My intuition might be right or it might be wrong, but a Wall Street Journal article on shakeups at Uber and Lyft provoked a sense of deja vu in me. I can’t help but suspect we’re seeing the beginning of the end for these companies. Read more
Magical thinking is the belief that one’s ideas, thoughts, wishes, or actions can influence the course of events in the physical world. It is something people all over the globe engage in, and many religious and folk rituals center around it. While magical thinking can be a very normal human response, and there are aspects of it that can have psychological benefits, it can also be counterproductive at times and even be a sign of a mental health concern.
When I write or speak of “magical thinking,” I’m usually referring to something a little different. My emphasis is more sociological than psychological, so when I think of magical thinking, I’m thinking of something that is often weaponized against others. Read more
Update, November 28, 2019: I found and have finally made note of the location of physical references to Crosstown Boulevard. These are on three highway signs, at some distance from the actual street, and immediately adjacent to each other, on westbound Boulevard of the Allies immediately before the ramp to Interstate 376. As near as I can tell from Google Maps usage, it refers to a connector from the Liberty Bridge to Sixth Avenue. On the ground, at the actual location, it is marked with a street sign that says “Liberty Br.”
Due to my inability to find a real job, even with a Ph.D., I’ve been stuck driving for Uber and Lyft for much of the last three years.
I’ve driven in California, where the problems with Google Maps were noticeable but sporadic and generally tolerable. I’ve recently moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where they are at least an order of magnitude worse. Read more
A while ago, I wrote that Parliament couldn’t solve Brexit, that the British people would have to. It didn’t seem likely that changing prime ministers would change anything and it hasn’t. Now I think it’s too late.
Update, July 24, 2019: HTML cleaned up and added citations for YouTube videos. It is possible that one or more videos appear below that did not appear when this was first published. My apologies for any such screw-ups. Regular readers will know this entry is different from how I usually compose posts.
It’s time for a comparison. On the left, Nazi Germany. On the right, the United States: Not all of the latter is from Donald Trump’s presidency, which is actually an important point: What we see today has been developing for a while and might not yet be a culmination. Read more
Space: the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilisations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.
I’m a Star Trek fan. Even as I am disturbed by the militaristic organization; the series’ frequent reliance, especially in Deep Space 9 and Voyager on battle as something a lot more than just a plot device; and its authoritarian, earth-centric, human-centric, seemingly based on the U.S., approach to galactic political organization, well, I’m hooked. Read more
To be a radical is to look at the world about you, and to see it not through the lenses of what you have been told it should be, but rather to attempt to see it as it actually is.
We are told a bunch of things, like we have a democracy, when in fact it is—importantly different—a republic. We are taught the “American Dream,” when in fact the ladder of social mobility is really quite steep for an allegedly affluent “democracy.” We imagine that people get what they deserve, that merit is rewarded, when in fact so-called meritocracy amounts to the powerful protecting their own positions and for the benefit of their own children. The list goes on but ultimately, the only improvement these beliefs can offer over magical thinking is that they carry moral force. To believe them, however, simply because they are how things ought to be, is to commit the naturalistic fallacy. Read more
Gee, this didn’t take very long at all.
On the very night that the House of Representatives failed to pass an impeachment resolution that would have been a substantive response to his racist tweets,
Goaded on by the president, a crowd at a Donald Trump rally on Wednesday night chanted “send her back! send her back!” in reference to Ilhan Omar, a US congresswoman who arrived almost 30 years ago as a child refugee in the United States.
Credit the neoliberal party for this. Moving forward with impeachment might not have been the smart strategy—indeed, I have argued just that in entries I am now retracting—but sometimes you just gotta move. Because now we’re right there with Adolf Hitler and his rallies in Nazi Germany.
And don’t make me defend that comparison. Because I know I can.
As for Nancy Pelosi (oh, yes, I’ve seen her house in Pacific Heights in San Francisco) and her neoliberal ilk, send them back to their comfortable fucking mansions and build high concrete walls around them with concrete domes over them so they are never heard from again. They are every bit as toxic as Chernobyl and every bit as stupid. Let them starve in the darkness with all their love of power and all their love of fucking money.
Oh, and be sure to remind me of this if I ever again make the mistake of placing any faith whatsoever in a fucking neoliberal.
A few decades ago, Paulo Freire proposed a radical approach to education which is integral in critical theory, where inquiry (research) is intentionally conflated with instruction, and was a forerunner to the action research and participatory action research methodologies.