Monday, December 11, 2017

Some "old books" make a reading list just before the FCC's vote to destroy network neutrality



In the week that the FCC plans to gut network neutrality (although the likelihood of real changes happening quickly as a result seems remote to me), the New York Times offers a survey in its “Newsbook” column by Concepion de Leon. 

There is Tom Standage’s “The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s Online Pioneers” (Walker).  Remember how I made myself into an “institution” in the 1980s before I even had the Internet (as I found ways to affect the AIDS debate in the early days, outside of conventional leftist activism).


Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu ask "Who Controls the Internet?" (2006, Oxford University); in 2010 Wu would follow with “The Master Switch”.  I had my own little lesson with this in 2005 when I was working as a substitute teacher.



In 2011, Thomas Hazlett offers “The Fallacy of Net Neutrality”, which preceded Obama’s 2015 regulations. But the beginnings of neutrality go back to 2005, and Pai wants to erase it all. 

Friday, December 08, 2017

Major papers on the psychology of libertarians: does lack of interest in groups and lack of emotional empathy suggest moral issues?


“PLOS One” has published a major study on the psychology of libertarians, by Ravi Iyer, Spasenna Koleva, Jesse Graham, Peter Ditto, and Jonathan Haidt, “Understanding Libertarian Morality: The Psychological Dispositions of Self-Identified Libertarians, link
  
Libertarians, it says, tend to be more individualistic.  They tend to be less interested in involuntary connections to other people, either vertically (as demanded by conservative morality) or horizontally, empathizing with people in various intersectional oppressed groups, as in leftist liberalism.  They believe that personal well-being should be proportional to effort, but not necessarily equal (in the sense of remedying inherited inequality). They tend to believe people should have the freedom to use what they already have without interference from others, but not to feel entitled to take from others who have more because of privilege.


  
Righteous mind, in a link shared by James Damore on Twitter today, summarizes the paper here.   Libertarians place more emphasis on logical consistency than on emotion.  It ends to be associated with cis masculinity (as among gay libertarians).
  


I would also read Yuval Levin’s “Taking the Long Way: Disciplines of the Soul Are the Basis of a Liberal Society” (link) from Oct. 2014  where Levin notes the limits that libertarianism can accept on remedying past oppression while letting people use what they have. David Brooks picked up on this essay with a recent piece “The Elites Still Don’t Get It”, where society is not reproducing individuals who can accept covenant with others or even accept needed connections across gulf, driving the less well-off into tribalism and resentment politics. 

Monday, December 04, 2017

"The Wounds They Carry": account of six high school young women at the


Here is a book length story “The Wounds They Carry”, by John Woodrow Cox, photos by Matt McCain, a story of six teenage girls who went to the Las Vegas concert Oct. 1, 2017 at the start of their high school (private, faith-based) homecoming week. It is published in the Washington Post online (paywall). 
  

Two of the girls were close to the front stand. Illustrations in the article show where they were and the escape path.

The article does get into he recovery and the actual homecoming event a few days later.
  
This is a more literal video, which is age-restricted (must sign on to Google account so not embedded).
  
My own most recent visit to Las Vegas occurred in May 2012 (personal photo above). 

I don't recall seeing a comparable article for "Pulse" yet. 

Sunday, December 03, 2017

"Book Barn" in Virginia town shows how used book business tries to support a community


I had the pleasure of stopping at a “Book Barn” on “Little Washington” VA along US 211 yesterday.
The “barn” had a massive sale of used books to support, well, “The Library”. (Yes, Reid Ewing, “It’s Free”.)


Actually, a lot the used books in the barn were free, including a basket of them in the bathroom near the commode.

Outdoors, I picked up Samantha Landry’s “Savvy Senior Singles: Navigating the Singles World from 50 and Beyond”, 2007, Destiny Image Publishers, Shippensburg PA, 176 pages, paper. That may supplement a sample I got recently, “Journey from Invisibility to Visibility: A Guide for Women 60 and Beyond”, by Gail K. Harris, Marilyn C. Lesser, and Cynthia T. Soloway, 2016, Amazon CreateSpace, 372 pages, paper. It starts with a verse poem, “A Woman’s Perspective.”

Then there is Charles K. Sykes, “Dumbing Down our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves but Can’t Read, Write or Add” (especially in their heads), 340 pages, hardcover, St. Martin’s Press, 1995.  Sykes has also authored “A Nation of Victims”.  Sounds conservative.

Then there is “Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons that Medicine Cannot Teach”, by Vincent J. Monastra, Ph. D, from the American Psychological Association, Washington, 2005, 261 pages, paper, originally in the Falls Church VA public library.  The book takes the position that it is about genetics. 

And there is “Surviving your Adolescents: How to Manage and Let Go Of your 13-18 Year old”, by Thomas W. Phelan, Ph. D. , 2012, Parent Magic, Glen Ellyn IL, 2012, 168 pages.   Don’t let them move back in with you later when they can’t afford their student loans.

I also picked up a paper copy of Suzanne Collins, “The Hunger Games” (2008, Schoolastic) for $1.
 

Later, in Front Royal, VA, at a random used book store on VA highway 55, I picked up a graphic novel in black and white called “Not So Bad”, by E. Hae (Korea, 2006), about two actors who have seen better days.  I was curious about what manga is all about, since Reid Ewing has covered Danganronpa on his Twitter feeds and reports he is working on his own graphic novel to be called “AppleCore”.