Last week we suggested the outcome of the 2022 mid-term elections as a possible topic for tomorrow’s meeting. Among the many possible questions we might talk about are the following:
“Is this the end of Little Rico?” (Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar (1931), but you know who I’m talking about.)
Which side won, if any?
Were the polls wrong again? If so, how and why?
Here are links to a few opinion pieces published over the last week or so that I found interesting:
A Republican opinion writer in the Washington Post about what he got wrong (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/11/09/midterm-predictions-wrong-republican-underperform/) in his pre-election predictions (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/11/07/midterm-elections-2022-prediction-house-senate-forecast/)
Another Republican opinion writer, this time in The New York Times, getting his pre-electon predictions wrong (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/06/opinion/politics/republican-midterms.html)
One day before the midterm elections, we’ll discuss the impact of social media on political (and other) discussion in the U.S. Potential sub-topics include:
- Will Elon Musk lose his shirt in his Twitter acquisition?
- What do we make of his moves at Twitter to date?
- “Devastating” reduction in staff (according to a NYT news article)
- Institution of a $7.99 fee for the blue “verified user” check mark
- Given the $40+ billion purchase price, what would we do if we were in his shoes?
- More broadly, how should user contributions (speech) on social media be regulated (if at all)?
- How would that work?
- Who decides what is true and what is false in a whirlwind of opinions, which are now commonly phrased as statements of fact?
- Should Section 230 be changed? Interestingly (at least to me), a quick Google search identified more supporters of the existing law than opponents. EFF, Brookings, Cato, Seattle Times.
And we’ll undoubtedly find time to discuss Tuesday’s elections.
One more article that might be of interest in case we decide to discuss this topic tomorrow: here’s an analysis from Wharton of the likely cost of the program.