Saturday, November 26, 2022

Trump has normalized Nazis

I'm so old I remember when having dinner with a holocaust-denying white supremacist would have been a career-ended for a politician.

Now no one is even surprised by this.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Why would parliament allow a Scottish referendum

Since the UK voted for Brexit, with Scotland voting overwhelmingly against but being outnumbered and forced to leave the EU because it was tethered to the much more populous England, common wisdom is that would make Scottish Independence likely. I have a friend in Scotland who thinks it’s all but inevitable.

But how exactly would it happen? Sure independence probably would win if there were another referendum. But everyone knows that, even people in the British government. So unless the members of parliament wanted to let Scotland go, why would they ever agree to a referendum?

I don’t get it. Even if we assume that most Scots want out, that’s not what it takes to make it happen. And what it would take to make it happen just doesn’t seem all that likely to me.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Attention attention: very subtle Elon Musk subtweet!!!!!!

I used to think that people in Silicon Valley were smart people, they just were really smart when it came to their own stuff (i.e. coding, sussing out what kind of software/apps there is demand for, etc).  But when they got rich, it both went to their head and they were surrounded by suck ups who would not be honest with them when they said something stupid. So inevitably successful people from Silicon Valley would wander over into other areas and would loudly opine about stuff they knew less about. If they sounded dumb, it wasn't because they were dumb. They just were not talking about the stuff they really knew well, and because of the bubble of fame and riches were not in a position to be self-aware enough to try to learn more before opening their trap.

More recently I've decided that success in Silicon Valley is more just a matter of dumb luck. So the successful people there are not successful because they are particularly smart, they just happened to know the right people, or be in the right place at the right time. Plus, being the kind of self-promoter that leads to success requires a kind of stupidity: the lack of self-awareness of their own limitations that would make it hard for any actually intelligent person to openly talk about their own brilliance.

In other words, I no longer thing they are smart even about their own stuff. I think they're a bunch of lucky dumb-dumbs. To the extent the product that brought them their initial fame and fortune relied upon some smart technical innovation, that stuff was almost always done by someone else (like the engineers they employ), not the guy pushing himself in front of the cameras.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Russia delayed Kherson withdrawal until after the U.S. elections

For all the talk of his political astuteness, I have long thought that Putin completely misunderstands U.S. politics. The timing of the Russian retreat from Kherson would not have changed a single vote in last week's midterms. 

Monday, November 14, 2022

The Borg Demographic


I guess it says something about who the NYT thinks its audience is when the print edition of the paper uses a headline that is a 30 year old Star Trek reference, but the version of the article on the NYT web site has a different headline.

Friday, November 11, 2022

What I learned from six months on Truth Social

I mentioned back in April that I had tried to get an account on Truth Social, Devin Nunes' shitty conservative answer to Twitter (the social media site where Trump ran to after Twitter banned him). When I wrote that post in early April they still had not approved my account, but it did go through by the end of that month. Since I was approved, I have occasionally gone on to try to create a ruckus. Despite all my rucki, I have not been banned yet, although a lot of people have blocked me.

Anyway, last month, on roughly my sixth monthaversary on the site, I did my first TS thread, listing all the stuff I learned about TS users from my time on the site. I'm not sure how long TS will be around. Its finances are shaky and it has stopped paying its host. Also the only thing TS has going for it is Trump's presence. But Trump is only over there before he is banned from Twitter, a ban that Elon Musk may lift now that he owns it. Plus, Trump's brand itself might start failing as Republicans turn on him after their red waved failed to materialize this week. So, to preserve for posterity my "what I learned about Truth Socialistanis" thread, here it is in all its glory:

For those with access to the shittiest social media site on the internet, the thread can be found here.

Timey wimey

Okay so I got busy and I neglected this place while a shitload of stuff happened. I really did intend to post, I just didn't get to it. For example, I meant to post a pre-election prediction but never got around to it. Well, better late than never, I predict Fetterman and Shapiro wins in PA,, Warnock going to a runoff, Desantis and Abbott winning their races, etc. Holy shit! I was exactly right, how did I do that?!?!?

Anyway, I got busy with stuff. I'm still busy too, but I can make some time to post. I've been planning this one post for weeks so I will probably get around to that one right after I hit publish on this one. Because that other post will appear above this one, you've probably already read that post by now even though it doesn't exist in my present yet. Time is funny.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

This is Kaliningrad's big chance (if they want it)

 I know basically nothing about the current politics or culture of Kaliningrad Oblast, but this article makes me wonder what would happen if the Russian semi-enclave had a popular protest and/or declared independence right now. I don't think there's very much Russia could do about it at the moment if the locals rejected Putin's authority.

Apparently, there was a separatist political party between 1993 and 2003. But it was outlawed almost 20 years ago. Putting aside that Czech practical joke (thanks H-Bob!) does anyone know if there is a current serious independence movement in Kaliningrad?