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05 December 2016

Trevor Noah: Let’s Not Be Divided. Divided People Are Easier to Rule.

“When you grow up in the middle, you see that life is more in the middle than it is on the sides. The majority of people are in the middle, the margin of victory is almost always in the middle, and very often the truth is there as well, waiting for us.”

The American system of government is a system that encourages compromise and governing from the center because of the checks and balances that exist. This is also one reason that change happens slowly. But I agree with Noah, the middle is often where so many of us live and where so much truth can be found.

Reading

05 December 2016

Exposure

It's a cold war era spy thriller, with a married couple at the center of it, caught up in something that they aren't quite aware of in the beginning. And it's wonderful.

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04 December 2016

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04 December 2016

Donald Trump, the First President of Our Post-Literate Age

“And here we begin to see how the age of social media resembles the pre-literate, oral world. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and other platforms are fostering an emerging linguistic economy that places a high premium on ideas that are pithy, clear, memorable and repeatable (that is to say, viral). Complicated, nuanced thoughts that require context don’t play very well on most social platforms, but a resonant hashtag can have extraordinary influence. Evan Spiegel, the chief executive officer of Snap Inc., grasped the new oral dynamics of social media when he told the Wall Street Journal: ‘People wonder why their daughter is taking 10,000 photos a day. What they don’t realize is that she isn’t preserving images. She’s talking.’”

Fascinating idea, not sure I believe it or not, but maybe that's because reading and words are so important to me.

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04 December 2016

Now Is the Time to Talk About What We Are Actually Talking About

“Now is the time to resist the slightest extension in the boundaries of what is right and just. Now is the time to speak up and to wear as a badge of honor the opprobrium of bigots. Now is the time to confront the weak core at the heart of America’s addiction to optimism; it allows too little room for resilience, and too much for fragility. Hazy visions of “healing” and “not becoming the hate we hate” sound dangerously like appeasement. The responsibility to forge unity belongs not to the denigrated but to the denigrators. The premise for empathy has to be equal humanity; it is an injustice to demand that the maligned identify with those who question their humanity.”

Thank you, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, for your words. Thank you.

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04 December 2016

Obama Reckons with a Trump Presidency

“‘The prescription that some offer, which is stop trade, reduce global integration, I don’t think is going to work,” he went on. “If that’s not going to work, then we’re going to have to redesign the social compact in some fairly fundamental ways over the next twenty years. And I know how to build a bridge to that new social compact. It begins with all the things we’ve talked about in the past—early-childhood education, continuous learning, job training, a basic social safety net, expanding the earned-income tax credit, investments in infrastructure—which, by definition, aren’t shipped overseas. All of those things accelerate growth, give you more of a runway. But at some point, when the problem is not just Uber but driverless Uber, when radiologists are losing their jobs to A.I., then we’re going to have to figure out how do we maintain a cohesive society and a cohesive democracy in which productivity and wealth generation are not automatically linked to how many hours you put in, where the links between production and distribution are broken, in some sense. Because I can sit in my office, do a bunch of stuff, send it out over the Internet, and suddenly I just made a couple of million bucks, and the person who’s looking after my kid while I’m doing that has no leverage to get paid more than ten bucks an hour.’”

A lot of really interesting things in this interview with Obama. I'll miss his calm and eloquent way of talking about world affairs. But the insider look at the days leading up to and the days after the election were fascinating to me, both in how Obama talked about the odds and how he cared for his staff in the aftermath. I also think he is making a case for a basic income in this quote, but if our government isn't thinking this way, then I think many people may get left behind and the inequality gap will only widen.

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04 December 2016

Washington Post Editor Marty Baron Has a Message to Journalists in the Trump Era

“The truth is not meant to be hidden. It is not meant to be suppressed. It is not meant to be ignored. It is not meant to be disguised. It is not meant to be manipulated. It is not meant to be falsified. Otherwise, wrongdoing will persist.”

I just watched Spotlight not that long ago, it's a really great movie, and Baron's role in the story is super intriguing as well. This short speech has a lot in it, and I hope that journalists heed his message. We desperately need people bringing the truth into the light in the days ahead.

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02 December 2016

Andy Warhol: Drawings and Illustrations of the 1950s

I'm not a fan of the screen printing era that includes the Campbells soup cans, but usually in a big show on an artist I'll find at least one era that I like. And this show had it, his very early work in advertising is amazing and I'd never seen it before.