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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Scott Adams: How To You Know You’re In a Mass Hysteria Bubble


1. The trigger event for cognitive dissonanceOn November 8th of 2016, half the country learned that everything they believed to be both true and obvious turned out to be wrong. The people who thought Trump had no chance of winning were under the impression they were smart people who understood their country, and politics, and how things work in general. When Trump won, they learned they were wrong. They were so very wrong that they reflexively (because this is how all brains work) rewrote the scripts they were seeing in their minds until it all made sense again. The wrong-about-everything crowd decided that the only way their world made sense, with their egos intact, is that either the Russians helped Trump win or there are far more racists in the country than they imagined, and he is their king. Those were the seeds of the two mass hysterias we witness today.

Trump supporters experienced no trigger event for cognitive dissonance when Trump won. Their worldview was confirmed by observed events.

2. The Ridiculousness of it One sign of a good mass hysteria is that it sounds bonkers to anyone who is not experiencing it. Imagine your neighbor telling you he thinks the other neighbor is a witch. Or imagine someone saying the local daycare provider is a satanic temple in disguise. Or imagine someone telling you tulip bulbs are more valuable than gold. Crazy stuff.

Compare that to the idea that our president is a Russian puppet. Or that the country accidentally elected a racist who thinks the KKK and Nazis and “fine people.” Crazy stuff.

If you think those examples don’t sound crazy – regardless of the reality – you are probably inside the mass hysteria bubble.

2. The Confirmation BiasIf you are inside the mass hysteria bubble, you probably interpreted President Trump’s initial statement on Charlottesville – which was politically imperfect to say the least – as proof-positive he is a damned racist.

If you are outside the mass hysteria bubble you might have noticed that President Trump never campaigned to be our moral leader. He presented himself as – in his own words “no angel” – with a set of skills he offered to use in the public’s interest. He was big on law and order, and equal justice under the law. But he never offered moral leadership. Voters elected him with that knowledge. Evidently, Republicans don’t depend on politicians for moral leadership. That’s probably a good call.

When the horror in Charlottesville shocked the country, citizens instinctively looked to their president for moral leadership. The president instead provided a generic law and order statement. Under pressure, he later named specific groups and disavowed the racists. He was clearly uncomfortable being our moral lighthouse. That’s probably why he never described his moral leadership as an asset when running for office. We observe that he has never been shy about any other skill he brings to the job, so it probably isn’t an accident when he avoids mentioning any ambitions for moral leadership. If he wanted us to know he would provide that service, I think he would have mentioned it by now.

If you already believed President Trump is a racist, his weak statement about Charlottesville seems like confirmation. But if you believe he never offered moral leadership, only equal treatment under the law, that’s what you saw instead. And you made up your own mind about the morality.

The tricky part here is that any interpretation of what happened could be confirmation bias. But ask yourself which one of these versions sounds less crazy:

1. A sitting president, who is a branding expert, thought it would be a good idea to go easy on murderous Nazis as a way to improve his popularity.

or…

2. The country elected a racist leader who is winking to the KKK and White Supremacists that they have a free pass to start a race war now.

or…

3. A mentally unstable racist clown with conman skills (mostly just lying) eviscerated the Republican primary field and won the presidency. He keeps doing crazy, impulsive racist stuff. But for some reason, the economy is going well, jobs are looking good, North Korea blinked, ISIS is on the ropes, and the Supreme Court got a qualified judge. It was mostly luck.

or…

4. The guy who didn’t offer to be your moral leader didn’t offer any moral leadership, just law and order, applied equally. His critics cleverly and predictably framed it as being soft on Nazis.

One of those narratives is less crazy-sounding than the other. That doesn’t mean the less-crazy one has to be true. But normal stuff happens far more often than crazy stuff. And critics will frame normal stuff as crazy whenever they get a chance...

A new trainwreck at The Rebel has nothing to do with the alt-right

Charges and counter-charges  regarding The Rebel.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"It's not you, it's Donald"


According to an August 11 article published by Harper's Bazaar, anyone who is married to a supporter of President Trump needs to file for divorce immediately. That's the advice given by the article's author, Jennifer Wright, who cites two recent high-profile divorce cases in which a wife filed for divorce on grounds of irreconcilable political differences...

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Muslims In Calgary Website: Jewish Controlled Media Denigrates Beneficial Practice Of Female Genital Mutilation

From Blazing Cat Fur:

I have written about the virulently anti-semitic Muslims in Calgary organization before. In a bizarre bit of politically correct madness the Local Hate Arbitrator decreed that publishing excerpts from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion among other equally vile and widely held Muslim beliefs about Jews wasn’t a hate crime at all! Nor was their more recent hate screed against the Ahmadiyya. 
With that background it’s no surprise that they would publish an article extolling the benefits of Female Genital Mutilation and of course find room to blame the Jewish controlled media for bad mouthing this barbaric practice. But then again this is Justin’s Canada and this is mainstream Islam...


More HERE 

Monday, August 14, 2017

185,000 Ontario Jobs at Risk from Bill 148: Independent Economic Impact Analysis

TORONTOAug. 14, 2017 /CNW/ - Today the Keep Ontario Working Coalition (KOW) released the first and only independent economic impact analysis of Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act. Conducted by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA), the study revealed that if the legislation is implemented as currently drafted, there will be significant, sudden and sizable uncertainty for Ontario jobs, economy and communities.
The study concludes that these vast, unprecedented reforms will put about 185,000 jobs at risk in the first two years, greatly impacting Ontario's most vulnerable workers.
"The changes presented in Bill 148 will have dramatic unintended consequences that include putting close to two hundred thousand jobs at risk and seeing everyday consumer goods and services increase by thousands of dollars for each and every family in Ontario," said Karl Baldauf, Vice President of Policy and Government Relations at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and spokesperson for the Keep Ontario Working Coalition. "We've run the numbers and it's clear that this is too much, too soon. If the Ontario government chooses to proceed with these sweeping reforms too quickly, all of us will be affected, and the most vulnerable in our society chief among them."
CANCEA was commissioned by the KOW coalition to measure the potential impacts of six key areas of change in Bill 148, including changes to minimum wages, "equal pay" provisions, vacation, scheduling, personal emergency leave (PEL) and unionization.
Data from the economic impact analysis shows:
  • $23 billion hit to business over the next two years alone
  • 185,000 Ontario jobs will be at immediate risk over the next two years
    • 30,000 of the jobs at risk are youth under 25
    • 96,000 employees at risk are expected to be women
  • 50 per cent increase to inflation for this year and the foreseeable future. The cost of everyday consumer goods and services will go up by $1,300 per household on average each and every year
  • The Ontario government would need to borrow $440 million more to cover the increases in new costs from this legislation. If the government were to provide offsets to businesses, as they have indicated, the province's treasury will take a bigger hit
  • Municipalities will be forced to increase employee wages by $500 million without additional offsetting revenues...

Sunday, August 13, 2017

For condemnation of right-wing extremism to be credible, we also must condemn left-wing extremism




No responsible person on what's considered the mainstream right has ever condoned or defended Nazis, white supremacists, or the Ku Klux Klan. They are vicious, stupid, odious, racist hatemongers who deserve nothing but contempt.

Many conservative Republicans, including Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, explicitly condemned white supremacists yesterday in the aftermath of a vehicular homicide committed by a despicable white nationalist. President Donald Trump, in what is widely considered an error of communication, condemned "hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides" which, while a proper thing to do, did not single out the white supremacists for particular denunciation. It was only belatedly that he did explicitly name white supremacist groups. For Trump to have immediately identified white supremacists would have been appropriate, both to the circumstances of yesterday's atrocity and the uniquely monstrous character of these cretins who hold on to an ideology that has caused the killings and oppression of millions of people over time.

But, from a purely logical standpoint, Trump was not wrong to condemn bigotry and violence on many sides. Indeed, it was necessary, since the failure of the political left to condemn the violence and hatred perpetrated in the name of its causes has emboldened neo-Nazis and their ilk to rear their ugly heads in greater numbers and has led to street battles between left and right wing extremists.

During the 2016 American election campaign, Antifa, so-called "anti-fascists," whose methods and ideology are as fascist as anything Benito Mussolini dreamed of, physically attacked innocent people for the 'offense' of attending Trump rallies or even for wearing Make America Great Again baseball hats.

During the last few years, far-left activists have violently attacked and shut down talks at publicly funded universities by conservative speakers.

Yet where was the condemnation of Antifa from the political left? Leftist mealy-mouthed denunciation of violence always seemed to be equivocated with an expression of understanding of why Antifa and their fellow travellers would be triggered by the likes of harmless gadflies such as Milo Yiannopoulos and Charles Murray.

Black Lives Matter is a hate-filled movement of Black supremacist, racist, anti-semitic, anti-capitalist extremists who have shut down thoroughfares, putting peoples lives at risk and which has inspired and praised the murders of police officers. Where is the condemnation of Black Lives Matter from the political left? Instead, left wing politicians and leftist groups clamor to give awards and seek photo-ops with that organization of vicious hatemongers.

The fact is that while neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and white supremacists may be the most reprehensible, detestable, violent hatemongers, they are not the only reprehensible, detestable, violent hatemongers. There needs to be condemnation of all such evil in our society if our institutions hope to maintain credibility.

It's time for the center to speak out forcefully and act to take the momentum away from extremists before the extremes are all anyone has to choose from.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Former NSA experts say DNC hack wasn’t a hack at all, but a leak—an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system

This is from The Nation, which usually is about as anti-Trump as you can find in US media:

...There has been a long effort to counter the official narrative we now call “Russiagate.” This effort has so far focused on the key events noted above, leaving numerous others still to be addressed. Until recently, researchers undertaking this work faced critical shortcomings, and these are to be explained. But they have achieved significant new momentum in the past several weeks, and what they have done now yields very consequential fruit. Forensic investigators, intelligence analysts, system designers, program architects, and computer scientists of long experience and strongly credentialed are now producing evidence disproving the official version of key events last year. Their work is intricate and continues at a kinetic pace as we speak. But its certain results so far are two, simply stated, and freighted with implications:
  • There was no hack of the Democratic National Committee’s system on July 5 last year—not by the Russians, not by anyone else. Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak—a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device. In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system. This casts serious doubt on the initial “hack,” as alleged, that led to the very consequential publication of a large store of documents on WikiLeaks last summer.
  • Forensic investigations of documents made public two weeks prior to the July 5 leak by the person or entity known as Guccifer 2.0 show that they were fraudulent: Before Guccifer posted them they were adulterated by cutting and pasting them into a blank template that had Russian as its default language. Guccifer took responsibility on June 15 for an intrusion the DNC reported on June 14 and professed to be a WikiLeaks source—claims essential to the official narrative implicating Russia in what was soon cast as an extensive hacking operation. To put the point simply, forensic science now devastates this narrative.
This article is based on an examination of the documents these forensic experts and intelligence analysts have produced, notably the key papers written over the past several weeks, as well as detailed interviews with many of those conducting investigations and now drawing conclusions from them...

Friday, August 11, 2017

David Brooks: Sundar Pichai Should Resign as Google’s C.E.O.

...The coverage of the memo has been atrocious. 
As Conor Friedersdorf wrote in The Atlantic, “I cannot remember the last time so many outlets and observers mischaracterized so many aspects of a text everyone possessed.” Various reporters and critics apparently decided that Damore opposes all things Enlightened People believe and therefore they don’t have to afford him the basic standards of intellectual fairness.

The mob that hounded Damore was like the mobs we’ve seen on a lot of college campuses. We all have our theories about why these moral crazes are suddenly so common. I’d say that radical uncertainty about morality, meaning and life in general is producing intense anxiety. Some people embrace moral absolutism in a desperate effort to find solid ground. They feel a rare and comforting sense of moral certainty when they are purging an evil person who has violated one of their sacred taboos.

Which brings us to Pichai, the supposed grown-up in the room. He could have wrestled with the tension between population-level research and individual experience. He could have stood up for the free flow of information. Instead he joined the mob. He fired Damore and wrote, “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not O.K.”

That is a blatantly dishonest characterization of the memo. Damore wrote nothing like that about his Google colleagues. Either Pichai is unprepared to understand the research (unlikely), is not capable of handling complex data flows (a bad trait in a C.E.O.) or was simply too afraid to stand up to a mob...

Tristin Hopper: CBC Comedy is the worst crime against humour this country has ever committed

f there was ever a textbook example of the terrible, bone-chilling things a government can do to humour, it’s CBC Comedy.

To be clear, I’m not talking about the general phenomenon of comedy appearing on CBC. I’m talking instead about cbc.ca/comedy, a section of the CBC website devoted in part to publishing satirical news headlines.

Although it’s existed for three years, chances are you’ve never heard of it. Because while CBC doesn’t publicly release its website analytics, all signs point to the site having utterly dismal traffic.

CBC Comedy’s social media accounts are embarrassingly devoid of attention. On Twitter, posts will commonly fail to attract a single retweet or like — meaning that they aren’t even being promoted by the writers who created them...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Jonathan Kay: The Google Manifesto contained truths that we're not allowed to say

...Read James Damore’s now infamous manifesto, and you immediately can tell that the ex-Google engineer—who was laid off this week following outrage over his views—is a product of the modern, more progressive culture. His very first full sentence is, “I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes.” And later: “I strongly believe in gender and racial diversity, and I think we should strive for more.” Not exactly hate speech. 

In fact, a significant portion of his manifesto consists of strategies for retaining female employees. To wit: “Women on average look for more work-life balance… Allowing and truly endorsing (as part of our culture) part time work… can keep more women in tech.” I’ve heard diversity consultants say exactly the same thing.

But Damore’s critics focus instead on his thoughtcrime, which was to suggest that “differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership.” Many scientists—including Canada’s own Debra Soh, who holds a PhD in sexual neuroscience—will attest to the truth of this. Still, as the popular kids all know, you’re not supposed to actually go out and say it.

I’m no neuroscientist. Unlike Soh, I’ve never studied human brain scans. But over careers in engineering, law and journalism, I’ve met plenty of smart people. And I’ve observed a lot of anecdotal evidence that suggests men and women have—on the level of population means—subtly different intellectual and behavioural strengths. Which in turn encourages some of them to pick one field over another...

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Oh crap...Glen Campbell died



He was 81

The ‘Anti-Diversity Screed’ That Wasn’t

The first thing to know about the instantly infamous “anti-diversity screed” written by an anonymous Google software engineer is that it isn’t anti-diversity or a screed.

The loaded description, widely used in the press and on social media, is symptomatic of the pearl-clutching over the memo, which questions the premises and effectiveness of Google’s diversity policies.

The document was meant — before getting splashed on the Internet — as an internal conversation-starter. The author posits that innate differences between the sexes might account for the disparity between men and women in the male-dominated world of high-tech. 

He states repeatedly that he believes in diversity, and there’s no reason to doubt his self-description as a classical liberal. His exclamation-point-free memo is hardly a rant. He expresses the hope that “open and honest discussion with those who disagree can highlight our blind spots and help us grow.” 

How na├»ve. The witless and inflamed reaction to his document instead underlines his point about “a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence.”...

Monday, August 7, 2017

Some fascinating photographic art on display at Toronto's Matter Gallery

Returning from an excursion one evening med-last week, I rollerbladed along newly-trendy Geary Avenue, in Toronto's west end.

As Toronto's soaring real estate prices have increased commercial rental costs, hipsters and artsy types must sometimes relocate to affordable digs close enough to downtown to be accessible to the types of patrons they want to attract, and still embedded in a community that provides enough critical mass to support them locally. Geary, which runs from Ossington Avenue on the east to just west of Dufferin Street, is an industrial street just north of the railroad tracks where many old storage facilities, wholesale businesses, and car repair businesses are now being repurposed as galleries, micro-breweries, and coffee houses.

Turning north from from Geary onto Westmoreland Avenue, I noticed a gathering of people, many dressed in loud colors and ostentatious jewellery so as to, it seemed, conspicuously attract attention. If that was their intent, it worked on me, and I stopped on the street to take a closer look. What I was seeing was clearly an opening party for an art exhibit.

Being curious about such things, I edged closer to get a look inside when, from within the gallery, emerged a slight, thin man, wearing a sports jacket, a patterned dress shirt and a swanky, colorful, loosely tied polka-dotted bow tie. With my rollerblades on my feet, I had been hesitant to enter, but the gentleman, after inquiring whether I was interested in art, invited me in. With his unusual get-up, long, straight, blond bangs brushed over half his forehead, and a distinct Central European accent, I felt like was was having an encounter with the spawn of a union between Andy Warhol and Bela Lugosi.  It was Zack Pospieszynski, the curator of Matter Gallery, where the art in question was displayed.

Zack is an eminently charming man who explained to me that his gallery is devoted exclusively to exhibiting the work of international artists from everywhere outside North America. The current show, which had opened that evening, is of the work of a Turkish photographer named Aydin Buyuktas.

The ironic name for the show is Flatlands. The photographs of expansive landscapes are indeed of level plains and the structures and features on them. But through digital manipulation, Buyuktas has transformed them into vastly curved scenes which make them appear to be seen as if from the crest of an immensely tall rollercoaster just prior to a lengthy descent.

Without the metamorphosis, the photographs, some of which you can see below, would have been quite encompassing; with the artificial transmutation, they are indeed fascinating works of art.

The exhibit, at Matter Gallery, at 344 Westmoreland Avenue,  runs until September 15.









Niall Ferguson: The biggest threat to free speech? The left

...Freedom is rarely killed off by people chanting “Down with Freedom!” It is killed off by people claiming that the greater good/the general will/the community/the proletariat requires “examination of the parameters” (or some such cant phrase) of individual liberty. If the criterion for censorship is that nobody’s feelings can be hurt, we are finished as a free society.

Where such arguments lead is just a long-haul flight away.

The regime of Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro, in Venezuela, used to be the toast of such darlings of the American Left as Naomi Klein, whose 2007 book “The Shock Doctrine” praised Venezuela as “a zone of relative economic calm” in a world dominated by marauding free market economists. Today (as was eminently foreseeable 10 years back), Venezuela is in a state of economic collapse, its opposition leaders are in jail, and its constitution is about to be rewritten yet again to keep the Chavista dictatorship in power. Another regime where those who speak freely land in jail is Saudi Arabia, a regime lauded by Women’s March leader and sharia law enthusiast Linda Sarsour.

Mark my words, while I can still publish them with impunity: The real tyrants, when they come, will be for diversity (except of opinion) and against hate speech (except their own).

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Every day is a Day of Rage for pro-terrorist, anti-Israel protesters in Toronto

They're really, really furious with Israel, but too worried about revealing how idiotic they are to speak to The Rebel's David Menzies: