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June Open Thread

by Bjinse Sun Jun 3rd, 2018 at 08:43:15 PM EST

Whatever thread you make makes you. Thread wisely.


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by generic on Tue Jun 5th, 2018 at 03:43:43 AM EST
Wow, David Brooks actually said something true.  Obvious, but still true.
by rifek on Tue Jun 19th, 2018 at 01:20:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Tue Jun 5th, 2018 at 07:48:03 AM EST
by generic on Tue Jun 5th, 2018 at 10:46:36 AM EST
Anyone else notice May is a bargain basement clearance sale Thatcher and Trump is the ignorant bigoted hick's Reagan?

First time as tragedy, second time as farce, indeed.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Jun 5th, 2018 at 03:47:16 PM EST
and there was me thinking that Reagan was the bigoted hick's Nixon.

May's problem is not that she's a bargain basement Thatcher, it's that she's a John Major part deux. The compromise candidate, in post only because the alternatives were too hated to be able to lead.

Brexit would be difficult with a competent and united conservative party enjoying a clear mandate to enact policy. Lacking ny of these May's job has degenerated into delaying saying anything in the hope that the inevitable faction fighting within Westminster might somehow go away. Just keeping the peace within her party is impossible, to actually do anything as difficult as brexit with the "talent" available would be a task to defeat Hercules.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 5th, 2018 at 05:48:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and there was me thinking that Reagan was the bigoted hick's Nixon.

He was, but the electorate decided to climb into a dive suit and go deeper.

by rifek on Tue Jun 19th, 2018 at 01:23:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks like Theresa May is in trouble with her party. Robert Peston runs a well regarded sunday political talkshow.

VoxPolitical - Weak PMQs performance will only fuel Tory plans to backstab Theresa May

er days as prime minister are numbered - and that number may not even be in double-figures.

Messages started appearing on Twitter last night (June 5) suggesting that the Conservative Party has finally had enough of Mrs May's inability to lead, fudging, and can-kicking. Here's Robert Peston:

It's worth noting the Owen Jones, Guardian's pet Corbynista, is saying similar things

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jun 6th, 2018 at 06:20:35 PM EST
I thought the only reason she was chosen was because the alternatives were all a lot worse. What has changed?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Jun 6th, 2018 at 07:41:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree, I was as surprised as anybody. Apparently it is finally penetrating the Tory collective lizard brain that they are running out of road on Europe and that the ridiculous compromises that sounded so convincing when thrown to a howling audience of Leave-ultras sound juvenile and hollow when pitched at adults in Brussels.

So they're panicking. There is nobody else. They're promoting Gove as the saviour, largely because every other major figure in the party has utterly discredited themselves whilst Gove has actually looked the model of competence at environment.

I think they deserve Gove and he really deserves them. And they'll cluster round the fire and sing as the fire consumes them so that the screaming sounds natural

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jun 6th, 2018 at 08:45:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Titanic has hit the iceberg, the life boats are being lowered, and the band is playing "God Save the Queen." Throwing the Captain overboard isn't going to do a damn thing to change reality.  May can't set lead or set policy because the Tory Party is hopelessly split on Brexit policy.  Plus she needs the gaggle of goofballs formally known as "The Democratic Unionist Party" to stay in power so any rational policy re: Ireland goes flying out the window.  

Thus the can-kicking.

Moreover anyone else will be in the same pickle.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Jun 7th, 2018 at 02:52:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boris' mouth goes walkabout....AGAIN

Seems that Boris made some pretty scathing remarks about the way that May is conducting brexit and the extent to which "The Treasury" (aka Phillip Hammond : Chancellor of the Exchequer) is preventing the full flowering of the "damn the torpedoes" brexit Boris advocates.

Guardian - PM resists calls to sack Boris Johnson over Brexit remarks

This was all said at a suposedly private meeting where all understood that, in order to allow speakers to be candid, remarks would not be recorded. Which leads me to wonder whether the person who organised the recording and leaked it was none other than Boris himself. After all, despite the view that members of the Cabinet should all speak with one voice, boris has always trode his own path.

That this path has always been one that mostly blows his own trumpet whilst trashing his perceived political adversaries, especially those in his own party, is something we've come to expect. Boris has made no secret that he wants to be Prime minister and the recent turbulence within the party over May's leadership has caused him to seek to remind the party that he exists.

I suspect right now that he wants to be sacked. It's his only chance to get away from the current mess that is Brexit and, by doing so, hopes to avoid the blame. He imagines that he can then try to boost his return as being the lost voice in the wilderness and that everybody "failed to listen to his advice".

Or, at least, that's how he sees it. But, just as Jacob Rees-Mogg had his turn in the sun as potential leader and immediately fell like Icarus under the scrutiny, I suspect that the conservative membership long ago tired of Boris' grandstanding and realise his wings are far too waxy for leadership.

If May falls it will probably be Gove. As I said above, he's the only leaver whose star has risen in the last year. Frankly, amidst the clowns, he's the last man standing.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jun 8th, 2018 at 02:45:56 PM EST
It's the oldest political problem: can't beat somebody with nobody.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Jun 9th, 2018 at 01:19:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
maybe, but they're all nobodies

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 9th, 2018 at 03:14:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boris seems to want Der Drumpfenfuehrer Little Donny Dreackwerfer to handle it.  Can we send him to you?  We'll even swap for May.
by rifek on Tue Jun 19th, 2018 at 01:25:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Sun Jun 10th, 2018 at 04:39:31 AM EST
the DNC Democrats still represent a mainly centre right sentiment within the party.

The constituency of opinion that they represent is still opposed to single payer, even if the wider democratic party electorate is enthused by it.


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 10th, 2018 at 09:28:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And that's why Mr Obama gave away the farm to private-sector insurance companies THEN compelled everyone to buy their insurance policies OR ELSE.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Jun 10th, 2018 at 09:29:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
although, to be fair to Obama, he had a hard enough problem getting Romney-care through the two houses. Single payer would have been impossible.

I always felt that Romney-care was the trojan horse that would demonstrate the advantage of moving to single payer rhather than being an end point in itself.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 11th, 2018 at 07:02:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have been misinformed.

Mr Obama had no difficulty. To circumvent the "Medicare-for-all" bill passed by the House (which was NOT HR 676, "single payer") Harry Reid in the US Senate chamber read the PPACA, as drafted by lobbyists, provision by provision as amendments* to a highway appropriation bill that had pass the House and was waiting ratification by the Senate chamber. I have posted here an image of amendments en bloc read into the Congressional Record (@thomas.loc) that day. The Senate passed the appropriations bill as amended and Mr Obama signed it into law, March 2010. Even ProPublica --in its better days -- ran a series of articles explaining the novel employment of House Rules to circumvent required conference committee reading and reconciliation before referring any bill for POTUS signature. Subsequently the odious spent the next 18 months or so between chambers correcting (emending) operating limits and appropriations "details" and political defects in the Act discovered by opponents and "concerned citizens"; litigation also ensued.

Faux Accompli

The question whether HR 676 --"single payer" which had/has double digit co-sponsors in the House-- was "impossible" to enact is irrelevant to the facts. A false dichotomy. Obama and Democratic Party "leaders" (1) never endorsed the concept and (2) sabotaged the Medicare-for-all bills (sponsored by Dingle or Kennedy) before and during Obama's tour of MAGA.

*another most recent demonstration of devious legislating with Republican Party co-operation.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Jun 11th, 2018 at 12:59:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rmoney-care (typo intentional) was what the insurance companies wanted, and Obama and the DNC delivered it for them.  Single-payer never even made it to the table.  Yet another example of Obama not even making the Rethuglicans say "No".
by rifek on Tue Jun 19th, 2018 at 01:29:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Will hutton notes that brexit is having problems coping with reality

Guardian - Will Hutton - As their cause crumbles, Brexiters turn to fantasy and bitter recriminations

It is when politicians make millenarian claims of permanent irreversibility for any policy that you know they and the accompanying project are in trouble. I remember, from my teenage years, Rhodesia's then prime minister, Ian Smith, unilaterally declaring independence, proclaiming that the new country would last a thousand years; the extravagance of the claim was required because of its very improbability. You knew he was on doomed ground.

Similarly, Boris Johnson's now infamous leaked dinner remarks declaring that he had no doubt that Britain would leave the EU, which would be "irreversible". It was a sign that the Brexit cause has its back against the wall - constructing an alternative reality based on faith and ideology in the face of real world facts that refuse to accommodate themselves to Brexiter will. This is the first harbinger of political doom: if you can't think straight, you regress to claims of irreversibility. The policy that follows will prove unworkable.

Brexiters confront three realities that they can't and won't accept, forcing them into ever wilder statements of promise and impossible public negotiating positions.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 10th, 2018 at 09:01:24 AM EST
Just now, on the Andrew Marr political talk show, David Lidington MP, Theresa May's right hand man, was being interviewed on Marr, "there will be no hard border in Ireland, as per agreements".
Yet, as he said that, his jaw spasmed like he was suppressing a smile, it lasted 3 - 4 seconds, totally unmissable.

So they now it's all BS and they just don't care. Kick the can down the road, take the money and run off to a tax haven.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 10th, 2018 at 09:23:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The best outcome of Brexit is the EU forcing the Commons into a "Take-It-or-Leave-It" (op. cite Frank) Agreement.

I still think "No Deal" is more likely.  Followed by a bit of economic hardship.  A new election.  And then UK acceptance of the "Take-It-or-Leave-It" Agreement, mostly likely by a Labour government.

Somewhere in there is the chance the SNP will force another Independence Referendum.  Which they might just win.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Jun 10th, 2018 at 03:54:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
if the EU frce a "take it or leave it" deal, I doubt it will come out of the blue, there will be a lot of back-channel contact with various parliamentary factions.

As I've said above, there simply isn't a majority in the Commons for a no-deal brexit, so any deal the EU offer will be the final deal.

That said, to paraphrase Churchill, the Tory party will expore every possible option before doing the right thing

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 10th, 2018 at 05:39:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Mon Jun 11th, 2018 at 09:06:52 AM EST
Actually, I may have a hunt for useful Chaplin memes for Twitter. He was so far in advance.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Jun 11th, 2018 at 10:19:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Tue Jun 12th, 2018 at 02:12:36 PM EST
Adam Curtis
Then things started getting out of control. Thousands of Daily Mail readers sent Le Queux letters telling him that they had spotted people acting suspiciously - which meant they must be German spies.

The letters were mirror images of what Le Queux had written in his books. But rather than making him suspicious, Le Queux decided that this proved that what he had written as fiction must actually be true. There was a gigantic German spy ring in Britain.

Thousands of Daily Mail readers couldn't be wrong.

The man whose job it was to uncover spies in Britain was very excited by all this. He was called Colonel Edmonds. He had a tiny budget and two assistants - and noone on the General Staff bothered with him.

But now Col. Edmonds saw his chance. He teamed up with Le Queux and together they bombarded the Committee for Imperial Defence with the evidence from the Daily Mail readers. Edmonds said that the government should set up a "secret service bureau" to combat the threat.

The head of the Committee - Lord Haldane - said this was ridiculous. But even he couldn't stand against the wave of spy fever that was sweeping the country. He gave in - and MI5 was set up - created in large part by the dreams of a socially excluded novelist, and the paranoid imaginings of the readers of the Daily Mail.

by generic on Wed Jun 13th, 2018 at 09:05:59 AM EST
yep, and the first fruit of that was the Official Secrets Act which basically made knowing what our own government was up to an illegal act.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jun 13th, 2018 at 06:59:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Found floating in the innerboobs, a style-guide collision at the intersectionality.
In Poway, 63 percent of residents are white, 18 percent are Latin, 12 percent Asian and 1.4 percent are black.
Fortunately, uncapitalized "chicanos" passed was disgrace a few decades ago. Otherwise, readers might be looking for flocks of voters.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jun 15th, 2018 at 10:08:02 PM EST
a very interesting twitter thread about the demise of the "Rules Based Global Order" nd what replaces it

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 17th, 2018 at 03:25:12 PM EST
< wipes tears >

algorithm a set of rules

Who makes the rules? Who makes the machine?
"man"

What is the problem?
"undefined"

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Jun 17th, 2018 at 03:40:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
given that a bunch of AIs had to be switchede off as they were creating a new language and encryption systems, I'm not sure the answers are quite that clear cut.

However, any AI that takes its cue for behavioural parameters from our actual behaviour (or the Bible) is gonna become SkyNet

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 17th, 2018 at 06:51:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This one cracked me up:

AI robots learning racism, sexism and other prejudices from humans, study finds - The Independent


Last year, a Microsoft chatbot called Tay was given its own Twitter account and allowed to interact with the public.

It turned into a racist, pro-Hitler troll with a penchant for bizarre conspiracy theories in just 24 hours. "[George W] Bush did 9/11 and Hitler would have done a better job than the monkey we have now," it wrote. "Donald Trump is the only hope we've got."

In a paper about the new study in the journal Science, the researchers wrote: "Our work has implications for AI and machine learning because of the concern that these technologies may perpetuate cultural stereotypes.

"Our findings suggest that if we build an intelligent system that learns enough about the properties of language to be able to understand and produce it, in the process it will also acquire historical cultural associations, some of which can be objectionable.

by Bjinse on Sun Jun 17th, 2018 at 08:12:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Garbage in, Garbage out.
~ ancient afro-american saying

closely correlated to LIFO and FIFO rules of order to the stack

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Jun 18th, 2018 at 12:54:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Humanity will be in a real problem when AI will learn to bullshit us.
by das monde on Mon Jun 18th, 2018 at 01:31:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
> AIs had to be switchede off
How were these machines switched off?
"man"

> a new language and encryption systems
a euphemism for systematic runtime errors in machine programming detected by "man"

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Jun 18th, 2018 at 12:46:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EX. n+1
Universal Credit has never delivered bang for buck, but now there's no turning back

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Jun 18th, 2018 at 12:58:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
AI doesn't exist.  There is only Silicon Valley vaporware and hype.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Jun 18th, 2018 at 02:58:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Charles Rennie building of the Glasgow School of Art has burned, for the second time in four years, and presumably for good.

The library took fire four years ago, just before graduation day (also just after they rejected my daughter's application -- these two events are unrelated, as far as I know)

The restoration has been going on apace, and I had been looking forward to seeing it restored to its former glory when my daughter graduates next year (her second application was successful). Alas, it is not to be.

She sent me videos of the fire, she lives just outside the exclusion zone.

Although the first fire was accidental, I'm having trouble believing the second one was. Perhaps the police shoud verify the whereabouts of one Alistair Grey. Or any number of weirdos who graduated, or didn't, in the past hundred years.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jun 18th, 2018 at 02:00:11 PM EST
An architectural gem, now forever lost.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Jun 18th, 2018 at 02:45:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I just find it staggering that, having it burn down once, they'd build it and still consider fire-proofing as some sort of bolt-on goodie as opposed to being designed in from the start.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 19th, 2018 at 02:57:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
People's egos get bigger after meditation and yoga, says a new study
According to Buddhist teaching, the self is an illusion. The religion preaches a fundamentally selfless worldview, encouraging followers to renounce individual desires and distance themselves from self-concern. To advance this perspective, millions of people around the world practice yoga and meditation.

But a recently published psychological study directly contradicts that approach, finding that contemporary meditation and yoga practices can actually inflate your ego.

In the paper, published online by University of Southampton and due to be published in the journal Psychological Science, researchers note that Buddhism's teachings that a meditation practice helps overcome the ego conflicts with US psychologist William James's argument that practicing any skill breeds a sense of self-enhancement (the psychological term for inflated self-regard.)

by das monde on Thu Jun 21st, 2018 at 03:53:56 AM EST


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Jun 21st, 2018 at 08:58:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is an alternative explanation, though. It's possible the study participants were doing meditation and yoga wrong. All of the participants were based in Germany, and various academics have theorized that western practitioners of Buddhism fail to practice with an eye towards the selflessness that should characterize the goals of these efforts. Though yoga and meditation were originally intended as ways to calm the ego, many non-Buddhist practitioners do these activities with an eye to self-improvement or calming personal anxieties.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Jun 21st, 2018 at 09:07:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Meditation has that side of making-believe that you have no needs, as some big shot. Thus some aristocratic ego may indeed come up on the way to self-improvement.
by das monde on Thu Jun 21st, 2018 at 12:35:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It does? Huh.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 21st, 2018 at 01:46:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So many things wrong with that. The reporting, the study, the practices, the underlying traditions.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 21st, 2018 at 09:45:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Thu Jun 21st, 2018 at 01:03:20 PM EST
by generic on Thu Jun 21st, 2018 at 01:31:01 PM EST
I've been spending a bit of time playing around with the Antipodes map. Essentially, two maps: click a point on the left map and the right map will show you the matching antipodal point on earth.

When I was a kid, geography books were saying that New Zealand was at the antipodes of France. Well, it turns out that's not exactly the case: that would be Spain, rather, specifically the western part of it, plus a bit of northern Portugal and the region around Tangiers in Morocco.

A place on the Galician coast north of Santiago, is the antipodes of Christchurch. The antipodes of Wellington is halfway between Salamanca and Valladolid, two towns northwest of Madrid. Auckland's antipodal point is somewhere between Seville and Malaga. The region of Tangiers in Morocco is the opposite number of the northern tip of North Island. As for Gibraltar's antipodes, it is sitting in the Auckland bay: make of that what you want.

by Bernard on Fri Jun 22nd, 2018 at 08:45:37 PM EST
LOTUS.
Sharepoint.

Never fully contemplated the twin evils, the inevitable course, of such "farm" design until this week, because necessity. Portal design project that can't occur without data audit and normalization (IA). I tremble imagining how deep is the heap 5, 10, 20 years on? x 200-500 *.gov "site" owners. Rubbish. Some kind of corporate crime, in truth, by the makers of MSQL.

Stop all services that are related to SharePoint Server and Internet Information Services (IIS)

Then the broken window fallacy comes into focus.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Jun 23rd, 2018 at 06:32:29 PM EST


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