03 December, 2016

The Digest—Saturday, 3 December, 2016

[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: Senate anti-science committee, our probable new Secretary of Defense, women computers, child jailed for shooting her abuser, the fire in Oakland, varieties of anger, Palin chides Trump, Trump encourages extrajudicial murder, and ultralikes for Black Mirror=-


Climate scientists condemn article claiming global temperatures are falling
Alan Yuhas from The Guardian

The Senate committee of science, space, and technology is quoting Breitbart freaking news for their climate science "data," and Trump's not even the president yet. Leave it to Bernie to sum it up:
“Where’d you get your PhD?” Sanders asked. “Trump University?”

Inside the mind of 'Mad Dog' Mattis
Peter Bergen from CNN

Trump's nom for Sec. of Defense. He has some good qualities: he believes in reading, in history, in critical thought, and he does not agree with torture. He also has some not-so-great qualities: he thinks LGBTQ military members should be closeted or not be in the military; he wants to remove women from combat roles; he thinks wars should be fought to the bitter, brutal end; he wants to send more troops into Afghanistan; he thinks focusing public attention on PTSD and veteran suicides is a bad thing; he thinks we need an even larger military; he seems unwilling to consider he might be wrong (I could myself be wrong about that, but of all the recommendations and advice and guidelines and inspirations listed, none of it contained a trace of rigorous debate or self-reflection). 

The Women 'Computers' Who Revolutionized Astronomy
Jenny Woodman from The Atlantic

This is remarkable, especially for the acclaim they received at the time. Definitely worth reexamination and more acclaim today.

Bresha Meadows Isn't a Murderer. She's a Hero.
Goldie Taylor from The Daily Beast

A girl and her family are brutalized and tortured for years by her father, so one day she breaks, and she kills him, and she's charged with murder. This has been a moral/legal dilemma for years with women who suffer long-term domestic abuse. The courts still don't recognize the real and immediate danger women are in when they try to leave such violent and controlling relationships unless the woman is murdered in the process. When she kills the abuser in what, to them, is real and imminent self-defense, prosecutors treat is as callous and cold-blooded murder instead of an escape from everyday, traumatic violence from which they can't escape without risk to life. 

Inside the Oakland Party Fire: One Rickety Staircase in a ‘Tinderbox’
Michael Rosen from The Daily Beast

This is so horrible, and I am still hoping no one I knew was there. I've been to many places like this, houses and warehouses with 'co-ops' and collectives and squats and makeshift structures in other structures. Shit just happens. People die. Others survive. Some watch. Some specialized few extinguish flames. Swarms more report and photograph and talk over scenes and repeat words always said at such times and call in anyone in any way peripheral to fire or music or Oakland or buildings or humanity or life or death. Experts. Consultants. There can be no experts for the reality of when shit...just...happens. 

For those to whom it's happening now, safe journey in that long goodnight, or steel yourself for the coming years; sometimes pain is all you have.

The Varieties of Anger
Lisa Feldman Barrett from The New York Times

She talks about healthy and unhealthy versions of of anger, its subtle and not-so-subtle tones, hues, cries, shrieks, hisses, growls. She mentions the Buddhist view of anger as ignorance of others feelings, lack of compassion for others, that anger can bring us to understand others if we allow our empathy to reach theirs. I don't see this in action in most of America. I see the anger that divides and isolates and turns off empathy and compassion, that Otherizes everything not just like me
We are a divided country, but we are united by anger.
But it is that anger that divided us in the first place. We might be united by anger if we were angry about the same things, or if we were all Buddhists and could use that anger to relate to one another, but we use it to plant flags on our ideas and say, YOU SHALL NOT PASS, and feel righteous for doing so. I try to see the other side, but I slip into this divisional anger, too. Then I catch myself, and I try harder.

Sarah Palin Blasts Trump’s Carrier Deal as Example of “Crony Capitalism”
Daniel Politi from Slate

This is a gas. Especially this bit:
"However well meaning, burdensome federal government imposition is never the solution. Never. Not in our homes, not in our schools, not in churches, not in businesses," Palin wrote. 
Except when it comes to what women can do with their own bodies, who individuals can have sex with and how they can have that sex, who people can marry, the insistence that religion is just as educationally rigorous as science, that your religion, exclusively, should impose its morals on everyone else, or, in other words, government has to butt out UNLESS IT IS ENFORCING MY MORALITY. 
"Gotta’ have faith the Trump team knows all this."
No, Sarah, I don't.

Philippines President Says Trump Congratulated Him on Violent Anti-Drug Crackdown
David Politi from Slate

You know, that anti-drug "crackdown" that has seen thousands of people murdered in the streets by police and those hired by the police, drug dealers and drug users gunned down, no arrest, no trial, no hearing. Is it a surprise Trump apparently considers this "the right way" to do business?


Black Mirror, season 3, episode 1 ("Nosedive")
via Netflix

We're a lot closer to this reality than it seems. 

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