The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Open Thread

Use to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts.


Can Boeing Still Make Planes?


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – November 20, 2022


  1. Ché Pasa

    Has Twitter addiction helped the Universe in any perceptible way?

    I was “on Twitter” for a couple of months in 2011, and quickly discovered that its true — only — purposes were to sell product and to entrap users in a perpetual time sink searching out the Truth of Everything.

    So here we are with current and long time users going batshit over the takeover by Musk’s weirdness and insanity, powermadness to boot.

    If it isn’t on Twitter, does it really exist?

    Pre-Twitter, was there a World? Can there be one post-Twitter?

    Is there, can there be something better?

    All I have to add to the hysteria is that Twitter, Facebook and all the rest of the social media platforms are not and have never been benign. Takeovers by arguably insane squillionaires cannot and will not make them benign. Maybe they aren’t the cause of current chaos, but separately and together they contribute mightily to it.

    A recovery program for Twitter addicts might be called for…

  2. bruce wilder

    . . . can there be help for TikTok addicts, too? (asking for a friend . . .)

  3. Willy

    About social media, besides the benefits of getting instant information about major current events from actual eyewitnesses, being able to locate long lost friends from great distances, and being able to advertise one’s own small businesses products, virtually everything about social media sucks.

    A lesson for us all about how human society works.

    But we do also get to watch Twitter burn to the ground. It’s a bit like watching a plutocrats megamansion torching, after being covered with graffiti, while knowing that the owner caused it all of it. Almost enough to make Tom Brady forget about his life for a while.

  4. StewartM

    Musk, like Trump, unmasks the utter incompetence of most of our business “elites”. They imagine themselves to be idealized John Galts and Howard Roarks, isolated geniuses observing the stupid ‘herd’ workers from high above, with the wind blowing majestically through their hair, when they are really more akin to Chuckles the Clown.

    (What I’m reading is that Twitter could be dead in a few days, as there are now entire departments with no one left to mind the store. Musk apparently has been backing off slightly on his demands, but it’s not getting buyin. As one department employee put it:

    “People don’t want to sacrifice their mental health and family lives to make the richest man in the world richer.” )

  5. NR

    I don’t know if Musk is backing off on anything, but at this point I think it’s way too late even if he is. Even putting aside the whole shitshow with racial slurs and fake blue check accounts everywhere on the platform, Musk came in, laid off half the workforce, fired people who criticized or corrected him, ended all remote work and told everyone they had to come back to the office, told people they would need to work long hours and weekends for the foreseeable future, and gave out tons of mixed messaging as to who would actually have a job when everything was said and done. It’s really not surprising that a lot of employees would decide to get out while the getting was good.

    I hope Musk buys Facebook next.

  6. different clue

    At a time when CDC, WHO, and all their feltrav symps ( fellow traveller sympathisers) were conspiring to suppress the truth about Coronavid being spread by airborne aerosol, and trying to misdirect the publics and governments of the world into treating it as spread by droplets and surfaces, a group of dissident scientists, doctors, epidemiologists, etc., found eachother on Twitter and twittered and tweeted as hard and as much as they could that Coronavid is airborne. They got themselves before the “disinformation police” were able to label them as “disinformation” and censor them off the Twitter.

    So now the truth about the airborne aerosol spread nature of Coronavid is widely enough known that covid-cautious groups and persons can take some countermeasures in the teeth of the establishment’s committment to anti-public anti-health regarding Coronavid.

    That’s something that was achievable only because there was a Twitter for the ” its airborne” community to be able to use to run around and beneath the Solid Wall of Agnatology erected by WHO, CDC, people like that pro-mass-infection head of the anti-public anti-health department in British Columbia, etc.

  7. bruce wilder

    and there’s FTX . . .

    the Right is celebrating the bankruptcy of political, media and academic elites tied to the charlatan, SBF and it is quite a show

  8. What is this “twitter musk” everyone is talking about? Is it some titulating bird pheromone necessary for avian courtship?

  9. mugu

    Whenever I become aware of the next new scam sensation on the stage, it gets all Shakespeare like tempest in a tea pot or choose the appropriate quote or lyric to fit your own experience.
    Musky musketeers.
    I dunno.
    Whatcha gonna do when the lights go out?

  10. different clue

    If Twitter really could be dead in a few days or a month, then there may really be a vacuum waiting for the Twitter Staff in Exile to fill with a kinder and gentler Twitter 2.0.
    As I suggested before, they could call it Cricket and every message on it could be called a Chirp.

    One hopes some of the Twitter Staff in Exile read this blog, so they can either have a good laugh at this comment or think about Making It So . . . depending on how they feel about it.

  11. VietnamVet

    The Frontline story on the 737 Max cited in the comment on the earlier Boeing post is truthful yet tragic. The cause is clearly stated; cost cutting and self-certification. But PBS still stops short of going the next step. The real cause of the Max crashes, a million American deaths with COVID, FTX, Elon Musk tweets, or the escalating proxy world war in Ukraine is the triumph of the Corporate State. The wealth from the earth’s resources and labor are intentionally being diverted to the already rich, a few thousand families, the top ruling caste, since the Reagan/Thatcher plutocratic counter-revolt. Too-big to fail corporations are free to do whatever they want without fear of the consequences. They will be bailed out and not go to jail.

    Entropy (disorder) will continue to build unless equality and western democratic constitutional republican government are restored. Europe this winter is the canary in the mine shaft. Is survival in a energy depleted, already developed, dysfunctional nation possible?

  12. Z

    To all you greedy gamers out there: fill up your tank with FTT tokens, rev up your engines, and go!
    Winner is determined by the greatest distance players land from the cliff they choose to drive off of.


  13. bruce wilder

    Reading Isaac Chotiner’s interview with John Mearsheimer in the New Yorker.

    There is this exchange:

    IC:What about something like election interference, where Putin apparently told both Obama and Trump that he did not interfere in the election? How would we understand that [except as lying]?

    JM: Well, I don’t know whether the Russians interfered in the election in a serious way.

    IC: We don’t know that?

    JM: This is a highly disputed issue.

    IC: I didn’t realize it was highly disputed still. That’s why I was asking.

    The interview is worthwhile for hearing Mearsheimer’s views, but also interesting is the clash over epistemology between interviewer and subject. Mearsheimer wants evidence to back his analysis of the War in Ukraine as literally a realistic account. Chotiner wants to believe whatever.

    The exchange on “election interference” highlights this. Mearsheimer resists this veering off topic, saying it is outside the scope of his expertise. Chotiner makes assertions based on his presumptions of a consensus reality that does not exist.

    The insanity of Chotiner’s position, which no doubt aligns with his publication’s editorial line, is striking. Chotiner does not claim to know the extent of Russian interference in the 2016 election; he claims to think extensive interference is established fact, accepted as consensus reality, despite the controversy over extensive fabrication and gaslighting.

    It is a defense, I suppose, against realizing the extent to which U.S. foreign policy has been hijacked by psychopathic factions and continues on a reckless and aggressive course.

  14. DMC

    Right. The Russians spend half a million on miscellaneous ads on every possible subject and it’s election interference. The Israelis spend hundreds of millions on every single US election and nobody thinks it’s news. And that’s why Congress is full of Israel firsters.

  15. Z

    innovation [in-uhvey-shuhn] noun
    def.: the creation of a new way to steal
    usage: Sam’s and Caroline’s innovations at FTX are going to rock the crypto-world.


  16. Z

    “The Robfather” (2008) Financial Crime Drama
    Dur.: (1:00) First in series of ten one-hour episodes
    Ep. 1: Johnny Fontaine gets elected president. Michael delivers a list of “suggestions” for cabinet positions from The Robfather that Johnny “can’t resist”. Johnny talks campaign promises and says it’s his show now. Sonny bursts in, erupts at Johnny and reminds him who “made” him.
    Vito, The Robfather: Robert Rubin
    Michael: Michael Froman
    Johnny Fontaine: Barack Obama
    Sonny: Rahm Emanuel
    Tom Hagan: Timothy Geithner
    Clemenza: Larry Summers
    Fredo: Joe Biden


  17. anon y'mouse

    i get email newsletters and these seemed relevant to the crowd in this bar, somehow:

    avoid covid this turkey week, if you do that kind of thing.

  18. Jim Harmon

    ” …Congress is full of Israel firsters.”

    Another Palestine Firster heard from.

  19. Z

    When you sift through the FTX mess you’ll find that the entire enterprise, which primarily consists of FTX (market maker) and Alameda (investment arm), was largely dependent upon the value of FTX’s ” currency”, the FTT, which was backed by their capabilities and ability to rig the FTT market.


  20. Z

    So many wannabe Feds these days …

    Though with the Fed the health of the entire economy is dependent on their ability, with help from Larry’s and Stanley’s Asset Inflation Factory BlackRock et al, to “support” the U.S. markets, aka to “responsibly” rig them, whereas with with FTX , on the face of it at least, it was only the health of their company at stake.


  21. Z

    One of our rulers’ subjects favorite activities is laughing about how stupid their rulers are. Hardy-har-har! Then they laugh so hard their throat gets sore and they wonder why and then notice once again that our rulers’ boot is resting firmly on their windpipe, like it always is, and they ought to ponder how stupid can these mofos truly be when they still maintain their control over us no matter what stupid sh*t they do and we’re the ones who always ultimately pay for their “stupidity”?

    Sure, sometimes our rulers make mistakes that are due to their hubris, the fact that they never actually pay for their mistakes, and their tendency to overrate our military and economic strength, the U.S. brand, per say, but way more often than not they know exactly what they are doing.

    The price cap on Russian oil is one of those occasions where something that looks so stupid on the surface isn’t really when you look at it beyond its first order effects. The proles laugh and say, “Ha, all Russia is going to do to get around it is not sell their oil to the West then. So, why are they going through all the trouble? How stupid can our rulers be not to realize that?”

    Not as stupid as the proles because, of course, they know that Russia is not going to sell oil to them at their chosen price but as a consequence what will happen is that the oil market will be reshaped and Russia will have to sell their oil, if the price cap is not subverted, to India, China, and the rest of the BRIC nations and hopefuls. Therefore, Saudi Arabia will have strong competition in those markets and will have to sell most of theirs to the West and have to price it in dollars which will provide support for the U.S. dollar and slow the demise of the petro-dollar.


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