Friday, August 09, 2019

Oh the conspiracies! 8Chan & QAnon and what's with all the resignations?

As America bleeds yet again from paranoia-propelled madmen, let me dive today into the weird illogic of conspiracy sites and theories. We'll get to the web side of this insanity. Also, we'll also ask, what's with the wave of "retirements" from Congress and the Administration?

For starters though... The FBI for the first time has identified fringe conspiracy theories as a domestic terrorist threat. The document specifically mentions QAnon, a shadowy network that believes in a deep state conspiracy against President Trump, and Pizzagate. The FBI believes conspiracy theory-driven extremists are likely to increase during the 2020 presidential election cycle.

The FBI said another factor driving the intensity of this threat is “the uncovering of real conspiracies or cover-ups involving illegal, harmful, or unconstitutional activities by government officials or leading political figures.”

But that's all "deep state" propaganda, right? Riiiight. Half a million civil servants, two million teachers, a quarter of a million journalists, a million scientists and science-related workers, a quarter of a million intel and military officers and FBI/law professionals... all in on it together, with a degree of secrecy and competence never before displayed by any government. Uh huh.

== Our Hearts Bleed ==

After every mass shooting, everyone trots out their own nostrums and prescriptions. Oh, I agree on the top priority: defeating Trumpism and the Putin-puppeteer behind it. 

My own proposal is that we weaken the opposition to reasonable gun laws by actually listening to what passes for moderates in the gun-clutching opposition. We'll make better progress if we offer a a way to resolve gun owners' fear of a "slippery slope to confiscation." There's a germ of a reasonable fear that we should at least try to understand.

 But my own top contribution has for 25 years been a demand to punish attention-seeking murderers by taking away their NAMES. The Greeks understood this. After the New Zealand shootings, it looked as if the idea might take hold.

== Bleeding Red ==


Let's move on to another kind of bleeding -- the accelerating flight of every remotely sane individual from the Trumpist mess.  “Will Hurd, the House's Only Black Republican, Won't Seek Re-election In 2020.” And that makes what? Nine GOP representatives retiring, six in the last week? 

Are these gestures? Acts of honor? Buyouts? Or might something else in the offing? Stated Hurd: "I left a job I loved in the CIA as an undercover officer to meet what I believed to be a need for new leadership in Congress on intelligence and national security matters…. I want to use my experience to focus on these generational challenges in new ways. … I will stay involved in politics to grow a Republican Party that looks like America." 

There are volumes worth pondering in each of those sentences And yes, I sniff something I’ll hint at, below. But one factor is that Texas is becoming unfriendlier to the Party of Cheating that gerrymandered its lock on power over the Lone Star State. Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones, an Air Force veteran has already announced she was seeking this Texas seat again. In the mold of Amy McGrath, who is America's best chance to chase away the nation's worst traitor. Proving yet again my earlier point that this is time for a broad coalition, not splitter puritanism

But the bleeding continues. What is to be made of the sudden departure of the US Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats? And the even more sudden retirement of the current deputy director of national intelligence, Sue Gordon, who Trump banned from some White House briefings? To be clear, the new appointee, Joseph Maguire, the current Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, is a retired admiral and an apparently solid guy. (I always find the Navy reassuring, as when Adm. Mullen joined Def.Sec Gates, replacing Donald Rumsfeld during those almost-as-treasonous Bush years.) 

Ah, but here’s a question we never used to ask. Who will be the acting director? Sue Gordon was a career CIA officer who should have - by law - been made acting DNI. Apropos to a reality star president, Trump has turned to “acting” officials who are not always vetted by Congress. Think about that.

Also leaving, U.S. ambassador to Russia John Huntsman, a former Utah governor and 2012 presidential candidate, who served as ambassador to China in 2009. A sometime libertarian candidate, as well, Huntsman is known as something of a non-foxite (i.e. somewhat sane) Republican. “Huntsman's departure comes as Fiona Hill, the top official on Russian affairs at the National Security Council, is also expected to leave her post this month.”

And yes, there must be more to this recent wave than just professionals unable to stomach things-Trump anymore -- a “great judge of character” who has been later “betrayed” by the same “great guys” more often than any ten other administrations, combined.

Shall I tell you what I sniff? Watch. Watch for a move at least partly led by Mitt, some time in the late fall or winter.

== The Last Gasp of Sane Republicans? ==

Oh. Keep an eye on the U.S. Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, which released Volume 1 of its report on Russian Active Measures Campaigns and Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election; it states that “the Russian government directed extensive activity, beginning in at least 2014 and carrying into at least 2017, against U.S. election infrastructure at the state and local level.” 

Read this report about the report, which elaborates and confirms Robert Mueller findings of all-out war against our institutions. One chilling quote: "… pro-Kremlin bloggers had prepared a Twitter campaign, #DemocracyRIP, on election night in anticipation of Secretary Clinton's victory.’ …If Russia's preferred candidate does not prevail in the 2020 election, the Russians may seek to delegitimize the election.”

Relevant to today's topic -- this report was issued by one of the few islands of sanity left in the Republican-controlled Senate, a committee wherein a cabal of Democrats and a few residually adult-sane Republicans (RASRS) refused to be controlled by Moscow Mitch McConnell, and instead did their duty.

== Conspiracy madness and our ruined immune system ==

Okay, now down to the promised stuff... conspiracies! We need to get ready for the tsunami of election interference, meddling and lies, much of it in the form of deep faked images etc. Our salvation will come from experts who appraise lies with modern tools… which is why Fox/KGB shills wage all-out war on fact-checking services.  To see how bad it can be… and how some of YOUR friends on YOUR side may be susceptible, read about QAonon

“Traditionally, the audience for conspiracy theories are those who feel marginalized from ordinary politics and are disengaged. Now the most prominent conspiracy proponent is, arguably, the world’s most powerful person.”  

This article about QAnon is so (scarily) consistent with what I’ve said in The Postman, in Earth and in Existence and also The Transparent Society.… that webs of citizenship have to be built upon some sense of common narrative and the sort of trust that arises out of open information flows.

“Much as there’s a robust online community extending the narrative of virtually any TV show, movie or beloved work of fiction, QAnon’s bakers are taking the narrative sketches offered by Q (the mythical, John Galt-like supposed Trump insider who offers QAnon tantalizing bits of Truth)  and extending them into a rich and detailed fantasy world. While there’s ample fan fiction about well-loved stories like the Harry Potter series or Star Trek, many fanfic aficionados choose to extend flawed texts, fixing their shortcomings and amplifying their strengths. Its far more fun to write fanfic for a bad show than for a perfect one, and the narrative put forward by Q on 4Chan and 8Chan is deeply flawed. It is filled with events that haven’t transpired and predictions gone wrong.

“What is perhaps most remarkable about QAnon is how resilient it has been to obvious setbacks, including the inconvenient truth that neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama have been arrested.” … “Most of the popular QAnon podcasts feature sponsored advertising, notably products like emergency flashlights designed to help listeners survive the social upheavals destined to come about during The Storm.”

Ah, Holnism.

“With revelations about the use of Facebook groups by the Russian Internet Research Agency to create conflicts between groups of Americans and force cleavages within left-wing movements, it’s clear that the social media/news loop is being manipulated. What may be more relevant is the fact that these systems are also useful to those acting “in good faith”—i.e., not misrepresenting their identities or intentions—towards horrific ends.”

The author of this piece - Ethan Zuckerman - speaks of this ever-expanding tide of dangerous fantasy as “the Unreal.” He cites Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway in Merchants of Doubt — that the strategies employed by tobacco companies about the harms of their product or oil companies about anthropogenic climate change were not designed to sway audiences to the corporate narrative, but to generate sufficient doubt to paralyze effective action. But clearly the conspiracy-nutter vanguard of the Unreal has surged beyond any constituency’s mere need for status quo protection. We are in a realm where the only possible outcome may be the chaos I described in The Postman.

Zuckerman concludes with 1-paragraph summaries of a number of earnest books and studies of the problem of what I call “online Nuremberg rallies” — echo-chambers of the fervent seeking only reinforcement of their drug high of sanctimonious rage.

== Soulutions, anyone? ==

Alas, the one thing we do not get from Zuckerman, or any other commentator on this problem, is a plausible proposed solution. Fact checking services like Snopes can support the majority of citizens who believe in such things, and perhaps nibble some of the more-sane out of those rallies. Dedicated debunking sites like QAnon-Anonymous can help a little. But they will not penetrate any major infection scabs with cleansing light.

What this author lacks - along with almost every other paladin of enlightenment - is any clue about the emotional dynamics and vulnerabilities at work here:

- Soa - Suspicion of Authority.  We all share this reflex, trained by generations of Hollywood films. We may differ over which pack of elites are conspiring to become Big Brother, but we’re all sure it’s somebody!  Start with this premise and you can forge a connection with your beloved, conspiracy-nut uncle. If he’s at all within reach of redemption, then try this first! You might draw him into an actual, actual (and maybe even fun) argument!  

Ask him what’s more plausible, a conspiracy by Wall Street cheaters, KGB agents-turned-Russian-mafia-oligarchs, casino moguls, slumlords, Saudi princes and inheritance brats… 

...or a conspiracy by all three million members of the so-called “deep state” of civil servants, teachers, journalists, scientists, FBI-intelligence officials and members of the U.S. military officer corps? 

Well, when you put it that way, both scenarios seem utterly insane plots from a bad 1970s thriller! Only…

…only the first one is proved to be true, top to bottom, with mountains of open evidence. And such an alliance of oligarchies and criminal gangs is wholly consistent with 4000 years of brutal feudalism that the American Revolution was all about escaping. 

Your uncle may not be convinced, but starting with your shared fundamental reflex — SoA — will give you an opening. 

On the other hand, if he’s a real QAnon asshole… go after his other main driver.
- Machismo - a desperate need for a manly, stalwart self-image, standing up the the rising tide of nerds and uppity females. There is a direct answer to this sort of small-ball overcompensating macho bluster. The counter-meme that I have found most effective is wagers

The one area where these guys accept the primacy of verifiable fact is in bar bets. So, demand that he escrow $5000 with an attorney for stakes, then settle on a fact-based bet revolving around something verifiable/falsifiable. 

I suggest ocean acidification, which can be tested with simple tools... a straw and a glass of water and a swimming pool test strip. A trip to the local beach.

 “If you’re so sure that climate change is fake, then why not offer up fair stakes, then take my money?  Any weaseling out of this means you don’t actually believe any of your bluster.”  

Nothing demolishes macho better than the devastating word: “coward!”

93 comments:

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin in the previous comments:


LH. The Ayn Rand take down is here:
http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/aynrand.html


I was actually thinking of this one:
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2011/11/atlas-shrugged-hidden-context-of-book_27.html

IIRC, we hit a record number of comments which still stands to this day--over 300 of them, Down in that comments section is the first mention of "The Three Laws of Corporatics"

And having just recently finished my fourth reading of Existence, I notice that you kind of disdained the idea of saddling AIs with "Three Laws", and instead argued for raising them as offspring. I wonder if such a strategy is possible relative to corporate "persons" as well.

Lorraine said...

I remember once watching Jon Huntsman on The Charlie Rose Show, talking about China, past and present. Actually putting a “tone” on his pronunciation of Chinese names. Plus, even more importantly, offering intelligent insight on the subject. And he was among the first dominoes to fall in the 2012 Republican nominating process? Facepalm.

David Brin said...

LH those postings are the same. A few of my blogs got re-posted on my website http://www.davidbrin.com.

Raise them as our children is a good thing to try, if true sapience must be achieved the way we do, gradually across a "childhood" through experience interfacing with the world.

There are other approaches, like using a template based upon a living person... the basis for Robin Hanson's THE AGE OF EM.

My number one proposal is competition, which is already the underlying driver of learning systems that led to the software breakout. But competition in such systems and in nature are ruthless and bloody. When AI's get smart, I'd prefer ruel-regulated arena competition like in courtrooms, markets, democracy, science and sports, that are designed to maximize benefits while minimizing blood on the floor.

Cyrill Joseph Landau said...

Many white nationalist are known to be furries, fluffiest, opiate addicts, and closeted homosexuals. http://archive.is/mxIZJ

David Brin said...

CJL, you are warned. We operate here on a different plane. I do very little banning. But your obsessions do not comport with our standards, here. Nor do we find them interesting. We will indulge you a bit. But I doubt anyone will do anything but skim past.

Larry Hart said...

As an atheist, I can testify that CJL has no idea what he's ranting about.

If anyone is obsessed with that particular subject, it's the Christians, especially the ones that are so holier-than-thou superior until they're caught with a live boy.

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

LH those postings are the same. A few of my blogs got re-posted on my website http://www.davidbrin.com.


But the comments section doesn't come with it. :)

Steven Millan said...

Let's not forget Infowars(a.k.a.:Prison Planet) and its maniacal leader Alex Jones,who are just as equally dangerous as QAnon and 8Chan.

locumranch said...


Our fine host dives today into the weird illogic of conspiracy sites and theories, bolstering those which serve his narrative while dismissing those which hinder said narrative, like the DNC Fusion GPS collusion narrative (dispreferrred), the Trump Russian Collusion narrative (preferred), Epstein-Pizzagate child abuse narrative (dispreferred), or the Accidental Epstein suicide narrative (preferred).

It's called Cognitive Dissonance, this irresistible human impulse to embrace data that supports our preferred narrative & reject data that disfavours our preferred narrative, as in the case of record-setting hot weather 'proving' global warming but record-setting cold weather being portrayed as 'irrelevant'.

Scapegoating is the most human response to cognitive dissonance as all of our irresolvable conflicts are most easily blamed on anyone but ourselves, be it the media, government, immigrants, communists, republicans, russians, white nationalists, the scapegoat du jour, or the unspoken perennial favorite.

So, be my guest:

Read the QAnon wikipedia page that describes how "Q has FALSELY ACCUSED numerous liberal Hollywood actors, Democratic politicians, and high-ranking officials of engaging in an international child sex trafficking ring";

KNOW that the liberal media has confirmed many of these charges as true, especially against big US Democrat Party wonks like Harvey Weinstein & Jeffry Epstein; and

NEVER FORGET how your beloved deep state created terrorist organisations like Al Quaeda & the Islamic State, supplied confiscated weaponry to drug cartels in Operation Fast & Furious, and sold cocaine to inner-city minority school children during Iran Contra.


Best

David Brin said...

Dog whistle. Anyone who uses the smug derisive "Democrat Party" should be answered with GOP = PutinParty. The rest was just hallucinatory doggy poo and I will now stop even skimming till he gets back on his vitamins.

David Brin said...

I’ve put some more thought into publishing a compilation of my posts about JUDO POLEMIC... tactics that none of the generals on our Union side of this civil war seem capable of comprehending, as they again and again keep falling into traps — grunting, shoving sumo politics. I've failed to get these points across for years, via blogs and even conversations with Congressional staffers. So maybe a book on the subject could get attention. THE TENTATIVE TABLE OF CONTENTS BELOW IS EXPANDED AND RE-ORDERED, WITH MORE POSSIBLE POSTEDS THAT MIGHT BE CHAPTERS.

Interested in helping? It would entail sifting back in time... maybe a couple of years... and choosing your own list of 'best of' postings that offer ways to dodge around today's trench warfare. For example, a chapter on Splitterism would obviously merge my 29 Goals posting with the most recent one detailing Five Rebuttals.

A strawman proposed table of contents might include —

Chapter 1: JUDO POLEMIC INTRODUCTION I know I've gone on and on about this in general. When did I do it best? General introduction to wagers and to citizen action. Maybe end each chapter with links to supporting materials plus 3 samples: a sample politician meme, a sample wager and a sample citizen action.

Chapter ___ : ONE Liners - Zinger memes in case you don’t have time to read the book.
- Name a fact profession not being warred upon
- military readiness & war
- SUGGESTIONS

Chapter ___ End the cheating
http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/gerrymandering.html
minimal overlap blog http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-minimal-overlap-solution-to_24.html
COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/10/voter-id-laws-scam-or-accountability.html

Chapter __: The War on All Fact People
- When did I pose this concept best? This one or others? http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/waronexpertise.html
- Tactics: Force foxites to face that their side always, always has worse measurable Outcomes: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/06/so-do-outcomes-matter-more-than-rhetoric.html
…leading up to the FACT ACT proposal: http://davidbrin.com/nonfiction/factact.html

Chapter ___ ECONOMICS
Reclaiming Adam Smith: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2013/11/liberals-you-must-reclaim-adam-smith.html
Again compare actual Outcomes: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/06/so-do-outcomes-matter-more-than-rhetoric.html
Others that are cogent and clear?_____

CHAPTER ___ WHAT ADULTS WOULD DO
Candidates stipulate: http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/candidatestipulation.html
Give every Rep (including minority) subpoenas?

CHAPTER__: OVERCOMING SPLITTERISM
Main Splitter rebuttals: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2019/08/five-devastating-rebuttals-to-use-with.html
29 shared goals: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2019/07/debate-special-shall-we-let-them-divide.html
Sanctimony addiction: http://tinyurl.com/wrathaddicts
and: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i275AvgVvow

Chapter ___: The real civil war
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2013/02/past-keeping-faith-with-future-and-day.html
and
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/09/phases-of-american-civil-war.html

Chapter: SAVING OUR PLANET
http://www.davidbrin.com/climatechange3.html

Chapter___: Clinton-Obama obsession. 25 years and half a billion$ finding nothing. LAZY GOP congresses. Where stated best?

Chapter ___ MOBILIZING OPTIMISM
http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/progressparadox.html + others?

Chapter___: Symbolism obsession and GOppers clinging to loyalty
Repubs obsession with ship names: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-politics-of-naming-aircraft.html
How their symbolism obsession helps lock up government: _____?
How a conclave of RASRs might save US concervatism: http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/1947.html

---- on to part 2

David Brin said...

--- part 2:


Chapter __ International 101:
International Judo: ___ Several topics from Saudis to China____ suggestions?
How Republicans/Democrats wage war: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-democrats-and-republicans-wage-war.html

Chapter___
Libertarians. Any compact blog/chapters that make clear how to corner some of them into realizing goppers aren’t the “lesser of two evils”?

Chapter 9: GUNS
Main Jefferson Rifle blog: http://www.tinyurl.com/jrifle

Chapter__ Citizen action
Ground troops get involved — _____ (poll watching, state assembly candidates etc.)
NGOs and Proxy power:
http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/proxyactivism.html
Citizen science and the age of amateurs _)___

Chapter___ IMMIGRATION/RACISM ETC
Ironies of Immigration: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-immigration-fury-one-of-many.html

Chapter ___ LEGISLATION I propose, if adults regain power.
reiterate 29 consensus goals
Then my FACT ACT
Then my older “suggestions” http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/suggestions4congress.html

Chapter ____ what rich dudes could do
Henchmen awards______
Summon the electors! ______
Older EC blog http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/electoralcollege.html

Chapter ___ The underlying poison - blackmail
http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/blackmail.html

Chapter___: The bigger political picture
http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/politicalmetaphors1.html
http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/questionnaire.html

Chapter___: SCI FI STUFF
http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/transactionfee.html


That is just a sampling and many of you would have your own favorites, even replacing some of these.

Suggestions re other topics to include, or in different order or best examples from my blogs ... or supporting content from others that can be linked to in each chapter... would be welcome.

And yes, it is a lot to ask! It all depends on whether you think it’s a project that could let this small, but generally (mostly) high quality community maybe help craft something that could help us find and empower a real general out there (or ten or a million) to break out of the bocage hedgerows and race to Paris and Berlin.

How about you guys ponder it. Copy all this into a working text file? Maybe come back with your expanded lists in… well… a week or two? Three? Those who step up... we could then take the project off-blog.

Or else tell me why it’s a bad idea! CITOKATE.

TCB said...

Dr. Brin, I copypasted your chapter list onto a text file on my own computer, so as not to have to hunt too hard for it later. See what I can find...

Re: Conspiracy Theory!!!!!!!!!! and Blackmail!!!!!!!!

Like Robert Anton Wilson used to say, conspiracies have been standard primate behavior for as long as monkeys have been hiding bananas. And here's a really fresh banana!

"Billionaire" sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his cell today. I only heard about it two hours ago. He's the guy who knew people like Donald Trump, the Clintons, Alan Dershowitz, Woody Allen, and a lot of other people you've heard of.

He was named in a lawsuit along with Trump, alleging both of them to have raped underage girls in parties at a Manhattan apartment.

Trump's Labor secretary Alexander Acosta recently resigned over the kid glove treatment he'd previously given Epstein when Acosta was a US Attorney.

The thing is... Epstein, like Trump, may never have really been a billionaire. And it's not clear how he made his money! Was he a Ponzi schemer? Was he... a blackmailer? An intelligence asset? A tax/money launderer?

And now he's dead in his cell. Maybe he really did kill himself. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. But how conveeeeeeeeenient. How many other people's secrets die with him?

David Brin said...

And the stuff in the safe of David Pecker. WHEN will some blackmailed public figure realize that the first to step up may be a hero while the rest get torched?

scidata said...

Dr. Brin: the first to step up may be a hero

I wonder if John Nash ever met Isaac Asimov, because they both seem to have hit on the key question: the Code of Nature (Nash's equilibrium, Asimov's psychohistory).

Larry Hart said...

A guest on Bill Maher's show made the same point that has often been made on this forum. The Trump administration is purging the federal government of "people who know stuff". In those exact words.

locumranch said...


Sci Fi Stuff, Guns, Libertarians, Citizen Action, International, Zingers & Judeo-Polemics, David has mastered & requires no improvement.

It would behoove him to rethink an 'end to cheating' (aka 'rule obedience') as this implies rule disobedience & related consequence, especially since the attempt to avoid consequence makes the rule disobedient ever so vulnerable to blackmail.

'The War on Fact People' is a misnomer, as there is NO war on either facts or fact accumulaters, but rather a dispute about how people should, ought & are supposed to appropriately respond to said facts.

The chapters on 'what adults would do' and 'what rich dudes could do' are likewise moralisms of should, ought & supposed to.

And, finally, he may need to rethink 'Optimism', especially with Steven Pinker being a known associate of Jeffry Epstein & his island of underage child molestation.


Best

Larry Hart said...

re: Epstein suicide,

https://www.wsbtv.com/news/national-news/ap-top-news/epstein-how-he-died-and-what-it-means-for-his-accusers/974827404

HOW DID HE DIE?

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons said Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center early Saturday.

Staff tried to revive him, and he was transported to a local hospital for treatment. He was pronounced dead at the hospital


So how did he die?

Seriously, there are only so many options one has for killing oneself while in custody. And so far, the actual method of "suicide" seems to be somehow missing from any reporting.


Attorney General William Barr said he was "appalled" by the news.


"No, not 'appalled'. What was the word? Oh yeah, 'relieved'."


Before he took his own life, Epstein has been taken off suicide watch, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press. The person wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Epstein had previously been injured with bruises to the neck while in custody, though it was not clear if those were self-inflicted or the result of an assault.

The FBI and the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Justice will investigate his death.


I'm sure Barr will get right on that.

Ok, what's really surreal is that when I typed "Epstein" into Google to find reporting on his suicide, one of Google's suggested autofills was "Epstein-Barr syndrome". That phrase would seem to have taken on a new meaning.

David Brin said...

Epstein-Barr... yipe, I just used that on FB. THx

Tony Fisk said...

For those who don't already know, the Epstein-Barr virus causes Mononucleosis (aka glandular fever): a chronic illness that saps the sufferer of all energy. It *is* a creepily apt name for a syndrome that appears to be afflicting all checks and balances.
Been there. Got off very lightly, from all accounts.

OK, shall try to do some gophering on judo moves in the next few days...*

*PS: nobody's actively maintaining the Earth predictions site at present, although I do poke it occasionally to stop it from being reclaimed. I want to restructure it to include other sources, and move it to somewhere more permanent. Not today, though!

David Brin said...

Thanks Tony.

Larry Hart said...

Ok, so apparently Epstein hanged himself. You'd think that might have been mentioned earlier? Or is the cause of death of an inmate in a prison cell something that has to be investigated before it can be determined?

Is it really as easy as it seems (based upon number of occurrences) for an inmate to hang himself/herself (Sandra Bland) in a prison cell? I have to say that it seems to me like an open secret that "hanging oneself while in custody" is a convenience that allows authorities to quickly dispense with a messy situation.

TCB said...

So, I have taken the liberty of ctrl-f'ing every instance of a Contrary Brin main post going back to August 11, 2018. I'll do earlier ones later on. Here listed, most recent first, with a para or so of context.

Instances of the word ‘judo’ in Contrary Brin posts:

July 10, 2019
Consider how John Roberts just established precedent that legislatures have sovereignty rights that Courts cannot interfere with. (In this case, a sovereign right to deny voters any rights at all.) Yes, Roberts made that ruling as a last-ditch effort to preserve Republican gerrymander cheating... but amazingly, this bit of utter sophistry - The Roberts Doctrine — is one that House leaders could now exploit. Indeed, there is a way -- I believe -- to pull a judo move on the administration's stonewall tactic and get those subpoenas enforced.

May 15, 2019
Consider the members of Trump's circle who apparently ignored his orders - according to the Mueller Report. Again and again I despair over any Democrat realizing what a political judo-jugular strike can be. In this case, setting aside the details of any particular case, anyone from Biden to AOC could say:  Across all of U.S. history, no twenty presidents were ever "betrayed" by so many former "great guys." Whatever your politics, one truth shines through -- Donald Trump is a terrible judge of character.

April 17, 2019
The Greatest Generation (GG) that endured Depression, crushed Hitler, contained Stalinism and made the world’s greatest middle class adored one living human, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The GGs “made America Great." So why not force our red neighbors to choose: either attack the GGs or accept that they were right? Only one democrat has edged closer to using this powerful meme. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, with her terminology “Green New Deal.” But even she doesn’t seem to quite getthe power of a true judo move.

April 2, 2019
I don't get it. There is a polemical judo move that could be startlingly effective in this civil war: rubbing the noses of Deep-Red America in their hypocritical betrayal of the heroic Greatest Generation (GG). 

AOC is smart enough to learn – rapidly! – how to do politics, can you? She’s the one teaching Democrats to do judo, instead of sumo. Try learning.

March 16, 2019
It's not that they lack ideas. Moreover, since  both progress and flat-fair-competitive markets do vastly better during Democratic administrations, it is hilarious to watch their opponents -- a party of Kremlin shills -- hurl accusations of "communism!" By every factually supported metric, citizens should be taking torches to the shambling, undead shell of the party of Lincoln. And  yet, for all their vastly-better record at honesty, sincerity and policy smarts, DP pols seem utterly lobotomized when it comes to the art of judo-polemic.

February 27, 2019
"How many 'great guys' must later 'betray' Donald Trump, before you'll admit that he's a lousy judge of character?" 
Here's another: 
"How many times must Donald Trump hold secret debriefing sessions with communist despots - or conveniently "ex" communist dictators - without any reputable U.S. officials present, before you'll admit something fishy is going on?"
Or:
"Here are 100 Fox/GOP/Trump lies. We offer a million dollars in wagers on any or all of them. And if you refuse to bet, it confirms that you are gutless liars." 
Oh, I've got a million of 'em, ready to supply to any demo-pol who can imagine using judo, for a change. For example, consider a rock-hard truth about traitors.

TCB said...

Continued, instances of Contrary Brin main posts using the word 'judo':

February 9, 2019
== Again, the greatest judo move Pelosi could pull... ==
While the reform package that will be passed by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives consists of all good things that will help improve ethics, efficiency and fairness, it's still fairly minor stuff. Democrats should pass rules that really change the dynamic, like permanently giving some power to the minority! 
Why do this, when that minority party is Republican? Because Democrats will be out again, sooner or later, silenced and impotent... unless they set precedents now!
 My top proposal? Give every member of the House one subpoena per term, that can compel anyone to testify for 2 hours before a committee.

November 25, 2018
(Many judo suggestions for the just-elected Democratic majority in the House)

October 27, 2018
Given that even a massive Blue Wave will see its reforms blocked by Executive branch loons, Two Scoops followed by the vastly more dangerous Mike Pence, we need to look at things that are simple and might happen organically and almost instantly. Measures that small groups and individuals might take, that act with judo-like twist, that cannot easily be blocked by the forces of darkness.
Here’s one: In late November 2016 I wrote to some rich dudes suggesting they rent a luxury resort hotel somewhere and donate it for a unique and fascinating purpose — a weeklong actual, physical meeting of the newly-chosen Electoral College! 

September 26, 2018
It was a brilliant political judo move - and no democrat will learn from it. In '94, Newt Gingrich's "Contract With America" made the GOP look serious, pragmatic, reformist, and their resulting transformation of Congress lasted to this day, rendering all but 2 years of the Clinton & Obama administrations legislatively neutered.

Alas, while the confederate side is corrupt and destructive, they have feral instincts at polemic. And no democrat has even a clue how to do polemical judo.

August 11, 2018
When will even one democratic pol get that polemic is an art? Try saying the obvious!
 "Many of the very same men who Republicans loathed with volcanic paranoia, back when they wore hammer and sickle pins are now suddenly okay guys, now that they wear orthodox crosses."
 Do you recall Christopher Walken's last words in BLAST FROM THE PAST? 
"You mean one day the Politburo guys suddenly threw up their hands and shouted 'we surrender'?"
"Yeah dad, that's about it."
Walken shakes his head and sighs:
 "Got to hand it to them." 



TCB said...

(p.s. a smarter man than myself would have automated the scraping process for the whole website.)

Jon S. said...

The "suicide" apparently also happened while the cameras that were supposed to be monitoring the cell suffered a temporary failure. This is, I am told, the same facility in which El Chapo was held; it's supposed to have better security, so as to ensure both the location and the safety of high-profile prisoners pre-trial.

The timing is also interesting, coming the same day as the release of a fair bit of data from formerly-sealed Epstein records.

As someone once said, correlation doesn't necessarily indicate causation - but sometimes it gesticulates wildly in causation's direction while giving an exaggerated wink.

TCB said...

Instances of the word ‘judo’ in Contrary Brin posts, (and some comments) from August 11, 2018 back to October 14, 2017:

Large gap, April to August…

March 7, 2018, comment by LarryHart:
Trump's "Fake News" thing is a brilliant judo move, as the term was originally used during the campaign to describe factually-false "stories" made to appear as if they were legitimate news, and they were usually in Trump's favor (i.e., Pizzagate). Trump didn't like pro-Trump stories being referred to as "Fake News", so he started calling anti-Trump stories on CNN and other mainstream outlets "Fake News". His take managed to stick. But what he calls "Fake News" has nothing to do with whether it is accurate or not. If he doesn't like it, it's "Fake News". That simple.

February 23, 2018, comment by Ilithi_Dragon
Another judo-style move the Dems could try and pull, is offer a bill to provide comprehensive firearms safety training in schools, in return for comprehensive sex education, both as a hard requirement of the bill.

January 30, 2018
The Times finishes wisely: “Investigate. Read. Write. Listen. Speak. Think. Be wary of those who disparage the investigators, the readers, the writers, the listeners, the speakers and the thinkers. Be suspicious of those who confuse reality with reality TV, and those who repeat falsehoods while insisting, against all evidence, that they are true. To defend freedom, demand fact.”
And thus they prove they are fools. You are asking that the folks in Sane America be what they already are, and implicitly demanding we continue to wrestle with the confederacy using Sumo, grunting and shoving by inches. Instead of shifting to Judo.

November 25, 2017, Smurphs commented:
And for once I have a concrete suggestion. Rename the tax cuts.
Every time someone mentions the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" (or the "Cut, Cut, Cut Act", snort), we have to reply:
You mean the "Debt Bomb Act"? Or the "Trillion Dollar Deficit Act"?
There are a lot of creative people here, I'm sure someone can do better, as long as you get the concept across.
Much like calling the "Estate Tax", the "Death Tax", it's all about the optics. Or, as Dr. Brin likes to say, "Use judo on them!"

Same thread, Dr. Brin commented:
“Imagine if somehow Boris Johnson became Queen, and you'll get a glimpse of what we're dealing with here. Or Nigel Farage became head of the BBC.”
Alas, Zepp, you are too modest. We have the Brits beat on the loony front, hands down. Look at George F. Will’s jeremiads against Trump! When such a large and evil intellect cringes at what he-himself helped to create, you know it must be a work of art.
Dan Duffy, I infuriated Jerry Pournelle for 30 years, because I never accepted his cliches of left-right and always used judo to show his position was untenable, including the “star wars” systems that - in fact - I didn’t mind spending R&D on, but his rationale was lame. Despite that, I believe he was a man who WANTED to be honorable. Even if in many cases - e.g. regarding me - he sometimes did not behave that way.

(I just HAD to leave that bit about Boris Johnson in. The Queen herself as of Aug 11, 2019, is having to comment ‘privately’ on ‘politicians who are unable to govern’.)

October 14, 2017
Demonstrating democracy's futility is the core and central aim of Putin's anti-western axis. So long as his opponents are stooopid - using sumo instead of judo - Trump and his master-backers will win.
Example: the inanity of thinking the alt-right is about racism! What stunning nonsense. Yet no liberal or democrat can see that "racism!" is a distraction, a tar-baby, meant to cling and grab all the attention away from the blatant, central confederate theme... hatred of the fact-using, expert castes.

David Brin said...

Jon S re Epstein. Like we aren't living in a cheap -cheap made for TV movie,by now?

David Brin said...

TCB thanks. That led to my grabbing some useful chunks and remembering some good one liners. Though I am mostly looking for which blogs you folks feel were excellet to serve as stand-alone chapters.

At some point I'll circulate a draft. But first, thanks all of you who are ddumpster diving into the past for useful items.

TCB said...

Thank you, Dr. Brin! Yeah, I just thought a good rough start would be to mine the blog for explicit uses of the word, and shine a light in perhaps an unnoticed corner or two. A deeper dive would be for related concepts, of course...

Jon S. said...

Yeah, the writers for this season of reality are really phoning it in. I mean, naming the new head of UKIP "Dick Braine"? It's like they're not even trying!

Larry Hart said...

If we're really in a badly-written reality-tv season, then maybe pretending to wake up and going, "So, it was all a dream!" isn't a bad strategy after all.

David Brin said...

REVISED rough outline for you guys to copy over into a word file and ponder, if you feel like helping:

I’m thinking of publishing an e-book about JUDO POLEMIC... tactics that none of the generals on our Union side of this civil war seem capable of comprehending, as they again and again keep falling into “sumo” grunting/shoving traps. The aim is to offer some brighter ‘general’ ways to dodge around today's trench warfare. The bulk would consist of a compilation of my posts.

Care to help? It might entail some work, though for the Cause. It would entail Checking to see if my proposed blog posting would suffice for the particular topic… or sifting back in time for ones that might serve better. Or mentioning things I left out. For example, a chapter on Splitterism would obviously merge my 29-Goals posting with the most recent one detailing Five Rebuttals.

Maybe end each chapter with links to supporting materials plus 3 samples: a sample politician meme, a sample wager and a sample citizen action. A strawman proposed table of contents might include —

Chapter 1: JUDO POLEMIC INTRODUCTION
When did I explain this it best?
A general introduction to how to evade the swamp-traps comfy to the Foxites. wagers and to citizen action.

Chapter ___ : ZINGERS, ONE-LINERS AND WAGERS memes in case you don’t have time to read the book. Examples:
- MAGA? Okay wise guy, when do you claim America was greater than today? They’ll say “the 1950s.” See the perfect answer in Chapter ___
- Name a fact profession not being warred upon
- What “deep state”? Half a million scientists? Two million teachers? A quarter of a million journalists? The FBI/CIA?
- military readiness & war
  - Russia lovers & Moscow Mitch. “Many of the very same men who Republicans loathed with volcanic paranoia, back when they wore hammer and sickle pins are now suddenly okay guys, now that they wear orthodox crosses."
- “How many 'great guys' must later 'betray' Donald Trump, before you'll admit that he's a lousy judge of character?" 
walken in BLAST FROM THE PAST

Chapter____: Profiles In Judo - Invoke The Greatest Generation, Adam Smith, Jonas Salk, _(woman) and Lincoln
(Cribbed from & Link: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2019-04-20T12:29:00-07:00&max-results=20

Chapter ___ End the Cheating Use whole blogs
+ blog on Compliance Assistance http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/10/voter-id-laws-scam-or-accountability.html
+ gerrymandering http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/gerrymandering.html
+ minimal overlap blog http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-minimal-overlap-solution-to_24.html

Chapter __: The War on All Fact People
- When did I pose this concept best? This one? http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/waronexpertise.html Others?
- Tactics: Force foxites to face that their side always, always has worse measurable Outcomes: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/06/so-do-outcomes-matter-more-than-rhetoric.html
- Long series of “You were wrong about…
…leading up to the FACT ACT proposal: http://davidbrin.com/nonfiction/factact.html

Chapter ___ ECONOMICS
Reclaiming Adam Smith: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2013/11/liberals-you-must-reclaim-adam-smith.html
Again compare actual Outcomes: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/06/so-do-outcomes-matter-more-than-rhetoric.html
Others that are cogent and clear?_____

David Brin said...

CONTINUING


CHAPTER ___ SURPRISE! WHAT WOULD ADULTS WOULD DO
- Candidates stipulate: http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/candidatestipulation.html
- Democrats should pass rules that really change the dynamic, like permanently giving some power to the minority! Give every member of the House one subpoena per term.
- Offer a bill to provide comprehensive firearms safety training in schools, in return for comprehensive sex education.

CHAPTER__: OVERCOMING SPLITTERISM
Main Splitter rebuttals: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2019/08/five-devastating-rebuttals-to-use-with.html
-29 shared goals: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2019/07/debate-special-shall-we-let-them-divide.html
Sanctimony addiction: http://tinyurl.com/wrathaddicts
and: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i275AvgVvow

Chapter ___: The real civil war
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2013/02/past-keeping-faith-with-future-and-day.html
and http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/09/phases-of-american-civil-war.html

Chapter: SAVING OUR PLANET Anything more recent that’s better?
http://www.davidbrin.com/climatechange3.html

Chapter___: Clinton-Obama obsession. 25 years and half a billion$ finding nothing. Lazy GOP congresses. WHERE DID I SAY THIS BEST?

Chapter ___ MOBILIZING OPTIMISM (anything better?)
http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/progressparadox.html

Chapter___: Symbolism obsession and GOppers clinging to loyalty
Repubs obsession with ship names: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-politics-of-naming-aircraft.html
How their symbolism obsession helps lock up government: _____?
How they might save US conservatism: http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/1947.html

Chapter __ International 101: ___suggestions??___
International Judo: ___ Several topics from Saudis to China____
How Republicans/Democrats wage war: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-democrats-and-republicans-wage-war.html

Chapter___
Libertarians. Any compact blog/chapters that make clear how to corner some of them into realizing goppers aren’t the “lesser of two evils”?

Chapter 9: GUNS
Main Jefferson Rifle blog: http://www.tinyurl.com/jrifle

Chapter__ Citizen action
Ground troops get involved — _____ (poll watching, state assembly candidates etc.)
NGOs and Proxy power:
http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/proxyactivism.html
Citizen science and the age of amateurs _)___

Chapter___ IMMIGRATION/RACISM ETC
Ironies of Immigration: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-immigration-fury-one-of-many.html

Chapter ___ LEGISLATION that I propose, if adults regain power.
reiterate 29 consensus goals, then…
+FACT ACT
+My older “suggestions” http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/suggestions4congress.html

Chapter ____ what rich dudes could do
Cul from http://evonomics.com/the-fairness-divide-intervention-that-liberals-and-can/ and
http://evonomics.com/oligarchy-predators-parasites/
Henchmen awards______
Summon the electors! ______In late November 2016 I wrote to some rich dudes suggesting they rent a luxury resort hotel somewhere and donate it for a unique and fascinating purpose — a weeklong actual, physical meeting of the newly-chosen Electoral College! 
Older EC blog http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/electoralcollege.html

David Brin said...

CONTINUING

Chapter ___ Poison and Antidote - Blackmailers and Whistleblowers
http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/blackmail.html
Epstein? Weinstein?

Chapter___: The bigger political picture
http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/politicalmetaphors1.html
http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/questionnaire.html

Chapter___: SCI FI STUFF
http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/transactionfee.html

That is just a sampling and many of you would have your own favorites, even replacing some of these. Suggestions re other topics to include, or in different order or best examples from my blogs ... or supporting content from others that can be linked to in each chapter... would be welcome.

And yes, it is a lot to ask! It’s a project that could let this small, but generally (mostly) high quality community maybe help craft something that might empower a real general out there (or ten or a million) to break out of the bocage hedgerows and race to Paris and Berlin. How about you guys ponder it. Maybe come back with your expanded lists in… well… a week or two? Three?

Or else tell me why it’s a bad idea! CITOKATE.

David Brin said...

Copying it into a WORD file would let you make insertions, suggestions etc under TRACK CHANGES and then email me the file.

But of course small suggestions / etc can just come here. Thanks.

J Thomas said...

locumranch said...

"It's called Cognitive Dissonance, this irresistible human impulse to embrace data that supports our preferred narrative & reject data that disfavours our preferred narrative, as in the case of record-setting hot weather 'proving' global warming but record-setting cold weather being portrayed as 'irrelevant'."

The issue is climate change. We've had a period that has been very stable, and the stability is breaking down. Perhaps heading toward a new stability somewhere else on the chart, or maybe less-stable weather generally.

If you decide that there are two outcomes, either all of the science predictions come out right and that means we have global warming, or else they're wrong and that means everything's OK, then maybe you're winning. But that kind of winning doesn't assist your survival.

We have burned a whole lot of carbon that used to be sequestered, and that made a whole lot of CO2. (Also a whole lot of carcinogenic waste products from fossil fuels that tended to be carcinogenic themselves, but that's a minor side issue.) The amount of carbon we have put into play is somewhere more than 3 times the total carbon biomass of the planet. Depending on how much more we burn, it might approach 5 times the planetary biomass.

People are focusing on one single result of that, the greenhouse effect. And now they're starting to look at ocean acidification. But it's likely to be a much bigger concern than either of those in the long run. We evolved in a world that had much less carbon, and we have changed that world to something that we might be poorly adapted to. Not just temperature. The whole thing.

It's like -- when you start a game of Monopoly, everybody gets $2000 to play with. You can spend your money fast, hoping you'll make more quick enough, or you can try to drain money from the other players fast enough that they can't build. What if everybody started with $20,000 instead? Wouldn't it be a different game? It would require different strategies.

Depending on details we don't know yet, when the temperature stuff settles down we could have 3 times or 5 times as much plant biomass in the world as we do now. That's a different world, and there's no guarantee we will have a place in it, much less a dominant place.

We are making great big structural changes with basicly no idea what the consequences will be, except there is no reason whatsoever to think things will stay the same.

J Thomas said...

“What is perhaps most remarkable about QAnon is how resilient it has been to obvious setbacks, including the inconvenient truth that neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama have been arrested.”

??? Obama didn't try to get GWB arrested or basicly any of his henchmen. Probably because there was a deal.

If Obama had gotten Bush arrested and imprisoned, then starting in 2016 the GOP could surely trump up some sort of charges to arrest Obama. And they would. After Nixon got impeached, they took every opportunity to try to impeach Clinton. They have a strong sense of revenge.

Bush wasn't arrested, and Obama wasn't arrested. Isn't there a deal going? If Trump had Obama arrested, there's a good chance Trump will be out of office someday....

I don't see that Obama/Clinton not getting arrested is evidence of very much.

J Thomas said...

"The one area where these guys accept the primacy of verifiable fact is in bar bets. So, demand that he escrow $5000 with an attorney for stakes, then settle on a fact-based bet revolving around something verifiable/falsifiable."

I tried that for real once. The guy offered me 10:1 odds. It would take 10 years for the bet to mature. We had spent a fair time hammering out just what it would take for either of us to win the bet. We were setting up the escrow arrangements.

I mentioned that I was going to lose money on the deal, because on average I was making 30% per year on the stock market and so if I didn't have the money in escrow, I would make more with it than I could make at 10:1 odds. He of course would lose much more because even if he won, he would get 10% in 10 years.

He blocked me and never interacted with me again.

Don Gisselbeck said...

I continue to push for "Predator Class" instead of the clumsy "1 percenters".
We should also push for more exposure to scientific literature. Why should we not trust the literature on global warming when it comes from the same sources that predicted MRIs, CDs, CCDs, etc.

Larry Hart said...

J Thomas:

He blocked me and never interacted with me again.


Ya think? :)

David Brin said...

"I don't see that Obama/Clinton not getting arrested is evidence of very much."

Incoherent drivel. OMG you actually types all that crap? It's as bad as anything by locumranch.

J Thomas said...

"Incoherent drivel. OMG you actually types all that crap? It's as bad as anything by locumranch."

You typed incoherent drivel that implied a specific meaning for a specific nonevent.

I made an argument that your unsupported assertion was plausibly false.

You responded with incoherent drivel.

There's nothing particularly wrong with that. Your supporters will support you anyway. You get more done if you make many many assertions than if you defend any of them. Particularly you lose by trying to support the ones that are unsupportable.

I'm just pointing out that this particular time, I'm right and you're wrong and you have no way to argue otherwise than "Incoherent drivel. OMG you actually types all that crap? It's as bad as anything by locumranch."

Unknown said...

JT, you are arguing from negative evidence, "Bush/Obama were not arrested, therefore, there must have been a deal." Not impossible, it's just that no evidence is NO EVIDENCE.

It's like saying "You can't explain what caused the Big Bang, therefore, GOD did it."

Not impossible, but one does not logically follow the other.

While it may not have been "incoherent drivel", it's still drivel.

Larry Hart said...

Recently, I've been mentioning a particular party acting in ways that are so egregious that accurately mentioning what they do has the perverse effect of making the ones calling them out look uncivil. There's an analogous thing going on right now with the Epstein so-called suicide.

Mainstream media have already latched onto the notion that people are turning to "conspiracy theories", as if those of us who think the official "explanation" of events doesn't pass the smell test are the crazy ones. I get that the theories abounding that have Trump or Clinton behind the death don't help things, any more than that guy in Close Encounters of the Third Kind helped the cause of those who professed to alien encounters when he said, "I saw Bigfoot once."

But notwithstanding the question of whodunnit, is not the truth self-evident that if Epstein did kill himself, he had assistance pulling it off, and that if he was murdered, the murderers had assistance in hiding their involvement.

I mean, if you (whoever) don't want people speculating on their own theories as to what happened, then don't advance such a BS argument that it would insult the listeners' intelligence to pretend to believe it.

David Brin said...

Unknown thanks but that doesn't even begin to cover the nonsense non-sequiturs of that "never arrested" raving. It's one thing to claim "Hey there's analternative explanation for what we've observed an though unlikelt, it deserves mention. I do it all the time. e.g. that Kim is a wholly controlled Chinese puppet.

It is another thing to cherrypick and cull inconveniences to draw "conclusions" that are bizarre, tendnetious and easily disrpved by conveniently ignored facts, all to reach a tendentiously satisfying just-so story.

It's not worth refuting because it's beyond dumb.

Jon S. said...

Occam's Razor says that if years of thorough investigation by Congressional Republicans, followed by two and a half years of an administration that has no problem with attacking their political opponents, resulted in neither Obama nor Clinton being arrested, the most probable cause of this is that they committed no crimes. The QAnon concept JT cites would appear to be drawn from a world in which one is supposed to reach a conclusion first, then find any "evidence", no matter how tenuous, to support it.

That's why before I jump to any conclusions about Epstein, I'm waiting for more data. Based on what we have so far, though, I consider it quite possible that any number of billionaires mentioned in the Epstein documents might have sought to silence him (although that would be rather short-sighted of them, as it has been pointed out that on Epstein's death the Fourth Amendment no longer applies to anything seized from his homes or offices, so it's all admissible evidence for any other proceedings against anyone). I do note that if it should turn out to be foul play (which is suggested by the surrounding events, particularly the timing), the persons best situated to strike would be those who have a close personal relationship with either Donald Trump or William Barr.

As for the silly #ClintonBodyCount hashtag on Twitter, all I can say is that if Hillary Clinton employed a crack team of assassins capable of evading security inside prisons (and, according to the hashtag, every form of personal security known to man, including the Secret Service), Donald Trump never would have lived to see Election Day.

locumranch said...


Mainstream media have already latched onto the notion that people are turning to "conspiracy theories", as if those of us who think the official "explanation" of events doesn't pass the smell test are the crazy ones. There's an analogous thing going on right now with the Epstein so-called suicide. [LH].

Although he questions the official narrative about Epstein's rather convenient suicide, why does Larry_H assume that Epstein is dead at all?

Does he have access to privileged information? Has he inspected the corpse? Has he confirmed its identity? Or, does he know all about Epstein's death by divine revelation?

David talks about "an alternative explanation for what we've observed", even when he judges that alternative explanation "unlikely", and he even claims to "do it all the time".

But, aside from the occasional bullying wager, is our fine host actually willing to put his money where his epistemological mouth is in the manner of Pyrrho of Ellis?

I see the opposite: Zealotry.


Best

Larry Hart said...

Jon S:

I do note that if it should turn out to be foul play (which is suggested by the surrounding events, particularly the timing), the persons best situated to strike would be those who have a close personal relationship with either Donald Trump or William Barr.

As for the silly #ClintonBodyCount hashtag on Twitter,


Even if the Trumps and the Clintons do both have motive, the one whose lapdog is the Attorney General is the one with opportunity. Or is anyone suggesting with a straight face that the Clintons and Barr are in cahoots?

David Brin said...

To be clear, my scales of conspiracy plausibility definitely include possible foul play in the recent "suicide"! It fits my criteria of desperate men in power, sealed in by blackmail, and requiring only a small number of bribed and/or ingroup henchmen, and no superhuman feats of competence.

Nearly all the regular"Clinton Conspiracies" fail on every count. Especially when lumped together.

Larry Hart said...

Look, I don't know who killed him or who ordered it or who arranged it. But the idea that he hung himself and then was "found unresponsive in his cell" (not "found hanging in his cell") is absurd. Either the reporting on this is incredibly sloppy, or someone took him down and made it look like he was just lying there after he was dead. Presumably, that person was not the deceased himself.

Darrell E said...

The most suspicious thing to me, assuming it is accurate, is that there was one or more cameras in his cell and they were malfunctioning during the time period that the event, whatever it may have been, occurred. The whole affair, at least as reported so far, seems very much like a movie script.

Bad man who can bring many other very wealthy people down is arrested. While in jail he alleges that he was assaulted in his cell and when examined does have injuries that could have been caused by an assault, or by a suicide attempt. He is deemed a suicide risk and is put on Suicide Watch. Sometime later he is removed from Suicide Watch. Shortly afterwards he is found dead, reportedly by Suicide. And the cameras monitoring his cell reportedly malfunction. Information reported by the press is sparse and sometimes contradictory. The stage is now set for the movies good guy hero who has been working the case for years to go vigilante and frag every scumbag involved in the elite underage sex trafficking scheme and the attempted cover-up.

sociotard said...

Off topic, but take a look at the HP:MoR replica patches I designed and made for my brother for Christmas.

https://www.reddit.com/r/HPMOR/comments/cphtwm/made_army_patches/

A.F. Rey said...

Why do I have this feeling the climactic battle in your script is going to be in a pizza parlor, Darrell? ;)

locumranch said...


It doesn't matter where the climatic battle is, AF.

Darrell & Larry self-identify as epistemological ninnies because they can't & don't know if Jeffry Epstein is dead or not. All they know is that they've been told that Jeffry Epstein is dead, under suspicious circumstances, in an unsupported fashion, by an authoritative but untrustworthy narrator.

These ninnies wouldn't know FACT if it bit them on the nose.

For them & morons like them, it's turtles all the way down.


Best

duncan cairncross said...

sociotard
Love the patches - very apt

Just out of curiosity how many of the regulars on this site understand/don't understand the symbolisms?

Larry Hart said...

@duncan cairncross,

Are you asking about symbolism beyond what is described for each patch on the site itself?

sociotard said...

Yeah, I just copied the text that described the patches, and I didn't take many artistic liberties.

scidata said...

Re: Conspiracy theories

Apophenia is rampant in the modern world, particularly so in the US right now. Brain worms perhaps. I'm not condescending here; I too invent patterns (therefore I am I guess). Thus my fascination with AI. More the Asimovian symbolic kind than the wildly popular yet wildly mysterious 'machine learning' stuff. Yes, we can understand the math and theory behind various neural networks, but they're still black boxes in practice (who can fact-check 10^15 assertions/inferences?) Training a neural network is qualitatively different than proving a theorem.

Science is great at squelching patterns that are seen but do not exist. It's not so great (yet) at revealing patterns that are not seen but do exist. AI could perhaps accomplish the latter. As the Cheeto says, "We'll see what happens."

Calculemus!

J Thomas said...

"JT, you are arguing from negative evidence, "Bush/Obama were not arrested, therefore, there must have been a deal." Not impossible, it's just that no evidence is NO EVIDENCE."

Maybe I missed Brin's original point.

He appeared to argue that the fact that Obama not getting arrested had some particular meaning that refuted somebody else's claim.

But as you and I agree, there is more than one possible explanation for Clinton/Obama not getting arrested. So it isn't evidence for much.

But possibly the idiots he was arguing with had repeated many times that it was 100% certain that Obama/Clinton WOULD DEFINITELY be arrested, that there was no possible doubt. That Trump would 100% certain make sure it happened. If they claimed that, then the fact that it hasn't happened yet is evidence against their stupid claim.

duncan cairncross said...

Larry Hart
I was just wondering how many people saw the patches (or read the text) and immediately knew what it was all about - how many HPMOR fans there are here

sociotard said...

I'd imagine quite a few people here know about HP:MoR. Dr. Brin used to mention it on the site regularly

David Brin said...

JT you completely misunderstand. I have said that 25 years of relentless "investigations" costing taxpayers half a billion dollars, plus huge "whistleblower prizes" offered by the Kochs and Fox, have all come up with virtually nothing re the Clintons or Obama or in fact nearly anyone in their circle or penumbra.

That does not mean there's nothing there. What it means is that either they are clean or else demonically clever or else their pursuers are spectacularly stupid. Those aren't the only possibilities, but it pretty much exhausts all plausibilities.

Can the same be said of Bush Jr. or Trump? Of course not. Dominoes fell under W and are falling under Two Scoops. It is possible that Obama refrained from pursuing things to the top for some reason of principle or else to leave the presidency unsullied or else to avoid tit-for-tat... which clearly did not work.

Since 1968 one figure shows 150 criminal indictments for Republican leaders/factotums/appointees and around half a dozen democrats. Rather than consider Occam's Razor... that Goppers are inherently criminal... the answer has to be deeeeeeeep State! Despite the fact that most military Officers, intel agents and FBI guys spent most of their crewcut lives as republicans.

WHich brings us full circle. "Arrested" scenarios are just dumb. The president has no power to order anyone "arrested" and if you have no ducks in a row, none at all, what do you think will be the outcome. There was no logic that I could follow in your "arrested" screed. It did not make a scintilla of syntactical senses. you can do better.


J Thomas said...

David Brin, I had trouble imagining how you could be so utterly naive, but then I remembered that you are a partisan Democrat so you choose your narrative pretending that they are entirely OK.

"That does not mean there's nothing there. What it means is that either they are clean or else demonically clever or else their pursuers are spectacularly stupid."

You seem to be unaware how the US government works. Let me give you an unrelated example. Over 70+ years, the USA has spent trillions on nuclear weapons. We have spent to create new technology, and to build lots of missiles. At one point we had so many MARVed warheads that we ran out of targets in the USSR. We had dozens of little nukes aimed at Moscow and various other cities, and a nuke for each military base, and railroad yard. One for each railroad bridge. And we were down to targeting important crossroads. Because we had built the system to make nukes and aim them, and nobody had ever told the people who did it how much was enough. As it turned out we never used any of them. Trillions of dollars for a product we never used. But that's how we do things. Eventually we got a treaty with the USSR that let us cut back production and even cut back the number of warheads to hardly more than 2000 deployed, and maybe 5000 ready to deploy, and no more than 35,000 disassembled but ready to be assembled again. Assuming the US military has told the truth about all that.

When the Starr investigation spent 4 years investigating the Clintons and found nothing but a morals case, it wasn't that they really wanted to present a lot of boring financial deals and argue that there was graft. They wanted to spend 4 years sliming the Clintons.

Similarly, when the Mueller investigation spent 2 years investigating Trump and found nothing at all, it wasn't that they actually cared so much about finding stuff. The point was to give Democrats hope for impeachment, and get them to believe the rumors.

(Mueller himself may have just wanted to do a competent job....)

To a large extent, government in the USA is not done to achieve specific objectives. It's done to provide a way of life for the people who do it.

You argue that probably Republicans do a lot of graft and Democrats don't. It's plausible though that Republicans get prosecuted and Democrats get blackmailed. Republicans are traditionally so much better at party discipline....

J Thomas said...

You are making claims that are -- naive. I am not making claims, I am offering possibilities that imply you have not thought of all the angles, or you have rejected some of them too soon. You think you know things that you can't know, but that you might plausibly assume because you are a partisan Democrat.

Here's another point of view -- traditionally black politicians were far more likely to be arrested for corruption. Was that because the FBI was racist? They were. But I think also there was a set of hoops to jump through to hypocritically pretend they weren't corrupt, and black politicians didn't take all that as seriously as whites did.

The black community I have listened to, believes that most politicians are corrupt. Black newspapers report politics with that attitude, pointing out corruption in places that mainstream (white) journalists never do. Are they correct? I'd have to be a great investigative journalist myself to know for sure, and I'm not. But their readers believe it. They tend not to get upset when their own people play the corruption game and get some wealth for themselves. Sure, it would be nice if they spread it around a lot, but that's too much to hope for from human beings.... They have no qualms about re-electing somebody popular who has been shown to be corrupt or immoral.

So do you believe that black politicians are more corrupt because they get prosecuted more? Or maybe there's some other cause....

"Rather than consider Occam's Razor... that Goppers are inherently criminal... the answer has to be deeeeeeeep State!"

People who decide they know the one true cause of things are part of the problem. And yet it's so tempting. If you know, then you know what to do. There's usually a simple answer when you have the question defined down to something simple. Like, vote Democrat.

TCB said...

On the topic of 'splitterism': I would ask that we not put all the blame for this on left-Democrat insurgents and 'Bernie bros'. It seems to me that the centrist/establishment Democrats have not yet really had their Alcoholics Anonymous moment, the one where they fully confront the destructiveness of their addiction to corporate cash, to 'reaching across the aisle' toward Republicans, to compromise and appeasement in the face of fascism...

... as exemplified by marginalizing the left wing of the Dem tent, keeping the Sanders/AOC bunch at the 'kids' table' when the 'adults bungled so many things over the years.

As a synecdoche for this long-term trend, I offer a Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting article, Sydney Ember’s Secret Sources:
NYT reporter hides corporate ties of Sanders critics she highlights
.

Look it over... this is just one reporter at the Gray Lady, ostensibly the Newspaper of Record, doing everything she can to poke holes in the Sanders campaign with dishonest framing and quotes from sources who are not as impartial as she claims they are.

I've seen articles like this before, which made it clear that Hillary Clinton (and now Joe Biden) had many friends behind the scenes at the NYT, WAPO and elsewhere, painting Sanders as an extremist in the early run-up to the 2016 campaign and now as well. And these are news sources the Foxites call 'liberal'.

To sum up, I've recently read (and agree) that Moscow Mitch would rather win with Russian help than lose without it. But I still half suspect that the Biden/establishment/centrist wing of the Democratic Party would rather lose to Moscow Mitch and Benedict Donald as leaders of the Democrats, than beat the fascists as subordinates and supporters of the Sanders/Warren wing.

J Thomas said...


locumranch said...

"Darrell & Larry self-identify as epistemological ninnies because they can't & don't know if Jeffry Epstein is dead or not. All they know is that they've been told that Jeffry Epstein is dead, under suspicious circumstances, in an unsupported fashion, by an authoritative but untrustworthy narrator."

You don't know whether Epstein is dead either, right?

The trouble with this reasonable stand, one that I try to take myself, is that if you can't depend on the US government to tell the truth, you can't depend on anyone else either.

So for example, if you believe something that was leaked to Wikileaks, it might be a bona fide government document that was originally created for a cover story, to take attention away from something worse. It doesn't need to be true just because it's a leaked official government secret document.

If you seriously try to search for the truth, you will be left in a fog of disinformation with nothing trustworthy except your own personal experience, and THAT might be easy to misinterpret.

You can make up a story and see how well the published facts fit it. You can make up stories to explain the discrepancies. You understand reasons why people would tell lies, and the things that you naturally think are false are the ones that you figure are lies. But there's always more than one way that works.

You can start with your background beliefs, and expect people to behave in ways that are compatible with them. Different people will have different stories because they have different backgrounds.

So what color is the sky in your world? Ah, you say you call it blue? But what color is it really? Oh, you say we are living on your planet and I can see it for myself.... That's what we have. Only the common ground we happen to share, by accident.

When I was very small, before I went to school, once a week my parents took me to be with a witch-woman and a bunch of other little kids. She told us weird stories. Jonah and the whale. Noah. Daniel in the lions den. Abnach etc in the furnace. Joshua and the sun standing still. Cain and Abel.

I knew she was a witch, and I knew I must pay careful attention to everything
she did, that she was dangerous even though she tried to look friendly. The story about the furnace wasn't that different from Hansel and Gretel.

Those stories are still inside my head, and I'm not sure I can ever really understand people who don't have them. People who have other stories from other witches won't think the way I do.

TCB said...

Follow-up: From 2016, a Salon article on Bernie-bashing at the New York Times.

I think, had the corporate media treated Sanders on an equitable basis with Clinton before and during the 2016 primaries, and the Dem nominee on an equitable basis with the GOP nominee after, that Sanders would be president right now.

duncan cairncross said...

I think that J Thomas is very close to joining Locobranch on my list of people to ignore - he seems to have the same connection to the real world as loco

David Brin said...

All right, we have a jibbering loony locumranch of the left. I tried. But he spews so much crap, so many catchisms and catch phrases and half and whole lies that I'm just not going to bother. Like locum, he skims whatever I write and responds to whatever strawman makes for the best sanctimony rush.

Somebody tell me if this example of splitterist lunacy ever take vitamins.

TCB yes it's clear you think that. Can you show us any large degree of substance? Bernie doesn't think there's anything to it. There was no overcoming the vast array of white and black women who surged through the Democratic primaries for Hillary. Moreover you know this. You got tnothing. But at leats you are concise compared to JT's ravings.

Larry Hart said...

J THomas:

David Brin, ..., but then I remembered that you are a partisan Democrat...


This alone is a false premise. Dr Brin was a registered Republican until even he had to stand up and take notice.


"Darrell & Larry self-identify as epistemological ninnies because they can't & don't know if Jeffry Epstein is dead or not. All they know is that they've been told that Jeffry Epstein is dead, under suspicious circumstances, in an unsupported fashion, by an authoritative but untrustworthy narrator."


A sarcastic "thank you" for tricking me into reading something that loc wrote. I've been successfully ignoring his posts for months, as they typically contain outright falsehoods and slander.

But as long as you bring it up...

Even granting the point--I have no inside knowledge of whether Epstein is actually dead, or if his death has been faked so that he can live out an exile on Paradise Island with Wonder Woman. As a reader of comic books, I should have actually been the one to suggest that possibility, and now that we mention it, it's actually more plausible than some of the other theories going around.

Nonetheless, even granting that point, I ask rhetorically how that impugns anything I said earlier about the Epstein case. I never claimed to know what actually happened or who is responsible for it. What I claimed is that the official story as related through mainstream news outlets makes so little sense as to insult the intelligence of the audience. Whether Epstein is actually alive or dead or in some Schrodinger's Cat-like state of flux doesn't alter that, does it? If anything, it confirms the point.

Larry Hart said...

duncan cairncross:

I think that J Thomas is very close to joining Locobranch on my list of people to ignore - he seems to have the same connection to the real world as loco


You get that vibe? I actually find JT to make rational points. His flaw is in the personal digs that can't help popping up throughout an argument, "You're naive!" "You're a partisan Democrat!" That sort of thing. If you pull out those insults from the rest of the paragraphs, you get more of a dry presentation of a counter-argument.

And as far as I can tell, no outright assertions of falsehood or slander. In that, loc is in a league of his own.

Tony Fisk said...

@sociotard, Hermione's 'nice' Sunshine sigil reminds me of Dumbo's pink elephants on parade!

Lorraine said...

TCB: I think, had the corporate media treated Sanders on an equitable basis with Clinton before and during the 2016 primaries, and the Dem nominee on an equitable basis with the GOP nominee after, that Sanders would be president right now.

A world in which the corporate media treated Sanders on an equitable basis is more different from this timeline than a world in which Sanders is president.

Larry Hart: You get that vibe? I actually find JT to make rational points.

I find his points rational, but not original and also not useful. Basically epistemological nihilism, not much different from the moral nihilism of the self-styled Stirnerite nihilists who troll every anarchist discourse. They bring nothing to the table, save a certain defeatism.

Larry Hart said...

duncan cairncross:

I was just wondering how many people saw the patches (or read the text) and immediately knew what it was all about - how many HPMOR fans there are here


Ah, I see. As the one person in the world who never got into Harry Potter, it went over my head, although I did recognize the name Hermione as belonging to that series.

Larry Hart said...

Lorraine:

A world in which the corporate media treated Sanders on an equitable basis is more different from this timeline than a world in which Sanders is president.


In the early stages of the 2016 primaries, one reason I preferred Bernie to Hillary was that Hillary wanted the presidency too much, whereas Sanders seemed more interested in implementing policies.

By the end of the primary season, that seemed no longer the case. Sanders had caught the bug, and his campaign was as much about him wanting to be President as Hillary's was.

Of course, I'd vote for Bernie over Trump. But I honestly think Bernie does more good as a Senator than he would be able to as President. It bothers me greatly that Democratic Senators are so anxious to change branches when the Senate majority is crucial.

Larry Hart said...

Paul Krugman pulls no punches on "useful idiots". He might as well have cited Cabaret and the scene with the song "Tomorrow Belongs To Me" as a warning:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/12/opinion/trump-billionaires.html

...

Certainly I found myself thinking of the phrase ["useful idiot"] when I read about the Trump fund-raiser held at the Hamptons home of Stephen Ross, chairman of a company that holds controlling stakes in Equinox and SoulCycle.

...

I mean, if you’re a billionaire who also happens to be a racist, supporting Trump makes perfect sense: You know what you’re buying. But if you’re supporting Trump not because of his racism but despite it, because you expect him to keep your taxes low, you’re being, well, an idiot.

...

More to the point, Trumpism is about much more than tax cuts: It’s an attempt to end the rule of law and impose an authoritarian, white nationalist regime. And even billionaires should be terrified about what their lives will be like if that attempt succeeds.

This is especially true if you’re a member of a minority, even if your skin happens to be white. Ross is Jewish — and anyone Jewish has to be completely ignorant of history not to know that when bigotry runs free, we’re always next in line for persecution.

In fact, the ingredients for an American pogrom are already in place. The El Paso shooting suspect, like many right-wing terrorists, is a believer in “replacement theory” — the claim that immigration is part of a vast conspiracy to replace whites with people of color. And who’s behind that conspiracy? You know who: “Jews will not replace us,” declared the torch-carrying marchers in Charlottesville.

Is Trump a replacement theory guy? The replacement theorists think so.

...

David Brin said...

"or if his death has been faked so that he can live out an exile on Paradise Island with Wonder Woman."

Again, my tests for conspiracy include the Henchman Level. For JE to have been silenced requires one scheming overlord with the right connections, a blackmail/bribed prison official to jigger schedules, a complicit lookout, and the doer of the deed, skilled enough to fool the medical examiners. That's plausible. Arranging to spirit him away to an island with a doppel body in his place? Pure comix!

What I care about is JE's blackmail file. It's hidden somewhere, likely multiple copies. Frenzied ransacking of his digs. But to what end? The FBI saw everything in David Pecker's safe and must have concluded that The GoodOf The Nation precluded revelation. It's time to realize that light is the only thing that will scour our the oligarchic caste.

A.F. Rey said...

As an amusing aside, I looked up the acronym HPMOR (since I forgot what it stood for) and found the Wikipedia article on it, which prominently features Dr. Brin's name.

HPMOR was reviewed positively in June 2010, soon after it started, by science fiction author David Brin.[10]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Potter_and_the_Methods_of_Rationality

Apparently, you are one of the main cheerleaders of the story. :)

scidata said...

My ancestral lands (pre-Clearances) were in Sutherland, Scotland, the likely location of Hogwart's. Not to be confused with Northumberland Castle, the set used by several of the HP movies.

Eliezer Yudkowsky is my penultimate source of quotes (just above Paul Krugman, and just below Isaac Asimov of course).

David Brin is, well, David Brin.

My first son is slightly younger than Daniel Radcliffe, and could have been his twin during that HP time. He was teased mercilessly in school, everyone calling him Harry (not his name).

Too many connections to ignore. I'll examine HPMOR for nuggets to be used in my Citizen Science advocacy.

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

Arranging to spirit him away to an island with a doppel body in his place? Pure comix!


Heh. In my defense, I wasn't presuming that a body was left in his place. If Epstein is somehow still alive, the prison administration would be in on the cover-up. But really, that was only in response to locum's assertion (quoted by JT, otherwise I wouldn't have seen it) that I don't know what a fact is because I can't really know if Epstein is alive or dead.

I have not advanced a theory as to what I think really did happen. All I've maintained is that the official story is ridiculously implausible, so much so that the fact that it is the official story is insulting. And my point about the still-alive scenario is that, far from contradicting my assertion, it actually supports it.

Look, if someone hangs himself in his cell, he's presumably found in an upright position with the noose still around his neck. He is "found hanging", not "found unresponsive" as if there is some question what happened or whether he might recover. And the cause of death doesn't need to be investigated. OTOH, if he's found on his bunk "unresponsive" with suspicious wounds on his neck, then he didn't kill himself, or at least he didn't get rid of the evidence on his own.

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Alfred Differ said...

David,

This how your last list jumbles together in my head. Basically, I imagine each entry on a sticky note, place them all on the wall, and then re-arrange according to what seems related. From that, I tried to imagine laying them out in sections and in order in those sections.

(I hope I did this right.) 8)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NYcxhx1EmkHuZAxQm_RZ_1iNfpw_1TtT/view?usp=sharing

Observations

1. I'm not sure your Clinton-Obama obsession section (legit though it is) helps your overall theme. Without it, the first section finishes with a focus on how racism and immigration is being used to split America even if it doesn't divide the Left.

2. If you are going to mention Libertarians, I think that is where the 'reclaim Adam Smith' piece goes.

3. I'm not sure your point regarding GOP symbolism and ship names helps your overall theme. You have a interesting point, but it should be tied to a give-n-take deal similar to the firearms safety/sex education deal. You get to name the ships... We get to name... Do that and it fits with the other material that looks like legislative and social policy suggestions.

4. Your transaction fee and planet saving ideas should probably be paired up with sweeteners too. Do that and the whole 'mobilizing optimism' section shares a common theme. Progress CAN be made through deals.

5. I still think the 'citizen action' material belongs pretty much everywhere. Think of it like the homework questions at the end of the chapter. Have you tried X? Group Y is big into this... have you tossed them a buck or two yet? Can you think of other groups that fill the same public role? Come list them at Site Z.

6. I lumped the intro, profiles (local and international), and your zingers up front. I could see the zingers going before the profiles for those of us with short attention spans. The profiles would motivate further reading, though... right? That's why I left them this way.

7. I'd be careful calling it 'civil war' except where we shed blood and burn cities. It happens, but the cold phases are more 'civil spats' than cold war. I'm with you on the phases and your choice of terms, but I think readers could get hung up on 'civil war' and think they are being called to violence. Just... be careful.

David Brin said...

Alfred I am studying your google doc. A bit complicated but I already see some insights. More later.

locumranch said...


John_Thomas Taliwacker argues that "if you can't depend on the US government to tell the truth, (then) you can't depend on anyone else either".

It all depends on how you choose to define the term "trust", don't it?

You're utterly screwed if you choose to define the term "trust" in the sense of "believing that someone is good & honest and will not harm you or your interests".

But, you'll be seldom disappointed if you choose to define "trust" in the terms of predictability, since the most trustworthy individual or organisation is invariably the most predictable one.

Note, however, that predictability has nothing to do with goodness, mercy, honesty or ethicality, and everything to do with invariance & reproducibilty, which is why David's rule obedient future is so terrifyingly horrific.

And why is that?

Because rule obedient invariance & predictability has literally nothing to do with goodness, mercy, honesty or ethicality.


Best

Tony Fisk said...


Arranging to spirit him away to an island with a doppel body in his place? Pure comix!

On some remote island, deep underground, Epstein reclines on a sumptuous lounge chair, stroking Schrodinger's cat.
He's waiting for Elvis to be done in the bathroom.

... ye-es, I have heard it's been very hot in India.

Zepp Jamieson said...

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/milky-way-supermassive-black-hole-lights-up-suddenly-flashed-bright-light-scientists-dont-know-exactly-why/

[Zeppnote: That's odd. All the Pierson's Puppeteers just vanished, all at once...]

Darrell E said...

A.F. Rey said...
"Why do I have this feeling the climactic battle in your script is going to be in a pizza parlor, Darrell? ;)"

I think this script is ready to take to Netflix.

David Smelser said...

JT: the Mueller investigation spent 2 years investigating Trump and found nothing at all

DavidS:
Here is a list of indictments, guilty please and convictions from Mueller's investigations:
1. Russian troll farm: Charged with distributing Russian propaganda
2. Russian spies: Charged with stealing Democratic emails
3. Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort: Sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for financial crimes
4. Konstantin Kilimnik: Charged with obstruction of justice
5. Trump confidant Roger Stone: Charged with lying to Congress
6. Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn: Pleaded guilty to lying to investigators
7. Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates: Pleaded guilty to lying to investigators
8. Former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen: Pleaded guilty to tax and bank charges, campaign finance violations and lying to Congress
9. Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos: Served 12 days in prison for lying to investigators
10. Alex van der Zwaan: Served 30 days in prison for lying to investigators
11. Richard Pinedo: Sentenced to six months in prison for identity theft
12. Sam Patten: Pleaded guilty to failing to register as a foreign lobbyist
13. Bijan Kian and Skim Alptekin: Charged with conspiring to violate lobbying laws
14. Gregory Craig, Vin Weber and Tony Podesta: Referred to New York prosecutors

source: https://time.com/5556331/mueller-investigation-indictments-guilty-pleas/

Darrell E said...

I'm not sure if I should be proud or concerned to have been noticed by the crazy rancher. He's so miserable I feel sorry for him, and so dishonest in his discourse that I'd never bother to try and have a real conversation with him.

Darrell E said...

David Smelser,

Yeah, and on that subject if J Thomas is going around saying things as ridiculous as that then Duncan may very well be right.

Alfred Differ said...

David,

Yah. The cell boundaries are like the edges of the sticky notes. It's a cheap approach to a mind map tool.

When I write, I can usually get words on a page, but it is usually a stream of ideas. I map them next to find where to cut once paragraph into the steam on another page. By the end of it, I'm organized and can spot outlier ideas and others where I need more material. For your material with existing blog entries, the eye is drawn to where there are no links in a cell. Sure enough, you've usually written something like "Where did I do this best?" in there.

I DO recognize that the mind map I drew isn't likely to be how you see them connecting. I've seen you talk about reclaiming Adam Smith in settings that were not about libertarians. I've seen you talk about sanctimony addiction in lots of settings, but it seems especially relevant to any libertarian section, so I put it there too. Since I don't see our civil war as a battle between just two sides (more like two alliances), the whole libertarian thing could be part of the civil war section. That is way, way over complicating things, though. It's too much self-attention on how we fit into the bigger picture and I doubt your readers will connect. Just another libertarian lecture. 8)

Anyway... if it helps at all, it will have done it's job. At a minimum, I can see where to search for blog entries and find URL's for them. 8)

David Brin said...

Thanks Alfred. Still pondering. I may post the current draft as a goodoc.

Everyone else...

onward

onward