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Todd Suomela
  • Democrats also lost the black, indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) vote in the Rust Belt 5, with 400,000 fewer voters in this category (-11.5 percent). While disaggregated exit-poll data on BIPOC voters was inconsistently available across the five states we examined, in those places where numbers were available, Democrats saw losses among both black American and Latino voters. Importantly, some of the greatest losses in BIPOC votes were in states such as Ohio and Wisconsin, both of which adopted voter suppression laws beginning in 2012. But even in states with no such laws, such as Pennsylvania, BIPOC turnout was significantly lower this election cycle. In short, more people of color stayed home in the Rust Belt in 2016 than in 2012.
Todd Suomela
  • Trump’s great strength as a politician has been to collapse the distinction between reality and fantasy, the public persona and the private person, the audience and the entertainer. On the final day of the campaign, he exhorted a crowd in Sarasota, Florida, to admire a rubbery replica of his face. “Look at this mask,” he said. “Oh wow. Wow, that’s beautiful. Look at that. Looks just like me.” Then he tossed the mask aside, as if to punctuate the point: There is no mask. There is only Trump, with all his ambitions and insecurities and many, many flaws swimming right at the surface. If a screenwriter had invented that scene for a movie about the 2016 race, he would have been accused of heavy-handedness. But that is the way this whole election has played out, as a low-rent dystopian fantasy of a shallow narcissist coming to power.
  • The problem is not only that culture was displaced by what was quite possibly the craziest political campaign in American history. That is understandable, especially given the real-world consequences that will ensue from the spectacle. It is that our cultural institutions—Hollywood, television, book publishing, the news media, the recording industry, the big three sporting leagues—were so impotent in the face of Trump’s rise. No matter how many times Samantha Bee or Trevor Noah eviscerated Trump, no matter how many Emmys were awarded to minorities, no matter how often Gregg Popovich proved himself to be the wokest coach in the NBA, it didn’t stop Trump’s march to the White House.
  • Trump’s election represents a failure so wide-ranging that it would be silly to single out culture for blame. The primary culprit was a Republican Party that allowed itself to be hollowed out by rot, followed by any number of institutions: the press, the Democratic Party, the meritocracy, Wall Street, the education system, the Electoral College, you name it. But one of the lessons of the election is that, even though we live in an age of information, our best-reasoned arguments and most evocative cultural expressions were unable to dispel the grotesque fiction Trump spun, featuring a black interloper who stole the White House and a woman who fed for years at its trough. I know, as I type this, that these words will either fall on deaf ears or be ignored altogether by a certain segment of our polity (as well as those who are content to break out the popcorn as Trump burns it all down). And the main cultural struggle in the Trump years will be to penetrate that barrier and connect.

    Ironically, Trump himself, like some freak genetic mutation, will probably serve as a catalyst for all kinds of new art forms that are better adapted to our time. Whatever those turn out to be, they will have to engage us in ways that cut through the incessant blare of a Trump administration. After all, you can leave a movie theater. You can put down a book. But you can’t switch off Donald Trump.

Todd Suomela
  • Trump is up to something different. The jobs saved at Carrier aren’t examples of a proposed plan that promises similar, widespread results for the American workforce. The jobs saved at Carrier are the plan. Trump used his power as president-elect to intervene on behalf of a small group of individual Americans and claim victory. The resulting anecdote is the policy. The resulting press opportunity is the policy. The approach collapses any distinction between the work of leadership and the promotion of that work. It bypasses the abstractions of administration and substitutes visceral image-making instead. What Trump has laid out here is a troubling blueprint for government by stunt.
Todd Suomela

lesson-example/ at gh-pages · swcarpentry/lesson-example

Instructions for creating a new software carpentry style lesson.

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Todd Suomela

Search Brew

"When you search homebrew with brew search it only filters the name of the package. This website searches the description as well. "

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Todd Suomela

Lesson Title - Software Carpentry

"This lesson shows how to use the Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry lesson template. For guidelines on how to help improve our lessons and this template, please see the contribution guidelines; for guidelines on how to set up your machine to preview changes locally, please see the setup instructions."

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Todd Suomela

The Recompiler | a magazine about building better technology, together

"a magazine about building better technology, together"

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Todd Suomela

R Graph Catalog

"This catalog is a complement to “Creating More Effective Graphs” by Naomi Robbins. All graphs were produced using the R language and the add-on package ggplot2, written by Hadley Wickham. The gallery is maintained by Joanna Zhao and Jennifer Bryan."

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Todd Suomela

Cookbook for R - Graphs

"My book about data visualization in R is available! The book covers many of the same topics as the Graphs and Data Manipulation sections of this website, but it goes into more depth and covers a broader range of techniques. You can preview it at Google Books. "

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