I introduce some philosophical concepts (the is-ought problem and the notion of thick concepts) to illustrate why you cannot remove morals from political debate, why avoiding words like "racist" because they are "inherently alienating" is an unproductive exercise, and why explicitly appealing to values helps facilitate political discussion and communication.
This book is a detailed analysis of the puzzle of why (some) marriages in the U.S. are becoming increasingly unstable. It argues that changes in job opportunities create bifurcated marriage markets which lead to bifurcated marriage behavior. In doing so, the book touches on issues of gender, race, and class, and argues that this bifurcated marriage behavior can exacerbate societal inequality.
I lay out how property is an engine of inequality in society, and why property ownership, tax law, and inheritance law are critical to fighting inequality and oppression in society.
Sophisticated models that learn patterns from large datasets offer the promise of providing impartial, efficient, accurate, "smart" decision-makers. As such, they are becoming more widespread and have a lot of influence over people's life outcomes. Weapons of Math Destruction argues, however, that these algorithms have troubling features that codify unjust discrimination and are inscrutable and unaccountable. I focus in this post on these undesirable features and how to counteract them.
The benefits of intersectionality I put forward are more apparent when given math analogies. Set intersection provides an easy reminder that choosing both is a wise idea. Conceptualizing oppression as a multidimensional space discourages Oppression Olympics. Intersectional analyses are good/responsible practice in the same way that checking for and reporting significant interactions is in statistical analysis.
Intersectionality is a fairly recent buzzword in the social justice left that is often accused of being divisive and the root of puritan perfectionism. I argue why intersectionality is (1) the opposite of those things, at least in my experience, and (2) necessary for making the world a better place.
How do you teach a student from an oppressed class without the wider oppression of society being mirrored in the teacher/student relationship? This book describes how control and oppression work, and argues why it is important to take care that education helps people imagine and create a world with less oppression, rather than merely embodies and reinforces oppressive structures. To accomplish this, the author proposes a pedagogy built around the practice of education as dialogue and the practice of problem-posing.