Modern Media Is a DoS Attack on Your Free Will

How the attention economy is subverting our decision-making and our democracy.

It’s not that James Williams, a doctoral candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute’s Digital Ethics Lab (motto: “Every Bit as Good”), had a “God, what I have I done?” moment during his time at Google. But it did occur to him that something had gone awry.

Williams joined Google’s Seattle office when it opened in 2006 and went on to win the company’s highest honor, the Founder’s Award, for his work developing advertising products and tools. Then, in 2012, he realized that these tools were actually making things harder for him. Modern technology platforms, he explained to me, were “reimposing these pre-Internet notions of advertising, where it’s all about getting as much of people’s time and attention as you can.”

Full Article: Nautilus

An Ethereum Startup Just Vanished After People Invested $374K

Cryptocurrency is weak. It has no base in gold, silver, or land.  Its numbers.  We have a company trading real world cash for digital bits and bytes.  When the company hit a critical mass they disappeared off the internet.  You know where those ‘bits’ live.  While not the biggest scam around this is perty good one.  Read more on Motherboard:

A startup on the Ethereum platform vanished from the internet on Sunday after raising $374,000 USD from investors in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) fundraiser.

Confido is a startup that pitched itself as a blockchain-based app for making payments and tracking shipments. It sold digital tokens to investors over the Ethereum blockchain in an ICO that ran from November 6 to 8. During the token sale, Confido sold people bespoke digital tokens that represent their investment in exchange for ether, Ethereum’s digital currency.

But on Sunday, the company unceremoniously deleted its Twitter account and took down its website. A company representative posted a brief comment to the company’s now-private subforum on Reddit, citing legal problems that prevent the Confido team from continuing their work. The same message was also posted to Medium but quickly deleted.

New Update: Trendy cryptocurrency startup pulls an exit scam after raising $375K in ICO

It seems yet another fledgling cryptocurrency startup has pulled a Houdini. Distressed traders are flocking to Reddit to warn fellow cryptoenthusiasts that up-and-coming startup Confido, which recently raised $374,477 in an ICO, has vanished out of thin air.

The company, which promised to bring a new decentralized trustless payment solution for online shopping, has suddenly taken down its website. Coincidentally, yesterday Confido suffered a 90-percent drop in value after informing investors a legal issue will halt development of the project indefinitely.

 

 

Do civilisations collapse? Are complete collapse media fallacies for great theater or do civilizations change or are absorbed into surrounding civilizations?

The article talks about how its never one factor that destroys a civilization. Rather its a matter of multiple factors that cause the civilization to fade and be absorbed into surrounding communities. Its jsut that the one that make big things Mayan temples and statutes of Easter Island that get the most attention. they generally don’t have written records so it hard to really know what happened to them.

Here a quote from AEON.co:

There’s a common story of how the Maya civilisation was wiped out: they fell foul of unstoppable climate change. Several periods of extreme drought withered their crops and killed off thousands in their overpopulated cities. ‘There was nothing they could do or could have done. In the end, the food and water ran out – and they died,’ wrote Richardson Gill in 2007. The jungle reclaimed the cities with their palaces and pyramids until they were rediscovered in the 19th century by intrepid explorers.

These stories come from frequent reports in the mass media, from luridly titled history documentaries such as the History Channel’s Who Killed the Maya? (2006) or the BBC’s Ancient Apocalypse: The Maya Collapse (2012-14), and especially from books on the environment and sustainability. Jared Diamond’s bestselling Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005) is only one of many works that recount them – ensuring that they have reached an audience of millions. There are similar stories about many other past societies, whether it is the Puebloans of the southwestern United States, the Harappans of the Indus Valley, or the ancient Mesopotamians. It has even been claimed by some that climate change has been the major driver of collapse, and by others, such as Diamond, that deforestation and environmental damage have very often been to blame.

You can read an active discussion here.

Ten Commandments Statue to Be Erected at Shopping Mall

So a publicly own mall think that the core idea of The Ten Commandments would be something good to display? I guess its time to protest. Quoted from Fox News Insider:

An 8-foot Ten Commandments statue will go up at a Texas mall, a move the new owner says is meant to “touch [the viewer’s] heart and give them new hope that day.”

“We just feel like if we expose God’s word out to everyone that it might have an impact on people and be a positive thing for anyone,” owner John Bushman told “Fox & Friends” on Saturday.

Bushman said his goal is to make Music City Mall in Lewisville, Texas a family-friendly environment and he expects the Ten Commandments to have a positive effect in that direction.

If anyone forgot, these are The Ten Commandments from the New King James Bible:

    1. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
    2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.
    3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
    4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
    5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
    6. You shall not murder.
    7. You shall not commit adultery.
    8. You shall not steal.
    9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
    10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.

Rand Paul, Kafka, and Unneighborly Times – Trump and people with loud counter culture opinions are evil and are causing all the violence in the world?

The New Yorker recently posted an article ‘Rand Paul, Kafka, and Unneighborly Times‘.  My take is that all the extreme behavior is largely due to Donald Trump’s tough talk.  And this is some how pushing people to attack and nearly killing or killing conservatives while conservatives are taking their frustrations out by destroying Keriug machines they legal bought…  I guess if you read into the article and look at recent events you begin to see a pattern of who is really committing the violence.

Here and quote from the article:

It’s not unusual for neighbors to squabble, or to fight, but the still-unexplained assault on Rand Paul, by a neighbor, as Paul sat on his lawn tractor, was noteworthy because Paul is a United States senator. The incident was also curious because the principals were both doctors: the assailant was a fifty-nine-year-old retired anesthesiologist named Rene Boucher, and Paul, who is fifty-four, was a practicing ophthalmologist until 2010, when he won a Senate seat, in Kentucky, as a Tea Party Republican. The two men live in a gated community called Rivergreen, in Bowling Green, where they seemed to lead lives of contented privilege. (An anonymous posting on a Rivergreen discussion site reads, “The main gate has the touch pad which calls the resident you want to visit. . . . If you don’t know someone who lives there, you don’t belong, period. It’s that way on purpose!!!!”) According to the Washington Post, Boucher often stopped by a coffee shop on the Bowling Green town square, where, wearing a beret and an ascot, he’d play chess with a friend.

Boucher is a Democrat, but his lawyer said in a statement that the incident had “absolutely nothing to do with either’s politics or political agendas. It was a very regrettable dispute between two neighbors over a matter that most people would regard as trivial.” He expressed the wish, probably a hopeless one, that “these two gentlemen could get back to being neighbors as quickly as possible.” That’s not how it was viewed by Paul, who tweeted last week that the medical report “indicates six broken ribs & new X-ray shows a pleural effusion.” He faces a long recovery, but, on Monday, he announced that he was returning to work, tweeting that, although he’s still “in a good deal of pain,” he is “ready to fight for liberty and help move forward with tax cuts in the coming days and weeks.” Boucher has pleaded not guilty to charges of fourth-degree assault; if federal charges are filed (because Paul is an elected official), Boucher could face prison time. Personal-injury lawyers in Kentucky are no doubt salivating.

BTW: ANTIFA and the extremist ‘ALT RIGHT’ hold that spot on next to Communism and Socialism.  They are not truly liberalism or conservationism.

Shout out to Heather‏ for posting this:

10 Year Treasury Yields Heading Lower: 10 Year-2 Year Treasury Spread Has More Room To Flatten

Seeking Alpha does a decent piece explaining what it means when the 10 year and 2 year treasury bond curve flattens:

The Fed has stated various times its intent to raise rates as the economy shows signs of reaching full health. However, protecting against inflation, which is one of the Federal Reserve’s mandates, does not seem to be their only concern. They have also spoken frequently about the normalization of monetary policy; that is to say to increase interest rates to levels that were common in the decades prior to the financial crisis in 2008.

Monetary normalization is probably why the Fed hiked interest rates in December, when true there had been stable job creation, but not as much as in 2014. There were a total of 2,744 jobs added in 2015 compared to 3,015 jobs for 2014. There had also been a spike in stock market volatility amidst concerns monetary tightening was being implemented too early and the economy would not be able to assimilate a more restrictive monetary policy. The latest data for the inflation rate at the time was at 0.5%, still far away from the Fed’s target inflation of 2%. Yet the move to increase interest rates was made and a tightening monetary policy cycle began.

But every time in the past when this happened we had a market correction and a recession. Don’t believe me? Bloomberg posted an article last week called ‘Bond Traders Should Prepare for Yield Curve to Zero Out in 2018‘ in which they finally said the dreaded ‘R’ word:

Just how much further can the relentless flattening of the U.S. yield curve go? All the way to zero, according to T. Rowe Price Group.

The timing matters because an inverted yield curve has proven a reliable indicator of an impending recession. When the spread between short- and long-term debt shrinks, it tends to hurt bank earnings and the real economy.

From all the market indicators I’m seeing, look for a full blown recession to hit between September 2018 and January 15th 2019.

Why Linus is right (as usual) – Security problems are primarily just bugs

Errata Security posted a story “Why Linus is right (as usual)” about how code changes should be handled in Linux. Linus’ basic belief is that code changes should be small continual changes and not heaping big changes. Big changes can introduce unforeseen problems like Obamacare and the Trump tax reforms. Here an excerpt of the article:

Linus has an unwritten manifesto of how the Linux kernel should be maintained. It’s not written down in one place, instead we are supposed to reverse engineer it from his scathing emails, where he calls people morons for not understanding it. This is one such scathing email. The rules he’s expressing here are:

  • Large changes to the kernel should happen in small iterative steps, each one thoroughly debugged.
  • Minor security concerns aren’t major emergencies; they don’t allow bypassing the rules more than any other bug/feature.

Last year, some security “hardening” code was added to the kernel to prevent a class of buffer-overflow/out-of-bounds issues. This code didn’t address any particular 0day vulnerability, but was designed to prevent a class of future potential exploits from being exploited. This is reasonable.

While the original article does not have any comments I found one on-going discussion about the article on Hacker News.

Hillary still whining about Trump’s victory in 2016 election – She really won don’t ya know?

Hillary Clinton questions ‘legitimacy’ of Trump’s victory in 2016 election

One year after losing the presidential race, 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is still questioning the “legitimacy” of President Trump’s victory, accusing Republicans of voter suppression tactics in swing states and Russians of influencing votes through a “disinformation campaign.”

“I think that there are lots of questions about its legitimacy,” Clinton said of the election during a video interview posted online Friday by the liberal Mother Jones website.

Clinton lamented how “we don’t have a method for contesting” the election in the United States and called for an independent commission to “get to the bottom of what happened.”

Full Article: Fox News

Hillary, baby, honey,

You lost. We have a way of questioning the “legitimacy” of President Trump’s victory – its called the certification process. They all certified Trump. You call also pay for a recount. You still lost. You’re going to jail soon. Get over your loss and enjoy your freedom while you can.

NFL Executives Just Woke To Devastating News About The Rest Of Their Season Today

The National Football League is starting to learn what happens when you let your paid employees disrespect The United States of American and all she stands for.

Our boycott is working folks. The NFL’s TV ratings were once again down again in week two. A Jefferies analyst has projected that its TV partners could lose out on $200 million or more, in earnings, if its rating troubles persist in a double-digit way. During week two the NFL saw a 4% drop from 2016’s week two in live and same-day average viewers of Sunday games and a 14% drop in viewers for Monday Night Football.

Full Article: Denuded Media

Amid growing isolation, North Korea falls back on close ties with Cuba

In the midst of increasing international isolation, North Korea is sending its foreign minister to an old ally: Cuba. In a short message released Friday, North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency announced that Ri Yong Ho and his delegation departed on their journey to Havana.

The move comes after a number of North Korean trading partners announced that they would be suspending trade with North Korea. Pyongyang’s seventh-largest trading partner, Singapore, announced that it would halt its trade ties with the country Thursday. In September, the Philippines — North Korea’s fifth-largest trading partner — said it would do the same.

Full Article: Washington Post