News — At The Edge — 4/4
The structure of our medieval political and economic systems — vote suppression, economic policy, healthcare and Internet — is being used against citizens and needs to be replaced.
“Trump went on Fox and Friends to talk about switching the 2020 election to mail-in, and said, that if you [did]…‘you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again….
Saying the quiet part out loud’…[is] a pretty consequential slip….
[Think] Hofeller, creator of…GOP’s nationwide gerrymandering campaign…[whose] key insight was the redistricting was ‘an election in reverse’ where, ‘instead of voters choosing their politicians, politicians choose their voters…[and] convinced GOP donors that funding state-level gerrymanders was a huge bargain on political influence….
[Thus] US became more antimajoritarian than ever and started to elect antimajoritarian politicians…who embrace the core right-wing tenet that some people are better than others and…should be in charge….
To get elected, antimajoritarians have two main tactics.
- scapegoating….’If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you’….GOP and…Fox, have opted to put its main base (old white people) into harm’s way by converting high-risk activity into a marker of tribal loyalty. They could kill of a LOT of [them]….
- cheating (i.e. gerrymandering)….[Hoeffler] never admitted he was gerrymandering on racial lines…[and] exhorted his allies to never write down anything like this, not to send emails or make notes to themselves about it….[But] anarchist daughter…[put] all that data online…Afterwards courts…had no choice but to find…against GOP redistricting….
When the President goes on national television and announces that he wants fewer people to vote [well]…Trump no longer has a leg to stand on.” https://pluralistic.net/2020/03/31/reality-endorses-sanders/#voter-suppression
A New Process to Fix Our Political System
As another political campaign season begins to assail us with the usual patronizing nonsense it seems obvious that this…
“Thomas Piketty’s ‘Capital in the 21st Century’…[was] simple, data-supported hypothesis: that markets left to their own will cause capital to grow faster than the economy as a whole, so over time, the rich always get richer….
[New book] ‘Capital and Ideology’…[says] ‘laws’ of economics are actually policies, created to ‘justify a society’s inequalities,’ providing a rationale to convince poor people not to start building guillotines….
After the French revolution, we enter the capitalist phase, then social democracies, and now, ‘meritocracies’…[which] invest markets with the mystical power to identify and elevate the worthy….[A] tautology: those who have the most are worth the most….
’Inequality is neither economic nor technological.
It’s ideological and political,’ where ‘ideology’…[is] set of a priori plausible ideas describing how society should be structured’….
[The] post-war social democracies gave way to the grifter meritocracies of today…[and] gave us Trump, xenophobia…[and] why working class people stopped voting (spoiler: they no longer perceive that elites will pay attention to them irrespective of how they vote)….
The elites’ indifference to working people is grounded in an alliance between the Brahmin Left (educated, well-paid liberals) and the Merchant Right (the finance sector)….
Life in a ‘meritocracy’ is especially cruel for poor people, because meritocracies…blame poor people for poverty….
Piketty’s work…highlights the intellectual poverty of the economics profession and its tunnel vision. ‘Economists cannot…[be] arbiters of…political concerns.’” https://pluralistic.net/2020/03/26/badger-masks/#piketty
Capitalism and Post-Capitalism — The Whole Truth & Nothing But
As a dog that regularly bites, it is fair to say we have a love-hate relationship with capitalism. This lends itself to…
In Singapore, they…track nearby phones…[and] keeps local logs of those contacts, and only uploads them to the Ministry of Health when the user chooses/consents….
In South Korea, the government texts people to let them know if they were in the vicinity of a diagnosed individual…[and] can include the person’s age, gender, and detailed location history….
[China’s] Alipay and WeChat now include health codes…to determine whether people are allowed to e.g. ride the subway, take a train, enter a building, or even exit a highway….
[But] at what point does the urgent need for better data collide with…individual privacy and avoid enabling…an aspiring, or existing, police state?
An open letter from ‘technologists, epidemiologists & medical professionals’ calls on ‘Apple, Google, and others…‘to provide an opt-in, privacy preserving OS feature to support contact tracing’….
Granted, this means relying on corporate surveillance, which makes all of us feel uneasy…[but] doesn’t mean creating a whole new surveillance infrastructure…[and] much better suited to…‘anonymizing’ data sets….
Obviously this should all be…firmly regulated…[given] its potential usage in authoritarian nations who might demand the raw data.” https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/29/test-and-trace-with-apple-and-google/
“Google’s threat analysis group…counters targeted and government-backed hacking against the company and its users….
[Found] government officials, journalists, dissidents, and geopolitical rivals being the most targeted…[using] phishing attacks that impersonated news outlets and journalists…[and] spread disinformation…[usually] from Iran and North Korea….
Microsoft said it had warned 10,000 customers of nation-sponsored attacks over the 12 previous months…[with]‘extensive’ activity from…groups sponsored by Iran, North Korea, and Russia….
[Sandworm’s] an attack group working on behalf of the Russian Federation…responsible for some of the world’s most severe attacks, including hacks on Ukrainian power…NATO and the governments of Ukraine and Poland… [and] NotPetya malware that created worldwide outages, some that lasted weeks.” https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2020/03/google-sent-users-40000-warnings-of-nation-state-hack-attacks-in-2019/
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