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robert reich on clinton April 23, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, berkeley, interviews, news, politics.
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clinton and reich (1994)

nymag:

So what’s changed? I asked Reich.

“I saw the ads” — the negative man-on-street commercials that the Clinton campaign put up in Pennsylvania in the wake of Obama’s bitter/cling comments a week ago — “and I was appalled, frankly. I thought it represented the nadir of mean-spirited, negative politics. And also of the politics of distraction, of gotcha politics. It’s the worst of all worlds. We have three terrible traditions that we’ve developed in American campaigns. One is outright meanness and negativity. The second is taking out of context something your opponent said, maybe inartfully, and blowing it up into something your opponent doesn’t possibly believe and doesn’t possibly represent. And third is a kind of tradition of distraction, of getting off the big subject with sideshows that have nothing to do with what matters. And these three aspects of the old politics I’ve seen growing in Hillary’s campaign. And I’ve come to the point, after seeing those ads, where I can’t in good conscience not say out loud what I believe about who should be president. Those ads are nothing but Republicanism. They’re lending legitimacy to a Republican message that’s wrong to begin with, and they harken back to the past twenty years of demagoguery on guns and religion. It’s old politics at its worst — and old Republican politics, not even old Democratic politics. It’s just so deeply cynical.”

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another great ?uestlove interview April 23, 2008

Posted by KG in arts/culture, comedy, design, hip-hop, interviews, legal, marketing, media, music, news, radio.
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onsmash:

With less than a week till the release of their 8th (!) masterpiece, Rising Down, OnSMASH linked up with The Roots mouthpiece and unofficial leader ?uestlove to talk about his legendary crew and the state of this art we call hip-hop.

I want to talk about Rising Down right now. From what I’ve been hearing, with the exception of one song [“Birthday Girl”], this record sounds very, very serious, very aggressive, and kind of dark. The last Roots record, I got that kind feeling from like that, was Illadelph Half Life. What was the intent behind this record?

Hip-hop is about as apolitical as it’s ever been. I guess there’s some sort of unsaid science to how we made this record. In order not to come off like we’re on our soapbox we knew that musically this album had to be bangin’. But of course the 2008 definition of bangin’ definitely varies from the 1996 definition of bangin’, but that’s the standard with which we feel most comfortable. So there’s this sort of boom bap element [on the album]. At the very most today when you get a hip-hop record you can only hope for that one cut that has that “boom bap element”, similar to how what the one radio cut was back in the day, like Brand Nubian’s “Tried To Do Me” or Diamond D “I’m So Confused” song. One token radio cut on a hip-hop record now turned into one Primo cut on a commercial record [in 2008].

Very true

We just wanted to put out an album of bangers because we kind of knew we had to sort of offset the heavy message. I guess if anything probably the hardest thing to do on this record was to put everything in first person perspective. Because normally whenever we did touch something political it was always from a very safe arm’s length third person perspective.

(more…)

nudge April 22, 2008

Posted by KG in econ, interviews, neuroscience, politics, psychology, science.
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freakonomics q&a with richard thaler and cass sunstein about their new book:

Q: You talk about heuristics and decision-making biases which influence most people’s thinking. Which heuristic or bias has taken you for a ride? Are we as a society more or less vulnerable to heuristics than we were 20 years ago and why?

CASS: The one that has most gotten to me is the availability heuristic, which means that people assess probabilities by asking whether examples easily come to mind.

For about two years after 9/11, I was scared to fly, even though I knew, from my own work, that the risks were really low. And after a bad incident with Chinese food (I have a severe shrimp allergy, and the vegetarian dish contained shrimp), I have been ridiculously nervous about shrimp hiding somewhere in Chinese food.

Fortunately, I am also subject to optimistic bias — with respect to just about everything — and so I now fly contentedly and eat Chinese food happily if sometimes a bit warily.

I don’t know if our society is more vulnerable to bad heuristics and errors than it was 20 years ago. Certainly there’s a lot of vulnerability to those things, but the same as been true for a very long time.

Q: Is there a situation where it would be imperative to shove instead of nudge. How would you, as a libertarian paternalist, justify such a situation?

A: When children and third parties are at risk, mandates and shoves may be OK. We are not opposed to mandatory vaccination laws, in part because those who don’t get vaccinated endanger others.

Many antipollution laws are fine too. A full answer here would point to the costs of bargaining: when people can’t contract their way to a sensible outcome, because of collective action problems and a lack of information, the argument for a mandate gets stronger.

Shoves that aren’t that big an intrusion, such as mandatory seatbelt laws, are OK too, if they can be shown to save a lot of lives. But generally, we like freedom of choice.

mos def – pretty dancer April 7, 2008

Posted by KG in comedy, hip-hop, interviews, music, sports.
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nice work if you can get it March 23, 2008

Posted by KG in arts/culture, immigration, international, interviews, media, news, politics, radio.
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i found act 4 pretty moving…

3/21/08 this american life:

Act Four. Just One Thing Missing.

Reporter Douglas McGray interviews a college student in California with good grades, an excellent work ethic, but no possible way to get a legal job. She’s lived in the U.S. since she was little, but her parents are undocumented; and she is, too. Most of her friends and teachers don’t even know. Douglas McGray is a fellow at the New America Foundation.

88 keys interview March 6, 2008

Posted by KG in arts/culture, comedy, hip-hop, interviews, music.
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awesome interview with 88:

DX: How’d you link with Mos and Talib?
88-Keys:
I linked up with Mos through my good friend, Shawn J Period. I used to go to a lot of sessions with The Artifacts, and at the time, Shawn J Period was working with them, and Duro, who’s now “Super-engineer Duro,” who’s recording mixing the album and Platinum Island Studios in New York City. So I would go there and hang out just to get the vibe and see professionals at work, and see what the goings-on was. So Mos would eventually start coming by. It’s funny, because I’d say “What up” to Mos, and he’d say “What’s up,” but he never used to acknowledge me other than the initial meeting. I saw him every now and then, and he would just be in the room, I’d be in the room…we’d stare each other down for like half a second and keep it moving or whatever. So I’m looking at this guy, like, “Oh man, this guy is trying to play me, and he’s a nobody just like me.” So eventually, at the “Stakes Is High” video shoot, Mos was there, and I was trying to get up in the video. Again, I have to repeat, I was a nobody, so ain’t get no love shown this way. I gave Mos a beat tape, back when the actual tape cassettes (were in), with my 30 second beat snippets. He called me a day or two later, and he’s like, “Your shit is dope, your shit is dope.” And the next time I saw him in the studio, it’s pounds all around the room. [Laughs]

DX: Did you record that track in the studio with them?
88-Keys:
That’s a funny story. Kweli picked the beat from me, and he was saying he had an idea for the song, that him and Mos were recording an album together, and that he wanted a song for the album. I’m like, “Cool, let’s do it.” … I’m like, “I’ma hit up Mos, to see what’s good.” Come to find out, Mos didn’t like the beat at all, but he was doing it as a favor for Kweli. I was living with my parents at the time, I had my equipment in the basement in Long Island. These dudes took a cab all the way from Brooklyn—this was foreshadowing of baller status, I should have peeped it back then—but they took a cab all the way from Brooklyn, Kweli had a son who was like one year old at the time, almost in the middle of the night, on some seven o’clock shit. One of my sisters babysat Kweli’s son, and we went to the basement. Kweli already had his verse written, and I had a four-track recorder with a little BS microphone, so I recorded the joint, and after Kweli laid his verse, he explained to Mos what the song was about, and his inspiration for the song was a book called The Bluest Eye. Mos did a complete 180—I don’t even know if he liked the beat at that time still, but he liked Kweli’s rap and how the whole joint came together—so not only did Mos write his verse, but he wrote a 44-bar verse that he was pretty adamant about not shortening it. Me and Kweli are looking at him like, “He’s buggin’. That’s not a 16, Rawkus ain’t havin’ that.Mos was like, “I don’t care. All this is staying.

(more…)

nader and gonzalez on kqed March 1, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, campaign finance, econ, environment, international, interviews, iraq war, news, politics, privacy.
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http://www.kqed.org/programs/radio/forum (click here for realmedia stream)

Fri, Feb 29, 2008 — 9:00 AM
Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez

   
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(Windows: right-click and choose “Save Target As.” Mac: hold Ctrl, click link, and choose “Save As.”)

Yesterday, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader named San Francisco’s own Matt Gonzalez — a former Board of Supervisors president and mayoral candidate — as his running mate. Guest host Rachael Myrow talks with both Nader and Gonzalez about their campaign.
Host: Rachael Myrow

steven pinker on npr January 29, 2008

Posted by KG in cognitive science, interviews, language, neuroscience, news, psychology, religion.
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steven-pinker-2.jpg

discussing his nytimes magazine article, “the moral instinct,” on talk of the nation.

30min segment

link roundup January 27, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, arts/culture, books, comedy, econ, food, health, international, interviews, media, news, politics, science, speeches, talks, television.
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link-roundup.gif

1. what don’t we know about the pharmaceutical industry? a freakonomics quorom

2. video: stewart slams media for provoking campaign drama

3. malcolm gladwell @ TED in 2004, exhibiting his superior storytelling abilities and making the horizontal segmentation of pasta fascinating – 18 min 15 sec youtube video

4. booksthatmakeyoudumb

5. nabokov wanted his final, unfinished work destroyed. should his son get out the matches?

6. nicholas kristof in india (“china and india: the race is on” & “power of a mother’s love” – nytimes video)

35 years of what exactly? January 27, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, interviews, news, politics.
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 35.jpg

npr: tracing hillary clinton’s ’35 years’ of experience (5min 40sec)

Goldenberg says it’s difficult to see how Clinton calculates her 35 years of public service, since her fulltime job for many years was working for a corporate law firm in Arkansas.

From 1977 to 1993 — with intermittent breaks to campaign for her husband and after the birth of her daughter, Chelsea — Clinton worked at Arkansas’ largest law firm, the Rose Law Firm, where she was also its first female partner.