Links 7/6/2023

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Dear patient readers,

As of yesterday, all comments started going into moderation. This was after about a bizarre increase where half the comments were going into moderation (up from about 15%) and Lambert cleared the cache, which should never never never make this sort of problem worse. We are very very sorry and trust me, almost certainly more unhappy about this than you are. Our tech guru Dave is working on it. In the meantime, please be bear with us.

In addition, I am now in move crunch/freakout time, with all sorts of unexpected roadblocks, like the manager at the local post office not only refusing to provide the Forwarding Change of Address Order for for someone who had died but maintaining that the Post Office does not forward mail at all (!!!) and insisting we need to do legwork. If I could get her fired, I would. I have arranged for the trustworthy NC team to take up most of the posting load for the next 2 weeks. So please play nicely in the meantime! As Arnold said, I’ll be back.

Stressed rattlesnakes found to calm down in the company of a nearby ‘friend’ Frontiers

Cultural dinosaurs and creative exhaustion Infidel753 (Angry Bear)

‘Biography of a Phantom’ Review: On Robert Johnson’s Trail Wall Street Journal (Anthony L)

The horrors of Pompeii aeon

Let People Collect Sperm From the Dead Wired (Dr. Kevin)

Exit Hector, Again and Again: How Different Translators Reveal the ‘Iliad’ Anew New York Times (Anthony L)


Antidepressants prescription associated with a lower risk of testing positive for COVID-19 EurekaAlert (furzy)


Actively Exploited Vulnerability Threatens Hundreds of Solar Power Stations arstechnica


The Troubling New Bounties on Hong Kong’s Exiled Dissidents Time (furzy)

China curbs a ‘potential bargaining chip’ to counter US-led semiconductor ban, say experts South China Morning Post (Chuck L)

Financial sanctions may not deter China from invading Taiwan Economist (furzy)

Indonesia’s mineral export bans face hot global fire Asia Times (Kevin W)

Old Blighty

NHS 75: Happy birthday – but can it survive to 100? BBC

Why the Rise of ‘Counter-Elites’ Spells Bad News for the UK Bloomberg (Li). Turchin is 16 minutes in.

Teachers begin two-day national strike in England: “This infatuation with money is devastating for kids and teachers alike” WSWS (Kevin W)

European Disunion

Europe swings right — and reshapes the EU Politico. (Kevin W). As we said starting with the financial crisis, economic upheaval and low/no real wage growth results in voters favoring more right wing candidates.

La belle France

Communism has deserted the banlieues Unherd (djr)

Macron Accused of Authoritarianism After Threat To Cut Off Social Media During Riots Guardian

New Not-So-Cold War

Wagner mercenary chief is still in Russia despite deal to end mutiny, leader of Belarus says NBC. Recall that the deal for Russia to drop the one criminal charge was contingent on Prigozhin leaving Russia. Is he daring Putin to arrest him?

Where may the Lindsey Graham-Richard Blumenthal resolution in the U.S. Senate ‘on Russian Nuclear Threats’ lead us? Gilbert Doctorow (guurst)

Ukraine Changes War Tactic To One That Will Cause It More Losses Moon of Alabama. IMHO, the attritional war talk is to justify the fact that they are getting nowhere on their original goal, of taking territory back from Russia. Ukraine leadership keeps acting as if the war is all psy ops as its men are being slaughtered.

With Ukraine’s Cluster Bombs Killing Its Own Citizens, Biden Readies Order to Send More Intercept

International office probing Ukraine war opens in The Hague Bangkok Post (furzy)

Russia Says It Is In Touch Over Possible Prisoner Swap After U.S. Official Meets Evan Gershkovich New York Times (furzy). From yesterday, still germane.

Turkey: Erdogan says PKK protests threaten Sweden’s Nato aspirations Middle East Eye. Erdogan doubles down.

Vladimir Putin’s useful idiots Economist (furzy). The never give up…


Palestinian families return to rubble in Jenin BBC. Lead story.

Western allies drag Iran to UN court over downed jet Agence France-Presse (furzy)

US forces prevented Iran from seizing two tankers near Oman: Pentagon Agence France-Presse

Imperial Collapse Watch

Why the American people should push for peace Responsible Statecraft

DoD looks to block Chinese and Russian influence on US academia Defense News


In Trump case, Justice Dept. unseals previously blacked-out portions from search warrant application Associated Press (furzy). Document embedded here.

The DOJ Is Zeroing in on Trump’s Quack Election Lawyers in Jan. 6 Probe: Report Rolling Stone (furzy)

Trump posted what he said was Obama’s address, prosecutors say. An armed man was soon arrested there Associated Press

GOP Clown Car

RIGHT WING EXTREMISM‘Start Reading Some of Those Quotes’: Republican Defends Hitler’s and Stalin’s Writings at Moms for Liberty Breakfast NCRM

Poll Workers’ Lawyers Bill Rudy Giuliani $89k for Missing Evidence Daily Beast (furzy)


Student debt: White House faces backlash for restarting interest on loans The Hill

Substance found in White House confirmed to be cocaine CBS. Lead story.

The Silencing of Kennedy’s Most Notable Critic Sam Husseini. UserFriendy: “Month old, still relevant.”


Man Gets Life Sentence in Rape of Child Who Traveled for Abortion New York Times (furzy)

Our No Longer Free Press

Biden administration to appeal order barring talk with social media companies The Hill

Take That, Internet Censors! Matt Taibbi

STATE OF MISSOURI, ET AL. VERSUS JUDGE TERRY A. JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., ET AL. Lambert showcased key sections yesterday in Water Cooler. If you have time, see particularly pages 90 to 119.

The Fake News about Fake News Boston Review. Anthony L: “And of course The Guardian would love it! (‘Vaccinating’ against ‘misinformation’. Marx had a term for this kind of stuff).”

Novo Nordisk bought prescribers over 450,000 meals and snacks to promote drugs like Ozempic STAT

A global commodities rout is fueling fears of a bleak economic future CNBC

The world’s oil-price benchmark is being radically reformed Economist (Li)

The Share of Never Married 40-Year-OIds Hits a New Record High Michael Shedlock


AI tests into top 1% for original creative thinking PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Man Who Tried To Kill Queen With Crossbow Encouraged By AI Chatbot, Prosecutors Say Vice

NYC’s anti-bias law for hiring algorithms goes into effect TechCrunch (Kevin W)

Resurfaced footage shows Titan spinning after pilot loses control on mission Independent (furzy)

The Bezzle

Mark Zuckerberg is sassing Elon Musk non-stop on Meta’s Threads, throwing out punch after punch about Twitter’s fails Business Insider. Given Facebook’s flagrant advertiser fraud by inflating user #s to patently impossible levels (like claiming subscribe totals in key age cohorts in the US way in excess of the actual population), one has to assume that most subscribers to Threads are bots and/or fabricated.

CRE Nightmare for CMBS Holders: Office Mortgage Delinquency Rate Has Biggest Six-Month Spike Ever. It’s just the Beginning Wolf Richter. Note these are less held by banks and more held by credit funds. But enough individual banks could have gorged so as to be in a world of hurt now.


Antidote du jour. One I missed in my inbox from Bob H: “Rainy day dog”:

And a bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. SteveD

      The Missouri v Biden decision by itself is brutal. One need only read the ‘Facts’ section.

      1. TimH

        What’s happened to DN’s reporting?

        U.S. Judge Restricts Biden Administration’s Ability to Stem Misinformation on Social Media

        is not what it was about.

        Legal observers say the sweeping ruling could end up enjoining hundreds of thousands of government employees from participating in online debate.


        1. ambrit

          Pink Floyd said it best in their album “Dark Side of the Moon.” Words of wisdom from 1968.

          “Haven’t you heard, it’s a battle of words?”
          The poster bearer cried
          “Listen son,” said the man with the gun,
          “There’s room for you inside”
          With, without
          And who’ll deny
          It’s what the fighting’s all about

          1. eg

            Also Peter Gabriel’s Not One of Us

            “There’s safety in numbers when you learn to divide
            How can we be in if there is no outside?”

      2. Late Introvert

        Pages 97-9 with the a) through v) quotes is indeed very brutal.

        (g) Questioning how the Tucker Carlson video had been “demoted” since there were 40,000 shares.609

        (h) Wanting to know why Alex Berenson had not been kicked off Twitter because Berenson was the epicenter of disinformation that radiated outward to the persuadable public.610

        “We want to make sure YouTube has a handle on vaccine hesitancy and is working toward making the problem better. Noted that vaccine hesitancy was a concern. That is shared by the highest (‘and I mean the highest’) levels of the White House.”’611

  1. OIFVet

    We in Bulgaria are graced today with the presence of Volodymyr Zelensky himself. This visit came about after our liberals cut a deal with the corrupt status quo to form an “Euroatlantic” government, with large part of the deal seemingly giving immunity to certain corrupt politicians for their past crimes. The liberals view Zelensky’s visit as an affirmation that Bulgaria has finally joined the “civilized” world, which apparently means that civilization entails whitewashing corruption given Zelensky’s transformation from a corrupt politician mentioned in the Pandora Papers to a hero and judge of which nations are civilized and which are not. Everything about this theater is quite noseating, especially the provincial cervility on display by our otherwise haughty liberals.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Does Bulgaria have any weapons left to ship to the Ukraine? I thought that they are about out. Probably Big Z is there on a day trip to shake down the government for a coupla billion Bulgarian Levs – while scouting luxury properties in Sofia of course. :)

      1. OIFVet

        Bulgaria still has its strategic reserves and has the capacity to produce quite a bit every month. It has been supplying Ukraine on the DL through intermediaries since the beginning. Partly the visit is about ramping up production and supplying directly now that the new government has decided to join the EU’s initiative to supply Ukraine, partly it is about selling two brand-new, never used nuclear reactors and associated equipment to Ukraine. The building of a new NPP with Russian reactors in Belene was halted after the infamous visit by John McCain, after which Russia sued Bulgaria and won €1.2 billion in arbitrage. So now, having already paid for these reactors and then some, Bulgaria will instead buy the untested AP1000 reactors from Westinghouse at multiple times the cost. Because nothing screams energy security and diversification louder than overpaying for stuff to keep your US “allies” happy.

        Ain’t being a market colony grand? You as an Australian probably feel what I’m asking, what with the nuclear sub deal.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Couldn’t agree more. I think that the MIC took a look at Oz and saw that it had a good economy because so much was commodities based i.e. rocks & crops. So they wanted a solid revenue stream from here and selling regular weapons was not going to do it. We only have a small military that could only absorb a limited amount of military gear each year. But nuke subs – that’s the ticket. Now you are talking hundreds of billions of dollars over decades and would allow those MIC execs to buy their sixth and seventh mansions. Yeah, it flushes the nuclear non-proliferation agreements down the loo but look at the money they stand to make. And that is the important thing, right?

          1. some guy

            Are the subs designed to hold nuclear missiles or torpedoes? Then it certainly affects the non-proliferation agreement.

            But if its the engines which are nuclear, how does that affect the non-proliferation agreement, given that the engine can’t be fired from the sub?

            ( I don’t know whether or what the subs do or don’t have. But it seems like a real question. And if Australia had bought the subs from France, wouldn’t that make Australia a market colony of France?)

            1. Polar Socialist

              While nuclear-powered attack submarines are technically not banned by the treaty, they are not really peaceful use of nuclear power, either.

              The main issue, though (to my understanding), is that this will create a precedent of a loophole that allows nations with no nuclear weapons to have nuclear material that is not inspected/monitored by, or even declared to, IAEA. Because “top secret” and all that. This will be the first, and is quite likely to lead to undermining the whole treaty or at least cause serious damage to it.

  2. mrsyk

    re: “The silencing of Kennedy’s most notable critic”
    “Beck: “As to RFK, Jr. – I am afraid he is playing the Bernie Sanders role this time around, to give a ‘voice’ to the disaffected, so that this ‘voice’ may be publicly gaslit and abused in the mainstream media, used as a tool to extract funds from the disaffected for the political party system, and then deployed to sheepdog the disaffected into supporting Joe Biden. That’s how U.S. ‘electoral’ politics rolls and has rolled since at least the time RFK Jr.’s uncle was publicly executed. I can’t imagine RFK Jr. is unaware of the role he is playing. But in order to play any substantial role in the family profession, it’s the only role he would ever be allowed to have. So perhaps understandable, but no less morally despicable.”
    I have to agree with this. BTW, has anyone heard from Cornel West in like a month?

    1. ambrit

      Yes to the “ominous silence” from West. Perhaps he is finding his new political playmates a bit more of a hand full than he anticipated?

      1. mrsyk

        With apologies to the moderation team.
        A brief exploration of my google algorithm searching Cornel West and using the ‘past week” filter. No links, easy to look up if you can stomach it.

        From The Nation, “Cornel West Should Run as a Democrat”. Please be an obedient sheep dog.

        From Slate, “Why is Jill Stein running Cornel West’s Green Party campaign?”. If you go to the article the headline reads “Why Is America’s Green Party Like This?” F**king Slate doing their best to manufacture conflict and negative appeal.

        From The Sacramento Observer, “Q&A: Dr. Cornel West”. This is actual journalism believe it or not. From six days ago.

        That’s about it. There are zero MSM hits.

    2. nycTerrierist

      Same here, I found Husseini persuasive. I was (low-grade) tickled by the prospect of K putting a dent in Biden’s numbers, despite the DNC thumb-on-the-scales. But sheepdog mode is pretty clear (n.b. K’s wishy-washy position on Israel, for example). At best, one might hope for a primary debate, but apparently that’s too much democracy for the DNC.
      I’ll be voting for West.

      1. pjay

        I would not call Kennedy’s comments on Israel “wishy-washy.” I would call them very right-wing, even including a ridiculously one-sided history of its founding that sounded like an AIPAC brochure, so much so that it shocked me and forced me to consider some of the more reasonable arguments of his critics – like Husseini’s here.

        Nevertheless, I am still glad to see Kennedy enter the race for the same reason I welcome Tucker Carlson’s critical commentary. In such a pervasive, surreal propaganda environment, *any* cracks in the wall that might let a tiny bit of light in are welcome, whatever the motives behind them. Kennedy challenges a number of Establishment narratives, most importantly (for me) on Ukraine (a subject on which Dr. West has been a bit “wishy-washy,” in my opinion). Of course Kennedy has no chance of gaining the Democratic nomination, so you can accuse him of sheep-herding if you want. If he throws his support to Biden afterwards, as Bernie did for both Hillary and Biden, then I’ll react accordingly – as I did with Bernie. Let’s see if he becomes a champion of the Empire afterwards – as Bernie has.

        1. Martin Oline

          I feel the same about Jr. I remember in 1968 I was upset with his father’s policy towards Israel and favored McCarthy for the nomination. I was not old enough to vote at the time (minimum age 21 at the time) but I remember his platform. The results in California disappointed me but the assassination immediately afterwords ended my angst. Then came the convention in Chicago.
          I have given a little money to Jr.’s campaign but do not think he will make it to the finish.

        2. nycTerrierist

          Yes to all this. Points well taken re: K

          Agreed re: Dr. West on Ukraine. Wonder whether Chris Hedges, who is involved in his campaign,
          will sway him on that

        3. mrsyk

          “so you can accuse him of sheep-herding if you want” The “beauty” of sheep-herding is that intention is not necessary. Our electoral process locks in sheep-herding. This can only be somewhat avoided by running on a third party ticket.
          I’ve no real beef with Kennedy. He’s less flawed than most.

          1. pjay

            I agree. The key boldface quote from Jared Beck in the Husseini article accuses Kennedy of playing this role wittingly. I don’t really believe that, at least not yet. But if he attempts to throw his supporters to the Democratic nominee, then that will be the practical effect. We’ll see what happens after the nominations are complete.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        Let’s face it. You can’t get elected in this country if your position is condemnation of israeli apartheid. It’s democracy american style.

        Under the circumstances, an open-to-interpretation wishy-washiness is the best you can hope for. Anything more is a candidate’s death sentence.

        At this point, I’d settle for forcing aipac to register as an agent of a foreign government…after the inauguration.

    3. wol

      I received a July 5 email from CW’s campaign, ‘Welcome to Dr. Cornel West’s campaign for truth, justice and love’. I donated about 10% of what I donated for Bernie. I’m not going to register until I see if he’s still around to vote for.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      RFKJ does not strike me as the sheepdog political type. As he has said many times, his loyalty is to the democrat party to which is father and uncle belonged, not to the decrepit, corrupt money machine the party has become. That would be the same corporate democrat party that sold its constituency a pig-in-a-poke last time around.

      I’m sure he’s not unaware of the dnc tactics that can, will and are being deployed against him. But unlike Bernie, he has no elected position, congressional status, or committee chairmanship to defend, and I doubt he’s likely to be seduced by the “hold his feet to the fire” bullshit that, apparently, Bernie bought. RFKJ is pretty much reviled by dem party leadership, and toeing the line with regard to their chosen candidate is not likely to have benefits that he wants or needs anyway.

      In any event, I don’t think RFKJ’s dem primary opponent will be biden–I think it will be newsom, whom RFKJ would be less likely to support, seeing newsom as an attempt by the dnc to install a new generation of corrupt, elitist globalists in leadership that RFKJ claims to deplore.

  3. griffen

    Moderation is a good thing, I mean individuals sniffing any white substance whilst in the White House really should be done in moderation. Looks like someone left their goodie bag in the wrong spot!

    Best of luck on the move and transition, you’ll probably need plenty.

    1. Boomheist

      I like to lean toward the Simplest, Most Likely, Clearest Motive plus Who Benefits? cause when considering why certain things happen at certain times…..In this case, the WH cocaine thing seems to be happening at a damned convenient time for the anti Hunter narrative. Leave aside the videos supposedly claiming to be of him snorting cocaine right behind his step mother, which to these old eyes look like someone either scratching his nose or answering a phone call. Some are arguing now that if the bag was found in a common area it must have been family as every other visitor is checked. Maybe. But maybe instead it was the Secret service itself, planting the powder, given the growing evidence factions in the SS were pro Trump and still are. Which is most likely? Who benefits?

      In the last couple weeks we have seen a number of events that, according this the Simplest Most Likely Who Benefits] cause, suggest a clear and direct answer, something hotly denied and avoided by the commentariat and MSM. The blowing of the dam, allegedly by Russia, when is seems obvious Ukraine benefits the most. The threatened blowing of the nuclear plant, again by Russia, just before the NATO summit sand in the context of a hoped for Ukrainin breakthrough somewhere along the long front, again clearly ast odds with Russia’s history and position. The Wagner invasion which according to the Simplest and Who benefits argument seems clearly a made-up thing by Putin and Wagner to flush out potential traitors and dupe the west into falling for a narrative the West desperately wants to believe, now being confirmed by Preggo’s continued sirvival and even Newsweek arguing the whole this ewas and is a set up….

      The argument elsewhere in today’s comments that RFK Jr is a straw dog imitating what Bernie did in 2016 as a way to neutralize and defang any mainstream DNC opposition is disturbing and may well be true….this judge who ruled on censorship, Trump appointed but confirmed 98-0 by the Senate apparently, now causing MSM sand PMC heads to explode everywhere, surely will be ground into a process delaying and delaying any appeals until after an election such thst the whole thing can be thrown into a limbo during the election cycle, rather than, perhaps, an appeals court confirming what this judge ruled…..,

    2. Screwball

      White substance….

      So funny, my PMC friends laugh off any accusation the cocaine might be Hunters, but if Trump was still in there, Jr. would be guilty and they would be calling for impeachment and jail.

      The article above is just a word salad to exonerate any possible connection to Hunter. Public place where anyone can leave something – heavily traveled – someone on a tour. Then “some” cameras, but unclear if anyone was captured on said cameras. The Biden family was not there of course (must be said).

      Ok, pull the other one. If they want to know, they would know IMNSHO. I’m having a hard time thinking a tourist would be carrying around a bag of coke, especially considering you might have to go through security (and empty your pockets?), so that leaves a couple of possibilities. Someone planted this to cause trouble for Biden, or, it was Hunter, who has history.

      Like so many other things, we will most likely never find out.

      1. Not Again

        Does it matter whose coke it was? The Secret Service hid FDR’s wheelchair, JFK’s mafia girlfriend, Jack Ford’s marijuana use, Clinton’s serial rapes and God knows what else. Someone wants Brandon gone. The sweetheart deal for Hunter was Joey’s payoff for “services rendered.” The Coke was his signal it’s time to go. I think they will wait until next summer – probably after the GOP convention – to let him announce his “retirement.” If Trump isn’t the Republican nominee, he can say that “Democracy is saved and Cincinnatus is going back to farm the lands of Delaware.”

        I expect more money washing revelations and Gavin Newsom will be running around in the background. It sucks to be Kamala Harris.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Someone wants Brandon gone.


          And saying, as they are, that they “may never know” whom it belongs to just makes it worse. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out whom everyone is going to think it belongs to, and pretending not to know just fans the flames.

          But I disagree on newsom’s timing. Primaries start in February, and, considering the mess that is california, newsom’s got some epic ‘splaining to do. That turd’s gonna take awhile to polish if it can be polished at all.

        2. Screwball

          You might be right. I can only hope, at some point, the truth comes out about something/anything (na, won’t happen). I’m tired of all the lies. We now know it won’t be this.

      2. Gregorio

        Not to mention that it’s doubtful that there is one square inch of WH public areas that aren’t under video surveillance.

        1. EssCetera

          I’m noticing a distinct lack of clarity on where exactly this thing was found, there seem to be multiple versions floating around and no photos. This is making me suspicious. I’m wondering if the specific location of the find is in itself a very important and perhaps damning clue.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Macron accused of authoritarianism after threat to cut off social media”

    Well, it’s not like he wants to freeze people’s bank accounts. That would be very authoritarian that. Then again, maybe most of the rioters are so poor, that losing access to their bank accounts would mean that they would then have nothing left to lose. And that would trigger mass looting of stores. Of course by making the claim that social media such as Snapchat and TikTok are being used for organising the rioters, this lays the groundwork for France to crack down on social media and institute mass censorship afterwards, all in the name of ‘public safety.’ So, will we see the Great Firewall of France soon?

    1. Aurelien

      The vast majority of the rioters don’t have bank accounts. Few have been over 21, and many as young as 12 or 13. Even their parents may well not have bank accounts: these areas largely run on cash, much of it of dubious provenance. The only credit cards around are probably stolen.

      It’s a matter of fact that social networks, and even messaging systems, were used to organise the riots in many cases. One group of teenagers from the northern suburbs was so shocked by the killing of Nahel that they took the train to the centre of the city and smashed their way into a Nike store in Les Halles, where they each made off with armful of trainers to sell. When the police turned up they caught several of them, and subsequently examined their phones. At the court hearing the next morning the prosecution read out text messages exchanged between the group organising the pillage. (The massacres of 2015/16 were also organised by social network by the way.)

      There have been lot of calls for some kind of internet cutout in areas affected by rioting, though whether this is even technically feasible is unclear. But a number of teachers, social workers and even parents have been making the point that children of the age of the rioters live on their mobile phones and thus have an entire covert communications system which makes it far easier to organise rioting and pillaging than was the case even during the last round of riots in 2005.

      What’s becoming clear is that there’s a huge divorce on this issue between elite opinion, which has at last found the George Floyd analogue it’s been desperately seeking for the last few years, and the opinions of ordinary people. In part because the rioting was directed against their own community and even their parents, there’s been a lot less sympathy for them than was expected, even within their own communities. As an indication, a fund set up by an extreme right-wing polemicist to pay the legal costs of the policeman accused of murder raised over a million Euros in the first couple of days. Orthodox opinion was scandalised and wanted the fund closed down, but in reality many of the contributions seem to have come from people angered by the government’s mishandling of the incident and primarily wanting to make a rude gesture. Certainly, Macron’s immediate reaction (“unacceptable”) and having the National Assembly stand for a minute’s silence for Nahel probably seemed clever political ideas to get the headlines and protect the Left of his party against the temptation of LFI. But all it’s really done is to annoy a lot of ordinary people quite needlessly.

      1. ambrit

        There is precedent.
        I believe that Egypt cut off cellular communications during the civil unrest of 2011.
        As for Europe, and probably America as well, I can see a strong resurgence of Nationalism, expressed as anti-immigrant sentiment. In America, particularly Miami where I grew up, the older generation immigrants were some of the strongest opponents of increased immigration from the Caribbean Basin.

      2. vao

        And social networks were used to coordinate the actions by the “gilets jaunes” — interestingly via Facebook, not Twitter. This, and the fact that the geographic and demographic characteristics of the gilets jaunes were completely different from those of other movements (whether students, ecological activists, or banlieues rioters) bewildered the government and the security forces, who repressed the movement with unexpected brutality.

        Let us face it: there are many kinds of communication channels that one can use to organize any kind of movement; every few years new ones emerge; they are nowadays a normal element in the toolkit of social movements (legal or clandestine, violent or pacific, political or corporatist, social, economic, or religious); basically, one must assume that anybody can use them and that everybody is using them.

        The fact that the government is thinking about switching off social networks is to be viewed in about the same way as switching off the telephone network or closing the post office to prevent a restless populace from planning seditious actions: a deficit of on-the-ground security presence joined to a complete lack of political vision and will to address the fundamental issues revealed by the protests. It is merely trying to keep the lid tightly closed on the boiling cauldron.

        As for the fund set up for the policeman: there have been a few similar cases in the past — to support gilets jaunes, policemen and even a criminal — all of which caused a scandal (from “orthodox”, resp. “unorthodox” opinions, depending on the case); they were then rapidly unwinded. There is even jurisprudence: in France, it is prohibited to collect money to pay for fines, legal costs, as well as remedies and damages due to a pronounced sentence.

        Regarding banking: France has a so-called “right to a banking account” — imposed by law because the refusal by banks to open accounts for what they viewed as unreliable or uninteresting customers (typically lower classes, including in the banlieues), was so widespread. There is a whole procedure for applying to the French national bank for designating a bank that will be compelled to set up an account and provide basic services for free. The fact that this exists makes me think that the unbanked, cash sector in France must be quite substantial, and not just in the banlieues.

    2. Bugs

      Interesting comment. There’s a big underground cash economy in France, especially in low paid service sector jobs but even a dentist or a lawyer will offer you a big discount for cash. Gold is also used to settle debts or just keep money out of banks. A lot more than America, where that kind of petty tax evasion isn’t as common. I’d say the kids rioting probably didn’t have much of anything in a bank. They can easily get phones second hand and use resellers for sim cards. All for cash.

  5. cnchal

    Amazon’s PE > 300

    Mr Market is flying high.

    > CRE Nightmare for CMBS Holders:

    > The Share of Never Married 40-Year-OIds Hits a New Record High Michael Shedlock

    > A global commodities rout is fueling fears of a bleak economic future CNBC

    According to BofA, the year-to-date average of steel and iron ore prices dropped 16% year-on-year on the back of sluggish construction demand. Poor construction demand also reflects in other building materials like cement, whose inventory levels have reached 75%.

    Oops. I guess we won’t be needing all that much construction material for the next decade or so.

    Overbuilt and over financed to keep the delusion of groaf going. Just look at what Amazon did. Even though there are four hundred – FOUR HUNDRED – economists that toil for Bezos, none had the guts or forsight to prevent an excess SIX DOZEN satanic mills from getting the go ahead, which were then cancelled or stopped. No company in control of itself would do that.

  6. The Rev Kev

    I think that you might be right. Smaller nations will have to learn how to control their internet although the usual suspects will call this censorship – while demanding censorship in their own countries. In a related note-

    ‘Russian authorities briefly disconnected the country from the global internet earlier this week, the media outlet RBK reported on Wednesday, citing sources within the telecommunications industry. The move was part of a legally mandated test to assess whether domestic networks can handle operating on their own.

    The “international Internet was turned off” at one point between Tuesday and Wednesday, as the media regulator Roskomnadzor checked the performance of Russian sites and network-dependent services in the event that the country is disconnected from abroad.’

    Would the west actually try to shut down the internet in Russia? You tell me.

  7. DJG, Reality Czar

    What Pompeii’s ruins say about English professors who like to present fantasies as archeology.

    I’d give more credence (well, a teensy bit of credence) if the author didn’t get basic facts wrong.

    To wit: “Were Greek women fetishised as sex objects by some Pompeiian males? The fetishisation and sexualisation of groups of women (and men), based on ethnicity or race, is well known still, so it is not impossible.” I enjoy that “not impossible”–it does so much for the scholarship. Meanwhile, has author Middleton not noticed the expression Magna Grecia? That region of the Italian peninsula was dotted with Greek settlements and was Greek-speaking for centuries–Greeks were hardly exotic. But it is important to bring in psychobabble about fetishes.

    Meanwhile, farther down, where the author spends much time on a sadomaso interpretation of the dining room of the Vettii, there is a teensy problem of misinterpretation. Middleton asserts that the Bakkhai (female worshipers of Dionysos made mad by the god) are torturing Pentheus. If Middleton had bothered to read Bakkhai by Euripides (ahhh, another Dead White Man, oh no!), Middleton would know that the Bakkhai, intoxicated by the god, mistook Pentheus for a fawn and ripped him to pieces forthwith. With some cannibalism. One of the great mysteries of the worship of Dionysos, the literal eating of raw sacrificial flesh. (And Beth Severy-Hoven’s dirty middle-class mind seems to be on overload.)

    Finally, at the bottom of the article, Middleton admits that the graffito he’s over-interpreting may just mean, Eutychis Is Easy. A school-boy prank on a wall.

    I must recall here the DJG Axiom about Anglo-American Writing on the Mediterranean World: It is almost always wrong.

    If you can get through all of the pecknsiffian puritanism, the “dirty” pictures are worth your while!

    1. Wæsfjord

      An interesting thing about ancient Greek “scholars” is that the vast majority refuse to learn modern Greek or even pronounce Koine and Attic Greek the way 13 million modern Greeks do. Learning modern Greek first is the fastest way to become fluent in ancient Greek. Most foreign scholars of ancient Greek NEVER become truly fluent in it. They spend years learning obscure grammatical structures but never reach actual fluency because of their orientalist attitude to modern Greeks and their language.

      You could learn modern Greek in six months to a year and then another six months to learn Koine followed by six months of Attic. And you will be truly fluent in the language. But no, the eggheads can’t bear the thought of having to deal with reality.

      1. ambrit

        If you want good, solid readers of Greek, especially Koine, try biblical scholars. One of our sons in law studies this as a hobby and knows Koine and Aramaic. He’s the one who hipped me to the theory that the historical Jesus, if there was one, being a tradesman in the Galilee region, would have probably known at least Koine Greek, just to deal with customers.
        At that time, Northern Galilee had populations speaking Aramaic, Koine Greek, and Hebrew.

  8. ChrisFromGA

    Best of luck on the move, and sorry to hear you’re fighting the post office bureaucracy. I’m currently fighting my insurance company over a claim, and I know how frustrating that can be.

    Re: Wolfstreet article on imploding CRE.

    Big trouble in bond world today, the 10-year just broke above 4% and the entire curve looks to be pricing in multiple fed rate hikes. It appears that the “pivot” crowd are truly hung out to dry. Let’s see if equities care.

    1. Boomheist

      Moving is always, and I mean always, a period whereby there comes that time when you are in between one place and another, mortgage pending at the same time time as sale pending, with you and your belongings in limbo somewhere just hanging out there, or lease about to expire and new lease not yet confirmed but you being in a place where you need that new lease and need it fast…..not to mention the logistics of the move itself, the boxes, the paperwork and address change, finding all the necessary connections in the new place you must find, and fast, when you relocate, drugstores, food sources, auto repairs, banks, post offices…….and there are always, without exception, a few unforseen blips and bumps never imagined ot anticipated, popping up, in front you your face, that must be gotten through to move on…..somehow, though, it seems most of us, whether young or old, manage to make such moves, easily or with great stress and difficulty, maybe because once you start down that slippery slope you have mo choice, and we all come to s place when suddenly we realize we have actually done it, moved, are in a new place, somehow having stitched together everything such that we now face a new life in a New Place…..and then, of course, there are the one or two years it takes once having moved to build the fabric of a new life, the connections, the sources and outlets for provisions and supplies and medical help and recreation and exercise….

  9. The Rev Kev

    ‘As of yesterday, all comments started going into moderation’

    I guess that this means that every single comment has to be individually read and then cleared by the moderators for release. Commiserations – and thanks – to our moderator(s) then.

  10. Adam1

    The address forwarding thing is very bizarre. My dad died in 2021 and I had no problem getting his mail forwarded to me. I’m certain I did it at my local post office as I spent only ½ a day in my dad’s town arranging for his ashes to be sent to me and cleaning out his small apartment. He lived on the other side of the state too. The only semi-funny / annoying thing is I now occasionally get junk mail for him, but the most truly funny thing was about 2 months later he received a jury duty questionnaire from my county even though his only period of residency in my county was after his death, in a box on the mantel awaiting burial.

    1. petal

      After my father died in the late 90s(he was buried in family plot in hometown), the telemarketers kept calling and asking for him. It wouldn’t stop. I’d pick up, internally chuckle, and then say in my nicest voice, “I’m sorry, he can’t come to the phone right now…”

      1. LifelongLib

        My brother had a similar experience after he bought our grandmother’s old house in the 1980s. Our grandfather died in the late 60s but my brother would still get calls for him. His usual reply was “Well, my grandfather’s been dead for 15 years, but I’ll give him the message”.

        1. FairandFoul

          My father died in 1987. Some time after his death, I received a phone call from someone claiming that he owed a very small sum of money. This woman from, a collection agency, told me that she was trying to get in touch with him, and she perked up when I told her that I knew where he was. “He’s buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery,” I said, “and if you can talk to him, tell me. I’ve a couple things to ask him.” Click went the phone, and click ends this comment.

    2. Nikkikat

      I live in louisville ky. The following is how it worked here. My mother passed away. I moved to my own house. Only the individual that was the main person at that address my Mother
      Could put in change of address. So I could fill out a card for her as head of household to my address. As a person temporarily living at her address, I could NOT fill out one for myself. This caused me to have contact all of my creditors by phone also with friends and relatives.
      I could only have mail forwarded for 6 months. After that I needed to fill out another card
      And pay $19.99. Each time I extended I would encounter an ever larger fee.
      I think the next time would be 25.99. These rules were changed from last time I had moved and also from when my Dad had passed away about 5 years ago.
      My mail man told me that they (post office) is not hiring full time employees and are using temps as fill personnel. They are poorly trained if at all and this is why you can’t get a straight answer. He has worked over time for at least 3 years.Routes were split up and added to existing routes. So he rarely finishes route before 7:00 Pm. That 3 day priority is mostly 4 days now and that about a 1/3 of mail sits for a day before being sorted and loaded on trucks. Biden kept Trumps man as post master, he put one of his corporate buddies on the board and he thinks postmaster is doing a great job!

      I have had trouble with bills barely getting there before overdue and lost mail that never arrived. An important letter document which I overnighted and paid 25.00 dollars, showed up at destination nearly 2days later. I now either follow up with company as to whether it arrived. Very time consuming. It’s also time consuming to pay by phone.

  11. ambrit

    As a comment on a comment from above about Bulgaria and her weapons ‘migrating’ to the Ukraine; Monday I had to go to the semi-demi-annual medical check-up. That entails taking the bus, one part of which route parallels a main rail line. On the line was a long string of flatbed traincars loaded down with what looked to be older military vehicles. Most of the units were still painted in desert cammo. I noticed M-113 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC.)
    See M-113:
    Some Bradleys, seemingly sub-variants like medivac units and command and control versions, etc. The occasional Humvee, about a dozen. A lot of large movers, like the Heavy Mobility Expanded Tactical Truck.
    See HMETT:
    In the HMETT train I noticed bridging trucks and vehicle recovery variants. Water bowsers and fuel tankers. Lots of pull behind trailers.
    Later, while waiting to switch busses at the central terminal I mentioned the train load of equipment ‘going south’ and a driver sarcastically remarked: “Yeah, I saw that. Our tax dollars at work!”
    Stay safe!

    1. The Rev Kev

      For the past year and a half whenever weapons are sent to the Ukraine, they will take care to say that x number of this type of tank is being sent or x number of APCs are being sent as well. When this war is long over, I think that we will find that the number of tanks, APCs, artillery pieces, trucks, etc. sent was way, way above what they announced. Nothing that I can prove or find a link for much less an online opinion. Nevertheless, I just keep on getting the feeling that much more gear is being sent there than is being announced. If so, they will probably use the excuse that it was a matter of operational security that they lied but more likely it would be to stop criticism right now that so many armouries were being stripped bare.

    1. Lexx

      I wanted to hear more… the dude can play. She was clearly a discerning cow (rainbow-colored fashion accessory with au naturale black/white) but half expected her to use his guitar and noggin as a scritching post.

    1. Carla

      It looks like almost nobody has gone over to Medpage to vote on Walensky’s performance as CDC director. I’m surprised!

        1. Carla

          Ah, yeah, I get their emails. Well I gave her an “F” ! Medpage’s daily links are sometimes informative.

      1. aletheia33

        i just now voted (am a subscriber).

        the breakdown for each letter grade for RW, at a current total of only 203 votes, was:

        A – 18%
        B – 21%
        C – 18%
        D – 17%
        F – 26%

    1. antidlc

      Farid Jalali, MD
      SARS-CoV-2 most definitely infects the bone marrow.

      Not only in the acute infection.

      But also chronically, the spike protein is found present in the bone marrow on autopsies of patients who died for other reasons.

      I wish I could share more, but …

      Is there more to this tweet? Why the ellipsis?

  12. elmer

    Regarding the silencing of Kennedy

    The DNC has, since the reforms of the Jackson Commision, and since Carter’s election, been reaccumulating control of the nominating process. As an irresolute Sanders supporter, I watched as the DNC lied and thieved their way to a spectacular loss the the orange fuck-nugget.

    For those of you still reading, search for PLEO, “Party Leader and Elected Official”, and “super-delegates” to gain a partial understanding of this revanchist political organizing.

    I’m pretty sure Lambert has touched on this structural regressive force in the past, but it merits repeating.

  13. Mark Gisleson

    Hate to leave a comment like this when you’re having moderation problems but the Hitler quoting got me to look and in truth, Adolph Hitler said a lot of things that are very quotable. I tweeted some but the one that really stuck with me was:

    “All propaganda must be confined to a few bare necessities and then must be expressed in a few stereotyped formulas . . . Only constant repetition will finally succeed in imprinting an idea upon the memory of a crowd.”

    Russiagate, Russiagate, Russiagate…

  14. petal

    Novo Nordisk sponsored the fireworks show in Lebanon, NH this year. It’s the big show for the area. I wondered if everyone that attended got a free starter hit of Ozempic.

  15. Amfortas the hippie

    weirdness, today, again:
    first, i read the silliness in the Economist,and my eyes hurt from the rollin’…but whatever.
    then a i went out and worked before it got too hot(AC is on the fritz again)…and my friend texted me from Lviv, Ukraine…over there volunteering…3 blocks from last nights missile strike…very antirussian, talking about maybe volunteering for military service(i didn’t rebut any of her propaganda parrotting…but it shows how even smart people can be hoodwinked by wall to wall nonsense)…because those dern stupid russians sent a missile into a neighborhood(from my observations, and attempting all the while to get all around it, it seems just as likely that a wayward ukie missile hit…or Ukr had an ammo dump in that neighborhood…or any amount of alternative explanations…such is the fog of especially this war…even from 3 blocks away…worst propaganda ive seen in my lifetime)

    so…in order to try to check myself and examine my assumptions…i wandered around in MSM and the FP Blobsphere…
    politico, common dreams(!)…FPin focus…and so on.

    now, to be clear, from the get-go…i listen to the same collection of reporters i listened to during Bush2…except none of them can get a gig in MSM, any more.
    and i still attempt to get all around important things by using diverse sources.
    i’ll go to the US state dept web site, then the kremlin website, then the Ukr website or twitfeed…and compare what each are saying with each other, with whats being said in disparate media, as well as what i remember from 40+ years of paying attention to the news and reading history incessantly(the latter…my copious memory files… is my most trusted source).

    every bit of the politico, cnn, and even common dreams coverage and takes on the war is as of one voice…lifted straight off of the state department narrative cue cards.
    even down to the same phrases and key words(“Cracks” in Putin’s dastardly regime).

    the economist silliness, for instance,treats as utter mythology things i remember as they happened regarding Russia’s all but begging the West to stop poking it, etc.
    for 23 years,lol
    all in all, its ludicrous and therefore scary…and to have one of my smartest real life friends guzzle the koolaide so willingly and with such exuberance is depressing.
    we’re well into bizzarroworld, now…and i dont see how we can get out of it, sans collapse or nukewar.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      There are a lot of humanitarian aid groups over in Lviv (and some that may be compromised, as well.)

      I would be worried for her well-being as an errant missile could strike the wrong building. Or, more cynically, some neoconservative goon decides to use aid workers as human shields to protect military equipment.

      (Hey, look under that tarp – that’s does not look like water and generators, more like a pallet of Stingers! )

      Over at MoA the talk is that the building hit last night housed a lot of NATO types, foreign mercs and advisors. We won’t know the truth due to fog of war.

    2. Jabura Basaidai

      Amfortas you are on the money in so many respects – especially your last 2 comments – tired of hearing “we understand morally what you are saying, but pragmatically ya gotta vote dem…” or some iteration – even with the war criminal Abrams addition – no morals or conscience, just blue blue blue – and it don’t mean my favorite college team – folks i marched with in the 60’s against the war – no irony here, move along – refuse to understand historical context of anything – have not had a TV since 1967, just read a lot – bizzaroworld is what it is – collapse i don’t fear so much but these morons might think tactical nukes might work – way before being debunked officially, logic prevented believing any russiagate nonsense – used to take 5 mile walks with a friend i’ve known since grade school – he started squawking about russian influence and i asked him what russian influence he had read or seen, and he could provide nothing – then asked what could influence him so much and asked why believe it – no answer – i don’t see a reason to vote really, but will vote some third party just for the hell of it – i do vote for local and state tickets – national is always a joke and with the dem “super delegates” it makes no difference if RFKJ made it to the end with all the marbles – Sanders clay feet has been a disappointment – so pathetic to dwell on sometimes –
      Stephen Pastis’s comic Pearls Before Swine is my favorite – check this one out –
      and now…..moderation……but thank you i appreciate and understand, i live for the comments in NC…..was surprised to see the “F” word in full spelling in one of the comments today, thought it was frowned upon……oh well, not like it’s a new or unused word in my life – but relying on profanity is weak –
      Yves, good luck in your relo and may your difficulties be easily surmountable – having been a gypsy most of my life i can understand –

    3. Vandemonian

      For what it’s worth, this is from the Intel Slava Z Telegram channel:

      The source of the Russian Defense Ministry specified the goals of the night strike with Kalibr on Lvov.

      The purpose of today’s strike on the reserves of Ukraine was Western equipment and militants on the territory of the military academy in Lvov. Western armored vehicles were on the territory, with a high degree of probability, British Challenger tanks.

      It is also reported that on the territory of the Academy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the time of the strike there were up to 800 Armed Forces of Ukraine and foreign mercenaries.

    4. Kouros

      The language used by The Economist is unbearable. It really tries to elicit emotional responses so that what is written and communicated is not questioned. Oh, I bet they have a long list of adectives and adverbs to use in relation to Putin and Russia, list well combed and analized and tested on focus groups…

      1. BillS

        This is why I dumped my Economist subscription in March 2022. The shrill anti-Russian propaganda was just too much to bear. They always were a neocon rag, but it was a good view into how the enemy thinks.

  16. Lexx

    ‘As of yesterday, all comments started going into moderation. This was after about a bizarre increase where half the comments were going into moderation (up from about 15%) and Lambert cleared the cache, which should never never never make this sort of problem worse. We are very very sorry and trust me, almost certainly more unhappy about this than you are. Our tech guru Dave is working on it. In the meantime, please be bear with us.’

    Thanks for sharing… I was feeling very very naughty and I wasn’t even trying.

    Okay, but I’m a little rusty. What kind of bear did you have in mind? (sticks own nose in corner)

  17. Lexx

    ‘Antidepressants prescription associated with a lower risk of testing positive for COVID-19’

    Do you suppose there might be a relationship between high blood glucose (for reasons other than diabetes) metformin, serotonin (and it’s absence) and SSRI’s?

    Yeah, me too. Yesterday I was reading about 5 HT-4 receptor agonists. What I had asked Google: ‘Is the presence of serotonin necessary for gut motility?’* and then jumped down the rabbit hole. There were once 17 such drugs available used in the treatment of migraines and low libido. Most loaded with side effects and removed from the market.

    It’s about the gut-brain axis. Generally people who experience migraines also suffer hyper-motility gut problems. It’s about how we’re wired falling into two broad categories of disorder, pooper-wise. Ergo, someone who suffers chronic constipation or C-IBS rarely report migraines… but both camps may have low serotonin levels, caused by an imbalance of the microbiota of the large intestine.

    So to my mind these are two drug categories being used to treat symptoms but not the disorder beneath it, and by coincidence asserting a kind of gut balance sparing the patient Covid or it’s worst longterm symptoms… if the connection is valid.

    Of course I’m neither a doctor or scientist, but I can and do Wordle in three and in under 30 seconds. Logical leaps can’t always be graphed out.

    Something about Eileen’s delivery…

    *These questions come to me while I’m showering and I’m then compelled to seek an answer.

  18. Carolinian

    Jeremy Grimm put this old (2004) Lewis Lapham up in yesterday’s SC discussion and I think it could be worth a Link link.

    It’s an overview of how the country’s zeitgeist took a big turn to the right during the late 20th and (my view) the rise of the Manichean tactics that have now shifted over to the Wokish faux Left.

    Good versus Evil, right or wrong, saved or damned, with us or against us, and no light-minded trifling with doubt or ambiguity. Or, more plainly and as a young disciple of Ludwig Von Mises had said, long ago in the 1980s in one of the hospitality tents set up to welcome the conservative awakening to a conference on a beach at Hilton Head, “Our people deal in absolutes.”

    Just so, and more’s the pity. In place of intelligence, which might tempt them to consort with
    wicked or insulting questions for which they don’t already possess the answers, the parties of
    the right substitute ideology, which, although sometimes archaic and bizarre, is always

    Virtuous, but not necessarily the best means available to the running of a railroad or a war. The
    debacle in Iraq, like the deliberate impoverishment of the American middle class, bears witness
    to the shoddiness of the intellectual infrastructure on which a once democratic republic has
    come to stand. Morality deemed more precious than liberty; faith-based policies and initiatives
    ordained superior to common sense.

    Biden and his MSNBC cheering section surely exemplify this tactic of subsituting absolutes for intelligence, moral pronouncements for curiosity and common sense. Cults don’t like dissent and therefore censorship, today’s big story, is necessary. The Clinton Dems who still rule even Biden’s roost merely stole the Gingrich playbook for their own purposes on the theory (or the hope) that FDR liberalism was played out.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      thanks for that.
      Lapham remains a jewel.
      almost as arid a wit as Gore Vidal.

  19. Mark Gisleson

    Somewhat flummoxed by the page on 40-year-olds not getting married. I can’t remember the last time I read anything so overwhelmingly pitched to PMCs and not ‘normal’ people.

    It’s well known that welfare rules discourage marriage. Not mentioned by Mish who does worry that student loan debt discourages marriage.

    It also seemed strange that the gay community was not mentioned. In fact I found it bizarre that they didn’t poll unmarrieds as to their sexual preference.

    If they’d asked me, I’d have told them that marriage is about keeping property within the family, and that since most people no longer have property…

    1. pasha

      i think you are half correct. marriage as generally practiced throughout history has had a dual purpose: protection of joint property, and raising children. both property and young children are getting scarcer for the 90%

  20. TimH

    On the crossbow guy… interesting that the “AI companion app named in court… Replika” obviously stores the entire conversation chains with humans, otherwise the discussions wouldn’t not have come out.

    Many Replika users form intimate, serious connections with their chatbots, which uses its own large language model and scripted dialogue content to generate conversations with users. In January 2023, some Replika users reported that the chatbot was too aggressively sexual, and in February, the company changed its filters to stop allowing chatbots to engage in erotic roleplay, sending many users who had developed romantic or sexual attachments to the chatbots into crisis.

    Bet those users don’t realise that their interactions aren’t private.

  21. Darthbobber

    The article about the “troubling” rewards for information on HK dissidents. I believe the US is far and away the world leader in constantly coming up with new variants of long-arm jurisdictional claims.

    At least the HK wanted folks actually are Chinese citizens accused of doing stuff in China, making this far less of an overreach than many of ours.

  22. Mildred Montana

    >AI tests into top 1% for original creative thinking PhysOrg (Chuck L)

    First, a little bit about the author of the study, Erik Guzik, PhD. From his Linkedin page:

    1. “Professor, founder, and pretty big believer in the value of thinking.” I get the first two; what the hell does the third even mean? Pure nonsense. Ignoring “pretty big” and “believer” how exactly does one define “thinking”?

    2. Founder and CEO of a Remote Patient Monitoring company called PatientOne. It develops software tools to better connect patients with health coaches and care teams from the comfort of their own homes, improving quality of life and health outcomes. “Health coaches and care teams”. Seems healthcare is now a sport and the patients are athletes! Have those coaches and teams not thought (there’s that word again) that their athletes might be better off leaving the “comfort of their own homes” and getting a bit of exercise by visiting a real doctor? No of course not, because Guzik’s gig is a lot more profitable than the proverbial “laying on of hands”.

    Now to the point of the article, the matter of “original creative” thinking. First of all, that depends on one’s definitions of the words “original” and “creative”. They do indeed mean novel and different. But they also mean “right”, not “wrong”. They express something that speaks in a new understandable voice to the human condition.

    From the article: “The AI application was in the top percentile for fluency—the ability to generate a large volume of ideas—and for originality—the ability to come up with new ideas.” Big deal. A large volume of ideas equals a large amount of garbage. It’s one thing to generate new ideas. The trick is to discern the gold from the dross. How to separate the wheat from the chaff? Is AI up to the task?

    Creativity and originality are strange things. They are ineffable and seem to spring from nowhere. Yet they break molds and change our world. Can AI, by sheer brute force, improve the odds of discovering genius or, like the internet, swamp us with a glut of information signifying nothing?

    1. Late Introvert

      Thanks for wading through that muck for us. Pretty big believer in [some feel good word with no meaning]!

  23. DJG, Reality Czar

    Europe swings right.

    Could it possibly, just possibly, be part of the proxy war in Ukraine?

    Quoting from the article: “A few months later, centrist Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and center-right European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, the EU’s top executive, were accompanying Meloni on a trip to Tunisia to try to curb migratory flows from the North African country — a show of cross-party unity.”

    Only at Politico would Mark Rutte be considered a centrist, particularly with regard to Dutch policy toward Italy. And I won’t even mention Euro Parliament president Roberta Metsola.

    Che sorpresa! Sono esterrefatto!

    1. Kouros

      I think the swing is both right as well as left at the same time. That’s what a populist strong man (tyrant of the yore, on Professor Hudson’s liking) in fact represents.

    2. Darthbobber

      Certainly in Orban’s case. His reelection campaign was not going all that swimmingly, and it looked like a nail biter. Until his opponents obligingly turned it into a Ukraine referendum and suddenly he was 15+ ahead.

  24. djrichard

    > Why the Rise of ‘Counter-Elites’ Spells Bad News for the UK Bloomberg (Li). Turchin is 16 minutes in.

    Some snippets from the audio on prescriptions:

    Shut down the wealth pump. By giving the typical worker wages that increase with the economy. We eventually shut down the over-production of the wealthy. Also we shut down the over-production of the credentialed because there would not be as much incentive to go and get credentials. …

    A general principle seems to be pretty clear. In all case studies that we studied, that the eventual end of end times and times of new beginnings resulted from shutting down the wealth pump.

    In my book I discuss the reform period of Russia, that was 1860s. Alexander II the Czar who presided and pushed the reforms he told his nobles we either have a revolution from below or reforms from above: you choose. And they chose to do reforms from the above. It was really very extensive set of reforms, it really reconfigured Russian empire and it delayed revolution by 50 years. …

    … During the early Roman republic was also a very similar situation when the ruling class essentially allowed commoners to enter the ruling class and also … they essentially canceled the debts.

    … canceling debts is in fact a very traditional way in trying to reconfigure the society.

    1. djrichard

      By the way, a separate article on Peter Turchin’s new book–and-how-can-we-prevent-it/ (which was also published on Yahoo of all places)

      … plutocracies. Those would include the Italian merchant republics of Venice and Genoa in the late Middle Ages, the Dutch Republic of the 17th and 18th centuries — and the present-tense United States of America.

      Yes, really. Turchin devotes a full chapter to his definition of the U.S. as a plutocracy, starting with the European history from which colonial America and then the independent republic emerged …

  25. spud

    well duh!
    “The increasing use of trade measures and industrial policies may destabilize the multilateral trade system,” the IMF said.

    the free trade system bill clinton built is nothing more than debt, poverty, war and oligarchy.

    its time to regain sovereignty, and implement a civil society with democratic control of ones own country, and strive for as much self sufficiency has possible.

    “Free Trade, War and Debt: All Branches of the Same Tree

    by Geraldine Perry / June 30th, 2017

  26. digi_owl

    Unless the actual left (the the faux left getting time on all channels these days) can balance a message of communal national economy and a more sedate rate of change on social issues, the flagrant right will continue to rise in prominence as purses tighten.

  27. ArvidMartensen

    The article on creative exhaustion was interesting, and particularly the woman reviewing the latest childrens’ movies.

    Interesting that Disney is now feeding children with dark, foreboding vibes interspersed with culturally correct themes.

    One dark movie is an experiment. A whole slew of them seems more like an indoctrination. A washing of the brain? But what do they want our children to feel about their futures?

    A few guesses.
    The future will be dark and that is ok and that is normal. And so complaining is useless.
    All the dark future things come to mind. Poverty, homelessness, child labour, hunger, climate deaths, being orphaned. Charles Dickens.
    All dark. All normal.

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