Sunday, December 4, 2016

Literacy Tests

If Donald Trump Isn't Moving His Lips, Is He Reading?

In which Buzzfeed looks at sources & sourcing. (May qualify as "tl; dr".)
What we know of Trump’s relationship to the modern internet suggests the president-elect rarely browses it himself. Trump campaign press secretary Hope Hicks told GQ he relies largely on Google News printouts from staffers and sparingly reads his own email. And a 2007 deposition suggests that Trump doesn’t use a computer or carry a smartphone during the daytime hours, and often dictates daytime tweets to his assistants.

Down The Memory Hole

Web of Evil has long held that the distinction between actual homo saps & humanoids, other animals, & plants is literacy & its improvement upon memory, rather than the mere bee ess of tool use or making sounds w/ meanings.
Before the invention of writing, knowledge existed in the present tense between two or more people; when information was forgotten, it disappeared forever. That state of affairs created a special need for ideas that were easily memorized and repeatable (so, in a way, they could go viral). The immediacy of the oral world did not favor complicated, abstract ideas that need to be thought through. Instead, it elevated individuals who passed along memorable stories, wisdom and good news.
Welp, once voting is suppressed successfully, all memories of it & other lost rights/freedomsstuff, whatever it was ... must be suppressed as well. And social media is Newspeak v2.0.

Six Of One, Half A Dozen Of Another

Gail Collins, from a different angle but in the same "What is w/ him?" vein. No doubt the "agrees w/ whatever suggestions were made by the last weasel who flattered/talked to him, until he talks to the next weasel" syndrome
(This reporter is so experienced he remembers the Pres. Clinton who actually served being accused of the same thing.) plays into this.
In the past, I’ve always presumed that when Trump completely changed his position on health care or the Mexican wall or nuclear weapons in Japan, it was due to craven political opportunism. But it’s much more calming to work under the assumption that he doesn’t remember anything that happened before this morning.

Think about it next time you hear him bragging about his big margin of victory. “We won in a landslide. That was a landslide,” he told a crowd in Ohio on Thursday. It was perhaps the first time in history that a candidate used those terms after receiving 2.5 million votes fewer than his competitor.

It’s stupendously irritating, unless you work under the assumption that he no longer recalls the real story.

This week, Trump was on a victory lap in Indiana, where United Technologies just agreed to keep about 1,000 jobs at a Carrier gas-furnace factory that had been slated to be moved to Mexico. Trump had repeatedly vowed to save the Carrier jobs during the campaign, and even though there is no reason to believe this will have any effect whatsoever on other jobs in other factories, it seemed like a nice symbolic win.

But during his remarks to his ebullient fans, Trump cheerfully explained that he had no memory whatsoever of having promised to protect the Carrier workers. Until he heard it on TV.

Trump told the folks in Indiana that he had been watching the news one night last week and saw a feature in which a Carrier worker said he was not worried about the company’s plans to move his job to Mexico because Donald Trump had promised to save it.

“I said, ‘I wonder if he’s being sarcastic, because this ship has sailed.’”

But no, Trump said that he then watched a clip of Donald Trump the candidate, “and he made the statement that Carrier’s not going anywhere, they’re not leaving.”

What a surprise for Donald Trump! Who then felt he needed to deliver, and then made a call to Greg Hayes, the head of U.T.C.

Nobody believes Trump’s story about having won the day by promising Hayes that in his administration, businesses would get so many breaks on taxes and regulation, they’d have no incentive to move to a country where workers cost about $3 an hour.

But the bottom line is that our next president is entirely a creature of the moment. So much so that he had no problem wiping one of his most publicized campaign promises out of his mind the second he made it.

Once he heard it on TV, Trump said he did recall vowing to save the Carrier jobs, “but that was a euphemism.”

It was not a euphemism, which is an effort to substitute a milder term for something harsh or displeasing. Trump seemed to have another word in mind. Perhaps “lie.” But it’s easier for me to deal with the idea that it slipped his mind.
Well observed, Ms. Collins, & generous of you to offer the theory that Mr. Trump isn't a lying bullshitter, but a poor dope who just can't remember a darn thing; the results of his memory deficiency will be the same, intentional or not.
What's the before/after on this being an (if not the typical) American city by 2019?
By or from Fmobliv06. Available under Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike.

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