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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

What'cha Cookin'

Mark of Cain,

Facebook's Secret User Reputation Score is part of the content-censorship algorithm being used. COOL! How can we tweak 'em? I'll say what's "true".
“For example, if someone previously gave us feedback that an article was false and the article was confirmed false by a fact-checker, then we might weight that person’s future false news feedback more than someone who indiscriminately provides false news feedback on lots of articles, including ones that end up being rated as true.”
Wigs sends this perspective piece, which I have excerpted.​ (Zuckerberg ain't in the CFR, that I can tell, though...)

Largely unbeknownst to the general public, executives and top journalists of almost all major US news outlets have long been members of the influential Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Established in 1921 as a private, bipartisan organization to “awaken America to its worldwide responsibilities”, the CFR and its close to 5000 elite members have for decades shaped U.S. foreign policy and public discourse about it. As a well-known Council member famously explained, they transformed the American republic into a global empire, albeit a “bene­volent” one.
In a column entitled “Ruling Class Journalists”, former Washington Post senior editor and ombudsman Richard Harwood described the Council and its members approvingly as “the nearest thing we have to a ruling establishment in the United States”.
Harwood continued: “The membership of these journalists in the Council, however they may think of themselves, is an acknowledgment of their active and important role in public affairs and of their ascension into the American ruling class. They do not merely analyze and interpret foreign policy for the United States; they help make it. () They are part of that establishment whether they like it or not, sharing most of its values and world views.”
K​
ey members of the private Council on Foreign Relations have included:
several U.S. Presidents and Vice Presidents of both parties;
almost all Secretaries of State, Defense, and the Treasury;
many high-ranking commanders of the U.S. military and NATO;
some of the most influential Members of Congress (notably in foreign & security policy);
almost all National Security Advisors, CIA Directors, Ambassadors to the U.N., Chairs of the Federal Reserve, Presidents of the World Bank, and Directors of the National Economic Council;
many prominent academics, especially in key fields such as Economics and Political Science;
many top executives of Wall Street, policy think tanks, universities, and NGOs;
as well as the key members of both the 9/11 Commission and the Warren Commission (JFK)
Harvard economist and Kennedy supporter, John K. Galbraith, confirmed the Council’s influence: “Those of us who had worked for the Kennedy election were tolerated in the government for that reason and had a say, but foreign policy was still with the Council on Foreign Relations people.”
“The directors of the CFR make up a sort of Presidium for that part of the Establishment that guides our destiny as a nation. () [I]t rarely fails to get one of its members, or at least one of its allies, into the White House. In fact, it generally is able to see to it that both nominees are men acceptable to it.”
It was not until the 2016 election that the Council couldn’t, apparently, prevail. At any rate, not yet.

The software behemoth Microsoft Corp wants to gain an insider view on candidates and election campaigns at the federal, state and local level. The Seattle based company now offers a "special cybersecurity protection" to those candidates and campaigns that use its Office 365, Outlock or  Hotmail cloud services. Those who take up the offer will put their emails, internal strategy papers and financial records onto Microsoft owned and administrated servers where Microsoft personal will have a special eye on them.
​.. ​
All internet companies that offer services "free of charge" will use the data they acquire through these services for their own needs. They might use it to sell advertisements, to train 'artificial intelligence' networks they can resell, or to get insight into issues that might effect their bottom line.
There is no free lunch.

This analysis of the market positions in gold trading since 2000 ("Brown's Bottom Backwardation") is very helpful, not obscuring things at all. The 2008 crisis followed 7 years of gold bull market. I remember I could not understand why gold was going down that summer, with such sketchiness in the markets. People were selling their gold positions, largely futures, to pay bills coming due. There were a whole lot of leveraged longs. Right now, 7 years into a gold bear market, there are a preponderance of leveraged shorts in the market. Latest (weekly Friday evening release) data shows that gold positions last Tuesday were net short. Those positions will lose at leverage unless gold goes down further, and they may double down to fight that. Some of that likely did already happen between Tuesday and Friday last week. By the end of this month, a lot of that may appear as a forced short-covering-rally in gold, as leveraged shorts arre forced to actually buy, to cover their bets coming due. The author looks at prices of dollars in milligrams of gold. Which has a usefulness. He always explains things. The narrative was easier for me than some of the unfamiliar charts.

US/China trade talk 4th round happens 8/22/18. I predict the current (unofficial) truce on Yuan-Gold peg will be extended to anything that would disrupt the global economy going into November elections in the US. (Polish this turd!)
So is there any hope that tomorrows 4th meeting between the two trade delegations will finally reach a breakthrough?​ Y​es, but as both sides admit, it all rests on what Trump will say or do, which in turn may be determined by how confident the president is as he enters the final midterm elections stretch: if the GOP is seen as losing momentum, Trump may have no choice but to yield especially as US farmers and producers growing increasingly frustrated with Trump's tariffs. Alternatively, if Trump is confident he has the upper hand, the 4th trade meeting between China and the US will end exactly like the prior three...

​Hothouse Earth author says (as have many) that neoliberal economics prevents any change to the status quo, which is grinding forward, chewing up a world of "inputs" into a world of waste-products and "profits". That's what it does.​

Charles sends "The Social Ideology of the Motorcar", by Andre' Gorz, written in 1973. (Damn! What's the use-by-date on this thing?)
Ivan Illich sums up the effect in these startling figures: “The typical American devotes more than 1500 hours a year (which is 30 hours a week, or 4 hours a day, including Sundays) to his [or her] car. This includes the time spent behind the wheel, both in motion and stopped, the hours of work to pay for it and to pay for gas, tires, tolls, insurance, tickets, and taxes .Thus it takes this American 1500 hours to go 6000 miles (in the course of a year). Three and a half miles take him (or her) one hour. In countries that do not have a transportation industry, people travel at exactly this speed on foot, with the added advantage that they can go wherever they want and aren’t restricted to asphalt roads.”

M
​ichigan​ Health Chief will go to trial on Involuntary Manslaughter Charges, as Flint water continues to kill people. Thanks Jeanine.

According to the study undertaken by Inacio Pereira Lima, a master's student in Women's Health at the Federal University of Piaui's (UFPI) Center of Health and Sciences, 83.4 percent of the breast milk samples were found to contain glyphosate or aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) or both substances.

​Hello Worlds, Mark P Xu Neyer
This essay and the Moody Blues song, In The Beginning both present Artificial Intelligence becoming self-aware in a sensitive and humanistic light. 
Mostly, we see The Terminator, and for good reason, but this thoughtfulness contains a seed of something, more than just our own self awareness, something I can't put my finger on...
​Unmarked Vehicle​

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