Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

People Magazine Corroborates Trump Attack Story

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Kevin Drum has an interesting post, though in a way it’s irrelevant: Trump supporters would disbelieve the women even if there were videotapes of Trump kissing and groping a woman. Indeed, on some level Trump supporters know that Trump did indeed have the experience he bragged about, a “star” being able to grope a woman with impunity—apparently, he even believed married women were within his grasp, so to speak. And he has the sociopath’s freedom from guilt or emotional involvement and the ability to lie easily. Denying what you think of as reality is second nature, because for the sociopath, the reality is what they are painting, trying to pull you along.

I write this having just recently attempted a discussion with a Trump supporter. It was heavy sledding and I gave it up. For one thing, it apparently is taken as a basic premise that nothing in the mainstream press (NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, etc: i.e., all legitimate press with track records that we can check)—nothing in all that reporting is to be believed (apparently, not even the videos of Donald Trump saying something that he subsequently has denied he said: the video is right there, him saying it, and the Trump supporter wouldn’t even look at it, because… mainstream press. And Hillary lies (implying, “And I want a candidate who is truthful, like Mr. Trump”)).

At any rate, one of the victim’s story has been fully corroborated, but that doesn’t faze the Trump supporter: “They’re all lying. They’ve all been paid off. It’s reported in the mainstream press so it is ipso facto fictional.” (and yes, he called the press “fictional”; I asked for links to fictional stories, which by his account would be easy to find, and he said “They’re all fictional.” Not a man to get bogged down in specifics.)

:sigh: But read the column. It begins:

Donald Trump’s response to the tsunami of women saying he groped or attacked them is to flatly call them liars. The problem with this strategy is that it motivates his victims to defend themselves, thus keeping the stories in the news even longer.

Take Natasha Stoynoff, the People writer who accused Trump of attacking her after a photo shoot at Mar-a-Lago in 2005. Trump’s response? “She lies! Look at her, I don’t think so.” As a result, this week People is running a second story quoting six colleagues and friends who have corroborated Stoynoff’s account. That’s 3 million readers who will see this story again, plus another gazillion or so who will see it from the inevitable follow-up on every gossip show and website in the country. And this helps Trump how?

If you read to the very end, Stoynoff gets in the final dig:

Stoynoff admits there’s a chance Trump simply pushed her own incident from his mind. “It’s possible he just doesn’t remember it,” Stoynoff says. “It was over 10 years ago and I assume I am one of many, many women.

In other news 21 days before we go to the polls, President Obama took on Donald Trump over his repeated remarks about the election being rigged:

Obama accused Trump of “whining before the game is even over” and described Trump’s remarks as “unprecedented.”

“I have never seen in my lifetime or in modern political history any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the election process before votes have even taken place,” Obama said….The president, clearly troubled by Trump’s claims of a fixed election, quickly decided not to hold back.He described Trump’s allegations as a threat to American democracy and to the “integrity and trust” of the country’s civic institutions.

And it’s not just Obama. Even Republicans are getting spooked by Trump’s talk:

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), . . .

Continue reading.

I would think there eventually will be lawsuits, just as with Cosby (though that lawsuit is for but one vicitim among many, but the decision of that lawsuit will be permanently attached to Cosby’s name.

Melania defended Trump, saying that the women were, one and all, liars, but she provided zero evidence showing that they were liars. When pressed for how she knew they were liars, she explained that she could tell because she believed her husband (and thus any statement contrary to what he said is ipso facto a lie). Notice how having simple definitions simplifies thinking: “Donald says it = it is true. So people saying something different are lying. And remember: the mainstream media are fictional.”

And since mainstream media are all fictional, the account in People magazine, telling of people who corroborate the story, must be fictional, too. See how neatly it fits together? No seams, no holds, no way in at all. That’s one tough memeplex, and you see it elsewhere: in certain fundamentalist religions sects (Christian and Islam), in other cults (indeed, it’s practically the defining characteristic of a cult, to be a turtle memeplex), in political systems like North Korea’s: the memeplex evolves a thick shell, like a turtle evolving a thick shell to protect it from its enemies. These turtle memeplexes have tried to block all invasion points, but of course that’s slightly more difficult with the internet (which is why so many of those turtle memeplexes want to have control over the internet and its content). Look at how the Mormon Church finally explicitly addressed Joseph Smith’s hoax translations of Egyptian hieroglyphics (which has some obvious implications regarding his earlier work, the Book of Mormon) simply because they couldn’t avoid it: Mormon teenagers and younger could just go online, do a simple search, and read all about it. It does lead to questions, of course, and an even bigger question is raised if the response is, “Don’t ask questions.” That really does give the game away.

So the turtle memplexes face a problem with the internet. I doubt that there will be an extinction event (no more turtle memeplexes) but the measures to prevent competing memes from invading will have to become more ingenious and probably more overt and intrusive: “No computer can be connected to the internet.” The internet memeplex has already made the internet an essential component of a modern computer (how else now can you update your OS?).

When the communication blockage is so obvious, some will inevitably wonder why—what’s so attractive about it that we can’t even try it? Won’t we immediately see how false and wicked it is?

An old story:

God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Genesis, in Chapter 3

It occurs to me that a non-turtle memeplex could evolve, but it would have to be able to take in other memes rather than blocking them out: no shell. It could do this by operating at one remove, as it were, looking at the meme as a meme rather than looking only at the content: be able to take any content and deal with it.

Science is a memeplex that has been fairly successful at this, though one can spot turtle memeplexes within science—for example, one name: Ancel Keyes. Or the resolute pushing away of the meme of tectonic drift.

But science has an ace in the hole, beyond human control: reality. Take in any meme and measure its content against observable reality. If the meme’s content is inconsistent with observable reality, then the meme is ignored. This in effect is a meme immune system that eventually and in most cases will protect the memeplex and kill meme-viruses that arise.

It will be interesting to see how various memeplexes fare as reality imposes its own test: climate change.

UPDATE: One of the problems (though perhaps the least) with making Donald Trump the definer of truth is that he is mortal and it will all fall apart. Better to have a memeplex that can survive any individual. For example, many corporations have a definite character and ethos, and that can extend for many generations of employees: it’s a memeplex that does not depend on specific individuals in it to survive: the individuals are to some extent interchangeable, and that gives the memeplex a long life (cf. Catholic church).

Science is a memeplex that is a system and not individual specific, which is why it’s been around so long. Memeplexes that rely on individuals are necessarily short-lived, but they are fairly numerous.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 October 2016 at 12:31 pm

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