And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Linkee-poo, you read me for the articles

So, Hugh Hefner made it to 91. For the younger kids, I don't think they can fully appreciate how Hugh changed American mores. Their generations always knew The Pill and these days you can access pornography (and we could have a discussion about what qualifies) any time you want with a device you carry with you all the time. Hugh started a revolution that really caught fire when The Pill became widely available (and was somewhat stunted with the advent of HIV). And if you don't think he changed the world, you can still see the vestigial Puritanical thought in our culture. Today even with hook-up culture most Americans have a difficult time accepting that "good girls also like sex" (from what I understand "desire" and "personal connection" are two concepts that are avoided). Our difficulties around sex, from what happens between consenting adults to which bathrooms we use, still are with us, although to a slightly lesser degree. For many Americans sex is still "dirty". Is Hefner's legacy trouble-free? Hell no. But American culture is significantly different (and for the most part "better") than it would have been without him. We could have a discussion of objectification, "smut", swinging and all that, but here I want to say that Hefner published SF/F when it was still considered "childish and trash", and he paid top dollar for it (in fact, his rates from the 70s and 80s are still higher than some "professional" magazines today, before adjusting for inflation).

"The presidential election is long past, but online attacks aimed at shaping the U.S. information environment have kept right on coming." Again, the story ends when goals are achieved (or shortly after). The goal was not getting Trump elected, he was just the most expedient way to destabilize and weaken the West. Waves to all my Russian friends (which, hey, IIRC, today is your guy's day).

"When (the Singularity) comes, Anthony Levandowski will be firmly on the side of the machines. In September 2015, the multi-millionaire engineer… founded a religious organization called Way of the Future. Its purpose, according to previously unreported state filings, is nothing less than to 'develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence.'" So. Many. Jokes. Unfortunately the article is mostly about Anthony Levandowski's career and his involvement in lawsuits around self-driving cars. (Grokked from Dan)

So, just who is a college teacher and how should colleges work? In an age with new business models, that's a big question.

"Police said the two young children shot by a toddler who found a gun at an in-home day care in Dearborn are in serious but stable condition Thursday morning." You know, I think we need to stop births until we can figure out what is going on here. Because God forbid we do anything about either the prevalence of guns in society or the lack of quality, affordable day care in this country. "We don't know how…" Yeah. Bullshit. Guns are designed that way. They are designed to be "easy."

Regulation enforcement who needs it? amIright! Why have all those silly rules if you're not willing or really can't enforce them in any meaningful way.

"The Trump administration is restricting lawmakers in both parties from visiting storm-ravaged Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands aboard military aircraft this weekend in order to keep focused on recovery missions there, according to multiple congressional aides." Ah, I didn't see that Trump had ordered a West Berlin Airbridge operation to bring supplies back into Puerto Rico. I'm sure we're doing round-the-clock bumper-to-bumper air flights to bring in tent cities, generators, food, potable water and medical supplies. Gee, with all that you think he could have lifted the Jones Act as well. (Grokked from Katheryn Cramer)

"A new DHS policy that will go into effect on Oct 18 will force everyone who's ever been naturalized as a US citizen or who is currently residing in the USA on a Green Card… to hand over 'social media handles and aliases, associated identifiable information and search results' for permanent scrutiny in our government files." :: makes popcorn :: This is going to be an interesting lawsuit. So, apparently conservatives actually do like regulation, as long as it's meant to keep minorities down. Just a note, a "naturalized" citizen is equal to a native-born citizen in the eyes of the law. So, yes Virginia, the government does want to spy on you.

"Gross domestic product increased at a 3.1 percent annual rate in the April-June period, the Commerce Department said in its third estimate on Thursday. The upward revision from the 3.0 percent rate of growth reported last month reflected a slightly faster pace of inventory investment." Note, 2nd QTR is always higher than the rest of the year, so it's most likely the rate will average around 2% (like it has for the past several decades). Also note the "inventory investment." That means the GDP was up because manufacturers were stocking the shelves, not that they had the orders. That shelf stocking will negatively impact future quarters (unless orders increase dramatically). So I expect the Trump administration to tout how these numbers are up in anticipation of the tax reform. Understand that's a load of bullshit.

Whelp, I didn't think our Trump's first trade war would be over Bombardier jets or with Canada (although there's that whole lumber thing still going on).

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