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Seven Gambles for the Midterms
Plus, the DAO of NFTs.
Recently at The Bulwark:
TIM MILLER: What Texas Dems Should Learn from Pennsylvania
SONNY BUNCH Tracking—And Recapturing—Movie Audiences
CHARLIE SYKES on our post-Roe political landscape. 🔐
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I suspect that blockchain is currently where the red arrow is pointing: About a quarter of the way through the early adopter cycle and probably just before “the chasm.”
What is the chasm? It’s the moment when the new technology stalls out among the first cohort of early adopters and any speculative bubbles based on hype pop. Many technological innovations die here. But the ones that cross it often go on to become widely adopted and ingrained in our lives.
The reason I say that blockchain-based applications are post-innovator but pre-chasm is that I’m a pretty typical early adopter for just about everything. (I only recently parted with my Toshiba HD-DVD player.) I have made my living on the internet since 2001. I am about as tech literate as someone who is not an actual engineer can be.
And me trying to buy crypto, set up a wallet, get onto an exchange, and purchase an NFT was like watching your grandmother trying to program a VCR.2 If it takes me a long while to figure out my way around the blockchain, then we are many, many steps removed from a place where the technology is usable even for the top-quartile of the general public.
Until there are automated intermediate steps where people can point and click purchases using a credit card and wallet security has been solved to the point where the average Karen and Chad aren’t doomed if they lose their recovery passwords, this technology is going to remain on the bleeding edge.
An internet analogy: blockchain is about where home internet was in the Prodigy/CompuServe/pre-AOL days.
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Tim Miller, Amanda Carpenter, Ben Parker, and Bill Kristol catalogue the crazies who are becoming the vanguard of the new GOP, from Dr. Oz and MTG to local conspiracy theorists running for an election board near you.
But you can only join if you’re a member!
Let’s see where chips fall? (Sorry, this isn’t like the typical internet where we’ll you offer you $100 in free bets for a $10 bet on an inconsequential NBA game.)
In the wake of the Democrats’ poor showing in the 2021 off-year gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey as well as the local elections on Long Island, conventional wisdom has rendered a harsh verdict on Democratic prospects in the 2022 midterm elections for control of the narrowly divided House and Senate. This conventional wisdom projects that the crucial suburban vote that was key to Democratic victories in the 2018 and 2020 elections is now apparently lost to the Democrats heading into 2022.
I have a contrarian view. I do not dispute that the odds are against the Democrats, who have a lot of hard work to do if they want to avoid the usual fate of a new president’s party in his first midterm election. But it is too soon to declare a Republican victory all but preordained. I would argue that the 2022 congressional elections will hinge on how voters—particularly those in the suburbs, where about half the nation’s vote is cast—react to seven stark gambles that have been placed by both the Republicans and the Democrats. The payout on those gambles will not be made based on the electorate’s mood in late 2021, but rather based on its mood next year as summer turns into fall.
Republicans are blowing off the Jan. 6 investigation, and the Deplorable Squad is normalizing rhetoric that can lead to political violence. Can the pro-democracy coalition quit the name-calling and get down to business? Tom Nichols joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
I try not to get mad about stupid people saying idiotic things, but I was terribly vexed when someone on Twitter made the absolutely idiotic claim that Ridley Scott hadn’t made a good film in 40 years. Has he had some fallow stretches and a handful of stinkers (House of Gucci among them, sadly)? Sure. That said, any body of work that includes Thelma and Louise and White Squall and Black Hawk Down and Gladiator and Matchstick Men and American Gangster would be solid enough on its own.
And I would put any director’s work after the age of 75 up against what Scott has done for the last decade, Clint Eastwood included. Over the last week or so I’ve been revisiting Scott’s work with Michael Fassbender—Prometheus(2012), The Counselor (2013), and Alien Covenant (2017)—and I’ve again been struck by just how down he is on humanity, still, after all these years.
Happy Thursday! Seems like baseball is not gonna start on time next year.
You know the GOP is in trouble when this happens...
An important perspective from Officer Michael Fanone. Take the time to read all of this.
“They take a Danny Rodriguez interview, and they see that oh, this guy’s a moron. He’s a sad person who’s kind of pathetic in a way, and they think, ‘How bad could Jan. 6 really have been?’” Fanone said. “They’re not looking at the big picture. This was an orchestrated event. Despite the fact that most of the people on the ground are buffoons, so what? There are 15,000 of them.”
Fanone said Rodriguez’s confession video is also an example of how Trump supporters were “manipulated” by the former president’s lies about a stolen election.
“I hold no fucking grudges towards him whatsoever, because in Danny Rodriguez, I see a lot of people that I know,” Fanone told HuffPost. “He’s a moron and a misfit, and he was like many people looking for camaraderie, looking for something to belong to.”
The British pilot who recked an F-35. The video is something to behold.
Mask mandates found to work… But Missouri’s department of health hid their conclusions from residents.
The Rad Trads are at it again. Far right Catholics have their own QAnon problem.
More of this please.
That’s it for me. We’ll see you tomorrow. Tech support questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions for me? Reply to this email.
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