TTD vs TDT 2014.07.19

…should further hack Twitter Digest to make rendering of full conversations doable… should by that means or perhaps by Storify render group twitter discussion this AM (PST) on Israel and state/sovereignty following “When The Hell That Is War Loses Its Power” by Roger Berkowitz, “How Israel can avoid a hellish future” by Sari Nusseibeh, and “Reflections on an Unforgiving Day” by George Friedman…   should write up critique of Roko Basilisk Delusion and “Timeless Decision Theory” or at least record notes on the LessWrongers… should put down some notes on Peirce and Faith/Hope/Charity as pre-suppositional for all possibly logical inquiry… should go through post drafts and publish SOMETHING… should get back to JCH under climate change vs moderation… should go through unpublished twitter archives and produce a mini-post… should publish how-to #1 on blog monetization: adding simple donation box… if only to prepare way for further posts and adjustments of blog on Cent-Up, tinypass, Google Digital Wallet, and other “micropayment” alternatives and further work toward implementing whichever however… should fix mobile/small screen rendering of blog… should do laundry… should call Dad and set up visit… should write old client who’s been pestering me about wrapping up loose ends… should take further notes on Schmitt and/or expand discussion of McCarthy’s neo-imperialist conservative realism… should draft proposal or refine ideas for multi-author post-blog or paleo-blog or para-site… should take care of some Yoga Instructor Registry business… should finish this post despite having left some things out and being afraid of having actually to decide on something… should more closely map out week or so before have to focus on money-making intensively again… OK – the laundry option seems most realistic… eventually will get to it… by the way the introduction by Simon Van den Bergh to the Incoherence of the Incoherence offers a fascinating and impressive discussion of ancient and early modern philosophy with a focus on onto-theology or metaphysics as absorbed or  anticipated in the Al-Ghazali vs Ibn Rushd debate… It’s published with the current standard translation of the I of the I available for $3.99 via Kindle, but can also be found on-line for free… laundry looking really good now… tho if I keep this up I might make it to lunch esp since it’s been like half an hour since I checked my email or Twitter feed…


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4 comments on “TTD vs TDT 2014.07.19

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  1. the most charitable thing that can be said of Friedman’s offering, is that intractable regional conflicts, are not unique to the Levant,

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TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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