Asking people to take DNA tests — an idea that has spread to a campuswide effort at this public university — grew out of consulting work [lecturer Anita] Foeman does in race mediation. Instead of a confrontational approach, trying to provoke people into recognizing their own biases, she wanted something that would pull people together, or at least give them a neutral place from which to start to talk. And with racial divides so stark, she wanted to add some nuance and depth.She wondered: What if people started finding out things they didn’t know about themselves? source: Washington Post, 24 Dec 2016
Monday, March 20th, Democrat Schiff at the Intelligence Committee briefing with FBI and NSA laid out the reasons to be suspicious of interference and collusion with Russia:
Schiff used that time to launch a bold argument of why Democrats are suspicious Trump campaign associates colluded with Russia during the election. Among the connections Schiff pointed out:
One of Trump's national security advisers during the campaign, Carter Page, has ties to Russia and has praised its president, Vladimir Putin.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had been on the payroll for pro-Russian interests in Ukraine.
Trump officials met with the Russian ambassador to Washington during the Republican National Convention. At that convention, Republicans changed their platform to remove a section that supported giving weapons to Ukraine as it battles Russia for territory.
Former Trump adviser Roger Stone boasted in a speech that he knew of impending WikiLeaks documents related to Hillary Clinton's campaign before they were published.
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn and current Attorney General Jeff Sessions would avoid disclosing their conversations with the Russian ambassador during or shortly after the campaign.
After laying that out, Schiff (rhetorically) asked:
“Is it possible that all of these events and reports are completely unrelated and nothing more than an entirely unhappy coincidence? Yes, it is possible. But it is also possible, maybe more than possible, that they are not coincidental, not disconnected and not unrelated, and that the Russians use the same techniques to corrupt U.S. persons that they employed in Europe and elsewhere? We simply don't know. Not yet. And we owe it to the country to find out.” ([Source](https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/03/22/meet-rep-adam-schiff-the-quiet-lawmaker-fast-becoming-democrats-face-of-opposition-to-president-trump/?utm_term=.0167881adaa0))
When does a series of coincidences equate to the equivalence of a fact? We have the notion of circumstantial evidence in courts of law. When does that apply in the evidence gathering around Russiagate?
My primary critique of Greenwald’s approach is that he wants to build the story around Russiagate on factual journalism. Nothing is reported until all the t’s are crossed in building a well supported journalistic story.
The problem here is that inference should play a part in reporting stories to the public. Greenwald and the Intercept should have pieced together enough data that would let them build a story, a narrative. There would seem to be a duty given better access to sources than the average citizen and expertise in developing a story-line, it is called a story-line, no. Who has the motive to leak the Clinton emails?
If the public has to wait until ever detail of a story is fact-checked, then the effects run well ahead of story.
The push for more transparency is supported when journalists make inferences. This is legitimated in the face of secrecy to call it out.
The general public can and should be treated with respect. It is possible to present what is given and what is inferred and present to the public for consideration.
To use an example from this week and something that can easily be confirmed, Wikileaks moves hosting to Russia. How does this weave into the narrative? Maybe this can be a test, when a piece of hard data does show up, how does it fit with Greenwald’s narrative, anti-Russia interference?
Continuing the decomposition of Greenwald’s story, he uses the example of conspiracy theory advance built on supposed suspicious death of Oronov.
TO SEE HOW extreme this derangement has become, let’s look at the latest conspiracy theory that took hold of fringe and mainstream figures alike this weekend. It was prompted by the death of Alex Oronov, a 68-year-old Ukrainian-American whose daughter married Bryan Cohen, who is the brother of Michael Cohen, who is Trump’s personal lawyer. Got all those connections, those “dots”?
In some forms of computer software development, the idea is to tackle the most complicated parts first. Greenwald is doing the opposite here. By tackling a sub-plot that is easier to discredit he avoids the heart of the story. We can critique here because he isn’t reporting the Oronov story but the conspiracy theory of Russiagate.
Please Greenwald, tell us about key players in Russiagate.
Greenwald attempts to gain credibility on the anti-conspiracy front by citing the credentials of Masha Gessen:
MASHA GESSEN IS a Russian-American journalist and author who has become one of the nation’s leading Russia experts and one of its most relentless and vocal critics of Vladimir Putin. She has lived her life on and off in the U.S. and Russia, but as a Jewish lesbian and mother of three children, she left Russia in 2013 and moved back to the U.S. in part because she felt threatened by the increasingly anti-LGBT climate there, one that began particularly targeting LGBT adopted families with discriminatory legislation.
An appeal to Gessen’s expertise and that she has lived in Russia is helpful for context of the story. But, where is the balanced reporting that Greenwald is calling for if he doesn’t also run stories talking with the likes of Gary Kasparov.
We can be critical of Greenwald until such time as he stops trying to stack the deck.
Greenwald uses anecdotes, following Gessan, to challenge the narrative that Trump is Putin’s puppet.
or when Trump’s actions (such as hiring numerous anti-Russia hawks for key positions) explode the “Putin’s puppet” narrative, it makes no difference to our mainstream conspiracy obsessives because – as she puts it – “such is the nature of conspiracy thinking that facts can do nothing to change it.”
But wait, the claim that Trump is a puppet is over-reaching the claim that there was interference from Russia. Exaggerating the concern is dishonest, reductio ad absurdum. Even if there are reports that have sensationalized the story, a counter response to the sensationalized parts steers the dialogue away from the getting us to a factual base.
Conflating the concerns by focusing on secondary synthetic data that is suspect doesn’t help build a factual base that there was no interference from Russia. [Note: American elections are closely contested and marginal effects can play a critical aspect in results.]
Greenwald, referencing Masha Gessen article, suggests that the attention focused on the source of the Clinton email leaks and ongoing concerns about Trump’s purported affiliation with Russia has become a conspiracy trap.
She now has a new article in the New York Review of Books – entitled “Russia: the Conspiracy Trap” – that I cannot recommend highly enough. Its primary purpose is to describe, and warn about, the insane and toxic conspiracy-mongering about Russia that has taken over not the fringe, dark corners of the internet that normally traffic in such delusional tripe, but rather mainstream U.S. media outlets and the Democratic Party. Few articles have illustrated the serious, multi-faceted dangers of what has become this collective mania in the U.S. as well as Gessen’s does.
Flipping this around a bit on Greenwald, isn’t it the case that we should reserve the phrase conspiracy theory until there is confirmation of who the players are in the leaks and other assorted claims. If Greenwald and Intercept have evidence that there is no Russian interference, then they should present the evidence. If you haven’t found the evidence, then you can’t be calling it a conspiracy theory as you are only fuelling the situation.
The damage inflected by calling this a conspiracy should not be factored into the equation. Focus on the Russia question may detract from critiques on Trump and Republican’s other actions, but that is not the question. The question is how do we move forward in understanding the role of Russia in election of Trump.
Greenwald suggests it is dishonest journalism to report when you can’t build the factual base. The relevance is the current wave of fake news following the US election and the purported interference from Alt-Right and Cambridge Analytics folks.
Anyone wanting a serious engagement with B&E will want to ensure they review the basics of set theory. Set theory plays the role of conditioning the field of Badiou’s philosophy in B&E. The following link provides an in-depth account of set theory: Set Theory and the Foundations of Mathematics.
These settings are used by Wikity to determine privacy and publishing schedule.
Please note that putting “Open” to “No” is an experimental feature, providing “good enough” privacy but not great privacy.
Samuel Hulick identifies Slack as a platform that is neither asynchronous or synchronous. It’s asynchronish. He argues the results of this are not pretty:
At first I thought this sounded delightful — it would be the best of both worlds! I was always free to drop someone a line, and if they were feeling chatty, a full-fledged conversation could simply spring up, with no need to switch platforms.
After getting to know you better, though, I’ve found that your “asynchronish” side is less impressive than I first thought. It leads to everyone having half-conversations all day long, with people frequently rotating through one slow-drip discussion after another, never needing to officially check out because “hey! it’s asynchronous!”
In an asynchronish environment, you’re always checked in, and discussions never end.
But you can check out when you need to, right? Hulick argues that this is not possible, because decisions that impact you can be made at anytime:
This is awesome for speeding up the tempo of company directives, but it also places a ton of pressure on everyone involved to maintain even MORE Slack omnipresence; if any discussion might lead to a decision being made, that provides a whole lot of incentive to be available for as many discussions as possible.
As such, Slack gives power to the people who can afford to stay on Slack and takes power away from those can’t.
Hulick suggests some changes that could mitigate the issue (autoresponders, Do Not Disturb statuses, etc), but there may be a flaw in the very heart of the asynchronish model.
Amber Case argues that technology should interrupt us only when there is action needed. See Tea Kettle Tech
A thought to get down here: Twitter is in many ways a community, the way a BBS is a community. But the loosely coupled nature of the community means that Twitter has no way to protect itself from the effects of scale. If there is a summary for the Tragedy of Twitter, this is it.
Facebook is different than Twitter, both because it is less of a community in itself: it is more a home for different communities, There’s not really a Facebook identity the way there is a Twitter or Tumblr identity.
The Federal Three Strikes law was underused by federal prosecutors in the first years after its enactment. This led to the 1995 Three Strikes Memo, encouraging prosecutors to make better use of the law in their existing cases.
This provision should play a key role in every district’s anti-violent crime strategy. To help us make the most effective use possible of this potential tool, please ensure that state and local prosecutors are aware of the federal “Three Strikes” provision and your willingness to coordinate prosecutive decisions in cases that are “Three Strikes”-eligible. You should have in place a referral mechanism, perhaps through your violent crime working group, to ensure that appropriate “Three Strikes” cases are presented to you for potential prosecution.
In determining whether to bring prosecutions under this statute, you should be guided by the Principles of Federal Prosecution. Trial of an eligible defendant under “Three Strikes will often provide a more effective punishment than a prosecution under,other federal statutes. For the state prosecutor, “Three Strikes” provides a vehicle to take the most dangerous offenders out of the community and keep them out. This is particularly important in states where prison overcrowding results in early release even for violent criminals. (Source)
Robert Caro discusses his shock at understanding how seemingly neutral infrastructure decisions were being used to enforce segregation. Here he discusses Robert Moses, a mayor who built racism into the city’s architecture. The example: he built 180 or so bridges too low for buses to pass under, effectively keeping black users of public transport out of broad swaths of the city.
I remember his aide, Sid Shapiro, who I spent a lot of time getting to talk to me, he finally talked to me. And he had this quote that I’ve never forgotten. He said Moses didn’t want poor people, particularly poor people of color, to use Jones Beach, so they had legislation passed forbidding the use of buses on parkways.
Then he had this quote, and I can still he him saying it to me. “Legislation can always be changed. It’s very hard to tear down a bridge once it’s up.” So he built 180 or 170 bridges too low for buses.
We used Jones Beach a lot, because I used to work the night shift for the first couple of years, so I’d sleep til 12 and then we’d go down and spend a lot of afternoons at the beach. It never occurred to me that there weren’t any black people at the beach.
So Ina and I went to the main parking lot, that huge 10,000-car lot. We stood there with steno pads, and we had three columns: Whites, Blacks, Others. And I still remember that first column—there were a few Others, and almost no Blacks. The Whites would be go on to the next page. I said, God, this is what Robert Moses did. This is how you can shape a metropolis for generations.
> New figures show that the number of suicides in Russia has dropped to its lowest level in 50 years. Such low levels were last seen at the end of Nikita Khrushchev’s rule and in Leonid Brezhnev’s first years in power
Immersive virtual experiences are immersive precisely because they do not display “overt assemblage”. The design is covert, hidden. While this creates engagement and fluidity, it also puts the structure of the information (and its attendant conclusions) beyond the reach of the player.
From a description of the early 2000 edutainment piece The Lost Museum:
That was our intention. We quickly learned, however, that we had fallen
into a pattern that is seemingly intrinsic to the spatial interactive game
approach. Instead of expanding the historical imagination of users and
promoting their active inquiry, we had actually limited the choices open to
them, in particular curtailing their ability to make informational linkages
and to draw their own conclusions. In short, the narrative outcomes were
preordained, confirming only the predominance of designers over users—
as demonstrated by ‘test’ audiences of teachers and students who gleefully
clicked on different 3-D exhibits but professed utter bewilderment about
the significance of what they found. (On the coercive power of the multimedia
designer, see Cubitt 2000, pp. 167–168.)
On April 20th, The Press Democrat, of Santa Rosa, Calif., reported that a scanner owner had contacted the police in the community of Rohnert Park to say that he was overhearing cordless phone conversations concerning sales of illegal drugs. The monitor, code named Zorro by the police, turned over thirteen tapes of such conversations made over a two month period.
Police took along a marijuana-sniffing cocker spaniel when they showed up at the suspect’s home with a warrant one morning. Identifying themselves, they broke down the door and found a man and a woman, each with a loaded gun. They also found a large amount of cash, some cocaine, marijuana, marijuana plants, and assorted marijuana cultivating paraphernalia. (Source)
The Moon has a far side (a side that is always facing away from earth) but has no dark side. As the moon passes between us and the sun the far side is bright side. As the Moon goes around the other side, the near side is the bright side (and we see it in the sky).
As the far side has generally been more exposed to objects from deep space it is also the more rugged of the two sides.
The title of this post is from the end of the Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon. At the end of it, the doorman to Abbey Road studios says “There is no dark side of the moon, really. As a matter of fact it is all dark.” He’s talking about the lack of an atmosphere, presumably. But what a great way to end that album.
The typical gap between speech turns in conversation is just 200ms. The small gap is possible because we construct our response while the other person is speaking.
When we talk we take turns, where the “right” to speak flips back and forth between partners. This conversational pitter-patter is so familiar and seemingly unremarkable that we rarely remark on it. But consider the timing: On average, each turn lasts for around 2 seconds, and the typical gap between them is just 200 milliseconds—barely enough time to utter a syllable. That figure is nigh-universal. It exists across cultures, with only slight variations. It’s even there in sign-language conversations.
“It’s the minimum human response time to anything,“ says Stephen Levinson from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. It’s the time that runners take to respond to a starting pistol—and that’s just a simple signal. If you gave them a two-way choice—say, run on green but stay on red—they’d take longer to pick the right response. Conversations have a far greater number of possible responses, which ought to saddle us with lengthy gaps between turns. Those don’t exist because we build our responses during our partner’s turn. We listen to their words while simultaneously crafting our own, so that when our opportunity comes, we seize it as quickly as it’s physically possible to. (Source)
Implications here for interface design. Think about related issues — Calm Tech, etc.
Some people are overconfident about the the truth of what they think, some are underconfident. Unsurprisingly, this varies by gender and major, with women being (on the whole) less confident than men and people in the humanities being less sure than those in areas like political science, law, and economics.
David Wiley believes if you run the logic of the microcredential to ground you get to a place where higher ordered qualities are valued.
Gardner Campbell replies that in composition, CBE has been a failure, because you end up with a curriculum about comma splices. Measure precisely and you will begin to value the things that can be precisely measured.
Phrase coined by Ward Cunningham in 2014 denoting the coming disaster of Internet of Things incompatibility, bugginess, and security issues. The problem? We don’t own the pieces we think we do. The smart device is built on a substrate of constantly shifting licenses, end-user agreements, APIs, and marketing agreements.
This is how the internet of things will work. All the things will be interesting. We will think we own them because we will have bought them. But we won’t own all the pieces that give them utility.
The pieces will include some service that promised to provide value unless you read the fine print. Companies will be bought and sold. Databases will accumulate mistakes. Things will stop working. The compounding of complexity will make it in no ones interest to go fix the thing, even if it is just one line missing.
I’ve been asked why I run wires throughout my house to connect together sensors. Wouldn’t radio be better? Yes, but those sensors (and radios) still need power. I’d rather do without the weak link of anything that needs routine attention, even if just once a year.
Lewy body dementia, the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, causes a progressive decline in mental abilities. (html)
People with Lewy body disease have Lewy bodies in the mid-brain region (like those with Parkinson’s disease) and in the cortex of the brain. It’s believed that they usually also have the “plaques and tangles” of the brain that characterize Alzheimer’s disease. Conversely, it’s believed that many people with Alzheimer’s disease also have cortical Lewy bodies. Because of the overlap, it’s likely that many people with Lewy body disease are misdiagnosed (at least initially) as having either Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease. A big factor in the misdiagnosis might be that Lewy body disease is relatively unknown. (html)
The incidence of the disease is largely unknown. Studies have pointed to over a hundred new cases per 100,000 for those over 65 to estimates less than five new cases per 100,000 over 65 a year.
Clara Peeters was the earliest significant woman painter of the Dutch Golden Age. From Wikipedia:
Clara Peeters (probably Antwerp 1594 – possibly after 1657) was a still-life painter who came from Antwerp and trained in the tradition of Flemish Baroque painting, but probably made her career mostly in the new Dutch Republic, as part of Dutch Golden Age painting. From dates on her paintings, she was fully active between 1607 and 1621, but after that the picture is less clear, though works were produced until the mid-1630s. Many aspects of her life and work remain very unclear, especially outside the period 1607 to 1621, when she was between 13/14 and 28 years old according to the usual dating. As Seymour Slive puts it “Not a single uncontested document has surfaced about her life but there is reason to believe she was active in both Flanders and Holland.”
As the only Flemish artist who exclusively painted still-lifes in the 17th century, she was also one of the first known artists to incorporate self-portraiture into still-life paintings.
One way to attack campaign finance is to argue it results in corruption. This is an argument about outputs, and it ends up being a complex and slippery argument to prove or measure. An alternate way is to take an “equality of inputs” approach:
Equality of inputs is a measurable standard, particularly if we measure it in terms of money contributed. By contrast, corruption is ultimately impossible to prove because it requires agreement on what the political system would produce absent some said corruption. If you can find me a universal definition of the public interest measured in policy outcomes, please send it. I’ve never seen one. All I’ve seen is vehement disagreement over the public interest.
Equality of inputs is an interesting approach to some issues in education as well.
> A fan-created ASCII version of the 1999 sci-fi classic The Matrix is the oldest known torrent that’s still active. Created more than 12 years ago, the file has outlived many blockbuster movies and is still downloaded a few times a week, even though the site from where it originated has disappeared. (Source)
From the New York Times, December 1985, a screed against portable technology:
WHATEVER happened to the laptop computer? Two years ago, on my flight to Las Vegas for Comdex, the annual microcomputer trade show, every second or third passenger pulled out a portable, ostensibly to work, but more likely to demonstrate an ability to keep up with the latest fad. Last year, only a couple of these computers could be seen on the fold-down trays. This year, every one of them had been replaced by the more traditional mixed drink or beer.
The author goes on to note that:
But the real future of the laptop computer will remain in the specialized niche markets. Because no matter how inexpensive the machines become, and no matter how sophisticated their software, I still can’t imagine the average user taking one along when going fishing. (Source)
Gradually, then Suddenly describes the pattern whereby many inventions get slow starts in a market, only to see growth explode when the environment, infrastructure and capabilities improve.
The rhythm of the Iggy Pop song “Lust for Life” came from a beep pattern from Armed Forces Radio. The New York Times explains:
Mr. Pop and Mr. Bowie, seated on the floor — they had decided chairs were not natural — were waiting for the Armed Forces Network telecast of “Starsky & Hutch.” The network started shows with a call signal that, Mr. Pop said, went “beep beep beep, beep beep beep beep, beep beep beep,” the rhythm, which is also like a Motown beat, that was the foundation for “Lust for Life.” Mr. Pop recalled, “He wrote the [chord] progression on ukulele, and he said, ‘Call it “Lust for Life,” write something up.’” (Source)
Deepak Chopra’s Wikipedia article calls into question the credentials of a figure believed by many to be a new age charlatan. It is a good example of why articles on persons are necessarily contentious — there are important issues at stake here, and it is not for the person in question to resolve them. (post)
There are many ways to use Wikity, but this is the most common:
Research something you don’t know about.
Write a short article on the subject, capturing what you learned.
Did you ever wonder where people got the idea to steam milk in coffee and call it a cappuccino? Research it. Summarize it in an article called Birth of Cappuccino.
Did someone mention an artist you never heard of? Find out who they are. Write something.
The biggest misconception of new Wikity users is that you should write on things you know about. NO! (is that forceful enough?). Be curious. Learn new things. Share your learning.
Become a person who wonders things on a daily basis. Move from wondering to thinking “I should write a Wikity article on that.” If there’s already an article in Wikipedia, write a better one, a shorter one, a longer one, a more opinionated one, a less opinionated one, a less biased one, a more appropriate one for a class.
When you are done, look for other things in Wikity your article connects to and link them.
The Wikity model is Wonder Things > Research Things > Share What You Found > Connect It To Other Things.
Wikity pulls images from online locations and makes a copy of the image for you. To pull an image into your site, just use the Markdown syntax for images:
![Picture of a boat](http://badiou.wikity.cc/files/2016/01/myboat.jpg "This is a boat!")
If you leave the quotes empty, like this, Wikity will automatically create an image credit as the hover text.
Note that image syntax is identical to link syntax, but has an exclamation point in front of it.
To create a footnote write the footnote at the bottom of the page, and add a "link target" with a unique name preceded by a hash ('#') and enclosed in square brackets, like this:
1. See also Miller, Jane. *Thoughts on Leaving*, p. 23
Then link in text like this:
Miller also noted the discrepancy.(#millerp2)