As discussed previously, this is my weekly Twitter roundup. Note that tweets of articles generally include header images from the articles, which are not included here unless they happen to be available under a free license. Most are not. But I now add most of my commentary here, where I’m not restricted by the message length.

diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week

I also don’t generally attach pictures to posts with quotations.

General 🔗

I can’t not mention an interaction that I had last week, and forgot about for last Friday’s post. I responded to a post by Elizabeth Warren, with

I wish that we could give up on the phrase “fair share.” If wealthy people cared about fairness, they wouldn’t be nearly as wealthy. We should frame this in terms they understand, like a maintenance fee for the markets their wealth relies on.

Some (ahem) “genius”—who I have since muted—tried to challenge me on Warren’s personal finances, as if I would know. I made a brief attempt at being kind, but ultimately decided that the kid was just begging to be legitimized, so I said so and explained that it wasn’t a conversation. His response, which still makes me giggle, was to notify me that he didn’t think it was worth his time to continue the conversation.

If you’re a sitcom fan, you might recognize this move as “you can’t fire me; I quit.”

When I spent time on Quora, I quickly realized that the worst elements—the people insistent on their racist, misogynist, or otherwise wrong-headed views—generally had what we might impolitely term daddy issues. They crave male approval; the savvier among them will try the cult-recruitment line of “can we at least agree that…” to win even the tiniest concession. And if they can’t get that, they want to show their dominance. Once you see it, it’s pretty funny, especially considering how utterly terrible most young men are at it. But the trick, in my opinion, is not giving them that satisfaction while they’re being terrible.

Oh, I’m also disproportionately proud of the tweet that I snuck in for the holiday for Independence Day.

For Independence Day 2021, I’d love a list of pundits who spend Decembers clutching their pearls about people not saying the word “Christmas” at every turn, but then wish everybody a happy Fourth of July with an American flag…

The fact that any holiday might be known by its date baffles me, but more so among the nationalistic fussbudgets who haven’t the foggiest idea of what’s being celebrated.

Mon 05 July 2021 🔗

I decided to take Monday as a holiday.

9:04 – Tue 06 July 2021 🔗

In Blow to GOP Narrative, Missouri Cut to Jobless Benefits Not Boosting Hiring from Common Dream

…hardly anyone showed up at a recent job fair in the St. Louis suburb of Maryland Heights, where the employment opportunities on offer included a $10.30-an-hour position at a home healthcare agency—with no benefits.

It turns out that “nobody wants to work,” because the open jobs are terrible, and are mostly being offered by companies that took “paycheck protection” loans and then fired their workers…

12:03 – Tue 06 July 2021 🔗

Work and struggle and never accept an evil that you can change.

Andre Gide 🔗

9:02 – Wed 07 July 2021 🔗

Infrastructure spending has always involved social engineering from The Conversation

…they explicitly sought to exterminate bison both to prevent dangerous collisions with locomotives and to starve the Native peoples resisting Western expansion.

Beyond tying in with the current debate about infrastructure bills, this ties back to what we discussed here in Politics in Art and Technology. Any time someone builds something, that thing embodies social values, period. The only questions are what values it embodies and why.

12:02 – Wed 07 July 2021 🔗

Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.

Henry David Thoreau 🔗

9:05 – Thu 08 July 2021 🔗

Fifty years ago today, Senator Mike Gravel read the Pentagon Papers into the official record. More lawmakers should follow his lead. from Freedom of the Press Foundation

…had not slept for three nights, overwrought with fatigue and fear that he might be headed to prison.

Gravel died on the same day as Donald Rumsfeld, and so was basically ignored by people who wanted to make jokes about Rumsfeld’s death, and even then, that focused on the Iraq War and not his support of trickle-down economics. The Washington Post—which benefited from his actions by mooting the case against them—tossed off a quick obituary dismissing this task as “theatrics.”

12:05 – Thu 08 July 2021 🔗

You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man’s freedom. You can only be free if I am free.

Clarence Darrow 🔗

9:01 – Fri 09 July 2021 🔗

The GOP Is Trying to Outlaw Democracy from OtherWords

For example, panicky Republican lawmakers in Georgia tried to outlaw early voting on Sundays. Why? Because it’s a flagrantly racist attack on the Black church.

There needs to be more open reporting about the fact that one political party in the United States stands directly opposed to the country’s principles while insisting that their opponents are the people who are insufficiently patriotic. Too much of the media is willing to dismiss it as routine political jockeying—probably because corporations are inherently undemocratic organizations—leading people to believe that this is all tedious argument.

12:01 – Fri 09 July 2021 🔗

One cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty.

Jane Austen 🔗

Bonus 🔗

Because it accidentally became a tradition early on in the life of the blog, here are any additional articles that didn’t fit into the week, but too weird or important to not mention.

24% of chemicals in plastic may be worth worrying about from Futurity

Of the 10,500 substances identified, the researchers categorized 2,480 substances as substances of potential concern.

When I was in high school, we had the wave through the economy of removing “single-use polystyrene,” which you’re probably more familiar with under the brand name Styrofoam. If you’re not old enough to know what I mean, just about all take-out meals and other prepared foods were sold in expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam clam-shell boxes. At least in my high school—and probably far more widely—we used to joke about the inventor trying to get his colleagues’ attention: “Guys, guys, check it out, this stuff will never rot! What could go wrong?”

The great sleep divide from Knowable Magazine

Improved local noise ordinances, building codes for reducing light pollution, and more humane schedules for overnight shift work, which is more prevalent among African Americans, could all help reduce the sleep divide.

I’ve written about sleep, and while I necessarily focused on what has worked for me—because that’s the information I have—and the result is advice that requires money, time, and a consistent schedule. That’s not necessarily useless, because any improvement is still an improvement, but it shows how privilege compounds. Because I have the privilege to sleep well, I can get more done in a day than many people. Because I can get more done in a day, the rewards are greater. And the cycle repeats. Similarly, with the privilege to live in neighborhoods with fewer toxins and more green spaces, or any number of other issues.


Credits: Header image is Circular diagrams showing the division of the day and of the week from a manuscript drafted during the Carolingian Dynasty.