hodad

"History is written by the winners"
« on: September 21, 2020, 03:57:00 PM »
This is what I wrote last night so that I could quit thinking about it & go to sleep.  It's a bit too succinct perhaps, but it's maybe a slightly fuller explanation of my problems with the modern GOP:

When asked a few months ago about his actions in the Michael Flynn case, Attornery General Bill Barr observed that "history is written by the winners."  This wasn't an idle academic observation but rather a justification for what he had done.  In his mind, "winning"--attaining or holding power--made the actions correct.  At the base of his actions were no core beliefs, no rock-solid ideals, no moral compass--simply the belief that "winning" would make it all right.  And that, in a nutshell, is the hollow moral relativism of the modern GOP. 
This country's democracy has from its start depended on commonly held beliefs and ideals--those self-evident truths and inalienable rights that the founders went on about.  While these ideals have largely become more inclusive with the passing of time (and on occasion have been bent or broken), they haven't radically changed.  But when "winning," when gaining and controlling power becomes the ultimate "good" of a political party, that party is no longer governed by the ideals that have held this country together for nearly two and a half centuries; their "morals" and "beliefs," such as they are, become malleable and even disposable--the means justify the end, as long as that end involves "winning."
On a personal note:  Years ago, as a college freshman, I took a similar, if far more abstract, tack on moral relativism in a philosophy class.  A lively discussion ensued, and as I left the class that day the professor(a WWII vet) admonished me:  "Be careful.  That way lies fascism."  I was a bit taken aback by this, and it was quite a while before I really started to understand what he meant.  Unfortunately, as I watch the doings of Trump and Barr and company, it is now clearer to me than ever.


living sounds

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2020, 04:18:40 PM »
Bill Barr believes in virtually unlimited executive power. Is there anything more un-American?

hodad

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2020, 09:46:48 AM »
The latest shenanigans with the politicization of the CDC point up another aspect of the move toward fascism and authoritarianism.  So we've had political control of data in the Morbidity & Mortality Reports revealed, we've got Trump's push to get a vaccine out by election day, which calls into question the work of the FDA & CDC, we've got the walking back of CDC guidelines about whether the coronavirus can be spread through aerosols. 

You'd think this would make Trump and his minions look bad, and to some folks it does.  But it has another effect:  It diminishes the trustworthiness of formerly trusted and respected scientific organizations.  Nobody knows whether what they're putting out is well-researched data or highly politicized claptrap. And that's good for Trump, because it means that any idiotic thing he says, or that some unqualified, delusional "expert" on the internet starts talking about, is just as valid and important as what the CDC has to say. 

It's actually not that different from what Putin does.  Putin's govt. has largely gotten away from the old-school Soviet style of information suppression.  For Putin, it's fine if the truth is out there for all to see.  But his people will float competing "theories" about what happened in order to diminish the impact of the actual true story.  People see these various "theories" (let's just call it what it is--disinformation) and they think, "Oh, well, 2 (or 5, or 8) different movies.  It all depends on your perspective."  And that works perfectly for Putin.  If well-researched, well-documented information is on the same footing as crackpot theories and outright lies, then he's gotten what he wants. 

Trump is working from the same playbook:  diminish experts and scientific data, promote crackpot theories--just another form of information control.  And one more step towards fascism. 

JohnRoberts

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2020, 04:14:34 PM »
On the subject of winners writing history, I have probably shared that old saw right here in the past.

Another quote worth repeating  'Elections have consequences' (President Obama 2014).
===
Sadly on the subject of history we now have losers in the education system re-writing our history, not to mention the 1619 project. (I have no problem with a complete history, we are not perfect, but have made great strides that deserve some recognition.)

This is like a bad science fiction version of a dystopic future where the state redefines history, but this isn't even that transparent.

JR

PS: I see that you guys are still expert mind readers...   read my mind.  >:(
 
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

bluebird

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2020, 04:37:13 PM »
This is what I wrote last night so that I could quit thinking about it & go to sleep.

Ha! I do this too, I'll compose and even edit whole emails or posts, or rants, or whatever in my head lying in bed. This can't be good, my head actually gets physically warmer, I'm computing so extensively. Lately I've found cliche You Tube new age music or eastern metaphysics dictated with a lone sitar in the background. Lol. Pop on some earbuds and it works! I usually drift off pretty quick, wake and put everything away, go to the bathroom, and I'm off to dreamland.
Sorry OT, but if you find yourself wordsmithing horizontally at midnight, give it a go ;D
« Last Edit: September 22, 2020, 04:40:19 PM by bluebird »

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2020, 04:56:45 PM »
One of the earliest history  lessons I got from my grandad was just that, "History is written by the winners"
his take on it was search for first hand witness testimony and cross reference that with the winners version of events and you can come to a better understanding .

You go to college ,your inevitably going to be force fed an airbrushed version of history  that seeks to legitimise or excuse for instance atrocities committed by the state. The people who came through second best will usually have nothing to loose by telling it like it is .
Word of mouth recollections for me bear much more truth than anything that gets written down , Irish history is full holes , my guess is dig down deep enough in your home turf you'll notice the same .


hodad

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2020, 06:41:24 PM »
PS: I see that you guys are still expert mind readers...   
Thanks for considering me "expert"--I've been working very hard to hone my craft.  First I read or listen to what a person says, then I study his actions, and then I don my Alpha Wave Concentrator.  To build it, I used only the finest silver alloy twisted pair cabling, cryogenically aligned, oxygen-free aluminium foil, and NOS pre-war monodirectional carbon comp resistors.  Once I put it on I can home in on the brain waves of any individual in a 3000 mile radius.  Once the data is collected I feed it into my translation device, built entirely with discreet logic ICs.  Once it's done processing (usually no more than 18 hours), I rush to rip the printout off the teletype, and voila! One more mind successfully read!
« Last Edit: September 22, 2020, 07:25:45 PM by hodad »

bluebird

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2020, 08:21:20 PM »
You sell PCB's for that?

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2020, 08:25:48 PM »
“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”  -  Winston Churchill
Jeffrey Toobin: "This is the most embarrassing week ever."

Rudy Giuliani: "Hold my pants..."

hodad

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2020, 11:47:52 AM »
One of the secrets of the success of American government is the peaceful transfer of power.  If a sitting president loses an election, or is termed out, he leaves peacefully.  There's no law about this--it's just what's supposed to happen. 
So what if it doesn't?  Anyone with the stomach to pay attention to Trump can see the signs:  He's said he's not sure he'll accept the results of the election.  His minion DeJoy is slowing down mail ahead of what is likely to be a record absentee vote (granted, there are other reasons DeJoy is attacking the P.O., but 2 birds with one stone, right?).  Trump is sowing distrust of absentee voting as well (never mind that he does it--GOP has long been the party of "good for me but not for thee").  There are lawsuits in Pennsylvania and elsewhere to limit access to voting.  Trump is pushing the notion that the election "must" be called quickly in a year when the count is almost certain to come in more slowly, and is likely (if recent patterns hold up) to skew more Democratic over time. 
Perhaps more sinister still, Trump's people are working on a plan that would invalidate the popular vote in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislature (my state would be one of those) should the popular vote not go Trump's way. 
"According to sources in the Republican Party at the state and national levels, the Trump campaign is discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority. With a justification based on claims of rampant fraud, Trump would ask state legislators to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly. The longer Trump succeeds in keeping the vote count in doubt, the more pressure legislators will feel to act before the safe-harbor deadline expires.”

These are the acts of a wannabe authoritarian.  They are anti-democratic, and anti-American. 

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/11/what-if-trump-refuses-concede/616424/


Matador

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2020, 11:59:12 AM »
Think about this line from one of his recent rallies:  "The only way we lose, the only way, is if it's rigged."  Just like in 2016, he's setting it up to cause chaos if it doesn't go his way.  If he wins, he knows his supporters will immediately forget that he said it.  If he loses, he'll just say he was right and that it was stolen.  Either way, he wins.

Now I don't want to be accused of reading minds, but what would possibly motivate someone to say this?  There's literally no good that can come from it (again, aside from him benefitting personally).  Does he not see the potential for unrest, and even possibility open conflict amongst the citizens?

hodad

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2020, 12:28:42 PM »
Does he not see the potential for unrest, and even possibility open conflict amongst the citizens?
I don't think that's a negative for Trump.  Unrest opens the gate to authoritarian crackdowns--never mind that the authoritarian is the root cause of the unrest.  Just another part of the game. 

boji

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2020, 01:37:20 PM »
Aside: Just got done watching "The Social Dilemma" on netflix.  Perspective I have now is
'History was written by the winners'. Now it's written by attention-holding algos that know our psychological profiles better than we do.
Anyway, I recommend it for the clips of programmers that confess how well they've done to make AI transparent, steering us to think we are coming to conclusions about reality independently. Truth is whatever contentious or severe version of reality one is battling, it is only so to the degree that it successfully gets us to the websites that feed our personalities back into AI / sell us stuff.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 01:41:57 PM by boji »

JohnRoberts

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2020, 01:44:59 PM »
Aside: Just got done watching "The Social Dilemma" on netflix.  Perspective I have now is
'History was written by the winners'. Now it's written by attention-holding algos that know our psychological profiles better than we do.
Anyway, I recommend it for the clips of programmers that confess how well they've done to make AI transparent, steering us to think we are coming to conclusions about reality independently. Truth is whatever contentious or severe version of reality one is battling, it is only so to the degree that it successfully gets us to the websites that feed our personalities back into AI / sell us stuff.
Yup, I stopped using Google search because of how they steer sentiment with selective presentation of search results, but sadly I had to use google to find the Steve Dove article link. Goggle found it and DuckDuck failed miserably.

JR 
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

hodad

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2020, 02:43:07 PM »
Goggle found it and DuckDuck failed miserably.

JR
This happens to me a lot.  You can actually search google from within Duck Duck Go by typing "!g" before your search (eliminate the quotes, obviously).  A security conscious friend told me that this is better somehow than going straight to google, but I don't remember the details. 

BTW, John:  In your honor this morning I donated $25 to Mike Espy's Senate campaign. 

Recording Engineer

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2020, 02:45:30 PM »
I find it amusing that people actually think certain search sites are pure, fair, and balanced compared to others. It reminds me of alt news sources. “Exclusive. Only we will tell you what the mainstream media doesn’t want you to hear.“

Thank you Fox and O’Reilly for bringing that to the mainstream. Who truly believes the hype? Clearly, many.

I certainly don’t know nearly enough about internet search engine choices and all the inner workings to draw any real parallels there, but its an interesting thought, from a sales perspective, to carve a niche for yourself.

JohnRoberts

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2020, 03:27:33 PM »
This happens to me a lot.  You can actually search google from within Duck Duck Go by typing "!g" before your search (eliminate the quotes, obviously).  A security conscious friend told me that this is better somehow than going straight to google, but I don't remember the details. 
Thanx... I have given up on them tracking me, I have a paid click account for my drum tuners so they are all up in my business.
Quote
BTW, John:  In your honor this morning I donated $25 to Mike Espy's Senate campaign.
Good luck, 2016 was the first election that I ever felt compelled to donate money to a candidate.

Bloomberg is jumping into the political donations game with both feet... besides $100M already committed to support Biden, he is part of another $20M fund raiser to help FL felons vote, as the laws reads now they can't vote if they still owe fines or restitution. Bloombergs program may free up some 30,000 to vote who owe $1,500 or less.  This seems like a blatant quid pro quo, but if you can't trust felons, who can you trust? (kidding). 

If it was that easy to buy an election Bloomberg wouldn't be standing on the sidelines, demonstrating that he has way too much money.
======
@recording engineer... easy to be amused when you make up your own stories about what people believe.

I discussed the shenanigans with Googles search engine's skewed results when it first hit the news years ago.

JR 
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

hodad

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2020, 04:18:03 PM »
Bloomberg is jumping into the political donations game with both feet... besides $100M already committed to support Biden, he is part of another $20M fund raiser to help FL (former, served-their-time)felons vote, as the laws reads now they can't vote if they still owe fines or restitution.

JR

Yes, let's focus on the supposed wrongdoing of helping ex-cons regain the franchise while ignoring the hoops that GOP legislators have forced them to jump through after the people of their state overwhelmingly voted in favor of reinstating former felons' voting rights.  Republican vote suppression=good?  Efforts to defeat it=bad? 

boji

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2020, 04:57:01 PM »
Quote
Thank you Fox and O’Reilly for bringing that to the mainstream. Who truly believes the hype? Clearly, many.

Take our perspective from three or four years ago, and subtract opinions of equal temperament, or 'degrees of emergency' that we still feel passionate about today. Whatever extra heightened awareness or urgency that remains is largely a result of algorithms transparently exploiting our psychology and bias.

As the documentary "The Social Dilemma" shows, it's not partisan craftiness that created this beast. Any company that can steer perception and accumulate enough data to 'crack the code' on how each of us make decisions will have all the money and power they would ever want, no matter what political label gets affixed to it.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 05:06:36 PM by boji »

JohnRoberts

Re: "History is written by the winners"
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2020, 06:30:52 PM »
Yes, let's focus on the supposed wrongdoing of helping ex-cons regain the franchise while ignoring the hoops that GOP legislators have forced them to jump through after the people of their state overwhelmingly voted in favor of reinstating former felons' voting rights.
like paying their fines and restitution?
Quote
Republican vote suppression=good?  Efforts to defeat it=bad?
straw man...

I just got spammed by a girl from the Espy campaign asking if she could count on my support.  ::)

I shared that for you... enjoy.


JR
[edit

PS: In hindsight perhaps Google AI misinterpreted my friendly patter as us both rooting for the same team... so they sold my phone # to Epsy, I guess we know where some of your $25 went.  :P
« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 07:00:25 PM by JohnRoberts »
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.


 

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