Thursday Highlights

Well better late than, uhm, tomorrow.

  1. Let’s see, you can’t make it legal to shoot them down and at the same time you can’t fly them. The libertarian argument gets better every day.
  2. The President feels the fetus is guilty … (of what?) or something like that. Just remember, liberals like Rawls at least pay lip sevice to it, but just don’t pay attention to the consequences.
  3. The Boston bomber and penalty.
  4. Obamacare and economic consequences. More on the same … attack a straw man is one strategy in Obamacare defense (apparently someone doesn’t realize that if you stop working to pay for your medical care and instead stop working and let taxes (other peoples money) to handle it … that’s not a net gain for the country).
  5. And one more “how not to defend” Obamacare.
  6. A book suggested. I picked up the first one, as I’ll be on the road starting tomorrow night until Thursday night.
  7. Or you could just figure out it’s just a cat or a dog, and get a new one.
  8. Hello? The surprise would be the government doing it well. Duh.
  9. “more likely to seek treatment” … that would be on planet liberal-pipe-dreams-come-true. Back on this world, the mentally ill rarely seek treatment voluntarily because they are, wait for it …, mentally ill. This can be put along side of the “those without insurance don’t have it because they can’t afford it (as opposed don’t really want it and want to spend their money elsewhere).
  10. Self parody. In which the poster notes in his second part “one of those annoying columns that comes so close to making an important point, only to swerve away into inanity” and then in his response, does exactly that. Examine for example, ” Ironically, government is far, far better at this — by maintaining a monopoly on sanction, they can make punishments more precise and ultimately more just” … in the context of the IRS “justly” decided to single out one parties groups for antagonistic vetting at the prompting of the President.
  11. In which “strange” probably means “kinda neat”.
  12. And the problem is … likely that the NSA doesn’t have the data but ordinary people do. Ordinary people, on might note, having such information is less problematic than the government.
  13. Quantity and quality.
  14. Trust and vendors.
  15. Don’t worry, wait 2 more years and the expected costs will double again, … why not worry? Well, it was all part of the original “cunning plan.” All part of the “Obama = BlackAdder” (with Biden as Baldrick) theme.
  16. Scurillous for whom? I’d hope Ms Hurley would have far better taste than spending time with a sleaze like that.

16 Responses to Thursday Highlights

  1. 12.And the problem is … likely that the NSA doesn’t have the data but ordinary people do. Ordinary people, on might note, having such information is less problematic than the government.

    Now Google isn’t quite ‘ordinary people’ is it? In fact since Google’s business plan is essentially to become a commercial version of the NSA database, knowing everything about everyone.

    Which seems to be missed in many of these discussions. A grain of sand isn’t a beach, but lots of grains are. If take a random picture of a street scene thereby collecting all the faces that happen to be walking by at a particular moment, that’s really nothing. But suppose you start taking a picture of every street at every moment and storing all that data. Pretty soon you’ve created a database that can essentially spy on individuals long after the fact. 50 years from now is Biff Johnson going to become very famous? Well you can recreate just about everything he did every day of his life by going thru your database.

    Now imagine everyone wearing Google glasses and all the video/audio feeds going into Google’s servers. The potential is both amazing and troubling. Imagine what it might be like for a historian in 2100. If they were, say, writing a book about the Great Suez Crises of 2021, they could go to the ‘holograph room’ and play the video literally through the eyes of the President, her chief advisors, the leaders of other countries, even individual civilians and soldiers on the ground. Such a record would be even greater than having meeting notes and transcripts made by those at the event, things like facial expressions maybe even pulse rates could be studied.

    Speaking of which, Clive Thompson has an interesting book, Smarter than you think : how technology is changing our minds for the better. In it he talks to a few people who are making total records of their lives. All day long they are wearing devices that record everything they see, hear and say. The effect is rather strange. Having a disagreement? Their friends ask them to literally replay conversations from weeks or months ago to see who really said what. Collecting big data on your personal life experience is pretty amazing and is something that has never before been possible.

    On the other hand it’s the end of all real privacy. Your grand daughter may confront you after discovering you made a habit of visiting adult bookstores and strip joins back when you were in your 20′s. “Look, there’s yourself from 50 years ago walking into the place!”

    In contrast, what the NSA has (essentially the metadata that your phone company has anyway) pales in comparision. What I’m conflicted about is this a good thing or bad thing. I think the discussion is just starting.

  2. Boonton,
    If I read the article correctly, it isn’t a Google app but a third party application. Every IOS app is not “An Apple” program just as every Android application isn’t Google.

    Now imagine everyone wearing Google glasses and all the video/audio feeds going into Google’s servers

    Ok. Bandwidth? The video capture is being stored on the local devices. some of that is going to outside servers.

    What I’m conflicted about is this a good thing or bad thing. I think the discussion is just starting.

    Even if it was google, I understand why google wants to know about me. They want to put adverts in front of me for stuff I want when I’m ready to buy and possibly when I’m close to a place were I can buy it. Why the government wants that data is a little more problematic. I understand why the NSA might be interested in a survey and some of the data to find people “of interest”. Howerver, as noted elsewhere, the temptation for minions (and direct requests) from administrators to use that data to keep themselves in power, which is why the IRS scandal is of import, is more problematic. As well as the other side, government feels very within their rights (and they are wrong to think so) to interfere “just because” (witness the FAA stopping liquor stores to delivery beer to fishermen on lakes … there is no earthly reason why they should interefere … but hey, they can so they did).

  3. If the information exists, the gov’t can get it. It doesn’t matter if it exists on Google’s servers but not the NSA’s, if it exists anywhere it’s possible that a gov’t could obtain it.

    And, of course, it’s not just the US gov’t that you have to worry about.

  4. And I don’t think you addressed the problem with assembling metadata into Big Data. You end up revealing your ‘information’ even if you don’t have any relationship yourself with the end user. Taking a photo of every street every 30 seconds allows one to assemble a 24-7 timeline of where you are and it doesn’t matter if you ‘opt out’ of using Google or Facebook or whoever is doing it.

  5. A book suggested. I picked up the first one, as I’ll be on the road starting tomorrow night until Thursday night.

    You may want to check out Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser. The Damascus Accident is Damascus Ark. when a worker dropped a wrench which ended up less than 24 hours later causing a nuclear missile to explode and kill at least one person. Clearly the warhead itself did not detonate, but we were surprisingly less far away from an accidental detonation than one would have thought.

    Interspersed in the story of the incident, there’s a review of nuclear weapons, their design and safety and the debate over how to use them (who knew Henry Kissinger got his start arguing against a no holds barred nuclear genocide against the USSR, possibly done as a first strike rather than in response to an attack?).

    There’s also a lot of interesting thinking about how systems work and how they fail both on the micro-scale (the accident) and the macro one. For example, when the military finally got all the branches to come together and analyze how they would target the USSR in a full scale nuclear war they discovered many of our bombers would have been destroyed by our incoming missiles just as they arrived on target. Good fast read for a 500 page book.

  6. Ironically, government is far, far better at this — by maintaining a monopoly on sanction, they can make punishments more precise and ultimately more just” … in the context of the IRS “justly” decided to single out one parties groups for antagonistic vetting at the prompting of the President.

    It is interesting to see how people take different approaches to different subjects. Suppose you took your approach to politics and applied it to religion? You’d probably opt for something like Scientology….a ‘make it up as you go along’ religion rather than Orthodox Christianity.

  7. Boonton,
    I guess if my politics were aligned with my religion, I’d be an originalist … back to the founders documents. I don’t know where you’re getting the “making things up” .. my politics are quite consistent I think.

  8. Boonton,

    It is interesting to see how people take different approaches to different subjects.

    What? You apparently think government never abuses it’s power. You should follow Chicago politics a little more, you’ll lose your faith in fair government (and that Democrats are somehow less corrupt than anyone else).

  9. Boonton,
    One more note, it’s interesting how Democratic elite gravitate to tyranny. Wasn’t there a Democratic pundit waxing at the ability of China to just dictate policy and it would happen.

  10. What? You apparently think government never abuses it’s power.

    By this logic I can say you’re a child molestor. What?! No evidence?! So what? You think men never molest children!

    One more note, it’s interesting how Democratic elite gravitate to tyranny. Wasn’t there a Democratic pundit waxing at the ability of China to just dictate policy and it would happen.

    Was it Henry Kissinger?

  11. More seriously about the IRS, I’ve been very critical of the corruption. The people passed a law that said giving a donation to a charity is tax deductible, giving it to a political party is not. They then clarrified that law to say it was ok to have the deduction if it was to a charity that had an ‘educational’ aspect that touched politics but yet wasn’t a political party.

    Now you can say that such a law cannot be easily enforced since you’re going to be stuck with blurred lines all over the place, but nonetheless that was the law that was passed. As a result of the fracus, which is now clearly known to have been superficial and somewhat manufactured since we now know the IRS also was using ‘progressive’ flag words and even before this policy liberal groups griped for years that it took forever to get approval through, both Republicans and Democrats now have a new policy in place, all these groups now enjoy the benefit of tax deductible donations. Yet the law has never been changed, no elected official has put his vote on record allowing political groups to share the deduction benefit that was intended for charitable groups. It has happened because Congress browbeated the IRS into not enforcing the law it passed instead of simply writing a new law. So yea that was corrupt and you’re carrying water for the corruption by embracing a narrative that justifies it yet has been disproven multiple times now.

  12. Boonton,
    Except the government frequently abuses its power. I guess you would have given this remark a pass if I’d used the Christie/bridge as an example.

    Was it Henry Kissinger

    Friedman I think.

  13. I guess you would have given this remark a pass if I’d used the Christie/bridge as an example.

    Which is a good illustration, we have after all the email from Christie’s #1 man saying “time for a traffic jam in Fort Lee”. Yet what do we have that causes you to write:
    the IRS “justly” decided to single out one parties groups for antagonistic vetting at the prompting of the President.

    Republicans would have been very happy to find an email that said “time for Tea Parties to get some IRS scrutiny” from Obama. Hell they would have liked to have found an email from even a mid-level person saying that. Yet not only did they fail to find it, they even found the ‘scrutiny’ applied to liberal ‘flag words’ like ‘progressive’.

    So what exactly happened? People like you participate in making up the facts while ignoring the actual ones. The policy change that results ends up abusing power by allowing non-charities to compete with charities for tax deductible donations while the political class pretends this isn’t a change in the law to benefit donars. Difference between me and you is that I actually want to know what’s going on here, you just want talking points for your party line.

  14. Boonton,
    Let’s see Christie is still in office the offending person in charge got fired. Obama is still in office the offending person in charge, got fired. And no, we didn’t find emails or recorded convesations from Christie or Obama. Did you expect to?

    Difference between me and you is that I actually want to know what’s going on here, you just want talking points for your party line.

    No. The difference is that you look a liberal papers reporting that “gosh liberal groups got targeted” and I listen to non-liberal ones which say “liberal and conservative groups both got targeted but there was a statistical preponderance of conservative targeting.” The big difference is you were not as old as I was during the Nixon Watergate era and my instinct is to distrust government and yours is to trust Democratic leaders.

  15. I listen to non-liberal ones which say “liberal and conservative groups both got targeted but there was a statistical preponderance of conservative targeting.”

    Show me.

    The big difference is you were not as old as I was during the Nixon Watergate era and my instinct is to distrust government and yours is to trust Democratic leaders.

    Your Watergate lesson was to distrust Democratic leaders? Hmmmm.

    Let’s see Christie is still in office the offending person in charge got fired. Obama is still in office the offending person in charge, got fired.

    I’m not seeing an ‘offending person’ in regard to the IRS.

  16. Boonton,
    “show me”

    At Washington, DC’s direction, dozens of groups operating as 501(c)(4)s were flagged for IRS surveillance, including monitoring of the groups’ activities, websites and any other publicly available information. Of these groups, 83% were right-leaning. And of the groups the IRS selected for audit, 100% were right-leaning.

    Shown

    I’m not seeing an ‘offending person’ in regard to the IRS.

    Ms Lerner no longer works there. Why?

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