Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 2015, Seen Through Twitter

January, gone so fast. There were only a few big issues in my Twitter feed this month, including the Charlie Hebdo killings, and the aftermath:

Zealots in the end always mistrust humor. It can't be counted on to be loyal, to be unproblematic, to support the team.
By James Poniewozik

I’m one of those dumb Americans who believes in a free press. I also think some of it is gross. Again: not hard to believe both.
By Erin Kissane 

"Biggest terrorist attack in Europe since 2005." How convenient they forget Anders Breivik killing 77 people and injuring over 300.
By Sarah 

What we really needed 2K years ago were prophets who said, "God has given you sex and coffee and good food, so enjoy! It doesn't last!"
By Tom Tomorrow 

"These people don't understand satire." --someone who doesn't understand racism
By Saladin Ahmed

One way publications can support free speech for political cartoonists, columnists and journalists is by hiring the ones they laid off.
By Avidor

Rupert Murdoch thinks all Muslims should apologise for terrorism. So on behalf of white people I'd like to apologise for Rupert Murdoch.
By Matt Haig

I'm reading a defense of free speech in a paper that tried to have me arrested and charged with obscenity for making a joke about the Queen.
By Frankie Boyle

When you ask me "Why don't Muslims condemn terrorism?" all I hear is "I don't know how to use Google."
By Saladin Ahmed

I am the Lord thy God, King of the Universe, the omniscient and omnipotent Creator of Space and Time, and I can take a fucking joke.
By God

As a non-Muslim, I'd like to apologize to Muslims for the non-Muslims demanding that all Muslims should apologize for the attacks today.
By John Scalzi
One kind of trivial topic was the announcement of a Ghostbuster's movie reboot, with the 'busters played by women. Some Gen X men, I gather, found that unacceptable and Twitter responded:
An all-female Ghostbusters? What's next, an all-male hierarchy perpetuated throughout thousands of years of recorded history?
By Dave Itzkoff

I don’t know anyone complaining about the female Ghostbusters movie. If you know people who are complaining, you should stop knowing them.
By Amy Jane Gruber

It doesn't sound like your childhood is being retroactively ruined, so much as it never actually ended.
By Greg Knauss

Your childhood hasn't been ruined by a female Ghostbusters movie. Your adulthood has been ruined by misogyny.
By MC Thumbtack
And then there are the rest of the best:
Where can I buy tickets for this amazing-sounding concert, and will PJ Harvey be performing?

By Saladin Ahmed

Black teens who commit a few crimes go to jail as often as white teens who commit dozens. [Referencing a Washington Post story with data supporting this.]
By Matt Ford

Schools are an important part of complete, walkable communities. When this neighborhood asset is sold, it's nearly impossible to replace.
By jennifer keesmaat

One fatal traffic accident is $6M in direct costs. Think how many free buses we could have instead. #freeischeaper
By Free Public Transit

Unpaid internships should be illegal not only because they exploit labor, but because they give an upper hand to the privileged who can work for free.
By Molly Priesmeyer

The question is never, "Is this a word?" It's always, "Is it effective to use this word in this context?"
By Ta-Nehisi Coates

There are 492 billionaires in the United States, and not one of those goddamned losers has decided to become Batman.
By Greg Knauss

Yeah 'cause that's how trains work:


The only way to really know your city is to get rid of your car. You learn a lot when your access to something is no longer an option.
By Matthew Jacob

Instead of classifying documents the government could just title them all "Webinar" to make sure no one ever ever looks at them.
By Erin Kissane

Location of certain professions -- media, politics -- in most expensive cities locks out many applicants, dictates national conversation.
By Sarah Kendzior

Leopard moth:

By Strange Animals

People who say, "I am socially liberal, but fiscally conservative" don't know what the hell they're talking about.
By Nikhil Goyal

We only love stay-at-home moms if they’re not poor. Welfare requires moms to work.
By Bryce Covert

There are no words to express how little of a shit I give about what Bill Gates has to say to Davos. Can you give negative shits?
By David Roberts

The Koch network's [$889 million] spending goal effectively transforms it into a third major political party, at same financial scale as the Democrats and GOP.
By Nick Confessore

The practical function of the regulatory regime governing U.S. electricity is to *prevent* creative destruction and slow innovation.
By David Roberts

Homework offers no academic advantage. Instead, it overwhelms struggling children and is boring 4 high achievers. [linking to a news story about some recent research with findings to that effect]
By Sisyphus38

As a civilization, I'm glad we decided to stop doing The World's Fair because, if there's anything we've learned, it isn't.
By Aparna Nancherla

Beautiful Gouldian finches — endemic to Australia:

By Strange Animals

The more gifted a student is, the more 'at risk' they are to struggle in a mainstream classroom.
By Sarah Sweeney

Why most market research doesn't work: "Consumers didn’t really know what they wanted until they could get it." [Linking to the New Yorker]
By Marc Andreessen

"An abundance of caution" is not a defense of every preparation move. You could use that to argue for closing the subway whenever it rains. You don't want an abundance of caution. You want a situationally appropriate level of caution.
By Josh Barro

1998: 30% of kindergarten teachers say kids should learn to read in kindergarten; 2010: 80%. Kids pay the price for that dubious shift.
By Alfie Kohn

It’s possible for two things to be simultaneously true:
1. U.S. society is still patriarchal, racist, etc. which expresses itself in innumerable "microaggressions."
2. It is psychologically unhealthy for anyone, of any group, to spend their lives patrolling for and calling out microaggressions.
By David Roberts

Watching the Today Show, I always think of all the grit Jenna Bush had that got her a job on national TV.
By Ira Socol

At the very least, we male writers should honor women with the same unrealistic narratives of hypercompetent heroism that we honor men with.
By Saladin Ahmed

You don't say?

By Media Matters 

Deep decarbonization won't be easy. But it is easier than the alternative. Fossil fuel dependence is hard; we are just used to it.
By Dan Lashof

Most brilliant kids often don't shine on standardized tests because they don't have standardized minds.
By Steven Singer

World hunger is a logistics problem, not a problem of scarcity.
By trutherbot

The idea that the working poor live off the labor of the wealthy rather than the other way around is remarkable.
By Jamison Foser

This is what happens when you put horizontal mirrors on a shack in the desert:

By Anton Perlkvist

Without Social Security, 44% of Americans 65+ would be living in poverty; with Social Security the rate is 8.9%.
By James Diers

"Running for office shouldn’t be a job defined by permanent begging at the feet of the wealthiest donors in the country.” — Zephyr Teachout
By Michael Kink

The kids that clean behind their bed will do your homework with diligence. The kids that hide clutter under their beds do your HW to get it done.
By Sisyphus38

A close-up shot of the Devil's flower mantis:

By Strange Animals

I wish the cameras went to the Antiques Roadshow parking lot, 'cause you know there's at least one guy just crying and wondering where God is.
By Julieanne Smolinski

I asked the husband how he'd describe the color of a piece of paper: Ecru, Fawn, Sand or Khaki. Apparently the color is eye roll brown.
By Carolyn Porter

Now that they’ve lost the war over climate science, you’ll see more conservatives turn to the Argument from Futility.
By David Roberts

By shifting our spending away from roads and into public transit, we can create 20% more jobs without spending a single additional dollar.
By jennifer keesmaat

Medicare, Social Security, the Clean Air Act — they’ve brought enormous advances in welfare for very little $$$ or loss of liberty. Guess which part of our healthcare spending LEAST passes the rational trade-off test? The billions we spend on the last year or two of life.
By David Roberts

If cons were serious about applying their trade-off logic w/out discrimination … they’d end up liberals.
By David Roberts

That a film on civil rights [Selma] would somehow become a referendum on a white supporting character within it is just so tragically predictable.
By Matthew Seitz

This is so perfect. It hurts...

By Shadow DXS

"Ugh. Stop posting pictures of your baby on Facebook." — people who don't understand social media, or human nature, or friendship
By Josh Gondelman

I'm sure that everyone feels gifted, as opposed to lucky.
By John Gunnell

"We need to think of nature as a library for design inspiration rather than a Home Depot for materials."
By Nicholas Mallos

If you make $250,000 & don’t "feel rich," maybe the problem is not your income but the fact that you lack perspective and gratitude.
By David Roberts

Someday I'd love to see a light-skinned Black woman character played by a dark-skinned actress. Funny how it always seems to be the reverse.
By Saladin Ahmed 

More techno bling aimed at getting you home faster. How about just live close enough to walk or bike?
By Charles Marohn

Terrifying to imagine terrorist religious fanatics invading your lands to kill, rape and pillage. That's the plight of Native Americans.
By Smedley Butler

Thing is, most "jerk/genius" stories are written by writers who know a lot more about being jerks than they do about being geniuses..
By Saladin Ahmed

Don’t conservative Israelis find it creepy that conservative U.S. Christians support them mainly because of the Book of Revelations?
By David Roberts

"Soldiers protect our freedoms." You know who protects our freedoms? The ACLU. That's literally what they do.
By Lucas Neff

Idea: Flea circus staging of "Lice in Wonderland."
By Chris Steller

The complexity of humanity always makes better places than the simplicity of cars.
By Charles Marohn

Caught this idiot eating a bowl of refrigerated crackers:

By Daniel Kibblesmith

Hate it when people say "educational achievement" when they mean "test scores."
By David Kaib 

Exact opposite of promises: Charter schools spend less on instruction & more on administration than public schools.
By Gene V Glass

Have yet to see a use of that "sheep/wolves/sheepdog" metaphor that isn't basically a grandiose rationalization for killing people of color.
By Saladin Ahmed

The Child Tax Credit is designed in indefensible ways. Misses most poor people. Should be universal, refundable, and provided monthly.
By David Kaib

Cool how the GOP dismisses climate change because they're not scientists but not being women never stops them from outlawing abortion.
By Shauna.

I don’t really get how conservatives, so enamored of rewarding hard work, oppose taxing inheritances. Starting life with a large, unearned advantage seems less than fully meritocratic.
By David Roberts

Two years ago, a male author I'd never met or read before reviewed my book in the New York Times, and people started calling him my mentor. I've since met and read John Green. He is great. I'm happy to be his friend. (Truly.) But it was bizarre (for us both) to watch people talk about my book as if he was responsible for it. And for me.
By Rainbow Rowell

If glaciers are melting at an astonishing rate, we can't really keep saying this or that is "moving at a glacial pace."
By Chris Steller

I'm all for free child care, paid sick leave, higher taxes on the rich. But Obama should have proposed this in 2009 when it had a shot of passing.
By Nikhil Goyal

Tolerance makes us safer. That’s what conservatives will never, ever get.
By David Roberts

Much of the rise in inequality comes from rent-seeking & inheritance, not innovation.
By Demos_Org

To improve education we need to distinguish not only between meaningful assessment and test scores but between the intellectual and the merely academic.
By Alfie Kohn

1,700 private jets expected to Davos in Switzerland to discuss climate change at World Economic Forum.

Excellent :)

By Daily Bikers

Up on Typo Creek, she sends me. If I miss a hyphen, she mends me. I don't have to proof, she edits me...
By Brendan M. Kenny

Until private school folk are willing to discuss abolishing private schools, be very skeptical of their social justice claims.
By Fred Bartels

Pro-tip: Saying "[Blank] is the last acceptable form of bigotry" is 1) always wrong & 2) historically illiterate. Please stop saying it.
By Phillip Atiba Goff

Instead of inventing encryption that only government can break, we should just breed a special unicorn that magically blocks terrorist acts.
By Ryan Paul

American Sniper kind of reminds me of the movie that's showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds.
By Seth Rogen

Resistance is futile:

By _youhadonejob

The problem with calling schools "obsolete" is that the underlying thought is it was once acceptable to subject children to inhumane practices.
By Nikhil Goyal

Being a slow walker for the past few weeks, with a non-visible injury/issue, clues you into a whole new level of human judgment and frustration.
By Molly Priesmeyer

“I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes
By RB Rachel Blair

Your city says: "We don't have room for bike lanes." Your city means: "We won't sacrifice parking spots for safety."
By Bike Lobby

This is how the anti-vaccine campaign sounds:

By Dr. K

I can save you watching the morning political shows. Here is all of them: "I'm old and white and scared of anyone different BOMB THEM."
By jamiekilstein

Apparently the best time to talk about how much you love LBJ is when a movie about MLK gets made.
By Hari Kondabolu

"Kids, recess is over. Stop playing your made-up creative game, the adults need to teach you about collaboration."
By Sisyphus38

If we cared about kids we'd end poverty.
By David Kaib

Life does come with a set of instructions. Unfortunately, they're from IKEA.
By Gwyn Grey

Getting older, life feels increasingly like one of those conversations where, while you think of a clever comeback, the topic has moved on.
By Mark Simonson

Free speech gives you the choice to offend, not the requirement. Choosing to offend requires additional justification, not just that you can.
By Sally Kohn

Why has there not been a single war movie since 2000 that shows U.S. wars as they really are? Namely: long, frustrating, expensive, & lost.
By David Roberts

We really shouldn't have put old white men in charge of, like, all of it.
By Kumail Nanjiani

Squirted by lapel flower. That sidewalks are not strewn with beaten remains of prankers is testament to patience + tolerance of our society.
By Bigfoot TheBigfoot

I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without any expectation of reward or punishment after I'm dead
By Kurt Vonnegut

"They hate the West because of our freedom!" *cheers* *5 seconds pass* "Yeah, so, we need to ban encryption on the Internet."
By Matt May

Muslims are controlling the weather in Britain. In some places it's Sunni, but mainly Shi'ite:

By Ahmad Fraz

If the second amendment were written today, it would protect the right to bear encryption.
By Startup L. Jackson

I'm more of a Social Justice Worrier.
By Janine Brito

We need to be sure free community college doesn't become two more years of standardized test -based high school.
By phillip cantor

This suave-looking gentleman on the back of an insect:

By Halloween Costumes

Planners be like "how do we get people to ride the bus?" Free Public Transit response: "make it free." Planners: "yikes, they will be too crowded!" LOL
By Free Public Transit

Public schools in America have been historically riddled with classism and racism. That's fundamental to understanding current reform movements.
By Nikhil Goyal

If you like Fig Newtons, try figs!
By almightygod

Those who say class size doesn't matter send their children to private schools with small classes.
By MORE Caucus

That surprised look when you show someone that broccoli didn't occur "naturally" humans bred it from wild mustard:

By Vance Crowe

The real shift I'd like to see from Democrats: argue straightforwardly for high enough taxes to pay for the services we want & need.
By David Roberts

For cities to prosper, drivers need to feel unsafe at speeds that are unsafe. #slowthecars
By Strong Towns

California almonds suck as much water annually as Los Angeles uses in three years.
By Tim McDonnell

Give us this day, our daily bread and circuses.
By David Roberts

FUN DRINKING GAME: Quit entirely and actually find some form of happiness in this life
By Sam Grittner

Nailing it:

By Saladin Ahmed (citing @syedalam110)

America: School age 6-18 should be free. More than free! MANDATORY "Hey can you cover school 19-22 also?" No that's socialism "19-20?" SOCIALISM
By mcc

Hey, McDonalds I ordered a sundae but instead you gave me the souls of the damned, did I have to pay extra for this:


Chomsky: They don't hate us and hate our freedoms, they hate our official policies that deny them the freedoms to which they too aspire.
By CP MacLochlainn

Kids across age groups overwhelmingly agree their favorite #books are the ones they choose themselves.
By Scholastic

Behind every entitled shit-head kid is a parent who cuts the crusts off their sandwiches.
By Jessica Burton

Four-year-old daughter: "Why is everyone wearing their regular clothes except Princess Leia?" Good question:

By Saladin Ahmed

What is Latin for "Seize Some Other Day"?
By Joseph Scrimshaw

I like how sometimes the equivalent of female character development is giving her bangs.
By Aparna Nancherla

ALL students should have to do their first two years at community college. Going straight from elite high school to elite college warps your brain.
By Saladin Ahmed

"Students sit for an average of 113 standardized tests between preschool and 12th grade." [Citing the Wall Street Journal]
By Nikhil Goyal

In an unequal world, satire that "mocks everyone equally" ends up serving the powerful.
By Saladin Ahmed

How about instead of hosting the Olympics, we address basic needs like public transportation
By David Kaib

A pink amphipod:

By Strange Animals

The first (and greatest) president in our history was shot in the head by a white supremacist cause he thought black people, like, should have rights.
By Ta-Nehisi Coates

Americans are 100x more likely to be unaffiliated with a religion than our Congress, says Pew Research.
By Jon Commers

The bottom 90% makes less money today than they made in 1980. All of the new money since then went to the top 10%. "All of it." — Elizabeth Warren
By Elise Gould

Calling employees independent contractors isn't misclassification, it's wage fraud.
By Elise Gould

Groups of people are needed to offer and challenge ideas but I believe solitude is needed to truly become one with those ideas.
By Sisyphus38

Jewel Beetle:

By Strange Animals

It's easier to talk about what to teach than how to teach. It's easier to talk about poverty than our racial biases. Easier doesn't do $&!%.
By Adam Holman

We all know that we all lose the majority of the content we "learned." That should awaken us to the fact that the content is irrelevant.
By Sisyphus38

Of all the obvious and efficacious ways for individuals to reduce their CO2 footprint, none produces more irrational fury than vegetarianism.
By David Roberts

Step one: maybe give *any thought at all* to racism outside the context of feeling personally accused of it.
By Adam Kotsko

Fewer guns; more food. Sounds reasonable. How come we can't do that?
By Alan Mills

‘Cigar Store White Guy’ ~ Dwayne Wilcox ~ Ledger art ~ (Oglala):

By paul seesequasis

The GOP apparently thinks America's most crucial task is building a pipeline to send Canadian oil to Asia. Ahead to the Past!!
By Bill McKibben

The 114th Congress is technically the most diverse, despite the fact it is 80% white, 80% male, 92% Christian.
By NowWithAlex

Just in case anyone still thinks the GOP is rational:

By Alan Mills

Hasn't the NYPD done enough harm without also giving labor solidarity a bad name?
By Chris Lehmann

Wouldn't it be great if every time somebody said "I just don't have time to pay attention to politics" it made their Net Flix history appear.
By Dan Speerin

It's obscene and repugnant that in world of 8 billion souls fewer than a hundred control half the world's wealth.
By Harry Leslie Smith

School is a monoculture.
By Sisyphus38

The Silky anteater:

By Strange Animals

New word: thistopian is an adjective for something happening today that is reminiscent of fictional dystopias set in the future.
By Chris Steller

Throughout history, the powerful have always peddled the ideology that if the public is given freedom / control, there will be social chaos.
By Nikhil Goyal

The science of social change in America in 2015: how to get oligarchs to support your idea.
By David Roberts

Hardcore American suburbanites walk in Paris, and hardcore Parisians drive in U.S. suburbs. It's not just "car culture," it's infrastructure.
By Rik Adamski

The support of free public school alongside opposition of free public school lunches is still my favorite in this genre of Pure Ideology.
By Matt Bruenig

Tonight in San Francisco [New Year's Eve], Ubers will be $100+ while Muni and BART run free all night. Civic institutions are an important part of a civilization.
By Josh Koenig

Don't mourn the world getting worse because you hear bad things. They were already happening out of sight. You knowing = the world getting better
By Arthur Chu

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