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Belmont Club

Thunk

May 24th, 2013 - 4:37 pm

Over the past few weeks the space above the newspaper fold has been overloaded by news. The rebels in Syria are rebranding themselves (with a new logo and all that) to appeal to backers either in the West or Saudi Arabia. The IRS scandals continue to simmer. Israel is preparing for war with Syria. Parts of Stockholm are burning after a week of “immigrant” riots. A serving British soldier was decapitated by misguided individuals on a greater London street, right in front of a military base. A passenger jet was diverted and escorted down by fighter aircraft in Britain after two more misguided individuals attempted to enter the cockpit as it neared the UK.  And perhaps most frightening, but completely smothered in the news blizzard is the Japanese bond meltdown, one which according to financial guru Kyle Bass, is only the prelude to China’s own troubles and will lead to someone fighting someone. “If I were put in charge of Japan, I’d quit”.

But in today’s globalized world there’s no place for man to go after quitting. We are stuck on the planet. So it’s only understandable that President Obama’s speech for today focuses on sexual assaults in the military  while David Cameron is concentrating on the issue of gay marriage. The headline news in France, which is now in recession, is focused on the role that Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, may have played in the embezzlement of 270 million pounds.

When things are tough it’s time to deal with the really important things. Count on it. From here on we’ll hear more about the troubles of reality show contestants and the wardrobe malfunctions of buxom celebrities. What else can our dear leaders do? Face the facts?

Trivia is most appealing when the substantial is least. But it’s not all escapism; excessive amounts of unspinnable tidings create a genuine saturation. Back in the days of the Cold War, naval analysts used to count the number of fire control radars on a ship to calculate the number of  missiles you had to fire to sink it. If a warship had four radars the ‘price of admission’ was five missiles. The fifth it was presumed, would be one more than the defensive systems could handle. This is analogous to the situation the news is currently in.  The narrative machine is overloaded.

The way the system appears to be dealing with this is the “thunk”. Oldsters will remember the way in which 16-bit machines used to deal with 32-bit code. The 32-bit memory space was too big to fit inside 16-bit. So the programmers chopped up the 32 bit space into segments. When a reference to the big space came in, the thunk first found the relative segment and moved to it; taking it a segment at a time. It was like watching stadium action by dividing it into rooms;  like Mr. Magoo taking in a vista of the Rockies by traveling to each part of the view and glancing at each portion given the limits of his vision.

Find the portion of the vista, move to it and view.

Whereas all the important news in the world could once be fitted above the fold today’s narratives have to be split up. One has to dive into the sections (or editions of Google news) to find even the biggest stories, so crowded have events become. But the problem with the thunk is it is just a stopgap. The fact is we really can’t see the Rockies in one fell swoop. We can only see the entire scene if we are willing to view things a frame a time and stitch together the scenes.

This means that some big emerging memes will essentially sneak through unengaged by the strategic communications crowd. For example,  a Middle Eastern crisis or a breakup of the Eurozone can appear to burst on the narrative scene by surprise. It isn’t really like no one was watching — the specialists and beat journalists will be watching them all along — but because the national leaders simply won’t have the talking points to deal with them. Ben Rhodes just cannot write speeches fast enough to cope. Something will slip through at the Olympian level and this will have the effect of shattering the low-information voter’s world. They live in a simplified mythical universe; the one in which Lena Dunham always votes for the first time.  Now all of a sudden 32-bit reality will come crashing down on their 8-bit world.

This has been happening for some time, although it may not have been immediately obvious.  The reason why the Benghazi misdirection ultimately failed was because the story of the Los Angeles video was crushed by uncontrollable follow-on events. The same process doomed the IRS coverup.  No sooner did the jornolist crowd get their marching orders from the West Wing when reality changed on them.

This is obvious in other ways. Any hope that the Woolwich attack could be portrayed as a “lone-wolf” event was crashed by the diversion of the airliner from Pakistan and the riots in Stockholm. Reality is burning through the shields. More power Scotty — “she canna’ hold!”

We may be entering a period where nothing has closure any more. Issa’s hearings on the IRS may be overtaken by even greater scandals. Who even remembers Fast and Furious? The laser printer in the oversight committee’s offices may not be able to churn out subpoenas fast enough to cope. We have reached the ‘price of admission’. The only question is: what’s showing?

When you can't think, thunk

When you can’t think, thunk


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Top Rated Comments   
As it happens, I was in London when the beheading attack occurred. My British companions duly expressed their shock: what a terrible thing. Awful, wasn't it?

In other words, they acted as if it were an act of God, an act of nature, as if a gargoyle had fallen off a church and crushed the soldier in the street. Nobody -- not a one -- would dare utter the obvious words: black, African, Muslim, savage, immigration. None of it.

They simply can't face what they have done to themselves, that they have opened a Pandora's Box -- or a Pandora's Door is perhaps better -- and have unleashed upon themselves ignorance and savagery at an epic scale, and created a threat far, far greater than any the Nazis could conjure for them. At least with the Nazis they mustered the courage to fight back. Not any more. Not any more. They are supine in the face of their coming annihilation.

The next day while waiting in Heathrow I had time to kill, so I wandered about deliberately looking at the population. By my rough estimate, 70 to 80 percent of the people working at Heathrow -- from security, to airline check in, to clerks in the many shops -- were non-white. They were every species of non-white imaginable, with the exception of Hispanics. How the Overlords of Britain's self-annihilation have somehow missed this one branch of third-world vibrancy is a wonder, but they've more than made up for it with the others.

And we find out now, as well, that one of the killers had a white British girlfriend at one point. Naturally. As Whiskey might have put it, women are the canary in the coal mine of civilizational collapse, and the effete British men are losing them into the hands of thugs, goons, savages and beasts. Seeing dark men with white women on the streets of London is not uncommon: you can barely go a block without seeing it. But then, the women see the future, or least feel it in their loins.

I still think there is a slight chance for a massive reaction to all this, for a uprising that will throw back the muddy tides that are flooding the nation. A slight chance. Far more likely it will be what we know of collapses: they seem to be coming for a very long time, and then they happen more suddenly than anyone expects. Really, did Europe destroy all its manliness in the two World Wars? More and more I think so. Maybe the Russians will save them, in the end, as they seem far less infected with Frankfort School Marxism and the virus of self-destruction.

I left England utterly depressed at its fate, a fate imposed largely from without but openly accepted by a deracinated, traitorous and effete ruling class, not fought against for a moment in any real way, with those who fought it relegated to the status of cranks and outcasts and pariahs.

London Bridge is falling down,
Falling down, falling down,
London Bridge is falling down,
Dar al-Islam.




1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have been approaching the same concept from the other end. For the last few months, we have had scandals and crises coming at an ever increasing rate. Ain't none of this Дерьмо occurred by happenstance. And each of these events traces back to regime connected people and their allies on both sides of the Political Class.

I see it as not being events moving faster than the Political Class can handle. Things are happening faster than the self-correcting mechanisms of our body politic can cope with at best. If we had a real, working, serious political Opposition devoted to the Constitution and and the welfare of the country, if we had a media that had any interest in the truth, or even in playing whack-a-mole with the ambulatory anal orifii that run both "parties"; we still could not deal with the crises peacefully because we have let things backlog for too long.

In military terms, they are inside our OODA [Observe-Orient-Decide-Act] loop. There are no longer any easy or marginally sure answers. And instead of the best case parameters outlined about, we are governed by TWANLOC.

The Political Class is pushing the system to collapse, for their own purposes. I think they underestimate the effects on themselves when it collapses; but being on top at a lower lever of Maslow's Hierarchy is still better than being a peasant.

YMMV

Let me add one other thing to watch for. The EU is now talking about trying to unwind, peacefully, the $80 TRILLION in "rehypothecated assets" [the bogus collateral underlying all the banks and bonds in Europe]. Given that the EU is intensely corrupt, has several sets of rules which are contradictory, and that competence is considered dangerous over there; this is going to be like playing the game Jenga, with about a billion sets of the blocks, with the player being a hungover, palsied, meth addict. The collapse is going to be ..... noteworthy.

Subotai Bahadur
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"...the role that Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, may have played in the embezzlement of 270 million pounds."
"Shoot, a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff."

There is a logical lacunae in democracy theory. In theory each citizen is autonomous both politically and economically in a free capitalist society, and the two conditions reinforce each other. By specializing to gain comparative advantage in the marketplace the overall wealth of society increases. That gives individuals the cushion needed to be free of coercion and the leisure needed to engage in public affairs. However the increasing complexity of both commerce and information streams means that the ability of an individual to see the larger picture is reduced. People, even ostensibly sophisticated and politically aware intellectuals, become more dependent on experts than they were fifty or a hundred years ago. Fortunately the depredations of the totalitarians will reduce economic and intellectual complexity to the point where individuals will once again be able to grasp the big picture.

The Democrats are like the Stooges who drilled a hole in the bottom of the boat to let out water. Proof is that the IRS scandal was revealed by the Administration as a deliberate diversion to draw attention away from the Benghazi scandal and assist in stuffing the Immigration bill through Congress. While the air is leaking from the immigration amnesty balloon in the wake of terror in the headlines the people who dragged Obamacare across the finish line in the dead of night with every dirty trick in the book and a few new ones will try to do it again.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (42)
All Comments   (42)
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Events have gotten inside the administrations (and medias) OODA loop.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Lagarde isn't "accused", but has the state of "assisted witness", some kind of political correctness for doubts, like sarkozy had too for the Betencourt "envelop"

http://www.bfmtv.com/societe/affaire-tapie-christine-lagarde-est-elle-tiree-daffaire-522546.html
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As it happens, I was in London when the beheading attack occurred. My British companions duly expressed their shock: what a terrible thing. Awful, wasn't it?

In other words, they acted as if it were an act of God, an act of nature, as if a gargoyle had fallen off a church and crushed the soldier in the street. Nobody -- not a one -- would dare utter the obvious words: black, African, Muslim, savage, immigration. None of it.

They simply can't face what they have done to themselves, that they have opened a Pandora's Box -- or a Pandora's Door is perhaps better -- and have unleashed upon themselves ignorance and savagery at an epic scale, and created a threat far, far greater than any the Nazis could conjure for them. At least with the Nazis they mustered the courage to fight back. Not any more. Not any more. They are supine in the face of their coming annihilation.

The next day while waiting in Heathrow I had time to kill, so I wandered about deliberately looking at the population. By my rough estimate, 70 to 80 percent of the people working at Heathrow -- from security, to airline check in, to clerks in the many shops -- were non-white. They were every species of non-white imaginable, with the exception of Hispanics. How the Overlords of Britain's self-annihilation have somehow missed this one branch of third-world vibrancy is a wonder, but they've more than made up for it with the others.

And we find out now, as well, that one of the killers had a white British girlfriend at one point. Naturally. As Whiskey might have put it, women are the canary in the coal mine of civilizational collapse, and the effete British men are losing them into the hands of thugs, goons, savages and beasts. Seeing dark men with white women on the streets of London is not uncommon: you can barely go a block without seeing it. But then, the women see the future, or least feel it in their loins.

I still think there is a slight chance for a massive reaction to all this, for a uprising that will throw back the muddy tides that are flooding the nation. A slight chance. Far more likely it will be what we know of collapses: they seem to be coming for a very long time, and then they happen more suddenly than anyone expects. Really, did Europe destroy all its manliness in the two World Wars? More and more I think so. Maybe the Russians will save them, in the end, as they seem far less infected with Frankfort School Marxism and the virus of self-destruction.

I left England utterly depressed at its fate, a fate imposed largely from without but openly accepted by a deracinated, traitorous and effete ruling class, not fought against for a moment in any real way, with those who fought it relegated to the status of cranks and outcasts and pariahs.

London Bridge is falling down,
Falling down, falling down,
London Bridge is falling down,
Dar al-Islam.




1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's not just that nobody fights back, some do, it's how many fight FOR the disintegration and that The Powers That Be are silent or self-destructive.

Not that the US is any better, we're semi-consciously importing third-worlders in the hope they will pay for our social security. Maybe we should thank our lucky stars for the Hispanics who come in and work hard, for the most part, and the Indian H-1Bs who say what you will about them, seldom engage in mass murder. But what will be left after? I don't know. We also have a history as a melting pot, which for the most part is still active and successful, and Britain does not. Even so, even so.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The melting pot concept worked well for a long time. It has not been working since Reagan's 1986 amnesty. Not the hispanics, not the muslims.

The immigration process in NOT working. They are coming here in the million with the only intention of gaining our Federal benefits. The Muslims are coming to this country to destroy its culture. The present Administration is biased towards the Muslims and encouraging the decline of AMERICA.

True Americans should be very concerned about the domestic events happening before the next election in 3-1/2 years.

There is always an element of corruption in the WH and Congress. Right now before this upcoming Memorial Day the corruption is at a all time high.

G-d bless our veterans and the United States of
America.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The next critical election is in 1-1/2 years! If we lose, we may lose all!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Brilliant as usual Wretchard.
Subotai- always look forward to your comments
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Lagarde faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail if found guilty of the very serious charges"
-----------------------------------------------------

And herein lay the problem - right in that quote from the link above. She 'faces a maximum sentence of 10 years' - What do you suppose I'd get if I were to rob a bank for $5,000 - far less than 270m pounds?

Same for those other four (or more) 'missiles' that have suddenly burst on the scene. The IRS scandal - how long will someone serve in prison if found to have given the ok to play a bias game on conservative organizations? Or will the perps get off Scot-free as seems likely. Before you try arguing the point recall Fast and Furious. Like Benghazi someone died. It doesn't look like anyone is going to jail any time soon. And like in other scandals this admin has brought us the likely perps have all gotten bumped up the career ladder. Don't tell me crime doesn't pay. Looks to me like it could pay 270m pounds if you don't get caught - maybe more. She could get off. I'm pretty sure the local prosecutor could put me in jail for bank robbery for more than 10 years even though I've never robbed a bank. Its a rich man's game being played - for power and money - and the counterbalance is our loss of personal freedoms.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's true that it's a "rich man's game" being played, and that the rules are different.

However, the Establishment finally seems to have earned itself a worthy opponent. Further, the means chosen for the takedown are highly suggestive: daylighting the shenanigans. The fact is that official Washington yawned at all of these potential scandals for the last three years because they don't really have a problem with such things.

Now someone both comprehends the enormity of these scandals and has the clout to get them out in the open. Just perhaps, this someone wants to pull us back from the brink.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In other words:
"My God, it's full of squirrels!"

(apologies to Dave Bowman)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The saying goes: "Nero fiddled as Rome burned"

Now I always thought that was a depiction of Nero's self-absorbtion, an attempt at self-distraction.

It never occured to me that maybe he kept fiddling hoping that's all anyone else would listen to.

By the time this administration leaves office, the "fiddlers" will be plugged into Marshall stacks, hoping to drown out the sound of the fires.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

Wait a minute--Lagarde is accused of embezzlement? Ladies and gentlemen, we are witnessing a decapitation strike on...the Chicago Crowd, for lack of a better term. I've no idea who arranged for this or if they'll succeed, but somebody seems to have decided that enough is enough.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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