May 16, 2016

Crisis: The serial liar Donald Trump, On
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Why Donald Trump Can Lie and No One Seems to Care
2. On

This is a Nederlog of Monday, May 16, 2016.

This is a crisis log with 1 crisis item (item 1), that may be one of the last, because, that hosted my site well since 2004, recently - was it bought by Google?! - destroyed 99% of the statistics I did get from 2004-2015, and replaced this by completely degenerate crap, that is extremely much worse than the good statistics they did supply for 12 years. Besides, I cannot believe the statistics they give now: These are 1/3rd of what they were 2 months ago (and are totally contradictory to all the other numbers I did get since 2004).

I have to think about this, but with a site of over 500 MB, all composed by me, I do want some decent statistics. Now I have over 1 Gb spread over two sites, all written by me apart from philosophical classics, that are commented by me, and I am systematically denied all information, or almost all information about anything that happens to my sites by both the Dutch provider and the Danish provider.

I think that is a stinking shame, because it is denied to me, who produced it all, while the same information about my sites is either given for free or sold to Google etc. by my providers.

1. Why Donald Trump Can Lie and No One Seems to Care

The first item is by Neal Gabler on Truthdig and originally on Moyers & Company:

This starts as follows:

Donald Trump is a serial liar. Okay, to be a bit less Trumpian about it, he has trouble with the truth. If you look at Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning site that examines candidates’ pronouncements for accuracy, 76 percent of Trump’s statements are rated either “mostly false,” “false,” or “pants on fire,” which is to say off-the-charts false. By comparison, Hillary Clinton’s total is 29 percent.

But if Trump doesn’t cotton much to the truth, he doesn’t seem to cotton much to his own ideas, either. He waffles, flip-flops and obfuscates, sometimes changing positions from one press appearance to the next, as Peter Alexander reported on NBC Nightly News this past Monday — a rare television news critique of Trump.

I say “rare” because most of the time, as Glenn Kessler noted in The Washington Post this week, MSM — the mainstream media —  just sit back and let Trump unleash his whoppers without any pushback, even as they criticize his manners and attitude.

I'd say that someone who lies 3 out of 4 times (i) is a serial liar (sauced with a few tidbits of - approximate - truth) and (ii) there is absolutely nothing "Trumpian" - exaggerated, degenerated, fascistic, or whatever - about it:

Nobody else who is known to lie three out of four times - if he or she is not an American prominent politician, of course - can function in an ordinary society. (For he or she is much more unreliable than reliable, and will harm those he or she lied to, also quite unintentionally: Who acts on false information will probably harm himself or others.)

It is as simple as that. Also, I think that the 29% of lies of Hillary Clinton are
extremely bad, but I grant she is married to Bill and is an American politician, and I know all politicians - except for a very few - lie a lot, and American politicians lie probably more than others (in the West).

Here is one conclusion of Neal Gabler:

Which leads to the inescapable conclusion that these days, as far as our political discourse goes, truth, logic, reason and consistency don’t seem to count for very much.

The question is why.

I'll turn to the question why below. First about Gabler on the losses of "truth, logic, reason and consistency":

This is a bit misleading, in my opinion, although it is quite correct about truth.

The rest, that is "logic, reason and consistency", are considerably less important in political discussions addressed at every adult, because the vast majority of the audience doesn't have many adequate ideas about these items, and has done very little if any serious reading about them. [1]

But Neil Gabler is quite right that truth and the notion of contradiction are very
important to political discussions (indeed precisely because many politicians do tend to lie so very much more than ordinary people, and need to be caught at and criticized for doing it) and he is also right that if truth does not matter anymore to politics, "politics" ceased to be politics, and has turned - for the voting public - into entertainment, where truth also doesn't matter.

Now about the question why this happened. Gabler considers two explanations - Trump changed the rules, and most people tend to believe their own biases more than the truth (if they hear it) - and either discards both or doesn't consider them further, and then turns to this explanation:

There is, however, another and even more terrifying explanation as to why the truth doesn’t seem to matter. It has less to do with Trump or our own proclivities to reshape reality than it has to do with infotainment — with the idea that a lot of information isn’t primarily about education or elevation, where truth matters, but entertainment, where it doesn’t.

Yes and no: Yes, for as I noted before: when truth doesn't matter in some presentation of something but people watch it or read it nevertheless, it must be because it is entertaining.

But no, there is a considerably better explanation, which also is easy to check (and that holds up for the most part): The main media have radically changed their own functioning, their own ends, and their own criterions:

They function not any more to inform, but to amuse; their end is a properly amused population that doesn't see anymore that they are propagandized and lied to and deceived; and their own criterions to judge their own productions changed from (approximate) truth and importance to be widely known, to high entertainment values for the many, coupled with the successful deception of the same (which is a lot less explicit, but is a logical consequence of being successfully amused by products made without any care for the truth).

I think most of this holds in the main media most watch or read, and much of it also are fairly direct consequences of discarding both the truth and the desire to inform the population:

What else is left if you give these up and desire to be watched or read, except high entertainment value (coupled with the far more implicit and tacit knowledge that everybody you "inform" will both get successfully deceived and feel amused)?!

And I think this is what has happened, and most of it can be seen by anyone who is intelligent and saw and read the main media for the past twenty years or so, which is also the time that most of the main changes did happen. [2]

Again, these main changes have happened for two main reasons: First, the written press lost very many advertisements and advertisers, simply because of the arisal of a vastly popular internet. And second, much of the written press was bought up the last 15 years or so by new owners with extremely much money and a rather different outlook than the previous owners, and they also changed a lot of their personnel.

I grant the previous paragraph is about the written press and not about TV, but TV was less serious and less interested in providing adequate and approximately
true information anyhow, and also had to compete with Fox that was build as a
rightist propaganda machine.

Here is the last bit I'll quote (from near the end):

What this means is that our politics is no longer politics in the traditional sense of policy and governance. It is, as most of us realize, a show, a game, an ongoing reality TV saga.

This seems to forget that "politics" has several meanings.

It is true if "our politics" is understood as "what ordinary men know about the structure and diverse possible ends of the society in which they live" (which cover ordinary knowledge about "
policy and governance") simply because ordinary men are now denied real knowledge and are instead given propaganda, deceptions and lies.

It is false if
"our politics" is understood as "what politicians do", for these continue as before, except that they are far more free to do as they please,
simply because fewer and fewer know what is really going on, because the news they relied on has been mostlty changed to propaganda or deception (with high entertainment value for the stupid, is also true).

2. On

At long last - after 6 months! - I got access again to, but it turns out that in the meantime this has grown enormously much worse:

The good statistics they supplied (using a fine free program) has now been replaced by something owned by that gives about 1% of the information the previous statistics gave, for 12 years (and that new "information" is false compared with the information I got so far).

Also, I am sorry to bother you with this, but this is not my fault at all: It is an extreme worsening of a service that was quite good, and it is a bitter shame.

More later, but it looks as if ceased to be useful for me:

These extremely dumb "statistics" are so fucking awful and so horribly degenerate, especially since it all did work well for 12 years, that I don't think I want this anymore: I want some decent information about the over
500 MB
I wrote and published on my sites since 1996, and not mere false and degenerate bullshit. (I will illustrate everything I said later, but not today).

More later. [3]


[1] One reason to say this is that I know very much about logic, reason, proof, consistency etc. since I have been reading about these subjects since 1968 (and studied philosophy, in which I do have an excellent B.A. but was removed briefly before doing my M.A. from the right of taking it by the University of Amsterdam because I was pro science and pro truth and not a Marxist (as most students and many of the staff pretended to be, from 1971-1995)).

Also note that while I deny that many have adequate ideas about formal logic etc. I do not deny they can reason logically: Everybody who is capable of speaking a natural language has learned the basic logical rules everybody uses.

What I am saying is that few have adequate ideas about what they are. That is, more precisely: While everyone who speaks a natural language will be able to
recognize that "if it rains and it is cold, then it is cold" is a correct and (somehow) valid inference, few know that this derives from their having tacitly accepted a rule that may be formulated in logic as "|- ((r&c) --> c)"

[2] I have seen this happening in the developmen (or degeneration) of the Dutch paper NRC-Handelsblad, that I read every day except sundays from 1970
till 2010. I discarded this in 2010, simply because they had turned - also because of several changes of owners, and several changes of editors and journalists - from a quite good and mostly credible paper (for intellectuals) to
a mostly amusing and not very credible paper. (Also, you may disagree, but I
will probably not believe much of what you are saying if you haven't read the
same paper for forty years and are not an intelligent intellectual - and please note that for much of these forty years I was well pleased with the NRC- Handelsblad. I started to get less pleased around 2004. Since then, it has spectacularly fallen in my estimation, and indeed changed a lot, in looks, in editors, and in price, also wholly apart from what I think about it.)

[3] There will be considerably more later on and its new "statistics", but not now. Also, I still have not decided what I want to do:

It's a lot less useful (and also a great lot less honest and more thiefish) than it was, but it is the same in Holland where all providers seem extremely bad. Also, it is a relevant fact that I have a site for 20 years (nearly) at xs4all in Holland, and for 12 years (nearly) at one in Denmark, and that both sites are over 500 MB of mainly my own texts (which means there are something like 200 well-sized books on my sites, that incidentally are meant to be the same, and largely are).

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