We've been talking about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a pro-globalist treaty that Pres. Obama wants Congress to approve after the election, during a lame duck session (I assume this still means he wants "fast track authority" to sign it without Congressional interference). The Clintons supported TPP before they stopped supporting it, clearly for the sake of election appearances, when Bernie Sanders made it an issue. Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich posted on his Zuckerberg Hoodie page (link via Naked Capitalism) the following conversation with a former fellow Clintonite. A good explanation of what's wrong with the treaty and why Dem fixers want it:
An acquaintance from my days in the Clinton administration, who has been advising Hillary, phoned this morning.
ACQUAINTANCE: “Don’t you think your blog post from last night was a bit harsh?”
[ROBERT REICH]: “Not at all. The Democratic Party is shooting itself in the foot by not officially opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership.”
ACQ: “But you know why. The Party can’t take a stand opposite the President’s. He’s the leader of the Party, for chrissake. And he wants the TPP.”
RR: “Yeah, because he sees the TPP as a way to limit China’s economic influence. So he made a Faustian bargain with big global corporations who want more protection for their foreign investments. But he’s wrong. The TPP won’t crimp China. Global corporations will give China whatever it wants to gain access to the Chinese market. The TPP ….”
ACQ: “Look, it doesn’t matter what you or I think. The President wants the TPP, and the Party isn’t going to oppose him.”
RR: “You mean Hillary won’t oppose him.”
ACQ: “Hillary won’t, and Debbie [Wasserman Schultz] won’t, and neither will Nancy [Pelosi] or Harry [Reid] or Dick [Durbin] or Chuck [Schumer].
RR: “But it’s terrible policy. And it’s awful politics. It gives Trump a battering ram. Obama won’t be president in six months. Why risk it?”
ACQ: “They don’t see much of a risk. Most Americans don’t know or care about the TPP.”
RR: “But they know big corporations are running economic policy. They think the whole system is corrupt. Believe me, Trump will use this against Hillary.”
ACQ: “He can’t. She’s inoculated. She’s come out against the TPP.”
RR: “But it’s her delegates who voted not to oppose it in the Democratic platform. Her fingerprints are all over this thing.”
ACQ: “I think you’re being too cynical.”
RR: “Actually, the real cynic is you.”
hat tip cheseball
Techno-explainer Douglas Rushkoff has a theory to help us understand Trump and Brexit. Strap yourself in, here it comes:
Because TV was a global medium, broadening our minds, but the Internet is a local medium, reinforcing stupid prejudices.
Ah, yes, when George Bush appeared on TV on that aircraft carrier deck, surrounded by wildly applauding men in color-coded uniforms, he wasn't appealing to American exceptionalism and hokey patriotism -- that message was enjoyed by the entire world. And back in the '80s, when Americans got their taste of 500 cable channels, their horizons were immediately widened by all the French language TV offerings. Telenovelas became all the rage in white Appalachia, and more channels were demanded for cinema from Ghana and Nigeria.
But then the internet came along, and suddenly Americans lost interest in everything but Alex Jones and Leave it to Beaver reruns.
That's the drift of it, anyway. Salon calls Rushkoff's warmed-over-McLuhan-in-the-service-of-global-elitism "fascinating." It is fascinating... that such an idea has immediate traction.
Cognitive dissonance: Google reverse image search is touted as a way to find image B that looks like image A.
Yet, at the same time, image recognition technology is widely known as "not there yet" -- algorithms are so unsophisticated that security capchas routinely ask you to pick photos of pasta, or mountains, out of a grid of images because a robot can't do it.
Previously we've posted examples where Google reverse image search failed amusingly. (1 / 2) At that time, Google had a face-saving "tip" that you might improve the search by adding text words to the query. (E.g., "Green tiger striped Venus de Milo" or "five-tentacled alien with string of jade pearls.")
Lately, it seems, Google has decided to add those word suggestions for you, based on what their algorithm thinks you've posted. This can limit the search in ways that are not helpful.
Let's say you see a tattoo online that you know is based on a comic strip panel, and you want to see if the original art is treated as a "similar image."
If you paste the URL for the tattoo into Google Image Search, Google says (essentially) "we think this is a tattoo" and takes you to a results page that has the word "tattoo" pre-entered in the search field. You see a grid of supposedly "similar" images, but they are all tattoos because that word is controlling the search. If you remove the word nothing happens -- it's still the same grid. Searching "line art" or "clip art" still restricts you to tattoo pics.
So you try converting the image to black and white using an image editor, thinking it might get around the mandatory tattoo filter and locate "similar" line art.
Foiled again! Google guesses that this is an "animal" and takes you to a results page with that word pre-entered in the search field.
Now, you are restricted to searching manually in a vast array of animal line drawings.
And yet, reverse image search isn't treated as a "beta" program with major flaws; Google launched it as a "ready for prime time" utility.
PS: With or without reverse image search, I never did find an online version of Kaz's "Grim Chicken Reaper" drawing, from his '90s Underworld comic strip, but this text turned up:
goblin and doritowitch (and others?) were layering these Wall Street Journal style dot-drawings of famous male actors (anthony hopkins is in there somewhere). suddenly...
"Two A-112s" [6.8 MB .mp3]
Dance party remix of "Three A-112s" -- OK, well, a beat with claps is added.
Some material from the original version is recycled but the main change is the use of the Z-DSP "Time Fabric" cartridge to pitch-shift some of the sampler riffs.
The droning/buzzy bit at the opening reminded me of something ... and then I thought of mid-'90s Broadcast. But there are no languorous female vocals here, just piano variations and more pitch-shifting.
Update: Shortened, made the ending slightly more complex, reposted.
hat tip sidonie and dump.fm
Rupert Murdoch's New York Post has long had it in for the Clintons but lately the criticisms don't seem so outrageous. See Clinton Foundation Timeline. Bill thinking it's OK to lobby the Attorney General on the email scandal exemplifies the sleaziness and sense of entitlement that has turned lefties as well as righties against the power couple from hell.
Donald Trump is an ogre but his campaign talking points about the Clintons aren't wrong. As summarized by Lambert at Naked Capitalism, they are:
1. Rigged System (Trump: "It’s rigged by big donors who want to keep wages down. It’s rigged by big businesses who want to leave our country, fire our workers and sell their products back into the United States with absolutely no consequences for them.")
2. Corruption ("Together, she and Bill made $153 million giving speeches to lobbyists, CEOs and foreign governments in the years since 2001. They totally own her and that will never ever change, including if she ever became president, God help us.")
3. TPP ("This is the latest Clinton cover-up and it doesn’t change anything. If she is elected president, she will adopt the Trans-Pacific Partnership and we will lose millions of jobs and our economic independence for good. She’ll do this, and just as she has betrayed the American worker on trade at every single stage of her career, and it will be even worse than the Clintons' NAFTA deal, and I never thought it could get worse than that.")
4. Email ("To cover up her corrupt feelings [sic], Hillary illegally stashed her State Department e-mails on a private server. She’s under investigation, but it seems like nothing is going to happen. Even though other people who have done similar things, but much — at a much lower level, their lives have been destroyed.")
revisiting a GIF from the vault
"Three A-112s" [9.1 MB .mp3]
Arpeggiesque dirge made with Doepfer A-112 modules, ADDAC wav player, Segoh BIT-ROT cartridge playing in Tiptop Audio's Z-DSP effects module, and Ableton Live.
The main sound sources are 11 piano notes played in various modules and software. The timbres change due to alterations in bit depth, sample rate, compression, and loop length.
The Bit Rot cartridge doesn't use the piano samples, but instead "interleaves" and sample-reduces a pure sine wave (in the left stereo channel) and triangle (in the right). Various program settings in the cartridge are played with a sequencer, similarly to what's shown in the demo. Ultimately it's hard to tell the Bit Rot tunes from the A-112 tunes -- it's all pretty crunchy.
I also used some hi hat samples in the A-112s but resisted the urge to add any more drums to the track since the waveforms are already so full-on noisy.
No actual arpeggiators were used -- I wrote this using knob settings and the MIDI piano roll. The ADDAC player has a random trigger circuit that is used in a couple of places.