Wednesday, February 13, 2019

An Open Letter to the New President of El Salvador

 The former mayor of San Salvador, Nayib Bukele has won election as president of El Salvador, campaigning on a promise to fight corruption and as an alternative to the country's two main political parties: the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance — ARENA — and the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front — FMLN — which became the ruling party in 2009. Both are widely accused of corruption, or else rife with suborned politicians who dare not more against entrenched interests.

Latin America has seen many would-be reformers sweep into office, only to disappoint, as they run into obstacles, either enemies of reform or else - perhaps most often - public servants who are too terrorized to move.

And hence, I humbly propose that there is a path to salvationI offered this method to President Obama, and he could have transformed America, but it never reached his eyes. 

I offered it  in an open letter to the new Mexican President-Elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has since then hinted vaguely he might do something like this. (It cannot succeed, if done vaguely.)

Last week, Amazon CEO and futurist Jeff Bezos showed in general what might be accomplished with a little guts and fortitude.

Now, I am about to appeal to the next idealist who might use this maneuver to save his own country… and possibly the world.


== An open letter to the President–Elect of El Salvador ==

Dear Salvadoran President-Elect Nayib Bukele.

Would you consider a proposal/suggestion offered by an impudent science fiction author from Upper California? You face incredible problems and obstacles to fulfilling your vow and overcoming rampant corruption, giving citizens hope and confidence in the honest rule of law. Indeed, classic corruption is the least of your obstacles!

Far worse than bribery is blackmail. Whether a person was originally entrapped in some small misjudgment, or willingly did something awful, the man who is blackmailed is far easier for evil ones to control than someone who is merely greedy or venial. Indeed, there is strong reason to believe that blackmail pervades every government on Earth, and - lately - has thoroughly suborned the United States of America.

There is a way out of this! You - personally - could set an example to the world. 

Simply declare amnesty for the first twenty men or women who come forth into the light with profound information that could transform El Salvador!

Yes, there must be standards. Let’s say they must surrender most of any ill-gotten gains. In order for it to count, they must tell-all! Name others, including their blackmailers. There will have to be guarantees of safety, witness protection and possibly foreign refuge. Arrange these, along with safety from prosecution. Indeed, if their revelations bring down higher figures, then promise 10% of any seizures, as a reward.

Promise that the first who come forward - bravely - to confess and to reveal, will not be known as pardoned criminals, but as heroes.

What do you have to lose? Is twenty enough? Make it a hundred! If no one steps up, then it cost you nothing. If this unleashes a wave of pardon seekers, make sure the brave ones who step up first get special honor. 

Some may accuse you of setting up pardons for cronies. But that will die down, as a tide of revelations sweep forth! Also note, you need no legislation to issue pardons… though legislation will surely follow.

For safety’s sake, issue an Exclusion List. Ask Law enforcement agencies to write down those criminals they have already built strong cases against. You can name forty men whose pardon requests will not be honored. Can you think of a better way to single them out and terrify them into making a deal?

Oh, this is not a new proposal. I have put it forward for many years, to no avail. 

But you are a special case. You are committed to eliminating the corruption that has ruined civil life in El Salvador. 

Alas, people expect – cynically – that you will just slip into a familiar pattern, either that of the sellout presidents before you, or that of Chavez, Erdogan and Duterte. There will be overwhelming pressures to go in either of those directions, so you must find something that will propel the idealistic momentum right away, and unstoppably. 

This one thing would prove the cynics all wrong, from the very start!

I have plenty of other proposals, but this one is so simple and blatantly obvious that it needs no further explanation. Think. Nothing could possibly alter that situation as swiftly and effectively as a sudden and cleansing wash of light.


93 comments:

Mike Will said...

Yep.
Fear is the mind killer.

jim said...

Wow, this is from the Israeli Prime Minister

“What is important about this meeting. And it is not in secret, because there are many of those – is that that this is an open meeting with representatives of leading Arab countries that are sitting down together with Israel in order to advance the common interest of war with Iran.”

I wonder if there are Americans in those meetings and how much support this war has in Washington.
Are Israel and Russia teaming up to get this war with Iran accomplished? Each may have a different reason for cooperating.

Treebeard said...

You might as well write open letters to every head of state on the planet. Maybe even beam a few off into space while your at it. Why not, when the fate of the universe is at stake and your ideas are the only thing that can save it? If there's one the your Enlightenment has produced, it is the most hubristic, grandiose intellectuals of all time. It's not easy replacing the gods, but we have to try...

Larry Hart said...

@Treebeard,

I've wanted to say this to a conservative since the 1960s:

"Go back to Russia."

David Brin said...

MW -= the stupidest part of the War With Iran cabal is Israel. If peace happened with the Sunni-Arabs, especially Palestinians, how would Shiite-Persian Iran justify its formal rage against Jews?

Unless Netanyahu is being clever, using Iran as a boogeyman to push the Saudis/Emirates into an alliance that would include truly massive Saudi aid for the Palestinians? (Which the Saudis culpably never did during the 70 years they insisted Palestinian refugees squat in squalor camps, disallowed to resettle and make new lives in Arab lands.)

Such an alliance would look incredibly formidable and frighten the Iranian mullahs, even without US help. Except for one thing. Putin is making clear to them what would ACTUALLY happen. After a few hundred pippety-poppety tomahawk hits, Russia would simply say "we spread our protective umbrella over our neighbor. Get out!" And that would be that. Net gain? All Putin.

But maybe the Israelis can see all this. They use Saudi fear to get the alliance... without the war?

===

treebeard is hilarious. He knows that his beloved neofeudal oligarchs stand atop a mountain high house of cards depending on blackmail and cheating, and a wave of revelation could sweep it all away. Notice how he can only imagine that I want to be a god, since that was what his lords did for 6000 years. Incapable of looking, of seeing we've graduated beyond that bullshit.

Pity. There's potential responses to my ACTUAL position, about flattened reciprocal accountability. But blinking, he cannot even look into that sun, and hence, hysterically point at a strawman he can conceive and deal with.

Alfred Differ said...

porohobot, (from last thread)

PS How this my terse style to you? Non-wordy. Could it be maybe better?

Definitely better. The next step for you is one that challenges everyone. When someone disagrees with your position, it is possible they are correct. It is also possible that both of you are wrong and someone else is correct. It’s also possible everyone is wrong and the Truth is unknown. We can often say these things, but believing them in our hearts is much more difficult.

When I disagree with our host, I will usually say so and then paraphrase what I think he was saying and then why I disagree without intermixing my position with his. Sometimes I’m just hearing him wrong and disagreeing with a position he isn’t defending. Sometimes I get it right, though, and we still disagree. At that point I’ll turn things around and try to imagine what the world would be like if he were right and I were wrong. If the world is essentially unchanged by that alteration in my belief, I usually let it go. If the world doesn’t care / can’t distinguish between who is right about position X, maybe position X doesn’t matter.

Occasionally disagreement survives all that. At that point I just mark it on the list of differences between us. Fortunately, the world manages just fine with many of us being wrong about something or other. Lately, I’ve learned to see it as a benefit.

matthew said...

Remember that treebeard is a white nationalist who advocates violence against LGBTQ folks. Remember that you do not owe him a response or consideration when he posts. No free speech without consequences for Nazis.

Alfred Differ said...

It's not easy replacing the gods, but we have to try...

Heh. We do that all the time. Religions come and go. Belief systems evolve. Nothing new here. 8)

the most hubristic, grandiose intellectuals of all time

Ha! As if he wasn't one of the club members. 8)

-----

Writer writes something relatively short re-using story elements from previous writings to influence people and publishes it openly. Cost? Maybe a few minutes? Chance of being noticed? Small. Possible reward if noticed? Hard to know, but better than no action.

Sounds a bit like those message containers in Existence. Possible, relatively low cost, potentially infectious. That's not about replacement gods. That's about viral messaging.

matthew said...

Nancy Pelosi is getting smart about how to handle right-wing attacks on outspoken members of her caucus. Compare this reaction to, for instance, how the Senate Minority Leader treated Sen. Franklin.

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/429893-pelosi-dismisses-gop-criticism-of-omar-they-do-not-have-clean-hands

And Israel is now reaping the results of partnering with the extreme right around the world. Most Democrats no longer consider Israel to be an ally.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/02/ilhan-omar-israel-tweets-democrats.html

Alfred Differ said...

porohobot, (from last time... the rest of you can safely skip over this)

THEY have ICBM’s.

Yah. So do we. Never forget we are the nation with the proven will to use nukes too. Insane? Sure. We are barbarians, though.

And it was not you who defeated em.

Ha! Many of us were surprised when they actually fell apart, but not the manner by which they fell apart. It would be foolish for us to fight a land war in Asia... we know… we tried… multiple times. We fought to contain them instead. It took a couple generations, but it worked. Part of their internal issues came from trying to keep up with what we did.

Putin is wrong. He hasn’t fixed squat. Even with an agent sitting in our White House, he can’t win unless we here in the US choose to let him. The only other possible way he could win is if all the nations of northern Europe side with him and combine to form one economic entity that used western economic approaches to running things. That won’t happen.

The next time we fight them will probably be the last for them. I’m not kidding. It won’t be because of nukes. They have a demographic problem they can’t solve without becoming something other than what they are.

And there is China

Heh. Um… okay. China outnumbers us about 3 to 1. They SHOULD be an economic powerhouse. So should India. Getting there, though, will make it abundantly obvious how stupid armed conflict is. Our sphere of influence will change and that’s okay. I don’t see China as a problem, though. Challenge? Sure. Problem? No. I’m more inclined to think that Japan will be back in a couple generations.

wall street parasites

I don’t’ think you know what he means. He’s upset at certain groups like high frequency traders and leeches of other types. He has a point though I’m not as concerned.

Free markets doesn't care about morality.

Nope. Many western economists will say that too, but it is an error. Look at what people actually do when trading and you’ll find morality matters. More among some of us and less among others, but morality matters.

Alfred Differ said...

jim,

I think Tim Morgan was using a circular definition (luxury=unaffordable thing/process) and finished with unsupported assertions. I get that you posted the conclusion, though, so the rest of the body might change that?

Use of the label 'luxury' is an emotional tag for something he might have actual difficulty proving. If the tag is enough to get people to believe, maybe he wouldn't have to do the dirty work. I don't know if I'm off base with him, but it seems so. For example, for the wealth gap to be a past luxury seems a stretch. It was tolerated at best while luxuries are usually desired by all.

Treebeard said...

Alfred, how curious that you think Japan will be back, but Russia is doomed, when Japan has bigger demographic problems than Russia. At least Russia still has many religious people who like children, like the Old Believers and Muslims. But yes, the most secular Enlightenment-type Russians are dying out, as they are everywhere. The situation is worse in Japan (and Germany), where American occupation seems to have put a death spell upon them. Russia, having not been conquered and not wanting to go the way of all the other Anglo-conquered peoples, still retains some of that old “Invictus” spirit, and should thank whatever gods (and nukes) may be for their unconquerable souls.

Alfred Differ said...

Treebeard,

How curious that you think that the actual demographic problem is a population collapse. The real damage comes from the ensuing economic collapse. Since the Japanese are actually doing something about the real problem they face and the Russians are having their futures stolen from them, I’ll place my money on Japanese survival. It’s still possible they won’t succeed, but they ARE actually trying.

Babies alone aren’t enough in the world we are making for the 21st century. They help a lot, of course, but economic robustness is where the risk is.

Here is my prediction. Russia as a nation is toast by 2050. [The old Muscovy core will survive, but the federation will fragment again with the parts going their own way.] Their primary export will be people.

David Brin said...

A person on FB provided this. It seems better than G-translate. Is it?:

Estimado Presidente electo salvadoreño Nayib Bukele.
¿Consideraría una propuesta/sugerencia ofrecida por un autor de ciencia ficción impudente de Upper California? Se enfrentan a problemas y obstáculos increíbles para cumplir con su voto y la superación de la corrupción rampante, dando a los ciudadanos esperanza y confianza en el estado de derecho honesto. De hecho, la corrupción clásica es el menor de sus obstáculos!
Mucho peor que el soborno es chantaje. Si una persona fue originalmente atrapada en algún pequeño juicio erróneo, o voluntariamente hizo algo horrible, el hombre que es chantajeado es mucho más fácil para los malvados para controlar que alguien que es simplemente codicioso o venial. De hecho, hay fuertes razones para creer que el chantaje impregna a todos los gobiernos de la tierra, y-últimamente-ha subordado a fondo a los Estados Unidos de América.
¡ Hay una manera de salir de esto! Usted-personalmente-podría poner un ejemplo al mundo.
Simplemente declarar la amnistía para los primeros veinte hombres o mujeres que salen a la luz con información profunda que poner un ejemplo al mundo.
Simplemente declarar la amnistía para los primeros veinte hombres o mujeres que salen a la luz con información profunda que podría transformar el Salvador!
Sí, debe haber estándares. Digamos que deben rendirse la mayoría de las ganancias mal conseguidas. ¡ Para que cuente, deben decir-todo! Nombra a otros, incluyendo sus chantajistas. Habrá garantías de seguridad, protección de testigos y posiblemente refugio extranjero. Organice estos, junto con la seguridad de la acusación. De hecho, si sus revelaciones derribe cifras más altas, entonces promete el 10% de cualquier convulsión, como recompensa.
Prométeme que los primeros que se adelanten-valientemente-confiesen y revelen, no serán conocidos como criminales perdonados, sino como héroes.
¿Qué tienes que perder? ¿Es veinte suficiente? ¡ Que sean cien! Si nadie se levanta, entonces no te costará nada. Si esto desata una oleada de buscadores de perdón, asegúrese de que los valientes que se intensien primero tengan un honor especial.
Algunos pueden acusarle de establecer indultos para los compinches. Pero eso va a morir, como una marea de revelaciones barrer hacia adelante! También tenga en cuenta que no necesita legislación para emitir indultos... aunque la legislación seguramente seguirá.
Por motivos de seguridad, publique una lista de exclusión. Pida a las agencias policiales que escriban a los criminales con los que ya han construido casos fuertes. Puede nombrar 40 hombres cuyas peticiones de perdón no serán honradas. ¿Puedes pensar en una mejor manera de unirlos y aterrorizarlos para hacer un trato?
Oh, esto no es una nueva propuesta. Lo he presentado durante muchos años, en vano.
Pero usted es un caso especial. Usted está comprometido a eliminar la corrupción que ha arruinado la vida civil en el Salvador.
Por desgracia, la gente espera-cónicamente-que usted acaba de caer en un patrón familiar, ya sea el de los presidentes sellout ante usted, o el de Chávez, Erdogan y Duterte. Habrá presiones abrumadoras para ir en cualquiera de esas direcciones, por lo que debe encontrar algo que impulsará el impulso idealista derecho
de inmediato, e imparablemente.
¡ Esta cosa probaría a los cínicos todos equivocados, desde el principio!
Tengo muchas otras propuestas, pero ésta es tan simple y descaradamente obvia que no necesita más explicaciones. Pensar. Nada podría alterar esa situación tan rápida y eficazmente como un lavado de luz repentino y limpiador.
de inmediato, e imparablemente.
¡ Esta cosa probaría a los cínicos todos equivocados, desde el principio!
Tengo muchas otras propuestas, pero ésta es tan simple y descaradamente obvia que no necesita más explicaciones. Pensar. Nada podría alterar esa situación tan rápida y eficazmente como un lavado de luz repentino y limpiador.

David Brin said...

Alfred, let's add a side bet. I say Putin has already sold Siberia.

If Japan declines a bit in population it will still leave them overpopulated by density vs arable land. But I'll be Japanese males will adapt to what their women want (respect) quicker than Russian males will (respect and foregoing Vodka). In any event. a rich nation filled with sophisticated robot servants may cross that future better than one that wallows in paranoia, mafia terror and drunken stupor. Get and read DAY OF THE OPRICHNIK. Our ent would read it and say... "how can you call this a dystopia? It's exactly what I want!"

Larry Hart said...

Alfred Differ to porohobot:

"wall street parasites"

I don’t’ think you know what he means. He’s upset at certain groups like high frequency traders and leeches of other types.


In this post as well as past ones, Dr Brin has made it quite clear what he refers to as "parasites". He means those who insinuate themselves between the buyer and seller to leech all of the value of a transaction for themselves, thus starving the actual productive entities of any reward. "Parasite" is not just a bad name, but a very accurate analogy.

porohobot said...

>> David Brin said...
\\I have no idea what fantasy universe this is from: " to kill the "Wall Street parasites".
That "parasites" that made USA that powerful as it is now???

\\Neither assertion is even remotely true.

\\But yes, fewr words. more efficient. And readable.

Thank you dr.Brin.
Now I have definite proofs that you are trying to play mind games with as.
Or is it "Trump thinking" already?

Here is EXACT excerpt from previous post.

Surely you've seen how some wasps implant parasite eggs that make the cricket ignore its victimization? These are parasitic wasps. You are the cricket.
Maybe some of you have heard or seen this argument elsewhere… I never have, even though it utterly disproves the “proper price discovery” rationalization of Wall Street parasites. What I’ve described is a “contradiction of capitalism” far more deadly than any described by Marx. It’s why - in the words of Douglas Adams - these guys will be “first against the wall” when the revolution comes.
Oh, do you want to prevent a violent, French-Russian style Revolution?


All question that remains. Was you always like that?
Or just decided "if it possible for T, then why not for me?". %)))

PS You have not shield of plausible denial on this. But you have pile of other tricks to mitigate it. As well as auditory which are too blind and benevolent to see. %)
So, kinishi naite kodasay.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Alfred

Places like Japan have less "workers" per pensioner

BUT they also have less "Children" - so they save money in childcare while spending money in eldercare

As far as I can see the two just about cancel each other out

porohobot said...

>> David Brin said...
\\Neither assertion is even remotely true.

You mean there was NO word consist of symbols 'k', 'i' and two 'l' was explicitly written? %)))

ALL tyranic regimes, ALL undergroung societies for_a_grater_gooders, NEVER EVER have a problem with devising euphemisms for word "kill".

Obviously. Even stupidiest of sheeps, would not follow someone, who'd state "I WILL CUT YOU... first for your wool, and then for your meat".

So there is many new words invented, like "tampering", "teaching go(o)d", "brainwashing", “first against the wall”,
"pushing daisies"... daisies is such lovely flowers. Who DARE think something so bad about it? And who'd not like to push some daisies? Isn't it? %)))

Larry Hart said...

Alfred Differ:

I think Tim Morgan was using a circular definition (luxury=unaffordable thing/process) ...


I think I know the sense in which he uses the term. As it happens, I am just this very day re-reading a comic book story arc (Elephantmen #65-69) which specifies the concept in black and white. The setting is the year 2260. Twenty years earlier, Africa and China fought a war over the dwindling resources of Europe, each having created an army of human/animal hybrids as their soldiers. After the war, China had just destroyed their transgenics (Who wants those veterans returning home?), but the African hybrids had been liberated and rehabilitated by the UN, and now reside among humans in western countries. The dark secret is that this is not simply altruism on the part of the west, but that certain forces want to keep the "Elephantmen" in reserve in case they're needed for war again.

In this particular plotline, a corporation called Promethean has decided that time has come, and is using their own new transgenic soldiers (created in secret) to invade and take over the city of Los Angeles. This is meant as a demonstration, as they intend to sell the services of their transgenic army to the highest bidders.

That's the set-up. The dialogue spoken by one of the bad guys is what illustrates the sense of "luxury" as mentioned above: (emphasis and grammar is [sic] as in the original)

The world soft-hearted governments built around you is at an end.

No one won the war you fought, not Africa, not China and, least of all America.

Civil liberties are all very well and good when resources are plentiful and abundant...

But when demand starts to outstrip supply, that which was freely given has to be roughly taken away.

Great democracies are always aware of the need for effective police action.

porohobot said...

>> David Brin said...
\\Alfred, let's add a side bet. I say Putin has already sold Siberia.

Has laid it to loan sharks, maybe. But not sold. ;)

\\...hysterically point at a strawman he can conceive and deal with.

Well... %)


>> Alfred Differ said...

About "Russia as a nation is toast by 2050" -- nobody know it. And all West have THE SAME problems, if not greater. Still RFia have neighbours it trying and still can re-conquer.

\\Possible reward if noticed? Hard to know, but better than no action.

Now you undersrand my role.(as porohobot) %)


>> Treebeard said...
//Russia still has many religious people who like children, like the Old Believers and Muslims.

Source of this exaggeration, please. %) Their own propaganda? %P

\\American occupation seems to have put a death spell upon them.

Really?!! American occupation?! And not high toll of dead youth in WW2?

\\Russia, having not been conquered and not wanting to go the way of all the other Anglo-conquered peoples

They already conquered... by Hollywood. ;)

Your ratio true/bullshit approaching Locum/our host level. Be advised! %)


>> jim said...
\\Are Israel and Russia teaming up to get this war with Iran accomplished?

That just shows how desperate RFia to break out of isolation. Nothing more.


>> Alfred Differ said...
\\When someone disagrees with your position, it is possible they are correct.

I posted link with just the same missive for prev-prev post. ;)
And excercised it in prev post.(you skimmed it?)
So. Thank you K.O. %)

//...but believing them in our hearts is much more difficult.

For sure. As sapiens in "homo sapiens". Not to be a Cosmic Schmuck is hard.

//At that point I’ll turn things around and try to imagine what the world would be like if he were right and I were wrong.

Yep. World where herds of goats eat out Gondwana, though "goat curse" works ONLY for islands -- as its eco-systems are too fragile and have low diversity. World where native ams HAVE farming, though then they would have own towns, nations and possibly will be able to come to Europe first... and who know what they'd do with this unrefined and barbaric "whities". %P World where "Wall Street parasites" do not create whole possibility for manuver of funds and price arbitrage.
Etc-etc.
Many-many different worlds. No one of which have tiniest resemblance with our mundane Universe. Where boring laws of logic and science seems working. ;)

To be true. Except for one world... where Columbus came with his latter AFTER all dirty work with Jews done.

//Fortunately, the world manages just fine with many of us being wrong about something or other. Lately, I’ve learned to see it as a benefit.

Well. It seems. I still too young. And too naive.
To think that labels like "scientists, futuriest, etc" does mean something. %)))
Can be proofs of some value, level of understanding, etc.

Well. What can I do? How to seek for smart people to talk (about "to work" even't asking)??? Can you suggest something?

Tim Wolter said...

porohobot

I'm going to offer a bit of advice. This is in the spirit of welcoming you into a community. A community that is long standing if not exactly tight knit.

Your style of communication has ensured that your posts are largely ignored. They are passionate, or angry if you prefer, and have more flaws than your status as a non native speaker of English would dictate.

As with all advice you can accept, reject or ignore it. The decision is yours but the path forward varies.

If you ignore the advice your status here remains unchanged. If you accept it, your ideas will be given more consideration and be more widely discussed. If you reject it - dialing it up to 11 as the idiom goes - you will probably attain the uncommon distinction of being banned from Contrary Brin. I'm aware of this happening only once or twice in the 15 years or so I've been coming here.

So.

It has been suggested that you reduce your word content by half. Do so. Choose them more carefully.

I'd go further and suggest you never use ALL CAPS. Ever. I even take our host to task on this.

Try to use punctuation as it should be used. I tend to over do it with commas but that is style. Things like %))) make people just skip over you.

Going with all bold words is trickier but should be minimized. Having said that our friend LarryHart just used a bunch of them, but did so appropriately to highlight specific points.

Finally, as a way to test out a more restrained message style, why not give us opinions on a matter where your expertise is probably greater than the community average? As a test exercise I propose you give us a short summary - lets say 20 lines maximum - on how Russia uses their control of natural gas supplies to influence European politics.

It is a topic that gets little press here in the states and one that I would like to know more about. It is also generally on topic, you get more credibility if what you are discussing is at least somewhat related to our host's original posting, which in this case is foreign relations.

Looking forward to seeing what you have to say on this.

TW/Tacitus

if the combined name confuses you it is a combination of my pseudonym from years back and my actual name.

Darrell E said...

I 2nd Tacitus comment in its entirety. The only real difference I have with Tim is that I would have been less diplomatic about it. A weakness of mine sometimes. And while the writing style could definitely be improved I think the obvious lack of understanding what others have said combined with the shitty attitude and cavalier misdirection are more serious turn offs. I understand the language and cultural barriers are real and significant but I've seen enough now that it is very apparent that those aren't the only problem.

porohobot said...

And to our sheeps...

>> Alfred Differ said...

\\THEY have ICBM’s.//Yah. So do we.

And they showed they ready to use it in terroristic attacks. While your Highest Commander doing quick run to... Un. "No negotiations with terrorists"? Dunno.

There was Two-Sided barrier -- Iron Curtain. That made it difficult for both sides to come closer. Now it perished. And MORE then that -- now its YOU who trying to build The Wall...
And. "Part of their internal issues came from trying to keep up with what we did." -- doesn't ring a bell?

\\Putin is wrong. He hasn’t fixed squat.

"If you know your enemies and know yourself..." by Sun Tzu. And I see neither in your this words.

\\...how stupid armed conflict is.

That's why they despise you all around the world. Arabs, russian, chinese, etc.

\\Our sphere of influence will change and that’s okay.

That EXACTLY what Put_in wants. Just this. Well, maybe a little more, but it'll wait.
But JUST NOW Put_in already is a winner. As well as you agreed to use notion of "sphere of influence".

\\wall street parasites
\\I don’t’ think you know what he means. He’s upset at certain groups like high frequency traders and leeches of other types. He has a point though I’m not as concerned.

The same "upset" as it was Nazi and USSR propaganda of all times... enough said as fer me.

//Many western economists will say that too, but it is an error. Look at what people actually do when trading and you’ll find morality matters.

And for any country? China with you on that?
And for double purpose techs too?
And for resource that could be used in them?
And for any and every kind of shady/black market trades?
And for industrial espionage?
Etc-etc.

porohobot said...

>> Tim Wolter said...
\\Your style of communication has ensured that your posts are largely ignored. They are passionate, or angry if you prefer, and have more flaws than your status as a non native speaker of English would dictate.

(that was written by the way of reading of your comment)

Please, be more(was MORE) explicit with such claims. Provide examples\quotes.

I beg my pardon. It is sincerely not(was NOT) to "police your talks" or to shut you on take off.

Just. If I don't know what you are pointing at. It makes me hopelessly unable to fix it.(was in bold)
(that's why I myself use quotes so heavily -- for purpose of clarity, not to annoy anyone %()

\\I'd go further and suggest you never use ALL CAPS. Ever. I even take our host to task on this.

Done.

\\Going with all bold words is trickier but should be minimized.
\\...to highlight specific points.

So do I.
But Ok.

\\...how Russia uses their control of natural gas supplies to influence European politics.

Hmm. I'm not psi-ops. And not from secret service of any kind. :)
I can try to provide some trivia about RFia-Ukraine such relations only.
Like that 2009 Gas War and how it relates to current elections.

\\you get more credibility if what you are discussing is at least somewhat related to our host's original posting, which in this case is foreign relations.

I did several such comments to previous post...


PS If only any other my inevitable quirks would be same easily to fix. :(

Larry Hart said...

Tim Wolter:

I'd go further and suggest you never use ALL CAPS. Ever. I even take our host to task on this.


Several years ago, I stopped using all-caps specifically because you requested that.


Going with all bold words is trickier but should be minimized. Having said that our friend LarryHart just used a bunch of them, but did so appropriately to highlight specific points.


I was quoting a comic book, and the bold was part of the original copy. There was also some punctuation that was different from what I would normally use.

Kal Kallevig said...

Alfred Differ:

Regarding Tim Morgan and SEEDS (the Surplus Energy Economics Data System). I think it would help you understand what he is talking about if you would go back and read https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/2018/05/19/126-whats-next-for-seeds/. In that one he defines the basis for what he writes, not in great detail but enough so you can start to understand what he means.

David Brin said...

porohobot you desperately need to develop the skill of paraphrasing. Yes, I wrote the words that you copied. And no, they are not sanely interpreted the way that you interpret them.

Try actually ASKING: “Is this what you meant?” Often you declare disagreement… and never make it clear that you understand what you are disagreeing with.

It seems you have gone back to raving. Endlessly long shouts without making your meaning even slightly clear.

You wrote more clearly and much shorter for a moment… then went back to habits of shouting, and very long, long long screeds of incomprehensible logic. You proved you could do better, please keep trying. Above all *Paraphrase* what it is that you claim you are disagreeing with!

Anonymous said...

What there to paraphrase? Enlight me.
You called precisely enough defined bunch of people.
Parasites. Period.
You pretend that there is some other meaning?
Well, let's play this game. Your turn.
Only without trumpsplaining, please. %P

Larry Hart said...

@Anonymous (porohobot?),

A parasite steals energy from its host, preventing the host from using that energy, while providing no value in return. At best, the parasite is a free-rider off of the unwilling host. At worst, the host dies from lack of energy.

Dr Brin is using the term metaphorically to describe what certain players on Wall Street do to the buyers and sellers there.

I'm not sure what you find objectionable in the comparison. The English language expression, "If the shoe fits, wear it," would seem to apply.

porohobot said...

Larry
There also "first against the wall" -- you think I/we stupid and don't grok meaning?
Also there is threat of revolution (and what they do to people against the wall, a? during revolts)
And it without saying that all idea that WS ard pests
IS totally wrong. Per se.

Larry Hart said...

porohobot:

And it without saying that all idea that WS ard pests
IS totally wrong.


I don't hear Dr Brin as saying all of Wall St is parasites.

He's calling out that subset who are the parasites. "Wall St parasites" meaning "Those parasites who operate on Wall St.". It doesn't mean that the description applies to all of Wall St.


Anonymous said...

Larry, are you kidding?

Anonymous said...

Larry, are you kidding?

Larry Hart said...

No.

Larry Hart said...

Are you sealioning? Because whether or not you really are, it's starting to seem like you are.

https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/sea-lioning

Just saying.

David Brin said...

I am this close to declaring this person to be a troll. He fills our feed with half of its total number of words, all by himself. He ignores our advice on how to be concise and how to paraphrase.

We try to be patient that he is working in a foreign language to him. His English is better than our Ukrainian. But then he assumes - reflexively - that every misunderstanding MUST be our fault and not due to his unfamiliarity with common usage in the west or metaphors.

Misunderstanding is to be expected. His rush to automatic rage and assumption that every misunderstanding is MY fault...? Well that is simply stupid.

He seems unwilling to learn. Unwilling to control his temper, and unwilling to consider paraphrasing or questions before declaring what another person meant.

These are traits of a troll.

Kick me if I answer even a single posting of his, before March.

Alfred Differ said...

David,

A side bet for 2050? Heh. I might have some difficulty being here to collect, but why not. 8)

My bet is he has NOT sold it yet, but might in the sense Napoleon sold Louisiana to raise funds. It might not be Putin who actually sells it, but it might be the same kind of fund-raising need.

... and yes. The obvious buyer would be China. That would be a huge deal for them because they will be the only power who can force roads into the area to exploit the resources. Won't be long and China will have the biggest economy, but to exploit Siberia they will have to figure out how to avoid Japan's financial trap.

Russian paranoia makes sense given their invasion history, but I think that will be enough to seal their fate in a world where The West remains potent. Even without the vodka, they have problems that can't be beaten without joining us. They COULD survive, but not as they are now.

I expect China AND Japan will finish the century strong and intact mostly because China has a really, really long history of surviving anything with their civilization intact and the Japanese have an unparalleled cultural cohesiveness. They will be in competition with each other, though, so I don't think the US will face them as a unified opponent any time soon.

Alfred Differ said...

Duncan,

You are looking at the load on the average worker and I agree with your view of that with respect to the Japanese. What I'm more concerned with is what Ricardo pointed out regarding market size vs population. More people in the market means more specialization which means more wealth (in general) which means those taxing it can provide more basic services without harming the market.

If your tax base shrinks, so does your military budget. Japan doesn't have that as a concern right now. Russia does. The usual Russian solution is governance through terror through their secret police... and it works for a while... until they get so cash-strapped they can't even do that.

Japan is facing the possibility of a shrinking population by adding robots as replacements to provide for the labor they will not have any other way they will consider acceptable. The US solves labor shortages by importing people and automating. Japan doesn't import people like we do, but CAN push automation to try to make up for it. Therefore, they have a chance to survive.

Russia's future is being stolen by their mafia leadership and that is inherently negative sum. They are $^!#@'ed.

Jon S. said...

For the benefit of our visitor who obviously doesn't know the provenance of the phrase "first against the wall" when referencing The Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy, as I seem to recall our host doing:

The Encyclopedia Galactica defines a robot as a mechanical apparatus designed to do the work of a man. The marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation defines a robot as "Your Plastic Pal Who's Fun to Be With."

The
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy defines the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as "a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes," with a footnote to the effect that the editors would welcome applications from anyone interested in taking over the post of robotics correspondent.

Curiously enough, an edition of the
Encyclopedia Galactica that had the good fortune to fall through a time warp from a thousand years in the future defined the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as "a bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came."

Mike Will said...

Alfred Differ said "Japan doesn't import people like we do, but CAN push automation to try to make up for it."

Alas, automation cannot be pre-designed and planned. Witness the disastrous focus on Prolog by Japan in the 1980s. http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/5thgen.htm

AI is not a well-oiled machine that can be harnessed and enslaved. It's a living, breathing, evolving beast. The more that government and industry arrogantly squeezes their grasp on it, the more it will slip through their fingers. I'm not entirely in agreement with Dr. Brin's assessment of China's lead for example. What's needed is an "Eccentric Order" as in "Foundation's Triumph". Such a caste might even contain some AIs someday.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Alfred
The Japanese home market is 127 million people

I do agree that there is a minimum size and that below that there will be problems but I am also quite sure that it is a fair way below 127 million

Here (NZ) with 4 million we are probably on the low side - Australia with 20 million - not sure
But the UK with 65 million is definitely on the high side

porohobot said...

>> David Brin said...

It's you are who making death threats to precisely defined group of people. And trying to play ignorance in responce on direct accusations. I already seen it somwhere. Oh yes. It's what Trump doing, almost all the time. And before him, Put_in and his vatniks... toward my country! By occupaing it. And making surprised face "why you shouting at us? why be so mad? what we did to you? you must be crazy".
100% outrageous hypocrisy.
Well. Why would I be raged becuse of such small thing, eh... (angry, this time I'm definitly, angry... well, no... I already past that state, after 5 years... but still, it need to be directed)

porohobot said...

>> Jon S. said...

And what your clarifications might mean? You think I, as descendant of 1917 Revolution and many following atrocities of it, as one who beholded our own prolonged revolution... in 2004 and bloody bath 2014... do not understand what "a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes" might mean. Really???

As fer me, it's you who doesn't understand a shit.

Well, you don't think that I'm that damn stupid and don't understand what you trying to force me to *paraphrase* -- that it was not a direct death threat, but just playfull historical reference -- if you'll do it that way, you'll be killed.
Like it makes any difference.
We here, 5(five) years already do listening vioces from abroad, which promptly oscilate between this "opposites": from mild "if you'll continue doing it, stupid ukri, you'd be harmed, see other historical examples -- losers like you always ending bad" and to raged "we should throw H-bomb at you!!! why only Put_in waiting! he is too kind to you, bloody fascists!!!" and back again, with short stop on "let's be peacefull, let's discuss things... but first, you must admit that you, ukrainians, are not right here, that you are fascists... only then... (change of vioce) we'll make minced meat of you, stupid ukr... (and then again) let's be peacefull, let's discuss things...".

porohobot said...

>> Alfred Differ said...
...they have problems that can't be beaten without joining us.

And that is sole goal they trying to achieve -- as Tabaqui which seeking for its Shere Khan. If not with you, then with China. And all their mischiefs it's because of trying to look strong as they (he, Put_in) understand with his little delinquent mindset. It's the common place for all experts here in Ukraine and in RFia itself.
As Boris Nemtsov did say before he was killed: "He is yobnutii/fucked!".

More people in the market means more specialization which means more wealth (in general) which means those taxing it can provide more basic services without harming the market.

That level of "futurism" as in that famous early 20th century prediction "London will be flooded with manure in 20th century".

For today economy much more important to have more broad market. World size if possible.

The usual Russian solution is governance through terror through their secret police...

Currently. They using west-styled government controlled public media propaganda machine. "Secret police" used *very* little. And to make some needed news footages only.

The US solves labor shortages by importing people and automating.

They trying to do the same. As I said, they mirroring you. Trying to take you as example. Their military operations -- direct "monkey see, monkey do" of your operations in Iraq and Syria, etc.

Japan doesn't import people like we do...

They do. Philipinians for example.

Russia's future is being stolen by their mafia leadership and that is inherently negative sum.

That's what I'm trying to say -- their current modus operandi -- it's exact their reaction on economics threats they see the same as you. Because they use the same economics and politics theories as you now.
To call them "mafia" it's the same as to call your own government mafia.
By the same reasons. ;)

yana said...


David Brin thought:

"about to appeal to the next idealist who might use this maneuver to save his own country… and possibly the world."

Good thing there's a census next year, we might be able to pick out a very special demographic. There are many young Americans born here, who hold dual citizenship thanks to their immigrant parents. And one thing we do better than most other nations is raise 2nd-generation citizens with greater levels of patriotism and moral solidity, often greater than many whose family have been here for a couple centuries.

Another structural strength here is the depth and breadth of education possibilities. Imagine the mythical steamy nation of Guadurasalvas. Juan left to study medicine in the USA in 1988, met Juanita here and married and stayed, became naturalized in 1993. In their house, English and Spanish are used equally, and they've been taking all four kids to Guadurasalvas every January for years.

Those kids, now ages 23 to 28, are able and eligible to enter public service in Guadurasalvas, and they have a lifetime's view of the contradiction of politics. They see the advantage they have in a stable democracy in the US, so it becomes all the more glaring, that the poverty in Guadurasalvas is purely result of cumulative pennyweight corruption.

American dual-citz kids have a special and unique ability. Please excuse a moment of cynicism, but criminal people in Latin America have a habit of rubbing out honest politicians, right? But... if such a reformer pol also holds American citizenship, then assassination is a much trickier basket of snakes for a small-nation mafia to consider.

Recall this: as of today, there are 2/3 of a million children in Mexico's schools, kids who are also American citizens.

progressbot said...

>> Mike Will said...

Excellent insights! I maybe have something to add to it. But surely not in this noisy place.

Anonymous said...

When I (tried to) defend myself of that foul accusation, you remember about “women and science”? I did it by promptly showing that my words was:
torn out of context, edited, twisted and re-interpreted in attempt to make them to look more foully.

Am I doing something like that to our host?

Did I tear his words out of context? No. My quote if full and precise. And contain that colorful metaphor, you know about “wasp and cricket”, that leaves no space to pretend that “parasites” have some other meaning.

Am I edited it, to look worse? No. It's directly, byte to byte, symbol to symbol copy-pasted text. To which I only added some bolding to highlite.

Am I twisting any meaning??? As far as it going, all self-designated guardians only proved that meanings of words is just correct. “Parasites” is parasites. “First against the wall” is about revolutionary massacre. Etc.

There is no binding, no twisting of the meaning of these words from my side.


So. Maybe I re-interpret it in some wrong way? Well. The question itself do remind me something. :)

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all.


If that is the case. I wash my hands here.(c) I can only assume that our great host is just that "master of his words". Same as other "great masters": Trump, Putin... Humpty Dumpty.

PS Position of authority... doesn't make anyone automatically right. Period.

Anonymous said...

upd:PS Position of authority... doesn't make anyone the Right One, automatically. Only to judge and not to be judged. Well, except if you are Feu-Dal... or High Tovarisch, honored member of the Party. Nobles oblige. To be higher than any rules of logic and science. To be higher than Truth.

Anonymous said...

Well, and yeah...


Criticism is the source of all evil... bleh, only known antidote to error (c)


what an unholly that certain someone who coined zat damned rule? ;)
(I know, I know, it's blasphemy, zat rule of criticism was for Equal, among Feu-Dals and High Tovarischi, memebers Only)

Well, thank you for your attention, every one. If something. And in advance.
You showed me good deal of differnet stuff here. About USA... and about us, ukrainians.
That we are not that bad. Yes unrefined, barbaric often. In according to our breeding lines. Prone to self-loathing much. But still keep that light of benevolence and self-account, and self-irony. Being surraunded by sheer arrogance and narcissism. As from our northern adversaries, as from our western "hand of help" ones.
It's a good call to make our own proud nation... with pundits and public saints, and arrogance and narcissism of our own... :P if only be given some time.

Larry Hart said...

progressbot:

I maybe have something to add to it. But surely not in this noisy place.


Now you are joking.

Anonymous said...

This passage was used in Britain by Lord Atkin in his dissenting judgement in the seminal case Liversidge v. Anderson (1942), where he protested about the distortion of a statute by the majority of the House of Lords.[26] It also became a popular citation in United States legal opinions, appearing in 250 judicial decisions in the Westlaw database as of 19 April 2008, including two Supreme Court cases (TVA v. Hill and Zschernig v. Miller).[27]

PS It seems. I'm in good company. Of that ones who used zat quote for good.
Thank you Lewis. (rising hat)

Anonymous said...

>> Larry Hart said...
\\Are you sealioning? Because whether or not you really are, it's starting to seem like you are.

\\https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/sea-lioning

\\Just saying.

It's for you, Larry, to answer. To yourself. Was Lord Atkin sea-lioning the jury? I see this question as important as it was, forever.

Mike Will said...

This is what I mean by the unpredictability of AI. It's not just "Forbin Project" type Frankenstein-esque danger. Beware of the coming age of Fake Text.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/14/elon-musk-backed-ai-writes-convincing-news-fiction

Jon S. said...

Pobot, your words were quoted exactly as you expressed them. If you meant the opposite of what you said, it was your responsibility to clarify when asked to do so. You didn't clarify; you doubled down.

And again here. Either you lack even the semblance of a sense of humor, or you're a troll dispatched with the deliberate aim to attempt to undermine Dr. Brin's arguments by presenting a ludicrous misinterpretation as if it were reality.

You have made me regret unshrouding you. Back under the sheet you go.

Anonymous said...

>> Jon S. said...
\\Pobot, your words were quoted exactly as you expressed them.

What words? That from "women and science" case? Because I don't see any quoted my words in this thread.

Than it's outrageous lie. Yet one time.
Thank you.


\\And again here. Either you lack even the semblance of a sense of humor

It's about this "parasites" thing, I presume. Am I right?

Then. You are right.
I do not have that twisted sense of humor to joke about human lives.
Thank you.



>> Mike Will said...
//Beware of the coming age of Fake Text.

That is old one. Even ancient. They did text compilation from long ago. Even poetry. ;)

Text comprehension would be much more interesting. ;)

Mike Will said...

"That is old one ... Text comprehension would be much more interesting"


Read the article. Stop spewing for a moment and learn:



Feed it the opening line of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four – “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen” – and the system recognises the vaguely futuristic tone and the novelistic style, and continues with:

“I was in my car on my way to a new job in Seattle. I put the gas in, put the key in, and then I let it run. I just imagined what the day would be like. A hundred years from now. In 2045, I was a teacher in some school in a poor part of rural China. I started with Chinese history and history of science.”

Anonymous said...

"and pass simple reading comprehension tests, often performing as well or better than other AIs that have been built specifically for those tasks."

and https://github.com/openai/gpt-2

PS I do not believe that some model trained only on Internet bullshit texts,
will gain some smarts. :)

Anonymous said...

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/05/magical-thinking-about-machine-learning-will-not-bring-artificial-intelligence-any-closer

"Ali Rahimi, one of the field’s acknowledged stars, lobbed an intellectual grenade into the audience. In a remarkable lecture he likened ML to medieval alchemy."

Mike Will said...

"medieval alchemy"

Totally agree (although remember that Newton was an alchemist). ML is to AI what a paper airplane is to the starship Enterprise.

Even Hinton has grave doubts:
https://www.axios.com/artificial-intelligence-pioneer-says-we-need-to-start-over-1513305524-f619efbd-9db0-4947-a9b2-7a4c310a28fe.html


You know that I'm a theory of mind guy. My point was that we as a society, indeed as a species, ignore all forms of AI at our great peril. Complacency = extinction.

progressbot said...

I remember that Carpaty post... from which ML started for many of us (no for me :) )... how long ago it was... yes, 2015 year.
It was marvelous -- some RNN that could produce some looking concise text...
for example Linux kernel source code.
But it was a scam. That code was non-compilable.

So yes. ML it's like Geron steam toy... not Fulton's "Turbibia" ;)


\\You know that I'm a theory of mind guy.

I think I understand it... but very vaguely. Can you elaborate?


\\My point was that we as a society, indeed as a species, ignore all forms of AI at our great peril. Complacency = extinction.

As it seems... we tend to ignore even basic logic and science.

But from other side... as said someone of great -- before making artifical *intelligence* we need to make artifical stupidity. :)

Mike Will said...

The conflation of ML (mindless back-propogation), and AI (theory of mind) has been a bugaboo for me for years. Theory of mind for me entails the ability to infer and comprehend intention in another. Real minds know other minds.

In the spring of 2011, I spent a couple of months deeply ruminating over what Asimov might have wrought had he lived longer. He died right at the dawn of the supercomputer age. I wish I had waited one or two years because in late 2012 I recognized the perfect model for computational psychohistory: competing agents. Others had arrived at the party before me, but they hadn't brought the good doctor along. These agents could be simulated on a vast scale. How vast? Vast enough to get me laughed out of the room by developers I admire and respect. Not fun. I take no Cassandran pride from being an outcast. I'm happy to defend an argument against sincere criticism (and even lose), but nobody likes being summarily dismissed as an idiot.

Recently, America re-took the fastest supercomputer title from the Chinese for the first time in five years (Summit machine at ORNL).
https://www.wired.com/story/worlds-fastest-supercomputer-breaks-ai-record/
By my rough calculation, it has well over 100 trillion transistors. Carl Sagan's "Billions and Billions" line is becoming quaint. Any form of matter has computational potential -- clay, DNA, even a star's innards. Those numbers are beyond astronomical. And Summit is just one computer, and one with a rather transitory namesake. Distributed computing and the Internet of Things are orders of magnitude bigger. Like Trantor grew a skin of steel, Earth is rapidly growing a skin of silicon and low-power radio waves. I keep thinking back to the 3 transistors that once enabled this farm boy to listen to baseball games while toiling on a hay wagon or sitting in a tree. Calculemus! indeed.

progressbot said...

\\Theory of mind for me entails the ability to infer and comprehend intention in another. Real minds know other minds.

Quite a big jump... while we don't have even robots with artifical instincts. ;)

\\perfect model for computational psychohistory: competing agents.

I see a problem just from the start -- how this agents will be related to physical world?
It's important. As we cannot be sure that our findings in some model space can be used in our real world.
That's where Lenat was stumbled...

\\but nobody likes being summarily dismissed as an idiot.

Exponential Techs its hard topic.
Many tend to scratch mere surface of it with some "gray goo", "skynet", etc popular among journalists bullshit.


My ideas grow from philosophy... and from Lem's fiction. What is basically the same.

We need to state clear -- what is our mind. why it works.
In such a way we'll be able to make search space as small as possible.
And only after what we can try to expore that space for definite clues.

David Brin said...

I just skimmed down and I see that there's been no effort to move in a direction of mature engagement or curiosity. Just page after page of porohobot's indignant howls.

Let me poll you fellows; shall I wait a bit? Or is it time to switch to moderated mode and purge the trolls? I've been proud of our open door policy and did not let locumranch or treebeard change it (and we've had worse.) But the sheer volume and length of these self-pity howls may drive away members who have better uses for their time.

Your advice is welcome.

jim said...

As someone who has come down on your bad side before,
It is your blog.
So it is your rules.

There is nothing wrong with you purging other people posts and banning people.

If people don't like what you are doing they are free to go someplace else.

Darrell E said...

I don't add much here, but I've enjoyed reading here since the Bush Jr. era. The bot identities are definitely more annoying than interesting. It is disappointing to pop in hoping to read some interesting conversation and find pretty much nothing but bot screeds filled with shitty attitude, gratuitous insults, poor or perhaps disingenuous interpretations of what others have said, etc...

But I doubt the bot will run me off. And I respect your liberal commenting policies. Your tolerance is pretty impressive. You do tend to be excitable but you are very gracious in the leeway you give your guests here to disagree with you, even impolitely and even to repeatedly insult you. I don't know what else the bot could ask for.

Ilithi Dragon said...

I've never been a fan of banning people unless they are unequivocally malevolent, and I don't think porohobot has really demonstrated that.

But I also have been skimming most of his posts lately (no offense, dude, but post after post after post by the same guy, when they're all on the harder side to read and comprehend, and half-ranty or off in the weeds makes for poor reading), and I haven't read any of the comments on the last couple posts (busy with things), so I can't really comment on whether or not porohobot has demonstrated bannable behavior.




On-topic...

The only thing I will say regarding Russia is that I'm increasingly certain that we've been in another Cold War with them for somewhere around a decade or so now, and we're only just now starting to realize it.



Regarding US politics, have you guys read the Green New Deal proposal?

You might have already discussed it in the last couple post threads, and if so, I apologize for rehashing old topics, but the only other people I regularly talk with whom I can discuss this are my best friend (with whom I regularly rehash and recreate the Jefferson-Hamilton arguments, with him in the role of Jefferson and me in the role of Hamilton), and another good friend who is also staunchly conservative and draws too much news from Fox et al., and usually defaults to (mostly) joking about throwing communists out of helicopters...

My take on it was mostly an eye-roll. About half of it was generally agreeable or obvious "we all agree this should be done" stuff, and between a quarter and a third of the rest was all pie-in-the-sky populist stuff. And all of it was a list of "things we would like to do/have happen" with no actual proposals for how to go about making any of it happen.

I think Ocasio-Cortez has gotten a bad wrap in a lot of ways (she is particularly susceptible to "crazy face still-shot" syndrome, for example), and her political opponents definitely have been drumming hard on the ad hominem attacks. Having listened to a number of her speeches, interviews, etc., I am certain she is not as crazy as my communists-aren't-people friend, BUT, and there is a but, I get a strong vibe of much of her platform being pie-in-the-sky "things we want but can never realistically achieve" stuff. Not all of it, but a lot of her platform strikes me as the same sort of promises or plans that the high schooler running for student council makes when they promise that if they get elected, there will be pizza for lunch every day, and a 2-hour recess, and free vending machines on every hall corner, etc. etc.

Anyone else getting this vibe?

jim said...

To me Ocasio-Cortez seems to be one of the very few politicians who actually understands that we are really in an existential crisis.

The rapid heating of the arctic is already destabilizing the northern hemispheres jet stream. This will cause weather patterns to stall for long periods of time. And that will lead to places that get too much rain or too little rain at the wrong times for agriculture. We will not be waiting until 2050 or 2080 before this becomes a problem, it will be a problem in the 2020s.

We have passed the peak and now surplus energy per capita is now falling. And with wealth and prosperity being functions of surplus energy, that means we will have fewer resources per capita to deal with the problem.

The recent news about insects is terrifying. Some 40% of all insects globally are now endangered. In Puerto Rico a recent population survey found that the population of some arthropods have been reduced 98% in protected environmental preserves. If this is not stopped, we are facing cascading ecological collapse on a global scale.

So given that we are in a crisis, the green new deal is spending a lot on increasing social cohesion. Making sure everyone has medical care, and a job and the sense that we are in this together. I think that is really important because the change we need to make is massive.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Ilithi

Re - the new Green Deal

The actual proposals are mostly just good sense - bit like our hosts TWODA

I don't see anything in the actual proposal that is way out there

YES - most of it is obvious to anybody sensible - but the other 40% are NOT "Sensible"

As far as banning the BOTS - I am in favour - they/it have been given enough rope now it's time to hang them

David Brin said...

David Brin said...

Ilithi glad when you reappear. (Has anyone a way to contact Catfish n' Cod? SHould we have a buddy system where one other member knows how to reach each of you and ask: "You okay buddy?")

Your 'Communists aren't people' pals can be answered simply with "YOU are the commies, dude. The Czarist Checka became the KGB which became Putin's mafia-oligarchy -- the same dirty tricks. They tried appealing to the left out here and got nowhere. Now they've found that just dropping the hammer and sickle emblems and renaming their "commissars' as 'billionaire oligarchs' lets them easily suborn the idiotic American right."

In fact, hammer-and-sickle is still on the banner of two out of three major despots who Trump plans to debrief with -- I mean "meet" with -- over the next couple of months, without a single US official present to witness his new marching orders. Any news network that excuses that is a Kremlin stooge agency. Any American who excuses it is a pure traitor.
===

As for the Green New Deal, well, I applaud AOC's resurrection of Rooseveltean memes! I've been urging that some democrat do it, for a decade now. She's not yet citing the Greatest Generation, which is how to make this maneuver a killer.

She needs an ally to say "We'll do as much of this as we (with more help from the rich) can pay for."

But above all, someone needs to be saying: "I think this idea has great merits and the facts support it. But we'll get nowhere, politically, until facts themselves regain respect. FACT even as a concept. Restoration of some sense of objective evidence has to come first. Then the rest will win or lose on their merits."

A.F. Rey said...

The vibe is definitely that the Green New Deal is "pie in the sky," especially from the Right.

But as FiveThirtyEight points out, practical plans haven't worked out, either.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-green-new-deal-is-impractical-but-practical-solutions-havent-worked-either/

Perhaps it is best to ask for the pie-in-the-sky, then settle for what we can do. That way the Right can claim they kept the Left from bankrupting the country, while the Left can get some actual legislation passed. A "win-win!" :)

matthew said...

AOC is demonstrating what happens when you combine a progressive with excellent social media skillz and add a dash of tongue in cheek humor. I expect she will either be a major political force or an assassination victim. Or both. The dunderheads *hate* her.

Re: banning - while I think none of our trolls add one iota to the conversation except as bad examples I not see a reason to ban them. Their (hypothetical) grandkids will want to read the record of their words to understand the mental history that runs in their families. I see only threats of violence as reasons to ban. The ent has threatened *me* but I got ways to deal with that. I'm a big boy. He has not threatened our host that I can remember. That has rightly been a red line in the past.

Ilithi Dragon said...

I like being around, but there's a lot I can't comment on, or can't comment meaningfully on, and I like to be able to say something of at least some substance when I post, most of the time.


Re "Pinochet did nothing wrong": I've slowly been introducing the argument that his jokes about communism are no different than the jokes about punching Nazis that he objected to a while back (back when there was a big shtick about punching Nazis on social media, etc.), and it kind of brought him up short when I recently said so directly.

He's a really smart guy, but he's thoroughly entrenched in his views, and shifting him out of his partisan isolationism is a slow process.

On that subject, actually, one of the things that has been a frequent subject of debate is high marginal tax rates and such, particularly with the proposed 70% top marginal tax rate. He insists that it's terrible, and that the claims of supporters of high top marginal tax rates that it encourages the wealthy to reinvest in businesses, etc. to avoid the tax rates are false, and that during the 50s/60s/70s, they just invested it in property (which was considered a net loss by the IRS at the time), and wrote it off as losses on their taxes. Can anyone point me in the direction of reliable/reputable sources that lay out support for high marginal tax rates? I don't have the time, nor really the expertise, to delve far into the weeds for it, myself, but my friend invests way more energy in obsessing over political issues, and trolling conservative meme and news sites than I do, and I haven't been able to provide much argument against him (in no small part because he comes into these conversations after having read several articles or memes on the subject, while I'm more interested in playing video games, sharing funny memes, or trying to ransom back my Hammerhead corvette in Star Citizen (more on that later)).


A quick note on the notion of "Yes, these are sensible, but the other 40% aren't sensible": When discussing the GND with my Free Helicopter Rides friend, he actually agreed that much of the proposal was TWODA, or stuff that everyone agreed was important or something that should be done. Agreed that saving the environment, etc. etc. was all important. He specifically disagreed with the proposals for how to go about doing that, and how to go about improving or fixing the economy (specifically there, he opposed anything that sounded like socialism). His dismissal of the GND on those things was not that they were not important, etc., but that there was nothing in the GND that would actually have any meaningful or realistic impact towards those goals.

"Save the environment!" generates an eye roll, because it's something that many conservatives don't disagree with, but rather the methods, and when you don't talk specific methods, or talk methods that aren't exactly viable (like depending exclusively on wind and solar and other renewables for base load power), it comes across as pie-in-the-sky, or just dumb.

Perhaps instead of trying to convince people to save the environment, we should shift the conversation to assuming that they, too, want to maintain the environment, and that we just need to hammer out how we're all going to go about doing it?


Jumping a bit, on the subject of renewables, for the love of anything that might be holy, can we please convince the Left to embrace nuclear power? Renewables just won't cut it, and unless you go hippy-amish lifestyle for the world, it's the only thing that will allow us to have a tech-based future and not burn out the planet.

Ilithi Dragon said...

And for the fun video game story. One of the reasons I haven't been around much lately (besides the whole promotion = more work and responsibilities thing) is that I've been getting active in Star Citizen. I actually run a unit/guild, or "org" in Star Citizen terms, called the Black Widow Company. The Widows were originally a MechWarrior gaming unit, founded in 1996 (not by me, I didn't join until 2012 timeframe), and have been active in various MW titles over the years, most recently MechWarrior Online. The player community for that has been on its last legs for a while, and a year or so ago we finally gave up on the game and went into a semi-inactive status while searching for a new game (though we knew that it would most likely be SC). Star Citizen has developed enough now to be worth getting into, and I've started scraping the Widows back together and trying to get us started in Star Citizen.

Part of that was a real-monies investment in a Hammerhead Corvette (currently the largest warship in the game, though it's still in Alpha development stage and there are a lot bigger ships coming much further down the line). It's a pretty awesome ship, and rather well-armed, but all of its guns are in turrets, so it requires a crew to effectively operate. Perfect for the flagship of an organized unit.

The stock weapons on it are fairly mediocre, however. They're not the worst, but they're not the best. I wanted to upgrade the guns, but I didn't have good data on weapons performance beyond a few basics, so I spent about a week-and-a-half grinding up in-game monies to buy weapons for my corvette (my life in the game became running drugs to buy guns).

I finally got them all bought and equipped, and took the Hammerhead out for a spin solo, to get some preliminary data on fire rates, etc. Came back to the starting station, Port Olisar, landed and hopped out. While I landed, there was a fighter buzzing around me, but I thought nothing of it, because people frequently get excited to see Hammerheads, because they're big and still fairly rare and expensive. I landed, locked the ship, hopped out, made sure nobody was on the elevator platform before I sent it back up and closed the ship, and headed off the pad.

Some rando guy was jogging around me as I was heading off, so I turned to see what he was about, only to find that the pad was empty, and there was my ship, sailing off into the distance.

Turns out, there's a glitch, where if you're in a small ship or fighter with a get-out-of-cockpit animation, and you put your ship right against the hull of a ship with room to walk around inside and exit your cockpit, it'll clip you into the other ship, and you can bypass the outer door locks. That fighter that was flitting around as I landed was moving to do just that, and the guy got in my ship, and ran off with it.

After a brief "WTF" moment, I told him I didn't mind if he ran around with it, just so long as he brought it back, because I'd just put some guns on it that I didn't want to lose. He asked me how much it was worth it to me to get the ship back instead of having him self-destruct (there is an insurance system in the game, so I would be able to claim the ship and get it back, but only the stock version. The half-million United Earth Credits worth of non-stock weapons I'd put on it would be lost).

Now I'm faced with a dilemma. On the one hand, I don't want to cooperate with terrorists/hostage takers/pirates on principle, on the other hand, I don't want to lose the week and a half time I spent getting the money ground up for those weapons.

Ilithi Dragon said...

I debate for a moment, give him some minor argument, but finally accept that I'm going to have to pay this guy to get my ship back. Hopefully. I'm not an idiot, however, and was not about to trust that I'd actually get my ship back, so I told him I only had 40,000 UEC left to my name (I actually had about 250K UEC). We talked a bit, made arrangements (he parked the HH in a "safe location" and would only take me there after getting paid), and after he cleared the crime stat he had on his character so he could accept beacons (the only way to transfer currency between players at the moment), I met up with him and made the transaction.

I got a little sketched because he gave me a ride in a Hawk, which is a fighter designed for bounty hunters, with a prisoner compartment. So I had to ride in his naughty seat, expecting to get dumped out in the middle of nowhere, or hauled to the ship, only to watch it get blown up before being summarily shot myself.

Fortunately, this particular pirate was rather amicable, or at least forward-thinking enough to know that if he blew up and killed his victims, they wouldn't cooperate the next time, and I got my ship back. I also recorded the guy's screen name and added him to my "Kill-On-Sight" list.

If you guys are into any kind of video gaming at all, I do recommend checking out Star Citizen. There is a deep breadth of sci-fi lore behind the game, and even in Alpha-level development stage, it's quite fun.

It will also be an interesting sociological study, because the developers are planning the game to have serious consequences for death, etc., while also having piracy and other "criminal" activities be a fully-viable option for playing.

The player interactions around JumpTown alone are extremely interesting.

JumpTown is a tiny little drug lab, hidden on a moon, with no nav markers to get to it. The only way to find it is to navigate the hard way, via landmarks and the MK1 Eyeball. It sells a drug called Widow, which is far and away the most valuable trade commodity in the game right now (10x the profit-per-unit than the most valuable legitimate commodity, and 5-10x the credits-per-time of any other way of making money, or more if you have a big cargo ship and are willing to risk it).

JT is also the Wild Wild West, because there is no "armistice zone" or safe zone around the lab - travel there and land at your own risk. Hostile action is quite common, both from paranoid drug traders and from PVP gankers trolling or just looking for a fight.

BUT, players will frequently set up over JT in dedicated combat ships and provide security, often free-of-charge. I've run into players who quietly sat over JT with fighters while cargo ships ran in and out, and I've run with other units that ran JT security ops, broadcasting their operations in public chat and clearing the approach of ships whether they were in their org or not (and I've also seen other orgs lock down JT, shooting down anyone who wasn't part of their op).

The dynamics that operate around JT are intriguing, to say the least, and the random encounters with other players that you frequently have little or no ability to identify, out in the wild where there are few consequences for killing someone, other than the risk of dying (and all of those associated consequences) can make for an interesting case study in human nature and behavior.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Ilithi
Re - Nuclear power
I am all in favor of Nuclear power - the radiation and waste worries are stupid and easily sorted
BUT there is a problem - the "Cost" of nuclear has stayed the same or increased in the last 40 years while the "Cost" of the opposition has plummeted

Today the unholy triumvirate Solar, Wind and Storage together are CHEAPER than Nuclear power and their costs are still dropping

It takes 20 years to get a new Nuclear plant permitted built and operational - at today's costs that is more expensive than the triumvirate - in another 20 years Nuclear will still be the same cost and the opposition will be half that price

The time for Nuclear has come! - and Gone

Green Deal
https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/sites/ocasio-cortez.house.gov/files/Resolution%20on%20a%20Green%20New%20Deal.pdf

Read what was actually said in the resolution
To me the resolution has
(1) Sensible aims
(2) Good suggestions about how to achieve them
(3) Stretch goals for time frame

TheMadLibrarian said...

Duncan and Ilithi, maybe you can help answer a question I've been contemplating. For a typical (if there is such a thing) nuclear powered vessel, which wears out or becomes obsolete first: the powerplant or the superstructure? One can imagine a second life for retired subs or carriers, parked offshore with large power cables running into a nearby town. I believe they did something of the kind when PR was run over by Hurricane Maria, using a Navy ship to provide auxiliary power.

David Brin said...

Ilithi, your recounting of Star Citizen encounters was terrific! It updated me on many game-play aspects for 2019 in a rapid-efficient and entertaining (!) way. And yes, I do need to know this stuff. (I had a short story in JOYSTIK Magazine in 1979 that was the first ever portrayal of multi-player team combat space gaming.)

I kinda envy you. Well, for the available lifespan to play this. What fun.

How interesting that soldiers getting back from patrol in Afgh & Syria shower and then plop in front of a shooter game...
====

David Brin said...

Ilithi: “Can anyone point me in the direction of reliable/reputable sources that lay out support for high marginal tax rates?”

Ocasio-Cortez uses the “New Deal” reference to tug at memories of “when America was great”… when we bestrode the world as a titan. We can leverage nostalgia for that era to our advantage, by citing who the Greatest Generation admired above all other humans. And citing their high marginal tax rates as part of the very reason why our reformed-flat-fair,.middle class market friendly society out-performed all versions of ‘socialism”… unless you include FDR as a “socialist” in which case it’s the way to go, to avoid the feudal-oligarchic failure mode of 99.9% of the last 6000 years.

Your confederate friends won’t be persuaded by economic arguments or fact comparisons. Or by pointing out that oligarchies killed more enterprise than socialism ever did. They SHOULD be persuadable by the stark difference in DP versus GOP OUTCOMES… http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/06/so-do-outcomes-matter-more-than-rhetoric.html

… but that’s too dry. The simplest argument is that it was the Roosevelteans who made America “great” in the first place/

I.D.: “Agreed that saving the environment, etc. etc. was all important. He specifically disagreed with the proposals for how to go about doing that…”

What “disagreement over how”? He and his cult absolutely refuse to negotiate. They canceled NASA satellites that would have nailed the facts. Then they ordered NASA to ignore the Earth as a planet and banned even use of the word “Earth.” Your helicopter pal saves hundreds at the pump because of rising gas mileage standards that his party screamed at, delayed for a decade and fought every inch of the way… and that GM and Ford complied with easily, making ever-better cars at ever lower inflation adjusted prices. It's called hypocrisy.

We eat fish caught from piers in Pittsburgh and cancer rates are plummeting everywhere that clean air laws fixed the air. Yet, he partakes in the demonizing of fact people and those who want to prevent the spread of massive deserts that will send a billion refugees flooding every border. In other words, he is an insane hypocrite.

“when you don't talk specific methods, or talk methods that aren't exactly viable (like depending exclusively on wind and solar and other renewables for base load power), it comes across as pie-in-the-sky, or just dumb.”

This is not my experience. Rather, they recite comforting chants proclaiming THAT every single lib’rul is an impractical fanatic who wants us all shivering in the dark without jobs. It is a magical incantation that lets them pretend they are the reasonable, pragmatic ones. Ignoring the fact that their cult now wages open war on every single fact-using profession, and mocks the very concept of “fact-checking.” What they will never have the manhood to do is take actual wagers over any of their Hannity nostrums.

David Brin said...


“ can we please convince the Left to embrace nuclear power?”

Utter malarkey. Look up Stewart Brand, a typical “techno-hippie” who has been pushing this for a decade. More progress was made onder Obama toward new nuclear designs that cannot melt down than across all republican administrations.

Yes, many on the left have anti-nuke reflexes. Perhaps even a slim majority. So? If these guys were sincere, they’d NEGOTIATE with the democrats’ right wing, opening the way for some serious openings in nuclear power to accompany more R&D and efficiency/sustainability. The real problem here is that the Putin-ists cannot even conceive anymore of the possibility of adult negotiation

…In fact, they nod along with Hannity thinking the “left” is just like them… dogmatic ditto-head fanatics. But 90% of Dems are not! Which is why every fact using profession from science to the military, is dropping the GOP like a plague-rotten corpse.

Try watching Rachel Maddow and noting the stunning difference between how she talks to her audience and how Hannity rails at his. To be honest, I have complaints about her! But she is at least a member of a species that believes in both facts and human thought.

yana said...


I too have a conservative friend who works all day with Rush and Sean wormtonguing into his ear on the shop floor. One Sunday, chanced upon Face The Nation on TV, and i said "oh, turn up the volume, that's Amy Walters." My friend looked at the screen and unleashed a string of invective, extra jarring since it was Sunday AM... he had assumed it was Rachel Maddow because it was a woman with short dark hair talking politics.

Me: "Dude, that's not Rachel Maddow, that's Amy Walters. Turn up the volume." And we did, and my friend had to eat some tasty crow, since Amy Walters works for Cook Political Report, has strong journalistic integrity, pretty good insight into USA politics, and a very even keel of seeking truth between red/blue.

My friend is intelligent. He supports ending many forms of discrimination. He's ex-military, good conduct, watches "art" films and likes both ballet and heavy metal. A very well-rounded American.

But yet, foxish media in a steady daily drippy drumbeat has taken part of his rational brain, and replaced it with a knee, ready to jerk on a moment's dogwhistle, a pundit lady's hairstyle.

And yet other parts of his brain are intact and clear, active in charitable causes and full of empathy for fellow human beings, maintaining a great sense of humor. An archetype of what this blog's host calls a RASR, and yet once in a while something pops out of that mouth which sounds unfiltered from Michael Savage.

It's a conundrum, but hopefully the more i listen, the more i will understand how to shine a light on Manchurian floral arrangements, the only way to make them shrivel.

porohobot said...

.


>> Darrell E said...
//I don't know what else the bot could ask for.

Maybe some intellectual honesty, no? From scientist, futurist... That word written "parasites" mean parasites. And not some deceitful double binded trumpsplaining -- that what you see, it's not what you must see. Especially, because I fed up with such things -- it's common pattern of RFia's propaganda (and USSR too, and at all any and every totalitarian regime and/or sect out there). Because RFia exercise that absolutely opaque Double Bind on national scale agains MY country. Just now. Continously and constantly. And readily exercise it on international level -- just look at each and every russian speach at UN Council. As part of their War Against West/Western Culture of logic and fact-based thinking.

And you say that I must calm down and let it be?!! That it's Ok???!!!!!


.

yana said...


On the subject of the p-bot, i don't read that in full anymore. If you do, there are intellectual gullies which will infuriate you, no matter what stripes color your political hide. But there's no response possible. When cornered with logic it conjures false equivalency, when addressed with accurate prose it claims miscommunication, and when praised it attempts sly implication of something solid and semi-mystical which it has in secret, and might give to you later, at a time which never comes. Am not convinced that p-bot is in Ukraine at all.

But that's me, your assay may vary. Totally possible that i'm wrong: that p-bot is an oppressed Ukie with deep thoughts which he may only safely say in anonymity and even then only by allusion.

If the host goes back to allowing responses only by an identity verified by a mega-corp, and p-bot is genuine, then p-bot may hunger so badly for the reasonable level of interaction he receives here, that he lets slip some PID on his meeds, something which makes him identifiable to Vlad Corleone's capos. In some places, it only takes a stolen car, a bit of rope, and a shopping bag.

Gut tells me p-bot is a red herring, but if I am wrong nobody gets hurt, so glad it's not my blog that p-bot haunts.

porohobot said...

>> yana said...
\\But yet, foxish media in a steady daily drippy drumbeat has taken part of his rational brain, and replaced it with a knee, ready to jerk on a moment's dogwhistle, a pundit lady's hairstyle.

Yep. That's what they did with own Dems in RFia. By making them look idiotic.


>> matthew said...
\\Their (hypothetical) grandkids will want to read the record of their words to understand the mental history that runs in their families.

Being eager for honesty and have fav toward logic and sciency thinking -- it's bad thing. It can make you have no children. I gotcha. Thank you, Mat.


>> David Brin said...
\\The Czarist Checka became the KGB...

What a pile of smelly bullshit. :) "Czarist Checka"?!! WAT???
Checka it's from "Chrezvichainaia Comisia"/Emergency Commitie born in time of Revolution and Civil War.
Czarist's was "Ohranka"/Imperial Guard/Jandarmerie.

\\renaming their "commissars' as 'billionaire oligarchs' lets them easily suborn the idiotic American right."

And rage up stupid ams leftys. To make them look idiotic. The same as they did with own left\Dems, that tried to back bite with same name-calling and swearing... so now common folk of RFia calling them nothing other then dem-shizoprenics, lib(pede)rasts and dem(shit)mocrats. Well, it'll suit you too. (tongue)

\\But above all, someone needs to be saying: "I think this idea has great merits and the facts support it. But we'll get nowhere, politically, until facts themselves regain respect. FACT even as a concept. Restoration of some sense of objective evidence has to come first. Then the rest will win or lose on their merits."

And that saying someone. Who cannot muster courage to admit simple fact. That "parasites" means parasites. Not "sweet cookies", not "fragrant flowers".
What a shitty irony. Demonstrate this so called Reality. (sad)


>> Duncan Cairncross said...
\\As far as banning the BOTS - I am in favour - they/it have been given enough rope now it's time to hang them

Thank you for a *kind* words. :)


>> Ilithi Dragon said...
\\The only thing I will say regarding Russia is that I'm increasingly certain that we've been in another Cold War with them for somewhere around a decade or so now, and we're only just now starting to realize it.

They never stoped it, actually. It's just you where too naive. To subcepted by Gorbachov's gantliness.

David Brin said...

It's Okhrana. And I am completely uninterested in the howls of self-pity from a screamer. You were interesting, at first. And maybe someday you will choose to behave as an adult. Until that day, I ask you to go away and leave adults alone.

I repeat. You are a deeply resentful and profoundly unpleasant person. Whatever merits your resentment may have had, there is no excuse for your incredible rudeness.

Go away now.

Anonymous said...

Guys! Wanna your opinion.

Let's assume there is a person, who claims that (s)he knows history of United States pretty damn well. To the level of being called an expert.
But (s)he says something like that, often:

Ku Klux Klan its organization of afro-americans in fight for their rights.

Hippy it's how was called policemans because of their new hipster uniform.

Texas rangers it's name of mexican-outlaws who cut wood and catch fish on northern borders.

What would you call it? Please be more specific. ;)

Porohobot said...

>> David Brin said...
\\It's Okhrana.

Britanika know it better. ;)

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Okhranka
Alternative Titles: Okhrana, Otdeleniye po Okhraneniyu Obshchestvennoy Bezopasnosti i Poryadka. Written By: The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica.


And of course, for me as for native speaker it's better known how it hears...
but mush lesser how it would be writtent in English.


\\Whatever merits your resentment...

Merits? It's damn simple. Intellectual honesty. Do You know what it is?


\\I repeat. You are a deeply resentful and profoundly unpleasant person.

First real, genuine and honest words from you for all time.
Without hypocritic cheap tricks -- tries to belittle opponent himself, instead of answering to his questions with intellectual honesty, ability to admit own errors.
Thank you.
I have had fear that you are already unable of something like that.

Twominds said...

Illithi Dragon: I'm one of the lefty's for nuclear power. I'm trying my utmost. I convinced my spouse (who's not a lefty by the way), got a couple of very anti-nuclear Germans to visit an NPP in the UK with me, and got some other ones to at least rethink their stance.

After decades and decades of almost pure anti-nuclear messaging, it takes a lot of effort and patience.

Anonymous said...

David, I've been skipping the 'bots and associated anonymous postings, as well as your two resident crazies. (Yes, I'm aware of the irony that I'm using an anonymous account myself.) Like the Seagull on Stross' blog, too much time for not enough reward. Half the comments on this post are by, replies to, or comments about your resident troll(s).

As an attention-seeking behaviour, it's working.

Twominds said...

@Duncarn Cairncross

The Unholy Triumvirate lol.

Wind and sun power are here to stay, for the next decades at least. I'm far from convinced that storage can be scaled up to where it would be needed to counteract the intermittency of sun and wind power. I want to see nuclear power in that place, where gas plants are now. For that, small modular reactors would probably work well.

Twominds said...

About the p-bots, I lost almost all of my interest in what they write. Progressbot can sometimes have some interesting bits, but with the similar name chances are high that I skimmed before I see the difference.

Pity, with another attitude they could have been contributing valuable new perspectives. But I've given up on them. The deliberate doubling-down on the Wallstreet parasites bit makes clear that nothing worthwhile will be forthcoming.

David Brin said...

onward

onward