Tuesday, November 13, 2018

"Why You Don't Need to Vote" on Reason TV





James Monticello on Reason TV “Why You Don’t Need to Vote”


Unthinkable?  Offensive?

Your own vote will not change an election, even in Broward County, FL.

But this seems like a question of “public hygiene” doesn’t it?

A two-party system doesn’t serve “my” interests.  I speak for myself on my blogs.

And hence I reduce solidarity.  Because I don’t want to legitimatize the lobbyists to speak for me.

It is certainly true that if most minority people turned out to vote, members of these groups would probably be better off with the results, given who would be elected.  That’s why I’m glad that David Hogg spent as much effort on getting people to polls as on gun control itself.

And in many countries, like Australia, voting is mandatory.  It’s rather like vaccination. 
  
Twitter banned people before Nov. 6 for posting the idea that you need not vote. 
    
But it’s true, I don’t volunteer to take people to polls just to get a political result for a candidate.  I have a feeling that “EI” doesn’t either.  



In Dallas, in the early 80s, gay bar raids would happen just before elections. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Trump scolds CNN reporter Jim Acosta in a noon press conference as if Acosta were a child misbehaving in a grade school class



Donald Trump had a testy exchange with CNN’s Jim Acosta today on an 85-minute press conference carried live by CNN and all other major networks during the middle of the day.


Trump called Acosta “a terrible person” who shouldn’t be working for CNN!

He treated Acosta like a disruptive child in a grade school class.  He sounded like a disciplinarian teacher from the 1950s. 
  
My own father had some authoritarian tendencies (but was born in 1903 and grew up on a farm).

Tim Pool posted some pictures of a body contact incident with Acosta today on a Twitter thread.  Acosta appeared on AC360 tonight.  He has lost his press pass at the White House tonight. CNN has taken no action as far as I know so far.   

More recent information (from Pool's tweets) suggests that Acosta was only reaching for a microphone when the body contact happened.

Update: Nov. 8

Tim Pool's take on this:  Acosta has been a bit unprofessional. 

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

"Are Virtual Particles a New Layer of Reality?" PBS Digital



Are Virtual Particles a New Layer of Reality?


Matt O’Dowd explains how virtual particles are predicted by the mathematics of Hawking radiation, when a black hole evaporates.  So does the information stored on it.
  
That would be interesting if the mini black hole was carrying around and transferring some critical information, kike someone’s identity (all the information in the person’s lifetime tesseract) after the person passes away. 

Maybe they matter to identity flipping, like on "Smallville". 

Saturday, November 03, 2018

"Democracy in Peril: The War on Voting Rights" on CNN



CNN, on Friday Nov. 2, aired the one-hour special “Democracy in Peril: The War on Voting Rights”.  Here is CNN’s own best link. CNN often fails to give good summaries or trailers for its hour-long news specials.

The democracy covered voter suppression practices since the Civil Rights Movement.


Of special attention was “Section 5” (the Voting Rights Act, 1965 law) which slows down the ability of some southern states to change their voting practices without Federal Circuit supervision. 
  
Many other voter suppression practices have included “exact spelling laws” as in Georgia, and requiring street addresses on native American reservations, as in North Dakota.
  
But the biggest problem is gerrymandering.  That’s based on the idea that in MLB, you need to win your one-run games;  a win where you blow-out your opposition by double-digits (the way the Nationals did in 2018) doesn’t count more (the “Pythagorean” in professional sports – but it also applies to elections).

Thursday, November 01, 2018

"EI" answers "Should You Use Social Media?"



Economic Invincibility has a challenging video from April 2018, “Should You Use Social Media?
  

Even though he says he uses YouTube and Gab (which is down due to the current de-platforming),tjos os pretty much “do as I say” and not as I “do”.

Usually, the answer is No. But -- in my view -- it depends. 
  
I would agree with him for many people.  Had I become a teacher, say, around 2006 with a “career switcher” I would have reserved my site for logon only for people who had paid for my books (at least one of them), and stayed off any news social media.  If I have responsibility for judging other people as part of my job, I can’t be expressing my political opinions in an ungated public forum. I’ve covered this before as “conflict of interest”.

This gets into online reputation.

But there are some jobs, especially in sales, where you are expected to have a social media presence to advance the employer, not your own views.  I was approached in 2005 about becoming a life insurance agent, since I had twelve years experience, but in the technical, individual contributor side.

It is true that I was able to do this in the 1997-2001 period because as an individual contributor in those days, you could lead a double life.  You can’t do that now.  Facebook blew all that away.

Later, in the late 2000s, if I tried to get a W2 job as a programmer, I probably ran into the situation where people could check my reputation on search engines, and wonder if I would write about “this” (instance) company after I left.  You see the problem?

Maybe you could have a limited account with maximum privacy settings.

That also means that if you want to be active clandestinely on political causes, you have to join a group and probably support a lot of things you don’t fully agree with that a lot of resentful or aggrieved people want.  But in many jobs, I don’t recommend being seen as an activist.

Of course, if you have a union job (even a teacher’s union), the union generally speaks for you, even on political issues.  Of course, for public employee unions, there was a controversial Supreme Court decision recently trying to counter this.

I don’t like to let others speak for me, and I don’t like to be hired as somebody’s mouthpiece. (Sorry, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.)

I’m 75 and retired with decent assets so I can “get away with this”, but there could be future crackdowns on politica or issue-oriented  blogging not accounted for by there own income (I’ve been covering that elsewhere – has to do with non-connected PAC’s).
    
So “EI” is largely right about this.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

"The Mediums of Lily Dale" on "This Is Life"



“This Is Life” with Lisa Ling presented “The Mediums of Lily Dale” Sunday night Oct. 28, link 

In a small village in upstate New York near Lake Erie, there are a number of mediums. 
  
Various clients, including Lisa and her sister, visit mediums.  Sessions take place in well-kept living rooms or dens, with simple hand-to-hand contact.

  
Lisa finds her own session less than convincing, but in most cases customers feel convinced they have reached the spirit of a relative with whom there was some apology to settle.
  
There is no use of Ouija boards (I attended a séance in Brooklyn in the 1970s where one was used.)

The community may not be too far from where the Buffalo unit of Understanding was located in the 1970s. 
   
The spirit of a departed person may be a four-dimensional tesseract with all the information of the person’s life in space-time. It would somehow have to be projected onto current time.  But it could matter how the person passed away.  If it were a gradual process with people present, there may be more substance to the soul object.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

"Will We Ever Find Alien Life?" on PBS Digital Studios



Matt O’Dowd, from PBS Digital Studios (in London, and the Curiosity Stream) asks (and “tells”) “Will We Ever Find Alien Life?”


He examines the Fermi paradox and Drake equation and gives us bad news on Tabby’s star. Dyson swarms could be easier to make than Dyson spheres.

Recent probes have shown that there should be about 40 billion inhabitable planets (and maybe moons) in the Milky Way.  Civilizations could build other structures, like O’Neill cylinders.

But civilizations have to pass through filters where asymmetric access to technology can jeopardize them.  O’Dowd mentions impulse control and the compulsive personality problem.  That sounds like Nicholas Taleb’s “Black Swan” long tail problem in his “skin in the game” book.

Civilizations will develop finance (probably digital currencies and blockchain) and political structures, which are likely to be authoritarian most of the time.