Links 12/24/17

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Links for you. Science:

Flu Season Is Here Early. Why Didn’t We See It Coming?
Specimen of the Week 321: the Wall of Mice
Uncertain Inheritance: Epigenetics and the Poisoning of Michigan
A teacher’s reaction to forbidden words
The cross-subsidy of research by teaching is a myth

Other:

Democrats Can’t Stop the Tax Bill — But They Can Make Republicans Pay
The Real Danger To Civilization Isn’t AI. It’s Runaway Capitalism
Is the Rental Housing Explosion Over?
Elected Democrats continue to misunderstand the conflict they’re in.
The Pentagon’s UFO Program Raises a Serious Policy Issue
Seven questions for Robert Barr, the first pulpit rabbi to run for Congress (holding off support until I see some policy announcements)
A few points to keep in mind when reading any upcoming story about Elon Musk
The G.O.P. Tax Bill Is Unworkable
America’s Most Notorious Neo-Nazi Is On The Lam. Won’t You Come Home, Andrew Anglin?
White Christianity is in big trouble. And it’s its own biggest threat.
Clapper Refocuses the Russian Investigation
CEO of cryptocurrency play up 1,000% in 2 days to $3.1 billion: ‘This market cap is not justified’
We’re witnessing the wholesale looting of America
GOP columnist: 4 problem words – “Republicans raised my taxes”
How a Culture of Harassment Persisted on Ford’s Factory Floors
GOP’s Holiday Assault On Charities
The Doug Jones Victory Belongs to the People of Alabama, Not Just African-Americans (bad title, good post)
From Employer Coverage to Single Payer Health Insurance
A Public Internet Is Possible
Experts: Broward’s elections chief broke law in destroying ballots

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3 Responses to Links 12/24/17

  1. Min says:

    Studebaker’s post about the Jones victory in Alabama makes some good points, but contains some bad errors, as well. He states: “Alabama has gotten a bad deal from our government for a long time. It’s much poorer than rich coastal blue states like New York–its median household income is more than a fifth lower:” Yes, Alabama, like the rest of the Deep South, is poor. But that’s not because it has gotten a bad deal from the Federal gov’t. New York and other Blue states subsidize the South by sending Federal money their way. As a schoolboy in the South during segregation, I was aware that we got more money from the Federal gov’t than we paid it in taxes. Studebaker seems to think that the poverty of the South is the result of “historical injustices”, among which he includes the ravages of the Civil War and reconstruction. (!!!) Yes, the antebellum South was rich — at least, it had a lot of rich people in it. But the poor White mudsills (people who did not have wooden floors) were in direct economic competition with slave labor. The historical injustices of the South were self-inflicted. Slavery and Jim Crow segregation oppressed both Blacks and working class Whites. I don’t know why the South is still so poor, but I suspect that racial and class inequalities stifled the creative energies of much of the population.

  2. Thornton Hall says:

    Studebaker’s post contains a good example of what I mean by “using Newtonian metaphors to understand Darwinian reality.” Notice the billiard ball chain of causation here:

    We should say it’s because the Democratic Party failed to win them over–it’s the job of campaigns and parties to win votes, not the job of the people to give their votes over on a platter. This is a basic mistake about the relationship between the political class and the people.

    Imagine trying to understand an ecosystem using this kind of reasoning:

    It is a mistake to say the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone brought back the trees such as cottwoods and willows. Plants are dependent on the sun and the soil. The class of animals is dependent on plants for food, not the other way around.

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