Aphantasia

I have this, now that it’s a thing to have. Until I was an adult I assumed that “picture this” or “mind’s eye” was a euphemism because I didn’t realize that other people’s brains work differently. Apparently, most people, when you say a name, picture the person.  I can describe them because I know a list of facts about them, not because I’m describing a picture of them. How are you people not constantly distracted by your brains showing you things?

Don’t worry, the 4th amendment is fine, there’s judicial oversight

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the one that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed is allowing the government to obtain the metadata of every phone call to and from the United States, approved every surveillance request from US authorities in 2015.

I feel well protected by my civil rights. Oh wait, what’s the opposite of that?

A (long) look at what’s going on in the global oil market. Spoiler: Saudi Arabia and Iran are squabbling. There’s a few too many unsourced sources for my liking, but it’s something to bear in mind.

As a result of advances in drilling technology, however, the supply of oil has continued to grow, while demand has unexpectedly begun to stall. This can be traced both to slowing economic growth globally and to an accelerating “green revolution” in which the planet will be transitioning to non-carbon fuel sources. With most nations now committed to measures aimed at reducing emissions of greenhouse gases under the just-signed Paris climate accord, the demand for oil is likely to experience significant declines in the years ahead. In other words, global oil demand will peak long before supplies begin to run low, creating a monumental challenge for the oil-producing countries.

On smugness

A (long) look at the smugness of American liberalism. It’s basically an appeal for Democrats to win back the poor and working-class whites, but it’s still interesting.

Americans and money

A ( long) look at middle-class America’s perilous economic situation. I don’t think he stresses the impact of credit cards enough.

Squeee!

The Madness of Crowds

Indiana University students mistake priest for klansman, freak out. Which says dire things about the students knowledge of society in general, but here’s what bothers me. What is inherently threatening about a person wearing a white robe? “He defies my narrowly construed social  norms, I’m scared!” I’m not saying ignore personal safety, but maybe pause and take a closer look. Could have been a klansman, could have been a priest, could have been an imam, could have been a dude that wanted to wear a robe today. And if that had been a Muslim, oh the intersectionality.

Some light reading: Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. The internet just makes it easier for the madness to spread.