This morning I sent our “Saturday Report” to our paid subscribers — including a rather freaky Geeky Science about a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) program that, without being told to do so by its programmers, has invented its own internal language with which it talks to itself!
And we just wrapped up a great Zoom meeting with some really fascinating questions and thoughts, including issues like “Star Voting,” whether Democrats should campaign on issues or values, how to build movements, and the future of progressivism in America.
During the meeting, Louise had run out to the paint store (it’s her summer home project to get the house painted; it’s waaaay overdue) so Kedi, our Bengal/mutt cat who’s incorrigible, kept distracting me by trying to eat the salad greens I grow in my office in the little hydroponic unit Louise got me for Christmas. I was able to grab him during a quick break when Zoom crashed on us. <g>
Also wanted to note about Peter Navarro (who was the top story in the Saturday Report) that increasingly I’m thinking of him like the guy on Star Trek who didn’t have a name. Remember that? There was always one guy who’d go along on the expedition to a new planet who nobody referred to by name, and he was always the guy who got killed. It appears that Navarro really has no constituency within the Republican Party and that Trump has abandoned him, all of which makes me think he’s probably going to be the scapegoat who goes to prison.
Your thoughts? (You can post them on the thread in response to this.)
We'll work on not crashing the Zoom room next month Thom :)
OMG yes! Navarro might be the hapless, nameless crew member! But we really need to take down the entire Borg collective. My God Ive never seen such a diabolical hive mind as the bizarrely obedient Trumplican party. If navarros the only one to go down, i’ll be extremely bummed. Navarro’s entire performance begs the question, “did someone else author his dissertation?”
Hi Tom. My wife and I start our day with your show. It is so refreshing. I particularly like the books you bring into the discussions. Have you ever sighted "How Fascism Works" by Jason Stanley? I find it a brilliant analysis of whats going on with the Republican Party.
I agree regarding Navarro. And I love your analogy with the Star Trek no name guy. My husband and I call him the red shirt guy. He’s the only one wearing a red shirt on the expedition, so easy to spot. Your cat is beautiful!
I’ve never posted here before. Thanks Thom and Louise for all you do. Your dedication and energy are wonderful gifts. First about AI talking to itself in its own made-up language. Isn’t that what precocious kids do? What’s it going to be like when I throws up? And what will science-phobic voters make of it? Will their paranoia be stirred? Second, a brilliant movie call Galaxy Quest (a Star Trek parody) featured exactly the expendable guy you cited re Navarro. Check it out. Stay safe, and stay sane.
Peter Navarro was one of the few "intelligentsia" types that worked for Trump, and "academic" who obviously had some personal ambitions that Trump might give him. But he wasn't smart enough to ignore the indictments from Congress like the other wingnuts, and became one of the few to get arrested, handcuffed, and thrown in jail. He is usually long winded and doesn't like to be interrupted whew spewing BS. Ari Melber, MSNBC got him to interview and dressed him down quite well. Check it out on MSNBC.
If Navarro becomes the fall guy and dawns on him that he is, he may become willing to tell tales for a deal.
Thank you Thom, for your valuable time today on Zoom. Very interesting topics on the table as you do make us think. There is a lot of things to be paying serious attention too. Thom I can’t say enough about how much I really appreciate you.
I wouldn't underestimate Peter Navarro. He's well spoken and articulate (I know, it doesn't make sense), and he holds his own in the Ari Melber interviews on MSNBC. He's a fanatic Trumpkin in any case.
Navarro likes to talk, perfect for a Plea deal.
Aww, man! I'm sorry I missed this mornings Zoom! What a bummer! Kedi is adorable! How hilarious. He needs his own cat grass if he doesn't have it. He's probably trying to get your attention. Very interesting hearing about that the new AI program Dall-E. It feels concerning that AI will replace so many jobs and at the same time it's amazing what it can do. It's hard to fully predict what will happen with the types of jobs that will be replaced - who would have thought that AI would try to replace artists and psychotherapists (my job) but it's happening. That would all be fine if we could have the leisure life of the progressive future that Star Trek portrays but it seems we are stuck teetering on falling back into the Middle Ages. Not surprised to read that some people see the AI system as Demonic or possessed! (Lol) That's where we are in the anti-science resurgence. I'm a Star Trek fan and love your analogy about the "red shirts" comparison on Peter Navarro, except maybe more like in the mirror universe episodes where the good guys become bad!
maybe AI will become self aware enough to 'know' Republicans are a threat to life on earth and come up with an answer? But I am sure the insurrectionists are confidant a Republican will win the Presidency due to Republican state legislature's refusal to affirm Democratic Electors with the 'independent state legislature' theory and pardon them. Biden's only option will be to invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act for these state legislation--which he will be too wimpy to do (because they are all his good friends). This would be the only way to get around state legislatures dallying around constantly trying to get new recounts until a Republican is elected.
Let’s, send Thom to Washington to get things done for the love of common sense already.
Trump will abandon anyone who won't be a useful benefit for him again in the near future. I'm surprised he has his children around him still. Maybe he thinks they are useful.
NO, NOT red shirt. I'm on the side of calling Navarro part of the Borg from ST:NG. The red shirt guys were clueless as to the mission and were not part of the leadership; they just blindly followed. The Borg, however, were all linked in to limited and specifically prescribed pathways, knowing all, part, very little, or basically nothing of the true mission depending on their value to the Collective. I think that defines the RepubliCons today. The number involved in top leadership is tiny. The next level knows a lot, but not all. Further down there's more limited knowledge/understanding, and, through various descending levels, at the bottom are the drones (the average Fox Propaganda Network audience). Navarro probably fell somewhere in the middle. (Frankly, I don't think even Comrade tRump is at the very top.) All of the lower Borg are expendable once they become vulnerable or a liability; they are allowed to be destroyed without any Collective protection, or they may even be cut from the Borg link completely. Thus, Navarro. (Sorry for the extended metaphor, Thom, but you started it ha ha.) As for Kedi, I don't think I've seen a more obvious look of guilt from a cat's face and posture in my life -- and I've had many many cats and dogs my entire life. That kitty needs to learn poker face skills.
I can appreciate both your Star Trek example regarding Navarro and the position he has been placed. However I believe we shouldn’t be surprised by the behavior of thieves / insurrectionist take your pick. Both lack honor and loyalty. As it relates to Navarro taking the fall for 45 and his minions, I don’t believe The Madame Speaker Nancy Pelosi would be satisfied with such a small fish. Our Country was attacked by the individual that Our Country allowed to inhabit Our White House, then after being told that his services were no longer appreciated. He decided to disregard the choice made by the majority of Our Country’s Citizens, and attempt over turn a fair election. Everyone involved for that type of behavior must be held accountable.
Now I'm really sorry I had to leave early. However, the dance recital was wonderful, I live for those moments. I generally agree that Peter Navarro may be the scapegoat. On February 11th I called into the show, that was the day after Navarro first appeared on Ari Melber's show. My major concern then was (and still is), as crazy as it sounds, if Navarro can get his case before the Supreme Court, with the current make up of the court; they will rule that it is Constitutional correct to send the votes back to the state legislators to decide the President. The fact he attempted to over-through the government is inconsequential.
On a separate topic. I just watch James Carville parroting what I had suggested earlier during the zoom. Democrats have to take head-on the “kitchen table” issue of inflation. Don't try to explain it, instead blame it on Republican owned oil companies and tell the voters that if the Democratic candidates are elected we will fix it.
Yes, great chat this morning, Thom. Thanks again for doing this--it must be the 12th in your 11 hour days.... Regarding Navarro, it seems to me he's already turned de facto state's evidence in his Melber interview. Adding just that one bit to the mountain of evidence accumulating elsewhere, I can't see how (legally, maybe not politically) Trump's indictment, trial, and imprisonment can be avoided.
Regarding trade policy: I'm a happy alumnus of the Battle in Seattle, and have written quite a bit about all that for Common Dreams, CounterPunch, et. al, but never knew Navarro was on the right side of the issue. Acton be damned: how could Navarro possibly have made such a gargantuan flip? For that alone the sob needs to be stigmatized, hard time or no.
(A dog has a master. A cat has a staff, and Kedi's well served.)
Thom’s the best.
The, time we are living in should let us know how getting the right information matters. Thom really does a great job of keeping us all well informed. Knowledge really is power. Thanks Thom.
Glad, to be part of a great community of people too, who really believe in Thom and facts.
Working in experimental music/arts, I've been interested in DALL-E (Salvador Dali meets Pixar's WALL-E) for about a year and a half. New intelligence systems often raise the red flag of how they can be misused - and, yes, that can be a problem - but it doesn't go unnoticed by technologists and therefore, safeguards are studied and implemented over time.
To me, the internal language of DALL-E is a natural extension of its ability to kind of cross-fertilize data from differing types of information. The visuals that it comes up with when given text-based prompts is fun and amazing to see created, but you will see that they are imperfect - and so would be the language used to describe them. A Joycean mix of Indo-European prefixes, suffixes and root forms is probably at the heart of it all. ...and it would make perfect sense that if, after constructing the picture it did - with all of its faults - that it would give it a very specific name that would bring up the same picture each time the funny-looking word was typed out. In other words, it doesn't really appear to be the mystery that one might want to make of it.
Continuous emphasis on the negative aspects tho, kind of make it difficult for those who would like to have an open-sourced way of creating new works and ideas sooner rather than later, so I hope that the helpful, creative side outshines the naysayers out there who seem to love to be contrarians about things they know little about (I'm not including anyone here - ha!).
Navarro will probably try to run out the clock with appeals until Trump, in his second term, can pardon him.
I used to call the RED SHIRTED CREW PERSON LUNCH MEAT bcuz that's usually what happened to them!
I was told my darker-background kitty was a "mackeral tabby." Like "chaotic space" distorted the stripes. (Trek "Voyager," and her name was "Jadzia.") I've seen a lot of Navarro, and my money is on him going down in flames enjoying the glory of victimhood. On his own trip, which makes T. irrelevant. I saw an interview with a former House colleague of Meadows, on the other hand, who actually said Meadows was a horrible person even before T. came along; so, birds of a feather. The question that confounded the Founders is, is there any system that can enable and attract men (you know:men) of good character truly motivated by instincts toward public service, and not just venal glory-hounds? Maybe there just isn't. Maybe there's something intrinsic in the idea of "tolerance," that the intolerant creeps are the ones who want to run the show, while the tolerant instinct to go-along-and-get-along defines the eternal victim of the eternal bully.
Kitties garden from chewy is the only thing my Spudcat will eat. A healthy mix of grasses, American made. God knows I've tried a multitude of mixes!
Navarro is the John Dean of Nixon; throw him under the bus. Who, other than Cohen and Rudy are next? Who will talk? Who has a commitment to democracy? Anyone on the horizon?
AI? Interesting question. Who is watching this? Besides Amazon, Goggle, Facebook, Apple and us?
I hope Trump goes to prison!!!
"Proper preparation promises perfect paint performance."
I need to get on that Saturday Report zoom! Don't know much about Peter Navarro or Star Trek but have five cats, ought to get them some of those grass trays too. How sad that someone so educated and knowledgeable shifted to supporting Trump.
I listen to Thom walking and running in the neighborhood here in Albuquerque in the evening and at night. Thom and the NYT are my news. No time for other news, don't see how you and Louise can write your editorials, plan and execute your daily shows, and do all the news research. You are truly amazing! Your past service and businesses and travels and all the books as well. Geesh!
Thank you for your work.
Nice, to know there are signs of intelligent life out there.
If, common sense doesn’t work, then they don’t have any.