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

Monday, January 9, 2017

Linkee-poo, the stage is set, the band starts playing suddenly your heart is pounding wishing secretly you were a star

"Why do you do what you do? What is the engine that keeps you up late at night or gets you going in the morning? Where is your happy place? What stands between you and your ultimate dream?… Heavy questions. One researcher believes that writing down the answers can be decisive for students."

A video on 17 number facts about 2017 in 2 minutes, seventeen seconds. For you math fans. (Grokked from Rodney Ross)

"Many people spend most of their waking hours at work or thinking about work. In the dim chill of a Monday morning in January, the prospect of another year at a job that fails to satisfy can be daunting, if not downright depressing."

The dirty little secret of modern AI, chances are it's a human doing the work behind the scenes. Or at the very least a human giving the machine coaching. Ew, you've got your human in my AI! No, you've got your AI in my human! (Grokked from Miranda Suri)

"This isn't a bug in an IT system: it's an executive giving developers instructions to implement a malicious system." Australia is using executive directions to program a welfare system to check for cheats. Unfortunately the people giving the orders don't understand (the generous explanation, the other is that they willfully misunderstand) what it is they're doing (and how the two offices they are using the data for have collect distinctly different data, although they're somewhat tangentially connected, the quality of data is very different). Or, why government should never be involved in big data programs (note, in the US we have laws against this kind of data sharing, but they've been under attack since the 80s and openly since 2001). (Grokked from Annalee Flower Horne)

"Maternal mortality in Texas doubled in 2011 & 2012 - right after they slashed funding for Planned Parenthood." I'm sure it's just coincidence. There this often repeated statement about how people will die. Well, no, people are dying right the fuck now. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

A lot of what Bernie Sanders says here makes a lot of sense. And the Democratic Party should really listen to it. He wouldn't have won (the opposition research would have killed him politically). But that doesn't mean he's wrong about some things.

"At the dawn of 2017, there is a Russian president making bellicose boasts about his modernized arsenal. There is an American president-elect who breezily free-associates on Twitter about starting a new nuclear arms race. Decades of cooperation between the two nations on arms control is nearly at a standstill. And, unlike the original Cold War, this time there is a world of busy fanatics excited by the prospect of a planet with more bombs—people who have already demonstrated the desire to slaughter many thousands of people in an instant, and are zealously pursuing ever more deadly means to do so… And there’s one other difference from the Cold War: Americans no longer think about the threat every day." To those of us who worked it, who knew exactly what these things were, we were very glad that "Americans no longer think about the threat every day." It's also why the lines that start this link terrify us. You've forgotten. We haven't. That' why we're afraid. For one thing, there is no such thing as a "limited exchange." Every scenario leads to retaliation and overwhelming annihilation. This is what kept the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty running, and because people forgot this very important fact we have North Korea and others rattling a particularly dangerous saber without knowing the full consequences (N. Korea will prepping an ICBM that could hit the US, if they used it, our response would wipe N. Korea - and much of S. Korea - from the map, which would bring in China, which would bring in Japan, which would bring in Russia, and in pretty quick order the mushroom clouds blossom across the globe. In other words, even when the concept of "proportional response" actually meant something, there was no such thing when it came to a nuclear exchange. Everything lead to mutual assured destruction. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Russia says it's starting to draw down it's forces in Syria. Or, in other words, the sea trials of Admiral Kuznetsov are done and the battle-testing of land and air systems is nearly complete. Thanks, Syria, for being to Russia what Franco's Spain was to Germany.

Look, election fraud! "According to a letter obtained by The Associated Press, federal regulators say (L.L.) Bean's (heiress) Making America Great Again LLC was limited to individual contributions of $5,000 in a single year— and Bean contributed $60,000. The group spent $66,862 supporting Trump." Oh wait, it's the GOP again. Never mind. Nothing to see here, citizen.

You may wonder why I disparage conservative ideals and pain the GOP as a social conservative movement which has abandoned fiscal responsibility and any pretense at being for the "little guy". Well, you only need to look at what their priorities are when they take control of power. In several cases they gained the governorship and legislatures in many states, that article lines up what their legislature priorities are. Right to work and anti-abortion legislation leads the way.

"The new, declassified report on Russian efforts to influence the presidential election has a troublesome prediction: Russia isn't done intruding in U.S. politics and policymaking." And given the love shown by the PEOTUS, there's not going to be too much effort made to counter them. Fantastic. I think I mentioned before that their actions post election show they're after something more than just putting Trump in the White House / Making sure Hillary wasn't in the White House. With any story, to find the real point of the story, the main plot, watch for when the action climaxes and you enter the denouement. Whatever just was resolved was the "real story."

"A subcontractor that worked on Donald Trump’s new luxury Washington, D.C. hotel has filed a lien claiming that the Trump Organization and its construction manager have not paid it almost $2.1 million." Again, Trump is not a successful business man. He continually screws over people who he thinks he can screw over.

"This summer, Reuters reported that then-Trump Transition chair, Governor Chris Christie, had told a group of Trump insiders that, if he won, Trump would seek new ability to purge the government of non-loyalists… As I explained at the time, this kind of purge of civil servants is often one of the first moves of an authoritarian, and, ironically and frighteningly, getting legislation to do so was also one of Hitler’s first moves, upon taking power." (Grokked from Cat Rambo)

In the precedent games (they did it first, etc), "The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate plans to rush forward this week with confirmation hearings for many of Donald Trump’s nominees for cabinet and other key executive positions. Though many of the picks have not yet completed the customarily required ethics clearances and background checks, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has shown no willingness to delay… But back in 2009, McConnell took the exact opposite view. A letter to then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), posted on Twitter by Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington co-founder and former Obama administration ethics adviser Norm Eisen on Sunday, shows he demanded that 'financial disclosures must be complete' before any confirmation hearings be scheduled." (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

"The tweet from @RussianEmbassy, featuring a cartoon embraced by white supremacists, seemed to chide critics for calling on British Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election during her upcoming meeting with President-elect Donald Trump:" Yeah, I've been getting close to my theory of exactly what the Russians are up to. Boy howdy are the conservatives attempting the "but they didn't do anything (because we won the election)" gonna be in for a surprise in (possibly 2018 and) 2020. For those talking heads pontificating and trying to wave us off from a "New Cold War", too late, dudes.

Ricky Santorum is shocked, shocked to discover the GOP has no actual replacement plan for Obamacare. If you'll remember, Ricky once stated that he would "repeal and replace" when he was running, so where the fuck is his plan? I'm just kidding folks. Conservatives don't have a plan because Obama stole theirs back in 2008 and they haven't had any fresh ideas since then. Yep, the "repeal and replace" is just "repeal." Because a lot of people like Obamacare (they just don't like that name, no, really, there's polling on that) they know once it becomes entrenched the Dems will get all the credit and they'll be out of power for decades (just like Social Security and Medicare).

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