From the world pool: March 17, 2018

tree and grassI left out US politics this week, just because.

Socio-political commentary

Canadian politics

Prince Rupert council blames big companies for draining coastal B.C. fishing profits

Martyn Brown: Losing it like Trudeau in British Columbia

In essence, he is trying to suggest that without Kinder Morgan we cannot grow our economy. And worse, that it is only by proceeding with that plan—to pad corporate profits, through higher volumes of heavy, unrefined oil and exports aimed primarily at reaping higher prices—that Canadians can hope to protect their environment.

Oh, come on, prime minister! Come on! Really? Really?

Media

YouTube, the Great Radicalizer

It seems as if you are never “hard core” enough for YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. It promotes, recommends and disseminates videos in a manner that appears to constantly up the stakes. Given its billion or so users, YouTube may be one of the most powerful radicalizing instruments of the 21st century.

Silicon Valley’s Tax-Avoiding, Job-Killing, Soul-Sucking Machine

Four companies dominate our daily lives unlike any other in human history: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. We love our nifty phones and just-a-click-away services, but these behemoths enjoy unfettered economic domination and hoard riches on a scale not seen since the monopolies of the gilded age. The only logical conclusion? We must bust up big tech.

Feminist issues

20 Things Men Can Do RTFN to Support Women, Beyond Just Literally Ceasing to Sexually Harass Us

Racism and Civil Rights

The article removed from Forbes, “Why White Evangelicalism Is So Cruel” 

What developed in the South was a theology carefully tailored to meet the needs of a slave state. Biblical emphasis on social justice was rendered miraculously invisible. A book constructed around the central metaphor of slaves finding their freedom was reinterpreted. Messages which might have questioned the inherent superiority of the white race, constrained the authority of property owners, or inspired some interest in the poor or less fortunate could not be taught from a pulpit. Any Christian suggestion of social justice was carefully and safely relegated to “the sweet by and by” where all would be made right at no cost to white worshippers. In the forge of slavery and Jim Crow, a Christian message of courage, love, compassion, and service to others was burned away.

Art + Design + Writing

Sue Beatrice WANT.

Magz Roberts Oh my. Also want.

Useful!

Island Pollinator Initiative resource page  Island Pollinator Intitiative is “a coalition of groups working to protect pollinators on Vancouver Island the Gulf Islands.” It’s still under development, but there’s lots of good stuff already there.

Thought-provoking

What Does It Mean to Die? 

When Jahi McMath was declared brain-dead by the hospital, her family disagreed. Her case challenges the very nature of existence.

How the baby boomers — not millennials — screwed America  “The boomers inherited a rich, dynamic country and have gradually bankrupted it.”

As a boomer it’s hard not to read something like this and get pissed off, because the stereotypes are so blatant; on the other hand, young people today do definitely face issues boomers never did and have a lot less hope for their futures, so I do my best not to. The truth is, boomers certainly are—in general—far better off than millennials, because economic conditions were better for us and we had a chance to accumulate wealth in ways that they don’t.

But I do have issues with this blanket blaming of boomers, because it is so simplistic and ignores a number of issues. The attitude seems to be “average boomers are doing better therefore all boomers are at fault for the difference.” There’s no class analysis in any of this. There’s no recognition of how little control the average boomer had or has on the factors that drive economic conditions, any more than millennials do now.

The truth is that the concentration of power in the hands of a relative few—and they’re not all boomers—makes it difficult for anyone, boomers or millenials, to effect change, and those few have been taking more and more for themselves. The result is that millennials are getting screwed and boomers are losing ground.

There’s an astonishing number of equally nonsensical “millennials have ruined everything” articles to counter the countless “boomers have ruined everything” trope. Which makes me think that someone is profiting very nicely by setting two age groups against each other. Divide and conquer, hmm?

 

How a book warehouse is changing Columbia’s library system

You Think You Want Media Literacy… Do You?

The funny thing about education is that we ask our students to challenge their assumptions. And that process can be enlightening. I will never forget being a teenager and reading “The People’s History of the United States.” The idea that there could be multiple histories, multiple truths blew my mind. Realizing that history is written by the winners shook me to my core. This is the power of education. But the hole that opens up, that invites people to look for new explanations…that hole can be filled in deeply problematic ways. When we ask students to challenge their sacred cows but don’t give them a new framework through which to make sense of the world, others are often there to do it for us.

Just cool

The Oldest Treasures From 12 Great Libraries We asked some of our favorite libraries: What’s the oldest item in your collection?

This cheap 3D-printed home is a start for the 1 billion who lack shelter

Just for fun

Hey bird

Strange and Unbelievable Facts About Shrews 

…This is because many shrew species are venomous. Research has found that an individual shrew stores enough venom to kill 200 mice. Some shrews also use this venom for something called live hoarding. … Shrew bites on humans are reportedly painful but fade in a few days. Be very, very glad these animals are not larger.

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