Notes on Yuval Noah Harari’s Attack on Free Will

Yuval Harari Noah has an article in The Guardian about the way new technology and its impact on democracy. Actually, Harari’s conception of free will is the most intriguing parts of the article. In this thread, I want to ponder (out loud) and analyze the ideas he presents in this article. As always, others are welcomed to join. Continue reading “Notes on Yuval Noah Harari’s Attack on Free Will”

The Fate of Our Nation May Rest on Our Ability to Talk About White Grievance (Draft)

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” Abraham Lincoln said that, and I agree with him. I’ve talked a lot about the Russian threat, but, really, I’m confident the threat would be relatively small–that we could deal with it effectively–if we were more unified, instead of polarized. If I had to name the biggest threat to our country, I might choose polarization–specifically, polarization revolving around race. I’m no historian, but my sense is that race has been an existential threat from the founding, and the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement or Barack Obama’s election hasn’t extinguished this threat. At the same time, my sense is that racism, especially the belief that whites are superior to non-whites, may not necessarily be the major threat now. Instead, what I would like to suggest is that
white grievance–the sense of anxiety and resentment white Americans have towards losing their majority status to non-whites–might be the greater threat, especially if far more white Americans feel this grievance, to some degree, instead of believing whites are superiority or white nationalism. In this thread, I’d like to do two things. First, I want to explain the reasons I think racial tensions pose an existential threat to our country. Second, I want to explain the difference between white grievance and white supremacy and the reasons I think understanding and expressing these differences when we talk about race is vital to extinguishing the threat. Continue reading “The Fate of Our Nation May Rest on Our Ability to Talk About White Grievance (Draft)”

The Press is Failing to Deal with Trump’s Falsehoods

Today I’m seeing a lot of tweets like the following:

Ryan Lizza ratchets up the rhetoric:

I agree with Lizza, but I think we’re past the point of simply calling out Trump for his lies–including using the word “lies” to do so. There was and probably still is debate among the press to use that word, but more and more journalists and news outlets seem more willing to use it now. In my opinion, we’re way past that issue. What should the press do instead? I’m not entirely sure, but here’s one thing that comes to mind. Continue reading “The Press is Failing to Deal with Trump’s Falsehoods”

Climate Change Thread

I’m not sure there is any point to this thread, unless others need convincing this is a problem. I’m not in that camp. Still, even if this is the case, is there a good reason to keep informed about this? I guess the quick answer is that you can’t answer this because you can’t assess the value of information you don’t have. The only way to assess the value of being informed is to keep one’s self informed.

Anyway, I’m also hesitant to start this thread because the stream of news just seems grim. Take this bit of news that I just came across: Continue reading “Climate Change Thread”