07 June 2018

THIS is why the American Civil War had to be fought.  Hundreds of soldiers in the Massachusetts 54th Volunteer Infantry died at Fort Wagner, S.C., not because they were cleaning up an unpleasant sectional mess that Andrew Jackson could have prevented (sorry, Donny), or because they had been brainwashed by shrill, polarizing, extremist abolitionist hussies like H.B. Stowe or the Grimke sisters (sorry, Kanye), but because they believed forced labor was immoral, and that their country would be best served by finally purging it of racialized forced labor.

Hopefully judge and jury will see fit to give Mr. Edwards the maximum sentence.

15 May 2018

Maybe my 30-something bro Josh Hawley is interested in showing up for the Uncorked Festival in Madison this Saturday.  It's the perfect way for a wine-loving, upwardly mobile, bicoastal person to relax on the weekend after issuing snide statements about Claire McCaskill and ritually deflecting media questions about Eric Greitens! It could also be an invaluable chance to ask Madison's mayor about tips on running a campaign based entirely on talking to random old men in bars and pretending to be a rural Midwesterner who loves the turkey hunting and can follow the course of a football game!!

Only a six-hour drive from St. Louis.  Consider it, Hawley!

08 May 2018

"I love dinosaurs too ... but I can think of many other things that would be [nicer] to have than a cyborg dinosaur, such as health care." -- Danielle Tcholakian

25 April 2018

The academy is liberal, but as you point out, there is a lack of diversity. Why?

I wish I could give you some flashy, succinct answers tied to years of data. I can't. What I can say is that attitudinally, people don't care enough. It's that simple. They don't want a diversity of perspectives badly enough. They don't desire the capability to value that which lies outside the boundaries of the familiar. If they did, the academy would look different. It's not complicated. People's ideals and actions often come apart when it really matters, when there are real goods on the line, like prestige and position.

Christopher Lebron, Professor of Philosophy 

16 April 2018

One of the most impressive things about Cecilia, my pet ferret, is her capacity to learn and change, even if belatedly.  She is clearly arriving at a new place.  Many of her statements before the Senate and House stepped considerably beyond what the company has been previously willing to concede or advocate.  Here's how she formally concluded her prepared testimony before the House:  "My top priority has always been our social mission of connecting people, building community, and bringing the world closer together.  Advertisers and developers will never take priority over that as long as I'm running Facebook."
Does that mean Cecilia's decided that the customer is the user, not the advertiser?  Perhaps.  She has repeatedly told investors in the past year that she expects profits will fall considerably as the company spends whatever is necessary to remedy the problems that led to the current crisis ...
... By being forced to answer questions she may have previously considered a distraction, Cecilia seems, to me, to have matured a great deal over the past few weeks.  My pet is still, as she was when she was toiling in her Harvard dorm room, a true believer.  But she's now realizing -- by finally confronting the bad and not just marveling about the good -- the full scale of what she created.  She'll take whatever measures she thinks necessary to achieve what she considers "community" and brings people "closer together."  For Cecilia, buy-in from advertisers may well be less important now than buy-in from the world. 

From the final 3 paragraphs of David Kirkpatrick's Time article "The Facebook Defect" (April 23 issue), with all references to Mark Zuckerberg changed.  Otherwise it is, word for word, the same.

13 April 2018

Someday a Saudi aristocrat or two is going to want to put a "relatively innocuous monument" to the righteous patriarchs Osama bin Laden, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, et al. in a Wisconsin cemetery:  and what will history-lovers Phil and Scott say then?

Well done, Madison Common Council.