June 8, 2022

Posted by orrinj at 7:00 PM


A Trump defense effort appears to falter, on the eve of Jan. 6 committee hearings (Steve Reilly, June 8, 2022, Grid)

An effort by Donald Trump's lawyer to publicly rebut the Jan. 6 committee appears to be sputtering, even as the former president presses allies on Capitol Hill to mount a vigorous defense on his behalf.

For more than a month, Florida-based Trump lawyer Peter Ticktin, a high school classmate of the ex-president's, has been circulating an open letter requesting videos that might portray the actions of Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021, in a positive light and cast doubt on the official version of events.

Addressed to "all Patriots," Ticktin's letter has been shared widely on far-right media outlets including the Gateway Pundit and other venues. It begins: "If you are reading this, you probably know that our election was stolen and that the whole January 6th 'Insurrection' was not what the Left want us to believe it was." He goes on to request footage supporting a version of events that has been widely debunked.

In an interview with Grid about the letter, Ticktin would not estimate the number of clips he has received, saying only that "more than a dozen videos" have been submitted so far.

By contrast, the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol has received more than 14,000 hours of security camera footage and over 140,000 documents.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


When we don't have all the answers (Eleesa Jensen,  08 June 2022, Christianity Today)

Picture this: A man is sitting inside a refrigerator, and he is very cold. For now, there is enough food and drinks to sate him, but he knows he will run out and then he is not sure what to do. You open the door a little bit and there's an exchange like,

"What are you doing in there?"

"Not sure. I am very cold."

"You don't need to be, though. It's quite warm out here."

"That's very silly. How do I know I'll have food? And what will I do without the comforting order of these shelves? No, I'll stay here, thank you."

And maybe you're a little exasperated, bewildered. Maybe you just laugh at him and close the door.

But please understand the poor man's situation. He, like so many others, is trying to regulate things so they fit inside his head. Maybe because he is afraid of uncertainty, maybe he just won't consider anything he can't classify. It isn't like you wouldn't do the same if your world looked like his.

Maybe your world isn't fridge-sized, but it's probably pretty compressed. We humans like to think we are the most reliable measure of what can and cannot be. We draw the line at what we can explain.

The dirty secret is that we don't even understand the fridge.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


The term "white privilege" backfires spectacularly and makes social change less likely (Christopher Quarles, 6/08/22, Big Think)

We recruited 924 U.S. residents from Amazon's Mechanical Turk for our experiment. Half of the research participants were given a social media post containing the following question: "Should colleges rename buildings that were named after people who actively supported racial inequality?"

The other half saw an identical question, except the term "racial inequality" was swapped with "white privilege." We randomly chose which half received each question.

This random assignment allowed us to show causality - and gave us confidence that the choice of language created the effects we saw.

We asked the participants to respond to their question, and also measured how likely they were to engage with the post in the first place. We then focused on the set of people who were likely to engage with that post online.

The term "white privilege" had two effects.

The first was to decrease the quality of conversation among both whites and non-whites. There were more comments that insulted people, attacked the question itself or simply made no sense.

The second effect was to make the set of responses less supportive of renaming the buildings - and more polarized.

The people who were asked about racial inequality were, on average, very supportive. Those who thought it was a good idea to rename college buildings outnumbered opponents more than 2-to-1.

ut the group that was asked about "white privilege" was strongly divided, with just as many opponents as supporters. This shift was caused completely by a change in some whites.

Use of "white privilege" caused 50% of whites who would have been supportive to become ambivalent or hostile. We don't know which half would have changed their minds. But, due to the experimental design, we can be confident they were there.

In addition, we found that many of the supportive whites just chose to avoid the conversation altogether. While they might have expressed their support for stopping racial inequality, they wouldn't join a conversation about white privilege.