Somehow… [DOT 2/12/22]

"I've only had half of four bottles of wine."

…it is DECEMBER.

I’m excited for the weekend. Tonight I’m making a bougie charcuterie tray for happy hour with the neighbors and then I’m going to make Buckeyes and watch bad holiday themed romcoms. Can’t wait.

Let’s see what else is going on, shall we?

Fingers crossed:

Obama returns to Georgia to rally support for Warnock in tight runoff race


Biden and Macron seek to heal trade rift and present united front on Ukraine

What the hell is going on in Idaho?

Investigators still believe Idaho college students’ killings were targeted, police say after confusing statements

Harry Dunn, for the win.


Germany eliminated as Spain, Japan advance from chaotic Group E


Salesforce shares slump over 8% after co-CEO Bret Taylor announces surprise departure

Today in LOLZ:

This seems unnecessary but I’m definitely going to watch it.

Have a great weekend!



  1. I’m shocked they’re bringing Indy back after not making an Indiana Jones movie since the near-perfect “Last Crusade” yes that’s right, this is the fourth Indiana Jones movie and nothing has occurred in the franchise since then, yessir. I have no idea what a crystal skull is or why the name “Shia LeBeouf” rings a bell.

  2. Germany got knocked out of the Group Stage again…


    They are starting to understand how England feels: suffering a crisis of mediocrity and delusions of adequecy.*

    *sure Canada went 0-3, but at least they scored 2 goals this time. For Canada it is a moment of “We’re just happy to be here” Cannon Fodder.

    • In fairness, this German team wasn’t expected to be amazing and they weren’t. Italy won the European championship last year (technically the 2020 Euros but something something Covid) and didn’t even qualify!

      World Cups in unusual locations tend more often than not to be weird affairs.

  3. Pre opening Stonks fell because the US jobs report was better than expected.

    All this yapping about a recession seems for naught. It seems to paranoid grouchy me that MSM WANTS IT TO HAPPEN.

    Actually, this is the opposite of a decade ago when the stock market soared while many folks (including me) lost their jobs.  The MSM kept screaming “THE ECONOMY IS AWESOME!”

    It was if you’re rich.

    The same as it is now.  I suspect that the actual recession is among the investor class (and pension funds so includes us) who are crying that all their major investments are in the tank. No one (besides the paypal mafia) told Elon he should have bought Twitter, or Meta to sink billions to make their Lawnmower Man project, or Amazon to make Alexa, or over inflate the value of software companies etc. Their buddies/mouthpieces in the MSM go along with it (or are among the crying).

    At least that’s just my observation.

      • From that article:

        Investment banks have been hit by a plunge in dealmaking activity this year as choppy markets and aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve have forced lenders to pull back from financing large deals.

        “Choppy markets” is doing a lot of work there. Big investors are wary of pitches for vaporware companies. Investment banks aren’t doing themselves any favors by doing wink and nod multibillion dollar deals with Musk or all of their shilling for crypto.

        Modern finance doesn’t want to admit there’s a supply problem in major economies — substantial new markets aren’t being developed, and all they want to make is gimmicks.

        • …it’s been a while…but I remember having a conversation with a guy who did some VC work & being surprised by some of what he had to say…particularly when it came to supply from that point of view

          …there’s a ton of it…the VC fund/firm/whatever already has the C so they “just” have to decide where to spend how much of it…& there’s an abundance of little businesses to spend it on…so it’s a bit like a double-or-quit bet except they can hedge by staking a lot of businesses on the assumption they’ll take a bath on a bunch, break even on a few…& hopefully score so big on a unicorn that they’ll be into an overall RoI they can boast about

          …it seems to work for a lot of them…but if you keep doubling down on a unicorn like tesla…or that hyperloop that always makes me think of the simpsons’ “monorail” number…which actually has to deliver a physical result that fails to measure up to its hype…at some point something’s got to give

          …like that adam conover clip I posted yesterday mentioned there’s a feature of zuck’s metaverse that seems so on the nose it’s either sublime or the world’s greatest troll job…it’s literally got no legs

          • A big problem with the VC model is that they’re heavily biased toward ideas which can be monopolized and grown to a huge scale.

            The problem is that leaves a vast amount of new stuff unfunded. Marc Andreessen never would have been an embarassing medicine show barker for Theranos if it had only been about cholesterol test machines that were sold to individual doctors offices. He went nuts for Theranos because it promised an all-inclusive testing system that would be sold under exclusive contracts to the major retail pharmacy chains which control most of the US market.

            There actually would have been a benefit to consumers of a cheap and widely available cholesterol testing system that other companies might try and copy. But that doesn’t get funded, even if it has promise of being a source of decent profits, because the promise of scale and monopoly isn’t there. And so we get nothing.

    • …the amount of money amazon have written off developing alexa is pretty startling…but google & samsung & apple & others have all plowed a bunch into voice assistant stuff…I don’t think any of it provides a function useful enough to be okay with the constantly open mic part, though

      …particularly when it’s turned out repeatedly they’ve been recording stuff that wasn’t intended to be communications with their devices & getting it transcribed by people to help out with the speech recognition side of things

      …it’s just straightforwardly creepy…but I guess it would be worse if they were turning a profit off that part, too?

      …still makes more sense than the metaverse…zuck got snow crash about as well as elon got iain m. banks’ culture novels, I guess?

      • I don’t use voice assistants and I’m skeptical of their widespread usefulness, but I can at least see some cases where people would want them.

        Metaverse? Zuckerberg is such a dope.

        • …I think there’s an obviously valid use case for voice operation on an accessibility basis…but I don’t think it adds functionality the way it can substitute for things most people would find work better a different way?

          …the part I think is over a line is the sketchy way they’ve helped themselves to stuff in order to aid their development…obviously large data sets are the go to “teaching” method for the kinds of software they use for speech recognition but they need to come by that stuff more honestly…which wouldn’t be for free off users who have a reasonable claim to an expectation of privacy the T&C’s apparently carve a massive loophole through

          • I can see why cars and home entertainment make sense, since they’re constrained environments and the set of tasks is pretty limited. The amount of training and thinking isn’t so high. But even something fairly limited like helping someone in a grocery store find and buy ingredients for a chocolate cake is a monumental programming task if you want to make it easier than swiping through a phone for a recipe and then scanning yourself at a register.

            • …I guess the sort of trade off I meant was I see why being able to use a smartphone just by talking to it without having to see the screen (or necessarily touch it to do anything) is a good thing to make possible

              …doing it by transcribing everything a family says while mystery-science-theater-3000-ing their way through some crappy movie because you need the mic open in case they want to turn the volume up or the lights on…& figure you might as well take advantage is just underhanded enough to undermine the whole enterprise in an ethical calculus sort of a way?

              …like…they could do the good thing without having to do the bad thing…& the only reason they didn’t is because that would be harder & cost more…& the ethics don’t so much take a back seat to the profit motive as disappear from view having been kicked out of the car before setting off…the end users are just random data point generators…& what they don’t know won’t hurt the bottom line

              • The dirty secret of AI is that it’s not nearly advanced enough to do any serious learning on its own, and it can only work with a gigantic amount of training done by users and evaluation by programmers. And the reality is that users will not buy a product that requires them to spend endless time teaching it the contexts where “cool” doesn’t mean drop the temperature, and programming and testing is expensive.

                The eternally-on feature is an attempt by companies to try to get around this reality. They are kidding themselves that capturing everything that people say will somehow be a shortcut. Data collection is cheap, they don’t want to spend on the expensive part or follow the path that turns sales into an anthill, and so they just do the cheap and easy thing even though it doesn’t do anything.

                • …I don’t know that the first part is exactly true in that there are a lot of heuristic systems that do arguably teach themselves stuff…software that evolves over huge numbers of iterations has been around since the ’70s I think…but I wouldn’t call even that stuff AI…deep learning & the like is still machine learning to me rather than the other thing…& even smart or “intelligent” systems still aren’t anywhere near the kind of “general” intelligence that would allow for either the sort of sentience that google engineer wanted to claim for his chatbot or (perhaps more importantly in all but the ethical sense) an ability to sidestep the GI:GO principle?

                  …meanwhile the just-ship-it-&-the-users-will-be-the-beta-test model seems to be approaching the status of the only game in town

          • Not to mention, the damned BLOATWARE aspect of it all!🙃

            Ffs, on a Samsung phone, you *already* have access to Alexa & Google’s voice recognition crap (and the stupid “metaverse”🙄🙄🙄) because the phones always seem to come with Amazon & Facebook pre-loaded, and then lots of us use the Google suite of apps to *run* the thing as far as email, YouTube, Chrome, etc. go….

            But then *Samsung* has its own stupid boatyard “assistant” that you can’t EVER fully remove from the device (if you’re a regular non-programming person, anyway!), you CAN go in & disengage it *as much as possible* buuuut just hit that damned side-button *once* and suddenly that “Bixby” shit is BACK UP, asking if you want to update it, alllll over again.

            No. I want it GONE, buuuuut that’s *not* possible🙄🤬🙃


                • This one’s the S-9 and she’ll get traded in as soon as I can swing it… buuuut may I ask for help once I get *whichever* one next?😉

                  I’ll most likely stick with Samsung, since “Samsung + Otterbox” seems to be the combination I’m fiiiiiiinally incapable of murdering *regularly*😂🤣🤣

                  (I’ve only had to replace the S-9 *twice,* in the 6-ish years I’ve had it, as opposed to biannually/annually with pretty much every phone I’ve had, which was NOT made by Motorola or Samsung😉)

    • The media absolutely wants a recession to happen because that will bolster the floundering idiot Republicans. The Republicans need a target that’s not Hunter Biden because a) that shit ain’t real and it’s super threadbare and b) their moronic voters have basically lost interest in it. Barring Hillary doing something vaguely controversial, the GQP has two years of “legislating” time to fill and not enough people to investigate to keep their half-wit base in a state of perpetual rage. Thus corporate media owners are trying to drum up an economic crisis.

      It’s not inconceivable that it could have worked a long time ago, when actual news was more important than it is now. If you can undermine consumer confidence enough you could slow spending and spark a recession. But the MSM’s influence has declined to the point where it’s virtually nonexistent. The days where William Randolph Hearst could start wars are LONG over.

      It’s the same stunt the media tried to pull during the midterms with “voters are concerned about crime and inflation.” As it turned out, voters totally weren’t, except in beet-red Florida where 80% of the voters are geriatric and sit around drooling in front of Fox News all day.

      • …between pandemics & wars & what-have-you I think the makings of some pretty poor economic outcomes has been hanging about in the wings a fair bit of late…if I had to guess why biden burned a lot of credit with “the workers” to avoid that rail strike in the middle of the festive season it would be because the alternative would have come at a higher political cost when some of the seams that are straining actually looked like splitting…so I get the financially-angst-y angle the press can’t seem as a rule to shake…at least to an extent…obviously some of it seems reasonable & other parts aren’t so much grinding an axe as needing a replacement blade…which is kind of SOP for that part of the spectrum

        …I don’t know that the GOP particularly distinguishes in a lot of ways between a recession, a rise in gas prices, inflation or supply chain issues…they just want to grab anything that’s adjacent to “things aren’t better for you” with both hands & wave it around to make up for the lack of any platform of their own that will help the people they’re trying to keep hooked?

        • I think a lot of the reporting has less to do with direct partisan objectives and more to do with ideological capture of professional economists by right-leaning institutions, and a failure of the press to develop its own sources.

          When you look at the fight against national health care in the US, it’s easy to see how reporters were completely immersed in conventional economic wisdom that is essentially a secular religion. National health requires taxes and regulation, and those kill growth. It involves government spending, and that creates deficits and inflation. It’s socialism, and that is pure evil!

          And no matter how much actual evidence rebuts the conclusions, every time reporters look for experts they run into people who have fully embraced the religion. Think tanks and academia have been stacked to such a degree that even liberals trying to argue against predatory lending shy away from regulation or spending for enforcement. And so solutions end up being nothing more than sending coloring books to kindergartners.

          The Kochs and ExxonMobil figured out a long time ago that when you can turn the Brookings Institute and Harvard Business School into mainstream Catholics aligned against the Latin Mass backers, then you never have to worry about an actual debate on existence and meaning breaking out.

          • …the influence of people like the surviving koch brother (or aaron banks or peter thiel or whoever) on the overton window is undeniable…& railing against free-at-the-point-of-use healthcare will always make less sense to me than the 2nd amendment thing…so I guess for me there seems to be a difference in kind between taking a view about something that’s ultimately as subjective as a lot of economic “prediction” based stuff & something like climate or medical science coverage that actually has an underlying basis that isn’t mostly guesswork to begin with…& slow as it’s been that stuff has mostly come around to a reality-based consensus rather than being entirely in hock to ideology…which you could probably argue might be too little too late

            …but in the general press sense (as opposed to industry-specific stuff for people who don’t think the FT really gets to the meat of things) I think it can be easy to end up mistaking the cart for the horse…not least because it’s often presented as being out front & center while nobody seems to agree on what kind of horse it even is?

  4. Noted Bothsiderist Chris “Lizard” Cillizza was laid off by CNN today.

    I guess he won’t be pleased that the US economy picked up 263000 jobs. Perhaps he can use his experience with hot takes to make hot cakes at McDs.

  5. @MegMegMcGee if you have time to review and rate those Xmas movies please send your thoughts to Elliecoo for our yearly Xmas collab. I only managed to get through three movies this year (Falling for Christmas, The Noel Diary, and Christmas with You).

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