Michael Hobbes Profile picture
Reporter at @HuffPost, co-host of @yourewrongabout and @maintenancepod. Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.
eDo Profile picture Joshua Cypess Profile picture Brian Branagan Profile picture Mark Epstein Profile picture Potato of Reason Profile picture 5 added to My Authors
26 Feb
This is climate denial. If you want to solve traffic, start charging people to use the roads. The U.S. should not be building any more fossil fuel infrastructure.
You don't even have to charge a lot! $1 to drive on the roads from 7-9am and 4-6pm. A huge number of people will shift their trips to different times of day. And you can use the money to provide better bus service.
I forget where it was (Virginia?), but a state expanded a freeway, then started charging drivers to make up for the construction cost. The extra fee resulted in fewer people using the road than before the expansion.
Read 8 tweets
25 Feb
I think Matt answers his question in his very next tweet. The original anecdote went viral because it illustrates a very real societal phenomenon.
Stories like this pose real questions about how the media should handle representative anecdotes. The left was predisposed to believing the original story because it illustrated the (accurate) "________ While Black" problem.
Read 11 tweets
24 Feb
Heads up do not fall for this hollow bullshit tomorrow
"We have drawn attention to this issue for years while contributing nothing of substance."

Let me know when you raise some funds for youth homeless shelters.
Maya with the sociological context! This is great.
Read 9 tweets
24 Feb
Newsletter that regularly compares college freshmen to totalitarian dictators has thoughts about using words correctly.
I am crying he's defending the honor of gender reveal parties.
So it's unfair to apply the term "violence" to colonialism? Seriously?
Read 6 tweets
23 Feb
I couldn't help myself and yes the column is abysmal
As usual it contains an "alarming" anecdote without any context. It certainly seems like this dude was placed on leave over a silly complaint, but are leftist students the only ones lodging silly complaints? Why is this case worthy of national attention?
Read 5 tweets
23 Feb
Even this premise is wrong. People keep saying QAnon is displaced anger at elites but it contains just as much displaced anger at minorities.
There's been a yearlong steelmanning effort with the beliefs of QAnon and the people pushing them. There's some economic anxiety there sure, but there's also a lot of straightforward Republican and evangelical catnip
Like, Marjorie Taylor Greene is not mad because we don't have universal healthcare
Read 5 tweets
22 Feb
It's important to know that "universalizing" the experiences of minorities is a way of erasing them.

Yes, this is an excuse to post one of my favorite movie reviews ever.
When "Brokeback Mountain" came out in theaters, nearly every mainstream reviewer called it a "universal" love story. It's not about gay people! It's about forbidden love!
In his now-classic review, Daniel Mendelsohn argues that "Brokeback Mountain" is not in fact a universal love story. It is about the specific experience of the closet.
Read 7 tweets
22 Feb
extra extra the new issue of Straw Man Weekly is out
Scorching insights here. All the people saying that Koreans and Indians are exactly the same should stop doing that. Owned.
Appreciating different cultures is good, but "making a fetish" of them—a wildly subjective term I just made up—is bad. Please take note.
Read 7 tweets
20 Feb
These are obviously out of context, but it's worth noting that *at worst* this means that a large company gave a silly corporate training.
We have no idea in what context these slides were given. "Try to be less white" could have been presented as an option and discarded. But even if it were straightforwardly presented... who cares?
It's so embarrassing. Companies regularly give anti-union trainings. Christian companies have religious content in their onboarding materials. But I'm supposed to treat this one like a national crisis?
Read 5 tweets
19 Feb
Genuinely one of the funniest things I've ever read.
This smug self-seriousness becomes funnier with each subsequent paragraph Image
Can't imagine why anyone would put a stop to this. Image
Read 16 tweets
19 Feb
lol of course
Always take advice on helping the needy from people who have shown no previous interest in helping the needy.
A tactic recognizable from every town hall meeting about the housing crisis in history. "Don't do this incredibly easy, imperfect thing! Do this unrelated ideal thing instead!"
Read 4 tweets
17 Feb
You can drive yourself batshit debating the beliefs of Silicon Valley rationalists but at the very least they are *extremely* easy to grift into spreading eugenic propaganda.
Science contains an infinite number of unresolved questions. Plate tectonics, dark matter, what's going on at the bottom of the ocean. And yet the only "mystery" these people are interested in investigating is whether Black people are stupider than white people.
Read 4 tweets
16 Feb
Wow the on-stage interview questions in the 1958 Miss America pageant were not fucking around
eeeeeewww this cameo
I watched the 2019 pageant last night and it's genuinely SO hard to answer one of these absurdly broad questions with poise and intelligence in just 20 seconds. I have newfound sympathy for that contestant who went viral a few years back!
Read 4 tweets
16 Feb
Dystopian. The UK government is passing a law that will cut funding for universities where speakers with "challenging ideas" are deplatformed.
The law explicitly singles out student unions for sanction if they "carry out political activity." It also gives deplatformed speakers the right to sue for redress.
This is an explicit restriction on the rights of students to protest toxic speech — in other words, government censorship. This is the exact thing they're pretending to be against!
Read 4 tweets
15 Feb
Exhausting how they keep coming up with absurdly broad philosophical principles to justify getting outraged about these low-stakes "cancellations."
The most effective way to predict how mad Bari and the other cancel culture warriors will get about the firing of a public figure is to ask, "Is this person a conservative?"

This has nothing to do with free speech or intent. They just don't like it when conservatives get fired.
Which is fine! I think progressive ideas are correct and progressives shouldn't get fired. That's very clearly the debate we're actually having with these episodes. But every time, they dress it up as something content-neutral and it's so BORING.
Read 5 tweets
15 Feb
"A hallmark of injustice is indifference to intention" — um I'm not sure that it is?
A much clearer hallmark of injustice is when the powerful insist that their intentions are more important than the impacts they cause. "We weren't trying to segregate schools," "We never ordered torture at Abu Ghraib, "We invaded Iraq to help its people," etc.
I haven't read these books but I would not put "indifference to intention" at the center of understanding what is harmful about repressive regimes.

Indifference to truth, indifference to harm, indifference to outcome, sure. But indifference to intent?! Huh?
Read 5 tweets
12 Feb
Yep. I've looked into this in various cities and I've never seen one with significant numbers of vacant apartments.
I think vacancy taxes are good and cities should pass them, but they're unlikely to do much to alleviate the housing crisis.
This debate often gets folded into tropes about foreign ownership, but it doesn't actually make a lot of sense to buy an apartment in London or New York and leave it empty. Lots of investors hire property management companies and rent them out to locals.
Read 4 tweets
12 Feb
Absurd. Conservatives are not being fired because they're coming out in favor of lower taxes or fewer regulations. They are being fired because they're expressing odious racism.
Ummmm what if I told you that views can be widespread and ALSO wrong and bad?
This argument is so disingenuous. Carano is not being punished for *holding* conservative views. She's being punished for *expressing them publicly.* She is a famous person! Wading into politics has consequences. This has always been true.
Read 4 tweets
11 Feb
This is asinine. Only a small number of Republicans may admit to believing in QAnon per se, but a much larger percentage believe in its constituent parts.
QAnon is not like believing the moon landing was faked. It's not a binary distinction where you either believe it or you don't. A huge number of people believe some parts (Soros controls the Democrats) while rejecting others (Hillary Clinton eats babies).
Research has been extremely consistent in finding alarming rates of conspiratorial beliefs among Republicans. This is a national crisis.
Read 9 tweets
11 Feb
Every time a leftist gets fired they have to do a little dance on their grave.
I see no contradiction between "There is no such thing as cancel culture" and "people should not be fired for harmless jokes."

Nathan is a public figure. Public figures have always been subject to professional consequences for their statements.
Before the internet, national pundits could be fired for writing a terrible column or giving a bigoted speech. Sometimes they were falsely accused and fired without just cause. None of this has anything to do with "cancel culture" writ large.
Read 6 tweets
10 Feb
Yes! It's actually very rare for news stories to be presented to the public in straightforward chronological order. It's a huge problem for both comprehension and empathy.
Journalists typically organize stories according to salience, the famous "inverted pyramid." The first paragraph is the most relevant information, followed by the second most and so on.
It makes sense for hard news and ongoing stories, but it also deliberately buries context. You only learn the basic facts in the last few paragraphs of the story, often out of order and separated from the rest of the information.
Read 7 tweets