Links June 21, 2017

U.S. states could not set self-driving car rules under Republican plan

I guess this makes sense from an interstate travel perspective, but it’s still scary since self-driving technology is not remotely ready to go live yet, assuming it ever will be.

Uber’s sexism lesson: How not to build a tech company

Uber is one of the most important technology companies in America. It also may be the most odious company in tech, run by sexist bullies and brats. Did Uber need to use bad behavior to get to the top of the ride-hailing business? No, but CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick apparently thought the demands of entrepreneurship freed his company from ethical responsibilities.

Or maybe, and this would be worse, Kalanick thought that to be successful he needed to train his managers to be jerks. While traditional corporations prudently coach employees to be competitive but always do the right thing, Uber’s values veered into playground talk: “Always be hustlin’,” Kalanick preached to workers. He encouraged “toe-stepping.” High performance was the only metric that mattered.

With that twisted vision in place, Uber crossed the line from aggressiveness to discrimination against female employees — and retaliation against anyone who complained. Yet at the same time Uber was conquering the world: The Silicon Valley company, founded in 2009 and operating on the streets of Chicago, is worth about $68 billion.

I can’t say I’ll be sorry if Uber doesn’t recover from this.

Al Franken and Rand Paul Join Forces to Protect Medical Marijuana from Jeff Sessions

It’s nice to see some politicians are capable of working together. Not surprised that one of them is Franken.

5 Reasons Why Amazon Bought Whole Foods

Despite my being down on Whole Foods, I think this could turn out well for both companies. For the brief time I was using Amazon Fresh, I was impressed by the local, really high-quality products on offer.

Political violence is a sign of eroding democracy

But both incidents are likely to shape a bigger conversation in American politics about why this type of violence is happening now. As Ezra Klein pointed out in a somewhat complicated set of tweets, the ability to resolve differences and make policy without violence is as essential as it is difficult.

Two fantastic political behavior researchers, Nathan Kalmoe and Lilliana Mason, have shared their insights. Mason provides some detail about the nature and context of American political divisions, explaining that both parties treat each other with the contempt inherited from years of racial and religious strife. Kalmoe suggests that violent political rhetoric, along with individual personality factors, can drive support for political violence.

But another point of Kalmoe’s stood out the most to me. He writes, “Another important factor was political disaffection. People who doubted that elections get government to pay attention to citizens were 12 points more supportive of political violence compared to those with the most confidence in elections.”

These Republican Women Stumped for Hillary. Now They Want to Take the GOP Back From Trump.

It’s a shame that more Republican women didn’t support Hillary. She’s more Republican than most Republicans.

The Platinum Patients

I was going to read this article in depth, because the topic of a minority of extremely ill patients costing the system a ton of money interests me a great deal. Unfortunately, the Atlantic has decided that some shitty Flash presentation was a smart way to publish this content. I wonder how many of their readers clicked away from that hot mess instead of reading the “article”.

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