Politics & Society Quotes

Winston Churchill on the importance of a free press

“A free press is the unsleeping guardian of every other right that free men prize; it is the most dangerous foe of tyranny.”

Winston Churchill

Culture Politics & Society

Entering the Kremlin

Fueling fantasies. Ignoring scientific facts. Fabricating data. Flat out lying.

Denial is the first admission of the truth. But the truth never expires.

The joke’s on the public, apparently. 

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

Mark Twain

Are you awake yet? Please clap/claque.

Culture Life & Philosophy

The X’s & O’s

Everyone wants green checkmarks and smiley faces instead of red x’s. But that’s not what happens in uncertain times — you get both.

We got here because the left side didn’t talk to the right. Instead, the Democrats called Republicans deplorables. And while many of the latter are bigots, a lot of them aren’t. However, the problem is rational Republicans still voted for a declared misogynist, racist, Islamophobe. How can you put a dent in American pluralism for so-called ‘change?’

NBA coaches Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich all have some intelligent thoughts on this mess. So does analyst Ernie Johnson, who is spiritually optimistic.

Remove your party bias for a second and use your head and heart. As the Beastie Boys said, ‘Check Your Head.’

When faced with the unknown, you buckle down on what you know is right, hang in there, and play the long-game. The most important part is not giving in but to continue to lead the discussion. He gets a chance. Until then, you’ve got red on you.

Life & Philosophy Politics & Society Tech

Blame the humans, not the machines


They say the AI-powered assistants are still dumb. Of course, they’re getting smarter every day as more data pours into the system until one day, they’ll start communicating with us like real human beings. We won’t even have to touch a device. Intelligence will be in the air, instructions and answers at every street corner.

Based on the election results last night, the prospect of a machine-operated might seem to be a smarter move — at least the robots will make more intelligent decisions than the American people.

Rome fell last night. And it’s not because of Siri, Alexa, Google, or Facebook. It fell because emotions are better storytellers than facts. Humans rather flee and yield to the natural fears of their own amygdala than stand up to coercion and do the right thing.

American gave up on the idea of ideas. Talk about building yourself up to tear yourself down. The majority of people have selected live a life of algae, shielded from the sun and living in their own world.

Keep hope alive. I wish you all the best.

Politics & Society

Exit through the polling station

If you’re worried about the future, you’re almost certainly living in the past. You’ve stopped evolving, impatient with change and acceptance. You’d rather close the lid once and for all. It’s not surprising that those who cling to old traditions and nativism feel hopeless.

Democracy is an experiment. The Civil War demonstrated its vulnerability but also preserved the system and birthed a useful philosophy. There’s a chance democracy’s durability takes a step back tomorrow and revives ethnic and jingoistic urges. America is a day away from losing its role as the shining example of hope on the world stage. Instead of validating the hodgepodge that it is, it’ll give other nations the permission to succumb to their own resistance. Realpolitik will return; civil rights rewound.

Outsiders are fun. They elucidate the flaws in the existing system. But when they become demagogues and contrarians, they quickly make shitty leaders who paint a bleak picture. Look at Berlusconi, Erdogan, Putin, and Nigel Farage’s bout for Brexit. Scaremongering and ruling with a big stick are failed tactics. Things like cooperation and openness push things forward.

The future is in your hands, America. It’s either a vote for absolute insanity–perhaps a Hollywood ending to what was an in the first place–or a continuance of the status quo which despite its predictability and idealism, is more likely to lead to progress.

Do the right thing, whatever you think that is.

Politics & Society Quotes

Vote on Election Day

“It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”  -- Mark Twain #quotes #marktwain #politics #election #voting #marketing #twitter #retweet #quoteoftheday

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

— Mark Twain

You can’t sit this one out because you’re afraid of making the wrong choice. Indecision is still a decision. No fence-sitting.

Life & Philosophy Politics & Society Quotes

‘Coercion is natural; freedom is artificial.’


From Louis Menand’s The Metaphysical Club:

Coercion is natural; freedom is artificial. Freedoms are socially engineered spaces where parties engaged in specified pursuits enjoy protection from parties who would otherwise naturally seek to interfere with those pursuits. One person’s freedom is therefore always another person’s restriction: we would not have even the concept of freedom if the reality of coercion were not already present. We think of freedom as a right, and therefore the opposite of a rule, but a right is a rule. It is a prohibition against sanctions on certain types of behavior. We also think of rights as privileges retained by individuals against the rest of society, but rights are created not for the good of individuals, but for the good of society. Individual freedoms are manufactured to achieve group ends.

Democracy is an experiment, one that’s meant to keep going. Beware those who try to take it away like this, this, and this.

Creativity Culture Life & Philosophy

China’s ‘Chabuduo’ Mindset

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via giphy

Done is better than perfect, in some cases, as in updating a web design or app. But in China, ‘almost’ is a pervasive and dangerous mindset. Known as ‘Chabuduo’ or ‘good/close enough,’ can have disastrous effects when it comes to building everyday things, especially infrastructure.

James Palmer is a foreigner living in China and writes about his close encounters with Chabuduo, including everything from shoddy apartment pipes to broken front doors, poisoned food, to half-built parking lots.

Carelessness leads to death; one government official says there’s a deadly explosion every month. State-controlled tv even suppressed the news after the Tangshan chemical plant explosion in March 2014, killing 55 and wounding hundreds.

The Chabuduo attitude may come in handy on a farm when you have to use an old cloth to stop a broken pipe, but its substandard practices fail at scale in cities and at chemical plants where building with modern materials and following safety instructions prevent catastrophes.

For all Trump’s scaremongering on China, he’d be better off pointing to the people’s willingness to cut corners, their attitude of “good enough for government work.” But he’s more concerned about the thing China excels: making iPhones.

Craftsmanship is about care and expertise, not about faking competence and skipping the fundamentals. Half-ass effort yields half-ass results. Poor quality reveals itself eventually.

“In the end, what perpetuates China’s carelessness most might be sheer ubiquity. Craft inspires. A writer can be stirred to the page by hearing a song or watching a car being repaired, a carpenter revved up by a poem or a motorbike. But the opposite also holds true; when you’re surrounded by the cheaply done, the half-assed and the ugly, when failure is unpunished and dedication unrewarded all around, it’s hard not to think that close enough is good enough. Chabuduo.”

Read more: Chabuduo!