Wealth Does Breed Nastiness

Originally at Pandagon

Thanks to Roy for paying attention to Lileks' continuing mental degradation. Roy wisely realizes that Lileks really is the true representation of the asshole who leans conservative, kind of hates himself for it because even he can tells he's something of an asshole, and then doubles up the grumping in an effort to drown out the voices inside telling him that it doesn't have to be this way. Or that's what I'm telling myself is his disfunction this week.

Anyway, there are few things worse than when Lileks thinks he's being clever, except of course that it's also slightly awesome because it gives you a glimpse into the mind of someone who devotes 75% of his waking hours to rationalization. This review of "There Will Be Blood" tells us much about the mindset of a conservative who has replaced grumping with actual thought.
It kept my attention, and I enjoyed watching it, even though I felt myself disengaging from it by degrees in the last hour. Let's just not tell ourselves that it's a mark of great artistic insight to have the character get more insular and nasty as he gets richer, shall we?
Oooooh, insightful. Next he'll be complaining that lovers in movies look starry-eyed, or that death causes the characters grief. Perhaps the rich in movies are portrayed as nasty and insular for a good reason? Hell, Lileks isn't even rich, but being comfortably middle class has turned him into a person that hunkers down in his home, fearful that post-modernists and hippies are going to kick in his door for an interracial love-in. There are a few rich people who are good and kind, of course, but movies talk either in characters or symbols, and since "There Will Be Blood" was a film heavy with symbolism, it would have been, what's the word?---moronic for the character that symbolized wealthy capitalists to be anything but power-hungry and crazy.

Look, mega-wealth is irrational, and yet it's the source of 95% of the political problems we have nowadays. It doesn't make sense that people who have enough money to live in the lap of luxury should want more all the time, and should do everything to cut taxes and cut corners and tweak the market to get rich quick and cut corners to the tune of something like the Enron scandal. And that's what they do. The logic of mega-wealth is the sort of thing that only springs from nastiness and insularity, a total lack of perspective.
ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up