So, anyone else feel like the world is trolling them at the moment?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Crazy Jamie, May 15, 2017.

  1. Crazy Jamie

    Crazy Jamie First recipient of the Amaloo Award Super Moderator Premium Member

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    You know, with Trump. And Brexit. It feels like I'm in the Truman Show and someone is making world politics steadily more satirical until I actually figure out that it's all being engineered. Except it's not that at all, and we genuinely now have a political environment where you can tell brazen lies repeatedly and people will believe them on a mass scale because they want to.

    Now that I've said all that there will be people on here who support Trump and/or Brexit, but I'll take that chance.
     
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  2. Jawneh

    Jawneh ² ∞ & → Premium Member

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    And hey! People don't want to update their OS on their computers and cause most of the healthcare system to get corrupted by a worm.

    Thanks NSA. You did a swell job of making that thing.
     
  3. Crazy Jamie

    Crazy Jamie First recipient of the Amaloo Award Super Moderator Premium Member

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    Yeah, the vast majority of NHS computers run on Windows XP. And yet we're surprised that an operating system that has literally been defunct for three years makes us vulnerable to a world wide cyber attack. Then again, if the perpetrators want payment in bitcoin I would have thought that they'd struggle by targeting organisations that still rely on Windows XP and faxes.
     
  4. The Eye in the Sky!

    The Eye in the Sky! That guy eating pie Moderator Premium Member

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    I'm just glad (and when I say glad, I mean saddened) that it is not just the US that feels really stupid. I remember after the Brexit vote, everyone was like "don't laugh, they'll probably elect Trump."

    I'm fortunate that my kids and job take most of my focus during the day, otherwise I'd probably be just as upset as most of the people I know. By the time I read about what happened each day, I don't have much more energy than to just shake my head and fall asleep.
     
  5. Crazy Jamie

    Crazy Jamie First recipient of the Amaloo Award Super Moderator Premium Member

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    I keep with current events partly because it has relevance to my job, but I have to limit my exposure to it, because at times it is just mind numbingly frustrating. There are so many 'shake your head' moments now. I mean, let's just look at Trump in the past week. He fires the guy who was investigating him over links to Russia. Immediately after that the White House said that Trump did that only after speaking to various advisers. He then says that he was going to do it anyway, completely contradicting the official position. Then it's claimed that he revealed classified information to the Russian foreign secretary. The White House responds denying that he did. He then says that he did do it, but he can because he's the President. It feels like the entire White House staff are effectively baby sitting a man child of a President, which would be funny if it wasn't actually happening.
     
  6. The Eye in the Sky!

    The Eye in the Sky! That guy eating pie Moderator Premium Member

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    Yeah, a few people told me I was wrong when I said he was only doing this for his ego and wealth. He's never had anyone say no to him in his life so he just assumed he could do whatever he wanted and have everyone think he's a great president. I've had people close to me say that he cares about X issue when in reality, he only cares about himself, his brand and his money.

    He's a 70 year old rich white man who thinks women are lesser than men and surrounds himself with other rich white men. What did everyone think was going to happen? All the people who voted for him that thought he was in touch with the regular American are crazy.
     
  7. Rachel

    Rachel Dragonfly Catcher

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    I guess my feelings right now can be summarized by "where is this all headed" which can be broken into four parts:

    - The immediate stuff, will he be impeached.

    - Our status as a global superpower. All countries in history eventually cede this status and we are no different. While we will continue to be a major player, China will continue to rise

    - Where is this all headed with fake news and the rise of internet propaganda/social media. And even trolling and meme culture. It used to be you had Walter Cronkite or a few trusted sources. Trust in institutions is at an all time low. Never in the history of man have we had something like the internet and we are still sorting out the ramifications of giving everyone a voice, for good or for bad. Perhaps it will be a little different as those who grew up with the internet come to power, e.g. The Millenials.

    - Where is this all headed with our election system. I bet other countries laughed at our weird electoral college quirk. As liberals continue to migrate to cities we will probably continue to see EC wins but popular vote losses. So what does that mean for possible reform.

    And there is the rural/urban divide (the heart of GOP vs Dem), which will only worsen. Here's a good post about it



    For example, duplication of labor. How did these small towns pop up in the first place? Probably either a bundled farm community, a major employer/factory, or they cropped up by a water transportation source. Each population needs basic things, schools, a nearby hospital. Then there are the secondary things like a piano shop. But as their population decreases (and the rise of internet shopping), rural towns can't support secondary shops, causing further downward spirals. You now need one piano shop (if any) between ten small towns instead of five. So we'll continue to see rural flight to where the jobs are.

    Automation is exasperating this and it will be quite a ride to see what happens. It's no wonder they feel left behind politically. The problem is they vote for people that make promises but don't actually help solve the underlying problem. Because no one can.
     
  8. Crazy Jamie

    Crazy Jamie First recipient of the Amaloo Award Super Moderator Premium Member

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    This is my main concern. Information that has come out since Brexit in particular has shown the influence that a small number of very wealthy individuals had on the whole process. Some of them openly boast about having 'bought' the vote. As much as people backlash against accusations of being stupid, the reality is that we are all subject to being influenced by social media and news outlets, and the people behind Brexit and Trump have found a way to harness that. They are way ahead of the curve compared to mainstream politicians, which is why it has been so effective. Evidence has been released recently that the campaigns in favour of voting Leave in the referendum significantly broke spending rules by co-operating with each other, and that rule breaking was primarily in relation to social media funding. But Aaron Banks, who is one of the aforementioned wealthy people, has openly stated that he is not in the slightest bit concerned about being punished for that because, ultimately, fines mean nothing to him and the result won't change regardless. I feel that there is a lot of that sort of thing going on where individuals have found a way to beat the system in practice, and much of that relates to the social media revolution.

    Frankly in really concerns me as to where it goes from here, because it has been proven that the rise of fake news and social media generally can influence voters on a massive scale, and it is done with misdirection, manipulation and lies. I do hope that younger voters will grow up with the knowledge of how to avoid being unduly influenced by this sort of thing, which in turn will reduce its impact, but I just don't know and even on a best case scenario it will take a while for the balance to shift. I do have some fear as to what could happen in the mean time.
     
  9. Rachel

    Rachel Dragonfly Catcher

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    Jamie some of the problem is basic human psychology, nothing is going to change that. As you said we are all susceptible. I do my best to double check things my friends post about AND I also try to be mindful of my confirmation bias. I've been doing a lot of research in the backfire effect and I can tell you I sure see a lot of that on Facebook and posts when confronted by evidence.

    These cognitive biases have always existed but they have come to the forefront with the internet where you don't have to have face-to-face conversations and consider the point of view of the person who is standing in front of you.

    A perfect example of this was in my own life with the Trump election. I truly thought there was no way he would be elected, I don't need to rehash all the things we found out about him. But he won. It was my bias in thinking everyone would come around and see what should have been obvious. I won't make that assumption again.
     
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  10. The Eye in the Sky!

    The Eye in the Sky! That guy eating pie Moderator Premium Member

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    Regarding the whole fake media/Facebook news stuff - it does sort of fascinate me that different generations generally react so differently to this. Older folks seem to latch onto these click-bait news stories more than GenY/Millennials but I'm curious if the next generation of younger kids do the same because it has become so prevalent in social media and I'm not sure if they know enough about independent news sources and media to make the distinction.

    I feel the sweet spot of the internet user group is our generation because we saw what was before, but grew up learning some of the depth in the internet. Not all of us, per se, but enough that our generation seems to be more well adjusted to the wealth of information, both real and fake, that the internet and social media exhibits. I feel our generation should do something to steer it somewhere. My fear is that the younger generations are already living in the age where technology is a given so they don't question it. Fortunately for me, I don't know about others, I saw got to see the build up of the internet and the limitations/challenges it faced through the 90s and 2000s so I can generally tell what I'm looking at beyond what some of my older family members can.
     
  11. Rachel

    Rachel Dragonfly Catcher

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    This is what I worry about with my son, actually. I grew up as the internet grew and so I have no framework from my parents on how to handle it, how to appropriately expose him to it and answer questions. I have to do the best I can.

    Another thing that will be interesting is elected officials with an internet history. We will soon come to that point.

    Jamie - RE Brexit, I was astounded by the number of people interviewed who voted for it but didn't think it would actually pass, they did some kind of weird protest vote and since it passed, they panicked. I can't understand that kind of behavior...
     
  12. The Eye in the Sky!

    The Eye in the Sky! That guy eating pie Moderator Premium Member

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    I think we're living in that point. Clearly with enough enablers and power, it doesn't matter. Trump has said some horrible things and lies/contradicts his tweets every single day and it doesn't matter. It didn't matter during the campaign and won't matter unless he gets impeached somehow.

    btw, the Rock will probably be the president in the next 15 years so at least we can give other countries the people's elbow soon enough.
     
  13. Crazy Jamie

    Crazy Jamie First recipient of the Amaloo Award Super Moderator Premium Member

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    Absolutely; but that's something that politicians (and, for that matter, all companies that does marketing) have always tried to tap into. Of course trends and views change over time, but the underlying susceptibilities are always there. The difference with the recent issue of the internet is that it is affecting people on a scale that has never been seen before, or at least that's how I perceive it. Democracies tend to have restrictions on how politicians and political campaigns can act and the resources that they can use, but such restrictions are wholly unsuitable for tracking and moderating internet and social media based expenditure, and it is that expenditure (at least in the case of Brexit) that is actively changing the results of elections/rederendums. The psychology element of this is fascinating, but I'm approaching it more from the 'what's to stop it happening again and again?' angle. Unfortunately I don't immediately see the answer to that beyond the more mainstream politicians catching up, but I have some doubts as to whether that will happen anytime soon.

    In fairness, I do think the media coverage of those people made it seem like a more widespread phenomena than it actually was. You can imagine reporters getting wind of someone who voted Brexit only because they didn't think it would happen and immediately rushing to make a news story out of it, but in reality I don't think very many people at all were in that position.

    The reality of why large proportions of people voted Brexit is partially being revealed in recent opinion polls which ask people what their priorities are in relation to Brexit. When those results are collated it is clear that the expectations are inconsistent, to the extent that big chunks of those people who voted Brexit did so on the basis of something that can't physically happen. There has to be heavy compromise in a situation like that, but many people voted Brexit assuming that their own utopian view of post Brexit life (be it one with booming trade, low immigration, endless jobs etc) would inevitably come true. That is actually one of the cleverest things about the Brexit campaigns; because they weren't a political party they didn't have to make promises for the most part, and any that they did make were never going to be binding. So they just gently pushed the idea that any perceived issues that people had with society could be solved by Brexit, knowing that at the very least not all of those problems could be solved, but they were happy for people to believe that they could be.

    Of course with something like electing a President you are going to have a crack at making amends for any mistakes at the next election. The major problem with Brexit is that the politicians tasked with delivering it are wholly ill equipped to even make a half competent job of it. It's difficult to think that it's going to be anything other than a disaster at this stage, but when it happens it can't just then be reversed. It's that fact that is causing so many people over here to lament the fact that it's happening at all (including me).

     
  14. Crazy Jamie

    Crazy Jamie First recipient of the Amaloo Award Super Moderator Premium Member

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    Hmmmm..... there are some rogue quote tags that don't seem to want to be edited out from that last post. Eh, I'm sure it'll be fine.

    On a massive side note, it's both weird and wonderful that I'm posting on Gamewinners with established members and we're just slipping in random mentions of our children. I don't think anyone was thinking that far ahead in 2001...
     
  15. dimmerwit

    dimmerwit Tremendously High Energy Member Premium Member

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    You're still a super mod, you can fix it!

    Yeah...going to skip this party I think.

    This year's surprise election has as predicted sent me into a total stupour. Partially because my constituency is so overwhelmingly Conservative it makes little difference anyway. But also because all three major parties have been so dire.

    The Conservatives and Theresa May have drilled the nonsense phrase STRONG AND STABLE GOVERNMENT (IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST) to an almost parodical degree, no doubt deflecting from the fact that she has very little realistic strategy on Brexit. This tweet is the one that did the rounds:



    I saw Andrew Marr talk a few weeks ago and he said the reason for the election is because May knows she needs a big majority for the inevitable Brexit rebellions that are going to come. No doubt some of that is the inevitable disappoitment when Tory MPs don't get the type of Brexit they want, especially considering the majority of them didn't want it at all, but I can't help but feel that TM's lack of plans is going to exacerbate this. And that is before we even start on other domestic issues which despite this week's coverage are going to be brushed aside in the voters' minds.

    As for Labour, I do see a real need for strong opposition and I certainly don't oppose much of what the party stands for. But I find Corbyn a completely uninspiring leader and I think the less said about Diane Abott the better. Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats soldier on but I think their EU stance, whilst admirably principled, will do little to stave off the stark reality that they are probably going to remain a political irrelevance: http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/gainloss.html
     
  16. Rachel

    Rachel Dragonfly Catcher

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    Ah, I think you might like this post, another one I saw awhile back on Reddit:



    Yes, today I was pondering which is worse, Trump or Brexit. I think I have concluded that Trump is very damaging short term (he's so damn embarrassing!) but Brexit is damaging long term, which is worse.

    I think we are but I meant more their internet history from childhood/teenage years/early twenties.

    It's also important to remember the other factor here, the election hacking and cybersecurity. I forgot to mention that in my first post. We are definitely in new territory, how do we prevent state-sponsored interference? Where is THAT headed?

    I have thought about this as well and here is what I have come up with.

    Because modern democracies demand free speech, and because of how human psychology works, it is hard to combat this. I think the first step is perhaps admitting that democratic voting might not work in this new era. I know that's a big leap but hear me out.

    People will FOREVER vote against their own interests for whatever reason. And then there are the people that don't vote at all. To me, ideally what you would want is some sort of supercomputer that could do a near-infinite amount of calculations. And this supercomputer could somehow calculate which choice is the right choice, the choice that will lead to the most prosperity for the highest number of people, without those psychological biases. And we would have trust in this computer to make the right decision, perhaps being self-evident over time.

    Such a system is impossible, of course, for many reasons. So short of that this can all happen again.
     
  17. The Eye in the Sky!

    The Eye in the Sky! That guy eating pie Moderator Premium Member

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    I, too, would welcome a Horizon Zero Dawn in real life. :D
     
  18. Fool's Requiem

    Fool's Requiem Is that a pro Genji?! Premium Member

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    This happened:

    [​IMG]


    Scary thoughts. More people crying about "fake news" and "liberal media". If Time Magazine sees something like this, then I feel it's something to really be concerned about. The firing of FBI Director Comey was like a massive flare being shot up in the middle of the night signifying that something isn't right in the White House.
     
  19. Jon

    Jon Official Thread Killer Premium Member

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    The sad thing is, I believe the CIA has supercomputers that can handle things like that. Hell, even places like Fan Duel and Draft Kings and Las Vegas have algorithms and supercomputers that calculate minute things to almost scary accuracy. It exists. The issue is people wouldn't rely on it. Not because it's a computer but because it would inevitably tell every politician (and political position) they can't do what they are doing right now. Let's face it, people don't fear AI in the way that games and movies depict (in Terminator style, that they'll take over). People fear AI because it will point out that they can no longer screw over the world the way they are.