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On Disinfo, Louise Mensch, Our Feeds and Can We Have A Legit 2018 Election?

 I came *this close* to posting this on Facebook without putting it here first. This is a bad habit I have acquired. I don’t get to spend as much time with my friends as I used to. FB designed a platform that lets us see each others faces/avatars and thread quicker it feels more like we are *with* each other than on blogs. I spent many years in Silicon Valley asking WordPress developers and many others to give us better tools for tummeling, for the social connection between us and to allow us to make it. I’ve advocated and tried to show how putting social and emotional goals *first* (and learning the skills to do so) makes all the difference in building more human social platforms that serve human goals and not financial ones of centralized control and manipulation. I have had some influence but the problem still stands. And it’s only increased because it seems the last election was turned in part, by disinfo.
Louise Mensch’s initial post about FISA warrants and Comey caught my eye and she was on it long before the MSM (I just went to her site to find and link it and couldn’t so that’s interesting in itself). It was the first idea I saw anywhere that there may have been more going on with the leaked letter about HRC’s emails than what was on the surface. I spent time in a whole bunch of twitter feeds around her to pick up some ideas and still do some. I filtered out personality as much as possible and read for info and then looked at many other feeds and sources and considered it. I didn’t pass on anything unconfirmed. But I’ve unfollowed Mensch and Taylor now that some journalists I have more faith in are more involved and now that the FBI and whomever else (I don’t know) is managing a leak and other strategy. The game is on.
 
I’m generally dubious about anyone who leads with beefs and reactions and name calling. Our media has just been so full of that. It’s toxic to sit in that soup. I appreciate and endeavor to make mindful critiques. But non-stop reaction is not a great idea. 
 
That said I still embrace citizen journalism and parts of the threads between folks around LM months ago reminded me a bit of earlier twitter days when twitter was just days ahead of CNN on major revolutions in countries. There is definitely bitterness and reaction beefs from MSM guys too who don’t like being scooped or feel like someone has to pay their regular media dues to be entitled to get cited and referenced. She has been ahead on a few things and I am very familiar with women not being given credit.
 
Also the abject failure of MSM in the campaign was enormous and they haven’t all just earned trust back. All the falling for HRC email crap? Where was all this Russia reporting then? Who looked deeply into Il Dupe’s obvious money laundering then? They liked the easy clicks and misogyny runs very very very deep in our culture. Listening to a woman? Dismissing and criticizing one for being serious and not focussed on being “likable?” The MSM doesn’t like being scooped and LM and Claude Taylor posted some info that was right, way ahead of MSM: FISA warrants, indictments, grand juries. They got things wrong too but there was and is some crowdsourced focus in their twitter environments on following the digital crumbs. HRC literally spelled out the connection between Donald’s campaign and Russia in the debates. Did the MSM really grok that and pressure Il Dupe over and over on it? Mhhmm. Even with their own freedom to report in peril!  The reality I got from reading these twitter threads is how deep the level of disinformation w are swimming in.
 
FB has been almost completely let off the hook by a MSM happy to print puff personality and book pieces (and donations) fed to them by the company even as there has been admission or bragging by Il Dupe’s campaign they ran vote suppression campaigns on Facebook (on which presumably Facebook made money).  So everything we’re reading is influenced by ongoing disinfo.
 
When, as HRC said Il Dupe is Putin’s puppet, 17 ICs are investigating disinfo / hacking the election, what makes people and MSM believe we will have a legit 2018 election? This is not paranoia when it is just listening to investigations. Or perhaps I should say, what makes white people think we definitely will have a legit 2018 election? Because voter suppression has been a tactical strategy of the GOP for a long time. It is worth using this filter in reviewing everything we see in social media feeds and what comes up when. Many very smart people I know don’t grasp (and seem to not want to hear) that their FB feed is not just something they and their friends control.
 
It is important to ask what media you get access to and when you see it and what other motivations there could be. FB and twitter are huge media platforms not held to the same standards or understanding as traditional broadcast and print. We know FB ran emotional manipulation studies. They may still run them. Do they sell this? Our behavior isn’t just affected by artificial news but what we see who we see it from and when. All other media platforms are *dependent* upon them now for traffic. They control, without public accountability how much we see of the news from various sources. Both made our feeds  stop being chronological. There’s now no expectation you’ll see something when it was posted or from everyone your follow or friend. This is true in many countries with many political situations. Disinfo is now a major weapon of the war we are clicking in. We know that FB and many other tech cos willingly sent top execs and gave photo op of legitimacy to Il Dupe when he was in his earliest days and doubted the most. 
 
FB *sponsored* the RNC even after the GOP candidate mocked disabled people said all kinds of racist stuff and intentions, ran pror-Nazi style rallies, was incredibly sexist etc etc. FB has a Board member who is a major advisor to Il Dupe
 
FB and twitter *could have stopped and still could* the effort at autocracy anytime. They haven’t and they haven’t been questioned by other MSM about it much, if at all. These same media who depend on these platforms now to get, lunch so they hand over lunch money.
 
As annoying as it is and as imperfect as this post is I am not forcing myself to go to my website and post it there first. Because I know that without this practice media *is* controlled by these platforms. It was annoying to learn to always put my seatbelt on back in the days when it first became the law. But with enough practice it became a simple, much safer habit. Please do not forget we have the open web.
 
It is openness and real *earned* trust autocracy cannot bear. Autocrats trust no one. They only control. Trust cannot be built by hacking. It is not grown but relied upon by networked that have no accountability to the people using them but to the companies to which they sell data. Trust demands real openness and owned-up imperfection. There is no quick acquisition technique for real trust. We must practice openness and feel our own power in order for it to operate. Do not just hand it over to a guy who’d like to be an autocract or some social media platforms that take full advantage of our fundamental hard-wired need to connect socially without doing much to assist it.
Let’s post on our blogs. Let’s take time to get together. Don’t get in the hole. 

She Sets the Gold Standard for Comedy in the Bay Area

 

This lovely piece on me just ran in the J Weekly.

And it ran without a request to tell me “just one thing!! that familiar bit of Jewish criticism a/k/a love from one bubbeleh comes after so many shows. California changes my people.

The next Yarn is coming up on the 7th in Oakland. Hope to see you there. You’ll find tickets here.

 

Understanding Milo, Trump and the US Economy via Trauma. Hope for a better way.

Uber, Susan Fowler and Patriarchy in Silicon Valley and Beyond

Russia stands up for punching women. What follows America?

Russia has just decriminalized domestic violence.

Women are harmed at an alarming rate from domestic violence here in the US too. And the Senate just voted to make sure contraception is not covered. Misogyny has long been apart of our culture. This is a moment in which patriarchy has put all its chips on red.

It is time for us to refuse. This means men too have to really get in your guts, what it means to have self-agency and control over your body handed over whether its forced pregnancy, the very common experience of rape and sexual assault and the de facto cultural and legal reality that there’s not a whole lot you can do about it without more pain and even with the pain there are almost never collective social and legal consequences for rape for the rapist other than affirmation of so-called “masculinity,” the dismissal and marginalization of womens experience (or these would be stories and experiences you’d be hearing about all the damn time in media), any random guy walking toward down the airplane aisle feeling like its no big deal to put his hands on your waist to move you aside.

This means marching and calling and insisting. This means making consent a reality and the norm. This means talking to your sons and students about what consent is. This means social norms and pressures that support girls and womens’ agency.

Sadly it is things getting much worse and emboldened that make people more aware of what has always been there. A good chunk of the country had to knowingly vote (though I am not persuaded it was just votes that put Il Dupe in position we need an open investigation) for someone who brags about sexually assaulting women. Sexual assault was voted for. We will see more like this as in Russia if we do not say and embody “no.”

As with all things, if you don’t get the lesson, it gets harder.

And for those doubling down on misogyny in the new regime and the emboldened culture of dominanace sold, like crack or a bottle, like it’s gonna make everything ok, they will continue to find there will never be enough to make them feel ok. Their desperation will only increase.

There’s no way out of this without learning to feel, without growing up.

What If Tech Hadn’t Been Willing to Meet Il Dupe

I don’t see how Il Dupe controls the population inexpensively without the companies that decided to kiss his ring the other day.

Why presume Cheeto tuchus now somehow means he won’t hurt your company? Perhaps they should send their cross-platform invite to Chris Christie while they’re at it.

Why presume the value of the market and currency will somehow be supported by his regime taking over (though Russian interference and electors haven’t met why presume for sure he’ll take over? Why not support public inquiry into Russian hacking? Technical stuff too complicated for tech CEOs? They gave him an implied endorsement via this appearance timed when it was.

Dave Pell recently outlined the shareholder pain but not the moral quandry or benefit (or political benefit) of taking a stand.

Putin got a whole lot of bang for his hacking buck. If they collectively decided to not go, who do you think the market would choose?

My instinct at this point is that you disarm manipulation best with what is inalienable. It is what can’t be bought and sold.

None of these CEOs and COOs who took off all their fleece vests and travelled to a sudden demand meeting with Thiel’s latest angel investment has been willing yet to make the public stand others who work in the industry and sometimes for them have. You can too

The Unfacted: Lessons Learned Coming Out.

I wrote a little something on twitter about lessons learned coming out and living in a “make up your own facts” world.

The Donald Trump v Hillary Clinton election has given us a moment in which the threads of what the country appear to all agree upon are unravelling.

Donald Trump’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float level of narcissism seems to have given us a new level of ignoring or making up facts in politics and government.

Is it?

So many on the left are convinced of the need to only persuade with argument and the apparent hopelessness of this for our collective future safety when we cannot agree on basic things.

It’s not new that people in the US won’t accept facts. Here’s one example and some things I learned from it.

 

After Trump I Went to the Castro

111016-i-went-to-the-castro

Youth Protesting in the Castro

I went to the Castro the night after Trump was elected to be with my people. I went there to fight Prop 8 and when marriage equality passed. It’s where queers marched the night Harvey Milk was killed by an elected white guy full of resentment and looking for someone he was allowed to blame. It’s where we lost a generation and where they were loved and mourned and fought for. It is the gay Jerusalem. After Harvey was killed, more people came out. When HIV/AIDS hit and decimated a generation and the President refused to even acknowledge this was happening, many well-to-do white, gay men came out and were outed, queer men and women united to work together and care for and bury our own. ACT UP was created. We organized. People learned about medicine and drugs. When Prop 8 passed in California, more straight folks joined us than ever before. Each time something unimagineably horrible has happened, something unimagineably powerful has been born in response. there has been no one leader. The change has come within each person and from what they have done.

I want to time travel to 1988 and tell everyone “We have the meds!!! You did it!! You cheated death! We have marriage, we’re not criminalized!! We have some trans* rights! Keep going! Come out.”

Some part of future me is here to tell you the same.

Losing Faith in the Media and Other People

November 11, 2016

I wrote this to someone sad and possibly in disbelief about the NY Times giving Trump the validation and narcissistic attention he has longed for without saying what he has done to get where he is, without making a moral and factual stand and calling things like racism and sexual assault and authoritarianism what they are.

This applies to much more than this one paper, or Jimmy Fallon mussing Trump’s hair like a playful fraternity brother. It applies to a lot of things and people that may begin to feel different that what you had believed. I urge you to consider that if something or someone seems different to you than you had imagined, that that is not just about someone else or something else changing. It is, most importantly, about you changing. When you do think, and not just feel about it (critical!) you will find that your own present conclusion means you now believe you were misguided before or did not see as whole a picture before. Consider why you didn’t and what that way of seeing and believing meant to you. These are suggestions I am offering from my own experiences of loss. Everything Is Subject to Change. #EISTC:

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It is painful to see the places and people one believed were safe and enduring “homes” appear to not be what we’d believed : an external consistent safe and reliable place. The “parent” element we look for and project into so much and so many. It is believe it or not, good that you feel the disappointment. It is healthy. It is so hard. I am sorry for the feeling and it is good to be in community to help as we have these feelings. But it is not feeling** that allows illusions and projections to rule us, to give our unwitting obedience to something other than our own connection to our inner guidance. It is a lonely, abandoning feeling path but it is one many millions are now on. You are not alone. You are becoming more yourself. With all of us.

Why Didn’t People Vote?

November 14, 2016

Why did people not vote?

Comey FBI “surprise” delighted on from the Bannon / Trump campaign. Last minute suprise plot twist! Stay tuned!

But you can’t pull the pieces apart.
Patriarchy, sometimes “she’s not one of the good ones, like me. Sometimes ”uppity cunt.“”

White supremacy.

Media, global economic change, failure of straight up talk from elected officials, GOP stonewalling for a generation, liberals failing to vote in midterms, hammered narrative about Hillary not Ms Rodham Clintons wickedness evil ambitious Lady MacBeth cackling. Email email. So much media time about email.

Very little coverage in media and TV of Trump’s fascist working and rallies. I’ve never been anywhere that men don’t get to say and do what they want to women. Isn’t that what life just is? Economic depression, felony convictions, systemic imprisonment of people of colour, lies to white folks from the GOP, the Roseanne show ending.

SCOTUS gutting the Voting Rights Act, States doing the same. Voter ID requirements. Fear of the government for deportation. Fear. Not knowing you can get a lift to the polls. Not having many polls. A long line at the polls. Not getting time off work. Believing fake news you saw on Facebook or TV. Trump and Bannons and Ailes and Stone getting in the vote. It’s rigged. I’m not sure I’ll accept it.

Bernie Sanders and so many others telling you “they’re both the same.” Not learning in school how the basics of democracy work. Not understanind that Trump is fascist and corrupt. The word tremendous. Not knowing where to go to vote. Having a doctors appointment. Not wanting to miss your show on TV. Did I mention she sent emails?

I don’t get exactly what I want. Being afraid people will have guns at the polls. Failing to know that people died for your freedom to vote. Not having someone growing up who always voted. Not having someone who believes in you and says you matter. Helplessness, not believing your vote will matter.

Where’s Daddy?

Bitterness for Sanders. Bernie or Bust. Humans have nothing to do with it, what happens is up to Jehovah and so she will never vote, said two young Black women to me. “I’m not going to vote,” said Trent pushing me in a wheelchair through the Las Vegas airport. “We’re going to have a war no matter who I’d rather save lives than take them.” He is going to play D+D still. He still is going to recycle his soda can.

So many reasons. So many versions of helplessness, so many versions of “Daddy beat me for my own good.”

It came down to not so many of them in a few neighborhoods in the midwest.

There is a third party in the US. This is it.



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