Blog Posts

How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Matrix

[copied in from a comment for further discussion re: the NSA]

We can skip the word "evil" and just take examples of what citizens might want to know.

While apparently the post office has been scanning envelopes a long time, the use of OCR means they have a huge searchable database of From, To and Date. The recent improvements in data analytics & Big Data means it's trivial to compile that into categories - especially if you link it to Facebook and collected phone metadata - who your friends are, where you work, where you bank, who you call, what organizations you're involved with. Depending on who's sending you mail, they can figure out if you're having credit problems, health issues, seeing a psychiatrist, getting a divorce.

Overstock's Patrick Byrne gets his revenge

There's been considerable schadenfreude over Patrick Byrne's claims about naked short selling crashing his company Overstock, amongst which includes circular arguments that his company did poorly so he must be a hack, and the gleeful contention by Goldman Sachs et al that naked short selling didn't actually exist (despite massive fails to deliver exceeding outstanding shares). Claims that were echoed by some (one) here.

Sadly for them, Goldman's lawyer accidentally released a ton of info showing not only did it exist, but that Goldman Sachs had excelled at it.

Electric car gets good review

Okay, this isn't a big post, but after some electric car company called an NY Times reporter a liar last month for the road test review, it was nice to see a very positive review of a practical shipping car, the Renault Zoe (no, I don't own stock or work for the company).

Epic Epigenetics

[touched off by article on epi-markers & homosexuality]

I'm excited about progress in science on a number of levels, and figure our understanding of matters will be vastly different in 20-30 years based on evolving tools & theories.

Priming the Black Vision Thing

[response to other threads got too long]


You obliquely point out a big issue - people don't have any real ideas for creating mass jobs in the black community, aside from back to government.

In the 50's I believe (via Buckminster Fuller), Brazil was intent on modernizing, with some wanting to emulate the US with its railroads, despite the existence then of airplanes more suitable for Brazil's vast distances and thick jungles.

Twofer - insurance & Wall Street theft


Who woulda guessed - holes in Obamacare permitting double digit health care increases?

Say Goodbye to Hillary 2

Sitting here contemplating the future as I was told I can't predict, and that those premonitions of 2016 are ageist and sexist.

Will Hugo Chavez die before his inauguration 6 days away? Well, he's had an amazing journey, and he's only 58, so it would be wrong of me to predict. Just because he had cancer & 4 major operations in the last 2 years and is now clinging on in a respirator after severe lung infection - well, who knows?

Say Goodbye to Hillary

It's a thought that occurred to me numerous times, and would seem to be obvious, but Hillary would be 69 by election day 2016.

While Reagan was elected at 69, he was an outlier, and had spent much of his life in casual living, including an age when running from President wasn't so grueling. William Henry Harrison was 2nd at 68, and the rest go from 65 on down. Oh, did I mention Reagan's Alzheimers was covered up at the time? The press isn't so obliging these days (especially not to Democrats)

Defending Teachers

Bob Somerby at The Daily Howler, as he does frequently, voices the teachers' angle on things - in this case of the massacre - that we've been attacking them for decades, trashing teachers' unions, pretending that public teachers are just lazy and that school vouchers will cure all our ills. Even liberals blasting away at the poor state of education even as minorities make leaps and bounds progress over 2 decades that everyone ignores. Democrats like Rahm Emmanuel and Republicans like Scott Walker blast away at the teachers' unions, one point of sharing in our our rare bipartisan consensus.


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