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racism 

A common bad take on racism is:

"the USA isn't a racist country because we ended slavery! we ended jim crow! we elected a black president!" etc.

The insidious unexamined assumption is that oppression is like the natural "baseline" for black people, so white people deserve credit for each step of "lifting" black people out of oppression

If we were really not-racist we would not have started slavery or jim crow in the first place, and a black president would have been unremarkable!

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J'adore! 😆

Virtual meetings are basically modern seances.

"Elizabeth are you here?"
"Make a sound if you can hear us."
"Is anyone else with you?"
"We can't see you. Can you hear us?"

#humour #meeting #seance

Uspol 

Reminder that no states have ever had results on election night. What you see on election night are forecasts made by TV news stations. Anything you hear describing election night "results" that are later "changed" by mail-in count is not just BS, it's BS that wants you to be ignorant of basic facts about how our government works. Propaganda by, and for, people who think television spin is the only reality.

There is no result until mail in ballots are counted.

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Restoring 15% of converted lands in priority areas could avoid 60% of expected extinctions while sequestering 299 gigatonnes of CO2 - 30% of the total CO2 increase in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution.

uspol 

I am so looking forward to after the election when I'll be able to make plans for the future again

even if those plans are "sell my house and get out of the country", at least I'll be able to do something.

For months I've just felt paralyzed, unable to plan ahead or think about the future or start any long-term projects, because no future was imaginable beyond the event horizon of Nov 3, 2020

Uspol 

Every time somebody defends the massively unequal amounts of political representation between people in different areas of the USA by saying "we're a republic not a democracy UwU ", I really want to ask them to define "republic", how it's different from "representational democracy" and what about a republic requires unequal representation?

uspol 

the tension is killing me, i am flipping back and forth on a daily basis between thinking the election might be OK and being absolutely positive that we're about to be screwed again.

Can't wait for results to start coming in so I can update which doomsday scenario we're in. Is it the one where biden wins by a little but corrupt courts hand it to trump by disqualifying ballots? Or the one where biden wins by a lot but the heavily-armed pro-trump militia starts a civil war? 😬

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Polite reminder: Earth is a tree planet with some bacteria. Everything else is just the extra stuff that lives here too.

I gave up. He told me he was supposed to be Alexander Hamilton. It must have been so frustrating that none of the other kids know who that is, and the adults all just assume "pirate"

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We did some minimal masked, socially distanced outdoor halloween activities with a small group of neighbors.

One of the neighbors kids had a tricorn hat and a long coat on, and was increasingly frustrated that everyone kept calling him a pirate. I sympathize. I used to be that kid: I'd always come up with esoteric costume ideas that nobody else understood.

I tried my best to guess. "Are you from the revolutionary war?" He was. "John Adams? Paul Revere?" Nope.

Visible sunbeams shining down through the trees looked very magical this morning

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@nindokag cool! Cornell is currently researching a geothermal energy as part of its goal to move toward a zero-emissions campus (and since Cornell is as big as a decent-sized town, with 33k students and staff, that would be fairly significant.)

Links, if you're curious: earthsourceheat.cornell.edu and deepgeothermalheat.engineering.cornell.edu

It's pretty exciting!

cnn.com/2020/04/09/world/oldes

Neanderthals made twisted fiber cord!

We tend to focus on stone tools in prehistoric archaeology but that's just because they're most easily preserved. Textile tools are just as important.

It's made with a pretty sophisticated technique which suggests it came from a culture experienced with textiles. These Neanderthals might have also made baskets, nets, etc.

"The idea that Neanderthals were cognitively inferior to modern humans is becoming increasingly untenable"

Summary of new developments in geothermal energy:

vox.com/energy-and-environment

The potential for scaling up is very exciting. Geothermal would be a great source of baseline load to supplement solar and wind, replacing natural gas or nuclear in the mix.

Also, geothermal involves a skill set (drilling) that fossil fuel companies have expertise in. It gives them a way to use their powers for good, possibly making it easier to get them into a green energy political coalition?

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Fibonachos (I went to way too much trouble setting up this joke).

subtooting the birdsite 

Nate Silver is just a guy who averages polls together. He doesn't control the election, pestering him to change his averages doesn't make your candidate more likely to win. He's not your therapist, he can't see the future, and he's running out of ways to explain to you that a high probability doesn't mean 'definitely will happen' and a low probability doesn't mean 'can't happen'. No matter how much you want it to mean that.

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They've found more water in shadowed regions of the moon, and also more water locked up in rock on the moon.

nytimes.com/2020/10/26/science

#Research #Moon #Space #Water #Ice

california pol 

The ballot props I most strongly support are:

- allow felons on parole to vote
- allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries if they'll be 18 by the general.

The arguments against these propositions were so bad, they increased my support. They were all "criminals are BAD!" and "teenagers are DUMB!"

the question to ask is not "does this person 'deserve' to vote" but rather "does the government deserve the power to take this person's vote away" and the answer is almost always "no"

I just reblogged an Atlantic article about the things the rich do to their own children to launder class privilege through college admissions... it's nuts.

Connecticut is my home state. My family lived paycheck-to-paycheck (single mom working as a waitress to raise us). The fact that the only times I ever see Connecticut represented in media, it's this elite world of massive wealth and privilege... It's hard to believe these families exist an hour drive from where I grew up.

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Ruth S Barrett's feature in the current issue of The Atlantic exposes the jaw-dropping world of ultra-rich families' tormented children and their desperate, moneyball gambits to buy their way into sports scholarships.

theatlantic.com/magazine/archi

It's a longread and worth your time, but here's a quick tldr: you've got kids whose parents move Olympians into their guest-cottages to train them in squash or fencing in private gymnasia on their sprawling estates.

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