Welcome to Sott.net
Mon, 27 Jan 2020
The World for People who Think

Society's Child


Stanford physicists try using science to explain why US elections are broken (are they just centrists still bitter over Trump beating Clinton?)

trump clinton presidential debate
© Getty Images / Pool
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during a 2016 presidential debate.
A pair of Stanford scientists have used physics to explain why American presidential elections since 1970 reflect a society barely holding itself together. Innovative science or study into the biases of the researchers themselves?

The paper, which appeared last week in the journal Nature Physics, is by Yaneer Bar-Yam, president of the New England Complex Systems Institute, and Alexander Siegenfeld, a PhD student at MIT. At a glance, it is not obvious what insights into electoral politics physics may offer, although their paper is full of complicated equations and impressive-looking graphs.

But admittedly, the power of physics is that it can reach useful conclusions without necessarily needing all details of the underlying mechanisms. This is how physicists can make accurate predictions of the movement of planets and the mass of atoms, without understanding the fundamental nature of matter in the universe.

Eye 1

Orwellian: Facial recognition to be rolled out across London by police despite a 96% error rate

facial recognition
© PA Media
Only a handful of arrests were made in almost three years of trials but police insist technology is 'fantastic crime-fighting tool'
Police are to start using controversial facial recognition across London, despite concerns over the technology's accuracy and privacy issues.

Eight trials carried out by the Metropolitan Police between 2016 and 2018 resulted in a 96 per cent rate of "false positives", and only eight arrests resulted from a facial recognition match.

Privacy campaigners have vowed to launch new legal challenges against its use and called the move a "serious threat to civil liberties in the UK".

But a senior officer insisted live facial recognition (LFR) was a "fantastic crime-fighting tool".

Assistant commissioner Nick Ephgrave said every deployment would be "bespoke" and target lists of wanted offenders or vulnerable missing people.

Comment: Clearly the technology isn't up to the job and there appears to be little public support, so why the rush?

See also: And check out SOTT radio's:


Bernie Sanders faces ire over Joe Rogan 'endorsement'

Bernie Sanders
© Getty Images
Sanders is the US Senator for Vermont
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is facing a backlash after he touted a thumbs-up from a podcast host loathed by many liberals.

Joe Rogan, a comedian turned provocateur, has told his seven million YouTube subscribers that he would "probably vote for Bernie".

Amid the ensuing outcry, Mr Sanders said his campaign was "a big tent".

Mr Rogan has previously drawn criticism for making what some consider sexist and transphobic comments.

Microscope 2

First case of coronavirus confirmed in Chicago; second case confirmed in US

american airlines ohare chicago
The first case of a new and potentially deadly virus circulating in China has been confirmed in Chicago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The patient, a Chicago woman in her 60s, returned to the United States on Jan. 13 from Wuhan, China, where an outbreak of respiratory illness called the novel coronavirus has been ongoing since December 2019, according to the CDC.

Authorities said the patient remains hospitalized but is in stable condition and doing well. She didn't have symptoms at the time of travel, according to health officials, who declined to say what airline she flew on.


No Entry

Health experts issued an ominous warning about a coronavirus pandemic 3 months ago; simulation showed it could kill 65 million people

wuhan coronavirus outbreak
Eric Toner, a scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, wasn't shocked when news of a mysterious coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, surfaced in early January.

Less than three months earlier, Toner had staged a simulation of a global pandemic involving a coronavirus.

Coronaviruses typically affect the respiratory tract and can lead to illnesses like pneumonia or the common cold. A coronavirus was also responsible for the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in China, which affected about 8,000 people and killed 774 in the early 2000s.

Comment: It's funny how there always seems to be a simulation or training exercise surreptitiously on or around the time of an actual crisis. It's almost like someone knows what's coming.

See also:


Alabama parents arrested after child fires gun at school

Child with gun
© Getty Images/iStock
The “small firearm” was in the boy’s jacket pocket when it “accidentally discharged” at J. E. Hobbs Elementary School in Camden on Friday morning, a district official said in a statement posted on Facebook.
The parents of an Alabama first-grader were taken into custody after the child accidentally fired a gun at school Friday, officials said.

The incident happened at J.E. Hobbs Elementary School in rural Wilcox County, where District Attorney Michael Jackson said a 6-year-old boy brought a gun to school and the weapon went off.


Botnet operation run by US veteran was set up prior to Bolivian coup: Generated thousands of automated anti-Morales tweets

Anez LaPaz
© Reuters/David Mercado
Bolivian wannabe dictator Jeanine Anez dons the gear in a faux ceremony at the National Police Academy, La Paz, Bolivia, November 2019.
A new report has revealed that the right-wing coup in Bolivia received automated support from a US Army veteran, who retweeted thousands of anti-Morales messages believed to have been written by fake Twitter accounts.

In the days preceding socialist President Evo Morales' decision to step down amid pressure from the military, thousands of new accounts were created on Twitter — with many of them parroting identical messages reading, in English, "Friends from everywhere, in Bolivia there was no coup."

According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an estimated 68,000 shady accounts were created as the Bolivia crisis unfolded, all of them sharing 14 hashtags which were either anti-Morales, or in support Luis Fernando Camacho, the right-wing politician who assumed power.

Follow-up analysis by Julian Macías Tovar, a social media coordinator for the Spanish left-wing party Podemos, found that 48,000 accounts were created in a four-day period, and appear to have been used solely to amplify these pro-coup hashtags. Tovar also stumbled upon a single account, operated by US Army veteran Luis Suarez, which had retweeted more than 13,000 messages containing the coup-friendly hashtags. Using a custom-made program to automate his Twitter activity, Suarez allegedly pumped out as many as 69 posts in a single second.

Comment: Exactly the same type of botnet operation was run out of Miami last January to 'amplify' the US govt's attempt to foment a coup in Venezuela:

Social media automation & infowars by the Venezuelan opposition

We've found the 'Russian-meddlers' and he is... US.

Red Flag

Salafist microterritories in France: Some 150 neighbourhoods 'held' by Islamists - report

According to a document classified as a defense secret, some 150 neighbourhoods in France have fallen into the hands of Islamists.
Islamic symbol
The French General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI) has just established a map of these territories conquered by Islamism, at the request of Christophe Castaner, formulated after the attack in Villejuif. It is an extremely sensitive subject for the executive, because they do not want to "stigmatize" the Muslim community.

The DGSI is the French domestic security agency. It is charged with counter-espionage, counter-terrorism, countering cybercrime and surveillance of potentially threatening groups, organisations, and social phenomena.

The book by political scientist Bernard Rougier, The Territories Conquered by Islamism, has moved the government to launch a fight against certain community drifts, but they fear being accused of stigmatizing Muslims.

Comment: See also:


Man goes postal in small German town, kills 6 of his own family members

Rot am shooting
German authorities confirmed on Friday that six people were killed in a building in the southwestern town of Rot am See, near Aalen in Baden-Württemberg. Two other victims were being treated in a local hospital, one with life-threatening injuries.

Aalen police told reporters that they believed some or all of the victims were members of the 26-year-old suspect's family. Officers were able to "have a coherent conversation" with him, they said, but still could not ascertain his motive.

Three of the victims were men aged 36, 65 und 69, while the three others were women aged 36, 56 und 62. Two of the victims were reportedly "not locals." The police confirmed that two of the victims were the suspect's parents.


Goldmans Sachs virtue signals on 'diversity' - declares war on the straight, white, male corporate board

David Solomon
© Reuters / Denis Balibouse
Davos, Switzerland: A straight white man declares war on straight white men. Wokeness!
Investment bank Goldman Sachs won't underwrite companies' initial public offerings unless their boards have at least one "diverse" member. Social justice pandering or canny business move?

"Starting on July 1st in the US and Europe, we're not going to take a company public unless there's at least one diverse board candidate, with a focus on women," Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said on Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "And we're going to move towards 2021 requesting two," he added.

Solomon's understanding of the word "diverse" is ill-defined. Presumably, a "diverse" candidate is one drawn from the LGBT alphabet, or of any race other than white. Whether the transgender, the disabled, or people of minority religions qualify as "diverse" is likewise left unexplained.

Comment: Despite mounting evidence that the SJW diversity mantra is bunk, Western society still seems to buy it.