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Posts Tagged ‘lies’

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?

Some Initial Thoughts about Today’s Arrest of Julian Assange in London

April 11, 2019 14 comments

As some might have heard earlier today, Julian Assange (founder of Wikileaks) was arrested by the local police in London. It is noteworthy that this development was expected for a few weeks, if not months, largely due to the badly-want-to-be-real-white puppet president of Ecuador, LenĂ­n Moreno, wanting to fellate the “real-white” neocon idiots in the Trump administration. And yes.. the racial dynamics I am describing here is real and the principal reason why most latin american countries have been unstable shitholes in spite of having immense natural resources. But enough about the pathetic psyche of almost-real-white latin americans, because they do not matter. I will, however, make one prediction. The future of Latin america will be far more Asian (and otherwise non-Hispanic) than most of you can imagine.

Without going into a ton of history about how and why Wikileaks came into existence, let me provide a link to the seminal 2006 essay in which Assange explained the need for Wikileaks. The very short version is that effective state oppression requires conspirators.. aka the government functionaries and employees.. to be being able to communicate with a high degree of confidence and secrecy. Once those conditions can no longer be met, the ability of a government or large corporation to oppress and abuse people keeps becomes progressively weaker. And things have worked exactly as Assange predicted- much to the consternation of the increasingly elderly and decrepit western elite. Do I need to refresh your memory about how much of the unexpected political developments in past decade have been due to Wikileaks.

And he has influenced others, such as Snowden. To summarize, publication of a huge number of “official secrets” by Wikileaks made it impossible for USA to keep a large force In Iraq after 2009, exposed tons of shady stuff done by american government and its private contractors, helped keep Hillary out of the White House in 2001 and released tons of stuff about problematic behavior of various 3 letter agencies. If you combine the results of Wikileaks and Snowden archives, Assange has done more to permanently damage the image and power of undeserving public and private institutions in the west than anybody else in living memory. Also, there is a reason why Wikileaks has far more effect on western countries than say.. on China or Russia.

But why is that so? While people like MikeCA will regurgitate some stuff about how USA and the ‘West’ are more open, free and democratic societies, but the reality is quite different. The thing is.. institutions in Western societies derive public legitimacy by pretending to be good, fair, objective, honest etc. In contrast, governments and institutions in Russia and China don’t pretend that their mandate is derived from moral superiority or similar bullshit. If tomorrow, Wikileaks published definitive evidence that Putin was worth many billions, had multiple concubines and OKed murders of many journalists- almost nobody in that country would care or be surprised. His ruling mandate, you see, is derived from his ability to reverse many of the abominations and depredations of the Yeltsin era. He is not pretending to the moral center or conscience of his country- unlike his western counterparts. And most people in Russia are fine with that.

Similarly, the Chinese Communist Party does not derive its ruling mandate by claiming to be a vaguely-defined force for moral good. Sure.. they might say that bullshit once in a while- but only brain-damaged people believe that crap. Instead, the CCP derives its mandate from what it has done to improve the quality of lives for average Chinese people. And it had done a whole fucking lot! Just search for photographs of the same area in China from the 1980s and today, and you cannot deny that they have achieved more in the past 30-40 years than the West achieved in over 200. Moreover, they did all of this without importing slaves from other countries or indulging in European-style colonization- making it even more impressive. A few revelations about large-scale corruption or questionable behavior by a few would have no effect on their mandate.

In sharp contrast to that, the ruling mandate of governments in Western countries (especially after WW2) is derived from pretending to be democratically elected institutions who work for bettering lives of their average citizens in addition to being full of morally upright and honest people. As we all know, this is a big pile of crap and has been widely seen as such- even in the past. But very few people used to call out their bullshit for the first 2-3 decades after WW2, as there was an amazing amount of economic growth and improvement in quality of life for the average person in those countries. This however started to change towards end of 1970s, and the standard of life for your average person in West has not improved much since then.

But what does any of this have to do with the impact of Wikileaks on Western countries. Well.. for starters, the published revelations show a system riddled with dishonesty, graft, lies, brutality and everything else which western governments (and corporations) publicly pretend they are not. But why does it matter, when Russians and Chinese do not seem to care about similar behavior by their governments? Well.. because the rapidly aging, incestuous and incompetent Western elite of the 21st century simply do not have any other justification for their continued rule. They put all their eggs in the one basket which is now falling apart. And that is the real reason why the decrepit western elite, especially in anglo countries, are so scared of Assange and Wikileaks.

Will write more about this topic as events unfold..

What do you think? Comments?

“Official” Scientific Research about Nutrition is Mostly Fabrication

February 28, 2018 15 comments

In the past, I have written more than a few posts about why an increasing number of people no longer believe in the pronouncements of “professionals”, “experts” and “scientists”. As I wrote in some of those posts, a majority of scientific research performed and published today is highly exaggerated, purposefully misrepresented or just plain outright fraud. To make a long story short, all those purported breakthroughs published everyday in both scientific journals and the general media no longer result in any worthwhile improvements in our ability to solve those problems.

There are many reasons why progress in scientific research (as measured by our ability to do useful and hitherto impossible things) has stagnated since the 1970s and 1980s, or why no truly novel and groundbreaking technologies have emerged since the mid-1990s. A good part of the blame can be placed on the infiltration and domination of neoliberal ideology in both public and privately funded research. The current centralized and fickle nature of financial support for researchers also has a negative effect on research. We cannot also forget the effect of perverse incentives on the overall process.

“Scientific” research into nutrition and health is one of the areas where this rot is highly visible- even to the general public, and for good reason. As many of you know, the most embarrassing public failures attributed to medical research (and remembered as such) by the general public concern the many solipsistic, dishonest and often outright fraudulent examples of dietary recommendations pushed by “scientists” and “experts” over the last few decades. In case you have forgotten some of the stunners, let me refresh your memory.

Some of you may might have heard about a pompous and greedy ivy-league creature called Ancel Keys cherry-picked data to show that dietary fats, rather than carbohydrates, was linked to atherosclerotic heart disease. It is also no secret that during the 1960s-1990s, many large corporations marketing carbohydrate based food funded scientific “research” which then “proved” that carbohydrates were “healthy” while fats were “unhealthy”. This was also the era when cigarette manufacturers funded studies which allegedly showed smoking to have no link with an increased risk of lung cancer or emphysema.

In other words, all those “acclaimed” and “objective” scientists in ivy-league league universities were (and are) as corrupt as the proverbial crooked inspector in a third-world country. I could go on and list tons of other cases where dietary guidelines reached after “extensive studies” proved to be worse than useless and were later found out to be based on highly irregular data analysis. For example, average levels of salt-intake have no worthwhile association with blood pressure in most people. And yes.. I am aware that 10-15 % of the population is more sensitive to salt intake than the remaining 85-90%.

My point is that population-wide reduction in levels of smoking, better treatment of hypertension and heart disease have been the principal reasons behind the decrease in mortality and morbidity from cardio- and cerebro- vascular diseases. The effect of these factors is most obvious when you start correlating the chronological decrease in the incidence of these diseases with the introduction of better anti-hypertensive drugs, statins and improved methods and protocols for treating strokes and heart-attacks. Dietary guidelines based on biased “studies, on the other hand, have made people fatter and less healthy that would otherwise be the case.

A recently uncovered example of the inherently fraudulent nature of “official” nutrition research involves uncovering of highly questionable stuff going in the research group of Brian Wansink at Cornell, where he hold an endowed chair. Wansink also just happens to be the former head of the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion at the USDA. While I encourage you to read the link in the previous sentence and this one for the long-form version of this story, the short summary is as follows. This “respected ivy-league” professor strongly and often directly encouraged his graduate students to start with a media-friendly headline and then statistically torture data to fit whatever the wanted to publish.

He wanted his graduate students and postdocs to make up scientific “facts” based on manipulated data to justify whatever he thought was fashionable or would result in more grant money and fame. It is especially damning that he casually joked about doing this for many years in email exchanges with his students. The degree of openness and candor he displayed also suggests that doing “research” in this manner was pretty common in this area. Some of you might see this case as an exception, however my experience in research over the years suggests that he was just unlucky enough to get caught. And this brings us the next question- what if his “usual research practices” had never been uncovered?

Well.. if Wansink had never been exposed, he would still be regarded as a highly respected academic with impeccable credentials whose “research” would continue to be published in “respectable” peer-reviewed journals and form the basis of various policies concerning “healthy eating” and “nutrition”. Some of his graduate students would go on to be appointed to the faculty of other universities and keep performing what is basically scientific fraud and be rewarded with tenure, pay raises and fame. The biggest losers in this whole scheme would be all those credulous idiots who kept believing in the “objectivity” of scientific research- especially as it concerns the field of nutrition.

What do you think? Comments?