How many things have you been mad about in the past week? How many meltdown-level shares have you seen in your social feeds?
Every day there’s something new that my entire social bubble is furious about (at least if feels that way). The Rage du Jour.
It’s the backlash for some stupid thing a politician did. Or the horrible take a celebrity had in response to a current event. Or a current event that isn’t getting the right coverage from the news. Or, sometimes, it’s rage about rage: the fact that people are mad about something become the thing other people are mad about.
In special cases the rage will last more than a day. But that requires a really sticky subject. Something that can keep our focus amidst the barrage of incoming candidates of rageworthiness.
It’s hard to stay genuinely mad about something for a long time. It takes energy, effort, fuel.
It’s easy to get mad about a new thing if the conditions are right.
And on social media the conditions are prime.Continue reading → “Rage du Jour”
Elizabeth Warren has thrown her hat in on a bold idea that’s been in the air for a long time: cancel student loan debt.
Not interest rate decreases, or refinancing, or other half-measures, but an all out cancelation of up to $50K in student loan debt for anyone whose income is $100K or less. Combined with universal free public higher education going forward.
Their project leveraged one of the most dysfunctional aspects of student loan debt: the fact that the debts get bundled and resold, over and over, for pennies on the dollar.
Rolling Jubilee raised $701,317 dollars (a few of which were mine, even as a broke post-grad student living under a pile of debt) and bought bundles of debt worth a total of $31,982,455.76.
Then, instead of trying to collect those debts, they abolished them. Poof. Gone. No more debt for the people whose loans were part of those bundles.
Those numbers highlight how broken, and at this point imaginary, the entire debt-debtor relationship is.
In what world does $700K buy $31M?Continue reading → “Cancel Debts Not People”
With more and more people talking about “the left cannibalizing itself” and “liberals eating their own,” or how “democrats need to unite to defeat Trump,” we need to keep reminding ourselves and others about the problem of progressivism — instead of just beating the dead horse that is the problems within progressivism.
I’ll start with the second one, because that’s what everyone won’t stop yelling about, and I’m afraid if I don’t do a little yelling you won’t hear me out on the part of this that I think is important.
So here it is, me jumping on the dogpile: the left has some problems, and we’re getting in our own way.
And that is true for the “right,” the “center,” liberals, progressives, leftists, Libertarians, Republicans, and so on.
Literally every political camp has problems. Any collection of humans with a count greater than 0 has problems.
So, why is the trope of “liberals eat their own” so pervasive?Continue reading → “The Problem of Progressivism”
Do you want emails from me?
Subscribe to the blog.
Usually, when I’m at home in Austin, I work in coffee shops. Today, I’m working from our gobsmackingly beautiful public library. And I can’t help but repeatedly ask myself “What would happen if someone pitched the idea of a public library today?”
It’s a broken record in my brain. An audio loop. It plays every time I turn a corner in this space.
“What would it sound like to argue for the idea of a public library in 2019?”Continue reading → “Public Libraries Shouldn’t Exist”
Consider a few alternatives. Let’s say I told you:
A. I want to remove every unhealthy habit, food, and mindset from my life, and I’m going to start tomorrow.
B. I’m going to eat less sugar, starting tomorrow.
When tomorrow comes, which one are you likely to hold me accountable to? Which might you help me excuse when I fall short? Which are you actually expecting me to do? Or even realistically try?
Let’s do a few more with those questions in mind.
A. It’s my goal to transform my country to 100% renewable energy.
B. It’s my goal to transform my local school district to 50% renewable energy.
A. My organization is going to end racism, globally.
B. My organization is going to help local people of color, and other disenfranchised people, register to vote and get to the polls.
That’s plenty to get the point I’m going to make, I think.
But first, here’s what I’m not about to say: that any of the As above — the lofty, admirable, pie-in-the-sky ambitions — are in any way bad, undesirable, or something I’m advocating against.
I want all of those things. I have, at different points in my life, said all of those things, in some way or another. And I don’t even like thinking of myself as ambitious.
Here’s all I want to point out: sometime we set the bar so high because it gives us an excuse when we can’t clear it.Continue reading → “When Ambition is Hiding”
A lot of us are addicted to our phones. If you’ve started to see why this might not be the best thing ever, and want to ween yourself off of that tantalizingly non-nourishing blue glow, you’re in good company. This is something I’ve been thinking about, and experimenting with, for a few years now. Following are three things you knock out in about 15 minutes, that will benefit you for weeks.
Before I get into those, I want to be clear: I’m talking about the colloquial, not clinical, usage of the term “addiction.” In this post, I’m not staking my flag in the hill that “phone addiction” is (or isn’t) real.
What I’m talking about here, as addiction, is the compulsive use of our phones. That we’re spending more time poking around our phones than we want to, picking them up and checking the screen before we realize we’re doing it, and that our phones aren’t adding quality to our lives, and might be distracting us from the things we’d actually care about enjoying.Continue reading → “3 Simple Things You Can Do to Curb Your Phone Addiction Right Now”