It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your regularly scheduled Weekly Reader! Got some hot links, blog posts, or articles from a local paper you’d like to share? Head over to the comments and let us know.
No, You Don’t Owe Hateful People Unity (from John Pavlovitz): “Racists and bigots see other human beings as less than human for an unchangeable part of who they are, and I will not descend into that. I can fully see their humanity and still call them out for thinking and speaking and acting inhumanely—and I can show them decency and simultaneously declare myself distinct from the malevolence they affirm and want to live with distance from them.
People of faith, morality, and conscience are not required to make peace with hatred.”
Scientists 3D print microscopic Star Trek spaceship that moves on its own (from CNN): “By using a 3D printer, the scientists have discovered that they can print any shape of microswimmers, including boats and starships. That helps them single out the effect each shape has on the motion of swimming particles.
While most people wouldn’t understand what the USS Voyager has to do with science, Jonas Hoecht, one of the study’s co-authors, had his own reason to replicate the ship.”
Trump to America Today: Democracy Is for Suckers and Losers (from the Rude Pundit): “Trump lied and he lied and then he lied some more. And some of them were things he knows are lies and some of them were things that he just doesn’t understand but refuses to learn because fuck you, learning is for losers. He thinks that if you don’t want him reelected, you must be part of an evil cabal that is trying to undermine democracy because, surely, democracy can only have one outcome. And fuck those Black cities of Philadelphia and Detroit for being Black and therefore corrupt.”
Fact check: Wisconsin did not have more votes than registered voters (from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel): “The Wisconsin Elections Commission weighed in on Twitter later in the morning, explaining that registration numbers reported by counties can be off because of same-day voter registration.”
A Crime by Any Name (from the Atlantic): ““They don’t want eyeballs on the actual conditions of these places,” said Amy Cohen, a doctor who consults on cases involving the 1993 Flores settlement, which continues to govern the conditions for children in immigration custody. “What they tell you is that they are protecting the privacy of these children. That makes no sense. What we need to be doing is protecting the lives of these children. And unfortunately, that does not seem to be a priority of the government.””
How James “the Amazing” Randi Hindered His Own Movement (from Slate): “I mourn for Randi, but I also mourn for what could have become of the movement he fathered. His undeniable charisma and showmanship motivated thousands to care about skepticism, but his stubbornness and inability to adapt may have doomed the skeptic movement to extinction. My hope for his legacy is that someone can pick up the good that he taught, discard the bad, and continue to inspire people to be better critical thinkers. It’s the only afterlife he has.”
We Need To Save The Children From QAnons (from John Pavlovitz): “And that’s the saddest irony in all of this: the children of QAnons are the ones in grave danger; not some imaginary, assailed masses being spirited from underground bunkers by a guy who can’t stop golfing or rage-tweeting on the toilet long enough to keep hundreds of thousands from dying from a virus. The children of these cult members are the ones who need the rescuing from the people raising them.
They have parents who aren’t residing in reality any longer.
They have parents who can’t discern fact from fantasy.
They have parents whose religion has become toxic.
They have parents who traffic in blatant untruths.
They have parents who believe that CNN isn’t a valid new source—but that a YouTube video from an account launched last week, is.
They have parents who don’t trust the president’s medical expert for advice on a pandemic, but will make the words of some random woman in a white coat on Facebook—gospel truth.”
The Hunt for Julius Caesar’s Assassins Marked the Last Days of the Roman Republic (from the Smithsonian Magazine): “Claudius Parmensis’ name will be unfamiliar even to those who know a fair bit about the fall of Rome’s nearly 500-year-old republic and the beginnings of its imperial phase. Yet the story of this marginal figure reveals a great deal about the bigger changes of the period, as Stothard elegantly demonstrates. Stothard uses the tale of Parmensis—“one of the lesser wielders of the daggers on the Ides of March, one of the common herd of conspirators,” as he writes in the book—to evoke the ways that ordinary citizens throughout the Mediterranean would have experienced or understood the extraordinary events unfolding all around them.”
Walmart Scraps Plan to Have Robots Scan Shelves (from the Wall Street Journal): “Walmart ended the partnership because it found different, sometimes simpler solutions that proved just as useful, said people familiar with the situation. As more shoppers flock to online delivery and pickup because of Covid-19 concerns, Walmart has more workers walking the aisles frequently to collect online orders, gleaning new data on inventory problems, said some of these people. The retailer is pursuing ways to use those workers to monitor product amounts and locations, as well as other automation technology, according to the people familiar with the situation.
In addition, Walmart U.S. chief executive John Furner has concerns about how shoppers react to seeing a robot working in a store, said one of these people.”
I Video Chatted with a Cat and Now She’s Mine (from Vice): “A few minutes later, I answered my phone, and a small brown tabby cat appeared on the screen. After we exchanged hellos, Valerie, the cat’s foster mom, introduced the two of us: Ava was a playful and affectionate seven-month-old who didn’t get along with the resident cat in Valerie’s apartment. She had big, bright green eyes, a white smudge on the bridge of her nose, and a fluffy tail, like a raccoon. “I bet that other cat was a bitch,” my friend Anna texted later when I told her about how sweet and perfect Ava seemed.”
That’s all for this round. But I’ll be back next week with an assortment of links you might not know that you needed in your life. So until then, stay safe, have a great rest of your week and happy reading!