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CTO at The 19th. Writing a novel.
Previously: Co-founder of Elgg and Known; former investor at Matter.

benwerd

benwerd

werd.social/@ben

19thnews.org

 

The Grift Brothers

“Over lunch, MacAskill encouraged SBF to pursue the EA life strategy called “earn to give,” whereby one strives to — quoting a Sequoia profile on SBF—“get filthy rich, for charity’s sake,” even if this means working for what MacAskill himself calls “immoral organization[s].” Although the means may be questionable, they’re justified by the ends: maximizing the “good” that one does in the world.”

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How British colonialism killed 100 million Indians in 40 years

“Between 1880 to 1920, British colonial policies in India claimed more lives than all famines in the Soviet Union, Maoist China and North Korea combined.”

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What’s a Black life worth to insurance companies?

“Black households were actually slightly more likely than white households to have life insurance — eight out of 10 Black households had some form of life insurance vs. seven out of 10 for whites. Yet even when incomes were similar, the median amount of life insurance coverage for white households was three times that of Black families — $150,000 vs. $50,000.”

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CHARACTERISTICS - WHITE SUPREMACY CULTURE

“While white supremacy culture affects us all, harms us all, and is toxic to us all, it does not affect, harm, and violate us in the same way. White supremacy targets and violates BIPOC people and communities with the intent to destroy them directly; white supremacy targets and violates white people with a persistent invitation to collude that will inevitably destroy their humanity.”

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With no child tax credit and inflation on the rise, families are slipping back into poverty

“U.S. households are having to pay between $300 to $400 more each month compared to last year because of inflation. Food insecurity is rising once again. Now, advocates are pointing to a growing body of work that shows how low-income and marginalized families relied on the program to survive.”

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Finding Affordable Child Care Has Never Been Harder

“America’s child-care infrastructure was broken before the pandemic, but the past few years have pushed it to the brink. Now, as more employers expect workers back in the office, a perfect storm of day-care closures, staffing shortages, and inflation have made finding affordable child care harder than ever.”

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Hip! Hip! Phooey!

I had no idea: “The phrase [hip hip hooray] does have anti-Semitic roots. Rioters in Europe sometimes shouted "Hep! Hep!" while on prowl for Jews, and mob harassment of Jews in Hamburg, Frankfurt, and other German cities in 1819 became known as the "Hep! Hep!" riots. Hitler's storm troopers adopted this jeer.”

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Doctor who provided abortion care to 10-year-old fights to protect medical records

“As a physician, I never imagined that I would be in the position to engage in a legal fight to protect the rights of women and girls to not have their private medical records released for political purposes. But nonetheless, I feel strongly that this fight — the fight for physicians to compassionately provide abortion care to every single person who needs their care and their patients to access safe, legal abortion care, free from fear of criminalization — is worth waging.”

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Colorado Springs shooting shares eerie parallels with 1980 anti-LGBTQ+ massacre

“This past Saturday, 42 years to the day after the West Street shooting, five were murdered and 18 wounded at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ bar in Colorado Springs. A suspect, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, is in custody and faces murder and hate crime charges. “These things don’t change,” Humm reflected. “I mean, the anti-gay atmosphere, anti-LGBTQ atmosphere is everywhere.””

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Club Q shooting reshapes Trans Day of Remembrance for Colorado Springs community

“That the shooting took place on the evening before TDOR, a day honoring trans homicide victims, makes the tragedy even more painful, multiple advocacy groups said. They said the shooting is part of a bigger landscape of growing political attacks and harmful rhetoric aimed at trans people.”

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How Stochastic Terrorism Uses Disgust to Incite Violence

“Dehumanizing and vilifying a person or group of people can provoke what scholars and law enforcement officials call stochastic terrorism, in which ideologically driven hate speech increases the likelihood that people will violently and unpredictably attack the targets of vicious claims.”

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It Was a Bad Week for Billionaires With Delusions of Saving the World

“The money Mr. Bezos is now so magnanimously distributing was made through his dehumanizing labor practices, his tax avoidance, his influence peddling, his monopolistic power and other tactics that make him a cause of the problems of modern American life rather than a swashbuckling solution.”

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Tech Titans Like Elon Musk Want to Save Earth by Having Tons of Children

“We are the Underground Railroad of 'Gattaca' babies and people who want to do genetic stuff with their kids.” Go ahead and tell me this isn’t white supremacy.

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How I turned $15,000 into $1.2m during the pandemic – then lost it all

““It’s about detachment,” my parents said in the end. “All the things in your life … you have to also be prepared to live without them.””

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The Dangers of Context Collapse

“Context collapse itself is the phenomenon of highly-contextual information being used, purposefully or otherwise, in an ambiguous manner which leads to confusion.” Great post on a common rhetorical weapon.

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Pasadena school becomes nation’s first named after Octavia Butler

“Everyone said, ‘She’s a seer and she’s prescient, but she … just paid attention. She was always tuned into the climate crisis and doing research on that. It’s almost as if we’ve caught up with her finally.””

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Military spouses bear the financial, logistical impact of frequent moves

“Manjarres, a nurse, said a lot of the household stress, including the moves, falls on her. Her husband’s high rank requires he leave for deployments regularly and for long periods of time, making it difficult for her to find employment at each of their stations, depending on the size of the military base and the needs of her growing children. Her husband missed her son’s whole first grade year, she said.”

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Study on Harvard finds 43 percent of white students are legacy, athletes, related to donors or staff

“43 percent of white students admitted to Harvard University were recruited athletes, legacy students, children of faculty and staff, or on the dean’s interest list — applicants whose parents or relatives have donated to Harvard. That number drops dramatically for black, Latino and Asian American students, according to the study, with less than 16 percent each coming from those categories.” Clearly relevant in the context of revisiting affirmative action.

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Tuna

“It has a name, this uniquely vile game: it is called extinction speculation. It’s practised by those who collect Norwegian shark fin, rare bear bladders and rhino horn; men and women with hearts that sing along only to the song of money. There are collectors known to be building up huge piles of tiger pelts and vats of tiger bone wine.”

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Proposed bill labels LGBTQ+ information as 'sexually-oriented' material

“Multiple LGBTQ+ researchers and policy experts told The 19th that they had never seen a bill like this one at the state level, introduced in the current Congress, or passed into law in recent memory. A bill that so overtly depicts LGBTQ+ people as sexually inappropriate, especially around children, is a significant escalation — even if it’s all part of the same rhetoric, advocates say.”

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Airline hired for UK’s Rwanda deportations pulls out of scheme

“This is a victory for people power – for thousands who took action and for the torture survivors who stood up against the UK government’s cruel ‘cash for humans’ Rwanda scheme.“ Activism works.

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Louisiana parents fight to keep their children out of violent Angola prison

“Parents and legal advocates in Louisiana — chief among them Black mothers — say a plan to temporarily transfer incarcerated youth to an adult facility once known as “America’s bloodiest prison” will traumatize the children and limit their access to education and rehabilitation opportunities.”

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Afghan couple accuse US Marine of abducting their baby

“This is a story about how one U.S. Marine became fiercely determined to bring home an Afghan war orphan, and praised it as an act of Christian faith to save her. Letters, emails and documents submitted in federal filings show that he used his status in the U.S. Armed Forces, appealed to high-ranking Trump administration officials and turned to small-town courts to adopt the baby, unbeknownst to the Afghan couple raising her 7,000 miles away.”

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Texas schools send parents DNA kits to identify their kids’ bodies in emergencies

““You have to understand, I’m a former law enforcement officer,” Walder, who has lived in Texas for 14 years, said. "I worry every single day when I send my kid to school. Now we’re giving parents DNA kits so that when their child is killed with the same weapon of war I had when I was in Afghanistan, parents can use them to identify them?””

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Monarch

“Not once at school was I told any of this stuff. I’d heard of the Raj before, although the British always spoke of it as if it was something to be proud of.” +1. And it is nothing to be proud of.

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Email: ben@werd.io

Twitter: @benwerd

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