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I guess everyone is following the news
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reader50
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Mar 25, 2022, 03:16 PM
 
It's gotten quiet here. I know I've been burning at least an hour every day following the news for weeks now. Time that was previously available for screwing around here or elsewhere.

It can technically be billed as educational time - I've picked up tidbits about the rest of the world that I hadn't known. Along with detailed knowledge of Russian military hardware, and grocery prices in Moscow. Not sure how useful some of that is.
     
andi*pandi
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Mar 25, 2022, 04:21 PM
 
Last night as I watched a twitter video of Russain warboats on fire, it reminded me... in WWII people would only see newsreels at the movies before the main film. Maybe we should go back to that just to cut back on doomscrolling. Do we need less news or more?
     
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Mar 25, 2022, 09:39 PM
 
Things were definitely less tense/psychotic before cable news and the 24-hour news cycle. You had time to digest the events of the day. Now, everything comes in a constant deluge that doesn’t afford any time to ponder the news.

One bad item of modern life is the minute-by-minute tracking of stocks. Up through the 70s, Wall Street reporting was at the end of week, in a simple up-or-down for the week declaration, and by how much. Period. No constant market updates throughout the day. In my last office job, the devs would write code with a stock ticker rolling at the bottom of their screens. It’s part of that insane fear you’ll miss out on something or opportunity. Madness.

That isn’t to say there wasn’t weirdness back in the “good olde days.” During Vietnam, for instance, every Friday national newscast presented the casualty count for that week in the war. It was pretty much delivered as a sports score. Even as a kid I thought it was fucked up.

I personally don’t watch any televised news shows, including the local channels. And, oddly, I seem to be pretty up-to-date with current events, without having to slog through the associated garbage.
     
subego
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Mar 25, 2022, 10:52 PM
 
I tapped-out on this one right in the beginning. After it’s officially over I’ll approach it forensically.

As for in general, I get headlines from Reddit and work from there. No cable, so no TV news.
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 26, 2022, 07:36 AM
 
My reaction is I guess opposite to that of subego. Apart from the fall of the Iron Curtain in late 1989 and the early 1990s, September 11th, the invasion of Ukraine will be one of the decisive historical events of my lifetime. Tapping out is the opposite of what we should do.

I find it quite important to get information from left field and train my instincts and my gray matter. Yesterday I watched a rather interesting video by someone analyzing why Russia’s military is doing not as well and why Ukraine seems to be punching above its weight simply from the perspective of long-term investments. Was super interesting if it wasn’t so real. Thinking about hard questions with no obvious good solutions is also hard, but important.

I’m also concerned with the decisions our governments are making. I love Dan Carlin’s expression for that: legislating under the influence. I have the impression governments will spend too much for traditional military equipment, fighting yesterday’s battle rather than thinking ahead. Whatever decisions are made now will have repercussions for decades. Just looking at it, I don’t think Russia’s (conventional) military is going to be able to do much if it entered into a war with Europe. Of course, the real danger is their nuclear arsenal. On the other side, it seems nobody is really thinking about cyber defense in the form of good and robust services, updated best practices and an active shield by the governments. (I hate the word cyber, it seems like a word used by people who don’t have a clue about computers.)

It irks me that suddenly money is very loose, but I am not sure whether it is spent wisely. And other crises like climate change aren’t being treated the same way.

On the plus side of the ledger, the rest of the world is more united for the moment. (German) conservatives are finally getting it that the transition to renewables is also a matter of national security, and that they effed up royally over the last 16 years. All these “smart” decisions that were “business friendly” turned out to be anything but.
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subego
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Mar 26, 2022, 07:46 AM
 
What does a real-time analysis get you over a forensic analysis?
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 26, 2022, 09:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What does a real-time analysis get you over a forensic analysis?
It teaches you how to react to difficult situations in life with partial or potentially unreliable information. Rather than being a passenger for things, I can put myself in the driver’s seat. Plus, for such population level events, I think the reaction in the moment is a crucial element in many historical events.

An important lesson for me was that my instincts surrounding 9/11, for example, were mostly right. I don’t say that with arrogance, but rather because I felt it was important to be opposed to wrong reactions right then and there. It reinforced that when “reacting under the influence” people and populations can make huge mistakes and set things in motion that last several decades. I don’t want to turn this into another Putin thread, but e. g. some of NATO’s expansion eastwards was under Bush 2’s watch against the advice of many of his advisers. Realizing this early rather than after the fact helps us make the right, or rather, the better choice, me thinks.
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subego
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Mar 26, 2022, 06:33 PM
 
To use your analogy I feel I’ve “driven” enough to be well past the point of diminishing returns when it comes to improving my ability versus the effort involved to produce an real-time analysis. The “learning aspect” provides me little benefit.

I’d also say I don’t feel like a driver in that situation. The drivers are the two sides spewing propaganda. At best I’m fighting for control of the vehicle from the passenger seat while I can only partially see the road.

The reaction at the moment is indeed important from a global perspective, but my personal reaction at the moment has zero value. I’m just a schmoe on the Internet.
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 26, 2022, 10:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
To use your analogy I feel I’ve “driven” enough to be well past the point of diminishing returns when it comes to improving my ability versus the effort involved to produce an real-time analysis. The “learning aspect” provides me little benefit.
Personally, I try to stay humble. Even in (microscopic) areas where I know I am an expert in, one of 10, 20 people in the world with deep expertise (don’t worry, it is nothing really important), I know that my knowledge is quite limited.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I’d also say I don’t feel like a driver in that situation. The drivers are the two sides spewing propaganda. At best I’m fighting for control of the vehicle from the passenger seat while I can only partially see the road.
I don’t think it is just “two sides spewing propaganda”, there is plenty of good information out there. And even watching propaganda has value if you know what you are watching is propaganda.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The reaction at the moment is indeed important from a global perspective, but my personal reaction at the moment has zero value. I’m just a schmoe on the Internet.
In isolation no, but in aggregate yes. Imagine if more of the US population had opposed going to war in Iraq, that would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives, hundreds of billions of dollars and a lot of credibility. And I don’t think this is such a hypothetical scenario either, in Germany the election in 2001 was a toss-up between the left- and the right-of-center candidate. The right-of-center candidate lost, because in the TV debate he wouldn’t promise to stay out of Iraq.
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reader50  (op)
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Mar 26, 2022, 11:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The drivers are the two sides spewing propaganda.
Near as I can tell, the Russians give out a lot of propaganda. The Ukrainian side is doubtless being selective in what they release, but that doesn't appear to include fabrications. Lying by omission at worst. Even their estimates of Russian troop losses - while the numbers were thought to be high, Western estimates are now approaching the Ukrainian numbers. So maybe they weren't over-estimates after all.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
... but my personal reaction at the moment has zero value. I’m just a schmoe on the Internet.
Most people are on the internet. I've always noticed high name-recognition in your posts.
     
subego
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Mar 26, 2022, 11:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Personally, I try to stay humble. Even in (microscopic) areas where I know I am an expert in, one of 10, 20 people in the world with deep expertise (don’t worry, it is nothing really important), I know that my knowledge is quite limited.
Oh, I have vast room for improvement. My claim was I am at the point where to see improvement requires outsized expenditure of resources.

In other contexts it would make sense to be continually expending that effort. Not the case with what amounts to parlor talk.
     
subego
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Mar 26, 2022, 11:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I've always noticed high name-recognition in your posts.
That name is “Cassandra”.
     
subego
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Mar 27, 2022, 12:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Near as I can tell, the Russians give out a lot of propaganda. The Ukrainian side is doubtless being selective in what they release, but that doesn't appear to include fabrications. Lying by omission at worst. Even their estimates of Russian troop losses - while the numbers were thought to be high, Western estimates are now approaching the Ukrainian numbers. So maybe they weren't over-estimates after all.
Since I’ve tapped-out, the propaganda I see is only that which is so pervasive it can’t be ignored.

On the Ukrainian side, that’s not coming from Ukraine, it’s coming from NATO.
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 27, 2022, 01:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Oh, I have vast room for improvement. My claim was I am at the point where to see improvement requires outsized expenditure of resources.
I don’t think it requires outsized expenditure of resources, at least not for me. All the muscles I have trained before are working efficiently, albeit not perfectly, of course. Knowing what is important and what is extraneous BS is a vital life skill.

And I don’t think it is so difficult to go past a lot of “propaganda”. For example, focusing on what has definitely happened cuts through a lot of BS. The fact that Russia’s advance has largely stalled is an easy obvious one, I just need to look at a map. Another one is to try not to get lost in details. Is it important how many tanks exactly Russia’s and Ukraine’s army have lost? Another easy get is to look at information that isn’t really suited for easy “propaganda”. (I don’t really want to call everything propaganda, very often it is just a narrow lens through which journalists and us are experiencing things.) The video that analyzed Russia’s defense spending and whether the priorities made manifest in its spending are in accordance with the priorities Russia needs to conclude the invasion successfully is along those lines. Another one are sources that base their view on history.

The day before the invasion commenced, I listened to a podcast where the host claimed that there were reports that Russia brought blood bags with it on the “exercise”.* That’s when I understood that the invasion was most likely going to happen. Before that I was convinced that the West was war mongering and I had tuned out Biden’s claims that US intelligence thought the invasion was going to happen.

It gets more difficult when you ask yourself what should happen in the best case, knowing you have to make this decision on the basis of incomplete information and incomplete understanding. You do this all the time in other areas of life. So even if it takes a bit of effort, I don’t think it is effort wasted.

* Of course, it wasn’t just a single data point that made me change my mind. It was one point amongst a pattern.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Mar 27, 2022 at 02:37 AM. )
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OreoCookie
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Mar 27, 2022, 02:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Since I’ve tapped-out, the propaganda I see is only that which is so pervasive it can’t be ignored.

On the Ukrainian side, that’s not coming from Ukraine, it’s coming from NATO.
I think it is already a misunderstanding to equate both as propaganda, it seems like a post hoc justification for why it was ok for you to tap out. In the same way that prosecution and defense in a court case aren’t necessarily involved in lying or propaganda when they present your own side, I don’t think Ukraine, NATO or Western media are propagating false stories with an intent to deceive. None of them even get close to Putin’s claims that Ukraine is run by fascists. Instead of a mono culture, I think you can get a really broad spectrum of opinion and analysis, it is literally at your fingertips.

Even if you weaken claims of propaganda to cynicism, namely things that “the West is guilty of similar things”, I still don’t think it is that simple. Quite the contrary, I’d say that this shows why trying to reach as high a moral ground as you can all the time is so important. That’s why IMHO we should not simply “drone people” in foreign countries, hollow out civil rights, start wars, much less start wars without international and UN support. That’s the thing with propaganda: it is most effective when you mix non-sense with some truth. Putin is purposefully being cynical when he tries to justify his transgressions with our own failings — “You did it, too, so how can you complain now?” I’m being honest when I say that I don’t know whether Putin’s “Look, we believe Ukraine has biological and chemical weapons!” is meant as a taunt or a joke.

Lastly, even without trying to separate the wheat from the chaff in the news, there are a few things that are plain and obvious truths: there are millions of displaced Ukrainians who fled a war that they did not start. These are people we can help to some extent, be it by accepting refugees and making sure they are are treated well. We can think about our own failings as a country and as individuals, and try to do better next time. We can try to hold contradictory thoughts in our heads. All of that helps.
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subego
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Mar 27, 2022, 04:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I don’t think it requires outsized expenditure of resources, at least not for me. All the muscles I have trained before are working efficiently.
The drain is maintaining rigorous skepticism. The media is epistemologically bankrupt, and this is when they aren’t being consciously deceptive. Their claims need to be verified against primary sources.
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 27, 2022, 07:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The drain is maintaining rigorous skepticism.
You get used to it, it isn’t hard. And you don’t need to exercise your skepticism to the same degree on every issue. But for things that are important you need to. I don’t think I am being hyperbolic when I say that a misstep now could lead to a nuclear war. So we, the citizens, better bring our A game now.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The media is epistemologically bankrupt, and this is when they aren’t being consciously deceptive. Their claims need to be verified against primary sources.
That’s overstating the case, and I think a very US centric view. You don’t need to go to primary source material to get a good idea what is going on.
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subego
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Mar 27, 2022, 10:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
You don’t need to go to primary source material to get a good idea what is going on.
I disagree.
     
subego
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Mar 27, 2022, 10:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
there are a few things that are plain and obvious truths: there are millions of displaced Ukrainians who fled a war that they did not start.
As if we’d care if there wasn’t a strategic asset in the balance.

Want to deny that shit? I’m calling it propaganda.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 27, 2022, 10:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
As if we’d care if there wasn’t a strategic asset in the balance.

Want to deny that shit? I’m calling it propaganda.
I'm not sure who the "we" is, but we over here care because it's happening literally one country over, and we're currently accommodating about half a million refugees and rising.

It's "strategic" in that we get much of our natural gas from Russia via Ukrainian pipelines, I guess — but the dangers of our dependency upon Russian gas, and specifically of the as-yet unopened Nordstream 2 pipeline cutting Ukraine out of the equation, were clear long before the invasion to anyone who cared to listen (notably our now-foreign secretary Annalena Baerbock was crystal clear on the subject last summer, when she was still running for chancellor). But all of that is just logistics at this point, and not why we care about the war. The necessity of reducing dependency on fossil fuels — and Russian gas in particular — are now obvious even to the most conservative neoliberal politicians, who have spent the last fifteen years sabotaging any effort to make it happen.

Our fascists, meanwhile, are busy licking Putin's boots and won't have any of it. But nobody takes them seriously.
     
reader50  (op)
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Mar 27, 2022, 12:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The media is epistemologically bankrupt, and this is when they aren’t being consciously deceptive. Their claims need to be verified against primary sources.
I was wondering what the media had to do with insects, and had to look it up. New word.

A general distrust of the free press is unwarranted in my opinion. There are only a few known to intentionally slant the news (Fox, OAN, etc). Skepticism can be healthy (especially with political parties and candidates), but assuming the press is lying unless they prove otherwise is extreme.

That said, I've gotten very used to Wikipedia linking to sources all the time. And being able to click on pictures in newer media to enlarge. It's become a low-level irritant with traditional press. Read a story on CNN, click on a picture to enlarge - and nothing happens.
     
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Mar 27, 2022, 08:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
As if we’d care if there wasn’t a strategic asset in the balance.

Want to deny that shit? I’m calling it propaganda.
I don’t catch your point. Who is denying what? You were writing this in response to me pointing out that there are plain and unambiguous truths in the conflict.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
A general distrust of the free press is unwarranted in my opinion. There are only a few known to intentionally slant the news (Fox, OAN, etc). Skepticism can be healthy (especially with political parties and candidates), but assuming the press is lying unless they prove otherwise is extreme.
Not only that, treating the NYT like Fox or OAN is really missing the boat. You should not treat all news sources the same way, credibility is a thing. You should be much more skeptical towards some media than others. And you should be more skeptical towards claims the more significant the consequences are.

Blind spots, access journalism, biases and such also present themselves differently in quality media than those that live mostly off of outrage. I don’t need to fact check and rebut Tucker Carlson or whoever is on OAN. When the NYT makes claims, there is a good expectation that these have been fact checked and are correct.
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Mar 27, 2022, 09:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I'm not sure who the "we" is, but we over here care because it's happening literally one country over, and we're currently accommodating about half a million refugees and rising.
This is one of the few things where I can unreservedly say that this is the right thing to do, no ifs, ands and buts.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
It's "strategic" in that we get much of our natural gas from Russia via Ukrainian pipelines, I guess — but the dangers of our dependency upon Russian gas, and specifically of the as-yet unopened Nordstream 2 pipeline cutting Ukraine out of the equation, were clear long before the invasion to anyone who cared to listen (notably our now-foreign secretary Annalena Baerbock was crystal clear on the subject last summer, when she was still running for chancellor).
I think the political calculus of the Green Party was similar to the CSU's PKW-Maut: this thing isn't going to happen in the end, and we don't even need to spend much political capital on that. Of course, that calculus was not based on an invasion, because I think very few people thought that a full-scale invasion was going to happen. I think most observers somewhat familiar with the situation would have expected that Putin will continue letting the conflict simmer at medium-to-low heat. His presumptive goals were to separate off Lugansk, Donestk and the Krim from Ukraine for good.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
But all of that is just logistics at this point, and not why we care about the war. The necessity of reducing dependency on fossil fuels — and Russian gas in particular — are now obvious even to the most conservative neoliberal politicians, who have spent the last fifteen years sabotaging any effort to make it happen.
Yeah, conservatives I think begin to recognize how big their eff up was, and how much blocking the expansion of renewables is costing them and the precious economy now. It is sad that this has had to come at the expense of innocent lives, but better late than never.
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subego
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Mar 27, 2022, 09:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
A general distrust of the free press is unwarranted in my opinion. There are only a few known to intentionally slant the news (Fox, OAN, etc). Skepticism can be healthy (especially with political parties and candidates), but assuming the press is lying unless they prove otherwise is extreme.
I’ve been comparing what the press says to primary sources for awhile. About 80% of the time I find the press omits critical information.

I must stress my sample is severely compromised by selection bias. I don’t go though the effort of comparing them unless I suspect something’s been omitted. That percentage reflects my instincts, not the press as a whole.

I must also stress I believe the reasons behind the discrepancy are complex. I can make a case for lying in only a small subset of examples.

Taking these two points for granted, a significant reliability issue remains. It doesn’t matter if the reasons behind it are innocent. unreliable information is unreliable information. What does the omission rate need to be before demanding verification is prudent? I would hope it’s well below 80%. I’m skeptical the problem of the samples I pick is overshadowing the problem they identify.

Less abstractly, my point of no return was the reporting on the Post Office in 2020. The story the press presented was quite simply unhinged from reality.
     
reader50  (op)
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Mar 28, 2022, 01:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I’ve been comparing what the press says to primary sources for awhile. About 80% of the time I find the press omits critical information.
...
I must also stress I believe the reasons behind the discrepancy are complex. I can make a case for lying in only a small subset of examples.
If it helps, when the press reports on a technical subject that I'm familiar with, they often describe details in ways I would not. This fits with the reporter not being an expert in the subject. It doesn't affect the important story in most cases - just annoys me a bit. A lot if the error affects the story in relevant ways. (rare)

Regarding the war reporting, the reporters in the field are often the actual sources. Witnesses close enough to the fighting, they they've got some dead reporters to prove it. In other cases, they show the source on camera during the interview. With faces and names withheld in some cases, at the source's request.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Less abstractly, my point of no return was the reporting on the Post Office in 2020. The story the press presented was quite simply unhinged from reality.
That DeJoy ordered removal of sorting machines, and no-overtime for employees, just as absentee ballots were flowing through the system? The press got pictures of the (expensive) sorting machines sitting outside in the weather. Delivery statistics also showed dramatic slowdowns in much of the country.

The fact that the Post Office still managed to deliver the ballots before the state cutoff dates is relevant. But the press was reporting on the effort to prevent that, and the evidence they collected was good in my opinion. I'm not seeing what was unhinged from reality. The PostMaster General should not try to undermine an election - if he does, it's worth reporting.
     
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Mar 28, 2022, 03:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I’ve been comparing what the press says to primary sources for awhile. About 80% of the time I find the press omits critical information.
When the Renault-Nissan scandal in Japan broke, I got in touch with the Japan correspondent of Germany's biggest serious newspaper. Think NYT in German. Whenever there is a treasure trove of papers from Panama, Switzerland, you name it, they are part of the international collaboration.

I read his coverage and felt it was lacking proper context. And talking to him I learnt a little more how journalism works. But other times they have to work with the finite attention span of the readers. So in this case that particular reporter told me he is putting the different angles in different, short stories, which are easier to digest. Regular readers will get a more complete picture over time. So what is critical information really depends on how deep one can expect readers to go.

Sometimes it is that reporters aren't expert on the subject they are reporting on, especially in an international or scientific context that is rarely possible. And ginning up headlines for clicks could make things worse, e. g. it could give a very different impression of what a particular study actually says.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Less abstractly, my point of no return was the reporting on the Post Office in 2020. The story the press presented was quite simply unhinged from reality.
I don't remember this as being egregious. There really were issues with delivery in the run up of the election, an election where due to a global pandemic more voters were expected to vote by mail. AFAIK the stories of the mail sorting machines dumped outdoors were real and not fake (correct me if I am wrong), and the drop in volume of mail delivered also was factually accurate.

I don't want to relitigate the issue, but both, as a reporter and as a citizen, that coincidence smelled funny. Even if it really was a coincidence in the end, I think it was the right call to investigate it.

If you want to look for examples, I'd look elsewhere, e. g. election coverage of “Hillary's emails” drowning out all other important topics or the extreme version of the Russia Gate story.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
If it helps, when the press reports on a technical subject that I'm familiar with, they often describe details in ways I would not. This fits with the reporter not being an expert in the subject. It doesn't affect the important story in most cases - just annoys me a bit. A lot if the error affects the story in relevant ways. (rare)
Yeah, that grates me, too.

To add to that, very often quite arcane and boring things as well as details are often crucially important. Let's say you have a study on the efficacy of a Covid-19 vaccine with respect to a new variant. Some people quote it is 60 % effective (against contracting a variant) while others say it is 95+ % effective (against a serious case).
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subego
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Mar 28, 2022, 05:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
That DeJoy ordered removal of sorting machines,
Q.E.D.

He did no such thing.

They were ordered removed by his predecessor before DeJoy was even selected as a replacement.
     
subego
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Mar 28, 2022, 06:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Regarding the war reporting, the reporters in the field are often the actual sources.
I’ve been under the assumption the type of analysis we’re talking about is on the geopolitical scale, not that of the combatants.
     
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Mar 28, 2022, 02:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Q.E.D.

He did no such thing. {removed sorting machines}

They were ordered removed by his predecessor before DeJoy was even selected as a replacement.
DeJoy became PostMaster on June 16, 2020. Well before the election. Do you have a source that his predecessor ordered the removal of all those sorting machines?

Even if it were so, DeJoy was the one in charge when the machines were removed. Unless you're arguing his hands were tied - he had no authority but to let a departed PM General's order go through. I don't buy that - the (postal) buck stops at his desk.

DeJoy ordered the removal of those machines. Or decided to let the order go through as election volumes soared. Either way, it was his decision that the machines would indeed be removed.
     
Laminar
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Mar 28, 2022, 03:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
DeJoy became PostMaster on June 16, 2020. Well before the election. Do you have a source that his predecessor ordered the removal of all those sorting machines?
http://forums.macnn.com/showthread.p...23#post4415223
     
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Mar 28, 2022, 03:40 PM
 
Well, with the pandemic over surely mail rates will rise again.

     
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Mar 28, 2022, 03:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I tapped-out on this one right in the beginning. After it’s officially over I’ll approach it forensically.
Same, though not due to a conscious effort on my part. I'm just so used to treating anything political I see on the internet as either A) Clickbait over-hyping actual events to get people riled up or B) Troll-farm propaganda. The immediate media deification and worship of Zelensky was weird, even if warranted.

My sphere of influence in this matter is low enough that I'm willing to wait it out and see where things fall before chiming in.

I'm still working on cars and I restored a WWII-era machine lathe over the last couple of months but I'm hesitant to post anything mechanical here for fear of triggering...someone. It's the same reason I've kept my RX-8 project off of the RX-8 forums. There are one or two guys there that are absolute asshole know-it-alls that spend all day shitting on everyone else and generally making the place no fun to hang out. I've seen many valuable, talented posters leave the forums because of that attitude, including national championship drivers that were otherwise sharing immensely valuable knowledge. It's the Paradox of Tolerance in full effect.
     
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Mar 28, 2022, 05:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Do you have a source that his predecessor ordered the removal of all those sorting machines?
You were the one who asked me to source it in the original thread, and I gave it to you then.

https://www.21cpw.com/wp-content/upl..._5-15-2020.pdf


Did DeJoy have the authority to reverse his predecessor’s order? Of course he did. Laminar helpfully linked to the point in the old thread covering the reasons why he didn’t. Among them:

If every ballot in the country was mail-in, the USPS could sort them all twice over, and it would take 4 hours.

COVID reduced demand by 1 billion letters per week.

More importantly to my overall point, these facts were in the primary source CNN was using and they omitted them.

The press has earned my skepticism.
     
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Mar 28, 2022, 05:52 PM
 
A) So the majority of press reported that: "DeJoy ordered the removal of sorting machines".
B) Data says his predecessor gave the order, making it "DeJoy chose not to change the order".

In either case, the machines were removed, and DeJoy decided it would happen on schedule. Because the press reported A) rather than B), you lost all faith in them? I would not have gone that far.
     
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Mar 28, 2022, 06:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
A) So the majority of press reported that: "DeJoy ordered the removal of sorting machines".
B) Data says his predecessor gave the order, making it "DeJoy chose not to change the order".

In either case, the machines were removed, and DeJoy decided it would happen on schedule. Because the press reported A) rather than B), you lost all faith in them? I would not have gone that far.
I think you don’t need to go so far into the weeds: even if we presume that DeJoy did nothing wrong and that the facts have exonerated him, I still don’t see that as support for subego’s claim that this shows the press was unhinged. This happened under his watch and given the importance of absentee ballots, I think it was entirely sensible to look into this. It takes time to unearth the (internal) details. Plus, I was under the impression that the press coverage created pressure within the leadership of USPS to make sure the Postal Service was able to cope with the ballots.
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Mar 28, 2022, 06:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Same, though not due to a conscious effort on my part. I'm just so used to treating anything political I see on the internet as either A) Clickbait over-hyping actual events to get people riled up or B) Troll-farm propaganda. The immediate media deification and worship of Zelensky was weird, even if warranted.
I understand some of your instincts: I also don’t like putting people on a pedestal either. But you don’t need to look at Zelensky’s videos or the videos, photos and memes that show the Ukrainian side in a favorable light. This is likely one of the most important world events in our lifetimes that could take a turn for the really, really worse. Don’t you find it irresponsible to tap out because you find it too tedious to get good information? (I don’t mean to offend, I’m just asking.)
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Mar 28, 2022, 07:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
A) So the majority of press reported that: "DeJoy ordered the removal of sorting machines".
B) Data says his predecessor gave the order, making it "DeJoy chose not to change the order".

In either case, the machines were removed, and DeJoy decided it would happen on schedule. Because the press reported A) rather than B), you lost all faith in them? I would not have gone that far.
I take a very dim view of those who omit exculpatory evidence. This goes double when the accusation is undermining the very fabric of democracy.

Furthermore, anyone, and I really do mean anyone with any depth of knowledge about how federal agencies work knew it was B without even looking because A was pretty much impossible.

The question posed by B is why did DeJoy chose not to change the order, which I just gave an example of a news organization who had the answer… and chose not to report it.

This alone did not cause me to lose faith in the press, but I wouldn’t underplay the significance of them reporting A instead of B, and then failing to report why it was even done. Likewise, this example is far, far away from a unique one, it just resides near the point where I had reached my limit.
     
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Mar 28, 2022, 08:46 PM
 
Jesus, this place is still active

Is it safe to assume the feds arrested Cash and Codydawg for storming the US Capitol?

Barack Obama: Four more years of the Carter Presidency
     
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Mar 28, 2022, 11:11 PM
 
Codydawg, maybe. We haven't heard from her in a while.
     
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Mar 29, 2022, 12:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I still don’t see that as support for subego’s claim that this shows the press was unhinged.
I said the story they presented was unhinged from reality.

This is quite different from calling them unhinged.
     
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Mar 29, 2022, 02:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Don’t you find it irresponsible to tap out because you find it too tedious to get good information? (I don’t mean to offend, I’m just asking.)
To whom exactly is it his responsibility to generate an opinion?
     
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Mar 29, 2022, 02:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
To whom exactly is it his responsibility to generate an opinion?
That's the responsibility of all citizens I'd say, at least on very important topics.
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Mar 29, 2022, 03:26 AM
 
Okay, fair enough.

The question then becomes is there a responsibility to generate an immediate opinion?

If all citizens are obligated to generate an immediate opinion, then it will be impossible for anyone to look at the aftermath with fresh eyes. Do we not have enough immediate opinions, or are those in short enough supply we should make it impossible to perform an untainted forensic analysis?

I will best meet my obligation to generate an opinion by way of forensic analysis. Considering the importance of the topic, it would be irresponsible of me not to offer my best.
     
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Mar 29, 2022, 04:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
This happened under his watch and given the importance of absentee ballots, I think it was entirely sensible to look into this. It takes time to unearth the (internal) details.
I agree fully it should have been investigated, and then the results of the investigation should be reported.

As I keep pointing out, once CNN had the results, they decided not to report them.
     
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Mar 29, 2022, 08:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Don’t you find it irresponsible to tap out because you find it too tedious to get good information? (I don’t mean to offend, I’m just asking.)
No offense taken. Maybe some of it is that I'm burnt out on doom scrolling for the past 6 years. But I think it's like I said before - I can't affect the outcome, so I don't want to invest the emotional energy of getting super invested into it for no practical purpose. I will absolutely read the long-form analyses afterwards to understand the whole picture of what went down, but trying to sort through every over-hyped "Russia is in over their heads!" "They could fall any day!" "Putin is going senile!" article and try and figure out what's actually true just doesn't seem worth the time.
     
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Mar 29, 2022, 03:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I think the political calculus of the Green Party was similar to the CSU's PKW-Maut: this thing isn't going to happen in the end, and we don't even need to spend much political capital on that. Of course, that calculus was not based on an invasion, because I think very few people thought that a full-scale invasion was going to happen. I think most observers somewhat familiar with the situation would have expected that Putin will continue letting the conflict simmer at medium-to-low heat. His presumptive goals were to separate off Lugansk, Donestk and the Krim from Ukraine for good.
Oh, the Greens were quite unequivocal, and I'm pretty sure that Laschet would have continued to finish Nordstream 2. Who knows if that might even have staved off the invasion another few years.

This bit here is amazingly to the point, and absolutely prescient in retrospect:
https://mobile.twitter.com/wenig_wor...48385495687169
(in German)
     
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Mar 29, 2022, 06:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The question then becomes is there a responsibility to generate an immediate opinion?
I think we need to distinguish between “immediately generating an opinion” and starting to pay attention to try to address a situation.

Apart from a few Cassandras like Gary Kasparov in my observation very, very few people expected a full scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia. That includes people from all sides of the political spectrum, people who are politically homeless, history buffs, political nerds, you name it. I think it made no sense to most, it made no sense to me and to be honest still makes no sense to me. My instinct was and is to try and learn, to listen and not to generate an opinion right away as you say. And I think this is what citizens and politicians should do now.

At the same time, we can and have to act on partial information and partial understanding of the situation, and react wisely. And I think you can do that, too. Like I wrote earlier, this is also what you do when you get diagnosed with cancer: without a biopsy even the doctors won’t know what the best course of action long-term is, much less you. It is the same here. Personally, one thing that is clear to me without understanding what is really going on is that we need to give Putin an off ramp. If we look at ourselves and our failure in Afghanistan, for example, one chief reason to resist a withdrawal was that then we would be confronted with our loss, a very expensive loss with seemingly nothing to show for it. And while we were there, we had better control of the situation than Putin does in Ukraine, where at best, his advance has slowed to a crawl around Kiev and the gains in the south have been very, very costly. Putin’s options are narrowing, which makes it more likely that he might resort to options that were previously unthinkable.

We should find negotiators that Putin respects. The Chinese President Xi comes to mind, Turkey’s President Erdogan or Germany’s former Chancellor Merkel. The first two are autocrats, yes, and they are not completely aligned with the West. But they aren’t aligned against the West either — which is the point.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
If all citizens are obligated to generate an immediate opinion, then it will be impossible for anyone to look at the aftermath with fresh eyes. Do we not have enough immediate opinions, or are those in short enough supply we should make it impossible to perform an untainted forensic analysis?
Any event that happened close to when we were alive is “tainted” by the perspective of the living. My memory of WW2 is “tainted” by the living memories of my relatives. Yet there are plenty of people, experts and non-experts alike who perform critical analyses of various recent historical events. “Untainted” the way I think you mean it does not exist, different people have different points of views and perspectives. That’s not just in terms of ideology, but e. g. you can view world events through the lens of economics, war tactics and strategies, geography, etc. Post mortems and historical analyses will be important eventually, yes, but this is something best left to experts. Even those can be better appreciated by readers if the readers had paid attention during that period themselves.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I will best meet my obligation to generate an opinion by way of forensic analysis. Considering the importance of the topic, it would be irresponsible of me not to offer my best.
You do you, but I think you fail your country in a moment it needs its citizens the most. Politicians react to the apathy of its electorate, and if the electorate does not take the conflict very seriously, then so won’t many politicians. This conflict has the potential to spiral into a nuclear war if we are not careful. And then everybody loses.

(This sounds like I want to offend you, I don’t, this is how I feel.)
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Mar 29, 2022, 07:08 PM
 
Your analysis seems solid.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
“Untainted” the way I think you mean it does not exist…
The way I mean it is something to be considered as a matter of degree rather than a binary.
     
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Mar 29, 2022, 07:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
No offense taken. Maybe some of it is that I'm burnt out on doom scrolling for the past 6 years.
Trump and its aftermath really exhausted everyone. Anyone paying attention to politics was fed sh*t through a pipeline straight into the brain. I really sympathize. I was hoping politics would get more boring with Biden’s election, but the GOP’s reaction hasn’t made that seem very likely. A lot of the energy was wasted, discussions about purported Covid-19 cures like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquin that led to nowhere but more dead people.
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
But I think it's like I said before - I can't affect the outcome, so I don't want to invest the emotional energy of getting super invested into it for no practical purpose.
Don’t take this as wanting to change your mind necessarily, but if you look closely at how the situation is unfolding, you can see how politics matters. You can see the consequences of e. g. George W. Bush’s decision to expand Nato in the early 2000s. You can see why “Trump’s perfect phone call” to President Zelensky mattered, why those Javelins weren’t just some token in a bigger political game. Why Trump’s first impeachment mattered, and why he should have been convicted and a conviction might have had a positive impact on the situation in Ukraine. I’m sure you can add to that list.
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
I will absolutely read the long-form analyses afterwards to understand the whole picture of what went down, but trying to sort through every over-hyped "Russia is in over their heads!" "They could fall any day!" "Putin is going senile!" article and try and figure out what's actually true just doesn't seem worth the time.
Yeah, a lot of people I know said something like “Putin is crazy”, etc. I resisted that and pushed back. I don’t see any evidence that he is crazy (in the medical sense as opposed to the colloquial sense). People we don’t understand might look crazy. People who are caught in a self-reinforcing loop of good news that they built for themselves base their decisions off of bad information, and just because we don’t understand their precise frame of mind doesn’t mean they are crazy. (Just look at how many of your fellow Americans believe the last election was stolen.)
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Mar 29, 2022, 08:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Oh, the Greens were quite unequivocal, and I'm pretty sure that Laschet would have continued to finish Nordstream 2. Who knows if that might even have staved off the invasion another few years.
I think that was the best argument in favor of Nordstream 2. (I was and am opposed for climate reasons alone, although the other factors are important now, too.) The idea of peace through economic integration is the foundation of the EU, so the idea to influence Russia in a positive direction this way has merit.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
This bit here is amazingly to the point, and absolutely prescient in retrospect:
https://mobile.twitter.com/wenig_wor...48385495687169
(in German)
I was not aware of the clip, but she hit the nail on the head. I thought the Green Party was emphasizing the climate change aspect (and I am a member of the Green Party and politically interested).

During the election, she sometimes spoke in simple terms (which some took as she was in over her head), but her performance has been surprising me in the positive sense.
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