Many people whom I listen to, and read from, have eschewed the idea that the #USA can slip into autocracy, but also many I get news content from were warning early on that it definitely can—and is—happening here.
The "jury" is out and the facts are in. We had a near miss, and it is not over. The woefully, dangerously, well-armed, misguided people who were effectively footsoldiers in this attempt did not see the errors of their ways and recant their thinking. They saw it as a tactic to growing their movement and are planning the next stages.
That is a convincing argument, but it's one that has hindsight as its aid. Suppose the historian had to decide what the cohesive ideology was as they were evaluating the aggregated news of the time as they first saw it instead of evaluating it many years after it happened.
Well, #MashaGessen has done something similar to that. I felt his words deeply when he said it and talked about what was seen in diaries and journals of the day as #Germany was becoming its worst. Those diaries match our perception of current events.
Compare the following two episodes of the #Throughline #Podcast. The first is an interview with a Historian specializing in inter-war Germany named Timothy Snyder. The second is with a Russian-American journalist, author, translator, and activist named Masha Gessen.
note Timothy's words at the 26:00 time mark
note Masha's words at the 15:00 time mark
Perhaps it's not obvious that I'm not denigrating Timothy's work based on his interview, so I'll specify that I liked what he said. I'm only picking at a little bit of it because Masha's thinking is superior about that point.
It's comparable to a lead section in Jordan Ellenberg’s wonderful book, “How Not To Be Wrong,” when he wrote about where to armor warplanes based on the bullet holes.
Military officers had gathered and studied bullet holes in the aircraft that returned from missions. One early thought was that the planes should have more armor where they had been hit the most— fuselage, fuel system, the rest of the plane— but not on the engines, which had the smallest number of bullet holes per square foot.
Abraham Wald, a leading mathematician, disagreed. Working with the SRG (Statistics Research Group) in Manhattan, he asked an odd question: Where were the missing bullet holes— the ones that would be all over the engine if bullets were equally distributed?
They were on the missing planes, the ones that had been shot down. So the vulnerable place wasn’t where all the bullet holes were on the returning planes. It was where the bullet holes were on the planes that didn’t return.
Restricting your measurements to a final sample, excluding part of the sample that didn’t survive, creates what statisticians call “survivor bias.” It can cause you to come to conclusions that are entirely wrong.
The commonality is using incomplete evidence and hindsight to determine truth/reality. Masha added more evidence.
Because of that recent #PlowedBoiz & #QerNon attack on #Democracy in the #USA, a prolific amount of retrospect was undertaken by content creators of all kinds. Many seem to reflect on the claim, "This isn't us," and have discovered, "Actually it is us, and it's us often."
#Amazon #Lies. If you haven't heard the #Reveal #Podcast yet, you are missing a LOT. It's some of the best detailed, coherent, in-depth reporting on a wide array of subjects. Their only #Bias is that they generally report on the situations where the few empowered inflict harm on the many for profits.
This episode Al Letson gets to take another swing at Amazon and I'm pretty sure he 'sent it over the fence'. #Bezos had publically stated that he welcomed scrutiny, so Al delivered it.
If you think this story is just about Amazon, don't worry, they are just the main course. The dessert is the whole for-profit siloed networking system on the Internet.
This week, PJ looks into a theory circling the internet about who might be behind QAnon. The investigation takes him back to the beginning of the QAnon scam, and to the message board trolls who started it.
Mark Blyth is stumped. He’s the people’s economist who speaks the people’s language through his thick working-class Scottish accent. He hasn’t gone silent in the pandemic ruins of our prosperity. He’s as noisy as ever, ...
I'm not sure if Mastodon users see long replies from Friendica correctly, but...
I spun-up a mastodon server for potential business purposes after making a couple of accounts on other mastodon servers because somebody told me it was normal to make an account on each server you want to be on. Their reason for that was you don't get to see the local community feed of an instance if you aren't on it. I didn't know it at the time, but that is a bit against the grain of the Fediverse, despite it being true in practice.
I wasn't that into having multiple accounts. I let a few of them go fallow, and at least one server isn't on anymore.
My instance hit a wall during an upgrade and stopped working. They made it more for Nginx systems than Apache systems, and I have a lot going on Apache. I looked all over the Fediverse for what to do instead of Mastodon and settled on Friendica.
The reason I took you on this diversion is the main reason to have multiple identities on the Fediverse should be based on how you want to express yourself. Friendica has a Facebook level of posting, where you are writing microblogs to interactive long blogs including embedded content. Pixelfed is the new cool kid and is a replacement for Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and other photo-heavy social media options. There are so many nuanced choices, but Mastodon, Friendica, and Pixelfed get you pretty far.
Since you can follow anybody on any Federated system and get their updates, the reading aspect of content is independent of the platform. How you produce content is very platform dependent. That's where multiple accounts matter, but you won't have the same followers on the various accounts, so that makes your outgoing content distribution iffy.
Like you said though, business and personal life seem to be a natural separation. Wherever a person does "code-switching" is a place they would want a different identity. I spin two Friendica instances now; this is the business, and the other is personal.
As we reimagine an economy of the future, economist and "Angrynomics" author Mark Blyth shares ideas for a "citizens' wealth fund." And, with COVID-19 cases spiking, reopenings are being reconsidered, including at Disney theme parks.
I'm extremely fond of the hosts Kai Ryssdal & Molly Wood as well as the content of the show even though I'm about to criticize a moment of Wednesday's show below. Their work is great, their humanity is exemplary.
Something triggered a visceral & bad feeling when I heard the quote of the venerated Adam Smith
Adam Smith wrote:
"Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production."
Here's the gist of the content of the show before the quote:
audience question about the work-from-home market ...
high pay workers moving to low-cost locations ...
Apple can not/should not pay American level wages in China ...
can't have the same labor wage across the globe ...
some distracting banter ...
audience question Can has Economy not based on Consumerism? ...
Kai says no, then quotes Adam Smith...
Molly and I simultaneously have our brains go into skeptic mode and Molly's went too fast ...
There is a lot to unpack, and I'm going to come back to why I reacted to the spurious idea inside the quote later.
If Silicon Valley people move to rural places with big money flowing to them because teleworking, some of the excess money will drop on the scene, it's going to splash off onto the people that live there. Like Yacht's are disgusting opulence, but the people who built them got paid. You won't have a lot of friends in town if you tip small but they find out you are earning 1,000x the local wages. If you ask the local builders to make an ice-ring addition on your 2,000 square-foot home, you will be charged more than if the town commissioned the job for public use.
Molly, if you are reading this, write labor is not an invasive species on the chalkboard 100 times. the population of high paid people is small and if they do diaspora it's not going to change much. The place they leave will feel it more than the place they go to.
Geography dependant wages have a plethora of reasons behind them. For one, Silicon Valley with all their secrets and espionage wouldn't be able to secure their ideas if people could work from everywhere; e.g. the CIA will not move their headquarters to China. Also, the biggest players need the best people to stay ahead of the competitors, so the talent moves to where the geography pulls it to (depending a lot on the economic and moral value system of the talented). In the type of labor that requires the production of goods, or the performance of in-person services (think factories, mechanics, carpenters, lawyers, doctors, and so on), the topography of wages across the Earths surface will be dependant on supply and demand of the thing adjusted for the population density and some other factors. Land is a scarce resource and that's why in cities you have to manufacture land by creating taller buildings. Too many people want the same land, so you take the footprint of the land and multiply it by the number of floors you set on top of it to try making the footprint cheaper per square unit. This base cost of doing business raises the ask for all goods and services and has to be higher as a consequence where the population density is higher. Density decides the price of the wages, not the wages deciding the price of the land. The more economic engines a location has to attract people the higher the density gets. If your product can be delivered from afar, the owners of the company get a bigger share of the selling price, this is because they can absolutely underpay but relatively overpay a worker in Flint to build an item they sell in NYC for full price; build in low density, sell in high density. The ability to move to where things are produced to a location where people are more disadvantaged and/or the cost of living is lower can only lower the wages, never raise them. Where it moved away from becomes more desperate so asks for less to do something. When the production moves again is when the new place becomes skilled and has enough money and power to ask for more. The wages will not go up till industrialists without morals run out of downtrodden people on the Earth; better pack a lunch.
So now, what if a person is a factory unto themselves who can build in one place and deliver in another place? They are the owner and the labor of their system. If their product/service is unique enough and has value to more people than it can be produced for, they can ask whatever they want to make it wherever they want and deliver it to wherever they want. That type of person/product/service is rare indeed. Most of us and our abilities are commoditized, so if we say we won't do it another person will replace us fairly quickly. Most of also can't leave an area because we are emotionally attached to people places and things in an area and languages, and foods, and so on. We can't move like a factory and that is a disadvantage for labor.
I'm finally circling back to Adam Smith and Kai. When he said it, it sounded like it was right; like truthiness. But it bothered me like to me it felt like a broken clock that is right twice a day and close to right a lot of time in the day depending on how accurate you need the time to be. I also feel like I'm hearing a man tell me that he saw a cart pushing a horse up a street. I think Molly started to do the mathematical thing where you generalize the statement testing for counterexamples by asking questions, like what is "production", like does a mom produce babies.
I think it would be more accurate to say, extending one's life and culture is the sole purpose of all human activity and most human activity is the production of goods and the performance of services. I could be easily taking Adam Smith out of context, but I don't think I'm taking the way Kai used it out of context. Kai just finished reading parts of a nuanced question and called TLDR then quoted Adam Smith. The word "consumerism" which the audience questioner used is nuanced, the ideas of production & consumption stated in the Smith quote are nuanced, but it got whipped out there in a declarative way that was intended to stop discussion on the topic. I know nearly nothing about producing a radio show, time constraints, and so on, so I'm not assembling a posse to right this wrong, yet it compelled this post and the things linking to it.
Is a metal tool with a lifetime guarantee that you have multiple generations using ever consumed? Do I consume art when I look at a painting? Do I produce smiles for the consumption of others? Has nobody ever failed at trying to produce something? Like built something they thought was great but nobody bought/consumed it? You can't consume what has yet to be produced so consuming can't start the production.
How about this instead? Solving problems and making life easier is the sole driving force behind all innovation/invention, and popular inventions have a strong calling, so production must be done to satisfy that demand, and if the invention is difficult to make or scaling it up can lower the cost it will be produced in mass, and if the product doesn't last long it will be consumed repeatedly.
Let's think about food & shelter. We consume food, but we don't really produce it, the Earth produces it and was doing that before us, we just sort out the bad planning of nature in order to have the Earth get more made per square foot (I'm not saying that's healthy for us though.). And we do produce shelter, though we don't really consume it. Sure we use it, but the intention is not to make it deteriorate from us using it so not a consumed good. This one is for Molly, we produce babies, but not to consume them, we do it because we are compelled to.
Regarding the specific thing about consumerism from a listener, think about the parallels between illegal drugs and all other products. Illegal drugs have almost no lasting value, and if they were never introduced into the world, we would all have been better off. They are marketed in a way that people who shouldn't consume them do, and the value they cost the world is greater than the value they give their consumers. Many legal products fit that form. Advertisers, like Steve Jobs hacked brains and forced people to think they needed something they didn't, overcharged for it, and left a lot of environmental degradation in the process of doing that. So very many products would not be consumed if they weren't marketed with psychological hacks, they cost much and they deliver little. They warp culture into something it doesn't need to be and it makes the majority of people worse off for the benefit of the few.
Kai, you should have said, "yes, we could have an economy without consumerism, it just would be a different one than what we have now. I don't know if it would be better or worse, but it would probably be better the way you asked the question."
This is the embedded audio player for the show attached at the bottom of the post.
These two windows into the life and times of Ron & Nancy Reagan were pretty eye-opening to me and I already have a lot of #Economic reasons to detest him for his hidden agenda connected to his actions.
I hope you take the time to listen to them.Ronald Reagan, Part 1 with Patton Oswalt | The Dollop #400 Ronald Reagan, Part 2 with Patton Oswalt | The Dollop #400
The NYT reports that Trump's chief election dirty trickster, Erik Prince, has been trying to infiltrate liberal groups through a nationwide spy network. Now Trump says violence by liberal groups should give him sweeping powers.
Moving and downsizing can really set you back in your timeline. Their's so many things to do if you are the type that has to have things working right. I'm almost at the developing point I was at in August last year.
I do a lot of content consumption on the #Twitter, and only rarely reshare it in the #Fediverse, but this one I am. Seth Abramson, the well-known author, dropped a hell of a thread on Twitter yesterday. I read it this morning. He puts together the longer story of International #Corruption but centered on one of the #USA's biggest mistakes in history, Donald #Trump. November he knew about the pandemic and for "thirty pieces of silver" he sold out the world's people to get dirt on the #Biden kid to help his reelection.
Thread by @SethAbramson: (THREAD) This thread summarizes the major-media investigative reporting on the TRUMP-CHINA SCANDAL, a bribery scandal Trump's hunt for dirt on Joe Biden in China, his debts to the Chinese government, and his decision to ignore…
Typically I'm posting a #Podcast for people to listen to and a reason to listen to it, but here, a podcast merely #Triggered my thoughts while doing man-on-the-street type interviews of #Arizona #Voters.
An older-sounding white man said something about how all the #Progressives (pejoratively) and their #Socialism and free #Medicare is going to kill off all the #Ambition of #Capitalism. I definitely paraphrased him, but his point is intact.
His comment caught me in that way where you clearly see how and why he is so mistaken. I felt the immediate recoil from him misunderstanding what a #Progressive is, but I'll give him that because #Politics is messy and people on the same side disagree if given the chance to talk to each other instead of yelling at the "others". However, he is fundamentally wrong about ambition. He was confusing the idea of working out of desperation and the survival instinct with ambition. Perhaps he was a #BlueCollar type who had hopes for his next of kin doing better and instead sees 23-year-old grandchildren playing X-Box all day and drinking at night. I don't know why he thinks his opinions are valid, but I do know he is wrong.
It's been #Scientifically proven that when we are stressed over meeting our basic needs in life that we can't make good decisions. Ambition comes from having a good idea that can improve people's lives in a way that it would be valued at more than what it costs to produce. It's hard to have good ideas when you can't figure out what to do without; #Healthcare, #Food, #Heat, #Electricity, Clean #Water, or the #Mortgage / #Rent payment. I believe it's a goal of socialism to meet these basic needs without question, thus the desperation is lifted and people can be free to think of greater things.
The #Ancient #Greeks had an unquestionably great thing going with flourishes of #Math, #Science, #Medicine and so forth. Their institutions of learning did not charge admission for entrance. They did, however, have a bar to entry, and it was based on the economic standing of the citizens. If you were wealthy enough to stop working for a period of time, you could get the "go-ahead goal" of learning about important things. Poor people were still stuck in the cycle of desperation. This may explain why it's so much more likely that non-poor people have #Innovative ideas and subsequently the ambition to get rich as a result.
To be clear, #Capitalism did invent #SurveillanceCapitalism because it was always a problem for #Capitalists to figure out how to persuade their market into overpaying for their products/services. Broadcast advertisement was a blunt instrument, like washing clothes by banging them with rocks along the riverbed, but it was the best option they had for mind control. They would try to get a "better bang for the buck" by all kinds of user surveys, but it just narrowed down fishing with dynamite to fishing with nets. They wanted to fish with smart hooks that found the fish they wanted without them making any effort. #Google showed them all the way. #Facebook just didn't have a pretense of #Morals or #Ethics to slow them down.
Companies in a #Capitalistic society, if they are big enough, hate government because they want to be as powerful as a government, but with dictatorial powers. China and Russia are showing us that is what they want too. Capitalism infected the world like a virus and now we are going to reap the whirlwind.
This is a #BigFuckingDeal!!! Water from the air with low energy & low long-term operating costs!!! People I met (engineers & computer scientists) in the late 1990s from the #MiddleEast told me they (and many others since then) thought the next World War would be over #Water! One guy said they were welling up so much drinking water that the desert floor dropped closer to Sea-Level!!! That's a problem that Mexico City also experienced! Desalinization of ocean water isn't easy. This solution appears to be easy and efficient (unless some rare-earth materials are in short supply to produce the panels).
The latest #Podcast by Intercepted is a big reveal on how we #American's have lied to ourselves for over a decade about our #CIA #Torture programs. At least 2 of our #POTUS have been implicated as complicit in this episode, and other perpetrators who got off scot-free are called out with the evidence against them.
I believe the main thing they don't know they are doing is that they are giving hackers easy access to clandestinely "case my house" to find out when it would be best to come in and rob me. Their doorbells are pointing at my house, not theirs. Their doorbells may never see their own movements, but they will broadcast everybody else's. It makes me wonder if there's a way to walk past and, with a specialized electronic device, cause them to be #Bricked. I think whacking them with a hammer might be illegal, and don't think it would survive a Supreme Court challenge.
That last paragraph sounds far-fetched unless you read the Mozilla write-up (linked below) on this flawed product. Recall, Amazon doesn't make surveillance products to benefit you, they make them to benefit Amazon.
And don't expect the Cops who are keeping all the footage to not post a viral video of you stumbling up the front steps spilling two armloads of groceries onto the porch. They can and will do that. Think I'm wrong? How about the show Cops, or Live PD. Think those shows are real? Try listening to the Running From Cops #Podcast and see how maliciously manufactured they are.
And just royally with this one:
Ring states that it does not use facial recognition technology. However, it has hired a "head of facial recognition research" at Ring Ukraine, so it may have plans to in the future.
Tooted means sending out messages? I just started following people fairly recently and haven't found that many interesting subjects to #Toot about. I prefer quality over quantity, if that's what you want to know.
Yes, mostly that's what I wanted to know, and Toot is the Mastodon post like a Tweet is a twitter post.
However, it's hard to make a decision to give a two-way following relationship without knowing what type of content will go into my feed. You have a NULL feed, so for all I knew, you were either a scam account waiting to build a following then commercialize your followers or a listening post for a nefarious group of people waiting to commit a DDoS attack for me saying the wrong thing.
Some very basic human activities are #Hunting, #Fishing, #Trapping, and #Herding (it might stretch the metaphor to include #Farming). In all these activities #Humans are the #Predator and the rest of #Nature is the #Prey. The trouble with this is we don't very often get to think about some humans as the predators and other humans as the prey. I can guarantee Captains of Industry instinctively know that you are their prey and use it to their advantage; they also get away with it and get rewarded by society with respect and admiration. Think about this quote for a moment:
Eddie Izzard wrote:
Pol Pot killed 1.7 million people. We can't even deal with that! You know, we think if somebody kills someone, that's murder, you go to prison. You kill 10 people, you go to Texas, they hit you with a brick, that's what they do. 20 people, you go to a hospital, they look through a small window at you forever. And over that, we can't deal with it, you know?
Someone's killed 100,000 people. We're almost going, "Well done!
You killed 100,000 people? You must get up very early in the morning. I can't even get down the gym! Your diary must look odd: “Get up in the morning, death, death, death, death, death, death, death – lunch- death, death, death -afternoon tea - death, death, death - quick shower…"
So back to the main point. If you don't know what the warning signs are that you are the prey in the securities business, you will be somebody's dinner entrée. If you have no experience as a predator, you should watch a bunch of nature shows or search the Internet for hunting tips. In lieu of that and to get you started, here are a few scenarios.
When fishing, a common formula is a lure, a hook, and a line. The lure pretends to be easy food for the fish. In finance, the lure can be two businessmen in a public place acting as if they are having a private conversation about a stock that is about to go big. Instead, they are having a purposefully public conversation about a stock they need to get suckers to buy, and you are the audience. They don't know for sure, but they think when you take that bait and get on the hook by buying the stock, you will unwittingly volunteer yourself as bigger bait to hook more and/or bigger fish. They expect you to tell friends and loved ones about the "hot inside info" you got by being lucky.
When hunting there are callers for a variety of specific animals; mating calls. Their's nothing better for attracting mammals than shouting "Who wants to get laid?" in public places, am I right? Well, it works in general. So how does the finance community use mating calls? They do it by proxy. They know people thing having more money is a proxy for getting laid more often. Their mating call is to make you think you are in for a lot of money if you do something that they are broadcasting breathlessly to the public in an urgent voice. The last wave I recall with a massive push was for "Pot Stocks". It was because some of the States in the USA decided to decriminalize or even legalize marijuana possession and consumption. It's almost a given that everybody instinctively knows that the demand for cannabis is huge so it's woefully assumed that stocks which do work in that newly freed industry will all be very valuable. That kind of assumption is what makes a duck swim towards a gun. Most of the ticker symbols being hyped during the mating call cycle are dead & buried already. Some of them were thin-air type shell companies, others were ill-advised entrepreneurs who were "high on their own supply," or "believing their own fever dreams." One way or the other, they took a lot of money from people thinking they were going to get rich quick and probably get laid next. They spent that money and nobody is getting it back. That doesn't mean there aren't reasonable companies worth investing in within the cannabis industry. I'm in one myself. It just means that if you think you're investing "of your own free will" after a massive broadcasting campaign urging people to do it, it was NOT your own free will.
When herding, the Shepard typically employs trained dogs that get special treatment for convincing the herd to follow a predefined path which is best for the rancher, not for the herd. The dogs see the rancher/cowboy give signals on what to do, and they go out and deliver the message by barking at the herd along the edges where the ranchers chattel starts to try moving off the course. In finance, the barking dogs are all over the place. One of the most iconic characters I love to hate is Jim Cramer of the show Mad Money. He is perhaps the least refined of all the dogs. I cherish the time Jon Stewart showed the world that Jim Cramer is one of those shepherding dogs. (see full interviews part 1 and part 2 on Comedy Central) In the part 2 segment it's revealed that he was causing the owners of his own hedge fund (his herd) to act in a way to depress its value because he took a bet that it would go down. It's akin to shearing sheep. It's really hard to find people telling the public how to invest who aren't just shepherding dogs for some wealthy rancher trying to turn you into chattel on their ranch. You don't need to learn everything about finance to be safe, but you do have to really understand where you will wind up if you take somebody's advice.
I think I made my point here. I hope this helps you to stay safe in your investing endeavors, and always remember ... stay frosty.
This #Podcast is noteworthy, especially if you genuinely want to live in a more #Sustainable way with respect to the #Environment. It might mean you have to change the way you chose #Clothing and other #Apparel, but you'll be doing the right thing for the right reasons.
Screaming Into The Void: How Outrage Is Hijacking Our Culture, And Our Minds
[He said knowingly with a smug sense of #Outrage and #Righteous #Indignation.] The gist of this episode is that we have #Evolutionary reward systems to be outraged at a person's reprehensible actions, but that sub-system was developed with small groupings of humanoids in face-to-face interactions, not #Electronic #SocialMedia.
There are lots of things to say about this episode of the #HiddenBrain #Podcast, and I'll start with my own personal worry that I'm part of the problem. I feel like I'm posting important content that is worth people's time to think about and I'm convinced that it will lead to a better world, but...
I also have this #Hypothesis that EVERYBODY thinks they are doing the right thing for the right reasons at all times. If I scrutinize the state of affairs at the times in my past when I made regrettable mistakes, I could see how I was mistakenly doing wrong while thinking I was the hero doing the right thing, AND making the world a better or safer place! If I give a #Deplorable person's actions a charitable review, I can see how they are misguided and thought they were doing the right thing and were making the world a better place despite doing the opposite with their actions.
It seems like open-minded #Discourse with people who are #Disagreeable to your position (as opposed to you personally), is a great way to find out when your favorite idea isn't built on solid ground.
If you think you are an #Influencer somewhere on the #SurveillanceCapitalism #SocialMedia or on a #Federated system, I urge you to listen to this short and powerful podcast and reflect on yourself with unbiased scrutiny to see if you are part of the problem or part of the solution.
Turn on the news or look at Twitter, and it's likely you'll be bombarded by outrage. Many people have come to believe that the only way to spark change is to incite anger. This week on Hidden Brain, how outrage is hijacking our conversations, our communities, and our minds.
So why are #Bonds (or specifically #Treasuries), going in the @Stock Picking Discussionyou ask? Because their's very few long-range indicators of what the future will be like. (My personal favorite is population, but that will be another post because it's highly nuanced.)
Sean McHenry & Kai Ryssdal really condense a message and translate it well to normal language so that its obvious why you should care about the #BondMarket and #IntrestRates / #Yeild on a daily or weekly basis.