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nytimes
narrative journalism is fundamentally flawed
borderline evil?
trump ー dr - shamanic/traditional dr without accreditation
Mpod:
There seem to be two questions here that Eric/Sam conflate a bit:
(1) Is Trump more effective/good than he gets credit for?
(2) Should his "intention" or "accreditation" to be an effective/good doctor affect whether he gets the credit he deserves? (Or in Sam's terms, if he
inadvertently
does good, or does good while
shunning norms
,
should that disqualify him from credit)?
My POV:
Left can be so blinded/biased by #2 that they can't fairly assess #1. Intellectually dishonest.
Right can be so
offended
by the left's
bias
, that the right gives too much credit in #1.
And I guess I fall somewhere in between.
I think Trump deserves more credit in several areas ー
Foreign policy ー esp. China, possibly N Korea (we'll see), I might have said Iran before this week
Small gov't
Anti monopoly
Exposing bias in supposedly neutral institutions
Exposing bigotry/misogyny at a national level (pokes hole in "post-racial" dreams)
I also think Trump has and continues to lead in the wrong direction on key fronts
Climate change
Conservative courts that couldーbut admittedly may notーaffect the future of civil rights, election/democratic reforms, and other unexpected issues
Mixed/Neutral ー instead of clearly
anti
ー messaging on nazi activity in the U.S.
Truth/Fact erosion (aka the era of alternative facts) ー To Eric's point, no institution can be trusted across CIA, FBI, news media, scientific consensus (climate change, vaccines), any expert, etc.
To my point above, I agree he has done _some_ good to expose bias. But because of Trump's all-or-nothing stylTe, he also nurtures an overcorrection. To the point where it _seems_ people feel increasingly entitled to their own facts, not just their own opinions.
Normalizing misogyny and perhaps even sexual assault at the highest levels
Finally, to Sam's point, I agree his "intention" (not his "accreditation", though) matters in how much credit he deserves
Examples:
If Trump is unintentionally shined a light on national misogyny (which helps galvanize "Me Too"), he is not a hero.
If Trump unwittingly emboldened white supremacists to march out in the openーso they are more exposed and vocal than they have been in decadesーTrump should not be thanked. (This is the equivalent of Sam's example of the South Poverty Law Center ー if they turned a "hate speech" ember into a spark because their job is to eliminate hate speech, they may have done more harm than good).
If Trump unintentionally/intentionally bred more xenophobia against immigrants and Islamophobia in general (which helped spark a national conversation about bias), it is not a reason to vote for him.
Counterpoint:
The best argument I can think of to say that "Trump deserves more credit for exposing hidden bigotry/misogyny/xenophobia" is this: it needs to get worse before it gets better. Or, that sunlight is the best disinfectant. That's possible. And nobody can be sure.
But my instinct is that is wrong. I worry that sunlight is not disinfecting bias, it is normalizing bias. What we need, I think, is:
More empathy ー shared understanding of what it's like to be a woman, or an immigrant, or a POC, or a muslim, or a transgender american, or some intersectional mix of these.
More condemnation (at the highest levels, esp. from Trump) against bigotry. To reaffirm that our country's values do not condone or allow it. That we are always striving to get better.
And I believe that Trump is either intentionally (or clumsily/unintentionally) reducing empathy. He is also not condemning strongly or clearly enough.
nassim (certainly a personal hero)
not an inside cat, people misunderstand him, his ideas can at first seem nonsense to realize later the depth of ideas. his courage / strength / disagreeability: one person against billions
radical (to me) rethinking of the consensus labor market narrative:
primary asset of a citizen is asymmetric access to participate in the local labor market. h1-b was a sham. embedded growth complex.
securitize peoples rights and then get paid for it.
embedded growth complex. such a powerful idea that explains much of the institutional stasis around us?
things don’t scale down easily. things dont expire easily.
how much malware in our heads do we have?
creativity is terrifying

Themes


The state of culture
How do we describe what's happening now?
Worst "collective delusion" in history
Or is it "recency bias"? arrogance of thinking right now is more important?)
Stacking of several "sea changes"

"No institution I can trust"
Journalism
NYT = "borderline evil", fitting facts to the narrative, Woodstock as example
Rest of journalism gutted ー left with the blogosphere ー and very few actual "institutions" left
Trump has made the hiding of journalistic bias "irresponsible", or maybe impossible
Science/Nature (Facts)
Vulnerable in a way we haven't seen
Social sciences criticized for a while, math/science will be last to go but already being attacked
Failure to have a fact-based discussion is "scariest thing we have going" other than nuclear war, etc.
New norms of not being honest about facts "can't scale"

Trump
Does he deserve more credit?
"Sometimes I think of Trump as a doctor who has to break a bone that's mis-set in hopes it can finally heal properly"
There is a method to the madness ー If he's not an "evil genius", he has some evil genius qualities
Not that everything is intentional, but need to give him his due
Or merely "accidentally useful" at times?
"He's a doctor who isn't actually intending to heal you" ー a "happy accident" of the "madman breaking it to good effect" / Chauncey Gardener analogy
We have 40% of the population that will accept anything he does ("he cannot be canceled")
Trump rebels against centrists as obstacles to progress
Rid us of "rot of the centrists" ー Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Obama ー why that's good: "klepto-centrists"of the "Davos variety" halt actual progress
These people have been "picking our pockets" and "divorcing us from each other". "Insidious" behavior.
There is something much more evil ー came up with a Davos "bullshit ideology", was all a "cover to figure out how to make money where things were otherwise stagnant"
(Q: what data supports this idea that the left "picks pockets"? Genuinely curious.)
Woke culture as its own evil
The left can be "clearly dishonest", "unsustainable"
Trudeau as caricature of this ー "goofy elitism"
I get the "let's just watch these fuckers burn pleasure stream" ー "they just love to see him wind-up the libtards"

Good Intentions → Chaotic/Evil Results
Walrus & The Carpenter (!) ー allegory for the left / centrists hurting people but claiming to care about the people they hurt (eating oysters)
Zuck didn't realize until 11th hr that "connecting the world (as an intrinsic good)" also has negative externalities
Samantha Powers and genocide

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