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The Minority Wins

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Philip Bump: “There have been five presidents who assumed the office after having lost the popular vote. Between them, they nominated 12 justices who ended up serving on the Supreme Court. On Saturday, with President Trump’s nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh poised to pass the Senate, the number will climb to 13.”

“Kavanaugh, though, has a distinct honor: He will be the first justice nominated by someone who lost the popular vote to earn his seat on the bench with support from senators representing less than half of the country while having his nomination opposed by a majority of the country.”

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the7roy
9 days ago
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Not to mention the other asterisk. Only 50 senators voted for him. A majority on that day, but not a majority of the senate. It could not have ever happened before, and I doubt it will happen again in a generation.
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School Safety Panel Will Not Look at Guns

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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said that the federal school safety commission set up after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will not examine the role of guns in school violence, the AP reports.

Said DeVos: “That is not part of the commission’s charge per se. We are actually studying school safety and how we can ensure our students are safe at school.”

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the7roy
132 days ago
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Bears.
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Cavuto Calls Out Trump for His Lies

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Neil Cavuto slammed President Trump on Fox News for the president’s “pattern of false statements.”

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the7roy
165 days ago
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Gus Mueller: ‘Apple Should Make an Instagram Clone’

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Gus Mueller:

Instagram is one of the last social networks I use these days, which I actually enjoy visiting. But I always get a little twitchy using it because it’s owned by Facebook (which I’m really not a fan of). And the ads are getting pretty annoying these days.

So wouldn’t it be awesome if Apple made a privacy focused clone of it? I know Apple doesn’t really do well when it comes to social services, but I’m wondering if a simple photo sharing site might not be impossible for them to do well.

I’ve been thinking about this ever since Mueller posted this a week ago. I think this could be great. At a technical level, iMessage shows that Apple can build a system that scales. The biggest problem I can think of is usernames. Apple IDs don’t have to be icloud.com / me.com / mac.com usernames — you can use any email address. And you wouldn’t want to expose your email and iMessage address publicly. But Game Center uses nicknames to avoid the same problem. Apple could either piggyback on Game Center nicknames, or set up a new namespace of nicknames for this hypothetical Instagram clone.

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the7roy
170 days ago
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Instagram with a focus on privacy sounds like Apple’s photo streams. All this about anonymous user names is not at all interesting to me. I just want to share my kids photos with my parents, and see my sister's overseas trips. I wouldn't mind opening that up to some friends but just like I don't need to broadcast on twitter every blessed thought, I don't need to share every photo with the world
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Critical Thinking: A Cheatsheet

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  1. What would it take to convince me that I am wrong? (Falsifiability)

  2. How could I empirically prove the exact opposite of what I suspect to be true? (Null hypothesis)

  3. How could someone else argue that my position is illogical or irrational? (Self-debate)

  4. Who benefits the most when I hold this belief? (Critical discourse analysis)

  5. How would a rational person who holds an opposing viewpoint explain and justify their position? (Empathy)

  6. Can I conceptualize an alternative position that does not yield a binary ‘true or false’ dichotomy? (Non-dualism)

  7. How does my position and experience in society inform my assumptions and perspective? (Reflexive intersectionality)

  8. What unconscious mental shortcuts can I identify in my reasoning and rationale? (Cognitive bias mitigation)

  9. How can I guard myself against the illusion that I am reasoning objectively? (Skepticism)

  10. What beliefs have I already unconsciously accepted in order to arrive at my present position? (Presuppositions, tacit assumptions)

  11. What do the words that I use to express my beliefs connote implicitly that they do not denote explicitly? (Semantics, pragmatics)

  12. What are the psychological, social, institutional, or cultural costs of changing my mind? (Motivated reasoning)

  13. How would my identity be threatened if my beliefs or reasoning were shown to be flawed? (Externalize epistemology)

  14. If faced with sufficient counter-evidence, would I care about truth enough to abandon my present beliefs? (Ideological commitments)

  15. Who is framing, shaping, and informing the questions that I can even think to ask? (Social influence)

  16. What questions am I most afraid to ask? (Courage)

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the7roy
206 days ago
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Facebook Stock Plunges

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John Gruber: “In the short run I always caution against reading anything into the market’s sense, but in this case I think investors are right. Facebook is in some serious trouble. This Cambridge Analytica scandal proves that Facebook ought to be heavily regulated, and that’s not good for Facebook’s bottom line.”

“I  take issue, though, with the phrase ‘ended up in the hands of’. The implication with that phrasing is that Cambridge Analytica hoodwinked Facebook, or breached some sort of defenses. They didn’t. The information Cambridge Analytica obtained was exactly the information Facebook provides to advertisers by design. Cambridge Analytica just used that data in ways Facebook didn’t anticipate. Or perhaps better said, Facebook never anticipated that when people started to realize just what Facebook enables, there’d be outrage.”

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the7roy
210 days ago
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Egon, I thought you said we should never cross the feeds.
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