This list covers the Lok Sabha seats as of on the 14th of January, 2019. It should be noted that this list does not take into consideration any of the seats that are vacant. While reviewing those might provide some benefit, i do not consider them as constituting a real threat one way or the other. If new information does come to light, i shall edit this.
There’s something in the water in Silicon Valley. I’m not sure what it is, but it makes people real douches. The Tech God persona isn’t very new. That title belonged to Steve Jobs, before Elon Musk went and happened to the world. To be specific, even Steve Jobs didn’t really command that persona until Apple caught its second wind, which i would consider to be around the time the IPod came out. There was a time when celebrities came from either the recording industry or the film industry. The glitz, glamour, money and debauchery were all reserved for people who were involved with either one of these. There was nothing particularly sexy about technology. Big money always attracted a certain amount of “stardom”, but the tech industry making the kind of money it does now is, i’m sure you agree, a fairly new phenomenon.
“There was a time when celebrities came from either the recording industry or the film industry”
I do think it’s really strange (or maybe it makes perfect sense?) that two of the biggest stars that humanity have managed to create, since the turn of the millenium, are two colossal ass-hats who have created enormous empires by being smart. While the fanbase of both of these individuals isn’t limited to white men, there does seem to be a large portion of the population that do happen to be white and male. Now, i get it, the fanbase of toast is probably white men too, if you’re just polling people on the internet who use social media and are vocal about their views. For the record, i’m a fan of toast too. The point is, there’s something that’s very masculine about the winner-take-all and revolution at all costs attitude that Musk and Jobs are famous for having cultivated. Being an individual of color, or a women, or a minority of any shape or form, makes you feel a certain indebtedness for those you consider as sharing in your identity, and a pressure to make things a little better for them.
White men have little incentive to feel these identity ties, and it really does make sense, since if your identity isn’t really threatened or subvert constantly, you have no reason to hunker down and make it a lasting part of your world view. Which is what makes it disingenuous when individuals identity as white, male or straight, since it’s essentially identifying with being in a position that allows you to bypass constraints and access power. Erin Biba, an author who writes for the Daily Beast, had a run-in with the MuskBros recently and her piece on the event, is a very interesting account of what happens when journos do try to criticize Musk.
“Which is what makes it disingenuous when individuals identity as white, male or straight, since it’s essentially identifying with being in a position that allows you to bypass constraints and access power”
After that shitstorm, she decided to poke around twitter for more stories like hers, and she found a tremendous amount of them. The attacks that she, and others like her have been subject to, have a very obvious gendered slant to them. You can’t deny that words like “Bitch” and “Cunt” aren’t gendered. It’s not even coded language. Another account of a woman who has been affected by the Tech god, is the daughter of Steve Jobs. She’s got a book out (i think), about some of the finer personality points of Jobs. I haven’t personally read the book, but you should go ahead and read the article regarding her book. Funnily enough, the bizzare incidents highlighted in the books don’t really stem from the “driven” nature of his personality, but instead just paints the picture of a rather petty human being.
So what is it about males that makes them invest the persona of the Tech God with this level of devotion. As mentioned before, i’m going to hazard a guess at the fact that Musk and his ilk have made silicon valley sexy, in some strange way. Nobody really invests their love and devotion in this manner on rock stars, for example. Nobody said anything when the world called Keith Richards an absolute nut job for snorting his dad’s ashes. It might be old and hackneye at this point of time, but the reason that MuskBros exist might really be the same reason that both Modi and Trump exist. It’s the idea of “talking power to power”. It’s the same reason that certain white Australians are horrified that Aboriginal Australians still hunt sea turtles. It becomes a convenient excuse to go after a target. Charlie Boy doesn’t really care about Sea Turtles, don’t let him fool you into thinking he gives a damn. It’s also the reason Modi says that Triple Talaq is even banned in Pakistan, and thus should be banned in India. It’s a media alliance of convenience.
..the reason that MuskBros exist might really be the same reason that both Modi and Trump exist. It’s the idea of “talking power to power”
Another interesting caveat to this entire story is the mainstream media and alternative “shadow” news distinction that is increasingly becoming more, dare i say, mainstream? This isn’t a phenomenon that is really distinct to the United States ecosystem, but is reproduced in a pretty standard form all over the world.
What this creates, in my opinion, is not two alternative narratives (this is not a dialectical exercise), but rather a “shadow” economy of news where there might be less “censorship”, but it’s not very often that this lack of censorship is in the interests of humanity. I use humanity here with a liberal smattering of sarcasm. This takes different forms, in different parts of the world, depending on how opinion is transmitted. For example, India’s version of this is Whatsapp forwards about the Indus Valley and the fighter planes that they built. YouTube plays a much bigger role in most of the Westernized world. Is it just the fact that people like Musk and Trump cannot hear a word of criticism that makes them look at “alternative” sources of news? They repeatedly make the point that Mainstream Media have agendas and quotas to fill. In other words, they have a bottom line and they need to stay afloat. The last i checked, Tesla was a goddamn company. What makes Musk’s rantings the fount of unbiased knowledge and not the stuff of fantasy?
The United States Congress and taxpayer money played an enormous part in funding whatever it is that SpaceX is up to. This isn’t even considering what on earth is going on with Tesla acquiring stake in various other companies that are in the solar energy sector. Musk sold shares in Tesla (which he gets paid in as CEO), a few weeks before the acquisition, presumably to minimize his losses. I don’t know about you, but that sounds a whole lot like an agenda.
Biba in her article, says that this fracas essentially began because she published a tweet about the power that individuals like Musk had since an environment like twitter exists today. Her point was that someone like Musk should consider that he had to bear a certain amount of responsibility, and should not be going out of his way to demean “mainstream media.” This is the point that needs to be made though. The stock market, as warped as it is, does affect that lives and livelihoods of individuals around the world. To be just flat out bizzare and not give a hoot about the consequences is just absolutely privileged behavior Subsequently, when she tried to source accounts from various others about the doings of MuskBros, she got attacked again. It’s not character assassination to write about the nature of a particular group of people. It’s literally her job. By aligning himself with some crazy sex cult website that literally brands people, Musk created some kind of crazy male frankenstein, and the damn thing had a twitter account.
America’s Africa strategy going forward is apparently to focus on driving American investment into the region. While this might help the United States in increasing their stake in the region (economically), it is not clear the security implications this will have, given that China is economically and militarily firmly embedded.
“….But he did not announce significant new military assets or changes to the size, location or mission of U.S. troops in Africa to counter that threat. The new strategy calls for countering Chinese influence on the continent through bilateral trade and investment programs, while simultaneously reevaluating foreign aid and assistance programs, including financial support for United Nations peacekeeping missions in countries whose governments oppose American interests at the world body.”
Pitbull covers Africa by Toto for the Aquaman movie.
Theresa May tells the EU that the withdrawal agreement won’t be passed by her parliament and that her MP’s still need convincing. EU leaders say this is the only deal that could possibly be negotiated. It seems that perception is where balance will be achieved.
Head of the UNAIDS body has put in his papers following reports that he cultivated an unhealthy and damaging work environment. There were different scenarios including allegations of “a patriarchal workplace attitude” and “a cult of personality”.
Imran Khan has played the game well since becoming Prime Minister.
“Well, when Imran Khan first came to power and formed his government just a few months ago I went out on a limb but very confidently saying that that he would be the best political ruler that Pakistan has had since the late and great Muhammad Ali Jinnah,” Garrie said.
“And events that have happened over the last few months now that Imran is in the government, have totally vindicated this. He’s put very few feet wrong and many feet right in terms of foreign policy relations. He has embraced with that spirit of win-win multi-polarity,” he stated.
Maria Butina (Russian National) pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as a foreign agent.
Butina, who is a gun rights activist, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to act as a foreign agent as part of a cooperation agreement with prosecutors. She admitted to acting under the direction of a Russian official, Alexander Torshin, another prominent gun rights supporter and a fixture in Russian politics.
There was nothing illegal about the purchases, but they raised concerns among activists, Reuters reported. Susan Harvey, of North County Watch, an environmental advocacy group, wondered, “Is Harvard going to keep pumping groundwater, or cut back on returns to protect water quality and quantity?”
The Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California alleges that Qualcomm’s patent licensing and chip sale practices were anticompetitive and sought to preserve a monopoly on so-called premium LTE modem chips, which help mobile phones connect to wireless data network.
At the event, speakers and participants exchanged their experiences regarding social network management and information safety solutions. They proposed measures to help the two countries coordinate and warn each other of misinformation and other online risks.
Documentary on Toxic Masculinity in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“The DRC is a country that has been going through war and ethnic conflict since the dawn of time,” Jackson Mbakulirahi, the program’s founder, explains in Arild Kumar’s remarkable short documentary, Baba Bora. “This ethnic conflict has destroyed the people. It has created distrust and hate. It has had a real impact on their way of thinking—their masculinity.”
An argument on the nature of the Private-Public argument when it comes to services rendered.
“They argue that every privatisation agreement will have to afford the private agent a ‘zone of permissibility’ (or ‘autonomy’) in which they are free to exercise their own judgment about what to do. This zone of permissibility will necessarily remove them from the kind of public deference that is required. The reason for this is that in order to make any sense at all, a privatisation agreement must defer to the skills and judgment of the private agent. Recall, that the whole point of privatisation is that private agents are able to provide a good or service more efficiently than public agents.”
There’s two sides to the conservative in the United States coin. One wants more troops pumped into Afghanistan, and the other wants nothing to do with foreign wars anymore. Even the ones who want troops in Afghanistan, want them to be private soldiers and not American military. It seems like private security contractors don’t really know how to feel at the moment. America has to win the war. America does not lose. But nobody has the political capital to send more troops into Afghanistan, even with the resurgent Taliban.
Chad’s PM has arrived in Khartoum and will hold talks for three days on the matters of political and security co-operation. The two countries signed a deal in 2010 that normalized relations between them.
Clever article on how antlion larvae prey on ants and why this results in smaller ants getting devoured. As an interesting thought experiment, does this mean that, eventually, the size of the average ant will get larger and larger and that they will stop falling prey to the antlion pincers and that the antlion will die out? So, a hunting mechanism of an organism could create a vicious cycle of selection in a species that is linked to it and that which could eventually result in its own extinction?
Straw Labs is testing how animals perceive their environments using virtual reality systems. Andrew Straw also thanked gamers for having created the demand that has allowed the technology that has helped in the creation of this system, to have been created.
The person in this article makes a point that I also read somewhere yesterday (I can’t remember where). The Unite the Right rally didn’t help the right wing, or anybody who supports trump. Moderate conservatives who might have wanted to be a part of or in fact were a part of the Unite the Right Valley are now seen as being complicit in what happened. Before, if you were a conservative, you could have made arguments for the fact that the right has shades, just like the left. Instead, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make that argument.
Ayyadurai has been heavily endorsed by the Right Wing in the United States. He also lays claim to being the “real Indian”. To me, this is also proof that the Right Wing might not be completely about ethnicity and race, and might be more of a shared vision of order and structure. It’s okay if you’re brown, as long as you don’t think brown.
The incumbent Kenyatta won the presidential elections in. His main rival claims the vote was rigged. There were stand-offs between government loyalists and opposition supporters. The last time this happened (2007), thousands died.
We’re going to have to wait and see if even the hardline trumpists like Zero Hedge will get behind this administration opening a two-front war. From what I read, they thought the interventionism of Obama and Clinton was the worst thing to happen. They were firm isolationists, for the most part. Though I don’t think anybody really believes that anybody in the White House actually thinks this is an option that could be explored.
Argument against open borders. Author claim that this is not against immigration in general, but says that cases for open borders must be more nuanced. That’s a statement that I agree with in general, though the author does make one absurd claim: that tribalism is so robust because small groups are better at achieving certain results which lead to prosperity. This is ridiculous. Tribalism is a feature of politics which sees ethnic classes banding together. It’s not particularly self-aware or reflexive. In other word, tribalism justifies itself on the basis of ethnicity, not on the basis of efficacy.