Welcome to onfocus—a weblog by Paul Bausch where I post recommended links, my photos, and occasional thoughts. Subscribe here if you like RSS.
An orange and red leaf on cement
One Down
A hand holding a fallen leaf with a long stem
Found Leaf
Trees with fall colors along a curved street
Fall Color
The Atlantic
"If Republicans keep the White House and the Senate, many will conclude that Democrats lost because people did not vote. But if that happens, it’s likelier that Democrats will have lost because people who wanted to vote could not vote."
Great summary of voter suppression efforts across the country. By the way, we should get rid of the electoral college.
New York Times
"The president’s aides appeared to be giving wealthy party donors an early warning of a potentially impactful contagion at a time when Mr. Trump was publicly insisting that the threat was nonexistent."
These are just the worst people.
NBC News
"The new rules, an expansion of YouTube’s existing hate and harassment policies, will prohibit content that “threatens or harrasses someone by suggesting they are complicit in one of these harmful conspiracies, such as QAnon or Pizzagate,” the post read."
Never too late to do the right thing. I do wish services had consequences for spreading so much misinformation and harassment for years.
Slate
"During the readings on the last day, kids typed, “I liked that line” or “so suspenseful” or “wow, that was really good!” as speakers read their pieces out loud. If verbalized, those compliments would have been rude interruptions. But the chat allows students to talk respectfully while someone else has the floor, which in turn allows them to better express their appreciation of one another. "
A nice silver lining: remote school is opening up some new ways for students to participate and connect. [via Dan Hon’s Things That Have Caught My Attention]
Twitter Blog
"Though this adds some extra friction for those who simply want to Retweet, we hope it will encourage everyone to not only consider why they are amplifying a Tweet, but also increase the likelihood that people add their own thoughts, reactions and perspectives to the conversation."
This. But seriously, happy to see Twitter adding some friction to the system to slow misinformation. If friction helps the system during an election, why not all the time?
The Atlantic
"Your vote is your most tangible connection to the idea of democratic government. It’s the only form of political power most Americans possess. It’s proof that government of, by, and for the people hasn’t yet perished from the Earth. Your vote is personal. For a president to throw it out would be an audacious undertaking."
Voting has become a partisan issue: Democrats want everyone to vote and Republicans want to limit access. Keep that in mind as you hear arguments about the futility of voting—that argument works in favor of one party. If there’s no difference between the parties for your life, think about friends and neighbors like Elaine Atwell. I thought this tweet was a heartfelt way to explain the difference.
New York Times
"President Trump berated his own cabinet officers on Thursday for not prosecuting or implicating his political enemies, lashing out even as he announced that he hoped to return to the campaign trail on Saturday just nine days after he tested positive for the coronavirus."
It has been a super normal series of days that have been regular and downright hinged. In a functioning society this wouldn’t be happening. Please vote for a functioning society.
NBC News
“We have to think about the QAnon networks as the rails upon which misinformation is driven,” said Joan Donovan, research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.
It’s never too late to do the right thing. Like Casey Newton, it does make me wonder why now?
cnbc
"The staff found, after a 16-month investigation into competitive practices at Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google, that the four businesses enjoy monopoly power that needs to be reined in by Congress and enforcers."
Findings! This all sounds promising but I’m skeptical that we’ll see meaningful change. That monopoly power has been very useful to the government.
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