Did someone say weather? I really like this app. Thoughtful UI is a joy*. What are you using these days that is thoughtfully constructed? Doesn't have to be software...
* I think good UI/UX brings us some of the same joy that good fiction does: an indication that someone shares our thoughts and experiences, and has the skill to make them manifest, which can make us feel seen and cared about.
1. From Mossy, U.N. weather agency plans data overhaul to improve forecasts.
As I read it, I was wondering if climate change affects forecasting, or if it just affects frequency of major events.
2. Over at the other place, E. Messily updates:
Conservatory ASL Northwest's flagship program is a week-long camp for deaf/hh/coda/soda kids, at Camp Marshall on Flathead Lake. This year's camp is focused on theater arts, and will be running the last week of July. This year, Montana Family ASL will join the camp for the final few days in an experimental hybrid/overlapping program- we're hoping that everyone will benefit from the cross-generational exposure to members of Montana's deaf community and nationally recognized deaf theater artists. Your donation will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500, and it's all tax-deductible if you care about that. Thank you!
The whole thing sounds like an amazing experience. If you're so inclined, donate here! This is literally down the street from Jammies' parents' house, so I can verify the beauty and idyll of it. Also I'm inferring that it's free for campers.
Also I googled so you don't have to: SODA and CODA kids are siblings of deaf adults and children of deaf adults. SODA can also stand for spouse of deaf adults, but I'm guessing that "SODA kids" precludes that.
Lurid Keyaki writes: I'm going to include two long linked pieces here, and I know they're long but I swear they're both worth reading:
I've been following various branches of the debate about "Pretendians" and gatekeepers of indigeneity online all year, and I'm probably still underestimating the complexity. The dudes in the first link are a refreshingly clear case of imposture, and the guy in the second link is a refreshingly conscientious, careful person who comes to highly relatable conclusions in the end. Between these two poles there are a lot of tougher calls. The Métis Nation of Ontario, for example, is federally recognized and generally regarded as legitimate. However, some people say they claim to represent a lot of communities -- including the one in the Powley decision that opened the door to hundreds of impostors -- that aren't really culturally continuous with the prairie Métis in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, etc. (Sample random person on Twitter summarizes this argument.) They also have no blood quantum requirement for enrollment; you just have to be descended from a "root ancestor" on their lists and live in Ontario. The recognition of the (entirely legitimate) Métis nation in general sets up an institutionalized vagueness problem. It's unsurprising, although unfortunate, that this gives particular traction in Canada to the broader phenomenon of white people feeling entitled to "reclaim indigenous roots" that have been "erased" by centuries of intermarriage, and that many white Quebecois people are going full Raza Cósmica with their identity theories.
For whatever reason, the thing I got hung up on in the second piece was the author and his wife regretfully moving away from Newfoundland to earn a living. I find the tension between mobility and identity kind of upsetting. Ties to a particular place on our increasingly hostile planet feel more precarious than ever, and being able to maintain a sense of community within dispersal is more important than ever. That move, and the regret around it, illustrates how the present and future pull against the past -- in a way that's related to, but different from, the identity question at the center of the piece.
Finally, here's a flashback to an old discussion here of Elizabeth Warren. I'd say the conversation has evolved.
Heebie's take: I've had two thoughts that have been floating around lately:
1. how poorly equipped legal doctrine and codification is for talking about heritage and culture
2. There have been a series of discussions recently in two contexts: culturally-responsive pedagogy at Heebie U, and outreach efforts at the Heebieville city council, where Hispanic people are trying to correct/explain to white people how to think about the culture gap. Often times it's a very basic conversation, but when they try to go deeper, it's very frustrating to be a white person, because it often feels like the Hispanic people are telling me, "I can't tell you the difference because the elusiveness is part of it." This is not what they're saying! I'm just trying to explain how hard this communication is - impossible to articulate and impossible to grok from the other side.
That said, this is awhile now that I've been trying. And it gives rise to thoughts like my 1. above. The other thing that I'm starting to grasp is the emphasis on relationships and relating, and why it's such a difficult thing to articulate to a member of the dominant white American culture.
From the second link in the OP, this is a very well-stated version of the kind of thing that I'm starting to make sense of:
Kim TallBear, a professor in the University of Alberta's Faculty of Native Studies, says the concept of identity itself is colonialist because it promotes individualism over collective well-being. "It is anti-relational when we talk about identity. And this is what settlers want you to do--the settler state wants you to think in terms of individual self-actualization, identity, property and rights." Relationality, on the other hand, "is not about any of those things," she says. "This is why I encourage people to think more in terms of who are you trying to relate to?"
and when I say "make sense of it", I mean that I'm starting to understand concretely what relationality looks like, how it materializes, and what the behavior changes should be in the community and classroom level.
But if you try to nail it down and codify relationality - ie 1. - it's going to turn into smoke and wisp away.
Nick S. writes: Noah Smith interviews Matt Yglesias and he talks about his sense of contemporary politics and how he situates his own work.
One thing I would say is that I somewhat reject the idea of drawing a sharp distinction between political considerations and substantive considerations in this regard. My blog takes its name from a Max Weber essay that deals, in part, with the need for political actors to adopt an ethic of responsibility that focuses on the likely outcome of their activities not just their righteousness.
So if you crusade against mandatory single-family zoning (which you absolutely should) and you do so with rhetoric that heavily emphasizes zoning's origins in the white supremacist politics of the early twentieth century and that *helps you win the argument and improving zoning* then that's great. But if it just prompts a backlash that alienates center-right free market allies and persuades white people that they need to fight to the death to preserve exclusionary zoning, then that's bad. The point of politics, including antiracist politics, is to help people which means you need strategies that are calibrated to success.
That being said, the recent surge in interest (mostly among white liberals) in anti-racist politics has accomplished a bunch of important things. I think it has been a spur to land use reform in blue states, which is very important. We are paying more attention to marginalized people's experiences with law enforcement, which is important. And we're making big strides in areas where questions of representation are very important -- more respect and acclaim for Black cultural figures, more opportunities for Black writers and politicians, more recognition of the value of the unique perspective Black scholars can offer, and other things like that.
But I think there are two related substantive problems with the newer political style. One is a tendency toward the erasure of class. I live in DC where essentially all the white people are college-educated professionals who, even though we find ourselves on different points of the income scale, are basically all fairly privileged people. But right now, I'm in Hancock County, Maine which is only one percent Black. Nonetheless, two thirds of the people here don't have college degrees. There's an eleven percent poverty rate. Seventeen percent of households don't have broadband at home. There's a reason that Philip Randolph, Martin Luther King, and Bayard Rustin converged on the Freedom Budget for All Americans, the Poor People's Campaign, and a politics of interracial class solidarity rather than demands for better corporate diversity trainings.
Heebie's take: The interview is fascinating, and I have a lot more thoughts, but we're trying to get on the road to drive to Florida as early as possible this morning. So I'll chime in from the road.
On Unfogged, the goal of discourse is to come up with the most accurate description or insight or explanation, not the most marketable one in terms of moving the needle with the average voter. Yggy is clearly saying that he's not motivated by capturing reasons most accurately or insightfully; he wants to write most persuasively. And he sees that as the most responsible tack to take.
I am finding that I have zero patience for people who employ denial as a coping mechanism. I am currently thinking about a student, in a relaxed summer research context, but I'm wondering if my outsized irritation isn't linked to the broader political scene.
I get that the world is a terrifying scene and there are media outlets who tell you outright to deny what's happening before your very eyes. But it's such a wildly counterproductive thing for anyone who is concerned and trying to fix the problems - Covid, climate change, everything - if they can't even engage in discourse with you.
I was listening to an episode of You're Wrong About (yes, I'm on a kick), and they were talking about After School Specials of yore, and how one of the major complaints was that they perpetuated a monoculture. Monoculture really became a dated concept quick! We could use a touch more monofacts at least, about the world.
Going back to my pet peeve, I particularly hate it when someone offers up an excuse or rationale that is so nonsensical and transparently false that you can't then engage. (Maybe it's because we don't really have a cultural norm of cheerfully saying "no thank you!" when you don't actually want to answer a question? It's hard to brush someone off lightly without it becoming a thing?) Now I'm remembering different occasions - it's not just about the one student anymore. Maybe I'll expound in the comments.
Mossy sends in this upbeat link, saying "Save it for a day when everyone has a smidge of optimism about the world."
NB: he said no such thing and the link is depressing and people are terrible.
In all seriousness, I would have no idea that there was an ongoing thing regarding the Yaqui Indigenous people in Mexico if it weren't for Mossy. It's appalling how poorly this is covered in the US (and how bad I am at making an effort, apparently.)