What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Linkee-poo starts making pop-corn for tomorrow

"Now, almost 100 years after its conception, Cthulhu is making a creepy comeback via a new crop of board games." Not to mention the slew of books, short stories, and every other conceivable story telling methodology. "Loucks says Lovecraft fans don't really like Lovecraft the man, and some don't even like his writing… But the fans do love the creatures and monsters he created… Then, with it being in the public domain, they were free to use his work to create some of their own…" Yes to that. The most response I've received from my short-stories and the ones accepted (but never getting to publication) were all Cthulhu stories.

The Invisibilia podcast this year is taking on emotions. In the first podcast of the series there is a lot of discussion of where emotions come from. "The classical view of emotion is the idea that somewhere lurking deep inside you are the animalistic engine parts of your brain. There are circuits — one each for anger, sadness, fear, disgust and so on. And that when something happens in the world to trigger one of those circuits — say, for fear — you will have a very specific facial expression, a very specific bodily response, and that these expressions and responses have universal meaning. Everyone in the world makes them and recognizes them without learning or any experience at all." Only that's not how our brains actually work. To reiterate, this "movie" you see (if you have vision) that you think is reality is actually a VR construct your brain conjures to make sense of the stimulus you're receiving. The same is true of your emotions, it's a learned behavior. This is how people react differently to emotions, why they seem "irrational" or "contradictory" or just plain "confusing." I highly recommend the podcast. Note, podcast includes some tough emotional concepts, including parents dealing with the loss of a child.

The Note to Self podcast about content moderation, Meet the Humans Who Protect Your Eyes. Note, semi-NSFW image of a carrot (depending on how dirty-minded your coworkers are). The big social media sites promoted their "algorithms" that sort through the photos and videos (mostly talked about here, but also text of posts as discussed elsewhere) when it's become clear this is still human work. So meet the people who "protect" you from the worst humanity has to offer (and frankly what gets through can still be pretty bad) who do that inglorious work for 4 cents a click. They also discuss how the social media sites while claiming to not moderate content for, well, content (offensive political, abusive text, etc) because they aren't "media" sites actually do have guidelines that sound an awful lot like they're moderating the political content of their sites.

How fucked up are we about gender? "…on Sunday, Mili's dad… found out his daughter's girls' team had been disqualified from the finals of a Springfield tournament, set for that day. The Azzuri-Cachorros Chicas couldn't play, The Washington Post reports. Somebody had complained that there was a boy on the team… 'They only did it because I look like a boy,' Mili told WOWT 6 News." Because she cuts her hair short, and she's 8. The soccer league says it's because her registration lists her as a "boy." Also noted because of the response of professional athletes (who also are female). And this is why women's soccer, basketball… women's sports in general have a positive image.

"McConnell began the process under what is known as Rule 14, according to the Senate minority whip’s office, to allow a repeal bill to be put directly on the Senate calendar so that it is available for a floor vote when Republicans are ready to vote on it. The move comes as GOP senators continue their closed-door meetings to hash out a deal that would secure the 50 votes they’ll need to pass legislation dismantling the Affordable Care Act, which they they are pushing through a process known as reconciliation that avoids a Democratic filibuster." Everybody enjoying the hearings? (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

Well, now that the word is out that the Gulf States who cut ties with Qatar (whom, to be frank, has never been in their good graces) did so based on fake news (note, no scare quotes) out of Russia, which our president cited and then claimed responsibility for helping the Gulf States to decide to cut off Qatar (which hosts the largest US Air Base in the region, BTW), the White House press push is trying to play down our president's supposed role in it all. Not noted in the article, but the source of much of the friction between Qatar and its neighbors, Qatar hosts and funds al Jazeera, a news organization that doesn't flatter the other hereditary monarchies of the area by having a reputation for telling the truth. And while we're speaking of the truth, guess which country is responsible for funding much of al Qaeda and some other "radial" groups? That would be the same country that the majority of 9/11 hijackers held passports from.

"U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions 'at one point recently' offered to resign because his relationship with President Trump had grown so tense, according to reports from ABC News and multiple other news outlets… Sessions was among Trump's earliest and most ardent supporters during the presidential campaign — a loyalty that Trump rewarded by nominating the long-time Alabama senator to be his chief law enforcement officer." The wages of loyalty.

"In reviewing filings from the Eric Trump Foundation and other charities, it's clear that the course wasn't free--that the Trump Organization received payments for its use, part of more than $1.2 million that has no documented recipients past the Trump Organization. Golf charity experts say the listed expenses defy any reasonable cost justification for a one-day golf tournament." That Forbes article all the kids are talking about.

"A State Department official says the (Saudi) agreements are worth $380 billion: $110 billion in arms sales and $270 billion in commercial agreements. But beyond that, U.S. officials were slow to provide a complete list of the agreements or a full accounting of the totals they provided." That's because there are no real hard sales (what's actually come to fruition is significantly less), and most of the deals were struck with the Obama administration. "It turns out most of what was signed in the palace wasn't completed deals or signed contracts, but rather nonbonding agreements ('Memoranda of Understanding') between U.S. companies and Saudi entities."

"… the printouts contained invisible dot patterns added by the printer to identify the worker who sent the print job. All surviving photocopying, scanning and PDF compression to be published, plain as day, on the world-wide web. Errata Security explains how, in detail." Metadata in the real world.

Tweet of my heart: @kiptw I keep seeing conservatives who think they know This One Weird Fact that instantly ends the discussion. They're always surprised it doesn't. (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen Hayden) (again noted that the oft quoted or used in advertisements "mic drop" often are anything but).

No comments: