Links 4/10/2024

Was an extinct fox once man’s best friend? BBC

Watch zoo animals react as totality passes over Texas during eclipse CNN (Furzy Mouse)

Do solar panels work during an eclipse? Colorado researchers were watching. Colorado Sun


European court rules human rights violated by climate inaction BBC

Case of Verein Klimaseniorinnen Schweiz and Others v. Switzerland European Court of Human Rights

* * *

Biggest North Sea oil find in decades to be drilled for first time The Telegraph

Maori king declares ‘whales are people’ and push for legal rights WION

Activists protest in trees, file lawsuit to block old growth logging on BLM land Oregon Capital Chronicle

Did the climate experience a Regime Change in 2023? Arctic News


Bogota restricts water as reservoirs hit ‘critical’ lows Agence France Presse

Morocco drought: Satellite images show vital Al Massira reservoir is shrinking BBC


Ground-up chicken waste fed to cattle may be behind bird flu outbreak in US cows The Telegraph. Good reporting; I’d seen a source to the effect this was technically possible; but the Telegraph has the sourcing that says its legal and widespread.

* * *

Important Program For Covid Patients Closes, Leaving Many Stranded Judy Stone, Forbes

Blood donor study finds 21% incidence of long-term symptoms attributed to COVID-19 Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

Study identifies inflammation and symptom patterns in long COVID Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy


President Xi Jinping meets Taiwan’s Ma Ying-jeou in historic first, 9 years after landmark Singapore handshake South China Morning Post

Fitch downgrades China sovereign credit outlook on debt fears Channel News Asia

China hits back after Fitch Ratings downgrades credit outlook, Beijing says local debt risks are controllable South China Morning Post

The rusting Philippine ship forcing Joe Biden and his Asia allies to focus on China FT


Apple’s India iPhone Output Hits $14 Billion in Pivot From China Bloomberg


Myanmar Opposition Seizes Myanmar’s Largest Military Base in Myawaddy Near Tak TPN National News (Furzy Mouse).

‘Business is back’: BGF adapts under pressure Frontier Myanmar. Wait ’til these guys get going on LLM.


Red Heifer, Amalek, and Reactions of Nations Jerusalem Post. Wowsers. I hate to say it, but this is a must-read (the venue).

What do Texan red heifers have to do with Al-Aqsa and a Jewish temple? Al Jazeera

Letter from Jerusalem: what future do Palestinians have in the ancient city? New Statesman

* * *

Dying for a bag of flour: Videos and eyewitness accounts cast doubt on Israel’s timeline of deadly Gaza aid delivery CNN

Austin: U.S. doesn’t have “any evidence” of Israel committing genocide in Gaza Axios. Oh.

* * *

Biden says Netanyahu is making ‘a mistake’ with his approach to war on Gaza Anadolu Agency

California Democrats, Biden pressure Israel for Gaza ceasefire after aid worker killings Sacramento Bee

Biden’s Increasingly Contradictory Israel Policy The New Yorker

* * *

Ben-Gvir, Smotrich threaten Netanyahu over Gaza, demand Rafah operation The New Arab

Blinken says Israel has not told US about Rafah invasion start date Anadolu Agency. The deck: “‘What we have is an ongoing conversation with Israel about any Rafah operation,’ Secretary of State Antony Blinken says amid long-elusive talks with Israel.” “What we have here” except not….

* * *

Israeli economy has lost strength since start of onslaught against Gaza Anadolu Agency

Gaza: Gas Rich but in Ruins (video) Al Jazeera

European Disunion

EU court rules in favour of Russian oligarchs Fridman and Aven in blow to sanctions regime FT

Big investors buy European bonds over US Treasuries as economies diverge FT

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine war briefing: Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant targeted by drones for third day Guardian. Note lack of agency.

US worried its drones failed to turn tide in Ukraine – WSJ Pravda Ukrainska

Battling Under a Canopy of Drones The New Yorker

US arms Ukraine with thousands of seized Iranian guns, rifles and munitions Al Jazeera

* * *

Trump has expressed interest in visiting Ukraine, Zelensky says NY Post

Zelensky says he doesn’t need ‘primitive’ ideas from Trump on Ukraine The Hill

* * *

Russia, China to Work on ‘Double Counteracting’ US-Led Alliance Bloomberg

Is NATO Necessary? John R. MacArthur, Harpers

South of the Border

US condemns Mexican Embassy raid, says Ecuador ‘disregarded its obligations’ Anadolu Agency. Took ’em long enough.

Biden Administration

Student Loan Forgiveness Student Loan Forgiveness Credit Slips

Inside the House GOP’s surveillance law nightmare Politico


Google’s Chrome Antitrust Paradox (PDF) Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law. The first few pages show how Google grew by acquisition. And about Chrome:

In this Article, we show that Chrome is the key to Google’s dominance as an advertiser and publisher. First, Google leverages its dominance as a publisher to reinforce Chrome’s dominance using (a) subtle coercion, such as by employing dark patterns and (b) undermining web standards. Second, Google leverages Chrome’s dominance to reinforce Google’s dominance as a publisher and advertiser using the same techniques and additionally (c) self-preferencing and (d) “privacy controls.” These strategies employed by Google demonstrate that Chrome is not merely a neutral gateway to the web and is instead an instrument for Google to gain and maintain an unfair advantage over its competitors. Finally, Google employs (e) “pay-to-play”—using income generated from its dominating advertising business for strategic acquisitions of more publishing and advertising services and paying competitors to give prominence to Google Search. This results in a vicious cycle of crossmarket abuse in one market, be it browser, advertising, or publishing, to cement position in the other market.

Digital Watch

The Person Who Was in Charge of OpenAI’S $175 Million Fund Appears to Be Fake Futurism. “For a period of time in 2023, the person in charge of OpenAI’s $175 million startup fund appears to have been completely fake — and OpenAI says the documents filed with the California Secretary of State to put the fake person in charge were ‘completely fabricated.'”

OpenAI and Meta ready new AI models capable of ‘reasoning’ FT. AI can’t drive a car. But it can “reasom”?

The Real Battle for Data Privacy Begins When You Die Bloomberg

The Internet Archive Just Backed Up an Entire Caribbean Island Wired. The headline is deceptive. The pointing finger (data) not the moon (island).


US officials probe new whistleblower claims against Boeing Al Jazeera

Police State Watch

New Florida laws add penalties for fentanyl ‘exposure,’ create ‘revive awareness day’ Talahassee Democrat. Commentary:

The Town That Kept Its Nuclear Bunker a Secret for Three Decades Smithsonian

Class Warfare

From Layoffs to Lawsuits, Billionaires Are Striking Back to Crush Worker Power (video) The Real News

Annual industrial robots installed, 2021 Our World in Data

The Macrofoundations of Macroeconomics Steve Keen

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. JohnA

    Re Red Heifer
    “When Hamas spokesman spoke at the mark of the 100th day of the war, he explained to everyone’s surprise that the reason Hamas opened the war was because the Jewish people are preparing to bring the Red Heifer.”

    It was no surprise at all. And the very reason Hamas referred to Al Aqsa. The sacrifice of said heifer is a prelude to the Jewish destruction of the Al Aqsa mosque in order to rebuild the Jewish temple, that allegedly stood on that very ground. A site holy to Muslims because Mohammed supposedly ascended to heaven from there.
    I thought that was pretty common knowledge.

      1. The Rev Kev

        When you are an Israeli, then everybody else is Amalek. That is why they had no qualms about blowing away that kitchen team that had people from several different western nations in it. They were just a bunch of Amalek so who cared?

        1. algorithm ghetto

          Israel’s Biblical Psychopathy

          “Please stop calling Netanyahu a psychopath. Or at least, call him a biblical psychopath, a worshipper of the psychopathic god. And while you are there, learn see the Hebrew Bible for what it is: “a conspiracy against the rest of the world,” as said H. G. Wells. In the books of the Bible, “you have the conspiracy plain and clear, … an aggressive and vindictive conspiracy. … It is not tolerance but stupidity to shut our eyes to their quality.”

      2. danpaco

        Purim celebrations, which just passed, are also connected to Amalek. It’s at its core a celebration of the murder of 75K enemies of the jews in Persia in 1 night! That takes planning. Now we dress up in costumes and share gifts to celebrate.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      JohnA: What struck me most was the repeated use of the verb “redeem” and the noun “redeemer.”

      Upshot: May the gods thwart those who want to save us.

    2. rob

      at what point, do these fairy tale believing people finally get seen for what they are? Delusional. insane? Criminally insane?
      every time you hear about some “ritual” of judeaism, christianity, and others….. you almost have to ask….. this can’t be real?… people don’t really believe all this stuff….. but then you meet people that do… all over(say here in the southern US)….. and it just like a GIANT… WTF!???

      1. Thomasina Jay

        The religious lunatics over there are just that. Too bad we’ve thrown hundreds of billions at them since the HalluciNation was founded.

        What is more disturbing is the religious evangelical lunatics right here that support this mythological goobildygook.

        Won’t they please just pack up and go to their Promised Land instead of hanging out here and cluttering up our society? Pretty Please!

        1. JTMcPhee

          Not until they bring about Armageddon, which many of them have been brought to “beeleeeve” will somehow result in their getting special treatment from the Hebrew YHWH. Once again, stupid goyim getting suckered by the people of the One True Covenant.

          The descriptive Yiddish noun is “freier,” which connotes a particularly egregious “sucker.”

          Another take on the word:

          Well played, Israelites! Who often refer to the US, which toes the Zionist line, as “Uncle Sucker.”

    3. Emma

      Agreed. I thought this was common knowledge and was directly referenced immediately after October 7 to explain why the Gaza resistance forces named the operation Al Aqsa Flood.

      I thought it was common knowledge that the Christian Zionists in Congress were not supporting Israel due to AIPAC money or blackmail, but because they wanted to bring about the Rapture. They can’t openly talk about it since actively trying to bring about an End of Days is a pretty fringe and sinful position even for most fundamentalist Christians, but there’s really no other explanation for their support of Israel.

      I have wondered if one of Iran’s retaliation actions would be to just drone the cows. I’m not sure why even the West has allowed this farce to continue. What benefit do they get from Third Temple nutcases destroying the third holiest site in Islam?

      (I still favor a massive strike on Dimona as Iranian retaliation – surely even the westerners do not want an eschatological minded Israel to continue to retain nuclear capabilities. And “it doesn’t exist” so what’s the big deal?)

      1. Ben Panga

        I think the Iranian decision makers are smart, and they will need to be to thread the needle between retaliating enough to save face/deterrence and retaliating in a way that will give Israel international cover to escalate. It may not matter anyway as Israel seems committed to the war to end all wars at this point.

        If they strike Israel directly, especially from Iranian soil, it might be easy for the US hawk wing to bounce the US into a attack on Iran

        I would hope there is some heavy back channel conversation (say with Washington via the Swiss) about this but there seems to be a lack of serious actors in the West.

        1. Synoia

          One clear theme is all these factions believe there is one God, and fight each other over the manner of worshiping the one god.

          Being from England we had prayers M0rning and Night, said grace before meals, and Divinity (Bible Study)lessons in the syllabus.

          My personal view is that It’s unlucky to be superstitious.

          All these wars are fought over forms of worship over a common belief that there is One God.

          1. Emma

            No it is not. Please stop spreading this misinformation and providing cover for Zionists who then argued that Muslims just hate Jews for reasons, when it’s resistance to genocidal settler colonial land thieves.

            All the resistance movements have been very clear that they are not against Jews in general or even Jews in the the Levant (in fact there are video footage of IDF soldiers beating up indigenous anti-Zionist Jews in Jerusalem). They’re against the racist settler colonial regime of Israel.

            Just because the Zionists have weaponized their religious fringe (as well as the much larger fundamentalist Christian fringe who are horny for the Rapture) to harm Muslims (and Arab Christians) doesn’t change the underlying dynamic.

          2. .Tom

            > My personal view is that It’s unlucky to be superstitious.

            That’s a good one. Made me chuckle. Tnx

          3. c_heale

            Many people believe in many Gods, and others don’t believe. Many of these wars are fought in the name of religion (I include disbelief in a God as a religion, since for many people it is) but are really wars for land, resources, or political control.

            Every human has the potential to be be a fanatic.

        2. Emma

          I would say that Iran and Hezbollah, and perhaps even the Hamas military wing, have been very patient and careful about their moves. They are thinking about the “day after” and don’t want an irradiated Levant or a destroyed Al Aqsa mosque if they can help it. The problem is whether they are still dealing with adversaries who have sufficient grasp of reality to work against.

        3. Feral Finster

          If Israel does not get the response they obviously seek, Israel will simply strike harder and harder until they do get what they want.

          Israel’s American thug is entirely onboard with this, unless you think that they are more clueless than a litter of kittens whose eyes just opened.

          1. paul

            Is it possible to think of I as A’s thug?

            Protected with a licence, ultimately a threat indicator, all the while advancing A’s interests.

    4. Yeti

      Come to the conclusion that this is unfortunately becoming a self fulfilling prophesy of fundamental Christians and Zionists.

    5. paul

      I would love this article to appear on the metropolitan née manchester guardian’s front page.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Ground-up chicken waste fed to cattle may be behind bird flu outbreak in US cows”

    No surprise if this was the case. The “Mad Cow Disease” outbreak back in the 1980s & 1990s was caused by supplementing protein in cattle feed by meat-and-bone meal (MBM), which used the remains of other animals. It saved farmers a bit of money but when the outbreak happened, they had to slaughter four million cattle to stop the outbreak but which still led to the death of 178 people-

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      The Rev Kev: Yes, I had the same thought.

      Who comes up with these bright ideas? Feeding garbage to animals?

      But then, I recall Crisco and other industrial shortenings–hydrogenated cottonseed oil, garbage fed to people. Since 1911!

      So there is a long history here. I’d argue that it isn’t just a matter of mad cows and influenza’d cows. American health problems also may stem from eating garbage.

      The whacky effects of trans fats. Who knew that capitalist cookery would be bad for human beings?

      1. The Rev Kev

        I suppose that this is all a result of farming shifting into industrial farming. As an example, cramming thousands of cattle tightly together in pens where they stand in their own crap and the only way to make that work is to pump them for of antibiotics is crazy when you type it out. Or when you have farmers wiping out bee hives so that they do not miss any profit that those bees might be taking off them also sounds nuts.

        1. Objective Ace

          Or when you have farmers wiping out bee hives so that they do not miss any profit

          What’s in this reference to? I havent heard of that one before

          1. The Rev Kev

            I read it here on NC a coupla years ago in relation to industrial farmers but cannot find it anymore. It was such a crazy story that it stuck in my mind. Wish I could have given more detail.

      2. Carolinian

        Farmers used to always feed garbage to their pigs and this is why some of us as kids were warned about poorly cooked pork and trichinosis.

        In our current times there’s a huge cattle feedlot just off the freeway west of El Paso and you can smell it long before you pass it. This is best not thought about when enjoying that steak.

        1. Acacia

          Same deal approaching the California feedlot near Hwy. 5. Roll up the windows.

          Harris Ranch, a.k.a. “Cowschwitz”

        2. griffen

          You can find that same aroma of large hog farms in eastern North Carolina…and driving down to the Wilmington area on I 40 during the summer months it can be especially aromatic…

      3. Feral Finster

        “Who comes up with these bright ideas? Feeding garbage to animals?”

        Purely a matter of dollars and cents.

        All the agrarian happy horsehockey about farmers loving the land seems to come from people who don’t know the same farmers that I do. A more unsentimental bunch is hard to find.

        1. mrsyk

          Maybe it’s the kind of farmers you know. Most of the farmers I know are silly about their land. Admittedly, I know a few that fit your description as well.

        2. digi_owl

          Farmers become an unsentimental bunch because they are in a squeeze between the grocery chains that wants to buy cheap and sell dear, and the urban environmentalists that do not have the first clue about the time and effort needed to run a farm.

  3. Ben Panga

    Red Heifer, Amalek, and Reactions of Nations Jerusalem Post. Wowsers. I hate to say it, but this is a must-read

    I couldn’t follow all of this, but it appears to be saying that an Israeli victory in a war against Iran (which they are very desperately trying to start), is in prophecy as the final war against Amalek and together with “project red Heifer / build the third temple” will herald the Jewish Messiah’s coming.

    So…a call to apocalyptic holy war?

    If I understood correctly the above is from an interpretation by “Rabbi Shay Tahan, the Rosh Kollel of Shaarei Ezra in Brooklyn, NY”.

    I have so many questions! How significant is it that this is in the JPost? How widespread/influential is this kind of interpretation? Are these views also held by the extremist part of the Israeli government? Are there evangelicals in the US government who would support the project? Should I go long nuclear bomb shelters?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Washington DC says ‘Israel is the only democracy in the middle east’ but I would add to that it also wants to undertake animal sacrifices on the State level. Image that when the US Congress sat, that the first thing that they would do is to sacrifice a goat or a steer first before reviewing legislation. Kinda like Roman times.

      1. Emma

        I always thought that one reason the West hates Iran so much is precisely because it is actually a pretty functional and representative democracy. I understand that the religious leadership has some say in removing some candidates for religious and morality reasons, but nothing compared to the type of control exercised by Western political parties and media.

        Compare that to a regime that is actively depriving half of the population under its control from not just voting, but freedom of movement, ability to earn a living, and living in safety and security. And indoctrinated the other half of its population into selfish, callous, genocidal freaks.

        1. Ben Panga

          It’s because they don’t submit to US dominance, and because they had the temerity to throw out the puppet Shah.

          If the Ayatollahs would just accept their place under the hegemonic plan their system would be feted not demonised

          1. Emma

            Ayatollah Khomeini was supported by the US as a puppet in waiting to replace the untenable puppet Shah. The empire does not have loyalty to its discarded puppets. It just can’t tolerate resistance and actual sovereignty.

            Irony is after 40 years of continuous and unjustifiable US instigated sanctions and attacks against Iran, Iran that may in fact possess more advanced missiles, drones, and possibly even AD technology than the US.

            1. Ben Panga

              That’s new information about the US supporting Khomeini. Do you have a source/more info?

              (Not a challenge to your point; I’m genuinely interested)

              1. Emma


                Take this with a grain of salt since this is Wikipedia, but it does have some links out to explore. Sorry I can’t offer a better starting point – this isn’t something I know much about but everytime I hear about it, it seem well understood that Khomeini was being supported by the West in some way to counter more secular and potentially Communist forces within Iran.

                1. hemeantwell

                  Misagh Parsa’s Social Origins of the Iranian Revolution (highly recommended, much archival work went into it) does a very good job tracing the shifting composition of the anti-Shah movement. One thing that is strikingly clear is that the clergy dragged their feet in build-up of the confrontation with the Shah. Before Khomeini’s ascent from the clouds, the most significant actors were a number of left groups, which I think can be loosely thought of as the secular Marxist Fedayeen and more religiously-observant Marxists, the Mujahedin. They, along with anti-Shah students and workers, had the pot boiling, and then when middle-class bazaari merchants joined in, leading to cracks in the military, it was over. Khomeini had cred, but the clergy only became organized as an effective force after the other groups had the Shah on the ropes.

                  If the CIA was interested in propping up Khomeini — and remember that a secular government led by Banisadr had come to power prior to the clergy takeover (and remember, clergy roughly = rural feudals) — it would have been because in the period before the Islamist regression the left was pretty strong, particularly in that they had good representation among oil workers, who, iirc, were oriented to the Tudeh party (Iranian CP) but were also friendly with the Fedayeen and Mujahedin. When Khomeini took power he began to murder the left. The Mujahedin assassinated some of the top echelons of the clergy in a reprisal bombing but decided not to remove Khomeini.

                  It is really unfortunate that analysis of this period is very distorted by the current dismissal of the Iranian left of that period, with critics focusing on the cult that the Mujahedin became, the MEK in John McCain’s parlance.

                  1. ilpalazzo

                    Thanks for the suggestion, I was looking for something like this. The whole book can be found free online if you look down the links.

              2. hk

                My sense was that Khomeini was supported by the West the way Lenin was supported by the Germans. I don’t think there’s much doubt that the West facilitated, or even arranged, Khomeini’s return to Iran. What turned up in the aftermath, well, that was “unexpected.”

                1. anahuna

                  At the time, Khomeini was seen as an alternative to what the CIA perceived as a growing communist threat. After Khomeini’s arrival, there was even a brief burst of hope among Iranians frustrated with the stifling bureaucracy of the Shah’s regime. See, if you can find it, Nader Khalili’s autobiographical account of this period. There are curious parallels to the aftermath of the Bolshevik revolution.

                  I ran across that book in a thrift shop years ago, mislaid or lent it to someone and don’t recall the title. It’s a first-hand account by that remarkable architect, young at the time.

              3. Feral Finster

                IIRC, the US didn’t so much support the return of Khomeini as it waffled with respect to its support of the Shah.

                By the time the CIA and State decided that they had better stop dithering, the situation was beyond saving.

            2. paul

              The Ayolotallah would have looked good at the time.

              The iranian people were rightfully fucked off with their torture loving, military uniform loving appointee.

              Give them a little fundamentalism to fuck them up (pace afghanistan) seemed, to me, the plan.

              Sometimes the best gamed plans go arye.

        2. jsn

          The West’s problem with Iran since the Revolution is simply that it puts Iran’s and Iranians interests ahead of those of Capital. That’s the problem with Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, and China too. What each of these States has in common is a political identity built around a particular, local and culturally determined vision of civilization, they see themselves as Civilization states and value their own culturally determined social and political structures as who they collectively are. Not personal “identity” as we try to impose it, but collective identity.

          This is anathema to the universalization of the NeoLiberal Market (state) which imagines all values can be reduced to money, reifying money to an extent no self aware religious cult could ever get away with. The ideology has been so systematically normalized in the post Powel Memo anglosphere, as they say, “its easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of Capitalism.”

          NeoLiberalism appears destined to become oligarchy, which in turn requires Jay Goulds’ dictum to “hire one half of the working class to kill the other”, an ultimately very costly mechanism for enforcing “common values.” Comprador elites have been necessary to manage US hegemony, but the persistence of the resistant Civilization states, in the context of the Western self-sanction own-goal in Ukraine and the moral repellant of loyalty to Israel as it pursues genocide has opened up new political vistas outside the shrinking sphere of US control. The only response left for the US is destabilization, exporting Jay Goulds’ dictum, there are always those who can be bought everywhere, but that’s just reinforcing the “brand” problem for the West now, it’s becoming increasingly obvious to everyone outside the Western corporate media environment.

      2. Carolinian

        I’m no fan of our ME client but don’t think we should get too carried away with all this. It’s highly doubtful that the majority of Israelis want to build a new temple and highly likely that they are merely courting fundamentalists in the US in the mistaken belief that they have a lot more power here than they do. It’s all part of the contradictions inherent in Zionism itself–a throwback to 19th century settler colonialism. It wasn’t only Americans who thought they had a Manifest Destiny to dominate the less developed regions of the planet.

        Supposedly the majority in Israel want to get rid of Netanyahu and his government of wackos. This could happen faster if our own well bribed politicians would step aside.

        1. Craig H.

          This story about a fringe movement has an odd buzz. Yes there are fringe whackos in government. The red heifer cult is a tiny minority with a big mouth as near as I can tell.

          It is more significant that the polls have the vast majority of Israel voters in favor of continuing massacres of people in Gaza.

          1. Carolinian

            I think America’s own contradictions are at the bottom of this and “progressive except for Palestine” may be reaching an end stage. There are about seven and a half Jewish Israelis and 85 million Iranians. And the IDF isn’t even what it used to be. While our own wacko rump likes to threaten Iran (yes you Lindsey) they are mostly carrying water for that other giant DC lobby, the MIC.

            That which cannot continue won’t. It doesn’t have to mean via Armageddon.

        2. cfraenkel

          They (the religious crazies) have more numbers and weight in Israel than they do in the US. They have an official party in gov, cabinet positions, are exempt from the draft, and everyone else seems to tiptoe around them to avoid stirring up the hornets nest. The ones in the US do plenty of harm with nowhere near the numbers or power (on paper). I wouldn’t be so comfortable relying on them not being a majority.

        1. ambrit

          My late Mother’s two brothers both lived in the old Apartheid South Africa. They, being Brits, faced a lot of discrimination from the white Dutch Reform Afrikaners. So, to be more accurate about it, Apartheid South Africa was a democracy for white Afrikaners.

    2. Chris Cosmos

      This is no surprise to me. We live in a post-rational historical era. Those of us who were brought up at a time when reason was considered a virtue are increasingly “lost” in this new civilization. It seems reason will be left to AI.

      Anyway, I’m not very familiar with the Torah and other Jewish scriptures but I am familiar with the OT and it is filled with insane over-elaborate rituals and vestments. Anyway, myth always trumps reason anyway and Israelis find meaning in war, cruelty and violence as did the ancient Israelites. Endless wars seem to be a part of the New Normal for all of us not just Israel. I wonder what secular Jews think of all this.

      1. SufferinSuccotash

        This Red Heifer business strengthens my conviction that monotheism in any way, shape, or form is toxic.

        1. Cristobal

          I have no problem with people believing in this batshit crazy stuff. Just like tinfoil hats, as long as they do It in the privacy of their own homes it’s fine. Making It some kind of State policy is another story. It is a clear sign that we are in the presence of lunátics. Dangerous lunatic. We must watch them closely and be prepared to excise them from the body politic as we would a dangerous cáncer.

          1. Albe Vado

            I basically agree; people can privately believe whatever they want so long as their supernatural convictions aren’t driving public policy that impacts me.

            But part of me would still find it sad that people believe what is self-evidently utter nonsense. I fundamentally hold to ideals of rational, evidence based inquiry and decision making. I think the Enlightenment was essentially a very positive thing and hold to its core tenets.

            Something I always find fascinating is how most people are essentially rational about their daily lives. They’ll often even be very objective and rational when it comes to examining, and dismissing, the fervent beliefs of other groups. But there will be some big thing where their brain falls out of their head and they stop employing their faculties. They will not subject their own beliefs to the same standard of scrutiny. Fanatics, like Evangelicals trying to bring about the apocalypse, are also often quite rational in their incremental, shorter-term planning to bring about something that is fundamentally insane.

            1. c_heale

              No one just believes in batshit crazy stuff in only their own home. Everyone carries all their beliefs around with them and lets them drive their actions. I think humanity is batshit crazy on the way it is destroying the natural world.

              People were as driven by logic and reason before and after the Enlightenment, but before they weren”t (in most cases) stupid or irrational enough to believe humanity or humans were gods.

              1. Wukchumni

                The Greeks & Romans had very powerful Gods, a number of which are presently luxury goods names such as Hermes.

                They meant an awful lot to the population, once upon a time.

                Thankfully nuclear weapons were still thousands of years away, during their reign of power.

              2. Albe Vado

                26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” – Genesis 1:26

      2. Bugs

        In my Hebrew school (liberal) we learned that all the temple rituals were no longer considered part of the covenant and that we do not expect any messiah, save as a perhaps a symbol of healing of community, inclusive of non Jews. This cow stuff is radical extreme orthodox coming out of those Lubovitch crazies in Brooklyn. So much hermeneutics that they’ve gone in spirals straight to the apocalypse. Reminds me sort of the plot of the movie Pi.

      3. Feral Finster

        I was told that logic was a white male tool designed to oppress minorities and womyn.

        My response was that white men can make illogical arguments and it’s a lot easier. Of course, the real point isn’t about logic or facts – it is about power and only about power.

    3. lambert strether

      > Red Heifer, Amalek

      That whole article reminded me of passages like this from Snow Crash:

      As Hiro is stepping out into the hallway, Da5id speaks, “e ne em ma ni
      a gi a gi ni mu ma ma dam e ne em am an ki ga a gi a gi…”
      Hiro turns around and looks. Da5id has gone limp in the restraints,
      seems relaxed, half asleep. He is looking at Hiro through half-closed eyes.
      “e ne em dam gal nun na a gi agi e ne em u mu un abzu ka a gi a agi…”
      Da5id’s voice is deep and placid, with no trace of stress. The
      syllables roll off his tongue like drool. As Hiro walks down the hallway he
      can hear Da5id talking all the way.
      “i ge en i ge en nu ge en nu ge en us sa tur ra lu ra ze em men…”

      1. Ben Panga


        The floating cult would also fit perfectly in the today’s world. Maybe replace the infection medium with the 15 second videos that are rotting so many people’s brains.

        Not sure where we’d find our Hiro Protagonist though; he’s probably too busy building AIs.

        1. cfraenkel

          In the book, he was one of the founding coders of the metaverse. Oh wait, we jumped off that timeline two years ago; we’re doomed….

        2. Albe Vado

          Regarding the 15 second videos supposedly rotting people’s brains, this feels a bit like just a reversioning of the now decades old lament that discourse has been ruined and reduced to sound bites. But, honestly, is there much reason to think political discourse was substantively better in the past? It was more long winded but frequently no less stupid.

          Also, in addition to the brief Tiktok and Twitter type formats, a big characteristic of current internet content is the wall of text blog/Tumblr/substack post, as well as the long-form YouTube ‘video essay’ that is designed to maximize algorithm engagement and ad revenue, where an hour or two is taken to pretentiously make some point that probably could have been made in five minutes.

          Attention spans aren’t actually getting shorter. There’s tons of content that is in fact based around wasting my time and not getting to the point.

    1. Mikel

      OpenAI and Meta ready new AI models capable of ‘reasoning’ – because they have to keep the hype going in the face of possible higher interest rates.

      Another Fix…Daily Mail headline style.

  4. Captain Obvious

    Do solar panels work during an eclipse? Colorado researchers were watching. Colorado Sun

    Do solar panels work in the dark? Now that’s a real scientific conundrum than no one dared to tackle, until now. Those Colorado Sun researchers are really pushing the envelope.

    1. Jake

      Reminds me about Higgs-Bossum yesterday talking about scientists always being expected to publish papers. That’s how you get Colorado researchers looking into something this stupid.

    2. t

      That’s the headline. They were looking at solar power drops to better plan for and understand effects off extreme weather or wildfire smoke that would effect daytime capacity – how long to come back up, battery management, how other power systems come in, overall cost.

      They already know what happens in the dark because of nightime.

      1. Emma

        Yes. And if the sky is clear, they would have a very precise measurement of solar input to measure power output against, over a large scale where accurate input measurements would be difficult to obtain. But it is easy to get fixated about the silliness of measuring output at totality and forget the long periods before and after totality. I did at first.

      2. Captain Obvious

        I have seen the article before mocking the headline. Some “expert” was paid money to write that headline, and thought that it was good. Some others must have seen it, and thought that it was fine. I consider that to be Idiocracy in real life. How hard would it be to write a better one?

  5. Es s Ce Tera

    re: Red Heifer, Amalek, and Reactions of Nations Jerusalem Post. Wowsers. I hate to say it, but this is a must-read (the venue).

    Oh wow, so they’re going to genocide the Palestinians and instigate war with Iran, and oh by the way the Europeans are also descended from Amalek, so as to artificially induce the return of the messiah. You know, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have a lot of experience with these sorts of predictions, they stopped making them after a while (although they never killed people over it).

    1. Snailslime

      Gotta appreciate how totally openly and blatantly it is all about a pure race war.

      Feels so, I don’t know, completely materialistic, nothing that remotely comes across as “spiritual” in any way, shape or form.

      Petty and provincial too kinda “THAT’s the best Grande Finale the creator of the whole universe could come up with?”.

      YHWH’s very own “Helter Skelter”.

      1. Es s Ce Tera

        I was actually thinking this is in the realm of the Jim Jones Jonestown Massacre, his church was called Peoples Temple, appropriately enough.

        So this bunch is going to murder as many people as possible by way of inducing some prophecy, same deal as Jonestown, about race supremacy, same deal as the Third Reich.

        Seriously wacked.

        1. undercurrent

          Substitute ‘New Jerusalem’ for Jonestown in your second paragraph, and you’re well on your way to writing a very concise history of the USA.

      2. Feral Finster

        “Gotta appreciate how totally openly and blatantly it is all about a pure race war.”

        Good point. All your post are good points.

      3. Cristobal

        Race war? The israelís are, racially, Europian. The Palestinians are the actual inheritors of the lands in question (if you believe that guff about god as a real estate agent). Show me the title

  6. zagonostra

    >European court rules human rights violated by climate inaction BBC

    ….claimants must prove that they are direct victims of human rights violations.

    Decisions made in the European Court of Human Rights influence law across its 46 member states.

    This headline link triggered me. When the EU looks on and abets the Genocide in Gaza, I have to question the authenticity and fidelity to any concern with “human rights being violated” or for actions and inactions.

    The hypocrisy is beyond my ken to understand/process.

    1. fjallstrom

      The European Court of Human Rights is a non-EU European institution. Maybe someone could report the EU to the European Court of Human Rights for its abetting of genocide. Though the demand of “direct victim” can make it hard as anyone in Gaza is unlikely to survive long after putting their name on it.

    2. yep

      No need to question. All recent “human rights being violated” talk in The West has no authenticity and fidelity to any concern whatsoever. (recent meaning decades at least)

    3. Feral Finster

      Someone yesterday put it nicely: pretend that Israel had bombed the last Palestinian clinic for gender transitioning toddlers.

      Then we’d hear the howls of outrage.

  7. Jabura Basaidai

    from our well read and exceptionally literate commentariat i would like to request suggestions of books to read about FDR and his presidency – thank you in advance –

      1. Maxwell Johnston

        Seconded. Very well-written with lots of personal detail, especially the complex relationship between FDR and his highly intelligent and strong-willed wife. It focuses more on the WW2 period than on the New Deal period. Well worth a read.

    1. GramSci

      As a slightly off-beat but easy read, I recommend Grace Tully’s The Boss. Tully was one of FDR’s personal secretaries, and his principal secretary for the last two terms. She presents a chatty picture of the daily workings inside the FDR White House

      The historically most important pages are a critical scene in my still-born play, “The Assassination of FDR”. Tully describes how Harry Truman came to be nominated for Vice president in 1944. DNC Chairman Robert Hannegan (a Missouran) emerged from FDR’s office and said:

      “Grace, the President wants you to retype this letter and to switch these names so it will read ‘Harry Truman or Bill Douglas’!”

    2. jsn

      Ironcialy, the reprobate Conrad Blacks’, “Franklin Delano Roosevelt” is great.

      Roosevelt had many blind spots and defects and quite likely socio-or-psychopathic tendencies, but like other non-violent psychopaths (at least in his direct interpersonal relations, at war he was ruthless in his vision) he tethered his temperament to an idealism that radically transformed the world around him.

      Black addresses his personal history, his loyalties and deceits, his personality and apparent ideological proclivities and the origins of each in the Presidents experience or temperament. I’d been a fan of the New Deal while living with its compromises in my Jim Crow South upbringing, but Black outlines a vision from the documents FDR left behind that suggests death prevented him addressing both the racial original sin of the New Deal and the rift the Anglosphere was determined impose with our Soviet ally.

      1. Feral Finster

        Rossevelt’s crushing of the Farm Revolt of the 1930s is most instructive. A President Huey P. Long would have acted very differently.

        Also, EPIC in California.

    3. Jabura Basaidai

      thank you for your suggestions and will add both to my library of books to read – it would seen they need to be read along with books about Henry Wallace –

      are there any that deal with the chicanery that kept Henry Wallace from being on the ticket for FDR’s 4th go-round and made Truman VP and thus the next president when FDR died? – i’ve found these –

      The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party by John Nichols

      American Dreamer: A Life of Henry A. Wallace by John C. Culver, John Hyde

      this seems a smear job – he was labeled a commie tool and anti-business among other things –
      The World That Wasn’t: Henry Wallace and the Fate of the American Century Hardcover – by Benn Steil

      any others?

      between the prevention of Wallace to be the VP on the last FDR ticket and the assassination of JFK – the possibility of a world JFK spoke about in his American Univ speech and address to the UN seems an elusive goal if not impossible today given the forces against it – like trying to hold smoke or air in your hands – and the consequences reviewed here each day with an honesty much like a truth needle in a propaganda haystack –

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        will also add to my library – Grace Tully’s The Boss, which sounds juicy especially the part about changing the letter – and Conrad Blacks’, “Franklin Delano Roosevelt”

        thank you thank you thank you – always a good source for reading material!

    4. Procopius

      The first two volumes of James M. Schlesinger’s trilogy, The Age Of Roosevelt, The Crisis of the Old Order, and The Coming of the New Deal. The third volume, The Politics of Upheaval is more about other political players of the time, but is recommended as well. There were giants in the earth, in those days. Nobody living remembers how bad the first few years of The Depression were.

  8. yep

    US arms Ukraine with thousands of seized Iranian guns, rifles and munitions Al Jazeera

    …the hardware included more than 5,000 AK-47 assault rifles, machine guns, sniper rifles, as well as more than 500,000 rounds of 7.62 ammunition.

    Perfect for arming one whole brigade of cannon fodder. None of them need more than a Chinese
    AK with few magazines worth of ammo, because most of them won’t even see the enemy before
    being torn apart by artillery. Those that survive shelling, and live to see the assault, don’t get much time for shooting before taking a bullet or surrendering.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      FABs vs. small arms … I think I know where I’m placing my money.

      Those weapons will end up smashed and trashed.

        1. ambrit

          Sold on the “secondary market” into various ‘trouble spots’ around the globe. Many will be sold forward directly, entirely bypassing the troops at the front. The photograph of the “narco” toting a stinger anti-air missile in the streets of a latin country is most informative.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I maybe wrong on this but I think that those US Navy ships that intercepted those arms were part of a United Nations forces tasked with that mission. But what that means is that those weapons should have been handed over to the UN ‘s custody but the US just kept those guns and are now sending them to the Ukraine. Though 500,000 rounds sounds like a lot, for those 5,000 AK-47s that works out to be about 100 bullets each might might do those Ukrainian soldiers about what,a day or so?

      1. yep

        A soldier usually cary 4+ magazines, in additon to one on the rifle itself. That means 150+ rounds per soldier, to begin with. A day or so of active fighting would require reloading, for those that survive long enough. Those 500,000 rounds sound like an insult to injury. Fix the bayonets!

        1. The Rev Kev

          I don’t think that those rifles came with bayonets so those Ukrainians may be all out of luck.

          1. Emma

            Maybe they’ll get lucky and the next intercepted Iranian shipment will be full of trench shovels for close quarters enemy decapitations.

  9. zagonostra

    >Dying for a bag of flour: Videos and eyewitness accounts cast doubt on Israel’s timeline of deadly Gaza aid delivery CNN

    The footage shows hundreds of people gathering around aid trucks on Al Rashid Street. Many people appear to be running and some crawling away, in an attempt to seek cover. But the crucial moment capturing what caused the crowd to scatter is missing. The video then cuts to show bodies on the ground….

    We are living in the dystopian Huxwellian world where can I can watch videos described above on my phone. The difference between that and below quote from page 10 of George Orwell’s 1984, is that I’m watching as an isolated individual, and Winston Smith is watching during the 2 minutes of hate. In a sense, my predicament may be worse.

    Last night to the flicks. All war films. One very good one of a ship full of refugees being bombed somewhere in the Mediterranean. Audience much amused by shots of a great huge fat man trying to swim away with a helicopter after him, first you saw him wallowing along in the water like a porpoise, then you saw him through the helicopters gunsights, then he was full of holes and the sea round him turned pink and he sank as suddenly as though the holes had let in the water…

  10. GramSci

    Re: European court rules human rights violated by climate inaction

    Big Deal. The BBC fails to mention that court dismissed the claims of 4 of the 5 appellants (“applicants”) and awarded the fifth 80.000€.

  11. ChrisFromGA


    March CPI comes in hot. Powell last seen high-tailing it for the Mexican border. I hear that the cartels are hiring a financial wizard to help them with all that excess cash.

      1. Screwball

        The spin is fun to watch, but I still believe my eyes (check book). I can’t find it now, but one economist on Twitter was blaming the price of strawberries. I also read a headline that said they should lower interest rates to fix inflation.

        Markets down right now over 1 percent while crude is in the upper 80s. Pump gas has been over $3 (close to $3.50 now) here (mid-west) for quite some time. People are pinched and not happy.

        I hear them complain about grocery prices, insurance, their electric bills (way up too), and of course the price of gas. I also hear them say “all congress gives a **** about is more money for war.”

        1. Wukchumni

          The spin is fun to watch, but I still believe my eyes (check book). I can’t find it now, but one economist on Twitter was blaming the price of strawberries. I also read a headline that said they should lower interest rates to fix inflation.

          Ah, the Captain Queeg defense!

        2. Mikel

          “I also read a headline that said they should lower interest rates to fix inflation.”

          ZIRP is a hell of a drug.

          1. Screwball

            It sure is, and I think many have OD’ed.

            On the other hand…short term bills (I’m old) are quite attractive, especially with a Treasury Direct account. Much better than the .01 we get at the bank.

            If Powell had a pair he would raise rates again, and I would be happy as pig in the mud. I don’t expect that to happen.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Was an extinct fox once man’s best friend?”

    For some people yes. But the trend was the dog and the cat. People will make pets of all sorts of animals and that includes animals fully capable of killing them. I have seen videos of people raising lions and bears and those animals regard those humans as family. Somehow that always gives me hope.

    1. .Tom

      Speaking of foxes, the antidote fox looks especially well fed and groomed. I wonder if it is someone’s pet.

      It also looks young to me. Can anyone confirm?

        1. The Rev Kev

          Came across a London fox once on a late night walk. Was very much surprised to see one in the middle of such a large city.

          1. digi_owl

            Foxes are opportunists. Likely why so many stories show them as tricksters. Saw a nature documentary once that followed a fox that would snatch hot dogs in the middle of a crowded park.

    2. vao

      Well, some time ago there was that report about the guy who raised a warthog, which was part of the family and all, till the day the animal tried to murder him. The surprising part is that the guy survived (though barely, and thoroughly gored).

      I prefer animals to live their lives independently from human beings.

      And let us not even consider red heifers (fed with bird litter, faeces, and carcasses — is that kosher?).

  13. flora

    My question: does the old excuse “I was only following orders” work if the orders come from an AI machine?

    From Patrick Lawrence at Scheerpost:

    Patrick Lawrence: ‘Automated Murder’: Israel’s ‘AI’ in Gaza

    “Chilling it was to hear Köchler speak a couple of news cycles after +972 published these revelations, which are based on confidential interviews with six Israeli intelligence officers who have been directly involved in the use of AI to target Palestinians for assassination. “To use technologies to solve all our problems reduces our ability to make decisions,” Köchler asserted. “We’re no longer able to think through problems. They remove us from real life.”

    “Köchler titled his talk “The Trivialization of Public Space,” and his topic, broadly stated, was the impact of technologies such as digital communications and AI on our brains, our conduct, and altogether our humanity. It was sobering, to put the point mildly, to recognize that Israel’s siege of Gaza, bottomlessly depraved in itself, is an in-our-faces display of the dehumanizing effects these technologies have on all who depend on them.


    “We see in the IDF, to make this point another way, a rupture in morality, human intelligence, and responsibility when human oversight is mediated by the algorithms that run AI systems. There is a break between causality and result, action and consequence. And this is exactly what advanced technologies have in store for the rest of humanity. Artificial intelligence, as Köchler put it, is not intelligence: “It is ‘simulated intelligence’ because it has no consciousness of itself.” It isn’t capable, he meant to say, of moral decision-making or ethical accountability.”

    1. Polar Socialist

      Frankly, as despicable as using remote assassinations as political tools is, in my current phase of cynicism I feel that the AI is capable of less ruthless and more human decisions than some hate, fear and testosterone filled IDF officer with a huge chip on his shoulder.

      By definition the AI has to weight evidence beyond the probability of the target being a Palestinian before pulling the trigger, which is something the IDF doesn’t seem to be capable of.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The only problem here is what programming goes into any AIs. So right now the Israeli Lavender system is waiting for any person that might be identified as a Hamas guy to go home to his wife and kids and only then having a bomb dropped on them.

      2. vao

        By definition the AI has to weight evidence beyond the probability of the target being a Palestinian before pulling the trigger

        Ahem, did you miss the news where the Israelis simply draw some area on a map of Gaza and declare it a “kill zone” where everyone — men, women, children, whether Palestinian, Israeli, or Uruguayan, and probably animals too — are to be exterminated?

        This is what AI is all about: you click on a digital map to determine the contour of the kill zone, click on the “go” button, and let the AI-driven drones hunt, while you go sleeping or partying. The complicated part for the AI — which programmers will focus on — is to distinguish targets in the rubble, not to evaluate, assess, or determine whether these targets are legitimate.

        1. Michaelmas

          It’s about denial of complicity, clearly, in large measure.

          If things go south for Israel, and war crimes investigations and trials look to be in the offing, individual human hands and fingerprints will not be on the targeting orders.

        2. Polar Socialist

          That’s different from AI calling a targeted killing, which is what I was referring to. What you’re referring to is something described in Vogteren, a sci-fi novel by Niels E. Nielsen, a Dane. It doesn’t exist yet, and probably wont for a long time if ever.

          The current “kill zones” are nothing new since Vietnam Free Fire Zones. Desperate attempt by an occupying force to deny access – just to deny access and feel like achieving something.

          1. vao

            It doesn’t exist yet, and probably wont for a long time if ever.

            Why not? It is much easier than targeted killing (no need to assess anything, just kill everything that is detected within geographic boundaries).

            Therefore it will become operational first.

            My bet is that targeted killing with supposed evaluations of targets and programmed ethical considerations is the approach that is more likely never to be deployed.

          2. flora

            The question remains: Who has the moral accountability, the progammers/users or the machine? Can moral responsibility be offloaded to a machine?

    2. ilsm

      IDF/Israel pursuing a war to sustain their questionable regime.

      Arguing AI is diversion from the bedrock immorality of the Gaza genocide.

      Christians must be opposed succor to this grave sin.

    3. Steve H.

      Some would say a military AI targeting system with 90% accuracy is not fit for purpose.

      Howard S. Becker: “Here’s the [Machine] trick: Design the machine that will produce the result your analysis indicates occurs routinely in the situation you have studied. Make sure you have included all the parts – all the social gears, cranks, belts, buttons, and other widgets – and all the specifications of materials and their qualities necessary to get the desired result.”

      A node to watch: AI learning to code COBOL for the banking system. One or two hallucinatory functions could make you rich if you’re hedged right. Wish it was sarc.

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘AI learning to code COBOL for the banking system.’

        Is that for real? God, I hope not.

        1. Mikel

          “…a rupture in morality, human intelligence, and responsibility when human oversight is mediated by the algorithms that run AI systems. There is a break between causality and result, action and consequence.

          A feature, not a bug.
          This is exactly why the half-assed BS is being used. Especially while it’s half-assed!
          Setting up more crisis and now have another way to avoid accountability.

          1. vao

            I vaguely remember some science fiction stories where society had devolved to a point where everything was supervised by a giant computing system, and interaction with it was mediated by a caste of techno-priests who were the only ones allowed to access the interface to the system and communicate its edicts to the populace.

            If AI starts being embedded in the IT infrastructure (such as banking software), how long will it take for software to become so completely abstruse (as opposed to the current situation where there generally is good grasp of some individual modules, uncertain, albeit reasonably correct understanding of how they interact, and only a sketchy idea of how an entire system actually works), so that interaction with it will be via some magic incantations (currently called “prompts”), with effects that vary mysteriously from one query to another, without any certainty as to ensuring a particular effect, and without any possibility whatsoever (not even theoretical) to understand how and why the results are computed?

            1. paul

              There was a pretty good adaptation for the CRT of em foster’s ‘the machine stops’ in the bbc’s out of the unknown series.

              It has an awful lot of what is now.

            2. flora

              I’m still waiting for various AI uses to be subjected to risk price discovery. (Not all AI and the various uses are the same, or carry the same risks.) It hasn’t been yet.

  14. zagonostra

    It is ‘simulated intelligence’ because it has no consciousness of itself.

    Is this the culmination of Baudrillardian simulacrum?

    “…a hyperreal scenario in which events lose their identity and signifiers fade into one another. Fascination and horror at the reality which seemed to unfold before our very eyes mingled with a pervasive sense of unreality as we recognised the elements of Hollywood script which had preceded the real..”

  15. ChrisFromGA

    Implications of higher for longer, now that the markets gods have humbled the “Manila Folder” Jay on his premature pivot/pooch screw:

    1. Spring home buying market wrecked, look for 8% mortgages to return.
    2. Higher interest payments on US debt
    3. Emerging markets submerge.
    4. Trouble in Japan – the Yen just broke the 152 USD/JPY level which means clear air until 160. Everything imported just got a lot more expensive over there.
    5. Trouble for Slow Joe’s re-election campaign.

    1. mrsyk

      I’m old enough to remember the S&L crisis. Institutional finance across the board is at risk.

  16. Bsn

    Regarding “Ground-up chicken waste fed to cattle may be behind bird flu outbreak in US cows”, it seems many people have short memories. Do you remember “mad cow disease”? I think it was in the 80s that it became known that animal scraps were being fed to cows and causing them to become sick with wasting disease. Cows are not born to eat animal protein – they are born to eat grains. Eating those cattle often lead to dementia in humans. So many herds were culled in Europe and the US. Well, those headlines somehow just, went away. Have you noticed how many of our elders end up with dementia? Is this a quinky dink?

    1. Emma

      Cows are born to eat grass. Eating grain makes them sick and makes their meat less healthy than grass finished beef.

      1. Bsn

        Good call. I’m not a bovine expert but I do agree they are not born to eat other cows, chickens, birds, pigs, etc. But, ya got to do something with that leftover meat from the processing plant. Oy!

      2. vao

        A normal, healthy diet for cows can include at most a few percent grain. The grain-rich feed in those industrial farms leads cows to develop ulcers, which is dealt with massive doses of palliative pharmaceuticals till they are slaughtered. We end up eating sick animals.

  17. Ann

    Book Review, “The Death of Cancer: After Fifty Years on the Front Lines of Medicine, a Pioneering Oncologist Reveals Why the War on Cancer Is Winnable–and How We Can Get There“ by Vincent DeVita, a former leader of the National Cancer Institute, the Chief Physician at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the leader of the Yale Cancer Center.

    From the review, “This is a wrenching, disturbing blog. It’s putatively about the war on cancer, but it’s really about medicine and all the weirdnesses that goes into fighting a disease. You might think that in cancer – that deadliest of foes – egos would take a second seat, but no – not at all.

    To provide some relief – the story does end well – but on the way to ending well, we get a good look at the underbelly of what goes on in the medical research and treatment fields at major institutions like the National Institutes of Health and major treatment centers.

    The sausage making is not pretty, but it can help us understand why diseases like chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), Lyme Disease, and even long COVID are in the fix they are in – and how they can get out of it.”

  18. Feral Finster

    “Maori king declares ‘whales are people’ and push for legal rights WION”

    Has the king ever thought that maybe whales don’t want to be people?

    Cats certainly do not.

    1. jsn

      Right, that’s what cats have us for, for us to take care of them.

      Whales, however, my have helpful ideas to share with cats about keeping the cat feeders from destroying the world!

      So we should try to get them together somehow.

    2. Wukchumni

      For what its worth dept:

      In casino parlance, a gambler who bets extravagant amounts of money is known as a ‘whale’, so yes, whales are people

  19. Feral Finster

    “Trump has expressed interest in visiting Ukraine, Zelensky says NY Post”

    Trump is weak, stupid and easily manipulated. Compare Trump’s rhetoric on Saudi Arabia from before he visited until after he visited.

    The man loves flattery and doesn’t recognize it as such.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Agree 100%. Besides, Trump is not going to be going anywhere, other than a courtroom, over the next several months – his trial in the “hush money” case starts next week.

      Then he faces the document handling trial likely over the summer. And Fani Willis isn’t done with him yet, either. Hope he likes the view of wooden benches and paneled walls.

      1. Feral Finster

        I am sure that if Trump persists in being stubborn and his electoral chances still are good, someone from some alphabet agency can take him aside and explain how this can all be made to go away…..

        1. Benny Profane

          Judge Napalotino tells the story that Trump promised to open the JFK files, but didn’t, and the Judge asked him why on a phone call near the end of his term, and he told him he had been told some gruesome facts, but couldn’t talk about it on a line that 10-20 were listening in on. He respects mafia tactics. He and his father did business with the mafia most of their lives.

      2. Benny Profane

        Instead of spending money on campaign events, this will be so much easier and cheaper, and may give him another 5-10 points over daft old Uncle Joe, especially if it’s televised. Of course, daft old Uncle Joe and his crew probably still haven’t figured this out, and think it’s helping their chances.

    2. Enter Laughing

      I don’t agree with the weak and stupid part of the analysis.

      Name one other person that has been under vicious, unrelenting attacks by the most powerful people and institutions in the country for years and is not only still standing, but on track to get reelected as President.

      At the very least, Trump possesses a survival instinct, an animal cunning and an ability to take hit after hit and keep fighting back that is hard to believe.

      I mean, I almost have a heart attack if I get a letter from the IRS requesting more information on my tax return.

      1. mrsyk

        In the context of the comment “weak” for the reason you describe. He has little institutional support. I don’t refer to him as stupid. I am of an opinion the his regard for his executive skill set is out of proportion. This would seem to put him at risk of being played.

      2. Feral Finster

        The man tried twice and failed to leave Syria, to name but one example.

        He could not get a Team R Congress to repeal Obamacare.

        I could come up with plenty more.

  20. Mikel

    “The Person Who Was in Charge of OpenAI’S $175 Million Fund Appears to Be Fake” Futurism

    The last paragraph:
    “…What does it all mean? It’s tough to say. Perhaps it was an unsuccessful attempt at a financial crime. Maybe it was a bizarre prank. Or — bear with us here — maybe the AGI that everybody’s so worried about is already online, and quietly trying to seize control itself. Just kidding… right?”

    What utter nonsense with the AGI. That would also fall into fraud…just like this set up or test run for a fraud was. Heads it’s fraud, tails it’s fraud…right???

    1. Acacia

      No AGI even needed for this. ChatGPT is already pretty good at hallucinating titles, articles, quotations, and citations that don’t exist, so it should be able to generate these fake documents no problemo.

      Piece ‘o cake.

      1. Mikel

        I’m saying it’s more along the lines of the article dishing out the AGI hype is the fraud.

        1. Revenant

          The original research post by the Non-Gaap Accounting blog was well worth reading, for a more detailed take on the improper filings and the potential benefits to OpenAI parties.

          The non-Gaap accounting blog also had a really interesting take on the Illumina / Grail scandal (spun off, reacquired, divested by competition litigation). I had not even realised there was a scandal! But it looks like Illumina insiders used the spinoff to obtain equity in Grail that did not require disclosure and then made profits when Illuminated reacquired Grail, again undisclosable because they all left at the right moment….

          Yves / Lambert – you have a lot of reading already but i have never seen this blog linked and it might be worth following. It is not high frequency, at least! The guy is a former activist investor turned forensic accounting poster….

  21. antidlc
    NEWS: Chairman Bernie Sanders Releases Long COVID Moonshot Legislative Proposal

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today released a draft legislative proposal to address the Long COVID crisis that is negatively impacting the health of some 22 million Americans.

    Before formally introducing this legislation in the Senate, the HELP Committee wants to hear from the Long COVID community to get their views on how this proposal can be improved and strengthened to effectively deal with this public health emergency. The committee is particularly interested in hearing from Long COVID patients and their families, scientific researchers, and medical professionals.

    The public input on the proposal will help inform the legislation that Chair Sanders introduces.

    Request for input:

  22. Ben Panga

    It’s a very weird story. Does seem like a fraud, but whether openAI or someone else entirely is a mystery. A lot of strange stuff around that company.

    There’s a little more detail here

    Fwiw I don’t think it would take a potential AGI to do such a thing. A private dumb AI allowed agency and given enough resources could do huge amounts of damage. I expect to start noticing a lot of that soon and I expect it to look very weird.

    1. Mikel

      Altman was featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for venture capital at age 29.

      This is hardly an academic take, but I’ve noticed and said before: Those featured in the 30 Under 30 have a penchant for seeing some jail time and those featured as Time Man/Person of the Year have to watch out for assassins.

  23. Es s Ce Tera

    Does it seem like someone in the usually useless WH press corps needs to ask the Biden deflectors what the official stance is, is the WH intending to help the zionists fulfill the Temple Mount prophecy, or will the WH oppose such if true?

    1. Acacia

      Absolutely. They should ask the WH about the Shochet for the Red heifer, whether Biden has been consulted, etc. etc. Somebody needs to go full gonzo on this, at least.

    1. jsn

      Russia sanctions, China sanctions and tariffs and our cute little war on the Houthis are all supply ratchets creating cost push inflation.

      As best as I can tell, the only demand pull inflation out there is amongst rentiers skimming from the higher interest rates, a direct result of Fed policy.

      So, between our NeoCon foreign policy and our NeoLib domestic one, official policy is to accelerate inflation and the policy response will be to double down on the policies creating and accelerating the inflation.

    2. CA

      April 9, 2024

      Stumbling Into Goldilocks
      By Paul Krugman

      The U.S. economy has been far more successful at recovering from the Covid shock than it was in dealing with the aftermath of the housing bubble of the 2000s. As I noted in my latest column, * four years after the 2007-9 recession began, employment was still five million below its pre-recession peak. This time it’s up by almost six million.

      And while there was a wave of inflation, it seems to have broken. This is especially clear if you measure inflation the way other countries do. The Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices differs from the regular Consumer Price Index in that it doesn’t include Owners’ Equivalent Rent, an imputed cost of housing that nobody actually pays and is very much a lagging indicator; and by this measure inflation has already been cut to roughly 2 percent, the Federal Reserve’s inflation target:

      Basically, America rapidly restored full employment while experiencing a one-time jump in the level of prices without a sustained rise in inflation, the rate at which prices are rising. Not bad, especially considering all the dire predictions made along the way.

      But could we have done better? And to the extent that we got it right, were we just lucky?

      My take is that we did very well, that the U.S. response to the Covid shock was, in retrospect, fairly close to optimal. But the miracle of 2023, the combination of rapid disinflation with a strong economy, was sort of an accident. Policymakers thought that raising interest rates would cause a recession and raised them anyway because they thought such a recession was necessary. Fortunately, they were wrong on both counts…


        1. tawal

          What’s he talking about. My rent went up 10% last year and is going up another 10% this year.
          Hard to keep up with merit raises of 3% last year and 2% this year.

    1. zach

      I didn’t watch your lecture but the article blew my mind. I didn’t know economists were into toruses

      And now I do.

  24. Ignacio

    RE: Ground-up chicken waste fed to cattle may be behind bird flu outbreak in US cows The Telegraph. Good reporting; I’d seen a source to the effect this was technically possible; but the Telegraph has the sourcing that says its legal and widespread.

    Didn’t read the link but made me recall the mad cow disease. Quite a good explicator of the causes behind the outbreak this might be.

  25. digi_owl

    The rise of the Chrome web browser, and the hold Google now have over web “standards” is quite something.

    In the end though it demonstrates that all open projects can be controlled by large entities via filibuster like tactics.

Comments are closed.