Always good stuff on the web to be found…
Fascinating editorial in The Guardian by John Naughton entitled How a half-educated tech elite delivered us into chaos. In it, Naughton argues that our educational system, which stresses STEM but leaves out civics and the liberal arts, produces people who have little experience in thinking about good government. The result is that they don’t see threats on the horizon, even when they’re colored Orange.
Also in The Guardian, Julian Borger has a striking article in a recent issue entitled, “Disruption games: why are libertarians lining up with autocrats to undermine democracy?” Borger looks at the curious alliance between authoritarians like Putin and quasi-anarchists like Julian Assange. He concludes that the libertarians and fascists see each other as useful since both the Neo-Liberal system. What’s dangerous, he says, is that the libertarians believe that once Neo-Liberalism is overthrown, government in general will wither away…something that is fairly unlikely in the case of Vladimer Putin or Xi Jinping
And from the New York Times, Myths of the 1 Percent: What Puts People at the Top: Dispelling misconceptions about what’s driving income inequality in the U.S. by Jonathan Rothwell looks at how the top earners got there. Answer? You’d be surprised. According to Rothwell, the big money makers in the culture are members of elite professional groups, as in “professional services, finance and insurance, and health care, groups that tend to benefit from regulatory barriers that shelter them from competition.” In other words, to get ahead in the non-regulated libertarian economy, you need a government to protect your interests.
Speaking of the Times, here’s an interesting development. The New York has launched its on site on the darkweb. You’ll need a Tor browser to see it, but it is definitely there at https://www.nytimes3xbfgragh.onion/. Why has the venerable NYT opted to go to the Dark Side? Because, says the Times, there are people in nations around the world where just getting the news can be life threatening. Alas, the question is when we, here in America, will join that group.
Then, from the Daily Beast, we have James Mann’s When It Comes to U.S. Presidents, Trump Is China’s Dream. In it, Mann argues that Trump couldn’t serve Chinese interests better than if he’d been made in China—not too bright, easily manipulated with flattery, a despot like the ones in Beijing, and willing to commit the nation to policies that are not in America’s best interest. Gosh. And we thought it was just Putin we needn’t worry about.
From Motherboard, an inspiring story by Kaleigh Rogers entitled Ignored By Big Telecom, Detroit’s Marginalized Communities Are Building Their Own Internet. It seems that communities in the (former) Motor City that can’t get any sort of Web access, are effectively building their own using shared Wi-Fi Technology. It’s pretty astonishing, and ought to put the fear of God into some telecom folks.
From Ebony, we learn that an Internet Hacking Group Disables White Supremacist Websites. Zahara Hill writes that the Anonymous group brought down an assortment of Klan and Neo-Nazi sites. Three cheers Anonymous!
From the other side of the force, we have The Retaliatory State: How Trump Is Turning Government Into a Weapon of Revenge by Jonathan Chait in New York magazine. Seems the Drumpster has made getting back at his enemies (real or imagined) the lynch pen of his administration. Maybe it is new kind of government—Petty Paybackocracy.