James Ramsay

The American Dream

Martin Luther King, Jr. at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, on 4 July 1965:

The whole concept of the imago dei, as it is expressed in Latin, the "image of God," is the idea that all men have something within them that God injected. Not that they have substantial unity with God, but that every man has a capacity to have fellowship with God. And this gives him a uniqueness, it gives him worth, it gives him dignity. And we must never forget this as a nation: there are no gradations in the image of God. Every man from a treble white to a bass black is significant on God's keyboard, precisely because every man is made in the image of God. One day we will learn that. We will know one day that God made us to live together as brothers and to respect the dignity and worth of every man.

A timely reminder.

How The Way We Think About the World Failed

Umair Haque:

In return for a life of insecurity, they have given him more material things. But trading material things for basic rights, dignity, possibility, freedom, justice, truth inevitably results in feelings like anxiety, despair, rage, and shame, which are the discontents of a broken age.

An interesting read, but I doubt many serious intellectuals really think material possessions alone bring happiness. I hope I'm not kidding myself.

(Via Azeem Azhar)

Social mobility as an ideal is incoherent, undesirable and cruel

Matthew Taylor writing in 2015:

Social mobility (starting gate equality) is often cited an acceptable alternative to the more left wing idea of egalitarianism (end point equality), yet it is clear that the best way to create a meritocracy is to pursue greater egalitarianism. Mobility is greater in societies that are less unequal partly because the rungs in the ladder of stratification are closer together and partly because middle class people are less frightened of the consequences of downward mobility (generally the barrier to mobility is less about the poor's ability to go up and more about the resistance of the well off to going down).

Watch at The Guardian

Automatically Mount Network Drives using Autofs on MacOS

Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index

Bitcoin's rising price is driving even higher electricity consumption, as people seek to find their nugget of digital gold. Alex de Vries estimates Bitcoin accounts for 0.12% of global electricity consumption and would be ranked 68 in global energy consumption if it were a country. The wastefulness is grotesque. Regardless of the merits of crypto currencies, Bitcoin doesn't scale—no one wants to wait minutes or hours at the register for a transaction to clear—and worse its energy requirements cause tonnes of carbon dioxide to be emitted. Research and innovation in crypto currencies should absolutely continue, but it's time Bitcoin was shut down.

Week 41, 2017