Do we value truth? Do you know why fake newsies so persistent?… Because it quite literally pays. News items that get clicked on the most end up getting revenue. And the more attention the more it drives those clicks. Fake news is simply created to capture those clicks. Different stories crafted with words, memes, images and people that cry out to click me!! And truth doesn’t drive clicks…
Though it seems like an art form there is also a lot of science behind it. For example marketing research companies study subject lines that will cause email to more likely be read. Studying the click behavior of many different populations. All aimed at finding the most effective communication to reach your audience. Unfortunately Fake News uses this science making falsehoods payoff but not caring about truth. Can data science make truth more valuable?
I’m not sure we can get there today but it is conceivable, and here’s how.
- Build a “Truth Grader” that reads ahead “news articles” that appear in your browser
- Then the grader breaks the article into opinion vs fact, capturing the fact / opinion ratio
- Next the grader tests the facts against trusted sources and determines an overall fact score
- Finally the Truth Grader puts a code based on the strength of facts with rill over details for the reader
Technically we’re actually not as far off as it may sound. Step 1 and 4 are relatively straight forward, Step 3 maybe possible with a Watson like interface. Though determining “trusted sources” would likely be an area of much “discussion”. It’s step 2 that would currently be the only real blocker. And of course this gets harder with video and pictures
Of course the real question is would knowing that some juicy sounding story was probably fake stop us from clicking on it… I am hopeful we’d teach the web we do value truth. But at least we’d have a way to find out.
A Madman has Spoken….
Dear Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn,
I don’t believe the election was hacked or a significant voter fraud occurred, but I have to disagree with your decision. The problem I have is that there would be no significant evidence of a hacked electronic voting system.
The only way to detect a hack would be to compare paper output of the machines to the electronic count. In fact such a test should always be done on a random basis as a simple security measure. I would suggest if any candidate is willing to pay to do such a hand recount it is a wise thing to do just to understand vulnerabilities.
Given that we have the President-Elect and Dr. Stein talking about voting irregularities it would seem a more reasonable decision to do the most rigorous type of recount possible that those candidates are willing to fund.
Your friendly Madman….
I’ll be very brief here, violent protests against the Trump election are wrong, and hurt our democratic principles. They are simply the result of way too much hype and fervor of the past campaign.
If you are about to throw a rock, hit something or someone just stop now. If you want to make a change figure out how to work with someone you disagree with. Until we can actually work positively with hose we disagree with this insanity won’t stop. And it doesn’t matter if the candidate you agree or disagree with gets elected. All that changes is who will be throwing that idiotic rock!
A Madman has Spoken….
Well here we are after the election, and no matter who won you were going to end up with half the country with a huge pit in their stomach wondering what went wrong why did the other side win. And the other half breathing a sigh of relief. But no matter what side you we’re on the world is not coming to and end. Of that I am relatively sure…
But having these elections where we have such a polarizing feeling portraying total destruction by either side is a real problem. We really need an election where we feel like multiple candidates could do the job are running for. There are a few real problems in our elections:
One is a natural tendency people to want to gather tougher and support “their team” no matter what. Basically we don’t have political parties that represent policy opinions, we have “teams” that we rally around. Unfortunately given our American tenacity in pursuing winning at all costs we eat ourselves alive. Rather than looking at how to make the country and American’s thrive we get caught up in brining the other team down. And losing sight of the fact that “other team”, well it is made up of another set of Americans.
Making this tendency worse is how money gets used in politics. Money itself isn’t the issue, but that the vast majority gets spent in ad campaigns. Ad campaigns by their nature are trying to find the most effective way to get one candidate / team to win. Trying to present what the issues are, weigh multiple points of view and pick the best option is simply too long, tedious and uncertain for a political campaign, It is far more effective to tie your candidate / team to a brand and make it a right / wrong choice. So basically money in politics today is trying to make us all stupid…
Finally money in politics today has gone dark. The biggest problem I see with the Citizens United Ruling is not how much money is allows to flow into politics its that is misses the very important difference between free speech and money. When I speak out on a subject you know it is me speaking, even if I use a megaphone. But now people can “talk” via money and leave no trace.
We simply need to find a way to counteract this and work toward real information, discussion and debate on what is best for our country.
A Madman has Spoken…
Well its that joyous voting season today. A time where we get to make our opinions heard but at the same time somehow feel powerless. Its a time when many Americans seem determined to throw away their privilege to vote.
Well in case you are looking for effective ways to toss your option out the window here are three suggestions…
- Simply don’t vote, probably the most popular due to use ease. In fact this is often the goal of candidates. They know if they can get some parts of the populace not to vote they have a better chance of winning. Basically this method guarantees the opinion of those who do vote get more weight. So if you really want to protect the interest of older white people this should be your preferred method!
- Vote, but don’t get informed. By the way ads and rallies don’t count, as they are designed to simply sway you by the most effective means possible. And giving you real information is way too time consuming to be effective. Voting without really knowing where the candidates stand and what they would really do in office is giving your opinion over to random chance, the biggest star or the biggest spender.
- Finally a savvy way waste your vote is to only vote for someone you think can win even when you really prefer another candidate. So after getting yourself informed and actually voting you’re choosing NOT to let your actual opinion known. It is hard because as an American I know I want to WIN… But that is not what voting is for. Voting is a chance to let your voice be heard. If any candidate gets more than a few percentage points they get noticed and over time the policies and characteristics that get votes become adopted. A reminder it may have taken 108 years but the cubs did win again, so maybe give an Independent, Libertarian on Green a chance…
If your objective is not to waste your vote then do your best to be informed. Try to find real policy information. There are a growing number of sites out the to help such as: https://votesmart.org, http://maplight.org, or http://votersedge.org. Once informed then simply show up and cast your vote for whoever you truly think is best person to do the job for your community, state or country.
A Madman has Voted…
While we all know Trump could beat any conspiracy. Trump’s maybe right about such a conspiracy out to stop him. I was doing a little bit of research and there is very strong evidence that a small group of 63,060,041 American voters is out to prevent him from becoming President.
But I was equally shocked when I found out that there is also a conspiracy trying to stop Hillary. And this conspiracy has 51,794,094 voters. Dong a bit of math I can see why Donald would see this as rigged. Why how can it be right when more voters support Hillary than him.
But maybe there is another name for not getting as many voters to back you in a democratic election….
Who owns Trump? Of course Trump would say Trump owns Trump, not beholden to anyone. But as as he has told us his wealth is built on “excellent” deal making. I’m guessing he doesn’t only deal with himself… So the question is who does Trump deal with? Because whoever they are his wealth depends on them.
Given the international reach of his deals Trump’s own wealth could be coming from foreign nations such as China or Russia. In a normal election we as Americans would know more about any candidates dealings via their tax returns. While other candidates have provided their tax returns Trump has continued to withhold his. While tax returns are an important way for too for Americans to know more about him as a candidate he keeps coming up with excuses for not telling us.
I have no way to know if he has something to hide. Or if the fact his wealth depends on other is something he doesn’t want to remind us of. But I’ve been involved in enough deals myself to know when someone avoids sharing information, they think it will hurt them. Without the tax returns we simply don’t know who owns Trump. Maybe we should care…
A Madman has spoken….
I’m proud of America, while it is never perfect is has a strong culture constantly moving to be better. The ideal of Democracy in America while one of our greatest values did not start perfectly. Originally revered for an elite class it has taken much striving to get it closer to one person one vote. Sadly were still not there….
Our House of Representatives is supposed to represent all Americans but it simply does not. If you are an American who happens to live in a territory such as Puerto Rico you are “represented” by a single non-voting Representative. And there a more Amercian Citizens living in Puerto Rico than the following states.
- Iowa: 4 Fully voting Representatives
- Utah: 4 Fully voting Representatives
- Mississippi: 4 Fully voting Representatives
- Arkansas: 4 Fully voting Representatives
- Kansas: 4 Fully voting Representatives
- Nevada: 4 Fully voting Representatives
- New Mexico: 3 Fully voting Representatives
- Nebraska: 3 Fully voting Representatives
- West Virginia: 3 Fully voting Representatives
- Idaho: 2 Fully voting Representatives
- Hawaii: 2 Fully voting Representatives
- New Hampshire: 2 Fully voting Representatives
- Maine: 2 Fully voting Representatives
- Rhode Island: 2 Fully voting Representatives
- Montana: 1 Fully voting Representative
- Delaware: 1 Fully voting Representative
- South Dakota: 1 Fully voting Representative
- North Dakota: 1 Fully voting Representative
- Alaska: 1 Fully voting Representative
- Vermont: 1 Fully voting Representative
- Wyoming: 1 Fully voting Representative
Americans in Puerto Rico still have no voting member in the House of Representatives, oh and when it come to the President they have zero Electoral College votes. Yep these 3,675,778 American citizens have zero votes in Congress and no voice in electing their president. Any American simply moving to Puerto Rico loses their voice, no questions asked or answers given. This is simply wrong…
Past attempts to get voting representation for Puerto Rico has failed, I think a new approach makes sense. If we can’t do the right thing and allow these citizens to participate in our democracy we can at least make it more equitable. Lets create a constitutional amendment where the states with fewer citizens than Puerto Rico simply have their representation changed. So in the House of Representatives each of the above 21 states would now have one “non-voting” representative. They’d keep their two senators for being states. Oh and reduce their electrical college votes to 2. Still leaves the Citizens in Puerto Rico a muted voice but it would give us a bit closer to one American One vote….
Who’s with me?
A Madman Has Spoken….
I realize you respect the capability of Russian hackers. But before you ask for Russian help I’d asking the US FBI first. They have been very effective art retrieving previously detailed emails, either by recovering them directly from the server or rebuilding them from the inevitable trip emails leave.
In fact the FBI is so adept at doing this that they’ve already done so. As mentioned in the FBI Director’s details on the investigation they recovered and rebuilt the deleted emails. I don’t think they need help from Russia but I’m sure they appreciate you looking after them…
All the best,
The Political Madman
It’s been a while, but as a boy growing up in America I understood what manhood was. For this was a man with real values who followed the golden rule, “do onto others as you would have them do onto you”. A person who could inspire people to work together and achieve great things.
The ideal American man for me has strong character, who doesn’t shy away from hard work or doing the right thing. He has the balls to admit when he is wrong (and we’re all wrong at some point). He seeks and values the truth, even when the truth is different than he desires. He shows respect for everyone, valuing and acknowledging different opinions. All while passionately and respectfully defending his point of view even when his view is not popular.
Today, American manhood doesn’t seem so clear to me. Sadly I see too many examples of “Trolls” vying for popularity and somehow seen as bastions of manhood. These are are vindictive people simply attacking other points of view for sport. They’re seemingly driven only by a need to attract an audience. With no regard for truth trolls simply thrive on belittling and bullying those around them. Trolls trade on rudeness and disrespect to promote the idea anyone who doesn’t agree with them somehow “lesser” and targeted. Too often the troll takes this to the extreme suggesting their targets be ignored, locked up or worse. The easiest way to spot them is the use of name calling.
Most sickening these trolls collect an audience to cheer them on while tearing things down. And, then defend themselves by labeling any detractors as “Politically Correct”. Often using this name calling as a battle cry to create even more vindictiveness. Basically stirring up their own audience to shut down any real thought. The irony of this would be comical except it seems amazingly effective.
To reclaim American manhood we need to ignore the trolls in life. Starve them of the audience they crave. Support people with the strength to respect their fellow Americans with differing points of view. We need people with the wisdom to seek out other ideas. And the balls to seek the truth even if it means admitting sometimes they are wrong.
An American Madman has spoken…