Something that has troubled and puzzled me for a long time, going back at least to when I first began my Ph.D. work—this would be the program that was not the right program for me and not the one I ultimately received my doctorate from—is the question of in-groups versus out-groups, more colloquially, the “us” versus “them” mentality that I associated with the hierarchically invidious monism of authoritarian populism in my dissertation. Read more
Those folks who lost power in Texas in the recent winter storms? They were the lucky ones, it turns out.
In Britain, some well-educated folks are learning what primary school education in their fields is like, which is sometimes to say, really awful. The article raises a couple examples, one being of the failure to properly teach fractions, and the other of a “practically Dickensian in its pointlessness” dissection of sentences into parts of speech. I’d take it to the bank that this isn’t just a British problem and, oh yeah, this isn’t just during COVID-19 lockdown: I remember the conundrum of fractions myself. Read more
See update for April 5, 2021, at end of post.
Google’s ouster of an artificial idiocy ethicist, Timnit Gebru, likely for saying something other than that artificial idiocy is wonderful, stunk to high heaven. Today, the ouster stinks even more. Read more
Ronald Brownstein relies on surveys, whose methodology should be at this point be considered entirely discredited, but his conclusion that the Republican Party has been captured by Trumpsters’ verbal and physical bullying and their white nationalism, is in line with what I see around southwestern Pennsylvania. Read more
So Democrats chickened out of calling witnesses and let the Republicans acquit Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial. Honestly, I don’t know how it gets any more pathetic than this. I mean, seriously, is a president inciting a coup a threat to the constitutional oligarchy or isn’t it?
See update for February 19, 2021, at end of post
There are a few reasons I left California. One was that I hadn’t been able to find a real job since 2001, the year of the dot-com crash, even as I returned to school, finished a B.A., an M.A., and a Ph.D., all to no avail, and my frustration has long since morphed into fury. Whatever it is I’m looking for, and at this point, I honestly don’t even know what that is, I wasn’t finding it in California, where I’d lived for over fifty years. Read more
See update and a partial retraction for March 18, 2021, at end of post.
Racism and bigotry exist.
Put like that, it seems like a cliché. Of course they do. Read more
See updates through April 7, 2021, at end of post.
On January 30, 2021, my mother sent me an article about a controversy over the San Francisco Board of Education deciding to rename some schools due to white supremacist associations, including that of my old high school, George Washington, which I never actually graduated from, and Abraham Lincoln. I read the article and replied that yeah, I’d heard of the controversy and that San Francisco was grappling with the fact this country has been fascist from its beginning.
See update for March 14, 2021, at end of post.
There’s a passage from Kim Messick, a few years ago, that I have quoted repeatedly, even in my dissertation, because Messick expresses so clearly how authoritarian populists, then the Tea Party, now Trumpsters or MAGAts, who represent a tendency of conservatism that goes back 1,000 years, view the rest of us: Read more