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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Round Up the Usual Suspects- Don't Banksy on it.

Today in the Genitally-Obsessed Party:

-Down in Atlanta, where the Falcons are the local affiliate of the GOP-friendly NFL, diversity is still something they’re trying on:

"The Falcons coach, one of the coaches, was like, 'So do you like men?'" Apple told Comcast SportsNet. "It was like the first thing he asked me. It was weird. I was just like, 'No.' He was like, 'If you're going to come to Atlanta, sometimes that's how it is around here. You're going to have to get used to it.'

-Alex Jones, a right-wing broadcaster who was perhaps the first to seriously argue that President Obama personally killed Justice Scalia (in the bedroom, with a pillow, Clue fans), is now peddling a viral social media slur-meme and claiming that Senator Rubio is the one who obsesses about presidential penii.

-Rachel Hope Cleves says Thomas Jefferson was there first. Or his critics were. But wait! There’s more in The New Republic (LBJ and Bubba C).

-Amanda Marcott, writing in Salon, argues the GOP has been obsessed by genitalia for fifty years, but only women’s. This seems sexist, though she makes a good argument, as far as it goes.

In a related area- people other people often think of as tools- Stephen Wolfram thinks we’ll not need lawyers one day:

One question I've been interested in is, what does the world look like when most people can write code? We had a transition, maybe 500 years ago or something, from a time when only scribes and a small set of the population were literate and could write natural language. Today, a small fraction of the population can write code. Most of the code they can write is for computers only. You don't understand things by reading code.

But there will come a time when, as a result of things I've tried to do, where the code is at a high enough level that it is a minimal description of what you're trying to do. For example, contracts are written in English and you try to make the English as precise as possible. There will be a time when most contracts are written in code, where there's a precise representation. It might be for cases where it's a computer that says, "Can I use this API to do this?" Well, there's some service level agreement that's going on there that isn't a human contract; it's something that's written in a piece of code that is understandable to humans, but also executable by the machines. This question of, can I do this according to this contract? is an automatic question. That's one tiny example of how the world starts to change when most people can write and read code.

Is Donald Trump simply a candidate of our time, living his life completely in the public sphere?  A 2013 book review suggests Henry James was there first, in an 1893 story, but that technology has collapsed the wall for all of us- even the would-be wallbuilder in chief.

The other option, offered in the service of saving the republic, is to vote for Clinton.

There, there, now. ’Tis bitter fruit, indeed, for any Republican to consider voting for Clinton for reasons well-known to all sentient beings, including, for the sake of clarity, her lack of appeal to the GOP’s dominant older-white-male demographic. This was the party, after all, that saw the future in former Alaska governor Sarah Palin — she of the red-heeled tundra, sparkler of fantasies and promisor of all that is ordinary.

Not surprisingly, she has endorsed Trump. Because? Because he’s an “outsider” (like any other Ivy-educated heir-billionaire) and, perhaps for the same reason, Palin once said she dashed to see his ex-wife Ivana when she visited the cosmetics counter of an Anchorage department store: “We are so desperate in Alaska for any semblance of glamour and culture.”

Nobody does glam like The Donald.

Even though few Republicans could ever vote Democratic, and certainly not for Clinton, it wouldn’t be the end of the world as we know it. But voting for Trump, whom other civilized nations find abhorrent, might be.

Any hope that Trump might not really mean what he says is either delusional or a gamble too far. Which would voters prefer: The man who promises a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” or one who’ll say anything to get elected? The lunatic or the liar?

Republicans may be forgiven for thinking the Trump carnival would have ended by now, but they don’t deserve much slack for allowing their party to devolve from an ideas-driven counterweight to liberalism to a ragtag consortium of discontents dissociated from anything like an intellectual trust.

From William F. Buckley to Donald J. Trump in the wink of a Palin eye, the reaper is grim, indeed.

Despite the Republican obsession- which therefore, becomes a media obsession and a public one after that- people- some- are thinking about other stuff.

Cotton Boll Conspiracy- one of the best blogs around, considered the art of mass murder and awards best in show to Uncle Joe Stalin, who died 63 years ago this week. The Soviet-era supremo isn’t getting his due, CBC argues. Eddie Izzard explained how mass murderers work back when, in Dressed to Kill:

Some academics have used a computerized geographic profiling system to advance an identity for the UK graffiti artist, Banksy. They confirm a 2008 newspaper investigation’s conclusion that the notoriously secretive artist is a man named Robin Gillingham. Banksy’s lawyers have turned up and gotten publication of the paper delayed.

Geographic profiling overlays information about a suspect’s place of residence, regular haunts, and the like with events that might be linked to him- like where his graffiti appears. Me? I still insist it’s Neapolitan author Elena Ferrante.

Speaking of profiling, how does your state stack up when it comes to slur on others? A national apartment locator company scraped a year’s worth of Tweets running the gamut from fat to gay.

Today is Cheese Doodle Day. Go forth and nosh. Pay no mind to anyone who says they look like miniature Donald Trump penises.

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