Thursday, December 14, 2017

What Happens When the Wisdom of the Crowd Becomes the Frenzy of a Mob

by Nomad


There was a plot twist when TV show's premise recently played out in real-time. It opened up the question: what are the actual effects when the wisdom of the people is put to the test? 

Wisdom of the Crowd

One of CBS' new TV shows for the fall season was called "Wisdom of the Crowd." Despite its high-tech twist, this crime-fighting drama is pretty standard fare. See if you agree. Here's the sales pitch:
Driven by a need to find his daughter's killer, Silicon Valley tech innovator Jeffrey Tanner takes crowdsourcing to a new level, creating a digital platform for people around the world to publicly share and evaluate evidence for criminal investigations. 
Thanks to smartphones and other connected gadgets, anybody can become a crime-fighting hero, a private detective on a stake-out or an amateur Sherlock Holmes or Jessica Fletcher. Criminals are stopped dead in their tracks, courtesy of millions of watchful eyes and pecking fingers.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

One Teacher's Courage vs Melania Trump's Empty Platitudes on Female Empowerment

by Nomad


The story of this Turkish elementary school teacher illustrates the difference between true courage and hollow speeches by posers.


You've probably never heard of the "International Women of Courage Award" (IWOC). For the last 10 years, the US State Department has presented this prize to women " who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk." 

The 2017 ceremony was hosted by Melania Trump on March 29 at the State Department in Washington.  This year thirteen women were awarded from Bangladesh to Botswana, from Peru to Papua New Guinea. A young woman from Turkey was also honored this year.
Check out the photos from this year's event.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sanity Sunday- The Music of Sleepy Holler

by Nomad


This week's Sanity Sunday is a bit of a mystery. There's really not much information available on this group. Sleepy Holler is the musical project of songwriters Matthew Evans and his pal J.T. Wilcox who live in Austin, TX and Washington, DC. That's about all I could find about either of them.

Despite this lack of background, the music speaks for itself. Tell me what you think of these three songs.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Person of the Year Hypocrisy: How has Trump Escaped the Sex Scandal Avalanche?

by Nomad

Trump and Sexual accusers


Since October, Americans have witnessed an unprecedented and- some think- disturbing- spectacle. Sexual accusations against some important names have been flying from all sides. From celebrities to business figures, from journalists to politicians from both sides of the political spectrum.
So far, however, one man has managed to escape scrutiny that's been a long time in coming - the President of the United States.


The Weinstein Rumblings

The conflagration all seemed to begin with the stomach-turning revelations of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein back in October. That's when the New York Times and the New Yorker published the statements of a large number of women claimed that they had been sexually harassed or assaulted by the 65-year-old Weinstein. It was a disgrace litany of predatory behavior.

Initially, Weinstein went into denial mode with lawyerly threats to sue the news outlets. However, the accusations - lurid tales of forced massages and promises to advance careers in return for sexual "favors"- were both detailed and damning.

It seems like it was an open secret in Hollywood. Literally, hundreds of people must have known about the Weinstein problem and for decades, nothing was done about it.

In his own forced mea culpa, director Quentin Tarantino told reporters:
"I knew enough to do more than I did."
The fact that nobody wanted to speak out had as much to do with the privilege of power as the social dynamic of male-female relations. Weinstein could make things very difficult for an ambitious filmmaker or actor.
For that reason, nobody wanted to cross this very powerful Hollywood player. And so, if the stories are true, Weinstein carried on for years. Or should I say, he was permitted to carry on for years. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Incapacitated President and the Fatally-Flawed 25th Amendment

by Nomad


A Question of Stability and Security

Before Trump became president, there were plenty of people- smart people- who were questioning his mental stability. All through his business career, Trump was always quirky, spreading nonsensical conspiracy theories to outlandish and bizarre claims. That was fine and it seems all he really wanted was to call attention to himself.
All that changed when he somehow wound up as president of the United States. It is no laughing matter.

Tony Schwartz, Trump's ghostwriter and a man who worked closely with the man, labeled the 45th American president a “sociopath.”
I think that now he has moved to a darker place. He was non-ideological when I knew him.. I think he’s drifted into that more for emotional and psychological reasons than for political and ideological reasons.
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said on CNN last week:
"Something is unleashed with him lately. I don't know what is causing it, I don't know how to describe it."
Throughout this past summer, there were consistent reports leaking from the White House of Trump's erratic behavior. Those close to the president have in October spoke privately Trump, they say was “unstable,” “losing a step,” and “unraveling.”
Professionals too weighed in.

A group of 27 psychiatrists and mental health experts recently warned that “anyone as mentally unstable as this man should not be entrusted with the life-and-death-powers of the presidency.” 
With denials of things he has already apologized for and with his excuses becoming more and more absurd, those drumbeats are growing stronger and stronger. Is the president insane and if he is, what are the steps to removing him from office?    

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