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Comment Re:Umm (Score 1) 37

They already had this. It's called citing your sources and peer review.

Unless you're the president, in which case you can just make up any old bullshit that sounds good, even about nonexistent terrorist attacks, the "historical" margin of your electoral victory or the size of your inauguration attendance. Just because it makes you and your supporters feel good, which is the most important thing.

Comment Re:No longer all the news that fits (Score 1) 249

You are aware the Guardian story you reference is a comment piece. Op-ed pieces are fundamentally different than reporting of stories, and in fact, in general, comment pieces are often inflammatory, even absurd, because, guess what, it's often the op-ed section that sells newspapers, and not the news itself.

Comment Re:No longer all the news that fits (Score 1) 249

And there was a point during the election when a landslide Clinton victory seemed likely. But what of it? Papers having been making wrong calls for as long as there have been elections and newspapers. Remember "Dewey defeats Truman"?

The other thing about all of this that bothers me is that people seem to be confused about what constitutes "reporting" and what constitutes "opinion and analysis". Op-ed pieces are renowned for their bias, and in fact that's the whole point. Now it is true that there is a subtler kind of bias elsewhere in a newspaper, but a lot of what people attack and declare "fake news" is often the op-ed and "analysis" pieces, and if I can criticize newspapers for that, it's that I find they often shove some of the op-ed stories on to the main page of their website. I don't think that's an issue of bias so much as it is deliberate click-bait, in that if you punch up your main web page with stories like "Just how big will the Clinton landslide be?" you'll get a lot more hits than more mundane stories reporting the daily grind of a presidential campaign. The latter, even in this last election, can often be pretty fucking boring "Clinton attended a luncheon of the so-and-sos, and had a rally at such and such a place, and the polls shows she's leading by x% in California."

To my mind that's the real problem here, not a bias specifically, at least not political bias, but a constant need to sex everything up. But come on, that's not even new either. Every edition of a newspaper has to have a headline, whether the underlying story deserves it or not. That's the nature of newspapers for over two hundred years now.

Comment Re: Trump on Sweden (Score 1) 249

I agree that that is difficult, and in fact Sweden is experiencing integration problems (though it still remains one of the safest countries in the world). And if Trump had actually been discussing that problem, then he would have had a strong point. But since he appears to do no research other than to watch news broadcasts and respond viscerally to what he doesn't like, he comes out with idiotic and factually-impaired statements that the White House spin doctors have to try to find some event close enough in time and space to make what he said sound even vaguely plausible.

Comment Bullshit isn't the same as "lie". (Score 4, Interesting) 37

A conventional lie is detectable because of the network of falsehoods that must necessarily support a consistent sounding alternative picture of the world. Often the best way to detect a liar is to invite him to elaborate on his statements, until the entire fabric of falsehood is unsupportable.

Bullshit doesn't try to create an elaborately self-consistent fabric of false beliefs. Bullshit doesn't even bother being consistent with itself. Bullshit persuade through the power of how it makes you feel in the moment, and as a bullshitter rattles on he keeps his audience enthralled moment by moment even as he contradicts himself.

So to detect lies you need epistemological skills. To detect bullshit you need strength of character.

Comment Re:I hate euphemisms.... (Score 1) 72

Maybe the real issue is that things like health and dental insurance are only affordable as benefits of a full time position. At least that seems to be the case in the US. Over here, the health care system suffers from problems similar to the ones in the US, such as the fact that it's being run by an oligopoly of insurance companies, but at least the insurance is affordable and available to everyone, including freelancers or jobless people.

Comment Re:Marketers are idiots (Score 1) 40

Apple hasn't just been talking about this, they've implemented this for a while. Many of their devices take a physical SIM and also contain an eSIM, so you can have the SIM for your home network in their physically, but when you travel abroad you don't need to physically buy a local SIM to use for a week, you just pull up the settings screen and buy a short-term plan from one of a variety of different providers.

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