surprised if it’s different? If it makes you uncomfortable, why on earth are you watching it?”

— James Baldock

“And there’s a bit of arrogance – thinking we’re so perfect now. Not that I endorse the old attitudes, but I suspect if you fast forward 50 years into the future you could put people in front of the TV now and people will cringe as we do.”

— Mike Ward

Cory Doctorow: Persuasion, Adaptation, and the Arms Race for Your Attention

Source: Cory Doctorow: Persuasion, Adaptation, and the Arms Race for Your Attention

There is a war for your attention, and like all adversarial scenarios, the sides develop new countermeasures and then new tactics to overcome those countermeasures.

The attention wars have real consequences for our daily lives. The entire fake news/Facebook ad/Twitter bot scandal is but a skirmish in the wider attention war, albeit one with global geopolitical (and potentially thermo­nuclear) consequences.

But history is littered with armies of seemingly invincible attention warriors who were out-evolved by their prey, and could not overcome the counter­measures that were begat by repeated exposure to their once-undefeatable tactics.

Against the synchronous society, by Artjoms Iškovs

Source: Against the synchronous society, by Artjoms Iškovs

It’s alarming how often society seems to hinge on people being in the same place at the same time, doing the same things. The drawbacks of this are immense: infrastructure has to be overprovisioned for any bursty load pattern and being inside of a bursty load pattern results in higher waiting times and isn’t a pleasant experience for everyone involved. Hence it’s important to investigate why this happens and whether this is always required. … Why are people doing this to themselves?

does the weekend really have to happen at the same time for all people?

In professional services, in most cases, the client doesn’t care when the service is being performed. … Fixed work hours make no sense since it’s not time the client is buying, it’s the result. Knowledge work isn’t predicated on people having to do it at the same time or even at a given time.

Do we still need offices?

Do all meetings have to happen at the same place or at the same time?

From a cultural point of view, public holidays are amazing. From a logistical point of view, they’re a nightmare. If everybody is having a holiday, nobody is, and the fact that everyone is observing the holiday at the same time yet again creates usage peaks in all sorts of places.

There are still planes in January, but they’re… emptier. And airports aren’t such an unpleasant experience.