Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Links of Possible Relevance, Part 23

I think Jill took it down (or it takes itself down after a while), but she mentioned me in one of her Periscope broadcasts. Thank ye!

Top 10 Science Fiction Films of All Time
Pretty good list. I personally would take Contact out—I like the movie but the tropey characterizations were almost unwatchable—and Prestige, since I’ve never heard of it. I’d replace them with Bladerunner and The Empire Strikes Back.

Fermi’s Paradox
Listen in as a few bourgeoisie agents and academics get upset about not meeting aliens. Why was it ever labeled a paradox, anyways? It’s just an unanswered question with plenty of plausible explanations.

What is a good explanation of Boltzmann Brains?
I find these more fascinating.

Marathon man preps for second live stream, with multiple iPhones, iPad
It’s an old story, but the guy’s narcissism called to me from beyond the void.

Could Donald Trump Save the Internet?
Net “Neutrality” is retarded and is the worst idea since adult coloring books or California.

SpecFaith Reviews: Wonder Woman: The Heroine We Need
Eh? I guess. Unless the writer styles herself a goddess, it’s odd to claim Wonder Woman is an accurate representation. No one claims Thor as such for men; that would be silly. I do, because I’m tall, sexy, buff, blue-eyed Nordsman*.

Low-carb diet can have similar effect on brain as ecstasy
I have never experienced this. Warning: this is a Daily Mail link and the page load time is astronomical.

The Only Way to Fix Healthcare Insurance in the U.S.
Eh, not really. The big reason GitHub works is because the results are immediately testable, as application code normally goes. Scott Adams is just proposing a glorified suggestion box. The best way to “fix” healthcare is to remove the bureaucracy from the equation: person A pays person B for a good or service, then person B gives it to them. It works for shoes, bananas, and Oriental rugs.

NASA announces the Kepler space telescope has identified 219 potential new worlds
Speaking of bureaucrats, there has to be at least one of these worlds with life that exists without any bureaucrats at all. Imagine that…

Fake News
I remember one of my communications professors slipping and mentioning stuff like this once in a while, and Rashad’s career was part of those non grata unmentionables of media politics.

* One and a half of these things are true.

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Links of Possible Relevance, Part 20

Shut Up About ‘Whitewashing’ in Ghost in the Shell 2017
Good idea, since “cultural appropriation” is usually a one-way criticism. I didn’t like the idea of Motoko played by an Anglo actress for different reasons, but the narrator makes a decent case against it. A related video.

A Spell to Bind Donald Trump and All Those Who Abet Him: February 24th Mass Ritual
Did this do anything?

Ancient Toilet Reveals the Unique Way the Judeans Fought Idol-worship
Wonderfully intolerant and exclusive.

Questioning the “Science Says” Attitude
Someone should write a browser plugin that will replace all the “Science Says” articles with “Survey Says,” and replace any article photos with action shots of Richard Dawson. Speaking of stupid ideas…

These are not stupid ideas.

Here Is Why You Should Stop Using PDFs for Your Restaurant Menus
No more PDF pages!

Why You Need to Stop Using PDFs on Your School’s Website. Now.
I said no more!

Underworld Inc: Illegal Hand Made Colt 1911 Pistols Ghost Gun
“I live in a haunted house. How can i get a hold of one of these ‘ghost-guns’? Also, where can i get some ghost-bullets?”

Death metal music attracts sharks, documentary crew finds out
Via Jill.

Boston Dynamics’ New Robot Dog Is Defeated By Banana Peels
Slipping and falling like any ambulatory creature isn’t really being “defeated.” They were probably using the peels to show how it recovers from a fall—which it did successfully. Original video here.

Chris Rock Draws Laughs, Controversy at Salesforce Sales Meeting
If someone gets offended, a comedian did his job right.

They Will Say They Had No Choice
“It will be a rather quiet revolution.”

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Aftermath, Part 2

Probably the worst thing about Trump’s presidency is the perpetual onslaught of hand-wringing and fainting from writers. That series of essays, obviously, comes from elitist New York authors that that no one reads or has heard of but other elitist New Yorkers. Soon, look out for more accessible media like sci-fi films or endless stacks of YA dystopian novels to feature orange-skinned villains with funny hair, small hands, and hot wives.

Expect things to be a lot more generic in those areas in the next 4-8 years.

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As always, Ed has good analysis here and here. From the first link:

A critical element in Trump’s election victory was how the mainstream media was totally blindsided by the Internet. Have you noticed how the old media still acts as if the Internet was some kind of extension of the print-based world they dominated? They have no clue: virtual space shares little with meat space. While most of the people who use the Network do it instinctively, it’s not so very hard to become conscious of it’s vastly different nature. The old media still assumes they can somehow build walls around media and create an artificial shortage of news as a product. They are the only trustworthy source, of course. News is whatever they choose to tell you is newsworthy — except that news of that sort is not the same as data on the Internet. Information is free and it was the free exchanged of ideas in conflict with the mainstream media that enabled this political revolution.

It’s funny: 100% of mainstream media content creators are coastal. Do you would ever think they would give a fair shake to people in flyover country? There’s no incentive for them to do so. Middle America types, as normal human beings, can only be mocked for so long before dropping the gee-wilikers act and start seriously having a problem with it. This is neither an endorsement nor a condemnation on my end of anything that will happen, or has happened, as a reaction to being unfairly maligned; just an observation of basic human behavior. I’m not surprised of the blowback against elitism and coastal neo-liberalism. If you bother people who just want to be left alone enough, they eventually won’t give damn what names you call them or how much shame is heaped on them.

As Scott Adams is fond of saying, none of the candidates “align with my political views,” but I prefer some more than others. Trump’s nationalism is more in my favor, because nationalism tends towards being in the favor of that particular country’s citizens. The same with isolationism and fascism. At the opposite end is imperialism and globalism, which tend towards a significant strain in national resources and require lots of mass socialization for people to be sort of okay with it. I didn’t vote on principle and for practical reasons, but as it stands now I, materially, preferred Trump over Clinton.

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Stale Scumbags

Another politcal/current events post. Bear with me.

While doing my cool down run on the gym treadmill, I saw a CNN headline, roughly paraphrased: “Clinton wants us to take a fresh look at her.” Granted, this was during a panel of five interchangeable talking head-types—three grim, serious guys in suits and two leggy, brightly-colored women—so I don’t know if this is CNN or Clinton’s team saying this. I can’t find the clip anywhere online. However, asking to take a “fresh look” at Clinton is openly admitting, by implication, that everyone thinks she is stale or unappealing to begin with. I know this because that’s what I immediately thought when I saw the headline. Did Hillary Clinton stop beating her wife? It would better if Clinton had addressed the issue through covert re-imaging rather than admitting it (or at least threatened CNN to remedy it).

Vaguely related: a running mate named “Kaine”? Worst idea. People in Christianized America automatically associate it with the “Cain” of Genesis, one of the earliest scumbags on record. Visually, “Clinton/Kaine” logos and banners will drill the association home even further. Men my age might associate it with the equally-scummy Cain from Robocop 2, or another fictional namesake villain. I know this because that’s what I did immediately when I saw his name the other day. The .001% of voters who are rational about voting probably won’t notice it, voters already in Clinton’s camp will do quick rationalizations against it, the Trumpites are already against her. The “Kaine/Cain” association sticks with the undecided and they will stay far away from it.

EDIT: Also remember Herman Cain, from the 2012 elections? I barely did. He probably suffered the same thing Kaine will experience, though Cain may have been a weak candidate overall, and an obvious “look, Republicans aren’t racist” marketing ploy by Romney.

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Politics Is Not Rational

I don’t vote and I have little interest in politics, but Scott Adams’ latest post about the RNC convention held my interest:

Persuasion-wise, Trump’s family was the big story of the convention. People seem to love them in the same way the public loved the Kennedys. And notice how Donald Jr. and Eric both have the speaking cadence of Jack and Bobby Kennedy. Notice also how Melania reminds you of Jackie Kennedy – quiet, smart, and classy. These are coincidences, but your irrational brain doesn’t care. It sees a new batch of Kennedys and wants to see more of them. That’s powerful election magic for a nation that only pretends to care about policies.

A week ago you compared ugly Donald Trump with ugly Hillary Clinton and declared them a visual tie. That matters because our visual “brain” generally wins against whatever part of the brain is pretending to be logical that day. But once we got a look at the entire Trump family, acting as a group, our visual brains started seeing them as a package deal. And when you compare the entire Trump family’s visual appeal to the entire Clinton family’s visual imagery it’s a massacre.

Would you prefer seeing Bill and Hillary Clinton decompose in front of your eyes for eight years, or watch the Trump family develop their dynasty? Entertainment-wise, that’s no contest. And people usually vote for entertainment over policy. They just don’t realize it. That’s the biggest news from the convention, and you won’t see it in any headline.

No one cares about policies since policy discussions are boring. We get excited when we identify with someone, and we feel safe, which serves one of our lizard brain’s prime directives. Politicians, the smart ones, know how to identify with people, even people who might hate their policies. For all of Trump’s offensiveness early on in the election cycle, he still got ahead because he, as a person, is rather likeable. At the very least he can convince you not to hate him. Throw in his attractive, successful, safe, “normal” family, through the medium of television, and you’ve got a shoe-in candidate.

Again: no one cares about policies because no one votes rationally. We’re wired to connect to others when we share a minimum level of identification with them, and we can identify strongly by what we see on the television. Which candidate, literally, looks better to you?

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Analogies Are Not Arguments

As always, I don’t bother much with the political aspect (although at times it’s entertaining), but Scott Adams has some interesting “duh” insight in “Let’s Talk About Hitler”:

As I have explained in this blog before, analogies are not part of reason. Sometimes things just remind you of other things. That’s the beginning and end of the story. So if your opinion of Trump, or any other candidate, rests on an analogy to Hitler, it would be fair to say you are not using rational thought.

Analogies are excellent tools for explaining a new situation for the first time. And sometimes analogies help you recognize situations that are potentially dangerous before you have all the facts. It is completely rational to use analogies in those two contexts. It is not rational to make a final decision based on an analogy.

Analogies, or comparison of similar patterns, are not arguments necessarily, because they could just represent a similarity in form. Analogy of form is not necessarily an analogy of meaning, but people (voters) are rarely in a mental state to create a distinction. I can pencil out a square on a piece of paper, and compare the figure to, say, a square building, to a certain extent. That doesn’t mean the building’s walls are made of graphite shavings and paper. They very well could be made of those things, but the building-as-drawn-square analogy doesn’t address that.

EDIT: Here, also from Adams’ blog, sort of off topic. The mammalian parts of the human brain are wondrous things:

My favorite part of the post-debate coverage on the news was when Megyn Kelly said Trump looked “presidential.” She went on to say he seemed like the type of guy you might want to go to dinner with. Now compare that to her recent rebuff of Michael Moore when he awkwardly invited her to have coffee on live TV. In the 3D world of persuasion, Kelly is responding to Trump’s power and dominance exactly as one would expect. Trump will win with women, even against Hillary Clinton.

Amazing. Trump insults her on live national television, among other places, and she (eventually) warms up to him in a social context. Niceguy Michael Moore offers Kelly a platonic meetup, to which Kelly ews about. Physically, Moore is 100% schlub, and Trump is nowhere near an Adonis, either—but this isn’t about looks at all. Sometimes I think we’re just cavemen who figured out electricity.

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Jay’s Guide For Jay on the 2016 Presidential Candidates

Ignore this post, since this is a “note to self” type of thing. These are based entirely on my (mis)perceptions, or on very one-sided conjectures of what other people may think.

Hillary Clinton – The queen bee female candidate. “Men and women are equal, but here’s how a woman would be better as president.” Benghazi emails. The strongest candidate on the Democrat side, because It’s Time For A Female President Since It’s Next On The List. She’ll lose some votes because she’s a woman, too, but people are generally familiar with her, which beats that factor out in many people’s minds.

Bernie Sanders – Appeals heavily to anyone who looks like they were in an iPhone commercial, but his message peaked too early. The Santa Claus act gets old, and he’ll burn out completely when some of his supporters find out the nuggets he’s pooping out aren’t made of gold. Wouldn’t win anyways, because old, white, male, career politicians are ultimately unrelatable (hi, Ron Paul!).

The other Democrats – Couldn’t even name them. Good luck.

Donald Trump – Doesn’t matter what his policies are, or who he insults. That people feel very, very outraged about him is irrelevant, because they are feeling something about him in the first place. His status is mythical already, because media folks have an increased clickbait article minimum for every election cycle, and he’s the primary target of their exaggerations and misquotes. He’s portrayed as a very, very outrageous person saying very, very outrageous things—bigoted, racist, sexist, worse than Hitler, probably urinates on religious texts and eats children. Has near-complete control of any room or conversation he’s in. Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, has a lot of interesting analysis on him. I find Trump a fascinating character, which means what he’s doing is working.

Jeb Bush – Always looks like he just wandered into the cool kids’ party while looking for a port-a-john.

Rand Paul – The hairpiece candidate. Ousted by Trump as the weirdo guy in the party, so his edge has been filed away. Won’t win by a long shot; an ersatz version of his dad.

The other Republicans – Ben Carson. Cruz? Christie? Some ex-CEO? I think a black guy? No idea who else is running. They won’t win because they are forgettable, especially when everyone is focused on Trump.

Gary Johnson – Seems okay as a person. Policy ideas aren’t terrible. Doesn’t take things too seriously (I thought this was funny), and the #FeelTheJohnson mock hashtag works in his favor. Won’t win because normal voters are scared to death of breaking from the herd—unless that breaking is paradoxically, “safely” fashionable. Libertarianism is cool these days, but not cool enough. Some jaded Republicans and potheads might vote for him then lie about it on social media, but very few people will openly voice support for someone the media ignores most of the time. To be ignored in a presidential race is synonymous with losing (see my comments about Trump), and we want to be on the team perceived to be winning.

Jill Stein – A short, forgettable name…literally. The grade school gym teacher probably passed over her name constantly whenever he did the clipboard roll call. She’s a lot like Johnson, but she’s easier on the eyes. Anyone who is reasonably attractive at an old age probably has superpowers. She’s female, so she has the novelty factor in her column. Won’t win for the same reasons Johnson and Clinton wouldn’t win.


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