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Messages - Gaoics79

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It is at least arguable that "unfriending" is an act of smaller moral consequence than of voting to make Donald Trump President.

What you say sounds reasonable...but in fact I think it isn't. I would suggest to you that breaking lines of communication and ostracizing people (to whatever extent possible) is far, far worse than being wrong about all kinds of things and even doing wrong to boot. There is simply no coming back from refusing to speak to people you think are wrong, or denouncing them and walking away. The chance that you ever convince them or find common ground becomes zero. And I know what the thought is: they won't listen anyhow so what's the point. But actually that rationale is a form of moral despair. You, personally, seem to do quite well making repeated attempts to get through to people who you have every reason to expect will disagree once again, but in the case of many other people the thought that an attempt to convince others will fail is simply unacceptable, and so they want nothing more to do with them. I think "unfriend me and go away" is very underrated in terms of being a form of violence; not physical of course, but a mental attack in the form of "you are worthless, begone." While the refrain is always valid that a person has the right to choose with whom to associate, all the same discarding dissenting people is a grave offence against reason in my opinion. It's the person who disagrees the most who most needs to see that good people believe otherwise. When the 'wrong opinion' is just a symbol then it's easy to hate. But when someone you really care about or respect has that wrong opinion it becomes a completely different beast: why do they feel that way? Or maybe they know something I don't?

I completely agree: it is infinitely worse. In fact, one of the fundamental differences between the USA, Canada and other Democratic nations and many third world democracies is that here people do manage to separate the political from the personal, or have in the past. The idea that you can vote Republican, but work or date or drink with someone who votes Democrat, isn't a small achievement in our societies. Casting a ballot for the wrong person is transitory, and in a secret ballot system with two parties that have largely pursued similar overarching policies, an act with far lesser ramifications for civil society than cutting out all your friends of the wrong political pursuation, much less boycotting establishments like restaurants (or conversely, establishments boycotting customers belonging to the wrong group).

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They may not be able to elucidate what they're doing, or why, but they're running on instinctive understanding at this point. Basically that because of how Trump has been "connected" to everything else they value by those who oppose Trump, it doesn't matter if they would jettison Trump as a person at the first opportunity otherwise. What matters is Trump, as a symbol, is too important to allow that to happen. So they ignore and deflect away from it.

I upvoted your post because I agreed with it completely. But I'd make one small clarification: it's not just the people supporting him or even Trump himself that has created this symbolic connection. Trump's enemies are eager to nurture the idea that everything Trump supports (and by implication, what his supporters value) rises or falls with his presidency. They eagerly feed this notion. The big irony of course is that Trump is one of the least ideological politicians to come along in recent memory. Up until his Presidential run, the guy was known pretty universally as a pro choice liberal. He used to contribute to the Clintons. Trump's newfound ideology is about as mercenary as they come.

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Can you consider the hypothesis that those on the right seek out and publicize (and even fictionalize) the most extreme or divisive voices on the left with the explicit intention of motivating their supporters? This is not only a basic form of propaganda, it has been revealed that this was one of the ways that the Russian military attacked the US by creating false extreme voices. I have been on the left for a long time, and yet the first time I ever heard of antifa was on Ornery. Exactly how "disproportionately influential" are they?

I think you're almost certainly correct that extremists on the left side are used extensively by the right for propaganda purposes. Trump himself has done this all the time; witness his statements that Maxine Waters was the "face" of the Democratic party.

But that said, I reject your implication that these groups are insignificant in influence. Groups like Antifa share a certain cultural language and framework that is absolutely influential in modern society, particularly among millennials and especially in the university setting. From the university this cultural framework filters down into civil society, particularly among lawyers, teachers, scholars and others.

Ideas like gender being wholly defined by the self-identity of the individual rather than sex (a concept that would have been laughable less than 10 years ago), are becoming mainstream, and are filtering into the courts and human rights tribunals of much of the developed world. Statues of famous people, such as John A MacDonald and Lord Cornwallis, are being torn down or destroyed based on perceived wrongs against minority groups.

Keep in mind that as an American, you are insulated from this to some extent, because your country still has a robust right wing intellectual stream and your Supreme Court has tilted right. In Canada, for example, there is no real right wing left among the intelligentsia, and courts are already pretty much in agreement with the fundamental framework that is the de facto view among law professors and Antifa.

If you haven't felt this seachange yet, you will. Other individuals I have known for decades, including people who once proudly called themselves "liberal" are starting to notice this.

You might say that this is just a counterpoint to the rise of right wing extremism, which is a popular view among the left, but a false one. Have a look at the latest Nazi rallies and white supremacist rallies we have seen in the past 2 years since Trump was elected. Assuming they are even actually Nazis or real fascists (Antifa considers pretty much anyone who might vote Republican to be a "fascist" if not a Nazi) The "counter" protesters (including groups like Antifa) routinely outnumber the right winger 10:1. It's no contest. I have yet to see this fearsome alt right accomplish anything thus far. Where are the hordes of angered white supremacists blocking the destruction of confederate monuments?

Mainstream voters in the centre right (what used to be considered centre, or even centre left) have perceived this change. Something is rising in our society, and it's not Nazism, although from where I stand, it's about as bad. And by the way, I am not on social media of any kind. I have zero exposure to the kind of media that the Russians are accused of manipulating.


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I wasn't sure if it was fair either - just noting that people are not changing their minds as it concerns Trump.
those I have talked to that would never ever approve of adultery don't care when it comes to Trump

That's because the support for Trump has little to do with Trump and everything to do with the forces against Trump.

The people who support him are diametrically opposed, ideologically, to the people who are against Trump. This isn't some trivial "tribal" thing, like hating a rival sports franchise, although there could be an element of that. There are genuine, deep and fundamental disagreements between how "left" and "right" tribes view the world. The right tribe doesn't just disagree with, but despises certain vocal elements within the "left" tribe, which they see as ascendant, to the point where they see those voices as an existential threat to their way of life. As Fenring noted, these groups (eg: Antifa) are numerically small, but disproportionately influential. They are absolutely a major cause of the fear driving Trump's supporters into his arms, as surely as Nazi and white supremacist supporters of Trump drive people away from him, into the arms of whoever is leading the charge against him.

Look at it this way: you're in a city that's under siege. The enemy is flinging rocks and arrows over the walls, attacking with battering rams. If the City falls, you believe (rightly or wrongly) that every man, woman or child will be slaughtered. Your king is a bastard. But he's your bastard. And the forces who want him deposed are openly working for the enemy. They're not even hiding it. They want him deposed because they want to open the gates so they can enter the City and slaughter everyone. Do you help them, even if you believe that their arguments are correct (the king is certainly a bastard, after all) or do you support your king, however immoral?

The people supporting Trump not only won't turn on him, they can't. From their point of view, doing so would be slitting their own wrists. Sure, someone like Mike Pence could take over if Trump were impeached and it's not as if it would mean Hillary Clinton would parachute into the white house - but Trump being deposed would send the message that his supporters were wrong to fight in the first place.  It would be blood in the water. That is how it would be portrayed and that's how it would feel. It wouldn't be about a specific leader's fitness or morality, but about the underlying rightness of the ideology that put him into power and a symbol of that ideology's defeat. As long as Trump being impeached is cast as a referendum on the results of the last election and on the rightness of the ideology behind his support, from the point of view of his supporters, turning on him is equivalent to surrender, permitting the barbarians to sack the city.

That's why there is literally nothing Trump could do to get his supporters to turn on him, so long as he pursues policies that put him on the correct side of the ideological divide.

I don't feel the "left" tribe would be any different if the shoe was on the other foot. There is no magic to Trump's support. It's completely understandable, and frankly, rational. 

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However, with respect to the balance between corporations and employees, the right wing has had 40 years of victories (go back and look at laws in the mid 1970's). In terms of providing greater and greater advantages to the wealthy, the right wing has been largely successful over the past 3 decades.

I don't disagree with the fact that power has tilted to corporations and the wealthy. However, I'd argue increasing inequality has vastly more to do with mechanization, offshoring and free trade, all practices that are neither right nor left, and have broad bipartisan support among mainstream political factions from all sides of the right/left divide in most of the developed world, including the USA.

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Second, yes, it is a hard sell to say that "my side" has not been willing to compromise for the last 50 years (!), since it implies that "your side" would.  This, after John Boehner pledged: "We're going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it [the Obama agenda], stop it, slow it down, whatever we can."  After Mitch McConnell said: "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." After the House voted on two immigration bills specifically intended to prevent a bi-partisan bill from being forced to a vote on the floor.  And you see "us" as the ones who are never willing to compromise?

Of course, I'm more generous than you.  I only see Republican obstructionism lasting about 20 years, since late in the Clinton Administration.  What happened 50 years ago where "we" did not compromise with "them?"  Perhaps if you provided a list of these issues where "we" won't compromise, and "our" statements were "we" said we would never compromise (like the ones above), you'd have a better chance of convincing me of the intransigence of "my" side.  Because it seems to me that compromise only truly went out the window when the Haster Rule became entrenched in our government.  And that only became the norm in the late 90's with Newt Gingrich, after making a budget compromise with Clinton--just about the last major piece of legislation where our representatives cooperated across the aisle.

It would make an interesting topic to discuss which "side" is less willing to compromise than the other.  Perhaps you should start a topic on it?

I'm sorry I didn't make myself clear in terms of what I was talking about. I wasn't referring to the petty day to day bickering among political parties in Washington over nothing, which is really what you are talking about above. Obama versus Bush versus Clinton - potato potaato. Republicans, Democrats, please - no one could even tell the difference.

I was specifically referring to the social issues that have reshaped society for the past fifty years, somewhat through the vehicle of the courts, but also in society at large - the sexual revolution, unfettered legalized abortion on demand, no-fault divorce, gay marriage, ubiquitous legal pornography, school prayer, affirmative action, the recession of religion in public and private life, the reshaping of the modern university to openly endorse and entrench left wing ideologies, and the filtering of these ideologies into law societies (the bodies that regulate lawyers), schools, governments and quasi governmental associations.

Republicans and other right aligned parties in the west have railed against most of these items for 50 years, used them to rally their bases, raise money. Democrats and left aligned parties have used them as rallying calls to their bases. But in the end, the left won every single battle, completely. The fearsome Christian right in the USA, arguably the spearhead of right / conservative / religious power in the west,  failed at every battle it fought, a spent force impotent to achieve anything. The right in the USA and especially in the rest of the developed world has been a perennial loser for much longer than I have been alive.

It's amazing to talk to people who actually believe that the right and conservative aligned ideologies are so powerful in our societies. It's laughably delusional.

And it's interesting to watch people wail and gnash their teeth at the idea of a Supreme Court that may be starting to lean ever so gently right for the first time in more than a generation. Suddenly judges making law isn't so appealing, is it?

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What I am saying is that, in order to implement your "winning" agenda, you will eventually have to enact certain laws to institutionalize this agenda and force everyone in the country to adhere to them.  What good is making abortion illegal if it is still legal in California and New York?  What good is limiting immigration if people welcome immigrants to jobs and to homes?  What good is your "winning" if a sizable segment of the population refuses to acknowledge they have "lost" and continues to do what they did before? ;)

You're describing a zero sum game where for one side to win, the other side has to lose. You're describing a scenario where compromise is a dirty word.

I wish I knew how to convince you that this is exactly what your "side" has been doing for the past 50 years, successfully. That there were compromises available, that maybe both sides could have lived with, but no one on your "side" would give so much as a 1/4 inch while you were convinced your total victory was inevitable.

But I know already that it's impossible - you'll just assume that I'm being disingenuous, self-serving, and that I'm one of "them", even though I have much more in common with most of you than most of them.


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General Comments / Re: Liberals have lost
« on: July 03, 2018, 08:54:43 PM »
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What counts as a "swing vote" for a Republican now would have been a solid conservative vote years ago.  You are moving the goalposts to the right, and claiming the kicks between the goalposts have not moved.

How many years ago are we talking about, out of curiosity? Is it your implication that longstanding justices such as Scalia and Thomas were left of more recent Republican nominees, such as Roberts or Alito? Other than Kennedy, who are you referring to in the last 30 years that fits this mold?

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General Comments / Re: Liberals have lost
« on: July 03, 2018, 08:48:53 PM »
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In terms of the power of corporations and the wealthy relative to the power of employees and those not in the 1%, conservatives have been winning in the Supreme Court for decades.

I suppose "conservative", like "liberal" is always a moving target.

I think we can agree that traditionally "liberal" organizations and their politicians are hardly strangers to corporate support or wealthy donorship. There are without a doubt anti corporate, populist elements on the right.

But if it helps, I'll concede that like gun control, this is an issue where the result has been mixed, and particularly in terms of organized labour, there is an argument that the right has given a bit more than it's got.

Doesn't negate what I said. On the keystone social issues of our time, from no-fault divorce, to abortion, gay marriage, pornography, affirmative action, sodomy, school prayer / religion in public life - you're delusional to suggest that the right has been doing anything but losing and losing badly. And the Supreme Court has been no small part in shaping that reality.

I don't think the left side has any memory of what it's like to lose on something they really care about. But I suspect they're going to find out. I suspect that violence is going to happen.

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General Comments / Re: Tariffs are a problem?
« on: June 29, 2018, 10:15:53 PM »
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I'll believe a boycott when I see it. I don't think most people have the will to closely examine every product they buy to see if, anywhere on the chain of production and distribution, the USA had any part in it. Certain sorts of products may prominently display messages such as "Made in the USA", such as honey or something, but other than that I doubt if it will be immediately apparent. In this day and age a product can have ingredients or materials from one country, be produced in another, distributed by yet another, and sold in another. Good luck parsing all that.

The chances of everyday Canadians significantly boycotting U.S. goods and services en masse to the extent that it really hurts the US is pretty much zero.

The government, on the other hand, could probably do some damage with reciprocal tariffs.

The trouble is we'd be picking a fight we can't possibly win.

My fear is that Trudeau is going to see his own political advantage in being seen to battle Trump, given that Trump is pretty much the devil incarnate here. Even if there is a deal to be done, I'm scared that Trudeau simply won't do it for political expediency, and it's going to hurt us really badly.

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General Comments / Re: Liberals have lost
« on: June 29, 2018, 09:59:55 PM »
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Other than the obvious bait in that, I got to agree that the doom and gloom seems overstated on the part of the left. 

It's understandable. The left won for 50 years pretty much every battle that was fought on social issues, with the exception of gun control, which ended up a wash.

When winning is your baseline, even losing some of the time can seem catastrophic.

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General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 28, 2018, 05:26:04 AM »
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#2 I can see happening.  It’s the “saving face” part that I’m totally lost on.  I don’t know how to achieve that. 

That would be the civility part of the equation. Obama in 2008 is a pretty good recent example. He had significant support from across the aisle (as far as modern elections go) because he campaigned as a centrist and a unifier. To the extent any modern politician can, he really did try to reach out at least rhetorically, even if his presidency didn't quite fulfill that promise.

I don't think we are ever going to see that again. The next dem candidate is pretty much going to campaign on the premise that Trump and everything he stood for (and by implication his supporters) is evil, stupid or both.

We are heading into a world where for group to win, all others must lose, and lose hard.

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General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 27, 2018, 05:53:01 PM »
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I do get how the exasperation in their voices can make it seem like an attack.  Sometimes, now, it is indeed an attack by those who's patience has passed their limit.  Silence however, allows people to believe they are correct.  Bubbles (on both sides) are meant to be burst.

There is literally 0.0% chance of anyone "bursting" anyone's bubble.

You're never going to persuade anyone of anything by calling them idiots (effectively). What needs to be done is you need an alternative that they can choose without 1) Losing face and admitting to being idiots for voting for Trump and 2) That doesn't constitute surrender on key issues they care about.

Since the DNC shows no signs of even identifying the issues Trump's supporters care about beyond ugly caricatures and insults, I'm really not optimistic. And expecting it from Trump is a waste of time. The guy feeds on this toxic hate. It's his elixir.

What's needed is a true centrist type candidate, someone who is going to basically piss off fanatics on both sides, a Trump-like figure who can shrug off attacks from both extremes with impunity, but minus the toxic narcissism and self-aggrandizement. I fear this it is becoming increasingly impossible for such a candidate to emerge on either side.  The right is too busy enjoying its recent victories and visiting retribution on its enemies after decades in the wilderness (see latest news re: the Supreme Court and implications of that) and on the left side, the fanatics have basically a stranglehold on the levers of power, both within academia (where the political classes are molded) and among the political classes themselves.

It's f'd up.

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General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 27, 2018, 05:37:47 PM »
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The thing is, jasonr, is that they are constantly hitting us anyway. :( 

So why should we be afraid of them hitting back?  What do we got to lose?

To be clear, I wasn't speaking in a general sense, but specifically in the context of the Red Hen incident, and Waters' approval and encouragement of Democrats to repeat this type of behaviour on a larger scale.

My only point was that if you escalate this kind of tactic, the other side is going to retaliate in kind. In a worst case scenario, you can end up with "Red" restaurants and "Blue" restaurants, which would be pretty unfortunate.

I've come to the conclusion that hate is pretty much an autonomic response in people. You hate someone and they're going to hate you back. It's basically a fundamental law of nature.

But my overarching point was that Trump's claim that Waters was the new "face" of the Democratic party was not just him spewing his usual garbage. He definitely has some good political instincts, because I'm pretty sure he's elated at her comments, and I'm quite sure he's right to be.

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General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 26, 2018, 08:03:26 PM »
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It's messed up, and it would be nice if we could get out of this partisan quagmire, but to the "bridge burners" Trump and his supporters are something different.  Something toxic.  They don't want to build a bridge, they want that separation.  I hope that when the man is gone this divide may begin to heal.  But honestly, until he is gone, there won't be bridge building.  What would the point be with Trump regularly setting charges at the foundations? 

I can see a lot of common ground with Republicans who voted for Trump because that was the party line vote, and any sock puppet in the big chair that wasn't a Democrat would probably work out for them.  But those who actually support Trump?  We need no bridges.

Yes, I get that. The entire Red Hen / Sanders controversy of late comes to mind. You can practically hear Trump licking his lips every time someone like Maxine Waters opens her mouth. It's like Christmas for him each time she speaks.

Apart from the fact that buying into Trump's game makes him win (he plays it better than you because it's his natural habitat), it's also worth noting that the other 50% of the population or whatever it is, see the thing is, they can retaliate . You can hit them, and they can hit you back.


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General Comments / Re: Summit
« on: June 15, 2018, 07:57:16 PM »
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Makes you wonder how much it would cost to "buy out" dictators.  Is there a luxury level that makes up for the lack of power?

A man like KIm can't just retire to a tropical island like some 30 something tech billionaire. He knows that his power is the only thing standing in the way of a bullet to the brain, or in a best case, a war crimes tribunal. Totally apart from the lure of power from a psychological standpoint, a man like Kim is dependent on his power; he literally can't live without it.

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General Comments / Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« on: June 13, 2018, 12:47:40 PM »
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Sorry if that was unclear, but my question is rather why do you believe this will spread to rank and file workers?

Well first because it has. There are examples of it happening already, such as the infamous case of the executive who tweeted a quasi racist joke about AIDS before getting on a plane, to the men who were fired based on a private conversation at a conference that was recorded by a felliw attendee who eavesdropped and broadcast it (she was in turn fired as well if memory serves correctly.)

But as others noted, there is no business known to man, no job lowly enough, where this can't happen. A janitor at a public school, a dishwasher at a prominent restaurant, or even a checkout at Starbucks.- nobody is immune.

This isn't widespread right now, but only because social media, surveillance are still in their infancy. I think as these things become more ubiquitous, the problem will inevitably work its way down the food chain. Today it's the racist tweet of an NBA player, tomorrow it will be the racist tweet of a food vendor at a sports venue, or perhaps a recorded comment on a smartphone posted on a Facebook page with a doxxing and demand that the individual be let go by his employer.

Once this data enters a person's digital history, it becomes impossible to erase and impossible to  ignore. It will stick to you. You apply as to be a busboy at McDonalds - well why would McDonalds ever hire a "racist" or anyone who was ever even accused of it? Does McDonalds condone racism? Well of course not. We are not quite there yet, but it is coming.

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General Comments / Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« on: June 13, 2018, 07:00:29 AM »
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That might be a plausible explanation if the impact had been just based on diminished sales. Instead, they were blacklisted - the large companies controlling airtime on country radio refused to play their music. And they did not piss on their fan base, Natalie Maines simply pointed out what most of the country later realized, President Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq was embarrassingly wrong.

Did the stations use anticipated fan backlash as a pretext to punish a group for their political beliefs, or was there a legitimate commercial concern? I suspect probably a bit of both. I would suspect the people calling the shots were both politically invested in a certain viewpoint AND offended as fans themselves.

I think they probably would have faced a backlash that translated into weaker sales in some quarters, but whether or not that would have been enough to really put a dent in their bottom line, who knows?

Consumer boycotts are almost mythical, in the sense that everybody talks about them, and many fear them, but it isn't clear that they actually happen. True consumer boycotts are rarer than unicorns.

Thanks to social media, never before in history have we witnessed so many threatened boycotts.

Personally, I'm not worried about celebrities like the Dixie Chicks or Roseanne. It's this idea that some social media outrage, however fleeting, should be automatic justification for firing and blackballing people. This may largely impact celebrities at present, but it's increasingly clear that the phenomenon will spread to rank and file workers in due course. That's the thing that scares me.

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General Comments / Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« on: June 03, 2018, 01:17:16 PM »
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I can take a stab at those, but it's DEEP into the motive speculation land we are suppose to avoid here on Ornery.  It will also, almost certainly, land in territory that will be seen as offensive.  (and be non-conducive to debate)

You say this as if it's just some technicality that applies on certain internet forums (like Ornery) but that otherwise you feel free to engage in.

Motive speculation isn't allowed on Ornery (and most civilized forums) because it isn't just non conducive to debate, but destroys it;. You can't have a meaningful debate if you don't understand what the other person is saying, and speculating on motive is a one-way ticket to injecting your own bias into the other side's argument. Instead of debating another person, you're debating a straw man you created.

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The absurdly wealthy dumping vast resources into convincing the conservative/traditional identifying people that "equality" is un-American and a danger to them greater than the business practices that made them receptive to such a weak deflection of anxiety.  A dream of a better, slowly moving towards improved situations for all was replaced with a regressive nightmare that rewards the abusors and the exploitators at a rate so alarming that you can tell they KNOW their days are numbered and want to rape and pillage the country and secure their ill gotton gains before we decide we've had enough.  What's a little race-war or religious persecution if it gives them another decade to rob us all blind?

You don't understand anything. I know you don't, because you're incapable of explaining what the other side actually believes. I could explain what they believe, just as I could explain what you believe.

You can't. It's obvious from your postings.

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General Comments / Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« on: June 02, 2018, 05:57:36 PM »
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And I bet that this incident was covered in the contract.

Anyone heard anything like this?

I am certain it was covered. But so what? It may give them legal cover to fire her without repercussion in the sense that she can't sue them for whatever her compensation would have been. But if their loss has been anywhere close to the 1 Billion that was quoted in some of the stories, her compensation and anything she could sue them for would be less than pocket change.

This is a bloodbath for ABC. It is insane to imagine that they wanted this to happen. Even if they sued Roseanne for whatever they lost and won, what would they get out of her? You think Roseanne has $100,000,000 in her bank account. May as well try to take it out of the studio janitor.

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General Comments / Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« on: June 01, 2018, 07:02:31 AM »
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That's all well and good in theory, at least until one of the people involved in the monitoring decides to leak what some of the "filtered tweets" actually were. Or the group doing so gets hacked, etc.

? You are suggesting that the status quo, namely all of a celebrity's off the cuff thoughts being instantly transmitted to the world, is superior to having those ideas censored or monitored because of the risk that the censor.or moderator might expose them to the world?

Your logic escapes me!

By the way, in a world where some 20 something actress lile Daisy Ridley who a couple years ago was a nobody (to stick with that example) could wipe out billions of dollars overnight with a single impromptu tweet, I think if they are not already doing what I suggested, it is only a matter of time before they start. I would be surprised if official comments, interview answers for tv shows and the like, aren't already heavily scripted. This would just be taking it a step further and applying it to social media.

I am betting that this is already being implemented. Someone like Roseanne may be exceptional. On that topic, Tom Arnold was interviewed recently and suggested that this issue with Roseanne and the risk it posed was well known to her inner circle and that the idea of "getting the phone out of her hand" was one that had been raised.

The problem was it's Roseanne Barr. Maybe not easy to control an established celebrity at that level.

But you better believe, this has to be a wakeup call. I don't believe for a second there isn't going to be a memo circulating at the highest levels that the days of free range social media use for lynchpin celebrities is coming to an end.

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General Comments / Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« on: May 31, 2018, 04:42:08 PM »
The distinction between personal and business accounts is meaningless in this context.

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General Comments / Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« on: May 31, 2018, 03:38:40 PM »
Oh I would be shocked if the insurance product didn't exist in some form. But that scenario would strengthen the need for active social media monitoring, as it might even be a condition for coverage.

Regarding someone like Ridley, who was not an established name when she was first hired, one wonders if this sort of thing wasn't already in place? Having your Twitter account chaperoned would be a small price to pay for going from an unknown to a mega celebrity. I'd suggest Disbey could put almost anything in her contract and she'd sign.

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General Comments / Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« on: May 31, 2018, 03:21:02 PM »
Fenring, I guess I am looking at this issue from the point of view of businesses employing high value high profile "assets" with the potential to cause disproportionate collateral damage. Roseanne's tweet, according to some media claims, may cost ABC 1 billion dollars. We are not talking about some anonymous junior executive here.

I agree with you that there could be a slippery slope here at some point - but for marquee celebrities like Roseanne, I think it is almost going to be a necessity.

Here's a nightmare example: Can you imagine what would happen if, say, Daisy Ridley made a racist tweet two weeks before the opening of Episode 9? We are talking about financial consequences that could rival a major natural disaster here. This is the kind of thing that could bring down a major studio.

If I were Disney or whoever, I'd be looking at all my options.

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General Comments / Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« on: May 31, 2018, 02:38:49 PM »
Your celebrity star posts a Tweet but during this "cooling off" period the comment is red flagged by employees charged with monitoring such traffic. In this case, there would be an opportunity to withdraw the tweet before it is made public.

Would the red flagged tweet be required to be taken down, or would they merely advise the performer "we think this one could be a problem" but it remains as advice that you can heed or ignore? If your contract stated that you had to heed it then I wonder whether that would violate the 1st and be an illegal contract. Basically at that point they could theoretically censor any opinion that the network doesn't like or feels could 'damage' their brand (such as supporting the wrong political party).

I would imagine that the contract would cover the appropriate criteria for intervention. Some basic stuff would be pretty easy, such as a list of no-go words that could be negotiated and set out (eg: the N word).

Essentially my proposal is no different than what these contracts already likely do in general terms. But there would be an added technological safety net built in so that if someone is about to blow up their career and cause a 1 billion dollar PR debacle for their employer, at least they would get fair warning and have an opportunity to come back from the brink.

If I were a celebrity I'd view this as much about my protection as the studio's. I can think of a ton of celebrities in recent years who probably wish they had this oversight on their social media accounts.

26
General Comments / Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« on: May 31, 2018, 02:12:01 PM »
On a more practical note, it occurred to me that in today's climate, big studios and coporations may wish to adopt a technogical solution to this problem.

Imagine if as a condition of the contract, actors and others would have to install an app on their smartphones and all electronic devices that provides a 10 minute or 30 minute delay following any post - kind of like what networks use for live broadcasts. Your celebrity star posts a Tweet but during this "cooling off" period the comment is red flagged by employees charged with monitoring such traffic. In this case, there would be an opportunity to withdraw the tweet before it is made public.

Now maybe a big shot like Roseanne would never agree to such monitoring, but I'll bet most performers would.

I just read that ABC is going to lose about $1 BILLION dollars thanks to this snafu. The way I see it, this is a no-brainer. There needs to be a solution to this problem, which is only getting worse.

Heck, if I used social media just for myself I'd welcome such a feature. So much of this badness could be prevented if there was a delay, even just 15 minutes, before a comment goes "live". Even without monitoring by a third party, I think most of us would self correct if given even a short delay to reconsider.

27
General Comments / Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« on: May 31, 2018, 05:15:02 AM »
Quote
N word not as bad as apelike.  Look, I don't know if I want to go down this sewer.  It smells like cac.  It's going to get all over me.  It's going to get on my clothes and in my hair. 

I didn't say the N word wasn't as bad as apelike. I said calling someone who is black an ape or implying they are an ape is obviously worse than using the N word in an awkward metaphor. If Maher had called a black person the N word he'd be as dead as Michael Richards.

28
General Comments / Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« on: May 30, 2018, 09:03:54 PM »
I am not sure exactly what incident we are referencing (Maher has said many un-pc things) but I thought he was castigated for using the N word in a joke. He wasn't using it to attack someone but rather as a bizarre metaphor.

I think that on the totem pole of offenses, Maher is probably a notch or two below what Roseanne said, although I am certain there have been others who were fired for much less in the past. Using the N word as cringeworthy analogy is bad, but hardly on par with implying a black person is apelike.

You have to keep in mond that like South Park (another show that gets away with things no one else does) Maher has made a career of the politically incorrect. It was literally the name of his previous show. He's not immune, but he's a slightly harder target than most. That said, I suspect Maher came dangerously close to the line with his N word gaffe. Another inch and he would have been toast.

29
General Comments / Re: #3 rated TV show Roseanne cancelled
« on: May 30, 2018, 05:20:56 PM »
yossarian22c, yes, I remember in the original when they changed out actresses playing the role of the daughter Becky, they did so by having the family around the kitchen table talking about the one previous time to that a prime time show had swapped actors. They were all discussing whether they preferred the first "Darrin" on the show Bewitched or the second one, and everyone in the Connor family says  that they preferred the first actor until they get to the last family member, which in this shot was the new actress playing Becky. And she disagrees and says that the second Darrin was so much better. And  that's the only reference they made to the fact that suddenly the eldest daughter was being played by a different actress

They did a later episode where John Goodman plays an adult Deejay in a mental institution who can only repeat the same refrain over and over: "they say she's the same but she's not".

30
General Comments / Re: NFL fines for disrespect
« on: May 30, 2018, 11:58:35 AM »
Quote
BLM is a left wing cause associated with left wing Liberal values.
I can only hope you've terribly misjudged people on the right.  If your suspicion / theory is correct, we're in a far worse place than I thought.   :(

In Toronto BLM staged a blockade of the gay pride parade (after being invited as an "homoured group) refusing to allow the parade to proceed until its organizers signed a list of demands, including the organization apologizing for its "marginalization" of various identity groups, extra funding, and banning police floats from the parade.

The head of the local BLM chapter and ring leader sounded like she was drinking the marxist intersectional "studies" koolaid since in utero. The lady was so left Chairman Mao would have rolled his eyes at her.

Now maybe Toronto's chapter is an outlier, but if this is remotely representative, then I stand by my point. Whether the core message is about police brutality or not, the messenger would be abhorrent to any right leaning person. They could be demanding flowers for war widows and the message would be lost the instant the messenger opened his mouth.

Causes are like brands. Scratch that, they ARE brands. If your social movement has high profile neo Nazis running the show, don't expect a warm welcome from B'nai Brith. BLM is a hard left "brand". Zero chance that a right wing audience will see it with anything but hostility.

31
General Comments / Re: The President Tweets on Memorial Day
« on: May 29, 2018, 06:46:52 PM »
An argument can be made about whose fault it was that Trump was elected President.

No argument can be made about who made Trump the Republican nominee.  >:(

The Republican Party has complete responsibility for that.

I disagree strongly. In point of fact, the billions of free publicity handed to him by the media is largely responsible. You could almost call it an act of sabotage.

32
General Comments / Re: NFL fines for disrespect
« on: May 29, 2018, 05:49:08 PM »
Quote
I think little of this has ever been about the anthem, the flag, protocol, or respect. It think a lot of it has been about how you shouldn't criticize America, because it is such a great country.

I don't think it's about criticizing America etc.. I also don't think it's about patriotism. Rightly or wrongly, BLM is a left wing cause associated with left wing Liberal values. It is a sign post for a whole set of values that the typical NFL.fan detests. It isn't hard to understand the NFL's caving on this. The players might as well be waving a rainbow LGBT flag with the insignia of the DNC on it while praising Allah.

Kneeling is a symbol alright, but it means two different things to different audiences.

33
General Comments / Re: Trump just won the 2020 election
« on: May 23, 2018, 08:34:07 PM »
Quote
Well, unless the label is entirely dishonest, it's supposed to be 100% Canadian honey.

But the articles are from two years ago so maybe the freaking out worked?

No worries, I'm sure some fraction of it is 100% pure :)

34
General Comments / Re: U.S. Embassy Opens in Jerusalem
« on: May 15, 2018, 09:29:18 AM »
Well, the GOP is friendly to Nazis and white supremacists and for a good chunk of their supporters being pro-Israel is all about ushering in the end-times.

No idea why Jewish people would be wary of them.

I'll attempt to give a serious answer to the question. The majority of Jews are left leaning and have been historically, which has always put the community into the orbit of the Democrats moreso than the Republicans. It really is that simple.

And yes, the Republicans of late (and the right in general) has been more supportive of Israel while conversely, the left (and by implication, the Democrats) has been increasingly hostile to it.

But a lifetime of political habits doesn't just flip overnight.

35
General Comments / Re: Trump just won the 2020 election
« on: May 06, 2018, 09:32:45 PM »
Quote
Overall while I am sympathetic with a company protecting its process through patent or its name through copyright, I'm not at all sympathetic to various tricks to try to squeeze out the competition as basically a marketing ploy. They claim it's about pride but it's not, it's about dollars.

That is one side of it for sure.

But as anyone who has looked at products like honey to olive oil to parmesan cheese, sometimes this kind of regulation needs to be there for the industry's own good.

Take honey, for example. The reputation of Canadian honey, in my mind, is poison. I simply won't buy Canadian honey, ever since reading the following:

Quote
Honey producers such as Campbell say many Canadians may not even be aware they aren’t buying 100 per cent Canadian honey when they choose Canadian brands. They may assume that when they see “Canada No.1 Grade” on the front of the label, it’s Canadian honey.

But he says “Canada No. 1” refers only to the grade of honey, not its origin. That’s listed on the back label, typically in small print.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/beekeepers-bitter-over-use-of-imported-product-in-canadian-honey-1.2844190

Then you connect the dots with other information:

https://www.producer.com/2016/07/are-canadians-paying-for-fake-imported-honey/

And you realize that it's all an elaborate way of selling consumers here Chinese produced honey, which most Canadians wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole, let alone willingly ingest.

When you let this kind of situation fester, you risk having a kind of contagion that destroys brands, rather than builds them. This consumer will certainly never touch Canadian branded honey, despite the fact that I am certain the product actually produced here is every bit as good as, say, a New Zealand product on sale for double the price. Now maybe the New Zealand stuff they sell at high end boutiques is fake too - but as a consumer, you make your choices the best you can.

I think increasingly with globalized food production, you're going to see more and more of this sort of cat and mouse game with consumers, many of who refuse to consume product produced in China. As this type of fraud is uncovered in various food categories, trust is going to be an increasingly precious commodity. An industry that can guarantee a certain geographic origin is going to have a huge leg up over one that can't. Countries that don't police this are going to see their industries suffer.


36
Quote
yet somehow the state is still the country's most populous and economically powerful, and it keeps growing

I don't know which of you is correct in the overall debate, but given that it would pretty much require a nuclear holocaust to make California not the country's most populous and economically powerful, I find your statement disingenuous in the extreme.

37
General Comments / Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« on: April 25, 2018, 09:08:10 PM »
Quote
But now that I look at it again I realize you might have meant that regardless of what the facts actually are people will be uninterested in those as this type of scenario appears to be designed to avoid logical scrutiny and instead to rile up whomever wants to be riled up (which is sort of what I said above). I had originally taken it to mean that there's literally no way to discern facts in cases like this and that we might as well give up and realize that going on faith is all we can do. 

Yes I was making two separate points.

38
General Comments / Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« on: April 23, 2018, 08:33:21 PM »
Quote
Then it sounds like you and Jason are actually the ones making the argument you said I was making, namely that since we can't actually verify any facts to our satisfaction from our vantage point then we may as well consider all facts presented as equally valid (or invalid). 

I don't know where you got that from.

39
General Comments / Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« on: April 22, 2018, 09:24:47 PM »
Quote
I guess I was assuming you knew I meant admissible evidence, since I didn't think there would be much purpose in you suggesting that inadmissible evidence was worth debating about. But yes, I could have been more specific, so sorry if I was unclear. My point was that for the hearsay to count as admissible evidence the eyewitness account would have to be verified. Until such time as that is achieved the hearsay doesn't 'count' on the side that something bad happened; it only counts as a trail to investigate to verify whether there even is such a side.

Hearsay evidence is generally not admissible in court, but the reason is not just its inherent unreliability in the general sense, but also the very practical fact of the inability to cross-examine the actual source of the information on its veracity. It's this latter thing, the fact that hearsay evidence shields the true source of the information from scrutiny (through cross examination in open court), that makes it verboten in court proceedings, minus some well-worn exceptions.

But no one here is in a position to scrutinize any information source in this case, let alone cross examine a witness. For all intents and purposes, all "evidence" we are discussing is hearsay, because it's being filtered through the media and coming to us second and third hand. I'll agree that triple-hearsay might be worse than double-hearsay or whatnot, but it's a matter of degree, not kind.

The entire discussion is essentially akin to a matter of faith; you either believe in the inherent racism of the general American public or you don't. In that context, as Wayward suggests, it's essentially irrelevant whether these specific employees had actual racist intent.

And Seriati is correct that even scrutinizing the evidence in the first place, or questioning the fact of the employees' racist conduct, is itself evidence of racism in the minds of the "faithful". Arguing the point is meaningless, because there is no fact that can change the outcome, which is pre-ordained.

40
General Comments / Re: Racism or rational response to trespassing
« on: April 16, 2018, 05:31:52 PM »
As others noted it depends on several factors. The Starbucks where I have lived would never question, let alone kick out a person for using the bathroom regardless of purchasing anything. Total non issue - you just use it. If it was in one here I'd say it is racism or possibly something like them looking like vagrants or suspicion of them being druggies or whatnot.

41
General Comments / Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« on: April 08, 2018, 09:44:58 AM »
The Russian tactic for the most part is to say true but irritating things; things that when released at certain times seem like an attack by Russia even though the 'attack' is in the form of true statements.

The other Russian tactics are:
1) invading their neighbors when they oust a corrupt president that was in Russia's pocket
2) assassinating Russian journalists that report negative things about the state
3) assassinating former agents or traitors to the Kremlin/Putin (often times outside of Russia)
4) jailing or barring from elections the leaders of the political opposition
5) engaging in cyber attacks designed to inflame tensions and animosity in other countries
6) dropping bombs on Syrian hospitals and civilians

but yeah everyone just hates on Russia b/c they tell inconvenient truths.

In the spirit of your comment, I'll respond by confirming your point that lying in response to Russian truthtelling is a legitimate response to Russia invading Ukraine etc...

42
General Comments / Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« on: April 06, 2018, 08:47:06 PM »
I'll add that I never even heard this Nazi allegation until the Liberals expelled Russian diplomats and started lying about it publicly. If the Liberal Party's plan was to spread this "propaganda" far and wide giving it the maximum exposure possible - kudos to them for their genius.

43
General Comments / Re: Comrade Trump and Russian insurgent hackers
« on: April 06, 2018, 08:34:47 PM »
https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/04/05/why-did-canada-expel-four-russian-diplomats-because-they-told-the-truth.html

This story is emblematic of the issue I have with this Russian angle. Here is another example of western politicians exploiting anti Russian animus to distract from their own political dirty laundry.

Quote
Then, on Wednesday,Trudeau spilled the beans. The Russians are being punished for saying that Freeland’s grandfather was a Nazi collaborator during the Second World War.

Trudeau called this an effort “by Russian propagandists” to smear Freeland, which perhaps it was.

The only trouble with all of this is that the Russians were telling the truth. Freeland’s maternal grandfather, Michael Chomiak, was a Nazi collaborator during the Second World War.

Now don't get me wrong, having a Nazi collaborator as a grandfather is no crime, nor should it be a scandal in any significant sense, unless the politician goes out of her way to draw attention to it in some fashion.

But facts are facts, and it's ludicrous for the Canadian government, and Freeland herself, to claim that telling the truth about this is some kind of dishonesty. I also find the self-serving suggestion that this is an attack on Canadian democracy too cute by half. The Liberal government is exploiting anti Trump animus to portray any attack on their political stars as some kind of "attack" on Canada. Nothing is more disingenuous.

I don't know the complete context of the comments against Freeland, but even if I give her the benefit of the doubt and accept that these comments were out of left field and designed to "smear" her by bringing up an irrelevant bit of family history, flat out lying and calling it "disinformation" is answering a lesser evil with a greater one.

At the end of the day, dismissing unambiguous fact as "disinformation" or suggesting that the truth is a lie can never be an appropriate response to propaganda. Censorship of truth for the purpose of fighting propaganda is a self-defeating proposition.

We either live in a free society where people (including foreigners) can say what they want, or we don't.

44
General Comments / Re: Uber self-driving car hits and kills pedestrian
« on: April 03, 2018, 07:59:17 AM »
I don't really understand what the purpose of this "semi" autonomous driving system even is. Such a thing strikes me as inherently dangerous and ill-conceived.

I would never trust this technology or agree to be driven in a vehicle using it.

45
General Comments / Re: Uber self-driving car hits and kills pedestrian
« on: March 28, 2018, 07:23:15 PM »
The posted speed limit was 45, Uber was driving 38.

Then it is safe to say the human drivers were in the 50-55 range - pretty near highway speeds then. I hate to speak ill of the dead but this lady really really acted unwisely.

46
General Comments / Re: Uber self-driving car hits and kills pedestrian
« on: March 28, 2018, 09:01:48 AM »
One point I forgot to mention: I am speculating that if the Uber was driving at 40 mph, then that was likely the actual posted speed limit in the area. I can't imagine Uber permitting its Ai drivers to speed.

But human drivers never drive the speed limit. So had a human been driving, one should assume she would have been doing at least 50 maybe more. That skews the math even further against a human stopping in time.

47
Quote
I think it's pretty clearly a more defining characteristic of the left at *present*.

I recognize that you believe that, but can you point to evidence that supports your claim?  When you look at national politicians on the right and left, I believe that you will find more Republican assertions that those that disagree are illegitimate than the reverse.  For example, that those with opposing views on gun control are paid actors.  Or for another example, that those who voted in the plurality against President Trump not even citizens (which echoes the false assertion believed by roughly half of Republicans regarding the citizenship of the last Democratic President).

So in order to substantiate your belief that it is predominantly those on the left who do not respect the legitimacy of opposing views, please provide enough countervailing data to not only match what I have shown above, but to substantiate your case in the opposite direction.

I don't really know how to prove my point or what stats I would use to do so.

But one key point: your example focuses on politicians, which are not the people I was speaking of.

I was referring to civil society in general. I don't think you would have a hard time predicting what examples I would cite - university campuses, for example. People being fired for saying things that do not accord with a certain ideology (eg: Google)

But I just don't know how to prove any of this with stats. Sorry. It's just my opinion. I will concede that as an educated professional,(in Canada) the circles I run in are vastly farther left than others - so my perception may be based on that experience. But then again, that is kind of my point - people in my social class do seem to be running things, certainly here in Canada.

Our Prime Minister recently made Federal funding for summer jobs programs conditional on all participating groups signing a form attesting that their core mandate respects abortion rights. So if you want to hire a student to landscape your church lawn in the summer, you have to attest that your "core mandate" is essentially pro choice.

48
Quote
I agree that there are many liberals like this, but it is also clear that there are many conservatives with the same pattern of behavior. I won't accept the premise that this is primarily a liberal characteristic without data. And I have several reasons that make me believe that the association may be the opposite way (with conservatives less likely to believe that there is a legitimate basis for disagreeing with them than liberals).

I think it's pretty clearly a more defining characteristic of the left at *present*. I say at present, because I don't think it's inherent, but rather a testament to the ascendance of left wing ideology in the past 50 years in the halls of power, among the educated and political classes, and the steady retreat of the right in virtually every sphere of society.

Right leaning ideologies have been in retreat for so long I don't think most people today on the left even remember a time when it wasn't. That reality has created a certain 'manifest destiny' that breeds arrogance.

It's why someone like Trump is such an affront. Though his election changes pretty much nothing as far as the power structure and intellectual zeitgeist of our time, nor can he really reverse the decline of the right, when some have been used to getting their way for so long, even a largely symbolic defeat can feel like the end of the world.


49
General Comments / Re: Uber self-driving car hits and kills pedestrian
« on: March 24, 2018, 02:19:07 PM »
Jason, just to confirm, did you watch the video LR linked to, or only the one the media released. If LR’s is correct there was plenty of light to see her from a fair distance away.

I watched both. But even taking into account the second video, I am skeptical that most drivers would have stopped in time.

The car was doing about 40 mph. At that speed, factoring in normal human reaction time (there is always going to be a delay from the moment the eyes perceive a danger to the moment the body reacts), you are looking at a total stopping distance of 120 feet. That's about 8 car lengths total stopping distance from the moment the driver perceives the threat to the moment the vehicle comes to 0 mph.

The perspective is a little hard to make out, but just eyeballing it, I'd say the lady becomes visible for the first time when she's just stepping into view (at around 4 seconds) and at that moment she's about 3-4 car lengths ahead of the vehicle.

Now let's assume the lighting is alot better and assume that the driver would have perceived her almost immediately when she stepped off the curb. That adds maybe another 4-7 car lengths leeway (assuming 1-2 seconds extra lead time), which admittedly gives the driver adequate leeway to stop, barely.

But there are two x-factors here: 1) The fact that it's dark; and 2) The nature of the roadway.

This isn't some crowded urban street; it looks to be basically a slow freeway with minimal or non existent sidewalks. No one would be expecting a pedestrian in that circumstance or looking out for one.

The chances of a driver noticing a pedestrian instantly at the moment she steps onto the roadway, in those circumstances, are remote. If this was broad daylight on an urban street with significant pedestrian traffic, it would be a much easier call to make.

Again, I will concede, having done the math and examining the video, some human drivers could have stopped for the lady in time - although much depends on luck and whether the driver's eyes happen to be in the right place at the right time.

If this were a lawsuit, I'd suggest that the driver of the car could be found 5%-10% liable, with the jaywalking pedestrian eating at least 90%.

50
General Comments / Re: Uber self-driving car hits and kills pedestrian
« on: March 23, 2018, 10:00:34 PM »
Quote
I find it hard to reconcile those two videos.  If this is accurate, I'd be willing to believe that an alert human driver would not have made this mistake.

No way. The lady basically jaywalked across an expressway in the dark. Almost no one would have stopped in time at that speed.

Quote
I stipulate that human drivers make other mistakes that a machine would avoid.

I'm not sure there was a "mistake" to make, as I doubt most human drivers could have avoided the accident based on the video. But I'd suggest human drivers make this "mistake" fairly often, actually routinely. It's probably happened a few times literally as we have been typing this, lol.

Quote
I'm also concerned about diagnositics. While there are many conditions that can impact a human driver, tiredness, sickness, drunkness, the vast majority are detectable by a responsible person.  Tech issues are very difficult to deduce, particularly for a machine.  If a camera is inefficient, or has a arc error, how robust is the self diagnostic?

Human beings are terrible at self diagnostic too, trust me. Or they diagnose the problem, and just ignore it - eg: driving while intoxicated.



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