The Apparent “Randomness” of Racial and Economic Oppression Is The Point

This episode was born out of seemingly unrelated current events: the impending economic crisis and the tragic death of Tyre Nichols.  I’ve found that the oppression of the working class through layoffs and recessions and the oppression of racial minorities through police brutality have way more in common than you think in the subtle mechanism by they hijack our minds, change our political attitudes, and influence behavior. The episode is also a bit of a botch, since I recorded a much better take of it but my microphone was somehow not feeding audio into the software and I had to re-do the whole thing. 


  • LA Times article on layoffs “The real aim of big tech’s layoffs: bringing workers to heel”:
  • The cruelty is the point
  • How our minds internalize subtle cues
  • Police give impossible, confusing

commands to justify excessive force

  • Tech companies are using layoffs to keep workers in line and stop them from getting what they have earned through collective action and bargaining 
  • How small groups get more power than they merit through random actions of oppression
  • Talk of recession keeps workers in fear and erodes their gains
  • How layoffs are executed without rhyme or reason makes workers give up more than they need
  • How layoffs are executed without rhyme or reason makes workers give up more than they need to
  • Making things look like a “force of nature” or just what happens on its own because of an external force
  • How politicians and bosses make us blame ourselves for bad things
  • Tech workers are starting to realize the benefits of unions
  • Giving into petty tyrants and oppressive ideas will not keep you safe or leave you better off in the end.
  • You must learn to think differently!
  • Media programming people to only consider certain solutions
  • Generational divide in views of alternatives to policing
  • What actually works to keep communities safe
  • Success with reduced police intervention
  • Workers better off now and with more power than they’ve had in years
  • Republicans’ debt ceiling threats and their non-specificity are deliberate
  • Creative thinking driven by crisis: George Floyd and COVID economic crisis
  • Flow states and political change
  • Tyre Nichols was a great skater
  • What skateboarding taught me

about social change

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