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brutereason: I wonder from where so many Americans get the idea that voting is supposed to be some...

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brutereason:

I wonder from where so many Americans get the idea that voting is supposed to be some expression of your deepest, most beloved values and virtues rather than a pragmatic, political move meant to shift your country as much closer to your ideal as possible. This strikes me as another example of extreme individualism. Voting isn’t about *you*. It’s about your city, state, and/or country. It doesn’t have to feel transcendently good deep down in your bones. It just has to *do* as much good as you can do, in this particular moment in time.

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iridesce
14 days ago
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philly
bibliogrrl
14 days ago
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Chicago!
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duerig
10 days ago
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This is a good question. I think it is because voting is a civic ritual that affirms an emotional attachment to our community rather than a pragmatic act. Not voting is usually the pragmatic answer. The real world impact of a single vote is negligible. You will create more of a visible impact on the world by petting a cat than by voting.

Instead, voting maintains the connection that we have to our government and society. It legitimizes government action because it is done in our name. It amounts to a consent to be governed, not in a legal sense, but in a personal sense. It is a symbol of our ideals.

So perhaps it is not surprising that when people vote, they do so based on their ideals more than on their pragmatic self-interest or pursuit of concrete policy. Because voting is a statement of connection with both the broader community and with the particular party you most connect with.

This idealism can lead to manifestly bad outcomes (like if a senile rapist becomes president, for example). But the act of voting together, binds us into a society and makes democracy work in a way that no amount of technocratic pragmatism can achieve alone.

Despite risk of being ‘Kaepernicked,’ 49ers safety Eric Reid will keep kneeling

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San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick (7) and Eric Reid (35) kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte on Sept. 18, 2016. (Mike McCarn/AP)

On Sunday, before the San Francisco 49ers face off against the Philadelphia Eagles, Eric Reid will be kneeling on the sidelines during the national anthem like he has been doing for more than a year.

Reid, a 49ers safety turned linebacker, said that he remains committed to the protest over police brutality against African Americans that his former teammate Colin Kaepernick kicked off last season, despite his agent’s warning that he could end up like Kaepernick and be blackballed from the NFL when his contract expires next year.

“There is a risk that teams won’t want to sign me because of my involvement, but I’ve come to terms with that,” Reid said in an interview with The Washington Post Friday. “I believe what I’m doing is bigger than my career, and quite frankly we need more people to take that position. The system will only change via public pressure.”

The protests have riled President Trump, fans and America's most profitable sports league as television ratings continue to drop, rattling some sponsors. Earlier this month, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to the 32 team owners articulating the league's stance that players should stand during the anthem “to honor our flag and our country.”

But Reid said owners did not make an explicit request to players during their Oct. 17 meeting in New York. Team owners are scheduled to meet with players again on Tuesday to continue their dialogue about the protests.

Some players, such as Reid, continue to kneel during the anthem, amid boos from fans. Some stand with raised fists — or with their hands on teammates who kneel. Others sit on the bench or remain in the locker room.

But the numbers of players protesting have fallen since the initial wave that swept the league in September after Trump called upon the NFL to fire any “son of a bitch” player who knelt during the anthem.

Reid said he wished players would test an ultimatum issued by the Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to bench any Dallas Cowboys player who “takes a knee.”

“If they believe in the cause like Colin and I do, they should kneel. And if they are punished for doing so, I think they should take legal action,” Reid said.

Reid said he understands the financial pressures that the league and teams are under from sponsors and why most players may find it difficult to protest during the anthem.

“We live in a capitalistic environment where everything is PR,” he said. “What we’re doing is the most American thing you can do, but it’s not good for business.”

Reid said he has a small shoe deal with Under Armour and has thus far felt no financial repercussions himself.

NFL sponsorship revenue rose $1.25 billion in the 2016-2017 season, according to IEG research.

Most NFL sponsors have refrained from making public statements, but Nike early on said it supported the players “right to freedom of expression on issues that are of great importance to our society.” Hyundai also said it respects individuals’ rights to express themselves in any peaceful manner chosen.

Other sponsors have avoided taking sides. Under Armour said it stands by the flag as well as its athletes' right to free speech. Bose said it respects freedom of expression “whether we agree with those views or not.” Ford, too, said it supports players’ rights to express their views, “even if they are not ones we share.”

Reid said he finds it ironic that during the anthem, an ostensibly sacred time to those accusing protesting players of disrespect, fans are yakking on their cellphones, buying beer and hot dogs from stadium concession stands, and taunting the silently kneeling players. He also pointed out that some of the supposed heartwarming displays of patriotism on the football field has been paid advertising by the Department of Defense.

A 2015 Senate investigation found that the Defense Department spent $6.8 million since 2012 on marketing contracts with sports teams, including the honoring of wounded veterans during games, as a recruitment strategy.

Reid said he would continue to use sports as a platform to send a message to young people to fight for racial justice.

“We are role models. That’s how sports has always been in this country,” Reid said. “If we don’t show people that we have power as citizens, which is the foundation of our country, then the system will only continue to abuse us and benefit the people in power and the people who have the money to lobby the politicians who make the laws.”

He also spreads his message through Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights” campaign, which educates youths on their legal rights and how to interact with police, as well as health and financial literacy.

As a college student at Louisiana State University, Reid said he was pulled over on campus for “driving while black.” He said the officer wrote him a ticket for “disturbing the peace,” claiming that Reid blasted his music so loudly that it vibrated the windshield of the patrol car. Meanwhile, the officer was policing a concert. The ticket ended up being dismissed.

“People say ‘Oh, you’re an athlete. You make so much money,’ ” so stop whining about injustice, he said.  But “at the end of the day, when you’re out in society, you’re just another black person in America. It doesn’t matter how much money you make.”

Reid said he continues to have discussions with his teammates, many of whom are new to the 49ers, about his reasons for protesting. He said a couple of white players have expressed a desire to be involved but said they could not do so during the anthem.

He said when he first joined Kaepernick in kneeling last September, “we knew we might be on our own for a while. But we hoped that later people would find safety in numbers.”

About a half-dozen 49ers players have been kneeling with him each Sunday. He’s disappointed there are not more.

“There comes a time when silence is betrayal,” he said, quoting the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “Watching everything happening in our country and knowing its history — and calling myself a man of God — I felt I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t do something. I’m just going to keep pushing forward.”

 

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iridesce
21 days ago
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People matching artworks

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Photographer Stefan Draschan spent hours hanging around museums waiting for people who matched in some way the artwork around them.

People Matching Artworks

People Matching Artworks

People Matching Artworks

People Matching Artworks

Draschan has done several other similar-ish projects, including People Touching Artworks. If I ever get really into Buddhism and mindfulness, I think my biggest obstacle in achieving enlightenment will be observing people in museums touching the art and remaining calm about it.

Tags: art   photography   Stefan Draschan
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iridesce
21 days ago
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At the 2018 Miss Peru competition, instead of measurements, stats on violence against women

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Over the weekend, contestants competing in the Miss Peru 2018 beauty pageant were supposed to recite their body measurements for the judges and the audience. Instead, each of them took the opportunity to highlight a statistic related to violence against women in Peru.

My name is Samantha Batallanos, represent Lima, and my figures are: a girl dies every ten minutes as a result of sexual exploitation. My name is Juana Acevedo and my figures are: more than 70 percent of women in our country are victims of street harassment.

The Guardian has further coverage.

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iridesce
21 days ago
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h/t @thereaIbanksy

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Dan Lyke:

What if we created huge social institutions around creating largely meaningless endurance tests to filter human participation in society?

(h/t @thereaIbanksy)

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iridesce
26 days ago
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philly
brennen
28 days ago
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Boulder, CO
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By You Can't Tip a Buick in ""He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation"" on MeFi

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Deep upthread someone asked how you win a debate against people who willfully disregard facts and reason.

If I have a political project in my participation in these threads, it's in observing the ways that people presume that political disputes are resolved through debate and reason, and then observing how in all of those cases those disputes are instead resolved through organization and action. All of those cases — I stand by the strong universalizing claim here.

So the way you beat them is by out-organizing them, by getting more people on our side than theirs, by denying them space in the room where decisions are made, through materially demonstrating that our side can beat their side, not in the domain of reasoned dispute but in the domain of who can get there the first with the most, in the domain of who can be sneakiest when being sneaky matters, in the domain of effectively disorganizing and demoralizing everyone not on our side.

Debate plays almost no role in this. Rhetoric, now rhetoric plays a huge role, as does propaganda, and effective knowledge of human psychology, and material resources — money, media outlets, control of institutional processes. Debate is a sideshow. Facts matter insofar as having the right facts can point you toward the most effective organizational strategy and the most effective way to disorganize your opponents, but simply having more accurate facts than the other side means nothing.

The reason why I am insistent on railing against liberal Enlightenment ideology is that it leads to miserable, ineffective tactics. There's a liberal idea, baked deep into our pre-2016 culture, that says that reasoned debate between formal equals is the best way to resolve disputes, and that therefore the best decision making processes involve constructing a sandbox where we pretend that reasoned debate is how disputes are resolved, and then act according to what we decide on within that sandbox. This idea was so deep in our culture that we forgot that the sandbox was a sandbox; we started to think that that was how the world really worked. And so, just like in 1933, we were helpless when people who recognized the sandbox was a sandbox walked over to the sandbox, took a healthy shit in it, then flipped the whole thing over.

The thing is, it's not just that the sandbox is susceptible to sudden major attack from outside, from people who are like "fuck debate I'm taking what I want." It's that the reality outside the sandbox of reasoned debate is always intruding, and reasoned debate is never determinative of decision-making processes, no matter how intent you are in establishing an abstraction that lets you think that reason rules. The bosses and the capital-owners always put their thumbs on the scale of reasoned debate by buying the participants and the judges, the cops always abuse their position as enforcers of law derived by reason to their own unreasoned benefit. The sandbox is a leaky abstraction; there's always buffer overruns and always people ready to exploit them.

This is why I'm always dismissive of people here and elsewhere who are like "well we just gotta fix our processes by [reforming campaign finance laws/doubling the size of the house of representatives/whatever weird shit Lessig is on about these days]. It's not about processes. It's about organized power. It's about who owns what. It's about who can convince whom of what, not about what's true or what's right. This is the distinction between left and liberal: liberal solutions involve funding fair processes — about trying to patch up the sandbox so we can go back to pretending reason rules — while left solutions are about acknowledging that the sandbox is impossible and (governed by our collective senses of fairness, justice, reason, empathy, and love) making those solutions real in the world.

This is a hard grim thing, though, because if you're coming from the liberal position you can pretend there's a rock-solid foundation for your actions. You can say "well, we have a process, and that process allows for decision making based on reasoned debate, and we followed that process and here's the result it yielded, so we know we have good reason to do what we're doing." If you admit that that foundation, which seems rock-solid, is built on sand, you have no way whatsoever to be certain that what you're doing is right. And because you can't rely on a process to ensure that the conditions you want remain extant, there is no end to the process of struggle — struggle informed by reason, but never governed by it, because reason can't govern, and if you trick yourselves into thinking reason can govern you've gone and made yourself susceptible to attack by nazi thugs who are quite eager indeed to show you your error.


It's a hell of a world we're living in. But living in it beats the alternatives.
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iridesce
35 days ago
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philly
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