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How about a 2-hour trial for Trump on a Saturday in April.
I got my Covid vaccine today. I was really lucky, I had signed up to be notified from a local pharmacy, and I got their email last night a few minutes after they sent it. Signed up right away and at 3PM today I got my first dose of the Moderna vaccine. So far no side-effects. Two life-changing events in one day. Not bad! ??
Countdown to the end of the Trump madness.
Inauguration fire. Hope you like it!
Highly recommend today's Daily podcast. They interview Trump voters about the Capitol invasion/insurrection. Lots to think about. Here's what I'd like to tell people who support Trump and feel like invading the Capitol and killing people was kind of okay. We didn't like Trump. We protested. But no one invaded the Capitol and no one killed anyone because we didn't like the result of the election. Also, we do a really good job with elections in the US. The best in the world by some accounts. So if you say our election was bad, you'd better have some facts to back you up, or seriously shut the fuck up. What I've heard so far is totally lame. And if you think you're the good guys, well, it doesn't seem to me you are. It seems you're bullies. You think what the rest of us, the majority of us, think doesn't matter. You get your way even if you're the minority. That is un-American as hell.
On this last full day of Trump's presidency, I am grappling with an inconsequential decision. CNN vs the Knicks. I can have one of them, but if I want both it'll cost me an extra $65 per month. If I felt strongly about either, or both, the decision would be easy. It's difficult only because I'm somewhat ambivalent about each. CNN is for mindless relaxation. I like watching Wolf Blitzer because he's so pompous. "This just in to the Situation Room," he likes to say, but of course it's a studio not a room, and nothing is "in" there. It's the most old and stuffy place. It's totally out. I find it relaxing the same way I used to find it relaxing to watch my grandmother knit, or my cat lick herself. I like watching Erin Burnett because (I know this is weird) I think she's hot. Esp when she's angry, and these days, she is very angry, a lot (at the same things we all are angry about btw). I also like CNN because they have better guests. But I could live without them. For 20+ years I never watched CNN. Then there are the Knicks. I've been a Knicks fan, on and off, for most of my life. I came back strong for Linsanity, and hated them for screwing that up, and then they fired Melo and Porzingas, well I kind of gave up for a while. The pandemic and the bubble made it seem illegit. But with a new coach this year, they're looking interestings, and they're competitive, and sometimes they win! I'd like a chance to watch, not sure I would actually watch. The sports news service Fubo doesn't have CNN, and YouTube TV has CNN but no Knicks. So I did a poll to find out what people thought. As I write this the consensus is to leave CNN and go with the Knicks. I think it's time for a more à la carte menu. Most of what's on either Fubo or YouTube TV doesn't interest me. Too many good choices on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, and podcasts are great these days too.
A handy web page tells when Trump leaves office.
if you want to help the country start to heal.. Move one of the news networks to the middle of the country. CNN, MSNBC, or something new. Instead of reporting from NY and DC, do it from Chicago or Dallas. Same news, same people, just put the host in the middle of the country. When and why did CNN move from Atlanta?
When the virus is under control will the networks revert to having in-studio guests? If not, one of the tech companies should make a total turnkey home TV guest computer, with everything you need to sound and look great when your Maddow moment comes. This sounds like a project for Microsoft. Or one of the smart speaker companies? A lot of interviewees use Skype. One thing to start, teach people how to make ther room sound good. Lots of pillows to start with. You can handle a poor picture better than awful audio.
I think the people who invaded the Capitol are telling the truth when they say Trump told them to do it. But that's not all. Trump made them feel special. They were one of a few thousand people that he trusted to set this right. It may not be logical, but the people in the videos seemed drunk. From the recognition from god. The ProPublic videos show that, at the demonstration. They actually called him god. Trump. The scene in the Senate from the New Yorker video, sounded like what I think a hospital for the insane would. Where was their sense of self. DId they think they would get away with it? Why would they think that? Hard to imagine someone could be so far from reality.
Here's why you need super lightweight easy to deploy networking interfaces. So you can quickly create connections between apps when the idea occurs to you, when you have the need. Then you can use it, and then you have experience using the 1-in-10 idea that's so good to want to further develop, when you develop it for real. That's why your second version of something is so much better than the first, and the third version is good enough for other people to use (even though we make them use the first two versions anyway). The idea we had, for connecting apps on a single machine, back in the mid-80s was right. It has been a big part of the evolution of every layer since. (And probably before, I just wasn't around during those evolutions.) I mention this because in less than 10 minutes I whipped up a connection between two worlds I'm working on, and watched the newer app update based on a ping from my older app. Ping! It "just worked" and if you're a programmer you know how satisfying that can be.
I've been working, in slow mode, on a new feature for my outliners, tagging. I saw a similar idea in action with Roam Research's outliner, and thought it was a really nice idea. I always want to save references to my notes in a cumulative index, like the index in the back of a book. This has always been a good companion to the fluid hierarchy, the outline structure which is more like the table of contents in front of a book. Only when you're working electronically, there isn't really a middle. Everything is in both places, at the same time. It's ideas like this that make programmers' eyes glaze over. They start using words like orthogonal, or loosely connected, and of course the always welcome "distributed." Really having fun programming the last week or so. As the world is falling apart. Why not? It's not like any of us are getting out of this alive. ??
White supremacy is the crisis in the US. There was confusion after 9/11 if we were at war, and now it's even more confusing. What's not confusing is that both events were Acts of War. If I were white, and I am, I'd want to have a way to clearly say I am not with them.
There's a weird feeling in the world right now. Tomorrow is a national holiday, and Wednesday is Inauguration Day. No matter what, things will change radically in the US in the next few days.
I got an answer to a question I asked yesterday, about who 20K+ troops in DC will report to, until Biden is sworn in. By law they report to the commander-in-chief, President Trump. Just a fact. If Trump orders them to assassinate everyone at the inauguration, it's not all that different from what Trump told the mob to do on January 6. So unfortunately it is in the realm of possibility.
It all hinges on who the troops are loyal to. Turns out the military thought of that, and pre-screened the soldiers assigned to this job to weed out white supremacists. I kid you not. They know how to do that? I guess it would be naive for them not to.
I have a nightmareish vision of Anwar Sadat's assassination in 1981. If you haven't seen it, watch the video. You've never seen anything like it, even in a movie or TV show. As they say, this is why you want to have programmers around, we think about these things. ??
I read last night that the Pentagon turned Trump down for a great military send-off on Wednesday morning. Interesting, are they allowed to do that? No one seems to be questioning it.
Anyway, if it goes smoothly and the Bidens end up running the government on Thursday, and recinding Trump's orders, the tension goes down a lot. We still have to deal with Trump, and Republicans, but really if they could just STFU our real business is with the virus.
All the usual mottos apply, Let's Have Fun, Still diggin, and It's not like anyone gets out of this alive.
We thought we lost a lot on 9-11, but it's nothing compared to what we're losing now.
NYT front page on 9/12/2001.
Vaccinating all Americans in short order is the kind of thing we're good at. While I was growing up, we went to space. I remember the Mercury and Gemini missions, and I was 14 years old when we landed on the moon. When there are catastrophes elsewhere in the world, America helps them dig out. We can do this. It will be a great thing to be reminded of our capabilities. We've spent the last four years losing. We need a win. This one is a slam dunk.
I needed a script to loop over a calendar-structured folder to generate a list of the most recent updates to a set of projects that are backed up in these folders. I used Frontier. Here's the script source. This is the kind of thing that's much quicker in a scripting system than it would be in Node or some another system language.
People are obsessed with what others should do, but here's something you can do. 1. Unfollow and block trolls. 2. Unfollow and block friends who RT trolls. If we all did this, and were open about it, we could beat trolls. Trolls don't change, but you can.
There are 20K troops in DC. Who do they take orders from? Do they think Biden won, or it was stolen from Trump. How many of them believe in the peaceful transfer of power. The question really is, who is the individual cop or soldier loyal to. Since the Civil War, as far as I know, this has not been in question.
Every so often the Daily podcast hits it out of the park, as with today's interview with Republican congressperson Peter Meijer, who voted to impeach Trump, after voting to certify Biden's win.
I was looking at the home page on Memeorandum this morning, wondering how journalism would adjust to not having a daily Trump story (or more) to obsess over. How will everyone else deal with that. What will Maddow talk about every night? The fear factor should diminish, one would hope. Former presidents have much less power than sitting presidents. Trump could be the exception. They will have plenty to write about. First the impeachment. The trials of the January 6 insurrectionists. Trump's trials, bankruptcy. Trump going to jail? One can hope. Will this be good for Biden? For us? I don't know. The Democrats need to get a great online organizing machine rolling, for more than raising money and getting out votes. We need to have healthy forms of political action, to balance out the evil kind, which we're seeing so much of. Say what you will about Trump, he did organize an active base. The Democrats could too, but they don't seem to know it. Same as it always was.
Come to think about it, Maddow will have plenty to talk about as details of how Trump and his associates hollowed out and looted the US government while they were in office. We'll be finding smoking holes in the ground for decades to come. Things that used to work that no longer exist. So if you need a nightly story of American carnage, you will be well taken care of.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's thread from the Wednesday about the "significant ramifications" of banning Trump from Twitter. In the thread he talks about Twitter funding an open decentralized standard for social networks called Blue Sky. I remember when they announced this in 2019, I think I offered to help then, and I offered again today. Creating an open distributed system at Twitter's scale is an ambitious undertaking.
There are, as far as I know, two places to get a Covid vaccine in Ulster County, the county itself in Kingston and the Village Apothecary in Woodstock. Neither are making appointments now, but you can register to be notified when they are. If you know of others, send me a link and I'll try to post it here or in the linkblog.
I think Roku is an incredible product. The remote is the best. The UI is great. On screens that integrate it, where Roku is the OS, it's even better. It's how screens should work, imho. I called it the Entertainment Desktop in April 2019.
But there's something I've heard a lot -- Roku's user interface "needs work." Or it's old-looking, dated.
But I don't get it. Compared to what? It seems pretty good to me, and I've spent decades thinking about and working on interfaces for stuff like that.
PS: Remember iTunes?
White people should wear a MLK button. Here's what it says: "I am not a white supremacist. I believe in an America that loves and respects all its people. No one is allowed to interfere with or limit another person's right to vote. Government of the people, by the people and for the people."
I wouldn't listen to anyone who spouts hate about white men any more than I would one who hates on black men. I'm so fed up with people who spew hate. They're all evil, sick, selfish people. There is no acceptable form of hate.
The Nets traded for James Harden, one of the top stars in the NBA. They gave up most of their draft picks, so their future looks pretty grim. And they now have two of the most worst-attitude players in the NBA in Kyrie Irving and Harden. Not sure about Durant. But I wonder how many games Kyrie is going to play this year, when ball-hog Harden is on the court. Maybe he can lead the second team. Somehow the power has to gravitate away from the stars, and back to the teams. In the meantime, it's kind of a blessing for the Knicks that none of the superstars want to play there. That way every victory feels earned. The team has a spirit. Of course they have egos, but none so dominant as the ones who now play for Brooklyn. Now I just wish I could watch the Knicks for less than $65 a month, which is a ripoff that I refuse to pay.
The terrorists will hit some new speed bumps now that they've had some success. If their online groups follow the pattern of every group I've ever belonged to, it won't be long before they're attacking each other. Probably has already started.
Just like there were defenses against the virus, which we learned about in March from McNeil, there are defenses against the terrorists, beyond deplatforming.
Maddow needs help too. You know how she always asks if she got it right and the other person says yes. Well, when it comes to tech, the answer is no. Her stories, when they involve tech are usually nonsense.(I say usually because I haven't heard them all.)
For example, the app stores on Google and Apple. That's where Parler was cut off. They didn't provide back-end services, they provided distribution. Like when you buy bread at the supermarket, they didn't make the bread, but they have it all there in one place for you to buy.
With Apple and Google, they make it very hard if not impossible to install something that didn't come through their store. This is for security, and also gives them full control over the platform. So when they removed Parler, that was pretty much the end for them on mobile devices. They still had the open web until Amazon knocked them off there too.
Also the news is butchering the difference between Amazon and the others (Twitter, Facebook, Apple, Google). They are providing something completely different. And them kicking Parler off is pretty unprecedented for them. That in itself is big news. Like the failure of a vaccine.
There's another interesting angle that they touched on yesterday in the Daily, that deplatforming has a disadvantage, it means it's harder to spy on the terrorists. Something like this happened 20 years ago with Napster. At that time everyone was getting their music from Napster. The music industry, sued them, and won, buh bye Napster. But something was lost there. The idea of a central place for music, that might have been interesting. It'll never happen again, just like we will never get the Coronavirus contained again, as it was before 2019.
Tech is interesting! But the lack of confidence among journalists not only lets people manipulate them (Hillary's emails) it often distributes information that's just plain wrong and that's too bad. Because a lot of these things aren't mysteries now.
Suppose for the sake of argument that the election was rigged, a conspiracy between state governments, including Republican state governments, and journalism. Do you think their coverup could be so complete we'd never have hard proof of this conspiracy? Hard to imagine intelligent people believing that it could. And BTW, don't think they're not intelligent. There were a lot of very educated and successful people who attacked the Capitol last week. What's going on inside these people? Not asking a question of people who read this blog, just expressing bewilderment. At what point will their deep gullibility lose out to their experience and bullshit detection?
Repubs are objecting to being scanned for weapons going onto the House floor. Should we conclude that they have been bringing weapons onto the floor? Why else would the Capitol police want to put a scanner there? Are they afraid of a hostage situation where the perp is a member of Congress? So many questions. If in the opinion of some reps, they are entitled to bring weapons onto the floor, is there a limit? Can they bring automatic weapons? Grenades? An automatic grenade launcher? How about a tank, could they bring a tank onto the floor of the House. I suppose that could come in handy.
I am no longer listening to Republicans. What they say is not only twisted, it's designed to make me feel sympathy for them. I am by nature a sympathetic person. They are taking advantage of that. I have decided it's prudent to stop listening.
Therefore, I would like to have an "intelligent" Twitter.