Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for March 2018

Obama did the same thing

Already noted yesterday, but so worth repeating. From an article at Politico:

During the 2012 campaign, President Barack Obama’s reelection team built an app that extracted the same types of data in the same fashion as the Cambridge Analytica data in question, with one critical difference: Obama’s team extracted nearly five times the information.

According to Carol Davidsen, a member of Obama’s data team, “Facebook was surprised we were able to suck out the whole social graph, but they didn’t stop us once they realized that was what we were doing.” The social graph is Facebook’s map of relationships between users and brands on its platform. And after the election, she recently acknowledged, Facebook was “very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side.”

There’s been no word on whether the Obama team was asked to delete its data, nor has it been suspended from Facebook.

Everyone was harvesting data from Facebook, and no one cared until somehow it got connected to Trump winning the election. The powers that be are out to punish anyone they think helped Trump win the election.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 22, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Politics

Mark Conditt – beta-male rage?

According to NY Times article he was a “socially awkward” kid and unemployed since he lost his job as “purchasing Agent/buyer/shipping and receiving” at a semiconductor company. Nothing about him ever having a girlfriend. His home-schooled Christian upbringing may have been conservative, but it was a very blue-pilled type of conservatism that did not prepare him for success as an adult in a secular world.

Why did he go to a community college? If he was smart enough to make bombs, he was smart enough to go to a real 4-year-college. Elliot Rodger was also at an educational institution that was beneath his intelligence.

I think this may be beta-male rage by bomb instead of by gun.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 22, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Crime

Mark Anthony Conditt

https://www.buzzfeed.com/tasneemnashrulla/austin-bombing-suspect-mark-anthony-conditt?utm_term=.qn8aZ09XNl#.bvNBqEMwG1

Grew up in a religious Christian family, was homeschooled, expressed conservative beliefs in a blog from several years back, didn’t have many friends, but no one suspected him of being prone to violence.

I don’t see a clear motive. Schizoprenia maybe?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Crime

What is the Facebook “scandal” about?

https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/21/17146342/facebook-data-scandal-cambridge-analytica-aleksandr-kogan-scapegoat

It appears to be all about Trump, people who hate Trump trying to blame someone for Trump winning, and this week the blame is on Facebook.

“Black hat” internet marketing has been rampant since the early 2000s, and hardly anyone one has paid any attention to it. For example, all social media are full of bots and the owners of such media platforms were too lazy to do anything about botting until bots were blamed for Donald Trump winning the election. And I can assure you that Instagram (the only big social media platform I currently use) is still full of bots.

There was a lot less outrage when millions of credit card numbers, passwords, and email addresses were stolen from various companies. All that we are talking about here is data gathered from an app that lets people take a bullsh** personality quiz.

* * *

Black hat internet marketing, however, has a big impact on the validity of libertarian economics. Libertarians believe the amount of money you make is exactly equal to how much you contribute to the economy, but how does it contribute to society by using black-hat cheating methods to boost yourself (as an influencer) or your brand on social media and the internet and thereby make a lot of money from such black-hat cheating?

* * *

This article at The Hill is a must read. Basically, Obama’s people did the EXACT SAME THING that Cambridge Analytica did, but Facebook didn’t care because Obama was the good guys.

http://thehill.com/opinion/technology/379245-whats-genius-for-obama-is-scandal-when-it-comes-to-trump

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Technology

Things that Instagram is ruining

Nature
Restaurants
Travel
Croissants
Food
Art
Self-esteem
Relationships
Fitness
Photography
Female friendship
Modeling
Backpacker culture
Our brains
Our lives

And some people think Instagram isn’t worth blogging about. Instagram is worse the global warming!

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 20, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Technology

Heinlein and the psychology of guns

This is also a quote from the Robert Heinlein novel Tunnel in the Sky. Rod Walker, the main character, is asking his older sister (a captain in the Corps of Amazons) advice for his upcoming survival test on an unknown planet:

“Uh, Sis, what sort of gun should I carry?”

“Huh? Why the deuce do you want a gun?”

“Why, for what I might run into, of course. Wild animals and things. Deacon Matson practically said that we could expect dangerous animals.”

“I doubt if he advised you to carry a gun. From his reputation, Dr. Matson is a practical man. See here, infant, on this tour you are the rabbit, trying to escape the fox. You aren’t the fox.”
“What do you mean?”

“Your only purpose is to stay alive. Not to be brave, not to fight, not to dominate the wilds- but just stay breathing. One time in a hundred a gun might save your life; the other ninety-nine it will just tempt you into folly. Oh, no doubt Matson would take one, and I would, too. But we are salted; we know when not to use one. But consider this. That test area is going to be crawling with trigger-happy young squirts. If one shoots you, it won’t matter that you have a gun, too- because you will be dead. But if you carry a gun, it makes you feel cocky; you won’t take proper cover. If you don’t have one, then you’ll know that you are the rabbit. You’ll be careful.”

I completely didn’t understand this when I read it as a teenager. It didn’t make any sense. Why would you not want to take a gun if you were going to be stranded for up to ten days on a strange planet with wild animals?

But now, I’m old enough to have the wisdom to understand this advice. For example, if George Zimmerman had not been carrying a gun, he probably wouldn’t have gone looking for the dangerous-looking ghetto black kid, he would have waited for the police, but the gun made him feel powerful, like bigshot who could take care of himself.

A lot of the pro-gun proles who say they need a gun for “protection” just don’t understand this psychology. Furthermore, I believe that owning an AR-15 contributed to the Florida kid going on a shooting rampage. Having the AR-15 made him feel powerful, and he caressed his gun and had fantasies about how he could use the power of the AR-15 to go to his old high school and get back at all the kids and teachers he hated. If he had not been able to obtain an AR-15 in the first place, he never would have had those dark fantasies.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 19, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Books, Proles

Abs and Instagram

Jay Fink writes in a comment:

In my lifetime I have seen society try to sexualize men. Compared to when I was growing up there is much more emphasis on men being muscular, having six pack abs etc. Probably more men are insecure about their appearance now than ever before. Yet despite all this most people really don’t care about men on a visual level.

Instagram is proof of this. There is so much more interest in looking at pictures of women than men. Even women like to admire other women visually. There is not a large market for looking at men’s pictures outside the gay community. This is the natural order of things and I like it.

I never even heard of “abs” until the early 2000s. There were bodybuilders in the 1970s of course. I remember the TV series The Incredible Hulk, in which the Hulk was played by bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno. The Hulk had very big muscles, but his abs were less ripped than a typical modern-day male model. No one cared about abs in the 1970s.

Now, regarding why women look at Instagram feeds of other women, it’s not a lesbian thing, at least I don’t think so. I think that women look to other women as role models for how to stay fit, where to travel, how to dress, how to waste their money, etc. Women prefer to follow pretty women not because of sexual attraction, but they sense that the pretty women have higher status and are more worthy of emulating.

However, do people care about men on a visual level? The mainstream media seems to have trained us to care. There’s no doubt that a good looking man with “ripped abs” is going to have an easier time getting female followers on Instagram than his less good looking brothers. And the same guy will get a lot more attention from women (in real life as well as on social media) than a genius computer programmer who has nothing special going on in the looks department.

* * *

I forgot to mention Captain Kirk played by William Shatner in the late 1960s. Shatner was considered to have such a sexy body that they often made him remove his shirt to show it off, but he had absolutely no visible abs.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 19, 2018 at EDT am

Heinlein quote from Tunnel in the Sky

Rod asked curiously, “Sis, would you really give up your commission [as an assault captain in the “Corps of Amazons”] to get married?”

“Would I! I won’t even count his arms and legs. If he is still warm and can nod his head, he’s had it. My target is six babies and a farm.”

The future predicted by Heinlein when women are desperate to marry any man who would ask them never came to pass, at least not yet, and I don’t see any reason why society would move back in that direction.

Yet at the same time, women serving in combat positions in a military organization (albeit a sex-segregated military organization) was a pretty radical idea for 1956.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 19, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Books

Now reading: Tunnel in the Sky

I finished Citizen of the Galaxy (great book!) and now I’ve started Robert Heinlein’s Tunnel in the Sky.

I will write a review of Citizen of the Galaxy in the near future.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 18, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Politics

Why Instagram is important

When I wrote about Instagram on Friday, some comments said I should write about more important stuff.

Well I say that Instagram is pretty important A long time back I predicted that in the future, when most jobs are replaced by automation, people would be paid to play World of Warcraft. That was really a stand-in for people getting paid to do stuff they’d be doing anyway. Instagram didn’t even exist when I came up with the World of Warcraft idea.

We already do have the phenomenon of people making money from this stuff. You have people in China working as “gold farmers” in World of Warcraft, professional League of Legends players, people making a living livestreaming themselves playing videogames on Twitch. And of course, in social media, you have people making a living posting stuff on Instagram.

If Instagram becomes a more important source of future income than playing videogames, and women are much better at gaining engagement on Instagram then men, then the future is biased in favor of women.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 18, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Technology

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