Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria
"It was strange to me, the idea that somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25-million books and nobody is allowed to read them. It’s like that scene at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie where they put the Ark of the Covenant back on a shelf somewhere, lost in the chaos of a vast warehouse. It’s there. The books are there. People have been trying to build a library like this for ages—to do so, they’ve said, would be to erect one of the great humanitarian artifacts of all time—and here we’ve done the work to make it real and we were about to give it to the world and now, instead, it’s 50 or 60 petabytes on disk, and the only people who can see it are half a dozen engineers on the project who happen to have access because they’re the ones responsible for locking it up.
I asked someone who used to have that job, what would it take to make the books viewable in full to everybody? I wanted to know how hard it would have been to unlock them. What’s standing between us and a digital public library of 25 million volumes?
You’d get in a lot of trouble, they said, but all you’d have to do, more or less, is write a single database query. You’d flip some access control bits from off to on. It might take a few minutes for the command to propagate."
In which Republicans start to suspect that being reflexively anti-government might not be a valid governing philosophy. What utter fools.
"I’ve been in this job eight years, and I’m wracking my brain to think of one thing our party has done that’s been something positive, that’s been something other than stopping something else from happening,” Representative Tom Rooney of Florida said in an interview. “We need to start having victories as a party. And if we can’t, then it’s hard to justify why we should be back here."
Senator Charles E. Grassley, the Iowa Republican and committee chairman managing the hearing, scoffed at that notion as ridiculous. “As long as he is in office, he can exercise his constitutional power,” Mr. Grassley said, referring to Mr. Trump.
Keep up the pressure.
Hillary Clinton often gets described as an incrementalist, with a relatively modest agenda. This makes sense, given that she spent the past two years or so running against a literal democratic socialist and Donald Trump.
Conservatives who still love their country agree: break the GOP. This rank racism and misogyny must be repudiated.
"[Pete] Wehner, considered a leading light among [Republicans], said this has brought him to a certain realization about his own party, and that the forces that Trump represents are “forces that predated Trump and will outlive him,” he told me last week. “The ugliness of those forces is real. The number of people who supported Trump is alarming. It turned out that those forces within the Republican Party were larger than what I had imagined.” He sees “a moral necessity” to hand Trump a humiliating defeat and to scrub out the uglier things he brought to the surface of American politics. But, like Soltis Anderson, he recognizes that splitting the two may prove a Solomonic task. “Is there a way to repudiate the worst of Trump—the nativistic, racist, misogynistic elements—and appeal to people whom he brought in because of economic anxiety?” he asked. “It won’t be easy because he has a loyal following. If you morally repudiate him—which has to happen—those people may decide they don’t want to be part of that.”"
"A Hillary Clinton victory will save us from the existential threat of a Donald Trump presidency. But let’s not kid ourselves: there is almost no evidence to suggest that four more years of a Republican Congress will result in any kind of productivity, no matter how hard Hillary tries to reach across the aisle, or how much Republican leaders want to work with her. Radicals rule the GOP, and an embarrassing Trump defeat will only embolden them to push for more shutdowns, more default threats, more repeal votes, more obstruction, more investigations, and probably impeachment. The sane Republicans who oppose these tactics will be threatened with primary challengers in 2018 (a year when the map heavily favors the GOP anyway) — and if the past is any guide, most of them will simply give in."
A Hillary Clinton victory will save us from the existential threat of a Donald Trump presidency. But let’s not kid ourselves: there is almost no evidence to suggest that four more years of a Republican Congress will result in any kind of productivity, no matter how hard Hillary tries to reach across the aisle, or how much Republican leaders want to work with her. Radicals rule the GOP, and an embarrassing Trump defeat will only embolden them to push for more shutdowns, more default threats, more repeal votes, more obstruction, more investigations, and probably impeachment. The sane Republicans who oppose these tactics will be threatened with primary challengers in 2018 (a year when the map heavily favors the GOP anyway) — and if the past is any guide, most of them will simply give in.
A long, thorough description of everything we know about the two candidates running, and the obvious choice between them.
This is not a normal election. The Republican party has pushed our republic to the brink of disaster. Our country, and politics, will not heal until they are forced to reckon with their hostility to women, minorities, the working class, immigrants, science, education, compromise, and basic human decency.
Drive them out of office, deny them power, until they repent. Vote for Democrats up and down the ballot.
I will not contribute my name, my work, or my character to an utterly indefensible cause. No sensible adult demands moral purity from a political party, but conscience is meaningless without constraints. A party willing to lend its collective capital to Donald Trump has entered a compromise beyond any credible threshold of legitimacy. There is no redemption in being one of the “good Nazis.”
Is SolarCity a major distraction for Tesla? Probably. Does it add existential risk to both of these long, cash-torching bets? Most likely. Are the conflicts of interest messy? Definitely. But could the deal also result in the world’s first clean-energy juggernaut, a company that does for solar power, batteries, and electric cars what Apple did for computers, phones, and software apps? It’s worth considering.
Hillary will win in November, and she will be sworn in as our next president on January 20.
The sociologist Gordon Gauchat studied U.S. survey data from 1974 to 2010 and found some deeply alarming trends. Despite increasing education levels, the public’s trust in the scientific community has been decreasing. This is particularly true among conservatives, even educated conservatives. In 1974, conservatives with college degrees had the highest level of trust in science and the scientific community. Today, they have the lowest.
Today, we have multiple factions putting themselves forward as what Gauchat describes as their own cultural domains, “generating their own knowledge base that is often in conflict with the cultural authority of the scientific community.” Some are religious groups (challenging evolution, for instance). Some are industry groups (as with climate skepticism). Others tilt more to the left (such as those that reject the medical establishment). As varied as these groups are, they are all alike in one way. They all harbor sacred beliefs that they do not consider open to question.
The anti-intellectualism that has been a mainstay of the conservative movement for decades also makes its members easy marks. After all, if you are taught to believe that the reigning scientific consensuses on evolution and climate change are lies, then you will lack the elementary logical skills that will set your alarm bells ringing when you hear a flim-flam artist like Trump. The Republican “war on science” is also a war on the intellectual habits needed to detect lies.
A man enters an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, and with a Bushmaster XM15-E2S carbine rifle, murders twenty children, all of whom are either six or seven years old.
What we are seeing now is the case for disbanding the Republican Party.
Seriously folks, it's all nonsense. Hillary is one of the most honest politicians there is, and the various "scandals" constantly plaguing her are nothing but sexism, conscious or not, and mendacious Republican propaganda.
In November 2014, Elon Musk submitted a (subsequently deleted) comment to Edge.org: "The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I'm not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. Unless you have direct exposure to groups like DeepMind, you have no idea how fast -- it is growing at a pace close to exponential. The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five-year time frame. Ten years at most.
Trump is not just a wacky politician of the far right, or a riveting television spectacle, or a Twitter phenom and bizarre working-class hero. He is not just another candidate to be parsed and analyzed by TV pundits in the same breath as all the others. In terms of our liberal democracy and constitutional order, Trump is an extinction-level event. It’s long past time we started treating him as such.
Fuck you all balls.
And in this presidential cycle, the breakout candidates of both parties have soared without financial support from the elites. Sanders, who is sustaining his campaign all the way to California on the backs of small donors and large crowds, is, to put it bluntly, a walking refutation of his own argument.
Pretty incredible results, if replicable.
Bernie is sitting there telling us that if we clap really hard, Tinkerbell will live. Hillary is like, “That bitch is dead, I shot her. It’s time to grow up.”
“I believe that what makes us unique is transcending our limits.”