Friday, November 22, 2019

PBS: "Can You Observe a Typical Universe?"

PBS Digital Studios presents “Can You Observe a Typical Universe?

Sam discusses the tension between the Coperican Principle and the Anthropic Principle (strong or weak).
Essentially, we see the universe the way we do from our own vantage point because we can live here.

Monday, November 18, 2019

"Operation Firewall" back in 2004 on "CNN: Declassified"

The CNN series “Declassified” presented an interesting series Sunday night “Operation Firewall”.

An international criminal ring set up multiple ATM thefts and then identity thefts under the rubric “Shadow Crew”.
They tended to target companies, but employees often had identities stolen and used, even overseas, without any symptoms. But it might have been possible to be framed or arrested for a crime you had no idea had been done in your name, with severe reputational damage. 
The Secret Service set up a Sunday night raid in 2004, where they had to bust into many homes and offices at once, even around the world (UK, Europe, even Brazil).  About 40% of the operation was around New York City.

The progress of Internet computer crime by 2004 seems amazing in retrospect. 
The episode is available for YouTube rental for $1.99 here
CNN has a short video above of someone stealing a face for an identity.  Is this a reason for people to be picky about being photographed in discos?

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Impeachment hearings livesteamed by everybody; getting down to details

Chris Cillizza has a detailed analysis of the most “important moments” of Day 1 of the Impeachment hearings.

(For the video, I pretty much picked a broadcaster at random.)

I won’t pretend to be an expert on this myself, as it isn’t something I have my arms around (like gays in the military).

But every detailed timelines have been laid out, and there is talk of a second phone call and maybe a second whistleblower.

Trump has been reported to say "Get over it; there is going to be foreign influence on political campaigns." 
The main point seems to be the discretion of the president in conducting foreign policy under the law.  But it certainly sounds improper for a president to ask a foreign power to troll Americans or potential political opponents.  But the Bidens had indeed worked with Ukraine  (NY Times, Ken Thrush et al )
SE Cupp has an important perspective on CNN about tribalism not being the same thing as community.  
As I recall, Kent was asked if he was a "never-Trumper." 

Monday, November 11, 2019

"Does Life Need a Multiverse to Exist?" PBS Digital Studio

Matt O’Dowd for PBS Space Time asks “Does Life Need a Multiverse to Exist?

Maybe so.  The many constants of physics must be fine-tuned for galaxies, stars, planets, stable elements, chemistry, and organic chemistry to exist.

By the weak anthropic principle, we live in the universe that happens to fit perfectly (like the same idea for the rare earth hypothesis).  The strong anthropic principle adds an observer.

Black holes may spin off other daughter universes all the time, with other sets of constants.
His logic is contrapositional.

Friday, November 08, 2019

AJ channel explores, "What's scarier to racists than reparations?" Answer: Reconstruction III

Francesca Fiorentini on Al Jazeera Plus (AJ+), supported by Qatar, you know, explores, “What’s scarier to racists than reparations? 

Well, Reconstruction.  Not the first one (40 Acres and a Mule as by Spike Lee), or even the second one (the Civil Rights Act), but another one, which would undermine capitalism and elitism.

I think this can be a serious matter for a lot of independent “speakers”.  There are issues as to how people behave personally with respect to inequality that matter – I’ve covered that for myself like in the DADT-III book.  But the Left would conflate this, maybe by demanding that I work off my own penance for a particular minority as a qualification for being heard again – total corruption.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Luke Korns: adventure YouTube channel, from the "upper midwest": travel and vacation are not the same

I’ll introduce another vlogger, Luke Korns, who made this video “Why Do I Have So Much Money (to be able to travel anywhere)?” in Jan 2017 when he was 20.

His answer to the question in his video is, travel isn’t the same thing as vacation.

Luke has over 2 million subscribers and makes lifestyle, travel, and fun videos (they don’t seem to be political) that are advertiser-friendly, so now, at 23, he seems to make a living at this (and is probably unaffected by all of YouTube’s recent monetization controversies).  He lives in Wisconsin and seems part of the upper Midwest, would fit in to the Twin Cities scene and Bryant Lake Bowl film festivals on Lake Street (Minneapolis), I presume.
In this video, he makes a trip to the Dominican Republic (next door to Haiti), and stays in a luxury pad cheap (is this Airbnb?).  Is he recruiting baseball players?  (Sorry, the Milwaukee Brewers blew a playoff game to the Nationals on Oct. 1, 2019, and we know what happened next.)  Animals seem to like him (particularly a street stray cat).

Some of his videos are little experiments, like throwing a dart on a map and taking the cheapest possible flight to where it lands.

His video style is to cover a lot of visual material very quickly, talk fast and shift scenes quickly.
I know that Ford Fischer (News2Share) has mastered the art of lastminute cheap flights when a political protest develops.  Ford should probably meet this filmmaker (who doesn’t seem to be political). Tim Pool has a different solution, an outfitted van to drive anywhere and stay.  The world of performing classical musicians, which I am familiar with, also has to he skilled at keeping bags packed and being ready for the TSA.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Pakman interview on Ayn Rand

David Pakman interviews Yaron Brook for a half hour on “Does Ayn Rand Make Any Sense?

Well, pursuing your own happiness may not work if everyone does it the same way and collides with others, David argues.

Yaron gives an example from The Fountainhead, where Howard Roark works in a quarry rather than build something he doesn’t believe, and as I recall, he destroys a building when the secondhanders cheat on it. Pure principle.  Don’t be someone else’s mouthpiece/