More on the Existential Danger of DJT

• I’m with Brian Klaas on this one – he talks about how we have so normalized DJT’s unhinged ravings (and fear amplifying them) that little media attention is given to how much of a threat he is to democracy, the rule of law, and social order.  Read his essay The Case for Amplifying Trump’s Insanity.   An excerpt:

“Bombarded by a constant stream of deranged authoritarian extremism from a man who might soon return to the presidency, we’ve lost all sense of scale and perspective. But neither the American press nor the public can afford to be lulled. The man who, as president, incited a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol in order to overturn an election is again openly fomenting political violence while explicitly endorsing authoritarian strategies should he return to power. That is the story of the 2024 election. Everything else is just window dressing.”

2023-11-25T19:12:42-05:00November 25th, 2023|HomeRecommended|

Wallace-Wells on McLean and Nocera’s The Big Fail

David Wallace-Wells does a pretty good takedown of some of the theses presented in Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera’s“The Big Fail: What the Pandemic Revealed About Who America Protects and Who It Leaves Behind” – especially the ones in the clickbait-titled, New York Magazine excerpted “Covid Lockdowns Were a Giant Experiment. It Was a Failure.” Wallace-Wells often disagrees, and has data to back up his arguments.

2023-11-20T16:26:02-05:00November 16th, 2023|HomeRecommended|

Read if you’re anxious about AI…

• Timothy Lee tries to reduce your AI-induced anxiety in his substack post Why I’m not afraid of superintelligent AI taking over the world.  Basically, he posits that preexisting knowledge, not tokens/training data volume, is a limiting factor, both because of its finite, non fungible nature.  It’s definitely worth reading, though I found it only mildly reassuring. Someone will eventually allow AI to test hypotheses in the real world ad lib, and then it will likely generate its own new knowledge based on empirical results.



2023-11-16T17:14:58-05:00November 16th, 2023|HomeRecommended|

Kristof: We Are Overpaying the Price for a Sin We Didn’t Commit

• I think Nicholas Kristof’s commentary on the Israeli-Hamas conflict in the NY Times is worth reading: We Are Overpaying the Price for a Sin We Didn’t Commit.  An excerpt:

“Israel faces an agonizing challenge: A neighboring territory is ruled by well-armed terrorists who have committed unimaginable atrocities, aim to commit more and now shelter in tunnels beneath a population of more than two million people. It’s a nightmare. But the sober question must be: What policies will reduce the risk, not inflame it, while honoring the intrinsic value of Palestinian life as well as Israeli life?”


2023-10-29T15:46:01-05:00October 29th, 2023|HomeRecommended|

Florida veers off into fantasy land

Katelyn Jetelina responds to the nutso declarations of Florida’s (politically appointed) “Surgeon General” Joseph Ladapo, who when appearing on Fox News said “With the questions about negative efficacy, the persistence of spike protein, and then the stuff we’ve seen related to thromboembolic events like strokes and cardiac injury, I don’t feel comfortable … recommending [the vaccine] to any living being on this planet.”  Say what?

Jetliner goes through his arguments one by one and concludes, rightfully, that:

“Health policy decisions need to be grounded in an accumulation of evidence that provides a comprehensive picture of reality. He [Ladapo] combines legitimate points with profoundly foolish ones, which muddles the picture, creates a sense of false equivalency, and makes it difficult for the general public to discern the truth.”

In a related article, see differences in mortality data from 3 adjacent counties in 3 different states, each with different approaches to health care and public heath in a well-done Washington Post article by Lauren Weber, Dan Diamond and Dan Keating.

2023-10-08T15:55:42-05:00October 8th, 2023|HomeRecommended|

Heather Cox Richardson on why we’re divided

• Heather Cox Richardson discourses nicely on another reason why the U.S. is so divided (and why Congress is so dysfunctional) – the republican Operation REDMAP.  An excerpt”

“This Operation REDMAP, which stood for Redistricting Majority Project, was a plan to take control of state houses across the country so that Republicans would control the redistricting maps put in place after the 2010 census. 

It worked. After the 2010 election, Republicans controlled the legislatures in the key states of Florida, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Ohio, and Michigan, as well as other, smaller states, and they redrew congressional maps using precise computer models. In the 2012 election, Democrats won the White House decisively, the Senate easily, and a majority of 1.4 million votes for House candidates. And yet Republicans came away with a thirty-three-seat majority in the House of Representatives.”

2023-09-27T18:32:59-05:00September 27th, 2023|HomeRecommended|
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