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queeranarchism: pblomgr1: These are the solutions we need to...

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queeranarchism:

pblomgr1:

These are the solutions we need to policing right now.
Remember: the problem cannot be solved by technocratic solutions (i.e. body cams, further trainings, etc.)
The problem is policing itself.

This is the sort of shit I am talking about when I say we need to only talk about getting rid of police but also about what sort of actual safety could replace it.

And no, it is not enough for this to exist ‘next to the police’. The harm is in the fact that circumstances of personal and interpersonal harm are viewed through the lens of law and punishment. 

The moment we take the concept of laws & punishment completely off the table and start thinking in needs and how to provide them, we become capable of seeing what is needed to achieve actual safety.

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steingart
23 days ago
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Princeton, NJ
popular
24 days ago
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edent: Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

jwz
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steingart
48 days ago
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Princeton, NJ
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★ No Mask, No Dice

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Josh Marshall, writing at Talking Points Memo, “Unpacking the Mask Debate”:

Here’s an [article] that is very current among mask skeptics. It’s a review by two bona-fide experts, Dr. Lisa M. Brosseau and Dr Margaret Sietsema, writing back on April 1st, a veritable lifetime ago in COVID19 terms. It was published by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at The University of Minnesota.

The gist is that there’s little to no scientific evidence that masks are effective for the population at large and that what protection there might be is minimal at best. Additionally, they argue that mask-wearing may create a false sense of security that leads people to relax more effect mitigation strategies like distancing and hand washing. So the net effect of mask-wearing may actually be more infections rather than fewer.

If you read the report closely however a few points emerge.

First, it’s not evidence that masks are not effective — few studies really show this or demonstrate it in any clear way — but a lack of evidence for their efficacy. Second, they focus heavily on health care workers, both for available studies about what works and doesn’t and for the standards we should apply for efficacy. Finally, they take a very binary approach to efficacy. They work or they don’t.

As a vocal face mask proponent, I’ve heard something like the above counterargument from a small number of mask skeptics. Basically, the pro-mask argument is that there seems to be a lot of upside to widespread mask-wearing, and effectively no downside whatsoever beyond the initial “this feels weird” social awkwardness and physical discomfort. (Pro tip: Keep a tin of Altoids next to your masks.)

We’re waiting for peer-reviewed studies. In the meantime, early studies and anecdotal evidence from countries with established mask-wearing social norms suggest quite strongly that mask wearing is effective. And so if there are no downsides, there really is no argument against universal face mask wearing in public, especially indoors.

One segment of anti-mask crusaders are those who insist that the whole pandemic has been so profoundly overblown that it’s effectively a hoax. This is lunacy — there’s no point arguing with them. No surprise, some of them are flat-earthers too. But there are more than lunatics who are opposed to face masks.

The in-touch-with-reality anti-mask skeptics seem to have latched onto the idea that maybe there are downsides, that wearing a mask might somehow make it more likely that you’ll get infected — the “false sense of security” argument proposed in the article Marshall cites. That’s a plausible hypothesis, and the world is full of counterintuitive truths. E.g. the fact that one typically stays drier walking, rather than running, to shelter in a rainstorm — even though running decreases your exposure time to the rain, it so greatly increases the number of droplets that hit you that you wind up wetter. Maybe wearing a face mask in a pandemic is like running in the rain, the thinking goes, counterintuitively making things worse.

The problem for masks skeptics is there’s no data that suggests this might be the case. A plausible hypothesis is only the start of the scientific method. There is longstanding evidence in Asian countries with mask-wearing norms that, at the very least, face-mask-wearing causes no harm. As Marshall notes, if anything, as evidence comes in, masking-wearing appears to be even more effective than even proponents thought.


I’m old enough to recall when wearing seat belts became mandatory. Roughly speaking, these laws spread quickly from state to state, starting with New York in 1984 and becoming the rule rather than the exception within a decade. (“Live free or die” New Hampshire is the only remaining state that doesn’t require adults to wear a seat belt.)

I recall a similar sort of opposition to these laws as we see now with mandatory face masks. Opposition to compulsory seat belt laws always seemed crazy to me, because the evidence was so overwhelming that seat belts save lives and greatly reduce injuries that it was clearly worth making an exception to the principle, widely held in America, that the government generally shouldn’t tell people what to do. But crazy or not, opposition there was. “Fuck you, I don’t want to wear one, it’s a free country.” Word for word, the same sentiment then about seat belts as now about face masks.

One of the arguments against compulsory seat-belt-wearing was that sometimes wearing a seat belt makes things worse. “What if I’m in an accident and my seat belt gets jammed, trapping me in a burning car?” “I read about a guy who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and he walked away from a terrible accident because he was thrown out of the car before it was totaled.*”

I don’t agree with it, but to some degree I get it: What right does a government that sells you lottery tickets have to tell you that your odds are better if you’re wearing a seat belt?

But there’s a fundamental difference between wearing a seat belt in a car and wearing a face mask in a store. A seat belt really only protects the wearer. There are tangential arguments that society as a whole benefits from fewer car crash deaths and injuries, but the primary reason we have laws requiring you to wear a seat belt is to protect you from harm. Face mask requirements aren’t like that. They’re more like laws banning smoking in restaurants and making drunk driving a serious crime — they protect us all from harm.

From earlier in my childhood, I recall ubiquitous signs at the entrances of stores and restaurants: “No shirt, no shoes, no service.” There were variants, but that exact phrasing was common. I always considered those signs so strange, as I couldn’t imagine why anyone would even want to go into a store or restaurant without a shirt or shoes, let alone need a sign telling them that doing so was not permitted, but I figured it must have been a problem with hippies or something. (There were a lot of old people complaining about hippies long after there were any hippies left to complain about.)

Basically, other than poolside or at a beach, anyone who wants to go into a public establishment barefoot or shirtless is an asshole. It seems pretty clear that the people today angrily objecting to mandatory face masks aren’t really concerned with the epidemiological efficacy of masks. They’re concerned with asserting their perceived entitlement to be an asshole. You don’t need to hang a “No assholes allowed” sign to enforce it as a rule.

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steingart
49 days ago
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Of course he’s right, but he’s such a pompous ass about it.
Princeton, NJ
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Automatic, Makers of Diagnostic Car Dingus, to Shut Down

1 Comment

Automatic:

Just like many other companies in the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted our business. With fewer consumers purchasing and leasing vehicles and drivers on the road, we unfortunately do not see a path forward for our business. These are unprecedented times, and with so much uncertainty ahead, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue the Automatic connected car product, service and platform. We will be shutting down all operations at 11:59 pm, PT, on May 28, 2020 and, as a result, your service will end on that time.

A shame. Automatic was, a few years back, a regular sponsor of The Talk Show, and their diagnostic dingus, app, and service were all excellent. (Their last episode as a sponsor the November 2016 post-election “Holiday Party” with Merlin Mann.)

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steingart
68 days ago
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This post is just a flimsy excuse for the grubes to use the word dingus.
Princeton, NJ
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The "kindness" of billionaires

jwz
3 Shares
killerguerilla:

Headlines will say "Jack Dorsey donates $1 billion" and I want everyone to know that's not what he's doing. He's putting $1 billion into a company that's gonna be a part of the privatization of services the government should provide. It's gonna be like the Gates foundation.

So a tiny amount of that fund will get donated, but the bulk of it is gonna turn a profit for jack, and the billionaire defenders will praise him as he gets richer while most people get poorer.

Have you ever wondered why Bill Gates has gotten exponentially richer over the last 10 years even though he says he's trying to give away all his wealth? Or why his foundation has consistently made zero improvement in education outcomes? Is he just bad at doing philanthropy?

The answer is yes and no. His foundation isn't doing what he said it would do but it is achieving the desired outcome of making him richer. That's why billionaires don't donate money, they make foundations and partnerships so they can keep making profit and look charitable.

And his prediction was right, all the headlines ALREADY say "Jack Dorsey donates $1 billion" because most journalists are, generously, innumerate, gullible shills.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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steingart
87 days ago
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Princeton, NJ
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Centrist

jwz
1 Comment and 3 Shares
Halloween, Night Five. I dressed as a centrist. See, my dress shirt isn't white, it's actually light purple! That's how you can tell I say things like "socially liberal but fiscally conservative" and "I'd really like to meet Elon Musk some day".

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satadru
237 days ago
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I remember kids saying "socially liberal but fiscally conservative" at my high school... decades ago. But there's very little excuse for saying it now after the end of the Obama administration, knowing what we know now.
New York, NY
duerig
237 days ago
Yeah. After seeing what that means in practice it means they are in the “Lower taxes and a pony” political camp.
steingart
249 days ago
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Princeton, NJ
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