On my end, the grind continues. On the plus side, there are going to be quite a few new projects on the Audacious Software portfolio real soon.

On to the links...

The Injustice Of ‘Social Justice’ (The American Conservative)

While the article starts out with some fairly rote SJW-bashing, it swerves into interesting territory when Dreher uses some analogistic thinking to compare the fears expressed by progressive activists with the fears expressed by racist Southerners as justification for oppressing the Black populations in that area and time. The point of the comparison isn't to try and say that both groups are the same (they certainly are not), but to illustrate a point about tribalistic fear that seems hardwired into human brains:

This is not a sin and a perversion unique to white Southern culture, 1877-1950. Nor is a different version of it unique to German culture, 1918-1945, or to a Russian version of it under the Soviets, or a Chinese version of it under Mao, or a Hutu version of it in 1994 Rwanda. It is universal in human character. The story of the Passion of Jesus Christ lays this bare. As Caiaphas, the high priest, said as an innocent man was being condemned to death, “It is better for one man to die than that a whole nation perish.” When members of the mob feel threatened, they will coalesce as a mob and justify any violence to preserve its sense of itself. This is why when Christians hear the Passion gospels during Holy Week, we are instructed to understand that every one of us is in reality a member of the Jerusalem mob chanting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

It is precisely this kind of thing that the rule of law is designed to mitigate. Human justice is imperfect (this, by the way, is why I oppose the death penalty; I believe that some crimes are so heinous that they deserve capital punishment, but I do not trust the state to be right all the time). We train ourselves to hold our passions at a distance in cases like this, and to subject them to rigorous rational inquiry. Again, it is not perfect — but what else do we have?

If you do read this link, be sure to also read the comments, as well. Some good stuff there too.

How vulture capitalists ate Toys 'R' Us (The Week)

How a leveraged buyout made by a private equity firm destroyed a struggling American icon.

Experts say Tesla has repeated car industry mistakes from the 1980s (Ars Technica)

A great example on why automation isn't "magic fairy dust" that implicitly makes industries more effective or productive.

(Disclaimer, I'm a TSLA shareholder.)

Against metrics: how measuring performance by numbers backfires (Aeon)

What happens when your metrics are not aligned with your business goals or your employee's wellbeing:

Organisations in thrall to metrics end up motivating those members of staff with greater initiative to move out of the mainstream, where the culture of accountable performance prevails. Teachers move out of public schools to private and charter schools. Engineers move out of large corporations to boutique firms. Enterprising government employees become consultants. There is a healthy element to this, of course. But surely the large-scale organisations of our society are the poorer for driving out staff most likely to innovate and initiate. The more that work becomes a matter of filling in the boxes by which performance is to be measured and rewarded, the more it will repel those who think outside the box.

Honors, finally, for a Tuskegee Airman from Philly, lynched by the Nazis (The Inquirer)

He had flown more than 50 missions, and six times was awarded the Air Medal for heroism. He had a fiancée, whose picture he kept close. He was not yet 25. Outside his cell, the mob was waiting. And primed to do just what Nazi propaganda instructed: to murder a black pilot in the way Americans murdered blacks in their own land. They took Manning to the nearest lamppost.

If I'm entirely unsympathetic to historical Southern American culture (esp. Confederate apologists), it's for reasons like this. I am a believer in American exceptionalism, but it's hard to defend American virtues and values in cases like this, where even the damn Nazis used activity that was implicitly accepted in the American South (see the Dreher link above) to justify the unjustifiable.

EJI Releases New Report on Lynching in America: Targeting Black Veterans (Equal Justice Initiative)

Between the end of Reconstruction and the years following World War II, the experience of military service for African Americans often inflamed an attitude of defiant resistance to the status quo that could prove deadly in a society where racial subordination was violently enforced. All throughout the American South, parts of the Midwest, and the Northeast, dozens of black veterans died at the hands of mobs and persons acting under the color of official authority; many survived near-lynchings; and thousands suffered severe assaults and social humiliation.

Posted just in case anyone thinks our treatment of Black folk who served this nation wasn't that bad, even after we defeated the racist Nazi and Japanese regimes.

This post will be updated throughout the day with other links I find interesting.

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