Democrats have had to distance themselves from the term made popular by Bernie Sanders

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Photo by Kirill Sharkovski on Unsplash

Abigail Spanberger (D-Va) blames increasingly widespread use of the word socialism for the loss of Democratic House seats this cycle. After becoming popularized by the likes of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it has subsequently been weaponized by the right to imply a totalitarian, freedomless state. And another moderate Democrat, Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) says that running on a platform of Medicare for All and Defund the Police is going to mean Democrats lose further elections.

The term has come under further scrutiny as Kamala Harris, who is considered to be the most progressive senator by some, and has a “progressive” ranking similar to Bernie Sanders according to Progressive Punch, has had to distance herself from the term. Despite backing Sanders’ Medicare for All bill and co-sponsoring the Green New Deal, she answered in the negative, laughing nervously, when asked on 60 Minutes whether her views were “socialist.” …


Race is a social construct. But it’s a perceptual construct first.

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Photo by Analise Benevides on Unsplash

Race has long been described as a social construct: a framework used in dominance hierarchies to maintain power by those at the top.

We also hear people claim to “not see race,” presumably in an attempt to deflate the power from those frameworks.

Both stories are wrong.

Well, they’re incomplete. Race is certainly a social construct, but it’s virtually impossible to “not see” race. So what’s the real story? If race is entirely social and not based in biological differences, how do we “see” it? How do we use it to construct those hierarchies? …


And I don’t recommend doing it in 2020.

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Let me start out by saying this: I’ve never had a sweet tooth. I’ve always been able to take three bites of my desert and leave the rest sitting on the table like an extremely classy (maybe French?) person. My husband’s the one who makes toast or rummages through the pantry like a 6-foot squirrel at 1am. I’m the one who’s got it under control.

I did, however, have a daily apple habit (for the fiber). And over time, I started to notice that soon after eating an apple, my blood sugar would tank, leaving me hands-shaking and desperate for a Renaissance Fair-sized turkey drumstick. I’d have to eat a high-protein snack just to make it through to dinnertime, and even then, I was a ticking time bomb. …


What I learned from a homebuying counselor who specializes in dealing with student loan debt

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Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

I wrote recently about how absurd the student debt crisis in this country has gotten. In many cases, trying to pay off student loans prevents borrowers from making moves that secure their financial future, such as putting money into an IRA or buying a house.

The Obama-era Income-Driven Repayment Plans have been a lifeline for many borrowers in terms of keeping their monthly payments manageable. …


The numbers aren’t even real anymore!

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Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

Thinking about my student loans used to induce crippling bouts of up-all-night, hyper-respirating panic and questioning of my life choices.

I had done what a lot of my generation did: borrowed a a reasonable amount of money for college, graduated in a huge recession, and took out a less reasonable amount for graduate school (okay, then I did it again for graduate school, round two). After all, most Millennials were told that education — and not just any education, but the best education money can buy — was necessary to get ahead in life.

My greatest source of eventual disillusionment was the idea that the equation would just sort of balance itself in the end. That it was a simple input-output thing: The more you invest in education, the greater the financial return on your investment. I don’t think anyone anticipated just how much money lending corporations would skin off our financial backs in the process, or that wages would remain so stagnant. …


And I’m really struggling with it

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Photo by Om Malik on Unsplash

Californians: Let me start off my saying, I get it. I don’t blame you for migrating in droves to my hometown of Missoula, MT.

Your state burned all summer. The sea level of your coastline is rising at an alarming rate. Death Valley clocked the highest recorded temperature on earth, in the last century, at 130 degrees last month. Your air quality meant that you smoked any number of cigarettes a day in forest fire smoke over the summer. Apart from that, we’re in the midst of an out-of-control pandemic and teetering on the brink of fascism, and the country is set to blow in a month. It’s bad. …


It’s an example of how narcissists weaponize language

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Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Since parting ways with my narcissist ex-husband, I’ve been struggling to put into words the peculiarities of how he used language.

Trying to have conversations — okay, fights — with him was excruciatingly frustrating for a number of reasons. First, I never felt like I was being heard. And second, I could never really understand what he was saying.

I always felt like I was talking not to a person, but to directly to his anger. There was no rational or analytical filter on the rage that fueled these fights. It was as though emotion was pouring straight out of his limbic system in little bite-sized chunks — and these chunks were words. They never made sense. They had no connection to each other, or to anything I’d said. …


Wishing him well and wishing him harm are both “what they want us to do.”

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Photo by Christoffer Engström on Unsplash

Twitter is ablaze. Facebook is on fire. California is probably still burning too, but, different story.

Social media is self-immolating over whether it is “right” to wish the president a speedy recovery from the Coronavirus. Wishing your oppressors well is a slight variation on Stockholm Syndrome, isn’t it? Subscribing to the politeness, the decorum, the social niceties that uphold inherently oppressive systems such as the patriarchy and white supremacy is to buy into those systems, to validate their power.

Fuck Trump. I do not wish him well.” has become a ringing battle cry across my Facebook page. …


Do women stay away from tech because it doesn’t enable them to solve real-world problems?

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Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

This article was inspired by a conversation with fellow Medium user @hollyjahangiri. Big thanks to her insightful comments on this topic.

The tech industry and the problem of “Tech Waste”

Almost by definition, technology is designed to improve the human condition.

And, for the most part, it does — or at least tries to. We can debate how healthy social media ultimately is, we can talk about how much screen time we should limit our kids to, and we can discuss whether the burgeoning Zoom culture is going to bring us closer together or drive us further into isolation. …


Hillary Clinton’s run for president may have sped up the time to gender equality in politics by 12 years. What could a Harris presidential bid do?

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Photo by Aditya Joshi on Unsplash

There’s no way around it: The sexist rhetoric currently being leveled against Kamala Harris is dizzying and infuriating to many. Some women are expressing fears that the progress we’ve made in politics has regressed when faced with the blatant attacks on Harris’ gender. And let’s not even start with the racism.

But if science has shown us one thing about the psychology of discrimination, it’s that rare, or, “other,” equates to threatening. As long as women remain anomalies in elected positions, they will continue to be attacked and degraded for their gender.

However, the flip side of this phenomenon is that increasing normalization of women in politics will equate to wider-spread acceptance, at which point we can expect to see the sexism-based attacks and criticisms decrease. …

About

Not a Doctor

I’m a PhD student studying neuroscience and statistics, with penchants for futurism, socialism, and Taoism. Am ruled by a tiny dictator.

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