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And another next, 26, mixed

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — running the gamut from Mike Pompeo a flailing, failing theologian, to ISIS, not that their theology is so great, ahem, but still around, with cat-herding visible unto the days of the grandkids ]
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Credo quia absurdum? Or, getting the original quote right, credibile est, quia ineptum est? That’s no inept as to be believable?

There’s actually a passage in Cicero’s Rhetoric for Herrennius that describes how to make objects of contemplation more memorable by choosing the most beautiful or ugly images as analogs / analogies to represent them:

We ought, then, to set up images of a kind that can adhere longest in memory. And we shall do so if we establish similitudes as striking as possible; if we set up images that are not many or vague but active; if we assign to them exceptional beauty or singular ugliness; if we ornament some of them, as with crowns or purple cloaks, so that the similitude may be more distinct to us; or if we somehow disfigure them, as by introducing one stained with blood or soiled with mud and smeared with red paint, so that its form is more striking, or by assigning certain comic effects to our images, for that, too, will ensure our remembering them more readily.

It may be that Tertullian — the Church Father who authored that phrase about believing something because it’s so incredible — was not so far in his thinking from Cicero — was accustomed to at least the concept of using the strangest, most strained analogies, and applied it to his contemplation of the unspeakable, unimaginable Godhead, since such disfigured analogies are both the most memorable and the least likely to be taken literally, and thus mistaken for the Reality to which they are intended to point.. but that’s pure speculation on my part.

But I’m sorry, No. Mike Pompeo may have been first in his class at Annapolis, and I may have been far from first in my class at Oxford, but at least my studies were in Theology — and No.

**

Here’s one for the liminal collection:

An island, you know, is something else. In a continent, the watersheds are important natural divisions, as are linguistic groupings and cultures. There’s arguably a cultural component of Brit-oriented Northern Irish, and they’re not enemy — but the naturalness of a united island Ireland seems pretty clear.

Islands:

History has time and again highlighted the importance of islands in establishing naval dominance.

That’s from Darshana Baruah, SISTER ISLANDS IN THE INDIAN OCEAN REGION: LINKING THE ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDS TO LA RÉUNION

Through a ring of bases and naval presence on islands, the British essentially controlled the entry points into this crucial area. In the east it had Singapore and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, while Socotra and the port city of Aden provided access to the Red Sea and Bab-el Mandeb. With control of Sri Lanka, Maldives, Mauritius, the Seychelles and, briefly, Madagascar, the empire turned the Indian Ocean into a “British Lake.” To consolidate its presence along the coast of Africa, the British Empire fought bloody wars to take control of Kenya, Uganda, and the island of Zanzibar. With these islands and coastal territories, the empire projected its power across the region and dominated the key chokepoints and shipping lines between Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Bloody, note the bloody. And dominance, note the British dominance. I’m not sure that bloody dominance is quite so well-supported any more, but a little less Biriths dominance and Ireland might be a little less bloody.

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Dan Nexon recommends a paper featuring an arc — yes, we’re collecting arcs — but not the MLK moral arc that may be long, but in the end “bends toward justice”..

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JM Berger has been interviewed by Terry Gross — to be aired on Monday:

Stay tuned!

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All In, Chris Hayes:

Unh.

They’re [WH] basically blowing off a co-equal branch of government which gives a strong indication of how they plan to back-rush their way through anything damning from the Mueller report, when it comes.

In fact, there is such a swarm of criminality, prosecutions and pleas around the President and his ever-moving dynamic vortex..

A trial run, a warm-up inning..

Y’know, Mueller report ridiculous, but I want to see it is vaguely reminiscent of credo quia absurdum, or th more accurate quote in my own translation, see above:

That’s no inept as to be believable

**

I can’t find the Jon Meacham quote on ceremonial trolling, so here’s one from India:

Rohit is to this series what trial ball is to gully cricket

Twitter went ahead with its ceremonial trolling of Rohit soon after he was dismissed. It’s become a routine of late for the right-hander to perish cheaply and be the butt of jokes on social media.

At least it’s a fun replacement, though for seriosity I’d have preferred the Meacham.

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and btw:

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D’oh.

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Clint Watts @selectedwisdom:

I really would like everyone to read that story ..

The whole idea is, everybody around the world knows that you can hire companies to crack into any one of these endpoints —

— and go through any of these communications ..

If you want to feel your communications are safe, don’t worry about government surveillance, worry about corporate guys-for-hire that are hired by all these companies ..

Here’s the article:

A New Age of Warfare: How Internet Mercenaries Do Battle for Authoritarian Governments

BTW another Clint quote from my day’s scan:

If we were to go after Wikileaks, it could lead to massive information dumps of US secrets around the world ..

In have the feeling I quoted an abbreviated version a while back, without that crucial “of US secrets” — good to have thee full version, in any case.

**

Sigh:

Charles Lister, Trump Says ISIS Is Defeated. Reality Says Otherwise.

The ISIS of the future could be just as bad if not bigger and worse than the one we watched dramatically expand in 2014. In Iraq, nearly 20,000 ISIS detainees currently lie in prison and tens of thousands more who are accused of having maintained ties to ISIS lie in squalid camps surrounded by hostile security forces. A further 20,000 Iraqi ISIS prisoners and family members currently in Syria look set to be transferred back to Iraq in the coming weeks, all of whom will surely meet a similar fate: prison or secured camps. If that were not bad enough news, tens of thousands of Iraqi children born under ISIS rule look set to remain stateless due to Baghdad’s continued refusal to recognize their ISIS-produced birth certificates or to produce Iraqi replacements. All told, that may amount to at least 100,000 people in Iraq with ties to ISIS whose bleak futures will undoubtedly fuel long-term radicalization.

Enough.

Next, 25

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — a quarter century of chyron and metaphor posts — Booker, 81 at Stanford, is now a legit sports metaphor for politics — finishing up with Beto and the Cult of the Dead Cow !! ]
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Ari Melber, the Beat 3/18/2019:

My notes on what happened which day are seriously confused at this point. I hope I can go back and rescue a chyron “Trumped” from the very start of this show, ami I right?

Quotes:

he sits at the center of a crime syndicate ..
John Flannery: to pin the tail on the donkey, the [ .. ] in the West Wing ..

Hardball 3/18/2019:

Cory Booker:

just another example of his moral vandalism ..

Ron Reagan:

What is it about John McCan that sets him off? John McCain was everything Donald Trump isn’t. John McCain wasa man ofn integrity and a man of great courage.

Meghan McCain:

My father waas his kryptonite in life, and is his kryptonite in death..

We now need, more than ever after this President, more than ever we need a revival of grace in our country, a revival of civic grace in our civic spaces..

I suppose this image is now a sports metaphor for politics

I got into Stanford because of a 4.0, 1600 — 4.0 yards per carry, 1,600 receiving yards..

at 27, not on my download to verify: I see this as whiffle-ball ..
at 38/9, sonny liston vs muhammad ali
40, we want to see some white smoke, some hope
40, the goose-eggs add up
59 steve king?

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Uncertain sources &c:

The house is just going to be a bear-pit ..
kasie:it’s a home game for him, not an away game
does he have what it takes to go the distance ..
i wasn’t born to run, but i am running ..
we are not trying to hide the ball here at all ..

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Three that I may have posted before, forgive me:

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And saving the best [??!!] for last:

As “PsychedelicWarlord,” O’Rourke spent most of his time posting thought-provoking essays, song lyrics from punk albums, and the occasional poem. At one point, he and another member interviewed a neo-Nazi. And in one post, he gave “The True Story of Cult of the Dead Cow,” in which he claimed authorship of the name..

Header for a Beto poem:

____________________________________

It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 7

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — chyrons, yes — but also a mini-essay on what happens when loose fingertips sink ops — and including a multi-math game physicists play ]
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IMO, defang is a great word — so I was delighted to hear the phrase, Mr. Trump’s attempts to defang the investigations

Let’s get to work, there’s lots to cover:

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Chyrons:

We’ve had bombshells before — meet new bombshells.

A regular fight metaphor:

An extraordinary one – jumping on a grenade!

And this one’s good, from the Georgia voter suppression story:

Running? D’oh, must be a sports metaphor:

and two from the 11th hour with Bryan Williams:

sustained and secretive assault is quite fine!

**

Words heard:

The Secretary of State in Georgia not only administered the election, he falsely accused the Democratic party of hacking to cover up his incompetence the weekend before the election, and he systematically harmed voters over a decade — he was not only the contestant, he was the score-keeper the referee. And there is no equitable system that allows that to be so. It’s not fair.

Rachel Maddow on Manafort, 2/19/2019:

And that fairly dire circumstance, the fact that sixty-nine and a half year old Paul Manafort is now looking down the twin barrels of a sentence from this Federal judge in Virginia and then another sentence from this Federal judge in DC, at’s, honestly is a crisis of his own making ..

And this — Neal Katyal called Trump Grandmaster Pinocchio. Now that’s certainly a Disney reference, but is it also a ref to hip hop — Grandmaster Flash — or chess — Kasparov?

**

Headers:

Catfishing was a new one on me, but certainly striking! Apparently it goes with sextortion:

Members of the military happen to be particularly high-profile targets for scams like catfishing and sextortion. Recently, a group of inmates in South Carolina were busted for allegedly blackmailing 442 service members using fake personas on online dating services. Not only can these tactics hit service members’ wallets, they may also represent a security risk if the victims have access to sensitive information.

Okay, it has natsec implications, and is clearly a word I need to learn.

The catfishing, here, was by a NATO research org, red teaming to see what NATO soldiers, with a little prompting, might reveal on social media:

The phony Facebook pages looked just like the real thing. They were designed to mimic pages that service members use to connect. One appeared to be geared toward a large-scale, military exercise in Europe and was populated by a handful of accounts that appeared to be real service members.

In reality, both the pages and the accounts were created and operated by researchers at NATO’s Strategic Communications Center of Excellence, a research group that’s affiliated with NATO. They were acting as a “red team” on behalf of the military to test just how much they could influence soldiers’ real-world actions through social media manipulation.

The results indicated that soldiers did indeed tend to leak information that “bad actors” might appreciate and use against them, or against NATO forces more generally:

By the end of the exercise, the researchers identified 150 soldiers, found the locations of several battalions, tracked troop movements, and compelled service members to engage in “undesirable behavior,” including leaving their positions against orders.

And guess what? The Russians are aware of the same possibility, and have banned the use of smartphones and similar devices by their troops as a consequence:

That combo of articles comes to us via Michael Robinson, to whom I must once again offer my grateful thanks.

And one thing more: the NATO group issued a report, and its title intrigued me:

Cognitive security was another term that’s new to me — IBM / Watson defines it thus:

Cognitive security combines the strengths of artificial intelligence and human intelligence. Cognitive AI learns with each interaction to proactively detect and analyze threats, providing actionable insights to security analysts for making informed decisions – with speed and accuracy.

That’s as much a sales pitch as a definition, but still gives us a sense of where these terms are trending.. and there’s reading to be done:

  • Wired, NATO Group Catfished Soldiers to Prove a Point About Privacy
  • Guardian, Russia moves to mask its soldiers’ digital trail with smartphone ban
  • NATO Stratcom, Responding to Cognitive Security Challenges
  • IBM, Artificial intelligence for a smarter kind of cybersecurity
  • That’s our mini-essay for the day, and maybe the week!

    **

    Now think on this:

    **

    Game on!

    Let’s end today’s snow-sweep with a game metaphor applied to physics, or maybe I should say the philosophy and practice of physics: it’s a game in which the rules — in this case, mathematical languages — change from move to move — from Natalie Wolchover‘s A Different Kind of Theory of Everything:

    It happens again and again that, when there are many possible descriptions of a physical situation—all making equivalent predictions, yet all wildly different in premise—one will turn out to be preferable, because it extends to an underlying reality, seeming to account for more of the universe at once. And yet this new description might, in turn, have multiple formulations—and one of those alternatives may apply even more broadly. It’s as though physicists are playing a modified telephone game in which, with each whisper, the message is translated into a different language. The languages describe different scales or domains of the same reality but aren’t always related etymologically. In this modified game, the objective isn’t—or isn’t only—to seek a bedrock equation governing reality’s smallest bits. The existence of this branching, interconnected web of mathematical languages, each with its own associated picture of the world, is what needs to be understood.

    That’s it!

    Oh, we are so aWoke to our emotions!

    Saturday, December 15th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — with an ee cummings verse and question re the internet of things ]
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    Quickly, since I’m just back from a (successful) surgery:

    I’m not entirely convinced that ee cummings is right, but I do sympathize with his emphasis

    **

    And the cummings quote?

    since feeling is first
    who pays any attention
    to the syntax of things
    will never wholly kiss you

    **

    And as the coders are coding for the internet of things, are they paying attention to feeling aspects of their coding syntax?

    Kissinger, Q and QAnon, MK-Ultra, sex slaves, HRH, &c

    Sunday, August 5th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — a strange and winding tale, from Frank Sinatra to Donald Trump with possible Babylonian intrigue, too ]
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    There has been a quick flurry of news attention devoted to QAnon — a supposed high-clearance, deep-cover source leaking confidential “the truth from behind the curtain” so to speak, supporting a Pro-Trump pro-Mueller (!!) narrative:

    causing Q ripples within conspiracy circles

    **

    Here:

    Tampa rally, live coverage,” wrote “Dan,” posting a link to President Trump’s Tampa speech in a thread on 8chan, an anonymous image board also known as Infinitechan or Infinitychan, which might be best described as the unglued twin of better-known 4chan, a message board already untethered from reality.

    The thread invited “requests to Q,” an anonymous user claiming to be a government agent with top security clearance, waging war against the so-called deep state in service to the 45th president. “Q” feeds disciples, or “bakers,” scraps of intelligence, or “bread crumbs,” that they scramble to bake into an understanding of the “storm” — the community’s term, drawn from Trump’s cryptic reference last year to “the calm before the storm” — for the president’s final conquest over elites, globalists and deep-state saboteurs.

    **

    Q-materials now have enough YouTube channels starting up daily than no single human can keep up with them, and I’m certainly not trying — but one Q-related social media post caught my eye recently:

    because it reminded me of a book I’d bought years ago, possibly as early as 1999, when I was researching conspiracism around the 1999/2000 millennium bug scare:

    featuring, if you can’t manage to read the small print or recognize the tiny photos, Bob Hope, whom she alleged was her owner, JFK, LBJ, Henry Kissinger, Nelson Rockefeller, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Elvis, Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jr, Reagan, who took her to visit Queen Elizabeth Ii to discuss a breeding program, it goes on and on.. Satanic ritual abuse, prostitution, porn, all under the auspices of MK_Ultra.. including cannibalism, human and animal sacrifice..

    Hillary Clinton‘s alleged pedophile ring out of a Pizzaria basement had nothing on this Kennedy-Kissinger-Ford lot, and now Q seems to be corropobrating a variant on the same plot line…

    For the Sarah Ruth Ashcrsft – Q connection see this tweet:

    A recent QAnon video drop:

    And the Royals? My book companion to the Bryce Taylor book was this one, about Prince Charles:

    I may be a Brit, but fair’s fair, we have our conspiracists, too.

    **

    Readings:

  • WaPo, ‘We are Q’: A deranged conspiracy cult leaps from the Internet to the crowd at Trump’s ‘MAGA’ tour
  • WaPo, QAnon: Meet a real-life believer in the online, pro-Trump conspiracy theory that’s bursting into view
  • WaPo, The mystery of ‘Q’: How an anonymous conspiracy-monger launched a movement (if the person exists)
  • WaPo, How QAnon, the conspiracy theory spawned by a Trump quip, got so big and scary
  • **

    I hope none of this will be confused with Bond’s Q and Q-bond — although Bond’s Q may be the inspiration for QAnon’s name, and Q-bond may make the whole Trump-Mueller duel/duet a whole lot tighter than it previously had been.

    Oh, and Q for Quelle (source) is a supposed ur-gospel containing the sayings of Jesus, from which the evangelists may have borrowed..


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