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Open Thread 1 - 8 April

by Bjinse Sat Mar 31st, 2018 at 10:19:02 PM EST

It does not matter how slowly you thread as long as you do not stop


See the article for the full series of pictures.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Apr 1st, 2018 at 05:41:40 PM EST
I've heard that in some areas they operate in teams, one frontal assault causing the eater to shy to one side, gifting an opportunity to a gull coming in from behind.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 8th, 2018 at 06:38:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
HyperNormalisation is a 2016 BBC documentary by British filmmaker Adam Curtis. In the film, Curtis argues that since the 1970s, governments, financiers, and technological utopians have given up on the complex "real world" and built a simple "fake world" that is run by corporations and kept stable by politicians.

by das monde on Mon Apr 2nd, 2018 at 04:07:04 PM EST
Hat tip Helen


 So here's the meat, Mueller is responding to Manafort's lawyer's assertion that he does not have the authority to look into Manafort's dealings with Ukraine. Mueller's response had one line which had me wiping tears away from laughter as in, 'oh no he dint!'

"Finally, Manafort's remedial arguments lack merit."

This shows a level of contempt for his opponent's attorney seldom seen as in, "did this dumb bastard think he could out-lawyer ME on my own court? Son, I am about to wreck you, Gotti style."

But there is yet another interesting tidbit contained a few pages down that I am afraid the talking heads have missed. In this paragraph below, Mueller casually mentions two of the crimes he is accused of. He took illegal monies from Ukraine and Mueller flatly states that he colluded with Russians. That means he has evidence of it and that the charges are justified. If they were not, he would not present them to a federal judge. It would hopelessly soil his stellar reputation if he presented false charges.

So the next time you see the Minister of Propaganda, Huckleberry Slanders saying, 'there was no collusion', what she is actually saying very deliberately is that no charges have been filed. But they will be.

'Collusion' proper has no meaning legally speaking. What Mueller is saying is that there is a conspiracy between Manafort and Russian actors during the campaign. That's a big flashing neon sign saying it too.

by Bjinse on Wed Apr 4th, 2018 at 07:52:53 PM EST
The source of the article is clearly sitting on Mueller's lap reading headlines. No analysis.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Thu Apr 5th, 2018 at 02:00:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've been following Clay for a couple of months now. I've found that he tends to cut through the hyperbolic bullshittery that infects most commentary about what Mueller is up to.

As much as I love her show, there's only so many segments of Maddow teasing apart the connections between Trump and Russia you can listen to before your eyes glaze over. Clay condenses it down; he can still get a bit "inside baseball" but he tends not to hype up every little move in the legal process.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 8th, 2018 at 05:22:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tesla is heading for a cash crunch - The Economist

The new Model 3, a smaller saloon costing as little as $35,000 with a range still exceeding 220 miles, has attracted over 400,000 deposits of $1,000 each from eager customers. Much of his firm's expected future revenue and its lofty valuation (it stands at roughly $49bn today, even after the share-price falls) depends on rapidly scaling up production.

Alas, Tesla has repeatedly failed to meet its own targets (see chart). In July 2017 Mr Musk claimed that his firm would be cranking out 20,000 Model 3s per month by December of that year. In fact, it managed to produce fewer than 2,500 in the entire final quarter of 2017. He vowed to produce 2,500 Model 3s a week by the end of March, rising to 5,000 a week by the end of June. Despite superhuman efforts by workers and managers (Mr Musk is personally supervising production of the new model and claims to be sleeping at the factory), on April 3rd Tesla confirmed that it is producing only around 2,000 Model 3 saloons a week.

Expectations were so low among analysts and investors that Tesla's flagging share price rebounded after that announcement. Glossing over the fact that it has yet again failed to hit its promised target, the company boasted that the Model 3 assembly line is now providing "the fastest growth of any automotive company in the modern era." If Tesla's production growth rate continues, it claimed, "it will exceed even that of Ford and the Model T."

Such bluster does not withstand scrutiny. Tesla is struggling with bottlenecks in the production of battery packs at its "gigafactory" in Nevada as well as with assembly of the Model 3 at its car plant in Fremont, California. The central problem is that Mr Musk has overcomplicated the already difficult task of making a mass-market car. Rather than relying on the time-tested manufacturing methods used by established rivals, who still use people to do tasks that machines are as yet unsuited for, he wants his car factory to be a hyper-automated "machine that makes machines", bristling with robots and keeping human involvement to a minimum.

I was reading about Ford's assembly lines and Ford's personal whimsiness in the twenties, past century. There's a tantalizing parallel here.

by Bjinse on Thu Apr 5th, 2018 at 06:55:04 PM EST
Surely Musk has the financial clout to be able to carry the company through? But he's not a media entrepreneur like many of Wall St's darlings, so it's not like he's ever onna sit down with anybody and explain what he's doing.

Which gives the doom sayers free rein

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 8th, 2018 at 05:25:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He very much runs a Steve Jobs style reality distortion field. There was a recent article on Naked Capitalism about why the fully automated production line hasn't worked out for anyone yet.
Robots might not screw up as frequently as people would, but once they do they suck at quality control and build a complete car as if every weld line was perfectly straight. Then there is the boring company that has some very dubious claims about building cheaper tunnels but only sells flamethrowers and hats I think?
At least the space thing seems to be working out, but frankly there was no real reason to not just keep it in house at NASA.
by generic on Tue Apr 10th, 2018 at 02:55:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Without belief in a god, but never without belief in a devil -- Sam[]zdat
And Eisenhower, before the death of Biggs, posted a reply:
[...] The mental stress and burden which this form of government imposes has been particularly well recognized in a little book about which I have spoken on several occasions. It is "The True Believer," by Eric Hoffer; you might find it of interest. In it, he points out that dictatorial systems make one contribution to their people which leads them to tend to support such systems -- freedom from the necessity of informing themselves and making up their own minds concerning these tremendous complex and difficult questions.

[...] Mass movements do the opposite: they pretend to give you power, while stealing what little you had; they pretend to solve your problems, while entrenching them. Movements make the frustrated more frustrated and they self-perpetuate with no regard for those who perpetuate them. The seed that they sow is frustration.

This is for one obvious reason: competition. Groups that maintain frustration, or are better at sowing it, will outcompete the others. The strength of a movement is directly proportional to its size and the fanatacism of its adherents, and the fanatacism of its adherents is directly proportional to the frustration they're trying to escape. Mass movements that are good at what they do: a) make previously content outsiders frustrated; b) further frustrate their adherents while pretending to advance the movement. This means that the strongest mass movements are inevitably going to be the ones that are the best at not delivering the goods.

That little book is a must read for many frustrated folks.
by das monde on Fri Apr 6th, 2018 at 05:26:51 PM EST
Hence the GOP always campaigning on abortion, always attacking Planned Parenthood, but never delivering any ban that might take such a useful campaigning tool off the table.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 8th, 2018 at 06:37:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Autumn 2009. the entropy we inhabit and more viral concerns :)

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Apr 8th, 2018 at 02:32:02 PM EST
Ah, the roving years, and the first touch of Paris. Bliss. I still recall the long row of tables at Le Cantalou and the colours turning fuzzier as the evening deepened.

Nice throwback, Cat. Would've been fun if you'd been there to join.

by Bjinse on Sun Apr 8th, 2018 at 09:25:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so many friends now lost to us. Where did all that energy go?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Apr 9th, 2018 at 06:53:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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