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Long Game
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Musings, questions, insight, and groping toward understanding
Musings, questions, insight, and groping toward understanding

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Long Game's posts

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I have many things worth saying, but Giroux does it so much better:

What happens when politics turns into a form of entertainment that washes out all that matters? What happens to mainstream society when the dominant and more visible avenues of communication encourage and legitimate a mode of infantilism that becomes the modus operandi of newscasters, and trivia becomes the only acceptable mode of narration? What happens when compassion is treated as a pathology and the culture of cruelty becomes a source of humor and an object of veneration? What happens to a democracy when it loses all semblance of public memory and the welfare state and social contract are abandoned in order to fill the coffers of bankers, hedge fund managers and the corporate elite? What are the consequences of turning higher education into an "assets to debt swapping regime" that will burden students with paying back loans in many cases until they are in their 40s and 50s? What happens when disposable populations are brushed clean from our collective conscience, and are the object of unchecked humiliation and disdain by the financial elite? As Zygmunt Bauman points out in Babel: "How much capitalism can a democracy endure?"

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T. Greg Doucette is a criminal defense lawyer in North Carolina who also writes a legal blog. And he’s got some things to say.

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This is one of the best things I've ever read.

Violence is not even in our past.  Violence continues today. I was reading a stat that the neighborhood where the “riots” popped-off earlier this week is in fact the most incarcerated portion of the state of Maryland. And this is not surprising. We live in a country where the incarceration rate is 750 per 100,000. Our nearest competitor is allegedly undemocratic Russia at 400 or 500 per 100,000. China has roughly a billion more people than America; America incarcerates 800,000 more people than China. And as bad as that national incarceration rate is, the incarceration rate for black men is somewhere around 4,000 per 100,000. So if you think the incarceration rate for America is bad, for black America it’s somewhere where there is no real historical parallel.

Hat tip to +George Station.

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I think this story tells us so much about the origins of the drug war—the degree to which it was about race, then and now, and how they prefigure what we do to addicts today. People who are addicts are in terrible pain—Billie Holiday was raped and prostituted as a child—and we take these people and inflict more pain and suffering on them, and then we’re surprised they don’t stop taking drugs.

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This is worth your read.

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Why we don't win any intellectual honesty awards.

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Kids are uploading their adolescence in real-time, and the Internet refuses to forget. Will it change the way we live as adults?

One of the greatest difficulties between young people and adult people, of course, is that adult people have a hard time remembering exactly what it’s like to be young. Spending time with my partner’s mother recently, we found an essay she wrote when she was 15 or 16 — we laughed at the bravado of her prose, but were also moved by her passion and idealism. Typed on a typewriter, on yellowed paper, unseen for decades, it was the most teenage thing ever. She was amazed at revisiting her poetic younger self. And even though much less time has passed for me, I’m sure I would be unsettled to re-read something that I wrote in high school. It would be like emotional time travel.

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“Let’s be clear,” says Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, “there are two types of detox: one is respectable and the other isn’t.” The respectable one, he says, is the medical treatment of people with life-threatening drug addictions. “The other is the word being hijacked by entrepreneurs, quacks and charlatans to sell a bogus treatment that allegedly detoxifies your body of toxins you’re supposed to have accumulated.”

If toxins did build up in a way your body couldn’t excrete, he says, you’d likely be dead or in need of serious medical intervention. “The healthy body has kidneys, a liver, skin, even lungs that are detoxifying as we speak,” he says. “There is no known way – certainly not through detox treatments – to make something that works perfectly well in a healthy body work better.”

Thanks to +Shannon Turlington for the pointer.

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This is a story of how harmless choices can make a harmful world.

Our cute, adorable segregation simulator is based off the work of Nobel Prize-winning game theorist, Thomas Schelling. Specifically, his mathematical model of racial segregation found in Dynamic Models of Segregation. We built on top of his model, by showing how adding a small cultural demand for diversity can help desegregate a neighborhood. In other words, we gave his model a happy ending.
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