The Daily DeX: News, Notes, And Quotes For 04/26/2019

The Daily DeX curates the most compelling news, opinion, narratives, data, polls, arguments, and dot-connecting we can find. It’s ammunition for weaponizing your sense-making networks. Load up.

Today On The Daily DeX: Mueller puts Seth Rich to rest, black evangelicals, Alex Jones under pressure,  much respect for baseball’s #21, potshots at MMT, the conspiracy of conspiracy theory, and Microsoft workers question diversity.

+“The Seth Rich conspiracy theory needs to end now” | Vox

“Beginning in the summer of 2016, Assange and WikiLeaks made a number of statements about Seth Rich, a former DNC staff member who was killed in July 2016. The statements about Rich implied falsely that he had been the source of the stolen DNC emails. On August 9, 2016, the @WikiLeaks Twitter account posted: “ANNOUNCE: WikiLeaks has decided to issue a US$20k reward for information leading to conviction for the murder ofDNC staffer Seth Rich.” Likewise, on August 25, 2016, Assange was asked in an interview, “Why are you so interested in Seth Rich’s killer?” and responded, “We’re very interested in anything that might be a threat to alleged Wikileaks sources.” The interviewer responded to Assange’s statement by commenting, “I know you don’t want to reveal your source, but it certainly sounds like you’re suggesting a man who leaked information to WikiLeaks was then murdered.” Assange replied, “If there’s someone who’s potentially connected to our publication, and that person has been murdered in suspicious circumstances, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the two are connected. But it is a very serious matter … that type of allegation is very serious, as it’s taken very seriously by us.””

+“Can Black Evangelicals Save the Whole Movement?” | The New York Times

“He walked me through the argument he used when he spoke at North Greenville University, a Baptist school in Tigerville, S.C. “There was the fall, and all we do now as God’s vice regents is influenced by that fall. So if we’re sinners in need of redemption, so, too, are all the things we create, like law, policy, procedure, practice. That right there is systemic injustice,” he said. “Before they know it, they’re nodding their heads. They’re agreeing that systemic injustice and racism are a form of sin. I get in the back door by walking around the linguistic land mines that are so charged in our cultural climate.””

+“Alex Jones Under Oath Is an Antidote to a ‘Post-Truth’ Age” | The New York Times

“As with most adages, the use of “ideas have consequences” has become dumber with time. In the mouths of figures like Limbaugh and Dinesh D’Souza, it calcified into a sort of pretentious playground taunt: You liberals have facts, but we have ideas! Alex Jones surely would have appalled Weaver, but he represents the logical, self-parodying extreme of this rhetorical pose, filling in the outlines of an increasingly conservative-traditionalist worldview with ridiculous particulars about demons reincarnated as Clintons. Last week, Candace Owens, the video blogger and recent Infowars on-air presence, was called by House Republicans to testify in a hearing on white supremacy, where she insisted that the so-called Southern strategy — the Nixon-era Republican Party’s wooing of white Southern conservatives — “never happened.” It is not really possible anymore to say where Jones’s universe ends and mainstream conservatism begins.”

+“For Many Latino Players, Roberto Clemente’s Number Is Off Limits, Too” | The New York Times

“No. 21 is sacred in baseball, particularly to Puerto Ricans, because it was the longtime number of Clemente, the iconic player who hailed from the island. Even as a youngster in Guayama, Rosario knew of Clemente’s importance, which led him to join the majority of Puerto Rican major leaguers in doing something that Major League Baseball hasn’t: decline the use of No. 21 in an effort to essentially retire it.”

+“The left should resist the siren song of ‘modern monetary theory’” | The Washington Post

” It would not be an overstatement to say that MMT hasn’t been well-received among many economists — and not just conservatives. Former treasury secretary Larry Summers called it “voodoo economics” in The Washington Post, suggesting that it offered the false promise of a “free lunch.” In a recent poll of about 50 elite economists by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, not a single one agreed with a central MMT claim: “Countries that borrow in their own currency can finance as much real government spending as they want by creating money.” MMT proponents have responded that their views are misunderstood by mainstream economists.”

+“Why conspiracy theories are getting more absurd and harder to refute” | Vox

“Rosenblum believes this new form of conspiracism amounts to a direct attack on the foundations of liberal democracy and what she calls “knowledge-producing institutions.” As conspiracism takes root in our politics, she says, we lose our capacity to deliberate about the direction of the country. And ultimately, democracy itself becomes impossible.”

–>Modern conspiracy theory is more difficult to refute because it’s no longer about facts. Rather, it’s about the nature of reality. It’s no longer about physics. It’s about religion.

+“Microsoft staff are openly questioning the value of diversity” | QZ

“Two posts on the board criticizing Microsoft diversity initiatives as “discriminatory hiring” and suggesting that women are less suited for engineering roles have elicited more than 800 comments, both affirming and criticizing the viewpoints, multiple Microsoft employees have told Quartz. The posts were written by a female Microsoft program manager. Quartz reached out to her directly for comment, and isn’t making her name public at this point, pending her response.”

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