Links 11/26/19

Canine exceptionalism Aeon

Storms in France, Greece and Italy leave ‘biblical destruction’ Guardian

Quantum Experiment Sees Two Versions Of Reality Existing At The Same Time IFL Science (Chuck L)

Are electric vehicles really so climate friendly? Guardian (David L)

Scientific Breakthrough: MIT Solves Two Huge Energy Problems OilPrice

Science Can Now Find You With Just a Tiny Piece of Hair Popular Mechanics. The big problem with this “gee whiz” science is contamination, as well as errors in the lab. Imagine how far microscopic bits like this travel, say if you go to a gym or a school or use a bus or subway…or a hair salon!

Neuroscientists develop models to identify internal states of the brain Neuroscience News (David L)

Tireless Teen Takes Ticks To Task Forbes (David L)

Virtual reality continues to make people sick Economist


China’s top trade negotiator Liu He talks to Lighthizer, Mnuchin about ‘resolving core issues’ CNBC

Chinese papers avoid details of Hong Kong’s democratic election landslide Reuters

Germany under pressure to respond to Uighur internment DW. Lead story.


Interfering with Laura Kuenssberg Craig Murray (Chuck L). One of the Tories’ prized propagandists at the BBC.

Lib Dems fear promise to reverse Brexit has backfired Financial Times

Is the DUP about to lose Belfast? openDemocracy

In Brief: Farmers take to German city streets with tractors to protest federal agricultural package KCRW Berlin. From norpike:

They are doing it again today 26.11.2019 – or 11/26/2019 if you are stateside.

I have 3 original pics to confirm it, they were driving super slow westbound on Seestrasse – I’ll try to send my 3 crappy pics, but there should be an article on this sooner or later.

I guess Monsanto/Bayer has been working hard to convince the farmers that glyphosate is “safe”.

New Cold War

Assessing the Russian Internet Research Agency’s impact on the political attitudes and behaviors of American Twitter users in late 2017 PNAS (David L). Even though it found (as others have) that the Russian troll farm Internet Research Agency, had zero influence, it still propagates the falsehood that IRA was an outlet for the Russian government. So much for soi-disant science.


Wowsers, Johnstone, then Carlson? What a progression. Positive but very unexpected.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The California DMV Is Making $50M a Year Selling Drivers’ Personal Information Vice (Chuck L)

You’re Tracked Everywhere You Go Online. Use This Guide to Fight Back. New York Times (David L)

Massachusetts State Police have quietly started using Boston Dynamics’ robot dog ‘Spot’ in the field Daily Mail. BC: “How is this good?”

Imperial Collapse Watch

The US Navy doesn’t have enough spare parts to keep its fighter jets in the air Quartz (resilc)

Veterans Can Now Learn About Their Toxic Exposure Risks with New VA App

Trump Transition

Bumbling Congress gives Trump the budget freeze he wanted Politico


Independents souring on impeachment underscores risk for Democrats The Hill

Trump impeachment: White House aides can be made to testify BBC. Will be appealed.

Supreme Court Suspends House Subpoena Seeking Trump’s Financial Information Wall Street Journal

Why Giuliani Singled Out 2 Ukrainian Oligarchs to Help Look for Dirt New York Times (furzy)

The Case For Impeachment All Living Presidents Jonathan Turley. Um, misses Jimmy Carter…


Bloomberg Versus Trump Is a Nightmare That’s Just Beginning Vice (resilc). Bloomberg won’t get far enough to do anything other than make noise (I will concede he might get the nod in a brokered convention, but it’s hard to see how he gets enough delegates and popular votes by then for this not to look like Democratic party suicide). But it’s still annoying.

Michael Bloomberg’s Right-Wing Views on Foreign Policy Make Him a Perfect Candidate for the Republican Nomination Intercept

Elizabeth Warren Is Trapped. And She Did It To Herself. The Bulwark (resilc)

#TellTheTruthMSNBC is #1 trending in the US now. Yang supporters upset at him being given the Sanders treatment.

Noam Chomsky: Democratic Party Centrism Risks Handing Election to Trump TruthOut

Kill Me Now

Thanksgiving Propaganda Sheet, um, Thanksgiving Talking Points DCCC (JTM)

Our Famously Free Press

When villain is Obama, not Trump, news suddenly not worth reporting New York Post (UserFriendly)

Modern-day philistinism and reaction: the New York Times considers “canceling” French painter Paul Gauguin WSWS

Black Friday Death Count (Dr. Kevin) :-(

Elon Musk Explains Why Tesla’s Cybertruck Windows Smashed During Presentation The Verge. So why not restage it right away?

Inside the Mass-Tort Machine That Powers Thousands of Roundup Lawsuits Wall Street Journal. As if that were a bad thing! Although I will say on the TV that winds up being on some of the time, I regularly hear ads trolling for victims.

Google fires employee who protested company’s work with US border patrol Guardian (David L)

The WeWork Con Jacobin

Class Warfare

Job Loss Predictions Over Rising Minimum Wages Haven’t Come True Axios

Two new investigations find that some Amazon warehouses have injury rates as high as triple the industry average Business Insider (David L)

London Won’t Renew Uber’s License, Saying Unauthorized Drivers Took 14,000 Trips NPR

TECHNOLOGY SERVICES AGREEMENT Uber Technologies, LLC (David L). Awfully desperate.

2 million Americans don’t have access to running water and basic plumbing MarketWatch. Resilc: “But our two shit parties are locked in mano a mano combat for control of the cash flow expo.”

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. John A

    The powers that be are clearly getting worried. Both The Times (London) and The Guardian lead with chief rabbi ‘fearing’ a Labour government due to anti-semitism.

    1. fajensen

      Yep. Half the ‘content’ on the Daily Mail is screechy articles about how terribly, terrible a Corbyn government would be and they are scraping every barrel-o-dirt there is on Corbyn, regardless of quality and originality. It is beginning to look like someone is having a panic attack – despite officially having the biggest lead in the polls!

      Maybe the data from whatever Cambridge Analytica has mutated into disagrees significantly with the polls?

      I notice that a Labour majority currently gives 12:1 at Unibet so maybe it is time for a little flutter? A 100 EUR bet could pay for Christmas.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I rarely bet against the bookmakers on something like this, although from memory even the bookmakers got the last election badly wrong.

        Paddypower is 20-1 for a Labour majority – (Tories at 4/9 and no overall majority at 4/9). By the looks of that a lot of money has gone on the Tories.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The bookies are setting the line based on where people are putting their money, not what they think will happen. They want the transaction fee and to balance the bets unless they are looking for a big score.

          Who bets on politics? My guess is the addicts who bet on everything and “sure things” and the very casual gambler who thinks it might be fun for a larf.

          1. integer

            I’m in the latter category and have $20 on Biden winning the D primary to return $100. Will be more than happy to lose my money.

        2. ChristopherJ

          The print and broadcast media in Australia gave Labor’s Bill Shorten nothing, ridiculed him, his policies, always favoring the LibNats.

          I live up in Queensland. You expect what you get from the Murdoch papers and the talking heads on the commercial tv and radio. But even the national broadcasters had it in for Labor.

          So, despite being odds on favorites and Scott Morrison at 5 to 1, the media successfully persuaded enough voters to get the LibNats back in with a 1 seat majority.

          Also, very hard to get good voting intentions. I don’t have a landline and don’t answer any calls if i don’t recognise the number. So, those that do and take the time to respond are a very biased sample of the voting population.

          Going to be very interesting. I might have a punt on a Corbyn government, but not a majority. That would be a stretch given the forces up against him.

        3. Yves Smith Post author

          The reason the bookies were wrong on Brexit is the money didn’t represent the voters. There were ~3x as many wagers for Remain as Leave, but the average amount of the Leave bet was more than 3x as large at the average Remain bet.

    2. Clive

      Correct — and while the Times is a known quantity, anyone thinking the Guardian is a force for good (unless you’re a direct beneficiary of the neoliberal order) needs to have their head examined.

      It is though finally starting to get its comeuppance as all those who it lured onto the centre ground with the promise of fending off being either used and abused by the capital owners on the right or at the mercy of the stifling incompetence and statism on the left — only to find that they can now be sat on and crushed just as effectively by the ordoliberalism of the middle way’ers — are wising up that it’s just a different load of people bringing the same old exploitation and disempowerment as they got with the traditional left/right dichotomy.

      1. Joe Well

        There are many laments over the demise of print journalism.

        Do you think the demise of the The Guardian (let alone The Times) would be a bad thing? I’m having trouble sorting out my feelings on this. Suffice it to say, I won’t be donating to The Guardian any time soon.

        1. Clive

          No, I certainly wouldn’t miss them. I’d miss the ones where you can read them and know exactly which variety of hoodwinking and biases they are working (like the Daily Mail) and the ones which are at least unvarnished polemics (like the Socialist Worker). At least there, you can view the content and make allowances, knowing they aren’t giving you the truth — or even attempting to — but a worldview which is representative of a certain school of thought and unapologetic in their championing of it.

          But Trojan Horses like the Guardian or self-styled Voices of Rationality like the Times — which are of course peddling agendas just as divisive and stratifying as anything the Mail can serve up — yet wrapping themselves in the trappings of neutrality or even, worst of all, masquerading as being saviours of the Proles, are the real purveyors of harm. It would be the irony of ironies if the “market” did both of them in.

          1. Joe Well

            This reminded me of a joke from a 1940 movie, Ball of Fire:

            Doctor, my throat’s as red as The Daily Worker, and just as sore!

          2. inode_buddha

            Maybe all the British papers should put the politics on the third page? And the “other stuff” on the front, all in the name of honesty, of course.

            1. Synoia

              But then the first two pages would either be blank, or not suit the propriter’s bias.

              Quell Horror! Murdoch would lose much of his malign influence.

        2. David

          I dunno, I bought and read the paper Guardian every day for decades, at a time when, in spite of some well-known foibles, it was a fairly reliable guide to events in the world. I now have a massive existential void where a simple quick check once or twice a day to see what’s going on in the world should be. What do I do? Simply ignore all online news sources?

          1. Clive

            The only solution I’ve come up with is to read a wide variety of both mainstream and non-mainstream sources but with a strong perception filter in place to try to pick out the overt and, increasingly, covert partiality. And the all-too-often encountered bought-and-paid-for views.

            Yes, though, it would be nice to have a one-stop-shop.

            1. Synoia

              As far as I’m aware, the UK newspapers have always had political bias.

              Murdoch’s newspaper proprietorship just amplified the bias.

              I used to read the Economist, but that now has a Neo Liberal Bias. BT (Before Thatcher) it appeared to the younger me to be not so biased and quite informative.

              However, perhaps I was not so “biased aware” when younger.

              1. PlutoniumKun

                I don’t know what its like now, but I was once told the Economists model was to hire lots of cheap Econ and Politics graduates to do their reporting, but everything they submitted was subject to multiple layers of sub-editing in order to create the house ‘style’ and party line. I haven’t bought it in ages but I used to find it quite good as I just mentally edited out the neoliberal political stance.

                1. Lambert Strether

                  I remember, many year ago, when going to the Au Bon Pain in Harvard Square and reading The Economist was a big thing for me. Really opened up the world — at the start of what we now recognize as globalization. The editorial design was and is first class. Now I’m a touch more skeptical of the content…

                  1. Joe Well

                    Ah, Lambert. Did you see that Harvard finally tore down ABP in Harvard Square? It was there for as long as I could remember and I couldn’t have imagined it without it. Out of Town News will just closed forever, too. And Harvard Square is almost 1/3 vacant storefronts because the rent is too high for any actual business. Our Harvard Square is gone. We are officially old.

                    To be fair, what they replaced ABP with (campus center semi-open to the public, though they closed off most of the bathrooms after a year) is pretty cool. Out of Town News may become a public visitor’s center, though I’ll believe it when I see it.

              2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Just jumping in to note that Murdoch handily orchestrated a coup in the sovereign nation he loves to treat as his own personal playtoy: Australia.

                He flew into town and told the yokels how it was going to go: Centrist PM Malcolm Turnbull was out, in favor of his hand-picked guy the despicable corporo-fascist Peter Dutton (they couldn’t just reinstall Dutton’s patron former PM Tony Abbott).

                But then the party (who selects their leader in our system) asked how Mr. Dutton was viewed by the public: problem, problem, just 2% support.

                So they looked around the room, who else is there? There happened to be a weaselly little dipsh*t named Scott Morrison sitting there. It’s him then!

                So Australia got what was termed at the time The Accidental PM. Of course when the election came Murdoch made sure he won, so was now legit.

                (Someday I’ll tell the tale of how Murdoch made sure the entire nation wasted $45 billion on an utterly technically inferior national broadband system so he could protect his own weak local Netflix competitor).

                1. inode_buddha

                  I’m quite willing to bet that Aussie broadband is vastly superior to the overpriced swill we Yanks get.

            2. norm de plume

              ‘Yes, though, it would be nice to have a one-stop-shop’

              This ought to be one of the services provided by your government (I was going to say ‘paid for by your tax’ but I am MMT woke now) – along with water, power, health services, infrastructure, web access, policing, etc.

              A public option for media is for me the most important goal we don’t have. An independent citizen media would permit progress on all the other issues that beset us, providing a free circulatory system for information and opinion available to all, rather than the curated combo of propaganda and censorship that handicaps us now.

          2. Monty

            Agitation over happenings which we are powerless to modify, either because they have not yet occurred, or else are occurring at an inaccessible distance from us, achieves nothing beyond the inoculation of here and now with the remote or anticipated evil that is the object of our distress. Listening four or five times a day to newscasters and commentators, reading the morning papers and all the weeklies and monthlies nowadays, this is described as ‘taking an intelligent interest in politics.’. St. John of the Cross would have called it ‘indulgence in idle curiosity and the cultivation of disquietude or disquietude’s sake’.

            Aldous Huxley

          3. PlutoniumKun

            The Guardian still has some great writers, such as John Harris and Aditiya Chakrobarrty. A lot formerly good writers have bought into the official line on Russia and Intelligence matters in general. I’ve noticed that some of the good US based writers, such Nathan Robinson have been relegated a little so you have to search them out. The day to day reporting of politics is appalling (HRC is still their long lost queen), although the Long Reads are good, and they are still reasonably good on some developing world issues – they’ve been surprisingly even handed on Bolivia. Some of the writers still hold out on the whole SJW thing, but they are obviously being sidelined. You really have to have your critical reading skills on high alert on a lot of subjects.

            1. David

              Yes, and I resent that. In a self-respecting newspaper, whatever its politics, you ought to expect that the news pages at least refrain from making stuff up. You can’t do that any more in the Guardian: I have this sinking feeling that in the end I can’t trust in the factual accuracy of any of their news stories. That’s new: the heavyweight British press in the past would certainly slant the news, but they wouldn’t actually make it up, and generally tried at least to preserve the semblance of a distinction between fact and comment.

              1. Ignacio

                What you all comment on the Guardian is the same I feel about El Pais. Once a generally reliable newspaper now has to be read with care, a lot of care. There is a kind of an international centrist league that reinforce each other. For instance, El Pais, on its childish Russia theme, relies a lot on NYT crappy reports.

              2. Aumua

                Indeed, the line between news and commentary has all but disappeared in the MSM in general. Used to be you had news stories, albeit slanted, and then you had a commentary/opinion section. They still have those sections in newspapers, but the news stories themselves are now filled with innuendo and implications. Snide remarks and unsupported accusations are all over the place. It’s truly off the rails.

              3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Reading the comments, it seems that there was a time, in the past, newspapers in the West were trusted, to various degrees, but not any more.

                Was it the same in, say, the USSR or PRC? Did soviet citizens feel they could trust Pravda? Do they trust RT or Sputnik news today?

                1. JBird4049

                  From what I understand the average Soviet citizens did not think that Pravda have the truth and nor did Izvestia have any news; like funhouses mirrors, they were believed to give some vague indications of reality.

                  Interestingly enough, what what people (Germans and the occupied territories both) living under the Nazi government were doing as well. Often there were not explicit instructions on a subject. The reporters and editors learned how to slant things in the appropriate ways. The lucky failures just had to look for new careers.

                  We all should be very, very grateful for an understanding of what living under an authoritarian police state was like.

    3. xkeyscored

      I just caught the BBC radio news, and, to their credit, they mentioned Islamophobia and racism in the Conservative Party in the same breath as the chief rabbi and Labour. Then, less credit due, went on about the latter and forgot the former.

    1. polecat

      Thanksgiving dinner as a potway drug ..Who knew … except for hole y encephlo joe.


    2. Sol

      Frankly it’s way easier to simply refuse to deal with my family. Weed ain’t free, y’all, and their hearts ain’t changing.

      More to the point, the taste of weed matches better with savory flavors than sweet ones, I’m sure of it. In western WA state, I tasted a dish of roasted beef, wild rice, peppers and pot that was delicious.

    3. nippersmom

      Fortunately, I will not have to deal with political propaganda on Thanksgiving, but I have to say if anyone I was at the table with trotted out those corny examples, or tried to use that “quid pie quo” argument on me, I’d either have to leave (if I wasn’t the hostess) or ask them to either cease talking or take their inane gibber elsewhere. Vomit-inducing indeed. But then, what else would one expect from the DCCC?

  2. Livius Drusus

    Re: Massachusetts State Police have quietly started using Boston Dynamics’ robot dog ‘Spot’ in the field.

    If NC readers have not seen it, I would watch the 1987 movie RoboCop for a glimpse of our future. I always thought it was more accurate than the Terminator films which came across as more farfetched.

    Our future will likely be a combination of high-tech wizardry alongside widespread misery. The links here show that to a large extent we are already there. Police forces can afford robot dogs but millions of Americans don’t have access to running water and plumbing. This is one of the themes of RoboCop which was smart social commentary in the guise of an action movie. It was funny too. The in-movie commercials were the best.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Terminator (and 2) wasn’t a social commentary or even a warning about tech as much as it was a story about the parents of the savior (John Connor, its really on the nose) and subsequently individual moral choices. “Technology” could have been replaced by magic, robots with orcs, and the story would remain the same.

      Robocop and Terminator are different movies with superficial similarities.

      1. Harrold

        I love watching Robocop to see downtown Dallas sub in for wasteland Detroit and Dallas City Hall as the headquarters of Omni Consumer Products.

      2. eg

        I had a prof back in uni that taught a whole science fiction course on this principle — that the human element is what makes it literature, all the whizz-bangery aside

      1. norm de plume

        Perhaps the most frightening episode of the most frightening series ever made. Very short, very sharp.

        As usual, funny man Charlie Brooker grokked the implications earlier than most. The bleakness of it.. the pitilessness of machines, like the robot girl at the end of Ex Machina, or HAL2000.

        ‘we all know where this will end up going’

        Yeah, I felt while watching it that there was nothing far fetched about it at all, that this is the logical outcome, ‘will happen’ being at shorter odds than /might happen’

      2. CanCyn

        Couldn’t agree more! I still have nightmares about those things. That Boston Dynamics robot dog is very similar to the ones in Metalhead.

    2. douglass truth

      it had the greatest scene ever in explaining military acquisitions – when Robocop #2 proponent slammed Ronnie Cox’s glitched version that shot up the boardroom, Cox says, “WHO CARES IF IT WORKS? I’m talking about decades of parts, maintenance, and so on!”

    3. Bugs Bunny

      Paul Verhoeven has made quite a few subversive films. Another one that gets brought up frequently is Starship Troopers, which is a real blast. The theme is fascism in space. Even Basic Instinct has some radical edginess to it.

      1. ambrit

        For a primer on where the Dutch “edginess” of today came from, Verhoeven’s film “Soldier of Orange” is a basic resource.
        Try watching that and then Ophuls’ “The Sorrow and the Pity” for a lesson on the evolution of our “modern” age.

        1. Wukchumni

          For a primer on where the Dutch “edginess” of today came from, Verhoeven’s film “Soldier of Orange” is a basic resource.

          I think its my favorite WW2 film, a cat & mouse (just who’s who is a bit of a puzzle) thriller, with a young Rutger Hauer, starring. There’s an interesting numismatic scene where Hauer is trying to make a call from a phone booth, and it won’t take his silver Dutch 10 Cent coin, as the Nazis have replaced them with ‘black tulip’ 10 Cent coins made out of zinc that were twice as large. It’s a pivotal moment in the film.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I remember that scene.

            Thanks for the background on that coin.

            BTW, how much do you know about silver ingot bars from the Xixia period, inscribed in Tangut script?

            1. Wukchumni

              BTW, how much do you know about silver ingot bars from the Xixia period, inscribed in Tangut script?

              Way too early for me, and truth be said the way coin values went when I was chasing metal, was if a country was poor, nobody really cared.

              Older Chinese coins weren’t really wanted by anybody on a similar par to Indian & Russian coins, so my emphasis was elsewhere, for you had to follow the money, and it was in Japan, Australia, USA, Canada, Western Europe, or all first world countries if you catch my drift.

              This scenario has completely flip-flopped around, coin collecting is dying in the old guard first world, and doing well in the aforementioned trio of countries, things change.

              When I was in Hong Kong in the early 80’s, buying from HK coin dealers, who had fairly recently bought them from enterprising PRC capitalists that had unearthed amazing hordes of primarily Chinese silver coins, but running the gamut of everything worldwide from say 1700. This was all buried when Mao came to power and trappings like this went into hiding for around 30 years.

              I could buy silver Yunnan Saddle Sycee 5 tael ingots from the late 19th-early 20th century for around $75 each, and could have bought 100 @ that price perhaps, but as I related earlier, nobody cared all that much.

              This is what they fetch now:


    4. Eclair

      Spot may be in line for a presidential medal! This morning, as my husband switched on the TV and I wandered through the living room with my bowl of organic oatmeal, seeds and raisins, I caught the report, and marvelous pictures, of Trump, the First Lady, and Conan, the Navy Seal dog, who was injured in the al Bagdhadi assassination. Trump was awarding him a presidential medal. The headline: “Secretary of the Navy Fired, Seal Dog Gets Medal,” flashed in my brain. Also, if Trump is looking for loyalty, a dog is the way to go. Next headline: “Seal Dog Appointed as Navy Secretary.”

    1. Robert Valiant

      Not so much a rebuttal as an admonishment:

      There will always be a new study with some flawed assumptions to keep us all busy and we could rebut these until we all drop. The advantage for the oil and diesel industry is that articles and reports, however poor, keep the controversy alive. Discrediting or distorting science is a political strategy, as Naomi Oreskes chronicles so well in Merchants of Doubt.

      Happy (electric) Motoring!

      1. Ignacio

        What I found truly admonitory was the solution offered in the Guardian article by Sinn after saying that EVs are soooo baaaad: huge increases in diesel/gasoline taxes. The typical and regressive ‘blame the consumer’ take, so let them bear all the costs.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Make people doubt about their doubting.

        To doubt is to be. Then, later, doubting is manipulated to aim the doubter in desired directions or intended areas. Now, as a result, upon reflection, we are starting to doubt our doubts.

        It’s a chaotic world out there. The best navigational tool is still via doubting.

    2. inhibi

      Why? One article (let’s call it anti-EV, rather than an efficiency exploration) has actual studies that you can download and read. Actual studies of how many joules of energy it took, to mine all the elements, the energy it took to make the parts, assemble, etc.

      The other article (pro-EV) is an opinion piece. It directly and personally attacks the author of the anti-EV article.

      No math, no studies, just a bunch of “EVs are more efficient, EVs use nuclear, etc” which we know isnt true. It most CERTAINLY isnt true in the US, where electricity is derived mainaly from coal and hydro-electric. And the losses in transportation of electric are STAGGERING.

      Then again, you may not be an engineer/scientist and understand that words do not equal rigorous analysis. You can make plenty of logical arguments in words. But you cant do the same with a research study. You have to actually analyze the facts and come to a conclusion, a conclusion that may be the exact opposite of what you hoped for.

      1. fajensen

        Being an Engineer with a lot of ‘business experience’, I can say that there is no need for “research” and “analysing the facts” (if what you want to do is to stay with the frame of Whatever is already there, all you will get out is confirmation):

        It is always thus that: The Current System will be the most optimal possible, The Current Product Line always the most profitable that the business could do, The Current Leadership will be the totally best suited people to run that exact business.

        It is thus because – the systems and choses made supporting ‘The Current’ have gradually evolved over a long time. “What is now” have been honed and optimised by engineers and other experts for peak performance within their category, which as it happens, represent a local optimum.

        We are just circling a nice, warm pond inside a parameter hyperspace and we are really good at it and from that perspective every other possible path looks worse, even if there is a much nicer pond some distance away, along some of the paths.

        The real problem is only that ‘what we have now’ is becoming unsustainable.

        We have to make a transition and during that transition, things will be worse. Products will be worse, efficiencies lower, services more expensive, leadership failing around in confusion. All because we are moving away from the local, oh-so-comfy, optimum.

        OTOH, should we decide – firmly based on all those “rational analyses” to not make a transition, then someone will disrupt our ass, take away all the advantages of “the way things work around here” and possibly turn them into liabilities to be used against us. I have seen people and business fail because they could not take the thought of discomfort, incompetence and loss that will follow after deciding to change, they preferred to ‘wait it out’ as it were and they lost everything rather than just something.

        Since ‘the disrupter’ here is Nature and not just some pesky startup loaded up with smarmy teens and odious VC-money, the butt pain from the inevitable disruption will be a lot greater than mere money (and getting the sack, lose the house, wife and kids but keeping the dog, because it farts).

    3. Cuibono

      Just spent a month in Japan renting a small Suzuki city car. Electric assist not EV but was averaging 85 mpg.
      Why don’t we have cars like that stateside?

  3. cnchal

    > You’re Tracked Everywhere You Go Online. Use This Guide to Fight Back. New York Times (David L)

    “I know that we are tracked in surprising ways, and have reported on those surprising ways extensively, but even I was shocked to get a 400-page file on myself back from a company I’d never heard of,” she told me. “It was bizarre to see what I had ordered from an Indian restaurant three years ago in the report and disturbing to find all the private Airbnb messages that I had sent to hosts. I didn’t think any company beyond Airbnb would have that data.”

    It’s no secret that we’re being tracked everywhere online. We all know this; every one of us has a story about an alarmingly specific ad appearing on Facebook, or a directly targeted Amazon promo following us around the internet. But as internet-connect devices become more prevalent in our everyday lives — think smart TVs, smart speakers and smart refrigerators, for example — and as our reliance on smartphones increases, we’re just creating so much more data than we used to, said Bennett Cyphers, a staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit digital rights organization that advocates for consumer online privacy.

    Wanna know how to make this stuff go away? Demand that data center owners pay at least triple retail for power instead of getting subsidized because they use so much of it, keeping an exponentially growing number of zeros and ones alive. Kill it at the source.

    1. HotFlash

      Excellent idea. And I also have to wonder: “[W]e’re just creating so much more data than we used to, said Bennett Cyphers, a staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation”. Can that possibly be his birth name?

        1. kiwi

          And paying us for all the time we wait in lines or phone queues because business refuses to hire enough staff…

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Paging Andrew Yang. Remember him? He was the guy with the freshest new ideas and novel approaches to inject into the national debate.

        (No, instead we’re supposed to love a McKinsey consultant, who managed to convince fully 8,000 people to vote him in as one-term mayor of a two-bit Midwest town, where he proceeded to completely alienate the local black community while raking in contributions from hedge funds, fossil fuel companies, and pharma billionaires).

        Go Mayo Pete!

        1. J.Fever

          Yeah that super PAC story was interesting.
          I didn’t know he was a McKinsey consultant, but I’ve never researched him. Win-Win. For our owners.

    2. Hepativore

      Also, how about you demand that data collectors pay people royalties and dividends for the profits that are made selling people’s data to third-party advertisers and various intelligence agencies?

      If they are profiting off our data, we should get our cut.

    3. xkeyscored

      I still don’t understand why some people, like the author of this article, get so worked up about commercial mobs tracking their online activities and targetting them with ads or making them wait on the phone, but seem quite happy with Five Eyes’ surveillance.

      1. fajensen

        The Five Eyes are – in principle at least – under formal democratic control and they are bound by rules that it takes quite a while to hash out because one of the purposes of government bureaucracy is to delay things so ‘society’ can adopt.

        Commercial (and Russian) – mobs are all about Smash & Grab Capitalism, get the con in, execute, get onto a different con, before the authorities can manage to regulate or the victims can adapt.

        The ‘Five Eyes’ could get me on a no-fly list (and droned, if I lived in one of them places), but, the Business Mob could get me denied insurance, banking, loans, utilities, possibly medical care, access to social media, gainful employment, get me denied parole …. have the kids taken into care –

        *Everything* that can be decided by some ‘black-box’, proprietary, ‘business algorithms’ they can use against me, unchallenged. The ‘Five Eyes’ are positively tame teddy-bears next to that attack surface!

    4. BobW

      I worked at Field Agent, which mostly sends people out with smart phones to take pictures of store shelves. Once there was a large job from a client. I verified the pictures, etc., approved or denied agent payment, (over 90% approved), and then noticed my targeted ads were full of that client’s products. Note: this job took me out of homelessness and eventually into a well-paid full-time job, so no noise about gig economy please.

  4. jeremyharrison

    Bloomberg getting a nod in a brokered convention?

    Speaking of Tucker Carlson, he had a segment last night which toyed with the idea of Michelle Obama getting that nod.

    1 – She just released a statement saying she’s not running (Seems like one of those, “Oh, well, if y’all insist….”)

    2 – Starting a book tour speaking to large audiences

    3 – Most Admired Woman in America

    4 – Checks both ID Pol boxes (who can criticize a black woman? She’s immune)

    5 – Barack isn’t endorsing anyone (and apparently tried to talk Biden out of running)

    6 – Axelrod has started pummeling Biden lately – bulldozing a runway in the “moderate lane” that Mayo Pete ain’t gonna fill….

    And I”d add – If Dem Central is looking for a 3rd Obama term, Clinton failed, Biden isn’t looking good for it – so why not an actual Obama? And Trump has shown that the application for Presidency is a “No Experience Required” thing.

    I’d certainly give her better odds than Bloomberg for that nod.

    1. Carolinian

      Maybe Trump could step aside and it’d be Michelle v Nikki Haley. Are they really that different? Both are in love with feel good bromides. I had to call our DMV the other day and every minute or so the recording would say “it’s a great day in South Carolina” (a phone greeting mandated by our then guv for all state employees). Of course Michelle probably wouldn’t go around threatening people with her shoes (“spiked heels”) like the hawkish Nikki. But both are lightweights.

    2. urblintz

      Why wouldn’t the Obama’s be happy to stay on Martha’s Vineyard and party with the wealthy white people? Why would Michelle risk losing to Donald Trump, a real possibility, especially now that some of the gild is being rubbed off Barry’s Madison Avenue produced lily?

      I suspect that, in the White House, any surprise at the Donald’s victory was accompanied by a large dose of Schadenfreude. There is little evidence the Clinton’s and Obama’s like each other and with Hilly’s loss to the Trumpster the Obama’s win the popularity game big time. That’s what matters most to people like that.

      And then there’s the “fool me once” factor, which already played its role in 2012. Fool me three times? I don’t think so…

      Then again, Trump is such an aberration that the “messiah” factor could come into play as well. Michelle is masterful at hiding her ego but you can bet it’s enormous.

      1. Pat

        My fondest wish in 2016 was that the major parties had so obviously proffered two of the least capable, least liked, clearly corrupt candidates that the American public would reject both the Democrat and the Republican, and go third party/write in. I knew it was unlikely, but still appropriate.

        Sadly Obama vs Haley is equally repugnant, but it is less clearly obvious that neither of these two individuals should be anywhere near the Presidency. This could be my bigger nightmare than Hillary Donald redux.

        1. ambrit

          It is entirely conceivable that there be a ‘Two Woman American Ticket’ running under the banner of the Democrat Party next year.
          Anything is possible with a “brokered” convention. I can see it now; a convention floor full of crowds wearing ‘Pink P—y Hats.’
          If that happens, I would lay money on the Republicans employing lots of phallic imagery in their signage.
          Will IdPol degenerate into GendPol?
          Pass the popcorn, and, no, I will not reach into the bucket you have sitting in your lap!

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The one question I have from this is if Evo Morales could have asked his wife or one of his kids to run in his place. Would that have avoided their recent constitutional crisis?

            1. ambrit

              That question is on my mind too. Morales evidently either had no ‘bench’ from which to pick a successor, or his ego got too big for his ‘common sense’ to overcome.
              It’s not as if there is not a precedent. Eva Peron comes to mind right away.

      2. Robert McGregor

        Because of the aberrations of the electoral college, nothing else matters but the six or seven swing states. To predict the outcome, one should just look at how those states are leaning. It looks like the last couple weeks of impeachment hearings have the swing states leaning slightly more towards Trump. I think only Sanders will win it for the Dems–not Warren, Biden, or God Forbid–Michelle O.

        1. ambrit

          I’m very disturbed that the Obama Production Company hasn’t green-lighted an updated version of “The Story of ‘O’.” It would push all the Right “buttons.” (Of course, such a project would quickly get ‘tied up,’ in litigation.)
          Le histoire:
          Said cautionary tale is a perfect metaphor for today’s Ten Percent.

          1. Lambert Strether

            > cautionary tale is a perfect metaphor for today’s Ten Percent.

            It really is. Their dilemma is that they can sinter together a temporary coalition to win by a small margin, but not enough of a margin to really govern. (Obama being the exception, because was so bad and Obama was such a good con man. Clinton was reversion to the mean.) The only way they can govern is by making once again the working class their base. But they can’t do that, (a) because as Thomas Frank shows, they hate the working class, and (b) many of their careers actively depend on screwing the working class over with various rent-seeking arrangements. Their solution is to (a) go upscale, (b) peel off suburban Republicans (on the assumption that the Republican party can’t adapt) and (c) wait for demographics to do its work, a la Ruy Teixeira’s “coalition of the ascendant.” No change in policy = happy donor class, happy 10%. The cream of the jest is that Sanders is peeling off the voters Teixeira thought would end up owned by liberals: Latinx, youth, women.

    3. anon in so cal

      Speaking of Tucker Carlson:

      It’s not at all unexpected that Carlson would have that segment on the Syria / Assad chemical weapons hoax. Carlson has been railing against the US’ attempted regime change op in Syria for some time, now.
      He’s also the only MSM pundit who hints at the big lie about Ukraine. If one watches last night’s video in its entirety, Carlson says he’s on the side of Russia in the US proxy war in Ukraine.

    4. anon in so cal

      MO would be untouchable. She’s pull in the ID politics contingent and even some of those hallowed GOP women in suburbia. If T pummeled her in debates, he’d be crucified even more than currently. A MO admin would mean bombing Damascus, expanding the forever wars, everywhere.

      1. inode_buddha

        I have noticed however, that T doesn’t care about being crucified by people he has no respect for. So no, that wouldn’t work. He would continue to be President, and the shrieking and howling would continue.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        michelle would have about as much chance of winning as bloomberg, and I’m sure she doesn’t want to be out wandering in the woods ala hillary with her lucrative gig in shambles, like the clinton foundation, after an electoral sure thing gone bad.

        Lately she and her husband have become ultra-high living tent revivalists and merch peddlers, and the pay is great. They’re famous for being famous–kardashians with slightly more legitimacy, political capital, and Oprah. michelle’s newest “book,” an expensive “inspirational” journal described in an article here the other day, is one of Oprah’s xmas favorite things–ka ching.

        She and barack got what they wanted from the democrats, and the window to capitalize on it may be perilously small. Trump is the dems’ problem, not hers, and he’s not gettin’ in her way one bit–pretty much just the opposite. She’d be crazy to give up what she and barack “worked so hard” for for eight years.

        Gold diggers don’t easily give up the gold that they sold out so hard to get.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Apparently Bloomberg dropped a cool $100M to pay for the 2018 swing to the Dems, and he’ll drop >$1 Bil on his own run. I think his entry is a big reset for the money-power-politics machinations we’ve seen so far.

          1. a different chris

            This is a great Bloomberg link – it has a money graph!

            So Mike – I can call him Mike, right? – was “only” a billionaire or so thru the late 90’s. But look what happened when roughly when the 99% got f(amily blog)ged. First there was a big jump in worth between the time Dean Baker told us there was going to be a global crash and the GFC. There was a bit of a dip, which is funny to call it a “bit” because he lost basically what was his entire net worth in 2000 — but at that point it was just a bit.

            Then the climb restarted and he doubled his wealth over the last 10 years.

            Anyway, I suspect it is a perfectly representative graph for the 0.1 percent since say 2005.


      3. Bugs Bunny

        I think the ceremonial aspect of the two parties, the primaries and the traditional final two (or three, see e.g. Ross Perot, John Anderson) candidate Old West showdown would be a hard paradigm to shift in the American political religion. If Michelle Obama were drafted into the race, it would be a sea change. Maybe a good one. Not that I think it’s a good idea.

    5. jrs

      So this Tucker Carson guy likes to truck in baseless conspiracy theory apparently (I mean truly baseless), well you have to fill air time with something I guess. So much air time to fill …

      1. Bugs Bunny

        If you’ve been reading this blog for a few months, you’ll know that Carlson is basing his arguments in facts. See also Moon of Alabama, and many other sources.

        1. jrs

          That Michelle Obama is running for President DUH. So please yes give me a real link that isn’t baseless speculation that provides evidence that she is planning to run for President. I’m not sure I can debunk a theory for which I doubt there is any evidence of in the first place.

          Those theories gain traction because they please the right, baseless speculation in place of anything, but it pushes some righty buttons to get angry about things that aren’t even real.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Considering that the Carlson bit linked is primarily about Syria DUH that’s of course what I thought you were referring to but I was not sure, so I asked.

            And how I do wish your pot could call the kettle black. Baseless speculation and resulting outrage are at least a much a left thingy these days as a right one.

    6. Whoamolly

      I’m predicting a brokered convention.
      The nominees: Clinton/Harris.
      The election: Trump/Pence by a landslide.

      My druthers for the R’s?
      Trump steps down and the R’s nominate Tucker Carlson and Tulsi Gabbard

      My druthers for the D’s?

    7. Glen

      Bloomberg will run as an independent in the general election is my best guess.

      Sure to win the 0.001 percent.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        No, he’d need to be getting on the ballot NOW. Lead times for state ballot access are very long. He’s probably to late for NY. No way is he running as an independent. That would guarantee a Trump win.

        He wants to beat Trump but not have Sanders or Warren win. Good luck with that.

    8. integer

      I decided to have a look and noticed the topic came up again last night. Here is the segment. I think he’s way off on this one, and so does his fellow Fox host Dana Perino, with whom he has bet a months salary – to be donated to a charity of the winner’s choice – that Michelle Obama will be the D nominee.

      1. integer

        Oh, and I’m pleased, but not particularly surprised, that Carlson is reporting on the OPCW coverup. Good for him. Michelle Obama aside, he has been orders of magnitude better than the liberal media establishment for quite some time now. It’s a shame liberals have been conditioned to hate him so much.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Interfering with Laura Kuenssberg”: ‘One of the Tories’ prized propagandists at the BBC.’

    The BBC has really sunk low these days. Boris was on a BBC Question Time and at one point the audience laughed at something that Boris said. So the BBC edited out the laughter from that interview but were caught out. They claimed that it was a mistake but as Jimmy Dore says, it is remarkable how the mistakes go only one way-

    If I have the date right, it is Thanksgiving in America today so happy holiday everyone there.

    1. inode_buddha

      Er, sorry, not till Thursday. It is currently Tuesday here in NY. (the actual numerical date of it moves annually, since it is always held on a Thursday)

      1. The Rev Kev

        Ah, thanks for that. I Googled when Thanksgiving was this year and it gave today’s date as in “Thursday, 26 November”. Stupid Google.

      2. ex-PFC Chuck

        For the benefit of readers not familiar with USA holidays, Thanksgiving is now always held on the 4th Thursday of November. When I was growing up back in the Ice Age it was the last Thursday of the month. Because the following day, Black Friday*, is the beginning of the peak Christmas shopping window, consortia of retailers lobbied for the change so as to widen that window. Being on it’s latest possible date this year (the 28th), some retailers promoted a “pre-Black Friday” last week on the 22nd.
        * It’s called “Black Friday” because of the ink color used by the retailers’ accountants that day.

        1. shtove

          You’ve even infected the UK with Black Friday. Just as we were getting over the Pudsey children’s charity retail push, which came just as we were getting over the Hallowe’en retail push. It’s all so pushy! Why not just invade and get it over with?

          1. David

            Ha! in France we have “Black Friday Week” (in English) at this very moment. What have we done to deserve that?

            1. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

              What have we* done to deserve that?:

              My view is that it is because the French military failed to stop the Germans invading in 1940.

              After that all things American were chouette with the generation who masticated the chewing-gum which was freely distributed to French children by American troops in 1944.

              France was infected by ‘Ricain culture but almost at the same moment the US caught another dose of colonialism in propping up the French empire in South East Asia – a more virulent and debilitating disease in my opinion.


              * This “we” is formed by past events and probably does not include you or anyone you know. It is the “we” (or “they”) of ongoing collective guilt or innocence, true or false.

              ps I had a French friend who’s eyes lit up in a wonderful way when telling the tale of his first contact with Yank troops who gave him “shewing-gum” and chocolate when he was a child in the summer of 1944.


        2. John Zelnicker

          @ex-PFC Chuck
          November 26, 2019 at 9:58 am

          I have always thought it was called Black Friday because that was the day when the retailers moved from being “in the red” (losing money) to being “in the black” (making a profit) for the year.

          Which is pretty much what you said, with a bit of nuance.

          Happy Thanksgiving to all at NC.

          1. ambrit

            Happy Turkey Day to you Mr. Zelnicker! Phyl and I will be staying home. She will have to suffer my turkey drumstick soup. (Add enough arrowroot to the mix, and voila, turkey gravy!)
            When I worked at Lowes, the Red Ink to Black Ink transition was also given to us as an explanation for the name. We never did get an adequate explanation as to why Christmas music over the store sound system started before Thanksgiving. I’m hearing Christmas music already in some venues.
            Stay warm and dry!

  6. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Quantum Experiment Sees Two Versions Of Reality Existing At The Same Time

    Physics dilettante here, read several books recently on quantum mechanics interpretations, and I just don’t grok this idea. If it were Xmas and my kid opened a present behind the tree were I couldn’t see it, she would know what was in the box while I didn’t but that wouldn’t mean that we experienced two separate realities – it just means she has information before I do. That seems like a macroscopic version of the experiment described on the article that claims two completely separate realities. In the books I’ve read, one of the main disagreements with the traditional Copenhagen interpretation is that it claims quantum mechanics doesn’t apply to the macroscopic world but critics of this interpretation say it does. Even Schroedinger’s thought experiment was meant to point out the absurdity of Copenhagen conclusions.

    I have a feeling there’s something in the math which doesn’t translate into spoken language well that leads physicists to the conclusions in the article. Any pros out there who can explain the thinking here?

    1. mpalomar

      “Now it appears that, at least at the quantum level, two different realities can both be real at once.”
      -from the article.

      Entangled untutored enthusiast here; currently reading What Is Real by Becker which was pretty clear until he got to David Bohm, Hugh Everett and particularly Bell’s Theorem.

      It seems the linked article is in support of the multiuniverse but not sure where it stands on locality.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        I read What Is Real too and had just about the same reaction as you – Bell’s Theorem threw me off. Then I read Sean Carroll’s latest and that one was much harder to comprehend.

        I swear the answer must be in the math because some of these physicists really torture the English language trying to explain what they’re seeing.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It seems to me that the implication is that two truths can both be real at once

        For example, if Tulsi and Harris are arguing, according to this, they can both be correct.

        I think…

      3. xkeyscored

        Bell’s Theorem basically says if things (photons etc) actually are either ‘spin up’ or ‘spin down’ on their journey, you’ll see this range of results when you check on them. (And in everyday life, things do seem to know whether they’re one thing or another, and tend to stay that way for a while. Has your house been flickering in and out of existence as you read this, flipping somersaults not knowing if it’s up or down?)

        If they don’t know what they are until you catch them, if during their journey (if indeed it makes sense to speak of a journey!) they’re neither up nor down, you’ll see a different range of results. And that’s what they keep finding. Shoot two entangled photons off away from each other, measure one, and now you know what the other is. But they didn’t know themselves until you measured one of them.

    2. Wukchumni

      I heard Pavlov’s dog was pals with Schrödinger’s cat, but they aren’t seeing each other anymore.

      1. ambrit

        They must be carrying on a clandestine relationship. I heard that Schrodinger’s Cat was the Bell of the Ball.

    3. The Rev Kev

      This is starting to resemble the original arguments for Einstein’s relativity where the speed of light was relative to where the observer was. And now we are given to understand that a state of reality may be relative to where the person observing it was as well.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Should have made my comment clearer. Of course the speed of light is a constant no matter where the observer is. Was just watching a doco on Einstein & Hawking the night before which explained it. What struck me was the converse implied here that reality is not a constant and may depend on where an observer is.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Yes, but this leads to a simple though experiment problem.

          You have light beams going away from you at 180 degrees. Visualize pointing flashlights in opposite directions.

          What is the speed of the far end of one receding beam relative to the other?

          1. Aumua

            Because of the time dilation effect the “other” beam would appear to be not moving at all away from the origin, from your beam’s perspective. The time passing for the “other” beam would appear to slow to zero. So the answer is still c.

          2. xkeyscored

            Yes, c, as Aumua says.
            At these kinds of speeds, you don’t just add speeds together, like when A and B drive away from each other in cars. (Relativity does come in there, but the effects are too tiny to notice or measure, let alone care about.)
            It’s all a bit counter-intuitive, but the proof lies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The theory correctly predicts reality.

    4. xkeyscored

      I think the maths and science of quantum mechanics is pretty clear and sound. It’s trying to tie it in with our everyday ideas of time, place, and “what’s actually happening” that gives everyone, Nobel-winning physicists included, a giant headache.
      Want to know what you’ll see if you shoot photons at a pair of slits close together? Quantum mechanics has the answer.
      Want to know how on earth that happens? Nobody has the answer. Richard Feynman included.
      Feynman – Nobody understands Quantum Mechanics (1 minute Youtube clip)

    5. Monty

      The interference patterns of the famous dual slit experiment are not just maths or theoretical concepts. The are real phenomena and easily replicated in any university lab. The experiment seems to show that a single particle can be in two places at once, and simultaneously interfere with not just itself, but also with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg too!

    6. Susan the Other

      Yes, me too. I think there is something missing in the math. Or the language of math combined with our limited imagination, etc. Here’s a question for a fellow quantum dilettante: If there are 2 simultaneous realities, why only 2? Because symmetry? Because limited superpositions? When it looks like there are infinitely nested superposition combinations? A living universe of pure possibility that hangs in suspension? In suspension until something like human measurement or maybe random quantum head-on collisions eliminates alternatives? And when this balance is destroyed it is the driving force for entropy and evolution? Otherwise the universe would be an eternal glowing fuzzy infinite blob? But we do know one thing so far and that is that entanglement is simultaneous. What’s not to love?

      1. Grebo

        There should be 3 realities: the one in which the particles are in superposition (the guy outside the lab), one in which the spin is horizontal, and one in which the spin is vertical.

        So two universes are spawned when the measurement is made in the lab, but the weird thing is the original universe is still hanging around. Until, presumably, the guy goes into the lab and makes his own observation thus dividing his universe in two.

        So, not only is there a pair of universes for each quantum decision, you have to multiply that by the number of observers.

        I can’t help thinking there must be a simpler explanation…

      2. xkeyscored

        Little things like photons aren’t capable of much individually. They can be spin up or spin down, hence the two.
        Chuck in zillions of protons, neutrons, electrons and wotnot, each with their spins and things, some of them entangled with others, scattered throughout the universe arranged into atoms and stars and galaxies and people, and you have indeed got a “living universe of pure possibility.”
        Also, it’s a bit easier to measure either/or things about photons than it is to measure the universe!

      3. ewmayer

        Only 2 possibilities in this case because the experimenters chose a QM property which is binary in nature. From the article: “You start with a quantum system that has two states in superposition”. Now the superposition has an infinite continuous range of possibilities, depending on how much of state A and how much of state B … it only is forced to pick one (a.k.a. ‘collapse of the superposed-wavefunction state’) when an observation is made, in the sense that its wave function gets entangled with “the rest of universe”. Experimenters prefer simple bimodal quantum properties for the same reason chipmakers prefer binary logic: easiest kind of system to set up, manipulate and measure.

        By way of contrast, something as simple as a hydrogen atom has infinitely many possible quantum states, reflecting the various energy levels of the electron, and each of those has 2 sub-possibilities reflecting the 2 possible values of the electron’s spin. And ‘spin’ is a fanciful name which can mislead the uninitiated – unlike a macro spin whose axis can point in any direction in 3-space and whose angular momentum can take any value, the electron’s spin was given that name based on it mimicking macro spin in many regards, but it can take only 2 values for magnitude and only one of a discrete set of values for each of its various directional components.

    7. ewmayer

      “That seems like a macroscopic version of the experiment described on the article” — that’s your problem right there … there *is* no macroscopic version of the experiment described on the article, which is fundamentally quantum-mechanical in nature.

    8. dk

      Take a look at Quantum Bayesianism:

      QBism (yes, really) makes the worthwhile effort to distinguish a human measurement or statement about a condition from the thing being measured/stated about.

      [A] quantum state is not an element of reality—instead it represents the degrees of belief an agent has about the possible outcomes of measurements.

      Quanta don’t jump from condition to condition (the wave functions are continuous and non-particulate), and the conditions we observe directly or indirectly are ephemeral. After all, statements about probabilities are descriptions of guesses; hopefully careful ones, but guesses nonetheless. So we should not be surprised if our descriptions of guesses may be affected by who is doing the guessing and their relative positions; indeed we should *expect* some discrepancies to occur with sufficiently precise measurement (uniformly applied, another challenge).

      The paper on which the article is based ( mentions this too, but shows signs of the conceptual drift that captures (too) many researchers (emphasis mine):

      In relativity, previously absolute observations are now relative to moving reference frames; in quantum theory, all physical processes are continuous and deterministic, except for observations, which are proclaimed to be instantaneous and probabilistic.

      “Previously absolute observations”? Seriously? The paper is actually well and clearly written, but it already went off the rails in this second sentence: observations have never been absolute, any claims to the contrary not withstanding.

      Note that probabilistic Bayesian assessment is used by living organisms to undertake actions. A bacterium agitates its flagella to move towards something that it suspects may be food, or away from a perceived threat, based on information chemically acquired from its environment. But it doesn’t absolutely know there is food or threat, because it hasn’t yet eaten or been attacked. It’s guessing from past and present evidence, an essentially Bayesian calculation. Surviving bacteria have guessed well enough to survive, so far. We shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves and think that we know much better simply by claiming to.

  7. Olga

    The US Navy doesn’t have enough spare parts to keep its fighter jets in the air Quartz (resilc)
    I dunno – file under “good news”?

    And as for Caitlin and Tucker – glad it’s finally all coming out. Of course, some of us kept healthy skepticism at the time, never believing news of yet another illogical ‘chemical attack.’ This just confirms the need to remain skeptical as we read about the latest horror-du-jour story (somehow, always, in some far-away place, where few can go to verify).

  8. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: canine exceptionalism.

    I suppose human imitation is a bit different, but when I had dogs, we never “trained” (tricks are humiliating for both human and dog, please everyone just stop) a new dog. A new dog would inevitably copy the older dogs. Dad called it, “showing them the ropes. ” The top dog was a proper alpha, not merely a large dog throwing weight around, so there was a bit more order.

    1. anon in so cal

      That’s our experience, exactly, with our two dogs.

      Maybe that author is applying Albert Bandura’s “social learning theory” to canines?

    2. Randy G

      NotTG — My own view is that dogs can learn behavior very quickly by observing experienced dogs. For example, I have a bizarre evening treat ritual whereby the dogs sit down quietly in the kitchen and take repeated helpings, usually just small amounts of canned dog-food, off of a spoon that I extend to them. This started years ago when I had to administer medication tablets hidden within food to an elderly dog. The other two dogs got the same treat — without medication — as long as everyone sat in an orderly line and waited their turn.

      Sadly, the elderly dog, Sheila, is gone but the tradition continues. The two dogs let me know in the evening — through persistent visitations and eye contact– if they think the ritual is behind schedule, and we all proceed in good order to the kitchen. They know the ritual only happens once a day and they even have the time down quite well. Certainly, they let me know if they think I’m a laggard.

      Whenever I have doggie ‘visitors’, they too are invited to the proceedings and quickly, typically within a few seconds, grasp the system by watching the old pros. The visiting dog’s ‘owners’ are often amazed to see their dog sitting in good order taking treats off a spoon, even waiting their turn, without any prompting or verbal commands from me.

      Dogs that have never eaten off a spoon in their entire life quickly see that good things will come their way if they simply copy their wise comrades.

      Not a real experiment, obviously, but when I’ve tried to train a few naive dogs how this should be done on their own, it takes far, far longer for them to figure out what is required than when they join a well-versed choir.

    3. xkeyscored

      Nobody trains their dogs here, they just let them pick up expected behaviour. Result: if you’re passing their territory on foot, especially if you look at all poor, they’ll rush out to threaten and menace you. Those worthy and noble citizens who travel by means of burning fossil fuels are immune.

  9. Wukchumni

    A16 was my favorite outdoorsy outfitter in SoCal back in the day, a mini REI with more experienced staff, who really walked the walk and could talk you into buying stuff, based on their first hand knowledge using all sorts of gear.

    In really a booming time of backpacking/hiking interest, another victim of online sellers stealing a brick & mortar’s thunder, as virtual is its own reward when it comes to undercutting retail prices.

    1. Robert McGregor

      I bought my first “fleece jacket”–a heavy duty grey furry thing with blue elbow pads–in about 1976 from the A16 store on or around Ventura Blvd (in Encino? Tarzana? Reseda?)

  10. T

    Animals don’t learn by limitation? When you put horses in a pasture with an electric fence, one one of them has to learn by experience.

  11. PlutoniumKun

    Is the DUP about to lose Belfast? openDemocracy

    In overall terms for the United Kingdom, this is a ‘big deal’. The DUP may well be in serious trouble and could potentially end up with fewer seats than Sinn Fein. For the first time, there would be more elected nationalists than unionists (and more Remainers than Brexiteers). In the ‘mainstream’ media in Ireland there is already a ramping up of the ‘lets not have a premature Border Poll’ type article from the usual regurgitators of received wisdom, which means the establishment here is absolutely terrified of the idea of a Border Poll calling for a United Ireland.

    If – which I think is at least a 50% possibility – Bojo wins a majority, this means that the Tory Party, which is now effectively an English Nationalist Party in all but name, will be in power with a huge SNP majority in Scotland and a nationalist majority in Northern Ireland. Its very difficult to see how this could be sustainable without the UK tearing itself apart. I’ve always maintained that the real driver behind a united Scotland would not be nationalism in Scotland, but English Nationalism deciding that they wanted rid of the Scots (and by extension, the Irish, as NI would almost certainly not be able to stay within a UK without Scotland). I think a Tory majority would well result in this situation.

    Add this in to the chaos predicted by Sir Ivor Rogers in the main article today, and its hard to see anything but a nightmare couple of years in British politics.

    1. bob

      Those things are super fun. While I’m annoyed by the tech dork business plans of these companies, they are really fun. Lime was the fastest and hence the most fun. Keeping them off sidewalks is whole other mess.

    2. Aumua

      Can confirm fun to cruise around on!

      They’re still some kind of new pollution though. I guess teh question is what are these companies giving back to the local communities they operate in?

  12. Joe Well

    >>Google fires employee who protested company’s work with US border patrol Guardian (David L)

    Let’s hope they were H1Bs so they can deport them, too! /s

    Go immigration!!

    1. Deplorado

      You’d be naive to think H1B’s protest.

      That’s why companies prefer them.

      Been one, work surrounded by many. Can’t remember having seen an exception.

      1. JBird4049

        Which is why all us Americans are so “lazy;”somehow working without rights or protections makes a person real easy to be used, abused, and then refuse; add paying starvation, or at least homeless, level wages and people are somehow just shocked at how undisciplined their employees are.

        That’s also why ICE’s goons are not gonna get reined in anytime soon. It is too useful for American businesses in getting them that cheap, disposable labor.

  13. Samuel Conner


    “The US Navy doesn’t have enough spare parts to keep its fighter jets in the air”

    I am reminded a bit of an old (black and white film era) movie about an industrialist in Nazi-occupied France who fine-tuned his truck engine factory to produce engines for supply trucks for the Wehrmacht that consumed three times as much gasoline as Opel and Daimler trucks.

    It was intentional, but to avoid arrest and imprisonment, he blamed the quality of the workers. He was hated by his countrymen for collaboration with the Nazis and always in trouble with his customers, but was making his contribution to the defeat of the Germans.

    We have a giant military that cannot operate at high capacity due to lack of spare parts (and contractual inability to maintain some of its key equipment, a story linked at NC recently). It’s a two-fer — military Keynesianism without the customary consequence of high intensity war all the time.

    Is it possible that this state of affairs is intentional?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      It is more than possible, it is almost certain that it is intentional. The idea is to prematurely run down existing weapons and create an artificial ‘crisis’, the only ‘solution’ is to buy a brand new weapon system – in this case the F-35. Pogo has reported on this in some detail.

      The Russians (and in a more extreme example, the Iranians), have shown repeatedly that lots of resources can be saved by maintaining and keeping older aircraft going – they continually update electronics and use aircraft that are no longer suitable for front line use as long range missile platforms. The Iranians keep F-14’s going as a credible defence while the USN is three generations on with replacing them with arguably a less capable aircraft (the F-35).

      1. flora

        Maybe it’s just-in-time supply chain logistics pushed to an absurd conclusion. (just-in-time logistics in the military? right….)

        1. ambrit

          “Just in time logistics” goes a way back.
          I heard a story from an old buddy who had served in Vietnam during the Tet offensive. True or not, it gives the flavour of out of control bean counters piquancy.
          During a battle during the Tet offensive, their platoon ran low on ammunition. One of the grunts was sent back to the temporary supply point to get more ammo. He returned with a few rounds, way short of what they needed. His explanation was that the supply sergeant told him that the platoon was expending too much ammunition for their budget. “Shoot f—-n slower he tells me!”
          The several vets who were in the circle all laughed at the story. Something similar had happened to each one over in Vietnam.

          1. inode_buddha


            Whilst marching from Portugal to a position which commands the approach to Madrid and the French forces, my officers have been diligently complying with your requests which have been sent by H.M. ship from London to Lisbon and thence by dispatch to our headquarters.

            We have enumerated our saddles, bridles, tents and tent poles, and all manner of sundry items for which His Majesty’s Government holds me accountable. I have dispatched reports on the character, wit, and spleen of every officer. Each item and every farthing has been accounted for, with two regrettable exceptions for which I beg your indulgence.

            Unfortunately the sum of one shilling and ninepence remains unaccounted for in one infantry battalion’s petty cash and there has been a hideous confusion as the the number of jars of raspberry jam issued to one cavalry regiment during a sandstorm in western Spain. This reprehensible carelessness may be related to the pressure of circumstance, since we are war with France, a fact which may come as a bit of a surprise to you gentlemen in Whitehall.

            This brings me to my present purpose, which is to request elucidation of my instructions from His Majesty’s Government so that I may better understand why I am dragging an army over these barren plains. I construe that perforce it must be one of two alternative duties, as given below. I shall pursue either one with the best of my ability, but I cannot do both:

            1. To train an army of uniformed British clerks in Spain for the benefit of the accountants and copy-boys in London or perchance.

            2. To see to it that the forces of Napoleon are driven out of Spain.

            Your most obedient servant,


          2. Anthony G Stegman

            Spray and pray is a costly way to fight a battle. Though that is generally the American way going way back.

    2. Wukchumni

      Haven’t had any F-35 flyovers for a couple months from Lemoore Naval Air Station, they must be in the shop.

      What happens if the USN decides to cut their losses with this hangar queen before Top Gun 2 comes out next year, and not even Tom Cruise can save it from itself on the silver screen?

      1. ambrit

        Oh My G-d! Top Gun 2??!! What will this bunch do, have to fly into Northern Syria to save some “gallant American soldiers” from the ‘Evil Rooskies?’ (Mr. Kynikos does not put this level of media propagandizing out of the realm of the possible.)

        1. Wukchumni

          I think the enemy is to be decided later, they’ll just follow the prompts and get ‘r done. The only given is that Tom prevails.

    3. JTMcPhee

      I’d say any intentionality in the breakdown of the procurement and supply chains is (corruption and accelerated obsolescence aside) not cumulative intentional acts of sabotage but maybe a quantum state or effect that “we” don’t understand well yet. Sun Tzu (tired of hearing about that old advice already?) covered the topic:

      1. Sun Tzu said: In the operations of war, where there are in the field a thousand swift chariots, as many heavy chariots, and a hundred thousand mail-clad soldiers, with provisions enough to carry them a thousand li, the expenditure at home and at the front, including entertainment of guests, small items such as glue and paint, and sums spent on chariots and armor, will reach the total of a thousand ounces of silver per day. [real money, back then]. Such is the cost of raising an army of 100,000 men.
      2. When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men’s weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.
      3. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.
      4. Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.
      5. Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seenassociated with long delays.
      6. There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.
      7. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.
      8. The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy, neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice.
      9. Bring war material with you from home, but forage on the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough for its needs.
      10. Poverty of the State exchequer causes an army to be maintained by contributions from a distance. Contributing to maintain an army at a distance causes the people to be impoverished.
      11. On the other hand, the proximity of an army causes prices to go up; and high prices cause the people’s substance to be drained away.
      12. When their substance is drained away, the peasantry will be afflicted by heavy exactions.
      13,14. With this loss of substance and exhaustion of strength, the homes of the people will be stripped bare, and three-tenths of their income will be dissipated; while government expenses for broken chariots, worn-out horses, breast-plates and helmets, bows and arrows, spears and shields, protective mantles, draught-oxen and heavy wagons, will amount to four-tenths of its total revenue.

      This “problem” was quite apparent while I was in Vietnam, 1967-8. Helicopters grounded for lack of spares, especially rotor blades and engines, lots of cannibalization which, is shall we say, inefficient at best?

      War, Imperial-style, is an industrial enterprise, and there’s more than enough examples of logistics failures and problems in all the rest of the Empire’s, and the rest of the Flat Earth’s, industrial enterprises — why are people surprised that the poor Troops are having trouble fielding the tools and fripperies of “war” in continuing Smedley Butler’s “War is a Racket” on a global scale? McNamara was going to “run war like a business,” which I recall included zero-base budgeting (E.g., artillery units had to burn up their allotments of shells by firing into ‘free fire zones” (where every person and water buffalo and building was presumed to be ‘enemy combatant,” sound familiar, like “signature drone strikes,” etc.?) at the end of the month, or see their allotment of shells decreased based on diminished use.) Tens of thousands of War Department employees get all kinds of special training in procurement rules, supply chain management, and logistics. The volume of DoD publications and rules and policies, stuff like this:

      Adaptive Planning and Execution — A Department of Defense enterprise of joint policies, processes, procedures, and reporting structures, supported by communications and information technology, that is used by the joint planning and execution community to monitor, plan, and execute mobilization, deployment, employment, sustainment, redeployment, and demobilization activities associated with joint operations. Also called APEX. (JP 5-0)

      Yet mirabile dictu, it’s falling apart at the seams. Maybe there’s a problem with APEX Predators? Or maybe force-fitting the profit-and-greed-driven Imperial mindset onto basic reality is a losing proposition? Only way for the mopes to win, is not to let the warhawks play the game…

    4. Maxwell Johnston

      Last year I toured the Gothic Line (Nazi WW2 fortifications in Northern Italy) with my son. Our local guide explained that the Italian resistance infiltrated the forced labor brigades which the Germans were using to build the fortifications. The resistance “workers” deliberately “misunderstood” the Germans’ instructions and made small errors so that things did not fit together properly; 1.1 meters instead of 1.2, 3 liters of cement instead of 5, etc. Things got built, but with massive delays and cost overruns. Drove the Germans crazy, but it was hard to prove the sabotage was deliberate; so they attributed it to Latin indolence. Italy 1, Germany 0.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Another WW2 movie, the Silver Fleet, with Ralph Richardson, about the Dutch sabotaging submarines they were to build for Germany.

    5. xkeyscored

      One of the first ‘adult’ books I read, many moons since, was Vance Packard’s 1960 book The Waste Makers. His main thesis was that waste had become central to the US economy, and he gave many examples from the military. (I spent many years subsequently trying to figure out how and why it ‘benefitted the economy’ to produce, consume and waste more and more for the sake of producing, consuming and wasting more and more, but that’s another story.)

    6. David

      It’s a well known phenomenon in a lot of high-tech procurement areas. You spend the budget on the main equipment and save on the support. It’s the equivalent of buying everyone a shiny new computer and skimping on training and software updates. Political leaders want numbers of front-line systems. The support costs are always shown somewhere else, the responsibility of some less prestigious department, the first to be cut, the last to be allocated extra resources. Frankly, given the history of high-tech procurement, I’d actually be surprised if it wasn’t happening here. Ironically, in defence goods the real money is in spares and support, when the support costs of an aircraft over its lifetime generally exceed its procurement costs by a significant margin.

    7. VietnamVet

      Intentional. Yes. Boeing’s heavy lift Atlas uses Russian rocket engines. Joe Biden in 2014 starts a war with Russia. Whoops. Five years later still no suitable American rocket engine or NASA astronaut vehicle. Russian and American military have a memorandum of understanding in Syria. USS Abraham Lincoln strike force is sailing in the Persian Gulf.

      Military contracting is a Potemkin Village to transfer the nation’s wealth to the rich. Then someone pushes the button that launches the supersonic missile that sinks a carrier. That terminates everything.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Bloomberg Versus Trump Is a Nightmare That’s Just Beginning”: ‘it’s hard to see how he gets enough delegates and popular votes by then for this not to look like Democratic party suicide’

    Bloomberg was and is a Republican who is now in Democrat clothing as a DINO. Maybe the DNC feels that this is a plus as it will appeal to Republican voters. So I decided to check and rang Chuck Schumer who told me that with Bloomberg, “For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.” Yeah, that should work out well.

    1. Drake

      “Bloomberg was and is a Republican who is now in Democrat clothing as a DINO.”

      It would be really enlightening to watch a former Republican DINO running against a former Democrat RINO. It might be the special moment when everyone realizes that they’re all just celebrants at an elitist costume party that they let the rest of us watch on television. The highlight of the party is when they pretend to let us vote on best costume.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Paraphrasing the Soviet-era saying “we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us”.

        They pretend to be (X) Party candidates and we pretend to vote for them.

        Turnout trend: ever downward. Eventually we sullenly lift our faces from our ersatz beers on November 9 and simply grunt “unh, Team B won”. Back to the salt mines.

        1. Wukchumni

          Here’s another updated SU/US one for you…

          We pretend everything works, and they pretend to pay attention to us.

        2. meeps

          As meager as the differences are between teams A and B, they’ve merged into team BA, as in bah humbug. One side or the other better up their game substantially because they’ve lost whatever value they had as a morbid curiosity a few years ago.

          Btw, I rolled those botany links you shared a week or two ago, thanks. That chap is entertaining; he’s like a real, live, Carl from the Aqua Teens. I hope he survives demonetization and, if not, I hope he keeps it up anyway just because he enjoys the pursuit.

  15. allan

    Update on a story from a few days ago about Brigham Young University’s Idaho campus not allowing students
    to use Medicaid (Idaho has just approved a Medicaid expansion). BYU has now backed down.

    While it’s great that they’ve done this (and kudos to reporter Sarah Kliff, who brought the story to the national stage), people’s health care shouldn’t be dependent on random media stories that go viral.
    If only there were some alternative system …

    1. inode_buddha

      so… what alternative was BYU offering? Were they going to cover their (students) healthcare, in an equal measure?

  16. @pe

    I like the punch-line on the “electric vehicles aren’t good”:

    As for EU lawmakers, there are now only two explanations for what is going on: either they didn’t know what they were doing, or they deliberately took Europeans for a ride. Both scenarios suggest that the EU should reverse its interventionist industrial policy, and instead rely on market-based instruments such as a comprehensive emissions trading system.

    With Germany’s energy mix, the EU’s regulation on fleet fuel consumption will not do anything to protect the climate. It will, however, destroy jobs, sap growth, and increase the public’s distrust in the EU’s increasingly opaque bureaucracy.

    So, the bureaucracy is opaque, but market function is transparent? Can’t he even keep his ideology straight?

    And you gotta love the false dilemma as well! Either they are fools or monsters — not any chance that Herr Professor Doctor Sinn is mistaken or a con-man, eh?

  17. Carolinian

    Re Gauguin–there’s a French movie about Gauguin’s life with Tehura. Needless to say they don’t depict her as being 13. While it’s reprehensible that thought police aspire to be art critics–with denunciations of “degenerate art” a la the Germans in the 1930s being next–the flip side might be those who defend their artist heroes by shading the truth. What the WSWS should have said is that Gauguin’s personal life is irrelevant if art is about visual ideas or depicting reality. However if one thinks it’s about moral instruction, once a precept of many art critics, then the NYT attack on Gauguin could have some merit. In our contemporary world, with movies being the dominant art, the propaganda motives of the filmmakers are not irrelevant.

    1. Vegetius

      Absolutely. Far from irrelevant, the propaganda motives of filmmakers are the only reason many pictures are made.

      Exhibit A: Borat.

    2. witters

      Moral instruction? Underage same sex relations? Damn, there goes pretty much all Greek Ethics. Ah well, those like us don’t need any ethics but our own!

      1. Carolinian

        Plus they owned slaves–very politically incorrect. Think moral instruction may have been big during the reign of the queen who was not amused.

        And the reign of the king with orange hair of course. The Dems are not amused by him.

      2. ambrit

        You misconstrue. The ancient Greeks made a most definite distinction between ‘youths’ and ‘children.’ To debauch a child was a serious crime. Youths were considered capable of self control. From what I have read, the concept of the extended ‘childhood’ is a Victorian concept. Prior to that, children as young as six were hanged for petty crimes in England.

    3. JBird4049

      Most famous artists, writers, politicians, people, especially the further back you go, have some aspects that we do not like. “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”I don’t particularly like Gauguin, but I find trying to cancel an artist who died 116 years ago because his sex life was not properly bourgeoisie suspect. Maybe I should cancel Caravaggio because he was a drunk, a brawler, and a duelist?

      Unless we want to erase most of our collective self, I would suggest criticizing people’s personal actions as personal actions and not ignored what they create. To do otherwise is to commit suicide or to power to those with selfish, unpleasant, ulterior motives.

  18. The Rev Kev


    From what I have seen, they are incapable of it. Watching from afar, I note that the 2020 election is proving remarkably clarifying as in you are getting to know who is on your side and who sides with the establishment. So you see people like Tucker Carlson, Jimmy Dore, Tulsi Gabbard and Caitlin Johnstone telling the truth while organizations like CNN, MSNBC, FBI, CIA, DNC and others doing their best to rig the election. And that is why it is sad to see people like Michael Moore siding with the later on MSNBC-

    1. Lost in OR

      See link in Our Famously Free Press:
      When villain is Obama, not Trump, news suddenly not worth reporting New York Post (UserFriendly)

      It’s the MSM saying what you said.

      1. KevinD

        as if one side is telling the truth and the other isn’t?
        C’mon – are you kidding me with this?

        Neither side would know the truth if they fell into it.

    2. xkeyscored

      Telling the truth is a risky business. Look at Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, or Edward Snowden, for example. Much easier, safer, and more profitable to say what you’re allowed to.

  19. flora

    re: ‘Inside the Mass-Tort Machine That Powers Thousands of Roundup Lawsuits’ – Wall Street Journal

    A general observation: when regulators don’t regulate (FDA in this case) and many many people get hurt, the only thing left to restrain large corporations from pushing dangerous products into the market are massive tort lawsuits and financial penalties. (If only TBTF banks like Wells F could be subject to mass tort lawsuits. The financial penalty could make them clean up their act more than do ‘slap on the wrist’ US govt penalties, imo. )

    1. JTMcPhee

      And of course the Powell Doctrine applies, and the machinery of greed has done a lot to restrict the utility of mass tort and citizen suit and class action and shareholder derivative litigation, a long, deliberate process over the last 50 years of infilling the judiciary with “business-friendly“ judges and using the law journals and rules-revising activities. Stuff like forced arbitration and mediation, and this,

  20. JohnnyGL

    For those who don’t want to dig into the details of polling, but would like to keep an eye on the race….I’d recommend the weekly Morning Consult poll.

    -large sample size
    -because of the large sample size, it shows much less volatility
    -interesting additional data like 2nd choice, favorability

    Anyway, I keep an eye on this each week and Bernie’s slowly moving in the right direction, overall. But what I find interesting is his underlying fundamentals are moving up along with his poll numbers. Sanders has shown improvement in the 2nd choice category. Sanders also has the best favorability. Biden’s fading in favorability (only net +45 now), leaving Bernie in a class by himself (at +56).

    What this says to me is that post heart-attack, the primary electorate is taking another look at Sanders and starting to come around in his direction. Others like him a lot, even if he’s not their first choice, yet.

    This is the strongest I’ve seen and the most optimistic I’ve been in awhile regarding polling.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Scientific Breakthrough: MIT Solves Two Huge Energy Problems”

    I have done similar work here as well. I have numerous devices and installations in my back and front yards that captures and utilizes CO2 and expel oxygen which is good for the planet. They are cheap, efficient, work all year around and require very little maintenance. Research shows that they can be deployed anywhere and some of them can even produce food to boot. They even work underwater! I should really apply for a patent on them.

    1. Susan the Other

      I just read that one, musta missed it. It’s pretty ingenious idea to charge a battery by exchanging CO2 for (?) energy and then (as you?) sequester the CO2 in the ground. So is 50$ per ton on CO2 too expensive if you simultaneously create and store energy?

  22. Craig H.

    > Germany under pressure to respond to Uighur internment

    In a press conference Monday morning, the German government condemned the internment of Uighurs but insisted on talks with China to gain access to the camps and evaluate for itself the veracity of the information contained in the documents.

    What is the chance somebody who personally knows Merkel has ever said one word to somebody who personally knows Xi about Kashgar camps? I am guessing somewhere between .00001 and .00000001.

    1. Synoia

      No problem: If the Chinese rename the province Palestine-in-the-East, or Yemen East, and subcontract containment to Israel or the Saudis respectively, the issues will be resolved.

      If one is going to whack the Chinese, then let’s also whack the Israelis, and the Saudis.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        An imperfect world.

        A Russian oligarch with connection can avoid problems. Similarly we see the same getting away with things elsewhere in the world. Big banks, for example.

        But if your bicycle was stolen, you would still want the robber apprehended and the bike returned to you. The robber naturally would complain.

        One day, history will look back and have a chapter on each episode or event.

      2. Olga

        Or incarcerating minorities in the US. My thesis – some decades ago – was on how many people the US locks up – with a vast percentage being minorities (mostly blacks, to be exact). I tried to figure out what the reason was – control, weeding the ranks of the unemployed, racism. Or all three…
        Let’s get real – every govt. tries to control its population… every single one. As RevK said y-day, managing 1.4 billion people is no cakewalk. Particularly, when a foreign entity is trying to exploit the differences and to build a fifth column inside that country. Uighurs fought in Syria (how did they get there?)… I saw U. delegations in Pakistan in the volatile early 1990s.
        And speaking of control – has anyone in the west noticed that we all live in a giant re-education camp? Except, it’s just called propaganda. Presumably, more subtle.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      ‘(T)he German government condemned…’

      But insisted on evaluating ‘for itself the veracity…’

      I think the first order of business for Berlin, and anyone else interested, is to find out the situation on the ground, and not resort to ‘It’s an Irish paper or the Guardian,’ ‘what about them’ or ‘the Uyghurs committed this or that act hurting or damaging.’

    3. Anthony G Stegman

      The United States is the world’s biggest hypocrites. Back in the day, the United States interned a considerably larger percentage of it’s population than the Chinese currently do. And those were the lucky ones who avoided massacres and purposeful contamination with deadly bacteria. Of course, the Germans have their own challenges in criticizing the Chinese. To date, there has been no verification of the existence of gas chambers and crematoria in northwest China.

      1. Lambert Strether

        For awhile, I’ve had the thought — doesn’t rise to the level of theory — that every nation-state’s founding myth erases genocide against the original inhabitants of the nation-state’s territory.

        The Gettysburg address exemplifies this:

        Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation,

        Well, I suppose they could be said to have done that, but the continent did already have inhabitants….

        On the other hand, it would be great if the United States could actually regain enough soft power to get up on its moral “high horse” — right now, we’re running on brand fumes with this whole liberty and democracy bit.

        1. Susan the Other

          it’s like what you’re reacting against is what defines/justifies your cause and when it’s long in the past the cause reveals its own inadequacies – or pointlessness.

  23. MT_Bill

    Sounder of wild hogs kill woman outside her home in Texas.

    “In my 35 years, I will tell you it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever seen.”

  24. Matthew G. Saroff

    I did a quick eyeball estimate of the weight of just the stainless steel skin of the Tesla truck, and it came to about 4,000.00 pounds. (assuming 3mm plate, and scaling from the pictures)

    That is JUST the skin.

    It means a gross weight in excess of 8,000 pounds, and probably over 10,000 pounds. (F-150 4×4 is about 5500 lbs)

    How do you get a 4-5 ton vehicle built for under $40K?

    Also, it may go zero to 60 fast, but cornering and off road performance will be problematic at these weights.

    1. inode_buddha

      I would be very surprised if the skin was even 1mm thick. Most current auto bodies are about half of that.

      1. Monty

        I see a lot of those can-am off road buggies around here. They seem to have a similar ‘stealth fighter’ inspired lines. I think that truck is going to sell like hot cakes to that demographic.

        The torque is 9000+lbs 10x that of Ford’s big F450 gas truck, great for towing trailers or boats etc. The truck bed innovations and range make it really quite an exciting and futuristic vehicle. They say ‘nobody ever went bankrupt underestimating the stylishness of the American truck buyer’, but let’s see if this one bucks that trend. The initial response to the truck reminds me of when “everyone” chuckled to all the memes about how the iPad was just a big iPhone and it’s name sounded like a feminine hygiene product.

        1. inode_buddha

          One things for sure, it sure as hell won’t sell to the farmers and contractors around here. The real “working trucks” tend to be much older rust buckets with a V8 and no plastic and everything is manual. Guys who actually work their trucks for a living basically despise all the urban cowboys and offroaders. Due to the way they inflated and crapified the truck market.

        2. Lambert Strether

          > great for towing trailers or boats

          Boats. Pulling your electric vehicle alongside a body of water and pushing a large object into the water and then pulling it out. What could go wrong?

          Could be, as you point out, that Tesla’s truck is just a new product category, and so the lack of a bed to load stuff, or tailgate, doesn’t matter. And aesthetically, I suppose the F-117 look is at least different from the bloated sharks that every manufacturer seems to be delivering these days.

      2. Matthew G. Saroff

        TESLA says that the skin is 3mm thick.according to the Wiki.

        This is insane. By comparison, the P-51 Mustang had wing skins on the order of 0.8mm thick out of aluminum, which has 1/3 the stiffness of steel, and it could pull 8G and dive to over 500 mph..

        Also, I cannot see the truck passing crash tests, because 1/8 in 301 stainless plate does not crumple, so there are no crumple zones…

  25. Synoia

    Quantum Experiment Sees Two Versions Of Reality Existing At The Same Time…


    Political Experiment Sees Two Versions Of Reality Persisting At The Same Time…

  26. Synoia

    Massachusetts State Police have quietly started using Boston Dynamics’ robot dog ‘Spot’ in the field Daily Mail. BC: “How is this good?”

    Also stops bitching in the ranks.

  27. a different chris

    Yea! $50/ton… so that works out to only, um, uh-oh, 36 billion tons/year emissions * $50 is 1.8 trillion dollars per year. And that’s to stabilize CO2, when we need to reduce it.


  28. Summer

    RE: “The WeWork Con” Jacobin

    “He (Adam Neumann) walked around barefoot, not just in the office, but on the streets of New York City…”


  29. inhibi

    Elon Musk Explains Why Tesla’s Cybertruck Windows Smashed During Presentation

    Simplest explanation as to why the glass broke, assuming Musk and his team actually used same glass on the truck window.
    1) Demonstration had a pane of glass unfixed, meaning, the pane could BEND upon impact which greatly reduces impact stress and spreads the load across a large surface area
    2) Any window in a car/truck has a rubber gasket that creates a leak-proof seal. This gasket is along the entire frame, hence, the pane is fixed via friction. It cannot bend ( i mean, who has seen a car window bend in place without cracking?)

    When they threw the ball at the glass, the glass coudnt bend, hence, the stress zone was extremely concentrated and broke.

    BTW, this glass isnt bullet-proof glass. Its also not shatter-resistant glass. Its just bendable.
    Bulletproof glass, of which there are many types, is extremely expensive. The most common type is actually not glass but a PC polymer (tradename of Lexan/Lexguard). A 4 x 2 foot pane of bulletproof Lexan is about $1300, and thats a flat piece. Add machining or worse, custom beveling, and your looking at maybe at scale $1500 per window and maybe $10,000 for the front windshield, a price that Tesla cannot afford when the entire truck is under $60,000.

    So this is just Musk’s usual way of trying to up-sell a maybe slightly more advanced pane of glass from regular glass, which is ironic, because Daimler and Lexus use very hi tech glass on their vehicles, certainly not any less hi-tech than this ‘Tesla-glass’.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I was watching a few video clips by car/truck YouTube streamers guys in the audience and it turns out that they went full fan-boy and Musk was their very own male Kim Kardashian. Musk showed trucks through the decades and pointed out that they were the same basic design. Unsaid was the fact that the design worked so well.
      When his cybertruck rolled onstage I thought where do you carry any stuff? We have a Nissan Navara but that is only so that we can tow a horse-float. The back-tray is handy for carting feed-bags and hay but where do you carry stuff like that on a cybertruck? The space looks so limited in terms of carrying capacity.
      I think that I may have worked out what was going on though. Musk was going on how tough it was and how it was bulletproof as well which got the fan-boys going ooh-aahhhh! I bet you that he is going for the police cruiser market. There are roughly 700,000 police cars throughout the United States and I bet that he will try marketing this “truck” to them as a standardized police cruiser design. And when I went online to illustrate this idea, I found this-

      1. inode_buddha

        Maybe he did the math regarding the cost of painting vs using stainless. Historically the price of stainless hovers around 8x the cost of regular steel, but how does that compare to the cost of painting robots, or (heaven forbid) paying human operators? Bearing in mind the quantities and scale involved, and any negotiating power they may have with their suppliers.

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