Showing all posts tagged politics:
The federal debt is sort of like the balance on your credit cards, except with much lower interest rates (which we set ourselves). It also hasn’t been spent on consumer goods: it’s been spent on providing federal services, social services, and — generally — running the government.
So, once again this election cycle you will hear histrionic cries about how the national debt should trump (ahem) other priorities in the economic plan.
As long as we are comfortably able to keep paying the interest payments on the debt, there’s no particular reason to really worry about it — certainly not to the point of failing to provide needed services for the government. We have a solid track rating of paying our debts — one of the best in all of history — so we should probably not have a hard time refinancing if the situation ever becomes dire.
We pay about 2.5% interest on the debt, which ends up being a small fraction of our ~$17 trillion GDP. Much of the “debt" is actually money we t...
It's part of a broader misconception on the part of the techno-utopian set that the purpose of tech innovation is to replace human beings instead of augment us. We are being replaced now at a rate greater than ever before, as a result of the rise of machine learning.
Underlying that assumption is the dark, Orwellian belief that at its core, humanity is fundamentally hopeless, irrational, and must be controlled by some force: typically a small cadre of wise (and very rich!) men (...usually white) who are irrevocably convinced they know more about humanity than other people. Or perhaps a single, highly-authoritarian entity... not like anyone we know who is currently running for el presidente...
To wit: another presidential candidate you probably haven't heard about: Zoltan Istvan of the Transhumanist Party. I'mma let him speak for himself:
But the Anti-Enlightment period was the greatest philosophical era OF ALL TIME!:
This has been a fantasy since the Enlightenment, but despite...
Capitalism appears to favor the Robber Baron archetype above all which, in hindsight, seems less surprising when one realizes it was largely architected by individuals who shared this same basic worldview: of strong social Darwinism, of wolves and sheep, and of the accumulation of wealth as the highest calling -- an end in itself, and in some deeply profound sense, the very birthright of Men (by which was meant "civilized" men of European descent, aka white dudes) as handed down, distantly, from God Himself.
Over time, if optimized for in society, selection for Robber Baron traits can produce strange anomalies like the 2016 US presidential election, which pits arguably the world's most qualified and well-connected public servant against a brash, blowhard billionaire who is attempting to pass off a political platform based on the size of his balls as a legitimate bid for command of the supposed free world. And winning, until rather recently when the GOP leadership has started to w...
Republicans do not like to elect women.
Stats of note:
GOP women make up only 4% of the current Congress.
12% are female Congressional Democrats -- for a total of 16.5% vs. 83.5% male legislators.
As a percentage of the historical collection of Congress members over all time, women have comprised only 1.7% of the total.
Women need more representation across the board! Let's do this, America.
P.S. If you have any need for a Slack bot that returns data on sitting Congresspeople, look no further! You can install this bot in Slack easily; you'll just need to set up a Fieldbook account
(As of 1/6/2015)
Party & State
Start of Service
Every political pundit (or even remotely connected cultural pundit) is tying themselves up in knots to find the reason(s) -- we know it's complex, yet cannot seem to stop ourselves from Finding The One True Reason behind all things -- behind the sheer absurdity of this U.S. presidential election. No one can find the meaning in Election 2016, because we appear to have hit Peak Meaninglessness.
It is the moral equivalent of the 2007-8 financial disaster we also fomented: overweaning hubris and overconfidence in our ability to book tomorrow's profits, today. We so strongly believe in the Power of Progress to make us better people that, combined with our increasing impatience for the Glorious Future, we simply demand to leverage our Future Awesomeness, Right Now. Why wait? Technology helps create the illusion that we can Be Anything we want, whenever we want, as quickly as we want, simply by thinking it so -- and without all the pesky drudgery of having to wait for it, like unsophistic...
"Why live in constant fear of beliefs and interpretations different than your own? There's a better way!"
[insert future listicle here]
We’re kind of like Wile E. Coyote in this area, imagining that "if we can just out-think those pesky Liberals" we can relieve the world of the burden of dealing with the natural distributions we find in nature, and keep continually trying to stuff cats into bags for the remainder of the human existence. If we have the power to say it’s so and be believed, then is it so? Turns out that in some cases, yes — this is actually how the functional creation of reality works. That is how it still observably works in places like Russia and Syria and Iran and so on, where “what happens" is merely a function of what the government tells you is happening.
Being told what’s happening is a comforting thing. It is literally the childhood we all grew up in, with some exceptions — regardless, there is a fundamental desire to know The Truth, i.e. What Is. This is the primordial journey — the fundamental narrative, a story of a human being overcoming the basic obstacles that confront everyone who is a...
Some of the more interesting bits:
End of Afghanistan “mission"
Appeal to double down on middle-class economics
Increase availability and provide tax credit for quality childcare
Getting paid sick leave laws on the books
Raising the minimum wage — “If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it."
Lowering cost of community college to free
Asks companies to provide more job training, hire more veterans
Bi-partisan infrastructure plan to attract businesses / industries
Trade deals in Asia, Europe — “95 percent of the world’s customers live outside our borders, and we can’t close ourselves off from those opportunities."
Precision Medicine Initiative — pursuing cures for cancer, diabetes; personalized health information
Free, open, and fast Internet
Colonizing space — “not just to visit, but to stay."
Closing corporate tax loopholes brokered by lobbyists
Opposing Russia, supporting Ukraine
by doctor paradox · February 13, 2012
And Then There Were Seven of the Day: “Here in our state we have taken a long and difficult journey, and this is the last step," declared Governor Christine Gregoire as she signed the bill making same-sex marriages legal in the state of Washington.
The Evergreen State thus joins six other states (MA, NH, VT, CT, IA, NY) and the District of Columbia in recognizing the right of same-sex couples to marry.
The law doesn’t officially take effect until June 7th, meaning opponents have until June 6th to gather the 120,000 signatures necessary to stop same-sex marriages and put the issue on November’s ballot.
In related news, New Jersey’s state Senate today also passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage, but the Garden State has still a ways...