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The Real Dr. King

When I was growing up, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was related to me, a young white boy, as something more like a legend than a human being. The story went, in the broad strokes, that black Americans were not being treated fairly, and while some white people were behind it, most simply didn’t know it was happening. So, he brought it to national attention, and via peaceful protests and beautiful speeches, convinced decent white people to fix racism.

POV Creep and Logo Progress

Here we are, another self-indulgent Sunday. Maybe I can abbreviate that to SIS. First things first: progress is being made on a logo, albeit a bit later than I would have liked. I saw some concepts, and I really liked one of them, so that’s going to be played with and refined into some more variations for me to evaluate. I’m looking forward to that. That’s all I wanted to say about that, so I’ll move right into the other topic for this post: POV creep.

Link Roundup: January 16, 2016

Did somebody say “links”?! Politics * [Hillary Clinton is botching her best chance to win]( -- Discusses Hillary Clinton's recent attacks (and proxy attacks) on Bernie Sanders and how they may be damaging her candidacy. * [Hillary Clinton doesn't trust you]( -- Ezra Klein, who tends to be rather hit and miss, notes that Hillary Clinton doesn't campaign the way she actually governs/administers, much to her detriment. I didn't know much about her leadership style but it's disappointing that she doesn't show more of it while campaigning.

Life Under ISIS, in Raqqa

Most reporting about the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL, etc.) is frustratingly superficial, or relies on virtually deranged conservative American political commentary. I know I tire of seeing stories about how we need to “flatten Raqqa,” or otherwise annihilate seemingly all the territory (and people) under the Islamic State’s control. But then there’s a piece like this one, in¬†Foreign Policy magazine. My only complaint is that it’s rather short. Otherwise, it provides a good look at what life is like in Raqqa.

Indiana to New Jersey: A Culture Shock

This is a topic that’s sat in my queue for a while, and I decided to finally tackle it. I will quickly note that I think I have adjusted pretty well to the differences, but it’s interesting to look back and see the transition from a distance. In lieu of a full memoir, I will just say that I lost my job in Muncie, Indiana in late 2008, and found a new job in northern New Jersey in early 2009.

Lotteries: A Predatory Tax Regime

I play the lottery now and then, by which I mean maybe once every year or two. I like to think I might win, but of course don’t entertain any illusions that I will. It’s more of a fun social activity to take part in a lottery pool at work, or among friends. But the lottery isn’t that way for everyone. Lotteries bring in billions while preying on the poor. They are touted as helping education funding, but once lottery funds pick up, it gives state legislators an excuse to cut taxpayer funding.

Constructivism in a Nutshell

Constructivism, like most philosophical ideas, sounds complex and intimidating if you’ve never heard it before, or are unfamiliar with what it means. But it’s actually not that complicated. I was doing some thinking about it earlier today, and thought of a rather straightforward way to explain it. Take something that’s a simple physical fact–such as the temperature of water. Temperature is essentially how energetic the molecules of water are: if they’re more energetic, they move faster and are hotter; if they are less energetic, they move more slowly and are colder.

The Poor Experience in America

Each individual’s worldview is most directly shaped by personal experience. Due to how our brains work, we are far more likely to believe things that are part of (or at least similar to) our own experience. As a result, we tend to have considerable difficulty accepting the reported life experiences of people who have endured very different circumstances. You can probably tell where this is going and what it has to do with being poor.

Slowly into social media

Just one of those weekly updates about behind-the-scenes stuff. This past week, I set up a Facebook page for this blog. I have friends who want to keep up with what I write here but, for totally understandable reasons, forget to check it regularly. Without a reminder, it’s easy to miss. While I would normally tell people, “just use my RSS feed!” that’s not really the way people do things in 2016.

Link Roundup: January 9, 2016

You don’t like links? Too bad. Social Justice * [NYC crime declines after NYPD switch to less aggressive policing]( -- Imagine that! * [PA man fired for racist tirade at anti-fracking protests says his comments were "stupid"]( -- Well, at least we're in agreement. * [Here's another sign the era of mass incarceration is slowly coming to an end]( -- Things I did not know: the rate of incarceration in the US has been (slowly) declining for seven straight years.