The Promise Of Parkland

This post is not about the tragedy that happened at Parkland or the gun safety debate that has been re-energized by it. Those are both worthy topics but I’m not opining on them today.

I do hope that this tragedy, among so many like it, will result in meaningful changes in our society in terms of how we protect our children in school and also how we allow responsible and healthy people to own and secure their weapons.

What I am going to opine on is how Parkland is re-shaping the debate about how social media and technology more broadly is impacting our culture, our collective conversations, and our politics.

In the beginning, the tech sector believed, and told everyone, that connecting the world via technology was going to be great, a technological utopia as it were.

That, of course, turned out not to be true and what we have are both vast improvements (truly global real time communications that everyone can tap into) and equally vast problems (you can’t believe and can’t trust anything you read on the Internet).

It is the classic good news/bad news situation.

In the past few years, but most notably last year, the discussion of this topic has focused on the bad side of these changes. Fake news, hacked systems, bots, ad systems gone haywire, and so on and so forth. We collectively lost trust in social media and technology and became angry about it.

Then comes Parkland. These amazing brave and vocal young adults, victims, with the same tools in their hands.

And we see, again, the good side.

The promise of Parkland, for me, is that this technology we have built and use every day can be an impactful tool for real people with real things to say to get their words out, and for the rest of us to see them, amplify them, discuss them, debate them, and understand them.

I feel the pendulum on this issue swinging back to center, where it belongs, and I am very encouraged by that.

#Current Affairs#policy#Politics#Web/Tech

Comments (Archived):

  1. kidmercury

    the center is determined by the extremes. to control the center, you have to manipulate the extremes.i was delighted/troubled to see parkland kook videos trending to the #1 spot on youtube and then censored. delighted that the kook trend continues strong and kook views are increasingly prevalent; concerned that blanket censorship by social media titans is the response.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      Be careful the gods you worship !

  2. Twain Twain

    Not in favor of pendulums, polarity, groupthink or echo chambers. The existing platforms can’t help but default to these because of the way they’ve been designed and coded.Am in favor of representative perspectives and don’t think we have the appropriate data structures, UX interactions and platform mechanisms for that yet.

    1. JLM

      .As a Junior ROTC cadet, Peter Wang had already learned what an officer is supposed to do in times of crisis – take care of others. He did it and the cowardly gunman killed him but not before Wang shepherded almost a hundred others to safety.Peter Wang and three of his classmates were awarded the Medal of Heroism which is only awarded to Junior Army Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets for valor. Well deserved.Godspeed.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Richard

        this act Heroism certainly did not get the acknowledgment that it should have.

      2. Twain Twain

        I’m in favor of individual and independent decision-making based on available information and people’s freedom to go and seek that information and perspectives.Well deserved, Peter Wang and his classmates!

        1. JLM

          .For a second there, I wasn’t sure where the road was leading.Army officers are trained to move to the sound of the guns and do something.He was a very young man, but he already had learned that lesson. He did it.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Twain Twain

            Leadership, courage, responsibility and self-direction take many shapes and forms.People have written that I have “maverick courage”. By comparison to the people who put their lives on the line in protecting others (soldiers, policemen, firefighters and others), few of us are remotely brave.It’s important to stay humble and grounded to that — even when, as inventors and founders, we got out to pitch our vision+execution.Bravura is different from bravery. Soldiers are brave.

          2. JLM

            .Having been in the soldiering business, I can report that one never knows initially who the brave people are. They are, often, not who you might think.Courage is continuing to act when you are scared witless. It is not the absence of fear.A common denominator amongst courageous soldiers is they get angry at the current situation and harness that anger to change it.Amongst leaders, it is often the ones who are a little more thoughtful and take a second to get a handle on the situation who are the most effective in extremis.In peacetime, there is a lot of bravery amongst who just get up and do their jobs. Nobody braver than a single mom with a kid.Do you know where the adjective “maverick” comes from?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. Twain Twain

            My point of reference for Maverick is this: https://uploads.disquscdn.c…That and I know Madonna has a label called Maverick Records.

          4. JLM

            .In the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, Texas beef not having been to market for 5 years, there was a proliferation of free range beef from the Nueces River country and the coastal plains to the east to Amarillo. Millions of animals.The law of the West is that a brand determines ownership. Any unbranded cattle were free to anybody who put a rope and a brand on them.The Maverick family of San Antone roped tons of free roaming cows in the hundreds of miles of barbed wire free (hadn’t been invented yet) grazing land, branded them, and claimed them.They were not well thought of, but lots of people built herds from strays. There were, literally, millions of animals.Such a free range animal was called a “Maverick” for the reason noted.And, now, you know.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. Twain Twain

            Cool, thanks! Dutifully absorbed into brain cells and will be able to casually drop into dinner party conversations! Lol.

          6. cavepainting

            Great story on the origins of Maverick.

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      Designing a network-effect social-interaction-fabric capable of amplifying/distilling a set of epistemologically optimal narratives-metaphors-language for empowering/accelerating mass collaborative visualization/debate seems like a hopelessly complex challenge given the contemporary cyberspace political/economic pollution.Strange-Loop distributive-integration!

  3. bogorad

    This idyllic view of the media in ‘the good old days’ is laughable. We just didn’t have tools to disprove 90% of what they told us. Read any ~20 year old newspaper article, on any topic. It’s full of crap. That’s not even touching the biases – partisan journalism was not born in the 21st century.

    1. JLM

      .Well played. I agree more with you than you do with yourself.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. Jim Ritchie

      Exactly, especially if you were ever personally involved in an event that was then reported in a newspaper or on the six o’clock evening news. I was when I was 18 and 80% of what they “reported” was completely wrong. This is probably a good rule of thumb to follow today.

    3. Vendita Auto

      “It’s full of crap” that is a broad cynical sound bite brush that I sooo disagree with

      1. bogorad

        You can read it as ‘a lot of factual inaccuracies, to the point of total misinformation’, as mentioned above – if you like. But as someone who has edited a sci-tech magazine for a number of years I am speaking from personal experience.

        1. Vendita Auto

          “if you like” with respect if I liked I would not have commented

    4. JamesHRH

      Agreed. It’s nice t a pendulum on social media, it’s an onion.People adapt when they gain more information on their information sources.As an aside, look for an incumbent GOP congressional candidate to appeal to Democrats in his/her Republican primary, stating that the Dems need to reach across the aisle to keep the incumbent from getting primaries. When that happens, Wayne LaPierre & the NRA are toast.

  4. JLM

    .It is difficult to embrace your enthusiasm for movement back to the center. I see the same things, but I grade them simply the normal movement of the pendulum. A very short term phenomenon.Nonetheless, I hope you are right.Children, however clever and articulate, are not going to solve this problem. What is encouraging is the lack of an ideological response from the President who was, arguably, elected by social media.President Trump is not a Republican. He is not beholden to anyone, in particular, the NRA. He has placed the spotlight right where it needs to be focused — on mental health.His leadership will raise the age of owning a long rifle to 21 from 18. That will accomplish almost nothing, but it will break the log jam of distrust and inaction. Three of the last 14 mass murders were younger than 21.He will champion universal background checks, which in many states are already the law. This will make the “gun show” loophole go away — in many states it is already gone. The issue is going to be the “casual” transfer of guns between friends and family members.What he is going to do most impactfully is break the throathold the NRA has on the debate. On that he will use his substantial personal power to show that, because he is not beholden to the NRA, it is just fine to discuss anything.Then, there is the big thing. The big thing is the national database which was mandated, but never done, in the 1994 AWB.Texas did it. They made a list of everybody who had a history of violence, domestic abuse, DUIs, drug usage, psychiatric treatment, mental health issues, and a host of other things. Today, Texas uses that list in determining whether somebody can buy a gun.That list has to be used to deny gun purchases, but also gun ownership to people who are a danger. It is easy, but it will be hard.California and other states promised to do it, but didn’t do it. The ACLU, the Dems, the liberal states all screamed bloody murder and the national list never was completed.If we are going to be honest and try to solve this problem, we are going to have to embrace the arithmetic of gun deaths — there are 20X gun deaths from handguns as there are from assault rifles. Assault rifles make infinitely better copy, but they are not arithmetically important.I, personally, have no use for an assault rifle and would ban them in a New York minute, but I recognize the Constitutional marsh one steps into on that basis.What’s different this time around? I think it’s President Trump who owes nothing to the NRA and who has the cojones to focus on mental health.BTW, the myth of the NRA’s “power” is just that a myth. Once President Trump ignores them, then others will ignore them. They have 5MM members (which I think is grossly overstated) and they are not really a financial power. But, that’s another story. BTW, I am an NRA member. I get a big discount on marksmanship training.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. fredwilson

      he’s a populist, plain and simple.

      1. JLM

        .There is a tendency to overlook the true political nature of populism, to overly simplify its intellectual foundation, and to give it a bad name when it is really a well reasoned body of political thought.A populist is someone who champions the cause of the “common man” in conflict with the power elite and who opposes many of the strictures of both big government and monopolistic business.In President Trump’s case, it is flavored with a virulent nationalism and the desire for a strong military.Taken together, they become the philosophy of “America first” meaning Americans (the little people) before both the power elite and in foreign policy.One only has to harken back to the election and how President Trump, a freakin’ billionaire, became the popular voice of those who thought their voices were not being heard to see how it works.The People’s Party (known as the “Populists”) was a thing in the US at the end of the 19th century, though it did not last. It was a political party which championed agrarian and rural interests against urbanism, Eastern elites, the gold standard, expansionism, the big banks, and the monopolistic railroads.One has to know a bit about Shoeless Joe Simpson to understand the movement. And, no, he wasn’t a ball player.The challenge with populism is to decide whether it is an extreme left (Bernie Sanders) or an extreme right (defense) philosophy.President Trump combines populism, nationalism, strong defense with one other super power — he doesn’t owe the establishment or anyone else a damn thing.There have been two recent, successful populist movements in the US — the Tea Party and Trumpism.He is a populist, but a lot more and cunning, clever like the wolf.Guy makes progress on gun regulation — where others have whiffed — because he owes the NRA nothing.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. SubstrateUndertow

          “There have been two recent, successful populist movements in the US — the Tea Party and Trumpism.”Successful movements – REALLY THE JURY IS IN ON THAT ?Political populism will be a successful political strategy when political governance requires no specific set of experience/knowledge to be effective. Populism in not a form of sober LEADERSHIP.There are many forms of despicable elitism but knowledge/fact based governance coupled with epistemological integrity is not one of them.It is not so simple to throw away the elitist bathwater while preserving the specialist-skills baby. It is a tricky social dilemma !

          1. JLM

            .Taking the House and Senate (Tea Party 2014) and taking the White House (Trump 2016) suggest a bit of success, no?Political philosophy is not a leadership style. Pres Obama was an ineffective leader because he was ill prepared for the job. It was not a failure of political philosophy; it was a failure of personal leadership.The rest of your comment is indecipherable gibberish – with all due respect.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. sigmaalgebra

        Well, often plain but not really simple. E.g., what he has been doing in foreign policy, US military strength, oil production, judicial nominations, finally driving a stake through the heart of the human caused global warming scam, etc. Foreign policy? Lining up a coalition against North Korea. Getting the Arab Gulf states against terrorism and defending against Iran. Getting NATO countries to pay their bills. Building whatever we need to finish the North Korea problem. Being friends with England again, also Israel. Teaching Assad a fast lesson on use of chemical weapons. Quickly getting ISIS out of 90+% of their territory. Getting Pakistan and India helping instead of hurting our efforts in Akrapistan. Getting the Iraqi military able to function for Iraq. Having a great trip to Japan, South Korea, Viet Nam, and the Philippines. Great visit to Poland.For plain, in his White House meeting yesterday with school and community leaders, he was “plain”: He was plainly direct, turned his head away from people speaking bureaucratic or political BS, and concentrated on being highly determined and impatient to get to good RESULTS likely much like he did when some building project threatened to go off schedule or over budget. In contrast, Secretary DeVos was a total sweetheart, all smiles, great lady posture, high sympathy and empathy, making everyone feel good, etc. Trump’s posture? He clearly made it clear when he was impatient, which was about 1/3rd of the time.He made the dichotomy clear and exact: Too much talk and not enough action. He’s willing and able to dig into a lot of low level details, but in the end he wants to set the broad direction, delegate, monitor, and then expect action, solid results on time and under budget. Else, quickly, and no joke, and not just TV, “You’re fired.”

    2. LE

      Not to be forgotten is that Florida is an important state politically. Same event in different state potentially different rhetoric and outcome?Also while it’s obvious on it’s face that someone with mental problems (if that can actually be defined; it can’t in many cases) should not own a weapon it’s less clear what happens when someone who owns a weapon develops mental problems. Nothing. And there is no gold standard test of ‘mental problems’ anyway. This is not cholesterol or psa (which itself as you know is a gray area). I have a few tenants who are in mental health (including a psychiatrist). [1] [2] There is a dentist in the complex I am in who I noted has gone off the deep end. At the last meeting I told the building manager that it wouldn’t surprise me if he went ‘postal’ and she agreed in a big way. He seems to be under a large amount of pressure and is unhinged. What am I basing this on? He seems strange, weird and acts irrationally and has a great deal of anger.And what do you do with family members anyway? People are lax and while in theory guns should be locked up from what I understand protection wise (could be wrong) there are reasons to not keep them locked up. You’d know better on this than I would. If you have a person with a mental health issue in the same household as a sane person is the sane person denied weapons? And once again even for drivers licenses there is no re-certification but a physician can (in some states maybe all) pull a license but how often do they do that? What is the implementation plan that won’t get screwed up by the government. Remember drivers licenses were rolled out over time and a long time ago. Things are different now. Back in the 50’s heard that the NJ Turnpike was built in 28 months. Today it would take decades.To bring this back to the topic that Fred raised (social media discourse; young people) all of this is exactly why I hate social media discourse. You have a bunch of people saying shit who have no clue of actual details or specifics (of all ages but it’s practical to think younger would be more naive) they just want some kind of action even if that action will not solve the problem in any way and is just lip service. And the few people who speak up get amplified and then the lemmings fall into line and repeat the message and then the major news outlets broadcast it as well. Doesn’t mean they aren’t right but is ripe for manipulating and pithy qwips and tearjerker antics. On the news last night lead story was ‘students protesting all across the country’. Actual amount of schools where there were walkouts? Very small overwhelming amount of kids didn’t care at all. And that doesn’t include those who walked out or protested who were just following the leader.[1] I have to tell you that in all honesty each and every one of them has ‘problems’. (It’s a bit of a stereotype that people tend to go into that profession for a reason). One called me last week ranting and raving because a patient they had in a obese person wheelchair couldn’t use the bathroom. And I mean she was in a panic and yelling and screaming like you see on those airplane videos. She wanted me to drop everything and come and see that fact. I said ‘what do you expect me to do fix it on the spot?’.[2] We know it when we see it? Is that the test?

      1. JLM

        .The only normal people are the ones we don’t know very well. Everybody is a little crazy.You identify two great issues — what do we do with someone who needs to stop driving/owning a gun and what is “crazy”?Every family has the issue of telling Grandpa at 95 he can’t drive anymore. They get it, usually. My Dad said to me, “Sell my God damn car.”I don’t see much real danger from the elderly as it relates to mass murders. I base that on the current profile of mass murderers.We are going to have to start with specific info — domestic abuse calls by police, criminal convictions, mental health diagnosis. Once we get these things done, then we can begin to work on the other stuff.An FBI TSBISCI clearance investigation gets everything, but we can’t afford to do those kind of investigations.We need to harness Big Data. If I buy 5 guns and 10,000 rounds for them, the cops need to come to my house and ask me WTF?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. LE

          I have to tell you that given the actual amount of people killed in these shootings (per the WSJ; attached) since 1990 much of this is a waste of resources. In all honesty. Money does not grow on trees and we can’t be swatting every potential harm. Even if it involves children.Assuming WSJ math is correct 150 people (children and adults) since 1990. That’s 27 or 28 years. People will say ‘1 is to many’ but that’s total bullshit. Once again I don’t own guns and have nothing to gain by taking this point of view. This is not like resources spent on aircraft investigations and improving car safety. Where I am there are two police officers guarding a middle school during school hours. I am sure that is costing hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. But why not 10 officers?… https://uploads.disquscdn.c

          1. Richard

            No reason not to retrofit highschools. Every federal building has an armed guard and a metal detector.

          2. LE

            What are you going to do with the mass of kids that are outside the building where buses are and people collect when leaving? This is not the same as a federal building or even an airport. You have a concentration of kids leaving all at the same time. My office is across from a middle school. Someone could easily setup on the parking lot and take shots from there. Some schools do have metal detectors already. Armed guards as well.

          3. sigmaalgebra

            As I have explained from Ann Coulter, we need JUST to (1) stop immigration of people who will struggle in the US and (2) detect and help cases of paranoid schizophrenia.Done. No school lock downs, police either necessary or sufficient. Not sufficient? An attacker could use a car bomb in a school parking lot, use a car to run over students or a gun to shoot students as they arrive at school, leave school, be on recess on the playground, be at an athletic event in some public stadium, etc.Did I hear the White House meeting right, a school has 3000 or so students and 800 teachers? WOW! That’s one heck of a low student to teacher ratio and darned expensive.

        2. Kriss Kirchhoff

          What’s TSBISCI?

          1. JLM

            .Top Secret Background Investigation Special Compartmentalized Information — the clearance needed to work in the White House.I used to have one, but I never worked in the White House. I visited it many times.JLM

        3. sigmaalgebra

          Note Ann Coulter’s current essay which claims that there really are just two issues:(1) Some immigrants. E.g., just enforce our long standing immigration laws and, presto, bingo, cut the rate of mass shootings essentially in half. Evidence: Just look at the mass shootings since year 2000 and count. Dirt simple. E.g., the rate of mass murderers per 1000 population of immigrants, especially struggling immigrants, is much, MUCH higher than that of the rest of the US population.(2) Mental health which is really JUST paranoid schizophrenia which has strong symptoms and is relatively easy to diagnose reliably. Evidence: Apparently when take the lost immigrants out of the collection, paranoid schizophrenia is about all that is left.Right some of the shooters were mentally ill, loners, high school social outcasts. But that diagnosis is too broad. Uh, they also had two eyes, and that diagnosis is also too broad. The point is, a paranoid schizophrenia case will ALSO be mentally ill (scary and upsetting to be around), a loner, and a high school outcast.So, if Ms. Coulter is correct, after the immigrants, it’s essentially sufficient to concentrate on just the paranoid schizophrenia cases.It’s sad that a person in high school is a loner and a social outcast, but that alone is not a significant risk of being dangerous.And “mental health” in general terms is also too broad.Uh, social science and clinical psychology have really poor predictive ability. But a solid psychiatric diagnosis of a paranoid schizophrenia case is something we can take seriously.

    3. SubstrateUndertow

      I thought he was $30,000,000 beholding to the NRA ?

      1. JLM

        .I have seen that number in several places, but nobody can source it. Go to Open Secrets and check their numbers. They have the best and most accurate numbers.…If you work the site, you can see that Little Marco got $9,900 from the NRA in 2016. Not very much money.The NRA is punching way above its weight class as what people think they contribute v what they actually do.It is not their pocketbook which is feared; it is their annual ratings, rhetoric, and the power of the cause in much of America.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. SubstrateUndertow

          The specific number is not the main point !

          1. JLM

            .Hmmm, I thought you quoted a number. So, what is the main point?You do know, of course, that a corporation cannot contribute directly to a Presidential campaign, no?…JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    4. cavepainting

      For someone as intelligent as you, it is beyond me as to how you cannot see through Trump. He is driven only by his ego, image, and political ratings. He twists in the wind some times to make it look like he will come up with centrist solutions, but always backs down once his base starts shooting arrows.He has no clarity or conviction on anything. He will do something if he thinks that protects him , makes him look good, or makes Obama and his political opponents look bad.Everything else is your and others’ projection.PS: NRA has the power to make or break candidates in Republican primaries. You know it and not sure why you would say NRA’s power is a myth.

      1. JLM

        .Let me see if I can translate? TRUMP BAD?Please, stop already.I like the guy’s policies. You focus on his persona.Pres Trump will get something done on gun regulation — just like taxes — while everyone else will have spent the last 50 years beating their gums.Do you think there are Republican primaries in which one candidate is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and the other is a gun control/confiscation supporter? You don’t know anything about Republican primaries, friend.What I was pointing out is that the NRA is not a fat wallet. They do not make a lot of contributions. They are influential because their cause is important to voters.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. cavepainting

          Character informs everything a person does. He is clueless about what is right and wrong, and what is good vs. bad for the country. In that mindset, you are more likely to do stuff that gets you plaudits but are fundamentally wrong in the long term.It is like getting a CEO who optimizes for the quarter, without investing in culture, R&D, skills, or long-term strategy.We can agree to disagree.

          1. JLM

            .Love the guy’s policies on trade, tariffs, military, NATO, kicking ISIS butt, taxes, immigration, and a host of others.You can measure his character. I will stick with his policies and results. I did not vote for the guy for Pope.He is like a CEO who inherits a culture where the can has been kicked down the road who picks it up and says, “Road ends here, right now.”JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. sigmaalgebra

            I’m guessing that Trump got surprised and slowed down by Pelosi, Schumer, McCain, Flake, voters influenced by the Democrat fake news, the open borders crowds, etc. For now he will continue with what he can get done, but mostly he is getting ready for November. Then if he can get the votes he needs, especially in the Senate, he will get back more actively to his campaign promises.I’m guessing that for North Korea, he has Dung Dong Song Pong Little Rocket Boy in Ping Pong Yang throttled for now but is slowly building and rebuilding our military, our diplomatic coalitions, waiting for the sanctions to take effect, training for various military operations, doing and/or lining up covert operations and intel, etc. I suspect in particular that there is a crash program to build missiles that can kill ICBMs RELIABLY in space or during reentry. And there may be crash programs to kill ICBMs during launch phase.Similarly for Iran.

  5. David C. Baker

    If we look deeper into the reasonable hysteria around these shootings, one thing we don’t seem to talk about enough is that every one of the perpetrators is male.Maybe this will give us the permission to talk about the differences between genders without getting our hands slapped for treading on what otherwise would be very thin ice.Why are we so hemmed in by fear around certain topics? It’s like we’re pretty certain that we’re going to insult someone’s sensibilities and so the conversation is shut off too quickly for fear of being stigmatized or shunned.I, for one, would like an honest discussion around why these shooters are male…and then how what we learn there can rightfully be carried over into a discussion around our various gender roles at work, in our families, our military, and so on.Why are those discussions so polarizing? You’d think that in a modern society we could talk MORE freely…and not so much more gingerly. In some ways we don’t seem at all advanced as a society, but more in prison from our various fears.I like that all the voices can be heard. I don’t think there’s much substance in all the voices that we are hearing.

    1. LE

      Reason is that people have ‘auto reactions’ and then just close off. The ‘auto reaction’ is the same thing in a way that causes you to say you are sorry when someone at work tells you their mother in law died. First you are probably not sorry (especially if you don’t know details or haven’t been following any pain or suffering) and second you don’t even know if that person even cares that they died. But you automatically say what you think you need to say to get by the moment. They acknowledge that you did the right thing. So it’s a courtesy like ‘god bless you’.In the case of discussion you are 100% right. For example nobody ever wants to discuss anything related to past events whereby it would appear that you are blaming victims. That’s untouchable as well. But the truth is it does often matter. And like air crash investigations (where apparently nothing is off the table) all details matter which lead up to an event.Why male? Certain things are inherently liked by males more than females. My wife doesn’t want to watch construction machinery operate. I am sure there are women who find that fascinating just like men but I somehow feel there is a reason why they don’t.

      1. David C. Baker

        Yes indeed. And while I applaud the larger discussion, I’m terrified of law-making prompted by catastrophes. When you have CATASTROPHE > LAWMAKING, you end up with silly laws that have severe unintended consequences. Instead, I’d rather see: CATASTROPHE > DISCUSSION > LAWMAKING. The catastrophe should lead to discussion. The last thing I want…the very LAST thing I want is teenagers doing the lawmaking. But they can exert the proper pressure for folks to make the right decisions, more calmly.

      2. Donna Brewington White

        I love construction machinery.Except when it is operating at a house on my street while I am trying to work from home.

        1. PhilipSugar

          I do too. When it is working in my backyard, I just love to sit there and watch. I love using it, I love watching it. All to our own… wife loves giving me a hard time 🙂

      3. sigmaalgebra

        Already in the crib, males pay attention to things and females, to people. While parents with both girls and boys have known this for millennia, there is some recent actual research.Already in the crib, the females are smiling at, communicating with facial expressions with, adults, apparently especially male adults, and, thus, eliciting protection and support. Meanwhile the males are trying to hack the latch on the crib and install Linux and WiFi in the toy firetruck on the floor.It continues: “Yes, they do form herds”. The females form herds. They are really good at organizing groups and parties. A great example is Mrs. Crystal’s essay at Medium linked to today. The males tend to compete with other males, e.g., to pursue the females.The females get feelings of security by talking with other females about emotions. The males get feelings of security by talking with other males about information. Females exchange emotions, and males exchange information.Sure, all this and much more should be in the forthcoming Girls 101 for Dummies — Boys.

    2. Richard

      I think the factors that drive young males to violence are well understood. The factors (abandomemt, peer influence vs isolation etc.) seem to be conditional on race and culture. It’s just not going to happen.

      1. David C. Baker

        I don’t think I understand that at all. Females are abandoned and subject to peer influence and isolation, too, and they are shooting people in droves. Or if that’s well understood, I’m not in that group that understands. 🙂

        1. SFG

          Testosterone is a big player in why shooters are men. In primitive tribes its not the woman going out hunting and not the men staying home to weave baskets and cook.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Here is your word of wisdom for today!!! In our politically correct (PC) culture, being literally, factually, scientifically,rock solidly correct about biology is not sufficient for a comment and, instead, is just irrelevant!!!!Instead, before commenting, you are required to consider the feelings of some scared, hypersensitive snowflake wrapped in a PC security blanket. Then you are not permitted to say anything that might make them feel “uncomfortable”. There is much more to the rule and roles of our brave new PC world, but this is just one word of wisdom for now!!!!We all have plenty of reasons to feel insecure. For some of us, about the best security blanket is the truth, and PC nonsense is really scary!!!

          2. Donna Brewington White

            As the mother of three boys (and a girl) I can say that based on my test sample, testosterone is a THING.

        2. cavepainting

          SFG is right. Testosterone is a big factor. The male and female of the species are very different in terms of proclivity to physical aggression. When subject to similar conditions, a male and female child are likely to behave differently.I tend to think this is more nature than nurture, but it needs more discussion just like so many other taboo topics. I am sure you saw this

          1. Donna Brewington White

            I made a conscious effort to raise kids who could transcend norms. My three sons and my daughter have much in common that defy stereotypical “norms” for their genders, but at an early age, there were also distinct differences that emerged between the boys and the girl and exist to this day (they are late teens and young adults). I cannot refute these differences. For me it is a matter of not allowing these differences to arbitrarily dictate our roles and choices. My kids are pretty free to be who they are and have a strong sense of self. Some have had to fight harder for this than others because as parents, we are not perfect.A couple of years ago my oldest son (going through that stage of blaming parents for everything) confronted me accusingly about a time when he was little that I would not buy him a Barbie. Said that I was somehow limiting his self-expression (in spite of the fact that I did buy him a baby doll and a stroller). I reminded him that I also never bought a Barbie for my daughter. I was pretty down on Barbie at the time. (But don’t get me wrong, I still have a soft spot for Barbie buried in there somewhere — just didn’t like the Barbie message for a young mind.)

          2. cavepainting

            Yeah, my son is at the same age where he wants to assert his independence.. As parents, it is important to learn to resist the instinct to judge, control or advice. When we engage in conversation, see them as peers, and even as someone to learn from, there is more possibility for deeper trust and connection. As you said, we are all imperfect parents and learning every day.I like the line of thinking in some spiritual traditions that posit that parents need to see themselves as surrogates for nature vs. extensions of their identity. That change in mindset can really be a big shift.

    3. bogorad

      It’s been covered in this essay:…Girls are no better, they just don’t use guns.

    4. PhilipSugar

      It is interesting. If you bring up certain topics it is taboo. But how are you going to solve the problems? Discuss crime or education in the inner cities and discuss anybody other than the police, teachers, or not enough government you are going to have some people seriously pissed.Seriously, I am a big boy, if that comment pissed you off nail it negative.

      1. LE

        In a sense this was what was happening the other day when politicians were called out and asked to automatically agree with any and all positions regarding gun control or changes to laws. By mob’s of kids and some parents. In particular I saw one clip of a parent whose kid was killed who was mad and not exactly a poster boy of good behavior in his use of anger and in communicating. [1] And he wanted immediate commitment and he wanted immediate change and answers. NOW! And he didn’t appear to be willing to hear anything other than ‘yes you are right we will and we agree’. While part of this is understandable the other part is they simply lack the resolve to stick with it to get what they want. So they want the easy way which is like a kid to simply scream and yell and get it ‘now’.As a kid if I did that with my dad he immediately shut off and told me to hit my head against the wall. He said either argue it logically without anger or I am not going to listen to you (roughly translated from what he really said).[1] I never forget both an old girlfriend and an employee that would attempt to use anger or moods to get what they wanted. You know ‘your shitty situation’ (which I had no control over) does not give you rights to verbally abuse and take out your anger on me. Go hit your head against a wall. Imagine if the Supreme Court heard arguments that way.

        1. PhilipSugar

          I can see a person’s anger and “bad behavior” when you’ve lost a child. I’ve seen bad behavior I do not condone in airports, restaurants, etc. But for instance I don’t blame this Dad who’s three daughters Larry Nassar molested reaction. I think Nassar is lucky because I might have let that go on.I agree with David, what I don’t want to see is a really bad situation and see Lawmaking and Policies that are about “feeling righteous” and trying to “sooth self guilt” rather than properly address the situation, and discuss it in really frank ways.

          1. LE

            In the case of Nasser et al the anger is placed on the person who is guilty and committed the act. In the case of the parent who lost a child it’s not on someone who honestly by any stretch is even remotely responsible in any way. So you are in a restaurant and someone has lost a child are they allowed to slug you because they are upset and overreacted to something you said or did? No.However in the case of Nasser the parent should have done jail time. Why? Because respect of the court is super important. It’s part of how things work in this country. Really that simple. Don’t want people to think you can do that or it will happen more. Courts do this all the time actually with high profile sentences ‘to send a message’. So what’s the message here? It’s ok if XYZ happens?One of my ex girlfriends years ago (who was a doctor) was in court in a divorce case. The judge (who ironically she had treated when she was a resident (Rubenstein)) had her in court where I typically went with her (because I found it interesting). When her husband gave some answer (he was also a doctor) to why he needed a continuance I had her write a letter to the judge who then held him in contempt for lying and saying he couldn’t get off that day. The letter (which I wrote and she sent) essentially showed he was lying. They issued an arrest warrant for him. Only reason he wasn’t arrested was he was in NJ and they couldn’t go to NJ without more paperwork. They did show up at his PA house.Must respect the court. Then in an odd twist later she goes to court and doesn’t have something or says something the judge doesn’t like and she gets thrown in jail. I had to bail her out. Took me overnight to do so and only because I convinced the opposing attorney (you know of the husband) to agree to something (don’t remember). Nobody else would have bailed her out she would have been there for 15 days or whatever. Her mother was crazy and everyone else was not anywhere close to the jail. I think cash bail was $2000 something like that.

          2. PhilipSugar

            I know the judge. I give you a pass on really bad shit. Yes it was not the kid but I can see your anger. Now hit the politician? Ok.

        2. Vasudev Ram

          Ha, good points in 2nd and 3rd paras. Basically, IMO, people who do that are emotionally immature and are resorting to emotional blackmail, like a child does with its parents – “boo hoo hoo, I want a lollilop or I’m not going to eat my lunch or study or whatever’. Such behavior needs to be recognized for what it is and called out and not allowed to work – whether by (so-called) adults or by kids.The thing is, to do that, people need to have balls. Many don’t, though they may claim or think they do.

    5. TeddyBeingTeddy

      Chris Rock nailed the solution: bullets should cost $5,000. You think any kid would be firing off AR-15 rounds at [$100k] per clip??

      1. PhilipSugar

        Mmmm. An AR-15 does not use a clip. It also can’t shoot bullets. It can shoot a round which has a bullet on the end of a cartridge that starts with a primer. Have you ever heard of reloading? I suppose that solution would make many people happy, because since there are 10B rounds (not bullets) sold in the U.S. per year. It would generate $50 Trillion in wealth at least. That would make Bitcoin look like a piker.

        1. TeddyBeingTeddy

          Whatever You get the point. If a [round] costs $5k there would be a lot less rounds fired by kids. You’re assuming the same number of rounds would be sold, which I’m 100% certain would be the case unless bullets are perfectly inelastic. It would not only reduce rounds shot but would also deplete gang savings funds. Do you disagree?

          1. PhilipSugar

            Completely. Look that train has left the station.Are you so naive as to think there are not at least 10B rounds stored in the U.S. right now????If you go to the range as a responsible gun owner and actually know how to use it, you go through 100 rounds a week so there are legitimate uses.You are assuming there are people that don’t have vast stocks of ammo because they worry about views like yours. You are very, very wrong. Ammo stores for a very long, long time.Anybody that has a brain and shoots has ten years of ammo stored. Do the math…..50k rounds. A Quarter of a Billion Dollars.If you had a 50 round box that you bought for $15 under your plan that box would be worth a quarter of a million dollars!! Mighty tempting.Look no further than gun bans in Chicago. That shit HiPoint you can buy for $200 goes for $1,000. Now the issue is guns have serial numbers, but ammo…..does not, again after things loosened up late in the Obama administration people have bought like mad.Again see my points, you are making the “easy” flippant argument not discussing the real issues.

        2. TeddyBeingTeddy

          *”…certain would NOT be the case…”, that is!

    6. obarthelemy

      Maybe we can talk about every one of those perpetrators having a gun, too ?Or are you arguing it’s easier to take the boy out of the boy than the gun out of the boy’s hands ?Are you advocating mass castration ?

      1. David C. Baker

        I’m not arguing anything about guns, and I think you know that. If that’s what you want to argue, there are a million places to do that. What I was doing was introducing something that seems obvious but isn’t talked about too much.

    7. Donna Brewington White

      So far, I am the 9th person to like your comment and the only woman. That could mean nothing since there are only 3 women (including me) commenting as of 10:30 p.m. on the day this was posted.I get very frustrated by polarization. I remember talking to a person many years ago who was on the opposite side of an issue during a discussion, but confessed that she could not openly agree with a certain point that I made — even though it made logical sense — because to give an inch could begin a slippery slope. And so she had to maintain an extreme view to protect her position. As a spokesperson for a particular movement, she could not afford to see any validity in a perspective that differed from her group’s.I have had other conversations like this over the years, about various issues, with both men and women, with a similar outcome. I have seen this on the “right” and on the “left”, with the religious and the nonreligious, etc.What struck me most about your comment was the idea that our fears imprison us and keep us from talking more freely. I have seen so much damage arise from fear. So much closed thinking.It can be isolating to think freely. There is such pressure to choose a side. And to stick with it.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        > choose a side. And to stick with it.Be a loyal, devoted part of a tribe.

      2. Girish Mehta

        Re: “Our fears imprison us…”Yes. And also – Identity. Few things imprison one as much as the sense of one’s identity.And w.r.t your point about choosing a side – it is not just who you identify with .Lurking in the shadows is the sense of who you identify as .The expectation is that the two (who you identify as and who you identify with) go together. They do, but not always. People who consider themselves strongly independent and would not choose any side without considering the individual merits of each argument – still end up locking themselves into polarizing positions because of their sense of identity of themselves.With age, this sense of identity hardens. It is a reflection and manifestation of what we have been and done in life up until that point. Forsaking that identity is like forsaking one’s past.The strongest chains are the ones we cannot see and do not feel.It helps to keep the boundaries of that identity as broad and as weakly etched as possible.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Oh, wow, so much to unpack in this comment, Girish.I have never thought about it in quite this way. Definitely helps to explain a lot. For me personally, as well.Is this why many people become more rigid as they grow older and/or as their mental faculties wane? It is hard work to keep an open mind or to allow oneself or one’s beliefs to be redefined based on new input.

      3. PhilipSugar

        First it is really sad you are only the 3rd woman in the thread. I wish we had more, thank you for being here.I actually see both sides of this. You are right that you can point out positions on many sides of arguments and find them ridiculous. But her point is that because people are so polarized on certain issues, if you give an inch that eventually turns into a mile.Let’s take an example: Cigarettes. I know it’s super unpopular. People want them banned (see how that worked on marijuana) Ok first it was you can’t smoke in the office or planes or trains. How can you disagree with that?, then it was in anyplace including places like Bars where you have a choice or not choice to work or go….ok. Then the huge taxes started. I’m starting to disagree a bit here because people say they cost us medical money. Not sure about this as if you die early you take much less Social Security and Medicare benefits, this you’d have to prove to me. Then you say not within 500 feet of any public structure, and it continues, go to Australia and the put horrific images on the $20 a pack cigarettes, but people still smoke.

        1. Richard

          You are ignorant on the subject of smoking. Early death does nothing to reduce healthcare costs related to smoking. Amazing that folks like you can’t due a little research before belching out such nonsense.

          1. PhilipSugar

            I said not sure prove it to me. Your comment does nothing.

          2. PhilipSugar

            You made me look it up, pull it out of your ass anonymous Richard. Smokers save the country $.53 a pack they smoke due to shorter lives and $.50 a pack in taxes.My non-pull it out of my ass source? Cato Institute:

          3. Richard

            Nice google. Why not do do a real analysis? Need help in settting it up?

          4. Richard

            You pulled it out of Cato’s Ass

          5. PhilipSugar

            Yes, gosh pull it out of my ass anonymous Richard with no sources, not a one. I trust you much more than the Cato Institute who has had no less than 10 Nobel Laureate Economists work for them and is rated one of the Top Ten Think Tanks in the world with published work from esteemed Economists which is peer reviewed. Have you ever heard of them??? Didn’t think so.I guess we should add delirious and totally ignorant to your description as well. Do you have a Nobel Laureate in Economics as you pull your data together? How about a PhD? Maybe a Bachelors Degree? Or are you an anonymous hack?I am not qualified to do a real analysis but probably ten times more than you.

          6. Richard

            You are digging a hole, stop digging. BS engineeringBA economicsMS Finance PHD statistics (ABD)JDhttps://uploads.disquscdn.c…

          7. PhilipSugar

            My 11 year old can do a better spreadsheet with numbers pulled out of their ass Richard. Don’t see any citations and even see basic errors like if you make it to age 70…..what if you don’t.Where is the cost of social security? I mean this is a chump’s spreadsheet. Dare you to publish that.

          8. Richard

            Your thick skulled foolishness is on full display. This took me 5 minutes to put together. In not hear to give you a fish but to rather to show you how to approach the problem. In the end, you are orders of magnitude from being correct on the issue.*Lung cancer mainly occurs in older people. Mostpeople diagnosed with lung cancer are 65 or older, while a very small number of people diagnosed younger than 45. The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 70.

          9. PhilipSugar

            He thick skulled Richard “In not hear to give” Learn some grammar and spelling as well as not using an undocumented spreadsheet that you could do better with crayons. In?? Proper english would be It is.Hear??? That is what you do when you listen which is not a skill you have. The proper word is here.Now I really trust your analysis. I’m so sure of you have a JD with spelling and grammar like that, did you write your own diploma’s with crayons as well?

          10. PhilipSugar

            I bet you think Tesla cars are totally green too, pull it out of your ass anonymous Richard……how do they make those batteries:

          11. PhilipSugar

            One question Richard, or may I call you Dick? Since you bring up the point of ignorance… it bliss??? Does it make you feel good??? Or do things just come out and hit you???I’ll slow it down for you. Since math and reading seem to be hard to grasp. There are costs and there are benefits. Let’s make it environmental. If you had really bad windows and installed really good ones and it cost you $X would you say it cost you overall $X even if you reduced your heating and cooling bills by 18% of $X each year?Let me slow it down some more that means the windows pay for themselves in seven years. We call that a seven year payback period (assuming low interest rates)Now does the cost of people smoking cost money in extra healthcare while they are alive??? Unquestionably yes. Do they on average die earlier?? Certainly. But you see you didn’t read the end of my sentence (reading comprehension, I know that’s a big word).If you die at 65 you get no Social Security Benefits and No Medicare Benefits which last until you die.So if a person dies at 65 no benefits, if they live till 95….30 years of benefits, plus you have this thing called taxes on cigarettes.These reduced costs and taxes would be what we call financial benefits to those of us that don’t smoke if a smoker dies early, and if we don’t waste the taxes, and via addition and subtraction (math) if the benefits outweigh the cost then it is a net (math again) benefit.That is what I questioned, and that is a reasoned discussion had by intelligent human beings. But what happens is somebody intelligently makes a reasonable proposition, not stating if it is true of false and small minded people can’t even fathom.Don’t bother replying I put you on the ignore list and hope you do the same for me.

          12. Richard

            Wow do you a have ego! Why be such an a-hole? Your analysis is super flawed. If i pull the data, you’ll come off as a fool. And I might just do it.

          13. Richard

            It’s not even close300 billion a year in US smoking healthcare costs6.5 billion Medicare saved a year due to early death

        2. Donna Brewington White

          “Both sides of this.” In all fairness, the people on the “side” I was on were no better. That is what I meant about the isolation.And this woman was right, it was a slippery slope and her position could lose some ground by accepting my argument. But by not being able to find some middle ground to work from, this limited our ability to work together to find a solution.Does this sound familiar?

          1. PhilipSugar

            Donna you and I could not agree more. Not agree more. Do I just recoil at these horrible events??? Do I recoil as much as the 10k plus of others? Yes, yes.What makes these so hard is they are totally innocent victims as many of the other 10k a year of others to guns were. We had a worker lose and eye and nearly a life in a good area of Chicago going home when somebody who robbed him shot him first before he put up any fight. Just shoot him in the eye over a wallet, he would have gladly just given. Makes me cry. Had to see him out there he wanted lunch. Couldn’t stomach it. He asked why I wasn’t eating, I forced it down and was nauseous.Have I been in a gun shop and seen somebody refused service? Twice. Not over race. But over the fact that the owner said, I am not going to service this or service you, do not come back. I am not touching this. Leave.This is no shrinking violet of a man. My son asked why he has a knife mounted with the skin of a 13 foot alligator and a really big wild hog. “That is what I used to kill both”Somehow we have to figure out, but as people just try and dig in it doesn’t work. I think most people are like my gunsmith. They know what is right or wrong, the question is what to do with the outliers.You know it is like personnel policy. If you manage to the lowest level it sucks for everybody else.Same as my argument about smoking. Do many of the tradespeople that work on my house and office smoke? Answer: Yes. Then you get people that say a five line spreadsheet is more convincing than a Cato Think Tank Paper.

        3. Donna Brewington White

          And have you noticed that a bot has now shown up in the thread with a female image?

          1. PhilipSugar

            Yes, that sucks. Of course it is not an ugly old man like me.

    8. sigmaalgebra

      All male? San Bernardino?

  6. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Amen. The future is in good hands, if we can keep them safe and alive.

  7. Tom Hughes

    Yochai Benkler gave a very good talk on this issue at Harvard Law School about a decade ago, about how successive waves of technology drove up the cost of publishing in traditional media, and how over time (simplifying brutally here) those costs led to a set of norms and governance standards around journalism that kept things in some kind of order. There was still lots of bias, of course, but there was an ability to appeal to higher standards and tests of factuality. In today’s newspapers the “masthead” that separates editorial direction from the “publisher” (the one doing the monetizing) is an example. The arrival of the internet, Benkler showed, threw down all those cost barriers and also those norms, standards and tests.Now we need ways to recreate those norms, preferably with greater transparency and accountability. We probably also need to abandon the hope that “free” media will ever be un-biased: content creators who aren’t charging for their content must be getting rewarded some other way, and it appears that the biggest rewards available to free-content creators are the opportunity to distort the public conversation. So, I think it’s hopeful that “traditional” media like the Washington Post and the NY Times are having a resurgence. I think they need to try harder to demonstrate (and live up to!) their standards of objectivity, but at least they have those standards. Twitter’s announcement that they are banning the ability to “like” tweets through their API is another example of a new standard along these lines.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      You are seeing the past of the newspaper business through rose colored glasses. Going way back, the newspaper business was dominated by whatever could get eyeballs, fake news, sensationalism, yellow journalism, just lies, public relations (PR) and propaganda for big bucks, promoting one political party versus another, starting wars, being pro/anti labor, immigration, monopolies, suppressing negative news about influential, rich people, companies, etc., back at least to Jefferson.

      1. Tom Hughes

        If I sounded like I was praising newspapers, then I didn’t express myself well. All I am saying is that, as the barriers to entry in the newspaper industry rose, professionalization spread. It was far from perfect but reputable papers adopted policies like, for instance, forbidding their journalists from making political contributions (still the case, I think, at the Times and some others). Other news outlets (Reuters, for instance) placed their news assets in trusts to isolate them from commercial pressures. I don’t believe this was First Amendment idealism, just good business: when you have an expensive asset whose destruction would cost you dearly, you try harder to protect it. Contrast that with the scene in Citizen Kane (a stand-in for Hearst and yellow journalism) where someone rushes in to tell him he’s losing a million dollars a year: “then I’ll have to close… in 32 years.”The barriers to entry into TV news were also high, though for different reasons: networks are expensive to build and, before deregulation, always at risk of losing their broadcast licenses. The spread of cable TV was part of this too — it put the onus on network operators to find content to fill their much-increased bandwidth, rather than content owners worried about maintaining access to limited over-the-air bandwidth. Thus CNN, Fox, ESPN…Of course, the internet took all these barriers down thereby structurally reducing the profitability of journalism generally. But our society still needs that kind of arm’s-length reporting.Interestingly, over the last 12 months, the stock of the New York Times has handily outperformed the S&P500 and Google. If you think the Times is irremediably left-liberal, of course, then that’s just cheapo lefties feeling guilty and finally supporting their house organ; or it could be that, in a world where anyone can blast out their opinions on anything, the value of a trusted news brand actually goes up.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          I fully agree that the major news business companies have a potentially big asset to lose from pumping out fake news and a big asset to gain from being trustworthy, objective, professional.Sure, now YouTube has a new collection of a lot of old movies, and twice now I’ve watched the Bogart Deadline USA, the second time by accident, at…with a very good and passionate definition and explanation of professionalism especially for newspapers.But, my view of the news business is that, going way back, any “professionalism” was rare and otherwise at most a small fig leaf, something on the masthead or some bronze plaque and otherwise not wanted or respected and nearly always ignored.From their years long flogging of the flim-flam, fraud scam of human caused global warming, changed to “climate change”, I will never forgive the NYT. E.g., I try to stay informed and follow links at Drudge Report, Hacker News, etc. but nearly never will I let myself read anything from the NYT. If I start reading and see it’s from the NYT, immediately I quit.For Citizen Kane some of it had, IIRC, “You bring the pictures. I’ll bring the war” on the Spanish-American war and, as you noted, Hearst. There was also the scam “Tell her you are from the central office”.For the NYT, I accept your explanation about “lefties”, or loyal members of the NYC tribe, supporting their “house organ” and can’t believe that anyone regards the NYT as a “trusted news brand”.For more such movies, there’s Absence of Malice where a silly, foolish, ditsy, obsessed bimbo gets manipulated by an ambitious, unscrupulous, law breaking, wildly over zealous, toxic insect prosecutor and seriously hurts a nice guy just trying to run a business with nothing wrong with it and, with dirty slimy stuff, stimulates a suicide by a sensitive, depressed woman. Destructive garbage.Only fiction? Not with what the newsies have done with #MeToo to prosecute and hurt men based on years old claims with no real evidence and with no due process. Evidence? We should have his fresh skin and blood under her fingernails and fresh scratches on his face or some such, witnesses hearing her screams, etc.But he invites her to his hotel room “to read a script”; she goes; he opens his bathrobe? If that’s all, Honey, it’s not enough. I don’t know if he opened his bathrobe or not, but if you went, what the heck did you expect? If he attacked you, we want the blood, skin, scratches, and screams.But the press is perfectly willing to go public with the #MeToo claims.Yes, we do need the press. So, each day they have some many column inches or minutes to fill. If they have no important news, then they fill with what they do have; so 90+% of the time all they have is nonsense.Some of the other 10-% can save the US. But for the nonsense, they should “do no harm”, e.g., just report on three headed sheep.Actually, there’s no shortage at all of important news. E.g., supposedly the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) believes that the US is “past”, or some such, full employment. So, the guess is that the FRB will want to raise interest rates. But the US has 90 million or so people out of the labor force, lots of towns with the main street shops boarded up, lots of million square feet factories empty, etc. We’re not anywhere near full employment. So, report on that situation: To do that, get the data readily available, e.g., from the Department of Labor. Then go to the FRB and demand their data that shows “full employment”.The CDC seems to be saying that in the US about 40% of babies are born to single mothers. Disaster. Get the data. Cross tabulate on the usual suspects. Report on that. Stick in a lot of human interest anecdotes.So the same for another US disaster — marriages broken or never made.Same for the birth rate — it’s so low we’re going extinct, literally.Get the stuff on importation of products.Cover how the illegal immigrants get money to eat. Paid in cash?Expose the illegal drug trade, especially for opiates.Explain why Pelosi and Schumer are so much more interested in the illegals that can’t vote than the US citizens that can vote. For that, look at the usual suspect, e.g., follow the money.What Hannity has exposed about the FBI, DOJ, the Clintons, etc. looks like super good stuff.Explain just what is it that has the NYT, WaPo, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, etc. going 24 x 7 in outrageous, made up, faked up, nonsense, outrageously nasty accusations about Trump with no evidence, often quickly proven wildly wrong, just propaganda as far from the truth as anything from Goebbels.Do the same for much more.There’s lots of important news to report but not being reported.In the reporting, put in some meat with some credibility, e.g., follow at least common high school term paper writing standards with references to primary sources, etc. Learn how to report meaningful statistics. Learn how to graph data meaningfully and then be clear on what the intended meaning is, i.e., what claim the graph supports.Report on changes over time with the old value, the new value, the time interval, and the units, e.g., per year, correctly. E.g., the news absolutely refuses, feet locked four feet down in reinforced concrete, to report quarterly growth in the GDP (gross domestic product) including that the growth was at an annual rate, that is, likely, multiplied by 4, without compounding, or whatever the heck they did. Of course the GDP doesn’t mean much more than a month old dead fish head without at least a link to a definition, explanation of how it is calculated, by what organization, from what data, collected how, with a discussion of reliability, validity, its successes and failures, qualifications, etc. The newsies can’t even report the GDP growth rate.Even for just simple things, the news is nearly always just grotesquely, outrageously incompetent. A relatively good description is that the newsies are English majors who want to use formula fiction goals and techniques and pump out vicarious, escapist, fantasy, emotional experience entertainment (VEFEEE) just to grab people by the heart, the gut, and below the belt, always below the shoulders, never between the ears, confident that then the eyeballs will follow.Those English majors pursue their silly, superficial, deceptive emotionalism and reject anything like objective rationalism.The low quality and toxic content of the news is a major bottleneck in progress in civilization. If an airplane were designed with the thinking of the news, then it would never get off the ground which is a good thing because if it did lift off it would soon crash and leave a smoking hole.There is good work, and good writing, in our civilization, in pure and applied math, physical science, engineering, finance, law, medicine, and more but nearly never in the news business.I don’t know if the problem is the newsies, the editors, the publishers, or the advertisers, but I know very, very well that the news is 90+% just junk, often toxic.For their nonsense and toxic scams, I deeply, profoundly, bitterly hate and despise the NYT, WaPo, CNN, MSNBC, and more.I am hoping that the Internet will let some better sources be available.One hope for my startup is that as it does well with search, discovery, recommendation, notification, curation, etc. based on “meaning” for Internet content quite generally, as maybe the most important special case it will help people find the germinating seeds and new sprouts of “professional” news. That way my little startup could become a lynch pin in one of the best steps up in civilization.

  8. Vendita Auto

    This boy’s actions will be remembered long after the name, race, creed & cynical comments are forgotten:

  9. Tom Labus

    Why is it so hard for us say kids shouldn’t be mowed down by assault weapons while at school. No one would have said shit unless those kids hadn’t started to speak out. FayBoy may think he can glide along on this one with gibberish like arming teachers but don’t count on those kids shutting up.

    1. JLM

      .”Kids shouldn’t be mowed down by assault weapons while at school.”We live in a society driven by an increasingly short news cycle. This story will fade.These kids will be out for Spring Break, summer, graduate.It will pass.That is why it is important for the adults to be in charge and do something. You may not like President Trump, but he will do something because he doesn’t owe anything to the NRA.The idea of arming teachers is not even remotely far fetched. This is Israel. Today. https://uploads.disquscdn.c…There are schools and institutions which have already acted on this. My church has had Sheriff’s deputies at services for years.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. LE

        What I honestly think about arming teachers? Will be a potential larger problem. Given the WSJ numbers in my other post (150 people killed in 28 years (since 1990)) I say giving a bunch of teachers in all schools (and even assuming they are well trained and have the right stuff and gun experience) guns will create a larger potential problem of some rogue going postal. Statistically it seems very possible. It’s not a bad idea but think for a second about the unintended consequences. I don’t see Israel as the model here either. Different threat model and different society.It’s like with medical tests and operations. You go under the knife and you have a potential problem with a bad outcome that wouldn’t exist if you didn’t go under the knife. It’s not all upside. You get a psa test and then you get more testing, anxiety and so on. Not all upside. Important to look at downside.

        1. JLM

          .I agree, but what are you going to do. Something is going to be done.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. cavepainting

            Let us stop coming up with crazy solutions to avoid the real solution. Which is to ban assault weapons, better sharing of information related to red flags, and more attention on mental health.US is not Israel (I ran a business there for 2 years).

          2. JLM

            .We had an assault weapons ban from 1994 to 2004 when it was not renewed because it was totally ineffective. Had no impact said the FBI and ATF.The short term answer is to create the DB which was mandated to be created by the 1994 AWB. Of course, some predictable states complied while other equally predictable states did not.The ACLU, the Dems, the liberal states all screamed bloody murder.So, yes, let’s go back to something we conducted an unsuccessful experiment on, yeah, that’s smart, no?If you want to do something effective counter the ACLU and Dem opposition to the Crazy Person List.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. cavepainting

            Gun deaths with assault rifles are 200% higher per year on average in the decade after the assault ban expired vs. before. Is that not a test of effectiveness? Its impact was more felt when the ban expired than when the ban stayed in place. What is the need for any civilian to have an assault rifle?

          4. JLM

            .Not sure where you are accessing that data as the FBI doesn’t even keep records on the use of “assault rifles.” They classify weapons as either hand guns, shotguns, or rifles.…As you can see, the trend is downward in the time period 2009 to 2013.In any event, what the numbers clearly show is that the vast majority of the gun deaths are from handguns.In 2013, there were 5,782 handgun deaths.Same year, there were a total of 285 death from “rifles” a subset of which is assault rifles.That is a 20X difference, no?These are FBI numbers.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…The

          5. JLM

            .This is a pencil whipped self-serving set of numbers which is symptomatic of the left and its intellectual dishonesty.The FBI does not classify gun deaths as “massacres” and does not keep records for “assault guns.” Why is a massacre “6+ deaths”?Further, the population of the US during the relevant time period increased from 236MM to 319MM while gang activity soared and, yet, a linear comparison is presented.I think we can agree that the 1994 AWB was not sufficiently effective that it was renewed. Many states failed to follow through and create their Crazy Person List.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. cavepainting

            No one is saying the assault weapon ban is going to reduce all types of gun murders. But there is clear evidence that it reduces massacres (6+ deaths) and even if it cannot always avoid, it reduces the lethality of each incident. Data for massacres is in the public record because these things get reported.https://www.washingtonpost….If you are not convinced, then maybe you do not want to be convinced? You are always setting up a straw man to tear down the argument than seek the truth. You would be more credible to say “I do not think an assault ban is a good idea because I think it becomes a slippery slope for our guns to be eventually taken away”. Then that is a different and maybe a more real argument for why people feel this way.

          7. JLM

            .In 2004, when the 1994 AWB was up for renewal, the DOJ NIJ (Dept of Justice, National Institute of Justice) reported to the US Congress that “the ban could not be credited with any reduction in crime.”On the strength of this, the AWB was not renewed. [Point of reference this was a 51R-49 Senate and a 225R-207 House. This was a very doable deal if the facts worked.]The AWB would do nothing.Big point — the AWB was a ban on the MANUFACTURE of assault rifles (as described by the law itself) and did nothing to the existing stock of such weapons. One could still buy and sell pre-1994 assault weapons.One more time, the AWB was a ban on the MANUFACTURE of assault rifles.Used assault rifles could be bought and sold with impunity.There was a prohibition on magazines containing more than 10 rounds though used mags — some with 30 round capacities — could continue to be sold.There are more than 20X handgun deaths v rifle deaths in the US. That is where the problem lies.I am in favor of an enormous increase in attention paid to the identity of gun owners and outlawing persons involved in crime, domestic violence, drugs, mental illness, psychotic drug use even for medical purposes, DUIs, and a number of other criteria.I am also in favor of Big Data tracking suspicious gun and ammunition purchases.I would have no problem with a proficiency test — like a CHL/LTC holder undergoes.I am in favor of a +20 years for any crime involving an illegal gun and +10 for anyone who uses a gun in the course of committing a crime. I am in favor of 5 years for illegal ownership.I am in favor of increasing the age for ownership to 25.President Trump represents a far greater chance for gun reform and regulation than his predecessor ever did.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          8. cavepainting

            Those are all measures that make sense. If the admin does pass any subset of these, they need to be commended. But I doubt it.

          9. JLM

            .None of that is going to happen because Schumer & Pelosi want the issue as an election issue for the mid-terms.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          10. obarthelemy

            Let’s be truthful: mostly because GOP reps want the NRA’s money.

          11. cavepainting

            Please. Trump is a spineless idiot who is under the thumb of the NRA. So much for your claims that he is going to do something.Look at what a congressman from Florida just said about the NRA“Look, all of this is about getting re-elected, and the bottom line is that the NRA has an extremely sophisticated ability to either help you or hurt you from being able to continue to call yourself ‘Congressman,’” Rooney told The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro.

          12. sigmaalgebra

            As I made totally clear above, your “assault” is just meaningless, a scam. You are talking about semi-automatic rifles, and they just will not get banned.

          13. cavepainting

            true that handgun deaths are the majority. the assault weapon ban does nothing to impact that. But it does have a clear and tangible impact on the number of gun massacres (>6 dead) and the lethality of each (# of deaths per massacre)

          14. JLM

            .But with handguns 20X rifles, shouldn’t we be working that end of the street?The bottom line is we need to prevent a lot of PEOPLE from owning or having access to a gun.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          15. LE

            Why? For enjoyment. Why do I need a car that accelerates like it does? For enjoyment. Why do I need a car that can go 190 mph? For enjoyment.Not my kind of enjoyment (guns etc.) but I can understand someone wanting one in all fairness. I wouldn’t want to be denied my right to a fast car that I use responsibly because others don’t.

          16. cavepainting

            Fair point but fast cars do not kill as effectively as AR-15s and do not get abused by bad guys. If a fast car ever causes harm, it is an accident no more likely to happen than with a normal car.

          17. sigmaalgebra

            Other than just another semi-automatic rifle that people have had for decades, what the heck is an “assault rifle”?When I was about 12, I had a single shot 22, but a friend my age had a semi-automatic 22. Could load up the magazine with about two feet of short, long, or long rifle ammunition and shoot away. He lived on the outskirts of a small town in TN, and his large back yard was next to some farm land. So, he set up a target and practiced. Maybe he hunted wild rabbits or some such.It was as much a semi-automatic rifle as an AR-15, but no one screamed “assault rifle”.Dad had a Remington semi-automatic 12 gauge shot gun built over the Browning patent. So could have one shell in the chamber and three more in the magazine. Dad used it for bird hunting for decades. One day he pulled the trigger and BLAAPPPPP all four shells shot, and what he was aiming was turned into small pieces.What happened? Well, there was some wear in the breech, and the gun became fully automatic. He sent it back to Remington, and they gave it an overhaul and returned it good as new. So, he had a semi-automatic that with a worn piece could become fully automatic, but no one screamed about his having an “assault rifle”.An AR-15, a semi-automatic, is styled to look like an AK-47 that is fully automatic. So, if the main point of the AR-15 is style, then some children’s plastic water pistol toy styled like an AK-47 should also be called an “assault rifle”.IMHO, here is the actual truth: Some people really, Really, REALLY do NOT like the Second Amendment or private citizens owning guns and want both blocked, eviscerated, canceled, overturned, confuscated, eliminated, outlawed, etc.So, rather than campaign for repealing the Second Amendment, they execute a manipulation, a deception, a scam: They say that they are against “assault rifles” which for the legal definition will have to boil down not to “styled like an AK-47” but to any semi-automatic rifle. So, my father’s Remington shotgun and my childhood friend’s 22 will also become illegal in the “assault rifle” ban.Lots of newsies eagerly repeat the meaningless “assault rifle” deception and scam. Of course they do: Lots of newsies work hard to find ways to get eyeballs by scaring people, and, then, sensationalism, distortions, statements from anonymous sources (that is, made up nonsense), fake news in general, scams, etc., are just all part of their daily business. That’s been the case for newsies at least back to Jefferson. When “assault rifles” are the biggest stories the newsies can find, then we know that there was no meaningful news that day.Did I mention, the effort is a scam?But, people are catching on to the scam. E.g., the NYT: On paper it can’t compete with Charmin, and on the Internet it’s useless for wrapping dead fish heads.Uh, some group and effort claiming to be high minded, pursuing security, being ethical, working in the public interest but in fact pushing a manipulative, deceptive scam hurts their potential.Okay by me. While I’m in NYS, Dad’s Remington is hidden away in Tennessee, but, still, I don’t want it made illegal.I’ll be less generous: The Second Amendment is right there in our Constitution. To change it, IIRC, all you need is 2/3rds of the House, 2/3rds of the Senate, and 3/4ths of the states. And in the meanwhile, the SCOTUS will be able to read the original and the decisions to date with the result that repealing the Second Amendment in fact via lots of restrictions won’t stand. On repealing the Second Amendment, ‘rots uh ruck.I dislike manipulative, deceptive scams.As soon as anyone wants to ban “assault weapons”, I know I’m hearing a manipulative, deceptive scam.We need to have our schools, dance clubs, concerts, athletic contests, street parties, demonstrations, etc. safe, and scams are highly counterproductive and, thus, cruel and ugly. Cruel and ugly? That means offensive, something we should shovel into some toxic waste dump.

        2. SFG

          Why not deploy a federal agent or two at schools? A couple of guys with some mean looking guns and uniforms will be one hell of a deterrent. I like this idea better than armed teachers.

          1. LE

            Calculate the cost of that vs. the benefit. Plus risk will just shift to something else. Money doesn’t grow on trees as the saying goes.Most of these shooters also don’t appear to care about dying the latest was possibly an exception. Can’t deal with crazy people using normal person logic.

      2. Dan Epstein

        Quoting the NYT on guns in Israel. I would personally prefer stricter laws, but would be ok with the below.…Most Jewish Israelis are conscripted for mandatory military service at 18 for a period of at least two years, and receive at least some formal firearms training. Soldiers are issued guns only for their period of service.“As we are a people’s army, a lot of the population has at least undergone basic training and knows how to handle and conduct themselves with a weapon,” said Simon Perry, a criminologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “We don’t have a gun fetish here,” he added.Israelis who have completed military service or national service may apply for a gun license at 21; others must wait until 27. Those who are eligible include civilians who live or work in areas considered dangerous; people working in security and emergency services or as civilian security guards; and some farmers, tour guides, veterinarians and registered hunters.Applicants must go through background checks and need a signed bill of health from their doctor. Gun licenses have to be renewed every three years, and require an annual practice at a shooting range. Many requests are refused.A majority of the licenses are granted for 9 mm pistols. The few licenses for automatic rifles are reserved for people who need them for ongoing security roles. Annual bullet supplies are limited to 50 per licensed individual, or 100 for security guards.

        1. JLM

          .Would the US embrace 3-year mandatory service for men and 2-year mandatory service for women?If they did, it would be a great thing.I don’t see it happening.I was an Army officer during the draft and it had some unique challenges. On average, the all volunteer Army is a better warfighting entity for a number of reasons.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Dan Epstein

            Thank you for your service. I did not serve.I would wholly support a 2 or 3 year service requirement (assuming a variety of service options, military and other). I would give men and women the same requirement. Maybe offer free public education after completion.I don’t see it happening either, though.

          2. JLM

            .The current GI Bill and the Vietnam Era GI Bill (my ticket to grad school) are very generous. The idea of mandatory service and free education is a win-win for the Nation.Don’t worry. I had you covered. Everything I ever needed to know to found, run, grow a business, I learned as a combat engineer platoon leader and company commander. I got a lot more out of it than I put it, but I was lucky. Saw a bit of the world for free.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  10. Peter Biro

    Fred – I love your blog but on this one, I can’t agree that the “technology connecting the world is helpful” in this situation. I recommend you read Tom Friedman’s latest Op-Ed on how defeating the NRA is going to take more than posting on social media. Also, the Russians leapt into action immediately with bot-driven posts fomenting discord because they know Twitter is vulnerable to fraud, and YouTube is being used to spread lies about the whole Parkland episode being a setup by the left to push their gun control agenda. I’d like to suggest, with respect, that Twitter and Facebook are hopelessly compromised and need a total overhaul before they become productive outlets again on anything political.

  11. jason wright

    In his conversation with Sam Harris Niall Ferguson spoke about the importance of expressing the ‘counterfactual’ argument when discussing history.For historical reasons guns are part of the fabric of America, and in a way not seen elsewhere. The NRA promotes the right to bear arms, and its ‘factual’ arguments in support of this are based around personal protection, citizen verses government, et.c., et.c., and that America is a ‘better place’ because of the presence of guns in society. What are the counterfactual arguments that could challenge this ‘better place’ point of view, and how might America now be different if guns had been restricted decades ago?

    1. JLM

      .The American Constitution and all of its Amendments are subject to change. The methodology is daunting, but we have had 33 proposed amendments and 27 of them have been ratified.If one has a beef with the Second Amendment, maybe it’s time to review and modify it?For the record, if one takes out the 5 most violent cities in the country, the US is quite docile when compared to the entire world. Oddly, those 5 cities ban guns.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. jason wright

        banning only has a chance of success when it is accompanied by an amnesty with draconian terms and clearly stated. Those five cities are obviously awash with guns in spite of a ban.The Second Amendment dates from 1791. What are the counterfactual arguments to it? In what ways might America have developed differently and for the better over the following two centuries without the right to bear arms? If there are no plausible arguments to be made then how can the NRA’s credibility be challenged?

        1. JLM

          .Point of order — it is not the number of guns; it is the number of murders. Texas has a huge number of guns, more than ever. Lowest murder rate in history.In these cities, it is the nature of the crime, the effectiveness of law enforcement, the nature of municipal leadership which is suspect.Why worry about something which is fanciful. You can’t change history. Live in the present and solve today’s problems.The NRA stands squarely within the four corners of the law. If you don’t like the NRA’s stance, change the law.The NRA is ceded authority which it really doesn’t deserve or control. It is because they are totally within the law.The NRA, as an example, is in favor of the 1994 AWB crazy person list.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. jason wright

            I thought the point of studying the past was to better understand the present and learn lessons for the future. Events are actions. History is the interpretation of them. That’s how academics try to make their careers and reputations. It’s their war by other means.

          2. JLM

            .The study of history, of which I am a huuuuuuuuuuge fan, is only useful if you apply your learnings in the present.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. jason wright

            Agreed. Constructing that better future.Semantic sausage machine.

          4. cavepainting

            Texas ranks 29th in the nation in terms of gun deaths. It is about 10.6 per 100,000. It is literally one of the worst. (Source: Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence)You are right. The law needs to be changed and it eventually will.

          5. JLM

            .I think you read your stats wrong.Texas is #29 which means it is the 22nd best state in the US (including Dist of Columbia).Take out the open warfare with the cartels on the Rio Grande and Texas is like Switzerland. [Note: the same is also true if you take Chicago, where guns are banned, out of the Illinois stats.]Texas is second in the rate of its reduction of deaths. https://uploads.disquscdn.c…JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. JLM

            .Uhhh, this is not a increasing order list. Look at it. It is an arbitrary grade given by the lefty Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.At least read your own crap correctly, please.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          7. cavepainting

            grade is arbitrary. The deaths per 100,000 people is not. the ranking is based on the latter.

          8. JLM

            .Is it now, Cavepainter?Look at Delaware, Michigan, Oregon, Colorado, N Carolina, Indiana — they higher or lower than Texas?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          9. cavepainting

            ok. just saw it again. you are correct that those 6 are lower than texas. My bad. Still that makes Texas 23rd, long way from the lowest murder rate you were claiming earlier?

          10. JLM

            .Lowest rate FOR TEXAS not in the US.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          11. LE

            To preface as I have said I am not a gun owner. However if you compare the NY gun death rate per 100,000 people (4.2) vs. the Texas rate (10.6) it appears numbers wise to be a huge difference. Twice as much chance? Right?However rationally it’s still not a big risk to any particular individual.By comparison by my calcs about 30 people (per 100k) are killed per year by drunk drivers. (2015 figures) Wow that’s three times as many as by guns in Texas.Not only that but close to 3000 per 100,000 people were arrested for drunk driving (2015 figures). That does not include obviously people who drank and were not arrested so the actual number is probably vastly higher. Not to mention families torn apart by drinking and other negative health consequences which we all pay for. It is correct that guns cause death. However at least guns don’t honestly have any other impact other than that.So for sure the numbers for guns indicated let’s stipulate that states with more control have less deaths. However we’d also have less deaths if we put control on places that serve alcohol more so than there is today. Right? But nobody is talking about doing that at all. You know to save lives. (Wasn’t the reason for prohibition either btw..)Ditto for marijuana use prior to legalization. Nobody seemed to care (that smoked pot – I didn’t ever) that there was clearly crime associated (and deaths) as a result of using marijuana. And resources in our country and in Mexico for that matter. Bet it’s not something that any pot smoker ever cared about as long as they could get their pot. They figured they were entitled to that plain and simple. Right? And other drugs? Same thing. People brag about it. Yet it fueled almost certainly a tremendous amount of crime and bad things.

          12. cavepainting

            Agree with your brilliant freakonomics type of a comment.But what makes guns maybe different is that you die not by your own bad choices but because of someone else’s bad choice.Take for example, road safety where there Is not much malice but just bad behavior. Efforts that have been taken over the decades to reduce accidents on the road have saved literally hundreds of thousands of lives. These have spanned reform and regulations across multiple stakeholders ( car manufacturers, individuals, law enforcement, licensers, etc. ). So why would we not do the same for guns which are much worse?

          13. LE

            But what makes guns maybe different is that you die not by your own bad choices but because of someone else’s bad choice.Are you sure you mean that? Drunk drivers kill innocent people as you know.have saved literally hundreds of thousands of lives.These are things though that most people would agree to or accept. And other than speed limits and speeding nobody thinks it’s super restrictive to have to wear seat belts and/or have airbags in a car or antilock breaks etc. After all driving is a privilege.Also getting rid of assault weapons is not going to save hundreds of thousands of lives. If it did I would agree with you obviously. From the WSJ article (if correct) 150 people have been killed in school shootings since 1990. That isn’t a big number plain and simple.Now if you wan to talk about handguns that’s a different story of course.

          14. cavepainting

            The effect of something is not just measured by how many people are actually dead because of it, but what it does to people’s minds. Multiply 150 by all their family and friends, add the survivors in each of the shootings, then the peers in other schools who lost sleep wondering what might happen to them, the national dialog creating hysteria to students, teachers, and parents. etc.Is it logical? No, but humans are emotional creatures. My family and I were subject to home invasion with guns a few years back and the feelings have stayed with us.Not dissimilar to terrorism where post 9-11, only a few hundred people have died because of it, but it causes panic at scale and we spend hundreds of billions on the problem.Problems with hand guns are harder to stop. (Large number of incidents but each affecting a few). Who gets access and how we can prevent bad/unstable people from buying it legally are areas of discussion, but not sure it is easy to make progress with our politics.Your point on drunk driving is valid. What I was trying to say is an assault weapon can kill tens of people. The scale of damage in a single drunk driving incident is less. But true that it happens a lot more with higher number of deaths in totality.

          15. cavepainting

            Even for the chart you just added, NY is #1, which is one of the most gun regulated states. Not consistent with your earlier logic that gun regulation has no impact. There is some correlation for sure.

          16. JLM

            .Absent NYC, New York state would be Switzerland. The upstate is quite peaceful and rural.NYC is one of the 4 worst cities in the country for deaths. So, not so swayed by the gun regulation argument. Doesn’t work in NYC.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          17. LE

            Yeah I don’t get NYers thinking they are in some kind of safe place (overall). Safe is where I am located. Boring but safer than NYC. You don’t have to watch over your shoulder everywhere you go. Or better NYer’s like Fred (who I have berated in the past about this no secret) who drive either bikes in NYC or scooters. Can’t imagine how people think that isn’t a big risk with all of the traffic and what is going on. Maybe not death but obviously injury. That said I’d love to live in NYC even given the risk I think. It’s not boring. Lot’s of interesting people.Oh also if the shit hits the fan you are trapped on an Island with a gaggle of people all competing for limited resources (or if the water supply from upstate gets tainted or is cut off. How is this not a risk? )

          18. PhilipSugar

            His chart is actually change. And if you correlate with your chart. Delaware has the highest score in the top grades of regulation and highest score in rate of increase.Why??? Wilmington is a shit-hole. Murder-Town USA:…Is this because of no investment??? No the police force is paid for by the state. Is it because of bad schools??? No You can get bused to any school you want and they had forced busing from the suburbs Federally mandated until people revolted. Is it because people have abandoned the city? No people like me sponsor Zip Code Wilmington,We can make the hard decision to discuss the issues, but it does not start with Police, Teachers, Lack of Government Spending, or Gun Control.At the state owned range http://www.dnrec.delaware.g… I go to where law abiding citizens go to practice and they record your drivers license it is 3 to 1 African American which over-represents by 15-1… because they are under siege in the city.You and I have good respectful banter, but understand, this is not a simple issue, and cannot be solved with feel good platitudes.

          19. cavepainting

            I agree that the broader topic of gun violence has a lot more to do with issues related to poverty, drugs, lack of education, single parenthood, state of criminal justice, etc. in specific communities. These are not easy issues to resolve and there are some deep underlying factors.But in the case of school mass shootings, the situation is different. It is a small sliver of the whole and exhibits unique characteristics. Perpetrators’ issues are unique. Gun control, Mental Health, etc. assume more relevance in this context.We do often conflate these two contexts but these are very different in terms of who is committing the crime, why, with what weapons, and on whom.As I might have mentioned before, my family (including our son who was 6 at that time) was the victim of a home invasion a few years back. The perpetrators were two African American men who were drugged (or drunk) brandishing pistols. The incident was covered by NYT at that time. Was not an experience you can easily forget, but does make you think hard about why these things happen.…In the bay area, Oakland and Richmond have super high levels of gun violence. No gun control will have a real impact on this because the reasons go deep.

          20. PhilipSugar

            Shit that sucks!! But you see they are a deterrent because that would not happen where I live, and yes I am positive the Indian liquor store owner has a gun on him.On the mass shooting thing. I have a theory (no proof) that the really realistic first party shooter video games play a huge role. Who plays them? Young white males.Then you have the news coverage.You see these and think how can we stop. Again not an easy issue.Question on the shoe thing brought up by NYT. We have two Indian kids on our Lego league team. Certainly if I went to their houses I would respect their rules, but I notice when they come to my house they almost look at me like a heathen for wearing sandals. Is it insulting in my house as well????

          21. cavepainting

            Many Indian families (even ones that are moderately religious) place a heavy emphasis on removing shoes/sandals before entering the house because footwear and the dirt that clings on it is considered filthy to bring into a home where they believe divinity resides. Kids are being taught from a very young age to remove shoes. It is an absolute no-no . This is true in my home too.When it is drilled so deeply into some one’ s sense of good vs. bad, a kid can get too attached to the concept and not have distance between what is their idea of a good thing vs. someone else. It is a natural instinct because of the repeated indoctrination cycles. If you can talk to them and say “hey, it is different in our house and that’s ok as well so you respect the rules of my house, just like I respect yours”, it can help some understand and break out of a judgmental mode.It is amazing how many things we all do where we judge without seeking to understand. Open conversations can lead to open minds and more acceptance .

          22. PhilipSugar

            Ok, next question, so you really can’t have a dog then? Yes? I mean the dog doesn’t wear shoes, but it certainly goes outside. I have 100% hardwood floors at home and at the office. I find carpet really dirty. And the floors get cleaned twice a week. The dog is the prime offender.As for assault rifles there are a couple reasons for owning one:1. Because others don’t want you to.2. Because they are really fun to shoot3. If (and this is doomsday) shit really goes bad that is what you want4. If you go feral pig hunting that is what you want.Lastly the biggest problem is definition. By definition really there are few things that are not “semi-automatic” Yes, very high powered bolt action rifles, that can kill from a mile away, but everything else? Semi-Auto. So now you get into looks and magazine capacity, which is so easy to get around.If I was a gun hater, the first thing I would go after is to say the second amendment is Federal not State law (I know, I am a huge state’s rights advocate) and say here are the rules.This is where people get wrapped up in the small (not small to any family) issue not the big issue. The big issue is that you probably got held up with one of these. http://www.hi-pointfirearms… I guarantee they kill 100 times more people than mass shootings. But what are you going to do?? Most gun dealers won’t even sell and they are not the only manufacturer, but because of CNC machines, etc, you can make a gun for under $200, and I mean that thing is just stone reliable. Don’t clean it?? Who cares. Put it in the mud and water?? No issue, Run over it?? It still will go bang. Damn thing is indestructible. Stop school shootings? Frankly you can buy five of these for the price of an AR, and if you are decent, you really only need one and five magazines, and if you are in close quarters, look at what Navy Seals use (not these) but a high end handgun, much easier to maneuver, and since nobody is wearing body armor….more lethal.I go back to my video game comment.I am not shitting you gun prices change on how popular they are in video games. Seriously. I can give concrete examples. This one used to cost $300:

          23. cavepainting

            I think the religious/spiritual reason for taking the shoes off is more significant than the hygiene factor. In some ways, the shoes are seen as a proxy for ego/disrespect.Many families do have dogs incl. my in-laws and the dogs do make a mess. They are probably exempted! I do not really know.As to your reasons, (1) is probably the most convincing one (the forbidden fruit). I understand enjoyment can be a factor, but bringing to bear AR-15 on a poor animal is simply not fair!The whole assault / semi automatic thing is complicated with many factors at play. Those on both sides of the aisle need to be open about what they do not know vs. prescribing simplistic solutions that make them feel better, or fit into their tribe, but may not really work.I learn more about these things every day (not a gun owner myself) and the puzzle is way more complex than it appears at the outset. Nevertheless, there are some things (like people under 21 not having access to some classes of guns, more detailed background checks, etc.) that people should agree on as common sense measures. If the 94-04 ban was actually effective (and there is some evidence that it was), no reason why we should not dig into it further. https://www.washingtonpost….To say that nothing should be done because it cannot solve the full problem is missing an opportunity to make some progress.

          24. PhilipSugar

            Look at what feral hogs do;…They are not a poor animal. Look at the North American Section.

          25. cavepainting

            Thanks for the link and helping me understand this better. I am a vegan, not a hunter and am truly clueless about hunting.

          26. PhilipSugar

            There are people that will PAY you to hunt feral hogs on their land. Let me explain the caps. Normally you pay dearly. Dearly to hunt someone’s land. I am talking the number starts in the thousands for the exclusive right and you fill out a form:…They are a non native invasive pest.While we are on the topic of dearly. Lets talk about deer. There are 1.23mm are deer hits ,… that’s right 140 per hour, every single hour of every single day. And that is reported!!!If you come to my office (we actually did this,at lunch this week for a UK visitor who saw deer while driving) and say who has hit a deer??? Every hand goes up. I saw three remains of hits on my way to work yesterday. If you say who has hit one and not reported it (technically not required, except if you want insurance money) Most hands stay up.And yes I have hit a deer. Missed tons, and missed the first but the second SOB ran straight into the wheel well of the truck. State Farm Insurance where I live sends out a note during rutting (mating) season do not swerve to miss a deer, because while a deer hit is bad, a tree hit is worse.

          27. cavepainting

            1.3 M per year is an astoundingly large number. I wish these deer horns work better.

          28. cavepainting

            Also just saw this.…This is a very alien culture to me and I suspect it is so to many people with non-hunting backgrounds. Another reason why we need a wider circle of friends and information networks to help see other POVs.

        2. cavepainting

          America would not be suffering 80+ deaths a day from gun violence.Nothing will ever stop homicides or suicides 100%, but there is no question that making it easier through easy access to guns makes it far worse.Suicides and accidents alone are 2/3rd of the total deaths.

      2. cavepainting

        You deserve credit for twisting facts to make US look like a docile state on gun violence. Please…Check the total number of gun deaths and injuries (including suicide, homicide, and accidents). States with looser gun laws and more guns are far worse in terms of gun death rates with >10.5 per 100,000 (for some reason, these happen to be Republican, don’t know why..)…

    2. Vendita Auto

      “counterfactual arguments” 17 children lives in Florida WGAF about decades ago

      1. jason wright

        that will not save the lives of other children in the future. there has to be an unanswerable argument constructed that will hollow out the NRA’s position and support. getting angry again and again and again will not do that.

        1. Vendita Auto

          My comment was/is a direct cold calculated “unanswerable argument”

    3. Donna Brewington White

      I cannot answer your questions. However, one thought is that the United States is still a very young country. “Decades ago” would have represented a time when guns were still needed for survival and self-protection. To find a comparison, might we need to look at current nations from the vantage point of an earlier stage in their history? Of course, there are so many other factors — for instance that the U.S. is at this “age” during a much different era than, let’s say, when England was ~250 years old.But I do find it interesting that support of the 2nd Amendment is much stronger among those who are less trusting of government or want less governmental involvement in daily affairs.I once heard someone say, “Governments come and go, but our rights as citizens don’t depend on who’s in charge.” I think that for some, losing the 2nd Amendment is a “slippery slope” of making citizens defenseless against a government that could go awry. May be hard for some of us to understand this, but for others it is a real concern.

      1. PhilipSugar

        The actual reason is that if you think about it everyone but Native American’s who there are sadly few of and got wiped out with guns and African American’s who came here under the force of guns and were enslaved under the force of guns, came here because they didn’t like their current condition under their current government. So there is an ingrained mistrust of government.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          So true, Phil. Was thinking this as I typed the above response.But I would imagine that many within those groups you mentioned and marginalized people in general also have an ingrained mistrust of government.So who does trust government?(We are now in a situation where those who may be in favor of big government do not trust the current administration.)

  12. Rob Underwood

    I don’t know if discourse can exist if there are not agree upon truths at all. If everything devolves to me thinking the sky is blue and someone else say it’s red, we can a best have some very abstract philosophical about epistemology but we aren’t going to make much progress about concrete issues. In other word, every debate can’t devolve to “Well, that kid is not really a student. They’re a crisis actor.”I’ve argued that Twitter, Facebook, etc. need to do away with anonymity and I stand by that. Full names – first and last, should be publicly associated with screen names/handles (e.g. “brooklynrob” is my handle). I get the argument that anonymity make be needed in nations w/o strong free speech mechanism, but perhaps the answer there is altogether different platforms that are built from the ground up on anonymity. Further, these platforms ban fake followers and ban those who buy fake followers permanently from the platform. Seriously, how low and lame a human do you have to be to buy Twitter followers?I don’t view people who peddle conspiracy theories about the kids from Parkland being crisis actors as being fellow Americans (or citizens of the world, as the case may be) with whom I have a difference of opinion because it’s not a difference of opinion, it’s a difference of fact. People who peddle these theories are my enemy, full stop. I don’t want to expend energy trying to fall over myself, as the left is oft to do, to try and seek a middle ground and common understanding. I just want them to be stopped.I hope these platforms get truly serious about banning people who peddle, share, RT, these theories, whether they do it directly or through bots and trolls. Free speech does not protect yelling fire at a movie theatre and I think a similar approach needs to be taken with the trolls who peddle conspiracies about kids who survived shootings being crisis actors.I get that the line is hard. Policing speech can quickly devolve to policing opinions and we’ve seen that this can lead a reduction in discourse, especially evident recently on some college campuses.But the trolls, bots, and paranoid delusionals need to go for the good to start to outweigh the bad again on these platforms.On this, I thought this tweet was good. It’s pollution.

    1. David C. Baker

      Yes sir. I share your view of SM.

  13. johnmccarthy

    Another day, more dead kids, usual suspects insisting on facts…..

  14. Jonathan Butler

    @everytown’s IG follower count has leapt from 130K a week ago to almost 600K today, surpassing the NRA’s following in the process…

  15. sigmaalgebra

    Apparently there are two fast, easy ways to reduce such gun attacks.(1) Observe who the attackers have been, say, since year 2000. Presto, bingo, just enforce our long standing laws, policies, procedures on immigration and will cut the rate of such attacks in close to half.(2) After the reduction from (1), can do a lot more on the rest: The claim is that then can get further big reductions from just looking for the, usually strong, symptoms from just one disease, usually easy enough to diagnose — paranoid schizophrenia.These two are from Ann Coulter’s current…(3) For more, at JLM’s post today at…is in partFor the record, if one takes out the 5 most violent cities in the country, the US is quite docile when compared to the entire world. Oddly, those 5 cities ban guns.So, for those violent cities, let me guess: The shootings are from poor neighborhoods with a lot of lost, desperate people and a lot of crime. So, we know the usual solution: Get the economies of those neighborhoods going again. IIRC from the last national election, one candidate proposed getting a lot of manufacturing, etc. businesses going in the US again, having a lot of those in those poor neighborhoods, and having training programs to supply workers from those neighborhoods for those businesses. Hmm ….So, it appears that we can make good progress via (1)-(3) without doing anything about guns. So, if there is a semi-automatic rifle with a steel stock instead of wood and stamped steel breech, we call it an “assault weapon”, a “weapon of war”, and try to ban it. That is, an “assault weapon” is a semi-automatic rifle that in style looks like a Russian fully automatic AK-47. So, we argue against the style but end up banning all semi-automatic guns. Then … we ban all rifles except muzzle loaders?It remains: The US has about 300 million guns. So if we ban guns, then only criminals will have guns. So, maybe we would also ban ammunition? Would about have to.If we are successful banning guns, then the people in (1) and (2) above could use other deadly means, e.g., car bombs.Yes, banning guns would likely need a Constitutional amendment which would be onerous and objectionable in many ways, but we need to notice that also basically it wouldn’t stop the mass attacks.So, the real goals of the anti-gun efforts are (A) to save lives or (B) just have an issue to scream about, say, like plastic in floating in the Pacific?Okay, right away, start to lock down the schools borrowing from other buildings, events, airports, etc.Next, enforce our long standing immigration laws, policies, and procedures. Deport illegals. Have immigration based on merit.Next, get help for any cases of paranoid schizophrenia.Next, clean up the high crime areas.Guys, currently the US has (A) paranoid schizophrenia cases walking around untreated, (B) millions of illegals forming an exploited, crime prone, laboring underclass of a new version of slavery, and (C) some really bad poor neighborhoods — guns or not, each of (A)-(C) is a huge mark of shame for the US. We should fix (A)-(C).What else should we consider doing?

  16. sigmaalgebra

    Broadly, the Internet is terrific, a major step up in the history of civilization.Why? Broadly the importance of information: We get means of fast, cheap, reliable communication of information.Results include:(A) Better shopping. So, get more information, better information, get the information faster, get better selections of what to buy, and get lower prices. The shopping is better via Amazon, Wal-Mart, thousands of smaller vendors, and the results are better for buying airline tickets, cars, houses, boats, etc.(B) We do much better on having information for an “informed electorate”. So, we are in line for better government.(C) Via some servers, the TeX, LaTeX, and PDF standards, keyword/phrase search engines, lectures, blogs, etc., we have massive improvement on paper books. E.g., my recent HP laptop has a PDF file of a computer science text with 745 pages in 21,644,344 bytes. Well, then, can do even a relatively large textbook for 25 million bytes (MB). So, a 2 trillion byte (TB) disk drive for now less than $100 could store 80,000 such books. I have a book on quantum mechanics I paid over $100 for. Net, a recent disk drive and the Internet is a much cheaper, more convenient, way to get and use textbooks. That’s a huge improvement.Yes, quality of information is an issue. But we have some good, old means for quality: The writer should follow at least common high school term paper writing standards with, e.g., use of references to primary sources. For more, writers should follow the standards of good scientific writing. For pure and applied math, the writers can use carefully done definitions, theorems, and proofs. Then we can get reviews including professional peer reviews. And we an use the Internet to help find the reviews.Yes, there is a lot of total junk on the Internet, but we have some good means of filtering. And the best on the Internet is terrific stuff.If smartphones (I don’t have one and have never used one) and Facebook (I rarely visit it) are threats of addiction, then that’s not nearly the first addiction, and some old means are likely sufficient as cures.For Parkland, it did appear that at Trump’s meeting yesterday, most of the Parkland students were quite insightful and articulate.For lectures, old movies, etc., can get about 90 minutes of running time in an MP4 file of about 250 million bytes. Recently I’ve done such downloads at about 70 million bits per second (Mbps) so get the whole MP4 video in about 35 seconds. On average I couldn’t find and load a DVD that fast. Good stuff.Maybe transistors, microelectronics, computers, and optical fibers will catch on????

  17. Alex Murphy

    Amen to bringing this back to the humans using the medium.

  18. obarthelemy

    “I feel the pendulum on this issue swinging back to center, where it belongs”Does that mean we’re OK with half of the mass shootings ?

  19. BillMcNeely

    I wrote a draft 28th Amendment to revise the 2nd Amendment and sent it to my Congressman .My thought behind it was to reframe what the 2A means in the 21st century. What the responsibility is of the federal, state and local government as well as the individual.

    1. Tom Labus

      Nice job, congrats

  20. DJL

    Late to the party. But since the early days of the Web I have observed a key trend: The “internet” does not make life better or worse. What it does do is “amplify” each of these in both time and space.The world used to “end” when we came home. (The bullies where at school or work.) Our world was our local area “network” of friends and community. Badness or goodness from other areas did not usually impact us. Now the rest of the world (space) is plugged into our lives 24×7 (time) – so everything is amplified. The “good” can be more effective – as well as the bad.