This is a great article about psychometrics and Cambridge Analytica - the UK firm behind the data behind the surprisingly successful shitshows of 2016. Psychometrics is the attempt to measure a person's personality, only made possible (and useful) recently thanks to facebook likes.
The data behind Trump and Brexit
An Oscar-nominated documentary short - 4.1 miles is the distance from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos. Great if you're looking for a healthy dose of despondent devastation today that doesn't have to do with our federal government. Though, really, it does when you think about it, so never mind. All news is Trump news now. Ugh.
Anyway, watch the movie.
"You cannot deport our minds"
This is still the only thing that has truly, passionately, vibrantly fired me up and made it all seem ok lately. I want to tattoo it as many places as possible. Please read this poem.
Since you mention it, I think I will start that race war.
By Elisa Chavez (from kottke.org)
Donald Trump IS the corporate trisceratops business B.P. Richfield from the 90's TV show Dinosaurs.
See for yourself:
My delight is limited only by my absolute terror, sir. (from films for action)
Here's a great article/interview with Dean Spade (an associate professor at Seattle University School of Law, founder of the the legal collective Sylvia Rivera Law Project and author of the book Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law.) on how our government treats progressive movements as insurgencies. Counterinsurgency responds with repression, then with recuperation ("increasing the legitimacy of the government and marginalizing the views of resistant movements"). This recuperation involves absorbing the cause, which we see with the widespread co-opting of progressive causes by governments, causes, and companies that really only superficially support them. When a movement grows, they first ignore, then marginally acknowledge the problem and finally say it's a problem and that they will handle it. The problem persists, but sinks into the unsaid. Preservation through transformation.
n the face of a powerful, disruptive, widespread movement for black freedom, the United States made the concession of civil rights laws, which formally make racism and racial segregation illegal. So, the surface of the law changed, and the story the U.S. tells about itself changes (“racism is a thing of the past”). But the material conditions facing black people did not change much. Schools are wildly segregated and unequally funded, the racial wealth gap continues to widen and the imprisonment of black people and other people of color has skyrocketed in the last half-century. This is a major danger of reforms—that they change the surface, but the injustice and suffering that movements were raising hell about goes mostly unchanged.
As much as it pains me to say, Obama has done this by embracing LGBT rights, repealing DADT, and allowing women to serve in combat - meanwhile, the American military is still the most powerful and potent force of violence in the world, drone warfare is widespread and unchecked, and Gitmo is still open.
However, understanding counterinsurgency will be just as important for shaping our resistance during this period, particularly because with Trumpism on the scene, so many elected officials, corporations and institutions will be declaring themselves progressive or “anti-hate” since he makes it a low bar, meanwhile continuing to take actions that harm people and the planet.
The big question for any progress we've achieved, will attempt to eke out in the next (hopeully only) 4 years, or will attempt to strive for in the future: "how you tell whether a reform (that we’re proposing or that the powers that be are proposing) advances our struggle or recuperates their institutions?" No easy answers, but the gist is to follow the money. Is more money going to the police for police reform? Be wary of it.
In the end: "The work we need to do is deeply local. It is not glamorous, but it is satisfying and radical."
Disturbia, dancing, detritus, huge problems