Distractions

05.09.2017

Lemme know if you can find the girls in bikinis in this video. What a rip-off.

The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI
No one really knows how the most advanced algorithms do what they do. That could be a problem.
by Will Knight
April 11, 2017

I’d like to see Thomas Friedman and Paul Wolfowitz have a Republican marriage.

Why Paul Wolfowitz Is Optimistic About Trump
In an interview for the Global Politico, the controversial Republican hawk says the president has an ‘opportunity’ in the Middle East.

Like many other hawkish Republicans—“do me a favor,” he says, and don’t call him a “neocon,” which he believes is a charged word wielded by critics—Wolfowitz adamantly opposed candidate Trump in 2016, put off by his “America First” rhetoric, his rejection of the Iraq war as a disastrous mistake and his praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin and other autocratic leaders.

Indeed, Wolfowitz tells me that he did not vote for Trump because he feared he would be “Obama on steroids” given Trump’s campaign-trail reluctance to project American power and leadership in the Middle East and elsewhere—and that he decided not to vote for Hillary Clinton either because he was not sure she would pursue tougher policies and thought she had joined Obama in misjudging Putin with their failed Russia “reset” policy.

How U.S. Backing of ‘Moderate’ Rebels Is Bolstering Jihadists
A dispatch from Idlib in opposition-held Syria.
By Lindsey Snell / AlterNet May 2, 2017

I held my breath each time I heard a plane, but the family’s matriarch offered reassurance. “If you can hear that plane sound, it means they are far away.”

The Syrian and Russian militaries have bombed civilian infrastructure in opposition-held Syria, hitting hospitals, schools and markets. My host squinted and listened before declaring the plane was roughly two kilometers from us, demonstrating an uncanny ability honed during years of life under bombardment. The fading sound of the jets filled me with relief.

The chemical attack this month in the rebel-controlled town of Khan Shaykoun was followed by international outrage and a frenzy of Western media coverage calling for the American government to ramp up arms shipments and military training to the Syrian rebels. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman called for the U.S. to “dramatically increase our aid to anti-Assad rebels,” describing them as “moderate.” At the same time, he urged the U.S. to weaponize ISIS, rather than combat it, in order to “bleed” the Syrian, Russian and Iranian governments.

Prosecutors Taking Tougher Stance in Fraternity Hazing Deaths

The parents of two former Penn State students, Adam and Denise Lipson, say that they warned administrators in 2014 and 2015 of fraternity hazing that included coercing first-year students to drink to excess, but that their concerns were ignored. Dismayed by that atmosphere, their sons transferred to other universities, where they found less emphasis on alcohol and less pressure to drink.

“Our sons are not prudes, they’re not anti-frat, they’re not anti-alcohol, but they couldn’t believe how far it went,” Ms. Lipson said. “There was this underlying acceptance of it.”

Dr. Barron said concerns about drinking had been taken seriously for some time.

The Marine Corps, 1966
Not Too Many Snowflakes
FRED REED • MAY 4, 2017 • 5,700 WORDS

 

Tom Friedman is a Dick

friedman

The best book review ever written:
http://www.alternet.org/story/21856/flathead/?page=entire

Do Friedmans Dream of Electric Sheeple?
David V. Johnson
December 13, 2016

Thomas Friedman’s seventh book, Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations, is already a New York Times bestseller and will likely rival neckties as the go-to holiday president for fathers and grandfathers across the country. And just like those ties, the books will likely find their way to a darkened corner, never to be seen again. Thank the thrice-Pulitzered journalist himself—author of a string of similar works of ebullient market prophecy such as The Lexus and the Olive Tree and The World Is Flat—for creating an age in which books need only be bought, not read, and columns need only be shared, not perused, for their content to make its mark.

CULTURE » NOVEMBER 22, 2016
Thomas Friedman’s Latest Book Is a Tour Through His Troubled, Neoliberal Mind
We read 500 pages of corporate platitudes and ungainly metaphor so you don’t have to.
BY CHRIS LEHMANN

This witless, reflexive endorsement of corporate prerogative runs so deep in Thank You for Being Late that even Friedman’s cautionary environmentalism is steeped in it. Mother Nature, he burbles, is “relentlessly entrepreneurial,” possesses a welter of “killer apps” and knows that “allowing the weak to die off unlocks more resources and energy for the strong.”

Best Comment of 2016
Best Comment of 2016