Teo writes: Remember those people who decided the best way to help the world was to maximize their income and give lots of money to charities, with a particular focus on one that distributes bed nets to fight malaria because it's allegedly the best return on investment in terms of lives saved? Turns out maybe that wasn't the best choice.
(Snark aside, that post is actually really interesting and a great window into the issues and pitfalls involved in this sort of approach to charity.)
This is very good, and soon everyone will be talking about it, so you might as well read it.Comments (125)
Halford writes: Let's discuss this article! I'm sure it will give us lots to fight about. Needless to say I agree with everything in it 100%, especially the parts that refer to Trapnel as a delusional corporate stooge. Excerpt:
The most vocal and potent political activity of cyberlibertarians has been the defeat of certain governmental regulations (such as SOPA and PIPA, opposition to which was supported and even coordinated by Google), which have turned out to be less anti-corporate than in service to some corporate agendas while attacking others (especially those of "content providers"). They argue that intellectual property does not deserve the protections given to "real" property while offering no substantive challenges to the privileges associated with real property -- a view that J.M. Pederson calls "information exceptionalism."
Cyberlibertarians across the political spectrum focus a great deal on the promotion of tools, objects, software, and policies whose chief benefit is their ability to escape regulation and even law enforcement by the state (including surveillance-avoidant technologies and applications such as Tor, end-to-end encryption, PGP and Cryptocat). They routinely portray government as the enemy of democracy rather than as its potential realization. Generally, they refuse to construe corporate power on the same order as governmental power; in close alignment with libertarianism, they implicitly suggest companies like Google and Facebook should be entirely unconstrained by governmental oversight.
As Mirowski and others have noted, when libertarians talk about "freedom," they are using the word in a different sense from the ones we usually presume in general political conversation. They mean either "economic freedom" (the freedom for capital to do whatever it wants without oversight or regulation) or the related but slightly more general "negative freedom" (roughly, freedom from all governmental regulation). The same is true of the signal cyberlibertarianism keywords: terms like "free" and "open," and terms drawn from business theory like "innovation" and "efficiency." Like "freedom," these words in their ordinary usage point at abstract values with which leftists are likely to endorse. And of course, many things that earn these names are worthy projects and causes.
But the way these words are used in contemporary discussions is highly specialized. "Open" and "free" are used as marketing labels that, once attached to one way of looking at a problem, serve to shut down substantive debate: once one side of the debate is labeled "open" or "free," both corporatist and leftist thinkers tend to presume that that side must be the hospitable one. "Innovation" and "efficiency," especially when used outside of directly economic contexts, function in a different way: leftist thinkers appear to take them to point vaguely to some form of political vanguardism, while rightist thinkers hear in them assurance that their main goals, the accumulation of wealth and power, can continue unabated.
Heebie's take: there are a lot of links in the excerpt which I did not bother to manually insert.Comments (180)
I want to believe that John Kass is the worst columnist for a major American daily, but in my heart, I know it can't be true because Kass seems to believe what he writes, which puts some bound on what he says, while the major league assholes write what they want you to believe--or, as John Emerson will surely tell us, what their paymasters want you to believe.
But when even Newsweek goes with They Will Steal Your Pension, not even the trick of attacking unions from above by paying Kass to attack them from below is working anymore.
It's remarkable how much people have internalized the notion that union members get "special" treatment, which is "unfair" to non-unionized workers. No, union members have just enough power to insist (ever less successfully) that they by treated like human beings. The terms of their employment should be a lower bound on how employees are treated; that so many people are treated worse is yet another scandal of 21st century America.Comments (256)
A sad, old cemetery got dug up in order to make way for a football field. Along the way, they figured out who the graves belonged to, and the descendants are pissed.
It sounds like it should have been handled more better, but basically life is for the living. Sorry, dead people.
Via JammiesComments (240)
Maybe in some people, insomnia is the underlying cause of depression, instead of the other way around. It seems incredibly plausible to me.
It also makes me wonder if that's not part of the mechanism for post-partum depression. I know that by now, I find cat-napping all night long much less stressful than I did right after Hawaii was born. Not that it doesn't accumulate and still lead to fatigue problems, but I'm better able to regulate and handle it along the way.Comments (76)