Social Media Dump Nov 16-30 2021

See also: Nov 1-15  and Dec 1-16 (View all)

Emily Atkin spots the b.s. in an Exxon CCS on the NYT podcast about misinformation. “There’s so many misleading aspects to this ad,” said Ben Franta, who studies the history of climate disinformation at Stanford University. Because of its strategically vague language and presentation of micro-facts without context, he said, “You read it and it gives you the impression that carbon capture is new and effective and we’re gonna scale it up, when in reality none of that is the case.”

Wow, Atkin mentions paltering, a term referring to misleading people with truthful statements and letting readers read more into these statements than was supported. Here’s a longer explanation of paltering:

OSCAR PREDICTION TIME: I predict that Adam McKay’s picture DON’T LOOK UP will win BEST PICTURE in 2022. (Opens on Netflix December 24). Sit tight and assess!

IF YOU TRAVELED BACK TO 1986 AND TOLD PEOPLE THESE THINGS, THEY WOULD THINK YOU WERE CRAZY: 1. There’s only 8 planets now, 2. we can make money by filming ourselves play games, 3. You can legally walk into the bank with a mask on to get money to legally buy weed next door on your way to your friend’s legal gay wedding. 4. People are able to instantly, reliably, fact check any statement via a powerful, heldheld, internet connected, computer yet are more prone to misinformation and being wrong than ever, 5. Computers eventually reach the point where we have to prove that we’re not robots in order to use them. 6. A billionaire flies a giant penis into space while wearing a cowboy hat. 7. The Treasury department was going to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, but then there was a massively popular rap musical about him and they decided not to. 8. MTV will no longer play music videos and instead play reality shows that no one asked for. 9. Meathead, Laverne, and Opie are some of the most respected directors in Hollywood. Also, that guy from Bosom Buddies won Best Actor twice.(From REDDIT)

If I had to add one thing, I’d mention that communism fell pretty quickly in Eastern Europe

Great zoom conversation between great cli fi novelists Barbara Kingsolver and Kim Stanley Robinson.

Here’s a moral argument for destroying fossil fuel infrastructure.

We could destroy the machines that destroy this planet. If someone has planted a time bomb in your home, you are entitled to dismantle it. More to the point, if someone has placed an incendiary device inside the high-rise building where you live, and if the foundations are already on fire and people are dying in the cellars, then many would believe that you have an obligation to put the device out of action.

This is the moral case which, I would argue, justifies destroying fossil fuel property. That is completely separate from harming human bodies, for which there is no moral case.

And this particular moral case for direct action is, I believe, overwhelmingly strong, if the realities of the climate catastrophe are recognised. On that premise, how could the physical integrity of fossil fuel property possibly be given precedence?

There are far easier solutions than destruction: nullifying leases on public land for petroleum exploitation, cashback carbon pricing, boycotts.

I’m mystified by the 2nd trick David Blaine performs before Jimmy Fallon. I asked in a comment: I’m trying to figure out the middle trick ( 3:20 )about the 9 of diamonds. How many cards did Blaine have to pre-position to make sure it contained Fallon’s card choice? Do you think the 5 cards in the first trick (Ace, 4, 4, 7, 10) forced Fallon to avoid those numbers? If Fallon had chosen a strange card (like the Queen of Spades or Ace of Clubs), do you think Blaine would have simply chosen to do another trick? (I’d love for a commenter to give an intelligent reply).

Here’s a long and good profile of Mehdi Hassan as a debater and TV interviewer.

Here’s a masterpiece of a conservative-leaning BBC interviewer asking Ben Shapiro about his beliefs. It is a master class about to interview. Here are some things I admire:

  1. Andrew Neil asks a simple question and then shuts up and waits for Ben Shapiro to give a full answer. It’s a real trick not asking overlong or leading questions.
  2. When Ben Shapiro tries to turn the tables on the interviewer with a liberal bias accusation, Neil doesn’t take the bait and just continues forward.
  3. Neil (and his staff) expertly pick previous statements that appear to contradict what Shapiro is arguing for in his book. Points off for mentioning that Shapiro’s videos are called “Ben Shapiro destroys X” without following up to say that these videos appear on Shapiro’s own channel, so it is probably Shapiro himself who wrote that label. But the quotes that Obama is a fascist seems well-chosen.
  4. The hard part about real time interviews is that you have to listen very carefully to what they are saying and not be thinking so much about what you need to ask next. For example, I would have leapt at Shapiro’s asinine statement that GOP ideas are new while liberal ideas are old. But Neil had to pick his battles. On the other hand, it isn’t that interesting whether liberal ideas are old or new, so maybe that was not a good point to pounce on.






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