So, look, you shouldn't get your news from almost any major news outlet. They won't have anything important to say and they'll just get you riled up about nothing at all. But also, don't get news from Reddit. I'm pretty routinely shocked at the low quality of stuff on /r/all (although you can craft a better experience). This, appearing on the front page recently, managed to be self-contradictory in a way that normal media consumers ought to have noticed. It's getting pretty sad there, and of course, empirically, a right-leaning reddit-alike would be even more sad.
I didn't know anything about how to draw, and I still know nothing, but this makes me want to learn. It's plausible every field should have a similar introduction or guide.
This suggested design for the Harriet Tubman $20 bill makes me actually care about the Harriet Tubman $20 bill. It would be, by far, the most American piece of American currency, and is completely self-justifying. It makes me proud to live in a country that would say, "this is an emblem of what we find valuable, so we put it on the money". For the vision impaired: a (younger than the most common portrait) Harriet Tubman stands, revolver in her left hand, right hand stretching down and out at the viewer, ready to pull them up and take them to freedom. It's very good.
On related US history news, they're changing the name of the school in San Francisco named after Lincoln (and the only named after Feinstein, of all people, who bizarrely has a school named after her despite being alive). The reason the commission tasked with rooting out historical ties to slavery put Lincoln in their crosshairs? Well, he helped fund a railroad they didn't like.
A current member of Congress followed a mass shooting victim around to berate them weeks after the shooting. She believes so many completely bonkers conspiracy theories the "support for conspiracy theories" section on her Wikipedia page has subsections. She endorsed murdering prominent members of the opposing party very recently. She will be the greatest fundraising tool the other party has every had, and in a post-Trump era, both major parties have stated their goals are to protect incumbents, even at the cost of their larger political or ideological goals. The question is, will the opposing party try their best to win their district? Or is having your opponents being humiliated worth too much? This seems like a fair proxy for every conversation about what's wrong with American government.
Scott Lincicome is completely correct about implications and we have to start as soon as humanly possible getting human capital centered in freer countries. The UK beating us to get Hong Kongers should be an embarrassment, the sheer volume of surplus available to people willing to share a peaceful democracy with those whose democracy is being taken away is mind-boggling.
Our discussion about the minimum wage has been particularly non-facts-based. This isn't a surprise. But I think it's good to remember that we ought to have a pretty specific theoretical prediction that's so obvious we should be skeptical of even fairly large studies that call it into question. The priors here should be obvious, and there isn't enough data to move off of them. We will get more information, in time.
In the continuing series "People Don't Understand Computers", it's worth saying this is something that, if I heard someone say it, I would instantly discount literally everything they say to zero. [Edit: this is because it means, when they imagine the answer to a question like, "will this piece of code finish?", they're doing it informally in a way they feel certain a computer couldn't replicate. But the line of thinking is general: they view every piece of code as though we can't say anything about it definitively. Modern programming involves clear, non-"intuitive" understandings of what a computer will actually do. This means they cannot possibly think any correct thoughts about computers, for the right reasons. That's... pretty bad.]
A strong case is made that I should have anticipated the CDC's absurdly stupid COVID response. I will be even more weary of trusting institutions I know to produce intensely stupid results in the future.
Is it just me or is it weird that the place where you'd find the Chief of Staff's office in the show the West Wing is, in reality, usually vacant and both the VP and Chief of Staff will be down the hall? I know the weird shaped empty rooms are the Roosevelt room and the Cabinet room, but according to this the room I was expecting to have the Chief of Staff is a dining room. Seems weird the Deputy CoS has a closer office to the Oval Office, too.
This tweet, about why people used to say you learn a lot about someone by how they treat the powerless, also demonstrates a solid understanding of the present.
In general, I've been disappointed by the lack of Trump Derangement Syndrome Apologists. This doesn't even get to the heart of it. I had plenty of conversations where I was telling people, even before he became President, that things would be basically fine unless there was a terrible emergency – but that is plenty of reason to be deeply disturbed by radically selfish and disinterested morons being in charge of anything. Then an emergency happened. Things were not fine. And yet nobody is out there apologizing for saying, "you're over-reacting". They, empirically, were not. Extremely strong and prompt reactions to deadly serious warning signs are the correct response. If I had any skepticism before, that there exists a strong political contingent, across all parties, that will do nothing but deny that problems exist and ridicule others for taking precautions, that skepticism has died. We are lucky that America was not conquered or utterly destroyed, Taiwan remains free, etc. etc. Biden's success is America's success... but only because he's actually trying to do the job, and most of the job is foreign policy, about which people generally agree. This was not true of Trump, and I'm disturbed people are failing to acknowledge their own errors of judgment.