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Yes, a California lawmaker just argued that DST laws control the rotation of the Earth (or that plants care about human time measurements). Hard to say when there's so much crazy in one statement.

“Our crops have gotten accustomed to that. They’ve in fact been bred to deal with that longer harvest season. Don’t fix something that’s not broken.”
Californians may not get to weigh in on daylight saving time after all.
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❝Then after the War to end all Wars, we went and had another one. Again, for a historian it was quite predictable. Lead people to feel they have lost control of their country and destiny, people look for scapegoats, a charismatic leader captures the popular mood, and singles out that scapegoat. He talks in rhetoric that has no detail, and drums up anger and hatred. Soon the masses start to move as one, without any logic driving their actions, and the whole becomes unstoppable.❞
It seems we’re entering another of those stupid seasons humans impose on themselves at fairly regular intervals. I am sketching out here…
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Putin has invaded one country and installed a air defense system to assist his ongoing invasion of the Ukraine. The warfare we fear is going on right now in eastern Europe.
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In the attention economy, people are rewarded for extremism. They are rewarded for indulging their worst biases and stoking other people’s worst fears. They are rewarded for portraying the world as a place that is burning to the ground, whether it’s because of gay marriage, or police violence, or Islamic terrorism, or low interest rates. The internet has generated a platform where apocalyptic beliefs are celebrated and spread, and moderation and reason is something that becomes too arduous and boring to stand.

But really it’s not just them. It’s us. We are going crazy. Each one of us, individually, capsized in the flood of negativity, we are ready to burn down the very structures on which the most successful civilizations in human history have been built.
By nearly every objective measure, the world is a better place than it has ever been in modern history. So why doesn't it feel that way?
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Its going at a fast clip,hang on
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Hah.
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Seymour Papert, who has died aged 88, had a profound impact on education, and pioneered the use of computers as an aid to learning. He also co-authored the Logo programming language, and was involved with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, which delivered education-oriented laptops to children across the less-developed world.
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The basic moral principle at stake is simple: not only must we take responsibility for our actions, but the consequences of our actions for others are a far more important consideration than feeling good about ourselves.
John Halle/Noam Chomsky. (note: Comments and discussion can be posted below. Professor Chomsky requests that he not be contacted with responses to this piece.) Preamble: Among the elements of the weak form of democracy enshrined in the constitution, presidential elections continue to pose a ...
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In October of 1824, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison attended a board meeting of the University of Virginia, which would open the following spring. Jefferson and Madison had spent not a little time thinking about individual liberties. But minutes from the meeting show that their new school would not extend the right to bear arms to its red-brick grounds.

“No student shall, within the precincts of the University, introduce, keep or use any spirituous or vinous liquors, keep or use weapons or arms of any kind…” the board declared.
Gun advocates cite the founding fathers' intent, but Jefferson and Madison explicitly banned them when they founded the University of Virginia.
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Many of these independents are closet partisans. They say they are independent but consistently lean towards one party or the other. In Gallup’s latest survey, only 13 percent of Americans don’t favor the Democratic or Republican party. In other words, 87 percent of Americans prefer one party over the other, which is about on par with data since 1991.

In fact, the ANES found that fewer independent leaners voted for the opposite ticket than self-identified partisans who said they weren’t strongly attached to a party.
Gallup reported Wednesday that 43 percent of Americans identify as political independents — a record high. Thirty percent call themselves Democrats, and 26 percent call themselves Republicans…
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Some things I need to say which will probably be fairly unpopular:

(1) Pauline Hanson is an excellent example of why I think multiparty democracy is a terrible idea. Increasing the political power of people at the fringes might help you get your particular favorite idea represented – but it also lets other people do that. Generally, it moves political power away from the center and towards the edges. And so you end up with people like this having the effective deciding vote in legislatures, able to block any bill if they don't get their way.

(2) In related news, Jill Stein is now talking about how wonderful Julian Assange is. If you haven't been following what Assange and his cronies have been up to lately, he's been (a) openly waging a campaign against Clinton, saying he's doing this specifically to harm her and he doesn't care what else happens, (b) doing massive data dumps without bothering to redact sensitive personal information about people who are in no way implicated in wrongdoing (e.g., people's SSN's and home addresses), and (c) going off on thoroughly anti-Semitic rants in public. In case you haven't noticed it, Julian Assange is grade-A scum who happens to have been involved in some decent things in the past – but, AFAICT, anything good he's done has been by chance, not design.

Stein's self-affiliation with him only serves to lower her even further in my eyes. (Her policy statements did a great deal to do so before this, ranging from her love affair with anti-vaxxers to her lengthy screed against the rights of sex workers)

(3) For those who think that third parties serve an important role in the process, I have to say: I completely and utterly disagree.

Third parties would play an important role if the purpose of elections were for people to express their political opinions, and for the country to come to some kind of conclusion as to how its government should operate at a basic level. But that's not what elections do. That's the purpose of the public square, of public discussion and debate. Elections have a very specific and concrete purpose: to choose who takes various elective offices. That's all they do.

A vote for a third party is simply a fancy way to abstain; it doesn't actually increase the chances that the third party will get funding in the future, or that their ideas will be more listened to, because these parties are the fringe of the fringe: they are so interested in the "purity of their ideals" that they won't even enter into the process of actual dealmaking, coalition-building, and so on. Their ideas will never have an effect, because they have given up on talking to the main bulk of the country and are instead spending their time either preaching to the choir or trying to convert the handful of people who are so far on the edge of their own parties that they're about to abstain anyway.

And to be brutally honest: abstention from important elections on matters of principle is irresponsible.

Elections do come down to small numbers of votes. Bush v. Gore came down to roughly 600 votes' difference. Local elections, even statewide elections, can come down to even less. And when you not only abstain, but encourage others to do so, you stand the risk of actually influencing the election – but rarely in the way you want. Because if you encourage people who are leaning mostly your way to cast a protest vote, you're telling people who would vote for a candidate that mostly agrees with you to stay home. Whether you're on the left or the right, what that does is cast half a vote for the other side.

Do not tell me that both of the candidates are the same. To say that at this point goes beyond the level of "deliberately obtuse." You know they aren't.

Do not tell me that neither of the candidates is speaking about the things you care about. There may be the one thing you care about more than anything else, but whoever is President, and whoever controls Congress, is going to be making decisions about a lot of things, including things you care about a great deal. You do not get to choose from all the people in the world, or from all the positions in the world, but you do get to choose between two options, and they aren't the same. They will not appoint the same people to the courts, they will not start the same wars, they will not do the same things to the economy.

(4) If you are seriously so isolated that you think you would do equally well, or badly, under either of them, then think about what would happen to the rest of the people in the country. They wouldn't.

(5) If you seriously don't care and just want to watch the world burn, then I stand corrected: please, go vote for a third party. Or stay home. Or emigrate. Those of us who have to live here don't welcome you.
According to Pauline Hanson, Australia is being "swarmed by Asians", mosques need to have security cameras, and halal-certified food is funding terrorism.
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❝Nearly a third [29%] of Louisiana Republicans think President Obama is to blame for the federal government’s notorious response to Hurricane Katrina, a new poll revealed.❞

(28% blamed then President George W. Bush, and 44% didn't know who was responsible for the slow federal response and, chances are, most of them vote.)
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In this light, deciding whether to vote is much like deciding whether to visit a popular bar. You only want to go when the bar is not too crowded, but you have to decide in advance, and everyone is thinking the same thing. The bar situation is known as the El Farol Bar problem and has some interesting conclusions.
Voting is a prized civic duty. But it is also a high stakes competition with clear winners and losers. In this light, voting can be viewed as a contest of strategy. If you want to make your vote co…
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