Whether it’s real or not

I know a lot of cynics will say it’s a political ploy, but this is a pretty powerful message: https://www.good.is/articles/lifelong-gop-likes-aca

Regardless of whether this guy is telling the truth, or if it’s a clever bit of political marketing, I know that the ACA helped a good friend of ours – perhaps even saved her life. Before, her pre-existing condition prevented her from getting insurance and the surgery she needed, and she was pretty much wasting away. It’s definitely not perfect, and our system’s still basically screwed up, but it’s a little less screwed up now that people who need help can get it.
What we need now is not a repeal, but a strengthening of the law, improvements in the ways insurance raise premiums, in the way data can and must be shared among providers, and in the way that states provide Medicaid expansion.

American Panorama

An outstanding series of historical data visualizations and maps over here:

American Panorama is an historical atlas of the United States for the twenty-first century. It combines cutting-edge research with innovative interactive mapping techniques, designed to appeal to anyone with an interest in American history or a love of maps.




I always think that one of the purposes of this type of attack is to show – or to galvanize – the moral bankruptcy of the regime and the society. To show that when it is provoked it will lash out with cruel, disproportionate, insane violence; to show that it is not a legitimate or safe place for marginalized groups by provoking violence on the bodies of the marginalized. If we lived in a better world, or even in Norway, people would respond by refusing to lash out, by acting with magnanimity and greatness. But all that ever happens is that we see that both the terrorists and the regime are violent and morally bankrupt.

It’s an epistemological crime, it’s intended to produce despair. Mass killings like this are the non-stae mirror of the prison camp, because they’re intended to break down people’s ordinary humanity.


Yellowstone (I want to go back)

I went to Yellowstone back in September with a group of friends, and it was amazing. Hiked and camped the entire time, with the highlight for me being the 3-day backcountry hike into pure wilderness, and a campsite that was like a little slice of heaven – utterly silent except for the babbling from the two creeks surrounding the site.