17 AUG 2016 by ideonexus

 How Political Parties Strive to be Something Greater

Political parties strive to be something greater than the human beings they’re comprised of; they enshrine values and ideologies for the ages. The practical implications of this pursuit are often discussions of tax policy or judicial stances, but these debates are driven by what a certain group believes to be the best, most virtuous way to live life on earth. “The underlying unity of Whig-Republican ideology from Whiggism to Reaganisam,” Gerring writes, “can be found in three interrel...
Folksonomies: politics rhetoric ideology
Folksonomies: politics rhetoric ideology
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30 MAY 2016 by ideonexus

 Rebuking the "Good Old Days"

When you hear someone longing for the "good old days," take it with a grain of salt. (Laughter and applause.) Take it with a grain of salt. We live in a great nation and we are rightly proud of our history. We are beneficiaries of the labor and the grit and the courage of generations who came before. But I guess it's part of human nature, especially in times of change and uncertainty, to want to look backwards and long for some imaginary past when everything worked, and the economy humme...
Folksonomies: politics progress
Folksonomies: politics progress
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01 MAR 2016 by ideonexus

 "Idiocracy" is a Problematic Anti-Poor Film

Unlike other films that satirize the media and the soul-crushing consequences of sensationalized entertainment (my personal favorite being 1951's Ace in the Hole), Idiocracy lays the blame at the feet of an undeserved target (the poor) while implicitly advocating a terrible solution (eugenics). The movie’s underlying premise is a fundamentally dangerous and backwards way to understand the world. The origin story for Idiocracy’s future world of half-wits is that uneducated people in the e...
Folksonomies: intelligence criticism
Folksonomies: intelligence criticism
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25 NOV 2015 by ideonexus

 Fox News as a Senior Cognitive Disorder

Old, white, wrinkled and angry, they are slipping from polite society in alarming numbers. We’re losing much of a generation. They often sport hats or other clothing, some marking their status as veterans, Tea Partyers or “patriots” of some kind or another. They have yellow flags, bumper stickers and an unquenchable rage. They used to be the brave men and women who took on America’s challenges, tackling the ’60s, the Cold War and the Reagan years — but now many are terrified by t...
Folksonomies: politics cognitive bias
Folksonomies: politics cognitive bias
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09 NOV 2015 by ideonexus

 Public Education as the Great Equity Equalizer

It has the potential to be a great equity equalizer, ensuring that all kids in America have an equal shot at success and a productive life. Because public education involves all kids, it has an opportunity to promote great diversity not only in the composition of its students but also in getting kids exposed to a wide array of different experiences, especially when schools throw open their classroom doors to learning about the world.
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09 NOV 2015 by ideonexus

 America's Political Future Could Look Like France's

Consider what it would look like for America to follow the path of France, devolving toward a new two-party system which has on the one hand a center-left / technocratic party, full of elites with shared pedigrees of experience and education, and on the other a nativist right/populist party, which represents a constant reactive force to the dominant elite. In France, the École Nationale d’Administration produces the political elite. In America, we have a more diversified but still as domi...
Folksonomies: politics cognitive bias
Folksonomies: politics cognitive bias
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31 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 The Evolving View of Science and Evil

Daedalus begins with an artillery bombardment on the Western Front, the shell bursts nonchalantly annihilating the human protagonists who are supposed to be in charge of the battle. This opening scene epitomizes Haldane's hard-headed view of war. And likewise at the end, when the biologist in his laboratory, "just a poor little scrubby underpaid man groping blindly amid the mazes of the ultramicroscopic," is transfigured into the mythical figure of Daedalus, "conscious of his ghastly mission ...
Folksonomies: evil inequality war science
Folksonomies: evil inequality war science
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30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Risk of Childhood Kidnapping are Very Low

A generation ago 70 percent of children played outside; today the rate is down to 30 percent.209 In 2008 the nine-year-old son of the journalist Lenore Skenazy begged her to let him go home by himself on the New York subway. She agreed, and he made it home without incident. When she wrote about the vignette in a New York Sun column, she found herself at the center of a media frenzy in which she was dubbed “America’s Worst Mom.” (Sample headline: “Mom Lets 9-Year-Old Take Subway Home A...
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30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 The South's Long History of Violence

Why has the South had such a long history of violence? The most sweeping answer is that the civilizing mission of government never penetrated the American South as deeply as it had the Northeast, to say nothing of Europe. The historian Pieter Spierenburg has provocatively suggested that “democracy came too early” to America.85 In Europe, first the state disarmed the people and claimed a monopoly on violence, then the people took over the apparatus of the state. In America, the people took...
Folksonomies: violence vigilantism
Folksonomies: violence vigilantism
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18 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 The Importance of Comparative Alphabets

But when I had grasped the facts that spellings are often false, that words can be invented, and that explanations are often wrong, I found that worse remained behind. The science of phi- lology is comparatively modern, so that our earlier writers had no means of ascertaining principles that are now well established, and, instead of proceeding by rule, had to go blindly by guesswork, thus sowing crops of errors which have sprung up and multiplied till it requires very careful investigatio...
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