What I Read Today

2021: Farewell to a Stupid Year, David Corn, December 30, 2021, Reason.com

this essay by David Corn summarizes the precarious state of affairs in this country pretty much the way i believe it to be…

Ignorance can kill. And ignorance and anger are a lethal combination. Particularly in politics. The pro-Trump anti-vaxxers have placed themselves in danger; the 1/6 deniers and Stop the Stealers have put the nation’s political system in jeopardy. The year 2021 delivered a tough message: the suspicion, hatred, and paranoia flamed by Trump and his crew remain potent forces that can propel millions to make bad decisions. It’s a clear warning for 2022 and the stupidity that lies ahead.

In 2022, Pay Attention to Right-wing Authoritarianism, Veronique de Rugy, December 30, 2021, Reason.com

… talks about the rise in Authoritarianism around the globe and urges us to pay attention and resist…

So, as I wish you a happy New Year, I also ask you to join me in opposing illiberalism in all its forms. It means opposing the draconian regulation and unsustainable government welfare advanced by the left. It also means opposing rising right-wing illiberalism that is hostile to LGBTQ and immigrant cultures, itches to ban books, and generally wants to use government power to achieve its cramped vision of an American society.

How Biden’s Agenda Is Causing Inflation, Nick Gillespie, December 30, 2021, Reason.com

… talks about the relationship between the money supply and inflation…

We’ve seen absolutely massive increases in government spending over the past two years, which have been paid for by printing money and historic boosts in the money supply. When you print money it means that there are more dollars chasing basically the same amounts of goods and services, which causes prices to rise.

Unselfing into Oneness with the All: Transcendentalist Queen Margaret Fuller on Transcendence, December 26, 2021, Maria Popova, The Marginalian

… ode to Margaret Fuller, an uncommonly intelligent and determined woman who acquired an education and professional position at a time when neither were commonly available to women…

From the platform of her precocious girlhood, Margaret undertakes an inquiry into the building blocks of character. “Nothing more widely distinguishes man from man than energy of will,” she writes in a six-page essay, positing that a conquering will is composed of imagination, perseverance, and “enthusiastic confidence in the future.” But these elements are not weighted equally — she prizes above all perseverance, which fuels the “unwearied climbing and scrambling” toward achievement. “The truly strong of will,” she writes, having lived just over a decade, “returns invigorated by the contest, calmed, not saddened by failure and wiser from its nature.”

Against Illusionism, Jorg Colberg, Conscientious Photography Magazine, December 27, 2021

… about a group of photographers in Poland who created _Archive of Public Prostests_… shoestring budget, public good, what photography should be… JG is increasingly questioning the world of art photography and photobooks, as am i… too tied to the rarefied capitalist art market it has become an elitist proposition that struggles to offer meaning to the world at large…

An article on inflationary pressures

… in the back of my mind i have been thinking what the article argues… that the flood of money washing through the population has led to higher prices, or dollars that are worth less… the article says it was predictable, though also says there are other factors at work… it bemoans government intervention due to the pandemic, but really, some action on the part of the government was necessary in my humble opinion…

… i wonder about the new hard infrastructure bill spending and the soft infrastructure bill spending should it be passed…

… i worry that the escalating price of goods will dominate the psyches of people, rather than the demonstrable, but less viscerally felt, improvements in their general condition… new and repaired bridges and roads won’t be noticeable for some time to come… a lot of it not till after the current administration has expired… hopefully more employment and better wages will happen quickly to improve the mood of the public…

… i have commented to H that i haven’t perceived a significant escalation in prices in our grocery buying (which i am largely in charge of)… but maybe i have, and because we are resourced, i haven’t noticed it as much… i have been writing down what we spend so i suppose i could go to the data and see…

… my theory has been that we buy from the high end sources where prices are already high, so maybe prices don’t need to escalate as much there?…

… Reason.com is libertarian in orientation, is a strong supporter of unfettered free markets and a strong proponent of minimal to non-existent regulation of the market… i would expect them to blame the Biden/Harris administration more than the set of conditions brought on by the pandemic, which were inherited… i wonder what The Economist will have to say about this issue…