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Dark n Stormy Knight

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: East Coast
Home country: USA
Current location: MidAtlantic US
Member since: Wed Oct 24, 2012, 08:05 PM
Number of posts: 9,053

About Me

I stand in solidarity with the world in disgust with and unwavering opposition to the 45th pResident. The misogynistic, racist, vengeful, volatile, lying, cheating, narcissistic bully is unfit to serve.

Journal Archives

Fake news is about to get even scarier than you ever dreamed

I read this a few days ago and was too freaked out to even discuss it. Talk me off the ledge, anyone?

At corporations and universities across the country, incipient technologies appear likely to soon obliterate the line between real and fake. Or, in the simplest of terms, advancements in audio and video technology are becoming so sophisticated that they will be able to replicate real news—real TV broadcasts, for instance, or radio interviews—in unprecedented, and truly indecipherable, ways.

One research paper published last year by professors at Stanford University and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg demonstrated how technologists can record video of someone talking and then change their facial expressions in real time. The professors’ technology could take a news clip of, say, Vladimir Putin, and alter his facial expressions in real time in hard-to-detect ways. In fact, in this video demonstrating the technology, the researchers show how they did manipulate Putin’s facial expressions and responses, among those of other people, too.

This is eerie, to say the least. But it’s only one part of the future fake-news menace. Other similar technologies have been in the works in universities and research labs for years, but they have never really pulled off what computers can do today. Take for example “The Digital Emily Project,” a study in which researchers created digital actors that could be used in lieu of real people. For the past several years, the results have been crude and easily detectable as digital re-creations. But technologies that are now used by Hollywood and the video-game industry have largely rendered digital avatars almost indecipherable from real people. (Go and watch the latest Star Wars to see if you can tell which actors are real and which are computer-generated. I bet you can’t tell the difference.) You could imagine some political group utilizing that technology to create a fake hidden video clip of President Trump telling Rex Tillerson that he plans to drop a nuclear bomb on China. The velocity with which news clips spread across social media would also mean that the administration would have frightfully little time to respond before a fake-news story turned into an international crisis.

Audio advancements may be just as harrowing. At its annual developer’s conference, in November, Adobe showed off a new product that has been nicknamed “Photoshop for audio.” The product allows users to feed about ten to 20 minutes of someone’s voice into the application and then allows them to type words that are expressed in that exact voice. The resultant voice, which is comprised of the person’s phonemes, or the distinct units of sound that distinguish one word from another in each language, doesn’t sound even remotely computer-generated or made up. It sounds real.

Read the rest here.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Tue Jan 31, 2017, 04:55 PM (15 replies)

Just when I thought it couldn't get any more...

jeezuz, I don't even know what to call this.
https://twitter.com/DavidCornDC/status/825894850767753220

The original Fox News tweet telling the world that, "White House back's Trump decision..." has 3,199 likes!

Mind blown.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Mon Jan 30, 2017, 02:46 AM (16 replies)

About those rogue US government twitter accounts...

OK, so, I'm guilty as charged in this article.

As the first full week of the Trump administration draws to a close, many anti-Trump Twitter users have been heartened by the rise of a group of more than 50 (according to CNN) “rogue” Twitter accounts supposedly affiliated with U.S. government employees. These employees, the story goes, have been disgruntled by moves the administration has made to tamp down on these agency’s abilities to spread their messages — particularly messages having to do with subjects like climate changes — and have taken to Twitter to resist Trump’s authoritarianism.

As a result, some of these accounts have quickly amassed huge followings — 1.25 million for the most famous one, @AltNatParkSer. But at the moment, according to multiple news stories about the accounts, no one really knows who is behind them, since it doesn’t appear anyone has verified the identities of the Tweeters. Therefore, Anti-Trumpers who spread them are engaging in the exact same sort of motivated, credulous sharing that fuels the dissemination of all sorts of crazy internet rumors, including those which targeted Hillary Clinton during the campaign.

I don't know, I agree that we don't want to legitimize fake news, but I might agree more with the first commenter than the article's author:
bareshark1975 1 day ago
Well, if anyone is actually that damn scared about being played, here's an idea: go out and actually VERIFY the facts being spread with actual scientists on respectable websites. It's a good idea anyway and you might just learn some more than you would have. In the meantime, F*** humility.

Here's a list of the accounts in question.

A couple examples:

AltUSDA ‏@altusda

Small farmers win 8-year fight against National Chicken Council, then Trump takes over and blocks USDA rule change
https://twitter.com/altusda/status/825179157327966210

AltBadlandsNatPark ‏@AltBadlandsPark
2016 was the hottest year on record, worldwide. Also, @realDonaldTrump is a man-baby.
https://twitter.com/AltBadlandsPark/status/824442496323321857

Greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane and water vapor, trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere and warm the planet. #climatefacts
https://twitter.com/AltBadlandsPark/status/824644231788658690
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Sun Jan 29, 2017, 09:50 PM (2 replies)

What do you call a Gish Gallop comprised of actions instead of just words?

The Trump Administration.

Gish Gallop from Rational Wiki
The Gish Gallop (also known as proof by verbosity[1] and the Trump Tirade[2]) is the fallacious debate tactic of drowning your opponent in a flood of individually-weak arguments in order to prevent rebuttal of the whole argument collection without great effort. The Gish Gallop is a belt-fed version of the on the spot fallacy, as it's unreasonable for anyone to have a well-composed answer immediately available to every argument present in the Gallop. The Gish Gallop is named after creationist Duane Gish, who often abused it.

Although it takes a trivial amount of effort on the Galloper's part to make each individual point before skipping on to the next (especially if they cite from a pre-concocted list of Gallop arguments), a refutation of the same Gallop may likely take much longer and require significantly more effort (per the basic principle that it's always easier to make a mess than to clean it back up again).


The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.
—programmer Alberto Brandolini[9]

Refuting a Gish Gallop is hard. Not because it's a well-formed argument that forces you to reconsider your worldview in a new light, a process taking critical thought over a long span of time. Not at all. It's hard because there's so fucking much to refute.

Who will provide leadership in how we all can best be part of an effective response to this avalanche of malevolent action?
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Sun Jan 29, 2017, 07:45 PM (14 replies)

Why the RW hates Gloria Allred

She's received come criticism from the left, but she is downright despised by the RW. I think I know why.

Her visibility has made her both prized and disdained by the media, whose attention she so visibly courts, which has cast her as everyone from a latter-day Joan of Arc to a "Tabloid Feminist." When I asked Allred what she makes of the media's derision, she was dismissive: "I don't really care how I'm perceived. Frankly, Scarlett, I don't give a damn. I just want justice for women. I have to be a strong advocate, and all I care about is winning for my clients."

"My view is that women are hurt more than men," she said. "That men, because they have more access to power and wealth, are more likely to use it to hurt women." Both might lie to each other, but "I think it's definitely more devastating to women, emotionally and financially. Women are socialized from birth to believe in men, to believe men will protect them." If she saw any dissonance between the deprivation that had motivated the suffragettes and the situation that faced Blitsch and Ryncarz, Allred wasn't showing it. "I'm never satisfied with the status and condition of women. Why would I be?"
Full article The Avenger http://www.elle.com/fashion/a12537/gloria-allred-the-avenger/

If today it sometimes seems as though Ms. Allred is living in the nascent feminism of the 1970s, so, in a way, are many of her firm’s less visible clients: women (and men) who have been sexually harassed or fondled at work, girls who’ve been molested, or female prison inmates forced to wear handcuffs while delivering their babies. Those who support Ms. Allred argue that cases like those of Ms. Lorenzana and Citibank fit into this galaxy — but with tabloid glare, notoriety and guaranteed publicity thrown into the mix.

Thane Rosenbaum, a novelist and law professor at Fordham University, sees Ms. Allred as what he calls “a moral attorney,” which he defines as someone who takes on a case without any thought for her own reputation or even whether she’s going to win or lose in the courtroom.

“She represents people who we might not want to go to lunch with,” Mr. Rosenbaum said, “and she ruffles the feathers of people who think lawyers should confine themselves to the courtroom. She takes on issues that are too messy for the courtroom. Some people think it’s salacious, what she’s bringing into the public square. She’s in effect saying: ‘I move the ball out of this arena and take it into this arena. Being a quiet, demure woman will get this case nowhere.’ ”

“These women have no money, no power. There are very serious consequences when women are not empowered. Humiliation, depression, poverty.”

She put on her do-not-mess-with-me face. “It is very frightening to feel alone when you are standing against a rich and powerful person and all his attendant helpers,” she said. “It’s dangerous out there.” It’s the Wild West. People come to me to tell them how to manage the maelstrom. And the defense” — here she allows herself a little smile — “the defense just hopes the woman doesn’t hire Gloria Allred.”

“The concept of fairness is always culturally defined,” she said. “Even here, where we think we are such an advanced nation, people advise women to grin and bear harassment in the workplace. I say, ‘Do complain.’ It’s only going to get worse. We have rights so that we don’t have to go like beggars with cups in our hands asking for mercy. We have to be heard in the court of public opinion as well as in the actual courts. Silence is the enemy.”
Full article: The Avenger (same title, different article) by Laurie Winer
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Tue Jan 17, 2017, 05:27 PM (15 replies)

Make American Kittens Again

Like it or not, Donald Trump's face is here to stay. From being named Time magazine's person of the year, to daily coverage of his transitional plans, you can't glance at a news source—let alone social media—without seeing Trump's face several times over.

Or can you?



With the help of a Google Chrome extension called "Make America Kittens Again" you can find sweet relief, in the form of kittens.

The extension finds headlines with Trump's name in them and replaces the associated images with pictures of adorable little furballs snuggling, playing, and being generally kittenish.

Also: The 9 best (anti) Donald Trump Chrome extensions to class up your browsing experience
You have many choices when it comes to customizing your your experience of reading news about Donald Trump. Simple, free Chrome extensions let you replace every mention of the Republican primary frontrunner with something stranger, funnier, or otherwise more palatable.

Here are some of the best options.

1) Make America's Hands Tiny Again
Replaces “Donald Trump” with “Someone With Tiny Hands” because Trump is apparently incredibly sensitive about his tiny fingers.

2) Trump Filter
As the extension's description says, “This Chrome extension will identify parts of a web page likely to contain Donald Trump and erase them from the Internet.”

3) Remove Donald Trump from Facebook
This one works like the Trump Filter extension listed above but is designed specifically for Facebook.

Continued here:
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Mon Jan 16, 2017, 07:25 PM (7 replies)

Women's March: Not Just for Women

From their site's FAQs
Q: I’m not a woman, am I invited?
A: Yes, the Women’s March on Washington (WMW) is for any person, regardless of gender or gender identity, who believes women’s rights are human rights.

Event Details
The Women’s March on Washington is a grassroots effort comprised of dozens of independent coordinators at the state level. The effort is helmed by four national co-chairs and a national coordinating committee who are working around the clock to pull it all together.

Date and Time: Saturday, January 21, 2017. Rally begins at 10:00am and ends at 1:15pm

Location: The starting point and rally will be the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street, Washington DC, near the U.S. Capitol (see map below).

The Rally: A program featuring nationally recognized advocates, artists, entertainers, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and others will be announced in the coming days.

Tickets: The Women's March is NOT a ticketed event, no ticket is required.

Loads more info about the event on the event website.

For those who can't get to DC or prefer a local event, there are 370 Sister Events worldwide.

Did you know there was a women's march on Washington in 1913? Perhaps you'll find the women (and supporting men) of the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession in DC as inspirational as I did.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Sun Jan 15, 2017, 02:09 AM (2 replies)

Women's March on Washington: Inspiration from our 20th Century Suffragist Sisters

Leading up to the march planned for the 21st, let's draw strength, courage, and inspiration from the valiant women who fought for our right to vote.

On Monday, March 3, 1913, lawyer Inez Milholland Boissevain, clad in a white cape and riding a white horse, led the great women's suffrage parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation's capital. Behind her stretched a long procession, including nine bands, four mounted brigades, three heralds, more than 20 floats and more than 5,000 marchers.
https://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9803/suffrage.html



Some participants hiked from New York to DC.


Lawyer Inez Milholland Boissevain prepares to lead the Suffrage Parade

Mounted suffragists at the head of the parade as it moves down Pennsylvania Avenue









Foreign intrigue.
Comrade Trump meet Kaiser Wilson. Virginia Arnold holding Kaiser Wilson banner.


Russian Roulette? Suffragettes in Washington, DC, June 1917.


Things did not progress without difficulty in the movement in general nor in the 1913 march, but the women persevered.

Some Southern members of NAWSA argued for the enfranchisement of white women only. In addition, in the suffrage parade of 1913 organized by Alice Paul’s Congressional Union, black women were asked to march in a segregated unit. Ida B. Wells refused to do so, and slipped into her state’s delegation after the start of the parade.
https://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/rightsforwomen/AfricanAmericanwomen.html


The organizers of the parade also maximized attention on the event by strategically hosting it just one day before the inauguration of President-elect Woodrow Wilson. This tactic worked. As the women marched from the U.S. Capitol toward the Treasury Building, they were met by thousands of spectators, many in town for the inauguration.

Not all spectators were kind. Some marchers were jostled, tripped, and violently attacked, while police on the parade route did little to help. By the end of the day, over 100 women had to be hospitalized for injuries.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/03/03/this-day-history-1913-womens-suffrage-parade

A resolution from the Men’s League for Woman Suffrage in King’s County noted that the women in the parade, “many of whom were among the finest intellectual leaders of their sex, were . . . subject to insult, ribaldry, and personal abuse.”

https://prologue.blogs.archives.gov/2013/03/01/suffrage-and-suffering-at-the-1913-march/

However, the women did not give up; they finished the parade. Their experiences led to major news stories and even congressional hearings. Historians later credited the 1913 parade for giving the suffrage movement a new wave of inspiration and purpose.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/03/03/this-day-history-1913-womens-suffrage-parade

I found a couple of short youtube videos on the subject.

Best Kept Secret: Suffrage in the 20th Century From the Fairfax County Government. In later protests in DC, some of the women were arrested and jailed in Fairfax County, VA. Their treatment was abominable. These women were truly heroic.

Press Coverage- 1913 Suffrage Parade in Washington, DC From the National Women's History Museum. Tells of how conscientious press coverage helped promote the cause of liberty these women were demanding.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Sat Jan 14, 2017, 09:55 PM (22 replies)

Meryl Streep's Golden Globes Trump Takedown: full transcript

There was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter, someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can't get it out of my head because it wasn't in a movie. It was real life.

And this instinct to humiliate, when it's modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody's life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.

Full Transcript at NYTimes

Video and Ttranscript at LA Times
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Mon Jan 9, 2017, 03:40 AM (17 replies)
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