Blogs

"Anger Studies"

The Real Roots of American Rage | The untold story of how anger became the dominant emotion in our politics and personal lives—and what we can do about it. Anger, Averill concluded, is one of the densest forms of communication. It conveys more information, more quickly, than almost any other type of emotion. And it does an excellent job of forcing us to listen to and confront problems we might otherwise avoid.   

william.scherk

william.scherk

"In the matter of Q"

I'd like to open a field of discussion for the QAnon phenomena.  Here is where I will post in already existing material presented at OL by members.  I'll take direction from comments and from poll answers.  What is Q / QAnon? Why should anyone on OL pay attention? Is skepticism justified? What are the main questions readers have in mind to guide discussion? No special rules or guidelines for this thread; the OL guidelines are good enough and will apply here. .  Please keep personal abuse to a minimum. Creative insults are kosher, but if they aren't on topic, why post them? hr Our forum leader opened discussion on the phenomena back in January of this year.  My key-word search-term was "QAnon,"  not "Q," so the search results will not necessarily return all incidence of discussion touching on the phenomena.  

william.scherk

william.scherk

The 5 O'Clock Club

My second test is also awful ... long, choppy, echoey, but I fear not [added February 2] _______________________________   I have been fussing with technical impediments for a few days -- with the end of the fuss a more-success-than-fail test of streaming video live from Chilliwack. It is still awful, laggy, popping here and there, distorting audio, skipping frames, refusing to play video so I can hear it ... but with some more fussing and rehearsal, and more script cards, and more drilling, this can work. Expect this thread to be locked from time to time as I replace the content with the actual live event URL. This is a recording ... Yes, it is even more awful than I feared, but still a success. The echoes can be fixed by disabling the mic when listening to playback of embedded videos. And the awful disparities in volume can be finessed.  > I want to recommend a neat little standalone application that lets a podcaster/livecaster play various sound files. It's called Jingle Palette. A screenshot of the thing: As can be seen in the labels, I had audio excerpts from video, text-to-speech items, and some radio-stingers.  All at various wrong sound levels ...  

william.scherk

william.scherk

What to learn about Russian goals when you don't really care [updated]

One of the items I fish out of the general Russia Russia Russia hoopla is geopolitical strategy. In other words, setting aside the unproven allegations of the Trump-Russia 'collusion' grab-bag, and putting to one side the actual details of the "Russia hack" of the 2016 US presidential election -- leaving the residual "what is this administration's larger strategy with regard to Russia, its hopes and fears, its ambitions." This is no easy task. The election campaign revealed just a few rules of thumb that a Trump administration would use in a new relationship.  Each of us will have an impression of just what President Trump hopes to achieve in relation to Russia between now and 2020. For me, having studied utterances of Michael Flynn and the many Russia/Putin statements from the president, it is to "get along," to cooperate where it serves American interests, and perhaps to let Russia back in from the cold by removing sanctions where appropriate. In an sense, it is a desire to move the 'deep state' off its suspicious foundations in order to make a better partnership with the Eurasian nuclear power.  (the 'deep state' I envision as the intersection of established policy [of the executive branch, including national security agencies] and law [from the legislature]; it is the entrenched state of affairs, the 'ship of state' -- a vehicle of praxis built up over time. The 'deep state' of course takes its orders not from a shadowy cartel, but from department policy as written, intelligence findings as transmitted, and law. Law as in the welter of official acts and regulations, eg, Magnitsky-related sanctions. The 'deep state' vehicle can be refitted and given new missions, but this takes time, time to install new commanders with clear mission statements, time to legislate and decree a change in direction, speed, goal and targets) Having established their own briefs on facts and values, strategy and intelligence, law and practice, OLers might like me might have asked themselves the same set of questions -- not of the American 'vehicle' commanded by President Trump, but of the Russian ship of state. What Russia wants. -- that boring introduction done, here is a well-written analysis of Russian imperatives: Russia’s Evolving Grand Eurasia Strategy: Will It Work? NB: at 4200 words the article is not light reading.  But I suspect readers will be better able to answer the question "What is a proper Russia policy for the USA?"  One person whose opinions I wish we could consult right now is the founder of Objectivism. Having a cold eye on the Soviet Union, a cold eye for any unfree state, a cold eye for dictatorships, Ayn Rand would likely be able to add moral clarity to the 'debates' about Russia Russia Russia. A  couple of folks here have contended that Rand would be enamored of Donald Trump, a notion I find preposterous. But I could be very wrong. [Spelling and grammar plotzes fixed Jan 10, 2018]

2018 Midterm Congressional Elections: 300 days of excitement

There are times when I miss the Objectivist Living stalwart "Adam Selene." I am definitely going to miss his wonkish, passionate opinions on the coming mid-terms. I put this blog entry up to have a place for OLers who are interested in tracking the campaigns, the shoddy and unconvincing polls, and the final night of returns.  With the disbanding of President Trump's "voter fraud" commission** we will have no executive guidance on where or how various states are vulnerable to rigging or other hinkiness. In among the news-hoopla today, a few reports that stand out. This from The Week: A record-breaking 31 House Republicans won't seek re-election in 2018 A whopping 31 House Republicans will not be seeking re-election in November, NPR reports, including Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.), who announced his impending retirement from Congress on Wednesday. The 2018 GOP exodus is a new record: The last time there was such a massive departure from Congress was when 28 Democrats left in 1994, and Republicans subsequently seized control. Most significantly, Republicans in states won by Hillary Clinton are leaving in droves. "Vulnerable House Republicans would clearly rather call it quits than stand for re-election with a deeply unpopular agenda hanging over their heads," Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Tyler Law told NPR. [...] Democrats would need to flip 24 seats to take back the House, with the Senate being more of a long shot; in the upper chamber, Democrats have to defend 25 seats and pick up an additional three in order to take back the majority. A Washington Post/ABC News poll from November found that hypothetical Democratic candidates are favored by voters against their Republican counterparts 51 percent to 40 percent. One of my favourite election handicapping sites is Decision Desk HQ, a relatively-nonpartisan group of wonks and dweebs. Their DDHQ 2018 House Midterm Forecast is a good place to come up to speed on the challenges and excitement ahead. The 2018 House Midterm Election is bound to be one of the more interesting in recent memory. With Donald Trump in the White House, infighting on both sides of Congress, and an American public that is bursting at the seams we have a recipe for a perfect political storm. Keep your eye on this page, which houses our forecasts for all 435 congressional districts, and stick with us as we attempt to answer the ultimate questions: who will win majority control of the US House of Representatives? Here is an image from that page: http://www.thecrosstab.com/data/forecast-2018/leafletmap/index.html [Guy keeps 'fixing' his blog layout. He now works for the Economist]
https://www.thecrosstab.com/project/2018-midterms-forecast/ Click on the image above to go to the fully interactive version of this image, where you can zoom in and examine each race's details and present-day forecasts. Eg,  -- another very good site is Ballotpedia. Here is a link to their comprehensive 2018 elections page. ___________________ ** a welter of reports on the controversial commission and its end can be accessed here. Click the following for a snapshot ... Prediction:  surprise surprise!   Countdown clock.

william.scherk

william.scherk

Reading: "Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories"

I want to recommend a book I just started reading last night: "Suspicious Minds," by Rob Brotherton. As is usual, I read first the chapter that stuck out -- Chapter 5, The Paranoid Fringe. It takes a useful critical look at the seminal article by Richard Hofstadter -- "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" -- and also runs to ground a plausible origin of 'tinfoil hats.'  The book is written in a wry conversational tone, and is not on the surface a ''scholarly" read thick with endless footnotes, but it also contains a very useful reference list by page number -- as well as a full index at the back.  (My copy is from our local library, but I am going to order it from Amazon so I always have it on hand as a reference book.) Here is an excerpt from the first page that might whet OLer's appetite for more ... In a fit of recursion, I include this bit of commentary from earlier this month. It suggests that I am bound by ingrained prejudice/s, which may or may not be true ... yet leaves the door open to further friendly discussion. -- for those who like to check out reviews before purchasing or borrowing from a library, here's a selection -- which I thought remarkable. Remarkable in the sense of "how many reviews do not mention Donald Trump?" New York Times review by Adrian Chen
Inside Higher Education review by Scott McLemee
Brief Scientific American review by Maria Temming -- for the benefit of Dear Leader, I found the book is available at his local library too!

"How to pull a friend out of the conspiracy theory rabbit hole"

Mick West at Metabunk.org has published a book!  It's called "Escaping the Rabbit Hole: How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories Using Facts, Logic, and Respect."  The early reviews at Amazon.com are brutal.

I publish a fair-use excerpt from the introduction to the book published last month at Salon: How to pull a friend out of the conspiracy theory rabbit hole | It’s not a blue pill or a red pill, but a poison pill I've added highlights to parts of the excerpt that might be helpful to OLers struggling with the entailments of conspiracy-ideation --in friends, family, and perhaps in themselves ... as those of us who have read the Rob Brotherton classic understand ... "Its not THEM, it's US" ... no one wing of political or social groups is more vulnerable to the harms of conspiracy ideation than another. "Try to figure out my tricks."  What good advice ...

william.scherk

william.scherk

How to disagree without being disagreeable

I was thinking about some of the life-learning and wisdom of Nathaniel Branden, half-convinced in my mind that I was remembering a quote accurately, that Nathaniel Branden had written "disagree" and "disagreeable" much like I thought in the title of this entry. I did find a phrase, something like I remembered and put it in fuller context at bottrom. But first some thoughts from the departed. The natural inclination of a child is to take pleasure in the use of the mind no less than of the body. The child's primary business is learning. It is also the primary entertainment. To retain that orientation into adulthood, so that consciousness is not a burden but a joy, is the mark of the successfully developed human being.
Nathaniel Branden  
We do not hear the term "compassionate" applied to business executives or entrepreneurs, certainly not when they are engaged in their normal work. Yet in terms of results in the measurable form of jobs created, lives enriched, communities built, living standards raised, and poverty healed, a handful of capitalists has done infinitely more for mankind than all the self-serving politicians, academics, social workers, and religionists who march under the banner of "compassion".
Nathaniel Branden    “When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit.”
Ayn Rand   Thinking of someone with whom I have useful disagreements.   Watauga Lake, Tennessee. 

Ayn Rand Interview on Conservatism and other Signs of the Times

This is the latest part of a series of videos uploaded recently by the Ayn Rand Institute, some of which are repackaged audio files (of which some are not always dated precisely).  A careful listener may hear the hint of approval she would have for a President Trump, who is said to have dined with her in 1977 ... just after her secret affair with Pierre Elliott Trudeau came to a sad end. Qui eu percipit accusata. Nam ex perpetua forensibus reprimique, mei sale mucius te. Ei postea sanctus nam. Natum suavitate pertinacia sit ea, quas fugit ius ei, an augue utroque abhorreant qui. Dicunt multa. Quia similes sunt.    

"I do not ever get colds or flu; I have more Neandertal DNA than you."

My homespun header sung to the tune of something from Paint Your Wagons, I think. The headline at Phys.org is "Modern humans inherited viral defenses from Neanderthals." Click and go, but someone go first for Peter and give him an all-clear, thanks. We sometimes talk about viral things and sometime talk about Neanderthal and sometimes we talk about Neaderthal and Rand.  This is my half-assed attempt to knit together a proper blog post. Since I can't socialize the means of content-production, I quote from the forum itself: Musical interlude. Who knows who he was Listing at: Jerry Biggers and WSS scolding each other politely.  Just off stage right, Jonathan. An on-ramp to Point of Inflection, regarding our present ability to make conclusions about prehistory. A kind of stew of Neanderthal and history and Rand and Brant and Bob. Mood generally sunny with an occasional sharp gust: Gentle guidance, away from epistemological swamplands: A sly comic confection and call to order from Jerry: I will try to populate this thread with a few other standouts from over time.  Who wants all our Musings on the Missing Link linked here too? Yours truly, minor content provisioner.  

Ayn Rand Institute Binswanger lectures on emotion on Youtube

Well worth a listen are two recently-uploaded visual-radio pieces from ARI's Youtube channel.  I wish a few of our founding-people regulars were still around to masticate this lecture. My first impression was that Binswanger is both precise and sloppy:  the lack of 'show notes' or references makes it cloudy where exactly he is relying upon someone else's work. He implicitly invokes both Plutchik and Ekman, but does not say their names, rubbishing one, but basing his next ten minutes on the other. 

The oral-aural culture is weird in the Objectivist traditions. One of the not-so-unfair criticisms of Ayn Rand's occasional essays are the lack of citation where they would really help: who is she talking about?  Same with Peikoff in OPAR, which is in part why I think that one hit the wall several times before I could finish reading it. So with these two, I build up a charge of questions for a Q & A that doesn't happen ... yet.  Since Binswanger usually operates from a subscriber-maintained walled garden, it is interesting for him to put his wonk out for general feedback -- instead of within his Loyalty Cult.  The ARI channel doesn't seem all that well-visited, but it has open comments. I'd love to get Marsha Enright and Steve Shmurak on a five-way discussion via Skype one day discussing these Binswanger tapes; I think they likely have paid the five bucks at an earlier time for a three-hour MP3, or and that the lecture has already had a round of critiques. Lazy me hasn't noted yet when it was first struck as an independent essay or reading or whatever we might call this genre. So, Enright, Shmurak, Boydstun, and I think Robert Campbell. I would be not other than host and sound-board monitors, at most a compere, so that leaves one other person I am missing. 

Who am I missing?  [ADDED: I put out feelers to the trio above on Facebook, with a query about how old this item is. I could probably look that up myself, but why not be social?]

william.scherk

william.scherk

Sessions, leaks, security, Manafort and 'false news.'

Six fun (sad/awful/false/infuriating) stories emerged from the swamp in the last couple of days. Peter Taylor noted elsewhere on the site some vows made by Attorney-General Jeff Sessions on the issue of "leaks."  Some of the usual suspects have pretended that this is a "Threat" against the noble profession of prostitution journalism. The strongest or least-false coverage of this issue from that point of view may be from font of evul Politico ... in a story called Jeff Sessions' Attack on the Media Is Worse Than You Think.  Of course, Objectivist analysis might find that the threat is more than necessary, and that it will encourage a proper "chilling effect." Less clear is the notion of "Lie Detectors" (in the White House). Polygraphs are a useful investigative tool, but not accepted by US courts on the whole.  Less intrusive than a lie detector is the power to subpoena ... but see the story for all the convolutions. (one stand-out point was that it is relatively rare for journalist-itutes to be prosecuted or held in contempt for refusing to reveal sources [think Judith Miller]; the Politico story points out that the four arrested cited-but-not-cited by Sessions were not recipients but those who had purloined secret and often highly-classified 'spy' entrails from the DC borg.) ********************************* The second story circulating is that Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington, DC.  This may or may not be true -- even though everyone and the dog has been biting on the "news." I do not know if this would become public in the normal course of justice. The third story is that President Trump is a lazy do-nothing, who spends far too much time at his golf clubs ... instantiated in a nasty Newsweek cover. The fourth story is related to the Mueller grand jury suggestion ... this excerpt is from the brief Slate article "U.S. Reportedly Intercepted Suspected Russian Agents' Chatter That Manafort Asked for Their Help With Clinton: Manafort was the first somewhat hinky part of the Trump campaign and influence apparat to appear in posts here on OL, back a year and more ago.  It's not surprising that Mueller would request documents and testimony from the Manafort axis.  It isn't that he was a tool of Russia or an obvious go-between, but that he could have been a major conduit for the wink-wink quid pro quo that the crazy Russia conspiracists are certain is going to be found. Did Mr Manafort wink-nudge the Trump attitude that 'we take help from where it comes, given that politics  is a dirty dirty game'? I mean, isn't the essential question reduced to who promised what in return?   I take the tentative position that Trump's stated positions on Russia during the campaign and since being in office are obvious. So it will be exceedingly hard to show him 'promising' things on the down low, since he did it on the stump. Then, if he was inclined to reduce sanctions bite on Russia and to warm things up between the superpower and the also-ran, it was open and public.  Which requires that underlings and satellites were going to be the ones dealing with the details of wink-wink, nudge-nudge. If you are a Menshist, or not. (the more hysterical of the Russia hoopla employees and hobbyists are those who think every rumour is true, every leak informs the big picture. So the Flynn Effect [very pro-Russia relax] and other fizz from the week means Russian "information warfare" was coordinated. Which is alarmist nonsense, right?) ************************************* The fifth story is about vacation-time, but in this instance taken by the manly President of Russia. Here's a sample: The sixth story is as usual performed by two casts, in two theatres. In the permutations, a Cernovich wing in the White House leaks out a broad range of accusations against Trump's National Security Adviser Lt. General HR McMaster -- that he is a tool of Soros/Rothschilds/Saudis, an enemy of Israel, and ever-so Swamp-Like that his hideous influence must be extirpated from Cabinet. Two guys come shambling up the alley. First guy looks like Steve Bannon, the second guy looks like  McMaster, and the guy with McMaster is brown and in a turban**. Which one would you ask out on a date/for help?  Which one is leaking to the Washington Post, or -- as this week -- to Cernovich-Breitbart-Gateway Pundit? I think there is a mini-war of ideas in the White House, which slops over into a war of words and Grand Hoopla Theatre in the mediatic multiplex. But what do I know. I am that guy who wrote "Why Donald Trump lost the election."  Incidentally, as a bonus seventh story -- did you know that obsessive humans do such things as rigorously analyze Twitter accounts that peddle the Kremlin lines of attack? Yes you did, but did you know that PR and political attack campaigns have a particular 'footprint' or pattern? Of course you did, so it won't be a surprise that there is a website that tracks real-time information-warfare memes and their flows in Kremlin-friendly orbit. If you squint and pretend to be Louise Mensch, yesterday's peak trends like the Cernovich Leaks from the angry West Wingers about McMaster were coordinated with a robust 'managed news' campaign directed by the drunk guy in the alley. See if you can find your favourites bot link or alt-news site here. I add a screenshot of the crazy site, but first an intro from the feverish topic ends of Twitter. __________________________ * I am picturing Harjit Sajjan, who rarely togs out in his Commander outfit, but still. Who doesn't feel safer when a turbaned Sikh gets on the bus?  I would think Bannon was a drunk, and McMaster probably a loud talker. Which makes me think how many more generals should join the Trump cabinet and administrative apparatus.

william.scherk

william.scherk

Mixed Martial Arts: Tucker Carlson vs Amy Peikoff

Peter Taylor left a crumb trail to an entertaining video from FoxNews' ratings juggernaut Tucker Carlson's show.  Featuring the Objectivist lawyer and scholar Amy Peikoff.  Veddy interesting ... "I must say, you seem like a logical atheist ..." sez the man with the Beatles haircut. [ ...] [... see below for the video missing above: Atheist and Haircut] From the "Friendly Atheist" ...  

william.scherk

william.scherk

Reading: Dark Oasis

There is a reading festival in Chilliwack, including a lottery-style draw for fabulous prizes, accorded to a pool of readers.  You fill out a little reading report and you may be rewarded with ... weekly-distributed prizes, all around fifty bucks value, from Arts Centre/Playhouse events to Plants. Anyway, there was another little promotion going on when we visited the main library: local, small-press "Chilliwack"-keyed books aka "Local Indie Authors." I picked up .. Dark Oasis, A Self-Made Messiah Unveiled, by a guy named Jasun Horsley.  

It is a gripping tale told from the perspective of an almost-cult-member, the central figure being John de Ruiter, who now runs a "philosophy" empire out of an Edmonton "Oasis." The book will not be to the taste of those who want an extremely-skeptic take on de Ruiter; the author is somewhat reminiscent of the book published by Greg Mamishian and his wife, in that it examines a cult leader/philosopher, but this one is enlarged by the 'spiritual' beliefs of Horsley. So, if you don't want to read something by someone who identified with Carlos Castenada for a time, who is a "seeker" of spiritual truths, pass. But this seeker is able to describe the entire assembly of the present "philosophy" and its internal and 'intended' cultishness. The seeker and the skeptic in one. With a few wobbles along the way. Anyway, just a Reading:  note. I include a recent video of John de Ruiter, just to give a glimpse of the weirdness of his message. This is de Ruiter "on the road": -- for a sample of Jasun Horsley's writing style and format, see his series of smaller articles at Auticulture, especially The Casualties of “Truth”: Deconstructing John de Ruiter’s Sexual “Calling”.  That's right, Sex!

william.scherk

william.scherk

Fire, Cognition, Fury, Persuasion [Updated]

President Trump, in his inimitable fashion, has pushed back against one of the central themes of Michael Wolff's breathless work of gossip, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. The theme -- fanciful, false, 'fake' or not -- is that Trump's White House was staffed with more than a few folks who view the man in the Oval Office as unfit for the job, lacking the qualities of mind that one should expect. This is not a new theme. Here is an article in Statnews last year that tried (and failed?) to 'measure' a difference between a younger and older Trump's vocabulary and fluency.   Trump wasn’t always so linguistically challenged. What could explain the change? Research has shown that changes in speaking style can result from cognitive decline. STAT therefore asked experts in neurolinguistics and cognitive assessment, as well as psychologists and psychiatrists, to compare Trump’s speech from decades ago to that in 2017; they all agreed there had been a deterioration, and some said it could reflect changes in the health of Trump’s brain.
  The author of the Statnews May 2017 article helpfully includes several brief video excerpts -- from 1987 and 1991, and from a more recent video of the President speaking extemporaneously.     ... the decline of Grand Supreme Hoopla ...  

william.scherk

william.scherk

Watching: 'Linguistics Are How You Win: Everyone Must Hear the Term "Moral Panic"'

Tarl Warwick (such a nice Lovecraftian name) aka Styxhexenhammer666 is someone I pay attention to, so that I can at the very least understand various arguments made.  He is quite assured before the camera**, which still impresses me), and can run on for at least ten minutes, even if not colouring within the lines of his topic.  Here he hews fairly strictly to the concept of Moral Panic and raises some questions that readers/watchers/listeners here can either analyze, scoff at, or nap through.   I can't get access to automated captions at the moment, but will poke them in here once I figure out how .. The Invision Power Board software no longer allows embedded files in an iframe ... so I had to come up with a kludge, for readers: I use a kludge within a form element, a textarea. The only drawback is that in some browsers the size of the box is fixed to maximum width.  Advanced example:Textarea with sizing and wrap attribute (try values of hard, soft, and off to see how it affects wrapping). The maximum number of characters is constrained to 200 by the maxlength attribute. Full automated caption file ... 00:00:00,709 - 00:00:02,878 All right everyone if you've ever read 00:00:02,879 - 00:00:05,068 or watched 1984 you know that one 00:00:05,069 - 00:00:08,339 element of propaganda and this work gets 00:00:08,340 - 00:00:10,619 it right definitely is language control 00:00:10,620 - 00:00:12,779 language control is perhaps the most 00:00:12,780 - 00:00:14,758 important aspect other than physical 00:00:14,759 - 00:00:17,549 force itself in controlling people in 00:00:17,550 - 00:00:19,469 fact if you have enough propaganda if 00:00:19,470 - 00:00:22,108 you're given enough psychological leeway 00:00:22,109 - 00:00:23,518 and you have enough of a corporate 00:00:23,519 - 00:00:25,589 apparatus to deliver it and get around 00:00:25,590 - 00:00:27,749 the 1st and 4th amendments which is what 00:00:27,750 - 00:00:29,579 Silicon Valley is for it to be it 00:00:29,580 - 00:00:31,409 appears then you don't need to use 00:00:31,410 - 00:00:33,659 physical force not necessary to round 00:00:33,660 - 00:00:36,359 people up in camps it's not necessary to 00:00:36,360 - 00:00:38,009 force them out in the middle of the 00:00:38,010 - 00:00:39,569 night and you know beat their daughters 00:00:39,570 - 00:00:41,968 at gunpoint it's not necessary to a 00:00:41,969 - 00:00:44,099 physically harass and intimidate them 00:00:44,100 - 00:00:46,139 all you have to do is have a such a 00:00:46,140 - 00:00:48,119 system that's created that is more or 00:00:48,120 - 00:00:50,159 less model I think it's monopolized its 00:00:50,160 - 00:00:51,808 government co-opted controlled by a 00:00:51,809 - 00:00:54,058 bunch of CEOs and bankers who have 00:00:54,059 - 00:00:55,589 nothing in common with the general 00:00:55,590 - 00:00:57,959 population you simply control people by 00:00:57,960 - 00:00:59,939 figuring out what language will or will 00:00:59,940 - 00:01:02,669 not be used or accepted on these 00:01:02,670 - 00:01:04,499 platforms that have been integrated 00:01:04,500 - 00:01:06,359 together into a gigantic corporate 00:01:06,360 - 00:01:08,759 monopoly that's what we see with the 00:01:08,760 - 00:01:09,600 internet today 00:01:09,601 - 00:01:12,329 we have a trust involving a few dozen 00:01:12,330 - 00:01:14,699 extremely large companies they work with 00:01:14,700 - 00:01:16,798 the US government this is why what 00:01:16,799 - 00:01:17,969 they're doing is technically illegal 00:01:17,970 - 00:01:21,059 already because it is you can't work 00:01:21,060 - 00:01:22,258 around the First Amendment by 00:01:22,259 - 00:01:24,089 privatizing abuse you can't say well 00:01:24,090 - 00:01:25,769 like the government can't say I can't 00:01:25,770 - 00:01:27,508 prevent you from speaking but I can 00:01:27,509 - 00:01:29,368 command all these corporations to not 00:01:29,369 - 00:01:30,899 sell you the paper to use on your 00:01:30,900 - 00:01:33,328 printer that would be illegal it would 00:01:33,329 - 00:01:35,008 be explicitly illegal as long as they do 00:01:35,009 - 00:01:37,438 it through middlemen nobody so far as 00:01:37,439 - 00:01:38,609 notice but I'm going to give a 00:01:38,610 - 00:01:41,548 suggestion to the Creator community to 00:01:41,549 - 00:01:43,319 alt tech to the online world to 00:01:43,320 - 00:01:45,179 political dissidents you know people and 00:01:45,180 - 00:01:46,919 the handful of people in our government 00:01:46,920 - 00:01:48,929 that are still awake there's one 00:01:48,930 - 00:01:50,758 important thing you can do to break this 00:01:50,759 - 00:01:52,648 sort of psychological conditioning 00:01:52,649 - 00:01:54,478 because it relies upon controlling 00:01:54,479 - 00:01:57,059 language so they'll use the term quality 00:01:57,060 - 00:01:59,099 filter it's not a quality filter it's a 00:01:59,100 - 00:02:01,319 censorship tool you're only calling it 00:02:01,320 - 00:02:03,269 though it's so opaque the way that it's 00:02:03,270 - 00:02:04,559 designed we don't even know what it's 00:02:04,560 - 00:02:06,539 filtering or how well then how can you 00:02:06,540 - 00:02:08,848 possibly say that oh just trust us 00:02:08,849 - 00:02:10,889 it's for quality assurance within 00:02:10,890 - 00:02:12,419 conversation no it's not it's 00:02:12,420 - 00:02:13,340 suppressing beep 00:02:13,341 - 00:02:15,348 that have certain views that have 00:02:15,349 - 00:02:16,878 certain beliefs that's all it is 00:02:16,879 - 00:02:18,649 family-friendly no it's not 00:02:18,650 - 00:02:20,779 family-friendly it's sanitized and 00:02:20,780 - 00:02:23,029 injected with propaganda it's not 00:02:23,030 - 00:02:26,238 fact-checking it's fact skewing see how 00:02:26,239 - 00:02:28,219 easy that is you've got to look at the 00:02:28,220 - 00:02:29,988 language of the terminology used when 00:02:29,989 - 00:02:31,429 they make up new terms 00:02:31,430 - 00:02:33,499 literally new speak you should always 00:02:33,500 - 00:02:35,119 pick them apart and think really 00:02:35,120 - 00:02:37,219 critically about whether it actually 00:02:37,220 - 00:02:39,409 properly represents what's going on 00:02:39,410 - 00:02:42,859 number one expose that fact to people 00:02:42,860 - 00:02:45,828 deride and mock these situations these 00:02:45,829 - 00:02:47,779 systems that are being made by Silicon 00:02:47,780 - 00:02:49,639 Valley the quality filters that and 00:02:49,640 - 00:02:51,318 stuff just call them what they are 00:02:51,319 - 00:02:53,449 censorship and derived them as such and 00:02:53,450 - 00:02:55,009 don't get bogged down in the muff 00:02:55,010 - 00:02:57,499 free-market debates that's it's 00:02:57,500 - 00:02:59,298 not a free market everyone knows that at 00:02:59,299 - 00:03:02,208 this point number two use the term moral 00:03:02,209 - 00:03:03,949 panic I see more and more people 00:03:03,950 - 00:03:06,318 starting to use legacy media I need to 00:03:06,319 - 00:03:08,268 talk about moral panic apparently ten 00:03:08,269 - 00:03:11,089 times more often if the term enters the 00:03:11,090 - 00:03:12,859 public discourse at a high enough level 00:03:12,860 - 00:03:15,469 seeps its way into public consciousness 00:03:15,470 - 00:03:18,589 as things like legacy media corporatism 00:03:18,590 - 00:03:20,988 terms like that are we can very quickly 00:03:20,989 - 00:03:23,629 collapse the entire sense of ship 00:03:23,630 - 00:03:25,939 paradigm because then people will have a 00:03:25,940 - 00:03:28,129 new term to substitute for what for the 00:03:28,130 - 00:03:29,929 new speak that's already being used see 00:03:29,930 - 00:03:33,078 the thing is this is counter propaganda 00:03:33,079 - 00:03:35,509 I'll tell you why I'll tell you why this 00:03:35,510 - 00:03:37,399 isn't technically like libertarian new 00:03:37,400 - 00:03:39,409 speaker selling which some people pry if 00:03:39,410 - 00:03:41,089 they're jackboot liquors they probably 00:03:41,090 - 00:03:43,578 claim them because this term already 00:03:43,579 - 00:03:45,409 entered the public lexicon a long time 00:03:45,410 - 00:03:47,149 ago it's already been around but there's 00:03:47,150 - 00:03:49,098 never been as far as I know before the 00:03:49,099 - 00:03:51,738 fairly modern era because the quality 00:03:51,739 - 00:03:53,958 filter what's what's a real quality 00:03:53,959 - 00:03:56,149 filter real quality filters you slap it 00:03:56,150 - 00:03:58,759 into your wall to filter the incoming AC 00:03:58,760 - 00:04:01,309 air so you don't get Legionnaires 00:04:01,310 - 00:04:03,138 disease or something that's a quality 00:04:03,139 - 00:04:04,969 filter family-friendly no 00:04:04,970 - 00:04:06,229 family-friendly is sitting around 00:04:06,230 - 00:04:08,479 playing checkers or watching The 00:04:08,480 - 00:04:09,949 Waltons or something you're not gonna 00:04:09,950 - 00:04:11,988 get family-friendly on a free and open 00:04:11,989 - 00:04:13,458 Internet because people aren't 00:04:13,459 - 00:04:17,029 constantly facing obstacles to absorbing 00:04:17,030 - 00:04:18,978 whatever content they want it'd be 00:04:18,979 - 00:04:20,659 draconian it'd be tyrannical its 00:04:20,660 - 00:04:22,098 censorship that's all it is 00:04:22,099 - 00:04:24,949 Oh build your own website they say you 00:04:24,950 - 00:04:25,550 can't 00:04:25,551 - 00:04:27,439 it's become impossible that's the whole 00:04:27,440 - 00:04:30,228 point good luck finding someone to act 00:04:30,229 - 00:04:32,329 as a registrar good luck payment 00:04:32,330 - 00:04:34,758 processing good luck using anything that 00:04:34,759 - 00:04:37,189 was built by any other site on your site 00:04:37,190 - 00:04:39,619 good luck finding a host good luck at 00:04:39,620 - 00:04:41,119 this point without net neutrality he'll 00:04:41,120 - 00:04:43,279 good luck finding an isp to serve you at 00:04:43,280 - 00:04:45,138 some point they'll eventually join the 00:04:45,139 - 00:04:47,598 fray because they become now a target 00:04:47,599 - 00:04:50,168 for the crap divest that's another thing 00:04:50,169 - 00:04:52,549 we can make up our own news speak 00:04:52,550 - 00:04:54,228 technically speaking for more benevolent 00:04:54,229 - 00:04:57,258 reasons use the term crap to fist to 00:04:57,259 - 00:04:59,239 denote somebody who's who claims to be 00:04:59,240 - 00:05:01,369 active istic but they're really just a 00:05:01,370 - 00:05:02,388 bored moralist 00:05:02,389 - 00:05:05,059 soccer mom that's a mockery is one big 00:05:05,060 - 00:05:06,829 way in which you defeat authoritarianism 00:05:06,830 - 00:05:09,198 look censorship and authoritarianism 00:05:09,199 - 00:05:12,439 stem from fear a group is losing power 00:05:12,440 - 00:05:14,689 or fears losing power or money or 00:05:14,690 - 00:05:16,879 something or audience and so they lash 00:05:16,880 - 00:05:18,619 out it's sort of like what a religion 00:05:18,620 - 00:05:20,149 does when it goes into decline it 00:05:20,150 - 00:05:22,728 declares some pogroms starts a crusade 00:05:22,729 - 00:05:25,128 all people are becoming decadent no no 00:05:25,129 - 00:05:27,529 the tithing level has decreased we must 00:05:27,530 - 00:05:30,228 kill anyone who disagrees with us states 00:05:30,229 - 00:05:32,388 do this a state that is under pressure 00:05:32,389 - 00:05:34,788 spawns authoritarianism far more readily 00:05:34,789 - 00:05:36,918 we saw this with via our Germany we're 00:05:36,919 - 00:05:38,568 seeing it all over Europe today it's 00:05:38,569 - 00:05:39,888 coming from the left and the right 00:05:39,889 - 00:05:42,739 groups are becoming more given over 00:05:42,740 - 00:05:44,869 towards political intimidation tactics 00:05:44,870 - 00:05:46,999 not necessarily authoritarianism as 00:05:47,000 - 00:05:49,638 directed to a populist sometimes it's 00:05:49,639 - 00:05:51,348 more in the realm of intimidation like 00:05:51,349 - 00:05:52,939 they're literally more willing to throw 00:05:52,940 - 00:05:54,918 a punch you know on the floor of some 00:05:54,919 - 00:05:57,379 some Congress some or some Parliament 00:05:57,380 - 00:05:58,848 all of a sudden they break out into what 00:05:58,849 - 00:06:01,129 amounts to a white-collar riot and it's 00:06:01,130 - 00:06:02,568 all very funny because they know they're 00:06:02,569 - 00:06:04,549 throwing cut HUD there they're $10 cup 00:06:04,550 - 00:06:06,559 coffee at each other and then grabbing 00:06:06,560 - 00:06:08,508 each other's thousand dollar suits and 00:06:08,509 - 00:06:10,429 ripping men's stuff like that mats can 00:06:10,430 - 00:06:12,619 be a little bit funny it's like in you 00:06:12,620 - 00:06:14,059 know in the Balkan states when 00:06:14,060 - 00:06:15,888 occasionally son throws a gas grenade 00:06:15,889 - 00:06:17,478 into the parliament or sorry it's just a 00:06:17,479 - 00:06:19,728 normal activity there once in a while 00:06:19,729 - 00:06:23,448 door when they lose a soccer match then 00:06:23,449 - 00:06:25,309 it happens even more than then the cars 00:06:25,310 - 00:06:27,258 start flipping and buildings start 00:06:27,259 - 00:06:29,689 burning honestly but no Linguistics are 00:06:29,690 - 00:06:32,448 how you understand reality you've got to 00:06:32,449 - 00:06:35,088 understand the concept of picking apart 00:06:35,089 - 00:06:37,788 language develop this skill it's not 00:06:37,789 - 00:06:38,719 that difficult 00:06:38,719 - 00:06:39,560 it's just Luke 00:06:39,561 - 00:06:41,418 terms especially when you hear a term 00:06:41,419 - 00:06:43,789 for the first time it sort of fires off 00:06:43,790 - 00:06:45,888 the the dopamine in your brain a little 00:06:45,889 - 00:06:48,168 bit take a step back and look at what 00:06:48,169 - 00:06:50,029 it's actually saying what does quality 00:06:50,030 - 00:06:52,129 filter in the sense of a multi-billion 00:06:52,130 - 00:06:54,289 dollar corporate entity imposing it on 00:06:54,290 - 00:06:56,089 political speech what does it actually 00:06:56,090 - 00:06:58,819 mean there's a simpler way of saying it 00:06:58,820 - 00:07:00,529 it's an old term it's been around for a 00:07:00,530 - 00:07:01,070 long time 00:07:01,071 - 00:07:03,439 censorship or corporate censorship if 00:07:03,440 - 00:07:05,119 you will because it involves a 00:07:05,120 - 00:07:07,099 multi-billion dollar entity if it 00:07:07,100 - 00:07:09,309 involves like Google the concept that 00:07:09,310 - 00:07:11,539 corporations can be moral actors I 00:07:11,540 - 00:07:13,638 reject completely it's impossible if 00:07:13,639 - 00:07:15,829 they exist within a competitive 00:07:15,830 - 00:07:18,049 framework they will naturally seek to 00:07:18,050 - 00:07:20,359 use those those tools they're developing 00:07:20,360 - 00:07:22,399 that they're presenting to you as though 00:07:22,400 - 00:07:23,959 therefore you're fit to keep your 00:07:23,960 - 00:07:25,789 children safer to protect you from 00:07:25,790 - 00:07:27,829 harmful opinions which you know 00:07:27,830 - 00:07:29,478 literally means anything that's non 00:07:29,479 - 00:07:31,839 corporate istic non neoliberal inform 00:07:31,840 - 00:07:34,638 they will inevitably aim them at smaller 00:07:34,639 - 00:07:36,769 competitors we see that right now what 00:07:36,770 - 00:07:38,269 are they doing to the alt-text site so 00:07:38,270 - 00:07:40,249 we're kicking off your payment processor 00:07:40,250 - 00:07:42,079 because you're not doing what Google 00:07:42,080 - 00:07:44,478 does and and policing and micro policing 00:07:44,479 - 00:07:46,519 everything that goes on on your site 00:07:46,520 - 00:07:48,559 oh you allow people to say things that 00:07:48,560 - 00:07:50,839 we find offensive you can't take money 00:07:50,840 - 00:07:53,359 we're kicking you off of your host your 00:07:53,360 - 00:07:56,179 registrar will drop you the ISP won't 00:07:56,180 - 00:07:58,609 serve you other sites won't allow you to 00:07:58,610 - 00:08:00,529 use their widgets or whatever the 00:08:00,530 - 00:08:02,689 they use now essentially your deep 00:08:02,690 - 00:08:03,350 person 00:08:03,351 - 00:08:06,409 well that sounds anti-competitive to me 00:08:06,410 - 00:08:07,788 it's funny you'd have to build your own 00:08:07,789 - 00:08:10,189 Internet in order to have actual free 00:08:10,190 - 00:08:12,319 speech going on I suppose to some extent 00:08:12,320 - 00:08:14,439 I think that that's quite chilling I 00:08:14,440 - 00:08:16,849 think it's absolutely ludicrous that 00:08:16,850 - 00:08:19,129 we're allowing US firms to get away with 00:08:19,130 - 00:08:21,138 this if you want to be authoritarians 00:08:21,139 - 00:08:23,569 why don't you relocate all of your 00:08:23,570 - 00:08:25,909 headquarters and stuff to a Malawi or 00:08:25,910 - 00:08:28,579 you know China or something you'd fit in 00:08:28,580 - 00:08:31,459 more in China do you you have an F oh so 00:08:31,460 - 00:08:33,619 that is not markedly different from what 00:08:33,620 - 00:08:35,899 China is doing on its intranet it 00:08:35,900 - 00:08:38,239 monitors everything it removes and 00:08:38,240 - 00:08:41,208 censors and D platforms at a whim it can 00:08:41,209 - 00:08:42,949 prevent you from engaging in commerce 00:08:42,950 - 00:08:44,778 because it can say well this person is a 00:08:44,779 - 00:08:46,579 dissident we better alert the 00:08:46,580 - 00:08:48,109 authorities they shouldn't be banking 00:08:48,110 - 00:08:49,549 they shouldn't be able to get a loan or 00:08:49,550 - 00:08:51,559 a house or something it's the same thing 00:08:51,560 - 00:08:53,369 we're under a four 00:08:53,370 - 00:08:55,799 of censorship right now under these US 00:08:55,800 - 00:08:57,959 tech firms that to a more limited extent 00:08:57,960 - 00:08:59,639 is essentially an extension of China 00:08:59,640 - 00:09:02,069 that's what it is it's not any different 00:09:02,070 - 00:09:04,019 it's just censorship it's not a quality 00:09:04,020 - 00:09:05,879 filter the Chinese used to Anu speak 00:09:05,880 - 00:09:07,919 like that to oh this is the protection 00:09:07,920 - 00:09:10,349 filter this is the great Internet wall 00:09:10,350 - 00:09:11,819 that'll keep you safe from the evil 00:09:11,820 - 00:09:14,729 outside world this is the this is the 00:09:14,730 - 00:09:16,528 hall monitor that's going to keep your 00:09:16,529 - 00:09:18,419 kids safe from bad opinions like 00:09:18,420 - 00:09:20,639 believing in labor unions or something 00:09:20,640 - 00:09:21,929 or thinking that they should get more 00:09:21,930 - 00:09:24,119 ten cents an hour and work from the time 00:09:24,120 - 00:09:26,249 that they're 10 11 years old that's what 00:09:26,250 - 00:09:28,079 in the nation of communist China they 00:09:28,080 - 00:09:29,789 would tell you aren't they telling you 00:09:29,790 - 00:09:32,399 basically the same thing here only with 00:09:32,400 - 00:09:34,409 without the suicide Nets because they 00:09:34,410 - 00:09:36,179 pay their staff you know six-figure 00:09:36,180 - 00:09:38,669 incomes not that big a different model 00:09:38,670 - 00:09:40,049 now when you really think about it 00:09:40,050 - 00:09:44,720 that's about all Pisa

Placeholder for GW/CC 'How I got here' thread

Long ago Jonathan and I got some good traction out of a tangle of issues related to Global Warming slash Climate Change.  I think we are slated to renew or refresh our earlier exchanges.  I am going to poke in links to some he-said/he-saids from a few different threads at different times. One feature of the updated software is an automated 'sampling' of a link posted raw.  See below.  So this blog entry will be kind of administrative-technical while being built and edited. I haven't figured out if Jonathan and I should impose some 'rules' going in, so your comment may be subject to arbitrary deletion before the field is ready for play. Fan notes included. Adam, see what you think of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, especially the revealing map-based representations of opinion. You can drill and zoom down to state, county, district level to track data across a number of survey questions, where some of the answers are surprising. On some measures at least, the thing it is not found only in the UK, Quebec, Canada: Here's a snapshot of several maps which do not always show an expected Red State/Blue State pattern; Edited 4 May 2015 by william.scherk   Plug my How To Get Where I Got book of books, Spencer Weart's The Discovery of Global Warming. Insert link to Amazon, Library link, and to the intro chapter of Weart's companion website to the book. Make sure you include a link to Ellen's mention of a book review.  Bob Kolker's June 3 comment is a good hinge. What do we (J and I) think we know about the mechanism Bob sketches? What can we 'stipulate' or what can we agree on, for the sake of argument?    

World Press Freedom Index

A depressing report from the folks at Reporters without Borders.  It contains all the data undergirding the index,  which lets you dig into the specifics.  We are probably (Canadians and Americans) thinking we have nothing to envy in other nations, in terms of press freedom, but the methodology suggests no -- we don't even crack the top ten. The way I look at it is ... an open society cannot function without press/media freedom -- including full freedom to report without the need to 'obey government authorities.'  The most striking case for me is that of Turkey. It has a few insane-seeming laws that are based on the old concept of lèse-majesté  (roughly, this means 'wound/injury [of/to] majesty' from the Latin laesa majestas). In the Turkish system, any criticism of the President, the State, or Turkishness can be criminalized. As the RWB report indicates, this has the effect of making Erdogan the arbiter of what can and cannot be said about him, his policies, and the nation ... this is also the basis of the sad and disgusting extension of "terror" laws in Saudi Arabia, which nation is ... near the bottom of the index.

Reading: Freud, the Making of an Illusion

I've mentioned the author Frederick Crews a few times on OL** ... and now I am ploughing steadily through his book "Freud, the Making of an Illusion."  

It's the kind of book people reserve the word 'magisterial' for, so far.  The subject is Freud's story-telling, in essence, and the divergence from the actualities. Crew is the first to exploit the new availability of previously censored or suppressed materials.  He has previously rubbished mythic Freud in some earlier work referred to by the lesser term "tour-de-force." What will appeal to the Objectivist or Objectivish is the hard line, the hard line for reality trumping bullshit.  Crews was the first to achieve a kind of encyclopedic knowledge of the Freudian-derived Recovered Memory movement and its associated Satanic Ritual Abuse allegations, trials and injustices. He was able to 'wrap it up' like a good prosecutor, with an at-my-fingertips-knowledge of what went down where and when and how and why. A good taste of what would be to come were you to purchase or borrow the book comes from its Preface, which I quote from (you can also Look Inside at Amazon): Among historical figures, Sigmund Freud ranks with Shakespeare and Jesus of Nazareth for the amount of attention bestowed upon him by scholars and commentators. Unlike them, he left behind thousands of documents that show what he was doing and thinking from adolescence until his death at age 83. Although many of those records were placed under lengthy restriction by followers who felt both financial and emotional incentives to idealize him, that blackout has at least partially expired by now. More revelations will emerge, but they are unlikely to alter the outlines of Freud's conduct and beliefs as they appear in the most responsible recent studies. [...] Of course, hardcore partisans can be counted upon to dismiss this book as an extended exercise in Freud-bashing -- a notion that gets invoked whenever the psychoanalytic legend of lonely and heroic discovery is challenged. To call someone a Freud basher is at once to Shield Freud's theory from skeptical examination and to shift the focus, as Freud himself so often did, from objective issues to the supposedly twisted mind of the critic. Like other aspects of Freudolatry, the charge of Freud bashing deserves to be retired at last. The best way to accomplish that end, however, is just to display the actual record of Freud's doings and to weigh that record by an appeal to consensual standards of judgment. _________________________________ ** totalismCult Warning Signs william.scherk posted a blog entry in Friends and Foes ...One of the many astute chroniclers of this time wasFrederick Crews, whose "The Memory Wars" still stands out above the rest. I note in passing his most recent book, a stunning tour de force in my opinion. See Freud: The Making of an Illusion. I have mentioned his work a couple of times here...  January 12    30 comments Solving a Puzzle-- Understanding Some People's Reactions william.scherk replied to Philip Coates's topic in Objectivist Living Room ...ThenFrederick Crews saved me. He let me see that crashing through the Dominant Discourse of Freudian Bullshit was a dangerous job. Those who had peddled that shit all the years were deadly opposed to being pushed off their thrones, their departmental thrones, their kingdoms of influence and tenure...  January 30, 2012    358 replies Emotions as products of Ideas william.scherk commented on nealelehman's blog entry in neale's Blog ...readFrederick Crews on Freud/psychoanalysis, anything you can get by Allen Esterson, Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, Frank Cioffi, and the very interesting current-philosophical-outrages site Butterflies and Wheels , a British site that is part of my regular reading. My favourite living philosopher is Susa...  June 30, 2007    6 comments

"Trolling" for food in Venezuela

This is a headline that needed an entry -- it is embedded within a story about, er, "cyber warfare" -- or whatever laden term best describes the augmented reality of propaganda, misinformation, and its effects. It's in a Bloomberg special report called A Global Guide to State-Sponsored Trolling. I can't wait till I get to the Canadian section. ________ ____ ____ ___ __ ________ __________ _____ / ____/ / / __ \/ __ )/ | / / / ____/ / / / _/ __ \/ ___/ /\ / / __/ / / / / / __ / /| | / / / / __/ / / // // / / / __/ ___ __ / .\ / /_/ / /__/ /_/ / /_/ / ___ |/ /__ / /_/ / /_/ // // /_/ / /__ |_ _| .| /_/\_\ \____/____/\____/_____/_/ |_/____/ \____/\____/___/_____/____/ |_||__| _____ _ _ _____ _ / ____| | | | / ____| | | | (___ | |_ __ _| |_ ___ ___ | (___ _ __ ___ _ __ ___ ___ _ __ ___ __| | \___ \| __/ _` | __/ _ \|___| \___ \| '_ \ / _ \| '_ \/ __|/ _ \| '__/ _ \/ _` | ____) | || (_| | || __/ ____) | |_) | (_) | | | \__ \ (_) | | | __/ (_| | |_____/ \__\__,_|\__\___| |_____/| .__/ \___/|_| |_|___/\___/|_| \___|\__,_| | | _________ _______ ________ ___ |_| ___ _______ __ __ ________ | || _ \ | || | | | | | | \ | || | |__ __|| | | | | _ || | | | |_ _| | \ | || _ | | | | |_| / | | | || | | | | | | \| || ||___| | | | _ \ | |_| || |___ | |___ _| |_ | |\ || ||_ | | | | | \ \ | || || || | | | \ || |_/ | |___| |___| \___\|________||_______||_______||_______| |__| \___||________|

The Best Days of the Trump Presidency

I have learned a few serenity lessons along the way, having been a typically shy-but-exuberant child and a normally anguished-at-times-by-love teenager. Emoting can be fun when it involves a bodily thrill short of nausea or panic or grief.  Outrage is then physical, in anger, disgust, just as with alarm, fear, and ever more physical as emotions heighten or become infused with more potent bodily energy -- to Rage, Revulsion, Terror.  How to keep your head when all around you are losing theirs.  The first lesson is 'suppress' ... try not to let the emoting of others influence your own unduly. Suppress 'triggers.' Anticipate loaded language and fallacious appeals, mentally diffuse their impact, try to extract salient details.   The second lesson is 'edit.'  Similar to suppress but you do it to yourself, doing your best to strip off an emotive overburden to the frame, the structure, the data, the theory. Needless to say, I may have learned a few beginner's lessons -- but don't always enforce the lessons in distance. Still, on a very newsworthy/peak-histrionic moment, following Helsinki it could be hard for most people to restrain their emotions, since hyper-loaded language has been dropped in such volume and spatter -- from treason to heavily-laden phrases about disgrace, embarrassment, shame, disgust, and so on. What a (moving) moment. As I noted elsewhere,  this is A Big Moment in White House Hoopla. Everyone talks about Mr Trump today.  In terms of getting everyone to talk about Mr Trump and Mr Putin, it's a Great Day.  From one point of view, rather relaxed, a powerful warrior went to Brussels, England and Scotland. He shook up the Old Order. He was undiplomatic, straight-talking, forceful and determined in the NATO meetings. In Britain he said what he wanted, America First.  Fiddle with a Hard Brexit, say bye-bye to a special trade deal. Round of golf, tea with Elizabeth Windsor in a palace, beautiful Helsinki, historic Helsinki. Joy. Power. Exhilaration. And he knocked it out of the park, crushed it, dominated, chided, controlled, set the agenda, mastered the fine details and the deep motives. Spoke of a new era of peace and strength, a new realism. Joy. Pride. Anticipation. Warmth of affection.  Having calmed everyone down for a moment, try to read this with no dander up-getting.  Your opinion is or may be an analogue to political reality.