Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017

Crisis: Media Realities, Wealthcare, Social Media Passwords, CIA, The Trap - 1

Sections                                                                     crisis index

1. 10 Big Media Realities in the Trump Era
2. Healthcare or Wealthcare? 24 Million to Lose Insurance Under
     GOP Plan While Rich Get Big Tax Breaks

U.S. Citizens Now Being Forced to Provide Their Social Media
     Passwords Upon Return to U.S.

4. The Misguided ‘Vault 7’ Whodunit
5. The Trap 1 - Fuck you Buddy!

This is a Nederlog of Wednesday
, March 15, 2017.

Summary: This is an ordinary
crisis log with five items and five dotted links: Item 1 is about a quite good item about "Big Media Realities"; item 2 is about how Trump changed healthcare to wealthcare, and will kick out a mere 24 million Americans from being insured for health at all, while simultaneously benefitting the 0.1% with a mere $207,000 a year: neofascism in full practice, without any holds barred; item 3 is about another aspect of Trumpian neofascism: in fact all U.S. citizens now can be forced to give their own phone passwords (!!!), or be denied entrance to the USA; item 4 is about how the 'Vault 7' publication gets interpreted by a large part of the U.S. media: Not to complain about neofascistic spying, but to start to find who released the information; and item 5 is about a good documentary by Adam Curtis (from 2007).
March 15: As to the updating problem: The Danish site is again on time today; but the Dutch site is still stuck - for me - on last Sunday, as if I didn't publish anything since then. Where my site on stuck for others I have NO idea AT ALL: It may be December 31, 2015. (They do want immediate payment if you are a week behind. has been destroying my site now for over a year. And I completely distrust them, but also do not know whether they are doing it or some secret service is.)
1. 10 Big Media Realities in the Trump Era

The first item today is by Don Hazen, Jan Frel, Steven Rosenfeld, Kali Holloway and Ivy Olesen on AlterNet:

This is a quite interesting and a quite long article. It starts as follows:

Editor’s Note: This article is meant to help educate people on the many complexities of the rapidly changing media system—progressive, independent, conservative, and corporate.

I can say immediately that this article did help me get a considerably better grip on "the media" in the USA. I strongly recommend it, and have something like a review, but if you are interested in "the media" in the USA, you should download it.

The article starts as follows:

The mass media is the center of attention as never before, especially as Donald Trump’s favorite punching bag. Trump bullies the media as no other president has remotely done. (While Richard Nixon was paranoid and hated the media, he didn’t confront it head on.) Trump has called the media the “enemy of the people,” and attacks journalists and media figures by name, with no grace and usually no facts.

Trump mostly aims at what could be called the old media—CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times, etc. He has repeatedly claimed that the "fake news media doesn't tell the truth." He said reporters should not be allowed to use anonymous sources: "We're going to do something about it." Which is pretty humorous, because Trump has used anonymous sources many times in his campaign and his presidency.

Trump's threat is what an authoritarian figure always tries to do: Silence the media and stop the free flow of information every way he can, and to simultaneously get the media to do the authoritarian’s work for him by covering his chaos, his extreme statements and even his attacks on the media itself.

Yes indeed. This is also quite important, but since I have paid attention to it repeatedly in the crisis series (which now has over 1500 entries since September 1, 2008, when it started as a subseries of Nederlog, which it still is), I will not comment on this now.

Then there is this:

The media system is now far more complex and multilayered than it was 10 or even five years ago. Today we have a more decentralized, personalized media menu dominated by social media, in which millions of people share their idea of what news and information is important. Carried by ubiquitous mobile devices, eased by thousands of apps to make communications easier and information available in a matter of a few seconds, media has been transformed into an almost unrecognizably complex phenomenon—a wave of top-down media crashing into bottom-up curating, social media pervasiveness, trolls piling on, and fake news sites spinning distractions.

So much of the media has changed, it is hard to keep pace. Much of the nuts and bolts of who is in control and who dominates travels well below the radar of most people. To help us get a firmer grip, here are 10 topics from a wide array of media arenas and themes, which tell us a lot about how the media has changed and hopefully provide new insights for a more up-to-date understanding of how the far-flung media system works in 2017, the era of Trump tweets.

OK - and I am well aware all of this could have been organized quite differently, e.g. with different points. But I don't know any other similar research, so I will basically accept what I got today.

And one difficulty for me is that it is too much to try to abbreviate properly. So that is what I am not doing. What I will be doing is (i) listing the ten topics, (ii) lift a few comments (there is much more under each of the ten points than I can select in this review), and (iii) briefly comment on these.

But I have one over-arching comment on one bit of the above:

Today we have a more decentralized, personalized media menu dominated by social media, in which millions of people share their idea of what news and information is important.

First of all, I don't believe in "social media", at least not if these have been set up by Facebook or Google: These are a-social media, which have been created to abuse the vast majority of the stupid in the most devious ways. They are definitely a-social for while they pretend to be social, they isolate all users within their own private worlds, while they have been stealing their private information, and are using these thefts to decide which advertisements to offer the users of these a-social media: That is simply how they work, by theft and by spying.

Second, all of these a-social media gave a voice to the the vast majority of the stupid by providing them with what seem to be "sites of their own" for which they do not need to know anything other than being able to somehow type (a little, at least), while everyone can be fully anonymous, which allows more scolding, more discrimination, and vastly more totalitarian - extra-ordinarily stupid - groupthinking than I have ever seen, and also vastly more censorship of anybody who stands out for anything than I have ever seen, which is nearly always done by the vast majority of the ignorant and the stupid, who at long last, and for the first time in human history, can anonymously scold, abuse and threaten anybody who is more intelligent or more knowledgeable than they are (and everybody else). And this happens extremely much.

Third, this means that - as is - "the internet" has turned into the advertising paradise for the rich, the propaganda paradise of the media, the liars' paradise of the politicians,  the scolding paradise for the masses of the stupid and the sadistic, and the surveillance paradise of the secret spies.

If this is what mathematics, logic, and computing have meant for humanity, it seems that these were the tools of neofascism. It is a very great pity, but that seems to be the fact.

But OK - I leave that topic and turn to the ten points. Here are the first two topics (and each topic comes with a considerable amount of text):

1. The Media Is Still Helping Trump, Compensating for His Inflated
     Twitter Numbers
2. There Is a New Media Monopoly, but it's Not the One You Think

This is from the second point:

There is a massive media monopoly, but it's not the one you may think. A small group of companies took the original decentralized notion of the internet and drove it to create massively powerful companies that now, for better or worse, control much of the future of journalism, music, video, and book publishing. These companies are Google, Facebook and Amazon. Apple also plays a major role, as does Microsoft.

In fact, the five most valuable companies in the U.S. stock market, as measured by market capitalization, are all technology firms: Apple, Alphabet (Google), Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook.

Actually, this is what I thought. Also, this is very much against "the spirit of internet" as this manifested itself in the 1990ies (when I was on the net since 1996), which was strongly in favor of decentralization and small companies. That was certainly very naive, and what we now have is an internet dominated by a very few extra-ordinarily large companies, who exploit it to sell advertisements and propaganda.

There is also this:

A new study from Pew Research claims that 62 percent of people get their news from social media, with 18 percent doing so very often. As expected, the top social media news source is Facebook. Pew’s study claims that two-thirds of Facebook’s users read their news on the platform. They say Facebook reaches 67 percent of U.S. adults, equal to 44 percent of the U.S. population.

For me, you must be an idiot if you get your "news from "[a-]"social media", and combining these two facts with the fact that 2 out of 3 Americans can't even answer the most simple questions that only require minimal education and minimal intelligence, I am not amazed nearly 2 out of 3 get "informed" by the a-social media.

I also take it that the 67 percent of the "U.S. adults" that are reached by Facebook are the most stupid in the nation, but since all get advertisements and propaganda from Facebook (and its users, of course) these are an extremely serious and very large force to reckon with - and they are nearly all anonymous (to anyone but the secret services and Facebook's owners, of course).

For me, this is an enormous force for neoconservatism, stupidity, ignorance, hatred, degeneracy, and totalitarian groupthinking.

Here is the third point, that improved my mood a little:

3. There Are Progressive Websites with More Audience Traffic
     Than Ever Before

This is a quite interesting fact:

When you think back only about 20 years, progressive content of the printed word in magazines of opinion reached roughly a maximum of 250,000 readers per issue. Mother Jones has always had the highest magazine circulation among progressive magazines.

Twenty years ago it was 1997 and I had internet for about a year, when relatively few did, and most news and most information was still spread on paper, in the form of daily papers and weekly or monthly magazines.

These days computing changed everything - the news, the information, and those it reaches, especially. Here is a survey of the five largest "progressive sites" there are now:

  1. Daily Kos: 17.4M visitors and a ranking of 104
  2. Raw Story: 13.1M visitors and a ranking of 147
  3. Mother Jones: 12.9M visitors and a ranking of 248
  4. Salon: 11.9M visitors and a ranking of 181
  5. The Guardian: 4.7M U.S. visitors and a ranking of 311
If we concentrate for a moment on Mother Jones: This went from a maximum of 250,000 readers (20 years ago) to almost 13 million (now), which is about 50 times
as much.

But this is difficult to interpret: There are billions with computers, for one thing, and no one has to buy anything, for another thing. I merely pose the question, and add the third five:

  1. Truth Out: 514K U.S. visitors and a ranking of 3,432
  2. Truthdig: 539.9K visitors and a ranking of 5,219
  3. Bill Moyers: 394.4K U.S. visitors and a ranking of 4,382
  4. American Prospect: 378.3K U.S. visitors and a ranking of 4,959
  5. Common Dreams: 278K U.S. visitors and a ranking of 5,945
This is considerably less, though I like to mention that all but Daily Kos, Raw Story, and American Prospect are on the list of 35 sites I check daily to compile the crisis series. (And I like Common Dreams a lot.)

Also, personally I would remove "The Guardian" as genuinely progressive (it is solidly Blairite/Blatcherist), but I merely remark this here.

Here are four points on which I have no comments (here and now) though I have something to say - very briefly - on two of the following points:

4. Vampire News Sucks Content from Legitimate Progressive
5. Despite Growth Among Progressive Websites, the Right-Wing
     Online Presence Tends to Dwarf the Left-Wing Online Presence
6. There Is Still Plenty of Good Investigative Reporting Being

7. Is There a Progressive Twitter to Do Battle with the Trump

Point 5 is both disappointing and completely as I expected, while point 6 is pleasant (though I doubt it a little). And this is quoted from point 7:

Twitter had 305 million active users by the end of 2015. By contrast, Facebook has 1.6 billion. Google has eight products with over 1 billion users each. Even Instagram surpassed Twitter in September, growing to 400 million users.

It so happens that I dislike all of them and only use Youtube, and absolutely refuse to use the rest. (But that's just me.) Here is point 8 with a brief selection:

8. YouTube Is a Huge Content Magnet: This Is the Young Turks'

More than 200 million or more visit Google-owned YouTube every month, an extraordinary number, surpassed in the U.S. only by Google search, and roughly more than 60 million more than the vaunted Facebook, which is often said to dominate web traffic.

I say. In fact, 200 million visitors each month (!), which works out as less than 10 million a day, seems rather low to me, but indeed I have no TV (since 1970). In any case, here are the top 5 progressive Youtube channels by the number of subscribers:
  1. The Young Turks: 3.26 million
  2. Russia Today: 2 million
  3. Democracy Now!: 271K
  4. Telesur: 188K
  5. The Real News: 170K

As I've said before: I liked The Young Turks more in 2009 than I like them now, but they now also have around 1 in every 1000 Americans who subscribe to them (which is a pretty good result).

Here is point 9:

9. How Many Ways Does the Ubiquitous Democracy Now! Reach
     People—and What About Thom Hartmann?

For information about Thom Hartmann you need to click the above dotted link, but I quote this about Democracy Now!:

Democracy Now!, with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, has a multiplatform media powerhouse: 800,000 unique monthly visitors come to the website. DN has 270,000 subscribers to YouTube. But the largest audience, in addition to live streaming, may be from a dizzying array of audio and video broadcast feeds via Pacifica radio stations, NPR stations and community and college radio stations on the audio side. On television, DN is seen on public access television, PBS stations and satellite television via the Dish network, as well as Free Speech and Link TV.
I say, which I do because I did not know most of that (and I like it). Here is the last point:
10. Are You Surprised? Fox News Still Dominates Cable News, but
       a Large Number of Its Viewers Believe Media Is the 'Enemy of
the People'
As I said: This was - for me - a very useful article, which I strongly recommend: There is much more information in it than I quoted, and most of it is quite interesting.

2. Healthcare or Wealthcare? 24 Million to Lose Insurance Under GOP Plan While Rich Get Big Tax Breaks

The second item is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:

This starts with the following introduction, which can be seen as a comment on Trump's honesty:

A startling new report from the Congressional Budget Office is projecting 24 million people will lose health insurance coverage by 2026 under the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. Fourteen million people would lose health insurance in the next year alone. While the White House rejected the CBO findings, Politico is reporting the White House’s own analysis predicts 26 million people will lose coverage under the bill over the next decade. According to the CBO, the bill would reduce the deficit by $337 billion, but one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Republican bill will be millionaires. A new study by the Tax Policy Center shows people in the top 0.1 percent would get a tax cut of about $207,000 under the plan. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi accused Republicans of attempting to push through the biggest transfer of wealth in the nation’s history. We speak to Elisabeth Benjamin, vice president of Health Initiatives at the Community Service Society of New York and co-founder of the Health Care for All New York campaign.

I say - and incidentally, 24 million people is considerably more - 7 million - than there are Dutchmen in all. I take it that the real plan is to let them rot, though - so far, at least - no Republican was as realistic. But I fear that is what it will come down to.

Here is Amy Goodman:

AMY GOODMAN: While the White House rejected the CBO findings, Politico is reporting the White House’s own analysis predicts 26 million people will lose coverage under the bill over the next decade. The CBO also found that premiums would initially skyrocket for some Americans under the Republican plan. The agency said a 64-year-old making around $26,000 a year would see their premiums jump 700 percent, from $1,700 under Obamacare to over $14,000 a year under the Republican bill. But the CBO said premiums would eventually decrease for most Americans. On Monday, House Speaker Paul Ryan stunned Fox News host Bret Baier when he described the CBO’s findings as "encouraging."

She is quite right that "the White House" said that Congressional Budget Office was lying, and also quite right that a 64 year old will - now - have to pay my complete yearly income (over half of their supposed $26,000) simply to be insured.

And here is Nancy Pelosi (quoted):

REP. NANCY PELOSI: The CBO has reported that the Republican bill pushes 24 million people out of healthcare, off of health coverage. This is a remarkable figure. It speaks so eloquently to the cruelty of the bill that the speaker calls an "act of mercy." I don’t know if he thinks it’s an act of mercy to all the people who will lose coverage, to people who will lose jobs, to the hospitals that may have to close down, especially in rural areas. I don’t know if he thinks it’s an act of mercy to people on opioid addiction and other addictions or looking to Medicaid as an answer, as many of Republican governors have spoken to. This is—OK, so they’re taking 24 million people, pushing them off their coverage. And as they do so, they are implementing the biggest transfer of wealth in our history: $600 billion going from working families to the richest people and corporations in our country.

I take it that is correct. Here is more on these - stunning - figures:

ELISABETH BENJAMIN: I mean, it’s simply devastating for low-income people and for working people, that what they’re going to do is rob $880 billion from the Medicaid program. They’re going to rob $673 million in tax care—tax credits and subsidies from middle- and working-income people, and pay for tax cuts to the very wealthy in the order of around $600 billion. So, it’s just—these are extraordinary numbers. I don’t think people understand that 41 percent of the people on Medicaid are children. The remainder are elderly, people with disabilities and very low-income wage earners.

And this is about the - equally stunning - rules the Trumpian neofascists are introducing:
ELISABETH BENJAMIN: The 60-year-old will have to pay, right now, who’s making the same amount of money, around $20,000—will be asked to pay five times more, because they’re going to allow age rating, which means they’re going to say, if you’re older, you have to pay five times more than a younger person. They’re not going to base it on income anymore. Before it was like you pay as much as you can, up to set amounts, up to 400 percent of poverty. Now they’re saying, "Forget about your income and how much you can afford. Everybody has to pay the same amount. And, P.S., if you’re older, you have to pay five times more."

I say. But this is neofascism.

3. U.S. Citizens Now Being Forced to Provide Their Social Media Passwords Upon Return to U.S.

The third item is by Dartagnan on AlterNet and originally on Daily Kos:

This is from near the beginning:

When Buffalo, New York couple Akram Shibly and Kelly McCormick returned to the U.S. from a trip to Toronto on Jan. 1, 2017, U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers held them for two hours, took their cellphones and demanded their passwords.

"It just felt like a gross violation of our rights," said Shibly, a 23-year-old filmmaker born and raised in New York. But he and McCormick complied, and their phones were searched.

This is what happens when Americans endorse through their votes a policy of xenophobia that deliberately disregards our history of laws, traditions, and Constitutional principles.

Yes, indeed. Why did they give their cellphones since the USA is not the Soviet-Union?
Well, because it these days is worse, at least for some:

Three days later, they returned from another trip to Canada and were stopped again by CBP.

"One of the officers calls out to me and says, 'Hey, give me your phone,'" recalled Shibly. "And I said, 'No, because I already went through this.'"

The officer asked a second time.

Within seconds, he was surrounded: one man held his legs, another squeezed his throat from behind. A third reached into his pocket, pulling out his phone. McCormick watched her boyfriend's face turn red as the officer's chokehold tightened.

I believe Shibly is a Muslim - but does this matter? I think it should not. Here is the last bit that I'll quote from this article:

NBC news examined 25 cases of American citizens recently detained and abused by U.S. Customs officials.  In all of these cases, newly “empowered” border agents, eager and willing to channel their latent authoritarian impulses, abused American citizens, demanding they either hand over their cell phone passwords—or else.

It seems again all 25 were Muslims, but I believe this should not matter. And it seems from a ProPublica-article that legal neofascism has now progressed so much in the USA that the U.S. Customs have the "legal" right to demand your passwords; search your cellphone to see whether it accords with their norms; and deny you entry to the USA if you refuse to give it.

This is sick and sickening. This article is recommended.

4. The Misguided ‘Vault 7’ Whodunit

The fourth item is by Jesselyn Raddack on Consortiumnews:

This starts as follows:

It is the leakiest of times in the Executive Branch. Last week, Wikileaks published a massive and, by all accounts genuine, trove of documents revealing that the CIA has been stockpiling, and lost control of, hacking tools it uses against targets.

Particularly noteworthy were the revelations that the CIA developed a tool to hack Samsung TVs and turn them into recording devices and that the CIA worked to infiltrate both Apple and Google smart phone operating systems since it could not break encryption. No one in government has challenged the authenticity of the documents disclosed.

As I have said before: The US secret services are busy - since well before 9/11 also, it seems - to lay the foundations of an extremely authoritarian (see item 3) neofascist
government for and by the rich, and the rich only (see item 2).

Here is more - and though I agree with what is being said, I would have preferred it not to read "Intelligence Community" for what are neofascistic governmental secret spy networks:

Already, the information in the Vault 7 documents revealed that the Intelligence Community has misled the American people. In the wake of Snowden’s revelations, the Intelligence Community committed to avoid the stockpiling of technological vulnerabilities, publicly claiming that its bias was toward “disclosing them” so as to better protect everyone’s privacy. However, the Vault 7 documents reveal just the opposite: not only has the CIA been stockpiling exploits, it has been aggressively working to undermine our Internet security. Democracy depends on an informed citizenry, and journalistic sources — whether they call themselves whistleblowers or not — are a critical component when the government uses national security as justification to keep so much of its activities hidden from public view.

As we learn more about the Vault 7 source and the disclosures, our focus should be on the substance of the disclosures. Historically, the government’s reflexive instinct is to shoot the messenger, pathologize the whistleblower, and drill down on his or her motives, while the transparency community holds its breath that he or she will turn out to be pure as the driven snow.

Sorry, but WTF is "the transparency community"?! (And I get quite sick of these lying  propagandistic terms: "community" suggests something which is never the case
on internet: these are just associations of individuals - of their texts or pixels, that is - almost always without any common interest or concern or values or indeed knowledge of each other, in any personal sense.)

Here is the last bit that I'll quote from this article:

But that’s all deflection from plumbing the much more difficult questions, which are: Should the CIA be allowed to conduct these activities, and should it be doing so in secret without any public oversight? These are questions we would not even be asking without the Vault 7 source.

Here are my own answers: The CIA should not be allowd to conduct these neofascistic activities; it should not be doing so in secret; and it should not be doing these gatherings of dossiers on absolutely everyone without any public oversight.

In fact, I am against all spying except as conforms - properly, with real judges, in public pronouncements - to the Fourth Amendment (which was very much possible, as William Binney (<-Wikipedia) testified, but which was rejected because the top of the NSA decided it wanted everything about everyone: They really want(ed) to prepare authoritarian neofascism - and see item 2 above for how this works).

5. The Trap 1 - Fuck you Buddy!

The fifth item today is not an article but a video by Adam Curtis (from 2007):

I like Adam Curtis but I think it is a pity that he has to (?) work through the BBC, which seems to have the policy that documentaries it produced, also if these are very interesting or useful, should not be shown the first 72 years after they were shown on the BBC (like printed matter).

And I wrote "seems" because I don't know, and because I can get quite a few of the documentaries David Attenborough made for the BBC, about nature, and without the least trouble. But quite a few of Curtis's documentaries, which are very well worth viewing, and that may date back to the early 2000s or the 1990ies, that had been put on line, have been removed again and again, it seems by people from the BBC.

I did not see The Trap before (which is from 2007), but yesterday I was able to see the first two of three parts, of which part 1 is linked above. (Part 3 I could not find.)

The brief version of what Curtis was saying in 2007 is this:

The present Western world is (mostly) the product of game theory - a mathematical discipline founded in the 1940ies and 1950ies, that was originally used in the cold war - that since then got extended from the cold war to everything: people, advertising, motives, corporations, politics, parliaments, and all that is based on three fundamental assumptions: (i) people are rational individuals, much like computers; (ii) they are trying their best to obtain maximal satisfaction of their own desires, and (iii) many data for game theory are easily gathered (and those which cannot be easily gathered may be neglected). [1]

This might sound innocent to some, but these three assumptions - all of which are factually false [1] - have strong effects:

And the effects were quite radical, because choosing for the assumptions of game theory meant - in practice, at least - denying all values and all norms that are based on individual thinking and individual values, on the combined grounds that these values and norms - solidarity, concerns, interests, policies, publics, public interests - are not "rational" (as defined by game theory) and are therefore inconsistent with the model, and besides they are also not easily measurable at all.

This means that these kinds of data either are totally neglected or totally denied: "To know is to measure", and what cannot be measured (as required by game theory) cannot be knowledge.

Also, my own view of game theory is probably different from that of Adam Curtis, for I think that while it is true that it was very much extended from its original applications (the cold war, especially), I also think these extensions were mistaken, at least from a scientific and truth-related point of view: The first two assumptions are false [1], and the last assumption invites the gathering of only simply observational data, and often involves the false assumption that these are the only data.

Then again, game theory was pushed a lot - in psychiatry, in consumer's preferences, in politics, in economics, in philosophy, in sociology, in psychology, in neurology, for example - but an additional attraction is that it is (apart from its foundations) fairly simple-minded mathematics, that also seems to explain a lot.

I do not think the last point was made by Curtis, but I did see only two of three videos.
The final point I want to make is one that is also missing in what I saw from Curtis:

It seems to me that some of the main pushers of game theory, who pushed a mathe- matical theory that could be applied to the social sciences, and that only required a little mathematical knowledge to apply, together with easily gathered data, which was also, as such, quite new in the social sciences, did know that in fact they were pushing a false abstraction, which necessarily would lead to a mistaken view of reality, from which all considerations that dealt with solidarity, concerns, values, interests, policies, publics, public interests, legal interests, groups, communities etc. were "abstracted from" as "not measurable". [2]

But then this false abstraction did serve the interest of the rich, who rather pretend there are no such things as solidarity, concerns, values, interests, policies, publics, public interests, legal interests, or groups or communities beyond the interests of individuals taking part in them: The rich don't need public interests, and don't like them. (For these interests increase their taxes and decrease their profits.)

[1] Actually, all three assumptions are false:

First, people are definitely not rational creatures as these are defined by game theory: they are moved by much more than merely rational considerations. Second, it is simply false that people try to obtain maximal satisfaction (which is extremely cvonvenient mathematically): What people do try to achieve is some kind of satisfaction, but this is usually not maximal nor very consistent. And third while it is true that many of the data that are required for game theory are simply observational, it is false that data which are not simply observational are irrelevant.

[2] This is brought out by Curtis, and notably by charting the applications of game theory to politics: What game theorists tended to insist what that indeed there are no such things as solidarity, concerns, values, interests, policies, publics, public interests, legal interests, or groups or communities beyond the interests of individuals taking part in them, and therefore all politicians were hypocrites and liars.

What they should have said (but normally did not) is that game theory is only (rationally) applicable to individuals and individual data, and not to social institutions and data that relate to groups rather than individuals.

But normally game theorists insisted that the social institutions do not exist and/or could be safely neglected.

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