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Open Thread

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Google Neural Net “AI” Is About To Destroy Half The Independent Web


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – May 14, 2023


  1. Willy

    Some 25 years ago, as a gigger at a sweatshop once, I got overwork-whelmed and they gave me two younglings for help. Ken was a humble hardworking sort who graduated with honors from a major state university. Melissa was a lazy nepotistic hire of the worst kind: fat, loud and stupid. When I checked Ken’s stuff it was almost as good as mine in terms of speed and quality. Melissa’s was so bad I was pretty much doing her job for her via my checking it. Ken = value added. Melissa = value suck, a lot of value suck.

    We had this period of unusual cold that spring and Melissa made loud and proud Dunning Kruger talking points about “climate change”. As with most of her idiotic ramblings, I’d just grin and bear it. A powerless gigger doesn’t want to upset whoever the hell her PTB employment sponsor was since they’d have more power than I did, and based on Melissas persistence in her employment there in what was for most others a sweatshop, a lot more. I eventually got laid off when business fell and Ken moved on to their competitor a la “Samir” and “Michael Bolton” from that movie. Of course, Melissa remained.

    It’s 25 years later, and we’re gonna be having 90’s in May in my town, pretty much the whole week. I’ve never seen anything like it in almost 50 years living here. The previous three summers have been dry and hot, and all that was going on in la nina years. This year is supposed to be an el nino. Gee, cant wait.

    My point is this: I want some kind of payback. I’ve endured more than a few climate change deniers, usually suffering in silence so as to not break whatever mood we were in. I’d be the quietly reasonable one while everybody witnessing would certainly know them the buffoon. These people have been getting away with their babbleshit for far too long. I’m wondering why just giving back to us the shit they’ve always given us, in the same manner in which they gave it to us, all know-it-all arrogant sarcastic condescending loud and proud, while we tried to quietly reason with them about “the science”, would be a bad thing.

  2. Willy

    Whoops… giving back to “them” not “us”. I’ve never been a change denier.

    Had a hungry Dunning Kruger cat demanding breakfast while I typed that.

  3. Chuck Mire

    “Credo quia absurdum est” In Our Time:

    “Credo quia absurdum est” is a Latin phrase that means “I believe because it is absurd”.

    In a nutshell, this is a phrase that captures the essence of the gullible who are represented by QAnon; MAGA sycophants for Trump; Marjorie Taylor Greene with her followers; The Flat Earth Society; and Fox “News” believers. The more far-fetched the claim, the more these folks profess themselves to be on board.

    Since the advent of powerful “always-on” smartphones with social media and the Internet – fake news – and now fake videos – have become more dominant, such that “truth” is becoming harder to discern with gullibility on the rise.

    Therefore, I keep this in mind instead as I weed through daily information and news from various sources:

    “Non credo quia absurdum est”: I do NOT believe because it is absurd.

  4. different clue

    As some people know, Colonel ( Retired) Lang of Sic Semper Tyrannis and then(now) Turcopolier Blog died recently. The Twisted Genius ( TTG) is the current and successor Chief Blogrunner there. He and the other contributors and the commenters will try to keep it successfully going.

    TTG was always less hostile to the concept of global warming being a real thing. Over time that blog may become more hospitable to occasional reality-based global warming acceptance comments. Perhaps people here might want to study the steady style of successfully returning and remaining commenters over there and see if they can write reality-based global-warming-related comments over there if/when appropriate from time to time.

  5. mago

    “Fools Rush in Where Ángels Fear to Tred.”
    That’s what I have to say from this rain soaked mountainside.
    Filling space on an open platform.
    How rare is that?

  6. StewartM


    Had a hungry Dunning Kruger cat demanding breakfast while I typed that.

    You were being summoned by a superior being, so it was perfectly understandable. 🙂

  7. bruce wilder

    I do not know that I have ever encountered anyone willing to talk casually about global warming due to increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, whose views were not seriously impaired by ignorance severe enough to qualify as a Dunning-Kruger effect.

    “Pro” or “Con” is not my point.

    American political news media encourages people to have opinions, and models glib forms of tendentious reasoning and one-liner rhetoric, but does little to inform, educate or to cultivate reflection or critical reason.

    The “little to inform” part can not be exaggerated. As news blurbs have become shorter and journalists have traded integrity and objectivity for eyeballs, “script” has taken over and “narratives” are presented that please and predictably stimulate and “outrage” target audiences.

    Honestly, I believe most people simply tune out the political and/or adopt an opinion on controversy that bolsters self-esteem while minimizing further cognitive processing and anxiety. That is a formula for Dunning-Kruger effect.

    Global warming is simply the most extreme example, because it is genuinely hard to understand and appreciate the science and no one wants to do the work while the adverse implications for major industry and common lifestyles are easy to apprehend, meaning there are funds and incentives to pretend and obscure and confuse.

    On most issues, there is so little reliable, well-considered and curated information out there now that the body politic might as be in a state of sensory deprivation. People are literally hallucinating their political opinions, turning to imaginative conspiracy theories to explain why officials are so incompetent and delusionary to, say, seek war with Russia and China or bollix COVID response or court banking collapse.

  8. NL

    There is often a discussion whether our empire is like Roman or Athenian. That’s all wrong — we are Sparta. It is true. War and terror are our solutions to all of our problems: terrorize and intimidate the helots, destabilize and wage war against the world. Of course all of us here and everyone we know are just helots who are not allowed to see the face of our Spartans.

  9. different clue


    The approach I am working on for the loud and proud global warming denier is this . . . working hard to keep a straight face and then suggesting that if they are correct and global warming is a liberal hoax, then they have a very good contrarian investment opportunity to make a fortune. If the global is not warming ( or if it is then it is the warming part of a reversible cycle), and if the sea level is not rising ( or if it is then it will go back down) , then they should watch for land and etc. prices to go down in various near sea level places. When people start to panic and sell various seaside investment opportunities cheap, that is the time to buy up all those opportunities and prepare to cash in when everybody else realizes it was all a hoax and everybody else wished to return and re-invest.

    In all sincerity, we should encourage every possible global warming denier to move to Florida, Texas, and all the Southeast and Gulf Coast coastal and near-coastal zones.

  10. Willy


    It can be said that everybody suffers from Dunning Kruger from time to time, like we all do psychopathy. Hell, I even saw my sweet elderly widow neighbor, with matching garden hat and gloves, stomp on a slug then cackle with glee. I digress. I’m talking about the most obvious cases of DK loudly dissing threats to human survival, where maybe polite company should really suspend being polite company for a bit and set an example for the rest.

    And the American news media is actually in the business of forming loyal customer bases from which to extract the ad and cable cash, resulting our increasingly vacuous “news” and “opinion”? Sounds like yet another symptom of our late-stage capitalism, where the ultimate performance goal of the American MBA is to take in the cash without having to deliver anything of value in return. Wish I had a solution that didn’t involve collapse or revolution. Do you? Extra credit points if you do.

  11. Willy

    “I believe because it is absurd” does seem a mental defense of some kind, but maybe not so much a propping up of self-esteem as it is the absurd-believer trying to well up their own feelings of powerfulness. Melissas case may have been skewed in the latter direction. At some level she had to know she was incompetent, but at least she knew she “owned” us little unconnected people.

    But I think of another case. Right here in this very place we once had a commentor who specialized in diverting conversations towards climate denialism. I advised him that while science had just one argument for, the deniers had many dozens of arguments against with many of the arguments conflicting with each other, and that this gish gallop of arguments was coming across to neutral observers like psychological denial. He responded by offering even more conflicting arguments. People got suspicious. He claimed that he wasn’t any kind of disinformation agent and wasn’t in it for any money. And I don’t think he was trying to pump up his feelings of powerfulness. He truly believed in his stuff. Sunk cost fallacy maybe?

    I guess I did read somewhere that embracing controversial opinions can do this: conspiracy theories, faked moon landings, Ted Cruz and the grassy knoll… the old “if you can’t dazzle em with brilliance than baffle em with BS” Seems you’d have to have the additional quality of zero insight.

  12. capelin

    @ different clue

    ” If the global is not warming ( or if it is then it is the warming part of a reversible cycle), and if the sea level is not rising ( or if it is then it will go back down)”

    Well, historical sea level fluctuation are hundreds of feet. The continental shelf was once the edge of the continent. A dragger scooped a buffalo skull with an arrowhead in it, way offshore. Much of Florida is made up of sea shells, and was thus underwater. 15k years ago much of Canada was emerging from under hundreds of meters of ice.

    Nature is not static.

    Human activity is certainly a factor, but Climate Change (change being a constant) is clearly being weaponized; as a way to drive shit like electric cars (would require more toxic mining than has been done by humanity to date, and reminder, batteries do not generate electricity…) as a way to continue with the status quo (you – peon – get rid of your gas stove – me, elite, continue to wage wars and fly private jets because I buy carbon offsets in Africa), and most importantly, as a way to _not deal with humanity’s two more pressing issues: Governance, and Biological Contamination.

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