Posts tagged history

99% Invisible
"In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville toured the country and was amazed by the postal system. Even in the most isolated parts of the American frontier he found people who had read newspapers and could talk about politics in America and Europe."
Great episode of 99pi about the origins of the postal service and how it promoted infrastructure and literacy.
Browseulator
Fun experiment: see if loading up Paul Ford's random archive.org ephemera thing gives you the same dopamine hit as the random crap social media gives you to look at. I enjoy it.
the economist
"What matters is not only how many votes candidates get, but where they get them. Because electoral-college votes are assigned by state rather than by the country as a whole, and because smaller states receive a disproportionately high number of votes, it is possible for smaller states to overrule the majority of voters."
Time to get rid of the electoral college.
nytimes.com
"In the last two weeks, American voters’ support for the Black Lives Matter movement increased almost as much as it had in the preceding two years."
Fast Company
"They were designed to fit inside existing firearms as an alternative to shooting someone with a real bullet, often as a way for authoritarian regimes to control a free-speaking, free-protesting populace. And that’s exactly what we’ve seen happen yet again today. As protesters have taken to the streets across the U.S. to protest the murder of George Floyd, they’ve been shot, indiscriminately, with military technologies that are known to maim and kill."
There are some graphic images in this article but it has a good history of how not-as-lethal weapons became ubiquitous. It gives important context to gut-wrenching stories like this: Activist who trained officers on bias ‘heartbroken’ after San Jose police seriously injure him with rubber bullet at protest.
washingtonpost.com
Some impressive investigation using cell phone footage from the scene of the Lafayette Square protest.
nytimes.com
"As I scrolled through endless collections of these online, I found it hard to escape the conclusion that America’s police forces are not just unfairly brutal — they also do not seem to care anymore about being caught on tape."
Cameras are capturing what our system with no consequences for bad actors looks like.
Apple Podcasts
Speaking of Ezra Klein (we were!) this is a great interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates. It gets pretty deep on the nature of the State at one point and Coates has some optimism about *gestures around at everything* somehow.

Update: Here's a better link with a transcript: Why Ta-Nehisi Coates is hopeful.
pri.org
"The compromise that was reached was to leave that option open for using tear gas or riot control agents in law enforcement and only in law enforcement."
Why we allow tear gas against our own people in peacetime. See also: TED Talk: Non-lethal weapons, a moral hazard?
kottke.org
Powerful collection of American voices.
youtube.com
Willie Nelson playing the entire Red Headed Stranger album live on Austin City Limits in 1976. (!!) You might also want to see all 143 (!!!) of his albums ranked. I was happy to see Red Headed Stranger near the top. It has always been a favorite of mine.
openculture.com
Pink Floyd concerts available if you want to fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way. △

See also: Radiohead, Metallica.
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