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Thread: Inauguration Day, Inauguration Hooooooraaay!

  1. #15681
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    I guess you could maybe say, 'oh no, people are only talking because of Trump derangement syndrome'. Which I guess may also be true, but you can't refer to anything the president is involved in to any capacity without having to bring up Trump's glaring incompetence as well. I wonder how much discussion is really 'derangement' vs. simply the fact he's involved in alot of **** and is incompetent at everything.

  2. #15682
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    The only reason Americans hear about anything is if bad orange man can be somehow blamed for it.

  3. #15683
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    The only reason Americans hear about anything is if bad orange man can be somehow blamed for it.
    That's true. But articles about other things are either about poor people (lol) or foreigners (double lol, since they're poor). So why would an American click on it?

  4. #15684
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Because there's recent news directly involving them?

    I mean, I agree more people should have been paying attention. But I don't see why it would be surprising, since Trump just pulled out troops and Erdogan launched an attack, that it would be a topic of discussion.
    Just because some event happens somewhere in the world doesnít make it ďnewsy.Ē Ultimately itís newsy because itís a foreign policy issue (Trump scandals often have a foreign policy component, so check that off for why itís newsy) that can be pinned on Trumpís cooperation with an ďauthoritarian leaderĒ (check!) that seems like a radical departure from previous policy that undermines American global leadership and credibility, even though it isnít really all that new (so check that off too).

  5. #15685
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    The only reason Americans hear about anything is if bad orange man can be somehow blamed for it.
    Yes, it was rhetorical confusion, and the answer is that. Like, Americans were already terrible uninformed about international affairs about Trump, but itís gotten vastly worse. How can you have a Democratic primary when the country has spent three years with international stories (and domestic ones, too) only making the news if thereís a Trump angle? Itís a massive problem for the debates, for example. You canít have meaningful debate about topics the public doesnít know anything about. So you get Elizabeth Warren being asked in the last debate if she has a ďplanĒ to implement her promise to end the war in Afghanistan and she says, ďuh... we need diplomacy.Ē

    The public has no context to understand an issue like this Kurdish issue, and so it becomes ďTurkey bad, Kurds good, Trump policy against US/regional interests.Ē But itís vastly more complicated than that.
    Last edited by Eversor; 10-10-2019 at 09:42 AM.

  6. #15686
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Just because some event happens somewhere in the world doesn’t make it “newsy.” Ultimately it’s newsy because it’s a foreign policy issue (Trump scandals often have a foreign policy component, so check that off for why it’s newsy) that can be pinned on Trump’s cooperation with an “authoritarian leader” (check!) that seems like a radical departure from previous policy that undermines American global leadership and credibility, even though it isn’t really all that new (so check that off too).
    I mean, you're not wrong, but this is more a complaint about how American media handles this. It doesn't really effect whether this specific case is newsworthy, which I'd argue it still is regardless of the faults of U.S. media.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    The public has no context to understand an issue like this Kurdish issue, and so it becomes “Turkey bad, Kurds good, Trump policy against US/regional interests” when it’s vastly more complicated than that.
    Is it? I'm curious what your thoughts on that.

  7. #15687
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Is it? I'm curious what your thoughts on that.
    Iíll write something up in a bit when I have access to a keyboard

  8. #15688

  9. #15689
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    effect
    That's it, I'm done with this thread forever.

  10. #15690
    I have started spelling it śffect just to piss everyone off every time.
    Epstein didn't kill himself.

  11. #15691
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Is it? I'm curious what your thoughts on that.
    Okay, as is typical, this turned out longer than I had intended, but here it goes. Reid, you said this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Disappointed as all hell that Trump is dumping the SDF.. they were the one group in the region the U.S. militarily backed that I pretty much wholly supported. And he throws them under the bus to, I don't know, convince dictators he wants to kiss their ass?
    Now, it’s very much a liberal impulse (and a good and generous impulse) to support a people that exists as a minority spread across multiple states, so I’m certainly not going to knock that. But the YPG (which is the primary militia of Syrian Kurds, which plays a leading role in the SDF) are certainly not angels, and they shouldn’t be seen as occupying some unique moral high ground in the region. Some right-leaning analysts who have lost all sense of perspective in recent days and are trying hard to justify Trump’s decision by comparing the YPG to ISIS. But of course that’s gross hyperbole. Nonetheless, it is the case that the YPG has strong ties (even shared personnel, various types of cooperation) with the PKK, a Turkish-Kurd separatist organization based in Turkey that the Turkish government sees as a threat to the country’s integrity (i.e., a Kurdish state would mean the partial dissolution of Turkey) and that carries out terrorist attacks in Turkey. For analysts who follow this stuff closely, there’s a real difference between how the Syrian Kurds and the Iraqi Kurds are perceived. From what I gather, the Iraqi Kurds have actually been the one’s doing the very admirable work of establishing institutions and develop a proto-state, while the Syrian Kurds have been involved in terrorism and other unsavory things, including their association and cooperation with the PKK. In other words, the Syrian Kurds aren't "good guys," even if they aren't Al-Qaida (although, of course, from Turkey's perspective, they totally are).

    Now the other thing: US support for the YPG undermines Turkey in the region. In the summer of 2014 when ISIS conquered all that territory in Iraq and Syria, the US stated it was its explicit policy that the integrity of the states in the region not be violated, and all maintain the same borders that they’ve had. There are a lot of reasons why the US would maintain the policy, but that was in part a concession to Turkey, because it doesn’t want a Kurdish state. Turkey has legitimate security concerns about the Turkish Kurds, and ever since the US and the YPG have collaborated, Turkey has always reluctantly accepted US support for the YPG — although they haven’t always “accepted” it at all, and at times its been a real point of friction between the US and Turkey in recent years.

    Now here’s another thing: for very good reasons, the US has become allergic to using US military “boots on the ground” to accomplish its goals in the region, and so to maintain a “tight footprint,” it enlisted the help of the Syrian Kurds to fight against ISIS and has provided air support (and, of course, “military advisors”). Now something to know about that: it’s no secret that Turkey was threatened US support for the YPG. The US may have enticed the YPG with promises of an independent Kurdish state in return for their support in the fight against ISIS, but they would have been fools to believe that the US was going to go through with it. Turkey is too important a country to to the US for the US to turn its back on it.

    And so about Turkey: Turkey has been a key part of US foreign policy in the region for decades. Turkey was the first Muslim majority country to recognize Israel, and Israel and Turkey cooperated frequently until Erdogan came into power, when the relationship became more fraught. During the Cold War and starting with the Since the Camp David Accords in 1978, when Egypt effectively left the Soviet sphere of influence and joined the US, Israel, Egypt and Turkey together formed an axis that was the core of the US’ Middle East policy.

    Now that started to fall apart in the 2000s, in a kind of interesting way that I’ll just describe quickly. You may already know this, but the notion of a “deep state” comes from Egypt and Turkey: Turkey was effectively run by the country’s military establishment, which was secular, pro-US, pro-NATO and pro-integration of Turkey into Europe. Erdogan came to power as a populist who promised to wrestle power from the military establishment and make the government more responsive to the wishes of its people rather than the needs of the country as defined by its military/ He did a 180 on their tack when he came to power: he's made the country more religious, and turned away from NATO and Europe and instead has tried to direct the country outwardly towards the Middle East (a policy sometimes called “Neo-Ottomanism”: effectively the idea is that Turkey is a country on two continents, and throughout its history it’s seen itself as either European or Middle Eastern. Erdogan has lead the country to focus on expanding its influence in the Middle East, rather than trying to integrate more into Europe.)

    Another thing to know about Turkey: Turkey has also been an historical rival of Russia. Currently, like Israel, and like Iran and the Syrian government, Turkey has to treat Russia as a power broker in the region. But it’d prefer not to do that as it expands into Syria and into Iraq (and yes, Turkey has for a long time already had a presence in both Syria and Iraq). So, given the historic hostility between Turkey and Russia, and the long-standing relationship between the US and Turkey, the two countries make, in some respects, a natural team.

    And that leads us to the conclusion. People might complain about how bad the process was, how more diplomacy could’ve been involved, how the Trump admin could’ve done more to discuss with allies in the region before announcing the decision, and could have at least heard them out.* But it’s really not a ridiculous thing to support Turkey.

    The media wants to moralize it and paint it as some kind of example of Trump getting chummy with an authoritarian leader (akin to his relationship with Putin or Duterte or Orban or Netanyahu -- hence the whole "rejection of the liberal international order" narrative). There’s of course a risk to assigning too much strategic thought to Trump personally, but there are actually still people with heads on their shoulders in his admin helping to guide foreign policy decisions, and siding with Turkey isn’t a terrible idea. At the moment, it’s difficult to square with the admin’s Israel policy, due to the hostilities between Turkey and Israel (hostilities to a certain extent manufactured by Turkey to increase Erdogan's credibility both domestically and internationally). But despite what you hear about the “Cold War” between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the big players in the region are actually Israel, Turkey and Iran. (Turkey and the Gulf states compete in the region over cultural trans-national Sunni leadership but AFAIK Turkey is far ahead in terms of winning hearts and minds.) So it makes some strategic sense to side with Turkey, especially as Turkey expands its influence in the region and increasingly finds itself at odds with Iran.

    The Trump admin may have thrown the Kurds under the bus, but unfortunately it was only a matter of time: as I hinted at earlier, the Obama administration knew when it formed its alliance with the YPG that no US admin would ever side with the Kurds and drive a wedge between the US and Turkey. The outcome was plain to see to everyone from the beginning (and, in fact, if you look back you'll find no shortage of people who've been saying it).



    *(As an aside, I see a lot of leftist anti-establishment people making these process arguments, which is funny because they usually criticize establishment liberal folk for putting too much emphasis on process. Is it a surprise that that’s the argument their making? They’ve been arguing for a significantly rolled back US military, and this is what that would look like. They got what they wanted — and that means pulling support for minorities like the Kurds. But I leave that as an aside.)
    Last edited by Eversor; 10-10-2019 at 05:17 PM.

  12. #15692
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    *(As an aside, I see a lot of leftist anti-establishment people making these process arguments, which is funny because they usually criticize establishment liberal folk for putting too much emphasis on process. Is it a surprise that thatís the argument their making? Theyíve been arguing for a significantly rolled back US military, and this is what that would look like. They got what they wanted ó and that means pulling support for minorities like the Kurds. But I leave that as an aside.)
    Nobody loves blackface more than a conservative, nobody hates blackface on Justin Trudeau more than a conservative

  13. #15693
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    I mean, you're not wrong, but this is more a complaint about how American media handles this. It doesn't really effect whether this specific case is newsworthy, which I'd argue it still is regardless of the faults of U.S. media.
    I definitely agree it's newsworthy, but what really surprised me was that the coverage has effectively been wall-to-wall on the Ukraine story ever since it first broke, and that this story disrupted that. It's a little odd, don't you think? They must've been running out of things to say about the Ukraine scandal.

  14. #15694
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Hereís the thing I think all of the people protesting this donít understand.

    It literally does not matter how much outrage the public generates, how long it lasts, or how many paying customers they lose. The corporations will always side with China. Because eventually, even if they have to wait an entire generation to rebuild their US audiences, it will be possible to do. If they piss off the Chinese state by appearing to support a revolutionary movement, they will be locked out of their sphere of influence for all eternity. And thatís just for IP companies; for device companies like Apple, it means losing their entire supply chain overnight.

    Iím not saying not to try though. Iím just saying, donít expect anything to happen unless you replace your government with one thatís willing to make corporations and their shareholders legally responsible for what the authoritarian regimes they prop up do.

  15. #15695

  16. #15696
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Hereís the thing I think all of the people protesting this donít understand.

    It literally does not matter how much outrage the public generates, how long it lasts, or how many paying customers they lose. The corporations will always side with China. Because eventually, even if they have to wait an entire generation to rebuild their US audiences, it will be possible to do. If they piss off the Chinese state by appearing to support a revolutionary movement, they will be locked out of their sphere of influence for all eternity. And thatís just for IP companies; for device companies like Apple, it means losing their entire supply chain overnight.

    Iím not saying not to try though. Iím just saying, donít expect anything to happen unless you replace your government with one thatís willing to make corporations and their shareholders legally responsible for what the authoritarian regimes they prop up do.
    But it's only extreme unrestrained profit seeking capitalism that is bad. If companies are behaving the same way but in some way that is less less obviously okay thats fine they should be okay with just a little profit.
    Epstein didn't kill himself.

  17. #15697
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    Hereís a brief summary of the Blizzard controversy, events in chronological order

    - Hong Kong player says ďfree Hong KongĒ during Hearthstone tournament.

    - Blizzard takes the players money, bans him from Hearthstone, bans the hosts of the stream who didnít even do anything.

    - American players say ďfree Hong KongĒ during Hearthstone tournament.

    - Blizzard advances them to the next bracket.

    - American players resign from the tournament in disgust at Blizzards bald faced politicking.

    - Blizzard executive releases a statement defending their ban of the Hong Kong player, saying ďwe would have done the same thing for any political messageĒ.

  18. #15698
    Child's Play CharitySon of Krokodile XVI
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    [On the Trump administration pulling out of Syria]
    Thanks for the elaboration! That was very informative. If all that you said checks out (which I assume it does, although I guess if I were smart I would look up each detail to be sure), I feel like I have a much better overview of that situation. But also now I'm kind of mad about my own ignorance.

  19. #15699
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    https://news.blizzard.com/en-us/bliz...ers-tournament

    Some people seem to think this is half-written by some ESL Chinese person. Probably just hysterics being hysterical.
    Last edited by Reid; 10-12-2019 at 10:43 AM.

  20. #15700
    Quote Originally Posted by Krokodile View Post
    Thanks for the elaboration!
    No problem!

  21. #15701

  22. #15702

  23. #15703
    Seems bad. Poorly considered means often delegitimize ends.

  24. #15704
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Seems bad. Poorly considered means often delegitimize ends.
    which link are you talkingn about genuinely not sure
    Epstein didn't kill himself.

  25. #15705
    The climate change one

  26. #15706
    Oh right. Do you think we should vote instead?
    Epstein didn't kill himself.

  27. #15707
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook View Post
    Oh right. Do you think we should vote instead?
    Why not, voting to reign in big businesses has always worked so far




    lol

  28. #15708
    Epstein didn't kill himself.

  29. #15709
    Child's Play CharitySon of Krokodile XVI
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    Mark Kern, formerly of Blizzard, on Chinese influence on Western video game companies. (This link is to a website that threads Twitter posts together so you don't need to read them in Twitter's format. I apologize if this goes against anyone's preference.)

    I wasn't aware of all the things going on that he divulges in those posts, but none of it is surprising to me. I appreciate Mark Kern's stance and the fact that he came out with it, but all this information about our Chinese overlords makes me sad about the state of affairs in the West, including my own country. I mean the way our companies bow down to all this Chinese money and the potential of the huge Chinese market. It's pretty understandable, but I wish this longstanding trend could be reversed somehow.
    Looks like we're not going down after all, so nevermind.

  30. #15710
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    Now realize that what he said doesn’t only apply to entertainment, it applies to all industries, because western capitalists aren’t allocating capital anymore. Xi Jinping has created more mining jobs in North America than Donald Trump.

  31. #15711
    Epstein didn't kill himself.

  32. #15712

  33. #15713
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    The two sides of the debate are: people who know that markets canít internalize externalities, and people who donít know what any of that stuff means but the last thing we need is more regulations.

  34. #15714
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    Thatís a whole lot of ****ty words that boil down to ďI donít like their toneĒ.

  35. #15715
    Yes the climate deniers are morphing quickly to climate downplayers taking the smug high road of 'dont be so dramatic we have T E C H N O L O G Y'
    Epstein didn't kill himself.

  36. #15716
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    ďApoliticalĒ liberal technocrats had 40 years of notice to build consensus on climate change, and didnít do ****. People like this prof are exactly why these kids are so angry and have no faith in the system.

    Hereís what political solutions look like: catalytic converters, NO reduction, SO2 cap and trade, CFC prohibition, tetraethyl lead prohibition. Nobody talks about acid rain or the hole in the ozone layer anymore. Or having the coal ash pressure washed off their house. Thereís a massive history of success taking measured but forceful political actions to correct negative externalities.

    Hereís what apolitical technical solutions look like: PNGV which saw billions in grants and public R&D spend transferred to GM and Ford to help them develop hybrid electric cars. Money which their executives spent on coke, handjobs, and by all accounts precious little else. The only reason these companies have EVs in their lineup at all today is because countries run by grown ups are starting to pass ICE bans.

  37. #15717
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook View Post
    Yes the climate deniers are morphing quickly to climate downplayers taking the smug high road of 'dont be so dramatic we have T E C H N O L O G Y'
    "You can pour motor oil on my lawn, TECHNOLOGY will fix it!"

  38. #15718
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook View Post
    Pretty cool video. He's dead right about Minecraft. There was a period in its development where they were more set on developing systems, but circa like 2014 they added nothing but lame RPG gameplay elements.

    I was actually working on a game engine that accomplished quite a bit of what he suggested. I used dynamic Markov chains to model animal behavior, so e.g. the 'find food' behavior pattern would take up more of your sample space if the animal was hungry, to the point of being near 100% if the animal was starving but otherwise satiated. Similar mechanisms were added for water, mating (done when food/water levels are high), and recreational behaviors. I modeled plants by requiring a minimum distance but otherwise they'd just grow outward. Then I placed a water source, food source and some animals and watched them.

    You get some pretty interesting complex systems just from the basic rules above. Any food growing near the water source was eaten first, and when food was there the animal population exploded. Of course, since it exploded the food was overconsumed, animals had to travel further and some of the species died out. After a while you hit an 'unstable equilibrium' where food and animal populations trend around certain numbers but maintain a level of chaos. It's pretty damn cool to just watch, actually.

    I could expand on this as well. I thought about adding genes which were essentially "fitness-cost" phenotypes, so for instance one gene could influence an animal's speed but come at the cost of needing higher caloric intake. Plants could maybe be less successful at pollinating at the gain of needing less water. Then two parents transmit genes plus a bit of variance to children, so more successful genes would emerge and species would evolve.

    From there it's just about adding many different species and trying to build up whole ecosystems based on this model just to watch them progress. I never got to adding genes, but it would be the perfect kind of system for what he's referring to; i.e. dynamic models of the environment.

  39. #15719
    yo forgot the spaces in between the letters
    Epstein didn't kill himself.

  40. #15720
    That kind of ecology focused game I think could be pretty popular, it's something I would love personally.
    Epstein didn't kill himself.

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