At times NobodyisFlyingthePlane will be a diatribe about the current state of affairs in the US and the world at large, at other times it will be an evidentiary discussion of the problem, and most of the time it will just be a collection of links I wanted to share.
Pensions are under attack. The goals are twofold. Increase profits for financial companies and reduce the economic power of sharholders.
If the Kochs and their allies succeed in smashing and scattering these last remaining pension funds into millions of 401(k)s, they will do more than just undermine the retirement security of millions of Americans. They will silence their economic voice. The pension reform drive should be understood, at least in part, as a campaign of economic voter suppression. And it is coming, soon, to a jurisdiction near you, if it isn’t there already.
The Real Reason the Investor Class Hates Pensions https://nyti.ms/2FTd5po
Take us down — all those cringing provincials who still think climate change is a hoax, that being transgender is a fad or that “socialism” means purges and re-education camps. Rid the world of all our outmoded opinions, vestigial prejudices and rotten institutions. Gender roles as disfiguring as foot-binding, the moribund and vampiric two-party system, the savage theology of capitalism — rip it all to the ground. I for one can’t wait till we’re gone. I just wish I could live to see the world without us.
Go Ahead, Millennials, Destroy Us https://nyti.ms/2FNWgMI
Techmology ain’t your friend. We need more vigilance over what our lovely new tech toys are doing to us.
There must be better ways to design the tools we need and use. Perhaps the Center for Humane Technology has some ideas.
Silicon Valley is reckoning with having had a bad philosophical operating system. People in tech will say, “You told me, when I asked you what you wanted, that you wanted to go to the gym. That’s what you said. But then I handed you a box of doughnuts and you went for the doughnuts, so that must be what you really wanted.” The Facebook folks, that’s literally what they think. We offer people this other stuff, but then they always go for the outrage, or the autoplaying video, and that must be people’s most true preference.
I think the [traffic] metrics have created this whole illusion that what people are doing is what people want, when it’s really just what works in the moment, in that situation.
Richard Florida has been leading a new understanding of what makes urban places great and how we can harness the innovation and economic success that comes from our cities.
His thoughts on the 2016 election lead him to see a looming decentralization of political power. It sounds good to the staff here, but we wonder how it plays out in situations such as when red country pollution seeps into blue cities.
Steps to mitigate misinformation campaigns. The Russians aren’t the only ones doing it.
the internet companies that sold ads to Russians over the past few years can voluntarily adopt the Honest Ads Act’s provisions. They’ve taken some steps in that direction, but there is certainly more they could do.
More housing is needed in most communities experience rapid increases in housing costs. To some extent displacement is a problematic consequence of denser redevelopment. Right to Remain provisions could incentivize developers to keep displaced renters in the neighborhood while replacement housing is built. This would go a long way to reducing the effects of displacement.
Right to Remain could fit into state or local law in a number of ways — but it would be most effective to pair it with upzoning (zone changes that allow for denser housing to be built). Rent is rising in Los Angeles because we build far too little housing to accommodate our children and the job-seekers who move here. That resulting housing shortage gives landlords all the negotiating power. Upzoning allows more housing to be built, giving renters more options — and therefore more leverage with landlords. In combination with the Right to Remain, upzoning can provide enough housing to bring rents down while making sure that no one is displaced along the way.
Given this history, it is not surprising that the contemporary leaders of the religious right are blasé about reports that Trump cheated on his third wife with a porn star shortly after the birth of his youngest child, then paid her to be quiet. Despite his louche personal life, Trump, the racist patriarch promising cultural revenge, doesn’t threaten the religious right’s traditional values. He embodies them.
the politicized sectors of conservative evangelicalism have been associated with bigotry, selfishness and deception for a long time. Trump has simply revealed the movement’s priorities. It values the preservation of traditional racial and sexual hierarchies over fuzzier notions of wholesomeness.
But it seems absurd to ask secular people to respect the religious right’s beliefs about sex and marriage — and thus tolerate a degree of anti-gay discrimination — while the movement’s leaders treat their own sexual standards as flexible and conditional. Christian conservatives may believe strongly in their own righteousness. But from the outside, it looks as if their movement was never really about morality at all.
Of Course the Christian Right Supports Trump https://nyti.ms/2GfXdx0