Monday, September 30, 2019

Reason TV: The decentralized Web is coming,with protocol "ipfs"

Reason TV and Zach Weismuller reports “The Decentralized Web Is Coming”.
One of the reasons for the monopolistic behavior of the tech companies is the DMCA, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, which had been intended to protect Hollywood movies, and wound up hindering open source software.
The broadcast also talks about the Internet Archive in San Francisco.
The self-broadcast setup that was so effective for me in Web 1.0 based on http and on Google’s monopoly of search will gradually be replaced by “ipfs” which will look for information based on whoever is hosting it.  That could make my previous strategy ineffective.  Everyone, however, could become a “server”.  This sounds a bit like P2P.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

"Martin" talks about "The Cult of Economic Growth"

“Economic Invincibility” (Martin Goldberg) talks about “The Cult of Economic Growth” today in a podcast that seems to argue for the return to managerial capitalism instead of shareholder capitalism, as developed in the 1980s.

He gives an interesting nod to Greta Thunberg at one point. 

I can remember a speech at my employer in 2001 (before 9/11) predicting a 35000 Dow soon.  Well, we've gone up and down in the mid 20s under Trump despite the tariffs and posturing. 
At one point about three weeks ago Martin hinted at backing off on the “political” commentary but he seems going full steam now.

Update:  Sept 29

Martin put up a video today "Where We Go From Here?" where he seems to announce scaling back content for his YouTube channel, essentially because YouTube seems to be discouraging independent creators from operating freely, and it's not just monetization. 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Pakman, Pool question impeachment based on Ukrainian thing, for very different reasons

David Pakman claims “Dems ALREADY Blowing Impeachment”.

Pakman says, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, it doesn’t work.  Instead, look at everything.  It’s a “lifelong process piece that gets progressively less bad”.  Pakman knows his composers.
Tim Pool has some tweets and a video claiming journalists have gross misinterpretation of the leaked documents.  I haven’t had time this week to look at Pool’s claims, but I will when I settle down a bit.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

"Emergence": another series based on a mystery plane crash

Tonight, ABC premiered a new series “Emergence”, created by Tata Butters and Michele Fazekas. The show had originally been intended for NBC,  
The Pilot started with a coastal town with flickering night lights and auras. Then the power goes out, and there is a plane crash.

A police officer Jo Evans (Allison Tolman) finds a little girl (Alexa Skye Swinton) on the beach, and shelters her.  The girl has amnesia, but somehow shows signs of having telekinetic powers. The girl will be called Piper.  The girl also has some bizarre magnetic artifacts and an implant in her neck. 

Evans learns that the first group of law enforcement calling itself the NTSB was fake, and seems to be from a mysterious agency.

The setup somehow reminds me of “Manifest”. 
 Update: Nov. 6
So Piper is an android, and is developing her own consciousness as artificial intelligence.  A grim plot indeed. 

Monday, September 23, 2019

John Fish tries to outduel Pewdiepie on Minecraft

John Fish entertained us with a four-hour Minecraft session in his new Montreal apartment.

He starts out with a mock introduction where he whimsically suggests he wants to outdo Pewdiepie, without being political. The video had two instances on YouTube (the livestream had no views recorded), presenting a technical glitch that prevents embedding.

So here is the direct link.
Toward the very end he says he is actually 25, despite Twitter’s announcement that he is no longer a teenager on Aug. 29.  (Justin Timberlake once got the same treatment.)  That’s some sort of joke, maybe like being called a crisis actor?
John Fish is showing us how to be political without talking about politics, without getting demonetized.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Edward Snowden interviewed (by remote from Russia) by Brian Williams of MSNBC

Brian Williams (who had an incident a few years back) interviews Edward Snowden on MSNBC.  Snowden is now in Russia.

Snowden says that the Espionage Act (1917) prevents a fair public trial with normal procedures in his case, as a whistleblower, with a meaningful defense in court.  The crime seems to be passing classified information to a journalist (which could be an independent blogger even like me -- and maybe three times people have passed such info to me, shortly after 9/11).  

He says he would help the government reform its practices if allowed to return (for example prevent hacking of elections). Snowden has authored a book named "Permanent Record" which I have purchased (Book review blog), and which has already lead to a federal lawsuit.  

Trump, he says, has never had a love that he didn't have to pay for as a transaction.  He says people have lost the ability to put facts above feelings.

He talks about the Chinese social credit system, based on spying and meta-data, which does not need a warrant even in the US as tech companies try to do the same perhaps. 

He talks about Saudi Arabia's murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi got the intelligence devices from an obscure company in Israel. 

Saturday, September 21, 2019

ABC 2020 "30 Years Searching": DNA test tracks down a killer north of Seattle 30 years later

ABC 2020 had a two-hour documentary “movie” Friday night, “30 Years Searching”. 

In 1989, 18 year old Mandy Stavik disappeared in Whatcom County, Washington, and her dog returned without her.
ABC writers Sean Dooley and Enjoli Francis describe how the suspect was gradually cornered for DNA tests, to be arrested in Dec. 2018.

Sean Dooley and Enjoli Francis describe the detective work, to get a DNA sample from the workplace discarded materials of a delivery driver in 2013 so there was probable cause for an arrest if the DNA matched, and it did.
At the trial, the defense tried to claim that the DNA evidence did not prove that intercourse had not been consensual and happened at a different time.
Whatcom county falls, Wikipedia attribution, CCSA 3.0, photo by Ken Haufle. 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

David Pakman: "Weaponization of White Supremacy Explodes" -- it started before Trump and is subtle

I wanted to give a nod to David Pakman’s latest video, “Weaponization of White Supremacy Explodes”.

He notes that it was starting before Donald Trump won, and takes the position that Trump was not a white supremacist (in the accepted meaning) before he won, but “looks the other way”, which is taken as implicit support in tribal thinking.

It is also an international issue, which means that white supremacist groups could be labeled foreign terrorist organizations by US law enforcement.

But this is much easier to do with a religious ideology (radical Islam), or aggressive state-controlled political ideologies (in the past, Stalinist or Maoist Communism, and German and Italian Nazism) than with ideology that seems intertwined with personal social values, in the way people live their everyday lives and make their own personal connections in life. Pakman has picked up on the term "stochastic terrorism". 
This also connects to the gun debate, and the behavior of the tech section (“words are not bullets”).  

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

PBS: "The Speed of Light Is Not About Light"; It's about causality

PBS Digital Studios explains, “The Speed of Light Is Not About Light”

No, it’s the speed limit for causality.

Otherwise, there could be no mass.
Tim explains how you went from Maxwell’s equations to the Lorentz Transformations, which we did cover in high school physics. Well, only briefly, except in AP.  Read the Wikipedia page, which gets into general relativity. 

Monday, September 16, 2019

PragerU: The progressive Left says "Goodbye, America"

James Robbins offers a commentary “Goodbye, America” for Prager U.

He analyzes the obsession of the radical Left with demanding karmic perfection of everyone.
Sometime in the 1960s, you had a generation of young people who had not struggled as much for necessities as had “the greatest generation” and they began to lose sight of the American Experiment (which is actually the name of a conservative think tank in Minneapolis).
So there is obsession with the fact (as in a New York Times piece recently) that American capitalism was based on accounting systems developed to account for slave flavor.  More recently, David Hogg, at Harvard, bemused his credible gun control lobbying (on MSNBC) with the idea that hinted America must let in unlimited PoC undocumented immigrants because America stole Texas from Mexico and stole native American lands when settling them (a topic covered in the mid 2000’s film “The New World” from New Line).
A more responsible way to talk about karma would be for a David Hogg to suggest a review of the social contract – and formalize the expectations we make of better off citizens.  Maybe periods of national service?  Maybe make it more common practice to expect people with inheritances to adopt and raise poor children, especially caught in asylum situations?  (The other "real David Hogg", another college student from North Carolina on the conservative side, has at least hinted at such a discussion on Twitter.) We could indeed start a conversation about that, but “The Left” never gets that started;  it is lost in its own negativity and identarianism.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Vox: a 15-year-old solves Rubik's Cube in 5 seconds

Vox Observatory shows a 15-year-old, Colin Burns, solving a Rubik’s Cube in 5.25 seconds.

The records are actually based on an average of best threes, held by a 19-year-teen from Australia.

As troubling as lack of educational achievement with average Americans, we still keep seeing super-articulate teens (who are often enough female and often Asian or from India, was well as white males) doing academic feats – discovering anti-cancer tests or demonstrating quantum entanglement before 16.

Colin now travels a lot at the expense of the Rubik's cube manufacturer. 
We seem to have a real cognition gap among American teens.  It’s not so much private schools as in the critics of meritocracy, as it is in social segregation, which affects public schools.   What seems to show a cognition gap is the ability to get abstract thinking.
Edward Snowden used a Rubik’s Cube to hide a small wafer he was smuggling.

(I note that the Vox video was loaded in the summer of 2015.  He would be 19 now; is he working for them now?) 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

ABC News has big debate party in Houston

ABC News featured ten candidates in its first major Democratic presidential debate session (since CNN has sponsored a number of these already), with George Stephanopoulos moderating. The debate was held at Texas Southern University in Houston.

One of the most contested issue was gun control reform, and Beto O’Rourke brought the house down with his promise to practically confiscate all military style weapons, apparently with a buyback. 

 O’Rourke has been criticized for suggesting that payment processors not work with gun sellers – because payment processors have already been involved in deplatforming scandals regarding some Internet speakers.

German Lopez of Vox has a strong article on where all the candidates stand on the gun issue here. 

Lopez goes back and forth in discussing the problem but seems to take the position that the only real way to reduce gun violence, besides national background checks and federal licenses with no exceptions within families, would be massive buybacks. 

There was a brief interruption for protesters at about 10 PM EDT.  It wasn’t clear what was being protested, maybe deportations. 

Earlier, there was controversy over whether people would have to buy in to Joe Biden’s healthcare plan, when he got into an argument with Castro
Pete Buttigieg mentioned his earlier military service under the old “don’t ask don’t tell”, and said he was elected with an 80% confidence majority by Indiana voters after he came out.
Cory Booker mentioned being threatened and enduring vandalism in earlier elections.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Pakman and Sam Harris dissect the woke Left, and the identarian right (there is more than one of these)

Recently David Pakman interviewed neuroscientist Sam Harris, whose overall leanings are mainstream liberal but who probably sounded more like Sargon of Akkad in this 90-minute interview.

Harris hit hard the woke Left’s cancel culture, and unwillingness to tolerate facts of science that interfere with their combative strategy to get reparations and repair from the damages done to their groups in the past by those with underserved wealth. Of course, the right is also blind to science, like on climate change.

Harris seems to believe that people who commit horrible acts under radical Islam are different from those in white supremacy.  The latter tend to be young men with personality disorders, whereas the former sincerely believe in a religious system.  But Obama used to say, ISIS has no ideology at all. 
 I’m surprised Pakman didn’t challenge him on this.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Casey Neistat dings social media and leaves NYC

John Fish has often mentioned Casey Neistat, so here is one of Casey’s most important recent videos, “Goodbye Social Media”, from March 2019.  Neistat has 11 million subscribers!

Fish would criticize him in April and narrow his advice.

Neistat impresses me as an older Logan Paul.  He now says he is leaving New York and has a van comparable to Tim Pool’s?

He mentions “Tim Apple”.

David Pakman had half-promised to get off social media, forever.  It hasn’t happened.
Neistat gave up social media for a week when his daughter was born, and he said he felt relieved.
He then removes social media from his smart phone and leaves it on his laptop.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Richard Wolff takes down Jordan Peterson on Marxism

Richard D. Wolff has a lot of short videos that appear leftist leaning, but I thought I would share his response to Jordan Peterson (of the University of Toronto)

Wolff criticizes Peterson’s dismissal of Marxism as nothing more of the envy of the poor over the rich, and goes on to explain that Marxism was concerned with the idea that capitalism set up an owner-worker dichotomy parallel to noble-serf under feudalism.

He does not directly criticize Peterson’s notorious “clean your room”.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

MSNBC's Chris Hayes hosts David Hogg to talk about the Peace Plan

Chris Hayes of MSNBC hosted David Hogg on Friday, talking about March for our Lives.

This time Hogg did not go into the detailed gun control policy from March for our Lives (now called the “#PeacePlan”), as he did with Anderson Cooper and the Washington Post.

It was more a history of the movement for a long time back.  Despite the sensational shock of mass events in public places, a disproportionate toll of the gun violence has always fallen on people of color, and this was even more true a generation ago.

Hogg had a more buzzcut-like haircut this time. 

I do think his venture into Native American land issues was a little bit superfluous and gratuitous, as the right wing jumped on it and blew it out of proportion.  Maybe Cameron Kasky (now at Columbia) is more convincing as a future president. 

Hogg has started classes at Harvard but seems to have the time to travel to events.
Today he tweeted a “command” to Floridians that they needed to start knocking on doors. 

Friday, September 06, 2019

"The Affair" of Mark Gerardot on ABC 20-20; "What would you do?" tests adults in the room

ABC 2020 presented a long love triangle story tonight, “The Affair”, from the viewpoint of protagonist Mark Gerardot.

He says he wants to write a book about it all, and the question (for me at least), is, do personal accounts sell when they do end in crime?  But he already has a pilot on the “American Real” series. 

In a lifelong narrative involving several states and an interim period living in South Carolina before Mark came back to the Philly area for a new job and got involved in an affair with his boss.  His wife Jennair got suspicious and even used some hacking of his snapchat to spy on him.

He would find his ex-wife and love dead on the floor of their home in the “Main Line” west of Philadelphia.
Earlier, a “What Would You Do?” with John Quinonos challenged a grown woman as to whether she would intervene when she saw rude, racist behavior among kids in a restaurant (I would find that hard to do), and then looked at the controversy over aliens and Area 51, and finally a child who makes confetti of $1000 in bills because she doesn’t understand real paper money (let alone crypto).

Thursday, September 05, 2019

CNN holds town hall on climate change for ten Democratic presidential candidates

Up to ten Democratic candidates for president presented their proposals to deal with climate change in a CNN town hall last night (apparently in NYC) .  I got home from an event about 8:30 and watched about half of it.
Here is CNN’s summary of all of them.  
Most of the candidates referred to the Green New Deal.  
Pete Buttigieg said that the 2020 election is our “lost shot”.  Buttigieg talked about how redlining and put PoC in low-lying areas more exposed to climate change (consider New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina).   He seemed to support a tax on some activities that involve beef production to nudge consumers away from meat that increases methane.

Sanders wanted to encourage more local and family farms and discourage big agribusiness (like in the PBS film “Farmsteading”).
Cory Booker came out for actually new nuclear power designs to replace fossil fuels.  The University of Nevada physicist Taylor Wilson has advocated this approach and it is not as well known as it should be. 
Elizabeth Warren made the statement that our neglect of future generations, our children’s children, was simply immoral.
Candidates generally did not make a lot of demanding consumer sacrifices.  They did not propose banning air travel, for example, for ordinary people, or driving alone.  But they did give time tables for ending fossil fuel use in power plants and in automobiles.  We would need a much better infrastructure for recharging all electric cars, especially in rural areas in western states, than we do, unless hybrids were permitted.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Pakman: "Do poor whites have the same white privilege as rich whites?"

A caller asks an independent talks show on YouTube: “Do poor whites have the same white privilege as rich whites?”

David Pakman takes it on, as a rather self-indulgent question.

People with “black names” have a harder time getting job interviews, are more likely to be profiled by police, and typically live in areas with poorer access to some transportation, and poorer public schools.

In another video, Pakman had said he once had to quasi-apologize for being “straight” when he was setting up his show, as if “Straight Pride” (a satire) should mean something. “Do ask do tell” indeed.