Daily Bits April 29, 2017

That Teen Vogue is producing such thought-provoking political reporting is… well, in teen language, totally awesome. Let’s get the next generation asking questions.

“Any person who has stayed informed since November 9 knows the country is in total disarray. Distrust in media and toxic partisanship have allowed feelings to outweigh facts in the marketplace of ideas. Trump isn’t solely responsible for creating this situation, though he’s excelled in exploiting it beyond repair. Through a brutal combination of gaslighting, whataboutism, and blatant lies, this administration has exacerbated the national divide, undermining journalism as a check on the power of government by treating politics as two teams battling it out in a zero-sum game.”

My fervent hope is that this effort (hats off to Lauren Duca) will affect other media aimed at the young as well. It’s not the political stance of the magazine that I applaud (although I do), it’s the idea of provoking a reasoned opinion.

“Zooming out allows the daily shocks to take shape. In these first 100 days, Trump has proven to be a moral vacuum undefined by ideological or ethical principles. There is new evidence of this with each news cycle, but the outrage machine has long been at capacity. Now, even the worst possible scandals are met with resigned exasperation. And when there are multiple emergencies every week, emergencies start to seem ordinary.”

Well-written pieces, no dumbing down or condescension, not particularly subtle calls-to-arms. Lauren finishes the article with a list of actions that interested teens can take. The fabulous takeaway from that is that teens learn that they can do something about the state of the world. That their voice matters, and that they need to think about the future they want. Teen media, at the forefront of political journalism? Brilliant.

“It’s crucial we gain clarity from this manufactured benchmark, and the way it has changed us. The New York Times declared Trump’s 100 days “the worst on record.” The New Yorker called him “democracy’s most reckless caretaker.” Perhaps the most condemning diagnosis of all is simply that perpetual chaos has become the standard. There are no alarms left to sound.”

The female teen in my house is both enthralled and incensed. Just how it should be.

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I’m not sure why I find this a bit disturbing…  The void, perhaps?

via My Modern Met
via My Modern Met

The blackest paint in the world reflects no light whatsoever – so, none of the relative shadows that make 3D things look 3D. Freaky.

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The Economist took a look at the recent ICO hype, pronouncing it a “bubble”, but a potentially productive one…

“Some liken the ICO craze to the South Sea bubble in the early 18th century in Britain, when promoters raised funds for companies promising the “transmutation of quicksilver into a malleable fine metal” or a “wheel for perpetual motion”. Prices soon fell, in particular after Parliament in 1720 passed the “Bubble Act” to rein in “undertakings of great advantage”. But the sorry episode was a step toward some rather useful innovations: the modern joint-stock company, for example.”

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So philosophers can actually make a decent living now? The return to “fundamentals” is interesting. And, about time…

“Philosophers arrive on the scene at the moment when bullshit can no longer be tolerated,” says Taggart. “We articulate that bullshit and stop it from happening. And there’s just a whole lot of bullshit in business today.” He cites the rise of growth hackers, programming “ninjas,” and thought leaders whose job identities are invented or incoherent.

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