Another bit of essential reading by David Wong, and it applies to Australia as well. Well worth the time.
It feels good to dismiss people, to mock them, to write them off as deplorables. But you might as well take time to try to understand them, because I’m telling you, they’ll still be around long after Trump is gone.
John Oliver absolutely killed it on Monday night:
“Oliver concluded by reiterating what Clinton argued in the debate: that the contents of the video are “entirely in character” for Trump. Oliver warned that Trump isn’t going anywhere, even as GOP members flee his ticket.
“This is happening,” Oliver said. “And, in a way, perhaps we have been always heading towards this historic moment. The first female presidential nominee versus the human embodiment of every backwards, condescending, Mad Men-esque boys’ club attitude that has ever existed, rolled into one giant, salivating dick-size-referencing, pussy-grabbing warthog in a red power tie.
“I’ll put it this way: if American democracy is a computer game, and Hillary is completing women’s 100-year quest to get to the Oval Office, it kind of makes sense that this would be the final boss.”
An excellent piece by Bruce Schneier:
Every few years, a researcher replicates a security study by littering USB sticks around an organization’s grounds and waiting to see how many people pick them up and plug them in, causing the autorun function to install innocuous malware on their computers. These studies are great for making security professionals feel superior. The researchers get to demonstrate their security expertise and use the results as “teachable moments” for others. “If only everyone was more security aware and had more security training,” they say, “the Internet would be a much safer place.
Enough of that. The problem isn’t the users: it’s that we’ve designed our computer systems’ security so badly that we demand the user do all of these counterintuitive things. Why can’t users choose easy-to-remember passwords? Why can’t they click on links in emails with wild abandon? Why can’t they plug a USB stick into a computer without facing a myriad of viruses? Why are we trying to fix the user instead of solving the underlying security problem?
Naomi Chainey, from the “I can’t believe this still needs to be pointed out” section:
Anti-abortion legislation never does much to prevent abortion anywhere it’s introduced. As long as women are shamed for sexuality outside marriage; as long as women are expected to sacrifice financial empowerment on the altar of motherhood; as long as there is rape and violent men using children to control their female partners, women will seek abortions.
Only through the alleviation of that oppression are abortion rates ever successfully reduced. Sexual education and availability of contraception are consistently the mitigating factors. In combination with legal access to safe abortion, these measures empower women to engage with motherhood on their own terms, the societal benefits of which include slowed population growth, reductions in crime and poverty and even environmental welfare.
Today we heard a tape of Donald Trump making extremely lewd and crude remarks about women. What astounds me more is that all of a sudden some media commentators and politicians are acting as though these revelations are somehow a shock.
Make sure that you read the final quote.
This one hit a bit close to home.
When I was 25 I signed up for a 10 kilometre run. I told people I intended to start running and the race was something to aim for. I scheduled a training plan that allowed me to start small and build up to the event. I was all in. Or at least I thought I was.
A fantastic piece by Peter Van Buren.
My daughter’s birthday falls on the very day that George W Bush launched the invasion of Iraq. I missed her celebration in 2003 to stay at work preparing for the embassy to be overrun by al-Qaida. I missed her birthday again in 2005, having been sent on temporary duty to Thailand to assist the US navy in setting up a short-term base there. When the naval officers mentioned the location they wanted to use to the Thai military liaison accompanying us, he laughed. That’s taken, he said, but you didn’t hear it from me, better ask your own people about it.
Later, I would learn that the location was a CIA black site where the country I then represented was torturing human beings.
Looking back, it’s remarkable to realize that, in response to a single day of terror, Washington set the Middle East ablaze, turned air travel into a form of bondage play, and did away with the best of our democracy.
Great piece by Nicholas D. Mirzoeff.
Something I did not know:
Under Jim Crow, the allegation of “reckless eyeballing” meant any look from a black person at a white person, especially a woman. It was used to justify deadly force.
I never understood the context and origin of the question “You eyeballin’ me, boy?”. Now I do.
Another fantastic piece by FiveThirtyEight.
Understanding the massive college-church divide helps explain why this election feels less like a debate over policy and more like a war of worldviews.
A great read, and well worth the time.
Peter Cappelli and Anna Tavis, on the shift away from annual performance appraisals:
The whole appraisal process was loathed by employees anyway. Social science research showed that they hated numerical scores—they would rather be told they were “average” than given a 3 on a 5-point scale. They especially detested forced ranking. As Wharton’s Iwan Barankay demonstrated in a field setting, performance actually declined when people were rated relative to others. Nor did the ratings seem accurate. As the accumulating research on appraisal scores showed, they had as much to do with who the rater was (people gave higher ratings to those who were like them) as they did with performance.
And managers hated doing reviews, as survey after survey made clear. Willis Towers Watson found that 45% did not see value in the systems they used. Deloitte reported that 58% of HR executives considered reviews an ineffective use of supervisors’ time. In a study by the advisory service CEB, the average manager reported spending about 210 hours—close to five weeks—doing appraisals each year.
Bears re-stating, over 15 years later.
One of the odder comments I’ve heard in the debate on Internet voting is the following: “If we can protect multi-billion-dollar e-commerce transactions on the Internet, certainly we can protect elections” (or words to that effect). I’ve heard it so often that I feel the need to explain why it isn’t true.