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Sympthsical's Journal
Sympthsical's Journal
November 28, 2022

Will China anti-lockdown protests become a new Tiananmen?

Early days, but it's certainly interesting that protestors are not merely calling for reform, but the removal of the current government - that does not happen in China.

Kinda odd how little discussion this seems to be generating. Should we send Musk to China so attention will be paid to it?

"For the first time in decades, thousands of people have defied Chinese authorities to protest at universities and on the streets of major cities, demanding to be freed not only from incessant Covid tests and lockdowns, but strict censorship and the Communist Party’s tightening grip over all aspects of life.

Across the country, “want freedom” has become a rallying cry for a groundswell of protests mainly led by the younger generation, some too young to have taken part in previous acts of open dissent against the government.

“Give me liberty or give me death!” crowds by the hundreds shouted in several cities, according to videos circulating online, as vigils to mark the deaths of at least 10 people in a fire in Xinjiang spiraled into political rallies.
Protests against Covid measures in Urumqi city, Xinjiang, China, can be seen in a screen grab obtained from a video released November 25.

Videos circulating online seem to suggest China’s strict zero-Covid policy initially prevented emergency workers from accessing the scene, angering residents across the country who have endured three years of varying Covid controls.

November 21, 2022

Kaiser nurses avert strike and nab amazing contract

Here's some good labor news. I'm in school for nursing, so I've been personally interested in this story.

About 22,000 nurses and nurse practitioners reached a tentative agreement with Kaiser Permanente on a new four-year contract that includes provisions for a 22.5% raise and increased staffing.

The tentative deal averted what would have been the biggest private-sector nurses' strike in American history. Nurses working at nearly two dozen Kaiser Permanente locations planned a two-day strike that was set to begin Monday.

The California Nurses Association (CNA) announced the proposed deal Thursday. The proposal represents the "biggest annual raise in 20 years" for Kaiser Permanente nurses with a 22.5% increase in wages over the four-year term of the contract, according to the nurses' union.

Kaiser registered nurses and nurse practitioners in Northern California have been in negotiations since June 2022. On Sept. 1, nurses at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center joined their Northern California nurse colleagues in holding informational pickets for a total of more than 22,000 nurses.


November 21, 2022

Student Loan Forgiveness Approvals Going Out

My nephew got an e-mail from the DoE yesterday. However, because of the lawsuits, the relief is on hold. He was one of the people who put in applications in October when they opened up. So I guess they're sending e-mails out to those who are approved now.

From the e-mail about the status.

Unfortunately, a number of lawsuits have been filed challenging the program, which have blocked our ability to discharge your debt at present. We believe strongly that the lawsuits are meritless, and the Department of Justice has appealed on our behalf. Your application is complete and approved, and we will discharge your approved debt if and when we prevail in court. We will update you when there are new developments.

The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to helping borrowers as they recover from the pandemic.

Education is a great equalizer, and we will never stop fighting for you!

In Service,

Miguel A. Cardona

U.S. Secretary of Education

So they're still processing everything despite the lawsuits.
November 9, 2022

Ralston is seriously backpedaling from his Nevada predictions

On my phone, but if someone has a link to him I’d be much obliged.

I’ve never seen him like that before.

November 5, 2022

The problem exposed

We're three days out from an election.

Note how much content - just in general, but particularly in the media - is Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter.

Still think this wasn't a problem, that we weren't dealing with a massive addiction in our commentary and journalistic classes?

Three days from one of the most important elections in our lifetime.

Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter.

No one can accuse Republican propaganda or media sneakiness or a plot to distract or any other conspiracy.

A huge chunk of people on our side looked at the oxygen remaining in the room and decided to spend the last three days of it before the election.

Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter.

May the platform burn and the withdrawals be severe enough to teach a lesson to the addicted (it won't, but one can always hope).

October 27, 2022

Should DU boycott Twitter?

Now that Musk is taking control? Or is it ok to contribute to his success?

Why/why not?

October 21, 2022

Trevor Noah on Kanye

I thought this was pretty insightful commentary not only on Kanye, but how American media culture treats him. The media gleeful voyeur and shove microphones at the man, because they want the controversy. They want the, "How dare he be so hateful and crazy!!!! . . . . But isn't it delightful?"

Our politics are very similar in this way. When politicians say horrible things, you sometimes get the feeling that people are less horrified or upset than absolutely thrilled they have something titillating happening. It's how media culture brings our discourse into the gutter. (Cable news, looking at you)

October 12, 2022

The Lincoln Project documentary on Showtime is something

An organization full of money-grubbing right-wing grifters who turn out to be not so great people with their own monied interests at heart?

The hell you say. If only someone had warned people . . .

September 29, 2022

UC Berkeley groups ban "Zionists" from events.

(Note to mods: This is not about the I/P conflict but about freedom of expression and antisemitism on public American campuses)

But we probably should have a discussion about antisemitism on our campuses at some point.

And, of course, it's Jewish students who are placed in the crossfire.


Not only was the outreach process highly questionable, but the substance of the bylaw is antithetical to our school’s academic principles. UC Berkeley is “committed to ensuring freedom of expression and dialogue that elicits the full spectrum of views held by our varied communities.” In particular, our law school is driven by the acceptance and promotion of intellectual differences.

Yet at the urging of LSJP, some student affinity groups at Berkeley Law will now no longer hear from anyone who supports the State of Israel. Rather than inviting dialogue and education, LSJP has silenced a particular group of individuals: Zionists are forbidden from speaking on any topic with these affinity groups.

It is no secret that Israeli policy is little affected by the BDS movement. Instead, the consequences are felt by the Jewish students at Berkeley.

Here lies the sad but predictable outcome of the new bylaw: No matter our organization’s official stance, the Jewish students at Berkeley Law are left divided. If we publicly condemn the BDS movement and the bylaw, some Jewish students will feel we have strayed from our mission to be a welcoming space for all Jewish views. Or we can say nothing, and many other Jewish students will feel unsupported by their own Jewish community.

Can't pin this stuff on MAGA. And if you think the groups that foment this sort of thing stop at only "Zionists" then you haven't been on a campus in a few decades.
September 28, 2022

Didn't Read The Article Before Commenting? Science Says It Really Shows

Something on my mind with social media of late. There's currently an article where . . . most people just didn't read it. Like, at all. So I was curious and wondered if there were any studies done about how much people on social media actually are reading and processing the information available.

Of course there was a study.

A little bit of knowledge can go straight to your head, and not in a good way. New research has found that those who only read snippets of their Facebook newsfeed often think they know more than they actually do.

By glancing through article previews, instead of reading the full piece, many users overestimate their understanding of an issue, and this is especially true for those whose knowledge is guided by strong emotions - and, therefore, strong opinions.

"Because most social media users only have a passing engagement with posted news, exposure to political information on social media may simply create the illusion of political learning," write the researchers at the York College of Pennsylvania . . .

Unsurprisingly, those who read the full article answered the most questions correctly, while those who read the preview scored only one more correct answer than those who were given no information at all. Additionally, the findings suggest that people who read only the previews were far too confident in their knowledge. What's more, those participants whose cognitive style is more guided by emotion, tend to be more certain of their rightness.


Just something to keep in mind when scrolling along (particularly on Twitter). It's how misinformation spreads. Reading a summary or opinionated assertion about information isn't the same thing as real factual information.

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