We have an intimate relationship with our phones. We sleep with them, eat with them and carry them in our pockets. We check them, on average, 47 times a day — 82 times if you’re between 18 and 24 years old, according to recent data.
The internet doesn’t coddle you in a comforting information bubble. It imprisons you in an information cell and closes the walls in on you by a few microns every day. It works with your friends and the major media on the outside to make a study of your worst suspicions about the world and the society you live in. Then it finds the living embodiments of these fears and turns them into your cell mates. And good heavens it is efficient.
Somehow the self-proclaimed losers and freaks of 4chan and its ilk had come to great political prominence. The gleaming new real-name internet of Facebook — not to mention the media companies and political machines relying on it — that was supposed to tame the wild territory of the Reddit-style web had instead been infected by it. It was almost a thrilling underdog story — the weirdos and outcasts had stood up for something and won — except that the thing they were standing up for was anti-Enlightenment, anti-democratic, anti-equality politics.
After two decades toiling at the fringes of politics, Alex Jones and his Infowars media empire have architected the current moment and helped usher a president into office. Now, the only person standing in Jones’ way is Jones.
With all the sweeping changes the Republican bill would impose, little attention has been paid to its potential impact on education. School districts rely on Medicaid, the federal health care program for the poor, to provide costly services to millions of students with disabilities across the country. For nearly 30 years, Medicaid has helped school systems cover costs for special education services and equipment, from physical therapists to feeding tubes. The money is also used to provide preventive care, such as vision and hearing screenings, for other Medicaid-eligible children.