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Member Since 21 January 2012 - 01:48 AM
Offline Last Active Jan 23 2020 06:29 AM

Topics I've Started

“Flood the zone with shit”: How misinformation overwhelmed our democracy

16 January 2020 - 04:31 PM



No matter how President Trump’s impeachment trial plays out in the Senate, one thing is certain: Despite the incontrovertible facts at the center of the story, the process will change very few minds.

Regardless of how clear a case Democrats make, it seems likely thata majority of voters will remain confused and unsure about the details of Trump’s transgressions. No single version of the truth will be accepted

This is a serious problem for our democratic culture. No amount of evidence, on virtually any topic, is likely to move public opinion one way or the other. We can attribute some of this to rank partisanship — some people simply refuse to acknowledge inconvenient facts about their own side.[

But there’s another, equally vexing problem. We live in a media ecosystem that overwhelms people with information. Some of that information is accurate, some of it is bogus, and much of it is intentionally misleading. The result is a polity that has increasingly given up on finding out the truth. As Sabrina Tavernise and Aidan Gardiner put it in a New York Times piece, “people are numb and disoriented, struggling to discern what is real in a sea of slant, fake, and fact.” This is partly why an earth-shattering historical event like a president’s impeachment has done very little to move public opinion.

Latest posts column

01 January 2020 - 02:50 PM

Anyone else unable to keep the latest posts column hidden? I can hide it in Pale Moon, but it now reappears when the page gets reloaded. From Brave/Chrome it won't even collapse at all anymore.

Anchor Cut Away From Trump’s News Conference: “We Hate To Do This, But The President Is...

31 December 2019 - 06:17 PM


And Nicolle Wallace is a Republican.

Rand Paul On CNN

31 December 2019 - 06:13 PM



We’re not sure what has happened with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) but he has gone to great lengths to defend the indefensible, and the Kentucky Republican continued down that path on Sunday by claiming that Trump’s Ukraine scandal is really about the “president’s” anti-corruption effort. This is the same alleged “anti-corruption” president who just paid $2 million to eight charities as part of a settlement in which the former reality show star admitted he misused funds raised by the Donald J. Trump Foundation to promote his “presidential” bid and pay off business debts.

Paul was interviewed by host Jake Tapper on State of the Union and when the U.S. Senator tried to claim that the “president” is anti-corruption, Jake Tapper listed all of Trump’s associates who have been convicted and also noted the former reality show star’s misdeeds.

Markets Work Because of Dumb Luck and Inefficiency

29 December 2019 - 08:37 PM



The greatest mistake made by conservatism was its overly close relationship with neo-classical economics. This was a marriage of convenience: finding themselves Johnny-no-mates in the academic world, the conservative establishment hastily bunked up with the only group of social scientists who were prepared to talk to them.

This cohabitation was not only unhealthy but boring. Economics is obsessed with a very narrow definition of efficiency, beyond which it can see no other virtues. It hence turns political rhetoric into a slightly Aspergic narrative about efficiency and growth — as though Churchill had urged us to fight the second world war ‘to regain access to key export markets’.

But this efficiency obsession also leads conservatives to defend free market capitalism on fallacious grounds. In truth free markets are not really efficient at all. Admiring capitalism for its efficiency is like admiring Bob Dylan for his mellifluous singing voice: it is to hold a healthy opinion for an entirely ridiculous reason.

The market mechanism is loosely efficient. But the idea that efficiency is the main virtue of free markets is wrong. Competition itself is highly inefficient. In my home town, I can buy food from about eight different places; I’m sure this system could be much more ‘efficient’ if Waitrose, M&S and Lidl were forcibly merged into one huge ‘Great Grocery Hall of The People No. 1306’. I am equally confident that after a few initial years of success, the shop would be terrible.