‘Socialism for the rich’: the evils of bad economics | Inequality | The Guardian
text version with podcast link. 'The economic arguments adopted by Britain and the US in the 1980s led to vastly increased inequality – and gave the false impression that this outcome was not only inevitable, but good.'
economics  podcast  politics 
15 days ago
When bacteria kill us, it’s more accident than assassination | Aeon Essays
But a growing number of studies show that our anthropocentric view is sometimes unjustified. The adaptations that allow bacteria, fungi and other pathogens to cause us harm can easily evolve outside the context of human disease. They are part of a microbial narrative that affects us, and can even kill us, but that isn’t about us. This concept is known as the coincidental evolution hypothesis or, as the Emory University microbiologist Bruce Levin described it in 2008, the ‘shit happens’ hypothesis.
biology  medicine 
6 weeks ago
Live Aid: The Terrible Truth | SPIN
He never replied, and our report, in July 1986, shocked the world. That is not an overstatement. It comprehensively exposed the fraudulent use of the charitable money by unmistakably the world’s most brutal dictator, and the naive, hubris-drenched, unwitting complicity of Live Aid and Geldof.
history  journalism  politics  development  aid  pop-culture 
7 weeks ago
Why Generalists Beat Specialists | David Epstein
David Epstein is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Sports Gene and his new blockbuster book, Range, which makes a powerful, science-backed argument about success. Contrary to those who say “find your thing as early as possible, then focus on becoming the best at it,” it turns out those who succeed at the highest levels and stay there longest do not specialize early or become world-class experts in one narrow domain. They actually do the exact opposite. They stay generalists for as long as possible. Early specializers often rise fast, then burn out, leaving those playing a longer, more generalized game to eventually lap them, rise higher and stay successful longer. We dive into the eye-opening research, along with Epstein’s remarkable personal journey in today’s conversation.
podcast  psychology  adulting 
8 weeks ago
BBC - Future - The '3.5% rule': How a small minority can change the world
Looking at hundreds of campaigns over the last century, Chenoweth found that nonviolent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns. And although the exact dynamics will depend on many factors, she has shown it takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change
politics  activism  sociology 
9 weeks ago
Dying of Whiteness | Boston Review
At the most basic level, Trevor died of the toxic effects of liver damage caused by hepatitis C. Yet Trevor’s deteriorating condition resulted also from the toxic effects of dogma. Dogma that told him that governmental assistance in any form was evil and not to be trusted, even when the assistance came in the form of federal contracts with private health insurance or pharmaceutical companies, or from expanded communal safety nets. Dogma that, as he made abundantly clear, aligned with beliefs about a racial hierarchy that overtly and implicitly aimed to keep white Americans hovering above Mexicans, welfare queens, and nonwhite others. Dogma suggesting to Trevor that minority groups received lavish benefits from the state, even though he himself lived and died on a low-income budget with state assistance. Trevor voiced a literal willingness to die for his place in this hierarchy, rather than participate in a system that might put him on the same plane as immigrants or racial minorities.

The white body that refuses treatment rather than supporting a system that might benefit everyone is a metaphor for the decline of the nation as a whole.
politics  racism  sociology 
9 weeks ago
stultiloquentia | How Conservative is P&P?
Okay, so I do not actually think Austen is saying that the existence of sterling men like Mr. Darcy justifies the misogynist and exploitative system in which they thrive. Rather, I think her thesis in this particular book is, "Okay. If this is the system we're stuck with, how should the people running the system behave?"

Let's keep on going down the checklist.
literature  feminism  history 
9 weeks ago
Muslims lived in America before Protestantism even existed | Aeon Essays
a substantial part of it is about slaves in america, and because of that, how their religious identity is erased in the story of america
history  islam  sociology 
10 weeks ago
Bill 21 hearings: ‘We were very naive’ about impact of report, Charles Taylor says | Montreal Gazette
In a frank exchange between the respected philosopher and Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette Tuesday evening, Taylor conceded he and his colleague Gérard Bouchard were wrong to propose restrictions on symbols for a small group of authority figures.

Instead of acting as a bulwark to appease people clamouring for more restrictions, the ban for some authority figures was used as a trampoline for people to ask for more, and he regrets that deeply, Taylor told a committee studying Bill 21 Tuesday.

“We were very naive,” Taylor said. “The very fact we were talking about this kind of a plan started to stimulate hate incidents, not just in Quebec but all over.

“Just talking about these kinds of policies caused enormous harm to our society. You can’t imagine the division, the sense of alienation that this causes for vulnerable minorities.

The CAQ has responded to Taylor’s vocal opposition by trying to discredit the 85-year-old professor by highlighting the fact he flip-flopped on the idea of a ban.

On Tuesday, Taylor did not fall into Jolin-Barrette’s trap, firing back that Bill 21 “runs completely against the spirit” of his initial report.

Instead of encouraging integration of minorities, it “dashes the career aspirations” of many Quebecers who want to become teachers and police officers. The word Muslim does not appear in the bill but it certainly feeds anti-Islamic feelings on all kinds of social media, he said.
politics  islamophobia  racism 
11 weeks ago
The Self-Destruction of American Power
There is an analogy here with the United States. Had the country acted more consistently in the pursuit of broader interests and ideas, it could have continued its influence for decades (albeit in a different form). The rule for extending liberal hegemony seems simple: be more liberal and less hegemonic. But too often and too obviously, Washington pursued its narrow self-interests, alienating its allies and emboldening its foes. Unlike the United Kingdom at the end of its reign, the United States is not bankrupt or imperially overextended. It remains the single most powerful country on the planet. It will continue to wield immense influence, more than any other nation. But it will no longer define and dominate the international system the way it did for almost three decades.
politics  history  usa 
12 weeks ago
Nudging out support for a carbon tax | Nature Climate Change
A carbon tax is widely accepted as the most effective policy for curbing carbon emissions but is controversial because it imposes
costs on consumers. An alternative, ‘nudge,’ approach promises smaller benefits but with much lower costs. However, nudges
aimed at reducing carbon emissions could have a pernicious indirect effect if they offer the promise of a ‘quick fix’ and thereby
undermine support for policies of greater impact. Across six experiments, including one conducted with individuals involved
in policymaking, we show that introducing a green energy default nudge diminishes support for a carbon tax. We propose that
nudges decrease support for substantive policies by providing false hope that problems can be tackled without imposing considerable
costs. Consistent with this account, we show that by minimizing the perceived economic cost of the tax and disclosing
the small impact of the nudge, eliminates crowding-out without diminishing support for the nudge. [PDF on RG]
environment  climate-change  politics  psychology 
june 2019
Half of Americans Are Effectively Poor Now. What The?
Poverty in America, in other words, has become endemic and ubiquitous because its systemic and structural. It’s baked into the system. It’s a feature, not a bug. And most Americans these days, I’d wager, understand this intuitively. Work hard, play by the rules, become something, someone worthy. Be a teacher, engineer, writer, coach, therapist, nurse etcetera. What do you get? You get your pension “raided” (read: stolen) by hedge funds, you get your income decimated by “investment bankers”, you get charged a fortune for the very things you yourself are involved in producing but never earn a fair share of, you get preyed on in every which way the predatory can dream up.
politics  economics 
june 2019
The McKinsey Way to Save Puerto Rico
Already the island is an object lesson in what happens when the logic of capitalism overtakes the structure of government.
governance  economics  politics 
june 2019
We need hope, not optimism | The Weekly Sift
So they want me to pass along my optimistic secret: “Tell me it’s going to be OK. Tell me we fix this.”

I can’t. Maybe we do, maybe we don’t. To be either an optimist or a pessimist requires a level of hubris I don’t have. For good or ill, reality has a way of doing whatever it damn well pleases, no matter how tightly we think we have it tied down.

So my advice at this point in history is to get comfortable with not knowing and try to stay hopeful. Keep tending the garden and let the rain do whatever it does.

Which means: Try not to waste too much of your time and energy searching poll results for evidence that Trump will or won’t be re-elected. Don’t agonize over who the Democrats will nominate. Don’t watch panels where pundits argue over their predictions. Don’t try to pick the exact year when the climate catastrophe will hit.

Just do something. Campaign, demonstrate, give money, write letters, mobilize your friends. Whatever you can think of.

Will it work? Who knows? We don’t need to know. Someday, maybe, we’ll look back and see that whatever we did either worked or didn’t work. Between now and then, a lot of unforeseeable stuff is going to happen.

So don’t waste a lot of time trying to foresee it. The harvest — as rich or barren as it might eventually be — will get here soon enough. Until then, just keep working. It’s worthwhile to create possibilities.
june 2019
Inside The Minds Of The Mega-Rich - 1A
Affluenza. The “painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste, resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.”

Whether or not you believe it’s a real affliction, one thing’s for sure: wealth informs the human condition.
economics  podcast  politics  sociology  psychology 
april 2019
Alpha Gal | Radiolab | WNYC Studios
climate change --> tick population explosion --> infestation to people --> introduction of an enzyme into the skin that's present in meat, which is usually consumed, but now associated as an allergen and induces adult-onset allergy to meat.
biology  environment  health 
march 2019
POC designers & crafters
list of known POC makers in the fibre craft field
knitting  textiles  crafting 
march 2019
Adam Serwer: White Nationalism’s Deep American Roots - The Atlantic
basically american eugenics and nativist movement influenced nazis which then later influenced neo-nazis
history  politics  racism 
march 2019
“How to Hide an Empire”: Daniel Immerwahr on the History of the Greater United States | Democracy Now!
“How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States.” That’s the title of a new book examining a part of the U.S. that is often overlooked: the nation’s overseas territories from Puerto Rico to Guam, former territories like the Philippines, and its hundreds of military bases scattered across the globe. We speak with the book’s author, Daniel Immerwahr, who writes, “At various times, the inhabitants of the U.S. Empire have been shot, shelled, starved, interned, dispossessed, tortured and experimented on. What they haven’t been, by and large, is seen.” Immerwahr is an associate professor of history at Northwestern University.
history  usa  imperialism 
march 2019
A strong libido and bored by monogamy: the truth about women and sex | Life and style | The Guardian
So women are socialised to believe that they’ve gone off sex, when in fact they’re craving variety. Instead of being the brake on passion, says Martin, the female half of the long-term partnership is the key to a more adventurous and exciting sex life. What it’s all about, she explains, is the existence of the only entirely pleasure-seeking organ in the human repertoire, the clitoris. For her portrait, she wears a necklace shaped like one. “Women evolved to seek out pleasure, women are multiply orgasmic, women’s biology sets them up to seek out pleasure,” says Martin. “The clitoris has a very important back story about female human sex which is that our sex evolved for the purpose of adventure.”
february 2019
Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism | Boston Review
In other words, we need not give up our special affections and identifications, whether ethnic or gender-based or religious. We need not think of them as superficial, and we may think of our identity as in part constituted by them. We may and should devote special attention to them in education. But we should work to make all human beings part of our community of dialogue and concern, base our political deliberations on that interlocking commonality, and give the circle that defines our humanity a special attention and respect.
politics  philosophy 
february 2019
The guide to cloth: Weaves and designs – Permanent Style
great resource. thinking of the 2x1 twill for my shot silk scarf
weaving  fashion 
november 2018
index - BasicIncome
A very useful resource on the data's collected so far in terms of UBI and the various political arguments for it
economics  politics 
november 2018
Views - Articles - Research - Khazanah Research Institute
Malaysians work longer hours on average as compared with developed countries. In this short article, we discuss ‘time’ as a key component of well-being and the importance of time use studies in Malaysia.
malaysia  labour-issues 
october 2018
Owning the Peanut Gallery — Crooked Timber
hilarious recollection of college debate in the US and Ted Cruz
politics  usa 
september 2018
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