[The Digest is a collection of articles, videos, and other media I've viewed and found significant throughout the day. It is a way to divest myself from other social media that is more reliant on likes, click-bait, and peer-approval rather than quality, intelligence, and diversity of opinion, which are the qualities I find important. It is also a way to devote myself to daily contributions to this space...at least in theory.]
-=Summary: Professor watchlists, female genital mutilation in America, more alt-right definitions, bee for a day, Trump's war on science, stop with the stigma, Black Mirror, and Silenced=-
Professor Watchlist website elicits both fear and ridicule in US universities
Mazin Sidahmed from The Guardian
So people you disagree with are "anti-American." This is either outrageous hyperbole or really, really screwed. I know this kind of rhetoric has been going around for a while now, but come on. The dangerous thing about lists like this is that, like the article mentions, they paint those listed as targets for lunatics who feel a violent need to prove a point. Gabrielle Giffords was on such a list (thanks, Sarah Palin).
'FGM happened to me in white, midwest America'
Dr. A. Renee Bergstrom from The Guardian
This is horrific. I never knew this happened in the U.S., and hearing that it has makes me fear how often it happened and whether it still does. Why does religion fear women so desperately?
What the Alt-Right Really Means
Christopher Caldwell from The New York Times
Seems many people have the in on what "alt-right" really means, as opposed to what it doesn't, I suppose, or as opposed to the blanket inclusion of every Trumper in this group.
You're a Bee. This Is What it Feels Like.
Joanna Klein from The New York Times
How Trump Could Wage a War on Scientific Expertise
Ed Yong from The Atlantic
This is really quite alarming. I didn't know about any of these rules, and now they may become worse. Who needs science when we have billionaires to tell us what to believe? Thanks, America. Whoops (see below).
How Stigma Sows Seeds of Its Own Defeat
Conor Friedersdorf from The Atlantic
This article posits a very valid, very urgent argument. We need new ways to communicate, new messages to send, new conversations to be had. I don't think this means ignoring the horrors that are committed, but there has to be another side to that discussion.
Black Mirror, season 3, episode 2 ("Playtest")
I guess the questions evoked by this episode include: how far do we want technology to augment reality? Do we really want tech that can gain access to our memories? Our minds? Our senses? Does access include the ability to write over, as well as read, information? Is total immersion really just a mind collapsing in on itself? I have no idea, but the asking is always far more interesting to me.
Documentary about whistleblowers in the U.S. and the American government's attacks on whistleblowers, which are obviously quite disturbing. The man who was head of counterterrorism in Pakistan is reduced to working as a stockboy at Michael's (yes, the craft store). This is ruining the lives of people who come forward because all internal procedures have failed, because they see their government engaging in illegal procedures, because they know it is their duty to put a stop to it, and those up high deem them not just expendable, but necessarily disposable. This will always be part of Obama's legacy, and it is indefensible.