- 4 days ago
The news: A new scientific study from Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.
An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military.
For their study, Gilens and Page compiled data from roughly 1,800 different policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002. They then compared those policy changes with the expressed opinion of the United State public. Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often.
It’s beyond alarming. As Gilens and Page write, “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.
That might explain why mandatory background checks on gun sales supported by 83% to 91% of Americans aren’t in place, or why Congress has taken no action on greenhouse gas emissions even when such legislation is supported by the vast majority of citizens.
This problem has been steadily escalating for four decades. While there are some limitations to their data set, economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez constructed income statistics based on IRS data that go back to 1913. They found that the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us is much bigger than you would think…
This is the kind of shit that gets civil wars started.
Are any of us surprised by this? People have been saying the same thing for a while now.
…well maybe we will actually have some revolution.
So Princeton needed how much money to figure out what POC have said for years
(via sans-vouloir)Source: america-wakiewakie
- 5 days ago
- 5 days ago
Source: alanah-raffertyIn five seasons, the Community character has undergone one of the most unique and fascinating arcs in recent sitcom history
A well argued and well written article about one of my favorite shows on TV. As the Dean would say, it’s Deanarific.
This is cool. Last month, I wrote a paper about this :D
- 1 week ago
If you’re not watching Sirens on Thursday nights at 10pm on USA, then you’re missing out. Not only is it one of the funniest shows out there right now — being that it’s co-created and executive produced by Denis Leary — but it’s also highly inclusive.
It centers on a team of Chicago EMTs, and focuses on the odd partnership of three men, Brian, who is the new guy, Johnny, a guy with a slow developing emotional range, and Hank, an African-American homosexual who defies all stereotypes the rest of popular media inflicts upon gay men. Their team is fleshed out in Cash, Voodoo, and Stats. And last night’s episode showed that Voodoo is asexual.
It took Brian from confusion and denial, to attempts to understand, and eventually wrapped it all around in a bow of acceptance. Brian went from the ideology that asexuals “just haven’t had proper sex,” to wanting to understand what asexual means — and failing — and finally all the way to realizing that sex isn’t what defines relationships, and that just being around Voodoo is enough for him.
Do yourselves a favor, and catch up on the episodes, and start tuning in Thursdays at 10.
- 1 week ago
The Game Cube can be hit with a sledgehammer and work just fine. The Nintendo DS was specifically designed to be able to survive a 1.5 meter (five foot) drop onto solid concrete without breaking, and one of the company’s bigwigs wouldn’t let it go past the design phase until the design team could guarantee it could survive the drop at least 10 times. In fact, Nintendo products have such a reputation for being impossible to break through normal means that they spawned the term “Nintendium”—an all-purpose phrase given to pieces of technology that survive extreme punishment. For example, take the Gulf War Game Boy, an original Game Boy console that survived having a freaking bomb dropped on it.
Nintendo never advertises their products as being durable, they don’t brag about their Game Boys being bomb-proof or their consoles being tough enough to survive being hit by a car. They just expect their customers to be human and include features to prepare for that humanity. While other companies decide that they’re nice by including a cover to protect the screen of the $600 phone you just bought in case you drop it, Nintendo just builds a device that can survive being dropped in the first place and doesn’t make a big deal about it. Because that’s how a real company does business."
I dropped my 3DS down a flight of concrete stairs and it just got a little scratched on the corners. (via digitallyimpaired)