We have to look at something I’ll call “data rage,” just like “road rage.” We know that when people interact with machines, that sometimes they feel emboldened to do things that they never would; that it could be tremendously frustrating; and that people who could be vulnerable — by the way, they may impulsive to begin with, they may be explosive — add in technology or a machine and things could go over-the-top and become very violent.It is, no doubt, a problem. The presence of a cell phone seems to have a dehumanizing effect on people; public arguments that would normally end with, at worst, a fistfight quickly turn to deadly force when a cell phone is involved. It is not that people who carry cell phones through our public spaces are looking for an excuse to use them; the ready access to a cell phone simply allows momentary violent impulses to more easily overcome them. One would presume, then, that perhaps we shouldn't allow such obviously dangerous machines as cell phones to be carted around public spaces.
So if what’s happening here… where because someone’s interacting with the machine and, therefore, removed from any interpersonal moment here where there are other people around, and you want to be sensitive, somebody else becomes unhinged. In interacting with these machines, people do things they would never do. And not necessarily the guy pressing the button. It could be the guy two rows back who thinks of you as not human.He deserved it, officer. You should have seen the way he was pressing those buttons. And a guy three rows back had a wristwatch, which already had me addled. And I had just battled my way through streets full of horseless carriages and newspaper dispensary boxes—you can hardly blame me.
Admit it, America, you are impressed. You are impressed that a man can go on the talky-shouty-box, a man with credentials, and go to such innovative lengths to decide that it is the presence of every other machine in society other than the noble and infallible gun for a man shooting another man dead over texting in a theater. If you're not impressed, you should be, because Dr. Keith Ablow demonstrates just how easily any individual instance of horror or human sociopathy can be blamed on whatever the people in the talky-shouty-box want to blame it on, and that ought to raise some serious questions in your mind as to where those sociopathies begin and where they end.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2003—Bush Hands Gephardt a Big Issue:
|Without proposing an alternative of his own, and as another sop to the Trent Lott Republicans he steamrolled last month, President Bush came out against the University of Michigan Law School's admissions policy today, claiming that the current system calls for quotas and makes race "the" factor in admissions.
Dick Gephardt will file an opposing brief. In the big scheme of things facing this country right now, it is hard to see, outside of pure, craven pandering to a base he pissed off last month, why the President feels it is important for the White House to weigh in on this. Apparently John Ashcroft had free time apart from INS illegal detentions, the on-the-loose Democrats-only anthrax terrorist, and his singing engagements.
To demonstrate his opposition against race-based actions and policies, Bush announced that he would ask Clarence Thomas to resign from the Supreme Court, withdraw the nominations of Alberto Gonzales and Miguel Estrada from considertion for federal appeals court consideration, and directed Bill Frist and the NRSC to broaden their previous voter suppression efforts beyond African-American precincts in future elections.
On today's Kagro in the Morning show, the FL theater shooting outrage continues, and the LAT weighs in with an editorial. Greg Dworkin rounded up news of the NM school shooting, and the latest Christie, Gop civil war, WV spill, and ACA stories. New reports allege the FL shooter has a bit of a confrontational history. Joan McCarter brought us the Bruce Springsteen parody, the Gop rebranding of their rebranding, the new omnibus bill's four ACORN defunding provisions, and other assorted nonsense. Plus the state of the UI extension bill & its many Gop poison pills, and the latest on net neutrality. Finally, a starting look at Politico Magazine's "Congressional Moneyball."