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You are What you Read: How to Manage your Personal Echo Chamber

You are What you Read: How to Manage your Personal Echo Chamber

Mr. Trump has often being accused of “lying” in his many speeches and tweets. For sure, much of what he says can be said to be “contrary to fact.” But is the president really lying or is he simply stating what he thinks truth is? One man’s lies are another man’s truth. And the problem is that people tend to see the world according to the different echo chamber in which they live. Everyone seeks for facts that support their opinions. We badly need to take control of the information flow that we receive and I think we can do that. Let me show you how I try to do it by disclosing my personal information bubble.

Not long ago, I stumbled in a comment on “Quora” for the question, “Why do some people deny climate change? Here is a shortened version:

CO2 levels of 400 ppm being dangerously high are not accepted by scientists I find credible. There is no significant sea rise. The temperature has not changed by even 1 degree C. over the past century. Climate Change has not increased hurricanes or their intensity. I may rethink this if there is an undoubtedly measurable change in the level of the seas, or a decade long temperature rise.

Now, if you are an average reader of “Cassandra’s Legacy” you’ll agree with me every statement in this paragraph is wrong in the sense of being “contrary to fact.” But I am sure that the writer of this paragraph is a good person. He signed with his full name and I could see his profile. I think that if he were a neighbor of mine we could be good friends (as long as we would avoid discussing climate science!). He truly believes in what he says and he thinks his vision of the world is the right one.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Assange and the Unforgivable Sin of Disemboweling Official Narratives

Assange and the Unforgivable Sin of Disemboweling Official Narratives

The entire global status quo is on the cusp of the S-Curve decline phase.

There is really only one unforgivable sin in the political realm, and that’s destroying the official narrative by revealing the facts of the matter. This is why whistleblowers who make public the secret machinery of the elaborately artful lies underpinning all official narratives are hounded to the ends of the Earth.

Employees of state entities such as Ellsberg, Manning and Snowden are bound by vows of secrecy and threatened by the promise of severe punishment.Outsiders such as Assange are even further beyond the pale because they can’t be accused of being traitors, as they never took the vows of secrecy required by the Deep State. 

The single most damaging revelation to all the elaborate lies that make up official narratives is the truth revealed in official emails, documents and conversations. This is why virtually every document and correspondence is now “classified,” so anyone releasing even a mundane scrap can be sentenced to rot in federal prison.

In a recent C-SPAN interview, author Nomi Prins explained the incredible difficulty of accessing papers in presidential libraries now due to virtually everything being classified. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) applications must be filed, and researchers must wait years to gain access to routine correspondence that was freely available to all a decade or so ago.

Official paranoia has a 100% correlation with the amount of damage done to official narratives by any leaks of the facts of the matter. What are they so afraid of? Here’s the dynamic in play: the more fragile the narrative, the greater the dependence on half-truths and lies, the greater the official urgency to crush all whistleblowers and maintain a Stasi-like vigilance against any murmurs of dissent or doubt.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Assange Is Not A Journalist!” Yes He Is, Idiot.

“Assange Is Not A Journalist!” Yes He Is, Idiot.

As we discussed yesterday, whenever Assange is in the news and people are defending him you always see a bunch of hyper-emotional empire loyalists running around online trying to manage the narrative about him. One of the most common talking points which comes up is that Assange is “not a journalist”.

The reason this talking point comes up, of course, is because the WikiLeaks founder is besieged by powerful forces who are attempting to imprison him for publishing inconvenient facts about them, and his defenders often voice their concerns about what this means for the future of press freedoms. The completely baseless claim that Assange is “not a journalist” is used in an attempt to defuse the argument that his prosecution by the US government could lead to the same fate for any news media outlet which publishes leaks on the US government anywhere in the world. If he’s not a journalist, then his prosecution sets no precedent for real journalists.

This argument, if you can call it that, is fallacious for a number of reasons. For starters, as The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald explained last year, there’s not any legal distinction in the US Constitution between news media outlets like the New York Times and an outlet which solely focuses on publishing leaks. If you set the precedent with any publisher, you’re necessarily setting it for all of them. Greenwald writes the following:

To begin with, the press freedom guarantee of the First Amendment isn’t confined to “legitimate news outlets” – whatever that might mean. The First Amendment isn’t available only to a certain class of people licensed as “journalists.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Perhaps It’s Time to Believe the Impossible

PERHAPS IT’S TIME TO BELIEVE THE IMPOSSIBLE

“Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Alice in Wonderland.

It is often said, usually by those who wish to “educate”, control and manipulate us, that we are defined by what we believe. I submit it’s the other way around. We are defined, or more accurately confined, by what we disbelieve and think impossible, or at a minimum, improbable.

Once we consign something to the impossible, unbelievable, farfetched, unlikely, preposterous and unreal cognitive file, rarely, if ever, do we fish it back out of the garbage bin for reassessment and reconsideration. And why would we do so since it clearly belonged there to begin with, otherwise we never would have discarded it in the first place.

That right there is a perfect example of circular logic and emotionally comforting thinking.

From the point in time when non-religious standardized thinking was institutionalized, more commonly known as the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries, we have been conditioned to believe everything and anything can (eventually) be cataloged, quantified, qualified and confirmed…or denied. More importantly, the scientific method insists “real” truth can only be verified by way of uniform methods that produce repeatable results.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Confronting “Alternative Facts”

Confronting “Alternative Facts”

They are unending. There’s no way to keep up, much less respond effectively, and it almost goes without saying that they are never to be taken back, corrected, or amended in any way. Call them false claims, lies, untruths, misstatements, whatever you want, but they are what comes out of his mouth just about anytime he opens it. Take, for instance, that moment as 2018 ended when, in a blacked-out plane, he landed at al-Asad Air Base in Iraq for a three-hour presidential visit with the troops. It was there that he swore (as he had before) that he had won those troops a 10% pay raise for 2019 and that, to do so, he had fought it out in the trenches with unnamed military officials. (“They said, you know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3%. We could make it 2%. We could make it 4%.’ I said, ‘No. Make it 10%. Make it more than 10%.’”) He insisted as well that they hadn’t had a raise, not just of such a monumental sort but of any kind, in “more than 10 years.” As it happens, what were once known as the facts went like this: those troops last received a pay raise — of 2.4% — in 2018 (and every year before that for three decades); the 2019 pay raise is for 2.6%, not 10%; and those unnamed military officials evidently won!

For any half-normal president that would have been the trifecta: three outlandish falsehoods in a single try, but for Donald Trump it was just the modest, everyday demonstration of his remarkable ability to adjust reality to his needs, desires, and fantasies, and (as Jean-Luc Picard would once have said) “Make it so”! After all, for the man who, according to Washington Post fact-checkers, managed to make almost 6,000 “false and misleading claims” in 2018 alone, more than 15 a day and almost triple his record-setting pace of the previous year, that was nothing.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Age Of Trump Clearly Shows That Narrative Is Everything

The Age Of Trump Clearly Shows That Narrative Is Everything

Yesterday President Donald Trump tweeted the following:

“Endless Wars, especially those which are fought out of judgement mistakes that were made many years ago, & those where we are getting little financial or military help from the rich countries that so greatly benefit from what we are doing, will eventually come to a glorious end!”

The tweet was warmly received and celebrated by Trump’s supporters, despite the fact that it says essentially nothing since “eventually” could mean anything. Indeed, it’s looking increasingly possiblethat nothing will come of the president’s stated agenda to withdraw troops from Syria other than a bunch of words which allow his anti-interventionist base to feel nice feelings inside. Yet everyone laps it up, on both ends of the political aisle, just like they always do. Trump supporters are acting like he’s a swamp-draining, war-ending peacenik, his enemies are acting like he’s feeding a bunch of Kurds on conveyor belts into Turkish meat grinders to be made into sausages for Vladimir Putin’s breakfast, when in reality nothing has changed and may not change at all.

How are such wildly different pictures being painted about the same non-event? By the fact that both sides of the Trump-Syria debate have thus far been reacting solely to narrative.


Endless Wars, especially those which are fought out of judgement mistakes that were made many years ago, & those where we are getting little financial or military help from the rich countries that so greatly benefitt from what we are doing, will eventually come to a glorious end!


This has consistently been the story throughout Trump’s presidency: a heavy emphasis on words and narratives and a disinterest in facts and actions. A rude tweet can dominate headlines for days, while the actual behaviors of this administration can go almost completely ignored.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Fact-checking the second volume of the U.S. National Climate Assessment

Fact-checking the second volume of the U.S. National Climate Assessment

This recently-issued study (the “Assessment”) was seized on by the media as proof of the massive damage the US will suffer if nothing is done about climate change. The Assessment’s conclusions are based largely on speculative model projections that aren’t amenable to checking, but it also claims that the US is already experiencing some of the impacts of man-made climate change, and these claims can be checked. This post accordingly evaluates them claim-by-claim and finds that they are rarely backed up by any hard data, that in some cases they are contradicted by disclaimers buried in the text, and that in no case is there any hard evidence that conclusively relates the impacts to man-made climate change. The credibility of the Assessment’s predictions can be judged accordingly.

The Assessment is 1,600 pages long and I doubt that anyone has read it from cover to cover – I certainly haven’t. I have obtained my information from the Summary Findings, Overview, Report Chapters and Downloads sections in the boxes that clicking on this linkleads to. These sections themselves contain several hundred pages of text, much of it repetitive, but there is always the possibility that I’ve missed some critical graphic or piece of text. On the other hand, if I’ve missed it the media, who will have read the introductory sections only, will have too.

And how did the media report the Assessment’s results? Here are some excerpts:

Guardian

Climate change is already harming Americans’ lives with “substantial damages” set to occur as global temperatures threaten to surge beyond internationally agreed limits ……… The influence of climate change is being felt across the US with increases in disastrous wildfires in the west, flooding on the east coast, soil loss in the midwest and coastal erosion in Alaska

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Truth Is What We Hide, Self-Serving Cover Stories Are What We Sell

Truth Is What We Hide, Self-Serving Cover Stories Are What We Sell

The fact that lies and cover stories are now the official norm only makes us love our servitude with greater devotion.

We can summarize the current era in one sentence: truth is what we hide, self-serving cover stories are what we sell. Jean-Claude Juncker’s famous quote captures the essence of the era: “When it becomes serious, you have to lie.”

And when does it become serious? When the hidden facts of the matter might be revealed to the general public. Given the regularity of vast troves of well-hidden data being made public by whistleblowers and white-hat hackers, it’s basically serious all the time now, and hence the official default everywhere is: truth is what we hide, self-serving cover stories are what we sell.

The self-serving cover stories always tout the nobility of the elite issuing the PR: we in the Federal Reserve saved civilization by saving the Too Big To Fail Banks (barf); we in the corporate media do investigative reporting without bias (barf); we in central government only lie to protect you from unpleasant realities–it’s for your own good (barf); we in the NSA, CIA and FBI only lie because it’s our job to lie, and so on.

Three recent essays speak to the degradation of data and factual records in favor of self-serving cover stories and corrosive political correctness.

Why we stopped trusting elites (The Guardian)

“It’s not just that isolated individuals are unmasked as corrupt or self-interested (something that is as old as politics), but that the establishment itself starts to appear deceitful and dubious. The distinctive scandals of the 21st century are a combination of some very basic and timeless moral failings (greed and dishonesty) with technologies of exposure that expose malpractice on an unprecedented scale, and with far more dramatic results.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Psychology of Systemic Consensus

We are all too familiar with established views rejecting change. It has nothing to do with the facts. Officialdom’s mind is often firmly closed to all reason on the big issues. To appreciate why we must understand the crowd psychology behind the systemic consensus. It is the distant engine that drives the generator that provides the electricity that drives us into repetitive disasters despite prior evidence they are avoidable, and even fuels the madness of political correctness.

Forget the argument, look at the psychology

A human prejudice which is little examined is why establishments frequently stick to conviction while denying reasonable debate. Anyone who addresses the unreason of the establishment risks their motives being personally vilified and attacked. There are many fields of government where this is demonstrably true.

Leadership is too often based on prevailing beliefs, with minds firmly closed to any evidence they might be wrong. Even Galileo was forced by the Inquisition in 1633 to recant his scientific evidence that the earth revolved around the sun – a thoroughly reasonable and logical though novel proposition to the independent mind. But it wasn’t until 1992 that the religious establishment at the Vatican forgave him for being right.

That was 359 years later and long after it mattered to Galileo. Fortunately, when the establishment view departs from the facts it rarely survives as long. Socialism, economics, climate change and Brexit show the same static opinions insulated from inconvenient contradictions. This is not to say the establishment need be judgemental. Democratic government at its best tries to remain neutral and reflect a balance of opinion. But there are times when it loses sight of firm ground and becomes subverted by the psychology of its own established but unfounded beliefs.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The problem with models…is getting stuck on just one

The problem with models…is getting stuck on just one

Alfred Korzybski, the father of general semantics, first uttered what must now seem like a well-worn phrase: “The map is not the territory.” And yet, I don’t think this view has yet been well-incorporated into human culture.

In a time when social media outlets are trying to sort what is “fake” from what is “genuine” or “true,” very little thought is being put into what we even mean by “fake,” “genuine” or “true.” Facebook, for example, has resorted to third-party fact-checkers, a mix of news organizations and fact-checking nonprofits. It is also hiring thousands of new employees to check what it calls “non-news” information posted on Facebook pages.

A lot of checking revolves around whether someone said or did what is claimed. That’s not too hard. The next level involves the effect of a policy or position. That’s more difficult since some of the policies in question aren’t in effect and even for those that are, it is always hard to trace cause and effect from a policy to a specific result.

Then, there are what I’ll call “model” questions. Some claims fit into one model, but not into another. So, it’s very important to know what model one is using. In physics what’s true in our everyday experience isn’t true in the world of quantum mechanics, the domain of the very small. For example, it takes time for information, say, in the form of electrical signals through a cellphone network, to travel from where I am in Washington, DC to a client in Eastern Europe. We notice ourselves overlapping in our conversation sometimes because of the delay.

In an actual experiment of quantum effects, electrons that were a mile apart influenced each other with no time delay, suggesting that information at this level somehow travels instantaneously from one place to another. It’s a weird result, but consistent with the theory.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Degrading Facts of a Fake Money Hole in the Head

The Degrading Facts of a Fake Money Hole in the Head

Squishy Fact Finding Mission

Today we begin with the facts.  But not just the facts; the facts of the facts.  We want to better understand just what it is that is provoking today’s ludicrous world. To clarify, we are not after the cold hard facts; those with no opinions, like the commutative property of addition. Rather, we are after the warm squishy facts; the type of facts that depend on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.

Fact-related pleas… [PT]

The facts, as far as we can tell, are that we are presently living in a land of extreme confusion.  The genesis of this extreme confusion is today’s fake money system.  And the destructive effects of this fake money system have spread out like a virus into nearly all aspects of daily life.

Plain and simple, central bank fiat money creation, multiplied by commercial banks through fractional-reserve banking, propagates financial and economic chaos.  The experience of long periods of money supply expansion punctuated by abrupt, episodic contractions, has the effect of whipsawing the working stiff’s efforts to get ahead. This trifecta of offenses has debased the rewards of hard work, saving money, and paying one’s way.

Quite frankly, these facts are insulting. In particular, they are insulting for those running in the rat race for their family’s daily bread. These facts are also insulting for retirees, who worked for four decades only to have their life savings extracted by the depredations of the fake money system.

 

Early rat race conditioning [PT]

Short-Sighted Decisions

The facts are that on August 15, 1971, Tricky Dick Nixon stiffed the world unconditionally.  He defaulted on the Bretton Woods system, and terminated the agreement that allowed member nations to redeem their paper dollars, acquired through trade, for gold.  But that’s not the half of it…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

American Totalitarianism and the Culture of Fake News

American Totalitarianism and the Culture of Fake News

American Totalitarianism and the Culture of Fake News

American citizens have a problem telling the difference between facts and opinion. That’s the finding of a recent survey carried out by the respected Pew organization.

It was found that only a quarter of the people polled were able to correctly distinguish between a factual statement and an opinion claim. In other words, the majority of those Americans surveyed wrongly believed that information presented to them purporting as facts were indeed facts, when the information was actually merely a subjective claim or opinion.

For example, when an opinion statement like “democracy is the best form of government” was read to them, most of the respondents defined that as a fact. Only some 25 per cent of the more than 5,000 people surveyed by Pew could correctly differentiate between facts and subjective statements.

Moreover, as the Reuters report on the study, put it: “They tend to disagree with factual statements they incorrectly label as opinions, Pew said.”

The latter tendency suggests that Americans are easily misled by false information, and perhaps more disturbingly, that they are closed-minded towards information that challenges their prejudices.

This commentary is not meant to unduly denigrate American citizens. It would be interesting to see what the results would be from a similar survey conducted in Europe, Russia or China.

Regardless of not having such a comparison, however, the Pew study indicates that there is a significant cognitive problem among US people in being able to assess facts from opinions. Given that opinions can be easily manipulated, misconstrued or mendacious that in turn points to a problem of American society being vulnerable to so-called fake news.

US President Donald Trump has almost singlehandedly coined the phrase “fake news” when he rails against news media which are adverse to his personality and his Republican party politics.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Jerry Brown: 3 Billion Will Die from Global Warming

Jerry Brown: 3 Billion Will Die from Global Warming

On April 17, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown delivered a speech at the National Press Club in Washington DC. A day later the headline that forms the title of this post appeared in Google News. I’ve been unable to find out exactly how many views Google News gets, but it’s probably in the billions/year range, and this headline is sufficiently eye-catching that even viewers who just skim through the articles can hardly miss it. Three billion global warming deaths is, however, a lot, and the question is where Gov. Brown got this number from. It turns out to be a recent World Health Organization report that cites 3 billion as the number of people potentially affected by “household air pollution from inefficient cooking practices“. How Gov. Brown translated this into 3 billion global warming deaths isn’t clear, but if you sincerely believe that climate change will destroy civilization the important thing is to get the message across. The facts are secondary.

In the interests of fairness we must first consider what Gov. Brown actually said in his speech. According to CNS News and other sources it was this: “The prospect is 3 billion people on this planet will be subject to fatal lethal heat events.” A heat event that is both fatal and lethal can be guaranteed to kill the people who are subjected to it, but this is not quite as catchy a headline as 3 billion will die. So Gov. Brown got some help from the media in delivering his message.

Second, the World Health Organization has consistently projected that climate change deaths will be far lower than Gov. Brown claims. WHO estimates (probably overestimates, but that’s a separates issue) only the health impacts of climate change, but these include the impacts of drought (malnutrition etc), and the impacts of floods are generally included in a separate category.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Fake news, algorithmic sentinels, and facts from the future

Fake news, algorithmic sentinels, and facts from the future

The suggestion that social media outlets need to police so-called “fake news” rings true on its face. Who wants to read news coverage known to be false? But what rates as “fake news” will be harder to define than we think.

And, putting algorithms in charge of policing those vast information flows claiming to be news will almost certainly not solve the problem. In a piece reflecting on artificial intelligence (AI) on the 50th anniversary of the release of the film, “2001: A Space Odyssey” writer Michael Benson tells us that “[d]emocracy depends on a shared consensual reality.”

Well, actually everything we do in groups, whether it’s democracy or going to a hockey game, depends on shared consensual reality. And, therein lies the problem. We are now in a fight not over opinions concerning the import of agreed upon facts, but over the consensus itself—whether scientific findings can be trusted, whether corporate-owned media can be believed, whether “objective” reporting is even possible, whether the history we were taught is indeed the “true” history of our country and our world.

Which consensus prevails will be crucial to every facet of our society. It is true that consensus views are constantly being challenged by events. To the extent that events can be fit into consensus views, the consensus can survive. In fact, the consensus can be tweaked when necessary. The idea that free trade is always good has been tweaked in the past to admit that it is not good for everyone and that those who lose their jobs need special assistance. The consensus survived and free trade agreements continued to flourish.

Now, the consensus is vanishing. Large parts of society do not believe that the current system serves them well. Wealth is being shifted up the income ladder as middle- and low-income families find their wages stagnant or declining.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

More Lies from the Presstitutes

More Lies from the Presstitutes

The shameless liars that comprise the US media intentionally exaggerated the marchers against “gun violance” by four times the acutal number.

Why?

Why are the media presstitutes involved in advocacy of agendas and not in reporting factual news?

Recent polls show that a majority of Americans believe that gun ownership makes people safer. Americans do not believe that people should be denied safety because of an occasional nutcase or a staged shooting to advance the gun control agenda. Indeed, they wonder who is behind the gun control agenda. They wonder about the dumbshits who are protesting the Second Amendment instead of Washington’s rush into conflict with Russia.

I have no doubt that gun control groups are organized by agents of the police state. The United States is falling apart. All of the increase in income and wealth is going to the One Percent. Everyone else is hurting more each day. See Chris Hedges, for example: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49082.htm

The vast majority of Americans are being ground into the dirt by government at all levels. There is no democracy. There is only looting. The One Percent fear that sooner or later even insouciant Americans might rise up. But they can’t if they are disarmed. That is all gun control is about.

Deaths from what the propagandistic “gun violance” shills for the police state hype as a massive problem are such a small percentage of US deaths that they do not even show up statistically. Yet we have all this protest over an infintestimal number of deaths, and no protests at all by opponents of “gun violence” over police killings, which are larger that “gun violence” deaths or over America’s massive murders on a world scale. Where are the “gun violence” protests over the millions of deaths and millions of displaced peoples in Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan? Where are the “gun violence” protests against Trumpt’s chosen national security adviser John Bolton’s plan to bomb Iran and North Korea into the stone age?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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