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paul beard
1,893 followers -
Lifelong learner and teacher
Lifelong learner and teacher

1,893 followers
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Software can be thought of as a system for encapsulating the expertise of skilled practitioners; translate the hard-won expertise of a machinist or a dental technician or a bookkeeper into code, and people with little expertise in those fields can recreate many of the feats of the greatest virtuosos…

Technology itself has been about that, from the force multiplier of steam, water, and wind power, to the Jaquard loom and the pin making machines that Adam Smith wrote about. And, then as now, the dividends from harvesting all that expertise don't accrue to those who cultivated it. 

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TV network executives five years ago: This is great, we found someone willing to pay us for our back catalog of old crappy TV shows.

TV network executives today: Nobody could’ve seen this coming, this is terrible.

Me: hahahahahahaha

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"I know that you guys kind of laugh at us, but we're winning, We're in the driver's seat right now. And whoever thought that would happen? I've been doing this for 25 years. If you were to tell me that Steve Milloy would have a chance to fix EPA, I would have said you're crazy."

This is what has always been about — winning, ie, making the other guy eat a shit sandwich. If one side wants to drive on the road, winning means putting the wagon in the ditch. If one side wants to sail with the wind, winning means sailing against it. The destination doesn't matter. All that matters is not doing what the other guy wants.

This is Reagan's legacy, the idea that government never gets it right. If this charade survives the midterms, if both houses don't have a Democratic majority in solid opposition to Bannon, Putin, and Trump, you can call this experiment over. 

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She's not wrong but who would the House put in his place? I certainly like the idea of someone else in the chain of succession instead of the zombie-eyed granny starver (™ Charlie Pierce) but I don't know who they would choose. 

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Old words that ring true today…
“The wild beasts that roam over Italy,” he would say, “have every one of them a cave or lair to lurk in. But the men who fight and die for Italy enjoy the common air and light, indeed, but nothing else. Houseless and homeless, they wander about with their wives and children. And it is with lying lips that their imperators exhort the soldiers in their battles to defend sepulchres and shrines from the enemy. For not a man of them has a hereditary altar, not one of all these many Romans an ancestral tomb, but they fight and die to support others in wealth and luxury, and though they are styled masters of the world, they have not a single clod of earth that is their own.”

The men and women who fought for America's empire are in much the same situation, left to their own devices, despite missing limbs or irreparable damage to their minds. 

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Always timely and worthy of repetition…
The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone.

If television had a Golden Age, this program would have to be part of the reason why. 

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Old Paul Ryan gaffe goes viral: "We're not going to give up on destroying the health care system" …Just as everyone knew, for example, that Rush Limbaugh had a low opinion of women before revealing it in a "gaffe," everyone already knows Paul Ryan is an Ayn Randian laissez-faire dork. What he is has already been established; the gaffe is haggling over the price.

So…I remember all the people who argued that "Obummer had a majority when he was elected [hint: he didn't] and couldn't get things done…" I look forward to their trenchant and insightful analysis of how 45, with GOP majority in the House and Senate, couldn't roll back the ACA, aka ObamaCare. 

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Party conservatives want health insurers free to sell junk policies that provide little care and to make unlimited profits; moderate Republicans fear what the resulting death toll will do to their election prospects. But both are needed to pass the bill.

Either Trump's presidential authority evaporates within weeks of his inauguration, then, or party resistance to him collapses completely. I'm taking bets! Mine: conservatives will do what he tells them. Shame comes to them naturally, and they won't want to burn him until they can get rid of him.

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