URLs du Jour

2020-07-27

  • I can't believe this ABC News tweet has not been removed and apologies issued. Yet:

    ABC News, 1941: "Japanese airmen set fire to a Hawaiian naval base after a peaceful military exercise intensified."

    (I'm sure someone made that joke already.)

    I feel sorry for anyone who thinks ABC News is in the news business. They are in the Newspeak business.


  • At the WSJ, Andy Kessler looks forward to Jeff, Tim, Sundar, and Mark showing up before the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee. And he thinks Tech CEOs Deserve an Apology.

    He might be right, but that's not a likely outcome.

    Tech companies are being beaten up for their size and success. That’s just envy. Eventually competition—especially from each other—and the next wave of cool technology will topple them.

    Listen closely and you may hear rumblings of the antitrust “theory of competitive harm.” That theory abandons any hard proof of consumer harm and holds, for example, that Facebook can be broken up merely because its purchase of Instagram prevented a competitor from emerging. Even squishier is the “New Brandeis School” and, get this, “Hipster Antitrust,” which say the purpose of antitrust is to help solve inequality and other social ills. That sounds like hammering the table, not facts. Meanwhile, I for one am not going to stand here . . .

    We looked at an example of "Hipster Antitrust" in Wired a couple days ago.


  • Michael Huemer wonders: What’s Destroying Our Culture?.

    I think the internet and social media have something to do with it. I think the democratization of information is endangering actual democracy.

    Let’s back up for a second and talk about the masses and the elites in a democratic society. Naively, you might be tempted to assume that the masses love democracy, since it lets “the people rule”, and the people, surely, want to rule. You might assume, then, that the elites are the main threat to democracy. Maybe rich business and political leaders, or perhaps intellectual elites, are conspiring behind the scenes to figure out how to undermine democracy in order to give themselves control. Then they would implement policies for their own benefit, at the expense of the masses. Muhahaha.

    That’s what undergraduates are inclined to think, from the start of their thinking about politics. Many still think that decades later. It is, however, pretty much the exact opposite of reality.

    This would explain a lot. Especially, it explains why the first move elites take in trying to sway public opinion is to scare the crap out of people instead of appealing to reason and facts. Go with what works.


  • And if you can't scare the crap out of people, you can always try guilt-tripping them. At Reason, Matt Welch provides an example: The Media Wants To Guilt-Trip Parents Over School ‘Pods’.

    Our kids are long since out of school, at least not on the receiving end. So I am out of the loop, and unaware of "pods": parent-organized teaching pools. Very Hayekian! And so the New York Times

    "Given that pods can be pricey, complicated to organize and self-selecting," cautions the paper's Melinda Wenner Moyer in an explainer this week, "they are likely to be most popular among families of privilege, experts say, and may worsen educational inequality."

    Yesterday, the Gray Lady rolled out a new education podcast with the sardonic title of "Nice White Parents," whose thesis is that, "If you want to understand what's wrong with our public education system, you have to look at what is arguably the most powerful force in our schools: White parents."

    And on the Opinion page, educator Clara Totenberg Green makes it even more explicit: "At a time when the Black Lives Matter movement has prompted a national reckoning with white supremacy, white parents are again ignoring racial and class inequality when it comes to educating their children," she writes. "As a result, they are actively replicating the systems that many of them say they want to dismantle."

    It has long been an Official Pun Salad Crackpot Reform Measure to abolish compulsory attendance laws. Let's not let this crisis go to waste!

    Also see the comment from my friend Skip at Granite Grok: White Parents are the problem with Education.


  • We missed it, but Jerry Coyne did not: Happy Birthday, Rosalind Franklin!.

    The chemist and X-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin was born 100 years ago today. Although she was never in the public eye in her lifetime, in the last quarter century she has become a figure of renown, with her name attached to a university, a medical school, several buildings and student dorms, lecture theatres, as well as various prestigious medals and fellowships and – most recently – a future Mars Rover and a commemorative UK coin. She died in London, of ovarian cancer, on 16 April 1958.

    Jerry's article is full of interesting history revolving around her work with DNA structure. Correcting the popular historical record on some points.


  • And the Google LFOD News Alert rings for an unfond farewell from my local grocery store chain, Hannaford, as chronicled by the Union Leader editorialist: Goodbye tobacco.

    The “Live Free or Die” state has one less option for those looking to hasten the die part of that motto.

    Hannaford supermarkets has announced they will be phasing out tobacco sales across their chain of grocery stores. This is sad news for Granite State smokers that want to pick up 20 cigarettes to go with their six beers, twelves [sic] eggs, ten hot dogs, and eight hot dog buns.

    I don't care about the tobacco, but the UL editorialist is very uninformed about the current thinking on eggs.


Last Modified 2020-07-28 9:04 AM EST