Said better than I can, but I’ve been thinking it.
Mr Foer, when discussing the abuses that Facebook et al perpetrate on US civil society, refers repeatedly to the platforms as “the public square”. But the metaphor fails for me. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, … are all private entities, and IMHO should be allowed to define their own rules, to a certain point. They’re not the corner at Hyde Park, they’re the line inside Starbucks. If Starbucks wants to allow/disallow certain kinds of behavior, within limits (physical assault, for example) they can do it. The Hyde Park corner is constrained to allow freedom of speech precisely because it is real “public space”.
This elides the other obvious, more practical question: how are these entities supposed to censor the posting of all the individuals who use their services, without (for example) introducing moderators to all spaces who are liable for errant postings? So, does everyone want all their posts submitted through a moderator before they appear?
He does note, later in the cast, the contradiction between, for example, ACLU supporters protecting speech while calling for private companies to censor their users’ posts. But, to me, the contradiction doesn’t exist, precisely because of the distinction that he fails to draw between public and private institutions.
Listen to this:
Listen all the way through, to the end. It gets really dark.
Nice line on a Fresh Air interview:
When you’re in your forties, you’re not “promising” any more, you’re expected to be delivering …
or something like that.
Headlines from the front page of the NYT as of tonight:
- “Trump lashes out at his aides with calls to indict political rivals”, about Trump lambasting his cabinet, his AG, and anyone in shouting distance about not indicting Hilary Clinton for “the worst crimes in American history”; some think he’s gone off the deep end because of his steroid prescription following his Covid infection;
- “Top Trump fundraiser charged in foreign influence case”, about a Trump ally wrapped up in a Malaysian embezzlement case;
- “As partial NYC lockdown nears, confusion and anger rattle city”;
- a map showing the US in bright red as a “leader” in the pandemic;
- “Inside the People of Praise, Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s faith community”, about a looney religious organization of which our next Supreme Court justice is a member, with the designation “handmaid”;
- “FBI says Michigan group plotted to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer”, and also take the state capital by force with concomitant loss of life.
This is all on one night’s headline page. If I had read this five years ago, I would have thought someone had created a Times mockup in very bad taste.
I heard on the radio this morning that there’s something like 150 cases of Covid19 amongst six or seven fraternity/sorority houses around the UW campus. Worried neighbors have provided evidence that there’s lots of late-night partying happening; the inference is no social-distancing, limited masks, etc etc, and the residents are putting the neighborhood, and thence the city, at risk.
The University has … sent a letter, and asked politely that residents get tested if they display symptoms and self-isolate. They say they have no authority to do anything more. The national fraternity/sorority organizations that run these houses have … done nothing, as far as I could determine from the article. The public health authority in Seattle has … done nothing.
Contrast this with the description of a small outbreak in Christchurch, described here.
My suggestion: lock the houses, post a cop at the door to stop anyone going in or out. Have groceries delivered and left on the porch. All residents are to remain inside the building(s) for two weeks; they can party as much as they like, but they can’t leave and infect anyone else. Anybody needing to get in (eg EMTs to take anyone who displays serious symptoms to hospital) are required to be in full-body PPE. All done under the authority of Seattle Public Health, with appropriate criminal punishment for violations.
Unclear on the concept, guys. Time for the adults to take control.
Update: searching on the web reveals that this started in June of this year, and case counts have only accelerated since then. Hello? Anyone out there?
Before she left for work this morning, Shelley left instructions:
- for dinner, if I make lecsó, make enough to freeze
- mow the verge out front
- mow the area alongside the foundation slab
- if I have time, please make stock from the chicken backs in the fridge
Hmm. I don’t remember leaving lists for her when I was the principal breadwinner. Maybe it’s a Catholic thing.
An MIT team concluded that the PPP handed out $500 billion in loans yet saved only 2.3 million jobs over roughly six months. Assuming that most of the loans are ultimately forgiven, the annualized cost of the program comes out to roughly $500,000 per job.https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2020-10-02/capitalism-after-covid-19-pandemic
Of course, when responding to emergencies and improvising, It shouldn’t be surprising that things cost more than they should. But … ? By an order of magnitude?
I’m working through lots of various ideas at the moment, and some things are starting to emerge:
- A preference for practice over theory. “Show me”
- A low-key interest in urban design that I’ve had for a long time
- Investigations into geo data, sparked by douglas’ entry in the field
- A renewed appreciation for software but when deployed for a purpose, and especially data crunching, in service of something other than business practice, day to day operations, plumb things together, … as I’ve been doing for the last few years
- A pervasive feeling of art, music, etc, as narcissistic escape from dealing with real people and real problems. In the long run, they’re all that civilization really produces, but in the more immediate term art seems like a way to avoid the world in a personally enriching way.
I’m a New Zealand citizen, and I vote there. The election is coming up, and they had a televised debate between the two main party leaders, one the current prime minister and the other the new head of the National party.
To make a somewhat more informed decision, I found and replayed the debate on YouTube. After five minutes or so of the traditional media audio/ video with military-like snare paradiddles, portentous horn choruses, flag waving and the other trappings of electioneering invoking preparation for battle that seem directly imported from the US (why not bird calls, beach noises, video of Mt Cook, stuff that tells the viewer “this is NZ?”) the aggressive “moderator” starts in with questions about the government’s handling of the pandemic.
About three minutes in, the question is basically “what would you do differently with an outbreak”. Ardern makes the case for handling it exactly as she did, operating from the best information from public health science. Her opponent says she’d do it a little differently, not elevating the alert level for the country outside the afflicted city-wide area for “economic reasons”.
I shut the video off, having learned all I need to know to make my decision. The existing government will do what’s required to save the most lives, given the best information they have. The opposition is willing to risk more cases, and more deaths, so that the economy isn’t hit as hard. That completely disqualifies them from governing, imho, and I will be voting straight Labour.
I live in a country where the authorities have basically made this trade off, and we have 20% of the world’s casualties with 5% of the world’s population, and a refusal to support those afflicted beyond requiring them to get back to work if they want to stay housed and have food for their families. I’m not going to support that kind of thinking with a vote.