Welcome to onfocus—a weblog by Paul Bausch where I post recommended links, my photos, and occasional thoughts. Subscribe here if you like RSS.
Washington Post
"Specifically, they have refused to work with Democrats to pass legislation limiting state legislatures’ ability to overturn the results of future elections, to ensure that the federal government continues to have some say when states try to limit voting rights, to provide federal protection to state and local election workers who face threats, and in general to make clear to the nation that a bipartisan majority in the Senate opposes the subversion of the popular will. Why?"
I’m guessing personal ambition, fear of a violent base, or loss of lucrative post-politics career options are why constitution-minded Republicans are silent. We will continue to be in a constitutional crisis until we address the failed coup attempt and ensure consequences for the participants.
The Atlantic
"Win or lose, their claim to be the sole authentic inheritors of the American tradition means they are the only ones who can legitimately govern and are therefore justified in seizing power by any means."
This is all out in the open. There should be political, legal, or professional consequences for the people who tried to subvert the election, but nope.
The Atlantic
"Both at home and abroad, labor is the ghost in the machine. The supply chain is really just people, running sewing machines or loading pallets or picking tomatoes or driving trucks."
This is a good explanation of the seemingly random supply chain disruptions that keep showing up.
MIT Technology Review
"Facebook has conducted multiple studies confirming that content more likely to receive user engagement (likes, comments, and shares) is more likely of a type known to be bad. Still, the company has continued to rank content in user’s newsfeeds according to what will receive the highest engagement."
Placing engagement above any other consideration is profitable if you never have consequences for the harms your service causes. This is a shocking amount of coordinated inauthentic behavior even knowing Facebook’s poor record on moderation. Misinformation is just another externality to Facebook so they have no incentive to fix it. They need to be regulated. (He whispered into the void.)
npr.org
"Crisis care standards mean that scarce resources such as ICU beds will be allotted to the patients most likely to survive. Other patients will be treated with less effective methods or, in dire cases, given pain relief and other palliative care."
This is happening in the United States of America because Republicans are actively undermining public health efforts.
New York Times
"One in four hospitals now reports more than 95 percent of I.C.U. beds occupied — up from one in five last month. Experts say it can become difficult to maintain standards of care for the sickest patients in hospitals where all or nearly all I.C.U. beds are occupied."
This was preventable.
reuters.com
"A one-year expansion of the U.S. child tax credit, a policy championed by President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats over Republican opposition, has disproportionately benefited states that voted for former President Donald Trump in 2020, a Reuters review of Treasury Department data has found."
Not one Republican voted for it.
apnews.com
"Republican legislators in more than half of U.S. states, spurred on by voters angry about lockdowns and mask mandates, are taking away the powers that state and local officials use to protect the public against infectious diseases."
Republicans want people to die. If they didn't want to maximize deaths from the pandemic, how would their actions be different? The Republican party sure looks like a death cult from the outside.
A record on a turntable with digitally altered colors
Summer Breeze
YaleNews
”Amplification of moral outrage is a clear consequence of social media’s business model, which optimizes for user engagement,” Crockett said…She added, “Our data show that social media platforms do not merely reflect what is happening in society. Platforms create incentives that change how users react to political events over time.”
The "we are merely passive mirrors showing society as it is" argument is BS. I recommend that people switch to blogging which has next to zero engagement. This void encourages you to maintain existing levels of outrage. But seriously, a primary by-product of Facebook and Twitter are trolls.
New York Times
"The odds of having long-term symptoms — lasting at least four weeks after infection — were also 49 percent lower in the breakthrough group."
So we’ve got that going for us. Which is nice.
Washington Post
"The study “helps add to the growing body of evidence that, despite a variety of mitigation efforts, misinformation has found a comfortable home — and an engaged audience — on Facebook,” said Rebekah Tromble, director of the Institute for Data, Democracy and Politics at George Washington University, who reviewed the study’s findings."
huh, people love to hear things that confirm something they want to believe. That’s extremely profitable!
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