November 3, 2018 fkirschner

So much to read, so little weekend…

Probably one of the best articles on the continuing debate on whether or not we should talk to the Nazis comes courtesy of Aleksandar Hemon on

The public discussion prompted by the (dis)invitation confirmed to me that only those safe from fascism and its practices are far more likely to think that there might be a benefit in exchanging ideas with fascists. What for such a privileged group is a matter of a potentially productive difference in opinion is, for many of us, a matter of basic survival. The essential quality of fascism (and its attendant racism) is that it kills people and destroys their lives—and it does so because it openly aims so.


Geroge Lakoff, who wrote the fantastic Metaphors we live by, together with Gil Duran argues for a shift in journalistic practices away from analyzing the day to day distractions of a nationalist leader to uncovering the larger patterns of policy (on

Trump’s success is rooted in the media’s tendency to amplify, rather than analyze, his tactics. Like a pickpocket who distracts your attention with one hand while the other hand takes your wallet, he knows what he’s doing. When Trump tries to keep them busy debunking sprees of lies, good reporters should pivot to focus on the relevant truth.


Journalism is hard, especially in times of uninstitutionalized spreading of news and discourse in social media. Kate Starbird argues that social media might not be as uninstitutionalized as we might have thought it to be:

This underscores the power and nuance of these strategies. These IRA agents were enacting caricatures of politically active U.S. citizens. In some cases, these were gross caricatures of the worst kinds of online actors, using the most toxic rhetoric. But, in other cases, these accounts appeared to be everyday people like us, people who care about the things we care about, people who want the things we want, people who share our values and frames.


In class, we haven’t quite made it to a discussion of incommensurability and our postmodern times yet. So I’ll leave it up to you all to tween your way from the above linked articles to the below:

Robin Dembroff (in gives a consisely written account on nonbinary identity as “a radical escape hatch”:

In other words, it’s uncontroversial among doctors, biologists and geneticists that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a line in nature that cleanly divides people into males and females. So, even granting the first premise, the argument fails: reproductive features do not neatly fall into binary categories. The biological world is far messier than XX and XY chromosomes.


Nellie Bowles writes about The Digital Gap Between Rich and Poor Kids and how it’s not what we expected (in the nytimes):

[...]parents say there is a growing technological divide between public and private schools even in the same community. While the private Waldorf School of the Peninsula, popular with Silicon Valley executives, eschews most screens, the nearby public Hillview Middle School advertises its 1:1 iPad program.



Leslie Hook and John Reed explain significant shifts in China’s willingness to deal with our garbage (in, Xiaowei Wang talks to Samantha Culp about technology and Sinofuturism in rural China (via and the mayor of Taipei just Dropped a trap Music Video (most of these courtesy of most bestest @xuhulk).