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That is a fair concern, although I doubt it's the first step for him and the USA. Several steps are being taken at once. I liked this article from those search results, particularly the comments about the media's reluctance during the election campaign to call Trump what he is.
I have a colleague who shares a skeptical temperament with me, so we get on quite well. But he's more inclined to be skeptical of every source than I am. And this leads him towards paranoia and conspiracy thinking from time to time. Sometimes I see an odd phenomenon with him where the more obscure the source of information, the less skepticism it attracts, as long as the story challenges some formerly established narrative. Eventually it becomes a kind of inverse pyramid of justification: the impact of the single latest and most dramatic challenge overshadows the credibility of sources that have accumulated a reputation or cited their evidence, and the thrill of imagination overwhelms evidentiary reasoning.
For the most part we have some pretty good conversations, but occasionally he goes way out there. I have heard him say the moon landings were faked and vaccines may cause autism, and if I point out the readily available debunking evidence, I get a shrug and "I'm not sure about that." (To be fair, he hasn't said the first of these for a while, and I stopped asking about the second.)
One other thing I have noticed is that as we get older he becomes more reasonable and less certain of conspiracies. And I can say "you're being paranoid" and he doesn't reject me as one of "them". At the same time I find myself less certain of most things. I think this is a nice way for us to grow up.
Here's a reddit comment that pulls out some of the good bits:
- “The few among writers who had taken the trouble to read Hitler’s book, ridiculed the bombast of his stilted prose instead of occupying themselves with his program,” he wrote. They took him neither seriously nor literally. Even into the nineteen-thirties, “the big democratic newspapers, instead of warning their readers, reassured them day by day, that the movement . . . would inevitably collapse in no time.” Prideful of their own higher learning and cultivation, the intellectual classes could not absorb the idea that, thanks to “invisible wire-pullers”—the self-interested groups and individuals who believed they could manipulate the charismatic maverick for their own gain—this uneducated “beer-hall agitator” had already amassed vast support. After all, Germany was a state where the law rested on a firm foundation, where a majority in parliament was opposed to Hitler, and where every citizen believed that “his liberty and equal rights were secured by the solemnly affirmed constitution.”
- ... people refused to believe that the new reality could persist. “This could only be an eruption of an initial, senseless rage, one told oneself. That sort of thing could not last in the twentieth century.”
Not too reassuring. Those of us who oppose the Trump/Bannon juggernaut have to do more than continue to point out how Trump is stupid and wrong, how his policies are ill-considered, how he can't talk properly, can't read, is racist, abuses women, doesn't know shit about anything. These complaints only reiterate that we share values these people don't share. Yes, they're boorish, aggressive bullies. But no boorish, aggressive bully was ever stopped by pointing this out.
The real question is: how do you stop him concentrating power towards his own inner circle? A determined autocrat can undermine any and all institutions given time. What can people do now to turn the tide before it is too late? What actions will be effective?
There's no way to know whether vaccines cause autism.
There's no way to know whether humans cause climate change.
There's no way to know whether climate change is dangerous.
There's no way to know whether Trump will be bad for the world.
Wham! also wore those "choose life" t-shirts (designed by Katharine Hamnett):
And Trainspotting (1996) railed against the vacuousness of the slogan:
I visited the Soviet Union in the same year (1989) and remember having the same thought when I went into their (miserable, empty) shops: "If they could only see what shops in the West look like, they would be astonished."
But now look where global capitalism has led us, and the response is... Trump? I just hope this is a transitional step in history and that humans survive long enough to come out wiser.
At what point did this one sound well thought out and logical?
- how do you change someone's mind?
Probably a good start is not to go into the interaction with the goal, "I'm going to get them to believe what I believe." It sets up a barrier and puts both parties' beliefs under lockdown. No matter how attached you are to what you believe, for a fruitful exchange to take place it's best to enter it with an open mind, and that means recognizing that your beliefs are subject to doubt just like theirs. Growth can take place when you form a true empathetic connection and meet as equals, and that can only happen if you're sincerely open, listening to and feeling the person you're talking to, and you maintain that even if they are defensive or even offensive towards you. A good start is to feel where it is that you can warm to them. If they're racist, is that because they're afraid of something, and can you feel and relate to their fear? I know this is vague, but the agenda can't start with specific actions on specific beliefs.
And how do we add beliefs? We're born with certain tendencies, during our upbringing we imitate and are trained, learn what rewards and what brings pain, and form social bonds. Our likes and dislikes take shape and we start to be driven by these, and we form habits. Social bonds and habits soon turn into our assumed identities, and this whole submerged iceberg of arational formation lurks beneath the visible tip of our rational thinking. Mostly we form beliefs to suit what's already there and avoid discomfort, though we may think we're being awfully rational and objective. Being aware of this can help when you encounter someone whose iceberg happened to grow into a different shape from your own.
They have updated the article. Looks like the FBI only operated the sites for a day or two before shutting them down:
- UPDATE Sunday 12:41pm ET: We have clarified our original story and headline to more clearly and accurately reflect the fact that while the FBI did take over the 23 child porn sites in question, unlike the Playpen case, the agency does not appear to have actually operated them, or allowed them to continue to operate.
Joseph Cox, a journalist, pointed out in a Medium post on Saturday that the “network investigative technique” (NIT) data was collected between August 3 and August 5, 2013 against the users of the child porn sites. As of August 4, all of the sites on Freedom Hosting began showing a fake error message to their users, but were actually deploying this NIT as a way to unmask users.
Well, there you go, I just discovered Vocaloid and now I want to play with it. I'm sure it's more fun than Adobe's thing. First release 12 years ago. Evidently I am years behind in what's possible.