If there is one thing I have learned it is that people love bullshit. They buy bullshit stories from professional bullshit artists, accept bullshit philosophies, purchase bullshit how-to-books, vote for bullshitting politicians.
More from David Rothkopf
...killing Capitol police officers, inciting a riots that claimed five lies, participating in the largest act of domestic terrorism in US history, hunting down Congresspeople in the halls of Congress, supporting and defending white supremacists...
...supporting and defending Neo-Nazis, turning US federal force against peaceful demonstrators across the country, calling Mexicans rapists, discriminating against Muslims, putting children in cages, ending protections for children born innocently in the United States...
...promoting economic policies that help only the rich in America and fostering the worst inequality in our history, seeking to stigmatize those who sought to do the right thing to protect America from a deadly pandemic...
contributing to the spread of a disease that has killed hundreds of thousands--disproportionately people of color & the elderly, seeking policies that deny COVID relief to states with Dem leadership, seeking to help only those close to the GOP leadership with COVID relief...
People in a free society are entitled to any point of view no matter how obviously wrong or outlandish or destructive provided they do not impose their views on others.
But suggesting that something ignorant or divorced from reality warrants the same kind of treatment in public debate as something based in fact or at least credible is absurd and when done on behalf of a society in public media or academic settings it is self-destructive.
We would not grant media coverage or much bandwidth at all to a group that argued that unicorns exist or that there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet views like denying climate change or basing policy decisions on sweeping, obvious lies, are just as unsound.
Somewhere, somehow, judgments must be made. Some behaviors are wrong and must be condemned. Someone must challenge lies and demand facts. Coddling people who embrace idiocies does not help them no matter how loudly they demand to be coddled.
...the enduring appeal of Trumpism, the effectiveness of GOP campaigns for the Senate or the House, the mistakes made in Dem campaigns for the House, vice versa on both the preceding counts, the role of the GOP disinformation echosystem, COVID, the economy...
...mobilizing progressives, mobilizing centrists, racism, anti-racism, the movement to defund the police, the use of the word socialism, media blunders, voter ignorance, the impeachment process, corruption in DC, campaign finance abuse, the power of the establishment...
...the power of the Murdoch's, the hard right, the evangelicals, the Russians, the young, the old, whites, Latinos, blacks, women, men or any of the other countless factors (divine intervention, etc.) that have been cited in the media, by pols, on social media, in the days since.
For Dems, this is definitely not the time for finger pointing and division. There must be a laser-like focus on winning the run-offs in Georgia. There should be a widespread effort to mobilize the broadest possible support for the agenda of the Biden-Harris administration.
--Betray the country to a sworn enemy
--Try to undermine the international system
--Put children in cages
--Promote white supremacists & racism
--Seek to undermine our democracy
--Work to undermine the rule of law
--Destroy our environment
--Use force against peaceful protestors
--Embrace dictators and kleptocrats worldwide
--Promote misogyny (and commit rape and sexual abuse)
--Attack or seek to blackmail our allies
--Lie...and lie constantly...lie more than 20,000 times
--Deny science or history
--Let hundreds of thousands die to protect their political fortunes
--Send the nation into the worst economic and public health crisis in a hundred years
--Go AWOL at the moment that crisis is peaking
--Turn their backs on suffering Americans
--Serve the richest Americans at the expense of the poorest
--Promote division and hatred
--Be the worst administration in American history
1. A coup against our government led by our president
2. Support for the coup from the entire Republican Party
3. A major political party (see above) dedicated to dismantling democracy in the United States
4. A president impeached for encouraging the coup
5. A president impeached for trying to blackmail a US ally
6. A president who bullied & insulted our allies for 4 years
7. A president and party who have actively promoted racism and ethno-nationalism
8. A president & party who sought to shut our borders to people of color
9. Re: the preceding, a president & party who sought to block the entry of Afghan (& Iraqi) allies into the country
10. A president who helped deepen the global COVID crisis through selfishness, ignorance and corruption
11. US having the highest COVID death total in the world
12. A president cozying up to dictators worldwide
13. A president corruptly profiting from the presidency
14. A president who was a serial sex offender
15. A president who is a serial tax cheat
More from Life
As a dean of a major academic institution, I could not have said this. But I will now. Requiring such statements in applications for appointments and promotions is an affront to academic freedom, and diminishes the true value of diversity, equity of inclusion by trivializing it. https://t.co/NfcI5VLODi— Jeffrey Flier (@jflier) November 10, 2018
We know that elite institutions like the one Flier was in (partial) charge of rely on irrelevant status markers like private school education, whiteness, legacy, and ability to charm an old white guy at an interview.
Harvard's discriminatory policies are becoming increasingly well known, across the political spectrum (see, e.g., the recent lawsuit on discrimination against East Asian applications.)
It's refreshing to hear a senior administrator admits to personally opposing policies that attempt to remedy these basic flaws. These are flaws that harm his institution's ability to do cutting-edge research and to serve the public.
Harvard is being eclipsed by institutions that have different ideas about how to run a 21st Century institution. Stanford, for one; the UC system; the "public Ivys".
Since then we've started a remote web dev company @SquarecatWebDev and been lucky enough to have completed several freelance projects 💻 that have kept us on the road.
In the last few months we've become a huge part of this amazing new Maker community and have found so many new friends from @makerskitchen, @women_make_ and several others! 🥰
We love travelling together (even if I'm only a glorified laptop watcher 😒) but we're both much happier being able to share our ideas outside of our own little bubble and our products have benefitted too!
Here's to another year of nomading with my favourite person and to the Maker community continuing to grow with our help! Maybe one day we'll all get to meet each other ✌️ 💛
Here's an interesting story about a man you've almost certainly heard of, think you know stuff about, but probably weren't taught any of the good, funny, ludicrous stuff that makes it really interesting.
It's long. You might hate it. I'll take that chance...
In 1588, Spain launched a huge fleet with the aim of overthrowing Elizabeth I and conquering England (sorry Britain, I'm taking about the "it's still just England" era).
At least in part, they did this to stop our pirates from being such a monumental pain in their arse...
As the 130 Spanish ships approached our coast, the English packed our most ancient and decrepit boats with junk, set them on fire, and shoved them into the Spanish lines.
The Armada scattered, and the weather took care of the rest, driving them towards the Dutch coast...
Thus, the great military achievement of the Elizabethan era was settled by a combination of a typical English summer, and an aquatic bin fire.
But somebody had to come out of it a hero, and that somebody was Sir Francis Drake...
The things you know about Drake are practically all false: he didn’t finish his game of bowls before being bothered to defeat the Spanish – that story didn’t appear until some 40 years after the events, and bad weather kept in in Plymouth: not fannying around with ball games...
Tomorrow, I will drop hard copies of this letter in the mail, but I've emailed it to the GOP office and also to Senator Cassidy's office today.
*sorry for the run-ons and so forth.
Your tone deaf condemnation and censure of Senator Cassidy is misguided and alienating.
As it turns out, remarking that he is without a party places him in a privileged arena if our state’s Republicans are choosing to categorically deny the Senator his
elected responsibility to listen to evidence at a trial and cast a vote appropriate to his conscience.
Senator Cassidy has the ability to muster the courage it takes to be truly honorable, and extend the thought and reasoning it takes to make tough choices regardless of
subversive pressure being applied.
Unlike yourselves, Senator Cassidy has the capacity to read a room. The room he had to read most likely felt cold and lonely. The room he had to read most likely felt suffocating, and fraught with dubious outcomes for himself personally.
But he persisted with honor, and he persisted with valor. He deserves respect for that.
Perhaps reading that room is something for which you should take a look at doing a bit more closely. The Republican Party will no doubt see some changes in the next years.
And here at ACLU-MA, we know that justice is a labor of love. Here are some of our favorite moments of love and justice in the last year, to brighten your #ValentinesDay.
Almost exactly a year ago, our clients Hanz and Maudy were reunited after being separated by the cruel "Return to Mexico" policy.
Yesterday, a family of asylum seekers were reunited. Hanz & his son were subjected to #MPP, a cruel policy that forced them into dangerous cities in northern Mexico. We sued on their behalf, allowing them to rejoin their family in Massachusetts. pic.twitter.com/Kce6MTpS9C— ACLU Massachusetts (@ACLU_Mass) February 7, 2020
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Write a tweet, tell your friends, and move on.
Once you own it, you fix it.
99% of people on Twitter/social media/internet won't do this.
Being radically transparent and honest is a competitive (and life) advantage.
From @RayDalio's Principles:
My new product has 14 users and <$400 monthly revenue. I've spent the last 4 months on it.
I'm going through a lot of pain to validate and grow it.
But if anyone asks me how it's going I will tell them exactly that.
If I asked them, I would hope they would give me the raw truth as well. Truth builds trust.
I think that goes for your internet audience as well. Authenticity is attractive.
I see this with @starter_story all the time - people don't want to share their revenue yet because they don't have any, or it's not high enough (not all cases but often).
I wish I could tell them that getting the cat out of the bag would actually fix the problem itself!!
I get asked for writing tips a lot. Of all the ones I’ve given, here are a few of the ones that seem to hold true and remain somewhat universal or at least mostly unobjectionable:
1. If you are a fast writer (i.e., if you compose first drafts very quickly) then you absolutely must become a slow editor. Much of what I call “writing” is really, for me, editing.
2. If you don’t read you cannot write a lot or well. Sure, maybe you can read like a maniac for a decade and then read less after that, but without some large volume of intake, there will never be a meaningful output.
2.1 I sometimes say that I feel like writing without reading is like trying to run a marathan on a cracker. And sadly I see many students struggling to write when they have simply never read enough to fuel that demand of the task at hand.
3. All writing is writing if one decides to treat it that way. If one takes some degree of intentional will when sending emails, posting on social media and writing notes and marginalia, then all of that can count as meaningful daily writing.
How did you get your first customers for WIP? How did you grow BetaList’s traffic? Etc.
Makers are looking to reverse-engineer success. I see it everywhere.
I don’t think it works that way and the answers to those questions are mostly useless. 💥
I have built dozens of different products over the last couple of years. The vast majority failed. 😭
Surely if I know the answers to these questions, but still fail over and over again, these answers aren’t that useful. 🤷♀️
So what’s a better question to ask? 🤔
99.9% of the questions I receive are about the products that did well. In a way that makes sense, because we quickly forget about those that didn’t succeed.
🧠 This is known as survivorship bias.
Focusing on what survived, while ignoring what made it survive in the first place.
The real question, what you really want to know, is this:
What makes @WIP, @BetaList, and to some extent @AllStartupJobs succeed where my countless other attempts failed?
What separates a failed product 👎 from a successful product 👍?
Honestly, I don’t know. I wish I did.
It’s like Steve Jobs said “I’ll know it when I see it.” 👀
Same is true when we make products. We don’t know upfront what will work. But once we see an inkling of a product that does have potential, it’s not that hard to spot.
Markets move towards desired solutions naturally.
(Like folks lining up for ice cream on a hot summer's day).
Our ability to influence the market is much lower than you think.
It's better to build your product to conform to the direction the market is moving.
Before folks start mentioning Steve Jobs and the iPhone ("Steve built a product we didn't even know we needed!")
Steve recognized the market's existing momentum and saw an opportunity.
"Everyone has a cell phone." (momentum)
"But nobody likes it." (opportunity)
Markets move towards solutions on their own; founders can't pull markets over to their solution.
If you're struggling to gain traction, you likely have a problem in your:
(or all three)
1/ A lot of new consumer technologies have been introduced to US households in the last 100 years. But it's taken many of them - like the telephone - more than 50 years to get to the majority of the US. Why is that?
2/ We had to literally teach people how to use phone. Which end goes to your mouth, which goes to your ear. Say "hello" when people call. The motivation of consumers to talk to their friends has always been there, but we had to teach the behavior
3/ If you compare phones to the latest technologies, there's been a huge shift. Things are being picked up much faster.
4/ Even while there's been all this innovation recently, physically speaking, we are still the same human beings from 100,000 years ago.