mahnmut: (WTF-E?)
[personal profile] mahnmut posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
...They go around and kill themselves.

Elon Musk may've become the umpteenth high-profile hi-tech celebrity futurist who has cried doom and gloom about the potential threat from AIs taking over the world and eradicating humankind on a whim...

...But apparently we're still a long way from there, as shown by the fate of this poor little R2D2 who somehow decided he had had enough, and plunged himself to a swift electrocution death in a water fountain in DC the other day.

Caution, the footage can be disturbing for the more robo-love inclined... )
airiefairie: (Default)
[personal profile] airiefairie posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Today's portion of Friday nonsense features one Sequim, Washington resident who mowed the word AHOLE into their lawn so it could be viewed from space...



Oh, sweet neighbour relations...

Chaos in London

Jul. 20th, 2017 01:28 pm
kiaa: (Default)
[personal profile] kiaa posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Here they are, the two negotiating sides on the Brexit. The folks on the left are the EU representatives, each prepared with a file of documents. On the right side, the British, gazing into the nothingness, empty-handed. Maybe they've memorized all details so they don't need any paper in front of them? Or maybe they're eco-minded and they're trying to save paper? Heh? All I know is, this picture pretty much sums up the whole situation: the EU has a clear vision of what it wants the Brexit to look like - in the meantime, the British side has no specifics on their side. You think those are normal negotiations? Well, think again.


Read more... )

Russia Minor!?

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:51 am
fridi: (Default)
[personal profile] fridi posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
The term has gone out of use for quite a while. In recent decades it was being seen as a disparaging term used by Russian nationalists and pro-Russian Ukrainian "traitors" who believe Ukraine should be part of neo-imperial Russia.

And now it's being resurrected, and in quite a quasi-official way:

Separatists proclaim a new state to replace all of Ukraine

In comes one Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of the separatist People's Republic of Donetsk, the runaway region in East Ukraine that no one, not even Russia has recognized as a state. His actions in proclaiming the creation of the Republic of Malorussia (Russia Minor) have come as a surprise even to the Kremlin. Naturally, the EU deems it unacceptable, and Kiev is vowing to restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Jul. 18th, 2017 10:42 pm

Let's talk about vaccine marketing

Jul. 18th, 2017 02:14 pm
dreamville_bg: (Default)
[personal profile] dreamville_bg posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
I recently read an article elaborating on the fact that vaccines are so successful that we don't even realize how bad things would be without them any more.

It's a big question really, one I've often thought about: vaccines may've become a victim of their own success, you see. They're so successful in uprooting a number of deadly diseases that used to kill people by the thousands and millions, that we even don't realize how crucial they are. We've never seen the horror of an epidemic, and we don't realize how devastating it could be. On the other hand, in all fairness, there's the problem that the pharmaceutical industry tends to overhype the qualities of certain products to get more profit. And this naturally drives a lot of people away.

The article touches on these and a number of related issues, and concludes with the opinion that governments ought to be regulating pharmaceutical marketing as well, not just the vaccine market itself.

So my question is: should the state be regulating the pharmaceutical marketing, i.e. the way these sorts of medicines are being advertised? Should their side effects be clearly shown on the label, the way that's valid for cigarettes?

What about the marketing of various finance services, like loans for example? Should their riskier particularities be deliberately pointed out, for example the fact that if you take a loan of 1 units you'd eventually have to pay back, say, 2, 3 or more units depending on the loan period? This could make some potential customers reconsider using said service, which means a possible loss for the seller - but is it really acceptable to freely advertise all these trust-consuming sinkholes whose pushers somehow only present their good sides while keeping hush-hush about the potential pitfalls? Profit comes with a certain amount of responsibilities, after all.

How's that growth going?

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:02 pm
fridi: (Default)
[personal profile] fridi posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
It seems the Trump plan for US economic growth relies almost exclusively on corporate tax cuts and tax cuts for the wealthy. A "let's put all our growth eggs in one basket and hope for the best" sort of approach. During his presidential campaign, Trump promised to create 25 million new jobs and generate an economy that trots along at a 4-6% annual growth rate. Apparently, neither Trump promise is going to happen any time soon*:

Forecast of weak economic growth raises big questions about Trump’s populist agenda

Read more... )

Or it could be more about the fact that the third wave of recovery following the Carter bubble is taking a little long to come, hmm? Picking up international growth numbers might save us, but the rates were not corrected and there is a lot of money sloshing around. To prevent a recession might be rather difficult given the parameters and optimism that seems to be rather misplaced.

* That, and the fact that Trump's plan assumed that the RINO congress led by McConnell and Paul Ryan would be able to pass legislation, which it so far has been unable or unwilling to do.

(no subject)

Jul. 16th, 2017 09:37 pm

Khu! Khu! Khu!

Jul. 16th, 2017 11:06 pm
abomvubuso: (Johnny Bravo)
[personal profile] abomvubuso posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Those who are hyped up about tonight's Game of Thrones Season VII debut would know what the above reference is about. It's from a story that Tyrion the imp told his brother while being in a cell, about a dim-witted cousin whose only occupation was to crush little beetles with a stone just because he could: "Khu! Khu! Khuuu!" the stone went down, and the poor little beetles would die by the scores.

There was no reason to it, no intention behind it, no purpose. Just like in real life, the strong would crush the weak just because he could.


Read more... )

(no subject)

Jul. 16th, 2017 12:32 pm
luzribeiro: (Default)
[personal profile] luzribeiro posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
This is pretty disturbing (and not just the picture)...



Scientists Have A Dark Warning For You About Sex Robots

Scientists from the Foundation For Responsible Robotics have released a report asking society to consider a possible future where humans have sex with robots, and have outlined some things that society needs to do to prepare for that future. ...

Westworld/Humans, anyone?

Storming Today's Bastille

Jul. 14th, 2017 09:56 pm
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[personal profile] tcpip posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Today is Bastille Day, la FĂȘte nationale, le 14 juillet and all over the world, various francophones and francophiles will be celebrating all things French, or at least all things that they think are French. As usual, in France itself there will be the traditional military parade, when the French wing of the military-industrial complex puffs up its chest in recognition of its legacy as an imperialist power, its nuclear arsenal, and its membership to the UN Security Council. There will be pomp and ceremony, with heads of state and their assorted diplomats in their fine clothes and stately buildings providing motherhood statements of the great contributions that France has made to the world and continues to make. Playing it safe, some may even mention the arts.
Read more... )
mahnmut: (We're doooomed.)
[personal profile] mahnmut posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Wow, now what do we do with the large ice cube - 1 trillion tons of it. Any suggestions?

Giant Iceberg Breaks Off Antarctica

I suggest that climate change deniers immediately run to Antarctica to stick this ice cube back into place! We can't allow this Chinese conspiracy to go on forever, right?

Dems sue Trump over the leaks

Jul. 13th, 2017 02:21 pm
kiaa: (Default)
[personal profile] kiaa posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
"Two Democratic Party donors and a former party staff member have filed an invasion of privacy lawsuit against President Trump’s campaign and a longtime informal adviser, Roger J. Stone Jr., accusing them of conspiring in the release of hacked Democratic emails and files that exposed their personal information to the public."
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/12/us/politics/trump-campaign-and-adviser-are-sued-over-leaked-emails.html

On one side, what's most damning here is that it's not just damaging information to Hillary that was used by Trump's campaign, but personal information that resulted in people attempting to steal their identities, and in one case, outing a man who was gay and in the closet. That not only crosses the line, but erases it entirely.

However, having said that, will the plaintiffs succeed? Republicans took information that was dumped by Wikileaks and ran with it. But, if I understand this correctly, the information the Republicans used was public domain when Wikileaks released it. So yeah, it's pretty sleazy, but I don't see the plaintiffs winning this case. The Trump campaign did not divulge this information. They only used it. Can Wikileaks be sued in an international court? If so, what are the plaintiff's chances there? And, if they can win there, can they collect? And, on the domestic front, is Trump liable for passing along information that was already dumped to the public by Wikileaks? It's not like these aren't important questions.

For the sake of discussion, let's don't assume a connection between the Trump campaign and Russia here. Let's just go with what we already know regarding Wikileaks and the lawsuit. Doesn't the whole case look more like a temper tantrum by the Dems? A case with no legs - yes or no?

(no subject)

Jul. 13th, 2017 12:33 am

Hurm:

Jul. 12th, 2017 09:58 am
halialkers: A sister of battle from Warhammer 40K in full armor striding along (Xedevcekar)
[personal profile] halialkers posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Article the 1st: The USA and Russia in the G20 and climate change  )Article the second from 2004 pointing out the ideas of article the first are hardly new )The reality that the Russia doing all this should be a lethal joke at best but has basically shown old model geopolitics works just fine, thank you )

If nothing else all this shows that the Fukuyama Thesis is not only dead but that the corpse of same has decayed into ashes like a staked vampire. ISIS has started the crumbling of the Westphalian concept of the state whether or not it collapses this year or in the next three. Its survival matters less than it legitimizing the non-Westphalian state by routing 30,000 Iraqi soldiers with 800 fighters at the Battle of Mosul.

And together with that, the Russians have overthrown the notions of collective security and re-established rules that powers other than the USA can unilaterally act according to 19th Century Great Power logic again. History is not dead, it just took a break while the USA grasped an illusion of power, and now the wheel of history is in motion again as a ravenous juggernaut seeking whom it can crush as the world's climate ratchets upward with precious little as a viable means to really stop or slow it down in a way that matters. 

(no subject)

Jul. 11th, 2017 07:20 pm

2020 Election Season starts now....

Jul. 11th, 2017 12:30 pm
oportet: (Default)
[personal profile] oportet posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Do we really have to start talking about this now? Didn't we just finish up? Don't we need a little bit of a break?

What do you think?

IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK!

No - it isn't nonsense Friday - this shit is real. The most electrifying man in sports entertainment has tossed his hat into the ring (kind of...).

Not many details at the moment though. He is a registered Republican - but with the incumbent party being Republican, maybe he'll go indy. Will this turn our political process into a circus? If you don't think it is already, it shouldn't be too hard to convince you the answer is no.

Obama may be the best speech-giver to be President, Trump may be the biggest celebrity to be President - but those titles will be short-lived if this works out.

Is there anyone - anyone at all - politician, celebrity, any household name, more well known AND liked than The Rock? Q scores are hard to come by - seems they don't actually release lists - I'm not entirely sure who 'they' even are - but he appears to be near, next to, or even above Tom Hanks and Peyton Manning at times.

Sure, it can't last - he'll have to pick sides on issues, guaranteeing around half the country loses a little respect for him, one issue at a time. If he makes it through the gauntlet - he'll likely drop from 'loved by everyone' to 'OMG literally Hitler', but for the time being - he's one of the frontrunners.

The art of Kompromat

Jul. 12th, 2017 12:12 am
luzribeiro: (Default)
[personal profile] luzribeiro posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
This comes very timely for the monthly topic.

"President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, according to three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/09/us/politics/trump-russia-kushner-manafort.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/07/09/donald-trump-jr-s-stunningly-incriminating-statement-to-the-new-york-times/?utm_term=.411c5f08a0d3

Well, there's no explaining this one away. Will Trump Jr take the fall for the entire Russian Scandal? Only time will tell.

But Putin and Trump pinkie-swore there was no collusion. So it must be all right.

If true, with Don Jr.'s "confession" that yeah, he thought he was going to get dirt on Hillary, and that they discussed sanctions Obama imposed on Russian individuals in 2014 that resulted in Russia rescinding an agreement with the US to adopt Russian children, then Don Jr., Manafort, and Kushner engaged in a "quid pro quo" discussion with a foreign government, which is the very definition of collusion. I guess someone must have mentioned that to Junior, since he immediately lawyered up.

I have a feeling that Trump will be responsible for a return to record high employment numbers, just as he claimed he would deliver during his campaign. Unfortunately, that will be due exclusively to all the staff and lawyers Robert Mueller will have to hire in order to investigate the Trump administration. ;-)

Trololol!

Jul. 10th, 2017 05:11 pm
dreamville_bg: (Default)
[personal profile] dreamville_bg posting in [community profile] talkpolitics
Here are a few competing standpoints on that infamous "liberal mosque" in Berlin... First, the context:

"Critical institutions in the Islamic world condemn a new liberal mosque in Berlin. As was announced on Wednesday, the Turkish religious authority Diyanet declared that the Ibn-Rushd-Goethe mosque in Berlin-Moabit "disregards the principles of our sublime religion". The aim was to "undermine and destroy the Islamic religion"."

https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article165798368/Fatwa-Behoerde-verurteilt-liberale-Moschee-in-Berlin.html

There's your liberal Islam - not a snowball's chance in hell. When will the Islamophiles accept that this violent, misogynist (not to mention homophobic) ideology cannot be reformed? They have already been threatened with murder, according to an earlier article in Die Welt. Because, you know, that's normal when you disagree*, that you threaten to kill your opposition. No wait, only savages do that. **

Troll them mueslis harder, you liburl Krauts! )
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