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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The government wants to study ‘social pollution’ on Twitter on: October 18, 2014, 10:15:13 pm
My final word in this thread is that Twitter is a transparent website where personal data is accessible. Commissioning an academic study of Twitter data points is not remotely comparable to NSA screening phone calls and tapping into people's private information or 1984 or fascism. Every day our data on Facebook and Twitter is mined for corporations and you expect me to be concerned by an academic study on civic involvement? Clearly, I should privilege the revenue stream of Twitter and the corporate earnings of Walmart over the insights of academia!
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The government wants to study ‘social pollution’ on Twitter on: October 18, 2014, 10:08:08 pm
This is not political correctness running riot. The study of the online proliferation of racism, neo-nazism, fascism, conspiracy mongering and misogyny is very important. Maybe your age blinds you from the reality of internet subcultures but there are deepening networks online which are corrosive to society. This has little to do with the GOP: women are threatened online on a regular basis, people of color are threatened online on a regular basis and these threats often manifest in verbal harassment, stalking and the release of private information. The anonymity of the internet provides shelter for deviant communities and it's important that the government funds scientific studies that give us insight into these communities.

To address bedstuy: I think that this study is more easily criticized without expanding upon the purpose of the study. Studying social media would be a poor use of governments funds if it did not have a easily demonstrated public purpose, which it obviously does.

Except the "study" has little to do with "the online proliferation of racism, neo-nazism, fascism, conspiracy mongering and misogyny" (and even if it did, it's still wrong, as even abhorent things like supposed racism and neo-nazism are protected by the First Amendment).  From the piece:

Quote from: Washington Post
But there’s much more to the story. Focusing in particular on political speech, Truthy keeps track of which Twitter accounts are using hashtags such as #teaparty and #dems. It estimates users’ “partisanship.” It invites feedback on whether specific Twitter users, such as the Drudge Report, are “truthy” or “spamming.” And it evaluates whether accounts are expressing “positive” or “negative” sentiments toward other users or memes.

The government has no business estimating people's partisanship and whether it thinks certain political memes are true.  Which memes do you think the Obama administration's lackeys do you think will determine are "false"?  Certainly not "progressive" memes.  And why should the government or its agents be keeping a dossier on people's partisanship?  That's essentially the government monitoring the political beliefs of its citizens and negatively labeling those who disagree.  Is an enemies list far behind?  

I don't agree with the American conception of "free speech" and I'm not arguing with the a priori assumption that racism or misogyny should be protected by the government, sorry.

There is obviously a public purpose in this study. You're latching onto strawmen characterizations of the Obama administration that have no basis in reality because you don't think that understanding civic involvement in an unexplored terrain has an important purpose for the maintenance of a democratic system.
Why should taxpayer money go to this at all? Why can't academia study this? So the government has a "public purpose" in researching bigotry online. What is the point? What are they going to do about it? Outside of making terroristic threats (already illegal and frequently prosecuted) what are they constitutionally able to do? Are they going to target every asshat who makes a racist youtube comment with this information?

I'm not sure what the government will do about it but there are measures that don't involve the curtailing of civil liberties as the American public understands civil liberties. However, the government needs huge data sets and information to decide whether to act or not to act.

As TJ said, academia is dependent on the government and the government certainly couldn't rely on individual researchers or the actions of think-tanks for comprehensive results on this specific question.
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The government wants to study ‘social pollution’ on Twitter on: October 18, 2014, 09:52:12 pm
This is not political correctness running riot. The study of the online proliferation of racism, neo-nazism, fascism, conspiracy mongering and misogyny is very important. Maybe your age blinds you from the reality of internet subcultures but there are deepening networks online which are corrosive to society. This has little to do with the GOP: women are threatened online on a regular basis, people of color are threatened online on a regular basis and these threats often manifest in verbal harassment, stalking and the release of private information. The anonymity of the internet provides shelter for deviant communities and it's important that the government funds scientific studies that give us insight into these communities.

To address bedstuy: I think that this study is more easily criticized without expanding upon the purpose of the study. Studying social media would be a poor use of governments funds if it did not have a easily demonstrated public purpose, which it obviously does.

Except the "study" has little to do with "the online proliferation of racism, neo-nazism, fascism, conspiracy mongering and misogyny" (and even if it did, it's still wrong, as even abhorent things like supposed racism and neo-nazism are protected by the First Amendment).  From the piece:

Quote from: Washington Post
But there’s much more to the story. Focusing in particular on political speech, Truthy keeps track of which Twitter accounts are using hashtags such as #teaparty and #dems. It estimates users’ “partisanship.” It invites feedback on whether specific Twitter users, such as the Drudge Report, are “truthy” or “spamming.” And it evaluates whether accounts are expressing “positive” or “negative” sentiments toward other users or memes.

The government has no business estimating people's partisanship and whether it thinks certain political memes are true.  Which memes do you think the Obama administration's lackeys do you think will determine are "false"?  Certainly not "progressive" memes.  And why should the government or its agents be keeping a dossier on people's partisanship?  That's essentially the government monitoring the political beliefs of its citizens and negatively labeling those who disagree.  Is an enemies list far behind?  

I don't agree with the American conception of "free speech" and I'm not arguing with the a priori assumption that racism or misogyny should be protected by the government, sorry.

There is obviously a public purpose in this study. You're latching onto strawmen characterizations of the Obama administration that have no basis in reality because you don't think that understanding civic involvement in an unexplored terrain has an important purpose for the maintenance of a democratic system. Unlike Republicans, who believe that racist and sexist slander are crucial aspects of democracy, I believe that the government should take steps to ensure that these forms should not pollute the public discourse. This does not mean imprisoning racists or shutting down the Drudge Report, it means supporting public media and strengthening how institutions use social media.

Anyways, I'm not arguing based off of the findings of an Op-Ed contributor: I prefer to read about this myself and argue on the terms of the study in question, not the perspective of a doom troll like Ajit Pai, who thinks that the main role of the FCC is to reduce consumer costs. Unlike Pai, I believe that the regulatory framework surrounding the media must play a crucial role in promoting accurate news for the purpose of elevating the public discourse surrounding public policy and the electoral process.
4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Lockheed says it's close to nuclear fusion on: October 18, 2014, 09:32:23 pm
Great news.  Now remove all rights to it immediately from the private sector so we can actually benefit from this.  
and that's how you get companies to stop doing R&D.

Lockheed Martin is a wholly owned subsidiary of the American taxpayer.
5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The government wants to study ‘social pollution’ on Twitter on: October 18, 2014, 09:23:43 pm
It's just an academic study on social media by a university, funded by an NSF grant.  Cool your jets.

I'm sure you and all the other red avatars would be saying that if Bush were still President.  After all, what is $1 million of taxpayer dollars to "study" how to shut up your political opponents for spreading "subversive propaganda" opposing your agenda among friends?

Quote
mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate

This is not political correctness running riot. The study of the online proliferation of racism, neo-nazism, fascism, conspiracy mongering and misogyny is very important. Maybe your age blinds you from the reality of internet subcultures but there are deepening networks online which are corrosive to society. This has little to do with the GOP: women are threatened online on a regular basis, people of color are threatened online on a regular basis and these threats often manifest in verbal harassment, stalking and the release of private information. The anonymity of the internet provides shelter for deviant communities and it's important that the government funds scientific studies that give us insight into these communities.

To address bedstuy: I think that this study is more easily criticized without expanding upon the purpose of the study. Studying social media would be a poor use of governments funds if it did not have a easily demonstrated public purpose, which it obviously does.
6  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The government wants to study ‘social pollution’ on Twitter on: October 18, 2014, 09:16:47 pm
This is a very important study and I'm pleased that the government is financing it. It's no secret that social networks proliferate dangerous myths and rumors which reduce social trust. If the US ever faced a pandemic, an acute natural disaster or a large-scale terrorist attack, social networks could endanger public safety.

Clearly, I am a fascist because I am concerned about decreasing vaccination rates and unfounded concerns about ebola FEMA camps.
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Senatorial Election Polls / Re: CO-Mellman (D): Udall+3 in internal on: October 18, 2014, 09:09:56 pm
Mellman was the third most accurate pollster in 2012...

D internal tho toss it!
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Senatorial Election Polls / Re: GA-SUSA: Nunn+3 on: October 15, 2014, 04:36:38 pm
9  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Evo Morales on: October 14, 2014, 09:39:45 pm
One of my heroes.

The Latin American left is the only force that gives me hope for mankind.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Gubernatorial Election Polls / Re: ID: PPP: Otter up 4 with high undecideds on: October 14, 2014, 03:39:56 pm
Balukoff is Mormon.

The Democratic wave is building!
11  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: In Defense of Obama on: October 14, 2014, 02:30:51 am
The thriving progressive urban metropolises of San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego and Denver. The progressive cosmopolitan powerhouses in Chicago, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia.

Whether the white elite live in McMansions in far-lung suburbs or in expensive condominiums in the inner-city, they are dependent on the labor of Latino, Asian or Caribbean immigrants and would have no cultural materials without the tremendous influence of African-Americans on the heart and soul of America. Blacks, Latinos and Asians almost uniformly vote for Democrats because they see the injustice of a system that is dependent on them but uses and abuses them in every aspect of life. Their voting patterns are not an indication of anti-white racism but rather an indication that people of color wish to eradicate racism.

No, that's what silly white people tell themselves. Russel Simmons explained it once upon a time, when he was talking about the difference in rebel subcultures within white and minority demographics. He said white people fight to get out, and minorities fight to get in.

Capitalist conservative WASPs are viewed as the cultural hegemons. Liberals are fighting to get out from under (what they believe to be) oppressive economic policy and extraneous social decorum. Minorities, on the other hand, are not fighting to have a different flavor of middle-class or upper-middle class existence. According to Simmons, they are fighting to get a piece of the existing, established American Dream. Why do you think "spread the wealth around" was so intoxicating, and Obamacare was so lukewarm?

Liberals and minorities have virtually nothing in common beyond mutual distrust of conservative WASPs. Democrats are aware of the situation, and they never let a good race crisis go to waste.

I am Mexican-American, guero.

I'm not responding to your post because it is gibberish.
12  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: In Defense of Obama on: October 13, 2014, 11:14:45 pm
There's nothing racist about saying blacks and Latinos vote Democrat. The way you say it is 100% racist, but that's because you're a racist who sees everything through a racist lens.

White urban voters vote the same as black and Hispanic urban voters. The only difference is most whites are suburban/rural while most blacks and hispanics are urban.

Urbanites see the benefits of the government first hand with public transportation, public schools, public libraries, etc. Urban culture is generally aligned with Democratic Party policy.

The thriving progressive urban metropolises of South Texas, West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Southern Colorado, and the Inland Empire. The progressive cosmopolitan powerhouses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina.

How can you be from New Mexico, and know so little about minority demography?

The thriving progressive urban metropolises of San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego and Denver. The progressive cosmopolitan powerhouses in Chicago, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia.

Whether the white elite live in McMansions in far-lung suburbs or in expensive condominiums in the inner-city, they are dependent on the labor of Latino, Asian or Caribbean immigrants and would have no cultural materials without the tremendous influence of African-Americans on the heart and soul of America. Blacks, Latinos and Asians almost uniformly vote for Democrats because they see the injustice of a system that is dependent on them but uses and abuses them in every aspect of life. Their voting patterns are not an indication of anti-white racism but rather an indication that people of color wish to eradicate racism.

13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: In Defense of Obama on: October 13, 2014, 11:06:54 pm
And, at least on the basic macro-economic questions, love or hate him, Paul Krugman was proven right in the past 5 or 6 years.
Such as?

-The economic stimulus worked and probably should have been even bigger and heavier on spending as opposed to tax cuts.
-QE didn't lead to a giant economic collapse or runaway inflation
-Obamacare has worked better than expected.

I'm surprised Krugman supports QE given his criticism of "trickle down economics."

The problem with New Keynesian economists like Krugman is that they advocate for progressive policies by invoking the insights of a contradictory framework of analysis which was formalized by the neoclassical synthesis.
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of "once a year" Native American activists on: October 12, 2014, 03:55:09 pm
I share Mechaman's sentiments. The desire to end Columbus Day strikes me as an ineffectual gesture that allows white liberals to forget about the awkward past; the cause of so much guilt in the lives of whites with college degrees. Meanwhile, Zapotecos and Nahuas are abused as waged slaves before being deported to Oaxaca or Puebla and Lakota children are stolen from their mothers to be raised by white foster parents for specious reasons. The indigenous peoples of the Americas are not noble savages or cultural artifacts or mythical beings, they're still oppressed and immiserated and the "once a year" Native American activists are silent about the plethora of everyday problems facing the indigenous in the US and ancient farming communities in Mexico. Ultimately, this is because "once a year" Native American activists are brand activists: they don't care about living Indians, they care about their identity as self-aware Americans.
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you consider the preceding poster a liberal, a moderate, or a conservative? on: October 11, 2014, 06:02:19 pm
Torie is a Tory.
16  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update XVII: I Ate The Strawberry (The REAL, AUTHENTIC Update) on: October 11, 2014, 06:56:43 am
Most importantly, dealing with mental illness does not take away from your value as a human being. Too many posts here - most of them Bushie's - imply otherwise.

I've followed this saga closely for the past few months and I'm increasingly angry at Bushie for this reason. His attitude is insulting to millions of Americans who seek help from psychiatrists for the purposes of treating their DSM-diagnosed pathologies but still manage to pursue successful careers, raise children and contribute to society. These people don't deserve to be implicitly denigrated by an obese moron who is blind to reality.

I'm past the point of wishing Bushie well so that he can get the help he needs. If he participates in the perpetuation of prejudicial attitudes towards the mentally unwell, he hardly deserves treatment or help.
17  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Have you ever smoked Weed? on: October 08, 2014, 07:58:53 pm
I used to be a functional pothead but I now consider marijuana to be an inane waste of money and time.
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Reza Aslan absolutely destroys CNN and Bill Maher on Muslim violence on: October 03, 2014, 10:28:16 pm
European modernity endowed the world with the glorious gifts of chattel slavery, genocide and totalitarianism. Clearly, the primitive cultures of the East must learn from our enlightened wisdom and embrace our values!
19  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of "True Leftists" on: September 25, 2014, 07:09:24 pm
Counterproductive naïfs.

This is a hyperbolic generalization. We owe a lot to "True Leftists" who focus their attention on building social movements in the workplace and in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

That's... really not what's meant by the term; it's certainly not what I mean by it.  If you're focusing your efforts on grassroots organizing and such rather than electoral politics, then fine, I respect that, even if you're more radical than thou on whatever issue.  Hats off.  If you're gonna go and defend Putin and ISIS, or pick Nader over Gore even with hindsight, or entertain for one hot second the disgusting doctrine of "heighten the contradictions", then that's what I'm talking about.

And I say this in full knowledge of the fact that, as someone who will presumably be voting Hawkins instead of Cuomo this November, there are people who would consider me trueleft.

Sorry, this term is confusing. I'm not sure if it refers to basement-dwelling Stalinists, Socialist activists, soccer moms with Jill Stein bumperstickers or non-voting "alts" with sleeve tattoos.
20  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of "True Leftists" on: September 25, 2014, 03:55:02 pm
Counterproductive naïfs.

This is a hyperbolic generalization. We owe a lot to "True Leftists" who focus their attention on building social movements in the workplace and in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
21  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of "True Leftists" on: September 25, 2014, 03:51:32 pm
The "True Left" is a mythological beast conjured up by red avatars to attack people who hold policy positions that they dislike whether it is voting for a non-Democratic candidate, advocating for likely unfeasible legislative action or being against Obama. Many of these positions coincide with one another but they're not indicative of coherent viewpoints. Someone who is a self-described Socialist could just as easily be labeled a progressive Democrat as a "True Leftist" depending on the circumstances.

Let's stick to specifics: the claim that bombing ISIS is imperialistic and unethical is either sophistic or delusional. I will not sacrifice my time or energy debating anyone who is against bombing ISIS for the same reason that I refuse to debate kindergartners over the existence of Santa Claus. For me, this holds true with the eternal debate between revolutionary movements and reformism and a laundry-list of other inter-left feuds.
22  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Is Social Democracy dead? on: September 15, 2014, 11:40:04 am
The central problem of Social Democracy is that it has been unable to innovate in the face of dramatic changes that have rendered its classic solutions increasingly irrelevant.
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: 2014 Selfie Creepfest/Post a picture of yourself thread on: September 15, 2014, 03:06:15 am
Moi, looking more ancient than ever, with partner Dan, music composer Tim Hecker (BRTD would just love his music - very sensual, and you can feel the vibrations hitting your body in a very physical way), and artist neighbor Marc Scrivo, at home in Hudson.



wtf you met Tim Hecker?
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Sweden election results thread (Sept 14, 2014) on: September 14, 2014, 03:47:17 pm
Social democracy isn't dead yet but it's clearly on its deathbed.
25  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Are you a young rich white liberal? on: September 12, 2014, 08:52:13 pm
I am a young working class latino socialist.
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