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Discussion

Discuss anything in the comments below.


Elliot Temple on September 21, 2017

Comments (75)

yay!

FF at 5:19 AM on September 21, 2017 | #9059
Is this meant to be an experiment? To see what we discuss?

MK at 8:11 AM on September 21, 2017 | #9061
> Is this meant to be an experiment? To see what we discuss?

The old Discussion Thread is overflowing!

He creates new threads one in while.

FF at 8:25 AM on September 21, 2017 | #9062

C

one = once (Correction)

ff at 8:26 AM on September 21, 2017 | #9063

Fresh Start

I updated the "Open Discussion" link in the sidebar to point here. The old thread had ~350 comments.

curi at 9:54 AM on September 21, 2017 | #9064
Should we trust our emotions when it comes to preserving our Integrity?

Eg: Stealing violates my integrity so I start feeling bad when I am planning to steal something.

FF at 7:18 AM on September 22, 2017 | #9067
Emotions are really helpful. They can give us clues that we are about to violate a value of ours.

I wouldn't call it "trust", though. Instead, you can be thankful for the clue and then use *reason* to figure out what you should do in the situation and why.

kate at 8:32 AM on September 22, 2017 | #9068
> I wouldn't call it "trust", though. Instead, you can be thankful for the clue and then use *reason* to figure out what you should do in the situation and why.

yeah, I shouldn't have used the word "Trust". Trusting emotions would be a bad thing.

FF at 9:45 AM on September 22, 2017 | #9069

Is matter a constructor?

David Deutsch talks about matter, energy, and evidence, and energy is a constructor for tasks that require a change in energy, and evidence is a constructor for the extinction of bad explanations, so...

Do matter and energy create explanations? Is matter a constructor for anything? Does it use electromagnetism to repel other matter and "construct" changes in the momentum of other matter with some charge?

Is this what allows it to instantiate explanations that are "kept"?

Why does it always have mass, and is that important for its role in knowledge creation?

Evan Oleary at 4:32 AM on September 25, 2017 | #9075
@#9075

There's too much to discuss at once here. I'm going to reply to the first thing, and if we finish discussing it then I can go back and reply to the second thing.

> energy is a constructor for tasks that require a change in energy

it's unclear if you're claiming this or you're stating that DD claims it. can you give a source if you're attributing it to DD?

I question this idea because constructors aren't allowed to undergo a net change during constructions, but using energy changes it by e.g. turning some into waste heat.

Also isn't it *universal* constructors which are of primary interest?

Anonymous at 10:36 AM on September 25, 2017 | #9076

Is matter a constructor?

Ah, whoops, yeah, I'm wrong about that. I thought DD claimed energy was a constructor.

Evan Oleary at 7:54 AM on September 27, 2017 | #9078

Is matter a constructor?

But the point is that DD claims that evidence, matter, and energy are ingredients for knowledge to arise.

Is it sufficient for knowledge to arise? And if it is, then knowledge creation involves:

constructors which perform the possible transformations of energies of inputs (compositions of energy-commensurable tasks)

constructors which perform extinction of errors (evidence)

And my question is, is matter involved in a way where it's a constructor? For transformations of voltage or gravitational potential or something?

Evan Oleary at 8:01 AM on September 27, 2017 | #9079
It'd be better to bring up fewer issues at once. E.g. try to understand FoR/BoI stuff or CT stuff in isolation before mixing them.

> constructors which perform extinction of errors (evidence)

This doesn't make sense. You should try to think of examples of things you talk about, and give the examples, and also give quotes from DD that you're trying to discuss. Also it's universal constructors which are of primary interest, and their primary interest is for understanding the laws of physics (not for understanding e.g. epistemology).

> Is it sufficient for knowledge to arise?

This question is unclear. It could be asking whether there's some 4th thing and knowledge is IMPOSSIBLE without it (not that I know of). That is, is there at least one configuration of any amount of evidence, matter and energy which allows for knowledge creation. Yes there is, e.g. the state of the Earth when biological evolution got going. But I don't even know what we're excluding, isn't everything (including evidence) made of matter and energy? You might say vacuum isn't, that empty space is excluded, but I doubt the question was intended to be about whether some empty space is needed.

> And my question is, is matter involved in a way where it's a constructor?

Yes, matter is involved in knowledge creation. Knowledge is created by evolution which involves replicators (such as dog genes) which are made out of matter.

Anonymous at 9:26 AM on September 27, 2017 | #9080
huh!

Larry at 10:43 AM on September 27, 2017 | #9081
About 20-30 years ago Liberty Fund made several deals with OUP to publish their Collected Works of various classical writers in paperback. (This was great for those who wanted to read these books, because the paper and printing of Liberty Fund was far better than that of OUP at the time.) Liberty Fund, as a matter of course, publishes e-versions of all of its titles for free, either on the net or, collectively, on disk. That was a long established practice.They did that in these cases as well.

Suddenly, one day, for no reason anyone can figure out, OUP informed Liberty Fund that they were still sticking by their deal with respect Liberty Fund's pb copies of the Collected Works of Adam Smith, but would sue for copyright infringement if Liberty Fund didn't immediately remove all electronic copies of these identical volumes. Liberty Fund complied, but everyone is still scratching their heads.

Craig J. Bolton on Facebook at 4:10 PM on September 30, 2017 | #9083
OUP = Oxford University Press

Liberty Fund has free books here:

http://oll.libertyfund.org

Anonymous at 4:10 PM on September 30, 2017 | #9084

Is matter a constructor?

Example would just be any result of a test that problematizes one or more bad explanations that you have (which obstruct you from using and building upon the good ones)

I agree universal constructors are of primary interest, and I'm trying to better understand universal explainers because they're the most important known part of a universal constructor

Evan at 1:45 AM on October 1, 2017 | #9085
#9084 It also has the Quran not just "A collection of scholarly works about individual liberty and free markets."

FF at 8:21 AM on October 1, 2017 | #9086
A piece of paper with the result of a scientific test is not a constructor. It's only capable of constructing any particular thing in very few initial conditions. Just like something is only a replicator if it can replicate in a variety of situations.

Why do you think universal explainers are part of a universal constructor?

Anonymous at 8:58 AM on October 1, 2017 | #9087
Is beauty important? What problems does beauty solve?

Anonymous at 9:08 AM on October 1, 2017 | #9088
the problem of not getting laid

Anonymous at 11:10 AM on October 1, 2017 | #9089
But the result itself is repeatably observable, and it can condition people to construct the extinction of theories which expect something other than it

I think universal explainers are part of universal constructors because that's my best explanation for the regular co-occurrence and co-absence of ability-to-explain-a-lot and ability-to-construct-a-lot. (DD's connection between explanation and transformation)

Also, is there an exact difference between conjecture and criticism?

Anonymous at 8:07 AM on October 3, 2017 | #9090
Is a rock (plain old boring rock i pick up from a beach or field) a constructor for unicorns? if you drop it into the right input scanner for a computer hooked up to an appropriate 3d printer, it will print a unicorn with no change to the rock.

> I think universal explainers are part of universal constructors because

how about a reason involving a quote from DD which directly says it? if not that, a quote from DD followed by a clear, short argument about how it's required by the quoted text?

you're incorrect. a universal constructor doesn't require a universal explainer as part of the constructor. i think you may be unaware of the concept of writing a program for what the constructor does as part of setting up the construction task.

> Also, is there an exact difference between conjecture and criticism?

a conjecture is an idea. a criticism is a type of idea. the words also have different connotations.

curi at 8:55 AM on October 3, 2017 | #9091

twitter comment

140 chars is too short so i'm writing here and linking it. I'm replying to:

https://twitter.com/curi42/status/915685533203931136

Hit "show more replies". I didn't see any way to link directly to the 3 Andrew Adams reply tweets together.

---

Szasz wrote many books and papers. To address Szasz, you need to, in order:

1) understand his idea
2) evaluate his idea
3) write out the reasoning for your evaluation, especially if it's negative

You've pre-judged his idea as false before understanding it and without writing out a considered opinion. I would expect a reasonable negative judgement of Szasz's views to be at least a few hundred words and include at least one quote.

Alternatively, if someone else has already done this, you could endorse and take responsibility for their published evaluation of Szasz's ideas. If you want some pre-existing written criticism to speak for you, that's fine as long as you actually understand it and will treat criticism of it the same as criticism of your own writing.

What you've done instead is ambiguous assert that it's "well known" that Szasz is mistaken, and take for granted the reality of some of the very things at issue. That's not a rebuttal.

curi at 2:31 PM on October 4, 2017 | #9092
> the problem of not getting laid

why does it solve that problem?

Anonymous at 5:00 AM on October 6, 2017 | #9097
> why does it solve that problem?

people who want to bang prefer pretty faces

Anonymous at 11:00 AM on October 7, 2017 | #9098
what if I don't want to get laid?

Anonymous at 7:52 PM on October 7, 2017 | #9099

Anonymous at 5:55 AM on October 18, 2017 | #9186
fixed, thx

Anonymous at 9:56 AM on October 18, 2017 | #9187
Jordan Peterson, Dave Rubin, Onkar Ghate on Free Speech

Streamed live on Oct 19, 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP2WlfTiohw

FF at 3:41 AM on October 24, 2017 | #9190
i know that trying to look pretty so that other people like me is bad.

is there anything wrong with trying to look pretty for myself?

AnonGirl at 3:04 PM on October 24, 2017 | #9203
trying to look pretty "for yourself" = trying to look pretty for other people, but internalizing it and being dishonest. that's *even worse*.

read https://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2013/01/no_self-respecting_woman_would.html

Anonymous at 3:28 PM on October 24, 2017 | #9205
Is there a way to start a new thread or can only Elliot do that?

I have questions about TCS, coercion in general, induction, and free markets.

Cam at 12:40 AM on November 1, 2017 | #9230
You can request threads. BUt there are already existing threads about TCS, induction, econ, etc, which you can use.

curi at 12:49 AM on November 1, 2017 | #9232
there is a message for you from outside the circles of time

i am an imperfect messenger but this is what it said:

the capsids of your spicules burst with neutrinos

while the echo of your demise travels sideways in possibility

you will remember that one person who dies right in front of you for the longest

schizophrenia is contagious at 5:57 PM on November 8, 2017 | #9235

12 Rationalist Virtues


curi at 1:10 PM on November 10, 2017 | #9238
https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/4888618/sex-worker-slept-10000-men-answers-questions-women/

> In fact, in the decade she was in the industry, the most important thing to her clients was “feeling of being needed and wanted. Wanted badly by a horny woman. It is their ultimate fantasy after all.”

so men want approval more than they want sex, even when hiring sex workers.

> She said that it is vital, therefore that whatever sex acts you are doing, “you make look like you want him bad and are enjoying him so much (even if you aren’t).”

heh. this is why women fake orgasms.

What do men want from women/sex? at 10:12 AM on November 13, 2017 | #9249
When will Rami be back? Does anyone know?

FF at 5:57 AM on November 29, 2017 | #9391

MailMate Configs

What's up with the MailMate config files in the FF guidelines? Can't access.

Anonymous at 7:17 PM on December 5, 2017 | #9410
dropbox breaks links sometimes. use http://curi.us/files/MailMate-Config.zip

Anonymous at 7:27 PM on December 5, 2017 | #9411
Has Rami left FI?

FF at 9:51 AM on January 16, 2018 | #9454
He didn't make an announcement about leaving. He just hasn't been posting. Who knows.

Anonymous at 6:00 PM on January 17, 2018 | #9455
#9455 sorry for asking.

ff at 9:38 AM on January 20, 2018 | #9459
Bitcoin is falling. Anyone who took Elliot's advise saved their money.

FF at 8:47 AM on January 22, 2018 | #9460

FI essays

Curi,

I have been reading your essays at http://fallibleideas.com -- good stuff!

I noticed the essays under life articles do not have a heading/title, like the ones under the fallible articles section. I think it would be good to add them -- a few times I returned to re-read an article in an open browser tab and I was initial confused where I was.

Ur thoughts?

Anon69 at 12:40 PM on January 23, 2018 | #9466
added. (it will take some time to show up due to cloudflare caching)

curi at 12:56 PM on January 23, 2018 | #9469

Over-reaching

The Peter Principle: In a hierarchy individuals tend to rise to their level of incompetence.

Anonymous at 9:45 PM on January 28, 2018 | #9482

A Self

What do advice do you have for someone who doesn't have much of a self but wants to have one? That is, someone who doesn't have strong interests or values or ideas.

Anonymous at 12:44 PM on February 12, 2018 | #9517
learn stuff. read and discuss, esp Rand, esp *The Fountainhead*. choose and follow some interests – with objectively measurable performance and good improvement paths available (e.g. speedrunning) – to be **really good**. consider what good values you already have – including major cultural traditions like some respect for reason, individual responsibility and freedom – and build on them by looking at their implications, taking them further. try to understand your situation and problems really well *before* trying to change much (esp risky changes) b/c ppl often make the wrong changes and it doesn't work, and also they think "i already know X is wrong" without knowing enough about it to thoroughly change, so they end up changing 20% of X and refusing to "beat a dead horse" by learning more about it.

curi at 1:51 PM on February 12, 2018 | #9518
I read your most recently newsletter and followed the link to Ann Coulter's post: CARTER PAGE: AGENT 000.

Comments:

> The Department of Justice used the unverified dossier to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant against Carter Page, an alleged "foreign policy adviser" to Donald Trump.

It's been reported that Carter Page has been monitored by the FBI since 2013, long before the dossier. For the FISA applications in question, was the dossier the sole evidence used? Which part(s) of the dossier were used? Were they corroborated with other evidence?

I am interested to see the democrat counter memo to see if it sheds light on these questions. I doubt that Nunes, the author of the memo, knows the answers to these questions, because he admits not having read the underlying material.

> the FISA court was not told who had paid Steele to create the "salacious and unverified" dossier.

Nunes subsequently admitted there was actually a footnote that mentioned the information in the dossier may come from a politically motivated source.

> Since it has appeared for quite some time now that there is no collusion, the only thing left for Mueller to investigate is Trump's "obstruction of justice," i.e. Trump being pissed off that his time is being wasted.

How does Ann know what facts and evidence Mueller has in front of him. Why is she pre-judging the investigation?

Looking at past special investigations, these things take time. See: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/mueller-is-moving-quickly-compared-to-past-special-counsel-investigations/

I also think the potential obstruction charges are legitimate. Perhaps Ann is joking, but explaining them away as trump just being pissed off about his time being wasted doesn't make sense.

> The reason Rosenstein appointed Mueller was that he believed the "salacious and unverified" dossier. We know that because Rosenstein personally signed one of the FISA warrant applications based on the dossier

non sequitur. I thought the special council was precipitated by the unusual facts surrounding the comey firing and to ensure a non-partisan / independent investigation.

Ann also claims Steele is a trump hater. Maybe, although I haven't seen much supporting that. I've seen the quote from Ohr saying Steele "was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president." But that can be read two ways: a man biased against trump, or someone who thought he was witnessing crime(s) in progress and was very troubled w/ Trump being president from a national security perspective. Even considering Steele's intelligence may all be wrong, I lean towards the latter after reading about Steele and also having read the Fusion GPS congressional testimonies.

Steele's dossier represents raw intelligence gathered by a single person. It should be treated as such: requiring verification/corroboration. I haven't seen anything with the Russia investigation that suggests it has been treated otherwise.

Anon69 at 4:02 PM on February 14, 2018 | #9521
denies bias of Steele, then links Nate Silver's site as if it wasn't fully partisan.

Anonymous at 4:07 PM on February 14, 2018 | #9522
> I haven't seen anything with the Russia investigation that suggests it has been treated otherwise.

and where did you look? 538?

Anonymous at 4:07 PM on February 14, 2018 | #9523
> denies bias of Steele, then links Nate Silver's site as if it wasn't fully partisan
>
> > I haven't seen anything with the Russia investigation that suggests it has been treated otherwise.
> and where did you look? 538?

I haven't read much of 538 website, but I can see they are left-leaning.

As far as the link provided...I stumbled into that page and thought it did a decent job, e.g. summarizing the history of special investigations, plus a nifty diagram.

Any criticisms of the content?

As far as my conclusions in general and "where did I look?". Read dossier, read Nunes memo, watched or read interviews with various players. As many primary sources as possible. Watch or read congressional testimonies. NYT, WSJ, Politico, WashPost, Breitbart. I've read most of Ann's posts for the last 6 months. Probably 50+ hours of effort in the past 6months.

Do you care to offer any criticism of my comments?

Anon69 at 4:36 PM on February 14, 2018 | #9524
if you're following politics so closely, why did you have no idea who/what 538 is?

did you notice your list of news outlets is 80% MSM? that's super biased.

you are downplaying what 538 is by saying "left-leaning". that is a large understatement. you are showing clear biases.

Anonymous at 4:40 PM on February 14, 2018 | #9525
you have presented no case that there's anything worth investigating.

Anonymous at 4:42 PM on February 14, 2018 | #9526
> if you're following politics so closely, why did you have no idea who/what 538 is?

Here's what I know about 538: Guy named Nate Silver runs the site, I think he's a pollster or something, seems to pop up during elections. I've watched his site a little during elections for real-time results. Haven't spent much time on his site otherwise. The site is occasionally linked to from other sources.

> did you notice your list of news outlets is 80% MSM?

Yes, but I don't see a problem. I have what I'd consider an unusually diverse exposure.

There's kinda bad analysis everywhere. MSM, sites on the right, sites on the left. I am generally suspicious of everyone.

MSM, on the whole, seems to do a better job of presenting the basic facts about the news (aside from "opinion" pieces). When I look a given news event, as reported by more lefty (e.g. HuffPost / Vox) or right leaning (e.g. Breitbart / DailyCaller) they often report on an odd and narrow sliver of the full story...the sliver the supports their biases.

> you are downplaying what 538 is by saying "left-leaning". that is a large understatement. you are showing clear biases.

I wouldn't know (that it's an understatement). I really don't know 538 very well per above.

Anon69 at 6:33 PM on February 14, 2018 | #9527
> you have presented no case that there's anything worth investigating.

Is there a specific statement I'd made, that you'd like to know more about?

Anon69 at 6:35 PM on February 14, 2018 | #9528
> Is there a specific statement I'd made, that you'd like to know more about?

could you present the case for the investigation?

> Yes, but I don't see a problem. I have what I'd consider an unusually diverse exposure.

80% biased is OK b/c other ppl read 90% biased sources? seriously?

you're reading primarily lefty MSM stuff, and now you've attacked Breitbart as if it were similarly bad to huffpo/vox, which is a nasty slander you have backed up with no facts. you're massively biased here.

what are you trying to accomplish? you just don't seem to know or care about what the FI community thinks about this stuff. you aren't asking or curious, you're hostile and way way way to the left of the blog you're commenting at. why don't you go through and write comments on curi's right wing posts telling him where he's wrong? that seems more productive than trying to debate other people instead of debating curi directly.

Anonymous at 6:45 PM on February 14, 2018 | #9529
> what are you trying to accomplish? you just don't seem to know or care about what the FI community thinks about this stuff.

I posted here about something curi linked which I disagreed about...as a starting place to learn more and seek criticism.

I'm in the process of learning about FI. I suspect I don't have a great understanding of all things FI. I do "care", which is the very reason I decided to post.

I wonder if disagreement is being delegitimized here, by calling me biased, hostile, etc

> you aren't asking or curious

Asking or curious about what?

> you're hostile

I'm not hostile, why do you think that?

Anon69 at 8:27 PM on February 14, 2018 | #9530
hi anon69. i think you're jumping into the forest to debate trees before getting the lay of the land. you seem to think Breitbart is comparable to Vox(!!!!!!), while reading a bunch of MSM material. Do you want to talk about that?

In order to detect things like NYT bias, it's important to have a good grasp of what the truth is so you can compare. Or if you don't already know much, you could take some article and start investigating it – perhaps one which some critics have already identified as both important and bad.

Do you have political principles? A framework you use to interpret the things you read? Tools to catch bad actors and spot their major mistakes?

Do you have a way of evaluating what's correct that you then subject things like the NYT's positions to (and somehow conclude they are superior to breitbart?), or are you reading less critically than that and getting your opinions from what you read in an ad hoc way, or what?

And you say you read primary sources about the Russia investigation, but you didn't present any case for the investigation using them. Want to try that? One of Ann's main points about the investigation is there's no real reason for it to be taking place in the first place. You seem to disagree ... and say you read tons about it (I haven't), so want to explain your view? Meanwhile, you showed a willingness to use hard-left sites you don't know much about as sources without doing any checking first, and then you downplayed the problem instead of wanting to retract it. (I have done multiple fact checks of Coulter, which I posted publicly, which is why I'm wiling to link her even though I haven't followed this particular topic much.)

curi at 8:43 PM on February 14, 2018 | #9531
Curi,

I'm interested in replying to all of your questions as I have more time, but a quick one in the meantime.

> Meanwhile, you showed a willingness to use hard-left sites you don't know much about as sources without doing any checking first, and then you downplayed the problem instead of wanting to retract it.

I stand by the link I sent -- I can't spot any major mistakes with it. I believe it offers an accurate summary about past special investigations, and it offers something to consider in response to, e.g. "It's been X months and there's no proof of Y" regarding the Mueller investigation. It shows how slow the wheels of justice turn.

I think there's an issue of me not understanding / seeing the problem here, rather than knowing it and downplaying it. Can you explain more about what the problem is?

Anon69 at 7:59 AM on February 15, 2018 | #9532
Is there any source you wouldn't trust a claim from without some meaningful fact checking? SPLC? Salon? Michael Moore? Stormfront? MSA? SJP? Anything funded by George Soros?

Nate Silver is really bad – a shameless, dishonest partisan hack. It's your job to check stuff from him and his associates yourself, if you want to use it, not push that checking burden onto others.

curi at 1:15 PM on February 15, 2018 | #9533
The more I learn the more I see that just because a news source is well-respected does not mean that it is unbiased or accurate. This is bad :( It means that a lot of the news we watch or read is giving us wrong information. We need to figure out which sources do a good job before we rely on their information. It takes some work to do this.

anonymous at 1:25 PM on February 15, 2018 | #9534
yeah.

and that issue doesn't just apply to news sources. for example, respect/credentials/prestige/reputation is also very unreliable for science (including medicine and diet/nutrition/health advice) and academic papers.

Dagny at 1:40 PM on February 15, 2018 | #9535
> Is there any source you wouldn't trust a claim from without some meaningful fact checking? SPLC? Salon? Michael Moore? Stormfront? MSA? SJP? Anything funded by George Soros?

When it comes to political news/analysis, there's no source I'd trust without some fact checking. Pretty much anything I read/watch I file under "maybe", until I see primary sources, hear responses from various parties involved, etc.

>Nate Silver is really bad – a shameless, dishonest partisan hack. It's your job to check stuff from him and his associates yourself, if you want to use it, not push that checking burden onto others.

Do you have any examples of partisan hackery by Nate Silver? Just curious to check it out (I haven't read much of his stuff).

Regarding the link I provided on the Mueller investigation, I had prior knowledge about events surrounding Mueller so far and those all checked out. Also about some of the facts w/ prior investigations. Based on your prompt, I went back and fact checked a some of the timelines on the prior special councils...they check out as well.

Anon69 at 7:25 AM on February 16, 2018 | #9538
the article appears to be trying to say or imply:

- the russia investigation is typical or average, and should be judged by a comparison to a typical or average past investigation. (this implies e.g. that it isn't partisan bullshit)
- the investigation has gotten quick, good results (Flynn should burn)
- the specific prior investigations compared to are the correct, representative set

the first two are key points that are not argued, more implied, and the third one is a potential source of bias.

Nate Silver published dozens of attacks on Trump during the election, mostly in the form of predictions that turned out wrong, and which he kept making with no shame about his track record of failure.

Anonymous at 1:56 PM on February 16, 2018 | #9540
> One of Ann's main points about the investigation is there's no real reason for it to be taking place in the first place. You seem to disagree ... and say you read tons about it (I haven't), so want to explain your view?

Sure. There are perhaps two related questions: why the investigation(s) exist in general vs why they’ve been rolled up into the Special Counsel (Mueller) vs just handled by relevant teams in the DOJ or FBI.

As far as the Special Counsel…there's some history as to why that concept exists which I'll leave aside for now. But Deputy AG Rosenstein appointed a Special Counsel back in May 2017 (would have been AG Sessions doing the appointing, but he recused himself from Russia matters). It came to be after the unusual circumstances around the firing of FBI director Comey, where troubling/contradictory statements were made by the WH and Trump about why Comey was fired. Most famously, Trump during a TV interview (w/ Lester Holt) said he would have fired Comey regardless of recommendations from the DoJ (contradicting WH statements about the reason) and tied it to the “Russia thing". And then also, Comey released memos documenting troubling encounters w/ Trump, RE: loyalty and Flynn. All of this raised questions about whether there was just cause for the firing and attempts at obstructing justice. To ensure the existing investigations could proceed in an independent and non-partisan manner and protected from obstruction, Rosenstein appointed a special council to take over the investigations.

The areas of investigation that the Special Counsel is looking at:

- Russia interference in the 2016 presidential election
- Potential collusion/conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign
- Obstruction Of Justice
- Other crimes discovered during the investigation

In addition to the indictments already served, I've looked at it closely and I believe there is substantial evidence for why these investigations should be happening. Along the way, I've been mindful to look for evidence of being politically motived, improper, etc, and haven't found anything significant. I can get into the details of each area if desired.

The investigation is done in secret so to understand the progress we're limited to existing indictments, leaks, etc. Activity known to the public so far:

-Flynn indictment
-Papadopoulos indictment
-Manafort Indictment (conspiracy and money laundering)
-Gates indictment (conspiracy and money laundering)
-Announced today: Indictment 13 russian nationals and 3 Russian entities (conspiracy to defraud the US, wire fraud, bank fraud, and identity theft)
-Reports of various interviews taking place

Here are some signs that the investigation has substantial work ongoing:

-Witnesses continue to be interviewed (E.g. Steve Bannon this week)
-Trump hasn’t been interviewed yet
-Flynn, Papadopoulos (and likely Gates per recent reporting) flipping/cooperating, meaning they have something to offer on other targets to avoid other charges
-Most recent indictments came out today (central to the russia interference part)

Ann made several criticisms of the investigation in her Carter Page blog post which I touched on above. Your thoughts on those or are there others you'd like me to comment on?

In her latest blog post "Anatomy Of A Coup", she summarizes:

> This is an investigation with no evidence of a crime, apart from politically motivated, anti-Trump investigators relying on a Hillary-funded dossier.

The investigation has already served many indictments showing crimes (none involving dossier that I know of). The investigation in general only touches the dossier in a few areas, and no evidence that anything *relies* on it. The people alleged as anti-trump (which I disagree about in the case of Steele) have minor roles.

The Special Counsel's work seems legit and important to continue. I don't understand why Ann attacks it in a way contrary to the facts.

Anon69 at 2:08 PM on February 16, 2018 | #9541
> The areas of investigation that the Special Counsel is looking at:

None of those are the thing you claimed was the reason for the investigation: lack of at-will employment in the government.

Regardless, do those things merit an investigation? You presented no case that they do. You didn't even try. Even though the topic was:

> > One of Ann's main points about the investigation is there's no real reason for it to be taking place in the first place.

so you haven't even begun to address the topic. you just said you could do that in the future if asked. but you were asked already.

---

Overall I don't think you understand that there are a million crimes everywhere, and that this is massive politically-motivated selective attention. If you investigated Obama stuff you'd find a larger number of more serious crimes. What did Trump do, beyond beyond business as usual, to merit so much attention to this investigation *over* other potential investigations?

curi at 2:16 PM on February 16, 2018 | #9542
And if the goal is broader societal and government reform (you might reasonably respond to me by thinking that's a good goal), is this investigation way to do it? No. It's not designed for that purpose.

curi at 2:18 PM on February 16, 2018 | #9543
> > The areas of investigation that the Special Counsel is looking at:
> None of those are the thing you claimed was the reason for the investigation: lack of at-will employment in the government.

I'm having a hard time parsing what you mean here. I'm not sure if this helps but the reason various threads of investigations were rolled up into the special counsel is different than the reasons those investigations are taking place.

> Regardless, do those things merit an investigation? You presented no case that they do. You didn't even try.

Right. I thought we could take things step by step to see if agreement/questions, interesting in continuing, before zooming in.

> What did Trump do, beyond beyond business as usual, to merit so much attention to this investigation *over* other potential investigations?

The investigation is only in part about Trump himself, maybe just the potential obstruction of justice piece, although time will tell as further details emerge.

Mostly it's about other people, such as Trump campaign officials, or Russian nationals such as those indicted today.

As far as attention of this investigation over others...I'm guessing you are not talking about media attention, because that's not really relevant to the merits of the investigation itself. As far as measuring attention within the govt (effort, money spent, number of investigators, etc)...I'm not sure how to measure that.

I saw an article late last year saying about $7 mil spent to date on the Mueller investigation. The FBI's budget for 2016 was $8.7 billion. I recall there being ~20 prosecutors as part of the special counsel. FBI has 35k employees (not sure how many of them are prosecutors though).

How do you assess it as getting undue amount of attention over other investigations?

Anon69 at 2:41 PM on February 16, 2018 | #9544
> I'm having a hard time parsing what you mean here.

You wrote, about non-at-will employment:

> It came to be after the unusual circumstances around the firing of FBI director Comey ... All of this raised questions about whether there was just cause for the firing

You presented the firing as a primary issue, then proceeded to list different things as the topics of the investigation, without explanation, as if it wasn't a total non sequitur.

> I thought we could take things step by step to see if agreement/questions, interesting in continuing, before zooming in.

You didn't do a small steps. You wrote a ton of stuff, it just didn't address the issue.

> How do you assess it as getting undue amount of attention over other investigations?

I agree the monetary price isn't so bad – though there's still a ton of other higher priority things to investigate. But it's costing a ton in terms of attention, it's a huge distraction. So, why was it started? Who decided to pour tons and tons of attention on this, for what purpose? What was the thought process there? Did they evaluate many potential investigations, and with what criteria? Is it just partisan political fighting? Or what?

curi at 2:56 PM on February 16, 2018 | #9545
> > I'm having a hard time parsing what you mean here.
> You wrote, about non-at-will employment:
> > It came to be after the unusual circumstances around the firing of FBI director Comey ... All of this raised questions about whether there was just cause for the firing
> You presented the firing as a primary issue, then proceeded to list different things as the topics of the investigation, without explanation, as if it wasn't a total non sequitur.

Ah, I see the confusion. The comey stuff was part of why the investigations (including *existing* investigations) were roll-up in the Special Counsel. The comey firing may or may not be relevant for one particular thread (the obstruction of justice) but otherwise, unrelated to the other topics.

I brought up all of that to separate the issues of 1) should the investigation(s) exist? vs 2) should the special counsel exist? Which I've have found are sometimes conflated / not well understood.

Will respond later, RE: other questions and more about reasons for investigations.

Anon69 at 3:08 PM on February 16, 2018 | #9546
i am not very interested in the form of the investigation, and also i thought Comey should have been fired on day 1 along with a lot more ppl, so firing him does not impress me as a reason to investigate.

curi at 3:18 PM on February 16, 2018 | #9547
> i thought Comey should have been fired on day 1 along with a lot more ppl, so firing him does not impress me as a reason to investigate.

Maybe Comey should have been fired day 1. But hypothetically...if Trump disagreed with you, but then later fired Comey to stop / slow down investigations into his friends / colleagues, or even himself...that would be bad, no?

I'm not saying such obstruction has been established, but I believe lots of circumstantial evidence suggests it should be looked at...

Anon69 at 3:33 PM on February 16, 2018 | #9548
if the investigations were bad, then firing their leader would be good.

and i think the reason Trump kept Comey was not that he thought Comey was good, it was an overly compromising approach to politics, which then came back to bite him.

Trump thought he could leave some people in place and they would act reasonably, but he quickly found himself betrayed.

and you can't have important obstruction until after there's stuff worth investigating, so that's not a primary point, so let's focus on stuff to investigate in the first place.

curi at 3:52 PM on February 16, 2018 | #9549

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)