around the traps

  • The Oatmeal + Indiegogo + 20,000 people = Gosh Darn Tesla Museum (Infographic) | Indiegogo Blog
  • Names really do make a difference | Science | The Observer: [G]irls who are given very feminine names, such as Anna, Emma or Elizabeth, are less likely to study maths or physics after the age of 16, a remarkable study has found. ... [The study] also showed how harmful giving your child a 'chav' or lower-status name can be. Basically, we form a picture of people from their name. If your name is idiotic, people think you're an idiot. Bogans: your kids aren't special because you made their names hard to spell.
  • Mitt Romney tells 533 lies in 30 weeks, Steve Benen documents them - Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XXX - The Maddow Blog: It's hard not to appreciate the ironic circle -- the president said something true, Romney lied when he said the accurate claim is false, and then he complained about falsehoods in the campaign. I don't know the Republican candidate personally, but from a distance, it appears there's a part of his brain that allows him to create some kind of deliberate blind-spot. It's actually a little scary to think of a leader -- a man who'd be given enormous power and influence, literally making life and death decisions on a regular basis -- who can convince himself that his falsehoods are true, and that others' truths are falsehoods.

    For years, people have ranted about the failure of journalism to expose lies; and how bloggers would do that job and change the world. Most of those rants were poorly informed but all of them missed this scenario: every form of media has proved that a politician is lying his arse off, and he's not stopping. A campaign that will not be derailed by facts (the already-famous campaign statement attacks the 'fact checkers', presumably hoping misdirection would move people away from the facts themselves).

    The People have been informed of the lies by Old Media and New Media; and they don't appear to care. The Fourth Estate has no power. It cannot lock someone up for telling lies. Its power is influence; but if people stop listening, we're left with almost purely tribal politics... which in this specific scenario determines control of a massive military force and economy which affects the entire world. Scary stuff.


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