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John Powell
Lives in Seattle, WA
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John Powell

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A very serious game of Who's a Werewolf?

Palmisano Park, Chicago
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John Powell

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I’m a big fan of commercial space—private companies building rockets to get into space. I write about SpaceX a lot, of course, since it is very public about its progress. I don’t write as much about Blue Origin, run by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, because it’s more secretive, keeping things very...
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More truth.
 
My country is a horror show

And that's what The Wire was about basically, it was about people who were worth less and who were no longer necessary, as maybe 10 or 15% of my country is no longer necessary to the operation of the economy. It was about them trying to solve, for lack of a better term, an existential crisis. In their irrelevance, their economic irrelevance, they were nonetheless still on the ground occupying this place called Baltimore and they were going to have to endure somehow.

A long, great piece by David Simon, creator of The Wire, on the collapse of US society. More pull quotes, in case you can't read it:

That may be the ultimate tragedy of capitalism in our time, that it has achieved its dominance without regard to a social compact, without being connected to any other metric for human progress.

(Bolding mine):

Ultimately we abandoned that and believed in the idea of trickle-down and the idea of the market economy and the market knows best, to the point where now libertarianism in my country is actually being taken seriously as an intelligent mode of political thought. It's astonishing to me. But it is. People are saying I don't need anything but my own ability to earn a profit. I'm not connected to society. I don't care how the road got built, I don't care where the firefighter comes from, I don't care who educates the kids other than my kids. I am me. It's the triumph of the self. I am me, hear me roar.

And:

And so in my country you're seeing a horror show. You're seeing a retrenchment in terms of family income, you're seeing the abandonment of basic services, such as public education, functional public education. You're seeing the underclass hunted through an alleged war on dangerous drugs that is in fact merely a war on the poor and has turned us into the most incarcerative state in the history of mankind, in terms of the sheer numbers of people we've put in American prisons and the percentage of Americans we put into prisons. No other country on the face of the Earth jails people at the number and rate that we are.

Also:

And one of the things that capital would want unequivocally and for certain is the diminishment of labour. They would want labour to be diminished because labour's a cost. And if labour is diminished, let's translate that: in human terms, it means human beings are worth less.

But wait, there's more:

The idea that the market will solve such things as environmental concerns, as our racial divides, as our class distinctions, our problems with educating and incorporating one generation of workers into the economy after the other when that economy is changing; the idea that the market is going to heed all of the human concerns and still maximise profit is juvenile. It's a juvenile notion and it's still being argued in my country passionately and we're going down the tubes. And it terrifies me because I'm astonished at how comfortable we are in absolving ourselves of what is basically a moral choice. Are we all in this together or are we all not?

Please, not the brick:

We're either going to do that in some practical way when things get bad enough or we're going to keep going the way we're going, at which point there's going to be enough people standing on the outside of this mess that somebody's going to pick up a brick, because you know when people get to the end there's always the brick. I hope we go for the first option but I'm losing faith.
David Simon: Capitalism in America has lost sight of its social compact
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There's a book, 'Fire and Ice' (EDIT: 2004) that looks at the issue of Canadian vs. US politics and values. (Canadians have this existential fear that they're converging.) At any rate, it's written by a pollster that used this great long values-related survey to classify respondents - not into pre-set categories like 'left' and 'right', but into emergent clusters.

What he found was basically that while the the 'right' and 'left' were pointing fingers at the other side as being responsible for the moral malaise gripping america, it was neither. A hallmark of the right, as he put it, is trust in an external authority (e.g. institutions, religion) and on the left, trust in internalized ones (e.g. humanism).

But what was really happening was the rise of a third cluster, apolitical, and not particularly interested in moral authority of either sort, instead focused on conspicuous consumption.
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I want more of this Obama. 
http://www.vox.com/2015/4/27/8502493/obama-white-house-correspondents-dinner

If you haven't seen the full video of his speech/comedy set, check it out from the link in the article. It's awesome.
When Obama brought out Luther, he wasn’t kidding around.
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When will this insanity end? I say allow only 20 bucks per person per candidate per election. Period. 
http://www.propublica.org/article/rapid-rise-in-super-pacs-dominated-by-single-donors
Super PACS that get nearly all of their money from one donor quadrupled their share of overall fund-raising in 2014.
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The risks, the misinformation, and the science behind history’s greatest life saver
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Have him in circles
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John Powell

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Looking up at Chicago Women's Park
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Reshared for Truth.
 
ISAAC ASIMOV ‘A lifetime of learning’
zenpencils: ISAAC ASIMOV ‘A lifetime of learning’ Happy Monday! Learn something today… there’s only this one universe and only this one lifetime to try to grasp it.
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Definitely Truth. Thanks for sharing!
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Instead of addressing his critics head on, Oz just wants to talk about his freedom of speech.
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Have him in circles
512 people
Chris Goodwin's profile photo
Steve Gale's profile photo
Chris Bennett's profile photo
Sage LaTorra's profile photo
Dennis Dillman's profile photo
Scott Hill's profile photo
Neil Smith's profile photo
Christian Griffen's profile photo
Hxyxy Kgufgv's profile photo
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