Two philosophers' views on California's homelessness epidemic

How can Innovation Central not manage to solve its own sprawling homelessness?

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  • The housing crisis in California has reached new heights, with more than 100,000 people without homes.
  • To some, the dichotomy between the innovation the state is known for and its denizens ongoing inability to solve the problem is boggling.
  • A couple of famous philosophers can show us how this problem isn't actually as odd as it seems.
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Participatory democracy is presumed to be the gold standard. Here’s why it isn’t.

Political activism may get people invested in politics, and affect urgently needed change, but it comes at the expense of tolerance and healthy democratic norms.

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  • Polarization and extreme partisanships have been on the rise in the United States.
  • Political psychologist Diana Mutz argues that we need more deliberation, not political activism, to keep our democracy robust.
  • Despite increased polarization, Americans still have more in common than we appear to.
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Want to seem more authentic? Use politically incorrect language.

Politically incorrect speakers seem less calculated and more "real," according to the authors of a new Berkeley study.

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  • The study involved nearly 5,000 participants across nine experiments, which found that both liberals and conservatives viewed politically incorrect speakers as more authentic.
  • The results also suggest that political incorrectness can offend liberals and conservatives — it just depends on the issue.
  • About 80 percent of Americans believe political correctness is a problem in the U.S., according to a 2018 study.
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YouTube fined $170 million for harvesting data from children

But some say the settlement is a slap on the wrist.

Thomas Trutschel/Contributor
  • The Federal Trade Commission and New York's attorney general reached an agreement with Google in which YouTube must pay a fine and bolster protections for children's privacy on its platform.
  • Now, YouTube creators who created child-directed content will have to designate videos as such, and personalized ads will no longer be allowed on such content.
  • YouTube said these changes will take place in about four months.
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Have conservative groups mastered the art of internet activism?

Left-leaning groups don't seem to have made as full use of the internet as right-leaning ones. As one conservative put it, Paul Revere had a horse, but they have the internet.

  • Initially, people saw the internet as a tool for driving more participatory, pluralistic, and personal discussions, especially around politics.
  • However, with the exception of major movements like Occupy Wall Street, left-leaning groups haven't made as much use of the internet as right-leaning ones. In her research, Jen Schradie found that liberals see the internet as one tool of many to advocate for fairness; the trouble is, the idea of "fairness" brings together many disparate groups, making it difficult to present an organized, unified front, especially online.
  • Conservatives see the internet as a vehicle for freedom — freedom from the state, free markets, and freedom of information. Conservatives made the internet their platform, where they could organize and discuss issues that they didn't believe were being represented in the media.
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