Bastille Day - Laramie Hirsch first posted this on his own site, but has agreed to post here at MOTW, as well. This week’s Bastille Day in Paris featured a man flying...
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RTD1: Rather, this will result in a massive push towards video conferencing/telepresence in lieu of business travel. I’ve been a management/technology consultant flying weekly for 20 years now, and if this ban were extended to all domestic and international flights, I’d likely either find an alternative to in-person meetings or switch careers if it were not feasible. I haven’t checked a bag (save for gate checking carry-ons on puddle jumpers) in years. I keep my timelines from landing to meeting starts pretty tight, and I count on flying time for working. I’m not unique, such a rule would be devastating for business travel.The Pareto-optimal policy in a rational world is Israel's profiling of potential terrorists. They look for the men, not the devices. In the Anarcho-Tyranny of the West, technology is destroyed to allow for more Muslim migration. The Cathedral does not pass the Civilization Filter test.
Pax Britanica: There is always an element of business travel that is not really necessary but its hard line to draw between beneficial and essential. There are also events like conferences where most of the attendees don’t’ actually attend but meet with peers from other companies and do business just because a lot of people from one industry are in the same place. Ie the conference itself isn’t really ‘necessary’ but it’s a good opportunity to meet clients and suppliers without doing separate trips. Video links are usually fine for inside the company work and some external stuff but many cultures like the physical presence bit.
Mickjoebill: What about camera crews and photographers who carry kilos of lumpy electronic gear onboard? It is trivial to provide enough power to activate a camera to make the battery appear unadulterated when the cells have been repacked with something deadly. Unless every item is sniffed, a laptop ban seems half arsed.
But true success will require a change in the culture of science. As long as the academic environment has incentives for scientists to work in silos and hoard their data, transparency will be impossible. As long as the public demands a constant stream of significant results, researchers will consciously or subconsciously push their experiments to achieve those findings, valid or not. As long as the media hypes new findings instead of approaching them with the proper skepticism, placing them in context with what has come before, everyone will be nudged toward results that are not reproducible.Failure in science is good because it advances knowledge. But Man is no longer willing to risk failure, so he no longer engages in science.
Unfortunately, the rest of us have not been quite so careful. More and more data show we should be. In 2015, researchers reported on their replication of 100 experiments published in 2008 in three prominent psychology journals. Psychology studies don’t usually lead to much money or marketable products, so companies don’t focus on checking their robustness. Yet in this experiment, research results were just as questionable. The findings of the replications matched the original studies only one-third to one-half of the time, depending on the criteria used to define “similar.”One problem for sociology is what Sailer calls "the war on noticing." Much of progressivism might be proven wrong by scientific studies, but disproving it is difficult. Those who do, such as Putnam, sit on their research for a time, or try to disprove it before releasing it (which is why it carries more weight and is more likely to be a significant finding). There are also other attempts to disprove it. Does Ethnic Diversity Have a Negative Effect on Attitudes towards the Community? A Longitudinal Analysis of the Causal Claims within the Ethnic Diversity and Social Cohesion Debate
Studies demonstrate a negative association between community ethnic diversity and indicators of social cohesion (especially attitudes towards neighbours and the community), suggesting diversity causes a decline in social cohesion. However, to date, the evidence for this claim is based solely on cross-sectional research. This article performs the first longitudinal test of the impact of diversity, applying fixed-effects modelling methods to three waves of panel data from the British Household Panel Survey, spanning a period of 18 years. Using an indicator of affective attachment, the findings suggest that changes in community diversity do lead to changes in attitudes towards the community. However, this effect differs by whether the change in diversity stems from a community increasing in diversity around individuals who do not move ( stayers ) or individuals moving into more or less diverse communities ( movers ). Increasing diversity undermines attitudes among stayers. Individuals who move from a diverse to a homogeneous community report improved attitudes. However, there is no effect among individuals who move from a homogeneous to a diverse community. This article provides strong evidence that the effect of community diversity is likely causal, but that prior preferences for/against out-group neighbours may condition diversity’s impact. It also demonstrates that multiple causal processes are in operation at the individual-level , occurring among both stayers and movers , which collectively contribute to the emergence of average cross-sectional differences in attitudes between communities. Unique insights into the causal impact of community disadvantage also emerge.
In a notice dated on Thursday, the Ministry of Commerce said that from June 1 all export deals for dredgers that might affect national security would require State Council approval.China is taking over the entire South China Sea in plain sight. Who else would be digging up the sea and building islands except for the rightful owners?
The notice listed five types of dredgers that could dig more than 15 metres deep, had a large carrying capacity and could dredge at high speed.
China has reclaimed more than 1,295 hectares of land in the southeastern South China Sea, according to a Pentagon report released in May last year.
The Battle of Kasserine Pass—actually a series of battles in February 1943 when raw American troops had their first major battlefield encounters with the German army—has long ranked as one of the worst disasters ever suffered by the United States Army. Inexperienced and nervous GIs, overwhelmed and beset by rumors and chaos, abandoned their positions, destroyed their supplies, clogged roads in headlong flight, or simply melted away in the night. In 10 days, panicked American forces were hurled back 50 miles, losing 183 tanks and nearly 7,000 men, including 300 killed and 3,000 missing.
“Even these many years later,” General Omar Bradley wrote shortly before his death in 1981, “it pains me to reflect
on that disaster. It was probably the worst performance of U.S. Army troops in their whole proud history.” To Americans back home, wrote historian Martin Blumenson, “the event was incredible. It shook the foundations of their faith, extinguished the glowing excitement that anticipated quick victory, and, worst of all, raised doubt that the righteous necessarily triumphed.”
There is no such thing as a failed soldier, dead or alive (unless he acted in a cowardly manner)—likewise there is no such thing as a failed entrepreneur or failed scientific researcher. -Taleb
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
The ultimate goal is to build self-enforcing mechanisms for business regulation: Based on advanced big data technologies, the system is designed to constantly monitor and evaluate companies’ economic as well asOne reason why central planning failed was the lack of data. You can't centrally plan an economy when you don't have all the data necessary. Big Data is a scientific solution to the problems of scientific socialism. There will be those who want to try again because the problem of data collection will appear to be overcome.
non-economic behavior. Automatically generated and updated rating scores will have an immediate impact on their business opportunities. Intervention by government bodies can thus be reduced to setting the rules, standards, and, eventually, algorithms for the system. This will minimize their constant supervision of and visible interference in market processes.
The system will create strong incentives for companies to make their business decisions and operations comply not just with laws and regulations but also with the industrial and technological policy targets laid down by the Chinese government. Foreign companies active on the Chinese market are planned to be integrated into the system and treated the same way as their Chinese competitors. Foreign companies will also be subjected to the full extent of industrial policy guidance.
At the heart of the Social Credit System lies massive data collection on company activities by government agencies and authorized rating entities. The system has the potential to strengthen transparency and trustworthiness
in market exchanges as well as the socially and environmentally responsible behavior of companies. On the other hand, it will be prone to failing technologies, data manipulation, and the politically induced, unidirectional
allocation of investments. It will thus reduce the capacity for autonomous business decisions or non-standard disruptive business models and pose a constant risk to the protection of proprietary company data.
If the Chinese government succeeds in implementing the Social Credit System and its related mechanisms, companies’ market activities will be regulated in a self-enforcing manner: enabled by advanced big data technologies, the system is designed to constantly monitor and evaluate companies’ economic as well as non-economic behavior. Automatically generated and updated rating scores will have an immediate impact on companies’ business opportunities. This creates a strong incentive for companies to make their business decisions and operations comply not just with laws and regulations but also with the government’s industrial and technological policy targets. Beijing terms this the “self-restriction of companies” (企业自我约束)While a centrally planned economy is still likely to fail, a "Mark of the Beast" economy could function. Imagine if you get "Poz Points" for your social media posts. Imagine this lowers your mortgage rate or gets you pushed ahead in line at the airport, or for a university slot. Even your tax rate might adjust:
Possible punishments as a result of bad ratings include:China's already implementing parts of the system: China penalises 6.7m debtors with travel ban
unfavorable conditions for a new loan
higher taxes than compliant competitors
no permission to issue any bonds or invest in companies listed
on the stock market
decreased chances to participate in publicly-funded projects
mandatory government approval for investments, even in sectors where market access is not usually regulated
In severe cases, the company’s e-commerce accounts could be shut down and even its high-level management’s individual credit ratings could be affected. A company’s manager could be denied tickets for high-speed trains or for international business flights. On the other hand, a fully compliant company can benefit from:
a largely open Chinese market with manifold investment opportunities
low tax burdens
good credit conditions
gentle support from government incentive mechanisms
China has banned almost 7m people from taking flights and high-speed trains over the past four years as a penalty for not repaying their debts, the country’s Supreme Court has announced.Technology is whatever you make of it. Totalitarians will have an ability to control you as never before, an iron fist in a velvet glove as never before. Wouldn't you be stupid to question Bruce Jenner's sex if it meant your tax rate and mortgage goes up? There will be no escape because all commerce will eventually be conducted publicly using the People's Bank of China's blockchain.
The penalty system is part of efforts to build a nationwide “social credit” system that will rate every Chinese citizen by collecting big data on financial, legal or social misdeeds. The debtors’ travel ban has been touted as an important first step for building the structural links needed to implement such a comprehensive monitoring programme.
“We have signed a memorandum . . . [with over] 44 government departments in order to limit ‘discredited’ people on multiple levels,” Meng Xiang, head of the executive department of the Supreme Court, told state media on Wednesday. The memorandum includes all the country’s big banks as well as the national public security bureau.
Since 2013 the Supreme Court has operated a “discredited” blacklist of long-term debtors who have been ordered to repay what they owe. All 6.73m people on the list have been banned from boarding flights and high-speed trains.
The ban works by blocking personal ID card numbers, which are required for buying and checking in for flights and trains as well as staying in hotels. Anyone can search the blacklist via the Supreme Court’s website by entering a full name and ID card number.
Shahid Sandhu's sense of loss and anxiety from his loveless marriage knows no bounds. But his is more than a bad connection.The latter is true. The problem is, once again, diversity. Where Western and East Asian men would flee, or possibly murder their families, these men stay. Hong Kong authorities are shocked at their behavior, but it doesn't qualify as slavery there.
From the time he left Pakistan to join his new wife overseas four years ago, she, her brothers and her parents have been controlling his every move.
They force him to work round the clock, seven days a week - as a bonded labourer at a construction site during the day and as an indentured servant at home on evenings and his day off. They beat him and verbally abuse him at any sign of exhaustion or dissent. They take all his money, refuse him food and have even threatened to kill him.
Sandhu knows what they are doing is wrong and illegal, but the endless abuse has broken him down. He battles severe depression and nightmares, too exhausted, afraid and ashamed to speak out.
Sandhu's situation sounds as if it's from a bygone era, but it is happening today, in one of the world's most advanced cities: Hong Kong.
Sandhu, who has a university degree in commerce, had a respectable job at a bank in Pakistan, but his salary was meagre and the prospect of a prosperous life in Hong Kong meant financial security for his parents. He married his bride in Pakistan, arriving in Hong Kong months later on a dependant visa.
The post-wedding bliss vanished immediately. Sandhu's in-laws and wife locked away his passport and identity papers for "safe keeping" - something that is against the law - then informed him that he would be working overtime at a construction site six days a week to earn money for his bride and her entire family. Every night, and on his one day off each week, he would do the domestic work. Whenever Sandhu complained, verbal and physical abuse kept him in his place.
"Immigration never recognises them as slaves," he said. "They insist they are able-bodied people and can decide on their own."
First, by adding ESG to your practice, you are swimming with the tide of investor interest rather than against it. We've been wearing out this tune, but millennials and women consistently indicate high levels of interest in sustainable investing, and these two broad categories of investors are commanding more and more assets. As the massive intergenerational transfer of wealth starts to happen, money will flow into the hands of younger investors, who will be about as likely to be women as men. It's possible that millennials' interest in ESG is merely a lifecycle effect that will moderate over time as they grow older, perhaps less idealistic, and more focused on making money without regard to the societal and environmental impact of their investments. But I doubt it. Their interest in ESG seems more in line with what public opinion experts call a cohort effect, which is likely to persist over time.They won't stop destroying capital until they've lost all their money.
Second, selecting investments for your clients' portfolios that consider how well companies are managing environmental, social, and corporate governance issues is a way to reduce risk. The risks of poor corporate governance have long been recognized by analysts, while those relating to environmental or social factors are less well understood. Nonetheless, firms that manage environmental issues poorly have to deal with costs from fines, litigation, and cleanups, while also facing reputational risks for poor environmental stewardship.Since government can coerce compliance, this makes sense. Especially if the company's customers are into progressivism. It's not as important if you care more about profits (cash in the bank) than perception (stock price today).
A third reason to add ESG to your practice is the opportunity to connect with clients on a deeper level. The job of an advisor is no longer limited to simply picking investments based on a risk-tolerance questionnaire. A robo-advisor can do that. Real-life advisors are becoming more like "money counselors" for their clients, helping them forge healthy relationships with money and the ways it can enhance their happiness. An advisor able to help those highly interested in sustainability make a difference with their money will develop a deeper bond than many advisors have with clients.Get religion!
Finally, incorporating sustainable investing into your practice can be a great way to differentiate yourself and your practice. There is still a first-mover opportunity in many markets. With sustainable investing already entrenched among institutional investors and with an estimated $9 trillion in assets in the United States and $23 trillion globally, it isn't going away. If you have an established practice, adding an ESG capability may help you retain assets as your older clients pass money to younger generations--or when married women, who tend to outlive their husbands, take control of their investments.1. Start an investment advisory
The media was building the foundation of the narrative from the moment Trump won the election. Bloomberg was quick to publish its rather hilariously skewed propaganda on the matter, asserting that Trump was lucky to inherit an economy in ascendance and recovery because of the fiscal ingenuity of Barack Obama. This is of course utter nonsense. Obama and the Fed have created a zombie economy rotting from the inside out, nothing more. But, as Bloomberg noted rightly, any downturn within the system will indeed be blamed on the Trump administration.
Fortune Magazine, adding to the narrative, outlined the view that the initial stock rally surrounding Trump’s election win was merely setting the stage for a surprise market crash.
I continue to go one further than the mainstream media and say that the Trump administration is a giant cement shoe designed (deliberately) to drag conservatives and conservative principles down into the abyss as we are blamed by association for the financial calamity that will occur on Trump’s watch.
Last week’s sudden market bloodletting is important in this regard; 400 points down is hardly a flesh wound to a 20,000 point Dow, but the media’s reaction to it was very revealing on what the future has in store. Multiple news outlets responded by immediately connecting the drop to Trump and the absurdity surrounding the “Comey memo” — a memo which no one in the public has seen proof of. The claim is that this level of turmoil around Trump might lead to impeachment and that the threat of impeachment would kill the stock market bounce which the media also claims was driven by Trump’s promises of corporate tax cuts. It's a lie built on another lie.
It is interesting to me that the mainstream media never said the market drop was caused by “Comey’s turmoil,” or by “The Washington Post and The New York Times’ turmoil.” No, they called it “Trump’s turmoil.” Last week’s stock dive was, in my opinion, the official launch of the Trump collapse narrative. The establishment was beta testing it for months, but now, the program has gone live.
Every single stock decline from now on, as well as the ultimate economic crash, which will become visible to the public in short order, will be blamed on Donald Trump and conservatives by extension. As I said, he is the perfect scapegoat.
The last four months, on the other hand, have been an education in the shortcomings in populism. It’s not only that Donald Trump is a bad president. It’s that movements fueled by alienation are bound to fail.An America organized around the idea of alienated foreigners is doomed to failure.
Alienation, the sociologist Robert Nisbet wrote, is a “state of mind that can find a social order remote, incomprehensible or fraudulent; beyond real hope or desire; inviting apathy, boredom, or even hostility.”
The alienated long for something that will smash the system or change their situation, but they have no actual plan or any means to deliver it. The alienated are a hodgepodge of disparate groups.The Democrat party coalition.
Worse, alienation breeds a distrust that corrodes any collective effort. To be “woke” in the alienated culture is to embrace the most cynical interpretation of every situation, to assume bad intent in every actor, to imagine the conspiratorial malevolence of your foes.That's racist!
Alienation breeds a hysterical public conversation. Its public intellectuals are addicted to overstatement, sloppiness, pessimism, and despair. They are self-indulgent and self-lionizing prophets of doom who use formulations like “the Flight 93 election” — who speak of every problem as if it were the apocalypse.Oscars so white!
The events of the past four months illustrate that we do need a political establishment in this country, or maybe a few competing establishments. We need people who have been educated to actually know something about public policy problems. We need people who have had gradual, upward careers in government and understand the craft of wielding power. We need people who know how to live up to certain standards of integrity and public service.A military coup led by the captains and lt colonels?
The first task for this better establishment is to not make the political chasm worse. As the impeachment investigation proceeds, it’ll be important for us Trump critics to not set our hair on fire every day, to evaluate the evidence as if it were against a president we ourselves voted for. Would we really throw our own candidate out of office for this?Is Brooks a Hotep?
Over the longer term, it will be necessary to fight alienation with participation, to reform and devolve the welfare state so that recipients are not treated like passive wards of the state, but take an active role in their own self-government.
It’ll be necessary to revive a living elite patriotism. That means conducting oneself in office as if nation is more important than party; not using executive orders, filibusters and the nuclear option to grab what you can while you happen to be in the majority. It means setting up weekly encounters to help you respect and understand the fellow Americans who reside across the social chasms.Or choose a new elite.
Years later (after I had stopped working there), the organization was planning a performance arts project featuring South Asian women and their personal stories. This white colleague expressed interest in co-leading the project. As participants, my friend and I expressed our disapproval with this idea to the organizer. We couldn’t imagine having a white woman in the room while we were sharing our very personal ideas in what was meant to be a space for South Asian women. It felt voyeuristic. I followed up on this complaint with a 1-1 conversation with this white colleague, who was my friend at the time. We had a long conversation where I explained that it didn’t feel right for her to be present in the project, and I asked her directly, “why do you feel like it is okay to be leading this?” Her response was “Because this is a project of [the organization], and I’m a part of [the organization].” It was a simple response, and I couldn’t argue with that in particular; yes, she worked there and was a part of the organization. But still, did that mean she could be leading a project that aimed to create a safe space for South Asian women? The organization decided not to let her co-lead the project, and I’m grateful they took our feedback at the time.Seattle Demographics:
I recently spoke to Polly Trout, a white woman who founded Seattle Education Access (SEA) in 2002. “The mission of SEA was to help marginalized youth get back on track with education. By walking side by side with these young people, most of whom were both people of color and grew up in intergenerational poverty, really radicalized my politics. I was a typical white lady, naive and ignorant,” she chuckled. She told me a story of accompanying an undocumented student to a financial aid office, where the officer grilled the student with many questions, beyond what was even legal to ask. Polly said that the officer looked directly at her and said “I hope you understand, we have to be careful with those people.”
“White people don’t often see this despicable behavior in the daylight, right in front of them. We don’t have to see it, we hide from it and we are protected from it,” said Polly. Incidents like this sparked her journey and reflections. “By 2013, I had realized I made some really profound mistakes in 2002. My founding board was an all white board, which fed the white supremacy embedded in the culture of the organization. For that and some other reasons I resigned from SEA,” she said. “After leaving SEA in 2014, I made a vow that I was not gonna apply for any jobs that would be better filled by a leader of color,” she said.
A manager at a tech-services company that works with Democratic House offices said he approached congressional offices, offering their services at one-fourth the price of Awan and his Pakistani brothers, but the members declined. At the time, he couldn’t understand why his offers were rejected but now he suspects the Awans exerted some type of leverage over members.Everyone thinks blackmail, but why not "that's racist!" like in Rotherham.
“There’s no question about it: If I was accused of a tenth of what these guys are accused of, they’d take me out in handcuffs that same day, and I’d never work again,” he said.
Hobson’s lurid prediction of “yellow mercenary troops” being used to suppress Western workforces, like similar turn-of-the-century Yellow Peril prophecies, has not materialized. But his other predictions, translated into modern language, have come to pass. The claim of neoliberal ideologues that Western industrial workers who lose their jobs to offshoring in China and other low-wage countries would obtain new and better jobs in the “knowledge economy” was precisely a promise that, in the postindustrial West, most workers would share the intellectual property rents of the knowledge economy, rather like “independent gentlemen,” while Asian proles and peasants labored in factories. In the pages of the Economist and other propaganda organs of the managerial oligarchy, the claim that the lower prices of Chinese consumer goods outweigh the harm done to the Western working class by partial deindustrialization is routinely repeated, more than a century after Hobson’s prediction.
Hobson envisioned a dystopian future for a deindustrialized West ruled by a class of transnational managers and investors:
We have foreshadowed the possibility of an even larger alliance of Western States, a European federation of great Powers which, so far from forwarding the cause of world-civilisation, might introduce the gigantic peril of a Western parasitism, a group of advanced industrial nations, whose upper classes drew vast tribute from Asia and Africa, with which they supported great tame masses of retainers, no longer engaged in the staple industries of agriculture and manufacture, but kept in the performance of personal or minor industrial services under the control of a new financial aristocracy.
Hobson further warned: “The greater part of Western Europe might then assume the appearance and character already exhibited by tracts of country in the South of England, in the Riviera, and in the tourist-ridden or residential parts of Italy and Switzerland, little clusters of wealthy aristocrats drawing dividends and pensions from the Far East, with a somewhat larger group of professional retainers and tradesmen and a large body of personal servants.” The “little clusters” of rich rentiers and their professional retainers and menial servants bring to mind today’s increasingly stratified “global cities” like London, New York, and San Francisco, embedded in nation-states with large tracts of derelict, former industrial zones.
Productivity in [U.S.] construction has contracted at a 1% annual rate since 1995, according to a study by McKinsey Global Institute, the research arm of McKinsey & Co., due in part to reliance on unskilled workers and in part to government red tape.The most simple model of capitalism is a man on an island. He can catch enough fish and coconuts during the day to stay alive. However, if he takes time to make a spear, he could catch more fish. Since his spear making will take several hours, he works extra hard to catch more fish and coconuts one day, eating the surplus while he makes his tool. Now he can generate surplus everyday, and he starts drying fish to preserve them. Then he realizes with a net he could catch enough fish in one day to feed himself for a month, and then he can dry them for a day, and have the rest of the month free. And then he'd have time to build a nice shelter instead of living under a lean-to...
Joel Shine, chief executive of builder Woodside Homes Inc., visited Kyoto, Japan, to see how firms there use automation in home construction. He thinks it would take at least a decade for the innovations to become mainstream in the U.S., in part because they would require building-code changes.
But a child also cannot really commit “high crimes and misdemeanors” in any usual meaning of the term. There will be more talk of impeachment now, more talk of a special prosecutor for the Russia business; well and good. But ultimately I do not believe that our president sufficiently understands the nature of the office that he holds, the nature of the legal constraints that are supposed to bind him, perhaps even the nature of normal human interactions, to be guilty of obstruction of justice in the Nixonian or even Clintonian sense of the phrase. I do not believe he is really capable of the behind-the-scenes conspiring that the darker Russia theories envision. And it is hard to betray an oath of office whose obligations you evince no sign of really understanding or respecting.
Which is not an argument for allowing him to occupy that office. It is an argument, instead, for using a constitutional mechanism more appropriate to this strange situation than impeachment: the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which allows for the removal of the president if the vice president and a majority of the cabinet informs the Congress that he is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” and (should the president contest his own removal) a two-thirds vote by Congress confirms the cabinet’s judgment.
The Trump situation is not exactly the sort that the amendment’s Cold War-era designers were envisioning. He has not endured an assassination attempt or suffered a stroke or fallen prey to Alzheimer’s. But his incapacity to really govern, to truly execute the serious duties that fall to him to carry out, is nevertheless testified to daily — not by his enemies or external critics, but by precisely the men and women whom the Constitution asks to stand in judgment on him, the men and women who serve around him in the White House and the cabinet.
Read the things that these people, members of his inner circle, his personally selected appointees, say daily through anonymous quotations to the press. (And I assure you they say worse off the record.) They have no respect for him, indeed they seem to palpitate with contempt for him, and to regard their mission as equivalent to being stewards for a syphilitic emperor.
It is not squishy New York Times conservatives who regard the president as a child, an intellectual void, a hopeless case, a threat to national security; it is people who are self-selected loyalists, who supported him in the campaign, who daily go to work for him. And all this, in the fourth month of his administration.
Donald ‘You’re Fired’ Trump
Into this matrix barged politically incorrect and often mercurial Donald Trump, whose past televised celebrity was largely a result of hosting a reality show in which he ostentatiously fired poor performers.
Trump’s misdemeanor was not that he fired someone who deserved to be fired, but that he did so as if he were still the host of The Apprentice rather than the president of the United States.
Yet the real felony remains the exemptions given to high officials such as Lerner, Napolitano, and Rice who have wreaked havoc because they assume they will never be fired. Even a badly conducted severing of a culpable government head is always preferable to an adroit exemption from any consequences. The one is rare and salutary, the other is commonplace and insidious.
Cry not for the firing of James Comey, but for the thousands of Americans who suffer from these incompetent and haughty officials who are never held accountable.
When they were 8 and 10, Kimberly and Rebecca Yeung had to choose who to send to space. The spacecraft the two constructed in their garage only had a payload big enough for one action figure. The sisters decided on Rey, the heroine of the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens.This is a weak form of the cargo cult, that if you put images of people doing things on the screen, then people will be willing and able to do them.
With Rey in the captain’s seat, the Yeung sisters’ spaceship lifted off. It was powered by a helium-filled balloon and was outfitted with solar panels, GPS, video cameras, and sensors to capture data and relay it back to Earth in real time. Their hope: reach the stratosphere at roughly 40,000 feet. Instead they soared even higher, to 101,000 ft. They had reached beyond their dreams, to the very edge of space.
Rey may be a fictional character, but to Rebecca and Kimberly she is a very real role model. “We know that sometimes people have said that things like technology and science were only for boys,” Kimberly says. “But knowing that there are people who are role models for us makes us feel good about our interests and what we like to do.”
The characters we see on-screen play a significant part in determining the roles we occupy off-screen. In a recent study, only 15% of K-12 students remember seeing women performing computer science tasks "most of the time" in film or TV. This is reflected in real life where women make up only 17% of computer science majors – a steady decline from a peak at 37% in 1984. There are many reasons for this decline, but stronger female representation in programming, coding, and engineering roles on the big screen can help everyone envision women filling those roles in real life. This is an issue Google's Computer Science in Media team has been focused on for years, working with creators and producers to improve the portrayal of these fields in TV and movies.We know the reason for the decline: feminism and wealth. The greater the wealth, the greater the choices available to women, and the more they gravitate to "feminine" jobs.
"My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks," Wheeler told Fox News. "I do believe that the answers to who murdered Seth Rich sits on his computer on a shelf at the DC police or FBI headquarters."Using Cathedral standards of evidence:
“My investigation shows someone within the D.C. government, Democratic National Committee or Clinton team is blocking the murder investigation from going forward,” Wheeler told Fox News. “That is unfortunate. Seth Rich’s murder is unsolved as a result of that.”
Emily Nussbaum called this the problem of the "Bad Fan." There will always be some viewers, she wrote, who are "watching [the show] wrong." Nor is this new; Nussbaum pointed out that "there was always a subset of Sopranos fans that just wanted better and bloodier whackings — and there's a subset of Breaking Bad fans that will always want Walt to wear that hot black hat."The more the Narrative deviates from reality, the more "bad fans" will multiply.
[W]ith the risk of painting with too broad a brush, I think the people who have these issues with the wives being too bitchy on Breaking Bad are misogynists, plain and simple. I like Skyler a little less now that she's succumbed to Walt's machinations, but in the early days she was the voice of morality on the show. She was the one telling him, "You can't cook crystal meth." She's got a tough job being married to this asshole. And this, by the way, is why I should avoid the internet at all costs. People are griping about Skyler White being too much of a killjoy to her meth-cooking, murdering husband? She's telling him not to be a murderer and a guy who cooks drugs for kids. How could you have a problem with that?Skyler's role in the show is wife and mother, but she rarely came across as the innocent victim of her husband's crimes. Contrast her with Lorraine Bracco's Karen in Goodfellas.
The inverse truth is that when you've made the wife the antagonist and stripped her of the thrills of villainy — when you've made her not just the boring wife, but also the show's moral center? Well, that there's a recipe for massive annoyance.There is no center in a morally relativistic world.
You know who doesn't have an annoying sister? Or a pregnant belly? Or a baby? Or any vulnerability — or expectations of the antiheroic protagonist? Kim Wexler.Kim is liked because she is an innocent woman, a good woman who loves Jimmy. Even if they give her a crooked bitch backstory, she'll probably still be liked by fans as long as she doesn't stab Jimmy in the back.
Better Call Saul's Kim is put together. She's sexy. Whereas Skyler was homebound a lot of the time, a lumpen shadow haunting the White abode, Kim barely has a home at all; she showers at the gym. Skyler starts the series glumping around in robes and hideous beauty masks. Kim wakes up looking amazing in a T-shirt.
However, Chinese netizens’ fierce attacks against the ‘white left’ seem curiously devoid of experiential motivation, since all these problems that conservatives in the west are concerned about – immigration, multiculturalism, minority rights, and affirmative actions – are largely unknown to Chinese society.
This whole process takes about 20 hours per week. It’s 20 hours I don’t actually… ya know… have. And that’s why I’m asking for your help, dear NEET or otherwise industrious person who wishes to have a hand in the creation of this “social glue” of The Reactosphere®
I propose to divide the work up into beats. There are several beats that’d I’d like to hold onto for strategic reasons, but there are several I would be happy to farm out to an industrious minion or two or three or four. Beats are somewhat negotiable, but they need to be helpful… to me. Following only your favorite blogger is probably not going to be helpful… unless that blogger happens to be Porter, Evolutionist X, SoBL, Jim, or Quas Lacrimas, who already have their own delineated subsections within the TWiR… in which case you may have just found yerself a beat!
Barring those, the two most critical beats I need help on are the “Orthosphere Beat” and the “Arts & Letters Beat”. Each of these include a large number of sites the output of which and the applicability of which varies from week to week.
A Chinese professor has expressed surprise after a study he co-authored that said machines could be programmed to tell if a person was a criminal was slammed by Google researchers as “scientific racism”.Studying Chinese faces is now racist in China, because racist.
In the paper, submitted last November to Cornell University Library’s arXiv site, an online repository of moderated scientific papers, Wu and his student Zhang Xi wrote that they found machines could use data to make reliable inferences about whether someone was a criminal. The study was based on an analysis of almost 2,000 Chinese government ID photos of criminals and non-criminals.
“Given the race, gender and age, the faces of law-abiding members of the public have a greater degree of resemblance compared with the faces of criminals,” the pair wrote, noting that criminals tended to have eyes that were closer together.
In the first paper, Wu and his student Zhang Xi explained they used computer vision and machine learning to see if a computer could distinguish criminals from non-criminals by analyzing the faces of 1,856 people.The researchers got to 90% with faces alone.
Wu and his team collected ID card photos that satisfied the following criteria - Chinese, male, between the ages of 18 and 55, no facial hair, no facial scars or other markings.
The ID photos of the 1,126 non-criminals of men were from a wide range of professions and social status; and the 730 ID photos of criminals came from those published by public security bureaus in different provinces in China.
The computer found that the angle from the nose tip to the corners of the mouth was on average smaller for criminals than for non-criminals. Also, the upper lip curvature was on average larger of criminals than of non-criminals.
Using these variables to judge photos, the AI was able to distinguish criminals and non-criminals in the data set with almost 90 percent accuracy.
Many NASCAR fans warned of this when NASCAR decided to stop focusing on its core audience in order to reach out to the new fans who, as many predicted, proved to be almost entirely imaginary. And if you think NASCAR's management is going to learn from their catastrophic failure, then you really don't understand how SJW convergence works.Convergence happens when you appeal to a mass market. Everyone converges on the same target audience and thus converges on the same type of product/programming.
“As the white population becomes a smaller majority and ultimately a minority, there is going to be more white panic. It’s not super-common as a natural democratic process. How will people deal with that? Whites would be a power majority in economic and politics, which creates a dangerous-imbalance power dynamic, like the dangerous sectarian resentments seen in some Middle Eastern conflicts. That’s why I’m not super-optimistic about this, unless we can allow some room for a legitimate expression of white identity. White self-interest that doesn’t discriminate against others, that isn’t racist toward minority groups. A stark understanding of “You’re a racist or non-racist,” is not a good idea and not sustainable.”—Shadi Hamid, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of Islamic ExceptionalismReverse demographic changes and ease up on anti-white rhetoric, and support for the Alt-Right would weaken considerably. This is impossible under current conditions, because all men literally created equal. Plus, the power imbalance is rising as the Third World hordes lower average income, exacerbating the impact of automation, but the upper classes remain heavily white. This creates more racial tensions with identity politics even if the left cools it with the anti-white remarks. If the left instead goes into diversity overdrive (as the trend indicates), it expands the pool of elite whites denied power, while simultaneously delegitimizing and weakening elite status and radicalizing the white lower classes. A white counter-elite representing dispossessed whites will rise. Where the left gets it very wrong is in thinking this will be based on white left-right politics, instead of racial and ethnic identity politics. Ideological tension is weakening and identity is replacing it.