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Topics - D.W.

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General Comments / SotU 2019
« on: February 05, 2019, 10:51:39 PM »
So, no big surprises really, but I was a bit bummed out that "infrastructure" got like one little line and no plan forward. 

He pushed a bit harder on anti-abortion than I anticipated I guess, but other than that, went about how I expected.

General Comments / Sticks and Stones
« on: October 17, 2018, 10:41:25 PM »
So a week or so back I read a short piece about a new "trend" in the social media battleground.  Apparently NPC is a slur-de-jour.  From what I understand it's typically employed against the same crowd labeled as SJW's.

As most of our more geekish population knows this is Non Player Character.  I read about it in at least 2 places but hadn't seen it pop up myself in discussions until tonight.  Was curious if others had seen this, and what they thought of it.

I get that people sling SJW and call people cucks to get a rise out of people who's opinions they don't like, or as a short hand to call out people who they believe are taking an issue too far, but this one worries me a bit.

Maybe that's just a knee jerk reaction to seeing a term I use a lot as a gamer (both video and table top) made "political"; but this one seems dangerously dehumanizing.  It seems to feed into a psychosis where someone believes other people or some class or political affiliation of people aren't even "real". 

Probably reading too much into this, but was wondering what  you thought.

General Comments / Executive Waffling?
« on: June 21, 2018, 09:22:14 AM »

So the news this morning is all about how Trump has made a reversal, by signing his executive order.  Proving that he lied about not being able to do anything and so on.

But did he?

Reading this thing, it seems like brush off to me.  They still want to stay tough on law enforcement.  They are essentially asking for a re-do on Flores v. Sessions.  Then there's a few mention of "to the extent consistent with law", or "to the extent permitted by law".  Was this nothing more than a fancy way of kicking it back to Congress?  Another photo op and opportunity for Trump to put forward how HE is trying to solve the problem caused by those pesky Democrats and their lawless way?

I know my viewing lens for Trump is "uncharitable" as was recently pointed out, but...  Is there anything of real substance that convinces people things are going to improve? 

Also, if the ruling is overturned, is this likely to have a ripple effect on the issue of child detention?  Or would it be fairly narrow?

General Comments / I'm not dead yet!
« on: May 30, 2018, 12:02:49 PM »
Slain Russian Reporter, looking surprisingly well at press conference...
Apparently his death was faked in an attempt to capture real assassins.   :o

General Comments / Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
« on: February 14, 2017, 03:28:12 PM »
Is the current fixation on “Fake News” actually helpful?  While it’s driving me nuts about now, I find myself asking this question.  In the not too distant future, or right now, depending on who you ask or your budget, we will be able to “fake news” at level previously reserved for clever Hollywood plots.  Already we can’t believe what we read.  We need to find multiple sources that are not just copied from each other.  The technology exists / is under development or refinement for two particularly terrifying tricks.  First is mapping facial movements from one person onto a model generated through an alarmingly small sample set of video of the target person.  Second is an ability to build a speech library in order to make someone say what you want, again with a fairly small sample set.

Before even the next presidential election cycle there could be in place the ability to turn any candidate into a puppet to convincingly say whatever you want them to, live on TV.  Maybe I’m wrong on this, or maybe it’s already possible.  While it’s still obvious right now if you are looking for it, the technology is already good enough if people aren’t focusing that much.  Tech still lags a little?  Joining us by satellite connection is Mr. X!  Oh the picture quality is a little low due to the connection, sorry about that folks.

We’ve already got politicians who will tell you with a straight face, “I never said that.”, when there is video ‘evidence’ they did, and often not long ago and unambiguously.  What happens when they tell us that… and they are being truthful?  How do you recover from slander that everyone believes came out of your own mouth?  I SAW you say it.  What if they saw you interact with someone in real time let alone a recorded/doctored video?  We are struggling mightily with just false WRITTEN stories. 

Is there any way to inoculate ourselves against such tactics?  Is having a “war on media” and accusations of “fake news” right now, before things reach a critical mass useful?  Can we create a source of information disbursement of “news” that is credible and respected?  If not, what does a post-informed society look like?  Do you believe we already live there?

General Comments / Cyber Showdown
« on: December 16, 2016, 12:32:04 PM »
While I know there is still a divide among some here at to IF Russia was involved in the hacking, (or even if it was hacking rather than a leak) but what are your thoughts on Obama's comments yesterday?

He unequivocally blamed not only Russian actors but Putin himself.  He then went on to say we would retaliate.  Not might, not would be justified in.  But that it was going to happen.  Given the time remaining until Trump is sworn in, that is a pretty small window.  (As trusting Trump to carry out such reprisals seems a reach.)

Any thoughts on what type of response we can expect?  Or do those in the camp generally opposed to our sitting president (or even those who share his party) think this was another "red line" moment?

General Comments / Oregon aquittal
« on: October 28, 2016, 01:08:59 PM »
Well... I didn't see that coming!

Sorry, didn't see the old thread to post this as an update.

General Comments / The Second Debate - 2016
« on: October 10, 2016, 09:57:46 AM »
Missed snark opportunity:  Clinton could have handed him a tissue and asked about his health.

Double edged attack:  "You'd be in prison"
While it was a good zinger, it is easily riposted by pointing out that imprisoning political rivals once you have the power to do so is all too real a situation in many places around the world.  I'm all about enforcing the law but this kind of red meat for his base COULD backfire.  I doubt it though.

The pacing around the stage struck me as odd.  In character I guess, but something I'm not use to seeing from a candidate.  Outsider street cred though I guess?  :P

I hate to agree with Trump on anything but they did seem interrupt him more often. (or at least more forcefully)  In the moderators defense however, he was a lot more prone to talk without answering a question.

General Comments / VR in the workplace
« on: August 05, 2016, 10:27:20 AM »
Do any of you happen to have experience in using virtual reality in a work environment?  Something outside of the video game field at least.  If so, what field and what has your experience been with it so far?

Do you know how it was pitched to your company's management team?

I work in the architectural field and am trying to generate some interest in our firm for employing virtual reality in both our design team and our marketing team and thought I would fish for some feedback here in case anyone else was dabbling or had successfully integrated VR into their place of work.

General Comments / Branding and activism are at ideological odds
« on: June 17, 2016, 12:31:50 PM »
I don't make a habit of linking stories / articles but I wanted to get the opinions of those of you who are, or in your younger days were, more active in... well activism.  Or anyone else for that matter

TL;DR is the modern (social media focused) activism, reactions to tragedy and trying to leverage those tragedies for your own chosen cause more about us as individuals than it is about what we talk about?  Or at least that was my take on it. 

It doesn't paint a very pretty picture of us as a society IMO and I found myself agreeing with the author's assessment.

General Comments / Question for Hillary supporters
« on: February 26, 2016, 01:52:14 PM »

So I just read through this.  More and more I'm in the Bernie camp and this whole piece is quite possibly 'telling me what I want to hear'.  I was wondering if anyone leaning towards (or fully supporting) Hillary takes issue with the conclusions drawn and theories put forward in this piece. 

Short version:
Trump vs. Clinton, he makes it all about attacking her and will avoid policy.  Her history makes her an easy mark for unsubstantiated accusations as well as cherry picking factual tidbits that can be used to make her look bad.

Trump vs. Sanders, Trump doesn't have the material to work with and the things in the negative column for Sanders still look pretty good when compared to Trump.

The author even admits that this dynamic changes if Trump is not the GOP candidate, but it was interesting and their, "here's how I think it would go" seems plausible.

General Comments / Democratic Party Debates
« on: February 08, 2016, 09:35:36 AM »
So bit late on the topic, but anyone have any thoughts about the last debate for the Democratic candidates?  I thought Bernie was doing pretty well right up until foreign policy.  Everyone kinda expects him to lose ground here but harping on (brought it up multiple times) his vote against the Iraq war, seemed like a poor move to me.  Worse, he didn't explain at all WHY he voted that way.  It just came across as, "I told you so!"  As someone who really likes Bernie and his campaign goals, this bothered me a lot. 

So after wasting most of his opening on foreign policy he did get around to addressing the topic and it wasn't bad, I guess.

Hilary's staff convinced her that repetition is king and the overall theme was "I'll get things done, that other guy won't".  Not a bad message but the delivery seemed a bit blunt.  I'm not sure how she should fend off Bernie while at the same time courting his supporters, but this debate seemed to me, not the way to go about it.  She made a lot of sense but I can't help but think that the die hard Bernie supporters will see her as the Disney villain, out to stop their hero, rather than one of two champions prepared to fight for them.

General Comments / So about this moon shot...
« on: January 14, 2016, 04:09:35 PM »
Got around to reading the SotU address transcript and found the "Let's cure cancer" call interesting.  Is there any substance to it?  Can Obama do anything significant / tangible beyond just cheer-leading this goal?  I think it's a fantastic goal but...

Does the threat of cancer killing people equate to the cold war "threat" that gave us a sense of urgency to get our asses to the moon that fast?  The space race was... an actual race.  Then there is the whole question of if the reason we haven't already gotten around to it really is a lack of motivation / dedication / funding?  If it requires more funding is there a slight chance this speech represents a turning point?

Was this just something inspirational to toss out there because it's a non-partisan goal no sane person would oppose? (though they may not choose to allocate additional budget to)

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