Sunday, April 12, 2020

Tim Pool for President (sorry Ford Fischer, Jack Andraka, or Cameron Kasky): the need for youth in office (and not just on social media)



OK, Tim Pool is, I think, six weeks too young to be inaugurated president of the United States on January 20, 2021. Biden is slipping and looks tired.  Maybe Bernie could come back, but he had a heart attack. If you can’t accept a “President Cameron Kasky” (Twitter doesn’t, at age 19), well, maybe Andrew Cuomo will get the nod.  He acts like a president already. (And he quoted my books  once.) 
  
Or, Stanford Graduate Student Jack Andraka (of NatGeo's film “Science Fair” with his pancreatic cancer test invented at age 15) may be “only” 23, but had he been president as 2020 started, the COVID threat would not have been missed.  Jack would have jumped right on the intelligence from China. He’s right in the middle of all the research right now.
   
We do need much younger people in politics.  We need brains. Maybe we need an M.D. in the White House some day, to fix health care financing once and for all and provide universal care.
   
Seriously, let’s look at while Pool thinks his position in social media is so precarious now.  Adam Crigler is there, as is Emily (from Subverse) remotely.
  
  
I think Ezra Klein’s book “Why We’re Polarized” (which I reviewed on Wordpress recently) speaks to this dilemma.  Yes, Ezra Klein is a reasonable candidate for president. 
     
At one point he talks about “epistocracy” where individual speakers (like Pool, or Ford Fischer, or David Rubin, or Sargon of Akkad, or me, for that matter (even though my style is quite different from the others).  My idea, especially before perhaps 2010 especially, was simply to be found passively by search engines, without much interaction from readers, except occasionally and sporadically. That was unusually effective with an issue like gays in the military and the don’t ask don’t tell policy (repealed in 2011 under Obama).  It is somewhat effective with some of the Internet speech issues (like understanding Section 230-like problems).  It is much less effective with issues perceived as remediable by class or group solutions – intersectionality.
  
The antonym, of course, is goading everyone into joining groups and pimping and raising money for them (my notorious “Dangerous Thought Experiment”).  Klein talks about this late in the book, where he compares corporate donation to political (and issue) campaigns and large non-profits, to individual donations.  The latter, when they are funneled to specific PAC campaigns, tend to correlate to narrow, sometimes extreme and not well-thought-out ideas.  So the idea of being expected to “join up” does not work very well either. 
    
You need some kind of systemic reform, he thinks, which sounds undoable.

You will have a different, more solitary Easter, alone together online. 
   
Picture: Pitman, NJ, original site of the Minds Conference Aug 31, 2019, moved to Philadelphia.  Those were the good old days now. 

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