What a dumb week this was. That’s the thought I keep circling back to. The US president getting COVID? Dumb. Predictable and dumb. The ridiculous irony that he’s once again promising health care whilst his administration sues to remove Obamacare and protections for preexisting conditions in court, in the middle of a pandemic? Dumb. The spiking cases here in the UK? Completely avoidable and dumb. The debates? Exhausting and dumb. The racism and misogyny hurled at Senator Harris? Expected and horribly dumb. The looming Brexit smash up? Completely avoidable and dumb.
Why are so many people fighting so hard to get back to “the way things were” when it’s abundantly clear that the way things were wasn’t working? Not politically or economically, not socially or personally. We have a generational opportunity to think about how we might want society to work and push for it, and we’re mostly…dithering.
Dumb. Infuriatingly dumb. I’m fighting against cynicism by maintaining a sense of humor, but I’m more convinced than ever that so many of the challenges we face as a species are self-inflicted and perpetuating. Because we’re dumb.
To be fair, this comes after a particularly grueling week at work where I’m really pleased with my team’s professional efforts and simultaneously dispirited when I raise my gaze beyond my own sphere of influence. So as always, here are a few of the things that caught my eye on the interwebs this week. Share your notable finds in the comments!
“How do you adjust to an ever-changing situation where the ‘new normal’ is indefinite uncertainty?”
Once again, we could have made, and yet could make, different decisions when it comes to media literacy and disinformation. We choose not to.
Though hopefully this may be changing? (The damage has very much been done.)
Because people are doing more of this shit.
Too many things are going backwards, and too much damage is being done. It’s not equivalent and the trends are not even across the board, so this summary of the World Bank report on the rise of poverty is useful.
Trolls are people too. But the damage they do is real.
“When no clear, authoritative source of truth exists, when uncertainty rages, human nature will lead many people to seek a more stable reality by wrapping themselves in an ever-tighter cloak of political, religious, or racial identities. The more uncertainty rises, the more alluring that siren call becomes. And some Americans are responding by seeking out exclusive, all-encompassing identities that are toxic and fragile—and hold the seed of violent extremism.”
He’s untrustworthy and financially suspect. He has been for decades. And no one in power seems to care enough to do anything about it or how it’s pushing us towards kleptocracy.
And in news that I cannot believe someone had to produce but is probably a good idea to share: what to do if illegal militiamen show up at your local polling station. Fuck.
“The forced intimacy of island life means no street corner is anonymous.” Loved this music star profile.
This too is my most prominent political fear.
“Maybe you do not care much about the future of the Republican Party. You should. Conservatives will always be with us. If conservatives become convinced that they can not win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. The will reject democracy.” David Frum, wrote in Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic. I literally think about that quote at least once a week.