america-wakiewakie:

Princeton Concludes What Kind of Government America Really Has, and It’s Not a Democracy | PolicyMic 
The news: A new scientific study from Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.
An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military.
For their study, Gilens and Page compiled data from roughly 1,800 different policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002. They then compared those policy changes with the expressed opinion of the United State public. Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often.
It’s beyond alarming. As Gilens and Page write, “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.
That might explain why mandatory background checks on gun sales supported by 83% to 91% of Americans aren’t in place, or why Congress has taken no action on greenhouse gas emissions even when such legislation is supported by the vast majority of citizens.
This problem has been steadily escalating for four decades. While there are some limitations to their data set, economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez constructed income statistics based on IRS data that go back to 1913. They found that the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us is much bigger than you would think…
(Read Full Text)


Can you see how surprised I am? No?

america-wakiewakie:

Princeton Concludes What Kind of Government America Really Has, and It’s Not a Democracy | PolicyMic 

The news: A new scientific study from Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.

An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military.

For their study, Gilens and Page compiled data from roughly 1,800 different policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002. They then compared those policy changes with the expressed opinion of the United State public. Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often.

It’s beyond alarming. As Gilens and Page write, “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.

That might explain why mandatory background checks on gun sales supported by 83% to 91% of Americans aren’t in place, or why Congress has taken no action on greenhouse gas emissions even when such legislation is supported by the vast majority of citizens.

This problem has been steadily escalating for four decades. While there are some limitations to their data set, economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez constructed income statistics based on IRS data that go back to 1913. They found that the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us is much bigger than you would think…

(Read Full Text)

Can you see how surprised I am? No?

thisfeliciaday:

It’s so funny that I stumbled upon this article this morning, because I woke up irrationally livid at Facebook anyway. Why? Because for a while now, I feel like FB has been closing me in a box, and unless I play by their rules, I am losing access to the people who want to be reached by me.  

I have almost a million followers on FB. But I reach a very small percentage of people with every post on average. And this isn’t by my fans’ choice. Not a day goes by when I don’t see comments like, ‘Hey why am I not getting your updates anymore?” I’m helpless to explain exactly why, but I have a good inkling.

In order to scale with the number of people we collect on our accounts, FB has had to implement technology to filter our feeds. Because they’ve learned that “social” media is just that, and we can’t just dump people when we get bored with them or want to move on in life. So the FB algorithm filters my content based on how many likes people make on the things I share. (Because closing people into interest pockets makes it easier to make money on them, I get it.)

So how do I, as an individual, fight this type of “downgrading” of certain types of content I share? Well, I could cater to the algorithm more. I could do this by sharing things I know will be popular!

Easiest way to do that? Share pictures of my face, my body and things based on my appearance. 

This sucks.

Yes, I guess this is human nature to give feedback on our appearances, that’s why we’re swimming in a world of selfies. But because our new virtual statuses are built on this type of feedback, it is training us to output things that will be popular, and that, in turn, tells women that achieving high statuses online means sharing things about their looks. To the detriment of anything else. Or else get buried and excised from the people around you. In a sense, we’re hostage to the algorithm.

Who thinks this is a good thing?!

And I think this is more than just about my own online engagement, it’s about FB specifically. I see way less of this on other platforms, this filtering of “everything but the most reinforced” content. FB is training people to feed the algorithmic machine with things that will please the most mainstream. Reinforcing the median taste level. I think this methodology is marginalizing people who think out of the box, closing them in enclaves of people who only like exactly what they like. Trapping us in our own echo chambers of reinforcement, where we’re not influencing or being influenced by opposing thoughts. And in addition, we’re being tricked into believing that our small worlds are much bigger than they really are in the grand scheme of things.

Neither of these things is helping anyone’s reality.

I don’t think it’s healthy. Or good for us as a society. I think the internet is an amazing place, where you can connect with people who are like you, and be accepted when you don’t feel accepted in real life, but the drive to make money and clean up the platform to scale properly is not helping us, it’s taking the good things about what the internet can do to the opposite extreme. 

Don’t look for my account to share more selfies than usual, or pictures of me in cute outfits. That’s not my style. Look for me to share the exact same stuff I always do.

Unfortunately, you might have to go way out of your way to look at all. 

So what is causing autism in these children? The real answer is: We just don’t know. Not yet, at least. “There is no known single cause for autism,” explains the Autism Society’s website. And while scientists around the world are working to find a link, each time a new finding suggests possible contributing factors, what tends to proceed is an immoderate response that forgets that age-old dictum: Correlation does not equal causation. And that’s important, because in the past we have been wrong about autism, and sometimes with deadly consequences.
#donutburger. Because reasons. via Instagram http://ift.tt/1qILfkj

#donutburger. Because reasons. via Instagram http://ift.tt/1qILfkj

thisfeliciaday:

So there’s this awesome video of a 7 year old girl doing Karate AMAZINGLY, you have to watch, and literally I was so horrified at some of the TOP COMMENTS I had to pull some of them out. 
World…what the FUCK?!

This kid is awesome.

thisfeliciaday:

So there’s this awesome video of a 7 year old girl doing Karate AMAZINGLY, you have to watch, and literally I was so horrified at some of the TOP COMMENTS I had to pull some of them out. 

World…what the FUCK?!

This kid is awesome.

PSA

laughterkey:

Season 3 of Sherlock is now on Netflix.

wilwheaton:

seanbonner:

#alwaysreblog

Forever reblog

antisocialpunkpanda96:

bbypiratebunny:

howisitalready3am:

likeafieldmouse:

Some of America’s most absurd laws illustrated in a photo series by Olivia Locher.

I Fought the Law (2014)

1. In Alabama it is illegal to have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at all times.

2. In Georgia Picnics are prohibited in graveyards.

3. In California nobody is allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.

4. In Ohio it’s illegal to disrobe in front of a man’s portrait.

5. In Kansas it’s illegal to serve wine in teacups.

6. In Colorado it’s illegal to have weeds in your yard.

7. In Utah no one may walk down the street carrying a paper bag containing a violin.

8. In Maine it’s unlawful to tickle women under the chin with a feather duster.

what the fuck america

I feel the urge to take a road trip and see how many obscure laws I can break in each state

^ that sounds like a John Green book

Wooo! Utah makes it onto another list of absurd shit! #winning

girlslovesuperheroes:

My 6-year-old daughter loves comics and superheroes and ninjas and dragons and robots and “awesome stuff”. She likes pink and dresses and her long pretty hair and sparkly things and Batman. She doesn’t make a distinction between female superheroes and male superheroes. To her they are all just superheroes and all equally awesome. Except Batman. No one is awesomer than Batman. Her love for them as strong as any of the self appointed geek police. It’s actually stronger because it is pure and joyful, not embittered and possessive. It bums me out to no end that someday she is going to run into these sad pricks that will tell her she can’t be a real fan because she’s a girl. It bums me that these creators can’t conceive that someone like her exists. It bums me out that as soon as she is old enough to see and understand all the ways the fanboy industrial complex could give less than two shits about someone who has loved superheroes since she first saw Spiderman swing across her TV at 3-years-old she might stop loving comics and superheroes. Their loss.

from MattaJones