May. 17th, 2017

drwex: (Default)
All of the following are things rattling around in my brain that I might develop into posts but likely not. So I'm going to write down some thoughts and see what I think of them in a few days:

  • The Trump Administration has yet to suffer a crisis that was not of its own making. I am actually terrified of what's going to happen when they have to deal with a serious external issue. The closest thing is the Soviet violation of the INF treaty, which started at least as far back as 2014 but since the Russians aren't launching missiles at anyone we care about it's been swept under the rug by two administrations now. Reports shortly after Drumph took office indicated that Russia had deployed the treaty-breaking missiles but that story has fallen so far below the WTF level I don't think anyone remembers it now. This Administration appears incapable of walking and chewing gum at the same time; heaven help us when they have to manage external crises and govern at the same time.

  • The almost blase' attitude that the major media has taken to the WannaCry ransomware attack contrasts strongly with the massive freak-outs that we (collectively) have to Islamic terrorist attacks, even when both things happen in the same not-US countries. I feel there's a current of racism here. Islamic people often have brown skins and are clearly not like us. Crackers are often white kids from the US or Europe (though fingers are pointing at North Korea this time) so we imagine them as being more like us. Objectively, the attacks on medical and other important records poses a much greater threat to life and safety than any terrorist shooting. But we hand-wave it. Yes, there are elements of "technology is complicated and explosions are easy to understand" but I fear that unexamined racism plays a large part in these disparate reactions.

  • "Can't stop the signal" (Firefly) has been in my head the last few weeks. Every attempt to quash the story leads to more revelations. It's not just a Streisand effect where more people know about a thing because someone tried to suppress it. But, like, if Comey had never been fired would we even know that Trump had asked him to stop investigating Flynn? That said, it's wise to remember that this view is not universal. For shits and grins try flipping back and forth to, say, Faux News. They seem neither to know nor care about this story. I think "bubbles" is too simplistic a way to talk about this. Maybe Lakoff's "Don't Think of an Elephant" is better - people have these built-up frames and those things structure all of reality. In Reality Frame A, the administration is in crashing disarray and discussion of impeachment is reasonable. In Reality Frame B those things don't exist or aren't important and some other narrative dominates. Lakoff had some ideas for how to work with people who have very different or incompatible reality frames but I don't see anyone trying to apply that seriously today.

  • I am being reminded how much I prefer the question "Did we do the right thing?" to the question "Did we do things the right way?"

What thoughts are occupying your brain-space these days?


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