Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Powerful Tabs

There have been a lot of tabs at other points in the past, but I think this may be the most ever. All I can do is post the links in groups by theme. Oh, and... this is only some of them. More to come if I can muster the energy.

Racism, race

White America’s racial illiteracy: Why our national conversation is poisoned from the start. By Robin DiAngelo, a white anti-racism trainer, writing for Salon. "This concept came out of my on-going experience leading discussions on race, racism, white privilege and white supremacy with primarily white audiences. It became clear over time that white people have extremely low thresholds for enduring any discomfort associated with challenges to our racial worldviews."

White debt: Reckoning with what is owed — and what can never be repaid — for racial privilege. By the stellar writer Eula Biss, from the New York Times magazine back in December 2015.

My racial blindspots by Doug Muder at The Weekly Sift.

A short video of Tim Wise describing how racism has been used historically to divide people who should have had something in common, based on class.

Matt Bruenig, however, explains that poor white people are not betraying their class interest by being racist against poor black people: instead, they are avoiding being in last place.

Detour-spotting for white anti-racists. "Most of the detours or obstacles facing us, as anti-racists, are previously learned attitudes and habitual behaviors birthed in those attitudes. Experience identifying and breaking harmful habits in other arenas of my life has helped me on my justice-seeking journey."

Racism in the kindergarten classroom: New research finds faces of five-year-old black boys put whites in a more threat-conscious state of mind. From Pacific Standard.

Stereotype threat in police encounters: implications for miscarriages of justice. From The Psych Report.

You sure you're not racist? From Pacific Standard.

A TED talk: The problem with race-based medicine.

The case for considering reparations. From the Atlantic. Ta-Nehisi Coates follows up on his ground-breaking reparations cover story from a few years ago.

These states are doing the most to rob minority voters on Super Tuesday. Four of the states with the most diverse electorates also have some of the worst protections in place for voters of color. From the Atlantic's CityLab.

The election and U.S. elections in general

The race-to-the-bottom election. From the Washington Post in mid-February, but still relevant.

How populists like Bernie Sanders should talk about racism. To mobilize a multiracial coalition, progressives need to demonstrate how racism hurts us all. By two key figures at the progressive think tank Demos, writing for the Nation.

Why Hillary Clinton doesn't deserve the Black vote. By Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, writing for the Nation.

The current crime debate isn't doing Hillary justice. "To grasp the difference between Clinton and Sanders you have to truly understand the 1994 crime bill." From Washington Monthly.

Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone explains how America made Donald Trump unstoppable.

Ted Cruz's campaign is fueled by a Dominionist vision of America. This is pretty frightening (at least, if you think Cruz has any chance of being elected. But even just knowing that there's a significant group of people who think this is disheartening).

A Chris Hayes essay from 2004, based on his experience canvassing in Wisconsin for John Kerry. Undecided voters don't care about "issues" and often are "crypto-racist isolationists." Sound familiar, 2016?

5 Ways the Supreme Court Was Wrong in Buckley v Valeo. Details about the decision that has been even more important than Citizens United. From Demos.

Meet the next Elizabeth Warrens now running for Congress. By John Nichols for the Nation. Remember these names: Zephyr Teachout, Pramila Jayapal, Lucy Flores.

Climate change

All we lack is "political will" to do what needs to be done: address climate change, for instance. But how do you define political will? Dave Roberts at Vox looks into it.

If you thought solar was going to hurt utilities, get a load of solar+storage. Also by Dave Roberts at Vox.

The decisions we make about climate change today will reverberate for millennia. No pressure. Yet again, Dave Roberts at Vox.

New data shows wholesale and retail rates are falling as dirty energy declines. From Green Tech Media.

How to break through climate change apathy: New research finds framing the issue in specific ways makes a major difference in people's subsequent attitudes. From Pacific Standard.

Here's what it would take for the U.S. to run on 100% renewable energy. Once more, Dave Roberts at Vox.

The U.S. could switch to mostly renewable energy, no batteries needed. From Smithsonian.

Why are retailers throwing away perfectly good truckloads of milk? From Ensia.

Cities, planning, transportation

A must-read interview with Robert Caro, who wrote The Power Broker about New York City planner Robert Moses. One of the first books I read as a freshman in college, it affected almost everything I have done since.

Regional inequality is out of control. Here's how to reverse it. From Washington Monthly.

The long and crumbling road: Infrastructure is everywhere, and its upkeep is proving impossible. By Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic, writing for the New Republic.

The Matt Bruenig corner

Basic income is a welfare strategy (January 29, 2016).

Welfare reform was quite bad (February 12, 2016). "In the aftermath of Welfare Reform, the rate of Extreme Poverty (those living on less than $2-a-day) for households with children increased 150%. The rate of Deep Poverty (those below 50% of the poverty line) increased from 4.5% to 6.6%."

Transfer programs and black poverty (February 16, 2016).

Plenty of room to achieve Bernie's welfare state (February 17, 2016). Written in response to the New York Times commentary by several liberal economists against Sanders's plans.

The evidence clearly shows that deep poverty has worsened (February 23, 2016).

How to remove marriage penalties (February 19, 2016).

David Brooks is incorrect about northern Europe (February 19, 2016).

Meritocrats and egalitarians (February 21, 2016). "The liberal meritocrat implicitly accepts the social positions that exist in the current order, but is mad about how people are distributed across those positions. The leftist egalitarian thinks that the unequal social positions generated by the current order are problematic regardless of who happens to fill them."

Science, bad news, and bad history

Our deadly gun addiction in nine beautiful graphs from Wired.

The Virginia Tech professor whose research catalyzed the Flint lead/water crisis says public science is broken. "...the idea of science as a public good is being lost."

Remembering Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey: The black mothers of modern gynecology. From NPR. In our country, there are three statues of the male, white doctor who is considered the "father" of gynecology. But none to the black, enslaved women he experimented on.

Why we still can't live without rubber, and why climate change threatens the supply. By Charles Mann, writing for National Geographic. Basically, no rubber, no tires. And it comes from trees grown in monoculture in a limited geographic area. And there's this blight...

An American history of lead poisoning. From the Atlantic. Based on the work of David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz, the public-health historians and co-authors of Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America's Children. Rosner and Markowitz were also recently on Terry Gross's Fresh Air, if you prefer listening to reading.

An overreaction to food allergies: Many children are wrongly diagnosed with food allergies because of inaccurate tests. From Scientific American.

Values and vaccines: Parents who reject vaccination are making a rational choice – they prefer to put their children above the public good. By Maggie Koerth-Baker, writing for Aeon.

Science and occasionally some good news

A new treatment for Alzheimer's may not just cure it but restore memory. In mice.

How the idea of a "normal person" got invented. From the Atlantic.

This house cost $20,000 — and it's nicer than yours. (Note: these houses are not safe for winter.)

A radically simple idea may open the door to a new world of antibiotics. From STAT: Reporting from the frontiers of health and medicine.

People in crowds do not spontaneously devolve into subhuman beasts. From Dave McRaney of the You Are Not So Smart podcast, via Boing Boing.

Schools and education

Why preschool shouldn’t be like school: New research shows that teaching kids more and more, at ever-younger ages, may backfire. By Alison Gopnik, professor of psychology and philosophy, writing for Slate.

The ugly “good teacher” discussion few are confronting. By Radical Scholar Paul Thomas.

How do you fix schools? Maybe just give them more money. Yes, based on research. From Slate.

Down with Algebra II! It drives dropout rates and is mostly useless in real life. Andrew Hacker has a plan for getting rid of it. By Dana Goldstein, writing for Slate. “We are really destroying a tremendous amount of talent—people who could be talented in sports writing or being an emergency medical technician, but can’t even get a community college degree...I regard this math requirement as highly irrational.”

And more from Andrew Hacker, writing for the New York Times: The wrong way to teach math.

The new preschool is crushing kids: Today’s young children are working more, but they’re learning less. From the Atlantic.

The Ivy League, mental illness, and the meaning of life. William Deresiewicz explains how an elite education can lead to a cycle of grandiosity and depression. From the Atlantic.

Poverty and solutions

Two-generation anti-poverty programs may be the answer. From Pacific Standard.

Why the poor get trapped in depressed areas. From the New Republic, in response to the Kevin Williams piece in National Review blaming poor people in rural and rust-belt areas for their "choices."

Death and dying in America

A write-up of the book The Good Death by Ann Neumann (from Slate).

A doctor explains why he hopes to die at 75. From the Atlantic.

The last day of her life, about the chosen suicide of Cornell psychology professor Sandy Bem. From the New York Times.

Our unrealistic views of death, through a doctor's eyes. In the Washington Post, but written by a Twin Cities physician Craig Bowron.

The rest of the best

Alfie Kohn, who usually writes about education, is recently divorced and has reentered the dating scene. In Clicking for Love: the curious, odious, hilarious world of online dating, he made me laugh and groan in sympathy. His description of the patterns he says in users' profiles is the best.

A TED talk by a former Baltimore cop called One of the biggest problems with American policing: we rely on cops way too much. It was written up on Vox just after that incident where a school "resource officer" threw a teenage girl across a classroom.

After I lived in Norway, America felt backward. Here's why. From the Nation. (I imagine this will have something in common with Michael Moore's film Where to Invade Next.)

“I Am Skeptical That Capitalism Has a Future”: Cory Doctorow on the surveillance state, Edward Snowden, and the core values of a utopian society. From Jacobin.

Why we're losing the war on addiction. By Stanton Peele, who has been working in the field of addiction for over 40 years. "...the U.S. has a larger addiction treatment industry—and yet a bigger, faster-growing addiction problem—than anywhere else on earth, current treatments are clearly not doing the job."

NPR report reveals the real reason agricultural employers prefer guest workers. From the Economic Policy Institute. Sounds a lot like the way white plantation owners thought about their former chattel during the post-Civil War years (can you tell I've been reading Eric Foner's Reconstruction?).

Everyone blames mental illness for mass shootings. But what if that's wrong? A Vox interview with Jonathan Metzl, professor of psychiatry at Vanderbilt University.

The problem with a tech revolution designed primarily by men. From Quartz. Rape and menstruation aren't listed as health topics in apps... it costs money to play as a female character in games, while male characters are free... you can't make this stuff up.

How A Wrinkle in Time changed science fiction forever. From Mental Floss.

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