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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:13 pm 
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Meanwhile...
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OK, I can endorse that. :D

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:42 pm 
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bioalchemist
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I realize that all the people who get paid to jabber feel compelled to say something about Mueller's probe but it's unwise to draw any conclusions at all at this point. Pretty much all anyone has to go on is court documents and tea leaves. The former is unambiguous but tells us more about where the prosecutors have been than about where they are going. The latter, well, it's tea leaves. You can read what you want to read in tea leaves. If you want to read it as a witch hunt, you can do it. If you want to read it as legit, you can do it. My own read is that the Trump team at a bare minimum failed to vet its hires and let some very shady people in. I suspect this was a mix of arrogance and incompetence. In any event, the shady people did shady things both before and after joining the campaign and they deserve what's coming to them.

As for the Trump Admin in general, I've tried to find a silver lining. However, at the end of the day, I spent most of my pregnancy with daughter #2 wondering if our president would tweet us into a nuclear exchange before I ever got to meet her and now, for the same reason, I'm wondering if both my kids will actually get to grow up at all. Now I was born during the Cold War so I know my parents felt this same fear but I was rather hoping that me and mine wouldn't have to. So perhaps the rest of you will understand why I am not the least bit inclined to be forgiving to Trump and all he stands for.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:42 pm 
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I thought of another positive thing! I now know what Dunning-Kruger effect is.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:39 pm 
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With certain reservations, I will say that potentially Trump's agreement to meet with Kim Jong Un of North Korea could be something I agree with, if it actually leads to concrete steps to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:12 pm 
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A meeting of two volatile men convinced that they are entitled to having their every wish obeyed, whose previous exchange was of insults, both with command of nuclear weapons? What could possibly go wrong?

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:22 pm 
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Maybe that's what's needed to break the almost 70 year old impasse. After all, Obama has a Nobel Peace prize so Trump has to have one too!

Sent from my LG G6 using Tapatalk

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:12 pm 
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Maybe someone could just draw a circle on the floor and let the two of them wrestle without dragging the rest of us into it.

And think of the ratings! Sports, nationalism, and partisan politics at the same time!


Last edited by Dave_LF on Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:18 pm 
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bioalchemist
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Oh gawd. Can you imagine either of them in a singlet? Or a gi?

I just did. Where's the brain bleach?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:40 pm 
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River wrote:
Oh gawd. Can you imagine either of them in a singlet? Or a gi?

I just did. Where's the brain bleach?
And suddenly I don't need that snack anymore. Sheesh, River, I know I need to lose weight, but your coaching methods are a bit extreme.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:14 pm 
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Hobbit
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You've seen the video where Trump body slams a guy in Wrestlemania, right? They'd made a bet about who would win, and the loser would get his head shaved.


My point is, no singlet or gi required. That was done in a suit.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:38 am 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
With certain reservations, I will say that potentially Trump's agreement to meet with Kim Jong Un of North Korea could be something I agree with, if it actually leads to concrete steps to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula.


I would say, even at this stage, bringing Kim to the negotiating table is a good thing. It is better than the stand-off we've seen since he first came to power in Pyongyang.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:03 pm 
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And if he were going in to talk to a seasoned American diplomat, or a president advised by and willing to listen to seasoned American diplomats, I would agree. But I'm afraid that Trump on a world stage will say or do anything to appear to "win," no matter the cost to the United States. And he's demonstrated complete willingness to agree to a reasonable course and then, in front of the cameras, announce an unreasonable one that just popped into his mind, to the visible shock of the advisors who surround him. Tariffs, anyone?

That is being walked back to some extent. But in this case Trump will be talking with someone as volatile and ego-driven as he is. Anything Trump says that offends Kim Jong Un could have immediate and terrible consequences, long before any attempt could be made to walk it back. This is a blowtorch holding talks with a barrel of gunpowder.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:04 pm 
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This seems to be one of those cases where Trump can't win in the eyes of his critics no matter what he does. If the stand-off was continuing, he'd be criticised because his approach wasn't bringing any results. The only alternative to Trump negotiating with Kim is Trump not negotiating with Kim. He might not be the obvious choice to handle the negotiations, but he is the President, and I can't imagine Kim being willing to negotiate with anyone less.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:13 pm 
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I can't either. I just think it's dangerous—I would argue, even more dangerous than keeping them apart.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:11 am 
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So this is a spin towards the meta but, since we're talking about echo chambers...

A data mining company allegedly used Facebook to distort users’ reality (wasn't pay-walled for me; hopefully the rest of you can get in)
Quote:
Many Facebook users rely on the social network to figure out what's going on in the world. But what if the world Facebook shows them is wildly distorted?

That's the question raised after a former employee of a data mining firm that worked for Donald Trump's presidential campaign alleged the company used Facebook to bombard specific individuals with misinformation in hopes of swaying their political views.

The accusations raised alarm across the Atlantic on Monday, sparking an investigation into the firm, Cambridge Analytica, by the United Kingdom's Information Commissioner's Office. In the U.S., Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) sent a letter asking Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg whether the social media giant was aware of other data violations on its platform, and why it failed to take action sooner.

The controversy drove Facebook's stock price down nearly 7% on Monday, suggesting that investors are feeling skittish about the regulatory liabilities of a company that has spent the last year dogged by questions of fake news and Russian propaganda.

The scope of Facebook's problems ballooned after Christopher Wylie, a political strategist who used to work for Cambridge Analytica, alleged on NBC's "Today" show Monday that the firm believed that if it could "capture every channel of information around a person and then inject content around them, you can change their perception of what's actually happening."

By mining Facebook user data, Wylie said, the company could tailor the ads and articles individual users would see — a practice he calls "informational dominance."

In a video secretly recorded by Britain's Channel 4, Mark Turnbull, managing director of Cambridge Analytica's political division, suggests users targeted by the firm wouldn't know their online experience was being manipulated.

"We just put information into the bloodstream of the internet ... and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again … like a remote control," he said. "It has to happen without anyone thinking, 'that's propaganda,' because the moment you think 'that's propaganda,' the next question is, 'who's put that out?'"

Turnbull, according to Channel 4, also bragged about the firm's practice of recording politicians in compromising situations with bribes and sex workers.

In a statement sent to The Times, Cambridge Analytica accused Channel 4 of entrapment and rejected the allegations made in the report. In a separate statement, also issued Monday, the firm said it did not carry out "personality targeted advertising" for President Trump's campaign.

The company obtained the Facebook data linked to 50 million accounts through a Cambridge University psychology professor who had permission to gather information on users of the social media platform, but violated Facebook guidelines by passing it on to a third party for commercial purposes. Although Cambridge Analytica said in a news release over the weekend that it deleted the data as soon as it learned it had broken Facebook's rules, Wylie alleged that the firm continued to use the information.

What's worrisome about Cambridge's alleged practice, say social media and psychology experts, is that it works on even the most rational of people.

"Attribution theory teaches us that if you hear the same thing from multiple sources, then you start believing that it might be true even if you originally questioned it," said Karen North, a social media professor at USC who has also studied psychology.


It reads like the plot of a dystopian novel except it's not fiction.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:21 pm 
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Revisiting the issue of whether to give Trump any credit, one of the issues that was raises was that he was promoting positive reform of the VA, and therefore providing better care to veterans. Since that time, he fired the VA secretary who had bipartisan support on twitter without informing him first, because he (like all major veteran's groups) was resistant to the idea privitising the VA. He then nominated on twitter without first informing his communication staff or allowing any vetting at all the white doctor, Admiral Ronny Jackson, who was utterly devoid of any relevant management experience. It then turned out that 23+ active and former military personal asserted that Jackson drank excessively on the job, doled prescription drugs like candy, and constantly berated subordinates while kissing up to his superiors, resulting in Jackson having to withdraw from consideration. Now the VA is in total disarray, awaiting a new nominee.

So no, I don't think Trump deserves credit on this one.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:06 pm 
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Most of us are our own worst enemies. But the Ronnie Jackson fiasco has got me thinking that Trump is taking this human tendency and turning it into an art-form.

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 8:42 am 
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Good article posted by Jewelsong from the NY Times that seems appropriate here.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/12/opin ... u-are.html

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 12:51 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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Yeah, I agree with pretty much all of that. Liberals have gotten really bad at communicating their ideas. (Not that conservatives are any better, but the left has a much bigger megaphone.)

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 1:28 pm 
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I think it has more to do with the fact that the majority of communication occurs as soundbites, and it's difficult to say anything more meaningful than "you suck!" in the number of characters allotted. Plus, "you suck!" gets a lot of likes and shares from people who agree. There is still plenty of good stuff out there for anyone willing to seek it out and actually take the time to read it.

But it's more than just a communication problem. It's like I said way back at the beginning--the choice has turned into Nazis vs. Inquisition. I'll take Inquisition for now because, you know, Nazis; but I'm not happy about it.


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