OK, I’m going to put my foot in it now.
Ariana’s “solution” of a fact-checking “tool” is wrong, I am sure, because the issue about the distinction between assessments and assertions, and tools will not do an adequate job of dealing with what AH points to here.
But that is an aside. What she does that I like a lot is to put her finger on, and provide a beautiful current example of, the way in which we moderns have come to a pathetic interpretation of language. With this way of being we are murdering our capacity to come together and work on things that matter to us .
Arianna Huffington: PolitiFact Embraces Equivocation, the Truth Gets Squeezed.
via Truth 2.0.
At the end of this short piece, Andrew Leonard takes on the the difficulties of distinguishing among technology and the roles that it plays in education and the construction of life. Our modern technologies embody the capacity to couple fantastically well with our nervous systems, but are indifferent to the ethical and substantial concerns in which we employ them. Leonard both gores and praises the President, to good effect in both cases. Leonard’s conclusion:
There is a difference between getting an education and watching the latest viral YouTube clip on your iPad, between establishing a college for the education of freed slaves and rallying 10,000 fans to a Facebook page. And there’s no contradiction between employing any technological means necessary to organize a successful presidential campaign and recognizing that there may be aspects of that technology worth criticizing. To any readers of this post who might be consuming it via iPad, I invite you to push that contradiction to the limit: Watch, and learn: <video of the president follows in the linked article>
Obama’s self-hating iPad attack – How the World Works – Salon.com.
I highly recommend Joshua Cooper Ramo’s The Age of the Unthinkable.
“Little in the current discussion of our shared problems suggests the radical rethinking our world requires. There is now hope and even the first hints of substantial changes in policy, but the basic architecture of ideas and theories necessary to back up such difficult work remains profoundly underdeveloped. No debate about terrorism, global warming, destructive weapons, economic chaos, or other threats can make sense without a grand strategy, though this is the thing most obviously missing today. Instead, the most likely course for our future is the most dangerous: minor adjustments to current policies, incremental changes to institutions that are already collapsing, and an inevitable and frustrating expansion of failure. And this will happen fast. Among the things our leaders seem to be missing is a comprehension of the staggering speed at which these change epidemics occur; one bank fails, then fifty; one country develops an atom bomb, a dozen try to follow; one computer or one child comes down with a virus, and the speed of its spread is incomprehensible. … This book is the story of a new way of thinking. It is one that takes complexity and unpredictability as its first consideration and produces, as a result, a different and useful way of seeing our world. It explains why unthinkable disasters are blossoming all around us and — as important — what we can do about them.” (Page 10)
The author is a journalist and strategist. Read it and tell me what you think. I am now beginning to read it again with colleagues as an exercise in thinking.
Lakoff begins this short essay with …
“It is time for Democrats to talk about health in those terms, beyond just policy terms like health insurance reform, bending the cost curve, types of exchanges, etc.”
He is right, but I propose that it is not nearly enough for Democrats to do that. The whole country needs to begin to do that.
It is past time for us to begin to recognize that slanderous opinions, spin, slanting our reports and interpretations, and outright lying about fundamental questions in human life harm all of us.
We are well on the way to becoming a nation of lobbyists – a nation of people with no respect for the truth, life, freedom, or … health.
George Lakoff: Health Means Life; Health Means Freedom.
Rabbi David Wolpe and his writing have been important for me in a number of ways. I am a great admirer of this man. I find the following, written in the wake of the disaster in Haiti, wise, and I recommend it to my friends.
Read here: David Wolpe in the Washington Post.
Go back almost a century, to the time when the modern corporation was created, and you’ll find laws that prohibit or limit the use of corporate money in elections. And yet this week, a 5-4 Supreme Court struck down the limits that Congress passed in 2002 in this tradition in the case Citizens United v. FEC.
Read here: The misguided theories behind Citizens United v. FEC. – By David Kairys – Slate Magazine.