A Taxonomy of Trump Tweets – from On the Media.”

On the Media is “WNYC’s weekly investigation into how the media shapes our world view. Veteran journalists Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield give you the tools to survive the media maelstrom.”

A recent segment intriguingly addresses the PEOTUS’ twitter-storm, and how the media should appropriately respond.

As we all know, Donald Trump’s tweets have become a potent force in our new era. On the one hand, a single tweet can cripple opponents, activate supporters, move markets, and subsume the news cycle. On the other, they’re a window into Trump’s wee-hours, unfiltered id. But when his tweets are full of half-truths, distortions, and often bold-faced lies, should journalists treat them as normal presidential utterances, or something else? Cognitive linguist George Lakoff believes that the press must understand how Trump uses language if we’re to responsibly report on his tweets, not just magnify their misinformation. He talks with Brooke about the categories he’s come up with for thinking about Trump tweets.

A summary of the categories:

  1. Preemptive Re-framing – Trump’s tweet stated, “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” This was rated “Pants on Fire” by Politifact, but it effectively re-frames the popular vote in the minds of those who see the tweet, thus distorting the facts in the public arena.
  2. The Diversion Tweet – This kind of tweet is akin to the magician’s misdirectional “nothing up my sleeve.” While you’re busy looking at his or her sleeve to be sure, jiggery-pokery is happening elsewhere. A good example is focusing on Hamilton, as Trump did when he tweeted “The Theater must always be a safe and special place.The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!” In this way, people focus on Hamilton rather than the $25 million settlement in the case of  fraud allegations against Trump University.
  3. The Trial Balloon – Send up something and see how the public reacts, so you’ll know what to do in the future. When Trump tweeted, “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes,” he watched to see how the public responded to this idea; in this case there was a brief discussion about nuclear policy which quickly faded from the public consciousness.
  4. Deflection – In which you attack the messenger. After being pointedly called out by Meryl Streep for mocking a disabled reporter, Trump attacked the messenger: “Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never “mocked” a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him “groveling” when he totally changed a 16 year old story that he had written in order to make me look bad. Just more very dishonest media!The video is out there; no matter how much he denies it, Trump’s actions can not be interpreted as anything other than cruel mockery of a man’s afflictions – but attacking Ms. Streep, one of the most accomplished and versatile actresses of this generation, deflect’s the public’s view from the issue at hand. This was also evident as Trump attacked Buzzfeed, CNN, and the BBC around reports on the supposed Russian dossier.

Lastly, Lakoff presents an example of a Trump tweet that uses all four strategies at once:

“Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to “leak” into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?”

  • Pre-emptive framing: “This is fake news.”
  • Diversion – Getting the public to discuss whether or not this is fake news rather than addressing the issue itself.
  • Deflection – Attacking the messengers
  • Trial balloon – Will the intelligence agencies be stopped, and are they working like Nazi Germany?

And, of course, tucked away in the tweet is the invocation of a corollary to Godwin’s Law: In any online discussion, whoever first brings up a reference to Hitler has lost the argument, and the discussion is ended.

Lakoff’s suggestions for the press on how to handle the onslaught of 3 AM tweets, as well as the entire podcast (it’s only about 8 minutes long) are well worth the listen.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

The only way to the stars.

It won’t be technology that gets us there, although that’s a critical part of the equation. It won’t be money alone. Humanity won’t crawl out of the mud until we really learn to care for each other.

Kate McCormick.png

This sad tombstone reads:

Seduced and pregnant by her father’s friend,
Unwed she died from abortion, her only choice.
Abandoned in life and death by family,
With but a single rose from her mother.
Buried only through the kindness of an unknown benefactor
Died February, 1875, age 21
Victim of an unforgiving society
Have mercy on us.

The poem below was part of a BBC program, unfortunately not available in the US, translated by redditor /u/Reedit_girl

1jwalka

Too many people in this world live and die essentially alone and ignored and forgotten. How can we possibly hope to inherit the stars if we can’t even take care of our own here on this Pale Blue Dot?

This image from David Linn – “The Ascent” – illustrates beautifully the Quaker proverb, “Thee lift me and I’ll lift thee, and we’ll ascend together.”

david-linn-the-ascent-helping-into-the-light

That’s what life is about, regardless of your spiritual walk, be it person of faith, humanist, deist, atheist, anti-theist, or somewhere else – it matters not. We’re here to make a difference in one another’s lives for good. If you’re doing that, you’re on a good road.

The idea is not new, it’s as old as the hills. In the Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a, we find this:

hillelquotehebrew

“That which is distasteful unto yourself, do not unto others. This is the whole Torah, the rest is commentary. Go and study.”

Lest you think I’m being partial to Judaism, have a look at the Golden Rule in many faiths around the world:

Golden Rule

Missing from the chart is the humanist “ethic of reciprocity,” the belief  that people should aim to treat each other as they would like to be treated themselves – with tolerance, consideration and compassion.

Until we live in a world where this idea is as natural to every person as breathing, we won’t be ready to inherit the stars.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

 

The Saga of Window 10 – so now my scanner doesn’t work any more.

When I first bit the bullet and upgraded from Win 7 to Win 10, I lost my HP PSC 950 printer – no available drivers could get it to work. By dint of a lot of pray-and-try fiddling, I was able to get my Canon all-in-one (MF 4350D) to print, but the Canon toolbox was no longer recognized, so my ADF feeder was bricked.

Now, after the Anniversary Update, the entire scanner function is gone. Sticky notes are locked to a minimum size, regardless of how much text is on them. Chrome demands permission to run every blasted time, along with other programs like Paint Shop Pro 7.0 and WinAmp, to name just a few. And you can now no longer tell Windows not to restart your computer after an update, but only specify when you’d like to do it… and you can’t specify longer than a 12-hour exclusion window. ¹

Do you have any idea how enraging this is?

ernie

(With apologies to Bud Grace.)

Do you remember the scene in Dirty Harry where the serial killer, Scorpio, pays to have himself beaten up by a thug so he can blame his injuries on the police?

Yeah, that’s what I’d like do do with every Microsoft executive responsible for the Mißgeburt that is Windows 10. In an abandoned warehouse somewhere, until they beg abject forgiveness from every frustrated user who had Win10 forced upon them without permisson, and even those of us who upgraded by choice.

Not very charitable of me, I know. But the frustration level has risen to such a point that some Linux distro is starting to look darned attractive, learning curve notwithstanding.

I have some words for Microsoft, but they’re not suitable for what I try to keep as a family-friendly blog. Fill in the details yourself, it won’t be hard.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


¹ Edit: A month or so after I had written this draft, Canon (bless their souls) had come up with a new driver for my printer, so at least the scanner works again. And Windows did fix the issue with sticky notes. The rest of my frustration remains. Yes, these are #firstworldproblems, but I live in the first world and depend on my machine for a whole lotta things.

No, Virginia, “brain booster” pills don’t work.

I have inveighed many times against the deceptive nature of affiliate marketing. It’s getting worse all the time, and otherwise legitimate entities are promoting it by allowing anybody and their capybara to inject ads onto their websites. It’s all about the revenue.

Newser™ used to be one of my favorite news aggregator sites, but my enthusiam began waning when their site became jugged with deceptive advertising, and my patience finally snapped when they added code to create popup tabs and randomly switch me to unwanted articles.

Advertorial.jpg

This one, which I had mentioned before, popped up again. It infuriates me, because people are going to believe this camel ejecta, and waste their money on worthless garbage. Instead of “BrainStorm Elite” or “IQ+,” it’s now called “Intelleral” – and it’s not much more than what they flufferously designate as WGCP (whole green coffee powder), meaning NoDoz™ would be just as effective because it’s nothing more than caffeine.

Take note:

  • Stephen Hawking does not say anything about Intelleral or anything else doubling your IQ.
  • The advertisement server is smart enough to know that I’m browsing from Maine, and it injects that state into the headline.
  • Anderson Cooper’s interview has nothing to do with any products.
  • I believe that Intelleral is worthless garbage, and its manufacturers are – in my humble opinion – criminal scum.

So let’s say you’re curious and google something like “intelleral scam.”

search.jpg

Take note that almost every one of these results is the result of an affiliate marketer’s campaign. The red WOT circles are also a good indication that these websites are deceptive and potentially dangerous.

An example: the last link on the list purports to warn you about the side effects and cost of Intelleral. And it’s nothing more than a page promoting the product:

intelleral-ad-1

How much more deceptive can you get than this? Why would you buy a product that’s so dishonestly promoted, even if it worked… which it doesn’t.

One customer wasn’t too happy… among countless:

This product is a scam
By [redacted], Canton, NC, Jan 6, 2017
I ordered Intelleral due to the wonderful advertisement and testimonies by several famous people. I have taken this for a couple of weeks with no noticeable positive effect.

I was checking my credit card this morning and noticed two different charges pending for the two trial items I ordered from the Intelleral website. I did not request future orders. I was billed $64.95 and then $69.95 (charges pending).I contacted my credit card company to dispute this.

Do not order from these people.

You notice her complaint about the extra charges? That’s standard operating procedure for these slimy bottom-feeders. Have a look at their “terms,” which you have to click through to read:

2.1 By placing your order you will be receiving a 14 day evaluation of for the price of $4.95! We stand by our satisfaction Guarantee and our friendly customer service. You will also be enrolling into our convenient auto ship program once your evaluation expires. You understand that you are subscribing to a monthly shipment program and you will be charged $89.99 per month starting 14 days from today and every 30 days thereafter unless cancelled. You also understand that you can cancel at any time, subject to the provisions of section 3, without further obligation by calling 888-298-0291, Monday – Friday between the hours of 9am-5pm MST. Your transaction will appear on your credit card statement as “”. You will recieve your package within 2-5 business days of each payment. Please allow 2-5 Business days for your initial Bottle.

There’s a lot more if you have the stomach to read it. You thought you were paying $4.95 for a trial, but you were actually obligating yourself to shell out $90 bucks a month for this snake oil, and good luck getting a refund from these weasels.

Best solution: TURN AROUND, RUN AWAY, DON’T LOOK BACK. Do not buy this or anything like it that sounds too good to be true, because it is.

Next of Kings

I haven’t got Nigerian spam for a long time. I changed email addresses, and Gmail is really good at filtering these things out. That said, I saw one today as I was cleaning out my spam box that made me grin.

Most of it is the same old recycled garbage; this one kindly includes a list of fraudsters that I must immediately stop dealing with if I am to “get my fund of 5 million dollar.”

It has been proposed that these scam letters are deliberately written in horrid English to trap only the most gullible, but I haven’t completely bought that theory. A lot of these scam letters are boilerplated and must be passed (or sold) from scammer to scammer. In my past experience, a lot of the Lads from Lagos don’t even speak English but are using templates and auto-responders, because even if I respond to their hook with a “sod off, mate” they come back with something like “thanking you for your esteeming response, your fund is ready! Just send the $299.00 US Dollars Only fee for processing…”

Oh well. This one’s out there, just in case anyone Googles for it.


Attention Inheritor,

I am Mrs.Melina Belak, a US citizen, I am one of those people that took part in receiving Inheritance funds and Lottery funds from European banks even from many lottery organizers, ATM card and Compensation funds etc few month’s ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid different fees paid out while in the United States trying to get my funds from those banks, ATM CARD And Compensation and lottery organizers but all to no avail. I decided to travel to West Afrian Nigeria, with all my compensation documents, and I was directed by the IMF Director to contact the reconciliatory Barrister Frank Daniel who is also an attorney, A USA citizen and a member of the UNITED NATIONS & IMF COMPENSATION AWARD COMMITTEE currently working with IMF in the WEST NIGERIA and I contacted him and he explained everything to me. He said whoever is contacting us through emails are fake. Barrister Frank Daniel personally directed me on how to claim my Inheritance or Lottery payment.

Right now I have received my compensation funds of $5 million dollars Moreover, Barrister Frank Daniel, showed me the full information of those that are yet to receive their Inheritance or Lottery payment and I saw your email address as one of the beneficiaries, that is why I am contacting you to stop dealing with those people, they are not with your fund, they are only making money out of you.

I will personally advise you to contact Barrister Frank Daniel, he will assist you as he is a very religious man with the fear of God.

Compensation Award Office.

Name: Barrister Frank Daniel
Private Email: barfrankdaniel12@gmail.com
Office Email Address: Compensationoffice@yeah.net
Phone Number: +1 (315) 294-0440

Listed below are the name of fraudsters and banks behind the non release of your funds that I managed to sneak out for your kind perusal which they are more with out your acknowledgment .

1) Mr. James B. Comey Jr
2) Ms. Carman L. Lapointe
3) Mr Ban Ki-moon
4) Mr. Dan Rochas (I.M.F)
5) Mrs. Tanner Williams
6) Robert S. Mueller, III
7) Mr Jim Ovia: Zenith Bank Plc In Nigeria
8) Dr Godwin Emefiele
9) Ibrahim Mustapha
10) Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde
11) Micheal Edward
12) Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
13) Mrs. Sherry Williams
14) Mr Wilson Norman
15) Dr. Patrick Aziza Deputy Governor – Policy / Board Member
16) Barrister Ucheuzo Williams
17) Miss Donna Gwen
18) Frank Edward (ATM DEPARTMENT)
18) John Rob
19) rita johnson
20) Ms Becky Donald
21) mr john will
22) ms.rita johnson
23) mr. walker dickson
24) Peter Michael
25) George Mankarious
26) Emile Mutambo
27) Dr. Robert Mooma
28) David Weyne Mutango
29) James Morgan
30) Larry Moore
31) Gloria Momoh
32) Col. John Muguh
33) Uiku Mavzer
34) Eng. John Momoh
35) Dr. Aaron Momodu
36) Barrister Michael Moss
37) Efcc Chairman. Ibrahim Musterfa Magu
38) Miss Esther Emmanuel

CONFIRM YOUR DETAIL BELOW TO AVOID WRONG DELIVERY OF YOUR FUND WORTH $5 MILLION DOLLAR.

1. Full Name…………………………….
2. Residential Address………………………..
3. Phone Number……………………….
4. Fax Number…………….
5. Next of Kings…………. Charles, William, and George, if I’m not mistaken
6. Sex………..
7. Age…………………..
8. Nationality………….
9. Country………………….
10.scan copy Id………..

Please reconfirm the above address to avoid any wrong delivery of your fund s far.

You really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you and telling you that your fund is with them, it is not in anyway with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will take all from you until you have nothing to Give. The only money I paid after I met Barrister Frank Daniel was just $350 for the Endorsement Fee, take note of that if you are not in any way related to this funds do not reply.

Thank You and Be Blessed.
Mrs.Melina Belak
2507 Catalina Dr, Orlando,
Florida, 32805 United States  (Currently an empty home for sale)
SORRY FOR THIS MESSAGE in spam IF FOUND, PLEASE MOVE TO INBOX (right…)

Be careful out there. In case you hadn’t gotten the message yet, there is no money for you in Nigeria. There is no fund. Never send money via Western Union or Money Card or any other way to an unknown person, no matter how good it sounds. You will lose your money, and you will be giving your personal information to criminals.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

IT is an expense. IT doesn’t make money for the company.

I saved this from over at reddit some time ago, and I’m sharing it here because I thought it could use wider exposure. This post is largely for IT professionals, of whom I know a fair community, forgive me if it doesn’t seem relevant.

On the other hand, if you’re a manager or a director responsible for IT¹, you may want to read this with some care.

A question was asked, “Isn’t there a live sandbox environment² you can freely make mistakes in before you jump in the actual live databases or whatever and make changes? If not, why not?”

A comprehensive answer was posted by redditor /u/catherder9000, which I have only bowdlerized a little, and I hope the author is not mortally offended.

It is all about scale.

(Sort of like how this post could have been summed up in 2 sentences, but enjoy it anyway!)

Lets say you work at a company that is a large small business (40-50 million revenue yearly, 100-200 people). Your IT department is a 1-3 man team, because “you’re an expense” …most business people think only sales people make them money. Don’t worry that you can’t make money if things don’t work, only sales makes you money.

Now lets pretend your last major upgrade to the servers was accomplished with a $75,000 budget. Getting that budget with the equipment you demanded was required was hard fought. Some corners were cut on “not absolutely necessary” things, things like a second slightly smaller and slightly slower server to run as a mirror of the first one, a server where you could do all your testing on. That “saved” the company $30,000, right? You just like to spend money, you never make the company any money.

Then, a year later you have something that absolutely has to be done to the server. You are pretty sure it will work, your outside support people are confident it will work, you have no server to test it on because all your other servers are much too small to handle it or are already tasked with other “critical” services. So you go with your best judgement and go live with a big change during the wee hours to cause the least interruption.

1 AM STUFF GOES BAD.

Now you’re scrambling. By 5AM you’re in a frantic attempt to get back online before major business starts, nothing you or your vendor have tried has worked, they’ve called in a half dozen of their T3’s and developers all to no avail. People are rolling in, things aren’t working. Calls are happening. Pages are going out. 6AM, the owner rolls in. His stuff isn’t working. You’re now thinking about reverting to last night’s backup because the changes you were told would work without a hitch were nothing but a giant frozen boot to the face hitch. People are getting really frantic about not being able to do business, nobody can order anything, nobody can sell anything, nobody can maintain inventory, nobody can do anything but sit around with their thumbs in their ears and surf the web. You’re just an expense, you don’t make the company money.

6:30AM, you make the decision to give up attempts at fixing and instead roll back to the last backup. You start the restore telling everyone “this should be resolved by 9:30AM everyone we have is on it and a full restore should take 2 or 3 hours tops.”

9:35 rolls around, 9:40… 10:15 the backup fails at the last point. What the…? How the…? This is impossible! You make some calls, you explain that you have to attempt rolling back to the offsite backup, yes you understand that will lose the half the day’s business and everything will have to be manually entered when the system is back up. You’re given the “Well for pity’s sake get it back up what do we pay you for!?!” (The go ahead. They have utmost confidence in your abilities.) You start the other restore. It works, but was much slower than the onsite one because fiber is only so fast. 3:00PM you’re back online, things seem to be stable again.

3:30, nobody in IT has slept in 32 hours. You’re called into a meeting with management. People want answers. You explain that you were assured everything would go smoothly by the vendor, you tell them that you were confident on your role in the upgrade as well. What should have been a 2 hour downtime during the night turned into a 17 hour ordeal. It was an unforeseeable incident. You mention that, “Had we had a working test environment to try this on first, we would have discovered the problem and avoided it.”

Nobody wants to hear it. Everything is about reentering the previous day’s sales, orders, receivables, inventory adjustments, etc. 4:30 the business day is basically a wipe. The downtime has cost the company a couple of hundred thousand in lost business for the day. You’re just another expense, you don’t make the company any money.

Nobody learns from it other than yourself, a few other people in IT, and the vendor who “has never seen this problem before”.

dt990808shc0

Your request for a new sandbox server is declined. Your request for a 2nd local backup server is seen as “another” frivolous idea.

You’re just another expense, you don’t make the company any money.

Welcome to IT.

The Old Wolf has been there.

¹ IT = Information Technology. You know, the computer or data-processing department that doesn’t make any money. When things are going well, they wonder what they pay you for. When things go to hell, they wonder what they pay you for.

² A sandbox is a separate place, a mirror of your computer systems, where software can be tested without impacting your production machine. If things go bad, no harm no foul.

Winter is Coming, whether HBO likes it or not.

Winter is Coming.jpg

This beautiful painting by a 13-year-old girl, who just happens to have some autism to deal with, was posted at the arts and crafts site, RedBubble. She called it “Winter is Coming.”

Lawyers at HBO, afraid that this image and its appurtenant title would do irreparable harm to their beloved Game of Thrones¹, sent a takedown letter, which RedBubble  – sadly – immediately complied with.

I’m not so charitable. HBO is a douchebag, and these lawyers are douchebags. They can all go sit on a cactus. Sit down hard, on a cactus, and spin.

cactus

You see, lawyers and corporations think they can patent or trademark anything to “protect shareholder value.” Well, winter is coming whether they like it or not. It will arrive on December 21st this year.

What are you going to do, boys and girls: sue the calendar?

Grow up and get a life.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


¹ With respect to George R. R. Martin, whose work has inspired a huge following, I’ve never seen the show, and couldn’t get past Chapter 1 of the first book. It just didn’t resonate with me.