Archives for category: fail better

Is this the epitome of ‘click bait’?

Then why do I bother with it?

Because it illustrates perfectly the prevailing trend. How things change because of us.
How we – collectively, change the world around us.

At first, click-bait had been used by ‘fraudsters’. ‘Publishers’ who used to cram completely useless information under some very ‘enticing’ titles.


Now… you may say that the information about our galaxy – the Milky Way, being on a collision course with Andromeda – our closest galactic neighbor, is also useless. Maybe… After all, that will only happen after 4 billion years had already passed… Anyway, this time, the targeted public is rather different than before. More ‘scientifically minded’…
Which proves my point.
That using click-bait has become a lot more acceptable.

The new normal…

Which brings me to the next question.
How many of you are going to watch this?

https://fb.watch/eZRdlM0nNq/

Want to find more?
To figure out, on your own, why this trend worries me?

Read this. Well worth your time, I promise.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-trick-the-guilty-and-gullible-into-revealing-themselves-1399680248

2017

““How could you square that statement with legal abortion?” Durbin asked him. “Senator, as the book explains, the Supreme Court of the United States has held in Roe v. Wade that a fetus is not a person for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the book explains that,” Gorsuch replied.

“Do you accept that?” Durbin asked. “That’s the law of the land,” Gorsuch answered. “I accept the law of the land, senator, yes.””

2022

“In a statement following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Sen. Collins expressed her dismay that Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh misrepresented their alleged respect for precedent and private conversations with her and in their confirmation hearings. “This decision is inconsistent with what Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said in their testimony and their meetings with me, where they both were insistent on the importance of supporting long-standing precedents,” she wrote.

Rolling Stone reported last month that Collins was deliberately manipulated by Trump officials into voting for Kavanaugh despite his judicial history indicating a liability to strike down Roe. The White House correctly predicted that as long as they “let the Susan Collins-es of the world think what they needed to think and hear what they needed to hear,” as one ex-official put it, the fence-sitters would fall in line and vote to confirm Trump’s nominee.”

2016

“My people are so smart — and you know what else they say about my people? The polls?” Trump asked a crowd at a Sioux Center, Iowa, rally Saturday. “I have the most loyal people — did you ever see that?”

“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?” he said, referring to the major street in New York City that cuts through Manhattan’s large commercial district. “It’s, like, incredible.”

2022

“In its first hearing, the Jan. 6 committee last week played a clip of former Attorney General Bill Barr testifying that he told former President Trump that claims the 2020 election was stolen were “bullshit.” In its second hearing, the committee on Monday played several additional minutes of Barr’s testimony, during which he described unsuccessful effort to convince Trump that the election was legitimate.”

“Barr met with Trump again on Dec. 14. “He went off on a monologue saying there was now definitive evidence of fraud through the Dominion machines,” Barr said of a Dec. 14 meeting with Trump, noting that he gave Barr a report he said proves that the election was stolen and that he would have a second term in office. Barr said the report looked “amateurish” with no real evidence to support its claims that voting machines were rigged. Barr said he was “demoralized” after looking at the report. “I thought, boy, if he really believes this stuff, he has lost contact with — he’s become detached from reality,” Barr said.”

2022-06-24

“In voters, lack of expertise would be lamentable but perhaps not so worrisome if people had some sense of how imperfect their civic knowledge is. If they did, they could repair it. But the Dunning-Kruger Effect suggests something different. It suggests that some voters, especially those facing significant distress in their life, might like some of what they hear from Trump, but they do not know enough to hold him accountable for the serious gaffes he makes. They fail to recognize those gaffes as missteps.”

“Again, the key to the Dunning-Kruger Effect is not that unknowledgeable voters are uninformed; it is that they are often misinformed—their heads filled with false data, facts and theories that can lead to misguided conclusions held with tenacious confidence and extreme partisanship, perhaps some that make them nod in agreement with Trump at his rallies.”

“….. himself also exemplifies this exact pattern, showing how the Dunning-Kruger Effect can lead to what seems an indomitable sense of certainty. All it takes is not knowing the point at which the proper application of a sensible idea turns into malpractice.”

Wishful thinking!

Conspiracy theorists are absolutely convinced that they are the true critical thinkers…

That their critique of how things works on the face of the Earth is the only reasonable one!

Then what?
Sheeple and conspiracy theorists are nothing but the very same thing? Each of them on the other ‘side’ of the dividing mirror? The surface on which the conspiracy theory dew has been craftily etched? To blurr the vision of all those attempting to look through?

After all, what’s the difference between sheeple – those who follow the official narrative and consider the ‘alternative’ to be wrong, and the conspiracy theorists? Those who consider theirs to be the true version and the ‘official version’ a misleading lie?

Each of them exercise their right and ability to doubt. To look for alternatives. And to discard the alternatives they deem to be implausible!

Most conspiracy theories have already been proven as having been bogus?
With the current ones waiting in line?

This, I’m afraid, is the moment for me to remind you that science is wrong by definition. That all scientific theories are, by definition, falsifiable. That the scientific community is convinced that all knowledge is maybe not completely wrong but definitely incomplete!
Hence there’s a lot of room out there for conspiracy theories to thrive!

‘OK.
I can follow your arguments.
Or, more exactly, I can follow your logic….
But I still believe you’re wrong.
Conspiracy theories ARE bogus!’

Let me put it differently.
Both the official narratives and the conspiracy theories are fueled by the same human need.
By our need for consistency!
Human mind has a hard time processing cognitive dissonances. Pieces of information which contradict each-other. Hence we need a ‘script’. A meta explanation for ‘everything’. A way to discharge the tensions produced by the conflicting pieces of information which assault our attention.

‘And why some people choose to become sheeple – to buy into the official version of things, while others remain conspiracy theorists for life?’

You’ve just set aside the vast majority.
Those people who are explicitly or implicitly aware that both the official version and the conspiracy theories are at least incomplete. And sometimes promoted by people with ‘ulterior motives’.
People who have a deeper creed. Many times of a religious nature but not necessarily.
People who have too many on their heads, mostly worries, so are no longer ‘available’ for ‘petty things’.
As for conspiracy theories being bogus…
I just mentioned how science works. Whenever a theory is judged to be plausible by the peers involved, it becomes the official narrative. All other competing theories become bogus. But all those earnestly involved in the process are convinced that sooner or later the official narrative will be proven if not wrong, then at least incomplete!

‘Then what about ‘critical thinking’? Is it good or not?
And you haven’t answered my question!’

Critical thinking is a tool!
And as all other tools, it becomes good or bad only in the hands of the person who yields it!

The most important thing about critical thinking is that we must remain critical relative to our own opinions!
Open to whatever new evidence happens to cross our path!
Sometimes the evidence which comes first might be misleading. Or false. We might reach the wrong conclusion. If we cling to the already reached conclusion we might be wrong. It is absolutely understandable – admitting an error is hard, but still wrong. That’s why some people remain sheeple while others cling to their beloved conspiracy theories.

You see, the true definition for sheeple is not ‘those who believe the official version’. Far from it!
The real sheeple continue to pay lip service to the official version long after fresh evidence prove the official version has been ‘incomplete’!

Circa 840, “three noble brothers” of Viking origin – Rurik, Sineus and Truvor, established “what came to be called Kievan Rus”.

“Rus,” which is where the name “Russia” comes from, purportedly derives from an old Nordic word for “men who row.”

882. Oleg the Prophet captures Kyiv and moves the capital of the Viking kingdom from Novgorod to Kyiv.
Thus the Rus becomes Kievan.

1703. Peter the Great of Rus-sia established Sank Petersburg as a bulwark against the Swedish Kingdom.
The city served as Russia’s capital from 1712 to 1918

1941. Hitler breaks the German Soviet Non Aggression Pact and starts a war against the Soviet Union.
Leningrad – the city formerly known as Sankt Petersburg, had been put under siege from September 8, 1941 to January 27, 1944

2022. February 24. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the present day ruler of Rus-sia, in complete defiance of the Budapest Memorandum, started a “special military operation” meant to achieve the “demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine,”

Kyiv hasn’t been besieged yet but has already been under heavy bombardment.

I’m Romanian.
Romanians don’t have very fond memories of what had happened to their country whenever the Russian soldiers had come by to ‘visit’.
As a teenager I read The 900 Days The Siege of Leningrad, 1968, by Harrison Salisbury

And wept.

Now, an already old man, I check out, on the Internet, what’s going out in Kyiv – the former capital of the Kievan Rus.

And weep.

Homo homini lupus has become a massive understatement.

Quite a lot of people around the Internet are considering that ‘Ukraine is of little interest for the US’.
Even some of the Europeans are considering that isolating Putin’s Russia from ‘SWIFT’ is a too steep price to be paid, by them, for Ukraine’s independence.

I remind them, all of them, of what Martin Niemoeller had to say on this subject.

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.

Now, that Putin had recognized Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states, I keep hearing that ‘if NATO hadn’t integrated the former socialist states in the Eastern Europe, Russia wouldn’t have occupied Crimea nor encouraged the ‘freedom fighters’ in Luhansk and Donetsk’.

NATO, and UE, are not perfect. Far from it.
Yet the former USSR had been even less perfect.

What drove me to this conclusion?
Well, both NATO and the EU are thriving. People and countries flock to join in. The very present conflict in and around Ukraine had been sparked by Putin’s ‘unhappiness’ with the Ukrainian people insisting in joining both NATO and the EU.
Meanwhile, the USSR is no longer with us. Had collapsed, under its own weight, some 30 years ago.

The second difference between these supranational entities – NATO and the EU on one side and USSR on the other, is the ‘small’ matter of how a member got to join the club.

In NATO’s case – valid also for the EU, a prospective member state has to ask for it first and then wait to be accepted.
The USSR had been organized under the ‘invitation only’ principle. If you were invited, you had to join. Regardless…

CSI, the Community of ‘Independent’ States, is organized under the same principle!


Btw 1.
Did I mention that the USSR had crumbled under its own weight?
By allowing self serving callous political operators to grab too much power?
Too much power for their own selves as well for their country’s well being?

Could we attribute the demise of the USSR on the fact that the bolsheviks were ‘house broken’ into ‘toeing the line’ while here, in the West, some people still dare to speak up their minds?

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., a Trump critic who he is targeting for defeat this fall, responded Tuesday: “Former President Trump’s adulation of Putin today — including calling him a ‘genius’ — aids our enemies. Trump’s interests don’t seem to align with the interests of the United States of America.”

Btw 2.

Twenty years ago I was watching, on TV, the towers being destroyed.

I still remember, vividly, the people falling from the buildings I had visited 6 short years before they been torn down by terrorists.
The buildings which were replaced by a huge gap in the Earth when I took my family to visit New York. The only other place in the world where I would live beside my home town, Bucharest, Romania.

I’m watching now desperate people trying to board a plane in Kabul’s airport as the American troops are pulling back.

This instantly brought back to my memory another famous image.

We can discuss at nauseam about the significance of these pictures.
Because significance is something we attach to things and we impart to events.

I prefer to turn my attention to realities.

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, in 2018.

The only difference between Afghanistan and Vietnam being that the Viet-Cong were communists.
And the link between them the fact that the American planners have understood nothing from the first debacle.

And yes, parallels are also something which is up to us to notice. Us, who have witnessed the events and who are free to attach significance to each of them.

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The first thing each of us becomes aware of is ‘me’.
Not yet “I”, just “me”.

I (?!?) feel myself as somehow separated from the rest.
I have the feelings hence it’s “me” rather than “I”.
I am cared for by those around me so, again, it’s “me” rather than “I”.

And this goes on for quite a while.
That while used to be shorter. I’m not going to tell you how many children worked in coal mines… I’m just going to remind you that in more traditional cultures, the older children are expected to participate in the raising of the smaller ones. Hence become faster more responsible than we had been in our times.
Taking care of somebody else teaches each of us a lot. The most important thing being the fact that not all the world spins around you. As each of us had been led to believe in the first months of our lives. During the time each of us had become “me”.

Taking care of others makes each of us aware of the care we have received.
Teaches us that ‘give’ is just as important as ‘being given’.
Teaches us about ‘give and take’.

Teaches us that ‘you’ are just as important as “me” is.

Having understood that is the only thing which qualifies each of us as “I”.

Behaving as active members of a culture which successfully teaches “I” to its members transforms a collection of “me”-s into “us”.

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Resources, Time, Evolution.

Information, Learning, Revelation.

Opportunities, Experience, Self-Improvement.

Things, Structure, Understanding.

Limits, Interactions, Outgrowth.

Smells like The Dow Theory?
Because that was my starting point….

But we should not forget Abraham Maslow.
If you think of it, Maslow’s stages are nothing but the three thrusts up which define a bull market.
For an individual to be able to master the ‘self actualization’ phase, they need to have mustered enough resources, have had enough relevant social experience and to have ‘properly digested’ the information accumulated during the process.


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As much as I love writing, I do have to eat.
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Well… Money doesn’t get spoiled as easily as bananas do…

On further consideration, money can be understood as a tool with many uses.
Hoarding, for instance. Bananas, among other things …

And, as with all other tools, the responsibility for its use falls squarely on the user, not on on the tool itself.
Tinkering with the tool won’t change that, ever.

My point being that monkeys would also hoard bananas if bananas were hoard-able.
There’s nothing wrong with that. For as long as the hoard is meant to feed the hoarder till the next crop, of course.

Hoarding is bad only when done for its own sake.

And this is something for philosophers to study, not for scientists.
The teachings of the Chicago School of Economics had been very scientific yet following them was what brought us where we are now. Into a very uncomfortable cul-de-sac…

Blindly following them… mislead precisely because of their scientific nature!

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