Morning Ed: Dystopia {2018.09.04.T}


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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68 Responses

  1. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Dy8 –
    “Although individual ants’ activity levels varied over time, about 30 percent of the ants did about 70 percent of the work in any given 12-hour period”

    They could have got the same results with observing Con Edison, but I guess fire ants are less irritating.Report

    • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Kolohe says:

      30% of the ants doing 70% of the work? That might be slightly better than my observation from humans, where it’s 20% doing 80% of the work.

      (Related: 90% of the problems you’re going to have come from 10% or less of the population. Which is why I like resisting increasing class size here: if 5% of the class has MAJOR PROBLEMS you have to fix, that’s 1-2 people in a 30 person class, but 25 people in a 500 person class. And we don’t have TAs to run interference for us)Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    A look at the “liberal feminist lawyer” who is defending Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. Note she is a lawyer for the monied interests first and liberal feminist is a distant second

    • Avatar j r in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      As a peive of journalism, that peice leaves a lot to be desired, but as a bit of speculative dystopian fiction, it’s not bad.Report

    • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I normally take the position that a lawyer representing his or her client’s best interest should not be held against the lawyer. But how much of this is her personal endorsement versus that of her firm? And what about all of her clients for whom a Kavanaugh appointment is NOT in their best interest? I have to agree with Stern’s conclusion in this piece.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Em Carpenter says:


        I’m not so sure on the first sentence anymore but I admit to being radicalized by the last few years of Obama up to now. There is also the new book Winners Take All. The book is about how the well-meaning global elite (Aspen and Davos attendees) might say that they want to help the world but never in a way that really challenges their dominance or does something. Hence you have ideas like “Let’s create coding camps for girls” or Lean In which are good and could help some people but in ways that don’t challenge the current pyramid. More substantive changes like increased regulation, mandated vacation, mandated health care, mandated paternal leave are off the table because it requires too much money and that means less money for the rich and corporations.

        Maybe the world was always this way but it seems like a lot of people are awfully good at compartmentalizing. I’m sure Lisa Blatt sees herself as a liberal and a feminist but she works for the powerful and the monied interests. She also probably inherited all the biases of our current structure that say lawyers who represent the poor and powerless but do so at a profit (plaintiff lawyer’s like me) are scummy.

        But I am not sure why we keep the current brass ring model which puts Big Law at the top. Why is it better to spend 85 percent of your time representing Exxon or Philip Morris and 15 percent of your time on pro bono cases. Why do we allow such justifications? I reject this concept of nobliese oblige and subservience.


        • Avatar j r in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          Apologies in advance if this comes across too aggressively in print, but…

          More substantive changes like increased regulation, mandated vacation, mandated health care, mandated paternal leave are off the table because it requires too much money and that means less money for the rich and corporations.

          That is a big steaming load of BS. Go look at the countries in the world that do provide those things and you’ll find that they don’t finance them by taxing “the rich and corporations.” They tax everyone at just under 50%.

          One of the biggest dysfunctions of our current political environment is that we have one group of idiots telling us that immigrants and brown people and liberal elites are the reason that we can’t have everything we want and another group of disingenuous populists on the other side telling us that the rich and the corporations and Wall St and Silicon Valley are why we don’t live in social democratic utopia. It’s all BS. We have the system that we have, because that’s the system that we have chosen. If we want a different system, the first thing we should do is quit lying to ourselves and accept the responsibility of our choices and our actions.

          When given the choice between voting for candidates who tell us the real cost of things and ask that we make tradeoffs or for candidates who tell us that we can have everything we want and somebody else will pay for it, we too often choose the latter. And so, here we are.

          But I am not sure why we keep the current brass ring model which puts Big Law at the top.

          Here is the really baffling thing about your comment. In talking about Big Law and brass ring jobs, you’re complaining about things that the vast majority of Americans will never even get close enough to envy. These are the concerns of the aspirational 15% envying the 1%, not the concerns of the person at the median.Report

          • Avatar Maribou in reply to j r says:

            “They tax everyone at just under 50%.”

            That’s simply untrue, and if you want all of us to quit lying to ourselves, you might start by letting go of that particular lie.


            • Avatar j r in reply to Maribou says:

              I was thinking specifically about the Northern European states that people most often hold up as the ideal. I admit that I don’t know much about Canadian taxes.

              But what happens to those rates when you add provincial income taxes?Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to j r says:

                @j-r The provincial income tax rates are on that same page I linked to. If you do the math, it’s quite clear that “everyone just under 50 percent” is not the case.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Maribou says:

                The just under 50% was a reference to certain European countries. Comparing US to Canadian taxes is difficult because federal rates don’t tell the whole story. And US states have a wide range of tax rates.

                That’s said, would you accept it as true that the median Canadian pays a higher percentage of her income in taxes than the median American and, in return, gets a higher level of social services?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to j r says:

                Hell, I can tell you they do just by looking at those %’s and thinking about what I pay to the feds and below. Plus they have VATs that aren’t even factored into those income tax %’s.

                Is everyone at <~50%? No, but I'm betting the majority of your professional class is getting close to that, unless Canada pays most of their professional class well below what the US does.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                @oscar-gordon @j-r

                Y’all can move the goalposts all you want. No doubt you will end up with statements that are closer to accurate and more nuanced by doing so. I’m not really into having the argument per argument right now, that would take energy I’ve mostly been pouring into other things and don’t have left over.

                I was merely objecting to the glaring factual inaccuracy of @j-r’s original statement.

                Which took me about 30 seconds to refute.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Maribou says:

                I am always happy to be corrected, so I cop to not being clear that I meant the northern European countries that U.S. social democrats most often hold up as the model.

                But I’m not sure that there is any glaring factual inaccuracy. There are a bunch of European states that tax their citizens at just below 50% and provide a whole basket of cradle-to-grave welfare entitlements. The U.S. has lower taxes and a much lower level of social services. Canada appears to be somewhere in the middle.

                Maybe I’m wrong and Canada has a much more robust welfare state than I am giving them credit for and they do it with much lower taxes than the European. If that’s the case, then I stand corrected and the Bernie Sanders and AOCs of the world should stop citing Denmark and Sweden and start talking about Canada.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to j r says:


                Canada provides all the things that you stated one would see countries taxing everyone at just under 50 percent for. “More substantive changes like increased regulation, mandated vacation, mandated health care, mandated paternal leave”. If you would like to revise the list you were responding to, feel free, but then you’re not arguing with the list you were responding to anymore.

                @oscar-gordon It’s moving goalposts if someone says someone else is wrong, a 3rd person says “your argument in response to person A is factually inaccurate,” provides proof, and then rather than saying “oh, I see I was wrong,” the first person says “I guess I was *technically* wrong, but aren’t I right *really* if you think about the following?” I suspect not, although I don’t have time to think about the following, but the first thing was still factually wrong. (And forgive me for the shortering, but that’s honestly what it feels like the response was. I would like for factual information to be treated with appreciation rather than dismissal, as a person who cares about factual information.)

                And if y’all want me to be less grumpy about it, maybe educate yourselves a tiny bit more about the high-levels-of-service country to your immediate north instead of constantly pulling a Bernie Sanders and pretending it doesn’t exist (something I also have a lot of complaints about wrt Bernie Sanders, for whatever that’s worth).Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Maribou says:

                Moving goalposts is all about changing victory conditions for an argument. Like saying that you’ll accept evolution is true if X, then someone provides evidence of X, and you now want X+Y.

                At best, @j-r and I are guilty of an unintended motte & bailey (I accept that @j-r really was thinking about the N. Euro countries and plum forgot about Canada).

                Re: Canada – Are the VATS federal, local, or a combination?Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                @oscar-gordon Your definition is unnecessarily narrow.

                “Moving the goalposts is an informal fallacy in which evidence presented in response to a specific claim is dismissed and some other (often greater) evidence is demanded. ” (from Wikipedia)

                I presented evidence that Canadians are not universally taxed at a rate approaching 50 percent, in response to the specific claim that if one went to the countries where a specific list of services were provided, one would find that everyone there was taxed at just under 50 percent. In response to which, more, greater evidence was requested on multiple different channels.

                If you have some other definition than Wikipedia does, I can see why you would object to it being called “moving the goalposts”, but in the presence of the Wikipedia definition (which has not been changed in some time), I am quite confident that I was using the right terms.

                In *general*, I think if people were less quick to correct each other incorrectly on here, which is what @j-r was doing when he plumb forgot that Canada exists, in his haste to correct Saul about how particular government services might be provided – which is the only reason I inserted myself into the conversation in the first place, to clarify that he was overgeneralizing, regardless of why he was doing so – and a bit more thoughtful about using solid evidence (of whatever kind, including their own experience) to support their arguments, the arguments that we have would be more interesting.

                Because they wouldn’t consist of people making factually incorrect statements, and then, when corrected, moving the goalposts (by a standard definition) to be an argument about something else that is far harder to establish the correctness or incorrectness of.

                Also, as I said, the erroneous correction having been made and corrected — I don’t even *mind* moving these particular goalposts to something more realistic, I just don’t have time for the realistic argument. One can object to factual inaccuracy for its own sake rather than because one wants to get into the fray.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Maribou says:

                …which is what @j r was doing when he plumb forgot that Canada exists, in his haste to correct Saul about how particular government services might be provided …

                I cop to being wrong in how I phrased my statement and even wrong in forgetting about Canada, but I’m still not sure how much Canada stands as a contradiction to my original point.

                For example, I dug around a bit into Canada’s parental leave scheme. It’s not funded out of general tax revenues. It’s part of the employment insurance scheme, which is funded by a separate payroll tax. So, this looks a lot more like people paying more for a benefit than funding that benefit by progressive taxes and redistribution.

                We can talk about Canada’s single-payer health insurance model, which does appear to be funded out of income taxes. But I think it’s fair to say that the reason that the United States hasn’t nationalized the health care system has less to do with “the rich and corporations” and more to do with the fact that, until very recently, most Americans maintained a preference for a private health care system. Maybe that’s changing, but instead of making an argument, I’ll make a prediction.

                If single-payer health care ever comes to the United States, its won’t be funded via redistribution. It will be funded by higher taxes for everyone. If that’s what people want, cool, that’s how democracy ought to work. I just think that people should stop pretending that we can get something for nothing.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Maribou says:

                Wikipedia agrees with my abbreviated description.

                Who requested greater evidence? You made the claim that Canada provided appropriate services at lower tax rates, @j-r conceded he forgot about Canada, and we both inquired as to what Canadian tax rates were (asking you to provide evidence to support your claim).

                From the evidence you provided, it is obvious that we are all right and wrong.

                Canada does tax it’s citizens at considerably higher rates than the US does*, and it does provide a higher level of services. Canada probably (given @dragonfrog’s contribution) taxes below the ‘near 50%’ for the middle class and below, if we are just looking at income taxes, but that still supports @j-r’s claim that countries which provide a higher degree of services afford to do so by raising taxes across the board, and not just on the 1% (or the %5, or the 10%, etc.).

                But I didn’t see anyone moving goal posts. I saw people refining initial statements in the face of new evidence and narrowing of part of the initial claim. That’s just normal discussion.

                *Seriously, if I moved to Canada and kept my income constant, I’d probably be sitting at about 40% tax, rather then the 25% I am at now. Might be worth it, given the level of services provided, but it is a higher tax rate.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                @oscar-gordon The initial claim was that “everyone” in countries providing a specific set of services was taxed at rates approaching 50 percent. That’s an absurdly general claim, and it was made as a counter-argument to Saul’s claim. I provided evidence *at the point* where I pointed out it was inaccurate, not afterward. Go back and reread the thread, try to see why I feel like you were moving goalposts by pushing me to continue arguing related points when all I was trying to do was make the conversation *I wasn’t otherwise interested in contributing to* a more accurate one.

                But I’m done.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Maribou says:

                Sure, but no one tried to change the goal posts. It was simply shifting to adjust to new and corrected information.

                The reason I am pushing back on this is that “moving goalposts” implies that @j-r was being disingenuous with his argument, when in fact he was simply in error about part of his claim and adjusting to new information (and openly admitting he was in error, while at the same time asking questions about your claim and seeing if there was something he could salvage).

                If that is moving goalposts, then everyone on this forum is guilty of that, damn near weekly, if not daily.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Seriously, if I moved to Canada and kept my income constant, I’d probably be sitting at about 40% tax, rather then the 25% I am at now.

                What does that 25% include? Payroll taxes? Employee-side only, or both sides of the payroll tax? State/local taxes of various sorts?

                An easier comparison might be the tax revenue to GDP ratio. Per Wikipedia, the US figure is 26.0%. Canada’s is 31.7%. South Korea is 33.6%. That avoids all the problems of comparing wealth vs income vs payroll vs VAT vs simple sales taxes.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain says:

                The Wiki link, FYI

                Thank you, @michael-cainReport

              • Avatar j r in reply to Maribou says:

                Like I said, if Canada is an example of a country providing a European level of social services at U.S. level tax rates, then I am wrong. And we should all talk less about Denmark and Sweden and more about Canada.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Maribou says:

                It’s not moving goal posts if you acknowledge the error and amend your argument.Report

              • Avatar Brent F in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Top marginal rate is about 50% for most of Canada (for most a little under, for a few places a little over).

                Its hard to get a straight apples to apples comparison due to federalism of both countries, but going on taxation as a portion of GDP figures it seems likely that overall the median citizen in Canada is paying more in taxes.

                Interestingly, if you look at government expenditure compared to GDP levels though, Canada is only a smidge higher. So the American’s don’t have a significantly smaller government, they have a much more deficit financed one. Difference in levels of social expenditure probably have more to do with how much of American government spending is on the security state, rather than size of government.Report

              • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Brent F says:

                The top marginal rate, yes – but almost nobody has both so much income and such poor financial planning that their overall tax rate comes anywhere close to the topmost marginal tax rate.

                “Having a top marginal tax rate of 50%” is not the same as “taxing everyone at 50%”.

                Every year, the Fraser Institute (a conservative think tank that reliably spits out absurd counterfactual claims) comes out with a “report” (that is more accurately described as misleading propaganda) claiming that the average Canadian pays some absurdly high amount of their income in taxes. For some reason, every year media outlets run this report uncritically, and every year sensible voices point out just what bullshit the Fraser Institute’s report is. The media don’t run those debunkings, since that would look bad on them for previously having credulously run the FI report.

                Even the FI’s bullshit tax “report” only claimed that average Canadians paid 42% of their income in taxes this year.

                (In fact, only about 1/3 of their 42% figure is actually personal income taxes – the rest is mostly things paid by people’s employers, like resource extraction royalties, employer pension fund contributions, corporate income taxes, etc. So, a better conclusion would be that the Canadian government’s total tax revenues from all sources amounted to 42% of Canadians’ personal income, but most of it had already been collected by the time that income was earned)Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to dragonfrog says:

                So what is the American % of total tax revenues?Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Em Carpenter says:

        I would also add that you can defend the interests of your client without advocating for judicial appointments.Report

        • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          I wonder if she had a choice? I mean, of course she had a choice, but maybe her bosses told her she was going to do this, her record of liberal causes granting an air of credibility to her endorsement.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Em Carpenter says:

            As far as I can tell, she is the boss. She is a partner at Arnold and Porter whom advocates before the Supreme Court on a regular basis.

            I suppose we can say that the Managing Partner twisted her arm but I find entirely plausible that she was game for this.Report

          • Avatar j r in reply to Em Carpenter says:

            It’s also possible that just thinks that Kavanaugh is a good judge and the best possible nomination likely to come from the Trump administration. I admit that I really don’t know either way, but there’s nothing in that Slate article that suggests the author knows either.

            As @pinky points out below, the article is a whole lot of mind reading and I’m not sure to what end. We can endlessly mine people’s political opinions for pathologies and supposed hypocrisies, but what does that get us? Maybe we should just take people at their word and deal with their stated views instead of trying to win arguments by impeaching their motivations.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to j r says:

              But we have all this straw!Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:


                We don’t have straw. We have pinky and jr moving the goal posts because of their politics.

                It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what is going on and whom Trump will nominate to the courts. One of the few groups to remain loyal to Trump are deeply socially conservative Christian Evangelicals. They are quite open about why they support Trump, he appoints judges and Justices that they want and ones that the Christian Right think will rule their way in culture war fights.

                Brett Kavanaugh has the same kind of legal CV as nearly every Supreme Court Justice. He went to a top undergrad and top law school and excelled at both. He got top clerk ships and legal positions after that. If this qualifies him to be a good Justice than so was Merrick Garland.

                Yet I am sure people tsking the left for going after Blatt are honky Dory with McConnel’s treatment of Garland because reasons!

                Lisa Blatt is a formidable lawyer. She would probably kick my ass if I had a case against her. But what she is doing here is blatant and obvious. Her firm bio webpage boasts working for the most powerful corporations in the world and delivering results including reversing trials where the corporations were held liable for damages to individuals with much less power and money.

                There is very little proof about her “liberal feminist” bona fides except her day so. There is a lot of proof that Brett Kavanaugh is a Republican loyalist who is much more likely to rule for corporations than not. This benefits the corporate clients that pay Lisa Blatt hundreds or thousands of dollars an hour for her services. This benefits the corporate clients that pay Arnold Porter hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

                I don’t see why it is a straw man to point this out except as a disingenuous argument because liberals are icky and have cooties and just don’t make me listen to them mom kind of logic.

                A lot of liberals are pissed off at all this stuff in the age of Trump and I don’t think a lot of conservatives get this. They still think we will be subservient. Fuck that shit.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                Was the article arguing motive based upon actual statements made by Blatt? Because if they weren’t using actual personal statements, but professional actions, they that is pretty damn close to straw manning.

                Or was all that criticism of HRC defending criminals legit (or, locally to me, the criticisms of Kyrsten Sinema (D) defending criminals)?

                Because I am constantly being told by lawyers like you that it’s problematic to try and suss out what a lawyer believes based upon their client list.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                No, Saul, I didn’t move the goalposts with one comment. That’s impossible. If you’d addressed my comment, then I changed my position without a concession, that would be moving the goalposts.

                I also didn’t take a position based on my politics. I failed to take the position of the Slate article because my politics don’t require me to mind-read and poison the well.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Many progressive advocates are furious that Blatt would stand up for a Supreme Court nominee who will undoubtedly impose his conservative ideology on the country. Their rage is understandable but misguided. Blatt was never really on their team, and they were naïve for assuming otherwise. When she testifies under the klieg lights on Tuesday, she will not be betraying her beliefs. She will simply be representing the best interests of those clients who matter the most.

      Now *THAT* is some nice bundling, there. (Emphasis added.)Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        There was an interesting twitter thread dealing with bundling the other day.

        He used the word “intersectional” which strikes me as a huge mistake because that word is already in use and it refers to something else (though, I suppose, adjacent) and so you’ll have to get over the use of the word he uses to describe the phenomenon…

        But it’s an interesting thread and the phenomenon he’s talking about is a real one.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

          I was unpersuaded, perhaps unsurprisingly, for more reasons than the fact that he was misusing the word “intersectional”.

          One, of course, is that it’s hardly obvious that this is more true of the Left than the Right, which appeared to be crucial to his point. To wit:

          To wit, in order to be a good feminist, one must also be a trans ally, an environmentalist, a BLM ally, etc.

          This is how we got pro-abortion evangelicals. They have to toe the feminist line, or lose thier cred with the minorities.

          Intersectionalism deranges institutions.

          If not for the sort of bundling he describes, why are “pro-abortion evangelicals” even a phenomenon that needs explanation? Why wouldn’t they support abortion rights?

          Also, gross bullshit like this seriously doesn’t help:

          Final thought: intersectionality is actually the inverse of principle. If you’re intersectional, you’re a puppet, and your master csn make you do anything, even compromise your core beliefs.

          This is why I say that Liberals will be pro-child sex within 10 years.

          Remind me who nominated Roy Moore for Senate again, and who supported him even after many credible allegations of him harassing and assaulting underage girls came out? Not to mention that conservatives have been handwringing about how “Liberals will be pro-child sex within 10 years” for at least 20 years, and probably longer.

          Finally, a guy who thinks this

          The left controls almost all institutions: government (save, briefly, the Executive Branch), the media, education, entertainment, big business, and-maddeningly-now the church. They won.

          But nothing is forever, and the right has woken up.

          …and believes that the Left controls Congress and the Supreme Court is, perhaps, not the most perceptive when it comes to perceiving the ideological commitments of the opposition.

          All in all, this thread is bad and it should feel bad. It’s always easier to view the opposition as a monolith while seeing the subtle and not so subtle differences within one’s own coalition (and I’m as prone to this as anyone).

          Also, if the author wants to know why liberals are disinclined to listen to him, he might just want to reconsider the way he lards his argument with gratuitous and stupid movement conservative shibboleths.Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to pillsy says:

            No its not a tweet-de-force but if we skirt all the name-calling and technical definitions of intersectionality, I’d suggest that the nugget of insight that eludes his formulation is an acceleration from Plank/Policy based Parties to Ontological Parties… you are what your Plank is. And you get what you want to by Being what you want and supporting the other groups that are adjacent to you.

            Maybe it is no change at all, but I think there’s a nugget there that the Ontological/Identitarian understanding of Politics is stronger on the Left; what this guy sorta misses is that it’s emerging (rapidly?) on the right.

            So your criticism of his lack of awareness is perhaps right… but then, it sorta validates his Ontological thesis of the left.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

            So it’s not true and, besides, both sides do it?

            I’m down with that.

            I think it’s a bad place to end up, though.

            The example that showed up in comments was Gaming Journalist Patrick Klepek:

            You support black lives matter, hashtag “resisting” Trump, and yet don’t recognize gender fluidity? That doesn’t line up, buddy.

            The phenomenon *IS* out there.

            I suppose we could put together a similar sentence for conservatives… but we could quickly find major spokespeople on “the right” that everybody agrees are on “the right” who don’t fit.

            The one that stings is the one that we could put together for libertarians.Report

            • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

              So it’s not true and, besides, both sides do it?

              It is true that BSDI, so his assertion to the contrary (that the Left does it all the time and, save a tiny fringe, the Right doesn’t) is untrue. Looking for explanations in features that are somehow unique to the Left are thus going to be a waste of time, because you can’t explain a constant with a variable.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to pillsy says:

                My counter-intuitive thought for the day is that when all politics are ontological politics, then getting one group to screw over a former ally is a lot easier.

                I mean, there’s nothing in particular that connects them – just the theory that the power imbalance makes them potential allies for addressing grievances. Scramble the pay-offs, scramble the alliances.

                Easier said than done, but marginally less stupid than Demographics as Destiny.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Keep an eye on Sweden. They’ve got an election coming up this weekend.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Marchmaine says:

                True of any political coalition, though. I mean we’ve been seeing a realignment over 50 years, and that seems to explain a chunk of it.

                And when you get right down to it, it makes at least as much sense to think the theory was created to justify, sustain, and strengthen the coalition as the other way around.Report

        • Avatar j r in reply to Jaybird says:

          That Twitter thread is onto something, even if that something is a bit underdeveloped.

          I’ve thrown this out before, but there is a certain paradox in our present political landscape. Folks on the left have a worldview that is generally more accepting and more tolerant, but these days spend a lot of time policing who does and does not get to be part of the group. While folks on the right generally have a more restricted and intolerant world view, but may be more accepting in who is welcome in the rightwing populist tent (i.e. women, blacks, Latinos are all welcome at the Trump rally as long as they say that they love Trump and don’t say anything to contradict the white populist narrative).


    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Isn’t this just an offshoot of the argument that Corporations really aren’t Progressive, just that it’s good for business to appear so?

      According to the article, it is worth exactly 15% of billable revenues to appear Progressive.

      That’s a handy number to know.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      My first reaction to that piece was shock at the amount of mind-reading the author did. But after reading it, I find I’m more bothered by its notion that you should only support (or praise) a potential Justice on the basis of whether he’d rule in your favor. And those two points constitute the entirety of the article. Our side is good; anyone who might rule against our side doesn’t deserve to be on the Court; anyone who supports someone who would rule against our side has to be driven by bad forces. Even if you agree with the article on those points, you have to grant that the author didn’t show his work getting from Point A to Point B and onward.Report

  3. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    [dy2] some researchers recently came up with a way of fooling facial recognition systems, without looking different or unusual to human observers.

    They mounted a few UV LEDs under the brim of a hat, such that the wearer’s face looked totally normal to the eye, but to common surveillance cameras, whose visible light cutoff doesn’t perfectly match ours, the pattern of light and shadows was thrown off.
    Facial recognition algorithms using that footage then constructed a different facial geometry.

    After reading that paper, I spent the next week marveling at how much we live in the cyberpunk future – you could make an excellent cyberpunk story without a single fictitious piece of technology.Report

  4. Avatar pillsy says:

    This is a story about an all-too-familiar sort of fuckery involving the death penalty. The piece argues that alongside lawyers who didn’t do a great job for him [1], Russell William Tucker was sentenced to death after the prosecution struck many African Americans from the jury using peremptory challenges. The article makes a pretty convincing case that these challenges were racially motivated (which is prohibited).

    Still, I’m not sure I’ve ever understood why peremptory challenges are even a thing. They seem to just be begging for that sort of abuse.

    [1] One deliberately sabotaged his client’s appeal because he thought his client deserved to die. Amazingly to me, this lawyer is still practicing law despite admitting this.Report

  5. Avatar j r says:

    That Twitter thread is onto something, even if that something is a bit underdeveloped and… bundled with a bunch of other nonsense.

    I’ve thrown this out before, but there is a certain paradox in our present political landscape. Folks on the left have a worldview that is generally more accepting and more tolerant, but spend a lot of time policing who does and does not belong in the coalition. While folks on the right generally have a more intolerant world view, but these days may be more accepting of who is welcome in the rightwing populist tent (i.e. women, blacks, Latinos are all welcome at the Trump rally as long as they say that they love Trump and don’t say anything to contradict the white populist narrative).


    • Avatar pillsy in reply to j r says:

      I’m not sure I see the difference? In both cases it reads that the important thing is less who you are (in terms of racial, et c., identity) and more that you make/articulate the proper sets of ideological commitments and in-group shibboleths.

      I think it’s true in both cases, mind you, and that political affiliation is becoming a stronger element of identity on both sides of the spectrum. But I don’t know if you can understand the shift in Team Blue without understanding the shift in Team Red, and vice versa.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to pillsy says:

        But I don’t know if you can understand the shift in Team Blue without understanding the shift in Team Red, and vice versa.

        I think that is absolutely true. My working model for the current American political system is two wobbly towers that can’t stand on their own and only remain upright because they’re leaning on the other.

        And my comment wasn’t about trying to compare which team is more or less tolerant than the other. It’s more about each team’s level of tolerance relative to what you might assume based on it branding.Report