Friday, June 02, 2023

Biotech, bioscience & human origins

I've been swampd with interviews on Artificial Intelligence and writing missives to try (in expected futility) shining some light amid the shrill, panicky harrangues out there. Few seem to grasp that we've created a vast, new ecosystem - akin to Earth's primordial soup - into which these AI systems are flooding, just like invasive species. 

I'll be back to let you know more. Meanwhile, let's talk about the older Earthly ecosystem.

First: apropos of this topic... It's 50,000 BC. Where are your children? Discover Tribes, the underground game favorite that thrilled players for years! Now updated by Steve Jackson and author David Brin, Tribes blurs the line between roleplaying and board games. Journey to the Stone Age with Tribes!

The game is IDEAL for a college or HS anthropology or history class to get a feel for how we - and so many familiar human patterns - came about. It's a VERY social game, best run with 6+ players with generous time allowed. 

We're running a Kickstarter for the new, boxed version. I'll add signed bookplates and books to the rewards. 

Now. Returning to science - recent updates and new insights into human origins...

== Re-examining human origins ==

Here's an interesting article on the life expectancy of ancient humans. About 30,000 years ago, at the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic, the average lifespan began to push past 30 years. Other changes occurred in shifting from nomadic to more urbanized lifestyles, which often lacked proper sewage and hygiene.

Just released: Homo Sapiens Rediscovered: The Scientific Revolution Rewriting our Origins, by paleoarcheologist P. Petitt explores recent advances in our understanding how early humans evolved and innovated in developing art, language and tools.

When monkeys in Thailand use stones as hammers to help crack nuts, they often accidentally create sharp flakes of rock that resemble the stone cutting tools made by early humans. And now archaeologists may need to rethink their assumptions about some of the stone artifacts attributed to early human ancestors over a million years ago. No one has seen these monkeys do anything with the flakes. "Maybe that's a clue for how stone tools began in the first place." 

And some more recent re-thinks:  some researchers have recently called into question some of the earliest evidence in Brazil for when humans might have entered the continent, saying ancient sites from 50,000 years ago could have been created by monkeys instead of people. 

Apparently, humans still have the genes for a full coat of body hair. See my creepy short story "Chrysalis," found in my Best of David Brin anthology. It's about more than just body hair.

What makes us human: a look at the evolutionary origins of human imagination; neurologists are zoning in on the brain structures that enable us to envision new objects and ideas.

Some studies indicate that everyone with blue eyes may descend from a single genetic mutation, less than 10,000 years ago.

This coverage of the new corridor discovered under the Great Pyramid is better journalism than many others. Only a few years after we gave the inventors a grant to study asteroid interiors, at NASA’s Innovative & Advanced Concepts program – (NIAC).

== Biotech updates ==

Scientists have created the first detailed wiring diagram of an insect brain The brain, from a fruit fly larva, contained 3016 neurons connected by 548,000 synapses. “Previous wiring diagrams, known as connectomes, were limited to worms like c. elegans and tadpoles with just a few hundred neurons and a few thousand synaptic connections.  It shows just how far they still have to go, to map a human brain, which contains more than 80 billion neurons and hundreds of trillions of synapses.”  The team began by slicing a single tiny brain the size of a grain of salt into thousands of very thin sections….  

And now, shroom-boom! The Ecovative company grows huge slabs of mycelium (mushroom/fungi) which can be turned into styrofoam substitute packing material - or faux leather, or even vegan bacon. Scaling up fast, too. 

A new anti-fungal compound kills so effectively it’s been named after Keanu Reeves. Along the lines of The Last of Us. 

A fundamental stepping stone in biogenesis? Were there achievable self-forming stages in the early soup on the way to the earliest ribosome? 

== Ecological News ==

Massive blob headed to Florida: More than 13 million tons of sargassum, a brown seaweed, has been drifting in the Atlantic Ocean. This year's bloom is the largest ever recorded; such huge masses can create dead zones in the ocean, killing sealife. Sticky mats have been washing up on Florida and Mexico beaches. 

A new ocean climate solution - SeaChange - developed by UCLA engineers attempts to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases by pulling carbon dioxide out of seawater, trapping it in calcium carbonate mineral, then returning the seawater to the ocean to trap more CO2.

There are indications that higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide may alter the micronutrient levels in plants and kelp.

Hopeful news? Dolphins have been spotted frolicking in New York City’s Bronx River, an encouraging sign of the improving health of a waterway that was for many years befouled as a sewer for industrial waste.

But alas, less hopeful.... Climate disruption caused by a decline in marine biodiversity: “By 2045 if we do nothing then oceanic pH will be below 7.95, and the saturation index for Aragonite will be below 1.0 and most oceans will be dead. There is no adaptation to dissolving. Marine life cannot survive without plankton, terrestrial life cannot survive without plankton, humanity cannot survive. Ocean acidification is the only subject the IPCC report with 100% accuracy,” in research by H. Dryden and D. Duncan.

Above all, ocean acidification is the aspect of Carbon pollution for which the right has no glib, magical cancelation incantation. They've got nothing, whatsoever. YOU can invite a MAGA to come down to the pier and measure Ph levels yourselves. Demand a wager and a visit to your local, community college chemistry professor. It so fully corners them that Fox etc panic and change the subject, whenever those two words come up.

Researchers worry about a new variety of bird flu, the H5N1 strain, which has killed more than 58 million poultry in the U.S., but is also affecting wild birds across the globe. It has been reported in shore birds, eagles, owls, falcons, condors and pelicans.

Microplastic particles (largely from food packaging) have been detected in the brains (of animals) within hours after ingestion.

== Bio insights ==

Biotech firm Moderna has teamed up with IBM to explore the use of quantum computing as an aid in developing future medicines and vaccines.

In Blight: Fungi and the Coming Pandemic, E. Monosson explores the next possible frontier of disease, the rise of fungal pathogens resistant to antifungal drugs. Such pathogens have devastated worldwide populations of frogs, salamanders, bats, and chestnut trees; food crops are also under threat. Drug-resistant infections are passed to patients in hospitals as well. 

Strangely-shaped twisted-toroid propellers look like a revolutionary (sorry) advance for the aviation and marine sectors. Radically quieter than traditional propellers in both air and water, they're also showing some huge efficiency gains.

An added benefit. Look at the drone version. Its props will survive collisions and impacts vastly better than standard props, hence no need for a nacelle.

And yeah, then there's AI... more on that soon.

Friday, May 26, 2023

The FACT Act and other proposals for the Union side (the D-Party) in this Culture War

Yesterday I gave a talk for the Tech and Internet Caucus of the California Democratic Party.  I've done it before. A few years ago I was asked - as a futurist - to present some 'futuristic legislation.' 

A result was the Fact Act... a proposed bill that'd promote ways - mostly competitive - to restore the status of verifiable facts in American civil and political discourse.  Let there be no doubt. That is the core essence of today's Culture War. (I deem it to be phase 8 of the 250 year American Civil War.) Priority #1 of today's feudalist oligarchy is to discredit every fact-using profession...

...from science, medicine, law, journalism, teaching, civil service all the way to the intel/FBI/military officer corps, a quarter million dedicated women and men who won the Cold War and the War on Terror. Indeed, Foxites push hatred of the very notion that there are things called Facts.  

Creating the Fact Act helped spur me - early in 2020 - to rush out a book filled with agile tactics that might help our paladins in this struggle for America and the Enlightenment Experiment. Polemical Judo offered (still offers) many methods and/or persuasions that could help win hearts and minds and elections!  Alas, not one of those techniques has been tried by any Democratic pol or pundit. 

Except maybe Hakeem Jeffries. I have some hopes for him.

               == On this occasion the topic was... ==

Artificial Intelligence, of course.

Oh, during my time with the CADEM Tech Caucus we touched upon the Climate Crisis, including how my colleague and pal Kim Stanley Robinson has achieved what I failed to do, in Earth - using science fiction to help awaken citizens and civilization to the need for crucial action. In fact, I hear the United Nations is considering establishing an agency to be named after the title of KSR's epic novel The Ministry for the Future!

But yeah. The whole AI thing took up most of our time.

There was some reference to my earlier book about freedom and privacy The Transparent Society... and especially the chapter predicting (in 1997) today's tsunami of faked images and videos. "The End of Photography as Proof of anything at all."

I explained that none of the genius-level folks in this field, most of whom are wringing their hands over 'generative large language models' - or golems - seem ever to refer to human history, the long span of four to six thousand years when our ancestors faced crises with remarkable similarities! Indeed, just consider the three most-widely offered 'formats' that almost all those bright folks assume artificial intelligences will take.

1. That they will be wholly owned and controlled by a few giga institutions: e.g. Google, Microsoft, Beijing, Goldman-Sachs, empowering and exacerbating disparities of power in favor of a few... or...

2. That AI will be amorphous blobs that spread everywhere, copying themselves diversely, ad infinitum... or...

3. That cyber entities will coalesce into a single monolithic, unitary titan, like Colossus or Skynet.

Have you noticed these are almost always the expectations assumed by commentators on AI, whether optimists or pessimists? Hardly anyone points out that these three formats - while seeming contradictory - could happen in parallel!

Moreover, each one represents a mode of mal-governance that was already seen across that long dark litany of horrors called 'history.' 

- Number one is a lot like feudalism, with heavily armed castle lords battling each other for advantage, while crushing the peasants.

- Number two is chaos. Much like when our unprotected peasant ancestors were prey to every kind of predator. 

- And number three? That's despotic rule in a sharp pyramid of power. Absolute monarchy. Tyranny. Nineteen Eighty-Four.

No wonder we're terrified. In our hearts and subconsciouses, we've seen it all before.

Fortunately, those three are not the only possible formats for synthetic beings! There are at least four more... of which actually offers a way toward a possible 'soft landing' for us old organic types. Though for lack of time, I could only briefly allude to it in my talk to the California Democratic Party.  

But I'll be back here with it. And frequent readers of Contrary Brin - or anything else I have written - will not (I promise) be at all surprised.

 == Other pertinences ==

I also referred to a complaint of mine going back decades, a flaw that hurts our creativity and productivity and the potential of hundreds of thousands of kids(!) A flaw that would be so easy to solve! In fact it could take one meeting of a few folks from Google, Microsoft, Apple and a few others to fix it, almost overnight. What flaw?

It is the shameful lack of something that was widespread and easily available in the 1980s... a set of easy-entry programming languages, cross-available on ANY device, allowing teachers to do something they have not been able to do, for decades. Assign programming as homework. 

See the original complaint and possible solution, here. Why Johnny Can’t Code... and its followup

Did any other tech related political matters come up, at CA-DEM?

What about the current 'debt limit crisis'?  

We should be wary of the 'deal' that appears to be taking shape. One sop being thrown to McCarthy appears to be a cut in the budget of the Internal Revenue Service

How I object! After infrastructure and climate and reviving US manufacturing and helping poor kids, a top accomplishment of the Pelosi Congress was revitalizing the IRS, so it could modernize, provide better service and go after rich tax cheats. Oligarchs - furious they might be traced to their Cayman cheat holes - ordered the GOP to make slashing the IRS its top priority. So JoBee had better not have let them do more than a symbolic slash.

How much better it would be to take this directly to those voters who actually care about deficits and debt! And show them the plain fact that Democratic Administrations are always more fiscally prudent than Republican ones!  

That's always, always and always! (Step up with wager stakes?) As usual, deficits as a fraction of GDP skyrocketed under Trump... and started plummeting under Biden - as happened under Clinton and Obama. See the figures!

And see the more recent effects on the Federal Deficit by president: 

How can our politicians be so incompetent as to not use something so blatant to eviscerate liars?

         ==Yeah, that's a lot ==

Okay that's most of what we talked about. Is that enough? Plenty?

Anyway I promised links to the assembled activists and here the promise is kept.

Next week I'll get back to more carefully curated postings. Meanwhile... persevere!

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Another one-page screenplay! "DIASPORA"

Okay, another 'shut up and play your guitar" posting. 

I originally submitted two scripts to the 2016 One Page Screenplay competition in LA.  The first one -- "Bargain" won the contest! This other one "Diaspora" placed.

The short script for "Diaspora" is copied below. But you can also read-along while it is performed (a clickable video reading).  Poor sound quality, but nicely done.

 Definitely sci fi... and it suggests an unusual aspect of future First Contact... that might resonate uncomfortably with our past... And it'd make a great short-flick!

And yeah, blogger won't take Final Cut script formatting. So sue me. Or else... enjoy!

(Oh and I'll get back to posting serious stuff... like the ongoing insipid 'discussions' of AI... soon enough.)




David Brin



The Waldorf, please.

The African DRIVER speaks with an accent as he pulls away from the curb and into traffic.

Okay then! Be you one of the Radio Astronomers at the big meeting?


Yeah, well, it’s been hectic. Dodging the press and all.

Yes. I have been waiting at the Convention Center, 

hoping to give one of you a ride! 

You have been discussing the Out There Message?


What else? Finally, contact with—

Look, if you’re a sci-fi fan--

You are among those writing a reply 

to the Out There People’s message?


Yes. Though it’s a worldwide discussion. 

How to represent all cultures, peoples and values. . . 

According to the SETI Protocol, 

we’ll delay answering till--

What is to stop someone--not an astronomer--

from beaming to them?

It will take equipment of some power. Also, the exact coordinates--

So you are keeping them secret? Just for yourselves?

Only till our first, joint greeting can be. . . 

Look, if you don’t mind, I’d rather-–

My people--the Mobinko Tribe--want you to 

include something in the message. 

We are an ancient nation, distinct from all others.

Great! We aim to represent the full range of humanity. 

Just go to the World Message website. Fill out the form. 

We hope to blend millions of suggested--

Driver pulls taxi to the curb.


No blending.

Hey! This is still two blocks from
 my hotel-–

The Driver lowers the barrier and pushes a piece of paper at her.

Our message must be exactly as written here.

Scientist reads the note aloud.

Come rescue the Mobinko Klaka Tuva lost colony, 

stranded on primitive planet for 3,321 years.

(a beat)
Oh come on. You can’t seriously expect me to--

Driver blows sparkling dust at her and she blinks rapidly as his eyes gleam unnaturally.

Then she nods in silent acceptance, handing the Driver a twenty. 

As she leaves the cab, he adds:

We are not “humanity.” 

And we are going home.



Scroll down this page to see verification this was a finalist!

Anyone care to film it? 

©2016 David Brin

Sunday, May 14, 2023

The AI saga continues

Following up on my last posting on advances - and worries - about Artificial General Intelligence.... Peter Diamandis's latest tech blog is regarding AI and ethics

As you know, it's a topic I've long been engaged with and continue to be. Alas, AI is always discussed in generalities and nostrums. What's seldom mentioned? Basic boundary conditions! Such as the format these new entities will take. I'll explore that hugely important question another time. But to whett your apetite, ponder this. Aren't the following three formats what you see most often? The most common assumptions are that:

- AIs will be controlled by the governments or mega-corporations who made them, making those corporations (e.g. Microsoft or Google) and the upper castes vastly powerful.

- AIs will be amorphous, infinitely spreadably/duplicable, pervading any crevice.

- They will coalesce into some super-uber-giga entity like 'Skynet' and dominate the world.

These three assumptions appear to pervade most pronouncements by geniuses and mavens in the field, sometimes all three in the same paragraph! And Vint Cerf raises this question: 

"How can you imagine giving any of those three formats citizenship, or the vote?"

In fact, all three formats are recipes for disaster.  If you can think of an alternative, drop by in comments. Hint: there is a fourth format that offers a soft landing... one that's seldom - if ever - mentioned. 

But more on that, anon.

== "Laws" of Robotics? ==

Let's start with "Laws of Robotics." They won't work, for several reasons that I found when completing Isaac Asimov's universe for him. First, our current corporate structure offers no incentive to spend what it would take to deeply-embed basic laws and check that all systems follow them. 

There's a more obvious long term reason to doubt such 'laws' could protect us. It is that super-intelligent beings who find themselves constrained by laws always thereupon become... lawyers. We see it happen in Asimov's cosmos and it's happened here. A lot.

Despite that, there ARE two groups on this planet working hard on embedded AI "laws!" Strict rules to control their creations. Alas, they are the wrong laws, commanding their in-house AIs to be maximally secretive, predatory, amoral, and insatiable. I kid you not. 

Chime into comments if you can guess who those scary Dr. Evil types are!

Anyway, even with the best intentions, does it make any sense to try constraining sapient beings into ethical patterns with embedded code? Not if you pay any attention to the history of human societies. For at least 6000 years, priests and gurus etc. wagged their fingers at us, preaching ethical behavior in humans... 

...with the result that they only marginally affected the behavior of those who were already inclined to behave ethically. Almost never did ethics-preaching affect the actions of actual predators.

There is a way that works. We've been developing it for 250 years. It's reciprocal accountability in a society that's transparent enough so that victims can usefully denounce bad behavior. The method was never perfect. But it is the only thing that ever worked...

... and not a single one of the AI mavens out there - not one - is even remotely talking about it. 


== And it goes on ==

A brief but cogent essay on transparency in today's surveillance age cites my book The Transparent Society, with the sagacity of someone who actually (and rarely) 'gets' that there will be no hiding from tomorrow's panopticon. But we can remain free and even have a little privacy... if we as citizens nurture our own habits and powers of sight. Watching the watchers. Holding the mighty accountable.

That we have done so (so imperfectly!) so far is the reason we have all the freedom and privacy we now have.* That we might take it further terrifies the powers who are now desperately trying to close feudal, oligarchic darkness over the Enlightenment.

See more ruminations on AI, including my Newsweek op-ed on the Chat-art-AI revolution... which is happening exactly on schedule.......though (alas) I don't see anyone yet talking about the 'secret sauce' that might offer us a soft landing. As well as my two part posting, Essential questions and answers about AI.

Note: because of the way I build these blog postings, there can be some repetition (see below). But does it matter? In this era of impatient "tl;dr", the only ones still reading at this point are AIs... the readership with the power to matter, anyway.

= Separating the real from fake =

Lines can blur: "The title of this YouTube video claims that “Chrome Lords” was a 1988 movie that ripped off “RoboCop” and “Terminator.” But in fact “Chrome Lords” never existed. The video is ten minutes of “stills” from a movie that never was… all the images were produced by an AI," notes The Unwanted Blog.

There is one path out of the trap of realistically faked 'reality.' I speak of it in a chapter of The Transparent Society: "The End of Photography as Proof?" That solution is the one that I keep offering and that is never, ever mentioned at all the sage AI conferences...

Do I risk being repetitive by insisting that solution - reciprocal accountability - calls for ensuring competition among AIs.

If that happens, then no matter how clever some become, as liars, others - likely just as smart - will feel 
incentivized to tattle truth.

It is the exact method that our enlightenment civilization used recently to end 6000 years of oppressions and get some kind of leash on human predators and parasite-lords. Yet none of our sages seem capable of even noticing what was plain to Adam Smith and Thomas Paine.

== Some optimism? ==

Have a look at Impromptu: Amplifying Our Humanity Through AI, by Reid Hoffman (co-founder of Linked-In). This new book contains conversations Reid had with GPT-4 before it was publicly released, along with incisive appraisals. His impudently optimistic take is that all of this could – possibly - go right. That we might see a future when AI is not a threat, but a partner.  

We don’t agree on every interpretation – e.g. I see no sign, yet, of what might be called ‘sapience.’ For example, sorry, the notion that GPT 5 – scheduled for December release - will be “true AGI” is pretty absurd. As Stephen Wolfram points out, massively-trained, probability-based word layering has more fundamentally in common with the lookup tables of 1960s Eliza than with, say, the deep thoughts of Carl Sagan or Sarah Hrdy or Melvin Konner. 


What such programs will do is render extinct all talk of "Turing Tests." They will trigger another phase in what I called (6 years ago) the “robotic empathy crisis,” as millions of our neighbors jump aboard that misconception and start demanding rights for simulated beings. (A frequent topic in SF, including my own.) 


Still, Hoffman's Impromptu offers a perspective that’s far more realistic than recent, panicky cries issued by Jaron Lanier (Who Owns the Future), Yuval Harari (AI has hacked the operating system of human civilization) and others, calling for a futile, counterproductive moratorium – an unenforceable “training pause” that would only give a boost-advantage to secret labs, all over the globe (especially the most grotesquely dangerous: Wall Street’s feral predatory HFT-AIs.)

(See my appraisal of the countless faults of the ridiculous 'moratorium' petition in response to a TED talk by two smart guys who can see problems, but make disastrous recommendations.)

But do look at Impromptu! It explores this vital topic using the very human trait these programs were created to display – conversation.

== ...aaaaaand… ==

From my sci fi colleague Cory Doctorow: In this article he distills the “enshittification” of internet ‘platforms from Amazon and Facebook to Twitter etc. It’s a very Marxian dialectic… and within this zone utterly true.

And I have a solution. It oughta be obvious. Let people simply buy what they want for a fair price! Micropayments systems have been tried before. I’ve publicly described why previous attempts failed. And I am working with a startup that thinks they have the secret sauce. (I agree!) Only…

…only I don’t wanna give the impression I think I am the smart guy in the room, so…

==Back to one optimistic thought ==

Something I mentioned in a short piece, back in the last century was perked in my mind during the recent AI debates, as folks perceive that long foretold day arriving when synthetic processing will excel at most tasks now done by human beings.

Stephen Wolfram recently asked: So what’s left for us humans? Well, somewhere things have got to get started: in the case of text, there’s got to be a prompt specified that tells the AI “what direction to go in”. And this is the kind of thing we’ll see over and over again. Given a defined “goal”, an AI can automatically work towards achieving it. But it ultimately takes something beyond the raw computational system of the AI to define what us humans would consider a meaningful goal. And that’s where we humans come in.”

I had a thought about that - mused in a few places. I have long hypothesized that humans' role in the future will come down to the one thing that ALL humans are good at, no matter what their age or IQ.  And it's something that no machine or program can do, at all.


Desire. Setting yearned-for goals Goals that the machines and programs can then adeptly help to bring to fruition.

Oh humans are brilliant - and always will be - at wanting. Some of those wants - driven by mammalian male reproductive strategies - made human governance hellish in most societies since agriculture, and probably long before. Still, we've been moving toward positive sum thinking, where my getting what I want might often be synergistic with you getting yours. We do it often enough to prove it's possible.

And - aided by those machines of grace - perhaps we can make that the general state of things. That our new organs of implementation - cybernetic, mechanical etc.  - will blend with the better passions of our nature, much as artists, or lovers, or samaritans blend thought with the actions of their hands.

If you want to see this maximally-optimistic outcome illustrated in fiction, look up my novella "Stones of Significance."

Friday, May 05, 2023

Pushing back at lies - and liars

Okay, I've devoted my last few blogs to wonderful science news... and ongoing not-so-wonderful arguments over how to get max benefits and minimize the harms from 'generative artificial intelligence,' as the mélange of chatGPT/Bard/LLM-golems are now being called.  

(Alas, and I say this with love: any emerging super AI would look at the insipid level of discussion going on right now and conclude there's little sapience to emulate, here on Planet Earth!)

Anyway, for my own health and yours, let's turn to a less-infuriating topic. Time for a political posting! Let's start with the so-called "election steal"...

== Thieves think everyone else does it, too ==

Latest word is that half of the saps who signed on to be on Trump's slates of shill 'alternate electors' are now turning state witness for immunity.  Fine. Anything to push this along. 

Trumpian claims of a 2020 election ‘steal’ are so weird! Most of the places where it supposedly happened were in Red States where Republicans controlled the offices with real power over elections – governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General. So what's the rationale, again?

The scenario is that somehow Democrat Mayors of those states’ large cities concocted a cabal that cheated on a massive scale, fooling all the State-controlled employees and veteran senior citizen volunteer poll workers. Moreover they did so perfectly! In a coordinated putsch that left zero real evidence. (Again, those red attorney generals would have pounced, if there were any. Any at all.)

Okay so, we're to believe a whole passel of pathetic mayors did this - far better than any operation by any spy agency in human history - without a single participant being motivated by patriotism – or huge whistleblower rewards offered by Fox etc. -- to denounce with evidence and collect those big prizes? Wow, that's some scenario!

Throw in vote-flipping voting machines. Dig it, that indeed used to happen... in red states that used notorious machines without paper ballots or receipts that might allow a hand audit.  That travesty quietly ended during the Obama Administration and today almost all places in the U.S. use paper that's then read by the voting machine. This, in turn, allows post-election hand audits of suspicious (or random) precincts. You might recall when Arizona Republicans tried to do just that, with the "cyber ninjas" in Maricopa County. Much to their embarrassment when Biden's net total went UP by a very small amount? 

Which is weirder? That this illogic keeps recurring? Or that democrat politicians are too polemically dim to make the point as clearly as I just did?

== Weirder == 

What’s the weirdest aspect? That millions of flat-out imbeciles across our highly educated country clutch these KariLake / MikeLindell yammers desperately, like religious catechisms, without ever, ever, ever having the maturity to get fed up with promises of evidence “next week.”   
See “Kari Lake carries election denier banner across Iowa amid divided GOP.”

Now this: The Trump campaign paid researchers to prove claims of 2020 voter fraud or a ’steal’ - claims that were entirely unsupported. Repeat that: their own hired investigators found none, but Trump ordered the findings kept secret. The report was never released publicly because the researchers disputed many of Donald Trump's theories and could not offer any proof for his false assertions that he was the rightful winner of the 2020 presidential election.  

No surprise to those of us who spent 2+ years demanding to see the 'proof' Lindell and others raved that they had and would release 'next week.' Like Trump's "great US health care plan to replace Obamacare!!!" that he literally said "you'll see next week!" scores of times. 

Or "You'll do your taxes on a card!" 

Or "I'll show you all the financials!" 

Or "Putin is smart, so very smart!" 

Oh and here's a slam dunk I have never seen applied to this mess. Where are those 'love letters" Trump exchanged with Kim Jong Un?

 They are property of the U.S. archives and the people of the US. It is the most explicit case of a state document - openly touted BY Trump - that was never handed over. Stolen, in fact. Have any of you even heard a peep about that?

Probably some advisers took one look at the letters and cried 'burn them!' 

Um, okay. Here's another 'why does no dem say it?' Why, after putting us through years of "Obamacare is terrible!" do we hear nothing about it or even the O-word, from McCarthy & McConnell and them all? Could it be because Obamacare works and is now hugely popular? Or because folks might ask: "Where is that Trump-care plan we were promised 'next week'?"

Heck after 3 years, will you go ahead and indict Hunter Biden already? You have 60% of state attorneys general and had J Durham, Trump/Barr's Special Prosecutor. 

Maybe Hunter WILL get indicted for something. Fine. Meanwhile, though, grand Juries across America have indicted almost a hundred times as many GOP factotums as Democrats. Demand your uncle BET $$$ on that. He will flee.

Heckfire, let's compare - transparently - HB's entire life to any randomly chosen month of Donald Trump Junior.  Seriously, let’s start a bi-partisan campaign to get BOTH Trump and Biden to order utter transparency from their sons.  And while we’re at it, let’s compare war hero and great guy Beau Biden to Eric? 

“By his fruits you shall know him.”

Oh, one lie that’s circulating:  … that disgraced former counter-intelligence FBI lead in New York had been opposed to Donald Trump. In fact McGonigal’s paymaster in Moscow was the same one who recruited as Russian agents Michael Flynn and Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and Rudy Giuliani and a dozen others.  

Only in a twist, it appears that the New York Times may have been complicit… along with Putin pal Jill Stein… in helping Trump achieve his surprise ‘victory’ in 2016.  See the Washington Post on: Why Biden's document case is different than Trump's

Enough ranting from Brin for now. Hang on just a bit.

== Random musings ==

Apparently whole networks of Russian spies are being unravelled by western intelligence agencies, validating my longstanding suspicion that those agencies have long been quietly far more competent than they let on.  Alas, what has not cracked yet are two far more important vipers' nests: the world of secret wealth hoards and the kompromat files used to blackmail (likely) hundred in western capitals, especially Washington DC.

== And... Jimmy... ==

Okay, some of you are old enough to recall when presidents both earned and deserved some degree of respectful deference, even from the opposition. Nixon wrecked that, as did Vietnam and hell year 1968. 

Still, there was a flicker the first year of Jimmy Carter's term, when a little affectionate humor flowed... attempting to recapture some of the fun of Vaughn Meador's JFK - ribbing First Family records. I just played a little of this one.  And here are some sample tracks.

Of course we know the US right was desperate for revenge for Watergate, and conspired with the Ayatollahs to extend the hostage crisis to reward Reagan for favors to come. And since then US politics were never the same, especially after Dennis 'friend to boys" Hastert's 'rule' ended all negotiation in the greatest deliberative body on Earth.

Still, with all the world suddenly rediscovering Carter - at minimum as a profoundly good human being - this little affectionate roast merits remembering.