Wednesday, December 11, 2019
An article today in the NYTimes about progressively engaging corporate concentration showcases resourcefulness that 21st century democratic politics needs: “America’s Top Foundations Bankroll Attack on Big Tech,” by David McCabe.
But its fabulous mix of efforts—constructive, critical, and oppositional—don’t intend to be considered in an integrative way. Progressive politics requires prospecting such ways while needing new kinds of resources.
-- 11:44 PM
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
I want to enter here my comment at Tom Friedman’s review of Samantha Powers’ The Education of an Idealist because it encapsulates my sense of politics.
Friedman’s review provides a fine excursion into what progressive pragmatism is.
We commonly counterpose “Progressivism” with “Conservatism,” but the basic dyad is idealism and realism that remains highly aspirational. That is a hallmark of America: progressive pragmatism.
-- 2:36 PM
Sunday, April 21, 2019
I responded to Joseph Stiglitz’s article at the NYTimes, on progressivism, then posted further response, re: one of several replies to me (bottom of that). I sought to respond to another replier (joseph parmetler), but the “Comments” feature closed before I could post it. So, that’s below (with formatting additions not available at the NYTimes):
The issues are complex. I’m sure—I know—that Mr. Stiglitz’s position is more sophisticated than an article can convey—and far beyond my layman’s sense of economics.
Fair tax policy surely should “support education, health care...,” but there are approaches to government which are about more than support. They enable: Policy needs to be creative, progressive, not just fair and equitable—but that too! Democracy is a way of building futures. Progressive politics is about conserving cherished values by advancing them.
-- 10:29 PM
Friday, October 12, 2018
A seed—for an oak, let’s say—is to be known through the growth that results. No two oaks look alike because environmental happenstance is different for each. The origin provides for un-templated adaptation. The seed is a potential for generativity whose exact result cannot be predicted by analysis of the genome. Mutation happens and survives because mutation can be adaptive. Genomes that allow for adaptive mutation are superior to genomes that do not.
So, too, for constitutional law. A constitution initiates rules for a game of political evolution that also provides for changing the rules as time requires. There is evolution, and a point in that evolution—an era, let’s say—becomes the basis for understanding the beginning which has evolved.
-- 2:10 PM
Thursday, May 17, 2018
This is § d of “Section 3: Fake views exploit the appeal of valid drama.”
A message (posting, Tweet, Instagram, etc.) “goes viral” by media users who are seeing their earlier choices of source preferred via “Likes,” “Follows,” and clicks that have unwittingly caused a data profile of preferences. News/views feeds imply (or trope) a sphere of source value that altogether (across sources) mirrors one’s online identity or medial personality that has been built through “Likes,” etc. Thereby, duplicitous sources employ their access to data archives to play into “potential pathways of influence, from increasing cynicism and apathy to encouraging extremism“ (source A) inasmuch as identity comfort prevails over interest in validity. Frivolous and casual attention is easier than astute and deliberative attention:
-- 11:45 PM
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
This is § c of “Section 3: Fake views exploit the appeal of valid drama.”
The “genre” of fake news tropes a more general issue of fakery in media—”junk media,” it’s called, which is hardly new: Unreliable sourcing (“the more general problem of misinformation” [source A]) is as old as “tabloid” press, now commonly as “low-quality information online” [A]. Media “vehicles” have been serving dramatically hyped content/products for as long as there has been marketing.
-- 2:26 PM
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
This is § a of “Section 3: Fake views exploit the appeal of valid drama.”
news: “a report of a recent event, new information, fresh tidings” (Merriam-Webster Unabridged online).
But that standard definition doesn’t indicate the most defining aspect of news: the report or the information is allegedly important. Reporting as news implies a claim of urgency. The report is not only confidently evidential, but the act of reporting can be credibly postured as a sharing of importance or urgency about something confidently evidential (not just dramatically appealing). The medium may posture itself as a reliable source of importance, thus being a news medium.
-- 12:46 PM