How to Be Younger
October 18, 2019
“You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” – Epicurus
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu
All The Presidents (Hench)Men
On Thursday Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney gave announcements and answered reporters’ questions for almost an hour in the first White House press conference in 200 days. The back and forth, which was often head-spinning, included US acquiescence in Turkey’s invasion of Syria, the upcoming G7 to be held at Trump’s Doral golf resort in Miami — which was in “steep decline” financially six months ago — and impeachment.
Regarding the latter, President Trump has repeatedly denied there was any quid pro quo in his July phone conversation with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, wherein Trump demanded an investigation of his Democratic political rival Joe Biden and son, Hunter, in exchange for the release of military aid desperately needed by Ukraine as it battles Russian-backed separatists on its eastern border. The president’s demand to a foreign government for something that could personally benefit him in his 2020 reelection bid is the basis for the House impeachment inquiry.
Nevertheless, Mulvaney stunningly admitted at the press conference there was a quid pro quo in the president’s conversation with Zelensky — just not the one everybody thinks. The reason the administration withheld $391million in military aid, Mulvaney said, was to force Ukraine to investigate corruption by Democrats and the Democratic National Committee in the 2016 presidential election, a discredited conspiracy theory still being pursued by the president and his attorney general and department of justice.
- 27-year-old Asher Burke, founder and CEO of Ads, Inc. and former deputy political director of the Republican Party of San Diego, described himself as an entrepreneur “on a mission to disrupt the lifestyle industry with our advanced approach to product creation and marketing.”
- In 2018 he merged the online ad company he’d created in 2015 with another e-commerce company having expertise in developing products to be sold online. But the resulting massive, multimillion-dollar business Burke ran was actually a huge con — a sophisticated and elaborate Facebook hustle.
- It was a pyramid scheme, headquartered offshore, using low-wage Filipino workers, and stay-at-home moms recruited as a multi-level marketing scheme, paid to recruit their friends to “rent their Facebook accounts.”
- Recruits were sent a gadget to plug into their routers that would impersonate them on Facebook and plant millions of subscription-trap free-trial scam ads. The company also used celebrity endorsements to market to low-information boomers, with pages that were dolled up to look like Fox News. (BuzzFeedNews)
Will Fakebook Re-elect Trump?
- Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook Would Have Prevented the Iraq War (Gizmodo) This is the same man that said: Zuckerberg: the idea that fake news on Facebook influenced the election is ‘crazy’ (Verge)
- Warren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump ‘and profit off of it’ (The Hill)
- Election 2020: who’s winning the Silicon Valley money race? Sanders and Warren want to break up big tech. That has not dented their popularity with industry workers, Guardian analysis finds (Guardian)
- The Social Network – Official Trailer, a fantastic movie about Mark Zuckerberg
Dear Zuck, Please Clean Up After Your Yourself, Your Mother Does Not Work Here
- One wonders how much money it would take to adequately compensate Facebook moderators to do the work they do, considering the catastrophic effects of the job.
- Turns out that despite the company’s efforts to improve conditions for their thousands of contractors, the task of moderating graphic violence, nudity, bullying, hate speech, fake news and sexual exploitation of children eight hours a day, nights and weekends, for “practically minimum pay” leaves terrible psychological scars, plus for some, addiction to extreme material and far-right political positions. (Guardian)
- Capitalism is turning us into addicts: How Big Business shapes our habits and desires. (Vox)
- Nir Eyal on how to beat tech addiction: ‘We need a new skill set’: The behavioural scientist has advised tech companies on how to get people hooked – now he’s telling us how to break the habit (Guardian)
Hack or Be Hacked: The Forever CyberWar
- Two American officials speaking anonymously told Reuters the US carried out a secret cyber attack on Iran in the wake of the September 14 assault on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. The officials said the operation took place in late September and was aimed at Iran’s ability to spread “propaganda.”
- The US, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France and Germany have publicly blamed the attack on Iran, which denied involvement in the strike. The Iran-aligned Houthi militant group in Yemen claimed responsibility.
- The Trump administration sent thousands of additional troops and equipment to Saudi Arabia to bolster their defenses, in the latest deployment to the region this year. (Reuters)
Additional World News
- Eat, Drink And Be Wary: Ex-CIA Officer Reveals How Eateries Are Key To Spycraft (NPR)
- Prominent Hong Kong Protest Leader Beaten By Unknown Assailants (NPR)
- Five killed in Kashmir’s deadliest day since losing special status: Some observers say Delhi’s promises falling flat and unrest likely to increase (Guardian)
- Boris Johnson Has a Brexit Deal. Now He Needs Parliament’s Support. (NYT $)
Cease-Fire Burns Out A Little Too Late
- After hours behind closed doors in Ankara, Vice President Mike Pence emerged to announce Thursday that the US had reached an agreement with Turkey’s President Erdogan on a five-day cease-fire in Syria.
- “It will be a pause in military operations for 120 hours while the United States facilitates the withdrawal of [Kurdish fighting forces] from the affected areas in the safe zone. And once that is completed, Turkey has agreed to a permanent cease-fire,” Pence said.
- Kurds now have lost half their land to Turkey and Syria, and their fate hangs in the balance. Trump’s betrayal of US allies has been condemned by both political parties and other world leaders. (CNBC)
- Donald Trump’s bizarre, threatening letter to Erdoğan: ‘Don’t be a fool’ (Guardian)
- House Democrats Walk Out Of White House Syria Meeting, Accusing Trump Of ‘Meltdown’ (NPR)
My Friends Say I Should Act My Age, What’s My Age Again?
- Each of us has a chronological age that has age-related biomarkers: things like skin elasticity, blood pressure, lung capacity and grip strength. People with a healthy lifestyle and living conditions, and a fortunate genetic inheritance, tend to score “younger” on these assessments and have a lower ‘biological age” than their actual age as measured in birthdays.
- But there’s a simpler way to quickly assess whether someone is “younger” or “older” than their chronological age: just ask them how old they feel most of the time.
- Scientists are finding that people who feel younger than their chronological age are typically healthier, more psychologically resilient, and perform better on memory tasks than those who feel older.
- A 2018 study by a team of South Korean researchers who scanned the brains of 68 healthy older adults found that those who felt younger than their age had thicker brain matter and had endured less age-related deterioration, while those who said they felt older were more at risk for hospitalization, dementia and death. (NYT)
- “We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.” – Kurt Vonnegut
- Can a new apple take over the world? (BBC)
- Reason Won’t Save Us: It’s time to accept the limits of how we think. (Nautilus)
- Do we possess our possessions or do they possess us? (Aeon)
- What happens when a city bans cars from its streets?: Many modern urban areas have been built around cars, with huge amounts of space set aside for roads and parking. But what happens when you take them out of the equation? (BBC)
- NASA unveils spacesuits to be worn by first woman on the moon: Next-generation garments for Artemis programme will be used during 2024 lunar mission (Guardian)
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