Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
In 43 states, the legislature draws the congressional district map. If one party controls the... governor's mansion and both houses of the legislature... it can draw a map that gives it far more House seats than the raw vote would suggest. The Supreme Court will announce decisions on two gerrymandering cases in the next few weeks, but unless it declares that partisan gerrymandering violates the Constitution, this year's elections will have a huge impact on which party controls the House from 2022 to 2032. The reason is simple: Governors will be elected in 36 states in November, 34 of whom will be in office in 2020 and can veto congressional maps. Furthermore, in 22 states, state senators serve staggered 4-year terms, so half the state senators elected this year in those states will vote on the congressional maps after the 2020 census. But in all states, dislodging an incumbent state legislator is tough, so even those with 2-year terms will have the advantage in 2020. In short, the battle for the House for the next decade is starting right now. While it didn't get much publicity, during the Obama administration Republicans picked up 1,000 seats in the state legislatures. This gave them the ability to gerrymander districts in about half the states... during the 2010 redistricting year. Many Democrats are unaware of this, but Republicans are very much aware of it. In fact, the GOP's operation REDMAP has a goal of raising and spending $125 million simply to hold or get control of the nation's 99 state legislative chambers for the purpose of controlling the map-drawing process in 2020. The Democrats don't have any comparable program, though the matter is a focus of Obama and his former AG Eric Holder.
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
A new study finds a correlation “between white American’s intolerance, and support for authoritarian rule. In other words, when intolerant white people fear democracy may benefit marginalized people, they abandon their commitment to democracy... The World Values Survey data used is from the period 1995 to 2011 -- well before Donald Trump’s 2016 run for president. It suggests, though, that Trump’s bigotry and his authoritarianism are not separate problems, but are intertwined. When Trump calls Mexicans 'rapists,' and when he praises authoritarian leaders, he is appealing to the same voters.”
Monday, May 28, 2018
Friday, May 25, 2018
"In 1969, almost 80% of college faculty members were tenured or tenure track. Today, the numbers have essentially flipped, with two-thirds of faculty now non-tenure and half of those working only part-time, often with several different teaching jobs." https://t.co/uZ8egIny8V— Mar Hicks (@histoftech) May 25, 2018
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Monday, May 21, 2018
Sunday, May 20, 2018
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Friday, May 18, 2018
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Californians, you have less than one week to get registered to vote in time for the primary in just three weeks. Don’t miss your chance to make your voice heard — get registered here: https://t.co/MuWcNHE3hI pic.twitter.com/VOmrs80Uep— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 15, 2018
Monday, May 14, 2018
Rhetoric 10: The Rhetoric of Argument
"What Is Compelling? Argument, Reconciliation, Obligation"
Summer 2018, Session A, 2-4.30pm., Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 150 D Moffit Library
Instructor, Dale Carrico: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
Course Blog: http://whatiscompelling.blogspot.com
Participation/Attendance/In-Class Activities, 25%; Reading Notebook, 15%; Mid-Term Exam, 30%; Final Paper, 5-6pp., 30%. (Rough Basis for Final Grade, subject to contingencies)
The arc of the moral universe is a longing... and it bends from just us.
This course provides students with tools they can use to make better, more compelling, arguments and also to read arguments in better, more critical, ways. We will draw the tools for our argumentative toolboxes from the long history of rhetoric, from sophistical dissoi logoi, to the Aristotelian appeals, to Quintilian's four master tropes, to the rich archive of formal and informal fallacies, to argument modeled on litigation via Toulmin's schema, to argument modeled on mediation via Rogerian synthesis, to the pragmatism of the ends of argument. All the while we are workshopping these technical skills we will also be reading and discussing a range of texts that tackle questions of the reach and forms of violence and nonviolence in historical struggle and in everyday life. These texts will likewise draw from a long history, from Immanuel Kant, Martin Luther King, Jr., Frantz Fanon and Hannah Arendt to Arundhati Roy, Judith Butler, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. We will also talk through a play by Euripides, an essay by Nietzsche, a novel by Octavia Butler, a film by Cronenberg… The crucial thing to understand about the course is that we will not be taking on two separate projects, one practical and another theoretical. This course proposes that there is an indispensable relation between the traditional focus of rhetoric as instruction in the art of making compelling arguments and the theoretical preoccupation of many rhetoricians with questions of what violence or compulsion ultimately consists. It is commonplace to see Persuasion offered up as an alternative to the violent adjudication of disputes or hear Argument idealized as a space "outside" of violence. But the truth is that many arguments rely on the acceptance of a violent status quo or depend on conventional assumptions that deny marginal testimonies to violation. Also, many arguments stealthily threaten violence while at once congratulating themselves on their peacefulness. Ultimately, the course proposes that it is rhetoric's definitive concern with the traffic between the literal and figurative dimensions of language and its situated understanding of truth-telling that connects the work of rhetoric with a project of reconciliation that resists violence even as we cannot help but risk it.
A Provisional Schedule of Meetings
May 22 SKILL SET: Key Definitions
 Rhetoric is the facilitation of efficacious discourse as well as an ongoing inquiry into the terms on the basis of which discourse comes to seem efficacious or not.
 A text is an event experienced as arising from intention, offered up to the hearing of an audience, and obligating a responsiveness equal to it.
 An argument is a claim supported by reasons and/or evidence.
Introductions: Rhetoric as occasional, interested, figurative; The literal as conventional, the figurative as deviant.
May 23 SKILL SET: Reading Critically/Writing Critically; Audience/Intentions -- Audiences: Sympathetic, Unsympathetic, Apathetic; Intentions: Interrogation, Conviction, Persuasion, Reconciliation
Euripides: Hecuba (Here is a link to the last few lines of the play, cut off from the online version for some reason)
May 24 SKILL SET: Aristotelian rhetoric; Ethos, Pathos, Logos; Writing A Precis
Immanuel Kant, Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose
May 29 SKILL SET: Four Habits of Argumentative Writing: 1. Formulate a Strong Thesis, 2. Define Your Terms, 3, Substantiate/Contextualize, 4, Anticipate Objections; Performativity
Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence
May 30 SKILL SET: The Toulmin Schema
William May, "Rising to the Occasion of Our Death" (In-Class Handout)
Arundhati Roy, War Is Peace
May 31 SKILL SET: Rogerian Rhetoric
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail
Logan Rimel, My "Nonviolent" Stance Was Met With Heavily Armed Men
June 5 SKILL SET: Logoi Dissoi
June 7 SKILL SET: Literal/Figurative Language; Figures, Tropes, Schemes; Four Master Tropes
Nietzsche, On Truth and the Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense
June 12 Mid-Term Examination
June 13 Screening and Discussion of the Film, "A History of Violence," dir. Cronenberg
June 14 SKILL SET: Debate
Correspondence of Tolstoy and Gandhi
Jane Addams, New Ideals of Peace: Passing of the War Virtues
June 19 Frantz Fanon, Concerning Violence from The Wretched of the Earth
Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic, The Case for Reparations
June 20 Hannah Arendt, Reflections On Violence and "Must Eichmann Hang?" (In-Class Handout)
June 21 SKILL SET: Workshopping Final Paper: Producing a Strong Thesis; Anticipating Objections; Providing Textual Support
June 26 Octavia Butler, Kindred (Purchase in time for class.)
June 27 Judith Butler, from Undoing Gender, Ch. 1, "Beside Oneself," pp. 17-26, roughly, and the concluding chapter of Precarious Life, pp. 128-151.
June 28 Rob Nixon, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Final Paper Due
Friday, May 11, 2018
in Ethics of Invention, Jasanoff argues the rhetoric of unintended consequences assumes only bad outcomes are unintended, and the language absolves people of responsibility when failures occur. https://t.co/bfBifLIFTY— Iris bull (@ibull) May 11, 2018
At this point I think the rhetoric of unintended consequences is drained of substantive content & simply reflects subservience-signaling. “We know your highness would never want *this* outcome.” The ceremony of innocence drowned long ago.— Frank Pasquale (@FrankPasquale) May 11, 2018
parallels the "tech is neutral" talking point: "bad" outcomes (ie those someone criticizes us for) are unintended & because tech is neutral, "good" outcomes are deliberate, due to our genius & tech beneficence, & we deserve glory— David Golumbia (@dgolumbia) May 11, 2018
They are ripping you off on prescription medicine. They ripped you off on the tax bill. They are ripping you off with insurance rates. They are ripping you off on net neutrality. Now let’s win some elections.— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) May 11, 2018
Thursday, May 10, 2018
Making marijuana legal at the federal level is the smart thing to do and it’s the right thing to do. Today, I’m announcing my support for @CoryBooker’s Marijuana Justice Act. pic.twitter.com/cOh3SjMaOW— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) May 10, 2018
Tuesday, May 08, 2018
I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking this, but: even if a sane president is elected in 2020, how can other countries ever trust us again? The Paris deal, the Iran deal ... how can anyone trust us to rebuild them when we might elect a madman/moron at any time?— David Roberts (@drvox) May 8, 2018
Sunday, May 06, 2018
Saturday, May 05, 2018
Yesterday I had to teach my students, in under 3 hours, what the EU was and why #Brexit was happening. It seemed like an impossible task. Then I found this MEP had done it in 2 minutes.— Polly Polak (@PolakPolly) May 5, 2018
This is very important. Please watch and RT. pic.twitter.com/MCU5CkfTBk
Marvelously graceful and concise, this is Spanish MEP Esteban González Pons on April 24, 2018.
Thursday, May 03, 2018
Liberals are delusional if they think the fictional *good/decent* Republicans are going to do any fucking thing about the awful current occupant of the White House. Been saying this for years now. Stop drinking the Koolaid. They'll burn it all down before they'd do anything else— #Prisonculture (@prisonculture) May 3, 2018
Wednesday, May 02, 2018
btw, how fantastic is it that the day's big headline has "Trump" "Hires" "Impeachment" "Lawyer" in it?— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) May 2, 2018