Loads of good stuff on the Web this week. Check out:
Paleo Politics, by Jedediah Purdy in the New Republic. Purdy looks at various arguments that hunter-gathers were by nature democratic, but that agriculture led to tyranny. Sort of Rousseau, don’t you know, but very interesting.
Speaking of tyranny, Katelyn Harrop has a fascinating and distressing article in Vice Impact on “How Voting in These States Could Be Rendered Meaningless Thanks to Gerrymandering.” She also talks about some things we can do now to stop it.
And from the American theocracy file, Caitlin Flynn will ruin your day with the well-written and disturbing article Scott Pruitt Used A Biblical Quote To Explain EPA Policy Change in Refinery 29. Seems the goodly Mr. Pruitt quoted the Book of Joshua to explain why the EPA’s advisory boards will shortly be opened to industry insiders…and just maybe purged of scientists who fail to support the administration narrative.
Ever wonder how the alt-right folks got all that money? Meet Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah Mercer, who are jointly profiled by Todd Gitlin on the Moyer & Co. website. In How Robert and Rebekah Mercer Bought a Huge Stake in ‘Populism,’ we learn how this hedge fund manager and his daughter officially bankrolled Steve Bannon and a great deal more.
Scary article in Counterpunch. In Cowardly New World: Alternative Media Under Attack by Algorithms, Kollibri terre Sonnenblume argues that alterantive media (which includes LiberalResistance.net) are under attack by the Democratic Party establishment and large media corporations. Sonnenblume says that major figures on the right of our movement are out to silence folks who want to push the Dems to the Left…and they used skewed search algorithms at major search companies to do it.
Along similar lines, the MIT Technology Review has just released news of a study showing that software bots are indeed spreading fake news. The bad news is that someone…or many someones…are in fact building automated accounts to spread nonsense and propaganda on the web. The good news is that the study may suggest ways we can fight back.
While you’re just sitting there being terrified by that MIT Tech Review story (scares the willies out of us), here’s something else to make you queasy. Amanda Marcotte asks in Salon, Does the military have a white nationalism problem? The answer is an unsettling maybe. The military as an organization is opposed to racism, but a good many service men seem to harbor racist sentiments. Not a happy thing.