Thursday, May 16, 2019

Tim Pool's skateboarding video, "Explaining the Secret of My Success"


I must admit, Tim Pool has been in the news the past few days, with his announcement, and I’ll make a pitch shortly, but I honestly thought his little short film about skateboarding belongs here.


Apparently he ordered a miniramp kit from a specialized manufacturing company and assembled it in his back yard with the help of some friends.  I think this is somewhere in southern New Jersey.  Well, my very first job in 1970 had me working at the RCA plant in Cherry Hill, so I remember the area.
  
The video is called “Explaining the Secret to My Success.”  Call this anti-fragility, as Jonathan Haidt and Nassim Nicholas Taleb (“Skin in the Game”) explain the concepts.  Skateboarding is good for that.  I think that Daniel Gruss, the computer science professor in Austria who broke Intel, skates.
Pool has also explained that guitar playing forces you to develop calluses to protect your fingers.

Shaun White, of course, is the best known – I’ve had him on this blog before – he was born with a tetralogy of fallot and recovered with surgery – same as Jimmy Kimmel’s son. 

As for Haidt’s concept, both David Hogg and Nicholas Sandmann, as teens, demonstrate anti-fragility. Politics has nothing to do with it. But if a political enemy attacks them, they fight back and get stronger.



In 2002, young Minneapolis filmmaker Shane Nelson made “A Film in Three Parts”, about extreme shorts, especially skateboarding on narrow stairway railings.

Pictures:  Lake in Hightstown NJ, 2010; In 1970,  I had my first apartment in nearby New Windsor, at the time called the Princeton Arms, off NJ 571. Second: Minneapolis from an airplane. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Vox offers three-part documentary series on the Israeli Settlements on the West Bank (and East Jerusalem)



Ezra Klein explains “Settlements” in a two part video (18 min), “Why the Israeli settlements don’t feel like a conflict zone”, video by Johnny Harris.


That’s a change from the original settling after the 1967 war.  In Part 1, Klein explains the Oslo Accords, and the three Zones (A, B. and C, 60%).

There is a third video that explains settlers taking over East Jerusalem, one house at a time, by buying homes as they become available, and then forcing residents to accept settlement culture.

Libertarians have often criticized the settlements as immoral taking or property, but it gets more complicated, as the videos show.
  
Wikipedia attribution link for West Bank demonstration picture CCSA 3.0 

Monday, May 13, 2019

AC360 presents non-profit to teach conflict journalists to give first aid, founded by Sebastian Junger



Tonight Anderson Cooper, on AC360, spoke to author and journalist Sebastian Junger on a new non-profit he had founded, RISC, or Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues, as in this summary story.

The cause is inspired by the death of journalist Tim Hetherington, who had worked with Sebastian Junger filming Restrepo in Afghanistan (Moves, July 10, 2010). Hetherington was killed in Libya in 2011 filming the fall of Gafaddi during the Arab Spring when a mortar landed near him and exploded. The shrapnel severed his femoral artery and he bled to death, with his colleagues not knowing how to save him, or knowing military first aid.


I will check soon if it is possible to donate on Facebook (or do a fundraiser for it).  I generally do most of my giving privately except for causes that are closer to what I do myself or would do, but this one hits closer home.

The two links are this for the organization, and Sebastian Junger’s.     His book “Tribe” is reviewed by me here. I met him in 1998 at a book signing in Minneapolis for "A Perfect Storm". 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

"United Shades": Kamau Bell interviews the Hmong people in the Twin Cities, MN



W. Kamau Bell, on “United Shades of America”, covered the Hmong community in St. Paul MN. 

The Hmong group fought with the US during some portions of the Vietnam, especially Nixon’s controversial “secret war in Laos”. 

Somalia has also provided a large number of immigrants in the Twin Cities.


I lived in Minneapolis from 1997-2003 and recall that the Libertarian Party of Minnesota candidates did pay attention to the groups.
  
Much of the show was devoted to food, Bourdain style.  The Hmong run many of the farmer’s market stands in the Twin Cities.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

James Comey lays Trump on the line in a CNN town hall with Anderson



On Thursday night former FBI director James Comey did a townhall at George Washington University with Anderson Cooper and made several points. 

Trump may be in cahoots with the Russians.

The Russians went after the US to discredit democratic capitalism or neo-liberalism as an dexample for the rest of the world, showing that the system creates resentments between intellectuals and working people.


The Russians also wanted to get revenge on Hillary Clinton, although the Russians may have been right in that Hillary grossly mismanaged the security of her communications in the State Department and earlier, even by common standards of IT was it was twenty years ago when I was still working.

The Russians believed Donald Trump would be a populist president whom they could manipulate.
   
Comey also said he had no choice but to send a letter to Congress on Oct. 28, 2016. But the coincidences that needed to happen for the laptop to be connected to sex offense were indeed amazing.

Fox news is claiming loudly that Comey is in deep trouble legally.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

John Stossel: "The Rise of Citizen Journalists" presents Tim Pool


John Stossel reports on “The Rise of Citizen Journalists” on Reason TV.


He focuses on Tim Pool, and covers Pool’s trip to Sweden, paid for by a conservative activist, and Pool found little evidence of “no go zones”.

Stossel also credits Pool for helping bust the mainstream media in misreporting on the Covington Kids and Nathan Phillps in January, which has gotten several media outlets sued.
  
Pool owns a company called Subverse.net (possibly with others).  Ford Fischer has a company called News2Share which emphasizes protests.  My own brand is called “doaskdotell.com”. 
Maybe there should be some synergy.  

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Culture wars and extremes face off, on "United Shades of America"



W. Kamau Bell, on Sunday night May 5,in the second 2019 episode of “United Shades of America”,  examined protesters on both sides of the political spectrums facing off, in a variety of cities such as Portland OR.
  
An important part of the broadcast was an interview with co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Alicia Garza. “Being woke isn’t enough” was one of the themes of the broadcast. 

There is also a link to a related Daily Kos story of “red-pilling” of a certain subset of working class white men in the south or Midwest.
   

Generally, mainstream Americans don’t believe in conspiracy theories or don’t take the taunts and hyperboles from some conservatives very literally.  But a small but dangerous vulnerable minority does, as we saw with Comet Ping Pong in December 2016.

Monday, May 06, 2019

"The Redemption Project" looks at forgiveness after a catastrophic DUI accident in Louisiana



Van Jones’s episode #2 of CNN’s “The Redemption Project” presented a family with a young woman whose life was essentially taken away from her in Louisiana in May 2008 by a female drunk driver who had three times the legal limit of alcohol, link
  
The young woman was in a wheel chair, had severe speech impediment and reportedly cognitive effects from the severe head injuries in the wreck.


The woman guilty of the crime woke up in a hospital and didn’t know what she had done.  Her mother had to tell her.  She would serve seven years of a ten year prison sentence.

But, through a professional mediator, the families arranged to meet.

The mother of the injured young woman said, “this isn’t her” and that her life had started over with new identity.

This episode goes beyond the usual spiritual idea of forgiveness.  It challenges whether you can retain a relationship with someone who has such a catastrophe imposed by wrong from others, whose original identity is taken from her.

Update: May 12

Van Jones covered a redemption from a gang slaying in Chicago, video

Sunday, May 05, 2019

"Chasing Life": Norway, with Sanjay Gupta


Sanjay Gupta narrated an episode of “Chasing Life”, about Norway, much of it filmed in the Arctic town of Tromso.

The broadcast covered seasonal affective disorder for the long polar nights.
It also covered the happiness of the people.

I visited Norway for a week in late July, early Aug. of 1972.  I visited a family in Oslo whom I knew from FBC;  there was a heat wave and no air conditioning.


I then took the train to Bergen, and then another train to Trondheim, where I made a friend of sorts. I took a train to Bodo (crossing the arctic circle) and connected to a bus to Narvik.  The next day I took the train into Sweden and spent a night in Kiruna.  I went to a hotel for dinner and a man tried to pick me up, six months before I would “come out”. I took the train back to Stockholm and met another person who lived in Montreal with whom I would correspond a while.
  
The last part of the episode showed how kids are raised to be outdoors a lot, and way from too much tech. 

Update: May 12

On May 11, Gupta covered Italy, especially Sardinia, with emphasis on the cooking with ingredients and natural olive oils, and the lack of processed foods, as contributing to long life spans. 

Picture from Oslo-Bergen line.  I had lunch here. 
By ChrisO at English Wikipedia - Own work (Original text: Image by ChrisO), CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

"Economic Invincibility" discusses the non-importance of measures of online popularity



For May Day, I thought I would share one of Dr. Martin Goldberg’s vignettes of wisdom, “Where Are My Subscribers?


“Economic Invincibility” here talks about the preoccupation that many vloggers have concerning subscriber counts, and he also touches on the issue of needing income from your content for a living.  

 He implies he doesn’t and that the channel might not last forever (is he planning to run for office?)
   
Perhaps his concern is partly motivate by the furor over PewDiePie and Felix’s “apology”.

A YouTube video shows the number of views, likes, and comments. (There is some controversy about Instagram, by comparison now.) A blog post normally does not (except for the comments). Blogger has the concept of "follower" but this has become less important over time as YouTube channels have overtaken them in importance (since about 2013 or so). And YouTube, as we know, is now coming under question by Wall Street as it has had to become much more "woke" in its monitoring of content and ad-friendliness. 

But he says showing subscribers would be a distraction, and he wants viewers to focus on the ideas he expresses, not on his own popularity.  He did mention the click-bait issue, which Tim Pool has often talked about.

Given the sustainability of the whole “user generated content creation” business, I have concerns about both sides of this argument, as I have said before.  There are many "analytics"  measures of customer engagement that tech companies could use to evaluate and possibly weed out some speakers over time. 

Monday, April 29, 2019

CNN's W. Kamau Bell visits megachurches in Dallas


W Kamau Bell continued his “United Shades of America” Sunday night with a presentation “My Megachurch Adventure”. 

Bell focused his broadcast on Dallas-Ft Worth (I lived in Dallas 1979-1988), and started out standing in what looked like the Cathedral of Hope on Inwood Road near Love Field in Dallas. The church belongs to United Churches of Christ and focuses on the LGBT community and various minorities. It got started in the late 1980s before I left (with some people from MCC over on Reagan St in Oak Lawn).

But Bell quickly moved to Grapvevine to one megachurch and then visited several others.  Many are non-denominational (like the McLean Bible Church in Route 7 in northern Virginia).


Many have African-American pastors, and one of them discussed going “political”.  “You can’t go to the bathroom today without it being political.”
  
Nevertheless, the influence of the “Moral Majority” of the 1980s with James Robson et al seems reduced.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

"The Redemption Project": Van Jones explores restorative justice on CNN



Van Jones premiered his series “The Redemption Project” about restorative justice on CNN tonight, major link here.  Not pleasant. 
  
The premier episode showed a man (white) in prison in California for life for impulsively stabbing a mom for money for a drug fix. He gets a letter from her daughter one day and has a meeting where he faces what came over him.

  
Later Van interviews a man who is out on probation and starting work as a counselor for other prisoners in Lancaster, CA (in the desert, near LA – I’ve driven past that prison a few times).

Friday, April 26, 2019

"5 Real Possibilities for Interstellar Travel"



PBS Digital Studios covers “5 Real Possibilities for Interstellar Travel”.


The supposition is that Earth has to relocate to an earthlike planet around Proxima Centauri, over 4 light years away.

The best practical chance is a drive made of thermonuclear weapons – a lot of them.

A fusion, anti-matter, or even micro black hole drive is possible, and it might get new residents there in 3 years relativistic time. Other scenarios say you need to house three generations on a space ship.  Who gets to go?
  
He doesn’t present the Alcubierre Drive. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

David Pakman starts out with impeaching Trump and ends by excoriating the EU's Article 17



David Pakman reports that the movement to impeach Trump is exploding.


But that’s not the controversial part of this broadcast.  Instead, toward the end (at about 8:10), he makes a pitch for NordVPN, and mentions the EU’s Article 13 (now Article 17).

He predicts that in the EU most videos from the US won’t be watchable except through VPN, as platforms won’t be able to take the risk of showing videos from anyone but large or established companies and orgs.
  
Biden would be the best candidate for the Dem’s to take the 2020 election.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

CNN holds quintuple presidential candidate town hall marathon


CNN was a bit gratuitous with its quintet of Democratic presidential town halls Monday might from Manchester, NH.  That’s about 70 miles north of Boston and a lot of Harvard and MIT students were in the audience.  The contestants were Amy Kolbuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg. 

I didn’t watch all of it, as I took off 90 minutes to watch PBS’s “Charm City” at 10 PM.


Elizabeth Warren rather overwhelmed everyone with her policy proposals and free college.  I didn’t know she had been a Republican until the mid 1990s, when, even under Clinton, she decided that working people were just falling too far behind (I wasn’t).

Bernie Sanders shocked everyone by maintaining that all prisoners should be allowed to vote, even Jahar Tsarnaev on death row. 
  
Pete Buttigieg sounded a little more conservative and reserved than the other candidates. He seems more concerned with individual rights on a neutral basis (like a libertarian) than with groups. He did make an interesting proposal regarding national service, which would be voluntary.  This comports with Buttigieg’s own military service from the Naval Reserve in Afghanistan in 2014, which occurred after the repeal of "don't ask don't tell".  He says he "came out" as gay later in life because he was satisfied about keeping his private and professional life separated for a long time, which became less tenable in the Internet era. 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

"Chasing Life": Sanjay Gupta visits Bolivia to learn how to adopt to high altitude, and then learn about a heart-healthy lowland tribe



Tonight, on “Chasing Life”, Dr, Sanjay Gupta of CNN traveled to La Paz, Bolivia and adapted to the altitude. 

He took a full stress test with electrodes on his chest at 13,500 feet and then a special test to simulate 20000 feet, where a soccer match was played.
  
He visited a higher village, El Alto.

He found that high altitude life generally made the people living there healthy. There are special tea leaves and plants that seem to help open their coronary arteries.


Then he visited a village in the lowland, where the people have unusually healthy hearts.  They are active, taking 17000 steps a day compared to our 5000, eat no processed foods, and their constant low-level exposure to parasites and bacteria keep their immune systems occupied and prevent the inflammation of coronary arteries from autoimmunity.

Wikipedia attribution link for La Paz picture, CCSA 4.0. 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Timcast livestream on lawsuit by Covington family for Lincoln Memorial libel


On Feb. 19, Tim Pool did a live stream chat “Covington Student Sues Washington Post for $250M”, which about what the paper is worth.


Later the student (Nicholas Sandmann) or his family sued CNN also.

Pool notes that relatively few people on Sunday morning Jan. 20 started to question the conventional narrative on social media, and a few contacted Tim.

I questioned two people on Facebook who had blindly criticized the kids.  It struck me that Nicholas’s standing motionless was a typical reaction from a more mature teenager to defuse a situation. I know a couple teens whom I’ve seen behave this way when suddenly confronted with something inappropriate.  Oddly, the Timcast reports that Nick had never been away from home by himself (with a group) before (at age 16).  I seem to remember this in seventh grade (12), going to Williamsburg (from northern VA). 
  
At about the 58 minute mark Tim talks about how he is commissioning videos on news stories, even from “skilled amateurs”.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

"Tricky Dick Part 4": the resignation


Sunday night April 14 CNN concluded the series “Tricky Dick” with Part 4, covering his landslide victory in 1972 and inauguration on a cold day (we had very little snow that winter).

Nixon would announce a Vietnam peace agreement five days later and would soon end the draft.

But Watergate developed very quickly, leading to the Saturday night massacre in October, and the resignation on August 9, 1974.  It was at the farewell speech Friday morning that Nixon mused about hating others.

I would start working for NBC on August 12, 1974 and soon move into Manhattan from New Jersey. 


AC360 held a special after the program and interviewed Woodward and Bernstein, going back to the time they expected impeachment.

Nixon is said to have wanted to reverse many of his “liberal” programs including price controls in his second term.

Although he made some progress with Civil Rights he is said to have harbored “racist” attitudes.
  
He never reacted to Stonewall.

Friday, April 12, 2019

"Your Biggest Fan" on ABC 20-20: the murder of Rebecca Schaeffer, leading to anti-stalking laws



Your Biggest Fan”, about the 1989 murder of actress Rebecca Schaeffer by a fan, aired on ABC 2020 tonight as a two hour documentary, best link here


Good Housekeeping (remember that “women’s magazine” from the 50s) has a detailed story of the incident, where a “fan”, Robert Bardo, hired a private investigator to search public records for her address, eventually went there and shot her. 

That led to anti-stalking laws, before gun control became a more serious issue.

Bardo would be sentenced to life without parole.  Marcia Clark (later with the OJ case) would be a prosecutor.  He was said later to have psychiatric issues as well as a narcissistic personality disorder. He has remorse now.

The episode presented a few other stalking attempts that were turned back by security at events.

In the Internet age, some younger celebrities (especially men) are more likely to be open to corresponding with the public on social media, especially Twitter.   In recent months, some of these men have pulled back from social media, given all the problems,

That sounds good, but there is a socially negative side to it.  Some people will prefer pseudo-relationships ("orbits") with people they see as accomplished rather than real-life relationships with people whom they see as less “worthy” for “life points”.

YouTube celebrities are more approachable than “establishment media” celebrities.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

CNN does serial town halls; Gillibrand explains her change on immigration



Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (from Albany NY) scored poorly in the ratings as she did a town hall on CNN on Tuesday night, April 9.

She was asked right off the bat about her previous hard line on immigration.


At one time she had wanted to force English as an official language and took a hard line on illegal immigrants.  She was tough on Trump’s family separation policy and inflexibly and called him a “cowardly president”.

Washington State governor Jay Inslee did a town hall Wednesday night with a focus on one issue: climate change.

He talked about a time that he had to greet immigrants at SeaTac airport when families were being separated.
  
Julian Castro will give a town hall Thursday night.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

"Days of our Lives" resurrects a mean Trump meme



Days of our Lives” has gone off on tangents indeed.  Now Will is a victim of an “Evil Eye” (an alternate body for Leo Stark) in a bizarre gay love triangle and passes out – and is held for more tests.  His white count is up.  Hope this isn’t something like leukemia.

Then there is the illegal alien, who has been JJ’s girl friend for a while.  JJ was in danger of prosecution or giving assistance to an undocumented person, which is a real risk sometimes in housing or assisting someone unless you work through an organization that knows what it is doing.  This could be a real issue now with LGBT asylum seekers.

  
Yesterday, the character was confronted at a party, with the female mob chanting “send her back”, sounding like a rewrite of “lock her up”.  Trump has suddenly invaded the soap opera world.

April 10:

Will has a brain tumor, it seems. 

Friday, April 05, 2019

John Fish talks about tribalism and individual moral choices as his video tours Cambridge and Harvard



John Fish starts his thrice-weekly YouTube partial livestreams, about Harvard.

Yesterday, he asked “Can Conflicting Moralities Ever Agree?” He names the two major American political parties.  I honestly don’t know how parties work in Canada.


That’s based on his book assignment (maybe for poly sci, maybe for English, maybe for philosophy) “Moral Tribes” by Joshua Green. He has to write his essay (essentially like one of my own book reviews) tonight. I ordered the book from Amazon and will post my own review soon (no, I won’t plagiarize his).  Seriously, I have a lot of other book reviews on my sites, and have gotten a few complaints over the years that students had plagiarized them and gotten caught by “Turnitin”.

John gives a preview of what he will say in the prose book review as he tours the campus, with snappy music in the background (given copyright these days, he’d have to have gotten a license for the music, although maybe it is in the Creative Commons – which EFF and Wikipedia both explain pretty well).  What happens to his videos in the European Union, given Article 17?

He mentions “meta-morality” as a term from the book, and seems to think it is OK that humans have to be challenged to balance their goals as individuals with those of the tribe they belong to.
John, however, doesn’t behave as if he belongs to a tribe.  In that sense, he resembles Tim Pool, although he talks mostly about personal and academic issues, not political.  Maybe Pool should interview him about “tribalism”.

There are a couple of odd comments about puberty in the comments.  At age 18-21, the college years, the finishing touches of puberty (for men) happen.  The brain isn’t fully grown until age 30 (finished pruning).  So chess player Magnus Carlsen has two more years to reach his summer solstice.

You can be a US Senator at Age 30 and president at 35, except, well, John Fish (19?) was born in Canada (I think).  So was actor Richard Harmon (look at his resume).  But so was Ted Cruz, and somehow he gets to run. I think that CNN should pretend David Hogg is running for president at 18 now and let him do a Town Hall.  Hogg doesn’t behave as a tribal person either.

Jack Andraka, now a senior at Stanford, doesn’t run a YouTube channel, but appears in loads of videos about his Science Fair-winning pancreatic cancer test. Again, no tribalism.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

The David Pakman Show: some Americans just aren't smart enough?



OK, time to put David Pakman on this blog. Pakman looks like a teenager but is 35, so he can declare himself as a Democratic candidate for president if he wants.


He’s pretty blunt.  Many Americans are not cognitively capable of seeing through Donald Trump.
      
Or, is this video just globalist-liberal elitism?   Martin Goldberg (“Economic Invincibility”) would find a more circuitous way to say this.

He’s right, that being educated has become smeared.  Is this about tribalism? (as per Sebastian Junger).  About “paying your dues”?  

Some people have street smarts.  Trump even did an “Apprenctice” episode on that theme.
 
Also, a brief announcement to make somewhere.  David Hogg will start a podcast called "Hogg Wash" on Instagram Friday April 7.  Check his Twitter.  I'd rather see a YouTube livestream. Pakman should interview him. 

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Maza explains how we thought we had it made with free speech on Twitter until 2015; then it blew up



Carlos Maza, in November 2017, did a Strikethrough, “Harassment Is Killing Twitter’s Free Speech Experiment”.


Most of us have already forgotten that Twitter tried to be a neutral free speech platform from 2009-2015.  Remember around 2007 when Ashton Kutcher demonstrated how great Twitter was?  Remember the Arab Spring in 2011?

This all started to unravel, roughly maybe around 2014 as ISIS exploded and the migrant crisis in Europe developed.  Actually, it wasn’t just ISIS, it was Assad, and a lot of complicated maneuvers by dictators to take over and leverage social media.

An end result was that increase in harassment by trolls and extremists increased. When Twitter started banning people, they went to Gab.

And now, as we see with the recent Copyright Directive in Europe, a situation where the idea of free speech by users (where the platforms make the profits) is coming under increased scrutiny, and the youngest generation seems no longer as interested in the idea of individualized self-expression.

Maza doesn't need the tattoos. 

Friday, March 29, 2019

News2Share channel shows angry protest from far right regarding gun control in Ohio ("We Will Not Comply")


Ford Fischer traveled to Columbus, Ohio Thursday (March 28) to film demonstrations by the far right (“We Will Not Comply”) on recent gun control legislation, countered by some counterprotesters from the Left, possibly Antifa.


The state of Ohio had misworded a law which could have led to much more stringent regulation.
  
But some of the demonstrators object to the idea of background checks and waiting periods, to protect people from others’ potential misdeeds rather than their own. 

Ford now says Facebook demonitized this video, based on an algorithm, of how it processed a lawful protest. This video does not encourage anyone to break the wall or purchase weapons; it shows the how some people feel about certain individual rights.  This is a meta-content problem. 
  
Generally, background checks and assault weapons bans have been the demands of the “March for our Lives” movement from Parkland (David Hogg and others).

Trump has enacted a bump stock ban, making possession of them illegal now (Supreme Court lets it stand). 

Ford also shared some mire of his own footage from Charlottesville in August 2017 on Twitter through “Now This”.  “Blood and soil”????  He is a political documentary filmmaker to watch, I think he’ll be in the film festival circuit soon.

Picture: Mt Vernon, Ohio, mine, 2012 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

NBC Today presents student who graduated college in physics at 14



Carson Huey-You is presented on an NBC Today show segment in May 2017.

He graduated from Texas Christian University in quantum physics at age 14 and his 11 year old brother is starting as an undergraduate. Jacob Rascon reported.

He was home-schooled and then went to a private school for gifted children.  He reports interacting with animals at home, which is very good for children's communications kills. (I'm reminded of another video where a teenage boy communicates with a bobcat.) 


This is one of the most striking stories of giftedness I have ever encountered, matching narratives of both Andraka brothers as well as (Davidson Academy, Reno) Taylor Wilson (and Mark Zuckerberg).
  
TCU is a private (sectarian) university located in Fort Worth, TX.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Vox's Carlos Maza explains the political tool of "tactical framing" of issues like climate change, on his Strikethrough series



Carlos Maza, of Vox, explains “Why you still don’t understand the Green New Deal” (8 min).



Maza, with some interrupting black and white stills, explains the concept of “tactical framing” – is the policy popular?  Can it pass?   This like comparing mating attacks to positional play in chess.

I’ve treated some of his “StrikeThrough” videos on Vox but am putting them on the TV blog now, as it is like a news segment.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Elizabeth leaves no surprises in her Town Hall: eliminate the Electoral College, do a wealth tax



Elizabeth Warren directed a spirited Town Hall on Monday night March 18, 2019.

The event was held in Jackson MS, which I have visited myself only once in 1985 (I was drove to Philadelphia, where the 1964 Civil Rights tragedy happened, and then up the Nachez Trace Parkway.)

Verona Rocha and Brian Ries write this up on CNN, link.

In this clip, Warren talks about voter suppression, and the fact that it is harder to enforce voting laws in states like Mississippi which is not a swing state (although author John Grisham lives and works there).

She also endorced a constitutional amendment getting rid of the Electoral College. Tim Pool weighs in.

Along those lines, there was talk on Twitter Tuesday morning as to whether the US Senate would become a “House of Lords”.



She also defended her wealth tax, as an extension of the normal idea of a real property tax (and sometimes personal), for 2% a year for wealth in excess of 50 million.  She claims that could pay for everything.

She answered a resounding yes to the idea of taking down Confederate statutes on US land (what about the Lee mansion above Arlington Cemetery?)


Monday, March 18, 2019

Tim Pool gives a talk on quantum physics on Subverse Channel



I just discovered today that the Subverse channel has a lot of edgy content that challenges conventional polarization, identarianism and partisanship, and also has some leading edge science videos. The video channel is mirrored at on Minds.

Tim Pool seems to host some of them, in full screen rather than as a thumbnail in the lower left as on his own videos.

On March 14, 2019 Tim Pool celebrated Pi Day, “Physicists Reversed Time? Major Science Breakthrough on Pi Day”.

He discussed the possibility that gravitational waves associated with very dense objects and sound waves might reverse time.

This video builds on a lot of the material in “Science Fair” (review), including the John Fish video on quantum entanglement from 2015 mentioned in the first comment. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

"Tricky Dick" on CNN starts with the set-up of the 1974 resignation speech


Sunday night March 17 CNN started a new series “Tricky Dick”.

The opening of the first episode shows a crowd outside the White House gate on Thursday, August 8, 1974, the day that Richard Nixon will give his resignation speech at 9 PM.  Then it shows Nixon adjusting for the camera.  The 37th President appears the 37th time from the East Room.  Almost no one would have voted to acquit him from impeachment.
 


Then the biography goes back to 1952 when the Vice President, at 40, gives his Checkers speech about his dog and daughter, to answer charges of illegal payments for personal expenses from his campaign.

That’s interesting indirectly, since illegitimate campaign finance support is still a big topic today, especially from 2016 on.  It is even affecting Internet freedom of ordinary users.

The episode also shows some of the Nixon-Kennedy debate in 1960, when the possibility of color television made all the difference in the world.

"Those that hate you don't win unless you hate them."  Nixon didn't live up to his own words?

Monday, March 11, 2019

Pete Buttigieg, and Tulsi Gabbard sound solid in CNN Town Halls, with some strong proposals


CNN and Jake Tapper held two Democratic presidential candidate town halls Sunday night from SXSW in Austin, Texas, adjacent to the well known film festival.  David Hogg has spoken there recently, too.

Tulsi Gabbard, from Hawaii, second district, and a Major in the Hawaii National Guard, spoke for the interests of gays and transgender soldiers in the military, and noted that there is no deleterious effect on cohesion.  

She was critical of our carelessness (including previous administrations) on North Korea, giving an account of the false (but almost not false) false alarm for 38 minutes in Hawaii in 2017 (when people wondered who they wanted to spend time with in their last minutes).

She tried to explain the Ilhan Omar controversy (Newsweek) -- but on the surface, to me, there is no reason you can’t be faithful to Judaism and oppose aggressive settlements, or even why you can’t practice Christian and Judaic practices simultaneously (Gustav Mahler did).  

The main attraction was South Bend Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay candidate and youngest ever (at 37). (OK, everybody knows that David Hogg, 18, is running for president already.  Don’t be surprised if Nick Sandmann does the same, from the “other side”.  Anti-fragility is a good thing.)



Pete is a lieutenant in the Naval Reserve and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2014 (after the end of “don’t ask don’t tell”).

Buttigieg spoke very clearly and tended to take moderate positions and leave room for compromise.  He sounded  much more “conservative” and even cautious and calculating  than the radical wing of the Democratic party.

He pointed out that both he and the other guest this even have considerable military experience which Trump does not. Both are still commissioned.  That gives them understanding of the risks in foreign policy recklessness or bravado – he seemed to say that he would be glad to be the adult in the room now if needed.  He has more years of public service experience than the president (not that business experience isn’t valuable – imagine Tim Cook as a candidate, or Mark Cuban, maybe Barbara Corcoran).  Local governments and states can’t print money or mine cryptocurrency. They can’t shut down.

He said he favored looking at the idea of semi-voluntary national service.  He talked about Stockton, CA’s experiment with a universal basic income idea. I remember seeing the ships at Stockton's inland seaport from I-5 last September.

He called Mike Pence a “cheerleader for the porn star presidency”.

He did not seem to be as concerned about some of the free speech controversies as I had hoped.  He favors the European idea of “a right to be forgotten”.

Buttigieg favors expanding the Supreme Court to fifteen seats, with five of them admitted only on unanimous consent of the other ten.

He used the term “climate security” as a component of national security.

I befriended someone when living in Minneapolis who was attended law school at U of Illinois and became a prosecutor in the Evansville, IN area.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

"The Good Doctor": Shaun gets fired


I wanted to mention the most recent episode of “The Good Doctor”, called “Breakdown” on Monday March 4.

Shaun has apparently been transferred to pathology because of previous social problems.  Dr. Glassman has made a surprising recovery from his brain tumor with chemotherapy and is in apparent remission.

Shaun finds that a mother accused of abuse of a child (shaken baby syndrome) really had an unusual medical issue giving birth responsible for the baby’s problems. Shaun also helps the team by remote advice remove a massive tumor from another patient.


But in the last scene  Shaun repeatedly screams “I am a surgeon” at Han and winds up getting fired and being escorted by security.  So what will happen to Shaun now?  There is one more episode this winter.

Update: Wednesday, March 13

On Monday March 11 the season finale "Trampoline" gets weird and depends on coincidence. Shaun skips another pathology job interview and gets drunk, annoying a bar patron  Zack who attacks him. Bpth are injured in the scuffle.  But Zack seems to have an unknown aneurysm which Shaun diagnoses while unconscious and communicates telepathically.  Shaun winds up getting his job back.  But how we think Shaun (like Clark Kent) is an alien, although a very benevolent one.
 
Freddie Highmore appeared on Jimmy Kimmel on Monday night.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Timcast with Joey Salads in Los Angeles; then a Joe Rogan podcast with Twitter executives on de-platforming


Tim Pool, while in Los Angeles this week, interviewed Ft. Joey Salads, who admits he made clickbait leftist videos in 2016, trying to benefit from the hatred of Trump, to make good money, but admits it was fake news passing as journalism.

The video (30 minutes) is called “Far Left Activists Have DESTROYED Journalism from Within.”



Salads says many websites are still out there using fake news to perpetrate “radical leftism”. The irony is that “social Marxism” would frown on and try to shut down this kind of loner exploitation to make money while actually ignoring the needs of others.

Salads says he could see “Smollett” coming.  Likewise Covington.  Later (at 17:00) Pool describes a story made up about him.

Owners of media companies say “rage makes money” even though personally the corporate management are not that extreme.

Then we wind up with the Church of Jack Dorsey.

Pool criticized Out magazine for calling the Trump administration’s plan to take on anti-gay laws in developing countries an indirect “racist” tactic.


I’ll pass along the URL for (Square) Joe Rogan’s podcast with Jack Dorsey, Vijaya Gadde, and Tim Pool (3+ hours).  The first incident discusses was the social media ban of someone (an advocate of a carnivore diet and anti-vegan) for showing animal wildlife violence as violent behavior, which sometimes comes from an algorithm.

Vijaya says they do not try to police misinformation unless there is real harm to the public (anti-vaxx is possible).  She also said that rules are conduct based and not content based.  So the deadnaming or misgendering of trans people is seen as abusive behavior.  Pool says he was threatened in Berkeley and in Venezuela (not surprising given communism);  some of the people who abused persons associated with Covington; these didn’t result in Twitter suspensions.  She says doxing of names is not private, but home addresses and phone is considered abusive behavior. . (Look at around 15:24).  Dorsey, at about 18:30, says that doxing can be faked in gamer accounts. There was a bizarre reference to the movie Fargo in one dox. There is some disturbing content about Milo Yiannopoulos and Alex Jones at about 22:00.

The discussion continues on Wordpress here.

Monday, March 04, 2019

CNN starts "The Bush Years" series



On Sunday night, March 3, CNN aired the first of its six-part series “The Bush Years: Family, Duty, Power”. Basic link here.

The family did believe that “white straight protestant men” were somehow “born better” and should be in charge, with great care.  But it is still an assumption of inherited privilege.

The first episode showed George H. W. Bush crash landing in the ocean during WWII, surviving on a raft un enemy waters and being rescues by a US submarine. His two companions were killed.



Toward the end of the episode the Bush family settles in Houston, which is shown as it looked in the late 1960s.  Even then it was looking squeaky modern.  I first visited Houston myself in October 1976.  The city would have the same look for “Terms of Endearment” in the 1980s.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Fareed Zakaria: "Kingdom of Secrets" -- Saudi Arabia, on CNN Sunday night


Fareed Zakaria and, to some extent, Thomas Friedman hosted the one hour documentary “Kingdom of Secrets” about Saudi Arabia Sunday night at 8 PM EST.

The 33 year old crown prince MBS has introduced modernity, allowing women to drive and allowing music to be introduced, but is ruthless in eliminating rivals for power, finally culminating in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Zakaria noticed the extremely possessive attitude that men had toward women traditionally in Saudi culture.  Women were regarded as "children" and there were manuals on how to "discipline" them. That finally is changing.  This observation also fits into polygamy.



The documentary traces the history of Wahhabism back to the 18th century, and how oil revenue helped drove its ascendancy in the kingdom, past a major challenge in 1979. It also gives a biography of Osama bin Ladin, who rose to fame as a disciplined fanatic after the 1980 Afghanistan war.

Despite the cult-like religion, the appearance of the modern buildings in the desert is striking.

Wiki attribution" By Planet Labs, Inc - https://medium.com/planet-stories/earths-wonders-like-you-ve-never-seen-them-before-ac9e2f39aa56, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68017751

Saturday, March 02, 2019

John Fish visits filming of NBC Tonight, SNL shows and goes onstage with Jimmy Fallon



John Fish now reports “So, I met Jimmy Fallon”.



He makes a trip from Boston to the Big Apple, one night in a hotel, then meets Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers, and watches the filming of the Tonight Show and some of SNL (no filming allowed at some of the sessions).

He then reports “they’re only human”.  Let a cat watch all this and pick out his favorite “human”.

Friday, March 01, 2019

ABC 2020 "With Friends Like These" depicts bizarre murder and a filmmaker's sting on the Jersey shore, just after conviction on court


ABC 20-20 aired a documentary film “With Friends Like These” (2 hours) of one of the most recent trials ever to go right to television. Here is the best link so far.

2020 has recently gone to a two-hour Friday night format with crime stories similar to NBC Dateline.




The case concerned the murder of Sarah Stern on December 2, 2016 by a high school classmate for money and the disposal of her corpse from a bridge over a canal in Neptune City, NJ in Monmouth County.

ABC7Chicago has the details of the case here.

The guilty person is Liam McAtansney, 21, who faces life without parole.

The motive for the crime was robbery of a stash of cash inherited by Sarah.  This sounds a little bit like the film “Fargo”.

An amateur filmmaker, Anthony Curry, helped police set up the confession with a sting after Snapchat messages to Curry from Liam.

Liam had approached Anthony in November about the idea as a movie plot, sort of like the 1998 film “The Last Broadcast” (1998), filmed in south Jersey, which I actually saw then at the University of Minnesota.

Picture: Jersey shore trip in March 2013 after Hurricane Sandy.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Timcast discusses the Project Veritas report on Facebook censorship of conservatives


Tim Pool (Timcast and Timcastnews) has detailed video broadcast Wednesday about the Project Veritas report on Facebook’s deranking of apparently conservative content.



There was a report from an employee who was fired.

There are superficial attempts to identify “trolls”, such as meme vocabulary, and an attempt to “red-pill” others with seductive arguments.

Pool goes on to talk about the development of “parallel economies” or “parallel society” since some people (extremists) are being shunned not only by payment processors for collecting subscription or patronage, but in at least one very visible case, a personal checking account.

Pool feels that some people could be shut out of the banking system altogether and be forced to develop parallel economies (which would use cryptocurrencies).

Pool also believes that this development could preview actual civil conflict.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Wolf Blitzer moderates Bernie Sanders town hall on CNN from Washington



Wolf Blitzer moderated a 65-minute town hall in Washington (at CNN near Union Station?) for Bernie Sanders tonight, as summarized here.

Bernie said that Medicare-for-all would eliminate the need for most private or employer health insurance and would include dental for seniors.



He defined “democratic socialism” in answering a question on comparing socialism to capitalism.

He also said that college should be free and be paid for on taxes on speculative profits on Wall Street.

But many observers (like YouTubber Martin Goldberg) see college as a scam and say most people should go to trade school or start working immediately.

Tim Pool, despite the “conservatism” of so many of his recent videos, says he would support Sanders.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

CBS Morning News presents "The Wizard of Wikipedia"



CBS Morning Show has presented “The Wizard of the Internet”, Steven Pruitt.


He was named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential people on the Internet.

He has edited one-third of the English-language articles on Wikipedia.

Only about 18% of the biographical articles on Wikipedia are about women.

He says he makes no money from this.

Wikipedia has been quite able to keep up with the news, with free labor?

He also sings Gregorian chant at the Pohick church near Alexandria, VA.