Start Up No.947: InfoWars sneaks back onto Facebook, don’t blockchain the vote, the end of mobile apps?, why passwords survive, and more


Say hello to the fastest single-core Mac you can buy. Yup, the Mac mini. Photo by tua ulamac on Flickr.

You can sign up to receive each day’s Start Up post by email. You’ll need to click a confirmation link, so no spam.

A selection of 10 links for you. Demand a recount if you want. I’m @charlesarthur on Twitter. Observations and links welcome.

Blockchain-based elections would be a disaster for democracy • Ars Technica

Timothy Lee:

»

“Mobile voting is a horrific idea,” said election security expert Joe Hall when I asked him about a West Virginia experiment with blockchain-based mobile voting back in August.

But on Tuesday, The New York Times published an opinion piece claiming the opposite.

“Building a workable, scalable, and inclusive online voting system is now possible, thanks to blockchain technologies,” writes Alex Tapscott, whom the Times describes as co-founder of the Blockchain Research Institute.

Tapscott is wrong—and dangerously so. Online voting would be a huge threat to the integrity of our elections—and to public faith in election outcomes.

Tapscott focuses on the idea that blockchain technology would allow people to vote anonymously while still being able to verify that their vote was included in the final total. Even assuming this is mathematically possible—and I think it probably is—this idea ignores the many, many ways that foreign governments could compromise an online vote without breaking the core cryptographic algorithms.

For example, foreign governments could hack into the computer systems that governments use to generate and distribute cryptographic credentials to voters. They could bribe election officials to supply them with copies of voters’ credentials. They could hack into the PCs or smartphones voters use to cast their votes. They could send voters phishing emails to trick them into revealing their voting credentials—or simply trick them into thinking they’ve cast a vote when they haven’t.

Tapscott says these concerns are no big deal because voters can always check later to see if their vote was recorded properly.

“Because of the clear chain of custody, citizens could prove that their voting tokens had been stolen,” he writes.

But let’s think about how this would play out in practice. Suppose it’s mid-November 2020 and Donald Trump has narrowly won reelection. A few thousand voters in key swing states come forward to say that they intended to vote for Trump’s opponent but their vote was recorded for Trump instead. Thousands of others say they tried to vote for Trump—or against him—but their votes weren’t counted.

Was that due to hackers meddling with the vote, technical snafus, or user error? Were some of them just misremembering how they had cast their ballots? There would be no way to know for sure.

«

Why replace something that everyone understands with something that doesn’t? Paper ballots are simple, really hard to forge, checkable.
link to this extract


Where trolls reigned free: a new history of reddit • The New York Times

David Streitfeld reviews a new book about reddit:

»

The title “We Are the Nerds” doesn’t really fit the tale. “We Are the Trolls” would have made much more sense. “I was always kind of an [expletive],” [co-founder Steve] Huffman explains early on. [The author, Christine] Lagorio-Chafkin bluntly calls him “a total troll.” He was also a genius programmer. The great achievement of the social internet was to unleash jerkdom for many while monetizing it for a few.

The Reddit tale is an indictment of Silicon Valley, something Lagorio-Chafkin seems to sense but never confronts head-on, perhaps because she is so grateful for access to Huffman and [co-founder Alexis] Ohanian. “Two nice guys who made it, by crafting something incredible and yet ridiculously unwieldy, with no lack of turbulence along the way,” Lagorio-Chafkin writes in an author’s note. A more accurate summation might be: “Two inexperienced young guys created something they didn’t understand and couldn’t control.”

It’s all here anyway: the lack of adult oversight; the suck-up press; the growth-at-any-cost mentality; the loyal employees, by turns abused and abusive (memo from management: “You do realize you were talking about penises for 90 minutes, right?”); the defense of horrendous behavior as “free speech”; the jettisoning of “free speech” when it served corporate purposes; the way no one seeks permission but all expect forgiveness…

…Reddit became so offensive it was difficult to work there. A community manager who had a brief tenure in 2015 told Lagorio-Chafkin some of the reasons: “Child molesters, child porn, vicious stalking, rape threats, serious harassment, people taking the harassment offline and people filing police reports on each other.” One chief executive, stressed beyond endurance, simply stopped showing up for work. His replacement, Ellen Pao, tried to impose order in the office and on the site. The backlash led to her abrupt departure. Huffman returned and purged most of the staff.

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Right, because purging the staff would accomplish..? At least we’re getting a history of this period of the internet.
link to this extract


The end is near for mobile apps • Medium

Lance Ng:

»

When smartphones first appeared, major corporations rushed to make apps. Then they realized it was a real headache to maintain them. Every time you update information on your website or promote a product, you have to do the same on your app. And every time a handset manufacturer updates its operating system, you have to debug your app to make sure it keeps working — plus there are the pains of managing bugs on different brands, models, and screen sizes. If you’ve ever been involved in mobile app development, you know what I’m talking about.

The truth is, unless you are a major retailer or content publisher that needs to sell or deliver to customers frequently, all you really need is a mobile-friendly website. If information is all people want, they’re going to Google it in a browser.

Given the first two points, this third is a logical evolution and is already happening in some parts of the world. It’s what the industry calls “building an ecosystem.” The strategy involves binding users’ daily behaviors and spending into their mobile apps.

A good example is how restaurants and cafes are integrating into food delivery apps instead of maintaining their own online order and delivery systems. In turn, these food delivery apps are consolidating with mobile wallet or ride-share apps to provide synergy and convenience to users. Consider Go-Jek, the biggest motorcycle ride-share app in Indonesia. To many people, it’s an all-in-one mobile wallet, ride-hailing, food delivery, and lifestyle services app.

Go-Jek took its inspiration from China’s WeChat, the biggest instant messaging app in that country, which has integrated just about every lifestyle service you can think of into their mobile wallet section.

«

The “platform rolling up apps” might apply in China, and possibly some parts of Asia, but I don’t see it happening in Europe. And for mobile apps: you do the updates to the web page and the app simultaneously via an API.
link to this extract


Getafix: how Facebook tools learn to fix bugs automatically • Facebook Code

Johannes Bader, Satish Chandra, Eric Lippert and Andrew Scott:

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Modern production codebases are extremely complex and are updated constantly. To create a system that can automatically find fixes for bugs — without help from engineers — we built a tool that learns from engineers’ previous changes to the codebase. It finds hidden patterns and uses them to identify the most likely remediations for new bugs.

This tool, called Getafix, has been deployed to production at Facebook, where it now contributes to the stability of apps that billions of people use. Getafix works in conjunction with two other Facebook tools, though the technology can be used to address code issues from any source. It currently suggests fixes for bugs found by Infer, our static analysis tool that identifies issues such as null pointer exceptions in Android and Java code. It also suggests fixes — via SapFix — for bugs detected by Sapienz, our intelligent automated testing system for our apps. Having previously given an overview of SapFix and Sapienz, we are now offering a deep dive into how Getafix learns how to fix bugs (using the term broadly to refer to any code issues, not just those that will cause an app to crash).

The goal of Getafix is to let computers take care of the routine work, albeit under the watchful eye of a human, who must decide when a bug requires a complex, nonroutine remediation. The tool works by applying a new method of hierarchical clustering to many thousands of past code changes that human engineers made, looking at both the change itself and also the context around the code change. This method allows it to detect the underlying patterns in bugs and the corresponding fixes that previous auto-fix tools couldn’t.

«

This is amazing.
link to this extract


Here’s why [insert thing here] is not a password killer • Troy Hunt

»

Despite their respective merits, every one of these [proposed] solutions [to “replace the password”] has a massive shortcoming that severely limits their viability and it’s something they simply can’t compete with:

Despite its many flaws, the one thing that the humble password has going for it over technically superior alternatives is that everyone understands how to use it. Everyone.

This is where we need to recognise that decisions around things like auth schemes go well beyond technology merits alone. Arguably, the same could be said about any security control and I’ve made the point many times before that these things need to be looked at from a very balanced viewpoint. There are merits and there are deficiencies and unless you can recognise both (regardless of how much you agree with them), it’s going to be hard to arrive at the best outcome…

…Almost a year ago, I travelled to Washington DC and sat in front of a room full of congressmen and congresswomen and explained why knowledge-based authentication (KBA) was such a problem in the age of the data breach. I was asked to testify because of my experience in dealing with data breaches, many of which exposed personal data attributes such as people’s date of birth. You know, the thing companies ask you for in order to verify that you are who you say you are! We all recognise the flaws in using static KBA (knowledge of something that can’t be changed), but just in case the penny hasn’t yet dropped, do a find for “dates of birth” on the list of pwned websites in Have I Been Pwned. So why do we still use such a clearly fallible means of identity verification? For precisely the same reason we still use the humble password and that’s simply because every single person knows how to use it.

This is why passwords aren’t going anywhere in the foreseeable future and why [insert thing here] isn’t going to kill them. No amount of focusing on how bad passwords are or how many accounts have been breached or what it costs when people can’t access their accounts is going to change that.

«

Essentially, we’re stuck with what we started with, because it’s so widely used. Though biometrics on phones do offer even less friction, and are increasingly hard to fool.
link to this extract


Foxconn considers bringing Chinese workers to Wisconsin as US labour market tightens • WSJ

Yang Jie, Shayndi Raice and Eric Morath:

»

The company, the Taiwanese supplier to Apple, has been trying to tap Chinese engineers through internal transfers to supplement staffing for the Wisconsin plant, according to people familiar with the matter.

The state pledged $3 billion in tax and other “performance-based” incentives to help lure Foxconn, and local authorities added $764 million. Foxconn must meet hiring, wage and investment targets by various dates to receive most of those benefits.

The company promised the state it would invest $10bn and build a 22-million-square-foot liquid-crystal display panel plant, hiring 13,000 employees, primarily factory workers along with some engineers and business support positions.

Foxconn said its “Wisconsin first commitment remains unchanged,” in a written statement to The Wall Street Journal in response to questions about its hiring plans. In a separate statement it said it still plans to ultimately hire 13,000, and the majority “will work on high-value production and engineering assignments and in the research and development field.”

«

Foxconn says: nope nope nope. But Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is well below the national average.
link to this extract


The 2018 Facebook midterms, part 3: granular enforcement • Medium

Jonathan Albright has been investigating (right-wing) Facebook Pages which have absolutely colossal “engagement” – but is it real? There’s a lot of suspicious video views. But also something else:

»

Following the highly publicized “ban” in early August, Jones’ show and much of the removed InfoWars news content appears to have moved swiftly back onto the Facebook platform.

Here’s the deal: I was not tracking the InfoWars accounts that were inevitably going to reappear after the official accounts were banned on Facebook. In fact, when I encountered the Alex Jones’ livestream shown in the image below, I wasn’t looking for InfoWars. I was looking for Soros conspiracies.

And what did I get? The live high-definition stream of Jones’ show on Facebook — broadcast on one of the many InfoWars-branded Pages that is inconspicuously named “News Wars.”

Alex Jones’ program found me. To add more context, a couple weeks ago, I was looking for posts on Facebook related to the Soros-funded “caravan” rumor. For one of my searches, Jones’ live stream above, titled “A New Caravan of Invaders,” was one of the top twenty results returned on Facebook from the search.

What this unfortunate stoke of luck meant was that I found out Jones’ show has been broadcast nearly every day for the past three months on at least two Infowars-branded Facebook Pages. Nice ban.

News Wars, and a Page called “Infowars Stream” were being promoted by Facebook via its search and video recommendation algorithms for searches about conspiracies and politics — such as my query for “Soros caravan.”

Since the first day of August — the same week Jones’ and the largest of the InfoWars Pages were taken down — Jones’ InfoWars broadcasts — primarily the streams of Alex Jones’ daily “censored” talk show on InfoWars — have been viewed at least five million times. And over the same time period, these two Pages, with less than 30,000 followers combined, have reported almost 700,000 interactions.

«

Pages and Groups: real conduits for misinformation.

link to this extract


Security issues on ArtChain • Terence Eden’s blog

Eden found a trivial XSS hack which could be used on ArtChain, a site which “uses the blockchain to verify art” (or something):

»

It could be a lot worse. This simple demonstration is not malicious. An attacker could craft a script which phished for user credentials, tried to hijack the administrators’ cookies, or mined cryptocurrency. In short, a user or administrator could not trust the content on the page.
This was the site owner’s response to my investigation.

What Howard fails to realise is that it doesn’t matter that his platform is based on the BitCoin BlockChain. If an attacker can add malicious JavaScript to his site, then steal his credentials, it’s game over. The indelible nature of the BlockChain means that malicious or incorrect content stays there forever – losing control of your keys is a disaster.

There’s also the issue of trust in the website. If an attacker can rewrite the page – even temporarily – they could convince users to transfer money, ownership, or attention elsewhere.

When you view content on ArtChain, you have no way of knowing whether it is official or hacked. When the site displays a BitCoin address, it could be ArtChain’s – or it could be an attacker’s.

«

Blockchain can’t save you from hubris, ArtChain.
link to this extract


The 2018 Mac Mini • Marco.org

Marco Arment uses a Mac mini at home as a home theatre mixer, Plex server, scanner server, photos backup and a host for his NAS (network attached storage); now he’s tested the new one, and really likes it:

»

It seemed for a while that Apple lacked any interest in making Macs anymore, especially desktops.

Last year, with the introduction of the absolutely stellar iMac Pro, Apple showed us a glimpse of a potential new direction. It was downright perfect — a love letter to the Mac and its pro desktop users, and a clear turnaround in the way the company views the Mac for the better.

We didn’t know until now whether the iMac Pro’s greatness was a fluke. But now we have another data point: the last two desktops out of Apple have been incredible. After this, I have faith that they’re going to do the new Mac Pro justice when it finally ships next year.

The new Mac Mini is a great update, out of nowhere, to a product we thought would never be updated again.

Of course, with Apple’s track record on the Mac Mini, it may never be updated after this. This is either the first in a series of regular updates with which Apple proves that they care about the Mac Mini again, or it’s the last Mac Mini that will ever exist and we’ll all be hoarding them in a few years. We can’t know yet.

«

The only negative is that it doesn’t have optical-out. But: four – count ’em – USB-C ports. It looks like a hell of a machine if you can find a static need for it.
link to this extract


New MacBook Air review: your next laptop has arrived (three years late) • WSJ

Joanna Stern:

»

This Thanksgiving let us all give thanks for the lack of a Touch Bar. The MacBook Pro’s touch-screen strip has proved to be nothing more than a novelty.

Absolutely not a novelty: Touch ID. The fingerprint sensor, embedded in the upper right corner of the new Air’s keyboard, beats typing in passwords. But why no Face ID, after two iPhone generations and a new iPad, not to mention Apple’s insistence that face recognition is more reliable and secure? Windows Hello, Microsoft ’s facial recognition for PCs, is quite good.

Performance should be the deciding factor between the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro. If your days are filled with some combination of web browser tabs, email, documents, presentations, spreadsheets and light video or photo work, you won’t feel a performance difference between the Air and the Pro. In my tests, applications performed as snappily. But I saw a difference in more processor-intensive tasks—exporting or rendering video files, opening large batches of files, etc. For instance, the 2017 MacBook Pro exported a 4K video 45% faster than the new Air.

If you’re considering the small MacBook instead of the Air… just don’t. It costs more, runs slower and has shorter battery life.

The old Air’s battery life was once industry-leading: Thirteen hours—two cross country-flights—without needing a charge. The new Air delivers just around the same, depending on your usage and screen brightness. I made it through a full workday of intermittent use, plus more work after dinner, without needing to charge.

However, my tests indicate that the old Air still lasts longer.

«

She points out that the HP Spectre lasts even longer (15hr) and comes with more storage as standard (256GB); the 128GB of the base model here is “a blatant upsell”. And she’s not delighted by the new keyboard.

Apple’s PC line definitely doesn’t make sense now – the MacBook price is crazy – and Stern hits it right on the head: this upgrade is at least three years overdue.

Her video review is done in a hot air balloon (air, geddit?) and as always, deserving of your time.
link to this extract


Errata, corrigenda and ai no corrida: none notified

14 thoughts on “Start Up No.947: InfoWars sneaks back onto Facebook, don’t blockchain the vote, the end of mobile apps?, why passwords survive, and more

  1. MBA: it seems an Intel NUC does about all Mr. Arment does with his Mac Mini, for about half the price – the listed NUC are barebones you need to add RAM and storage.

    I’m repeatedly amazed at Apple reviews and reports that don’t look outside the iBubble. The whole thing has become very House of Usher-ish.

    • I think you need to look more closely at Arment’s review. I don’t usually point to benchmarks, but the benchmarks for that new mini are remarkable, especially for hardware video encoding.
      Plus if you have to add and configure RAM and storage to the NUCs – not to mention an OS – it all starts to mount up. Not really a like-for-like comparison; the NUC is cheap if your time has no value, as they used to say about Linux.

      • I’m unclear what in the list of tasks you said he does with it requires any performance at all.

        I looked a second time, I’m still not seeing any comparison to non-Apple PCs ?

        If transcoding is a focus (why would it be ? any device can play any video these days ?), Intel has a NUC with a Radeon GPU that is very expensive (ie, about the same price as the mini Mac ) that’ll blow this thing out of the water. Also, games.

        Also, shops of course sell the NUCs pre-configured with RAM a drive and an OS. I’ll stoop to that level with my own quip: The mini Mac is interesting if you don’t even know NUCs are also sold ready-to-tun.

      • I’ll insist again on the randomness of the transcoding test and how surprising it is you latch on to that. It’s not required for any of the uses you listed, If shucked my own Plex server for a straight file server years ago.

        I understand it’s a strong point, but that’s the issue with very partial reviewing and commenting: you shine a spotlight on whatever produces impressive numbers and is pushed by Apple PR, even if it’s irrelevant to most users -even to your own specific uses-, and the narrative becomes “it’s such a GOOOOOD machine ! It’s magical !”. All this based on misdirection to a random irrelevant feature, and energetically not looking at the competition.

        The mini Mac is the answer to the questions “how can I pay 2-3x more to do that ?” and “are there more ways I can love Apple ?”. It doesn’t make sense as a NAS, Plex server (Plex no longer makes sense either), backup server (why only pictures ?). Not sure about scanner server.

      • I think you’re not seeing the wood for the trees, and this is an exact replay of what happened in the 1990s with the Windows/Mac discussion. Objective measures such as benchmarks and price do not capture all the reasons why people choose to buy Apple gear. There are other elements which fall into the nebulous penumbra of “brand”. Part of it is convenience: fewer choices can actually be a relief, in a world where you can choose from 700 types of bread on a supermarket shelf. Another part is a different convenience: simple integration with existing systems. (This is why the halo effect is a thing.) And a different convenience: I’m sitting in a cafe and a person on the adjacent table is griping about how “Windows just gets slower and slower.” (It doesn’t matter whether this is true; it’s his *perception*.) Part is aesthetic: the hardware looks nice. It stays quiet. The software has a different feel from Windows (which personally I always find too intrusive – I don’t want popups and I don’t want my desktop rearranged and I don’t care that new hardware was detected).

        None of those measures shows up on a benchmark or on the price tag, but each of them is real to a user who notices them. It’s folly to tell someone who does notice them that they shouldn’t notice them; their conclusion is going to be that *you’re* missing something, not that they are. In your view, they’re missing the price tag and hardware that is equivalent; in their view, you’re missing the value of aesthetics, time saved and self-esteem. Those iMacs you see decorating lobby desks of high-rise buildings, and in classy apartments in films? Set designers can afford to get anything they want. They choose the iMac because they think it reflects how they would expect someone like that to want to live.

        This is why car adverts for brand/marque X tend to be most effective, in terms of building brand awareness, on people who have just bought brand/marque X: they reinforce buyers’ view of themselves as having made a good decision. The effect is marginal on most other groups; it might raise awareness among those considering buying a car. And people who are car specialists scoff at those ads because they say they obscure that Brand Y has better MPG or acceleration or boot space. But that’s not the point.

        If you don’t see that there are reasons why people buy things which go beyond the utilitarian, then you’re doomed to always be puzzled by your fellow humans. They will do the same when it comes to cars, houses, and politics. They will do it over food, restaurants, paint colours and mobile phones. You cannot form a useful model of the world until you realise that some choices are subjective – and that truly means there’s no way to change them with objective numbers.

      • I agree with all of that.
        – fewer choices can be great. Hence my wondering about the multiplication of iPhone models (and their features: notch, 3DTouch,…) , and why *that* isn’t picked up in reporting/analyzing. So choice is OK when Apple offers it, superfluous even burdensome when they don’t ? The French saying is: ” 2 poids, 2 mesures”.
        – I thought hardware/device reporting and analysis was about transcending perception and going to the actual facts of the issue, or at least not reporting feelings as facts. Am I wrong ? There’s nothing wrong per se about brands trading on perception. There’s a lot wrong about analyses and reviews never going beyond that veil.
        – The popups can be disabled. the folly is to tell people to spend 2x as much because you don’t know how to disable popups (and desktop rearranging, if that’s still a thing I haven’t seen it in ages). Or passing “it gets slower” as fact when we don’t know if it’s true – and MACs do to BTW, read any Mac forum, not just PR. You forgot “Macs have no viruses”, ha-ha.

        My issue is not that there are reasons beyond utilitarian. I struggle with that (phones are handbags, not hammers) but I can understand it. My issue is that reviews and analyses do not own up to that, and are manufacturing a bunch of fake utilitarian reasons why completely hiding the context/competiton. That’s where the con is.

        And the shrillness of the reactions kind of confirm that. I’m sure that, as we did for the previous generation, we’ll get a picture of a fast-flying balloon that the Pixel mangles and the iPhone doesn’t, as proof positive that iPhones are better cameras. People are grasping at straws to convey a predetermined message, not spending a minute on taking a step back and wondering what that message should be.

        We’re seeing what emotions w/o reason do in politics and those other fields. I think we should try to acknowledge but rein them in, especially in more technical matters… like computers. People who invest emotions in a PC have more issues than I do. FB is being criticized for just broadcasting those emotions (including fake/for-pay ones, which is a linked but different issue, though I assume the tech blogosphere has the same issues with PR pression/funding and clickbaiting). Why is the tech press and blogosphere doing essentially the same at its level ?

        I’m sure the mini Mac is a nice computer. I’m fairly sure it makes sense for very few people: iOS devs who must own a Mac, locked-in low-skill users who can’t figure how to meld a Windows PC in their setup, maybe some verticals (for iOS, music creation; for MacOS I’m not sure). That’s not at all what’s said in the review though, hence my issues with it.

      • Choices: there’s a substantial difference between thousands and hand-finger numbers. “Choose an Android phone.” “Choose an iPhone.” Those are very different challenges.

        Marco Arment isn’t a “reporter”. He’s one of the original developers of Tumblr, and now the developer of the Overcast app. He’s evaluating it as a developer (hence the core benchmarking) and a user. It’s about an evaluation on those axes which putting it purely into a rig and running tests won’t capture.

        The popup-disabling on Windows is only part of what I mean about it. Again: you’re mistaking pure utilitarianism with aesthetics, and they are not comparable. I could make my house out of poured concrete. It would be cheaper. And yet instead it’s made of other stuff which I like because of how it looks. How crazy is that?!

        And you’re mistaking what reviews like Arment’s are doing. If you don’t understand aesthetics, you can’t argue them away. I realise that my palate is far less sensitive than cooks and chefs and food critics; but that doesn’t mean that I tell them not to spend money on foods just because *I* can’t tell the difference in taste even though you can get the same vitamins and calories for less.

        You say that “people who invest emotions in a PC have more issues than I do”, but you miss the point again: people who invest emotions in their choice of a PC are choosing to make an attachment, and your telling them that *they* have issues – that they should instead see them as utilitarian tools – will never convince them of anything other than that you’re a bit uninspiring to have around.

        To a large extent, tech reviewing eventually loses sight of the delight people get from a new device. After you’ve reviewed 10, 50, 100 PCs or phones or tablets, you really struggle to remember what you felt when you first opened a box with something that you had worked hard to afford. But that emotion is real – even if it doesn’t show up on a benchmark. This is just one aspect of the disconnect between “reviewers” and buyers. Yes, some things really are utilitarian: it’s pretty hard to feel emotional about a patch cable. But a machine you’ll hope to use every day, and which will hold personal items? Perhaps different.

      • Look at what happened in the iPad discussion: I brought specific things Andoird tablets do that were mentionned as an issue on iPads, and got an “ha ha ha, Android” as a response.

        And we’ll get the same BS in 1-2-3 yrs when iOS starts supporting mice and trackpads and that’ll be a game-changer and wonderful and magical, and nobody will volunteer to pay for the surgery I’ll need after my out-of-bounds eyeroll.

  2. On another topic: I’m still appalled at the US election results. We got about the same a few years back in France with the National Front getting to the presidential election’s 2nd round, but at least they got beat 20:80 then. The US is still mostly 50:50

    I do blame emotions, and I thing Make America Great Again is a genius slogan, because it’s utterly unspecific so people project onto it whenever their lives were better (which is: any time sufficiently remote, the brain works like that) and vote “yay, I want that”. Also, Hell is other people is the cherry on top.

    I think the only counter to that is: Fairness. It’s more objective, and it strongly activates the lizard brain. And It’d force the dems and un-crazy republicans into a bit a introspection, because there are very good reasons they can’t credibly use that slogan right now. Not sure 2yrs is enough for that step.

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