1. David Raphael Israel | December 17, 2020 at 3:34 am | Reply

    I’m listening right now!
    Thanks for the (now working) link!

  2. I am thinking about writing a newsletter and not sending it out to your subscribers? Is it truly incompetence or is it something more subtle, more unconscious within the depths of the psyche. Could it be lack of confidence in the writing of the newsletter? Could it be wanting to incubate the newsletter for a while? Many people write and do not immediately publish. So, I do not think it is merely incompetence.

    • Claire Berlinski | December 17, 2020 at 3:56 am | Reply

      I’d usually be very open to this suggestion: What you’re describing is a real phenomenon, and one I often experience. In this case, though, it was just technical incompetence. I included a link to the podcast in yesterday’s newsletter and thought that was sufficient. I didn’t realize I had to manually send the podcast in a wholly separate newsletter, or it would remain in the Draft folder.

  3. Experimenting with new technology by humans? Why do not so many see the problems of Facebook? I found Claire on Twitter. https://t.co/mkTcG7jGMt?amp=1

    • For me, among the existing social media, Twitter is the worst; it has given voice to those who have nothing to say but unsubstantiated garbage in outbursts. Now the cats are out, damages are done, and people wouldn’t give up their 15-minute imagined fame. IMHO, nobody holding any kind of an official position in the U.S. should be allowed to have a Twitter account with their name attached to it until the day they leave the job. Just look at the damage DT has inflicted.

      • Human beings use tools. Some humans use tools appropriately while others misuse tools and use them inappropriately. For what you are describing Elaine I agree that what you describe exists on Twitter but I do not let that deter me from using Twitter appropriately. A lot of this is about setting boundaries and not erecting walls. For example, many on Twitter are very forthright about not using direct messaging private messaging. I ALWAYS respect that when using Twitter. Other people know how to use direct messaging privately for one on one conversation where appropriate. A recent example is a woman in Australia who wanted to discuss some things very personal related to healthcare which we have both experienced. Sharing my experience, strength and hope with her privately was beneficial for both of us but just like in person relationships there are private matters that I might share with very few people and not want to broadcast it to the entire world. The tools Twitter provides can mitigate the negativities you describe. I do report accounts that violate the Twitter terms of service and I am proud to say that of the several abusers of Twitter I have reported, Twitter management has agreed with me 100% on the accounts I have brought to their attention and suspended those people. Also, Twitter allows me to mute people I do not want to hear from and/or block people completely. Surprisingly I have had to report accounts and block or mute people relatively infrequently given the millions of people who use Twitter, Just like setting boundaries in real life and respecting each others’ boundaries in person, that can be accomplished on Twitter too. I receive very helpful information on many issues I am concerned about from friends and followers in many other countries even using other languages that allows me to connect to people in all corners of the world that I otherwise would not be able to communicate with because I cannot afford to travel to those countries. I am a positive person and I endeavor to use all the tools at my disposal in a positive manner to make the world a better place for all. That may sound corny or Pollyanna ish but I believe that there are many people on Twitter like myself that I am happy to know and communicate with. A very few I have met in person as well in public venues prior to the pandemic.

  4. I have a friend who had an adverse reaction to a flu shot a couple of years ago which was significant enough to report it through the CDC bureaucracy. Her brother just died of COVID in a facility where she was his power of healthcare and she was terrified watching her brother die. Yet, I know, she will not become a NON VAX er. So, what are the precipitating factors, life experiences that bring people to NON VAX?

  5. On the other hand, there are many people who go to WaPo and NY Times as their gold standards even with the missteps the Times has had.

  6. David Raphael Israel | December 17, 2020 at 4:57 am | Reply

    What good audio editing (moderate, but I think clearing distractions & sharpening the focus). The podcast version of this Zoom conversation turned out better / more engaging than I’d expected! Hat-tips. It’s a promising start to the *podcast facet* of the nascent Cosmopolitan Globalist manifestation.

    I must make, here, one CORRECTION to a film reference that I made late in the Zoom discussion. I’d referred to “The Social Network.” Actually, that title references a 2010 documentary about Facebook (available, e.g., via Amazon). But that’s not what I intended to point to. Instead, I was thinking of the new — and more provocative — documentary, THE SOCIAL DILEMMA (2020) — which can be seen, e.g., via Netflix.

    Here’s a YouTube trailer for that ponderous work.
    Highly recommended viewing. Hold onto your dystopian hats.


  7. Vivek’s former boss who now works for a Hindu nationalist paper must be around 60 years or older. There are way too many educated and internationally experienced people of that age group all around the world who have now joined the new tribalism for Social Media to be the main explanation for this phenomenon. Not that I have a better explanation, but to me it is obvious that it can’t be that one.

    • Claire Berlinski | December 17, 2020 at 11:30 am | Reply

      That’s a good and interesting point. What causal factor could explain *all* of the phenomena we’re seeing, which clearly aren’t random, but are very difficult to explain by appeal to any standard narrative?

      • I tend to think the strongest factor is postmodernism seeping through into the common subconscious. I recently caught myself thinking for a second if, according to critical race theory, as a white man I’m a racist whatever I do or believe, I might just as well become one. If there is no truth and only the narrative counts, why not follow the one that’s most benefitial for your personal advantage. In the pressure cooker of the post-socialist world, this kind of cynical thinking seems to have developed faster than in the west. They may be leading the way. Viktor Orban went to Oxford on a Soros foundation scholarship in the 1980s. Putin-whisperer Vladislav Surkov is said to be a Beat poetry – aficionado, as described by Peter Pomerantsev in the book you mention.

        • Claire Berlinski | December 17, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Reply

          “If there is no truth and only the narrative counts, why not follow the one that’s most benefitial for your personal advantage.” If that’s a rhetorical question, I’d say the answer is obvious: Truth is generally to everyone’s personal advantage. It’s a *big* advantage to have a firm grasp on what’s true and what’s not. No matter how strongly my personal narrative tells me I can fly, I’d best not jump out the window.

          • It was meant to illustrate a mindset that I believe to have made formerly Western Liberalism-minded people like Orban choose to take a different path. Some of them seem to be flying pretty high so far.

          • Maybe the more interesting question is why people DON’T go down the Orban path and stay with Western Liberalism.

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