The Surrealism of the Information War (newsbuoy)
Unless people tightly lock themselves mentally into the delusions of dogmas, either religious or ideological, and seek comfort in a universe of magical thinking, the truth is never an absolute. This being said, in order to allow an acceptable level of conviviality in human society, thinkers should seek truth in the subjective reality while knowing that the holy grail of pure truth is the ultimate lie. If one would be so naive or foolish enough to think he has found the absolute truth, looking at it would be like staring straight into the sun at midday, without shields and with eyes wide open, for a full hour. In the process, the believer of absolute truth would go blind.
The right and the left tend to agree that this is a problem, although their proposed solutions are quite different. One thing that hasn’t been proposed is to create private, capricious marketplaces governed only by corporations, but that’s where we’ve ended up.
Through a mix of publicly released documents and materials obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, we’ve found that the Facial Recognition Verification Testing program depends on images of children who have been exploited for child pornography; U.S. visa applicants, especially those from Mexico; and people who have been arrested and are now deceased. Additional images are drawn from the Department of Homeland Security documentation of travelers boarding aircraft in the U.S. and individuals booked on suspicion of criminal activity.
According to Andrew Weiss, a Russia expert at the Carnegie Endowment, Russian officials believed that the West had been pursuing a “regime-change agenda” around the world, particularly in Ukraine in 2014, and worried that Putin’s regime might be targeted next. “Russia felt they needed to push back hard,” Weiss told me. “They wanted to promote cleavages in the West, and that’s where their promotion of populist and nationalist groups and—I think—their support of Brexit fits in.”
Ammunition remained largely the same for centuries: Little balls of metal virtually anyone could make. This was true until the invention of rifling in the mid-19th century. Even this invention was, at first, not terribly useful for military purposes. Not only did the barrels quickly become useless, but the barrels often could not be fitted with a bayonet. This made early rifles impractical for military use and mostly a bit of a toy. Not until the advent of progressive rifling (which came, depending on one’s point of view, fortuitously or not, in the middle of the U.S. Civil War), did rifles become practical for military, and also widespread civilian purposes.
This massive new wave of immigration has brought many benefits to the United States. Of the 122 Americans who won a Nobel Prize from 2000 to 2018, 34 were immigrants. Four of the five Americans who won Nobels in 2016 were born outside the country. Of the 41 Fortune 500 companies created since 1985, eight had an immigrant founder. In many ways, the United States is a stronger, richer, and more dynamic country because of international migration. I am an immigrant myself. Born in Canada, I attended college in the United States, became a permanent resident, raised a family here, and was naturalized in 2007.
The rail lines and roads that carry their crops to market were washed away by the rain-gorged rivers that drowned small towns, forced thousands of evacuations and killed at least three people. Some farmers say they have been cut off from their animals behind walls of water, while others cannot get to town for food and supplies for their livestock.
For the past two years, Brown has led a project to collect coyote scat around the Conejo Valley, including Thousand Oaks, and compare it to samples collected in denser, busier Los Angeles. “Our goal was to look at urban to suburban gradient, and see how that affects their diet,” Brown says.
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