The Daily Dot explains the problem before, and Timcast expands in a video.
Friday, July 31, 2020
Patreon seems to be in real trouble with a major legal loss; maybe Youtube patronage as a whole is in trouble as an income source?
The Daily Dot explains the problem before, and Timcast expands in a video.
Thursday, July 30, 2020
The problem seems to occur when I hit update on a post (I think when I save before update too). It will have browsed, but the act of opening the post (edit) to update it when previously published causes it to delete some text around the link and the link itself. The system tries to update the content before you actually edit again!
My environment is Microsoft Windows 10 Creators Update 1904.
There seems to be a new support ticket.
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
The House Judiciary Committee today conducted 5-hour hearings, “Online Platforms and Market Power: Examining the Dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google".
At one point Zuckerberg joked that he would not buy Facebook.
Ad Robertson summarizes the hearings for The Verge (Vox) as picked up on my iPhone by Smart News. The Wall Street Journal has a little booklet with numerous articles, each about an individual Company. CNN has a detailed report by Brian Fung.
(Note: I am having some problems with links and the new Blogger editor. I may have to put them at the end of a post sometimes, and may have to use the old editor for a while.)
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Social media, even hosting sites now take action about coronavirus misinformation (especially about masks, and questionable treatments)
Monday, July 27, 2020
YouTube takes down a chess livestream because bots interprets common chess idioms (with Black and White) as racist
Agadmator’s Chess Channel reports that a livestream of a chess lesson was taken down with a community guidelines warning (in late June).
He had great difficulty getting YouTube to listen to his appeal.
“YouTube takes down Chess podcast for being harmful or dangerous”.
Apparently bots were offended by the terminology of chess, like ‘White stands better”, or “Black has no compensation for the lost pawn”. He says he is not allowed to discuss “the current situation” (the pandemic and anti-racism) on his channel and doesn’t name it in this video. It looks like the podcast was later restored.Chess game shown: Chess Life and Review July 2020 p. 20 Sicilian Dragon B78, Jirasek v. Wu, White won.
Sunday, July 26, 2020
With all the talk about a national lockdown (previous post), I got mad and made this post this morning.
The “obvious” reason to do this is to (1) Open schools in the fall (2) stop the violent protests (3) shift the burden away from low income (minority) workers.
All very authoritarian and Maoist.
Or, will the epidemic calm down if everyone wears a mask?
O thought they said that before.
Total lockdown might well mean you take down social media and most of the web and media, too. It’s unnecessary, isn’t it? Most of us would be disappeared forever. (The big media outlets survive. Read between the lines, please; low cost lowballing destroys traditional media jobs?)
So “ask” when necessary (“do ask do tell”). This is indeed Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”. Keep in mind that China has put us to shame with its willingness to do authoritarianism (shaming our own lack of personal self-discipline down to an individual level), because most of China seems to be functioning as it had before.
The other good question would be, can testing and contact tracing (some of it automated South Korea style) even be in operation before schools start if "we" want to do this?
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Medical groups call for complete national lockdown now (for US); to get schools open in fall? to stop protests?
A new open letter from a group of medical professionals urges Trump to order a complete national lockdown now. “Best of Life online” reprints the letter . Later (early AM July 24) CNN (Shelby Lin et al) wrote its account of the letter here.
Leana S. Wen (from Hopkins, often on CNN) explains the three major strategies in the Washington Post
(Video above: ABC News in Australia, March 2020)
There is still a lot of wiggle room in what a full national lockdown really means. Some accounts make it sound lenient – you can drive around locally for exercise, get essential repairs in your house, get your computer replaced, etc. That’s how it was in Virginia in March and April (I really had no problems at all). See July 14 posting, also.
But other accounts would make it close to martial law. It is very dangerous for the federal government to decide what is "essential". A lot of "things" would never be allowed back. We could well shut down social media completely as unnecessary. And a couple weeks ago, we were told the problem would go away if everybody would wear masks. (Everybody won't.)
One reason to try something like this right now is to be able to open schools in the fall. Another reason would be to stop all the protests. That would include Portland for openers, although the mayor there says things had calmed down before the federal troops came in. But this would sound like a desperate gambit for the November election (not exactly a King's Gambit in chess, which is probably unsound).
There's one more caveat. Since China was certainly criminally negligent around the beginning of 2020, Trump could reasonably claim that American civilians should understand that this is wartime. There is a paradox in a draft dodger's ranting about the "China virus" or "Wuhan virus" but it's dangerous.
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Twitter's purge of accounts associated with a certain conspiracy theory draws more unfavorable attention to Section 230
Hoeg Law has an important video today, “Twitter vs. Qanon: Big Tech Censorhip, CDA230, and Sreisand”.
He is referring to Twitter’s new safety policy regarding “coordinated harm” and some fraudulent accounts that were talking about Qanon (the conspiracy theory about “deep state” that led to PizzaGate in December 2016).
Twitter Safety details its actions in a thread. Apparently it will ban links to Qanon sites; it is very unusual to ban mere hyperlinking to lawful material. Twitter is also deciding that his one "group" or "ideology" is more "dangerous" than others (as Facebook did with some groups and individuals in 2018).
Elizabeth Nolan Brown has a descriptive article in Reason.
Ben Collins et al give more details on NBC News.
Hoeg points out that CDA230, however ironically, facilitates Twitter’s selective moderation without downstream liability.
But the actions it takes may become so capricious that users will have no reasonable way to guess when they are crossing the line.
Hoeg feels Twitter’s action will further embolden Biden to try to cancel Section 230. He also points out that a policy like this merely draws more people to want to know about it, the Streisand Effect.
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Visitors may have noticed some changes in the appearance of blog postings lately. That comes from the fact that Blogger has rolled out a new interface starting in May 2020. The service offers the blogger the opportunity to switch to classic blogger when doing a post, but that possibility will expire on Monday Aug. 24, 2020.
I have had some difficulty after, on July 12, the “<>” toggle switch to go to html mode seemed to disappear. Instead, the service placed a pencil mark on the upper left side which opens to the toggle, but gave no explanation.
Blogger’s changes are said to be motivated by the desire to make the mobile experience better and improve search engine ranking for commerce.
The new interface offers the opportunity to search YouTube videos by title to embed automatically in a way that fits a mobile device.
Here is a descriptive post from “Destined Boy”.
We had not heard a lot of news about Blogger before May. A social networking service Google-Plus was largely shut down March 7, 2019. I have wondered about how Blogger can make Google (or Alphabet) money when it has never been upscaled to the content management professional style of Wordpress, but wants the reputation of being faster and simpler to use, and is more usable on mobile devices.
I still have concerns over the availability of all of these platforms (beyond what we call interactive social media) indefinitely if there are severe strains on Internet performance as schools have to use them in the fall given the virus situation.
Video by Nava Eri June 2020.
As I had explained here on Feb. 27, 2019, I must simply my “branded’ Internet presence by the end of 2021. I do not expect to use free service platforms (except video in a much tighter sense) after 2022 begins. I don’t want to speculate here on how the pandemic would affect it, but I’ll have more to say soon on the DADTNotes blog.
Monday, July 20, 2020
Two homicides (NJ, CA) have a possible bizarre connection to military draft (Selective Service) issue
There is a bizarre twist to two assassination attempts, one in California (Crestline, San Bernadino County) on Wednesday July 12 of Marc Angelucci, 52; and more recently Sunday, in North Brunswick, NJ, of the college age son (and shooting of husband) of Judge Ester Salas (who was unharmed).
The details of the Salas incident are in an ABC News story by Josh Margolin et al. They include the finding of the suspect, an attorney Roy Den Hollander, dead in is car in Rockland County NY, which may have been a suicide.
(Timcast has a video on the Salas case).
Angelucci and Hollander were both involved in “men’s rights” as described in the stories, or sometimes viewed as “anti-feminist”.
Angelucci had worked on a case in 2019 in which a federal court declared the male-only registration for Selective unconstitutional, reversing a 1981 Supreme Court ruling because the military services now allow women to in almost all combat roles. Although the ruling is under appeal it is thought to be unlikely to go anywhere if Congress either decides to extend Selective Service Registration to women, or to eliminate it. This was emerging as a political debate until Covid-19 came along and reinforced the idea of government actions on civilians with quarantines (and now mask wearing)
But Hollander had worked on a case were a female had wanted to register for Selective Service. Surprisingly, the LGBT lobby has little noticed the idea that Selective Service registration is based on birth gender (no allowance for the idea of trans or non-binary). The case was apparently before Judge Salas and Hollander was reportedly replaced on the case.
Some of the details of these two incidents resemble the killing of national security technician Kanika Powell near Laurel MD in 2008 (story, see also TV blog, Jan. 24, 2015 on an NBC Datelines story “The Unusual Suspect’, also this on another Wordpress blog).
The whole issue of the military draft and the deferment system has been a very important part of my own writing (as in the way I connected it to the "gays in the miltiary" issue in my three DADT books) since the 1990s. I lived in northern NJ from 1972-1974, including 8 months in Piscataway, not far from New Brunswick. The picture above is Bloomfield Ave in Caldwell NJ, westbound, 2011.
Sunday, July 19, 2020
Saturday, July 18, 2020
Asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic spread is making this wave dangerously hard to control (politically) in the US
There a couple of important articles today on where we’re headed.
The Washington Post, in a detailed article by Arianna Eunjung Cha, discusses the issue of superspreaders, especially in conjunction with the more recent concerns over aerosolized transmission.
Many buildings, including condos and apartments, might have to take a hard look at their ventilation systems (especially central air). Perhaps businesses could install new ultraviolet devices to kill aerosolized virus.
There could also be a concern that we develop evidence that some asymptomatic people have trouble completely eliminating virus that can be transmitted, and put them in legal danger of permanent quarantine, like “Typhoid Mary”. It would be very important to develop antivirals that can be given early. There are some disturbing, although inconclusive, reports that reducing testosterone in men may make them less likely to become infected or to eliminate infection (GLBT blog July 15), something I would want no part of.
(Video, Ted Talk, How the pandemic will shape the near future, Bill Gates.)
Helen Branswell writes in Stat (and Apple News) “How to fix the COVID Dumpster Fire in the U.S." Yes, a total lockdown is untenable. She wisely focuses on keeping people from congregating in enclosed indoor spaces. That might cut retail back to just grocery and pharmacy everywhere for some weeks. But what about all the workplaces that support the power grid, and Internet. Much of this is now work-from-home, which makes it more vulnerable to hacks. We could argue that you even shut a lot of that down to a bare minimum if you don’t want people in enclosed spaces at all, but then do sites and everything else come back, or are some of them not allowed to if they aren’t commercial or essential enough? We seem to be headed to an almost Marxist view of what activities in society should carry on, given that the future could be much more challenging from the viewpoint of controlling disease than it ever has been, for some years.
Friday, July 17, 2020
It’s also worthy of note that some hotel chains do offer their rooms to persons ordered to self-isolate.
Thursday, July 16, 2020
Volunteers needed to be infected in vaccine trials; Mask issue confronts new issues for some people of restrictions on freedom for public good
In Utah, parents showed up for a meeting without masks to challenge the plans to open schools with students wearing masks, NBC News story. Parents said that this would lead to kids growing up in fear and not learning proper socialization.
In Georgia, the governor sues the Atlanta mayor (who has tested positive) over her mask requirements.
Some people compare it to wearing a seatbelt. But the government’s advice on this has flipped so quickly one can understand the public’s reluctance.
It also adds to the debate of “community health”, where individual actions, in context, have more potential effect on others than we see at first. We had to contemplate that in the 1980s with AIDS, with very different parameters.
And now there is increased preparation to infect healthy volunteers in vaccine trials (even after placebos), Fortune and Bloomberg.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
No, I don't think the United States could have done a full lockdown "in time" (without martial law, at least)
There has been a lot of talk in the media about the idea that the United States should have done a total lockdown by around March 7, and that doing so would have “crushed the curve” and saved 36000 lives in NYC for openers.
The one big hooker in this kind of thinking is that no geographically large country has completely locked down everything. Authoritarian China walled off Wuhan and I believe most of Hubei province, although there were a few hours notice for people to escape. And China has a unary government, not federal like ours.
Instead, we left most decisions about lockdowns to the states (as part of federalism) and sometimes localities. It was decentralized. This more or less corresponds to the EU's letting each component country act independently (but stopping free movement). Even Australia, with about the same land mass as the US, and Canada allowed considerable provincial and state discretion (although they were stricter than we were). New Zealand is different, because it is geographically small and water-surrounded. Same with Taiwan and South Korea.
(CNBC video July 8).
A true lockdown, aiming to prevent the taking advantage of service workers who are more likely not to be white, would have amounted to martial law, close to what happened in China. In the effort to reduce unnecessary activity, even “gratuitous” web activity and social media self-publishing might be stopped. This would be a war effort. And the term "shelter in place" really suggests gross contamination outside (like radiation).
It’s interesting that CDC had suggested on Feb. 25 that Americans could find their lives “severely disrupted” before a single official death had been recorded (Feb. 29, later backed down to Feb. 6), and even before community spread in the US had been verified (Feb 26).
By March 7 there were some cases, including a cluster in the NYC suburbs, but still not a large total. By March 16 (when many things were closed) they were rising exponentially and as were hospitalizations and then deaths.
The nature of the threat, with the concept of “curve flattening”, is deceptive. It is more that the virus, transmitted casually, can cause unpredictable long term damage to so many people who survive it, as well as the death rates that spiral just because of the sheer volume of exponential spread.
Update: July 15.
John Barry in the New York Times warns us we need another April-style (at least) lockdown.
Monday, July 13, 2020
The Major League season will start without fans on Thursday night, July 23, 2020, with the New York Yankees in Washington.
We all know the criticisms. The athletes are getting tested everyday, whereas ordinary people wait in lines for hours and then a week for the test, and therefore contact tracing can’t possibly work.
Frankly, I think it would have been OK to admit some fans to the stands, and spread them out. It simply is much safer out of doors. But, then, you could have safety concerns with the concessions.
The DH rule will be in effect for each league (including the NL), and relief pitchers will have to finish an inning or face a minimum of three batters. But the craziest rule, which sounds like sandlot, is that each half-inning in extra innings will start with a runner on second base (the last batter in the previous inning or pinch replacement).
ESPN Link above.
The shutdown of the season was shocking to pro sports in its suddenness, starting as I recall when an NBA player tested positive on March 11. I had been to Nellie’s in DC on Saturday night Feb. 29 and there had been a Nats exhibition game being shown, and there was no hint that “mitigation” would collapse our world as we knew it between March 11 and March 17. Businesses simply had not considered the idea that anything like this could happen despite the lockdowns already in Italy and Spain (let alone China). The paradigm (exponential spread) of what looked like a mild disease for most people simply wasn’t something that anyone had ever thought through before. Playoffs will be as usual.
Indeed, COVID-19 still sounds like the perfect sci-fi horror plot.
But the Nationals comeback and World Series now feel like living in a simulation.
Saturday, July 11, 2020
Saturday, July 11, 2020, Smerconish on CNN opened his hour by discussing a controversy over two opposing papers online regarding whether (leftist) “cancel culture has gone too far”. The papers are introduced by Jennifer Schuessler in the New York Times (leading to another NYTimes commentary in between).
The first piece was “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate” in Harpers, and a few writers have already been pilloried for signing it. A couple have profusely apologized saying they didn't know what they were signing, and washed the feet of their conquerors.
The opposing position was “A More Specific Letter on Justice” on Substack. The letter insists that the neo-liberal establishment writers are privileged and keep other voices out. Then the letter seems to get into the idea that group power in a society for its own sake really matter. The basic belief is that a systemic power structure needs to be replaced to give members of oppressed groups a fighting chance to climb back on, and individualized “objective” or “critical” speech (even what I claim mine to be) gets in their way.
Part of my own personal reaction to the firings of people for their social media or self-published statements relate back to what I called “conflict of interest” back in the 1990s, when I was preparing to write my first book, on “don’t ask don’t tell”, while working for a company that specialized in selling life insurance to military officers. That led to this narrative. I followed up with another white paper (check the “conflict of interest” Wordpress label there, particularly Feb. 27, 2018).
My view of this was that there is such a thing as personal self-branding in what puts out online in any formalized way at all, and that is what matters. It can even have an impact in trademark law.
But, yes, cancel culture has gone too far. But we do need to realize that we are rapidly evolving an informal but effective idea of “social credit” that is migrating toward what China does officially.
Smersonish's poll today said yes, 62% think cancel culture has gone too far.
Friday, July 10, 2020
Libertarian Party presidential candidate Jo Jorgenson, from SC (I have met her once), created a furor saying that libertarians must go explicitly anti-racist and support Black Lives Matter.
Later (Tom Pappert, National Life) writes that Jorgensen clarified, saying she was only actively supporting platform ideas like ending qualified immunity, sentencing disparities, and the war on drugs.
Yet many reports called her statements “woke”.
Pictures: Nevada, rural NE Georgia
Thursday, July 09, 2020
City of Seattle reported to hold controversial anti-racism training; California wants to undo Prop 209 and mandate affirmative action, in reaction to COVID
I have to express dismay at learning about this “undoing whiteness” segregated diversity training apparently held in City of Seattle employment, UK Daily Mail. Fox News also reported it.
A Twitter feed showed some of the materials.
To me, this sounds pathological. I would be offended. Objectivity and individualism are instruments of white supremacy? Jordan Peterson would love this one.
A few of the items could make sense. Give up physical safety? Share more risk that others have to share? That’s called “skin in the game”.
They training demands that white people take responsibility for their part in taking advantage of inherited privilege even if they did not start the privilege. (Only about 5% of white people in the US have ancestors who owned slaves, I am told by conservatives.)
We also learn that California wants to roll back its1996 Proposition 209, which simply guarantees the racial neutrality normally understood as implied by United States Civil Rights Laws. A similar measure had been defeated in Washington state, barely. But of course the Supreme Court has allowed limited affirmative action around the edges.
The supporters of the provision point to the greater risks shared by black people in the COVID-19 pandemic. This was true with the Vietnam era draft.
Seattle picture embedded from Wikipedia, click for attribution.
Wednesday, July 08, 2020
Would Twitter's "Gryphon" subscription lead to bundling of news and periodical site subscriptions? Let's hope so
Twitter is reported to be working on a subscription platform, as Tom Warren reports in The Verge. The code name is “Gryphon” which makes me think of graphene or maybe carbon nanotubes.
This might include specialized content or following approved users. What would be good would be if it could bundle subscriptions to newspapers or magazines that are among these quality users. That could make getting higher quality news from a variety of sources cheaper for consumers.
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
Protesters may be developing gradual "cellular immunity" to COVID-19, which could make BLM "leftist" protests a ("libertarian") "blessing in disguise"
Reason has followed up on an Sky News story with an article by Ronald Bailey July 1 reporting studies in Sweden and Germany that show that many people have T-cell response that will protect them from coronavirus exposures (except maybe very large ones).
Sweden approaches with caution: it is not clear yet whether you have protection from cellular immunity alone after antibodies die off. It is common with other infectious agents that you do, or that cellular immunity makes your symptoms from a subsequent case trivial.
This may be interesting to protesters and journalists who march with them to film them. Unlike people going to bars, birthday house parties and church services, protesters seem to be staying on good health for the most part. Most have worn masks. But the scream and holler a lot. I have heard of cases where people say they have tested negative by PCR despite marching in these events. Antibody tests aren’t as common but it is likely many have antibodies for a while.
I notice this with my own body aging. I stopped having strep throats after having them 2 or 3 times in my 40s. I’ve had norovirus once (in 2009) in the past 20 years, whereas as a youngster it was common. A serious deep dental bone infection in 2004 never returned. All of these suggest cellular immunity, not antibodies. But cellular immunity can also drive cytokine storms. The important thing with the coronavirus is that the response needs to be proportional to need right after infection. Genes and blood type may matter.
We should be studying the T-cell response of people with asymptomatic or “mild” COVID, and with people who test negative on PCR but who have at least one positive antibody test. This may suggest ways of designing better drugs as prophylactics or help with vaccines.
An earlier video from Medcram explains a particular hooker: Sars-Cov2 can actually invade a T4 cell but cannot reproduce inside it (unlike HIV). Also another possible complication if antibody dependent enhancement (ADE) from IgM antibodies. PeakProsperity has mentioned this, and I'll look further.
Update: July 10
Swedish study (in pre-print) examines T-cell immunity, which is more like a "resistance" rather than absence of infection. That's why the 4 minor coronaviruses are harmless to humans with normal cellular immunity. Humans have had time to learn to deal with them.
Monday, July 06, 2020
Smart News has unearthed a study at Harvard published by Knowridge in early May, recommending that spread of COVID can be reduced for everyone by requiring certain ages groups to shelter in place in some sort of rotation, story by Leah Burrows, link. I rather had a cow when I saw this until I saw it was dated in May.
The article suggested that 50% of the 30-49 age group be selected and required to observe absolute lockdown. Apparently they would be compensated (or their employers would), and neighborhood groups would be recruited to provide all the shopping.
The strategy is not necessarily applied to the aged (as was threatened at one time in the UK).
The idea seems to imply government conscripting certain people to serve times in isolation for some kind of common good, a rather frightening idea.
Talia Shadwell in the Daily Mirror reports on people waking up from comas after ventilation and reporting horrifying visions and alternative consciousness, and the months of recuperation.
Howard Forman et al of USA Today wants mass testing of everyone, mandatory, using pooled testing (saliva), in order to scale up. It isn’t clear how the people faced with mandatory isolation will be compensated for their losses (or should they be?) USA Today also has an op-ed warning Americans of another big lockdown if they don’t start behaving themselves.
Also the US Army has published a study regarding the survival of SARS-Cov2 on human skin, for hours. Presumably it goes away with showering with soap and water?
Sunday, July 05, 2020
College football teams have tried to ban player use of social media; now coaches are getting sacked by anti-racism
The Wall Street Journal reports, in a piece by Laine Higgins (AP), that college sports teams (especially football) have been very strict on social media policies for players. At the University of Iowa, players are not allowed to have Twitter accounts at all.
That reminds me of my own “conflict of interest” policy in the 1990s when I relocated to a new city and changed duties before publishing a book on gays in the military and becoming prominent about it online and in search engines (in the days before modern social media).
But instead, college football players have broken through and gotten coaches in trouble for insensitive and allowing racial disparities on their teams.