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Satire is Dead

An obituary for a genre whose time has finally gone. Born over 2000 years ago and popularized in the Roman Empire, satire has endured as a genre of humor through the rise and fall of empires and kingdoms, through revolutions, plagues and famines, crusades and pogroms, noblemen of good breeding and, on the other hand, British monarchs. Often misunderstood, sometimes confused with its siblings irony, sarcasm, parody, and farce, satire has remained a reliable tool in the hands of comedy writers for generations.

Trump's Broad Support Base

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump has more diverse support than one might imagine, even if it’s probably not enough to win him the Presidency in November. By now, you’ve probably seen videos from Trump rallies, and how his supporters behave in and around them. Videos like this (warning for hateful language, racial slurs): No one is surprised to see Trump getting support and endorsements from white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups.

The Power of Disintermediation

“Disintermediation” is a simple idea: it’s a reduction in middlemen between producer and consumer. When it comes to media and information, it can give us access to raw, unfiltered news–or fill our heads (and social media feeds) with rank garbage. Society today could not be what it is without the flows of information that influence and shape it. Before the printing press and widespread literacy, for most people there was only word-of-mouth.

No, the DNC Didn't Rig the Primaries

There’s a resilient meme going around that the Democratic National Committee–the national organization for the Democratic Party–“rigged” the primary elections to ensure Hillary Clinton’s victory. The recent DNC email leaks and subsequent fallout are cited as “evidence” of this. Is there anything to it, really? I’m going to assume that, if you’re reading this, you’re a reasonable person reading in good faith and expect to be treated like a rational, thinking adult.

Drug Addiction as a Public Health Issue

After decades of failed policy, we may finally be seeing drug addiction as the complex health issue it really is, rather than treating it as a law enforcement problem. The height of the War on Drugs is well past at this point. The ‘80s and ‘90s remain the high water mark of that particular joint federal-state effort. Countless lives have been lost or destroyed in the meantime, civil rights violated on a large scale, and for what?


Would you believe this blog will cross the 300 post threshold this week? Hey, these Sunday posts are for nothing if not idle reflection. When I began this blog, my goal was to do one post a day for a year. In a couple more months, I’ll be there. I’m still of a mind that I don’t know for sure what I’ll do once I hit that mark. I am reasonably certain of what I won’t do, though:

Link Roundup: July 30, 2016

I’m probably not at home when this goes up, but the link machine doesn’t stop. Technology * [Say farewell to SMS-based two-factor authentication?]( -- I rely on this a lot, so I'm curious to see what it's ultimately replaced with. * [Yahoo's sale to Verizon ends an era for a web pioneer]( -- Yup, Verizon bought Yahoo! Not sure _why._ Film * [Your face is tanking]( -- Some well-sourced examination of the bias in reporting on the performance of the new _Ghostbusters_ film.

IPv4 Will Never Die

A decade ago–earlier than that, in fact–there was much fretting that we would soon run out of IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, which are needed to connect computers and other devices to the Internet. It’s 2016 and we’re still using the same IP standard–IPv4–as we did back then. What gives? The most obvious question is: why does this matter? Without IP addresses, nothing can connect to the Internet. No Internet, no email, no chat, no messaging, you get the idea.

Hillary's Victory, but Bill's Spotlight

After an entire primary cycle in which we’ve been forced to consider whether America is ready for a woman to be nominated for President, the front page stories about that nomination… focus on her husband. Former President Bill Clinton delivered a powerhouse speech this week, no doubt about it. He reminded us once again of the qualities that put him into the White House in the first place: his charm, his wit, his power over the spoken word.

Can we Eliminate Corruption?

If you ask most people, corruption is everywhere–our government is corrupt, our businesses are corrupt, everything is corrupt. You can’t escape it. Is this even a problem we can fix? Americans in particular love to gripe that our government is corrupt. This is akin to saying water is wet, though. Every government is corrupt, as every government is inhabited by human beings who are imperfect, and some of whom are unethical.