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Resilient Constructs

The New Jim Crow, Reform, and Revolution

Yesterday, I offered up a positive review of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. Now, I present some salient criticism on what the book failed to include. In the course of researching more material foryesterday’s review, I came across an intriguing critical essay by Greg Thomas, an associate professor of Black Studies at Syracuse University. He asks the crucial question: why do some like The New Jim Crow so much? At first, I wasn’t sure I would be receptive to his criticism, but as I read through I was forced to admit he makes some excellent points.

The New Jim Crow: A Review

Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow is already a national bestseller, so it certainly doesn’t need another positive review. But here’s one anyway! The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness was first released in 2010, but came to my attention over the past couple of years as the Black Lives Matter movement really got going. I had been on my “must read” list for a while, and so I finally got around to reading it.

Cultural Appropriation and Fiction Writing

Author Lionel Shriver recently gave a speech wherein she complained about criticisms of “cultural appropriation.” Was she on to something, or just making lazy arguments in defense of privilege and entitlement? It’s a good idea to start with her actual speech. This post may be construed as a direct response to her points. I’ll speak to what Shriver said. I will ignore breathless speculation about our inevitable PC dystopia, and go with the specific examples she gave:

Being Smart About College

I don’t always write advice columns, but when I do, I don’t have a good way to finish this joke. I’m going to talk about going to college in the US. This will be most pertinent to you if you meet the following criteria: * You're in your late teens or early 20s and eyeing college/university as the jumping off point to a your career path. * You/your family are not independently wealthy nor capable of paying for your education entirely out-of-pocket.

No Man's Sky: Did the Developers Lie?

This is a controversy that’s about a month old at this point, but is nevertheless still raging in its particular corners of the Internet. No Man’s Sky came out in early August and has been embroiled in a firestorm since then. What’s going on? The biggest bone of contention has to do with the game’s multiplayer component–or rather, its lack of one. Sean Murray is the head of Hello Games and the creator and designer of No Man’s Sky, and it’s mainly his statements at issue.

A Few Weeks to Go

This blog will officially be a year old in a few weeks. When I started this blog, my goal was to see if I could make a post every day for a year. So far, I’ve not yet missed a day. Sometimes I’ve had to queue up multiple posts go up on a schedule, but I’ve never had a gap. The only times when a post failed to go up on its scheduled day, it was due to technical issues.

Link Roundup: September 17, 2016

I may not give the best opening lines to these Link Roundups, but you keep coming back anyway, don’t you? Culture * [Women who love 'Star Trek' are the reason that modern fandom exists](http://www.revelist.com/tv/star-trek-fandom-50th/4643) -- This is a true bit of history that often gets missed when talking about genre culture. Politics * [Almost every word of Donald Trump's Birther statement is a lie](http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/09/every-line-donald-trumps-birther-statement-lie) -- No, Hillary Clinton was not the original Birther.

Steam's New Game Review Policy

Recently, the Steam video game distribution platform changed the way it handles user-submitted reviews. Reactions have been mixed, to say the least. Users have been able to submit reviews on Steam for several years now. Over time, this feature has evolved to include a number of components. Reviews themselves consist of a thumbs-up or thumbs-down vote, much like YouTube ratings, and then some amount of text. It could be as little as a few words, or many paragraphs.

Postpone the Poll Panic

Seems all it takes is Donald Trump doing well in a poll or two and it’s like the sky is falling. Trump is ahead in Ohio and Florida in 4-way polls that include Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green candidate Dr. Jill Stein. These results are suspect for a couple reasons: * They do not, thus far, represent trends held up by other polls. (Of course, future polls may back up a trend.

Trump and the Banality of Evil

Trump is not an example of “the banality of evil.” In fact, he’s pretty much the exact opposite. There are few turns of phrase more misunderstood than Hannah Arendt’s brief description of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. “The banality of evil” is an important concept that is nevertheless difficult to grasp fully, if the way people use it is any indication. First is that “the banality of evil” refers not to all evil, but only a specific kind of it.