Kendi, marriage, Metric, and more
I’m back from a brief trip to San Francisco and am pleased to report that the rumors I’ve heard for years — about how the residential areas of the city are actually much nicer than downtown and not overrun with people suffering from addiction and mental health crises — are true. Nice town!
Some good news: America keeps dominating the Nobel Prizes in part thanks to our openness to immigration. I got out of Twitter profile pic jail. This new Yes In God’s Backyard in California is pretty cool and I bet would work in a lot of states. Gasoline prices are heading back down. Third-quarter GDP growth keeps tracking very strong. Semiconductor plants are getting built.
Before we move on to questions, I want to say thank you and farewell to our longest-tenured Slow Boring team member, Claire, whose last day is today.
Claire joined us in early 2021 and has been scheduling and copy editing posts (no small feat around here), writing articles, and filling in wherever needed ever since. I think we once convinced her to take a few days off, but she has been a steady, behind-the-scenes presence helping to keep things running smoothly every day for over two years. Before that, though, Claire helped us run the outdoor pandemic pod we set up for our son and some of his classmates. At a time when almost everyone was scared and stressed out and just trying their best to get by, Claire stepped up in a major way and helped make sure life was as safe and normal as possible for our child and seven others. We hired her because she could communicate with the monolingual Spanish-speaking parents in the group, but got much more than we bargained for. It was a grueling, emotionally challenging job that had to be done whether it was 20 degrees or 100, but Claire’s determination and resilience helped us all make it through. We’re immensely grateful to her and wish her and her partner Lindsay the best as they embark on their new adventures in NYC.
Now, to your questions.
Leora: I assume everyone saw the fiasco at BU in Ibram Kendi's antiracism institute. It seems completely emblematic of how most of the resources marshalled in 2020 went to bupkus. And you could say the same of the women's march, though that never seemed to be about any particular grievance anyhow, just a primal anti-Trump howl.
How can we leverage these types of progressive “moments” into something reasonable and sustainable? Obviously people shouldn't be throwing money at random instagrammers or unverified GFMs. But giving to BU — where you'd assume there'd be some oversight and standards in place — seems quite reasonable.
I think this sells the Women’s March — not the hastily assembled institution but the actual marches and the people who participated in them — short. Those demonstrations got a lot of people engaged in politics, and that energy and engagement were very important during ACA repeal, the 2018 midterms, and other key moments.
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