BRIEFLY NOTED: For 2021-05-02 Su

Things that went whizzing by that I want to remember...

First:

Zeynep TufekciSunday Open Thread for Subscribers: ‘The one big part of the tragedy here is that we had most of the science we needed really early on…. There was more to learn, for sure, but the basics were there. There have been very few scientific surprises… outside of how vaccinable this (luckily!) turned out to be (we didn’t know partly because we didn’t really try for the others exactly because we didn’t care). But sociologically, I am shaken. I knew about all of this, because I teach and study it. The group-think, the institutional resistance and inertia, the cognitive biases, the social dynamics… I know about them all! But I’ve been truly surprised most is how much stronger than I thought these dynamics were, even in a crisis. Perhaps because of the crisis. I’ve learned a lot about viruses last year, but I did not really need that much beyond an introductory textbook to write the policy oriented pieces I’ve published. I think we need to update our social science textbooks and assumptions, though. The dynamics that have dominated our world aren’t novel in the sense that we were new to them, but they are clearly so much stronger than we usually acknowledge…

LINK: <https://www.theinsight.org/p/sunday-open-thread-for-subscribers-d93>

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Jeet HeerThe Reactionary International: ‘Sixty years ago… the Algiers putsch, a failed coup d’état… [to overthrow] President Charles de Gaulle…. On April 21, 2021, a date obviously picked to echo the events of 1961… an open letter warning that France was on the verge of civil war and that military should prepare to seize power… Christian Piquemal, former head of the French Foreign Legion, along with 20 retired generals, 80 officers…. In National Review in 1985…. General Raoul Salan, one of the leaders of the 1961 putsch. Molnar wrote… "to this day half of the French regard Salan’s rebellion as legitimate, but would question de Gaulle’s. It was de Gaulle who tore up the unwritten law of army solidarity…. De Gaulle himself revolted against Petain’s lawful government.” In other words, fascist collaboration was legitimate and the 1961 coup plotters were more justified than de Gaulle’s decision to join the Western allies in the war against Nazism. The Reactionary International, as should be clear, is a proto-fascist movement. For the sake of democracy, it’s urgent that people of this orientation be rooted out of the military in France, the United States, and wherever else they may be found. In late 2020 and early 2021, I took comfort in the fact that Trump seemed to have limited support in the officer class of the American military. This led me to think that for all Trump’s bluster about a coup, he wouldn’t have the crucial military support he needed. I was right to the extent that the January 6 insurrection was, as The American MindT writes, a “shambolic” farce. But it looks like the Trumpists are thinking about how a future coup might succeed. The are starting to realize that they need to cultivate a mutinous cadre in the officer class. That’s a development pregnant with dangers… LINK: <https://jeetheer.substack.com/p/the-reactionary-international>


Ed LuceThe Rise & Rise Of Tucker Carlson Conservatism: ‘His reaction to Wednesday’s verdict on Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd crossed even his own thinly drawn lines. The jury’s triple guilty verdict, reached after 10 hours of deliberation, amounted to “an attack on civilisation”, said Carlson…. The true cause of Floyd’s death, Carlson has repeatedly said, was a drug overdose—not the nine-minute asphyxiation that jurors saw over and over. Carlson’s outburst is notable for two reasons. First, he is the most popular conservative TV anchor in the country, with a nightly audience of 3m. Since Donald Trump lost his Twitter account, Carlson has become the most influential voice of aggrieved white conservatism…. Second, Carlson’s outburst illustrated that US racial injustice is not close to having turned the corner. Shortly before the jurors announced their verdict, police in Columbus, Ohio, shot dead a 16-year-old black girl who was allegedly wielding a knife. During the trial, police shot and killed an average of three Americans a day, the majority non-white, including a 13-year-old unarmed black boy. Unlike Floyd’s death, these were not recorded on the mobile phones of passers-by.  That footage meant Chauvin’s case was almost unique. Even then, Carlson wants viewers to believe that Chauvin was the real victim. As Groucho Marx might have asked: who should Americans believe, Tucker Carlson or their own lying eyes? For some people believing is seeing, rather than the other way round… LINK: <https://www.ft.com/content/cc2a46cf-4392-44db-b911-f883e2f46539>

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