Some Links from Facebook: Asimov; California; Google Sky; Haidt

I keep ‘saving’ links or posts on Facebook that I don’t get around to right away, to read or post. Here are a few from the dozen I’ve saved in the past month or so.

NPR: Adopting a Sci-Fi Way of Thinking About the Future.

Posted on January 2nd, on what has apparently become National Science Fiction Day as it correponds with Isaac Asimov’s birthday. The piece quotes a key excerpt from a 1978 Asimov essay:

No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be — and naturally this means that there must be an accurate perception of the world as it will be. This, in turn, means that our statesmen, our businessmen, our Everyman, must take on a science fictional way of thinking, whether he likes it or not or even whether he knows it or not. Only so can the deadly problems of today be solved.


On California, perhaps a refuge from Trumplandia, on Tim Rutten’s site: The Right’s Hatred of California Is Really Fear of a Future that Already Is Working.

What’s really at work in the right-wing’s demonization of California is not really loyalty to Trumpism or traditionalist devotion to the Electoral College. It’s fear of the future. When Trump vowed to “make America great again” the right read his rhetoric as a promise to take us back in time—to the years when white men went off to work and white women stayed home with the kids and minority races were just that, minorities who kept to themselves.

California, by contrast, already is what more of America will look like in the years to come. No single race is in the majority or enjoys a lock on political or economic power. Seventeen percent of all Americans live in California and 38% of them are non-Hispanic whites, 38.8% are Latinos, 14.7% are Asians, 6.5% are African American, 1.7% are Native Americans—numerically, the country’s largest concentration of indigenous people—and 3.8% describe themselves as of mixed race. More Californians—43%–speak a language other than English in their homes, though it will confound Trump supporters to know that immigration from Mexico slowed long ago and the majority of new immigrants come from Asia, mainly China.

And despite conversative fears of how the country is changing, it hasn’t harmed California:

If the Golden State were an independent country, according to the most recent World Bank ratings, it would have the globe’s sixth largest economy.

So there.


Via David Brin: Google Sky


Wall Street Journal: Jonathan Haidt (one of my favorite authors, based on the one book of his I’ve read) and Ravi Iyer on How to Get Beyond Our Tribal Politics. Have not read this, but I presume in condenses the lessons of his singular book.

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