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Steven Flaeck
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Steven Flaeck

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As suggested to +Eric Duprey, David Lewis's "Elusive Knowledge".
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Steven Flaeck

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When students first learn about Rawls's difference principle, they often assume Rawls intends the principle to be applied directly to every transaction. I can't accept a pay raise unless this somehow indirectly benefits full-time janitors. But Rawls doesn't intend for the principle to work that way. Rawls thinks that rules--when they are properly internalized and…
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Steven Flaeck

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Nota bene: I will no longer entertain objections of the form "I reject the premise" unless an argument for that rejection is made. I find it too tedious to deal with anymore.
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+Matt Harmon it is customary to start such a statement with "Yo dawg".
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"""
"When you're an active sheriff in the state of Georgia, there are certain legal requirements and steps that have to be taken," said Doan. "It's not just an average citizen where you can take out a warrant for their arrest."
"""

I missed those parts of the 4th and 14th.
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Police are investigating a shooting in this northern Atlanta suburb involving an Atlanta-area county sheriff.
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I have now added Georgia to the list of places I will not travel.
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Steven Flaeck

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I sometimes wonder if conspiracy theories aren't mnemonic, a pattern assigned to disparate events so they are more easily remembered.
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I think there is a larger phenomenon at play here: we will do the same with history in general, construct a more memorable narrative that fits into our worldview (such as how some large percent of republicans believe Obama is to blame for Katrina), or that shouting fire in a crowded theater is a legitimate 1st amendment exception. We can keep elaborate narratives coherent as long as we are stringent in policing the border against inconvenient facts. Its really just intellectual laziness.
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If they hadn't raised the minimum wage to $15... oh, wait, what?
Construction work has begun on the first factory in China’s manufacturing hub of Dongguan to use only robots for production, the official Xinhua news agency reported. ...
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+Aaron Hamid - Because the old paradigm persists longer than is helpful.
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Spotted Hyena in Evening Light by Glatz Nature Photography on Flickr.
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Steven Flaeck

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I’m receiving reports now regarding the towers that have appeared in downtown Night Vale. Citizens say they can hear them, speaking, singing. They’re drawn to the square without knowing why. Some attendees emit only a gentle buzzing. All stand staring at the towers, rising, ichorous iridescence revealed as they scan over them, eyes drinking this new mystery.

The towers. 

They hear them… I hear them….

The towers...

they speak… 

they know… 

they shape…

...the weather.

[THE WEATHER]

The opening of Night Vale’s new central business district is a success. Gleaming black towers, beacons of prosperity for the city. Mayor Dana Campbell was there to cut the ribbon. Like the teeming crowd, she did not remember how she came to be there. standing on the dais, scissors in hand. But she remembered why: the central business district.

Built… it seems like... I can’t really tell you when the towers began, or when they came up for permit review. But I can tell you this: I’ve always remembered them, those dark spires gliding into the starlit sky. I’ve always known they were there. Even before. I just needed to jump start my memory, I guess.

Memory is always unreliable, listeners. First we’ve forgotten. A name. A face. A voice. But then, suddenly, we remember. And why? We can't be sure. We so often meet our memories by chance, like old acquaintances at the grocery store. We catch up, make small talk, slowly remember why we haven’t spoken in years. Those are always the strangest memories though. Memories of memories. Remembering why we remember or why we forgot. Like a familiar stranger on the street.

But, I guess, what else is a memory than someone out of the misty dark, briefly come into view. Waves of familiarity wash over you until they pass by into forgetfulness, into the unknown and, if we’re lucky, unknowable?

Good night, Night Vale.

Good night.
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"""
Even then, there’s a problem: Generally speaking, other people’s talents are a bonus to us, not a threat. When we think narrowly about competing with them for the current stock of jobs or college spots, they sure seem a threat. But when we think long-term, we see that most of us tend to benefit dramatically from other people’s greater human and social capital.
"""

As people transition from subsistence goods, to amenities, to status goods, more of their consumption really is zero sum. And when I think about the people making this argument, it's not the poor or the middle class. It's the people caught between the upper class and middle class: people with very good jobs who look very much like the people who have better jobs still save for a lack of prestige-conferring credentials.

That might be more important that we imagine. Consider the scenario outlined, where society is pushing toward status goods ever faster. Losing any status race might place permanent handicaps on a person because they impair their most powerful ability, to confer status on others. If you think back over the anxieties of rich, liberal, upper and upper middle class parents, does it not sound just a bit like the viewpoint of someone living a life built around avoiding demerits?

At that point, things really are zero sum. Maybe they're wrong about that, but there's no reason to assume they would be. If it looks like you're at the top, the most likely place to go is down.
When high human and social capital parents read to their kids at night, they're giving their kids yet another advantage in life over low human and social capital kids whose parents don't read to them. Adam Swift wonders if that might be problematic, and whether that might be reason to abstain from reading to your children…
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+Eric Duprey, I'll suggest, from the start, David Lewis. A very good argument, awesomely presented, is "Elusive Knowledge". 

I'll make a warning, though, in metaphysics and epistemology, take skepticism very seriously. Without doing so, everything is less amazing.
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Federal agents responsible for leaving a 23-year-old UC San Diego engineering student in a holding cell for five days without food or water received only reprimands or short suspensions from the Drug Enforcement Administration, according to the Justice Department.
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I'd call this attempted murder. Five days without water will kill some people, depending on their health and the weather.
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Osman Hamdi Bey, The Tortoise Trainer

I have a thing for these paintings. Inevitably, they share a lot with Orientalist work but, as scenes painted by people from the Middle and Further East, they're not. It's just a category always of interest to me, "how did the Orient depict itself when it chose a western technique"?
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Oh. The Tortoise Trainer. I was confused yet intrigued by the idea of painting tortoises.

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Before the tornado, we were all local shucksters. It is what we did after the clouds descended upon the unready world which made us heroines and comrades and, yes, wizards.
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