TWIT 786: The Chickenization of America

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

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I didn’t know that TWIT supports defamation. The comment about Tucker Carlson being a Nazi is just met with laughter. President Trump is a dog. I guess the panel that shows up here for your first two posts (Constructive criticism is welcome, but criticize ideas , not people.) is just for us and not the hosts of the show.

I thought liberals were all about inclusion. I guess that just means you are only included if your views are in lockstep with us.

I’ve been disappointed in the liberal slant in the past, but this is way beyond that.


Save your breath and go stand on a street corner somewhere and bay at the moon! If you’re incapable of seeing how polarizing Trump’s actions and attitudes are, then you’re likely not smart enough to understand the content anyway. He’s deliberately sowing discord to make people feel fear and loathing in hopes that it helps his re-election. Anyone not so blinded by loyalism to him is likely to have such a strong aversion to what he’s doing as to say the sorts of things you heard. I doubt anyone that isn’t a blindly loyal Frump sycophant cares to hear your opinion.


I expect it about President Trump. That doesn’t surprise me. It doesn’t make it right though. The Tucker part and the laughter about it really surprised me.

Oh and are you capable of disagreeing with me without the name calling.

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Props to Leo as host for voicing a broad range of perspectives as with the argument at 48:34 that sunlight in abdication of gate-keepers is responsible for democratic progress as with the exposure of police brutality, but that still frames user autonomy within corporate control and IMO that is a mistake that could easily prove fatal in multiple senses of the word, even for those businesses other than as organs of authoritarianism. The alternative is not a robust competitive marketplace of social media companies. The alternative is privacy. No one needs or wants (sustainably…even if they want it casually) the parasite of profit on the vital functioning of private life and its condiuts into civics forming the bedrock of democratic governance. What we want is a means of communicating to those we choose, brokered partly affectively just as IRL is through social circles (circles differ from networks inthat they are not all-to-all). Where technology still has promise, IMO, is in facilitating private authentication at scale so that it becomes frictionless to both include and exclude individuals, the exclusion in particular being affective, brokered not laboriously, explicitly but rather similarly to contextual as with, I suppose, Google’s modeling of web links for search weighting, but more pertinently IMO are PGP trust networks (don’t let your eyes glaze over hearing PGP, its infrastructure can and must be streamlined). Mutually, affectively defined and fluid standards of meaning around nodes of elective or passive choice can form criteria under our control instead of triangulated away from us by proprietary, closed algorithm.


It is always great listening to Owen JJ Stone. It also shows what a difference a stretch of Ocean and a different coloured skin makes. I am very thankful that he was on the show and could provide some perspective.

As a counterpoint, my experience with the police has always been positive.

I grew up in small-town England and we always waved hello to the police officers on patrol. If they were on foot, we’d actually say hello. As I was about 8, my father arranged for my younger brother and myself to visit the local police station, we were shown the courts, the cells (and shut in the cells for a few minutes), shown around the police vehicles and got to see the police dogs in training. It drove a deep respect for authority into me.

I now live in small-town Germany and the experience is very similar. I wave and say hello, when I see a police officer. The police here are friendly and part of the community.

I see the reports on the US police regularly in the German news, but it is somehow surreal, as if I’m watching an alien film. What we see coming out of America seems to have no base in any reality that we have been exposed to. I look at our police and then at the TV and it feels like I am looking at some unbelievable Hollywood dystopian interpretation of a world gone to hell.

I’m not saying our police are angels or perfect, but most of them are reasonable people and it is often them being attacked here, nowadays. There are, as ever, some bad eggs, but the general impression I get is of friendly, reasonable people in uniform.

At the weekend, a mob stormed the Bundestag in Berlin and for a while, the mob was held back by 3 police officers with batons and tear gas, from the witness videos, they stood their ground, waved their batons around and held the mob back with vocal commands, extended arms and the batons (not hitting people, but waving them back-and-forth in front of them to keep a clear space between the protestors and themselves). They didn’t pull out the tear gas and, from the videos I saw, didn’t attack anyone. They just held their ground until reinforcements arrived. That seems to be a completely different way of policing, compared to the videos we usually see coming out of the USA.

(around the 22 second mark through 40 seconds)

On a lighter note:

A German friend went to the US on an exchange year in the 80s. His guest family lived in or near Beverly Hills and, as a smoker, he wasn’t allowed to smoke in the house, so he went for a walk through the neighbourhood. A few minutes later, he was stopped by the police and they asked what the hell, he thought he was doing… Going for a walk… Something unheard of in that neighbourhood and the residents were alarmed and had called the police, that somebody had the temerity to be walking on the street!

They were good humoured and told him to please walk through the woods at the back of the houses next time! A couple of days later, an office on horseback surprised him on a trail through the woods and made the comment, “oh, you must be the German exchange student.” and went on his way.



Oh, and …


Welcome to the community.

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Welcome to the community as it is. Great place as long as you don’t discuss politics. Many of threads have become battlefields while discussing political views.


I really appreciate Cory Doctorow’s arguments on the the Apple issue with Epic - particularly the notion that, if we are only wait to make changes if there is a completely pure plaintiff, then nothing will ever get changed because those who are completely pure never have the power to effect the necessary change.

This rings so true - especially in the light of the issues Apple has had lately with the App Store (@Hey, etc). Hey (and DHH) are a lot more ‘pure’ (relatively speaking, from my subjective viewpoint) than Epic and Tim Sweeney, and look at what they accomplished: They had to add an unnecessary function to their app.

I have my own thoughts on an App Store remedy (and they don’t necessarily involve allowing multiple stores) but Cory Doctorow really crystalized and articulated my issues with Apple’s behavior. Excellent episode.

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I liked the episode, too. Pretty risqué in the past weeks. Given the laughing, I personally found the laughter after selling Uighur organs somewhat more unsettling than the name calling of FOX personalities or se ewil tsherman wois. Feels a bit more like shock jockeying from time to time. But I suppose, a discussion is sometimes like a soap box racer let loose with mediocre steering and brakes. Entertaining, for sure.

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I’ve no experience of German police. But my experience of British police (and indeed French) has always been similar to what you describe, and I would tell you they’re much better than those crazy American cops … they’re friendly and helpful and so on. Until I read about black people dealing with those same police forces and having a totally different experience. So I wonder. I certainly agree that the scenes from the US are terrifying and a world away from here, but things in Europe might not be as great as they look to you and to me?


1st post. I can only hope this is going to the right group.
TWIT 786 - Ohdoctah mentioned 2 occasions where the govt screwed over the Black community (dynamiting levies, tuskegee airmen and ???). He said there were other incidents such as these listed on his website. Leo said there would be a link to his site in the show notes. I can’t find it. All my searching for his name keeps sending me back to the twitter.
Anyone have a link to either Ohdoctah’s website, or the site where more of these types of incidents are listed ?

I don’t see it either. Tagging @Leo and @PDelahanty so they’ll see this. Missing a link to Ohdoctah’s reference?

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I was talking about bombing in Philadelphia … the levies from what I know were just under funded and maintained. But here is the link you were looking for :


Great. Thank you !

About a year ago Leo was congratulating Apple for shifting their revenue stream to services rather than hardware. You probably think these services are iCloud and traditional stuff but that isn’t so. The services they count are taking 30% cuts on the App Store and new subscriptions signed up through the App Store. Then Apple pay and then maybe at the very bottom is what we think of when we think of services, iCloud.
They are playing so hard with taking their cut because a huge part of their revenue is just this part.

Aren’t you Canadian, living in Canada?

That also describes our police in the US - precisely! We have a huge police force in the US - the vast majority are great people! The police in my small town in Northern California are super nice and stop and chat with the kids, and adults and spend their time protecting us - terrific people

But you’re both white.

So the police in your towns are nice… TO YOU. Not necessarily to everyone.


I grew up in small town England also (Witney, West Oxfordshire) and I found exactly what you described