My main issue is with coastal elites that can't tolerate the idea that life is actually very hard for the nowhere-town "deplorables" they've never met, so they vascillate between proposing "let them eat cake" policies & viciously attacking them for a lack of gratitude & "values"
Outside of the private feeder school and "modest" trust fund bubbles are a lot of people willing to work very hard for a very long time as long as they can expect to not be interfered with, and that their gains won't be taken from them arbitrarily.
There are also a lot of people — if you live in these towns, you WILL meet them — who take advantage wherever they can and actively claw the precocious crabs right back down into the bucket. Their own children included. Their lives are miserable, for sure, but not for no reason.
These are not the same sorts of people. Lives lived in poverty are as diverse as any other sweeping slice of the demography. The people looking down from more privileged perches fail to see these distinctions more often than not, and rail against the idea that they *should.*
I get the horror at the initial realization that life is this hard for *anybody,* but elites need to understand that their role is helping create viable, sustainable and irrevocable paths *out,* not pumping out gameable patches that rarely help anybody achieve escape velocity
This means helping people:
- build real marketable skills
- own specific assets that are prerequisites for participating in the skilled economy
- move around so that they can capture the best opportunities for someone with the skills that they have

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More from @webdevMason

21 Aug
Nice White Parents is currently the #1 podcast on Apple, and this excerpt is a perfect encapsulation of its entire ethos
The closest the series gets to self-awareness is when a nonwhite mom is interviewed and seems confused or gently disinterested in diversity rather than the specific issues re: resources, class size, teacher quality, etc. that affect her kids' district. This happens several times
The whole thing is full of these really bizarre double or triple binds that are hard to untangle. White parents only *say* they're interested in diversity, they don't really care; and if they did, would it not be a sort of fetishism?
Read 5 tweets
10 Jul
With regard to almost any topic, you're 3-5 books away from having a productive conversation with a foremost expert and quite possibly teaching him or her something new. And this compounds — forever
A big problem is that most people are only on formal handshake terms with their books, which are mostly selected for them in the first place. You have to go Bonnie and Clyde with a good book, people. (Yes, I mean non-fiction!)
Calling the proper way to read "critical thinking" is like calling sex "recreational copulation." It's not wrong, but it's definitely not going to put you in the mood to do it right.
Read 6 tweets
8 Jul
I'm not rich, I don't come from a wealthy family, I never graduated college, and I've rarely had anything to offer anyone except my friendship and my ideas. And that's been enough for me to meet and collaborate with almost everyone I've ever wanted to.
When everyone is trying to convince you that your circumstances will doom you to mediocrity or failure, that the world is rigged against you, that nobody who can help you will ever help someone *like* you... tuning all of that out is a legitimate superpower
My advice: consume a lot of information, let yourself get rabbitholed. Read, think, and write a lot, but don't make it a chore. Reach out to your heroes, but also to people who produce great but less recognized work. Don't belittle yourself. Write emails you'd want to receive.
Read 5 tweets
23 Jun
The @nytimes writer threatening to dox Scott Alexander for no apparent reason reached out to me earlier this month — and offered to keep identity out of the story if I would talk to him about Scott.

Twice. Without my ever requesting it.
These folks know that many of us have something to lose if they're not kept anon/pseudonymous. It's the first thing they'll offer you. The issue here is entirely about leverage. Scott, being a much nicer person than I am, likely assumed his safety would be the priority issue.
The truth is that Scott could probably have bargained for his privacy in advance if it had ever even occurred to him that Cade would put mentally ill patients at risk just to appear thorough. I really don't think it would ever have occurred to Scott that he'd need to do this.
Read 5 tweets
10 Jun
Capital Hill Autonomous Zone
a play in three acts

Act I
the post
Act II
the top comment
Act III
the link
Read 4 tweets
28 Feb
Here's what I'm now doing wrt COVID-19. This isn't advice.

- postponing air travel

- avoiding most gatherings

- wearing latex gloves in public to remind myself to not touch my face

- handwashing upon returning home

- wiping phone/laptop/handles/knobs w/ alcohol 1-3x daily
I'm also gradually accumulating a water/nonperishable food/household goods supply, aiming for 2 months, and I have a few places to go if SF becomes a place I don't want to be for a while. I don't want to be part of a run on the grocery stores, but there's no downside to this prep
I certainly don't expect everyone to do what I'm doing

but consider that if you make fun of people who are trying to not get sick or infect others for Internet Points, you might just be sort of an awful person
Read 6 tweets

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