Dummies never learn

❝ In the 1640’s the Dutch inhabitants of New Amsterdam built a 12′ wall to keep the bad hombres out. In 1664 the British ignored the wall and took New Amsterdam by sea. It’s now called New York. They took down the wall and built a street. It’s called Wall Street.

Same as it ever was…

Thanks, Ian Bremmer

You thought FACEBOOK relies on free speech standards based on common law?

❝ Documents obtained by the New York Times show how the social giant’s international content moderation strategy is dictated by thousands of pages of PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets that “sometimes clumsily” tell thousands of moderators what to allow and what to delete. The revelation raises deep questions about the future of Facebook’s role in international discourse — especially in the wake of damaging revelations about how the platform allowed propaganda during the 2016 U.S. presidential elections…

❝ Facebook moderators who spoke to the Times under condition of anonymity said they felt hamstrung by the extraordinarily complex rule set, which forces them to make rapid decisions, sometimes using Google Translate, about fraught topics including terrorism and sectarian violence…

❝ The result, according to the Times, is that Facebook has become a “far more powerful arbiter of global speech than has been publicly recognized or acknowledged by the company itself.”

RTFA. Ain’t about to make you assured the Honchos are working for the common good or trying to match historical standards. But, then, 19th Century minds rely on 17th Century guidebooks written by a handful of English pimps to a colonial King. Or The Players Edition of the Rules of Golf.

Shutdown somehow spares tourist site in Trump hotel


Historic Clock Tower atop Trump Hotel in DCKaren Bleier/Getty

❝ Smithsonian museums are closed. There are no federal staffers to answer tourists’ questions at the Lincoln Memorial. And across the United States, national parks are cluttered with trash. Yet despite the federal government shutdown, a historic clock tower at the Trump International Hotel remained open Friday for its handful of visitors, staffed by green-clad National Park Service rangers…

The Trump administration appears to have gone out of its way to keep the attraction in the federally owned building that houses the Trump hotel open and staffed with National Park Service rangers, even as other federal agencies shut all but the most essential services…

❝ A watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the GSA, seeking documents explaining why the tower was open, how it continues to be funded, and any communications between the agency and the Trump Organization, the president’s company. Trump gave up day-to-day management of the firm in 2017 but continues to receive earnings from its operations.

At the very least, this smells funny.” Said Noah Bookbinder, the group’s executive director.

I wouldn’t call the smell of anything involving our fake president “funny”.

Get hip to Mongolian Rock!

❝ A band from Mongolia that blends the screaming guitars of heavy metal and traditional Mongolian guttural singing has picked up 7 million views for its two videos.

Leather jackets, skull rings and bandannas alongside intricately carved Mongolian horsehead fiddles are just some of the images in the first two music videos the Mongolian band The Hu released on YouTube this fall…

❝ As the Soviet Union crumbled and Western influence flooded in during the late 1980s and early 1990s, Mongolian musicians chose to preserve Mongolian culture while also adapting new influences, explains University of Chicago ethnomusicology doctoral student Thalea Stokes…

“Mongolians are not just taking elements from Western music and just copying and pasting,” says Stokes. Instead, they’re using some of these elements and making their own authentic music.

“So it’s not rock music performed by Mongolians. It’s Mongolian rock music,” she says.

It rocks. It’s real. An authentic sound introduced to Western ears.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

This is our reality — with Trump in the White House

❝ In just two years, President Trump has unleashed a regulatory rollback, lobbied for and cheered on by industry, with little parallel in the past half-century. Mr. Trump enthusiastically promotes the changes as creating jobs, freeing business from the shackles of government and helping the economy grow…

❝ The trade-offs, while often out of public view, are real — frighteningly so, for some people — imperiling progress in cleaning up the air we breathe and the water we drink, and in some cases upending the very relationship with the environment around us…

❝ …Trump is already on track to leave an indelible mark on the American landscape, even with a decline in some major pollutants from the ever-shrinking coal industry. While Washington has been consumed by scandals surrounding the president’s top officials on environmental policy — both the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior secretary have been driven from his cabinet — Mr. Trump’s vision is taking root in places as diverse as rural California, urban Texas, West Virginian coal country and North Dakota’s energy corridor.

Trump’s indelible mark is one leading to sickness and decline. The first centered on the mass of Americans employed in almost every industry. The second the predictable result of supply-side economics – a failure in every aspect of economic history excepting only the minds of a small number of perpetually greedy economists and politicians.

Intact shipwreck from ~400 B.C. found in the Black Sea

❝ Kevin Rawlinson at The Guardian reports that the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (MAP) has discovered an Greek merchant vessel on the floor of the sea dating back to about 400 B.C., the oldest known intact shipwreck ever discovered.

The MAP team discovered the ship 50 miles off the coast of Bulgaria. Because the water in the lower reaches of the Black Sea is anoxic, or lacks oxygen, the wooden cargo vessel has not deteriorated much since it sunk to the bottom of the ocean all those centuries ago. Its mast, rudders, the cargo in its hold and even the benches where rowers sat are still well-preserved.

❝ There are no plans to salvage the Greek ship since it is extremely fragile, and the team has not released its exact location to preserve it from looters.

Acquiring other people’s property by hook or crook hasn’t changed, has it?