argument   4098

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The Repeal of Net Neutrality Is Official | Hacker News
This thread contains a lot of pro-net neutrality argument. Most commenters are highly critical of many of the assertions in the article being commented on. Cuts through a lot of bullshit.
net  neutrality  pro  argument 
5 days ago by brentfarwick
Silicon Inquiry // Notes From Below
Google was supposed to be the goal, the reward people worked so hard for. And on the surface, it was everything you could have asked for: lots of autonomy, excellent compensation, a workspace that caters to your every need. So why did it feel so empty?

When I talked to other interns about this, the conversations never got very far. We’d concur that the work was kind of dull, and tentatively wonder if there was something better: maybe a different team within Google, or just a different company in the tech industry. Never did we connect our shared malaise to structural issues with the industry itself; it was much more natural to turn inward, and ask ourselves if our unhappiness was the result of personal failings, a symptom of just not being cut out for the industry.
work  life  google  politics  argument 
5 days ago by kmt
The False Nobility of Space Billionaires | Literary Hub
The privatization of human space flight over the past two decades is sometimes called the Billionaire Space Race. This has shifted responsibility from publicly-funded space agencies to corporations like Boeing and Lockheed Martin and private ventures owned by billionaires. As some of these billionaires are associated with the tech sector, the race is also referred to as Space 2.0. Some of their ventures are working towards launching wealthy tourists into low earth orbit, or to commercializing space transportation. All of the billionaires claim their endeavors are in the spirit of adventure and exploration on behalf of humanity. They believe their ambitions to be noble.
politics  oligarchy  argument  space 
6 days ago by kmt
The Political Path to GPS - The New Atlantis
The age-old humbling first task when opening a map for most uses was finding yourself. This was a practical necessity for every map that was not physically anchored in one place and sporting a “You Are Here” sign. No longer in the age of GPS. It’s easy to forget the significance of this change, to think of the blue dot as an eternal finger over your shoulder, not an instant self-centering absent in millennia of previous maps. Today’s circumstantial solipsist is the spot the universe revolves around.
maps  navigation  technology  argument  politics  psychology 
6 days ago by kmt
How Bitcoin made right-wing conspiracy theories mainstream | Salon.com
Yet the extent to which cryptocurrency applications have entered mainstream politics belies its right-wing underpinnings. Virginia Commonwealth University Professor David Golumbia, who recently published a book "The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism," is blowing the whistle on the kinds of far-right ideas and conspiracy theories that not only inspired cryptocurrency's creation, but which are now trafficked, sometimes unknowingly, by many cryptocurrency boosters on both the right and left.

I spoke with Professor Golumbia about the far-right background of Bitcoin and how crypto is helping to normalize some of the more fringe aspects of right-wing thought. This interview has been condensed and edited for print.  
politics  bitcoin  interview  argument  neoliberalism 
6 days ago by kmt
US power to rule a digital world ebbs away | Evgeny Morozov | Technology | The Guardian
American policymakers have known perfectly well that the hallmark of effective hegemony is the invisibility of its operations. Getting other people to behave as desired is easier if those others believe that doing so is not only in their interest but also the natural course of history and progress.

Why bother with the messy sale that is colonialism if one could get other countries to surrender through fairytales about the mutual benefits of free trade?

Of all the myths that solidified American hegemony over the past three decades, the myth of technology proved the most potent. It recast technology as a natural, neutral force that could erase power imbalances between countries. Technology was not something to be tinkered with or redirected; one could only adapt to it – much like one would adapt to the vagaries of the market, but with far less resistance.
technology  politics  argument  americana  europe  neoliberalism 
6 days ago by kmt
Lost in Math | Not Even Wrong
Sabine Hossenfelder’s new book Lost in Math should be starting to appear in bookstores around now. It’s very good and you should get a copy. I hope that the book will receive a lot of attention, but suspect that much of this will focus on an oversimplified version of the book’s argument, ignoring some of the more interesting material that she has put together.

Hossenfelder’s main concern is the difficult current state of theoretical fundamental physics, sometimes referred to as a “crisis” or “nightmare scenario”. She is writing at what is likely to be a decisive moment for the subject: the negative LHC results for popular speculative models are now in. What effect will these have on those who have devoted decades to studying such models?
physics  philosophy  math  argument  book  review 
8 days ago by kmt
Peter Turchin The New Machiavelli - Peter Turchin
Thus I looked to reading The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior Is Almost Always Good Politics by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith with great anticipation. I had an inkling that I would disagree on much with the authors, but I was looking forward not to agree, but to learn.

I was mistaken. The book fails, and fails badly, on both theoretical and empirical grounds. It’s so bad, I almost decided not to review it. However, it has been enormously successful. It sold a lot of copies, and garnered more than 200 reviews on the Amazon, most of them glowingly positive (average rating 4.6 out of 5). It also inspired a very popular info-video by CGP Grey (over 6 million views).
politics  book  review  argument  history 
10 days ago by kmt
The Creative Class Gets Organized
The staff of The New Yorker—the people behind the scenes: editors, fact checkers, social media strategists, designers—are unionizing. They’ve even got a logo: Eustace Tilly with his fist raised. If you’re a loyal reader of the magazine, as I am, you should support the union in any way you can. Every week, they bring us our happiness; we should give them some back. They’re asking for letters of solidarity; email them at newyorkerunion@gmail.com.
journalism  history  argument  read-later  new-yorker  labour-movement 
10 days ago by kmt
The Committee | Issue 21 | n+1
IN THE EARLY 1970S, the New Yorker, like many other magazines, went through two or three years of difficult financial times — a significant decrease in advertising pages and revenues. In the editorial department, management — William Shawn, the longtime editor of the magazine, the executive editor, Robert Bingham, and the magazine’s counsel and vice president and “liaison” with the business department, Milton Greenstein — responded to the slump with stingy measures. To many staff members it gave minuscule raises or no raises at all. It eliminated a long-standing cost-of-living adjustment — theretofore automatic and annual. It cut the lifetime psychiatric-benefit amount in half — from $20,000 to $10,000. It’s true that many people who worked for the New Yorker not only went to the couch themselves but sent their wives or husbands and children to the couch, too, and that was said to be the reason for the new, draconian rule. The result of this particular cutback was that people had to terminate their analyses on the brink of discovering whom they more deeply resented, Mom or Dad, and, perhaps just as important, which of them William Shawn more closely resembled.
journalism  history  argument  read-later  new-yorker  labour-movement 
10 days ago by kmt
Persuasion
Really, non-rational techniques of persuasion. (A somewhat cloudy concept, which I probably ought to work on making clear.) For instance: is a mis-leading or a lie a form of non-rational persuasion? (Probably not.) How about the threat of torture? (No, because it doesn't instill belief, merely lead to a specific action.)
rhetoric  argument  books  list 
12 days ago by kmt
The Yale Law Journal - Forum: The Ideological Roots of America's Market Power Problem
Mounting research shows that America has a market power problem.1 In sectors ranging from airlines and poultry to eyeglasses and semiconductors, just a handful of companies dominate.2 The decline in competition is so consistent across markets that excessive concentration and undue market power now look to be not an isolated issue but rather a systemic feature of America’s political economy.3 This is troubling because monopolies and oligopolies produce a host of harms. They depress wages and salaries, raise consumer costs, block entrepreneurship, stunt investment, retard innovation, and render supply chains and complex systems highly fragile.4 Dominant firms’ economic power allows them, in turn, to concentrate political power, which they then use to win favorable policies and further entrench their dominance.5
law  history  argument  read-later  capitalism  politics  americana 
12 days ago by kmt
Richard Smith: Medical research—still a scandal - The BMJ
Twenty years ago this week the statistician Doug Altman published an editorial in the BMJ arguing that much medical research was of poor quality and misleading. In his editorial entitled, “The Scandal of Poor Medical Research,” Altman wrote that much research was “seriously flawed through the use of inappropriate designs, unrepresentative samples, small samples, incorrect methods of analysis, and faulty interpretation.” Twenty years later I fear that things are not better but worse.
medicine  argument  science  stats  methodology  read-later 
12 days ago by kmt
The New “Culture of Poverty”
The rightward lurch in American politics has reinvigorated the study of poor and working-class communities. But instead of blazing new trails in this endeavor, the emerging literature seems to be reworking tired old tropes. In a review of four recent books, I show that approaches that are rightly rejected as explanations of social behavior among impoverished black communities are adopted with great aplomb in the study of working-class whites. Rather than seeing their political culture as a product of their social conditions, these works often see workers’ culture as built-in and unchanging. I observe that this just amounts to a revived “culture of poverty” discourse in the study of the working class.
americana  politics  books  review  argument  poverty 
13 days ago by kmt
Scientific debt – Variance Explained
In my new job as Chief Data Scientist at DataCamp, I’ve been thinking about the role of data science within a business, and discussing this with other professionals in the field. On a panel earlier this year, I realized that data scientists have a rough equivalent to this concept: “scientific debt.”

Scientific debt is when a team takes shortcuts in data analysis, experimental practices, and monitoring that could have long-term negative consequences. When you hear a statement like:

“We don’t have enough time to run a randomized test, let’s launch it”
“To a first approximation this effect is probably linear”
“This could be a confounding factor, but we’ll look into that later”
“It’s directionally accurate at least”
you’re hearing a little scientific debt being “borrowed”.
business  management  datascience  stats  argument 
13 days ago by kmt
The World Wants You to Think Like a Realist – Foreign Policy
Instead of relying on realism, both Republicans and Democrats tend to view foreign policy through the lens of liberal idealism. Rather than see world politics as an arena where security is scarce and major powers are forced to contend whether they wish to or not, America’s foreign-policy mavens are quick to divide the world into virtuous allies (usually democracies) and evil adversaries (always some sort of dictatorship) and to assume that when things go badly, it is because a wicked foreign leader (Saddam Hussein, Ali Khamenei, Vladimir Putin, Muammar al-Qaddafi, etc.) is greedy, aggressive, or irrational. When friendly states object to something the (virtuous) United States is doing, U.S. leaders tend to assume that critics just don’t understand their noble aims or are jealous of America’s success.
politics  diplomacy  strategy  argument 
13 days ago by kmt

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