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White light, white heat © Robert Sommers 2017

Monday, January 30, 2017

Data driven

Like I said, I don't have much left in my tank but wanted to talk about a few things.  Get something off my chest. Politics is interesting me much less than usual. I have a family member real sick, one of my closest and everything else means shit to me right now. Will be a difficult year, my focus will be on him. Going to be tough for all of us to make it through. Please don't ask.

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Was having a conversation with a friend the other day and he mentioned that he had been talking on the phone to a friend about Idaho and the next thing he knew he started getting Idaho promotional come-ons on the internet.

I knew that they strained your emails but your phone conversations too? That can't be true, can it?


Speaking of data, Jonathan sent this over. I can't think of a link with such portent. The data that turned the world upside down...Wow. Cambridge Analytica and Psychometrics.

“We have profiled the personality of every adult in the United States of America—220 million people.” Alexander Nix 
Trump’s striking inconsistencies, his much-criticized fickleness, and the resulting array of contradictory messages, suddenly turned out to be his great asset: a different message for every voter. The notion that Trump acted like a perfectly opportunistic algorithm following audience reactions is something the mathematician Cathy O’Neil observed in August 2016.
“Pretty much every message that Trump put out was data-driven.” Alexander Nix 

Our smartphone, is a vast psychological questionnaire that we are constantly filling out, both consciously and unconsciously.
Michal Kosinski

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I sent this link to a few smart cronies and got some very intelligent responses across the board. Shawn sent this link over: War As Easy As Typing: Alex Gibney Spills the Secrets of 'Zero Days', by William Pasternak. Ricardo mentioned a book by William Gibson where the future past and present all change together.

Hudgins sent over this early conversation with Steve Bannon, who turns out also to be an admirer of Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl.

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Managing to denude the jews from the holocaust is no small feat. Congratulations.

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I asked a conservative friend how he thought things were going in the new administration and he said the same thing two other conservative friends have said. Good. The market is up and he is putting good people in the cabinet. I gritted my teeth, mumbled "great" and said nothing else. Well I told one guy that I hated practically every cabinet member, or at least their policies, but managed to keep my mouth shut this time.

Because this guy is pretty wealthy, lives off his stock income and the market and the rest is bullshit from his point of view. Things are good because the market is good. He has little interest in much that doesn't affect him directly or his wallet anyway. Saw this link today about Republicans trusting Trump more than they trust the media. I totally believe that that is true.

The media today is a mess. On both sides. Because both sides engage in so much shaping. Fox devoted about eight seconds to the recent Women's March. A large percentage of older white americans watch Fox and so the march never happened. Because it didn't make their news tunnel.

I loathe partisan media and long for the days of Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley. Call it down the middle news people without conspicuous agendas.

I think you have to be intellectually rigorous today. I don't know how many of you use the many links at the bottom of my blog but you will notice that they are in all shades of the political bandwidth. I read all of them, right to left, left to right. Give me all the data and let me decide.

I don't blame the messenger necessarily, although I hate those that cynically manipulate propaganda that they know to be untrue. I mostly blame lazy low information humans. Hominids are so binary, you have to swing one way or the other, little room for nuance of divergence.



You know who Scott Adams is? The guy that writes Dilbert, the cartoon that is occasionally funny and which riffs on stupid bosses and office dynamics. He happens to be a Trump supporter. Last year he wrote a blogpost explaining why. I got from it that he worked hard for his millions and thought Trump gave him a better shot at holding on to them.

Anyway the guy has a real intense band of right wing sycophants now, the Infowars, Breitbart, The Hill type commenters. Today he posits that if Trump turns into Hitler it would be because his opponents wanted him too and so, they will be responsible for it. Very convoluted.

Adams wrote a nasty, smarmy blog on the women's march. I got in and mixed it up a bit but it got too tedious. The misogyny was pretty thick. Check it out if you can stand it.

1 comment:

Jon Harwood said...

Thoughts/Thunks:
a) I didn't know Bernie Sanders plays the violin, but judging from the headline picture....
b) I think that Trump is more random than the Big Data writers do. It seems to me he is a narcicisst wallowing in the biggest spotlight on earth. The chaos and turmoil he generates feed his narcissism as he it the person at the eye of the storm driving everyone to dance to his tune.
c) I suspect this will go on for a very long time until his supporters observe that he has failed at creating the jobs and prosperity they voted for. Unless:
1) He prevents his supporters from noticing their unemployment by putting on such a great show or,
2) He covers his failures up by starting a big nasty war (potentially a nuclear one).
OR Trump is the Antichrist and we are now in the End Times (Bada bing, bada boom).