Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The downside of political amnesia

By the time you read this, we'll all know the outcome from the Alabama Senate race. And either way, it is a cautionary tale about the perils of plunging into phase 8 of the American Civil War.

You’ve also heard about an effort by well-known political fraudster James O’Keefe and his organization Project Veritas to entrap the Washington Post newspaper into publishing a false story about Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, with the obvious intention of discrediting the well-documented allegations that Moore preyed on teenage girls when he was in his 30s. This Post writer - Paul Waldman - has a right to be angry… but also should take a stress pill.

“If you’re a Republican voter, I have some bad news for you. The people who lead the movement that supposedly represents your views — the politicians, the media figures, the activists — think you’re an idiot. In fact, they count on it…. This is much larger than O’Keefe or this one Senate race. It’s about a poison of exploitation and deceit that courses through the conservative movement. Some conservatives have tried to expunge this poison, without success. If anything, the scam has gotten even more pervasive and influential.”

Okay, take a breath, big fellah.  Pace yourself. In fact, I have nothing against baited tests of integrity being applied to all sorts of professions.  But they should be evenhanded and citizens should note when it snares members of their own party.  Not much chance of that, alas.

Anyway, you didn't expect the goal posts to shift, yet again?  Used to be that divorce was a sure killer for any Republican candidate. Then came Reagan and suddenly third or even fourth marriages are dismissed with a shrug. Vices like gambling become normalized, when casino lords make up a large part of your party's donor base. 

The goal post shifts regarding Climate Change have been epic! (First: "Glaciers are spreading!" Then: "There's been no warming for 20 years!" Then: "Okay it's getting plenty hotter but... but it's the sun! Yeah, that's the ticket!" Then: "Who cares about doomed Florida, if I can buy melting tundra in the Yukon!")

So calm down. Normalizing pedophiles and sexual predators is only part of the "normal" pattern.

== Don't be distracted from the core matter -- war ==

Everything I predicted about the looming Iran-U.S. “Potemkin war” is coming true, as anti-democratic forces converge on the same scenario. See: Iran’s hard-liners use Trump’s rhetoric to target rivals at home. "Escalating tensions with the United States have stirred nationalist sentiment in Iran, giving its hard-liners an opportunity to more fiercely target critics and settle old scores, rights advocates and analysts say."

Exactly as predicted. This run-up to war is a choreographed dance..

== The Soros Amnesia Effect ==

Google partnered with an organization largely funded by billionaire George Soros to “fact-check” news stories, a move that could affect search results for certain news agencies. The new group’s code of principles requires news agencies to obey five commitments to ensure news agencies remain honest, transparent and nonpartisan. 

And yes, there are denunciations that Soros - called by some “the Great Meddler - is using this excuse to gain propaganda advantage, as slyly implied in this article. (Only, note the source! RT, the official Kremlin mouthpiece.)

“Soros was recently criticised for transferring nearly $18 billion to his Open Society Foundations, making it the second largest charity in the US after the Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation. The charity has been accused of inciting so-called “color revolutions” to install governments friendly to the US.”

Ah Soros.  All across the right-o-sphere, from Glen Beck and Fox to Alex Jones and Breitbart, George Soros is declaimed, often as Enemy #1. In their ravings about him, they illustrate the “true lie” technique. When a fellow is rich and strong enough to sue, you attack with half-truths

Glen Beck led the way, shouting "George Soros is so powerful he toppled EIGHT FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS!!!!"

Now, I’ll surprise you by agreeing with Beck. This lie is based on a true statement. George Soros did in fact help to topple eight foreign governments! But does it occur to any of the Beck-Breitbart-Fox watchers to ask their hypnotizers to name those foreign regimes that George Soros helped to topple? 

Is it a sign of the quality of this audience that no one asked or considered it pertinent? None of the alt-right blogs, not Fox, no one at all… and sadly, no one on the left or in mainstream media bothered, either. No one asked for the list of foreign governments that George Soros “toppled.” Why? Was it simple, dullard incuriosity? 

Can you name them? It seems a simple enough question. I ask it in perfect friendliness. There’s a hint, even in the recent RT article. And it shows that - yes - George Soros has been a master meddler!  But he has always been on our side. 

And those denouncing him are not. 


== Oh the “Uranium” thing… subsidized by guess who? ==

One outcome of the Paradise Papers imbroglio: Offshore cash helped fund Steve Bannon's attacks on Hillary Clinton, especially channeled in secret from Robert Mercer.

Oh, when your crazy Uncle screeches about “selling all our Uranium to Russia," ask him to state clearly what supposedly happened? And then put money on it in a wager! Over whether: 

(1) whether Hillary Clinton had anything to do with the decision (she didn’t),

(2) whether the Russians got any Uranium (they didn’t; a Russian company bought a Canadian mining company that owns land where maybe 20% of U.S. reserves might (estimates) lie deeply buried),

(3) whether she was bribed (show one scrap of evidence. Nine U.S. agencies and half a dozen Canadian ones signed off on the purchase; were all of them bribed?)

(4) This 'uranium sale' (that actually sold no uranium) helps to “arm” Russia? Hmm…. Maybe over a decade or more. But when the Soviet Union collapsed, Yeltsin sold us almost all of their loose Plutonium…. hundreds of bombs’ worth, and already refined. So I guess the screams were louder, over there.

In a more general sense, you folks have been denouncing the Clintons for 25 years. In just taxpayer funded investigations (not counting right wing private eyes) the cost has neared half a billion dollars of our money. For much of that time, the GOP owned every single branch of government , ordering vast resources to seek even a single Clintonian "smoking gun." And to date, what's proved, or even indictable?

Nada, zip. This doesn't utterly prove the Clintons totally innocent!  (Though let's see you survive that kind of 25 year dissection, hm?) 

What it does prove is that the entire GOP political caste is so incompetent they shouldn't be trusted with a burnt match. Seriously. You can't nail the "worst humans alive" after 25 years spent prying into every single file or pimple or pore? A cynic might suggest you guys are siding with Idiocracy. 


== Bait n' switch ==

Paul Ryan announces a 4th tax bracket for "the rich," and thus hopes to distract from the core goals of theTax Bill. 

- to end the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) that assures the uber-wealthy pay at least something into the civilization that defends them.

- to end the Inheritance Tax. While you pay state and federal on the income you sweated for, some brat scion-heir will get billions tax free, because you weren't paying attention. The Inheritance Tax is by-far the fairest tax, helping to prevent a return to 6000 years of feudalism. And it need never be paid! Just leave your kids the exempt $10 million and assign the rest to a charitable foundation of your own choosing, to sing your generous name down the ages!

- the slashed corporate tax rate won't be spent much on productive capacity or jobs or R&D. These weren't incentivized and profitable companies were already spending their cash on stock buy-backs. (Which the Greatest Generation wisely made illegal.) This will let the 5000 member of the CEO caste fulfill their golden option plans while buying oligarch-owned stock at top prices, just before a recession. It is the part of the bill that has the aristocracy drooling.

This is the attempted oligarchic coup in its rawest form. Note that it is not the self-made, genius inventor tech-billionaires or makers or producers who are fighting for this. Most of them are democrats! (Or libertarians: another story.) 

No, it's the stupid ones - resource extractors who buy sweetheart deals through political influence, K Street "swamp" lobbyists, Wall Street parasite cheaters, lordly heirs, foreign sheiks and Cayman moguls - who actually manage to convince themselves that something like this will stand for long, before Americans eventually turn to one kind of revolution -- the moderate, rooseveltean variety preferred by the Greatest Generation -- or else another, less-moderate kind. 

Look up the word "tumbrels." See my earlier posting: Class War and the Lessons of History.


== Some conservatives can see what's in front of their faces ==

On his newsletter - Thoughts from the Frontine - John Mauldin struggles to maintain a nearly extinct species – the sane American conservative. And that means accepting facts, now and then, as illustrated by the following chart from John’s friend, billionaire Ray Dalio, one of the smart moguls who recognize that revolution is coming, and wants it to be one of those mild ones.


The red line is the share of US wealth owned by the bottom 90% of the population, and the green line is the share held by the top 0.1%. Right now they are about the same – the top 0.1% owns as much as the bottom 90% -- but notice the trend. The wealthiest 0.1% has been increasing its share of wealth since the 1980s, or the dawn of Supply Side “economics” -- while the bottom 90% has been losing ground. 

Says Mauldin:Looking back, we see a similar pattern in the 1920s – which dramatically reversed in the following decade. Then there was an almost 50-year period during which the masses gained wealth and the wealthy lost ground. This doesn’t mean the 0.1% ceased being wealthy. It just means they owned a smaller portion of the total wealth. An economy in which 0.1% of the people own 10% of the wealth is still skewed, just less so.”

Yes, and I hope we can do as well as the Greatest Generation -- when America proved its 'greatness' -- and when the most adored American was the fellow who saved the republic from a communist revolution and put us on the road to prosperity, might and success. You know who.


== The real war, made utterly explicit! ==

Never has the war on all fact-users been more explicit than conveyed by the Core Loon himself, Rush Limbaugh. 

On Fox, they’ll whinge:

we aren’t anti-science! We’re just urging you to assume scientists (and all other fact-professions) are all mealy-mouth, conformist-corrupt liars. We know and love science better than scientists!” 

Hypocrites. 

But Rush is blatant and in the open, See the image he originated, that’s circulating the web like mad. Hatred of all fact-using professions is now the main Confederate article of faith.
From Thomas Paine "To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture."

128 comments:

Tony Fisk said...

Actually, we didn't know the results at the time of posting, Moore was ahead, but Jones just gained the lead... will there be a 'last minute surge' for Moore?

DavidTC said...

The whole 'Hillary sold Russia a bunch of uranium' story would be a hilariously dumb scandal _even if true_.

Let's pretend that, literally, Hillary sold 20% of the US's already-mined uranium to Russia.

That would be _amazing_!

There is _absolutely no reason_ not to sell uranium to Russia. There is already way more uranium already mined than anyone needs, under any circumstances. Uranium, in reality, is a huge hassle to own, and we probably would sell Russia 20% of it just to stop having to maintain and guard it, which is exactly why they wouldn't buy it if we offered!

It's why, as Brin points out, Russia sold us a bunch of plutonium, and the reason we bought it was not 'we need plutonium'. We did not. It was 'Collapsing USSR cannot safely keep track of it so we will buy it despite not needing it.'.

Nuclear-weapons states sell, and even give, each other nuclear material all the time. This is an absurdly idiotic scandal even pretending it was what it's being presented as, and relies on people being complete dumbasses and not knowing that. (Not to mention, of course, that's almost every part of the thing is a lie.)

In a world with intelligence people, hearing that 'Hillary sold 20% of the US's uranium to Russia' should be treated as functionally equivalent to hearing 'Hillary sold 20% of the US's sand reserves to Russia'.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Jones did win, and I'm heaving a big sigh of relief. Even if you discount the stories of child molestation (and I don't), the fact is that Moore is a particularly toxic type of religionist, the type who, if they attain enough power, end up killing millions in the name of their god.

Marino said...

from the last post:
dr. Brin: "Mine eyes have seen the glory...."

just to play nitpicking from outside, ain't the following lines in the Battle Hymn of the Republic, you know, the "grapes of wrath", straight from the hateful Book of Revelations?
The deplorables deserve more something like:

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave

(OK, I favor more secular anthems... like this one:

Black storms agitate the winds
Dark clouds won't allow us to see
Though pain and death may await us,
Against the enemy by duty we are called
The most precious good is liberty,
And it must be defended with faith and courage

:-)

LarryHart said...

Tony Fisk:

Actually, we didn't know the results at the time of posting, Moore was ahead, but Jones just gained the lead... will there be a 'last minute surge' for Moore?


I was concerned about the same thing myself--that a machine borrowed from Maricopa County, WI would "turn up" with 10,000 Moore votes on it. But as of 5:00am Central, despite Moore's not conceding, the results seem to be in.

We'll see.

Dr Brin in the previous comments:

Though oh, the silver lining of Moore as an embarrassment to the confederacy would have been...


No, we learned that lesson with Trump. It would have empowered them, not us. They're proud of their embarrassments.

@Marino,

Not being American, you may or may not know the reference, but here goes:

In Birmingham, they love the gov'nor.
Now, we all did what we had to.
Now, Watergate does not bother me.
Does your conscience bother you?
(Now, tell me true!)


With a few substitutions, this could be the post-Mueller-firing anthem.

Tim Wolter said...

I am of course pleased to see the conservative candidate win in Alabama.

Seriously. Whatever Moore's personal shortcomings were it is clear that he did not, as a judge, set aside his ideological bias when weighing matters of law. Judicial Activism writ large. Very anti conservative. Nobody knows how this Jones fellow will do, a moderate-conservative Democrat? Hmmm. Not just an endangered species, why, he's practically Solitario Jorge!*

Now, what comes next?

Things that work get done again, and usually over done. Yes, it would seem clear that parties should not nominate crappy candidates even in "safe" places. Whether that lesson is taken to heart is questionable.

But, if allegations of misdeeds 40 years ago can pull off a political Hail Mary play, well, expect Moore, much Moore of the same. Another political "bioweapon" about to be released. It should be at a minimum, entertaining.

Regards Uranium One, Benghazi, Whitewater, etc, I have never been that interested. I do not hold the Clintons in high regard but they, collectively, have always been smart enough to put intermediaries in place. Let's be frank, the intersection of celebrity, politics and money will always raise nearly as many eyebrows as dollars.

I have however been following the peculiar doings of the FBI in the election/post election story. Comey's actions are hard to understand unless there was/is something odd going on behind the scenes. Your personal pet theories are all as valid as mine. But...."something's happenin' here".....

TW/Tacitus

*Lonesome George, the last survivor of a subspecies of Galapagos tortoise. A story worth looking up. Like conservative D and liberal R politicians....unlikely to be able to multiply.

Michael C. Rush said...

>>Normalizing pedophiles and sexual predators is only part of the "normal" pattern.

That's a breathtaking statement to make. I know that you must realize that, in fact, there is a significant qualitative difference between something like divorce and pedophilia, which means that normalizing one is not the same as attempting to normalize the other. Equating the two in any way is going down the path where Republicans argue that accepting homosexuality directly and inevitably leads to bestiality. Apples and trilobytes.

Darrell E said...

Michael,

I don't get it. People that inevitably vote Republican have argued pretty much just that before. You may be allowing how you believe things should be to cloud your assessment of what has actually been happening. And it isn't as if this a new thing. There are plenty of examples throughout history of societies, or portions thereof, becoming desensitized to behavior previously considered to be very immoral.

Or have you mistaken the OP as being prescriptive rather than descriptive? I've probably misinterpreted you.

LarryHart said...

TW/Tacitus:

But, if allegations of misdeeds 40 years ago can pull off a political Hail Mary play, well, expect Moore, much Moore of the same. Another political "bioweapon" about to be released. It should be at a minimum, entertaining.


It's already spreading. But two things:

This bioweapon wasn't "released" by the political parties. Moore's initial Republican accuser and Franken's being forced out by Kirsten Gillibrand aren't motivated by the politics of the candidate/Senator in the crosshairs. The sleeping Female Giant has been awakened, and She shows no interest in giving offending males a pass, even those on Her own side of the aisle.

Also, we're not talking about allegations that ended 40 years ago.


I have however been following the peculiar doings of the FBI in the election/post election story. Comey's actions are hard to understand unless there was/is something odd going on behind the scenes. Your personal pet theories are all as valid as mine. But...."something's happenin' here".....


The prevailing theory is that pro-Trump forces within the FBI sat on Weiner's e-mails until the revelation that they had such a thing had to be done at the worst possible moment for Hillary's campaign. I haven't heard any other theory which seems more plausible.

raito said...

(some from last time, again)

Alfred Differ,

Reminds me just a bit of my bank getting bought. Oh, excuse me, it was a merger (so we're told). Hmm, the bank had lost money for 15 years, then was profitable for 3. That's prime takeover material. And merger implies equality. So why is my bank now 'a division of'? And let's leave aside the idea that they were bought so they could modernize. My new card has no chip.

Kind of like the recent use of the term 'partner' as a verb. Business-wise, partner usually implies equity considerations. These days, it means "we sold your data to our 'partner'".

You might like reading Enemy of the State by F. Paul Wilson. The idea there is, loosely, that if the everage guy understood economics, it would no longer work.

LarryHart,

Oddly, I don't get that much spam. I'd expect more since I won a number of domains, and my information is there in the whois. But it's not that much. Unfortunately, the number has a bit of a spike this year. I became a youth soccer coach, which you might not connect with spam. But the local club has my info, as does the regional coalition form whom I took a seminar, as well as the state organization that issued the certificate from that seminar. And US Soccer has my info as they are the licensing authority for the license I hold. About half of those 'partner' (see above) with companies that exist solely to provide unneeded internet platforms for youth sports. Some or all of those have sold my data. All those platforms send me spam directly, as if I care about their business operations.

And I got to listen to a breakdown of the voting in Alabama. Interesting stuff. Apparently, blacks turned out in droves. 98% of black women voted D. College-educated women also came out in numbers and voted D. My cynical side says that there's now some data as to where the line a candidate must not cross over and the result will be people close to, but just on one side of that line.

And Maricopa County, WI? No county named that around here...

LarryHart said...

Tim/Tac:

And Maricopa County, WI? No county named that around here...


Waukeshau County.

At least I didn't call you Tom this time. :)

It's been a long week.

Jacob said...

Paul SB posted:
---
Ah, but guillotines won't happen as long as all our eyeballs are two inches from our screens. You have some very good thoughts here, but the biology is going to trump the economy at some point, as those feedback loops myelinate more and more habitual anesthetization from reality and deplete more and more dopamine, removing people's motivations to act. It has as much to do with habit as it does with genetics, meaning that the curve shifts, and right now it's shifting toward a Parkinson's world.
---

I'd rather understand your post rather than sorta maybe understand it.

I think you are saying that are biologically de-incentivizing ourselves from doing anything but those things which have traditionally given us dopamine/rewards. Thus we stick with what we know and not things which make sense outside of existing biasses.

I'm not sure though because you indicate that they deplete more and more dopamine which seems to be less reward. This seems to work against this theme that change will come. Do we also need normal levels of dopamine in order to evaluate alternatives? Will not not seek alternatives to traditional rewards as old ones fail to perform? I know meth addicts don't seem to act rationally after the rewards are weakened. I assumed they didn't have access to alternative drugs that were more effective than the reduced traditional one.

Additionally, you indicate that biology will win out over the economy at some (future) point. Doesn't that indicate that Economy would win out initially? My understanding is that bias wins out against economy until the magnitude groups stark.

How many of our products that we consume are truly tweak-worthy? I though it was mostly information feeds rather than specific things like our Power company that this applied to.

Is a Parkinson's world one in which we are all constantly twitching for a fix on our once pleasurable sources of interest or something else?

So yeah. Perhaps confused.

American Maid said...

The win for the Democrats last night bodes well for 2018.
The Democrats have about 300 women running for congress next year, which is great news. There is a tremendous energy among women to fight back against Trump and the other man-pigs in office. We are fired up and ready to fight.

Focusing on women running is so much better than trying the old, brain dead, tactic of running some ex-military guy in a vain attempt to get a slightly higher percentage of the white man vote. First, there is no energy for this strategy. Second, Trump will be trying to take us to war next year, and the ex-military guys running as democrats will feel compelled to “support the troops” rather than question the mission. And that will cost them the anti-war vote and likely the election. Third, on average women elected to congress will be better democrats than men, more healthcare and fewer wars.

Tim Wolter said...

Friend Larry has a bit of a "thing" about Waukesha County. I've been meaning to post a link to the investigation into that matter. Done by the Government Accountability Board which at the time was no friend of Scott Walker.

http://elections.wi.gov/node/2034

The meat of the report: "..Despite allegations that Clerk Nickolaus somehow manipulated votes from the city of Brookfield to sway the election for Justice David Prosser, Attorney Verhoff’s report determined that this could not have happened..."

As to the doings in Maricopa County WI, well, no doubt they are deplorable.

TW/Tacitus

David Brin said...

Marino, good poetic points!

Tim: “Nobody knows how this Jones fellow will do, a moderate-conservative Democrat? Hmmm. Not just an endangered species, why, he's practically Solitario Jorge!*”

Ha. But sorry man… pro-enterprise democrats are in way abundance. They are the ONLY people actually working for competitive, flat-fair, adamsmithian market economics.

As for FBI “behind the scenes”… the oNLY major thing was the interference in the 2016 election by radical right-wing agents who threatened and cornered Comey into “re-opening” the emailgate “investigation” because of Anthony Weiner’s laptop, which contained only duplicates of emails already seen!

FUNCTIONALLY that is the only “FBI bias” that made any difference at all. It may, in fact, have murdered us all.

Michael Rush, did you look at your note before posting it? Seriously? 49% of the people of Alabama normalized a pedophile! What I described is exactly what went ahead and happened! The same folks who hounded Bill “still with his wife” Clinton for consensual 3rd base adult infidelity in a hallway aren’t even curious to hear from 19 women who accused their president of doing exactly the horrible-creepy-predatory things he has OPENLY admitted and bragged about doing.

LarryHart said...

Tim/Tac:

Friend Larry has a bit of a "thing" about Waukesha County.


Yeah. :)

My "thing" is less outdated than yours about Chicago, though.

Catfish N. Cod said...

@Dr. Brin: I am very pleased to dissuade you of your percentage. 48% of the voters in this election did so. That's because hundreds of thousands of Republicans with more honesty and morals stayed home. It was the only way this could work, in a state that routinely votes 65-35 or so. In the midterm election of 2014 (the closest cognate), the Republican governor was elected 63-36, with 750,000 Republicans defeating 430,000 Democrats.

Last night, only 650,000 conservatives voted for Moore. That means 100,000 stayed home or voted Jones. According to exit polls, 8% of registered Republicans and 15% of self-ID'd conservatives voted Jones, so maybe estimate 50,000 principled voters among R's and independents. And of course 22,000 wrote in a name rather than pick the pedophile.

That's 122,000 that acted for decency and sanity in an insane election.... on top of the additional 170,000 Democrats and independents who showed up to trounce this obscene affront to the Enlightenment.

No, it's only 40% of the regular voters... 650,000 of the 3.3 million registered who actually pulled a lever for that horrible man. Twenty percent of RVs actually did it... and with turnout of about 50%, one would estimate no more than forty percent of the voting pool actually was willing to support it all. Which matches pretty well with the number of sane people that I counted above.

Still. Forty percent. Shoot.

Catfish N. Cod said...

@American Maid: do you have a source on that 300 women number? I want to believe, but [CITATION NEEDED].

And what if it's an old ex-military gal? #Duckworth4Prez

matthew said...

Note that McConnell is refusing to seat Doug Jones until after the tax vote. Basically the opposite of what he demanded (and got) when Scott Brown won his special election.

Silly Democrats, consistency is for loser chumps.

http://time.com/5059673/alabama-special-election-results-2017-doug-jones/

Jon S. said...

"My 'thing' is less outdated than yours about Chicago, though."

Apropos of nothing else, Larry, you've got Into the Woods in my head right now. Specifically, the two princes singing about the new princesses they've discovered (having already wed Cinderella and Rapunzel), and Charming is complaining about the difficulties in reaching his sleeping beauty:

CHARMING: But the thorns - just one prick - it's my thing about blood -

BROTHER: Blood? That's sick!

C: It's no sicker than your thing with dwarves!

B: (insistently) Dwarfs!

C: (dismissingly) Dwarfs.

B: Dwarfs are very upsetting...

Robert said...

I had a sneaking feeling that Moore was going to lose after the first big dip in the percentages happened. When Moore was winning by only a 5-point spread I said "okay, they're getting all the low-lying easy fruit from small rural areas. When the urban centers start sending in their results, THEN we're going to see things swing to Jones."

That said, I wasn't 100% sure. I had no idea if there was a crook hook in play and the state of Alabama's voter machines - if it was electronic and hackable, or normal. Then again, it could very well be that if someone IS doing that (and I have a sneaking suspicion Trump got in because someone pushed results by the 10% that can sneak by in key states) they looked at Moore and felt he was a lost cause - if he won, it would hurt Republicans far worse than if he lost. Mind you, I don't think any electoral meddling happened the other way around but even so.

My other comment was already mentioned by someone else. I do wonder if Republicans realize they just closed the door for future cooperation with Democrats. Seriously, if we have another Obamacare-style bill passing and Republicans win a key election and ask for the bill to be delayed until their boy is in office? Democrats are going to say "you mean like the Trump Tax Travesty? You can kindly take your request and shove it."

The irony is of course that the candidate of law and order and family values won. It's just that the party of law and order and family values is no longer Republican. And even with Moore having lost... next year he will be hung around every Republican candidate's neck by stating "your party gave funding to a child molester and advocated for him. And yet you associate with these people?"

Rob H. who hopes this means the gas chambers won't be built

LarryHart said...

Robert:

My other comment was already mentioned by someone else. I do wonder if Republicans realize they just closed the door for future cooperation with Democrats. Seriously, if we have another Obamacare-style bill passing and Republicans win a key election and ask for the bill to be delayed until their boy is in office? Democrats are going to say "you mean like the Trump Tax Travesty? You can kindly take your request and shove it."


From your lips to God's ear. Republicans routinely get away with s### that Democrats are not allowed, and I'm not sure this isn't just another example. Still, I do hope the next time Democrats are advised not to use too much of their power or else "Republicans will do the same to you", they'll remember that Republicans do the same to them regardless of what came before.

Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, and Bob Corker have one last chance to demonstrate that, since the conditions under which they agreed to vote for the Tax Debacle won't be honored, they won't vote for the bill. If that happens, I'll stop using the hashtag #ThereAreNoGoodRepublicans. I'm not holding my breath, though.


Rob H. who hopes this means the gas chambers won't be built


They're building one big gas chamber called "the Earth".


raito said...

Tom Wolter:

And the GAB is no longer anyone's friend. Or enemy. Having been disbanded.

Robert,

He's already being hung around the neck of the ex-officer running in WI's senate race. Partly because he and Moore were at least partly funded by the same people.

locumranch said...


In a Wizard of Oz kind of way, the election in Alabama was quite remarkable as it afforded us a look behind the curtain at the actual ruling caste, aka 'those who cannot be questioned,' and it wasn't the machineries of state, the media, our elected officials, the oligarchs or any specific minority. It was the quintessential victim who must always be believed & cannot be questioned, who requires ceaseless provisioning, protection & pedestalisation, who is the targeted recipient of almost 80% of every dollar spent on social welfare, and whose every word eliminates the constitutional presumption of innocence until proven guilty:

Thy name is Woman.

NOT a 'sleeping Female Giant' as Larry_H presupposes, but a manipulative little tyrant hiding behind a curtain obscura, a big fake head, a borrowed voice and assumed governmental authority who 'shows no interest in giving offending males a pass, even those on Her own side of the aisle'.

Yet, even the most 'scientific' males among us mistake these slanderous narratives as law & conclude that a vote for the alleged villain of narrative is a vote for pedophilia, perhaps hoping against hope that their amoral goddesses may spare them the same shirt-stormed, shit-canned & ignoble fate as Matt Taylor, Nobel Laureate Tim Holt & male celebrity 'has-been' who has outlived their utility.

They have erred, these 'great & powerful' females who have other people fight their battles for them, for they are neither 'great' nor 'powerful' in their own right, but merely weak & empowered by those who were once kind, who remain capable, and who won't be fooled again.

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss...

We don't get fooled again.


Best
______
EITHER the 'Innocent until proven Guilty' presumption applies to any one OR the 'Innocent until proven Guilty' presumption applies to no one. And, women and men (both little and small) cared for anyone not at all (and) they sowed their isn’t, they reaped their same, sun moon stars rain, children guessed (but only a few and down they forgot as up they grew autumn winter spring summer) that noone loved him more by more.

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

NOT a 'sleeping Female Giant' as Larry_H presupposes, but a manipulative little tyrant hiding behind a curtain obscura, a big fake head, a borrowed voice and assumed governmental authority


Nice description of Donald Trump, there.

TCB said...

Harkening back to the last thread, Catfish hat writ the following on tachyon neutrinos:

"I find the antitachyonic theory more plausible. After all, dark matter is observed to clump, albeit on the scale of galaxies. Why should a tachyon stick around a galaxy when a lower-energy state for a tachyon is to speed up? I still expect dark matter to prove as some exotic normal-matter particle(s). But antitachyons, wow! The negative gravitational pressure pervading the universe makes a lot of sense if seen as the reverse gravity of a time-reversed particle.

But it begs a very important question, which by its nature we may or may not be able to answer. From what future event do the antitachyons "originate"? Presumably these particles, whose ultimate destination is the quark-gluon soup of the inflation-era universe, have an origin event.

Big Rip? Big Crunch? A phase transition equivalent to inflation, as a fifth fundamental force freezes out of one of the previous four? (Something akin to the climax of HEAVEN'S REACH??) The future is still an open question...

(End Catfish's quote)

--------------------------------------------------------------------

I needed a few days to chew on this, and glanced at an article which asserted that tachyon neutrinos and antineutrinos would be created as virtual pairs in violent events such as supernovae and the Big Bang, and only sometimes escape before mutually annihilating.

Now, if we assume that the Big Bang was an inflationary bubble, and if we assume any or most of these tachyon neutrino/antineutrino pairs are created at the time of the Big Bang, and if they tend to go "backward" in time, and time has only just begun in a given inflationary bubble, then wouldn't this mean that tn/a particles create a sort of tachyon traffic jam, all rushing back toward the earliest moments of the small, dense, hot universe in its earliest moments, filling every available Planck region with dark energy and thus contributing to the immense expansion of the early universe? This would explain why the era of very rapid expansion ends as time moves forward, away from the tachyon traffic jam.

(Continued)

TCB said...

We see diagrams of chronology the inflationary universe which vaguely resemble a cylinder with varying taper, opening from nothing, expanding smoothly and flaring out a bit toward the end, in a way that reminds me somewhat of a trumpet... imagine all 'normal matter' moving forward and only tachyonic matter moving toward the back. If antitachyons only contributed to dark energy/expansion at the very beginning, we wouldn't see that flare (i.e. expansion speeding up.) They must, according to this hypothesis, also contribute something to dark energy in the present. How much of tn/a matter is really coming from the far future, when there are no longer any supernovae or even black holes left to kick out the occasional nonvirtual pair?

I suspect this argues against a Big Rip anytime soon, which brings us to the post-stelliferous era of 10^100 years and more, when (perhaps) many tachyonic neutrinos and antineutrinos (which affect us right now?) are created by quantum fluctuation over vast periods of time (we're talking less time than needed for Boltzmann brains and new inflationary bubbles, but still a long long time!) Now, tachyons are ftl particles, and can therefore presumably travel outside the 'light cone' and may thus leak out of our inflationary bubble by simply being able to pass beyond its edges (unless there's a reason no particle is permitted to leave its inflationary bubble). Which is it? If the bubble expands faster than the tachyons, they stay in and contribute to inflation. After a while, if leakage IS allowed, they do leak, and inflation slows. But billions of years later, the bubble universe is tens of billions of light years wide and so higher energy tachyon antineutrinos take a long time to leak beyond its borders, because it's just so far! That, in turn would increase expansion once again, thus making it take longer for antineutrinos to leak, and you get the horn flare.

Am I making any sense here?

David Brin said...

TCB: "Am I making any sense here?"

I have no idea! But I am greatly entertained!

Cari D. Burstein said...

'Innocent until proven guilty' is intended for a court of law, to prevent incarceration of people without sufficient evidence. It is not intended to shield an accused from the general public's evaluation of how to react to said accusation. How people vote in elections is based on many factors, none of which require anywhere close to that legal standard of proof. Every individual has to make their own judgement based on the data available to them. I'd feel more sympathy for Moore voters complaining about him losing based on accusations that haven't gone through the courts if those same voters weren't constantly gobbling up conspiracy theories like chocolate about the people they don't like and their favored news networks pushing those same conspiracies.

For the record, I'm rather disappointed that Moore's loss in the election had to come down to these accusations, when there were so many other perfectly good reasons to disqualify the man, starting with his repeated removal from the bench for refusing to follow the law. That being said, there was quite a lot of supporting information for the accusations and the accusers were not people who would generally have a reason to lie about their experiences. It's not like it was one unsubstantiated claim from some lifelong Democrat trying to kill his chances.

I've also yet to see one of these cases of accusation where there wasn't plenty of questioning and disbelieving of the accuser. There is always a risk of deliberate falsification, but this is why it's useful to have legitimate news sources which can actually be trusted investigate claims and publish corrections when they make mistakes, rather than just publishing whatever rumor someone happens to float about.

Paul SB said...

Jacob,

Okay, this is material I have covered here on a number of occasions, but it's easy to forget the what and whens and all that.

The main point of dopamine is to provide us with motivation to get the things that we need. So if we smell something sweet or full of fat, the VTA starts pouring dopamine into the nucleus accumbens, which make sum crave the food. Once we put the food in our mouth, the dopamine drip slows down, usually until proprioceptors in the stomach send the It's full signal, then the dopamine stops and we achieve homeostasis. The normal things that get dopamine going are things like high-energy foods and sex. Today society has created a whole lot of supernormal stimulators that cause our brains to release (and/or retain) much more dopamine than normal. The classic example would be cocaine. Cocaine doesn't make you high, it traps dopamine in the NA synapses for a much longer time, which magnifies the effect of the dopamine by about 4 times. Coke addicts say it feels like sex, and that's because it is using exactly the same dopamine our brains normally use to get that feeling, but much more than normal. Meth works in a little different manner but essentially does the same thing, pumping out up to 10x more dopamine than normal.

When your brain is getting that much of any neurotransmitter, the higher dose no longer tells your brain anything. It desensitizes itself to the stimulus by removing some of the receptors (called down-regulating) so it takes more of the stimulus to get the same response. That's how tolerance happens. The more of the stimulus you get, the less effect it has on you. You still crave it, but you have to keep upping the dose to get the same effect. Eventually you lose so many receptors that you keep risking overdose while never feeling that good feeling ever again. Think about that old Nine Inch Nails song "Hurt" that Johnny Cash famously covered shortly before he died.

So what happens to drug addicts is that down-regulation of receptors ensures that normal pleasures like pizza or a night spent with your significant other doesn't feel like anything. They lose their ability to feel any kind of pleasure without the drug, and eventually even the drug stops working and they feel like zombies. This is a parallel with Parkinson's Disease. The most obvious symptom of Parkinson's is the muscle tremors, but nurses who work with Parkinson's patients will tell you that they have no motivation to do anything. You can put a tray of their favorite food on a table five feet away and they won't get up to get the food. The nurses have to feed them, clothe them, change their diapers, etc. No dopamine, no motivation. They just sit there and breath.

What our electronic devices are doing is the same thing cocaine or meth does, but instead of snorting or injecting a substance, it's the stimulation of interacting with the device that does it. This largely started with slot machines, which moved up to computers, internet porn, video poker and other video games (gambling not necessary, though gambling addiction is one of the hardest to break) and cell phones. All of these are supernormal stimuli, slowly causing tolerance to build in our brains to our own dopamine. The reason things like video games can be so bad is that, unlike loading your belly with chocolate cake or playing lose the spoon with your girlfriend, you get about the same amount of stimulus but you can keep getting it as log as they don't turn off the electricity at your house. So in effect, while any one time you score a point, catch a ring or shoot a zombie gets you the same amount of dopamine you would get from a bite of twinkie, your stomach gets full, you have to stop and you come down. But in a video game you can keep shooting zombies all day and all night long, with only pauses for bathroom breaks and sleep.

Paul SB said...

Jacob con't.


The economy wins to begin with for the same reason that Coca-Cola made a fortune before the government told them they couldn't put cocaine in it anymore. The customers are addicted and have to go to them for their "hits." But when you start getting an epidemic of Parkinson's in 20-somethings, there goes the customer base. Plenty of jobs selling cell phone and video game consoles, and designing those games pays pretty well, too. But when the customers stop buying and just sit there wetting their pants, the jobs dry up. Maybe then Americans will accept some regulations on their "freedom," but I doubt it. I used to say that we have to have a body count before we will do anything about a problem, but it seems like even body counts don't move people anymore.

Keep in mind that there is a bell curve for everything, so some people will be more effected than others. Likely the kid who shot up the elementary school in New Town, MA was more sensitive than average. When the video games stopped making him feel good, he may have reasoned that the only thing that would make him feel good would be to up the dose by shooting real people instead of pixel people.

I'm not sure what the Power company reference is to.

LarryHart said...

Cari D Burstein:

For the record, I'm rather disappointed that Moore's loss in the election had to come down to these accusations, when there were so many other perfectly good reasons to disqualify the man, starting with his repeated removal from the bench for refusing to follow the law.


The trouble is that the deplorables not only don't mind such characteristics, they actually see them as positives. That their candidate offends educated, empathetic people is a reason for them to vote for the guy. The only thing that brings such a candidate down is when he goes too far and offends the sensibilities of the deplorables themselves.

Note the case of Milo Y...whatever...opolis. He was the darling of the anti-politically correct conservative crowds because he offended liberals by normalizing offensive behavior. What got him censored from CPAC? He did the same thing he always did--normalizing offensive behavior--by suggesting that gay pedophilia is acceptable. Apparently, there's such thing as too politically incorrect for conservatives, and that was it.

Point being, the deplorables are not going to abandon their own for reasons that we consider legitimate, but they just might be pushed to do so when their guy goes over a line that they value. We have to take our victories where we can.

LarryHart said...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/12/opinion/roy-moore-loss-alabama.html


Until Mr. Moore (and Mr. Trump) came along, it was difficult to find many candidates so unfit that credible charges of child molestation could seem only the latest disqualifying feature. Their popularity underscores some Christian conservatives’ seeming determination to apply the law, constitutional or moral, only to their opponents.


Arizsun said...

locumranch,

That is a revolting characterization of the accusations and accusers of Roy Moore. These were not, vague, anonymous claims. They were supported claims made in the open, backed up by supporting statements of people who knew and worked with Roy Moore.

You ought to be ashamed for making such a claim in relation to Roy Moore's accusers, but I doubt you have any shame in you.


(This is not saying false claims, or unsupported claims don't happen. Simply that this is clearly not one of those cases)

Robert said...

locumranch, it is people like you that make it almost impossible for women to come forward with rape claims. Let us take a probable scenario: a woman is raped. In response, society will say "well, was she drinking alcohol? What was she wearing? How did she behave? Did she lead on the guy? Was she too demure? Did she not fight hard enough? Why did she fight, didn't she know she would make things worse?" and it all boils down to: the woman is to blame and she got what she deserved.

It does not matter if the woman is 14, 24, 44, or 84. When a woman is raped and comes forward there is a vocal group that will blame the woman. They will question the woman. They will ridicule the woman. They will threaten the woman. For instance: there is a young lady who accused Donald Trump of raping her when she was a child, as part of one of Trump's billionaire pedophile buddies who did this sort of thing with child prostitutes. She and another woman came forward and were filing charges during the presidential election.

She dropped charges and went into hiding after being doxed and multiple death threats came out against her. She went into hiding out of fear for her life and people say "well she dropped the charges she must have been lying." Nevermind the fact she was doxed and her life threatened, she lied according to the Trumpists.

Now you have a man who was a prosecuting attorney and then a judge and finally a State Supreme Court Justice. This is a man in a position of power. This is a man with powerful allies. You question why these women did not come forward sooner.

Some did. And their accusations were squashed and ignored and brushed under the rug because he was powerful and able to get away with rape.

Well, the hens came back to fucking roost and they were JUST enough to fucking take this monster down. And people like you look at this and say "well he is innocent until proven guilty so this is a travesty of justice and Moore should be Senator!" and I say that innocent until proven guilty does not work when people who are rich and powerful can sway the judicial system and get away with rape, murder, and more.

A rapist almost got into the Senate. And he is now the face of the Republican Party because the Republican Party backed him. He may have been threatened with ethics investigations and the like but the Republican Party still backed him, financed him, and said better a rapist than a Democrat. And he still had hundreds of thousands of people vote for him.

This is what the Republican Party has become. And if you back these monsters? You are no better than them. Oh, and you basically just stated "I back them" with your words so don't try to backpedal and claim "well I'm not for the Republicans OR Democrats" because guess what. You showed your stripes.

Rob H.

locumranch said...


Cari_B says that 'Innocent until proven guilty is intended for a court of law, to prevent incarceration of people without sufficient evidence. It is not intended to shield an accused from the general public's evaluation of how to react to said accusation', an assertion & conclusion that validates pre-WW2 Nazi Party condemnations of the Jews, the disabled & other undesirable 'baby-eaters' as legal (and/or moral) in an extrajudicial sense, as the current PC technique of offering up unsubstantiated slanders to dehumanise their opponents as rapists, sexists, racists & pedophiles is indistinguishable from the aforementioned Nazi approach.

Larry_H also mischaracterises Trump by 'Wizard of Oz' analogy as Trump is obviously analogous to the Winged Monkey King, playing the role of the overt Bully who never shunned the spotlight or sought the power of the shadows, whereas our progressive Wizard of Oz is a Con Artist, Cry-Bully & Feminist Role Model who rules by smoke, mirrors & submissive misdirection in order to dominate others.

All it took to destroy Moore's candidacy was a few females to claim that 'Moore touched my 14 year old boobies', some 30 years ago in a galaxy far far away -- just take HER word on it -- so legions of credulous White Knights would rush to the aid of the 'poor wittle victim' and save HER (and, by extension, every other eternally victimised HER) from the unsupportable 30 year old claim of victimisation, much in the same way that victimised Nazi Brownshirts once smashed the windows of those they accused of similarly unsupported treasonous actions.

And, Arizsun has the audacity to claim that the words spoken by human women in the absence of material evidence (if made 'out in the open') constitute SUPPORT because human women (as opposed to human men) would NEVER LIE about such things !!

How long will this charade last, I wonder, as the once-invisible female victim steps out from behind the curtain & attempts to consolidate her authority by victimising others in the most transparent of fashions? A house would fall on her head, I suppose, if our world obeyed the Laws of Oz.


Best

LarryHart said...

@locumranch,

With your absurd characterization of Roy Moore as the metaphorical victim of Naziism, you've gone over into cartoon supervillainy.


All it took to destroy Moore's candidacy was a few females to claim that 'Moore touched my 14 year old boobies', some 30 years ago in a galaxy far far away -- just take HER word on it -- so legions of credulous White Knights would rush to the aid of the 'poor wittle victim' and save HER


"All it took"? A whole state full of white men who "think" like you fell for such an obvious liberal ploy, despite their Fuehrer robocalling them to warn against "Fake news"? It's amazing that such fools were ever able to take over all three branches of government, isn't it?

LarryHart said...

Arizsun:

You ought to be ashamed for making such a claim in relation to Roy Moore's accusers, but I doubt you have any shame in you.


He not only is without shame; he prides himself on that fact.

If you look up "deplorable" in the dictionary, there's a picture of locumranch next to it.

LarryHart said...

And, locumranch has the audacity to claim that the words spoken by Republican men in the absence of plausibility (if made 'on FOX News') constitute SUPPORT because Republican men (as opposed to human beings) would NEVER LIE about such things !!

LarryHart said...

Robert:

She dropped charges and went into hiding after being doxed and multiple death threats came out against her. She went into hiding out of fear for her life


And which side of that equation reminds you of Nazi brownshirts?

To locumranch, that honor goes to the women.

David Brin said...

I refrained for a while. But oh, such malarkey! The 19 accusers of Donald Trump only claim (with correlative factual backup) that he did things that he has openly and volubly bragged of doing, on Howard Stern and Access Hollywood. Those... were...open... confessions.

Being banned from the Gadsden Mall as a predator is a bit more evidence against Moore than "she said." As is the blatantly his yearbook signature and so much else. Oh, then there's Dennis Friend-to-boys Hastert and MANY other republican sexual predator perverts, Yet you hypocrites only scream at democrat adult-consensual heterosexuals. Okay, Weiner was a mild perv.

Dig it fellah, for every male who has suffered from a sadistic women... and yes, you might be one. I know several!... there have been ten times as many women who suffered male sadism... with the added patina of fearing for their very lives. You in fact hurt your own cause, of drawing attention to female bullies, by exaggerating and generalizing to a degree that no sane person would ever or will ever accept. It leaves you with zero credibility, in an area where... well... there's a germ of a complaint down in there that has merit. And you are doing vastly more harm to it ever seeing the light of day.

Arizsun Ahola said...

locumranch,

Since women's words are, apparently, worthless to you, keep in mind that Roy Moore's male co-workers backed them up saying it was common knowledge that he went after high school girls. As David Brin mentions, he was banned from a mall for bothering teen girls. Do you know how hard it is to get banned from a mall for something other than shoplifting? He had a girl called out of her class, to the principal's office so that she would be forced to take his call. Some of his accusers voted for Donald Trump.

Are you familiar with the concept of a preponderance of evidence? Against all of this you have Roy Moore saying "No I didn't!"

Your excuses and misogyny are both pathetic and revealing of a person devoid of ethics.

locumranch said...


Rob_H's exegesis on rape has cut me to the quick, forcing me to admit to shameful truths about myself, how I was kidnapped by alien ETs from Alpha Centauri who probed me repeatedly.

Oh, who am I kidding -- it was RAPE, RAPE, RAPE, I tell you -- I shit you not because absolutely NO ONE would LIE about such a thing. Such a lie would be 'inconceivable', especially if we agree to overlook & put aside this claim as an obvious attempt at attention-seeking, secondary gain & one-upmanship.

All aliens are 'Potential Rapists', yet you & SETI are practically begging for alien contact like a cat in heat. Hear me, call me, penetrate my personal space me with your glowing finger (??) tip. And, David, our Advocate for Otherness, is a 'Rape Apologist' of the Third, Worst & Most Monstrous Kind. You are all credulous fools.

By self-identifying as a VICTIM devoid of Moral Agency and/or Individual Responsibility, any self-identified victim can lay claim to a State of Blamelessness & Childlike Innocence, the equivalent of foisting responsibility on the 'Not Me' of Family Circus fame.

Aka 'Sugar, Spice & Everything Nice', Women are especially adept at avoiding Moral Agency & Responsibility [see 'Patriarchy'].

In response to any accusation along the lines of 'Who took the biscuit from the biscuit jar', the self-identified victim can exclaim 'Not Me, Not Me, I am a VICTIM who cannot be held responsible', aka the 'Officer Krupke Defence'.

Goodness, gracious, that's why I'm a mess.


Best
_____

Disgusting, this equivocation of deservingness with agency:
I see David's minor perversions by Hastert & Moore;
I raise him Ted Kennedy's 1 Dead Chappaquiddick whore;
And I call Arizsun's 'preponderance of evidence' with 'hearsay',
the legal definition therein & thereof, Game Set Match.

Robert said...

I'd say you're off your meds but that would be an offensive slur against folk who are on drug therapy for mental disorders. Or those of us who should likely be on them for that matter.

Locu, you are a wretched person. Unlike Dr. Brin, I do not pity you. I do not despise you either. I just have absolutely no fucks left to give for your attention-seeking behaviors. So run along and enjoy your lies and attention-seeking and minor disruptions. Because ultimately, they mean nothing, and an hour or two from now when you are once more craving indignation, you'll have forgotten this discussion and tried to move on to your next hit, another internet junkie bouncing from site to site begging for attention and validation.

Rob H.

TCB said...

"I raise him Ted Kennedy's 1 Dead Chappaquiddick whore;I raise him Ted Kennedy's 1 Dead Chappaquiddick whore;I raise him Ted Kennedy's 1 Dead Chappaquiddick whore;I raise him Ted Kennedy's 1 Dead Chappaquiddick whore;I raise him Ted Kennedy's 1 Dead Chappaquiddick whore;I raise him Ted Kennedy's 1 Dead Chappaquiddick whore;I raise him Ted Kennedy's 1 Dead Chappaquiddick whore;"

Gawd, isn't it something how conservatives can't let go of what happened on Martha's Vineyard one night in July 1969, while at the very same moment men were on their way to walk on the moon as a result of good works of that man's brother.

Meanwhile, another man sat in the Oval Office in July 1969 as a result of sabotaging the Vietnam peace negotiations, and would go on to kill millions more, to end the moon landings to pay for the ongoing war, and start the careers of other men who would spend the next 45+ years screwing up America's politics and future.

In a thousand years, the right wing will want us to remember one of these things and forget the others, yes?

Tim H. said...

"Locumranch", my cue to keep on scrolling. And when I think of Roy Moore, I hear Cheech Marin, "Bailiff! Whack his pee-pee!".

LarryHart said...

Y'know, what's broken in American politics is the primary system.

Alabama Republicans didn't nominate Roy Moore because they thought he had the best chance of winning the seat for their party, they nominated him because they liked his boorishness. They didn't make a calculation that his boorishness would appeal to the voters in a general election--they just liked it themselves.

Primary voters in 2016 for both parties did the same thing. Republican primary voters chose a racist misogynist over any of the purer conservatives they could have selected. Democrats didn't vote for Hillary or Bernie on the basis of "Who can win in November?", but on the basis of "Whose policies would I prefer if this candidate were a dictator who could shape the image of the country by decree?"

I'm surprised the parties allow the primary system to continue to churn out losing candidates. If we're going to have a popular choice of party nominees to run in a subsequent general election, the primary voters need to understand just what their function is.

LarryHart said...

@locumranch,

We're supposed to believe that you have suffered at the hands of women because of hearsay. What the fuck is the difference?

Because you would NEVER LIE?

Even to put those words in that order is to understand the hilarious implausibility of the statement.

Paul SB said...

Ask yourself how many posts on this thread are indignant responses to one completely reprehensible, miserable creature? Now every one of those posts demonstrates the basic humanity, decency and intelligence of those who are indignant at his worm-tongue word craft, but is it ever anything more than a rehash of the same crap that has spewed from his keyboard for years? He is becoming more blatant and less subtle about it, which is entirely consistent with what I have been writing about addiction and the growth of tolerance. He becomes more outrageous every year because his need for outrage grows the more he gets it. now think for a moment how our indignant reactions might be affecting us in turn. Dr, Brin is correct that the preponderance of conservatives in the US are indignation junkies, ranting witlessly against anyone who is not a perfect clone of themselves. A much smaller fraction of the other side is in this condition, too. But the more blatant one side gets, the more it drives indignation in the other side. Where does that end? How does that end? I consider myself more a middle-of-the-roader, but one who sees how much more dangerous one side is than the other right now. Are those who proudly stand on the left willing to ride that slippery slope down into addiction and become the thing they fear? There's a reason why I go on and on about neuroscience: society is made of individuals who together are more than the sum of their parts, but if their parts start going south, the whole gestalt goes down the drain with it.

locumranch said...


Took him long enough, but Larry_H finally asks "What the fu(kk) is the difference (between traumatised womyn & locumranch in terms of truth telling) ?", the answer being 'Bugger All':

IF you acknowledge that (1) Male Humans are Lying Liars for various reasons, including for attention-seeking, secondary gain & one-upmanship. And, you accept that (2) Male Humans (Men) & Female Humans (Woman) are equally Human. Then, you must accept that (3) Female Humans are Lying Liars for various reasons, including for attention-seeking, secondary gain & one-upmanship.

A Cynical Arse I may be, yet I come by it honestly after 20 + years of working in an Emergency Department, watching the parade of the same women arrive, every Sunday Eve after court-ordered Paternal Visitation, as if by clockwork, only to demand a traumatising SAE (Sexual Assault Exam) for their young children in order to 'prove' that their divorced spouse is an inhuman pedophile out of sheer spite.

Don't take my suspect word for it, by all means, because I freely acknowledge that most Humans are Lying Liars when it comes to attention-seeking, secondary gain & one-upmanship.

Go ask Tacitus (aka 'Tim_W') instead. Or, try asking the Protector Caste about the outrageous & improbable falsehoods that they're expected to swallow on a daily basis because 'She Said'.

Of course, the Typical Progressive doesn't give a rat-fukk about Reality because they're too busy trying to live in a world that they believe 'should' or 'ought' to be, instead of living in the unpleasantly empiric world that is, one over-flowing with "basic humanity, decency and intelligence" like Haiti, Syria & Sierra Leone.


Best

Paul SB said...

I would like to second something Robert wrote. His words are both wise and compassionate, and unusually so for the age group so many of us belong to.

"I'd say you're off your meds but that would be an offensive slur against folk who are on drug therapy for mental disorders. Or those of us who should likely be on them for that matter. "

When you realize that 20% of every person you meet in this country has been driven to a mental illness by our hyper-competitive ways, it's a little hard to maintain the attitude we usually have toward the mentally ill. We tend to not talk much about it except to joke and ridicule - certainly not to learn or extend our thinking beyond the old TV and movie tropes we have been raised with. Most of these problems are mood disorders, and few lead to violence, but between "The Tell-Tale Heart," "Psycho" and all those slasher flicks we have an image of mental illness being very violent, and easily seen as just another name for evil. But most of the mentally ill never get a semi-automatic rifle and mow down crowds of people. How can you tell the difference between insanity and evil? With a mass shooter, who almost always ends up dead, one hint is how hard they try to get out of it alive. Sane people are very unlikely to sacrifice their lives. Thus the Aurora and New Town shooters are very different from the Oklahoma City bombers or the Unabomber.

In the case of our faux rancher, he is just a sorry excuse for a human being who spews his emotional vomit every chance he gets, spreading his misery like Typhoid Mary. The fact that he hides behind a pseudonym suggests he is not truly delusional - that's just hyperbole. If he were truly insane he would be proudly plastering his name on everything with the certainty that God would protect him, rather than anonymity protecting him. I can't think of a metaphor for this puke that does not pay a disservice to something else. Lowest form of life on Earth? A bacterial slime is just trying to survive, It has no malice because it is mindless. We might not be doing him any favors by ignoring him, because he would just go somewhere else looking for his fix, but we would be doing ourselves a favor. And we would be doing a favor to the 20% of people who end up so jacked up by our society that they have to be medicated, and the other 30% who have a mental illness but don't know it because we never talk about mental illness except to ridicule people.

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

Go ask Tacitus (aka 'Tim_W') instead. Or, try asking the Protector Caste about the outrageous & improbable falsehoods that they're expected to swallow on a daily basis because 'She Said'.


Why would I ask anyone about anything when the default assumption is that they're lying?

But you mistakenly believe that the goal here is to elevate and protect women, when the goal is really to demonstrate the hypo-Christianity of Republican politicians by the very values their supporters claim to care about. I hate to break it to you, but elevating and protecting women is one of those family-values Christian things.

Ok, I lied about the "hating to break it to you" part.

And Go ask any number of Democrats (aka Van Jones) instead. Or, try asking the voters about the outrageous & improbable falsehoods that they're expected to swallow on a daily basis because 'Republicans Said'.


Of course, the Typical Progressive doesn't give a rat-fukk about Reality because they're too busy trying to live in a world that they believe 'should' or 'ought' to be, instead of living in the unpleasantly empiric world that is, one over-flowing with "basic humanity, decency and intelligence" like Haiti, Syria & Sierra Leone.


Who was it who denounced liberals as stuck in a "reality-based world", insisting "We're an empire now. We make our own reality?" It wasn't urban progressives who said that. And how's that working out for you?

But what's the point of asking, when any response would be a lie?

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

(between traumatised womyn & locumranch in terms of truth telling) ?", the answer being 'Bugger All':


I am genuinely curious why someone who speaks the King's English passes himself off as an American.

LarryHart said...

@Paul SB,

Long before Robert's feared concentration camps and gas chambers are built, we'll probably lose sites like this one (and Norman Goldman's) with the death of net neutrality.

So I'm having fun while I still can.

Your "let's just not respond" posts are every bit as predictable as the others. I was almost tempted to write my own just to be funny.

Sorry. Hey, maybe I'm lying about that.

Tim Wolter said...

LarryHart

With regard to the Kings English, I often use the British spelling variants of words when I find them more interesting. Behaviour for instance. But I've traveled in the UK quite a lot so some of it is just osmosis.

And as to "Asking Tacitus" things, well I always do take a swipe at any questions put to me directly. Unless they are flagrantly offensive. But I would caution all to not assume you already know my answers.

TW/Tacitus

Smurphs said...

Hey, I started writing my own "let's not respond" post, when I also realized how predictable and pointless it would be.

So, instead, I have a quick test for y'all:

True story, six months ago, my doctor changed my Blood Pressure meds, and my numbers are now fabulous (really)!

True story, six months ago, I stop reading Locum, just everyone's replies, and my numbers are now fabulous (really)!

Both statements are absolutely true, so here's the test:

Which one is a fact, and which one is an anecdote?

Zepp Jamieson said...

LH "Because you would NEVER LIE?"

I think what locumranch, in his depthless nihilism, is arguing is that because people can lie, they are utterly incapable of telling the truth.

Zepp Jamieson said...

"Which one is a fact, and which one is an anecdote?"

Lacking physical evidence, both are anecdotes.

occam's comic said...

Dave Brin –
“This is the attempted oligarchic coup in its rawest form. Note that it is not the self-made, genius inventor tech-billionaires or makers or producers who are fighting for this. Most of them are democrats! (Or libertarians: another story.)

No, it's the stupid ones - resource extractors who buy sweetheart deals through political influence, K Street "swamp" lobbyists, Wall Street parasite cheaters, lordly heirs, foreign sheiks and Cayman moguls –“

That is so funny in its cluelessness.
We have been heavily subsidizing Elon Musk’s racist anti-union manufacturing plants so that really rich people can have the latest techno gizmo. But Dave Brin gets invited to parties with Elon so lets over look the fact that black men have been fired from tesla for complaining about being called n**** on the job by supervisors. Not too surprising coming from a white guy from south Africa.

There have been thousands of small mom and pop business that have been driven out of business all across this country because we gave Amazon a massive sales tax break. It also helped destroy the finances of towns and cities across the country, so plenty of teachers, fire fighters and cops lost their jobs or pay increases because oligarchs like Jeff Bezos get special tax treatment.

I could go on and on with examples of how the tech bro billionaires are not the “good guys” on “our side”. They are all part of the global oligarchy and the businesses they run have played a critical role in vast increase in the power and wealth that oligarchy have achieved over the last 30 years.

matthew said...

With all the Hamilton quotes that fly around here, I thought this news was germane.

https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Lin-Manuel-Miranda-Drops-New-HAMILTON-Song-and-Will-Release-New-Content-Every-Month-20171214#

Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the lyrics of a song for Ben in Hamilton, but dropped it out of the play. He gave the lyrics to The Decemberists, who wrote music and recorded it.

You can hear it tomorrow.

I'm thrilled.

ps Colin says lots of cussing. I give a big thumbs up for the historical accuracy.

David Brin said...

Yay Occam! He took me on for lazy generalization… and scored some salvo points! Yes, just because the Silicon Valley type zillionaires support the democratic party and sane tax rates on the rich, that doesn’t make them heroes in all ways!

Andrew Carnegie netted out as a hero because he established libraries everywhere, gave away most of his fortune and supported inheritance taxes, but he was also an SOB as a competitor and not kind to labor unions. Kind of reminiscent of Bill Gates, who has long done so much good that we forget what it was like to be his business rival.

Yowling anecdotes about “N-words” are just that… anecdotes. But Elon sideslipping around unions is problematic…

…and he is still net hugely positive for helping us enter a new energy age vastly faster than any living human! And into space. And role-modeling STEM. And timing his denunciations of Trump perfectly.

So while I appreciate a critic who catches me oversimplifying and giving me correction… poor Occam raves his own oversimplifications, with one difference. No willingness to learn and adjust.

Tim Wolter said...

David
A ways up the chain you gave your explanation for the oddities of the Comey/FBI situation. "Right wing" FBI agents as I recall.
Well, sure could be. And nameless, faceless types do make for the bestest Conspiracy fodder.
But of course there are other points of view.
Of late conservative leaning folks have taken an interest in various matters relating to the FBI and Justice Dept in the lead up to and follow up from, the shocking election of D. Trump.
If you'd like, I could lay out a plausible conspiracy theory that involves not Right Wing but Clintonista functionaries. Names, dates, financial stuff...
Now, I am aware that this would not find much favor here, and in fact would likely get people agitated. We're all big boys and girls, not likely to be "triggered" to use the current parlance. But I will go to the effort only if you think it worthwhile to posit another viewpoint.
Your blog, your call.

TW/Tacitus

Alfred Differ said...

For the record, I would like to see the details of the Clintonista conspiracies. I have a number of friends who obviously believe them, but they don't share unless they think you are also a believer. I'm not and I'm unlikely to be, but I'm still curious. Keeping this stuff too close reminds me of scientologists, but they are my friends so I don't smack them around with that opinion of mine.

occam's comic said...

Dave Brin
“Andrew Carnegie netted out as a hero because he established libraries everywhere, gave away most of his fortune and supported inheritance taxes, but he was also an SOB as a competitor and not kind to labor unions”

Care to take me though that calculation?

How much value did you place on the lives of all the workers killed during routine operations because of the reckless indifference to safety in the operations of his steel mills? How much did you value the limbs lost, and work place caused injuries? How much value did you assign to hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people who’s lives were cut short because of the awful pollution caused by his steel mills? How much value do you give to the people sickened by the pollution? Can someone really be a “hero” if he hired thugs to kill striking workers?

Do you have any idea what the real cost normal people paid so that Andrew Carnegie could become an oligarch?

Duncan Cairncross said...

Musk has been firing black men for no good reason!!!!

Let's have a wee look at that thought

Musk's companies are going through a period of rapid expansion - check
When you are expanding you need to employ new people - check
The initial employment system is NOT very good at ensuring that you only get good people (ones that FIT)- check

Musk's companies have been doing assessments and have let go less than 2% of their workforce - check

That last statement is simply NOT in line with the "sacking people for no reason"
2% !!!
2% !!!
In that situation 20% would be more usual
You are employing lots of new people - and you are able to use them 98% of the time!

I hate the idea of non union companies BUT if a company "does it right" then the Union becomes the body that organises the annual Xmas excursion
With a good boss and a good company you don't need a Union (it's the other 99% of the time that you do)

LarryHart said...

Zepp Jamieson:

I think what locumranch, in his depthless nihilism, is arguing is that because people can lie, they are utterly incapable of telling the truth.


Almost. I think the most charitable interpretation of what he's getting at is that since people are all capable of lying, you can never tell if they're lying or not. You might as well assume they're lying, because they might be.

Because both statements are false:
"The earth is flat"
"The earth is a sphere"
he argues essentially that we can't know the shape of the earth, and therefore it is just as likely that the earth is a pyramid or a hyperbolic paraboloid as anything else. All incorrect statements are of equal falsehood.

He knows nothing of concepts like plausibility or corroborating evidence. 17 different women tell stories which essentially back each other up, and the accused has already admitted to the misbehavior when he thought it made him look good rather than bad. But "women can lie", so none of that means anything. It's all hearsay. Even direct testimony is hearsay, because you and I aren't actually in the courtroom listening to the witness testify--we're taking the word of the "fake news" for it.

LarryHart said...

Smurphs:

True story, six months ago, my doctor changed my Blood Pressure meds, and my numbers are now fabulous (really)!

True story, six months ago, I stop reading Locum, just everyone's replies, and my numbers are now fabulous (really)!

Both statements are absolutely true, so here's the test:

Which one is a fact, and which one is an anecdote?


That's not the right question, is it? I think you're going for something more like, "Which describes a cause/effect relationship, and which describes a coincidence?"

The following are assertions of fact:
Your doctor changed your meds.
You stopped reading locumranch's posts.
Your numbers are fabulous.

If you are not lying, then those three things are facts.

Whether either of the other two things caused the numbers to be fabulous would be a theory. Either theory seems plausible to me. :)

LarryHart said...

matthew:

Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the lyrics of a song for Ben in Hamilton, but dropped it out of the play. He gave the lyrics to The Decemberists, who wrote music and recorded it.

You can hear it tomorrow.

I'm thrilled.


My daughter thanks you, and I thank you.

Twominds said...

@PaulSB
Ask yourself how many posts on this thread are indignant responses to one completely reprehensible, miserable creature?

I don't do that anymore. It's no use. Like someone here said, the nym is a clue to scroll on. I used to read those posts diagonally, because there used to be an interesting remark now and then. Not any longer, so now I'm indifferent. I even start to skip answers to his writings. Reading them diagonally now, spending little time on them, especially when I come to a long comment thread.

LarryHart said...

Tim Wolter:

If you'd like, I could lay out a plausible conspiracy theory that involves not Right Wing but Clintonista functionaries. Names, dates, financial stuff...


Like Alfred above me, I'd be interested in hearing the theory. Like Alfred above me, I've also heard vague grumblings about the FBI being in the bag for the Clintons, but don't know what they're referring to. My assumption is that a theory which is only allowed to be heard by "friends" is one that can't stand up to analysis.

Part of my curiosity is why Clintonistas in the FBI would conspire to lose an election.


Now, I am aware that this would not find much favor here, and in fact would likely get people agitated.


Here's where your "poor, conservative me" routine gets wearying for me. If you present your theory and we find holes in it or find it implausible, you're not going to conclude "Well, ok, I see where they're right." You're going to conclude that we're prejudiced against your POV and never gave it a fair hearing. This is not much different from Trump arguing that judges he already insulted (Mexicans, women, etc) are prejudiced against him, so the only way for him to get a fair judgement is from a judge who is already a supporter of his.

By all means, present your evidence, but also please listen to the responses instead of just dismissing them as being dismissive of you.

Twominds said...

A question to all the avid non-fiction readers here. Did any of you read Yuval Noah Harari's books “From animals into gods, a brief history of humankind” and “Homo Deus, a brief history of tomorrow”?

I started with the second one, then found the first one and am reading that one now.
True to my habit, I'm reading them rather quickly and I'll probably take a second time for them. In the meanwhile, do people want to discuss them?
I find his central idea interesting that for every really big milestone in humanities history, there needed to be a cognitive step, to make it possible to work together in ever greater numbers. Also, I'm glad he doesn't look only at what it brought us, but also the price we -and earth- paid for that.

raito said...

Paul SB,

Game design and programming really doesn't pay well. I've had people ask me why I don't do games professionally. It's because games are not a technology industry. They're part of the entertainment industry. And there's only 1 Elvis.

The relationship between game developers and publishing houses had a pretty good metaphor. It's like the relationship between bands and record labels.

Don't let the median income fool you.

LarryHart,

As for gay pedophilia and its intersection with Sci-fi, there's always Walter Breen.

And the reality of the loss of net neutrality isn't which site gets which speed, it's which sites an ISP allows in at all. "Sorry, you can't have Netflix. But here's our own streaming service..." Yay, competition by deregulation.

As for spelling, I'm in the habit of using 'armour' instead of 'armor' for knight-type stuff, mostly because there were places where both that and tanks were discussed.

For the rest, as far as Roy Moore goes...

Look at the case of Archie Simonson, who said that, quote, "given the way women dress, rape is a normal reaction". He was an idiot on multiple levels. Foremost, he couldn't possibly have ever seen the victim. He got recalled. The real tragedy is that it took more assaults because they finally closed that back stairway.

Now, doing it is possibly less important than saying anything about it.

Racist? Anti-union? Sounds like the Foxconn deal.



Tim Wolter said...

Larry

You do me a mild disservice ol' pal. I am not at all interested in playing "poor little conservative". I just know that posting the ideas I am mulling over would be contentious, and would bring out some bad ju-ju. It's not my blog, it's not yours. I would not frivolously roil the waters.

Do you imagine that I am not capable of High Dudgeon? I most certainly am, but prefer, much prefer civil discourse.

I also don't feel at all oppressed. My life is actually quite good and politics intrudes very little upon it. Perhaps these two data points are linked?

TW/Tacitus

Zepp Jamieson said...

"He knows nothing of concepts like plausibility or corroborating evidence. 17 different women tell stories which essentially back each other up, and the accused has already admitted to the misbehavior when he thought it made him look good rather than bad. But "women can lie", so none of that means anything. It's all hearsay. Even direct testimony is hearsay, because you and I aren't actually in the courtroom listening to the witness testify--we're taking the word of the "fake news" for it."

Most certainly the thought processes you would expect from a member of a cult. "Our truth is THE truth, and everything utters by others is false, is not malevolently a lie."

locumranch said...


As Occam_C notes, David tends to turn a blind eye to those 'good' oligarchic racist (and/or sexist) confidence men like Elon Musk who appear to support those progressive pro-US Democratic Party policies that David prefers, much in the same way that Hilary Clinton just dotes on those 'good' Saudi Wahhabists, Russian oligarchs & Hollywood pervert types who donated generously either to her foundation or her campaign, the same kind of PC Leftist Hypocrisy to which Larry_H blinds himself in his pursuit of playing gotcha with 'Hypo-Christian' hypocrisies.

This type of all-inclusive Animal Farm hypocrisy has become the new social norm, as evidenced by Arizsun's willingness to condemn those who engage in Radical Gender Equalism (as I do) as MISOGYNISTS when all I do is preach that 'Women & Men demonstrate Equal Dishonesty' and argue that Women are NO better & NO worse then Men (in general).

Isn't that special !!!! Liars like Arizsun wants us to accept that all human women are somehow more special, more moral & more truthful than all other non-female humans, arguing (in effect) that our culture must (either) assume that 'Women are More Equal than Men', or Misogyny.

Well, I (for one) tire of this double-standard; I have ZF left to give over the misogyny label; I distrust practically everyone regardless of gender, race, religion & ethnicity; and I feel as indifferent to your hurt progressive feelz as you do to mine. Live with it.

Best
_____
Anyone can learn the King's English if they have the misfortune of spending 2 years in British Boarding Schools.

LarryHart said...

raito:

And the reality of the loss of net neutrality isn't which site gets which speed, it's which sites an ISP allows in at all. "Sorry, you can't have Netflix. But here's our own streaming service..." Yay, competition by deregulation.


The problem is that (for example) Netflix might partner with Comcast so that only Comcast subscribers can get Netfilx. Then Verizon partners with Disney, so only Verizon customers get ESPN. What if you want both? Sorry, I guess life is about choices.

I envision a day when I can't get MSNBC's site, or Norman Goldman's, or Bill Maher videos because no ISP in my area wants to support/promote those sites. Progressive talk radio is mostly dead already because most radio stations are owned by right-wingers. Well, so are most ISPs. Do the math.

LarryHart said...

raito:

As for spelling, I'm in the habit of using 'armour' instead of 'armor' for knight-type stuff, mostly because there were places where both that and tanks were discussed


I know, but the other guy does it all the time. And I notice because I'm used to speaking Canadian with Dave Sim.

Americans don't spell words like "industrialise", nor do they use phrases like "I'm feeling a bit peckish myself." There doesn't seem to be any particular reason for his faking it, which just feeds my curiosity.

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

Anyone can learn the King's English if they have the misfortune of spending 2 years in British Boarding Schools.


Well, dude! I've only been asking for a few years now.

That answer begs a question, though. Were you a child in Britain, or did your parents really, REALLY want you to be far away? Either theory seems equally plausible.

Robert said...

BTW, just a little idea here. I just noticed locu posted again. Rather than read it I skipped the entire thing and didn't miss a thing. I'm willing to bet locu would feel quite lost if everyone here did that. If no one reads his comments then no one will respond and locu will not get anything that he's trying to get by posting here.

And hey, it might help our collective blood pressure as well. ;)

Rob H.

LarryHart said...

Robert:

I'm willing to bet locu would feel quite lost if everyone here did that. If no one reads his comments then no one will respond and locu will not get anything that he's trying to get by posting here.


Tell you what.

Since everyone blames me for taking the bait so much, I'll do exactly what you suggest, for an unspecified amount of time. My guess? It won't make any difference.

But as a good liberal, "I might be wrong."

LarryHart said...

Tim Wolter:

You do me a mild disservice ol' pal. I am not at all interested in playing "poor little conservative". I just know that posting the ideas I am mulling over would be contentious


It sounded to my ear as if you were already setting us up for "I knew you'd all be against me." That a generally-accepted response that the theory wasn't credible would be proof that we're all prejudiced rather than possible proof that the theory is bogus.

I apologize for not trusting you sufficiently.

David Brin said...

Occam, our cro-magnon (100 years ago) ancestors didn’t give a hoot about pollution. We do, because universities and Carnegie Libraries enabled us to see what our parents could not. And yes, I deem the lives that got to expand in those 10,000 Carnegie libraries to be ‘more important’! Because that’s the time flow of importance. Importance flows forward. And those coughing factory workers agreed, suffering and dying for their kids.

Have you ever read Marx, sir? The theory of capital formation via capitalism? Carnegie was a case study for Marxists. And hell yes, they approved of him! He was a “necessary phase.” Sure, screw the Marxists! It’s reformers like FDR who gave us BOTH capital formation AND worker rights, something Marxists thought impossible.

But yes, we are quibbling. Your salvoes at me were at least in a legitimate direction, and not aimed at a strawman hallucination, the way nearly all of locums are.

David Brin said...

Tim W. the activities of a coterie of right-wing FBI guys, in forcing Comey to re-open the emailgate absurdity (she copied her methods from EVERY predecessor, including all GOP secretaries) because of the Weiner laptop, is wide open public record.

As for Clinton -located conspiracies, OMG after 25 years of having their every pore and orifice probed - (at a cost of half a billion in taxpayer dollars) Jiminy, what Clinton would make a single move without consulting a lawyer? Do you seriously believe that people who are watched every second of every day listen to invitations to join conspiracies? When Rupert Murdoch has offered tens of millions in “whistleblower prizes”?

Cripes man! I do not exclude the possibility of some left-wingers doing conniving things, sometime! (Though name for us their foreign enemy-backer-controller, the way the US right HAS been controlled by foreign haters of our republic for 20 years.)

But the Clintons? The freaking CLINTONS??? Mother Mary n’ Joseph man. Aren’t you the least bit tired, by now? No lefty conspirators would do anything in the same CITY as a Clinton, knowing how many cameras, microphones, wires and microscopes are aimed at them. Change… your… koolaid source, sir.

At least Trump is veering now a bit toward Schumer. The Jew. Now there’s a candidate…

TCB said...

A number of recent comments put me in mind of Buckminster Fuller's wonderful dictum "The closest you can come to God is to love the truth."

Is it not very odd that many who claim to love God do not care for the truth?

I, myself, am probably what most would call an atheist, but I love the truth so much it genuinely hurts. (And I know she does not love me back. Nor hate me. Nor you. She simply is, and you can take it or leave it.)

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

At least Trump is veering now a bit toward Schumer. The Jew. Now there’s a candidate…


Once again, I ask rhetorically, where are the made-up complaints about Republicans? And where are the Democrats leaking fake atrocity stories against Franken or Conyers designed to discredit the real accusers when proven false? If "Both sides do it", then one side is being awfully clever about hiding that fact.

LarryHart said...

Well, it's been nice knowing you all.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/14/opinion/net-neutrality-china-internet.html


...
Without net neutrality, American firms will have no obligation to provide equal access for content, and minimal statutory requirement to explain why one piece of content might arrive more slowly than another.

In the future, if the article you’re reading loads slowly, or not at all, you might not know the reason. But you can guess.

Zepp Jamieson said...

" Live with it."

No, actually, you're the one who has to live with it. Personally, I'm glad I don't live inside your head.

LarryHart said...

Let's see...Republicans instigate fake accusations against Democrats which are meant to be believed. Republicans also instigate fake accusations against Republicans which are meant to be "exposed" and thereby discredit the actual accusations against the Republican.

I ask again, where are the Democrats who do it too?

https://www.snopes.com/2017/12/14/forged-documents-schumer-spark-investigation/


In mid-December 2017, far-right Internet personalities Chuck C. Johnson and Mike Cernovich boasted about being in possession of documents detailing sexual harassment that they claimed would end the career of a United States senator. But it turned out the documents were forged.

The incident illustrates a recent trend in which political operatives opposed to a free press try and discredit reporters by attempting to plant fake stories. The practice gained steam in the lead-up to the special election in Alabama after a heavily-sourced Washington Post story detailed allegations of sexual molestation against the losing candidate, Republican Roy Moore.
...
Johnson has found himself in the limelight more than once for spreading false information. In 2014 he made his first public splash by attempting to publicly name an anonymous woman who wrote a controversial essay about being sexually assaulted on a college campus — but he named the wrong person. His web site GotNews.com retracted a story in August 2017, again for naming the wrong person, this time as the driver of a car that drove into a crowd of counter-protesters during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer. The story resulted in death threats targeting the innocent man and pending defamation litigation against Johnson.

Later in 2017, his site falsely accused a Mandalay Bay security guard of being an accomplice during the 1 October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, spawning multiple conspiracy theories.

Alfred Differ said...

@TCB | And I know she does not love me back. Nor hate me. Nor you. She simply is, and you can take it or leave it.

Aww. I'll bet she loves you back. You are part of how she knows herself.
If she loves herself, I don't see how it can't work out for you. 8)

Alfred Differ said...

from Tim Wolter | Perhaps these two data points are linked?

No doubt. My blood pressure is more even, I sleep better, and I'm more tolerate of fools at work on days where I skip the politics the night before.

I was watching Lou Dobbs again tonight (with the sound turned off) to see how he was handling things. I used to like to watch him years ago, but the poor guy is heading for a stroke some day and it might happen while he is on camera. It sure looks like his indignation fixes are steadily delivering less of what he needs. It's slow, but it's scary watching it over the years.

It is a challenge to know how much is too much or too little, though. If I slip a stitch, I might repeat a harmless behavior thinking that doing so helps prevent some catastrophic event. If I do it a little more, maybe I can save more people from a harm they'll never know. If I do it all day at the expense of my own interests... well... I have to do it don't I? I'd be responsible for so much harm if I don't! It is this slippery slope I think some of us risk every day when we think and act like we can prevent fools from harming themselves or others. Yet... we CAN help at times and this is documented with suicide prevention efforts, heroes stopping gunmen, and all that. How much is required? How much is lunacy and self delusions of grandeur?

LIfe is a blast, but sometimes it is too much. Sometimes I have to shut off the TV and avoid FB. Sometimes I need a little bit of time to remind myself I'm one human connected socially to a relatively small number of other humans. Sometimes I need a bit of calm to remember that I should strive for all the virtues (in balance of course), but I'm not responsible for others when they fail to do so or choose a difference balance. I should try to help others. Courage and Justice demand it. I should not lose myself in doing it. Prudence demands that.

What helps the most, though, is the realization that in a moment of delusion when I think only I can fix some major problem in the world, I'm vastly underestimating those few people I do know and the countless millions of other members of my civilization. I shouldn't sit on my butt, but I REALLY shouldn't assume they are stupid and incapable. With that thought in mind, it is easier to turn off for a couple days and recharge myself. I know smart people are not sitting around waiting for others to fix all the problems.

Alfred Differ said...

@Twominds | there needed to be a cognitive step

I haven't read that particular author, but I have seen this idea pop up on a few places lately. The basic idea is that humans are still about the same in the physical/genetic sense, but we've changed in the mental/memetic sense. We aren't just the individual physical animal. We are social creatures that host ideas and those ideas ARE us in a sense. If I teach a kid what a 'function' is in a mathematical sense, that kid will be forever changed. They will be able to 'see' things the mathematically ignorant cannot. If I teach a kid what we actually do when we trade with people outside our kin groups, they will be forever changed again, but this time there will be a strong social impact. They will be able to see and DO things other kids cannot.

The more I see this idea, the less inclined I am to believe science fiction authors who posit space faring civilizations involving aliens who aren't profoundly social. After reading Vernor Vinge, though, I had to start thinking about the possibility that such creatures would never been seen. The Great Silence could be the result of singularity arriving before diffusion/diaspora. Poof. We have great radio telescopes, but we might not be so good at spotting Gods just yet. 8)

... and then there is our host's laundry list of possibilities for the silence. Yah. Read the paper. I longed to see the tables laid out in old-style typographic text redone in a modern word processor, but I could hear the response even before issuing the request. Yah. He needs a kiln and a few dittos.

Alfred Differ said...

@occam's comic | Do you have any idea what the real cost normal people paid so that Andrew Carnegie could become an oligarch?

The complimentary question is...

Do you have any idea what the real benefits to normal people are from Andrew Carnegie pursuing riches?
(Even before he started giving it all back, there were profound benefits. )

Taken together, these questions provide fodder for the classic ethics question asked of young philosophy students. How much harm to some can be accepted to benefit others? As usual, it isn't the answer one crafts that is important.

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

My blood pressure is more even, I sleep better, and I'm more tolerate of fools at work on days where I skip the politics the night before.


I say this not to entirely disagree with you (or Tim), but to point out a possible downside to "sleeping better".

A few years ago, an 80-year-old relative fell asleep at the wheel of a car. I had also nodded off as a passenger. The driver did manage to regain control after only sideswiping a guardrail rather than plunging off the side of a Pennsylvania mountain and killing my entire nuclear family.

I was "sleeping better" before the erratic motion and noise of metal on metal woke me up, but whether or not "sleeping better" in that situation is a good thing is left as an exercise to the reader.


Taken together, these questions provide fodder for the classic ethics question asked of young philosophy students. How much harm to some can be accepted to benefit others? As usual, it isn't the answer one crafts that is important.


Had you been a fan of Captain America around the time of issue #177, you might hear a voice in your head echoing:

"It's not a question of letting, mister!"

Paul SB said...

TCB,

A problem with that Buckminster Fuller quote is that different people have different ways of deriving what they believe to be truth. For most people who count themselves part of a religious institution, truth is what is written in some holy book or other, and since no two humans will interpret the written (or spoken) word exactly alike, they choose specific authorities to dictate official interpretations of truth. For people who are more "spiritual" - meaning that they have religious sentiments but are not committed to blind obedience to religious authority, truth is a more nebulous thing, something that grows and changes with time and observation. That sort of religious thinking is closer procedurally to how science relates to truth, as an active process of discovery. The primary difference is that science concerns itself with universal truths, like laws of motion or gravity, while spiritualism deals with personal truths about an individual's life. So as a generalization the quote is good, but to get anything useful out of it you have to think about what kind of truth is in question (or in questing, as the case may be).

LarryHart said...

Ok, this may count as "political", but only in a very tangential sense. Not partisan, anyway.

For some reason, we've had it driven into us ad nauseum since John Bohner left the House that "The Speaker doesn't have to be a House member. They can pick anyone." Here's the latest such assertion, which doesn't bother to explain, but just assumes this to be the case:

http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2017/Senate/Maps/Dec15.html#item-5


Note that the Speaker need not be a House member (or even an American) and Democrats get to vote, too.


As far as I can tell, this is the only relevant language in the Constitution itself (Article I, Section 2) :

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment


There must be two kinds of people in the world; those who would naturally presume that they "chuse their...officers" from among themselves, and those who don't. I would certainly read it that way.

If not, then by the same reasoning, my cat is eligible to be President of the United States. You think I'm kidding? Here's the relevant language from Article II, Section 1 :

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States


This language only tells which persons are prohibited from the office. It says nothing about the superset from which these restrictions apply. It doesn't specify, for example, that the President actually be a person. Since my cat is not a person, he is not bound by any of the other restrictions, which specifically apply only to persons.

Maybe we can finally have a President Hamilton after all! (Yes, that's the cat's name)

I kid, but I kid on the square. My cat being president is only slightly more ridiculous (and slightly more funny) than Ted Nugent being Speaker of the House without actually being elected to a House seat. Seriously, has this idea come up in actual legal circles before? Why, although it has never happened yet, is this idea suddenly a thing that everyone has to repeat to demonstrate that they're up on Constitutional law?

As Commissioner Gordon once asked, "Has the whole world gone batty?"

Tim Wolter said...

David said:

"Change… your… koolaid source, sir."

Can there be a more succinct expression that dissent is not welcome?

But as I have said, it's not my blog.

TW/Tacitus

Paul SB said...

Raito,

I'm not sure what the relevance of this comment was:

"Game design and programming really doesn't pay well...."

That may be the case, but the business execs at places like Nintendo are not applying for unemployment. The gaming industry is thriving because of the addictive nature of its products. If the execs are getting all the money and the programers are going blind for low pay, that's just the nature of crony capitalism.

Paul SB said...

Tim,

As one who would call you ... (okay, I need a new joke here),

I would agree that it certainly looks that way. Our host does go in for hyperbole, and though he says his blood pressure is healthy, he does seem to overreact sometimes, though my perception and his might be equally subjective. Being a self-identified contrarian, it would be pretty contrary to squash dissent. But given the hyperbolic language he often uses, I would be inclined to interpret his koolaid comment not as an attempt to crush dissent but an attempt to encourage you to take different sources of information seriously - the echo chamber thing. In the era of "alternative facts" rational people have to be more careful about verifying the veracity of their sources. Obviously this is true for all sides, though with the fecal thunder that has emanated from the right-wing media for the few decades, I would think the burden of proof would have to be skewed heavily on that side. When huge numbers of Republicans, both in the leadership and on the streets, resort to the kind of rhetorical chicanery we hear from locum nearly every day (except when he lies in wait for a few days, hoping we'll forget that everything he wrote last time was easily shot down), you have to admit there is a pretty serious tarnish.

Paul SB said...

Larry,

Yeah, I'm sure after a few years I've become pretty predictable. During last year's election season I conceded your point that people reading this comment section might be duped by locum's lies, illogic and dishonest tactics, and you have shot him down quite admirably. However, probably few people who read this stuff would not recognize that the guy's name is Mud around here, that no one believes a word and no one is persuaded by anything he writes, with the exception of his fellow bridge lurker. Reasonable people have reasonable disagreements and debate them. It's easy to see that those two don't debate, they pontificate. The only people who would be persuades by their words are people who have already committed themselves to the despicable.

But then, herding all these cats in the same direction just might be too unlikely. There's always someone who gets so naked off by the crap he spews they feel they have to answer it - and give him exactly the fix every bully wants, the power to make people feel angry and helpless.

locumranch said...


David's Kool-Aid quip reflects his rather profound Political Amnesia about the Nature of Truth in the Age of Moral Relativism: There is NO truth, only a collection of disparate opinion, some more or less empiric than others, all of which may be valid depending on initial assumption & subjective criteria.

David & his legions of 'weird-os' (western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic) ASSUME that their subjective truth possesses more Truthiness than the subjective truth of others, yet this their assumption is their's alone, one that is NOT shared by those who do not share the same formative EMPIRIC experiences.

For those few successful & well-received Science Fiction authors like David, their subjective political opinions are perfectly 'rational' and 'scientific' to them. For those 60 Million men dragged through the gynocentric abomination that is 'Family Court', so does our misogyny.

Civil War occurs when one group attempts to INVALIDATE the subjective truth of another group -- assuming that one or both groups resist -- and cultural assimilation occurs when resistance is futile.


Best

Paul SB said...

Alfred,

These are truly wise words:

"...but I'm not responsible for others when they fail to do so or choose a difference (sic) balance. I should try to help others. Courage and Justice demand it. I should not lose myself in doing it. Prudence demands that.

What helps the most, though, is the realization that in a moment of delusion when I think only I can fix some major problem in the world, I'm vastly underestimating those few people I do know and the countless millions of other members of my civilization. I shouldn't sit on my butt, but I REALLY shouldn't assume they are stupid and incapable."

One note of caution, though. What is just, courageous and prudent are not universals, they are highly situational. Take, for example, the old Confuscian saying, "I you give a man a fish he will eat for a meal. If you teach him to fish he will eat for a lifetime." That sounds wise, right? Prudent, just and if you actually do it, you are being courageous because you are creating a competitor for your fish. However, it depends on certain preconditions that are not always true. One of those is that we all have equal access to fish, and equal access to equal quality fish. It presupposes that we will all be equally capable of fishing if given the appropriate knowledge, and that these conditions will not ever change. But if one rich dude owns the entire coastline and can charge for access to it or arbitrarily decide not to allow certain people access, then knowing how to fish is useless for those denied access. If a law or treaty limits fishers to the poorest of fishing grounds while reserving the best for a select few, then relying on fishing for your livelihood is a guarantee of poverty. And if you are a quadriplegic then obviously fishing skills just aren't happening. If you have a biological condition that requires more fish than most people but can only acquire the average amount, or if society's notion of fairness is so rigid that they don't recognize that different people have different needs, you're screwed.

The Confucian wisdom, which is essentially what conservatives argue for when they claim that the social safety net just turns people into lazy bums dependent on handouts, fits with that charter myth of America, that this is the Land of Golden Opportunity, so anyone who fails here is either stupid, lazy or both. And like all myths, there is a possibility that there is some truth in it, but myths are almost invariably exaggerations. There may have been some guy named Apollo in the murky Bronze Age past who was reputed as a really bright guy, and sycophants declared him to be a veritable god of wisdom. Then the inter-generational telephone game took over and we got temples. I was told by a history professor in a class on early religions that there was an actual person names Satan who was an official of the Babylonian Empire. He might have been involved in persecuting the Jews way back when, and that is how his name became attached to The Devil. When American became independent of Britain and was able to shrug off the likes of the Corn Laws in favor of government non-interference, it became a place that had a lot more opportunity than Britain, under the thumb of the very self-interested House of Lords. But that does not support the general conservative contention that everyone, everywhere in this nation has equal access to economic opportunity.

So what constitutes prudence, justice and courage under our circumstances today are not necessarily what we want to believe. The naive sort of patriot would report my name to the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities to be blacklisted for shining a light on the mythic nature of our charter myth. The true patriot will recognize that simply following the myth blindly is not doing our nation any favors.

LarryHart said...

Tim W:

Can there be a more succinct expression that dissent is not welcome?

But as I have said, it's not my blog.


Can there be a more succinct expression that a particular dissent is not going to bear scrutiny?

You haven't been told not to present evidence. You've been forewarned that Dr Brin is already skeptical. Prove him wrong, and he'll probably respond as he did to Occam above.

Since you've already presented a theory that FBI corruption came from the Democratic side, not the Republican, leaving the details out is not a sign of respect for the blog owner. It sounds more like an excuse--"I know what's really going on, but you won't listen, so I won't bother to make my case!" Pizzagate spread in much the same way. Remember the guy with the desperate cries of "Why won't you investigate????!!!!!" As if not believing his ridiculous claims was proof of a cover-up?

No, I'm not the blog owner either, but I'll tell you where I'm at. Right-wing media lies like locumranch! The fact that they may every once in a while accidentally say a true thing doesn't mean it's worth my time to debunk each assertion. The signal to noise ratio is way too low. If you--personally--have got something pertinent to show, you're going to have to show it. "There's an opposing theory" on FOX and Breitbart isn't enough to even convince me that there might be something to it.

I think that's what Dr Brin was trying to say.

LarryHart said...

Paul SB:

There's always someone who gets so naked off by the crap he spews they feel they have to answer it - and give him exactly the fix every bully wants, the power to make people feel angry and helpless.


I don't know where you get the idea that demonstrating that a liar is lying indicates feelings of anger and helplessness. Almost the opposite. It's like taking an easy IQ test.

The actions of Republicans in congress make me feel weak and helpless, but that's a different thing...

(And I never claimed not to be predictable myself)

occam's comic said...

Dave Brin-
“Occam, our cro-magnon (100 years ago) ancestors didn’t give a hoot about pollution.”

Sorry Dave but that is another lazy (false) generalization. You have all of the romantic poets of the time complaining about destruction of nature and awfulness of the polluted cities. You see constant complaints about how unhealthy the air is cities. You see the rich people feeling the cities and building their second and third homes in places without the pollution.

You must really have a poor opinion of the intelligence of the people living at that time. They might not have been able to stop the pollution but they knew it was shitty for them. Every day the sky is grey or black, there is a new layer of grim on everything every single morning. You cough up nasty black shit from your lungs on a routine basis and you know the end is near when your blood mixed in with the black shit coming out of your lungs.

And obviously you have never been to a steel mill, let alone a steel mill operating without pollution control equipment. Let me tell you from personal experience, you can’t get near a coking facility operating with poor or non-existing pollution control equipment and not feel physically ill.

I guess it is a little more clear how you can think Carnegie was on net a “hero”. You simply did not even try to estimate the costs, just assert that benefits were greater. And then when confronted with some facts about the cost you want to pretend that those costs don’t count.

LarryHart said...

This article:
http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2017/Senate/Maps/Dec15.html#item-2

links to a video by FCC head Ajit Pai. Caveat emptor, the video site is cumbersome to load, at least on my PC, and consumes a lot of resources before you can actually see it. (Inadvertently, this is giving me a preview of what all non-right-wing sites might soon be like without net neutrality!)

http://dailycaller.com/2017/12/13/ajit-pai-wants-you-to-know-you-can-still-harlem-shake-after-net-neutrality-video/

Anyway, the guy makes fun of worries about losing net neutrality, assuring viewers that they'll still be able to do all the stupid things they currently use the internet for, such as posting food selfies or cat videos, and binge-watching their favorite shows. Even in that trivial realm, he's making promises at least as bad as "If you like your health plan, you can keep it." He says you can binge watch your favorite shows without mentioning that you'll only be able to do so if your particular ISP wants to deliver a service which has rights to that particular show.

Deafening by its absence is any mention of whether you'll still be able to access your favorite news sites if those sites don't have FOX or Br***rt in their names.

Alfred Differ said...

@Tim | Can there be a more succinct expression that dissent is not welcome?

Nah. I think you are over-reacting. He thinks highly of you and wants your participation. You could probably shoot someone on... okay. Maybe not that much. 8)

He has a fair point, though. If I wanted to be guilty of a meaningful conspiracy and not be caught, I'd avoid the Clintons. I'd also avoid some of the people who interact with them since it is clear some of them don't understand IT security enough to avoid or even delay the people who would steal their information.

raito said...

Alfred Differ,

You see clearly what I do in regards to learning. And it's something I have to fight against locally far too much.

Learning something is not just useful for what facts it gives you (though that's useful, too).

It's useful because it changes how you think. Presumably for the better.

That's why you learn higher math, even though you don't use it regularly.
That's why you learn music, even if you never make a cent as a musician.
That's why you learn to write a program, even if you're not a programmer.
That's why you read books, even ones you don't like.

Unfortunately, there's so many dullards out there who cannot understand this basic fact. They want their children to 'get jobs' and never thing about what would be the best way to that.

Personally, I'd much rather hire someone who can acquire skills than someone who has them, but cannot (or can no longer) acquire them. One will grow, one will not.

Paul SB,

The business execs at Nintendo are not game designers. They are the publishers. Just as I pointed out as exist in the music business, and possibly most entertainment businesses. Even in professional athletics, only those in the top leagues get paid somewhat large.

It's partly a supply and demand problem. If some band/development house isn't willing to sign over their soul, some other will.

But the game industry is slowly going the way of the music industry. All the content you'd ever want, and no one makes much money off it.

The hilarious part, at least with music, is the utter non-recognition that recorded music is just a blip in the history of music. It's only a little more than a hundred years that commercially recorded music was even available. And there was only a relatively small window there where recorded music could make a musician a fortune. But people tend to think that the way is was when they were young is the natural state of things.

locumranch said...


Besides providing amusement, that little tiff between Occam_C & David about Cro-Magnon Hooting (pro v con) over 'pollution' demonstrates the problem with subjective truth.

Our Cro-Magnon ancestors were nomadic hunter-gatherers who were both numerically few & used every part of their kill out of scarcity necessity, meaning that they were natural environmentalists & recyclers. And, yes, they did deliberately set fires in order to drive herd animals off cliffs (but so did nature on occasion) only to move on in order to allow the local environment time to recover.

Yet, our Cro-Magnon ancestors would find our modern environmental fetish laughably insane.

And, why is that? Because Modern Man is an all-consuming locust in comparison who discards up to 40% of all the food they produce & destroys the environment in order to produce large amounts of WASTE (in order to stabilise the economy, the argument goes), only to label themselves 'environmentalists' because they separate paper from plastic on a recycling pretence (penance, really) when it would be so much easier not to over-consume in the first place.

Instead, hypocrites like David lecture us repeated about the environment & CO2 pollution while jet-setting around the world from one self-congratulatory conference to another, while blithering on about a growth economy that lays systematic ruin to every aspect of the global environment. It is to laugh.

Best

LarryHart said...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/15/us/politics/republican-tax-bill.html


A day after the bill’s fate seemed somewhat in doubt, Republican leaders notched two wins on Friday, when Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said he would vote yes after winning a more generous child tax credit in the final bill and Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, who voted against the initial Senate bill over deficit concerns, said he would support the legislation despite the cost of the tax cuts.


#ThereAreNoGoodRepublicans

Paul SB said...

Raito,

I'm okay with taking your word on this. It's pretty consistent with what I have heard from people on the inside, so no biggie. What I don't understand is the relevance of the comment. Even if the industry is losing its profitability, as long as its products saturate society they will continue to act as a supernormal stimulation that results in premature dopamine tolerance and the obsessive/destructive behaviors that accompany that sorry state. If what you are arguing is the imminent demise of the industry, then that would be another matter - good news, but optimistic bordering on polyannish. The music industry hasn't collapsed, and if it did, I'm sure someone somewhere would find a way to make it work, because humans need music almost as much as they need love. And if hundreds of millions of people get their fix from screen world, likely he only thing that would stop that would be the kind of calamity that would take out electrical grids, like a Carrington Event or a more general collapse of society.

Twominds said...

@Alfred Differ

I haven't read that particular author, but I have seen this idea pop up on a few places lately. The basic idea is that humans are still about the same in the physical/genetic sense, but we've changed in the mental/memetic sense.

Yes, it's one of the themes that are around the last decade.

At one point, Harari postulated that the cognitive step of organized religion was a prerequisite for the agricultural revolution, and points to Gobekli Tepe in Turkey as a possible place where that happened. A hunter-gatherer culture that built a series of huge temple-like structures, shortly before the first evidence of agriculture in the Fertile Half Moon.

Interesting too and eye-opening to me is his description of the early modern times in Europe, when a mindset of 'hey, actually we don't know everything, let's find out!' connected with a newly evolved way of using credit as a financial tool, to give birth to the great explorations and the start of Europe's hegemony and colonialism. How the development of science can't be seen apart from the beginning of kapitalism and exploration (and exploitation!) that gave Europe it's edge over other parts of the world, 400 years ago.

His ideas aren't completely new and world-shattering for the people here, but I think he writes them down clearly and in a very readable way.

@occam's comic

Dave Brin-
“Occam, our cro-magnon (100 years ago) ancestors didn’t give a hoot about pollution.”


It's quite clear that Brin left out a couple of zeros. It would read Cro-magnon (100.000 years ago) and then the sentence makes sense.

Paul SB said...

Raito (again),

Your comments to Alfred about learning are spot on. When you look at how neural networks form in the brain what you see is that the greater variety of experiences a person has, the more flexible their brains become. Intelligence really is a matter of mental flexibility. You can't solve puzzles and problems by thinking and doing the same things everyone does and everyone has always done. Richer neural networks means more connections your brain is capable of making when faced with a challenge. One major issue I have with this is how graduate education tries to force people to micro-specialize. It is important to do the hard work of learning a subject in great detail, but it is insufficient. A person might study particle physics for years and memorize everything about it, but never have a useful insight that adds to the field in any way because that person does nothing else and knows nothing else. New ideas don't come from inside the field, they come from outside, and they require people who have the mental flexibility to make the connections. Of course, higher education is in many ways a reflection of society more generally, and especially the cultural economy. I wouldn't rest blame at the feet of the universities. The dullards you speak of saturate our society. Perhaps if we were not so obsessed with career, if our very existence did not ride on our ability to get and keep jobs, it might be a different story.

Paul SB said...

Two minds,

I don't think Dr. Brin meant Cro-magnon literally. If I read him correctly he was implying that people of 100 years ago were like Cro-magnon people compared to us today. Thus the discussion of Early Industrial Era complaints about the bad air of the cities.

The theme of humans being very poorly adapted to our current circumstances is far older than the last decade. It goes back to the 1930s in anthropology at least, and I can think of some hints of that sort of thinking even in poetry going back centuries earlier, though without the sophistication of modern biology.

I don't remember if I mentioned this before, but when I finished my Masters I started looking into going on to the PhD, and found a number of programs in British universities that required their archaeology students to be pretty well-versed in anthropology. The only one I remember of the top of my head was Reading. Hopefully European archaeology is maturing beyond the days of class-warfare antiquarianism, but since I'm not there I can only piece together the hints and clues I come across, and take seriously the words of those who are there.

Twominds said...

Paul SB

I think Dr. Brin did, for Occams Comic is right that 100 years ago people did care about pollution, but had few tools to do anything about it.

(Now I'm reminded of Monty Python: yes you did! no you didn't!)

European archeology is still more focused on the material culture that we can dig up and keep in our hands. As a discipline it's more connected to geology, physical geography and (what google translates for me as) soil science. Parts of biology are also important, and history for the later periods. There was a lot of development of theoretics, especially in England, when I was studying. The days of antiquarianism are long over, for at least half a century!
I think it mattered where you studied. I was at Leiden, which was at that time very much the domain of the material culture school, while Amsterdam was looking wider, trying to catch human thought patterns behind the material remains. In hindsight, more interesting for me, even if they tended to lose themselves a bit in their hypotheses. Some Leiden stodginess would have done them good, and vice versa, some more imaginativeness wouldn have been amiss in Leiden. Which was hard to impossible with the head of the faculty being who he was.
I remember wanting to do a paper to compare the geometric pattens in some cave art with the patterns people who've been in trance are reporting. It was denied, as I wouldn't have a way to verify or falsify that the patterns had the same source. I think that's right, but I may have been able to offer some interesting hypothesis for further research.

Time for bed! More later?

Paul451 said...

Alfred,
"the Clintons. I'd also avoid some of the people who interact with them since it is clear some of them don't understand IT security enough to avoid or even delay the people who would steal their information."

Although the Clintons themselves appear to. Clinton's emails were apparently safer on her private server than they were on the oft-hacked State Dept servers.

--

Larry,
Re: President kitty.

Your cat is over 35?

--

Aside:

Article II, Section I:
"No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

Wait... "natural born citizen, or a citizen..."

"Or"? Doesn't that mean the President doesn't have to be a natural born citizen? Just a legal citizen (including a naturalised one), provided they meet the age/residency requirement.

Can someone explain what I'm missing?

David Brin said...

Occam, I said that your crit of my oversimplified position on Carnegie etc was valid in a very general sense. But unlike dogmatic people, I cannot afford to live in a world of digital judgements and on-off good-evil. We need to encourage oligarchs to think MORE like Carnegie than like Mercer-Kochs. Incremental works. And Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are more on our side than the others are.

locum’s first complaint was more cogent than normal. Yes, son. It DOES offend you to have your subjective roar undermined by “facts.” You stated that very well.

I am forced to be less snarky and more accepting of his second attack! locum: “Instead, hypocrites like David lecture us repeated about the environment & CO2 pollution while jet-setting around the world from one self-congratulatory conference to another…”

Huzzah! You fired a salvo in my general direction and I felt the splash! Me and not one of your made-up strawmen!

Like Occam, you are too much a purist, and I am satisfied that I do a lot more good than harm. That satisfaction may be wrong! In fact, my pattern of seeking my errors and rewarding those who point them out accurately MAY be rationalization! I’ll think about it. As I do. Often.

Good on you, lad. Now do this more often than can be attributable to mere chance.

David Brin said...

Tim is offended by "Change… your… koolaid source, sir."

… and decries: “Can there be a more succinct expression that dissent is not welcome?”

I defend how welcome you are here, sir! And snort that you know better than that! Jiminy, man. Sticks and stones and teensy snarks. The Teensy Snarks don’t break your bones, Tim! TS

What poppycock. I dared you to concoct any reason to believe that any Clinton would ever risk “conspiring” given that half a BILLION dollars has been spent (with $10million Murdochian rewards) aimed at them 24-7 for 25 years?

There are very few things that can be dismissed out of hand as easily as any and every single obsessive-cult Clintonian conspiracy theory. LEFTY conspiracies in general? Maybe. Sure, that’s possible. Though name the foreign sponsor!

You did not address any of that! Instead you chose to express symbolic offense at word choice. Can you see our frustration? The refutation I offered deserves an answer! Instead you choose to be miffed.

The strongest worrisome confederate romantic trait has always been obsession with symbolism.

Tony Fisk said...

@larry, I am impressed that your cat has his(?) citizenship papers, *and* has attained the age of 35 years! Meanwhile, here is some inspiration

Jon S. said...

Article II, Section I:
"No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

Wait... "natural born citizen, or a citizen..."

"Or"? Doesn't that mean the President doesn't have to be a natural born citizen? Just a legal citizen (including a naturalised one), provided they meet the age/residency requirement.

Can someone explain what I'm missing?

You're missing period-appropriate use of punctuation. A cursory study of the grammar used throughout the document would indicate that the modern phrasing would be, "...a natural-born citizen, or a citizen at the time of the adoption of this Constitution..."

Otherwise, either they could not ensure that all future Presidents would at least be citizens (the "natural-born" part), or they'd have to give up on having a President for a generation (hence the "citizen at the time of the adoption" portion).

Period-appropriate use of commas is part of what trips people up in understanding the Second Amendment as well.

LarryHart said...

Tony Fisk:

@larry, I am impressed that your cat has his(?) citizenship papers, *and* has attained the age of 35 years!


No, see, you missed my entire point. The requirements are strictly negative:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States


Citizenship, age, and residency are restrictions upon which persons are eligible. My cat, not being a person at all, bypasses all of that.

Let me put it this way. If my cat were elected president, no person other than a citizen would hold the office, nor would any person under 35. So all is good.

Robert said...

Cats are people too!

As is my dog. :P

I'll let you all wonder if I'm snarking or serious.

Rob H.

Tim H. said...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/cdc-gets-list-of-forbidden-words-fetus-transgender-diversity/2017/12/15/f503837a-e1cf-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_hp-in-the-news%3Apage%2Fin-the-news&utm_term=.897b3297c431

The CDC has been given a list of forbidden words and phrases, including "Science-based". Looks like "Herr Drumph!" doesn't have an agenda other than anything he heard described as bad on right-wing talk shows.

LarryHart said...

Paul451:

Article II, Section I:
"No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

Wait... "natural born citizen, or a citizen..."

"Or"? Doesn't that mean the President doesn't have to be a natural born citizen? Just a legal citizen (including a naturalised one), provided they meet the age/residency requirement.

Can someone explain what I'm missing?


At the time of the writing of the Constitution, no one had yet been "born in the United States". Thus the dual criteria--a person who was a citizen in 1789 was eligible, as was anyone born in the USA after that.

"What you're missing" is that the "Citizen of the United States" is qualified by "at the time of the adoption...". At this point, that would only apply to persons 230 years old.


Re: President kitty.

Your cat is over 35?


Geez, I didn't realize this was such an obscure point. :)

My cat is not a person who has failed to attain the age of 35, nor is he a person born outside the United States. So he is not ineligible. The text says nothing about the president needing to be a person in the first place--it just tells us which types of persons are not eligible.

The point which has been totally obscured is that this "reasoning" makes at least as much sense as the so-called fact that the Speaker of the House doesn't have to be chosen from among House members.

Paul SB said...

Is that 35 human years or 35 cat years?

David Brin said...

onward

onward

Tony Fisk said...

@Larry: Got it!* It can spoil a joke to have to explain it, but still good.

*Only what definition of 'person' are we using here? ;-)

David Brin said...

onward
onward

alaa ammar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.