Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Tuesday Night

Rock on.

Happy Hour

Get happy

The Nasty Party

My uncharacteristically optimistic opinion is that the good guys win on the bigotry (against), even if they don't win by quite as much as one would like. It's hard to believe when even nonsense like "kids are shitting in litter boxes in schools" gets thrust into The Discourse, but most people can see how ridiculous that stuff is.

Endless Demands For Sister Souljah Moments

For three straight elections, the institutions of the mainstream press have covered Democratic campaigns and policymaking with the expectation and implication that the right’s messaging on cultural issues would largely succeed. And for three straight elections, the anticipated general backlash against cultural progressivism has utterly failed to materialize. Standing against all available evidence⁠—the proof, in surveys and election results, that the electorate had moved measurably left on issues like racial justice, LGBT rights, and immigration over the last decade, the clear tendency of Republican politicians, unlike their Democratic counterparts, to embrace their party’s least popular ideas, like overturning Roe⁠—the center and the right have been locked in a cycle of mutual delusion.

The mainstream press’s dogged insistence that most voters are alienated by the push for transgender rights in particular was belied by the right’s failure⁠—not the first⁠—to take electoral advantage of the issue space this cycle. Republican candidates and conservative groups spent an estimated $50 million on anti-LGBT ads, much of it dedicated to messaging on trans children specifically. They had little to show for it in campaigns across most of the country; in Michigan, where Democrats swept statewide races and secured their first trifecta in decades, state GOP chief of staff Paul Cordes lamented that gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon had seemingly pushed more ads on trans athletes “than inflation, gas prices and bread and butter issues that could have swayed independent voters.”
Your favorite centrists are always demanding that Democrats address the supposed "legitimate concerns" of voters. In this latest cycle it was "suburban moms concerned about trans athletes" or similar nonsense. And as is always the case, they go silent when you press them for details: what should they say, what policy should they support? Are you really asking them to demonize 15-year-old kids who want to play field hockey? Advocate for a national ban? Just some "feel your pain" speeches? WHAT?????

Every cycle has an "other," and every cycle has the same group of centrists demanding Democrats somehow join in with the bashing, without specifying how, because that's what they "the voters" want.

Ye Pepe Fuentes

The mainstream press can and does choose who to highlight, and who to ignore, who to give the benefit of the doubt to, who to paint as hero or villain. None of that is objective journalistic science, just standard choices made every day by people individually and in packs.

The NYT choices often aren't so different from the Fox news choices. The NYT buried it as much as Fox did.

A few years ago, Dapper Nazis were the trendy Style section hit, and punching Nazis was very rude indeed. And here we are today.

Lunch Thread

Busy with some stuff.

One Grifter Down

Scammer takes down a scammer.
There are few political operatives more in the zeitgeist than Sean McElwee, the media-savvy pollster whose firm, Data for Progress, has been at the center of a recent debate over how Democrats should run campaigns. Over the last few years, McElwee, a socialist turned pseudo-centrist, became a leading avatar of “popularism”—the belief that Democrats should focus on poll-tested issues that win elections, and avoid activist-approved messaging that turns off the median voter. He also became a Democratic celebrity in his own right: he famously hosted a regular happy hour in New York that was incessantly profiled throughout the Trump years as an exemplar of the rowdy “new left.” Along the way, McElwee created a successful political-media brand with a big online following and relationships with Democratic power brokers that elevated Data for Progress into the big leagues alongside mainstay polling firms like GSG at a remarkable speed.

But McElwee, I am told by multiple sources familiar with the situation, is now in advanced talks to resign from Data for Progress, the think tank he co-founded in 2018, in the latest fallout from the implosion of Sam Bankman-Fried, whom Sean advised. Ten days after Election Day, on Nov. 18, McElwee’s senior leadership confronted him on a conference call, and then in an email, that effectively served as a no-confidence vote. His reports conveyed their belief that his personal ties to S.B.F., along with his proclivity for betting on elections in which Data for Progress also polled, were putting the firm’s reputation at risk, according to two people familiar with the matter. McElwee and the group’s advisory board expect him to exit at the end of the year. “We are grateful for Sean’s vision and leadership in creating Data for Progress and establishing it as a preeminent progressive organization for change in this country,” the group’s advisory board told me.
The "rowdy 'new left'" were young people collecting lots of money to tell old people what they wanted to hear, with happy hours. I suppose that's rowdy.

We've Got Five Years, What A Surprise

A reasonable rule of thumb is that any tech that is five years away, especially when it's been five years away for a decade, is vaporware.
After years of ambitious targets and bold promises, investors are growing impatient with the pace of driverless-car development, applying pressure on an industry that had become accustomed to latitude and piles of cash from investors.

“Every car maker will need an autonomy strategy, just like they all need an EV strategy,” said Gene Munster, managing partner at Loup Ventures, a venture-capital firm specializing in tech research. “We are likely five years away from an inflection point, and companies that want to reap the benefits need to be aggressively investing in that tech today.”
The technology is certainly neato, even in its current form, but neato doesn't mean practical and certainly doesn't mean ca-ching ca-ching. People always retreat to pointing to more limited use cases, and my brothers in christ, things like a "driverless fixed route bus" are not particularly innovative and certainly not a ca-ching ca-ching business.

As I've long said, the fantasy "driverless car" would be great, but the 99% driverless car actually sorta sucks. Having to pay attention all the time to keep your car from killing you, or dealing with a cab that gets a bit confused sometimes and adds 5 minutes to your trip, are not the optimal consumer experiences!

Monday, November 28, 2022

Monday Night

Rock on.

Happy Hour


The Main Character

Since we can only have one at a time, I suppose the benefit of it being Elon is otherwise it would be Trump.

Oh, Elon

Local governments will do anything but build decent public transit.
Officials had started planning for a street-level rail connection between booming Ontario International Airport and a commuter train station 4 miles away, with an estimated cost north of $1 billion. For just $45 million, Mr. Musk’s Boring Co. offered to instead build an underground tunnel through which travelers could zip back and forth in autonomous electric vehicles.

Dazzled by Boring’s boasts that it had revolutionized tunneling, and the cachet of working with the billionaire head of EV maker Tesla Inc., the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority dumped plans for a traditional light rail and embraced the futuristic tunnel.

When it came time to formalize the partnership and get to work, Boring itself went underground—just as it has done in Maryland, Chicago and Los Angeles. Boring didn’t submit a bid for Ontario by the January 2022 deadline.
For important context: Elon's big thing is that he makes supposedly self-driving vehicles, and in Vegas he can't even make that work in a tiny tunnel. Just taxi-service-in-a-tunnel.

Hot Dog Guy Dot Gif

Funny because the NYT was the lead offender on this, a fact strangely missing from this piece

Election's over, time to revisit the weird epidemic of crime coverage. How did that happen? Wasn't us!

It isn't necessarily the case that local media should embrace the role of local booster, but it's a bit odd to promote the perspective that their city is a shithole murder hell.

That's fairly normal for local broadcast news in smaller cities, but their audiences are generally suburbanites who love to hear scary tales about Them in the urban hellholes.

A bit odd from The New York Times. Just objective science, I guess, as always.

Lunch Thread

Get lunchin'

You've Been In The Pipeline

Just a human centipede of corruption and patronage.
At least ten people living in Brooklyn’s Little Pakistan neighborhood were appointed to obscure but meaningful positions within the borough’s Democratic Party organization without their knowledge in October, an investigation by THE CITY has found.

The Billionaire Problem

So many banal opinions are treated like insanity by the Very Serious People because they are found on The Left. Like, "maybe it's a problem when many individuals (or even one) have enough wealth to rival state power."

The insane opinion is, "well, they're probably all nice respectable chaps and they'll behave."


That cops can and did regularly hand out huge fines for jaywalking, especially given how horribly pedestrian lights were often timed (they could fine you for stepping off the curb at a blinking red, and the green would last 3 seconds)...
Rather, after almost 90 years, with laws dating from the 1930s, the state has finally decided to legalize jaywalking. No more tickets that, with various surcharges, could run to almost $200.

Which means that as of Jan. 1, we Californians will be able to jaywalk to a film audition, jaywalk to buy pot, jaywalk to meet an angel investor for a start-up, jaywalk for hot baby yoga classes, jaywalk for the benefit of paparazzi alerted earlier about where and when the jaywalking will occur, and jaywalk to any of the countless California-centric pastimes that the rest of the country finds so amusing. Or we might jaywalk across the street just to get to the other side.
(tone of this piece is annoying, but the point is made)


Every day.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Sunday Night

Rock on.

Advertise Or I Send My Flying Monkeys After You

I suppose you can keep a bit of money coming in temporarily with the method, but "stay away from the toxic brand with the lunatic CEO" is the obvious play.
Musk, meanwhile, has sought to personally call chief executives of some brands that have curbed advertising in order to berate them, according to one senior industry figure, leading others to instead reduce their spend to the bare minimum required so as to avoid further confrontation with the billionaire entrepreneur.

But They Won't Learn

"Crytpo" has a "no true Scotsman" issue, in that no matter what you point at, it's fans will tell you it isn't the real purity of essence crytpo, or whatever
That all looks pretty reprehensible, but maybe that’s the point. See, Sam Bankman-Fried was so committed to his philosophy of effective philanthropy that he was prepared to make himself appear to be the epitome of a despicable human being, and spend many years in prison, all to teach us that finance is a wasteful cesspool that needs to be reined in for the good of humanity. And, the place to start is his particular corner of the cesspool: crypto.
As for Sam's boosters, they're still holding out hope that the money spigot gets turned back on.

Not Trump

Moderate Republican is now defined as "not a complete Trump boot licker." You can put on a Nazi uniform and say, "Trump sucks," and you'll be called a moderate.