Friday, July 13, 2018

Tabs Today

It's been a while since I did a Too Many Tabs post. I've been getting better about not leaving sooooo many tabs open, but now it's time to close a bunch of 'em.

On immigration

All possible responses to "they should get in line and do it the right way, the way my family did" with citations (also jokes). By an immigration attorney. Just remember: there is no line!

Mulligan constantly flails about the gang MS-13, which I confess I don't know much about. This Politico story (posted as members-only content on MinnPost) is by Hannah Dreier, a reporter who's been covering MS-13 for a year: Here are the five things Trump gets most wrong. The gist is: The gang is not growing or even particularly large compared to other prominent gangs in the U.S. It's not involved in the international drug trade, or involved in illegal immigration, and its victims are 99.x percent people they know. Not that they are harmless, no one claims that, but they exist in a context that Mulligan pretends does not exist.

On income inequality, exploitation, poverty

Laziness does not exist (but unseen barriers do). By a social psychologist. This one will stick with me for a while.

Busting the myth of the American Dream: Economist William Darity talks inequality (audio). "Why are some people rich and others poor?" Answering this elusive question has been Darity's lifelong work. He studied economics at MIT and the London School of Economics and Political Science, and later pioneered the subfield of stratification economics, an interdisciplinary approach to understanding economic inequality.

The 9.9 percent is the new American aristocracy. From the Atlantic, June 2018. "The meritocratic class has mastered the old trick of consolidating wealth and passing privilege along at the expense of other people’s children. We are not innocent bystanders to the growing concentration of wealth in our time. We are the principal accomplices in a process that is slowly strangling the economy, destabilizing American politics, and eroding democracy."

Why we should value invisible labor. A really excellent look at the idea of universal basic income from Yonatan Zunger on Medium. "Money doesn’t, in fact, buy happiness.... But poverty can buy you one hell of a lot of misery." And: "someone who has to accept a long-term loss to survive the short term is in a very weak bargaining position — and that sort of weak bargaining position is exactly what breaks the free-market hypothesis that 'trade makes everyone richer.'" So many pithy observations in one place, including the need to stop confusing "our work" with "our job."

On sustainable cities, utopia, climate change

The little-known behavioral scientist who has transformed cities all over the world. Meet Ingrid Gehl, whose husband Jan is more well-known for popularizing her ideas.

Alex Steffen's recent keynote speech to the UN Forum on Sustainable Development. Steffen is the person I've cited who uses the phrase predatory delay when discussing climate change.

Density does not have to equal more driving (and less parking). From StreetsMN.

I'm an environmental journalist but I never write about overpopulation. Here's why. By Dave Roberts at Vox.

A dazzlingly delicious taste of the future in Liége by Rob Hopkins, founder of Transition Town.

Traffic engineers still rely on a flawed 1970s study to reject crosswalks. From StreetsBlogUSA. You may not know this, but traffic engineers always claim that painted crosswalks don't make pedestrians safer. Turns out... they don't have much to back that up.

Utopia is all around us. A conversation with Ruth Potts of Schumacher College in STIR magazine.

And here's an 11-year-old article from the New York Times called Local groups use peer pressure — and fines — to cut carbon emissions. Back when they had reporters covering climate change, I guess.

A five-step guide to having the talk, from StreetsMN. In this case "the talk" is the one about biking and walking instead of driving everywhere.

How the Koch brothers are killing public transit projects around the country. From the New York Times, June 19, 2018. (Minnesotans are all too familiar with the relatively recent Republican attack on transit at our state legislature. What a coincidence.)

Humans didn't exist the last time there was this much carbon in the air, by Eric Holthaus for Grist. That's a grim but true way to put it. As climate scientist Michael E. Mann put it on Twitter today, "We have ZERO years left to solve climate change. Emissions have to come down steadily in the years ahead to avoid committing to catastrophic climate change impacts."

And then a few random things of interest

From This American Life: Heretics. "The story of Reverend Carlton Pearson, a rising star in the evangelical movement, who cast aside the idea of hell, and with it everything he'd worked for over his entire life." I confess I haven't listened to most of this yet, but the part I heard on the radio sounded worth listening to the rest.

When America's basic housing unit was a bed, not a house. A very cool extended info graphic from City Lab.

Johan Hari discusses the ideas about depression and anxiety in his book Lost Connections (audio).

What Americans think about abortion. It's a lot more nuanced than polling can show. (For instance, 39 percent don't identify as either pro-life or pro-choice.) From Vox.

Did you hear that Mulligan and his cronies are covering up the fact that U.S. military personnel on bases have been drinking contaminated groundwater for years? No? Well, it's true.

Power causes brain damage. From the Atlantic, July/August 2017. Psych professor Dacher Keltner has found over a few decades that subjects with power "acted as if they had suffered a traumatic brain injury—becoming more impulsive, less risk-aware, and, crucially, less adept at seeing things from other people’s point of view." But neuroscience research now finds that the brains of those with power show signs of impairment to "a specific neural process, 'mirroring,' that may be a cornerstone of empathy."

Some of what's wrong with David Brooks, from Pacific Standard. Personally, I just don't listen to or read anything that includes him. I figure he's had his chance and I will spend my time on other people who don't have his megaphone. "In the zero-sum choice between American patriotism and critical thought, Brooks is always happy to take the former."

White people abandon diverse neighborhoods for racial, not economic reasons. From Quartz. Not a surprise to anyone who's read The Color of Law, but worth checking out nonetheless. The findings hold up not just when there's an influx of black people into white neighborhoods but also for incoming Latinos and Asians. (But the tipping point is lower for black people: somewhere around 10 percent, while whites can tolerate up to 20–25 percent Latinos and Asians... they're somewhat more tolerant of Latinos than Asians, in case you were wondering.) Here's an Indiana University article where the cited research is described in more detail.

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