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Scaramucci on symmetry

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — & compare the symmetry of projection ]
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White House (new) communications director on symmetrical loyalty. At about the 4.25 mark:

Scaramucci on Trump:

He’s a remarkably loyal guy. The loyalty, though, has to be symmetrical. And good loyalty is always symmetrical, you don’t want asymmetrical loyalty.

File that under “on the importance of form”.

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Symmetry as projection:

Matching Scaramucci‘s symmetry of loyalty is James Fallows‘ symmetry of projection. From an ongoing discussion with readers at The Atlantic:

I argue that “projection,” in the psychological sense, is the default explanation for anything Donald Trump says or does.

Projection means deflecting any criticism (or half-conscious awareness) of flaws in yourself by accusing someone else of exactly those flaws. Is Trump’s most immediately obvious trait his narcissistic and completely ungoverned temperament? (Answer: yes.) By the logic of projection, it thus makes perfect sense that he would brag that he has “the greatest temperament” and judgment, and criticize the always-under-control Hillary Clinton for hers.

One of Fallows’ follwers notes the connection between projection as parallelism and projection as self-reference (ie, our old frined the ouroboros):

In simple terms, one might say his [Trump’s] mind is empty of any thoughts that are not self-referential. And so self-projection is simply a consequence of this vacuity.

There’s more in Peter Beinart‘s article, The Projection President, subtitled Months into his tenure, Trump still responds to controversies by lobbing the same charges at his opponents — and see also Katy Waldman‘s piece, We the Victims, subtitled Trump’s Paris accord speech projected his own psychological issues all over the American people..

Good from Zeynep on Facebook moderation, plus a question

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — wondering, roughly: is the world digital or analog? if that even means anything ]
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This post — Facebook’s Secret Censorship Rules Protect White Men from Hate Speech But Not Black Children — together with the tweet about it below —

— triggered Zeynep Tufekci‘s latest. Here she goes:

And here’s the tweet she’s quoting in that last one:

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A significant ouroboros from that ProPublica article, BTW:

Facebook also added an exception to its ban against advocating for anyone to be sent to a concentration camp. “Nazis should be sent to a concentration camp,” is allowed, the documents state, because Nazis themselves are a hate group.

That should give us pause for thought, I think.

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There’s something very important going on here in this discussion as a whole and Tufecki’s tweets in particular: quite aside from the powerful issue of Facebook and its rules for moderators, there’s a more general question about quality and quantity — or should I say qualitative and quantitative approaches?

I’m wondering how well this distinction between (depending which tweet you quote) “human societies” and “simple, abstract toy models” — or “human society” and “so neat Venn diagrams & uniform rules” or “code” and the “complexities and messiness of human societies” or a “2 billion user base” and “powerpoints” — maps to the distinction between digital and analog..

Any thoughts?

Presidential ouroboros!

Friday, June 16th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — mission accomplished, I can retire now, no? ]
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This simply has to be peak ouroboros!

Anything self-defeating is an ouroboros

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — Tankel’s take on Trump’s CT ]
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Mostly the self-devouring snakes I track here are a little more subtle about the circular nature of their logic — the phrasing often hides the fact that man bites self, or dog chases own tail. This example, however, is just so blatant, presented in so large and darkna font, with its accompanying image just so dazzlingly colored, that I just has to bring it here.

Self-defeating, self-eating — it’s the self- part that signals trouble. Stephen Tankel is a fine researcher — his book Storming the World Stage: The Story of Lashkar-e-Taiba is recommended readng on the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

He is not a happy chap:

The emerging Trump counterterrorism strategy appears to be a dysfunctional combination of repurposed elements of the George W. Bush and Barack Obama approaches infused with some of Trump’s worst impulses

You may wish to read him.

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Meanwhile, as an ad to accompany CNN’s Iran’s Revolutionary Guards blame Saudis for Tehran attacks, I got this:

Okay ouroboroi!

Spokesman ouroboros

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — a fine example ]
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For a glimpse of the importance of self-reference, should you be unfamiliar with my interest in ouroboroi, see Wikipedia.


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