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  1. Yesterday
  2. I got a few technical kinks ironed out in video/HTML/Ajax/JQuery/CSS production and am kind of pleased with myself. Not bad for a slithery cancer in a blue pill. For 'special tastes' ...


  3. "The" definition? Heh. Um, I think that people can have differing views on what is or is not art. I just think that any definition and criteria that anyone offers up should be consistent, non-contradictory, and it should treat everyone's aesthetic responses as being equally valid, not just Ayn Rand's and Michelle Kamhi's. If one's definition and criteria require, say, communication of intended meanings, then that should be true of all art forms, and then all alleged art works should be objectively tested, rather than Rand's or Kamhi's favorites just being arbitrarily and falsely asserted as having succeeded in communicating. As for your question some things not being art, I think the question is irrelevant. That's not a valid way of doing philosophy of aesthetics. One doesn't start out by imposing one's arbitrary wish to exclude certain things and then work back from there. When you do that, you end up with the contradictory mess that the Objectivist aesthetics is. You invent irrational standards, and then you end up with nothing qualifying as art. J
  4. CBS News on Canada's climate change Socialist health care in Venezuela IRS pinches middle and lower income self-employed Bird eggs
  5. Just like Shitty Liddle’ Adam Schiff is going to do soon.
  6. My neighbouring province Alberta 'threw the bums out' -- the next premier will be the United Conservative Party's leader Jason Kenney. Jason Kenney rides UCP wave to majority government in Alberta This sets up one of those interesting situations where five provinces (arguably) have right wing/conservative leadership, and are arrayed against the present federal government. May you live in interesting times ...
  7. Hi, Jonathan. Can I ask what you think what the definition of art is, and if you think that there are some things that couldn't be called art? (I apologize if you've explained before, I haven't seen your comments to Kamhi that you mentioned.)
  8. It's all or nothing. All that's needed is a statement of preferences, I prefer this to that, not that that's not art and this is. Then nasty Jonathan can't slice and dice you. Objectivity in art is from one's values, not existential criteria. That's objectivity off a subjective base. There's no contradiction for they are separated by the hierarchy. What is art? Whatever hoi polloi wants to say or any "expert." The same for the converse. Without this anarchy creativity goes into the garbage can and what's left is imitation. Ayn Rand had a great need to be in control and, naturally enough, it seeped down. You need to be in control when you're at war. She was always at war. --Brant
  9. The unintended result was the destruction of art. Nothing is art by Objectivism's definition and criteria. Perhaps someday one thing might become art, and then another, but, for now, nothing qualifies or has been objectively proven to qualify. Objectivishists value denying art status to abstract art more than they value consistency, rationality and objectivity. They will not abandon their rules which they use to reject abstract art, even when they are shown that those same rules have the same devastating effect when equally applied to their favorite works which they falsely claim are validly classified as art.
  10. Hmmm. Conspiracy-tinged? WTF. So, in today's world, NOT coming to an immediate conclusion that no malicious intent was involved is to present a conspiracy-tinged mindset? Merely keeping an open mind and expressing hope that a devastating event was an accident is vicious? Speculating about possible causes that might be worth considering is now bad and kooky? J
  11. Last week
  12. William, I went ahead and saw the video you posted that I didn't see the other day. At the time, I imagined you were trying to present the idea that manipulation of results by the social media giants doesn't exist, it only exists by malicious viewers. If all you are talking about is spammers, though, yeah, the bots do exist and they do the things in the video. I even know where to buy some bots like that. And artificial views and all that. The process shown in the video of pumping out a large number of different videos with essentially the same content is called "video spinning," which came from article spinning, which was invented by a guy on the Warrior Forum about a decade ago. He invented a code to replace words at random within an article based on synonyms. Once you coded an article the right way, you would put it in his program, click and an article came out. Click again and a different article came out. Click again and a different one and so on. The idea was to trick Google into not thinking this was duplicate content (thus get better search engine rankings). Or, if you didn't want to write an article, you could get one off the Internet somewhere, spin it, then run it through Copyscape to make sure not enough was equal to the original to constitute plagiarism. This article spinning process is a common part of the arsenal these days in OMG's (one man gangs). The kind of video you showed above is an advance version of this. Instead of articles, you have different ways to manipulate different video outcomes. Also, the large viewership is not really that large--mostly bots or the followers of some celeb who got tricked into recommending one of these videos. The fact is, nobody watches more than once or twice. All the rest is artificially inflated. I just looked on Google and there is a free, low quality article spinner here. (There exist very high quality ones, too.) You don't have to code anything in this freebie since so many articles have been spun over the years, they already have an automatic bank of synonyms. Here is what the first five paragraphs of this post looks like spun once. (This way you will get an idea of what I am talking about.) I could spin it as many times as I want and it would be different every time. The idea in using these things is to clean up the ridiculous-sounding stuff before posting a particular version to a blog or site, but many people don't even bother. For the record, here's the sales page for a rather low quality video spinning software. So I don't agree with the guy in your video about the psychological manipulation of users with these kinds of tools. The different users are attracted to these things based on polarities, which are engineered by keywords and the like, but they are not persuaded by anything. In other words, the same people who do a pro-Trump channel also do everything the same, but with an anti-Trump channel to pick up that part of the audience. They want you to click on ads and only that. They're not into "changing the narrative." The social media giants are, though. They do the real nasty behavior engineering. These same social media giants have to fight spammers at the same time. Those are two completely different issues. Just because bots exist, that does not mean, for example, the despicable collusion by the social media giants to deplatform Alex Jones because they did not like his popularity on pushing an agenda they do not share was justified. It was not justified, it was done by humans on purpose for political reasons, and it was despicable Bots also do not mean "muh Russians" elected Donald Trump. To be fair, I mostly take back my negativity about the first video ("Manipulating the YouTube Algorithm..."). It's not bad. If you are interested in seeing a bit behind the scenes re spambots, it's OK. However, and here's the rub... If you think this has any political influence or covert psychological manipulation (like the guy says at times) to make people vote differently, etc. it's quite misleading. Use common sense. (I say this to the reader, too.) Would anyone change their vote based on the robotic voiced video you posted? How many people do you know would even watch it to the end? Michael
  13. The QAnon 'community' has lots of ideas about the fire at Notre Dame cathedral. I suspect he uses a seine net rather than a drag net. I hadn't heard of this account before, but it makes a trenchant observation: "Twitter conspiracy theorists need to get their shit together and decide who they think is responsible for the Notre Dame fire" ...
  14. Needs a definition? This is a decent investigation ... into hallmarks of 'inauthentic behaviour' ... Manipulating the YouTube Algorithm - (Part 1/3). [LINK ADDED April 16 -- WSS] When you post videos like that one, I'm not interested. Here is a sample of what the guy was talking about. Faked 'News' videos with large viewership -- served up by mysterious algorithms (from the shownotes): Youtube is a different place when you visit it "Incognito" ... [Added: 90 second excerpt from Smarter Every Day Youtube offering]
  15. So, is this a surprise? "Misinformation about the Notre Dame fire spread quickly on social media" Casy Newton writes for the Verge: Platforms are once again caught flat-footed by conspiracy theorists.
  16. Who is to say Roy Moore won't enter the primary contest, win it -- and win in the general election in 2020? Poll: Roy Moore leading Alabama GOP field There are only 293 days until the first electoral contest of the cycle. The excitement is unbearable in some quarters.
  17. When you are surrounded by rot but you aren't rot the rot can destroy you. Your integrity is your biggest protector as in the character of Howard Roark. But Howard slipped up by his involvement with Peter Keating and could have ended up in the slammer. All that work he did that Peter put his name on was fraudulent, but the novel needed structure born out of contrast and conflict. Rand implicitly recognized this problem in AS by removing her heroes from society once they saw the light. This amounted to chopping down the whole tree leaving a few saplings behind. But you can only chop down the tree in fiction. --Brant
  18. The tree of truth has many branches. Some are bogus. The trunk is reality and the branches are all human made. When you go out on the wrong limb it doesn't have to break off even if it's rotten and dead, but there your beliefs are, likely on public display, especially if you make a fuss about them. --Brant
  19. I don't think Rand herself went quite so far respecting art. There seems to be some equivocation, an equivocation not found in AS which was art but not about art. She needed absolute certainty or there would have been no 13 years writing it. --Brant
  20. No data were ever involved. It started with theory based on feelings. Just certain people's feelings: the people who believe themselves to be the universal standard and limit of cognition, and of aesthetic response. Then rules were made, and were applied only to certain things so as to eliminate them from the realm of Art. THAT'S NOT ART!!! Those exact same rules have never been applied to the things which the rule-makers wish to accept as qualifying as Art. How dare anyone suggest that they be so applied!
  21. Do I detect a note of sarcasm and mockery?
  22. The doctor collected data and made logical extrapolations. Additional data helped confirm. I assume Kamhi believes in AGW. Or should. --Brant
  23. Where did Cher learn all that right–wing drivel from? Doesn’t she know that unlimited immigration is a boon to all? They come here “to work” and every lover of logic and reason knows they could have no other motivation to come. They bring their energy, creativity and enthusiasm. And they enrich us culturally. What’s this nonsense about them needing help or being a burden in any way? To hear Yawon Bwook explain it, she should personally take them all in and thereby have all the wonderful benefits of immigration for herself. She doesn’t seem to understand how mass immigration works and how good it is.
  24. LOL... btw - Cher is getting roasted by her own peeps all over the Internet for this tweet. Michael
  25. Auntie has a new post at her blog: She won't be publishing my comment: "The Semmelweis in me makes me repeat this unanswered challenge once again, Ms. Kamhi: Prove that anything has ever qualified as art by your definition and criteria. Objectively demonstrate it. As of this moment, nothing has ever been shown to qualify." J
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