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Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Linkee-poo's last name is Control, no my first name ain't baby, it's Janet, Miss Jackson if you're nasty

Nick Mamatas on writing and privilege. I'm pretty successful, but not at writing because I do prioritize. If it were just me, the calculus may have been different, but I have someone who depends on me making a good living and to provide decent healthcare. I have family and friends that benefit (somewhat) from my ability to provide (I have a feeling in the coming decade that will increase). I'm not able to give to every cause I want to, or give at the level I would like. But I also like to take vacations were we go places and see/experience things (I really can't tell you how much). Shit, I'm writing a blog post. Shortened, I made my choice, which is different than others. I'm still writing. I hope to increase the time and output I address to it by the end of the year, but until I can see a ROI (other than good friendships and interesting living) it will get the short shrift if there is opportunity to make money. I have sacrificed for it, I will sacrifice more, but I can't ask others to make the same levels if sacrifice for me. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

A visual breakdown of the big 5 publishers. (Grokked from Justin)

Why do good AIs go bad? "But AI-enabled machines are only as smart as the knowledge they have been fed. Microsoft learned that lesson the hard way earlier this year when it released an AI Twitter bot called Tay that had been trained to talk like a Millennial teen. Within 24 hours, however, a horde of Twitter users had retrained Tay to be a racist Holocaust-denier, and Microsoft was forced to kill the bot." ProPublilca on Breaking the Black Box with learning machines and the databases of our humanity. Okay, with the search function at the bottom, "Baltimore" was kind of interesting. (Grokked from Justine Larbalestier)

"IBM reported some pretty impressive stats this week. Not least among them the fact that 73% of IBM employees – the company whose personal computer division was once almost synonymous with Microsoft – want a Mac as their next PC… Indeed, IBM Japan has gone as far as making Macs standard-issue: any employee wanting a Windows machine instead has to make a special request justifying their need." Ouch. Anybody know where Michael Dell is at the moment? (Grokked from John)

No, you really can't multitask. Your brain isn't built for it. "But, take heart, Gazzaley said. You don't have to opt out of technology to get some of that brainpower back. In fact, there's a time and place for multitasking. If you're in the midst of a mundane task that just has to get done, for example, it's probably not detrimental to have your phone nearby or a bunch of tabs open. The distractions may reduce boredom and help you stay engaged." Confession here, most of the time I have at least 4 browser tabs open (and probably multiple windows and browsers) at the same time.

"Methane is gushing forth from hundreds of newly-discovered deep-sea vents all along the US’s western seaboard." It's fine. I'm sure it's fine. Everything is fine here. "In all, 500 new seeps were discovered by submersibles operated from the trust’s ship…" We're boned.

Unrest in Academia. "Faculty at 14 Pennsylvania state universities went on strike Wednesday morning, affecting more than 100,000 students, after contract negotiations between the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and the faculty union hit an impasse."

The Czechs arrest a Russian hacker that "the US is looking for." While they don't name names, anyone taking bets on Guccifer?

"A Maryland police officer was suspended Tuesday after a woman snapped a photograph of a hat promoting the Oath Keepers militia group displayed on the rear deck of his police cruiser."

"Closing arguments are underway in the trial of seven people accused of illegally occupying Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last year." They're throwing themselves on the mercy of the jury, although their closing argument is more in the terms of, "Help us Obi-Wan, you're our only hope!"

"Unbeknownst to Mr. Salads, someone shot video of of Mr. Salads staging upthe incident, and posted it to Twitter, exposing Mr. Salads as a fraud. The "vandals" were accomplices following Mr. Salads' instructions to damage the car (which had been parked in a 'black neighborhood' by Mr. Salads)." Ah, the James O'Keefe School of "Journalism" strikes again.

"Some parents at Franklin High School claim their kids have been singled out, after the school distributed a letter to its African American students… The form is titled 'Keepin’ it 100.' It is basically an agreement for students to sign to fulfill their responsibility as 'an African American scholar,' come to school on time every day and work toward completing high school." Um, yeah, that's totally not inappropriate or racist as all. "One student posted on Facebook, 'As a Franklin student we're not mad about what (the principal) is trying to do we're mad about the approach.'" (Grokked indirectly from Annalee Flower Horne)

REDMAP, the story of the intense gerrymandering after the 2010 elections. "People say Obama lost 700 seats in the House of Representatives over these years. Well, yes, but he only had one horrible election in 2010. After that, the lines were changed to ensure that those seats stayed in Republican hands, despite the fact that Democratic candidates in a lot of these states got more votes." With a graphic representation of how you can win a majority with a minority population. (Grokked from Chip Dawes)

"Project Veritas, which has carried out several damaging video sting operations, has posted several videos in recent days purporting to show Democratic operatives bragging about inciting violence at Trump's campaign events, and appearing to detail how they could bus out-of-state supporters in to commit voter fraud." Note that James O'Keefe has not posted the raw footage, which has in the past completely contradicted the "documentaries" he has put out. So, yeah, I'm going to hold judgement on this one until we have the raw footage to review. Because this isn't the first, second, or even third time he's done this.

"The Indiana voter registration problem surfaced when voters contacted the secretary of state's office after discovering through the online system voters can use to check their registration status that their dates of birth or first names were incorrect, the office said. That prompted the office to run a report in the statewide system and it found that thousands of registrations had been altered. The office declined to provide a more precise number." The plot thickens. "Julia Vaughn, policy director for the nonpartisan government watchdog group, Common Cause Indiana, said that before (Secretary of State Connie) Lawson makes allegations of possible fraud her office 'should make sure the voter file records haven't been altered through software snafus or human errors made by people in county or state agencies.'"

The problem with the media, in an attempt to appear "non-biased" or "equal time", the demonstrate their ignorance of the issues. No, "implicit-bias" is not a dog-whistle, CNN. It's a technical term. Clinton is using it to say, "I'm up to date on this issue." "Criminal illegal-aliens" is also not a "dog-whistle." He's being direct. And you completely missed the call to "take fraud and abuse out of the system" as a dog-whistle saying, "those people (also a dog-whistle) are living high off the hog on your dime." And "law and order" does not mean "People of color -- and liberals -- are lawless." It means, "we're going to keep those people in their place because they forgot what their place is." I mean, in an attempt to be polite you've missed the mark on all of them. Jesus in a popsicle, CNN, have they burned you all out?

Last night's debate with fact checks. Over all, Trumpster had a better night than previous debates. It took 33 minutes for Clinton to get under his skin and then the wheels came off the bus. And then the bus crashed and burned. And then the train jumped the tracks and crashed into the burning bus. And then the Trumpster said that he would keep us in suspense about whether or not he would accept the results of the election. At which point I think everybody's brain just shut down because the voices inside their heads keep shouting "HOLY SHIT!"

"Donald Trump Jr. said it would be a 'step down' for his father to become president." And so begins the sulking and claiming, "I didn't want it anyway." Now if we could only be assured he would actually go the fuck away. See, the major problem with last night's, "keeping you in suspense" is that there are groups who take that as a call to arms, even if it's not intentional (which I'm not entirely sure it wouldn't be). (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

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