Pinker argues “don’t worry about it”
That’s a very unfair characterisation of his views.
I disagree. If you read 'better angels', that's exactly what he argues in relation to, say, ww2. 'Yes, sure this was horrible, but compared to the Mongols or Vlad the Impaler, not so bad, really. And bonus! Those guys didn't get treated as villains, but Hitler did. So....winning!"
Pinker also completely ignores or handwaves away various elephants wandering around the room in order to show that the trend on the graph will comtinue it's slow upward rise over the course of centruies, even if we have a few rough decades (but come on chaps, what's a few rough decades between friends, amirite?) I'd challenge you to read 'better angels' and find any discussion of global warming, for example. And our recent ability as a species to cause our complete annihilation (via nuclear war, for example) and not just localised chaos is dismissed as 'well, it hasn't happened yet, so probably won't', which does tend to go against his other arguments that we have to look at the bigger/longer picture, and not just a few decades.
Now introduce him to Bolt Thrower.
collecting and precisely painting Warhammer figurines
That's awesome. I spent literal days at a time as a teen painting my Chaos Eldar army.
BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!
I get the feeling we are on one of those downwards jags of a plotted graph line so loved by scientists et al to show how we are generally improving in some way or other.
Yeah, this is exactly Pinker's modus operadi, and my biggest problem with his hypothesis.
"Well, you may not feel like you're living particularly well, what with Trump and Putin and everything, but think about how much worse off those medieval peasants 600 years ago were than you! Look how much progress we've made! If you, uh, just take the long view...."
Yeah, that's great. Thanks for the pep talk, Steven. Ya dick.
the Trump administration's steady suffocation of the Appellate Body at the World Trade Organisation. The US government has blanket-banned approval of new appointments to what is essentially world trade's appeals court, and the point is approaching when that court will not be able to operate.
Well, gosh, this is going to be fun when the UK hard brexits is 281 days and reverts to WTO rules! What larks!
The use of politicized judicial processes to hound your opponents and re-litigate electoral outcomes you don’t like might now be business as usual now in the USA, but it just adds to the perceptions that much of what is reported in the MSM is fake news.
Mueller is a Republican, appointed by a Republican, currently investigating a Republican administration.
Firstly, they’re not after sex. No, hear me out. They don’t want to get laid. They wouldn’t visit a sex worker. They want sex slaves.
One small addendum: they don't just want a sex slave, they want, essentially, a slave. When confronted or presented with a response that boils down to 'it's relatively easy to get laid if you're half-presentable and not a complete dick with hugely unrealistic expectations, so how about you try that?', the default retreat position is to yabber on about 'the package'. That is to say, someone who is not only hot 24/7 all month long, fucks on demand and has the pre-programmed 'hot' responses, but who will always be available to make you a sandwich and crack open a cold one afterwards, and not only won't interrupt you watching the game, but will sit lovingly at your feet handing you the remote when needed, or who will be off cleaning the kitchen or something else that doesn't disturb you or require, y'know, real human interaction between equals.
presidential pardons all round, thank you very much
My understanding is that presidential pardons are limited to Federal crimes, not state/local crimes. I don't pretend to understand all the legal ins and outs, but the informed consensus seems to be that this is one the reasons that Mueller is filing charges at local level in New York - specifically to close this potential loophole.
As Avenatti predicted, Cohen is pleading the 5th in the Stormy Daniels case.
I'll just leave this here:
That was good. Thanks Russell. More please.
My own modest contribution to this discussion: https://extranewsfeed.com/trumps-dilemma-the-reason-why-either-trump-or-michael-cohen-will-definitely-wind-up-in-prison-b0c0dd89e374
No quite sure how much of it is satire/hyperbole (the stuff about the bar exam, for example), but the author definitely seems to think that Cohen will flip to save his own skin, and thus sink Trump.