Sprinkling Internet on NGO’s don’t work

At first, you’re like, “oh, another piece where someone makes fun of us nerds and misunderstands our damagingly sarcastic way of saying everything that belies the privilege we all live under.” Then you’re like, “oh, this is actually a good piece.” E.g.:

Human rights work attempts to prevent the abusive deployment of power against those who have little of it. While technology might disrupt some power structures, it might also reinforce them, and it is rarely designed to empower the most vulnerable populations. Human rights defenders are innovative, and they have used software to do work it wasn’t designed to do, such as live-streaming police violence against civilian populations to press for government accountability. But perpetrators of mass violence are innovative too. Software alone is unlikely to provide clear human rights victories.

And, especially:

Assuming that adopting the tool is feasible, do the benefits this tool provides outweigh the cost of disrupting your existing workflow?

People rarely consider that, in all walks of life.

Source: Tech folk: ‘Move fast and break things’ doesn’t work when lives are at stake

Highlights from that Thiel/Trump piece

One could have predicted Mr. Thiel’s affinity for Mr. Trump by reading his 2014 book, “Zero to One,” in which he offers three prongs of his philosophy: 1) It is better to risk boldness than triviality. 2) A bad plan is better than no plan. 3) Sales matter just as much as product.

Some Rumsfeldian level poetry…except the Rumsfeld one was easier to decide:

When I ask about the incestuous amplification of the Facebook news feed, he muses: “There’s nobody you know who knows anybody. There’s nobody you know who knows anybody who knows anybody, ad infinitum.”

Avoiding being all rainbows:

“If you’re too optimistic, it sounds like you’re out of touch,” he says. “The Republicans needed a far more pessimistic candidate. Somehow, what was unusual about Trump is, he was very pessimistic but it still had an energizing aspect to it.”

What exactly do they do?

“One of the things that’s striking about talking to people who are politically working in D.C. is, it’s so hard to tell what any of them actually do,” he says. “It’s a sort of place where people measure input, not output. You have a 15-minute monologue describing a 15-page résumé, starting in seventh grade.”

Source: Peter Thiel, Trump’s Tech Pal, Explains Himself

Keeping money at the top

Given that the wealthiest 10% of Americans own 81% of all stocks and mutual funds, these uses of corporate cash are a direct transfer of corporate profits away from creating jobs and capital investment, increasing income inequality. And the repurchase trend has accelerated radically. Stock buybacks as a percent of capital spending have risen to an all-time high of 113% in the last five years, compared to 60% in 2000 and 38% in 1990.

The $520 billion that companies spent on 2015 stock repurchases alone is enough to pay the average U.S. wage to 11 million workers — considerably more than our 7.8 million citizens who are currently unemployed. To put this in a different perspective, the amount corporations spent on stock repurchases in 2015 that went to the wealthiest 10% of the population was $60 billion more than the total federal government spending on all safety net programs combined.

From How Big Business Created the Politics of Anger, March 2016.

It’s Not the Economy, Stupid

Rational anaysis is hard to find in real life:

But in Elkhart, people have jobs they didn’t have six years ago, and they’re working more hours. Their homes are worth more than they were before Obama took office, on average, and their paychecks are fatter than they used to be. Yet Obama is, and will likely remain, the president who didn’t do anything right.

Link

“synecdoche”

There should be a word for “when you use a fancy word, thus establishing your erudition, and your subject, not being so erudite, takes it as an insult.”

Meanwhile:

Sweden, where one lives if one wants to avoid coal rolling.

I can’t vouch for the “vast right wing media conspiracy angle,” but:

The core of the ethnonationalist perspective is that a country’s constituent groups and demographics are locked in a zero-sum struggle for resources. Any government intervention that favors one group disfavors the others. Government and other institutions are either with you or against you.

What FOX and talk radio have been teaching the right for decades is that native-born, working- and middle-class whites are locked in a zero-sum struggle with rising Others — minorities, immigrants, gays, coastal elitists, hippie environmentalists, etc. — and that the major institutions of the country have been coopted and are working on behalf of the Others.

And back to the “synecdoche” in question:

I will continue to roll coal anytime I feel like and fog your stupid eco-cars.

Was it not Franklin – or maybe Jefferson? – who said “the best way to express your freedom is to shit all over it.”

See also “asshole vs. jerk” and the tactics of my tribe when it comes to being an asshole to make a point.

Source: This one quote shows what angry white guys mean when they talk about government overreach

Fear of change vs. change is progress

Ezra Klein frames up the election well here:

This is the argument coursing through this election. Democrats believe America’s rising diversity, its increased emphasis on inclusion, is making it greater. Republicans have nominated a candidate who represents and channels the fears of that diversity, the sense of displacement — both real and imagined — that accompanies that inclusion.

Check out a different view from Peter Beinart:

But when Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders took the stage later in the evening, the convention began to sound much more like the campaign Gore actually ran: the dark and angry, “people versus the powerful.” Warren said: “I’m worried that opportunity is slipping away for people who work hard and play by the rules.” Sanders talked about “the 40-year decline of our middle class” (40 years that include the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama), called American inequality “grotesque,” and said America was moving “toward oligarchy.”

Source: “The Democrats’ message: America is already great. Don’t let Trump screw it up.”

The real reason women are leaving Wall Street

Chock full of meaty stuff, I don’t really think it’s limited to Wall Street:

When Keller wasn’t working sources worldwide, she was digging into vehicle costs by model, labor negotiations, management changes, market share, environmental regulations, currency fluctuations, consumer spending, car preferences, balance sheets, industry gossip and really anything else that could potentially affect profits and stock prices of auto manufacturers and suppliers. She would then type, rapid-fire, clearly and concisely, with accompanying tables and charts, her findings and conclusions. Those were published in a constant stream of output worthy of a large team of analysts. She tightly controlled her business.

“When times are good, intellectual capital is valued on Wall Street,” says long time Wall Street executive Jack Rivkin, “It is more of a meritocracy. In a downturn, political savvy and connections become predominant.”

One day in 2010, Palmieri had an epiphany. “I was at the management table with the CEO,” she says, “I sat there and realized, ‘I’m at the table. I’ve made it. I’ve networked, I’ve clawed, I’ve said ‘yes,’ I’ve said ‘no,’ I’ve put in all this time and effort and I was underwhelmed. What I was getting back was not acceptable to me.”

The real reason women are leaving Wall Street