Six points explain “How to Convince Someone When Facts Fail” via @SciAm

It seems like, between this article and another I recall reading, asking dissenters to explain their viewpoints in as much detail as possible usually leads to more middle ground rather than less. Thoughts?

If corrective facts only make matters worse, what can we do to convince people of the error of their beliefs? From my experience, 1. keep emotions out of the exchange, 2. discuss, don't attack (no ad hominem and no ad Hitlerum), 3. listen carefully and try to articulate the other position accurately, 4. show respect, 5. acknowledge that you understand why someone might hold that opinion, and 6. try to show how changing facts does not necessarily mean changing worldviews. These strategies may not always work

Why we need the best tools on Chromebooks and Raspberry Pi — @headmelted

Great arti­cle and project here. Quick read with a bit of fun com­put­er his­to­ry and an inspir­ing tone.

The­se devices have a real oppor­tu­ni­ty to intro­duce a great many more young (and not-as-young) minds to our field, but let’s not have their expe­ri­ence be a restrict­ed, blink­ered view of tech­nol­o­gy.”

Why we need the best tools on Chrome­books and Rasp­ber­ry Pi

How I’m Voting on LA’s 2016 Ballot Measures (and Links to Voter Guides)

I fig­ured since I spent some time research­ing and switch­ing between var­i­ous browser tabs and devices to under­stand the dif­fer­ent bal­lot mea­sures in this elec­tion, I’d share what I decid­ed. Hope­ful­ly this infor­ma­tion will make it eas­ier for you to fig­ure out how you’d like to vote!

Dis­claimer: I’m unashamed to say that I con­sid­er myself a social pro­gres­sive voter, so that’s going to be the way I slant with my rec­om­men­da­tions.

First, here are the resources that I used:

  • Courage Cam­paign Voter Guide—This site’s clev­er inter­face lets you switch between dif­fer­ent groups to see what posi­tions they endorse on dif­fer­ent mea­sures. They also give good sum­maries of each of the California-specific props.
  • A Berner’s Pro­gres­sive Voter Guide—Not the eas­i­est page to view on a phone, but includes endorse­ments from Our Rev­o­lu­tion regard­ing dif­fer­ent offices.
  • LA Times Endorse­mentsLA Times has done some thor­ough cov­er­age of the LA-specific bal­lot mea­sures, as well as writ­ing about the Sen­ate race.

I was able to find posi­tions that agreed with me from all of the above resources. The ones that I got hung up on most were the Los Ange­les Coun­ty bal­lot mea­sures A, M, CC, HHH, JJJ, RRR, and SSS. The word­ing of the­se props can be quite tricky!

Mea­sures A, M, and CC — Yes. As much as I don’t want to pay more tax­es, the­se seem like impor­tant city infra­struc­ture and ser­vices to fund.

HHH — Yes. Sup­port seems pret­ty uni­form around this one.

JJJ — No. In short, it seems like it could make actu­al­ly build­ing new hous­ing more expen­sive, which would lead to less con­struc­tion in a time dur­ing which we need more afford­able hous­ing built. 

Also, there are “two smarter afford­able hous­ing pro­pos­als cur­rent­ly being stud­ied at City Hall,” accord­ing to the LA Times.

RRR — Yes. Despite the scary mail­ers call­ing it a “DWP pow­er grab”, it seems like a rea­son­able bit of leg­is­la­tion to nudge LADWP in the right direc­tion. Here’s a salient quote (again from LA Times):

Mea­sure RRR is more like a series of tweaks to the man­age­ment and over­sight of the DWP. Some are nec­es­sary and common-sense changes to help the gen­er­al man­ager oper­ate the util­i­ty more effi­cient­ly, and can be done only by voter approval. Some are incre­men­tal changes that may or may not help stream­line oper­a­tions. And some are win­dow dress­ings that make the mea­sure seem more con­se­quen­tial than it is. On bal­ance, though, Mea­sure RRR has enough help­ful changes to make it worth­while, and vot­ers should pass it.”

SSS — No. TL;DR: “Police pen­sion Mea­sure SSS rais­es too much doubt to sup­port.

Finan­cial issues aside, of which there are sev­er­al cov­ered in the LA Times piece above, the part that real­ly stuck with me is this:

[In] sup­port­ing Mea­sure SSS, vot­ers may be unwit­ting­ly com­mit­ting the city to a future merg­er of the air­port police and LAPD with­out a prop­er pub­lic dis­cus­sion about whether it would be the right deci­sion for the air­port or the city … But the con­se­quences need to be explored ful­ly before the city heads down that road.

Mea­sure SSS is an incre­men­tal move in that direc­tion, which seems pre­ma­ture. That, com­bined with the cost and the lack of sup­port from the affect­ed offi­cers, is rea­son enough to vote no.