Posts tagged politics

Vox
image from Vox
If you watch nothing else from the impeachment trial, please watch Schiff’s argument that truth should matter. See also: Is the Oath a Joke?

This is also a good time to mention impeachment.fyi. Daniel is watching every minute and then summarizing events so you don’t have to watch every minute. He’s doing a great service that’s worth pitching in for.
Wait But Why Wait But Why
image from Wait But Why
Your weekend long read that attempts to explain why the US is politically polarized:
"Destructive cherry-picking breeds fear, anger, and cynicism. It’s why we always think crime is getting worse even though it’s almost always getting better."
The most resonant part to me was about media negativity bias and disgust. It's a cliché that we don't hear good news but it's also true and feeds our cognitive biases.
pressthink.org pressthink.org
Excellent description of how broken “both sides” journalism is right now.
"Chuck Todd has essentially said that on the right there is an incentive structure that compels Republican office holders to use their time on Meet the Press for the spread of disinformation. So do you keep inviting them on air to do just that?"
Paging Upton Sinclair.
NYMag NYMag
This is the scariest take I’ve read on impeachment. We have arrived at the future Neil Postman warned us about in the 80s: no debate is possible because there's no space for serious debate. In Amusing Ourselves to Death Postman asked, "Who is prepared to take arms against a sea of amusements? To whom do we complain, and when, and in what tone of voice, when serious discourse dissolves into giggles? What is the antidote to a culture’s being drained by laughter?" Everything is entertainment.
Wired Wired
image from Wired
This sure feels like an iconic photo that sums up the impeachment hearings in so many ways. Twitter people had fun with the Morrissey remix. And Alexandra Petri is a national treasure: Foolproof ways to be not guilty of crimes.

Impeachment News

Impeachment, right? Since I've been in this timeline for quite a while now it's tough for me to remember that we are in a historic moment for our democracy that I should pay attention to. As with all things online, I'm trying to batch my attention instead of drip-feeding during all waking hours. And with the public impeachment hearings starting tomorrow, I thought I'd share two resources for batching that I've found helpful:

Impeachment.fyi is an afternoon newsletter with the news of the day. In the same spirit as WTFJHT, it's a great concise summary with just the right amount of shock.

For a higher level view of what impeachment means I really like Ezra Klein's podcast Impeachment, explained. I feel ike Ezra is earnestly trying to make sense of things and talking with experts to help him. I think I'm getting a better sense of the process following Ezra's process here.

The information intensity is only going to ramp up from here. You can't go wrong adding these.
The Guardian The Guardian
image from The Guardian
Captain America: The First Antifa. He is depicted in the first Captain America comic literally punching Hitler. Art Spiegelman of Maus fame talks about the history of comics and why Marvel Comics’ modern stance on staying “apolitical” might in fact be political. Spiegelman recently pulled an introduction he wrote for a golden age collection because Marvel didn't want to offend. Newsweek: 'Maus' Author Removed from Marvel Collection for Calling Trump 'Orange Skull'.
slate.com slate.com
image from slate.com
Like the Ogilvy company meeting a few weeks ago, this is an inside look at employees pushing back against management decisions. It's fascinating to get insight into debates around language at a major media outlet like this. Language defines how we interpret the world, so this conversation is like watching people determine what is real.
The Atlantic The Atlantic
image from The Atlantic
Eric Schlosser of Fast Food Nation fame makes an important point here about the Mississippi immigration raids and immigration patterns in general. They have been driven by the business need for cheaper, less organized labor.
Vox Vox
The spectacle is merciless but can the media change that fact with selective attention? I like Ezra Klein's thought here:
"Perhaps offense and bigotry should be understood as Trump’s baseline — newsworthy, just as the central projects of other leaders are newsworthy, but not worthy of blanket coverage upon every utterance."
I also think this is partly what Beto O'Rourke was challenging when he lost his cool with the media: ‘What the F*ck?’ Is Right. The media feigning suprise at every new racist comment has worn thin.
The New Yorker The New Yorker
image from The New Yorker
"It is the choice between thinking that whatever is happening in reality is, by definition, acceptable, and thinking that some actual events in our current reality are fundamentally incompatible with our concept of ourselves..."
I think this is an important concept that I'm trying to understand. I wish there was a term for this idea: If the problem was really bad someone would have stopped it already. My hunch is this line of thinking is pervasive.
washingtonpost.com washingtonpost.com
Nice to see a tech company prioritizing something other than growth at all costs. Good for Salesforce for acting when our governments are failing us.
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