“It is morally as bad not to care whether a thing is true or not, so long as it makes you feel good, as it is not to care about how you got your money as long as you have got it.” ~ Edmund Way Teale
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Karen Levy on the Rise of Intimate Surveillance
What Makes You YOU? Individuality, Consciousness and The Borg
Self-Awareness Is Essential in Comedy and in Life
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“Is ours a government of the people, by the people, for the people, or a kakistocracy rather, for the benefit of knaves at the cost of fools?” ~ James Russell Lowell
For the past few weeks, I have been reviewing articles about the trend toward authoritarianism in the USA. Unfortunately, articles appear faster than I can read and review them, so I’ll have to stop and move on soon. With this in mind, I list a few of the pieces I won’t get to, followed by excerpts from some other good ones.
Our two previous posts showed how prospect theory in behavioral economics explains why so many gambled on Trump, and why the artificial intelligence and decision theory expert Eliezer Yudkowsky thinks that this was a mistake. In a post written the day before the election, Yudkowsky expanded on both themes, providing a simple explanation of how many of the gamblers reasoned:
This Business Insider article on the outcome so far of the Thiel Fellowship experiment is interesting, though not surprising..
Our country’s privileged few used to exert their control through political surrogates. Now, thanks to Donald Trump, they’re taking a more hands-on approach.
Trump: “I believe that cows can jump over the moon.” Question: “Is that really true?” Pence: “He has a right to his opinion.”
Donald Trump recently tweeted: “In addition to winning the electoral college in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”
There is plenty of analysis on why Trump narrowly won the crucial states that gave him an electoral college victory—Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan—even though Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2.5 million votes. But what was particularly striking was how, even if we control for race and income, educational levels best predict how people voted in the election. Of course this was expected, but I was shocked by how much a difference education made in terms of voter preference.
It will be a long time into the future before we will know just what this election ultimately meant. What is perhaps more clear, even if we avoid donning the rose colored glasses of hindsight, is that the seeds that sprouted in 2016 were a long time- a- growing. They might even have been anticipated as far back as the culture wars that exploded onto the scene in the late 1960’s. More on that in a moment.
Like most of my readers, I am devastated by the 2016 American Presidential election results (and by the Congressional election results as well.) I have waited a few weeks to write about it so as not to be reacting too emotionally to the results. Since that time my usual focus on philosophy has faded into the background as the country in which I was born and lived all of my life finds itself in perhaps its greatest existential crisis.