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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: New England, The South, Midwest
Home country: USA
Current location: Chicago
Member since: Sat Mar 5, 2011, 12:32 PM
Number of posts: 19,220

About Me

Human. Being.

Journal Archives

Governor Cuomo Pandemic Update June 17 2020

A Rough Year for Americans? It's Been A Rough Ten Years!


Folks in the U.S. are more unhappy today than they've been in nearly 50 years. This bold -- yet unsurprising -- conclusion comes from the COVID Response Tracking Study, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago. It finds that just 14% of American adults say they're very happy, down from 31% who said the same in 2018. That year, 23% said they'd often or sometimes felt isolated in recent weeks. Now, 50% say that.

The survey, conducted in late May, draws on nearly a half-century of research from the General Social Survey, which has collected data on American attitudes and behaviors at least every other year since 1972. No less than 29% of Americans have ever called themselves very happy in that survey.

The poll has revealed some other interesting findings. It says that the public is less optimistic today about the standard of living improving for the next generation than it has been in the past 25 years.


Americans are also less likely to report some types of emotional and psychological stress reactions following the COVID-19 outbreak, and about twice as many Americans report being lonely today as in 2018.


Sure, there were a lot of economic, political, social reasons for the country's past unhappiness in analog times.

Now, in digital times -- the last decade -- the nation's unhappiness has been driven by technology factors. Too many to elaborate here, but they mostly come down to this:

It's Silicon Valley's conflict driven ad buy algorithms that are at fault. Their "attention" economy drives up human conflict addictions and prurient interests, and drives down human optimism and ethical responsibility. There's more that our platforms have become, against our wills, but for now I'll just say this:

Big tech's social media companies had better find a better business model -- better algorithms -- that better promote human peace and prosperity so that Americans will produce a better economy. Just because studies have shown that a happy workforce isn't necessarily a productive workforce, doesn't mean that an unhappy workforce is productive of a happy human climate. Unhappy humans eventually become the sad soul of the nation. This study shows that.

Sad countries produce bad economies.

Algorithm garbage in, economic garbage out.

Americans and their new government have to change the way Silicon Valley does business. Because, as Scrooge's business partner, Marley, once said: "Mankind was my business!"

Biden's Automated Factchecking Runs Circles Around Trump's Lie War

Video comebacks are getting quicker, fizzling right wing traction.

Governor Cuomo Pandemic Update June 16 2020

Hurray For Today's SCOTUS Decision!

EDIT: double yay!

Governor Cuomo Pandemic Update June 15 2020

Start 3:06

No One's Supposed To Know Much About Seattle's Autonomous Zone

Conservative Media Is Outright Lying About Seattle

By Mark Sumner

On the ground:

... City officials have helped to make sure that services within the area are continuing, and that sanitation supplies are secure. Seattle’s police chief has continued to express frustration, particularly after police deserted and boarded up a precinct house, but the perimeter of the “zone” has largely remained open for people to come and go, and is free of the lines of heavily armored forces seen around protests nationwide. For the most part, local officials seem content to simply wait, so long as the area stays peaceful.

But peaceful is not what Fox News or OAN viewers are seeing, what visitors to right-wing blogs are reading, or what listeners to the vast array of right-wing radio stations are hearing. On those sources, the zone is not a small area where people are distributing free pizza and constructing a somewhat pitiful community garden—it’s a hotbed of violence where buildings are burning and people are dying.

To support that position, Fox News hasn’t just been making up stories—it’s been manufacturing images and video. As the Seattle Times reports, Fox has “digitally altered” images to make the situation in the area seem dire. That includes putting together elements from multiple images to create a misleading collage, lifting signs and symbols from one area to impose them on another, and it means that many of the images Fox is using to present the image of chaos in Seattle … aren’t even from Seattle.

Images that appear to show masked and armed men inside the zone are in fact composites taken on different dates and in different places. Burning buildings are actually from shots taken in St. Paul during the first days of the protests there. Some of the pictures Fox has merged together in their “coverage” of the current Seattle are actually two weeks old—or elements from two-week old pictures have been inserted into current scenes to make the situation appear worse than it is. Fox has also continued to report, and other sources have repeated, claims that businesses inside the zone are being extorted for protection payments, even after the police chief in Seattle investigated these claims and found nothing to them. The protesters within the zone are anarchists in the sense that there is no formal leadership, which has led to numerous voices claiming to speak for the group and issue various lists of demands (some of which have appeared on Daily Kos). But the most prominent demands of those in the zone are a defunding of the Seattle police, charges against police involved in violence toward Black people, reparations for past victims of police violence, and a dismissal of charges against protesters. In the last few days, representatives from the police have met with some of those inside the zone in hopes of finding points of agreement.


Four years ago, #Pizzagate showed how online virality is a manipulatable and sustainable by just a few influential social media accounts. When people want to believe a source they decide they want to believe (US Navy reserve officer Jack Posobiec) with no other fact check, such a fabricated network of lies has dangerous results in the real world. We've read of other real world translations of sock organizations, sock individuals and sock causes that sow fearful actions and doubt. This will never end. 2016 networked "active measures" will continue.

A thing called the "power law" doesn't describe the runaway millions on social media; it describes a handful of key nodes on the networks. These super spreaders click "share" and, like the fomenter of Pizzagate, they can redirect the attention of huge swaths of the Internet. They're on every platform. And minds love one dramatic lie more than six boring truths or on the ground facts.

MIT data scientists found that lies and false stories spread six times faster than real ones -- "farther, faster, deeper and more broadly than truth in all categories of information," they said. How useful for authoritarian leaders who want to control huge populations' minds.

Trump is one of these super spreaders. Like Pizzagate in 2016, Trump now turns on Seattle, his bigger beta test of translating his net power to ground in 2020.

We need to support Seattle, its protesters and their Autonomous Zone. More. The Internet is our tool, too. The more we spread this on the ground truth, the more democratic reality comes through.

Governor Cuomo Pandemic Update June 14 2020

Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods

Watching Spike Lee during this year's Academy Awards, I kept wondering what he's done lately. Now I know.

Un-whitewashed Vietnam history. Highly recommended.

Governor Cuomo Pandemic Update June 13 2020

Start 9:43

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