Hello my lovelies. I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I certainly did. Saturday was an exercise in contrasts. The first party I attended had Alabama football on the television, country music on the radio, and SEC-school hill people playing beer pong. I’ve never felt so simultaneously at home and alien. The next party was The Comrade Harambe Ice Luge and Champagne Dance Party, a.k.a the Final #YOLOmageddon, which of course got written up in Politico Playbook. There I felt more at home but also tired AF.
Onto the linkies for the thinkies.
From this, via @ryanbeckwith.
Truth from @SamHarrisOrg: “So many obnoxious people are using the phrase ‘virtue signaling’ now that its meaning has changed. It now means ‘punch me in the face.'”
Great coverage of MAPS research on MDMA and trauma. MDMA decreases fear and defensiveness, while increasing trust and empathy.
Around two hours into the session, Sessa takes a supplementary dose. Even though he’s in a darkened room, he asks for his red-rimmed sunglasses. “That second dose really hit the spot, man,” he tells the Mithoefers. He breathes heavily and purposefully, nodding his head to the music with his eyes closed, his lower jaw shifting subtly from left to right. Clearly, he did not take the placebo.
Now, in a very important sense it doesn’t matter whether a given offensive tweet or post is earnest. As the conservative pundit and frequent alt-right target Ben Shapiro pointed out, it’s ridiculous to lay on him, or any other target of this bile, the responsibility of separating out the people who really are advocating for him and his family to be put in the ovens, as compared to those who are just doing it “for fun.” If you send me an anti-Semitic meme, I’m going to assume that you’re anti-Semitic. I never agreed to chan culture’s puerile, dumb rules about communication and offense. But: Once you move past the straightforward conversation about whether these memes are offensive and whether the ones containing threatening imagery constitute harassment — of course they are, and of course they do — to the trickier task of understanding why people post these memes, what they mean, and to what extent they represent a genuine threat or a genuine form of politics, it’s actually vital to understand these distinctions.
Charter schools in the urban areas of Massachusetts have large, positive effects on educational outcomes. The effects are particularly large for disadvantaged students, English learners, special education students, and children who enter charters with low test scores.
In marked contrast, we find that the effects of charters in the suburbs and rural areas of Massachusetts are not positive. Our lottery estimates indicate that students at these charter schools do the same or worse than their peers at traditional public schools. Notably, the charter cap does not currently constrain charter expansion in these areas. The ballot initiative will therefore have no effect on the rate at which these charters expand.
Massachusetts’ charter cap currently prevents expansion in precisely the urban areas where charter schools are doing their best work. Lifting the cap will allow more students to benefit from charter schools that are improving test scores, college preparation, and college attendance.