Forget About It by Corey Robin

History is doomed to repeat itself. I’d place myself fairly in the center of the political spectrum, but still, this is one of the better articles I’ve read about the current climate in recent memory.

When Trump became a contender for the White House, I saw him as an extension or fulfillment of the conservative movement rather than a break with it. Almost everything people found outrageous and objectionable about his candidacy — the racism, the contempt for institutions, the ambient violence, the hostility to the rule of law — I’d been seeing in the right for years. Little in Trump surprised me, except for the fact that he won.

Whenever I said this, people got angry with me. They still do. For months, now years, I puzzled over that anger. My wife explained it to me recently: in making the case for continuity between past and present, I sound complacent about the now. I sound like I’m saying that nothing is wrong with Trump, that everything will work out. I thought I was giving people a steadying anchor, a sense that they — we — had faced this threat before, a sense that this is the right-wing monster we’ve been fighting all along, since Nixon and Reagan and George W. Bush. Turns out I was removing their ballast, setting them afloat in the intermittent and inconstant air.

Historical consciousness can be a conservative force, lessening the sting of urgency, deflating the demands of the now, leaving us adrift in a sea of relativism. But it need not be, as Lincoln discovered in his second inaugural address.

Yet, if God wills that it [the Civil War] continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

Telling a story of how present trespass derives from past crime or even original sin can inspire a more strenuous refusal, a more profound assault on the now. It can fuel a desire to be rid of not just the moment but the moments that made this moment, to ensure that we never have to face this moment again. But only if we acknowledge what we’re seldom prepared to admit: that the monster has been with us all along.

Social Media is making us dumber

From the NYTimes:

It’s getting harder and harder to talk about anything controversial online without every single utterance of an opinion immediately being caricatured by opportunistic outrage-mongers, at which point everyone, afraid to be caught exposed in the skirmish that’s about to break out, rushes for the safety of their ideological battlements, where they can safely scream out their righteousness in unison.

General Management lessons from Larry Weed in 1971 medicine records

One of the better videos I’ve watched this year. If you are a member of the workforce you should watch this video. It covers goals, communication, progress-tracking, problem-orientation, and so much more. Watch it.

At one point Larry literally writes out OKRs for a patient’s record — a clear, reproducible list of problems with action plans and ruled-out tactics.

Choice quotes:

This is not an idle discussion of little technical bookkeeping details. The practice is the way you handle data and think with it. And the way you handle data determines the way you think! The very structure of the data determines the quality of the output.

If you cannot audit a thing for quality, you do not have the means to produce quality.

We’re not gonna change the game just because you’re tired.

We used the word impression. That was a terrible thing to do in the first place. If you use the word impression, you then have to have the person who wrote the chart with you when you interpret the chart. Because what he was thinking is part of it. I’m not interested in what the impression is, I’m interested in what you know to be the problem.

The record is the basis of the system.

No one should ever be able to write an order without coupling it with a problem.

It’s like walking into a room of people throwing darts. And you ask, where’s the target? And they say “wherever the dart lands”.