Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Some Thoughts on Mueller Report and Trump Derangement Syndrome

April 21, 2019 4 comments

Over past couple of days, I managed to read some more of the Mueller Report and to be honest.. it isn’t that exciting, otherwise would have finished it by now. Having said that, it doesn’t contain any evidence of “collusion” or conspiracy between the Orange Buffoon or members of his 2016 campaign team with ‘Russia’ or Putin’. The contents of that report, if anything, further validates my belief of Trump being the real-life version of the George Bluth Sr. character from Arrested Development. Similarities between many members of fictional Bluth family and Trump clan have been pointed out by others in the past. Also, building a wall between Mexico and USA was one of the central story arcs in the 4th season of that show in 2013.

The report merely confirms Trump being somebody with street-smarts but otherwise incapable of thinking strategically or systematically. And this makes him like almost every other rich guy who got there through some combination of having rich parents and being at the right place at right time. The very idea that such an intellectually mediocre but egotistical lecher could participate in any complex conspiracy is as absurd as somebody with serious brain damage caused by playing american football going on to become a famous mathematician. That he actually took the Mueller investigation and RussiaGate seriously enough to utter “This is the end of my presidency, I’m fucked” to people around him (in spite of being innocent) tells you far more about his state of mind than his ability to do anything beyond pay hush money to his mistresses.

Some of you might say that Trump is too stupid to understand that he is being manipulated by ‘Putin’ or ‘Russia’. Fair enough.. now tell me which of his actions towards Russia are irrefutable proof of him being a ‘Puppet of Putin’? In case you can find a few minor ones, do also tell me how you reconcile all those other major hostile actions taken by his administration against Russia with Trump being a ‘Russian Stooge’. While you are at it, also tell me how Trump’s behavior towards Kim Jong-un is a sign of the later having “kompromat” on the former. My point is that there is no evidence for Trump’s policy towards Russia being any less hawkish than that of his predecessor. To put it another way, Trump is basically a boilerplate republican president with poor impulse control and especially brazen, stupid and incompetent advisers.

Which brings me to the topic of Trump Derangement Syndrome, also know as Orange Man Bad. As I have noted in a few previous posts, hating Trump is a very popular form of performance art among celebrities, corporate media types, establishment democrats, other deep state types and basically anyone who wants to be recognized as “woke”. Of course, they will never explain why they used to be super chummy with Trump before he ran for the presidency in 2015. Or.. why exactly Trump’s policies are so much worse than those of Obama44 or Bush43? Then again, I do not expect such delusional and incompetent losers to have the mental ability to answer such introspective questions. So let me help you understand the real reason behind their irrational hatred for Trump aka Trump Derangement Syndrome aka Orange Man Bad.

In an older post, I pointed out that Trump’s approval numbers (which were always low) have not suffered from the 24/7 barrage of negative news against him unleashed by the corporate media and establishment. Why not and what does it have to do with Trump Derangement Syndrome. Even the gain of legislative seats in the 2018 elections by democrats was largely due to popular anger directed at Trump’s missteps on healthcare and inability to stop outsourcing rather than his persona. So what is happening? Why has the near constant assault by establishment types and their media flunkies on his personality had basically no effect on his approval ratings? part of the answer to that question lies in the nature of contemporary american elites and how they are perceived by the rest of society- especially after 2008.

As I have mentioned in numerous prior posts, the elites of most societies throughout human history have risen to power via some combination of blind luck and parasitism. In other words, they are not actually competent at fulfilling the duties of the societal positions they occupy. Under conditions of economic growth and general societal well-being, it is possible for cover their gross inadequacies, largely because they don’t have to do anything beyond acting competent- the key word being ‘acting’. That is why a lot of the declared 2020 democratic candidates resemble used-car salesmen and D-list actors. This however stops working and becomes counterproductive when the society in question goes into prolonged or terminal socio-economic decline. USA as a nation has been in obvious terminal decline since 2008- at least for the 99%.

Trump winning the presidency is a very visible reminder to the establishment elite that the old status quo is fragile and likely over. Sure.. the guy is a piece of shit, but let us not pretend that he is a bigger disaster than his predecessors such as Bush43 and Obama44. If you don’t believe me, just look at how easily establishment democarts were to forgive Bush43 for his role in the failed and incredibly expensive occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan- not to mention all the other shit that went on during his presidency. Or look at how they celebrate Obama44 for everything he promised voters but did not deliver- from ending foreign wars, passing something approaching universal healthcare, holding financial institutions accountable, slowing down job outsourcing, improving racial relations and a whole host of other things he could have done.

Those who display Trump Derangement Syndrome are like those idiots who want to return to some mythical golden era or period- you know, the one which never existed. To make maters worse, condemning Trump and publicly wanting his presidency to end in some shameful way has become part of the sacrament for anybody who wants to maintain their relevance among the elites or hope to join their ranks. That is why people as diverse as Rachel Maddow, Laurence Tribe, almost every Hollywood or Music celebrity, rich voters living in certain coastal zip codes and establishment Democrats (and Republicans) in addition to many “national security officials” were (and still are) so invested in the Mueller Report. It is also why they are now busy spinning the lackluster findings and moving the goal posts- with almost every single passing hour.

See.. the thing is, western elites lack the reality-based ruling mandate of their Chinese or Russian counterparts. For the past 30-40 years, their claim to rule has been largely based on looking good, competent, intelligent, sophisticated and clever. This is why establishment democrats still worship Clinton42 and Obama44 and their republican counterparts have made a cult out of professing reverence for Reagan40. That is why they push candidates such as Kamala Harris, Beta O’Rourke and that Pete Buttguy. Trump’s election in 2016 was a massive public relation disaster for them because it showed that even an egotistical lecher with the attentions span of a mildly-retarded dog could still perform the “most important job in the world”. The Trump Derangement Syndrome is therefore largely driven by their hate for him after he inadvertently exposed their incompetence, impotency and rapidly declining relevance.

What do you think? Comments?

Some More Thoughts about Recent Arrest of Julian Assange in London

April 15, 2019 9 comments

In the previous post on this topic, I wrote about how exposure of information by Wikileaks (and others inspired by it) has permanently damaged the only remaining ruling mandate for elites in western countries. In case you are wondering, that was Assange’s goal from the very beginning- and he has succeeded. If you don’t believe my take on what he has achieved, let me remind you about how things were in 2008. At that time, most people still thought Bush43’s presidency was an anomaly and everything would return back to how it was in the 1990s. They also believed that Obama would become the next FDR and reign in financialism. Did I mention the hilarious part where almost everyone believed that internet monopolies such as Google, FakeBook, Amazon etc were the greatest thing since sliced bread and could do no wrong. Simpler times indeed..

Then many seemingly unexpected things started to occur in quick succession. First, there was the global financial crisis which began in late 2008, which lead to multi-trillion dollar bailouts for ‘too-big-to-fail’ financial institutions and corporations. Of course, everybody else (aka the 99 %) got screwed and Obama turned out be the black version of Reagan rather than FDR. It slowly became obvious that the 1990s were never going to come back. And then it got worse as entire sectors of the economy got hollowed out- at an even faster pace than before. More problematically, almost all of the new jobs created since then have been precarious and poorly paid. My point is that, it is hard to understand the full impact of Wikileaks unless you first appreciate the socio-economic-political climate into which it was born.

I first wrote about Wikileaks a long time ago (link 1 and link 2) and my initial assessments about it proved to be correct. Not surprisingly, the MSM attitude towards Wikileaks and Assange has not changed since 2010. At that time, I also made another comment about Assange which turned out to be far more prescient than I initially realized. Since 2010, the many archives of documents released by Wikileaks and Snowden have had a profound impact on how people in the west perceive their own governments and civic institutions. Today nobody pretends that the NSA doesn’t exist or that USA-based internet monopolies such as Google, FakeBook, Amazon etc are anything other than commercial arms of the (rapidly failing) american empire. In 2008, you would have been considered delusional for publicly stating that almost all journalism in USA is elite stenography, even after their almost unanimous support for the failed occupation of Iraq in 2003.

We also cannot ignore what happened in the rest of the world during that period and the impact of Wikileaks on public discourse in those countries. Let me remind you that Wikileaks is by far the single biggest reason USA was not able to keep a significant military presence in Iraq after 2009. Its revelations also did an incredible amount of permanent damage to public image of western countries in other parts of the world. After they were made public, very few people in countries such as China, Russia etc could keep pretending that the american system of governance and institutions was any less repressive and problematic than their own. These leaks have also sped up the process of making the internet and communications (in general) more decentralized and much less USA- or west-centric. In short, Wikileaks achieved a decent percentage of its original objectives- so far. And ya.. it did contribute to the defeat of HRC in 2016.

As you also know, the declining vassal states of Sweden and UK cooked up a stupid and highly counterproductive scheme to arrest Assange and extradite him to USA since 2010. In my opinion, this stupid scheme was stupid and short-sighted. Then again, elites throughout human history have never shown themselves to be good at long-term and strategic thinking. And this type of malfunction is intrinsic to large hierarchical and impersonal social systems- as I have also written about in previous posts such as this one. Here is another one which explains how these systemic shortcomings play out in other large systems. To put it another way, the whole idea of trapping Assange within that embassy for 7 years was an incredibly stupid idea. But why, specifically, was it so dumb? Well.. because it made him into a larger-than-life (almost religious) figure while simultaneously shredding the public credibility of western countries.

The thing is.. people universally understand that a person trying to persecute somebody for their personal beliefs is an acknowledgement of your own weakness. For example, if some obviously mentally-ill guy across the street kept shouting that you were the anti-christ, people around you would either ignore it or find it amusing. Nobody would believe the guy making those claims. Now imagine if you responded to those claims by trying to get the guy, making them, killed. People would rightly think that those claims were actually correct and that you were indeed the anti-christ. This dynamic is part of the reason why scandals which would sink conventional politicians, many times over, have no worthwhile effect on Trump’s popularity. He simply does not care enough about them to give a conventional explanation or response.

If the elites in USA, UK and Sweden etc had any ability to think beyond the short-term, they would have handled the Assange situation very differently. Firstly, they would have realized and accepted that somebody like Assange and Wikileaks was as inevitable in the internet age as Martin Luther and Protestantism were in the aftermath of movable-type printing being invented- or the ‘One’ arising in the Matrix. And yes.. I also wrote a post about this issue in that past. Secondly, the most optimal way to handle somebody like Assange was to watchfully ignore him- thereby denying him martyrhood. Sure.. he would keep leaking document archives and causing some problems. But guess what.. he ended doing that stuff anyway.

Persecuting Assange made the USA, UK, Sweden etc look just as repressive and incompetent as the countries and regimes they claim to be superior to. Or as I call it, scoring repeated self-goals. But why does it matter? Well.. because, as I mentioned in the previous post, the ruling mandate of elites in west is derived from abstract ideas such as being perceived as honest, democratic, competent, meritocratic etc. This is in sharp contrast to a nation like China, where the elites derive their legitimacy from providing real, concrete and measurable improvements in physical quality of life for their citizens. This is also why persecuting somebody like Assange is far more damaging to western-style governmental systems than imprisoning a dissident is to China.

Will write more on this as events unfold..

What do you think? Comments?

End of Mueller Investigation and ‘Trump-Russia-Putin Collusion’ Bullshit

March 23, 2019 10 comments

Unless you have been living under a rock since Friday morning, you must have read or heard that the Special Counsel investigation aka Robert Mueller’s investigation of Trump’s alleged collusion with ‘Russia’ and ‘Putin’ during the 2016 presidential election is finally over. While an executive summary of its findings should be available sometime this weekend, it is noteworthy that there are no new open or “sealed” indictments. Which is a fancy way of saying that the Special Counsel has not been able to indict one single person from Trump’s presidential campaign, including the orange buffoon himself, of collusion with “Russia” or “Putin”. Every single person who has been indicted by Mueller’s team has landed in that position because of criminal actions unrelated to 2016 campaign or committing perjury. In other words, the establishment democrat/s desire to see Trump impeached has taken a massive and unrecoverable hit.

Even worse, they have finally validated Trump’s defense of this investigation being unfair and a ‘witch hunt’. Way to go, dumbfucks! Of course, there are still tons of dead-enders who keep babbling about “SDNY” and other similar bullshit. But let us get real.. the majority of people will now no longer believe in the results of any future investigation of Trump. In fact, just over 50% of Americans were seeing it that way before the Mueller investigation wrapped up– without a single indictment for collusion with Russia. It is now increasingly likely that Trump will use the report as an important plank of this campaign for re-election in 2020. And you know what.. if establishment democrats are stupid enough to rig their primaries (like they did in 2016) for a corporate-anointed loser such as Biden, Beto or Kamala- he might actually win in 2020.

Matt Taibbi has written an excellent post about how Russiagate is contemporary equivalent of the WMD fiasco of 2002. In it, he goes into considerable detail as to how a bullshit “dossier” written by a greedy British hack and paid for by the DNC started one of the most darkly comic chapters in recent american history. I would strongly suggest you read his entire post- even if it is a bit on the longer side. While the circumstances surrounding the start of this investigation, which began around June 2016, are almost too comical to be real- it keeps getting better and more absurd. Taibbi also skewers all the national news outlets, “respectable” journalists, cable news anchors, talking heads, Twitterati and “celebrities” who got into the act- if only to make a quick buck. Once again, I strongly suggest you read his post- preferably more than once.

Moving on.. the obsession of establishment democrats with ‘Trump-Russia-Putin’ is now going to get much harder to justify. But don’t worry, I am sure that they will find a few new ways to fuck themselves by focusing on something which the majority see as hacky partisan bullshit with no connection to the worsening quality of their lives. Between this pile of bullshit, renewed calls for “gun control” and mouthing empty platitudes which deceive nobody in 2019, they will find a way to lose to that orange buffoon in 2020. And let us be honest about something.. establishment democrats would rather lose to Trump than defy their corporate masters and campaign on popular policies such as universal single-payer healthcare, student loan forgiveness, higher minimum wage etc which might actually get the majority of voters to elect them.

I might write another post about this topic soon, preferably after reading the executive summary of the Mueller Report. Till then, have a look at the hysterically comic bullshit which was being passed off as real journalism by cable news networks- narrated by the always funny Jimmy Dore.

What do you think? Comments?

Persecution of Anti-Vaxxers Will Backfire on Believers in Scientism: 1

March 10, 2019 8 comments

Over the past few months, we have seen a barrage of attention-seeking types, supported by the dying MSM, who claim to defend “science” from anti-vaxxers (link 1, link 2 and link 3). However, as anybody who has read enough about the history of modern medicine knows, there have been anti-vaxxers, of some type, as long as there have been vaccines. Which is a nice way of saying that all the effort expended by all those pro-vaccination supporters is about self-aggrandizement, rather than anything altruistic. See.. the thing is, the first major anti-vaxxer movements petered over a century ago once it became very obvious that specific infectious diseases were caused by specific microorganisms and exposure to an attenuated form of the pathogen or its main toxin would confer functional immunity to those diseases.

In other words, the modern anti-vaxxer movements are NOT populated by rubes who reject the idea that pathogens cause infectious diseases or deny that vaccines elicit an immunological response. In fact, I wrote a couple of posts on this topic in the past where I pointed out that the modern anti-vaxxer movements are an inevitable consequence of profit-driven medicine and that the effects of late-capitalism on the medical system have made it increasingly untrustworthy. Sharp eyed readers might have noticed that I used the plural rather than singular form of ‘movement’ in my previous sentences. As you will see, there is a good reason behind using the plural form and it is very relevant to the rest of this series- specifically the part about how persecution of anti-vaxxers will backfire on believers in scientism.

Let us now talk about the real factors at play in this conflict, and let us be honest about how things are in real-life as opposed to how they should or ought to be.

1] Public trust in the medical profession, especially in USA, has been dropping at an increasing rate over past two decades. Regardless of what you want to believe, it is hard to escape the fact that public faith in “credentialed experts” of all types has been steadily going down over past 2-3 decades. And let us be honest about something else- this loss of faith is grounded in very solid reasons. It takes too much effort to keep believing in priests.. I mean”credentialed experts”.. who have made repeatedly been shown to wrong, greedy and incompetent. By now, almost every person in USA has had personal experience or knows somebody directly who has suffered due to dogma, greed or sheer incompetence of physicians who behave as if they are incapable of making mistakes. And the effect of such behavior and attitudes on their overall credibility is cumulative.

How many of you would willingly place your trust in people who have repeatedly displayed their ability to believe and promote bullshit, derive their livelihood via cartelisation of their profession and are generally incapable of accepting their past mistakes? Why, then, would you expect people with skin in the game aka parents to blindly trust any guidelines or recommendations these “credentialed experts” with no skin in the game come up with? And let us be honest about something else.. “revised guidelines and recommendations” during the past 20 years have almost exclusively been used to sell increasingly more expensive drugs and other medical services without a corresponding increase in life-expectancy. And this leads us to the second issue- namely, the risk-benefit ratios for each vaccine.

2] Too many losers.. I mean supporters of scientism.. believe (or pretend to) that all vaccines are wonder drugs with almost no side-effects and almost universal efficacy. The reality, as usual, is more complicated. While there are vaccines with almost 100% efficacy and almost non-existent serious adverse effects (Diphtheria and Tetanus toxoids, oral and injected polio vaccines, Mumps and Rubella component of MMR, Hepatitis A and B vaccines etc), not all vaccines with almost universal efficacy are free of a small risk of serious side effects. Two of most well-known vaccines (Vaccinia-based smallpox vaccine and Rabies Vaccines- even the latest ones) are known to cause serious side-effects in about 1 in 1000 to 10,000 recipients. That is why we stopped vaccinating the general population against Smallpox a few years after it was eradicated in the late-1970s and also why the Rabies vaccine is usually used for post-exposure treatment in humans.

Now you know why only veterinarians, bat cave explorers, people who travel in wild areas of poor countries and people who work with the rabies virus are vaccinated pre-exposure, and everybody else is vaccinated immediately after exposure. This is also why the yellow fever vaccine, which is also very effective, is used so sparingly outside countries and localities where that disease is endemic. Long story short- even extremely effective vaccines can have adverse effects at unacceptable rates in areas where the disease is not prevalent. For example- vaccinating everybody in USA with the smallpox, rabies and yellow fever vaccines would cause more deaths and illness than those diseases cause under current long-established guidelines.

3] Not all vaccines are highly effective. Yearly influenza shots are a very good example of vaccines whose real-life efficacy rarely exceeds 50%. In most years, their efficacy is closer to 30%, and it often dips as low as 10-20%. Did I mention that influenza stains at the start of an epidemic are often not the same as those near the end? Pretending that yearly influenza vaccination protects people from that disease at a higher rate than wearing a magical charm or talisman is scientifically disingenuous. Maybe, someday we will have an efficacious vaccine for all strains of influenza that can infect humans or attenuate the disease. However, as things stand today we don’t have one and it is stupid to keep pretending otherwise.

And then there is the issue of established and efficacious vaccines, which nonetheless, could use some improvement. For example- the cellular pertussis vaccine has pretty good efficacy (85-90%) but is known to make a few children ill enough to require hospital care. The acellular version, while displaying far fewer serious side effects, is a bit less efficacious (60-80%). Clearly, we should try to develop a better pertussis component in the DPT vaccine with more efficacy and fewer side effects. Also, a better system for identifying kids who will react poorly to the cellular version of that vaccine is required. The Measles component of the MMR vaccine provides a pretty high degree of complete protection (over 85%), however about 1 of 10 vaccinated children can still develop a very mild form of the illness if exposed to that virus.

Let us, therefore, not pretend that the Measles competent of MMR is close to 100% effective. The same is true for Chickenpox vaccine- which provides total protection for about 80%, while providing protection against moderate to severe disease to the other 19-20%. Note that I am using numbers and percentages based on standard multiple-dose vaccinations schedules. In the next part, I will go into the efficacy and effectiveness of these and other vaccines from a public health standpoint. As you will see in that part, some vaccines are far more consequential from the public health standpoint than others- which is a fancy way of saying that some are more important than others.

What do you think? Comments?

GPS Ankle Monitors are Redundant in Era of Ubiquitous Smartphones

February 21, 2019 3 comments

Sometime ago, I came across an article which documented how smartphones can now perform many functions which once required physically separate devices. For example, smartphones now universally have acceptably good video and sound voice recording capabilities- thus replacing the still camera, camcorder and pocket voice recorder, at least for non-professional users. The same can be said of their ability to access GPS and other radio-navigation data, making it unnecessary for most users to own a dedicated GPS receiver. While I am fine with technological advancement and convenience, I am also cognizant of their downsides and potential for abuse.

As many of you know, one of the many peculiarities of what passes for “law enforcement” in USA is its strong attraction for technological “solutions”- especially if someone who is already rich can make more money from it. That is why, for example, the carceral and borderline third-world state of USA is by far the largest user of GPS ankle monitors. It occurred to me that this is one more device that has been made redundant by smartphones. See.. Google, Apple, almost every single one of your smartphone apps and internet monopolies such as FakeBook are already spying on everyone 24/7, and this includes geolocation. Why keep using an old technology such as GPS ankle monitors when people will pay to buy the latest smartphone and privacy-invading apps?

What do you think? Comments?

Large Corporations and Governments are the Real Clients for 23andMe

January 26, 2019 24 comments

Over the past 3-4 years, many of you must have seen tons of advertisements (both in traditional and new media) for DNA testing services such as 23andMe, and many others who offer seemingly reasonably priced DNA testing services to help you find your “real heritage” and other liberal-idiot friendly bullshit. These ads usually contain some actor, often of mixed-ancestry, touting how he or she was able to find his or her “real roots” by taking a “simple DNA test” to the accompaniment of new-agey music and other bullshit advertising tropes. So.. what is going on? Why are these sociopathic entities (corporations which offer DNA testing services) interested in helping you “find your real ancestral roots” at apparently reasonable prices.

Think about it, a bit. What is in it for them? Also, how can so many business which offer the same or very similar services able to afford their extensive advertising campaigns and offer relatively inexpensive tests- and all of this while ostensibly operating under operating principle of making ever-increasing profit. Doesn’t smell right, does it? Now ask yourself, which other corporations have a similar business model. Let us start by talking about other corporations which offer “free” services to their average user such as Google, FakeBook, Twitter etc. How do they make their profits. Well.. by collecting and selling data about their users to corporations who want to extract more money from them via advertising or otherwise scamming them or those who want to surveil them for purpose of abuse and discrimination- in other words, various governmental agencies.

And this brings us the next logical question- what exactly has the so-called “genomic revolution” of past 20 odd years achieved? What I am about to tell you is not going to please idiots who believe in the fairly tale of technological progress. Long story short, the “genomic revolution” of past two decades has been a costly and hilarious failure- as far as delivery of original promises is concerned. See.. I am old enough to remember what was being promised in very-late 1990s, when I was in my early 20s. At the time, human (and other organism) genome sequencing was touted as to the magic key which would help us identify genes for common diseases, protein targets for new drugs, targeted cancer therapy, develop super crops and all sorts of other futuristic nonsense- not unlike what you hear for “artificial intelligence” today.

Things did not turn out that way.. to put it mildly. After a few years in early-2000s, it became painfully obvious that finding genes for common diseases such as various types of Heart Disease, Diabetes, Alzheimers etc was a fool’s errand. Even worse, the results cast doubt on what many so-called “experts” claimed to know about those diseases. At best, genomics helped us better understand and sub-classify rare single-gene diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis etc. Even the area in which genomics is most often touted to have “improved” disease management, namely anti-cancer therapy, has not seen worthwhile improvement in outcome for majority of patients. And oh.. vast majority of drug targets identified by genomics have proven to be totally worthless.

The point I am trying to make is that entire fields such as genomics, bioinformatics etc have not delivered even a small fraction of what was confidently promised in 1999. And ya.. I think we are going to see something similar happen to current DNA-editing technologies such as CRISPR and other hyped scam such as Gene Drive etc. Turns out that getting something to work properly and reproducibly in non-model systems outside the laboratory is a real bitch. Here is another insight.. technologies that were not hyped during their initial and often rocky development such as the modern computers and the internet, monoclonal antibody drugs, better use of existing drugs etc usually have a much larger impact than those hawked as (next) ticket to riches and utopia.

So why would large corporations and governmental agencies be interested in genomic data? Isn’t it almost completely useless? They can’t be that stupid.. right? Well.. let us start with the “are they that stupid” part. The answer to that question, sadly, is a resounding YES. The leaders and underlings of large corporations, you see, have to pretend that they are doing something useful while robbing those corporations. The simplest way to give the appearance of real work and making important decisions involves them promoting any shiny scam which is currently making rounds of the corporate circuit. This is why for example, corporate executives are always touting the newest management techniques, employing consultants, promoting mindfulness, talking about corporate responsibility, “making the world a better place” and all that BS.

Also, the vast majority of people who end up in the leadership of, or other high positions, in large institutions are very likely to be bad at anything other than lying, kissing ass, backstabbing and self-promotion. Look at how easily a CONartist such as Elizabeth Holmes was able to extract money, validation and support out of allegedly experienced and seasoned top ex-bureaucrats and CEOs. It never ceases to amuse me when I hear libertarian idiots (usually white guys who also believe in other scams such as “IQ”) try to explain their hilariously reverential mental image of corporations and other supposedly “meritocratic” institutions. The situation inside large institutions (private and public) has far more in common with the movie ‘Office Space‘ than the toilet-paper dispenser known as ‘Atlas Shrugged’.

But what does this have to do with not using DNA testing services to find your “real roots” . Well.. think of these services as corporate- and government- funded fronts for collecting your genomic metadata. But what harm could come from providing DNA samples, especially since genomics has turned out be a very expensive damp squib. As it turns out- a lot! The pretense of knowledge has, historically, caused much more problems than real insight into problems. In case of genomic metadata, this would translate into denial of “healthcare” insurance coverage in the third-world country of USA. Then there is the certainty of discrimination when applying for jobs, getting loans and many other interactions with corporations. Remember that their decisions and “algorithms” don’t have to be based in reality as long as they have more lawyers and money than you.

The abuse of genomic metadata by Governments will take a different direction. Don’t be surprised if the DNA of non-violent “troublemakers” starts to appear at the site of various unrelated violent crimes. Or government bureaucrats come up with some cockamamie scheme of classifying people based on bullshit data analysis performed by using “deep learning” techniques. In case you are wondering, police in USA still regularly plant fake evidence to imprison and convict black men and governments in the past have based large-scale policies (eugenics, the final solution, residential redlining and most rule/ laws passed in USA before 1965) on bullshit beliefs such as “inherent” superiority of some racial groups over others. In summary, there is no upside to getting your DNA tested to find you “real roots” or “true ancestry”. There are however many downsides to letting corporations and governments collect your genomic metadata.

What do you think? Comments?

Propaganda Provides an Excuse, Rather than Manufacturing Consent: 1

December 18, 2018 6 comments

Some years ago, I was watching (or rewatching) a YouTube video which was trying to tout the efficacy of government and corporate propaganda. Maybe it was something by Adam Curtis or a derivative work which used excerpts from The Century of Self. In any case, the precise identity of that clip has virtually no relevance to the topic of this series- for reasons which will soon become obvious. While I usually find such bullshit quite entertaining, if only for the apparent conviction of belief displayed by those who are into such stuff- this was different. Perhaps I was just feeling extra misanthropic that particular evening, or maybe it was the alcohol (likely both).. but an interesting idea came to my mind. What if propaganda provides an official-sounding excuse for people to act out their most depraved beliefs, rather than put it in their mind in the first place.

As regular readers of this blog know, my opinions about human beings as a species have never been especially high– to put it mildly. You can, therefore, see this series as an extension of my opinions on that subject. Anyway.. let us get back to the topic of this series by asking ourselves a simple question. What is the one central but unspoken assumption which has to be true for any propaganda to “work”? And remember that this unspoken assumption underlies every single explanation for the efficacy of propaganda- from Noam Chomsky and his ‘Manufacturing Consent’ to the pseudoscience.. I mean psychology crap spouted by any random loser slaving way at a marketing firm. Could it about linguistics, ‘neuroscience’ or some other clever sounding bullshit?
Think harder.. because once I reveal it many of you might say that it was obvious.

Are you ready.. here it goes.. All conventional explanations for the efficacy of propaganda are based around the assumption that human beings as a species are naturally good, kind, decent, altruistic, humane etc. Even the class of explanations which assume that humans are imperfect creatures make the implicit and unspoken assumption that they are basically good. As I will explain you later, there is a reason why even the most fucked-up human being firmly believes that he or she is a ‘good’ person. At this point, some might wonder whether I see human beings as ‘risen apes’ or ‘fallen angels’. Surprise.. I don’t see them as either. In my opinion, comparing human beings to apes is rather insulting to the later. So how do I see human beings as a species?

To be quite blunt.. human beings as a species are incapable of anything approaching objective thought, let alone reason. They are also fundamentally incapable of being kind, decent, altruistic or anything else which they want to believe about themselves. Instead.. they are an incredibly greedy, short-sighted, narcissistic and delusional species with an obsession for trying to dominate others and an all-consuming fear of their inevitable mortality. Human beings as a species not only lack a ‘moral compass’ of any kind, but are actually incapable of creating anything along those lines. Perhaps more importantly, this is the case irrespective of their “culture”, ethnicity, race, “IQ” or sex. And they also have a predilection for self-destruction. The fact that humans beings have not made themselves extinct after invention of nuclear weapons is a minor miracle.

While this assessment might sound unpleasant, it is based in reality. Read enough about history and you will be hard pressed to identify who was the lesser fuckup and delusional asshole in any interaction. If that is too much work, just look at the world around you with critical eyes. Think about all the people you have worked for, worked with, had sex with or are related to and then as yourself.. “Is this what passes for average humans?”. I am not saying that every single person is a delusional sadistic fuckup. Indeed we can all think of a few people (based on our personal experience) who are clearly not, but most of them are.. well.. sad fuckups. And that is why I use the expression ‘human beings as a species’ as opposed to ‘all humans’. In other words, not everyone- just the majority. But the majority, nonetheless.

Now you know why it was so easy to find tons of people willing to burn alleged witches in 16th-17th century Europe or why persecuting and lynching Jews was a popular pastime during the Great Plague epidemic of 1347-1351. That is also why mass human sacrifice was an important part of Aztec Culture or why the very ‘christian’ Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors went about killing and enslaving millions of people in south and central america. This is also how tens of millions died due to famine during British Rule of India or how many tens of millions of white men killed each other during WW1 and WW2. Did I mention the ethnic genocides which occurred in the last century such as the Armenian Genocide, the Ukrainian Famine of the 1930s, the Holocaust, all the millions who died in China between 1959-1961. Oh and that is separate from the millions killed during Japanese occupation of (parts of) China during the 1937-1945 timespan.

And this is just a tiny sliver of what you can find when you read enough history. Now tell me something.. do you think that human beings as a species have to be “brainwashed” to do evil and stupid things? Do you still think human beings really require a bunch of manipulators to get them to kill each other for no good reason? Or perhaps ‘propaganda’ just gives people a public excuse to act out their most depraved desires and pretend that it was not their idea. The far more straightforward (if unpleasant) explanation is that ‘propaganda’ simply provides most people a way to externalize responsibility for their shitty and stupid behavior. That way, they can do horrendous stuff but then also be able to pretend that they are good persons. It is all about enjoying the morbid deed but externalizing the responsibility of said deed.

In the next part, I will use a series of examples to show you that ‘propaganda’ is really about telling people that is OK be pathetic, depraved and murderous assholes. And remember that old white people who watch Fox News did not become sad racist losers after starting to watch that channel. Newsflash.. they were always racist losers. Fox News simply provided external validation for the beliefs which they always held but were too cowardly to display in public until some fuckface or bimbo on Fox News told them that it was OK to do so.

What do you think? Comments?