Links 7/5/2023

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Fireworks from a dog’s point of view StarTribune. Kevin W: “Read through to the end.”

Quasar ‘Clocks’ Show the Universe Was Five Times Slower Soon After the Big Bang PhysOrg

Why Human Societies Still Use Arms, Feet, and Other Body Parts To Measure Things Science

One night of total sleep deprivation shown to have antidepressant effect for some people MedicalXpress (Dr. Kevin)

America’s Most Popular Drug Has a Puzzling Side Effect. We Finally Know Why Atlantic (Paul R)



World Registers Hottest Day Ever Recorded on July 3 Reuters

Can The U.S. Power Grid Handle The EV Boom? YouTube, CNBC. Kevin W: “Related link: ‘Gas guzzlers cheaper to use in Britain than EVs – report ‘ RT”

Climate activists block golf course holes with seedlings and cement to protest water use CNN (ma)

A $30 Billion Disaster Is Just the Tip of a Deadly Climate Cycle Bloomberg. Paul R: ” About flooding and climate refugee crisis in Pakistan. It is horrible.”

‘It was an accident’: the scientists who have turned humid air into renewable power Guardian (Kevin W)


China cancels planned trip by Europe’s top diplomat Reuters

China Restricts Exports of Two Metals Used in High-Performance Chips Wall Street Journal (Kevin W). I wonder at the timing given that the Blinken visit backfired thanks to Uncle Joe calling Xi bad names and Blinken fully backing it.

US-China chip war crossfire hitting smaller powers Asia Times (Kevin W)

US Looks To Restrict China’s Access To Cloud Computing To Protect Advanced Technology Wall Street Journal

China uses laser for 10 times faster satellite-to-ground communication in major breakthrough South China Morning Post (guurst)


India Aims To Make Domestic Microchips By End of 2024 Financial Times

Old Blighty

Banks told to uphold free speech after blacklisting customers holding certain views Telegraph (Kevin W)

European Disunion

Incoming orders in mechanical engineering fall drastically Tagesschau (guurst, original here)

Polish PMI falls to 45.1 pts in June says S&P Global First News

La belle France

Important. Please read thread. High food and cooking fuel prices were the proximate cause of the Arab Spring uprisings.

New Not-So-Cold War

SITREP 7/4/23: Final Hour of Zelensky’s Terror Ploy Simplicius the Thinker

Ukraine Military Sitrep, Mine Warfare, US to Send Kiev More Cluster Bombs for Killing Donetsk Civilians? Mark Sleboda

* * *

Ukrainian Engineers Are Recovering The 25 Vehicles Ukraine Lost In A Russian Minefield, Starting With An American-Made M-2 Forbes. Kevin W: “But then there is this- Germany, Poland at odds over tank-repair center for Ukraine – Der Spiegel RT”

* * *

The Wagner Mutiny Jacques Baud, The Postil (guurst). From last week, still germane.

OSCE Parliamentary Assembly recognizes PMC Wagner as terrorist organization TASS

* * *

Russia rejects bank compromise as Black Sea grain expiry looms Reuters

Why Are Russian Oil Products Sill Being Sold in America? Project Syndicate

* * *

Ukraine destroyed the Kakhovka dam: a forensic assessment Thomas Palley. Interesting because doubts about the official narrative getting out of the war-watcher ghetto.

* * *

Franco-Russian Great Power Rivalry in the Sahara-Sahel Region Global Affairs (Micael T)


Jenin: Israeli forces start withdrawal after two-day operation BBC

Why Netanyahu Removed The Final Mask On Palestinian Aspirations Eurasia Review (furzy)

Israel to Expand F-35 Fleet By 50 Percent: Why It Urgently Needs 25 New Stealth Fighters to Face Iran Military Watch

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Cops using self-driving cars as surveillance cameras on wheels Jalopnik (Paul R)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Dead End of Pursuing Dominance Daniel Larison

Genuine Multilateralism and Diplomacy vs the “Rules-Based Order” Global Affairs (Micael T)

America’s Founding Was a Marriage of Inconvenience Time (furzy)


Cocaine discovery sparks White House evacuation DW

Not enough fireworks for one holiday? Joe invites recovering drug addict Hunter and family onto Truman balcony to watch July 4th celebrations – two days after cocaine was found in the West Wing Daily Mail


Apple To Ask US Supreme Court To Undo App Store Order In Epic Games Case Reuters

After gutting affirmative action, Republicans target minority scholarships MSNBC (Paul R). Here in Wisconsin.


Pro-choice Catholics fight to seize the narrative from the religious right Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

Our No Longer Free Press

Federal judge limits Biden officials’ contacts with social media sites New York Times (Chuck L). Wellie!

This July 4th, Remember: Freedom is Good Matt Taibbi. Sadly the reservation is not for the right reason, of freedumb being the justification for cutting government spending, which leads to degradation of service and then justifies more cuts.


Fourth of July is a US celebration. Why is it the riskiest day for mass shootings? Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

Why schoolchildren are regularly being targeted by terrorist groups in many countries SciToday (Dr. Kevin)


How actors are losing their voices to AI Financial Times (Kevin W)

Google Says It’ll Scrape Everything You Post Online for AI Gizmodo. Paul R:

No it’s not LLM training. It’s a about building personality profiles, social credits, and dirt dossiers on everyone, including de-anonymizing through web beacons and stylometrics and whatnot. Bah.

The Bezzle

A flying car prototype just got an airworthiness certificate from the FAA CNN

Computer Speed Gains Erased By Modern Software Hackaday (Kevin W)

Class Warfare

Post-pandemic surge in evictions spotlights unequal housing crisis The Hill

On the Scalability of Cooperative Structures: Remarks on G. A. Cohen, Why Not Socialism? Google Scholar. UserFriendly:

I can’t say I agree with all, or even most of this, but it does make the occasional good point and it is quite interesting. Especially where he is describing some particular failure mode and I’m just like ye4ah sure sounds like what we actually have now. But I suspect that the most damning critique of this is that I’d probably only have to change a dozen words to make it a defense of feudalism.

Antidote du jour. C:

Many thanks for the years of great reading. I’ve never been in much of a position to donate, but thought I would at least contribute some cuteness for an antidote. Topsy is sleeping and Sweet Sue is peeping, they are both polydactyl!

And a bonus (Colin K):

And a second bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. chris

    Sad times for cheese lovers, I’m not allowed to bring any unpasteurized French cheese back to US in my carry on luggage. Here’s hoping the vacuum packed stuff in the checked luggage makes it OK!

    1. John Beech

      Is there an actual reason? Recently read about states allowing unpasturized milk sales. Sauce, goose, gander, situation, perhaps? Anyway, very sorry for your loss and sincere hopes for your goods in checked luggage. Let us know in future.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I recently had a bit of a digestive upset that I can trace to the consumption of raw milk kefir. You’d think that I would have learned my lesson after experiencing a similar malady back in February.

        Well, suffice it to say that I have indeed learned my lesson. From now on, it’s pasteurized milk products only for this camper.

  2. Henry Moon Pie

    Is it anthrax? Is it coke? Don’t assume it’s poor Hunter. I say make everyone employed in the West Wing pee in a cup and make the results public. It might help explain the Biden administration’s addiction to double downing.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If it’s coke, then you can assume that it is the big people that are using it like the Bidens, Nuland, Blinken and Sullivan. It would explain a lot. But not for the staffers. If I recall correctly, when Biden took office he was suppose to be marijuana friendly – but then had any staff that admitted to using the wacky-tobaccy fired. A White house spokesperson today stated that they had no idea of the origins of that white powder and are still investigating (sniff, sniff).

      1. Screwball

        I got a kick out of an Aaron Mate Tweet about the NY Post article;

        Before we read this, can any former intelligence officials let us know if the Cocaine baggie has the earmarks of a Russian disinformation operation?

        Reading the one article it already sounds like they are not sure where it was, and Hunter darling was on the balcony watching fireworks with the first family, everything seems to be peachy. Nothing to see here, move along.

        1. Procopius

          I laughed at the thought of Hunter, too, but he wasn’t there until two days later. Still, I gotta suspect him.

    2. ChrisFromGA

      Didn’t Zelensky visit the White House several times over the past year?

      Could be his bag of blow, left behind by accident.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Users never leave anything behind. Zelensky wouldn’t fly all the way to DC to pick up a new kilo and then leave some behind.

        Hunter probably thought he had a good hiding place, forgot about the dogs.

    3. CanCyn

      Sorry if this is explained in the news, am commuting the sin of comments first ….The thing that makes me laugh is wondering who reported the finding in a way that it became public. I bet that person is in a lot of trouble!

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Israel to Expand F-35 Fleet By 50 Percent: Why It Urgently Needs 25 New Stealth Fighters to Face Iran”

    Well Israel is free to do what it wants but I think that for Iran, Israel is rapidly receding into its rear-vision mirror. Just today Iran became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and will be opening up to business with all its other member States so a lot of money and business will be flowing in by some countries that may want to protect their investments. Israel, under the present Netanyahu government, is in danger of becoming just a backwater nation in some ways-

    1. BillS

      Plus, expanding your fleet of flying Ford Pintos may be just what your adversary wants you to do! ;-)

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Still, you have to admit that it was brilliant to install hot air capture balloons above each wheel well. Just set your Firestone 500 radials on fire and the heat will fill the balloons letting you fly wherever you like (so long as it’s downwind from your start position).

        We have landfills full of this valuable fuel source!

    2. ilsm

      if your airplane breaks all the time you need more airframes to perform a mission defined set of sorties.

      also since your engines need to endure heat stress to meet mission load, and speed and so fail more frequently, you need more airplanes as spare engine warehouses

      not sure what more airframes does for deficient digital backbone or need for a modern radar…

      above is gleaned from gao, and press releases

      also, usaf is not accepting f-35a until tech refresh fixes digital backbone shorts

  4. timbers

    New Not-So-Cold War

    At some point, Russia will be judge attrition of UAF forces to be sufficient for her to make a move of her own. Or, UAF may change course and do a strictly defensive strategy and Russia could wait for the West to lose interest in Ukraine and wait for funding to dry up and Ukraine withers, or decide she must move regardless. No Western funding of Ukraine would probably result in mass exodus of Ukraine’s population. I wonder when that point will be but of course the Kremlin will not announce such plains months in advance on MSM. Have seen speculation that a lot of lot of RUF forces are nearish Kharkiv Oblast and as John Mearsheimer suggests Russia may feel she should have 4 additional Oblasts given UAF relentless targeting of civilians, this might make some sense.

    Regarding RT claim Ukraine will use a “dirty bomb” on the ZNP, does this qualify as using nukes?

    1. JBird4049

      I do not think using a dirty bomb quite qualifies as using nukes. At least, previously it only when using something radioactive to make the explosion, not just as substance to contaminate an area.

      I certainly do not remember reading otherwise during the Cold War, but it’s been decades since I had been, um, morbidly incentivized to study the subject, who knows what are the current legal definitions, which do not have to be the correct definition? Emotionally, it still hits the right buttons.

  5. Henry Moon Pie

    Here’s a song parody drawn from Oklahoma and found via a Dave Sirota re-tweet. From “A Surrey with the Fringe on Top” to “Just Can’t Stop.” In the spirit of “Don’t Look Up.”

  6. The Rev Kev

    ‘Topsy is sleeping and Sweet Sue is peeping, they are both polydactyl!’

    Today’s new word – polydactyl.

    ‘A polydactyl cat is a cat with a congenital physical anomaly called polydactyly (or polydactylism, also known as hyperdactyly), which causes the cat to be born with more than the usual number of toes on one or more of its paws. Cats with this genetically inherited trait are most commonly found along the East Coast of North America (in the United States and Canada) and in South West England and Wales.’

    If a mutation pops up where cats are born polydactyl but with an opposable thumb, then we are all doomed!

    1. Utah

      Polydactylism is a dominant genetic trait that is also observed in humans. If one parent has it, their offspring are more likely to have it, though they could also be heterozygous for the trait (the most likely scenario in humans) and their kids have a 50/50 chance. I teach this to my students in our genetics unit to show that not all dominant traits are beneficial, mostly because kids think dominant=good.

    2. Jabura Basaidai

      that’s a Hemingway cat – my daughter has one, Mr Grimm – all paws – look like catcher’s mitts –

      1. chuck roast

        The great Yogi Berra (#8 infinity sideways) was polydactyl…in so many ways!

  7. chris

    Yeah… I call BS on the copium in the post about China not really cornering the market. I’m not aware of a lot of facilities with the equipment to produce and process the gallium and germanium into usable forms that are also tied into the supply chain for products downstream. They effectively have corned the market until we come up with feasible options. I’m pro-autarky, but I’m also realistic. We shouldn’t have down this we had options at the ready.

    1. Pat

      But the US will stomp in like an 800 lb gorilla because “Freedum!!”
      The delusional bullies who have been working for years on Ukraine and planning a pivot to Taiwan after Russia collapses in a mere matter of months couldn’t strategize a game of checkers. Every logical road block that upsets their fantasy world domination plan comes as a complete and total shock to them. A large part of which is a direct result of their personal greed and corruption and fealty to the monied interests that have both funded them and kept them viable while out of political favor. Denial that their long term goals and the well being of those monied interests are contrary to each other in the short term was SOP. Now reality bites.

    2. tevhatch

      West may not get it after in ether case. Capitalist, unless they get a too big to fail card, endorsed by the Fed as good to pay, are not going to trust the government or MIC to buy from them at the necessary inflated price if China steps back into the market, usually right before the factories have to do their final set of fund raising to start up operations. (woof, the AI hates me recently).

    1. Aurelien

      I read it yesterday and wasn’t convinced. I see that most of the subsequent comments have been fairly brutal.
      Even if the figures are correct, the rioters were overwhelmingly not those who were directly affected by rising food prices, because they were too young: at least a third under-18 (some only 12-13) and hardly anyone over 25. It’s their parents, who were not rioting, who are suffering. And if the protest was about food prices you’d have expected them to be ransacking supermarkets, not burning them down. Let them eat Nike trainers?

      I admire much of Pilkington’s work, but it just adds to my uneasy feeling that economists should have to pass a special exam and get a licence before writing anything outside their core speciality.

      1. Li

        Aren’t kids fed by their parents? If the parents are suffering food scarcity so are the youngsters. Following this thread of thought, if the parents need to work more to keep up with food prices, that leaves children completely unsupervised for long periods of time during which they can, well, riot.

      2. kareninca

        Back in the 1970s when food prices in the U.S. were going up like crazy, it was my brother (who was a teenager) who was upset, because he would get one pork chop instead of two. I think young men can be pretty powerfully affected by the perception (and/or reality) that there isn’t enough food.

        1. skippy

          And hungry … BTW I was in south bay L.A. when it happened and new the long term underlining socioeconomic factors that culminated in the event, like an oily rag.

          Best bit is the police just barricaded the streets to the nice parts of town and let it all go Devo. Yet if there is some small disturbance you’ll see 10 cop cars from all around swoop on individuals or small groups and bring the pain.

          BTW don’t walk around the L.A. airport area or Santa Monica at night lmmao …

    2. Mildred Montana

      Sorry flora, sorta squeezing this OT comment in, but today is a joyous day in Canada. The Grocery Rebate promised in the March 2023 budget begins hitting bank accounts today. Anywhere from $200 to $600 depending. That oughta forestall any food riots for a month or so.

      Take that, you Americans still waiting for Biden’s promised $600. No schadenfreude here, just sympathy and disappointment on your behalf.

    3. digi_owl

      Being around to experience a rerun of the french revolution was not something i expected.

      That said, i have long held that food, not social media, was responsible for the Arab Spring. If anything social media seemed to act like a pacifier for the public, as things didn’t really go beyond protesting until governments started cutting net connections. Perhaps because social media allowed people to follow events without stepping outside and get swept along.

      1. flora

        adding, ’cause it’s the day after the 4th of July. When American citizens disagreed with the anti-crown sentiments of the revolutionary colonists, George Washington said that those Americans wishing to remain loyal to the crown should be let go with all their propery and valuables to the north, to Canada, without hinderance.

        Later, during the US Civil War, Lincoln talked about “binding up the wounds” of the war on both sides.

        Ya know, I think there’s something to this.

        1. Procopius

          I admire the sentiment, but he still should have tried for treason the top half dozen leaders (including Bobby Lee). Both Jefferson Davis and Bobby Lee should have been hanged, but the others might have been granted clemency so long as they shunned public life. We’re suffering the results now of a noble idea.

  8. Steve H.

    > On the Scalability of Cooperative Structures: Remarks on G. A. Cohen, Why Not Socialism?

    Interesting, but. First is definitional:

    >> If we focus on institutions that promote some scheme of cooperation, then we can represent the scalability of a particular institutional structure as determined by the marginal costs and benefits of integrating a new individual into the system.

    This focus on within-group assimilation has two problems. The first is insufficient weight to between-group cooperation. From Evolution of cooperation on large networks with community structure:

    >> Thus, sparse interconnection of dense communities rescues cooperation. Note that this happens as long as the whole network is connected

    Second, it regards the group as homogeneous, with a mention of “a mechanism for deciding who will perform which task” which Bourdieu might say is doing a lot of work. To illustrate:

    Turchin proposed cultural group selection as an explanation for large, hierarchical societies. Nowak showed that benefits must scale with the size of the group.

    If the hierarchical elite can avoid mortal risk, there is an explanation for picking larger fights. Using Lanchester’s Square Law, a band of 100 could pick a fight with a band of ten and take no casualties. If each individual carries their wealth in a bag, and all bags are equal, each winner would gain 1/10th of a bag of wealth.

    But if leadership picks a fight with a band of 95, there will be a bloodbath with only 32 left standing. Those 32 gain the wealth of the 95 defeated. They also gain the wealth of their fallen band members, for a total of 95 + (100-32) bags, and each individual gains five full bags of wealth.

    Hail the victorious dead!

    1. hk

      One problem that I see is that Lanchester’s Law ought to be stochastic, ie there may be nearly 0 probability that a band of 10 would defeat a band of 100, but not insignificant chance that a band of 95 would annihilate the band of 100, plus the chance that you’d be one of the survivors is small even if you win.

      1. Steve H.

        I believe there are stochastic versions. It’s a century old approximation with enough sticking power that Martyanov cites it.

        As for the chance of survival, the ransoming of nobles is an old tradition that ensures survival even in a loss. The (alleged) murder of Richard the Lionhearted was considered poor form.

  9. flora

    From Taibbi’s longer article:

    People who grow up in freer societies can’t appreciate what they have until they get real experience of a place where freedom is absent. I loved my time as a student in the Soviet Union and later in Russia, but it was hard not to notice that most of the country was recovering from something like severe brain damage, having lived under a system whose only real ideological principle was a lack of autonomy: “What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is also mine.” The forced collectivity of Soviet culture bred resentment at such soaring levels that for some, the only imaginable pleasure was screwing over another person. In a classic joke, a genie tells a Soviet citizen, “You can have anything, but your neighbor will have double.” The punchline: “Pluck out one of my eyes.”

    In post-communist Russia human beings were so unused to freedom, even the temporary experience of it drove some crazy. The place was sardine-packed with busybodies.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “China cancels planned trip by Europe’s top diplomat Borrell”

    This may be China firing a shot across the bows of the EU to get them to wake up to what they are doing. The boys at the Duran were putting this into the context of the Biden White House maneuvering the EU to get into an economic fight with China. They say that by empowering the crazies at the start of the war in the Ukraine, that the EU has found that these people are now wanting to fight China and can’t be talked out of their tree. And this is not only the usual suspects like Germany’s Baerbock but also Italy’s Meloni who came out and said that they must cut off all ties with China. People should be careful what they wish for – they just might get it. (12:46 mins)

  11. DJG, Reality Czar

    Mark Ames on Stanford and those darn irresistible hunkyNazis: Underlying article is in the Forward. Wherein we read:
    “Azov began in 2014 as a paramilitary battalion formed out of a neo-Nazi street gang; it helped Kyiv fight back against Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. Azov eventually grew into a brigade in Ukraine’s National Guard. In addition to committing war crimes, the unit is notorious for its recruitment of radicals from around the world, including America.”

    Note that the current propaganda effort by the Ukrainian government is to insist that the Russians invaded in 2014–making it seem that the crisis in the Donbass isn’t a civil war and that the Ukrainian government was somehow not involved in war crimes (extensively reported) there. Azov? Donbass War crimes? No, they are just a bunch of gym bunnies.

    The issue of Crimea differs: Historically and geographically. So let’s not conflate them.

    Although there is a good argument to be made that even the Donbass isn’t a historic part of Ukraine.

    Nonetheless, Kuleba used this “no such thing as civil war in the Donbass” line in a recent prominent interview on Otto e Mezzo (on La7) in Italy. Watch out for it to turn up elsewhere.

    Heck, false-flag bombings of nuclear plants. Nonexistent civil war and repression of the Russian population. La Ursula decked out in blue-and-yellow. It’s a bullshit fest-o-ganza. Too bad about those 200 thousand or 300 thousand dead.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘The issue of Crimea’

      Zelensky was being interviewed by CNN a day or two ago and was asked abut Crimea. He said-

      ‘We cannot imagine Ukraine without Crimea. And while Crimea is under the Russian occupation, it means only one thing: the war is not over yet.’

      So in other words, the war will go on until the Ukraine captures and then ‘sterilizes’ Crimea so in the meantime, I guess that means more weapons and more billions-

    2. Polar Socialist

      An argument can also be made that the the “Russian backed-rebels” were actually moderates defending the constitution of Ukraine (the one that guaranteed equal treatment to all ethnicities and didn’t mention NATO) against the western-backed extremists.

      Not a framing I expect to see in any media near me, though.

    3. hk

      There are insane attempts by people (I think Duran folks mentioned Scholz did this recently) to convince the public that Ukraine was sovereign before 1991. Good times.

    1. Lexx

      Everything you wrote, plus wooden toothpicks. My dental hygienist would say of those Eastern Plains farmer patients, who drove in to the office every six months… ‘their teeth aren’t pretty, but they have the healthiest gums I’ve ever seen’. Something about slowly and passively annoying and toughening the gum tissue around the tooth that patients can’t duplicate with flossing.

      1. MaryLand

        My dentist recommended Stim-U-Dent flat wooden toothpicks instead of floss for better gum health. Plus some floss has PFAS on it to help it glide. Liking my toothpicks!

    2. skk

      I suffered from periodontal problems for a long while. For the past 8 years I’ve added a few drops of sodium hypoclorite ala inexpensive household bleach to my daily waterpik water. The dentist now compliments me on my gum health. Here’s a review paper

    3. kareninca

      This only works if you have a normal gum structure. If your gums grow over your teeth in a peculiar way (that isn’t all that uncommon), the only way you can avoid gum disease is by surgery. It is physically impossible to clean your teeth adequately in that case.

  12. Alice X

    >Federal judge limits Biden officials’ contacts with social media sites New York Times

    As always, the framing is D vs R

    From the piece:

    The defendants, the social media companies and experts who study disinformation have argued that there is no evidence of a systematic effort by the government to censor individuals in violation of the First Amendment.…

    STOP – What about the work of those so called journalists? Twitter files anyone?

    …David Rand, an expert on misinformation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said his understanding was that the government had at most a limited impact on how social media platforms engaged with misinformation.

    At the same time, emails and text messages made public in the case that Judge Doughty ruled on have shown instances where officials complained to social media executives when influential users spread disinformation, especially involving the coronavirus pandemic.

    Oh well, the Gray Lady is never going to admit that RussiaGate was a hoax, and they were part of it

    1. Alice X

      Joe Lauria agrees that the NYT bit was partisan hackery:

      US Court Victory Against Online Censorship

      Unhappy NYT

      The New York Times was not happy about the judge’s decision. In what is presented as a news story, the Times paints the issue in partisan terms, reporting incorrectly that Republicans alone are concerned about government-social media collusion and what it means for free speech.

    2. Mildred Montana

      >”…David Rand, an expert on misinformation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology…”

      How exactly does one become an “expert” on misinformation? Then how does such an “expert” get a job at MIT, an ostensible citadel of the hard sciences—mathematics, computers, tech, engineering, physics, etc.—and presumably hostile to “soft science” speculations.

      Yet, from Rand’s MIT bio: “Bridging the fields of cognitive science, behavioral economics, and social psychology, David’s research combines behavioral experiments run online and in the field with 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘶𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘮𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘭𝘴 [of course, must include that, it’s MIT after all!] to understand people’s attitudes, beliefs, and choices. His work uses a cognitive science perspective grounded in the tension between more intuitive versus deliberative modes of decision-making. He focuses on illuminating why people believe and share misinformation and “fake news,” understanding political psychology and polarization…”

      No further comment needed I hope.

      1. Alice X

        One of Glenn Greenwalds’ often repeated points is that there is no such thing as a misinformation expert.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Incoming orders in mechanical engineering fall drastically”

    This is really important this for Germany but I do not think that the present German leadership are listening or maybe they do not even care. For them, it is all Ukraine 24-7. I saw an example of this a coupla days ago in an interview with German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius. He was saying that he would be blunt and acknowledge that people want things like schools, kindergartens, healthcare and the like but that is not possible now as all that money has to be sent to the Ukraine instead as part of the effort to uphold the international Rules-Based Order. Yes, he actually said all this and I think that we wanted this to sound like some sort of noble sacrifice.

  14. Mike

    Re: Quasar ‘Clocks’ Show the Universe Was Five Times Slower Soon After the Big Bang PhysOrg

    To venture into triviality, my only question to physics here is- in what medium did the big bang occur? what “surrounded” it, or was it nothingness? How can we posit anything beyond the milliseconds that we don’t know? My personal bias tends toward a universe that is encompassed by other dissapated universes too strung out to be noticed, and beyond the event horizon. This creation theory is fine until one ventures to ask bothersome questions.

    1. BillS

      In short, as I understand it, we cannot see beyond the “event horizon” of the big bang. Light from beyond cannot be seen because it has not reached us yet. This horizon expands outward at the speed of light, but massive objects travel always less than the speed of light. It is possible that other universes exist outside of this horizon. It is also possible that there were many “smaller bangs” that happened within our visible universe (given the relative “lumpiness” observed in the electromagnetic background).

      The fact that clocks ran slower in the early universe is a consequence of gravitational time dilation and kinetic time dilation. The effect is relative – depending on where you are looking from. The early universe’s mass/energy was more densely packed than it is now and the gravitational effects were stronger. Gravitational and kinetic time dilation can be observed using atomic clocks here on Earth as well. The clocks on board GPS satellites must have a slight offset built in to compensate for this.

      1. Michaelmas

        BillS: …we cannot see beyond the “event horizon” of the big bang. Light from beyond cannot be seen because it has not reached us yet.

        And not only that. Even within our universe, light from one side of our universe cannot by definition have reached the other side. This is the Horizon Problem —

        That is, a galaxy ten billion light-years away from us appears to us as it was ten billion years ago, because the light has taken that long to travel to us. If we then look at a galaxy ten billion light-years away in the opposite direction, the total distance between them is twenty billion light-years. This means that the light from the first cannot have reached the second because this universe is only about 13.8 billion years old.

        Given that, these two galaxies cannot have shared any information and they’re not in causal contact. Logically, one would expect their physical properties might be different. More generally, the universe as a whole should have varying properties in causally disconnected regions.

        And yet it’s homogenous, even though information cannot have passed between these causally disconnected regions.

        BillS: It is possible that other universes exist outside of this horizon.


  15. Carolinian

    Re Fireworks From a Dog’s Point of View–VERY cute. My brother, who has cats, hates the holiday. However here in SC his cat empathy doesn’t seem to find many takers, at least when it comes to blowing up stuff.

  16. Screwball

    I’m reading Twitter chatter that UPS workers have rejected the offer and the contract expires the 31st of July. They will not work without a contract and there are no talks scheduled according to the statement.

    1. petal

      Thank you for the update, Screwball! This will impact our lab reagent and supply delivery, so it is good to know so I can adjust accordingly. A few main companies we use had switched over to UPS from Fedex this past year.

      1. Screwball

        You are quite welcome. It appears the story has hit the MSM at this point so there should be plenty of info now.

        I wonder if this will end up railworkers 2.0?

    1. digi_owl

      The fetishization of the GPU and the compositor has a lot of the blame.

      Another thing is that we have gone from highly optimized machine code to multiple layers of interpreters, as much of modern Windows tools are implemented in javascript. The very same javascript that is used to make “interactive” web sites.

      I swear, if it continues this way the only place you will find people able to do C/C++, never mind machine code, will be deep in China or India. The rest will be up in arms if their javascript can’t communicate with the database for any reason.

      1. GramSci

        Eye candy, all eye candy. I’m not sure what they’re selling, but I think sex would sell it equally well or better. More bullshit jobs for the college-educated Cream of Empire.

      2. Polar Socialist

        Some years ago a colleague of mine held a course in bioinformatics for young students – first part was GUI/web tools and latter part was command line tools. He told me that there was a great weeping and gnashing of teeth when the second part started, but in the end none of the students wanted to go back to the GUI stuff.

        It was on purpose.

      3. Acacia

        JavaScript is a crappy language, but I gather in most modern browsers it is no longer interpreted. Instead, JIT compilation is used for decent performance.

        I would think the main reason most client-side apps feel slow is that they are now usually built with several different frameworks, each getting downloaded from a CDN when you load in a page. So the application code is actually strewn across the Net, possibly getting loaded from several different servers.

        Biz as usual in web app land, but how wonky is that?

    2. John Beech

      Thanks for the link, The Rev Kev (sorry, this sounds dumb, I really wish we operated with names here). Anyway, thank you. Good article.

    3. skippy

      This is why I had to build the mothership next too me now. 4.2 overclocked CPU, 32 GB ram, 3 1T HD, 1 1T SSD, gaming level mobo, 1T evo pro M.2 on mobo, although just a gtx 1070 ftw2 – don’t need frame rates faster than the eye can register thingy … all in a big smoked glass case on top of my desk.

      Fun part is all the good gear a few years ago was all RGB so the whole thing actually glows and pulsates like an actual mothership.

      All because of code bloat …

        1. skippy

          Previous build was in 2012 but by 2018 was starting to groan under all the bloat. The thing now days is periodic up grades are not like the past as you basically have to upgrade the mobo and all the dramas with that = migration = are you feeling lucky today – ????

    4. Glen

      Yes, we’ve been dealing with PC performance creep for quite a while especially as we have transitioned to newer versions of Windows on the equipment we support in the factory so we’ve been upping the motherboards, CPUs, and memory specs. We don’t need much of a GPU, and instead rely on integrated graphics.

      If you run into this at home, one possible mitigation is to find and follow the guides to de-bloat Windows. Another more drastic mitigation is to switch to using one of the Linux distributions designed to run well on older, less powerful PC hardware.

  17. Jeff W

    Banks told to uphold free speech after blacklisting customers holding certain views Telegraph

    From the article:

    “Mr Farage last week said his bank accounts were closed ‘without explanation’ and other high street lenders refused to allow him to transfer his funds to them.”

    The right-wing press (and Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt) became “concerned” after learning of Mr Farage’s tale of persecution, which he attributed to political reasons.

    Then the BBC reported that, in fact, “Nigel Farage fell below the financial threshold required to hold an account at Coutts, the prestigious private bank for the wealthy” (and that “he was subsequently offered a standard account at NatWest which owns Coutt”).

    That Mr Farage says that, in communication about the matter with the bank, he received no explanation seems unlikely, at least to me, and, while he says he was never told of the financial thresholds, the bank’s “eligibility questions” on its website does refer to them. He did not deny that he fell below the financial thresholds set by the bank.

    1. JBird4049

      I think to be fair it must be acknowledged that in American banking, they often do not try very hard to inform or help poor or politically suspect people with any problems at all. I suspect both British and American bank are much alike in this.

    2. Michaelmas

      Jeff W: …the BBC reported that… “Nigel Farage fell below the financial threshold required to hold an account at Coutts, the prestigious private bank for the wealthy” … “he was subsequently offered a standard account at NatWest which owns Coutts”… Mr Farage says that .. he was never told of the financial thresholds, the bank’s “eligibility questions” (but) its website does refer to them.

      [1] There’s an element of gamesmanship in both Mr Farage’s and Coutts’s responses.

      The Coutts website says it requires its customers to borrow or invest at least £1m with the bank, or hold £3m in savings. What the website doesn’t make clear is that it requires its customers to be high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) with a minimum of £1 million in liquid assets to their names. This fine distinction is explained during Coutts’s interview with a prospective Coutts account holder after Coutts extends an invitation to a HNWI to become an account holder. Read on for how that works ….

      JBird4049: …in American banking, they often do not try very hard to inform or help poor or politically suspect people with any problems at all. I suspect both British and American bank are much alike in this.

      [2] Coutts has very little to do with British and American banks as most of us understand those things. For starters, you — or Mr Farage — cannot apply to have a Coutts account in the same way as you can apply for an account at, say, Wells Fargo or, in the UK, a high street bank like HSBC or Lloyds. You — and Mr Farage — have to have been invited to apply for a Coutts account.

      This invitation can come as a result of someone who’s a HNWI Coutts account holder proposing you or, failing that, your lawyer — if your lawyer moves in the right circles — proposing you.

      Thus, if Mr Farage had a Coutts account, it’s because he understood and met those conditions and was invited in in the first place, and now he doesn’t meet those conditions. And he would have understood those conditions to even get to be a Coutts account holder.

      [3] For a further idea of how comically rarified being a Coutts account holder is, Coutts maintains ATM cash outlets at just two places, Eton and Harrow, for the children of its HNWI account holders who attend those schools.

      As George Carlin used to say, “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.” And now neither is Mr Farage.

  18. Alan Roxdale

    People inside China estimates min of 3-5 yrs to build mines, factories that extract/process metal ores, find/train workers & engineers +…

    Could this be said right now in ANY western country? Most are struggling to find unskilled workers, let alone trained ones. And training them yourself has become all but taboo to neoliberals.

    Contrast the constant jaded language of managed industrial decline with the confidence of the quote above: “3-5 yrs to build mines, factories, … find/train workers & engineers”. That is what a society with a strong industrial base sounds like.

      1. JBird4049

        A bit of a rant here, but in America, give them healthcare as well.

        If an older person, or someone with long covid, gets good healthcare they will be able to work. Or good food, decent housing, and clothing, all of which affects those with poor health the most, which can happen to anyone regardless of their health or original health. Good treatment can make very ill people can get well, even perhaps back to full health.

        But apparently a healthy workforce is the dreaded communism.

        1. digi_owl

          US healthcare, via company health insurance, is just another link in the chains binding workers to the grind stones.

          1. Janie

            Medicare age friend wants to retire but has adult child with health issues on company policy. Individual insurance is prohibitive.

        2. Glen

          I think it will become apparent going forward that having very good healthcare is going to become important. Some countries will figure this out and act on it. I’d be interested in what’s going on in China and Russia with regard to this.

          American elites will not figure this out – they will concentrate on maximizing profit as the American health care system continues to implode.

      2. tevhatch

        Nope, decrease wages… of the administrators of university systems, reduce the budgets that attract a whole host of parasitic industries… and maybe, just maybe they might get back to graduating competent engineers. The rot is system wide, and probably beyond any cure but a total reset.

    1. Glen

      Dial in the complete graft and corruption that stands between want and need, and you can easily crank up any estimates by a factor of two. Heck, recent real time data make it clear than Congresscritters MUST get rich before we do things like, you know, actually MAKE things necessary for national defense.

  19. Alex Cox

    The Reuters article about Borrel’s visit to China being cancelled contains the words, “Ambassador Jorge Toledo had told the World Peace Forum in Beijing on Sunday…”

    There was a World Peace Forum in Beijing? A Brave search reveals exactly one article about this, a Chinese one – it was apparently the 11th such meeting, drawing “over 400 participants, including former foreign political dignitaries, diplomatic envoys from various countries in China, experts and scholars.”

    Isn’t a World Peace Forum something the western media might like to report on? s/

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Re: One night of total sleep deprivation shown to have antidepressant effect for some people. I can confirm this is true for me. Even discussed with a therapist, that I will use sleep deprivation as a mood stabilization method of some resort. The downside is my IQ drops by 20-30 points and reaction time (e.g. while driving) is way diminished. But for sure it tamps down my anxiety and the negative nelly in my mind.

    1. Vandemonian

      Perhaps depression and anxiety are the result of having an overactive mind (overthinking), with sleep deprivation being a way of damping down that excess activity. Meditation, relaxation, spending time in nature, and quiet, gentle vacations might work in the same way.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I wonder if the effect comes from the one night of sleep deprivation or the first night’s sleep that follows. In some ways, it resembles when people will occasionally fast for a whole day for the sake of their health. Maybe more study is required here to find out what is really going on in the old noggin.

  21. ChrisPacific

    From the dam assessment article:

    The US and UK are deeply involved in the war and committed to discrediting and indicting Russia. Yet, neither country’s intelligence services have released official pronouncements that Russia blew up the dam. The reason is if they made such pronouncements, they would have to provide evidence which they either do not have or (more likely) shows Ukraine did it.

    I don’t agree with that last sentence – assigning blame to Russia with no evidence has been SOP for the US and NATO during this war.

    The main reason I can think of for not blaming Russia is if they already know who did it and it wasn’t Russia. If it came out later that they knew who had done it and lied anyway – for example, via a whistleblower or another document leak – it would be damaging for them. If there was any doubt or ambiguity, they’d just blame Russia anyway and claim later that it was a reasonable conclusion at the time if they turned out to be wrong.

  22. tricia

    If the worst thing that came out of this Biden White House was a little coke in the west wing, we’d be doing OK…

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