For the daily Brush Burning Index, 165 or higher is extreme.
The value of that index tomorrow (Thurs) in Los Angeles is an incredible 296, the highest it's ever been.
These scenes from the 405 today are unbelievable (CNN has some intense video as well). That's my daily commute -- seeing those hills completely engulfed in flame looks terrifying. That major artery serves some 500,000 vehicles per day (and it feels like at least 450k of them are *definitely* during my commute) -- the one other time it's been closed since I've lived here was such a citywide event that it had an official name: Carmageddon.
In actuality, it was a breeze to drive on Carmageddon -- especially going east to west on the 10. No one was out that day -- we got from Culver City to downtown in about 10 minutes. Today was a different story -- I can only imagine that, in addition to looking like a literal hellscape, it was a severe nightmare to be getting anywhere in the city today. I'm grateful that our office...
Money's value is as an exchange medium.
The more concentrated the money becomes, the less it is being exchanged.
When less money is being exchanged, the economy grows more stagnant.
If the economy continues to grow more stagnant, recessions typically take hold -- and deflationary pressures begin to realize the underlying devaluation of the currency and reflect that by lowering real purchasing power.
Suppose one person manages to hoard all the money (essentially this is the condition of Gini Coefficient = 1). Then, money is worthless. It ceases to have any exchange value.
Sadly this thought experiment isn't as extremist or far-fetched as one might think, considering the stats:
The three wealthiest individuals in America own more than 50% of the domestic populationThe eight wealthiest individuals in the world own as much as half the entire planetAnd this doesn't even begin to broach the topic of how overly concentrated money affects political power...
While we wring our hands in the United States over whether or not such a strategy is even conceivable, the erstwhile President of Russia has been running this playbook out in the open in Ukraine and Eastern Europe for some time. With help from Propagandist-in-Chief Vladislav Surkov, Putin has leveraged the open secrets about the psychology of crowds we learned in the late 19th and early 20th century to stir up emotional antagonisms within the political spectrum -- to predictable results.
It's no accident that fascism is on the march in America. The conditions have been brewing for some time, predominantly since the Conservative movement began breaking away more militantly from democratic principles and towards authoritarian philosophy (elite rule by force: preferably invisible force via economic hegemony for the middle and upper classes, and violent force / the carceral state for The Undesirables) in the late 1970s and 1980s. All Putin had to do was make use of available prevaili...
Considering your thought patterns and style of interacting with the world, which set of traits seems to characterize you more:
InternalizerExternalizerBelieve it's up to you to change thingsExpect others to do it for youMentally active; love to learn thingsImpulsive and reactive; take action before thinking about things, to blow off anxiety quicklySelf-reflective; learn from mistakesAvoid self-reflection; rarely use mistakes to learn how to do better next timeSolve problems from the inside outAssign blame to others; believe if others would only give you what you want, your problems would be solvedSensitive; try to understand cause and effectInsensitive; prefer to forget and move onSee life as opportunity for self-developmentFirmly attached to the idea that things in the outside world need to changeWork hard to cope with realityStruggle against reality, often by attempting to avoid itInstinctively take responsibility for solving problems on your ownFeel that competent people owe you...
There are (at least) 2 sides to every transaction or interaction. Every time someone narrows the frame to eliminate all but one position, they are either:
a) intentionally attempting to manipulate the conversation in a particular direction, to influence the outcome in a way that favors their preferences (propaganda)
b) deficient in the empathy required to understand a different valid position (or possibly even to understand that there are different valid positions)
It's almost like you can feel it in the air, if you listen. The will of a people toward freedom -- listing this way and that. Maybe someday stumbling onto it.
But then, how to keep it...
There is no point belaboring a "stop the identity politics!" argument because there is simply no way to excise the political clash of factions from the identities of those factions. There would be no point in clashing if there were no identities.
There is no polity without identity. The root of the word itself in ancient Greek referred to the relationship between a citizen and the state, and the rights one has in relation to that state. Whereas individual communities have historically had rights infringed -- often precisely because of their identities -- it is of course a logical imperative to defend one's rights under the rule of law. You use whatever tactics are available to you and that your ethics comport with to get your rights. All factions would do the same.
Some might say the predominant historical thread since the founding of this nation is the gradual parity-seeking of the many groups that have migrated here over the past 241 years (and much longer still, before that). M...
Made with the help of Spooler:
While multiple formal investigations against the Trump family and administration continue to unfold, and Drumpf supporters weirdly deny the probable cause for concern, Putin's troll army continues to operate out in the open on Twitter, Facebook, Medium, and other social media networks. The sheer scale of this operation started to become clear to me in the months leading up to Election 2016, having both spent a lot of time on social media both professionally and personally for over a decade as well as a hefty amount of time on political investigation during this presidential cycle.
Whatever your thoughts on #RussiaGate may be, it should concern any citizen that an enormous group of bad actors is working together to infiltrate American social media, with a specific intent to sway politics. Media literacy is one part of the answer, but we're going to need new tools to help us identify accounts that are only present in bad faith to political discourse: they are not who they claim to be...