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Open Thread 5 - 18 Mar

by Bjinse Mon Mar 5th, 2018 at 09:59:46 PM EST

If a man will be content to begin threading, he shall end in certainties

When Chaslot conducted an independent study of how his algorithms worked in the real world, he found that during recent elections in France, Germany and the U.K., YouTube "systematically amplifie[d] videos that are divisive, sensational and conspiratorial."
by generic on Tue Mar 6th, 2018 at 01:38:48 PM EST
Pretty funny, because christ Taibbi responds three days later, The New Blacklist
Putin loves you; therefore, you love Putin. The enemy re-tweets you, therefore, you're in league with the enemy. We're at war with them, therefore we're at war with you.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Mar 6th, 2018 at 05:19:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that's more a function of capitalism than youtube. When your profit model is driven by unique views, then you've made a decsion about what grows and what will fade and you shouldn't be surprised if other people's profit models sync with it

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 06:46:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yep. Alphabet owns GOOG. People who depend on GOOG means of production do not own these means.

GOOG is in the business of earned and unearned profits by their labor ("productivity") and interest in advertising income. by  Serge said it best.
"It's called capitalism. We are proudly capitalistic. I'm not confused about this."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 11:56:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]

by generic on Fri Mar 9th, 2018 at 10:26:26 AM EST
by generic on Fri Mar 9th, 2018 at 01:05:55 PM EST
As Frank's International women's Day diary is lrgely about the Catholic church in Ireland, I'll tell you what I did for International Women's Day.

As you might imagine it involved beer. For the last 5 years following the initiative by my friend Sophie de Ronde, every March 8th, women around the owrld congragate at participating breweries to brew a specail beer. Each year there are more participating, it seems that this year women from over 170 breweries were involved.

Normally I go to Wild Card brewery in Walthamstow, organised by the esteemed Jaega Wise. However, this has normally been restricted in numbers and so, as I had a friend who wanted to participate, we ventured up to deepest darkest Suffolk to Sophie's new brewery, Burnt Mill. In 6 months the brewery seems to have gone from strength to strength and has just been named best new brewery in Britain.

I'd not had their beers before and can now testify that theyre brilliant. pictures of the crew here

Anyway, the event has now made it to the national press

Evening Standard - The female brewers you need to know about on International Women's Day

Cheers to International Women's Day then, and what better way to celebrate than with an all female-brewed pint of craft IPA?

London is full of extremely cool women making beer and while, obviously, the idea of female brewers shouldn't be remarkable -- ale was originally brewed by women, alewives, back in the medieval era -- brewers today have a reputation as bearded dudes with tattoos.

Aiming to change that is Sophie de Ronde, who five years ago launched the International Women's Collaboration Brew Day (try saying that after two pints of grapefruit-lime double IPA) with a group of other female brewers on 8 March. 126 women brewers around the world will be whipping up their unique Unite beer in honour of IWD, with a theme this year of `exotic'. `Women can bring more diverse impact into the brewing industry in terms of creativity and excellence,' points out de Ronde. `If anyone has a passion for flavours then brewing is akin to being a chef.'

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Mar 9th, 2018 at 09:21:22 PM EST
Thomas Clay thinks the ground is opening up beneath Trump

FB - Thomas Clay - And just when you think the news day was over..

When asked where the $130,000 sent to Daniels' attorney came from, Cohen told ABC News "the funds were taken from my home equity line and transferred internally to my LLC account in the same bank."

Friends, hedonists, and fellow revelers of schadenfreude, breathe that in for a moment and enjoy the delicious aroma before you gently sip it. It's better than a Chateau Petrus '78, Chateau D'quem and a Remy Martin Louis the XIV. That's the taste of impeachment for POS#45.

So here's the breakdown of one of the most idiotic statements in all of human history. Cohen has admitted that this payment was to keep Miss Clifford from telling her story before the campaign. So anything which is donated to help a particular campaign is subject to these things we call, "laws." One of those laws states that the maximum personal donation for a campaign is $2700. Dinesh D'Souza donated $10k to one of his friend's campaign and he went to prison for it.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Mar 11th, 2018 at 03:52:03 PM EST
wherever he went to. Hopefully he's still celebrating in some newly constructed offshore windmill with candles on his helmet.

Cheer, Jerome.

by Bjinse on Mon Mar 12th, 2018 at 10:26:31 PM EST
As of about 12:40 AM EDT March 13 Connor Lamb, the Democrat, is leading by about 560 votes with all votes cast on election day counted. About 1500 absentee ballots  are being counted as I post. Mike Conazole has shown that the absentee ballots historically have trended more Democratic than the election day vote. So Saccone would need to way outperform with absentee ballots to close that 579 vote gap, but the margin he had in the biggest county still counting is such that he might lose ground if the historical trend remains. We may know in another hour or hour and a half.

This is a deep red constituency that Trump carried by 67% in '16 and very many of the seats now held by Republicans that are being targeted by Democrats in November - nation wide, were carried by a far smaller margin by Trump in '16. So '18 could be a VERY good year for Democrats. Even the Senate seems likely to be in play. The miracle would be a 60 vote margin in the Senate. But even control of both houses would make Trump's tenure dicey. And Penn might go as well. Interesting times.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 14th, 2018 at 04:41:00 AM EST
I still don't know what the sentence "And Penn might go as well." was doing in that post. :-/

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 08:40:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
16 of Stephen Hawking's Most Mind-Expanding Quotes
Physicist Stephen Hawking died on Tuesday at 76 years old, his family confirmed. The black-hole theorist was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, when he was 21 years old. He was one of the world's longest survivors of ALS. To remember Hawking, some of his most inspirational quotes have been shared below:

1."It surprises me how disinterested we are today about things like physics, space, the universe and philosophy of our existence, our purpose, our final destination. Its a crazy world out there. Be curious."

[...]  "We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special."

by das monde on Wed Mar 14th, 2018 at 07:50:56 PM EST
by generic on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 02:34:00 PM EST
HRW must think that business is really bad in Saudi Arabia.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 02:51:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More to the point, HRW leadership must think the NYSE is a really appropriate venue to celebrate "human rights".

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 04:09:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mark Ames
Checking Human Rights Watch's homepage (www.hrw.org), there's a tab listing "topics"--14 topics in all. Once again, labor is not listed among Human Rights Watch's covered "topics." Instead, Human Rights Watch lists everything from "Children's Rights" to "Disability Rights" to "LGBT Rights" and "Women's Rights"--along with "Terrorism", "Counterterrorism" and, I shit you not, "Business"--as vital human rights topics. But not labor. "Business"--but not "Labor."


Here's what [HRW founder] Neier wrote in his memoir, Taking Liberties:

    "The concept of economic and social rights is profoundly undemocratic... Authoritarian power is probably a prerequisite for giving meaning to economic and social rights."

by generic on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 07:43:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now it makes perfect sense that their representative would be invited to ring the bell for the stock market opening. Neo-liberal human rights watch - for billionaires.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 08:44:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An Indian colleage in the 1980s was always complaining about HRW. I thougt he was being too sensitive;Now I realize that he had a point.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 09:03:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 06:37:58 PM EST
needs moar AI

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Mar 15th, 2018 at 08:01:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jon Turley takes a dive for Team ill-Informed: "The question again is not the merits but the protections afforded to free speech and academic freedom."
Did she have absolutely no evidentiary basis for claiming black students "rarely, rarely" finish in the top half of their classes at Penn or does she routinely violate blind grading rules? Because it's one or the other and neither ends well for Wax. [UPDATE: Someone just pointed out to me a third option -- if she grades blind and then seeks out grade information after the fact, then she's admitting that she goes back and tries to figure out how black students specifically did in her course. That's also disturbing.][1]
University of Pennsylvania ("Penn Law") L1 exams are "graded blind", ie. key code instead of personal name and head shots, to preclude ahhh bias. So.
UPDATE, 3/13, 6:30 p.m.: Late Tuesday afternoon, Theodore Ruger, dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, informed students and faculty by email that Amy Wax will no longer teach required first-year courses.
"After consulting faculty, alumni/ae, Overseers [!], and University officials, I have decided that Professor Wax will continue to teach elective courses in her areas of expertise, but that are outside of the mandatory first-year curriculum. This curricular decision entails no sanction or diminution of Professor Wax's status on the faculty, which remains secure. Normally, this decision would be private, but because Professor Wax made these inaccurate public statements, and students and alumni raised their concerns publicly, sharing it with our community is important." [2]
Happy ending! Ms Wax remains free to express her ... self. Students are free to avoid her.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 16th, 2018 at 04:20:17 AM EST
China to ban citizens with bad 'social credit' rating from taking flights or using trains for up to a year
People who would be put on the restricted lists included those found to have committed acts like spreading false information about terrorism and causing trouble on flights, as well as those who used expired tickets or smoked on trains, according to two statements issued on the National Development and Reform Commission's website on Friday.

Those found to have committed financial wrongdoings, such as employers who failed to pay social insurance or people who have failed to pay fines, would also face these restrictions [...]

The move is in line with President's Xi Jinping's plan to construct a social credit system based on the principle of "once untrustworthy, always restricted," [...]

[...] there are signs that the use of social credit scoring on domestic transport could have started years ago. In early 2017, the country's Supreme People's Court said during a press conference that 6.15 million Chinese citizens had been banned from taking flights for social misdeeds.

by das monde on Mon Mar 19th, 2018 at 10:29:56 AM EST
George Orwell - 1984

"The two aims of the Party are [....] to extinguish once and for all the possiblity of independent thought. There are therefore two great problems which the Party is concerned to solve. One is how to discover against his will what another human being is thinking ....

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--for ever."

One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Mar 20th, 2018 at 03:48:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Living laboratories': the Dutch cities amassing data on oblivious residents
Utrecht has become a tangle of individual pilots and projects, with no central overview of how many cameras and sensors exist, nor what they do. In 2014, the city invested €80m in data-driven management that launched in 80 projects. Utrecht now has a burglary predictor, a social media monitoring room, and smart bins and smart streetlights with sensors (although the city couldn't say where these are located). It has scanner cars that dispense parking tickets, with an added bonus of detecting residents with a municipal tax debt according to the privacy regulation of the scanner cars. But when I asked the city to respond to a series of questions on just 22 of the smart projects, it could only answer for five of them, referring me to private companies for the rest of the answers.

The city also keeps track of the number of young people hanging out in the streets, their age group, whether they know each other, the atmosphere and whether or not they cause a nuisance. Special enforcement officers keep track of this information through mobile devices. It calls this process "targeted and innovative supervision". Other council documents mention the prediction of school drop-outs, the prediction of poverty and the monitoring of "the health of certain groups" with the aim of "intervening faster".

by das monde on Mon Mar 19th, 2018 at 10:34:29 AM EST
I had no idea...
by Bjinse on Tue Mar 20th, 2018 at 08:21:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see that Enschede is on the list. I visited an institute there over 20 years ago, and they already had a vending machine that remembered how you like your coffee. So I'm not surprised....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Mar 20th, 2018 at 08:29:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not too surprised either to see Eindhoven and Enschede involved - both cities host the two largest tech-universities, and particularly Eindhoven doesn't shy away to use its city as a playground for innovations (not without success either). I'm missing Delft, the third city with a technical university - but then again, people always seem to forget about Delft.
by Bjinse on Tue Mar 20th, 2018 at 09:08:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another Angry Voice has a good rant;-

"It doesn't have to be true... It just has to be believed."

"It doesn't have to be true... It just has to be believed." Thus is what the Cambridge Analytica guy said about the psychological manipulation election-rigging propaganda tools his company sell to anyone with the cash to pay.

"It doesn't have to be true... It just has to be believed." - This simple phrase sums up Trump and Brexit perfectly.

Remember when Trump was going to "drain the swamp" and then after getting elected he assembled the wealthiest, most pro-corporate, and most Wall Street banker stuffed administration in US history?......

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Mar 20th, 2018 at 03:38:48 PM EST
As I quoted before:
"Most people are not looking for provable truths. As you said, truth is often accompanied by intense pain, and almost no one is looking for painful truths. What people need is beautiful, comforting stories that make them feel as if their lives have some meaning [...]
by das monde on Wed Mar 21st, 2018 at 04:26:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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