- The case for replacing elections with sortition – The Boston Review.
“Sortition,” for those who don’t know (I didn’t), is a word for government by representatives chosen by lottery. It wouldn’t be a perfect system, of course, but the question is, would it be any worse than our current system? It would definitely be more representative, especially when looking at class.
- The Myth of Humanitarian Intervention – DAWN
“States almost never intervene in atrocity situations primarily for humanitarian reasons—not even when they have the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. And when states do intervene, for humanitarian reasons or otherwise, they almost always make the situation on the ground worse.”
- Student Debt Cancellation Is Progressive
“In this brief, we argue that critiques of student loan cancellation as regressive are based primarily on five empirical and conceptual errors: the inclusion of private student loans, conditioning analyses on borrowers only, focusing primarily on income rather than wealth distributions, highlighting the value of debt to the government rather than benefits to households, and ignoring the racial distribution of debt.” I actually don’t feel certain about this issue, but since I’ve seen several arguments that it’s not progressive, linking to a counterpoint seems worthwhile.
- Opinion | Why I Changed My Mind on Student Debt Forgiveness – The New York Times | And an alternate link.
- My friend has been lying about being poor for years. How can I ever trust them again? | Xtra Magazine
“…rather than face the fact that we can be both oppressed and complicit in oppression at the same time, some people feel the need to choose a simpler story where they are always an underdog hero and never a villain.”
- Oklahoma is set to kill Richard Glossip, but he’s almost certainly innocent. Even Republicans are revolting.
Even SOME Republicans are revolting would have been a more accurate title; others are determined to see Glossip die in one of the most painful ways imaginable. But it’s nice to see some elected Republicans not being bloodthirsty sadists for once. That aside, this story does illuminate how our judicial system just can’t be trusted with a death penalty.
- The End of Friedmanomics | The New Republic
Surprisingly interesting overview of the late economist Milton Friedman’s career and influence.
- The College Wealth Premium Has Collapsed – The Atlantic
“The spiraling cost of higher education is choking Millennial families, and more young people would be able to go to college—and get the full financial benefit of getting a degree—if they were able to do it for the same price as their parents paid.”
- How the Ballpoint Pen Changed Handwriting – The Atlantic
“Fountain pens want to connect letters. Ballpoint pens need to be convinced to write, need to be pushed into the paper rather than merely touch it.”
- Fear of a Black Hobbit – The Atlantic
“It’s worth noting how rapidly right-wing language about colorblind meritocracy melts away when it does not produce the desired results. Perhaps the actors cast were simply the most qualified?”
- The People’s Joker, a hilarious trans riff on DC characters, shut down over ‘rights issues’ – Polygon
The movie is an EXTREMELY transformative parody that no reasonable person could mistake for an official Joker movie. But as often happens, the question is less “is my movie legal?” than it is “can I afford to be sued by a huge corporation?” I hope the creator will find some way to make The People’s Joker legally available.
- Alabama GOP chairman refused to show a license to vote.
“When a poll worker fussed, the chair pushed to have him removed as a poll worker. Now he’s not a poll worker anymore.” The ex-poll worker is a Republican who seems to genuinely believe in photo I.D. laws.
- Misconduct settlements have led insurers to force police reform – Washington Post (And an alternate link.)
- How Russian Trolls Helped Keep the Women’s March Out of Lock Step – The New York Times
- The promise of cultivated meat – by Noah Smith – Noahpinion
Short overview of the current state of meant-grown-in-a-vat technology. The best hope may be a hybrid product of plants and cultivated meat.
- These 526 Voters Represent All of America. And They Spent a Weekend Together. – The New York Times. And an alternative link.
Very few participants felt they changed their mind on policy positions, but many felt they came away thinking of their opposition as more reasonable and less evil than they had believed.
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