Help Isn’t Coming

David Brooks, arch-conservative, “If We Had a Real Leader—Imagining Covid under a normal president.

Astute conclusion:

“One of the lessons of this crisis is that help isn’t coming from some centralized place at the top of society. If you want real leadership, look around you.”

Related. “Fact check: Breaking down Trump’s 654 false claims over 14 weeks during the coronavirus pandemic.

Help me out here. Is he incapable of telling the truth or is there a method to his mendacity?

I lean to towards the latter. Tell enough lies in the hope that people tire of distinguishing between what’s true and what’s not. That’s why Daniel Dale’s work, as nonstop fact-checker, is vitally important. And November, 3, 2020.

Minneapolis Burns

“Being black in America should not be a death sentence,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.

Violent protests over Floyd death spread beyond Minneapolis.

The Death of George Floyd, in Context.

How White Women Use Themselves as Instruments of Terror.

 

 

Thursday Assorted Links

1A. Picture pedaling across the U.S. on a safe, seamless, and scenic pathway.  3,700 miles from swampy Washington in the east to glorious Washington in the west.

1B. The ‘sports car’ of e-bikes. Pricey, but light for an e-bike. But 19 mph, come on maaan, I don’t want to take all summer to traverse the Great American Rail-Trail.

2. COVID-19 Projections Using Machine Learning compliments of Youyang Gu, an independent data scientist.

3. Okay, I feel a little better about public school education.

 

 

 

Nice Guys Don’t Always Finish Last

The parallels between Michael Jordan and Lance Armstrong are fascinating. Both seized on real and imagined slights and then exaggerated them in their minds, making them much more scandalous than they were, in order to, as Lance says in ESPN’s Armstrong documentary “Get my hate on.” The angrier they were, the better they performed. Realizing that, they became expert at sparking their anger.

They also had a win at all costs approach to their respective sports; treating teammates, and in Lance’s case support staff, as means towards that one end. Apart from their athleticism, there was very little to admire about them.

The parallels haven’t been lost on other viewers of ESPN’s recent Jordan and Armstrong docs, which has caused people to conclude that you have to be an asshole to win six NBA Championships or Seven editions of the Tour de France.

To which I call bullshit. Nice guys don’t always finish last.

Among many other examples, Magic Johnson smiled his way to five NBA titles. Russell Wilson, a regular visitor at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital, won the SuperBowl. Tom Brady never denigrated his teammates. Jack Nicklaus was universally liked and Adam Scott won the Masters.

And in 2017, Ron Byrnes won the Seattle Marathon’s 50-55 age group. And a lot of people are saying he’s the nicest guy of all.*

*this is potentially misleading

Public Education Fail

Educators spend a lot of time evaluating students’ work. And assigning final grades to each of their students.

But how should we evaluate the job public school teachers are doing collectively? How do we go meta? One way is to clue in to positive and negative societal patterns and themes and then balancing them.

Here’s one for the negative side of the ledger.

Over 40% of Republicans wrongly believe conspiracy theory about Bill Gates and COVID-19 vaccines.

When I read stories like this, I think we—since I used to be a public school teacher—have failed. Of course one negative indicator should not determine the final assessment, but I can’t help but be depressed by stories like that.