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  • The War on Trump. Stage Two.

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on August 17th, 2019 (All posts by )

    The release of the Mueller Report with his painful conclusion that there was no Trump Russia collusion, has sent the political left on a search for another issue. “Obstruction of Justice” is not working out so the strategists at the New York Times, GHQ of the Trump Resistance, has settled on a new theme, explained at an Editorial Board meeting last week.

    A transcript of a recording was obtained by Slate.

    In the 75 minutes of the meeting—which Slate obtained a recording of, and of which a lightly condensed and edited transcript appears below—Baquet and the paper’s other leadership tried to resolve a tumultuous week for the paper, one marked by a reader revolt against a front-page headline and a separate Twitter meltdown by Jonathan Weisman, a top editor in the Washington bureau. On Tuesday, the Times announced it was demoting Weisman from deputy editor because of his “serious lapses in judgment.”

    The headline issue was a hilarious swap of headlines after the first was considered too friendly to Trump.

    [R]eader expectations of the Times have shifted after the election of President Trump. The paper… saw a huge surge of subscriptions in the days and months after the 2016 election… The Times has since embraced these new subscribers in glitzy commercials with slogans like “The truth is more important now than ever.” Yet there is a glaring disconnect between those energized readers and many Times staffers, especially newspaper veterans. [Executive Editor Dean] Baquet doesn’t see himself as the vanguard of the resistance… He acknowledges that people may have a different view of what the Times is, but he doesn’t blame the marketing. “It’s not because of the ads; it’s because Donald Trump has stirred up very powerful feelings among Americans. It’s made Americans, depending on your point of view, very angry and very mistrustful of institutions.

    So, readers who hate Trump went nuts after the first headline was not angry enough.

    So, what to do ?

    But there’s something larger at play here. This is a really hard story, newsrooms haven’t confronted one like this since the 1960s. It got trickier after [inaudible] … went from being a story about whether the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia and obstruction of justice to being a more head-on story about the president’s character.

    In other words, the New York Times went all in on RussiaGate and that exploded in their faces, so now they’ve had to shift their Main Narrative to denouncing Trump as racist:

    We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well. Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story. I’d love your help with that.

    As Audra Burch said when I talked to her this weekend, this one is a story about what it means to be an American in 2019. It is a story that requires deep investigation into people who peddle hatred.

    People who peddle hatred, of course do not include New York Times staff writers.

    but it is also a story that requires imaginative use of all our muscles to write about race and class in a deeper way than we have in years. In the coming weeks, we’ll be assigning some new people to politics who can offer different ways of looking at the world. We’ll also ask reporters to write more deeply about the country, race, and other divisions. I really want your help in navigating this story.

    One new project is The 1619 Project.

    America was racist before it was America. The Pilgrims landed in 1620, as every school child used to learn. But slavery beat them to it.

    The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.

    Slavery seems to be the new theme of American history, at least according to the New York Times and the Democrat Party. Interestingly enough, it was the Democrat Party, once it had been founded, that was the pillar of slavery. I doubt that will appear in the new propaganda.

    Baquet: OK. I mean, let me go back a little bit for one second to just repeat what I said in my in my short preamble about coverage. Chapter 1 of the story of Donald Trump, not only for our newsroom but, frankly, for our readers, was: Did Donald Trump have untoward relationships with the Russians, and was there obstruction of justice? That was a really hard story, by the way, let’s not forget that. We set ourselves up to cover that story. I’m going to say it. We won two Pulitzer Prizes covering that story. And I think we covered that story better than anybody else.

    It doesn’t matter if it was true. It was “covered.”

    The day Bob Mueller walked off that witness stand, two things happened. Our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, “Holy shit, Bob Mueller is not going to do it.” And Donald Trump got a little emboldened politically, I think. Because, you know, for obvious reasons. And I think that the story changed. A lot of the stuff we’re talking about started to emerge like six or seven weeks ago. We’re a little tiny bit flat-footed. I mean, that’s what happens when a story looks a certain way for two years. Right?

    New story to be created.

    How do we cover America, that’s become so divided by Donald Trump? How do we grapple with all the stuff you all are talking about? How do we write about race in a thoughtful way, something we haven’t done in a large way in a long time? That, to me, is the vision for coverage. You all are going to have to help us shape that vision. But I think that’s what we’re going to have to do for the rest of the next two years.

    In other words, invent a new story.

    Do you feel that there is a person in a high position of power who can be as explicitly self-critical of this organization as Roxane Gay has, and is in a position to be, because she’s on the outside? Do you think that we would benefit from that?

    This is about the spat in which NYT columnist Roxane Gay (who enjoys Intersectional Pokemon Points for being black, a woman, and obese) called the NYT’s deputy Washington editor Jonathan Weisman “unqualified” and he demanded an “enormous apology” from her. He wound up demoted, which probably tells you something about who is higher up on the diversity totem pole.

    NYT internal politics and what we have to look forward to if a Democrat wins the 2020 election.

    Staffer: Hello, I have another question about racism. I’m wondering to what extent you think that the fact of racism and white supremacy being sort of the foundation of this country should play into our reporting. Just because it feels to me like it should be a starting point, you know? Like these conversations about what is racist, what isn’t racist. I just feel like racism is in everything.

    The hounds have caught the new scent and are ready to run again.

    It should be considered in our science reporting, in our culture reporting, in our national reporting.
    And so, to me, it’s less about the individual instances of racism, and sort of how we’re thinking about racism and white supremacy as the foundation of all of the systems in the country. And I think particularly as we are launching a 1619 Project,

    “America is racist 24/7” until November 2020 and after if a D wins.

     

    67 Responses to “The War on Trump. Stage Two.”

    1. Pouncer Says:

      “The Dept of Justice IG investigation failed to exonerate Hillary Clinton and her information technology team of copying secret emails to Red China and Google.

      If we could definitively state that the copies were NOT intentionally sent, or that we were absolutely certain the “CarterHeavyIndustries@gmail.com” address was assuredly NOT a front for the Chinese government, we would have said so.”

      The inability of the investigation to exonerate Mrs Clinton continues to cloud her effectiveness.

    2. Charlotte R. Says:

      So, let’s see. Not one word about actually REPORTING the facts. These people are nuts. Apparently, truth isn’t about the facts anymore. They have the ending, now the beginning and middle must be written to reflect that.

      You cannot argue with these people. Facts mean nothing. Feelings are everything.

      They are going to drive the newspaper industry into the ground all the while claiming moral superiority. Great business plan. /s

    3. Jay Guevara Says:

      Just because it feels to me like it should be a starting point, you know? Like these conversations about what is racist, what isn’t racist. I just feel like racism is in everything.

      The operative word being “feel.” Because that’s what we want from news reports: how the reporter feels.

    4. Ocassional Commenter Says:

      NYT = DNC stenographers.

    5. Grurray Says:

      And Donald Trump got a little emboldened politically, I think. Because, you know, for obvious reasons.

      Yeah, you know, the obvious reason being that the whole thing was a load of BS.

    6. Brian Says:

      This is great news, the NYT is a joke, and should be viewed like the Nation, if they’re going to self-identify it makes the task of shoving them aside that much easier.

    7. Grurray Says:

      If the Democrats and their propaganda arms like the NY Times run on this slavery theme, it will amount to a scorched earth campaign. We’ve already seen their line of attack. The Constitution is racist. The Electoral College is racist. The Senate is racist. Statues are racists. Having children causes global warming and is probably racist somehow.

      So then the only conceivable purpose of the United States after all its sins have been exposed is to transfer the wealth of white people to anyone whose skin is a shade darker than Prince Archie.

      It may be a way to energize the base, but there’s no way to pivot from here into the 2020 general election. Hillary cemented her loss in 2016 when she called the voters who wouldn’t support her Deplorables. Now the Democrats think they can double down on that by equally disparaging Americans’ ancestors and future descendants. Good luck with that.

    8. Jay Guevara Says:

      I suspect the wild card here is the Democrat primary in California being moved up to March. Previously it was in June, by which time it was pretty much irrelevant, as the candidate had for all intents and purposes already been chosen, imbuing the California Democrat primary with all the suspense of a Soviet election.

      But not so in March. California is the big prize; a candidate who loses in California will face an uphill fight to gain the nomination. As a consequence, all of the Democrat hopefuls are burnishing their deranged leftist bona fides to appeal to the deranged leftists who are the most reliable voters in the California primary, and also to appeal to the deranged leftist high rollers who bankroll Democrat campaigns.

      This situation has interesting ramifications for Harris, who despite being from California, is polling badly here (most recently, fourth). If she’d lost here in a June primary to the obvious candidate, she would not have suffered politically, because the whole election would be a pro forma forerunner to the coronation.

      But losing here in a March primary, when everything is still up in the air, is another story. If she gets buried in the California primary this time around, I question whether she can revive her national political career.

      The delicious irony is that California is suspected of having moved its primary to March – something that has been discussed for decades – to assist Harris’s political chances.

      You’ve got to laugh.

    9. Brian Says:

      re: Harris, I was still living in CA when she was elected AG. That year was pretty much the final death of the GOP in CA, it was a total bloodbath. But on election night it actually looked like Harris had lost. The dirty secret of the Democrat party is that parts of their coalition really hate each other, so they have to push the “racism” thing super hard to keep things from flying apart.

    10. Jay Guevara Says:

      Good point.

      Another source of irony: Harris positioned herself here as “tough on crime,” and boasted about how many bad guys she’d put away.

      Then Gabbard took that record and stuck it where the sun don’t shine on Harris, turning it into a liability.

      Immediately after which Harris’s support among blacks plummeted to 1%, and coincidentally California immediately took Harris’s previously public prosecution records offline. Stalin would be proud.

    11. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      Yes, it’s always those other people who are angry.

    12. Brian Says:

      Also, re: her rating with blacks, there’s a reason you never see pictures of her with her husband.
      Think what you will of Obama, he planned ahead.

    13. Jay Guevara Says:

      I suspect that was on orders from the Party. Not to go all tinfoil hatty here, but his life story for all the world looks like that of someone selected early and groomed through a Red farm system.

      Why do I think that might be the case? Because he floated, effortlessly, from one triumph to another. Does poorly at Occidental – by his own admission – gains acceptance to Columbia, a big move up academically, and the erstwhile home of the Frankfurt School. He does … something … at Columbia – God knows what – lives three blocks away from Ayers, and both work on the anti-apartheid campaign, but he doesn’t know who Ayers is, despite Ayers’s notoriety at the time. After Harvard Law – which he gets into, despite an academic performance up to that time that we don’t talk about – where he is elected president of the law review, in which capacity he does bugger all. He then moves to Chicago as an associate – no Federal clerkship for this putative high-flyer from Harvard – where mirabile dictu he once again lives three blocks from Ayers, who puts this 26 year old on the board of the Annenberg Challenge. Who doesn’t select a 26 year old stranger to help distribute $100 million? He gets a book contract – no mean feat, as aspiring authors can attest – and has to return the advance when he can’t produce. In response to which, he gets a second book contract, you know the way failed first-time prospective authors generally do, and produces a lyrical masterpiece in the style of Ayers’s writings. The story goes on and on. I leave aside his “performance” in the Illinois state legislature (e.g, being listed as a co-sponsor of legislation about to be passed, while being permitted to vote “present” on contentious legislation).

      So I posit this question: whom in your entire life have you ever known who has lived such a charmed life, someone who has merely to approach a door before it should fly open?

      In my *cough* years, I’ve never known ANYONE to have such a streak of luck. No setbacks, no contretemps, no rough passages, no nothing.

      In my view, the story stinks.

    14. Ocassional Commenter Says:

      Jay Guevera: And how many others are there out there who went through that Red Farm system who have yet to surface?

    15. John Henry Says:

      Any Asimov fans here?

      Last week, forces beyond my control caused “The Mule” to pop into my mind.

      I remembered he was a protagonist in the Foundation trilogy which I last read in the 70s.

      So off to consult “the book of knowledge” a/k/a Wikipedia:

      The Mule is one of the greatest conquerors the galaxy has ever seen. He is a mentalic who has the ability to reach into the minds of others and “adjust” their emotions, individually or en masse, using this capability to conscript individuals to his cause. Not direct mind-control per se, it is a subtle influence of the subconscious; individuals under the Mule’s influence behave otherwise normally – logic, memories, and personality intact. This gives the Mule the capacity to disrupt Seldon’s plan by invalidating Seldon’s assumption that no single individual could have a measurable effect on galactic socio-historical trends on their own, due to the plan relying on the predictability of the actions of very large numbers of people.

      Basically, The Foundation was a universal government. Universal in that it was the central government. Not all that pleasantly for the inhabitants as I recall (cut me some slack here. It’s been nearly 50 years)

      Then along comes The Mule and screwed up the globalists’/universalists’plans. They were not happy about this.

      So my question is this: is PDJT “The Mule”?

      John Henry

    16. Soviet of Washington Says:

      Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform blog has been riding <|:-) the Trump = the Mule meme since Mar 2017.

      See https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-28/foundation-empire-donald-trump-mule

    17. Brian Says:

      re: Obama: Recall that he got into Harvard Law as a legacy admit, something that is conveniently never mentioned in his hagiography. Nor is the fact that he went to by far the most prestigious and elite private school in Hawaii. The fact that he went from Punahou to Oxy is the best proof (besides his own words) that he must have been a terrible student in high school. My guess is that in fifty years his college records will be obtained by some biographer, and his grades will be fine, and they’ll say this disproves old conspiracy theories about his poor record (ignoring that he came well after the advent of grade inflation). But my bet is there’s a good chance that he wasn’t enrolled as Barack Obama.

      re: Foundation, it was not quite the central government, it was more like The Deep State, in my recollection. Basically a bunch of gnostic philosopher-priests working behind the scenes who could predict the future. The stories were good enough, though psychohistory was of course absurd. History is chaotic, not predictable. Of course Paul Krugman is on record as saying that it inspired his whole life’s work. Hahaha. The conclusion of the series, which was basically an endorsement of the benefits of collectivist destruction of free will, was one of the books that made me stop reading science fiction as a teen. Along with several later Arthur Clarke novels. Leftist sucker punches have been around for a while, ruining what should be otherwise fine entertainment.

      Unfortunately, the Mule eventually is defeated by the Foundation…The Establishment Always Wins…

    18. Mike K Says:

      Powerline has picked up on the NYT rewrite of American history.

      The basic thrust of The 1619 project is that everything in American history is explained by slavery and race. The message is woven throughout the first publication of the project, an entire edition of the Times magazine. It begins with an overview of race in America — “Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written. Black Americans have fought to make the true.” — written by Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones….

      The left has become truly anti-American and has a plan to fill the schools with this story.

      We hear the black nationalists saying that America was built by slavery, a nonsensical myth for people whom know no history,

      Gramsci marches through our education.

    19. Grurray Says:

      In my view, the story stinks.

      Well, since you went there, Barack spending his formative years in the same city as the biggest CIA station in Asia, where his mother worked as a translator at the embassy, seems to bring up some interesting questions regarding our Intelligence Community. And who is mom was translating for.

    20. David Foster Says:

      “America built by slavery”…actually, a good argument could be made that the existence and persistence of slavery was a major detriment to American economic development. Frederick Douglass, himself a former slave, visited a shipyard in New Bedford shortly after obtaining his freedom. Here are his comments on observing a cargo being unloaded:

      “In a southern port, twenty or thirty hands would have been employed to do what five or six did here, with the aid of a single ox attached to the end of a fall. Main strength, unassisted by skill, is slavery’s method of labor. An old ox, worth eighty dollars, was doing, in New Bedford, what would have required fifteen thousand dollars worth of human bones and muscles to have performed in a southern port.”

      Slavery greatly delayed mechanization throughout the southern US.

    21. Mike K Says:

      Slavery greatly delayed mechanization throughout the southern US.

      It’s debatable if the climate might have also affected the immigration of skilled. Malaria was endemic through the South, for example. Still Sherman’s letter warned the South of the consequences of their deficiencies.

      “You people of the South don’t know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization! You people speak so lightly of war; you don’t know what you’re talking about. War is a terrible thing!

      You mistake, too, the people of the North. They are a peaceable people but an earnest people, and they will fight, too. They are not going to let this country be destroyed without a mighty effort to save it …

      Besides, where are your men and appliances of war to contend against them? The North can make a steam engine, locomotive, or railway car; hardly a yard of cloth or pair of shoes can you make. You are rushing into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical, and determined people on Earth — right at your doors.

      You are bound to fail. Only in your spirit and determination are you prepared for war. In all else you are totally unprepared, with a bad cause to start with. At first you will make headway, but as your limited resources begin to fail, shut out from the markets of Europe as you will be, your cause will begin to wane. If your people will but stop and think, they must see in the end that you will surely fail.”

      Few Germans or northern Europeans chose to reside in the South. Germans were at the heart of then abolition movement,.

    22. OBloodyHell Says:

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Johnson_%28colonist%29

    23. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      This is great! It seems that the NYT is about to step in it all over again. Yes please! — let’s focus on slavery. The Lefties’ Long March through the Institutions has created so much ignorance & misinformation. Talking about slavery makes it likely that at least a little of the facts will seep out — and that can only hurt the NYT’s foolish narrative.

      Not so long ago, most people had enough exposure to the Bible to know that the Egyptians had enslaved the Jews long before the New World was discovered. In contrast, too many young people today think that slavery was a US invention that only ever existed in the US. What is it going to do to their world view when the realize that slavery was the natural condition of humanity until the development of fossil-fuel-powered mechanization in the 19th Century? What may change when they learn that the word ‘slave’ comes from ‘Slav’, because much of the Medieval trade in slaves was Scandinavians (yes, those righteous Swedes & Norwegians) capturing those white Slavs and selling them in the slave markets of Byzantium?

      And the big issue — Who enslaved the Africans who were transported across the Atlantic to the New World? Yes, that’s right! Other Africans — who got rich capturing their fellow Africans, making them slaves, and then selling them to European slave traders.

      People may learn that most of the African slaves shipped across the Atlantic by the English, French, Spanish, & Portugese went to the Caribbean and South America, where their life expectancy was only a few years. (Hence the need for continued importation of slaves). Maybe only about 10% of African slaves went to the English colonies in North America. And people will learn about the dirty hands of the Democrats — the Party of Slavery.

      Slavery in the Americas is history — we can’t change what happened. But the more people learn about it, the better. We will learn that there are no clean hands — not the Africans who sold their brothers into slavery; not the Europeans who grew rich on the slave trade. The US is still the only country that fought a civil war to end slavery. And the Democrats with their Jim Crow laws have much to be ashamed of in delaying progress after the end of slavery.

      Here is an interesting side light. Like many people I was aware of the South Sea Bubble of the early 1700s, which ranks with the Dutch tulip mania as one of the early speculative bubbles. But it was only recently I learned what was the business model of the South Sea Company which led to such speculative excitement in England that even Sir Isaac Newton ended up losing a fortune. England’s South Sea Company had been awarded the highly profitable contract to supply Spain’s South American empire with African slaves. Yes, let’s all learn more about slavery & racism, and who the historically guilty parties really were.

    24. Anonymous Says:

      Jay Guevera: And how many others are there out there who went through that Red Farm system who have yet to surface?

      A very good question.

      My guess – assuming the notion of a Red farm system is sound – is that there is a whole cadre of others, selected to be widely (ahem) diverse, so that the Reds can select from among them for the most suitable candidate at a given time.

      Why do I think that?

      Because that’s what I would do.

    25. Jay Guevara Says:

      re: Obama: Recall that he got into Harvard Law as a legacy admit, something that is conveniently never mentioned in his hagiography. Nor is the fact that he went to by far the most prestigious and elite private school in Hawaii. The fact that he went from Punahou to Oxy is the best proof (besides his own words) that he must have been a terrible student in high school.

      Brian, I hadn’t known that he was a legacy admit. Do legacy admits even apply to law school? Plus, another question: how did he pay to Harvard Law? That can’t be cheap.

      As luck would have it, I graduated from Punahou, and you’re absolutely right.

      Grurray, I hadn’t known about the CIA connection either. That raises some interesting questions. Much like Obama’s spring break flight to Pakistan. Fort Lauderdale wasn’t good enough? Who the hell goes to Karachi, of all the God-forsaken places on earth, for spring break? Why? And who paid for it? An international flight of that length is not cheap now, and even less so then.

    26. Jay Guevara Says:

      Re slavery, I highly recommend Hugh Thomas’s book “The Slave Trade.”

      A dry read in places, where it reads more like a corporate annual report with facts and figures, but an exhaustively researched piece.

      Thomas reports that one of the biggest impediments to ending the slave trade was the opposition of African chieftains, who were making a fortune from it. One chieftain made 250,000 pounds sterling in a year in which the wealthiest noble in England made 12,000 pounds sterling from all his estates.

      He also reports that initially African chieftains sold slave traders their own ne’er-do-wells and troublemakers before later raiding neighboring tribes in raffias. So much for racial solidarity.

      Re the “slaves built America” nonsense, note the obvious question: why didn’t they build Africa, too? Consider Liberia, which of all places should have turned out just fine – but hasn’t. Liberia is, in effect, a control experiment. The settlers in America took on the best parts of English culture – civil and property rights, rule of law, etc. – and rejected the not so good parts – aristocracy, monarchy, class system, etc. The freed slaves took away from a dynamic, prosperous constitutional republic only the worst part – slavery, as they enslaved the native Africans – and rejected the rest.

    27. johnhenry Says:

      Soviet,

      Very interesting to see that someone else thought of The Mule before. I don’t think I was reading ZeroHedge at the time, though I do now.

      I do not think I have seen anything about the Mule since the 70s but I read a lot and it is possible I read the ZH article. I really don’t think so but it is so similar to my thinking that I wonder if I am cribbing without knowing it.

      John Henry

    28. CapitalistRoader Says:

      It should be considered in our science reporting, in our culture reporting, in our national reporting. And so, to me, it’s less about the individual instances of racism, and sort of how we’re thinking about racism and white supremacy as the foundation of all of the systems in the country.

      NYT is desperate. They’re pushing the wacist! thing because that’s all they’ve got. Trump hopefully is just being patient, getting his ducks in a row. DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz will likely release his report next month. US Attorneys John Durham and John Huber will use that report as a springboard to indict Comey. Plea deal(s) will result in indictments of other high level DOJ & intelligence agency pukes. My guess is that Samantha Power and Susan Rice will be indicted. Perhaps other Obama admin officials including Hillary.

      Trump is right to slow walk these investigations and prosecutions through next Summer/early Fall, just in time for mail-in ballots to start arriving in voters’ mailboxes. The President has decades of experience putting up billion-dollar buildings in New York City and dealing with the Mob, corrupt unions, and corrupt politicians. Squeezing corrupt federal government employees requires a similar skill set.

    29. MCS Says:

      David Foster: The Douglas observation put me in mind of “high tech” production in China. The answer to every production problem is: “Hire another thousand/ten thousand!”. Each assigned there own tiny, repetitive, infinitely boring task to produce some disposable gimcrack. Rising labor costs break the model so now production is moving elsewhere. It’s not that the Chinese government doesn’t see the trap, it’s that it can’t divert the momentum enough to make a difference.

      How will the NYT deal with the fact that the overwhelming majority of those that fought and died to end slavery were; white, European, male, Republican and, by present standards, racist. They fought to save the Union from slavery without, in most cases, ever fully acknowledging the actual humanity of the slaves.

      I’ll note in passing two exceptions. U.S. Grant and James Longstreet. Yes that James Longstreet, the Confederate General. Grant pushed Reconstruction as hard and as long as he could. Longstreet in Louisiana after the war, enforcing Reconstruction and protecting freed slaves. Both of their efforts ultimately thwarted by Democrats.

    30. Mike K Says:

      He also reports that initially African chieftains sold slave traders their own ne’er-do-wells and troublemakers before later raiding neighboring tribes in raffias. So much for racial solidarity.

      This could also be a factor in the American black IQ controversy, It’s extremely non-PC but what if the slaves came from a loser class ?

      The slaves who came to the western hemisphere came from west Africa. Those that were enslaved by the Arabs came from east Africa.

      Nigerians, especially the Igbo, are quite well represented in STEM fields.

      Hmmmm.

    31. OBloodyHell Says:

      Sorry, disagree wholly on the anti-Asimov notion herein.

      The concept Asimov was attempting to define was that, once politics and social movements become flows of not merely thousands, or even millions, of individuals, but billions, then they become stochastic elements, like billions of atoms in chemistry…

      This is not “Deep State”, because that is individuals pushing buttons to constrain peoples’ choices… This is a larger analysis where stochastic behavior gives predictability and, by dint of knowing where things are headed, one can stay out of the way of the train and/ or possibly spot a rail switch ahead of time and redirect things within limits.

      I won’t argue for or against Asimov’s concept… Just note that it isn’t anti- individualism, nor particularly pernicious in nature. It just acks that, once you have social movements numbering in the BILLIONS, the capacity of asingle individual to act to DELIBERATELY invoke change is tightly constrained. And, in later years, he also added robots to his game, ensuring a certain positive force discouraging bad actors from winning power.

    32. Anonymous Says:

      Mike K: “This could also be a factor in the American black IQ controversy, It’s extremely non-PC but what if the slaves came from a loser class ?”

      There is no question that slaves came from the losers of any particular battle. The winning African tribe enslaved its losing opponents and sold them to European or Arabic slave traders. But the losers today may have been the winners yesterday … or the next day. Think about the long bloody history of Europe, where one time the French beat the English and the next time the English defeat the French; on & on. Over time (and Europeans transported Africans who had been enslaved by other Africans for over 250 years — 10 generations), the random chances of war might have been expected to make the losers representative of the population of Africa as a whole.

      In support of that hypothesis, consider the descendants of some of the losers — African slaves transported to the vile English sugar plantations in the Caribbean. Those descendants seem to do quite well today when they move to England or the US — nothing lacking in their genetic make-up. This might suggest the problems for Americans of African heritage are cultural rather than genetic.

      In opposition to the hypothesis, consider the source of the word ‘slave’ — the Slavs captured in the forests of Russia by vicious Scandinavians and sold to the Byzantines. Those Slavs who were NOT captured & enslaved might arguably have been the more astute & intelligent ones. And certainly today’s Russians (the descendants of the Slavs who escaped capture) are very smart people.

      The NYT will probably come to regret getting everyone talking about slavery — because the NYT’s Ivy League graduates probably know as little about slavery as the average high school student, and will be surprised by what they learn. Let the sun shine in!

    33. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Dammit! Why can’t the system ask if we really mean to post as Anonymous? My apologies, the above Anonymous was me.

    34. pst314 Says:

      John Henry: Basically, The Foundation was a universal government. Universal in that it was the central government. Not all that pleasantly for the inhabitants as I recall (cut me some slack here. It’s been nearly 50 years).

      As I recall the character of the Foundation varied over time, being sometimes more benevolent and sometimes more predatory. But better than the first Empire which had grown fatally decadent and corrupt.

      OBloodyHell: This is not “Deep State”, because that is individuals pushing buttons to constrain peoples’ choices… This is a larger analysis where stochastic behavior gives predictability….

      The first Foundation developed for its first few centuries in predicted directions thanks to that stochastic predictability you mention.

      The Second Foundation, however, was a secret organization of psycho-historians whose purpose was to (1) intervene to protect the First Foundation in the event of the appearance of unforeseen factors, and (2) to ultimately become the secret rulers of the empire to be established by the First Foundation, rulers who would, by psychological manipulation, control events. Although created for benevolent reasons, the Second Foundation would thus inevitably be a force for tyranny. (Although I am not sure if Asimov appreciated this when he wrote the stories that comprise Second Foundation, the third volume of the series. He did at times strike me as being rather naive regarding such matters.)

    35. MCS Says:

      I think it’s a mistake to try to derive too much of the real Asimov from his fiction. He may have been at least a pink diaper baby, a lot of secular Jews were at that time, but I never thought of him as more than “Boston” liberal and really can’t remember much at all of his politics. I recall that he was with Heinlein at the Philadelphia Navy Yard during WWII.

      The “Foundation” books start with a ramshackle Galactic Empire that reminded me most of the late Russian Empire where whole provinces could be lost from view at times. I always thought the Mule was fashioned after either Napoleon or Lenin or likely a combination of both with a little Hitler thrown in. What I don’t remember is much democracy. In the end a sort of technocracy with the benign guidance of his Psycho-History. A sort of Utopian fantasy.

      He mined history without apology, as do all science fiction writers if they’re any good.

    36. Hanuman Says:

      https://www.claremont.org/crb/article/the-chosen-one/.

      From 2011. I Have not seen much discussion and did wonder lack of effect 2012.

    37. Ocassional Commenter Says:

      ….. and here we go:

      https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1163189056735461376.html

    38. Jay Guevara Says:

      how deeply & instantly offended certain people become at the suggestion that slavery is the foundational plot point and economic/societal element of American history

      If these ideas or facts are new to you, if they upset you or make you uncomfortable, if they challenge your idea of America, ask yourself: why?

      Fortunately, there are no issues that deeply and instantly offend liberals, nor are there any ideas or facts that are new to them, upset them, make them uncomfortable, or challenge their ideas. Which is why they never ask themselves “why?”

    39. David Foster Says:

      MCS…”The Douglas observation put me in mind of “high tech” production in China. The answer to every production problem is: “Hire another thousand/ten thousand!”. Each assigned there own tiny, repetitive, infinitely boring task to produce some disposable gimcrack.”

      This applies not only a the level of production per se, but also at the level of design for producibility. Apparently there are aspects to the iPhone, for example, that make human fingers impossible to replace with automation (at this point) for some production steps. I bet that if Apple absolutely, positively *had* to make these products in the USA, they would figure out how to change the design to make the assembly more automate-able…and would still convince everybody that the product is beautiful and cool.

      Interesting article about Red Wing Shoes and their efforts to move more production to the US.

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/red-wing-iconic-u-s-shoe-maker-labors-mightily-to-bring-production-home-11562942199

    40. OBloodyHell Says:

      I’ll point out there’s another element of possible unPC negro genetics I’ve never seen noted:

      Americans of every stripe are selected from aggressive, chance-taking go-getters. If not, then their ancestors would still be in “the old country”.

      There’s one exception to this, and that is negroes whose heritage goes back to slavery. The slaves would have been preselected for NON-aggression, non-chance-taking, compliant individuals. Others would have been beaten to death, killed while running away, etc.

      This, more than anything, strikes me as why orientals (not “asians”, but people from the Orient) were little better trated than blacks into the 50s, yet clearly succeed in rising above those limits.

      Why? That foul “breeding” for submissiveness, I assert, may be one reason why.

    41. Jay Guevara Says:

      The slaves would have been preselected for NON-aggression, non-chance-taking, compliant individuals.

      With respect, I believe a slow transit of any American inner city on a hot summer night would disabuse one of that conjecture. As would even a casual perusal of American crime statistics.

    42. pst314 Says:

      I think it’s a mistake to try to derive too much of the real Asimov from his fiction…

      Agreed, although one can often draw reasonable conclusions from a writer’s entire body of work.

      The “Foundation” books start with a ramshackle Galactic Empire that reminded me most of the late Russian Empire…

      He said more than once that it is based on Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” and in fact there is one character whose name matches a historian who had a competing theory of that fall, but your comment is interesting and thought-provoking.

      He mined history without apology, as do all science fiction writers if they’re any good.

      Agreed.

    43. MCS Says:

      I hadn’t heard about the Roman Empire connection, I suppose he would know. You could make a long list of empires since and how they died without finding anything that Gibbon didn’t see in the Roman Empire.

    44. John Henry Says:

      David Foster Says:

      Apparently there are aspects to the iPhone, for example, that make human fingers impossible to replace with automation (at this point) for some production steps.

      David, I’ve been working with manufacturing automation inclusing automated assembly operations, since 1976. I’ve worked across most all industries, including electronics. I’ve designed, built, commissioned and serviced a variety of automation machinery. I have a fair amount of experience with robots and write about them frequently in various trade magazines. (Mainly packaging Digest at http://www.packagingdigest.com). I’ve never seen or heard of anything that could not be automated. The question is always the economics.

      I am not saying you are wrong, and I am not familiar with the guts of an I-Phone but I can’t imagine this possibly being true. I can’t imagine any operation that can’t be automated. I suspect it is the economics of cheap chinese labor that keeps it being done by hand. In some cases, in the US, manual operations that would make engineering and economic sense to automate exist because of govt agreements. eg; “You give us a 20 year tax abatement and we will agree to employ 100 assembly workers.”

      Don’t take this as put up or shut up but if you have a link or other info I’d be interested to see it. Just because it is my life and passion and I am always interested in stuff like this.

      I bet that if Apple absolutely, positively *had* to make these products in the USA, they would figure out how to change the design to make the assembly more automate-able…and would still convince everybody that the product is beautiful and cool.

      Yup, it is called Design for Manufacturing. It doesn’t matter how great and cool the product is, if you can’t manufacture it, at a price people are willing to pay you are just wanking. I speak about this frequently with regard to package design. I have a PPT presentation on it with lots of examples if anyone would like a copy.

      Friday I ran across what looks like an interesting article about what will happen to Apple now that Jonny Ive has left. The article is about Industrial Design as a disclipline and points out that part of industrial design is to design products that can be manufactured economically as well as being functionally and aesthetically pleasing. I just skimmed it then Pocketed it and will read more thoroughly in the next day or two. Article is at https://mondaynote.com/apple-misunderstanding-design-and-jony-ives-role-ed90faa146a4

      I just recalled an anecdote from, I think, Isaacson’s bio of Steve Jobs. When Jobs was at Next, between Apple, he designed a computer Beos? that was a perfect cube with a molded plastic case. In molding, a small amount of taper is always required otherwise you can’t get the piece out of the mold. Alternately, you can make a multi-part mold but then, now matter how well the mold is made, you will have faint lines where the molds meet. (Look at a water bottle. Vertical parting lines on the sides and a horizontal parting line about an inch from the bottom) That was also unacceptable to him. It had to be a perfect cube with no taper at all and no mold parting lines.

      I forget how they solved it but Jobs just dug in his heels and made them figure out a way. Probably wasn’t cheap.

      We may have to invent new machines and technologies to manufacture some of the things people come up with. But it is what we do. We’re Americans and we are really good at it.

      “Never use a man to do anything a machine can do” – Henry Ford in “My Life and Work” 1923 (Best book ever on what is popularly known as the Toyota Production System)

      John Henry

    45. Anonymous Says:

      OBloodyHell Says:

      Americans of every stripe are selected from aggressive, chance-taking go-getters. If not, then their ancestors would still be in “the old country”.

      There is some of that but I think, in the main, it is just the opposite.

      Most of the people that emigrated to the US after 1800 or so came because they were starving and miserable in their native land. American represented a chance for a new start. In some cases, Ireland, Russia, Italy, some other countries, it represented a reprieve from death by starvation. In the case of Eastern Jews, a reprieve from violent death in the pogroms.

      Once they got here, especially pre-1850 or so, it was strictly sink or swim. As it was in the old country. The difference being that in the US you could be anything you wanted. You could swim without a 100# weight on your back.

      A lot of people succeeded well in advancing themselves or at least their children and grandchildren.

      But a lot never did much more than get by. Think about the tenements and factories of Lowell, Patterson, NYC. Or the Scandinavian farmers who were always just a few steps ahead of starvation.

      I think it is more about the opportunities here than the type of people who came here.

      Puerto Ricans and Cubans are very similar in culture, customs, heritage and so on. But they came to the US very differently. The Puerto Rican’s who came (1930s-1960s) were the ones who could not get jobs on the island. The poor, the wretched. When they got here, because they were US citizens, they got various govt benefits. Instead of having to sink or swim, they had a govt life preserver.

      Cuba was a relatively prosperous economy so there was less incentive to emigrate. The main exception was skilled cigar makers who founded a cigar industry in Tampa FL. When Castro came in, the people with skills and jobs became targets. They wound up leaving with little more than the clothes they stood up in. When they got here, they had little or no govt assistance. As the community grew, there was some self help but because it was in the community it was not openended and there was an expectation of paying it back, or paying it forward. They had to succeed. So, for the most part, they did.

      John Henry

      John Henry

    46. MCS Says:

      The South “escaped” Reconstruction, Jim Crow substituted debt peonage for chattel slavery with the added ability to ensnare poor whites. This locked the South into an agrarian stasis for 100 years or more. A few business were willing to expend the effort to push development there, but most weren’t, given any alternative.

      It will be interesting to see if the NYT has the effrontery to press this bogus racism angle after being so comprehensively outed. I suppose they really don’t have a choice, their favored candidates are committed to that line of attack and really don’t have anything else.

    47. John Henry Says:

      One more comment and then off to sleep.

      Thomas Sowell is always worth reading on any subject he has chosen to opine about. For this discussion I would recommend 2 of his books in particular:

      Ethnic America – This looks at 9 major ethnic groups, how they came to the US (or the colonies), why, what they were up to in their native countries and how they made out in the US up to about 1970 or so. Some good insights but the best thing about the book is that it looks at every group in the same way making comparisons and constrasts easier.

      Re Blacks, he discusses the differences in US experience of those who came direct from Africa as slaves and those who were enslaved in the Caribbean, mainly the British Caribbean, before coming to the US as freemen. Very interesting reading and particularly appropo with Kamala Harris in the running for Pres. She has 2 chapters: Blacks and Asians.

      He wrote a trilogy of books Migrations and Cultures, Conquests and Cultures and I can’t remember the 3rd. One of them deals mainly with slavery. Not just American slavery but slavery from Biblical times up to the 1990s. All three of the books are excellent.

      Estimates are that about 100,000,000 black slaves were exported between 900 and 1900. About 10mm came west, of who about 1mm came to what is now the US. The rest went east to persia, Turkey, India, Arabia. Probably half never lived to their final destination. Thos who did make it could expect to live for no more than a year or two.

      John Henry

      John Hery

    48. Mike K Says:

      In support of that hypothesis, consider the descendants of some of the losers — African slaves transported to the vile English sugar plantations in the Caribbean. Those descendants seem to do quite well today when they move to England or the US — nothing lacking in their genetic make-up. This might suggest the problems for Americans of African heritage are cultural rather than genetic.

      I think that is the best argument I know that it is not genetic. Yet, we have the Igbos who are very talented in STEM topics. I don’t know the answer and research on this topic is banned just as research on the children of gay marriage is banned,

    49. newrouter Says:

      > just as research on the children of gay marriage is banned,<

      No children are produced by a "pervert marriage". The ban is on the study of state sanctioned pedos.

    50. Brian Says:

      “Make America Great Again” could have been the slogan for every single non-incumbent candidate in anyone living’s memory.

      What’s exceptional is that the Democrat response has been “America was never great.”

      We’ll see how that works for them. I’m more than a bit skeptical it’s a winning plan.

    51. David Foster Says:

      John Henry…thanks for a knowledgeable comment. My point is just that when labor costs are higher, then *both* added automation and design for manufacturing become more important. You’re probably right that all aspects of iPhone assembly could be automated at some cost level. The optimum level of automation is probably less than 100% even at US wage rates, and the best solution would be some mix of greater automation *and* product changes to reduce labor content.

      Ran across a NYT article which asserts: “A tiny screw shows why iPhones won’t be assembled in USA.” The writer seems to believe that the decline in the US manufacturing supplier base is irreversible. He also says:

      “Another frustration with manufacturing in Texas: American workers won’t work around the clock. Chinese factories have shifts working at all hours, if necessary, and workers are sometimes even roused from their sleep to meet production goals. That was not an option in Texas.”

      …which is ridiculous on its face, there are all kinds of shift work in America, of course. Rousing 10,000 people from sleep in the middle of the night because someone changed a design feature is another matter, but really, that’s not the sort of thing that should be necessary.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/28/technology/iphones-apple-china-made.html

    52. MCS Says:

      John Henry: As I’m sure you’re aware but others here not, the individual components of an IPhone are assembled untouched by human hands. It’s the final assembly and especially the the interconnects between these parts that is the problem. Because of the volume constraints required to produce the thinnest phone possible, these are as thin and small as possible and very fragile.

      The problem with automating their assembly comes down to the production cycle that requires that millions be produced in the shortest time possible between the product announcement and introduction. Then, production has to match sales. Yet each phone is as different as possible from the last and the next will be as well. I don’t know if it would be possible to configure let alone build sufficient automated capacity in the time frame allowed by Apple’s product model. Apple depends on being able to charge an enormous premium for the newest, thinnest, most feature laden phone; that falls apart completely if cycle times start to lengthen. If they designed for production, then everyone could do it too.

    53. Anonymous Says:

      American represented a chance for a new start. In some cases, Ireland, Russia, Italy, some other countries, it represented a reprieve from death by starvation.

      Then why did ANYONE stay?

      I assert that it takes an unusual attitude to leave EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE you know behind for another place, that MAY offer something better for you.

      It takes someone willing to stretch farther, to losen their grip on the pole, just to get out and reach for that brass ring.

      Americans are pre-selected for that trait… Except blacks.

      Jat: you seem to me to confuse “don’t give a fuck” with aggression. There’s a giant distinction between people who think nothing they do can better their lives, that they are all necessarily victims of the System, and people going for the main prolize, taking calculated risks with care and consideration of the options. Of course, this is all the codswallop that liberals have been feeding them since the late 80s.

    54. OBloodyHell Says:

      I agree with most of what you are saying, but think you’re not putting it into my suggested context, of American inherited nature being aggressive, self-confident, and willing to take risks. This puts anyone who is hesitant about risks, less willing to strike out as an individual, atva distinct disadvantage.

      It doesn’t always work out, no… But it certainly makes for a large part of America’s successes… And for the people who have been successful.

    55. Mike K Says:

      This puts anyone who is hesitant about risks, less willing to strike out as an individual, atva distinct disadvantage.

      I visited Ireland in 1977. I was looking for evidence of my ancestors but the information I had was wrong and I did not find anything. I did learn that the Kennedy family of John and Bobbie and Ted had no idea where their ancestors came from. A clerk in Dublin Castle’s genealogy office gave me the Kennedy file. It included the cables to then embassy when JFK visited.

      Anyway, I did not find the Irish too friendly. An Irish friend explained this to me. He said, “They know the cream left.” The immigrants to the US, like my great great grandfather, William Kennedy, are perceived by present day Irish as having been better and smarter than those who stayed. True or not, that is an interesting concept. William and his wife Jane Mellen, arrived in upstate New York about 1810. I doubt they went through Boston or New York City and probably just landed at a small port on the American side. There is a little town near there called Bombay New York that was named by a man who arrived after a time in India.

    56. John Henry Says:

      Another book that may be of interest here is “Born Fighting” by James Webb. It is the story of the Scotch-Irish in the US, mainly in Appalachia.

      Excellent book, whatever one may think of the author.

      John Henry

    57. Jay Guevara Says:

      Those descendants seem to do quite well today when they move to England or the US — nothing lacking in their genetic make-up.

      The common denominator with other immigrants to America being “when people move,” which presumably entails a considerable selection bias.

    58. John Henry Says:

      David,

      I’ve seen that article about the screw several times over the years. It seems like herpes, just keeps coming back. I find it very difficult to believe. I know how screws are made. From simple dozen for a dime hardware to $100 apiece bone screws and others in between.

      I’d be really interested to see what the screw looks like but have never seen a picture. There are thousands, perhaps 10s of thousands of shops in the US that could turn out any screw you could want, no matter how complex the design.

      You can make them on a Swiss Lathe, which is a very sophisticated fully automated programmable machine. They cost around $50,000. Perhaps less for a small IPhone screw. The Chinese are using the same machines.

      You are right about the need for speed to market though very few people realize how right you are. Being able to get to market quickly with the next thing is a core competency that many companies miss the importance of.

      What you are talking about is called Changeover and, since the 1990s I’ve focused my professional life on it with Changeover.com and branding myself as “The Changeover Wizard”

      Manual assembly is, often, more flexible than automated assembly with less changeover time. But the automated machinery that Apple uses to make the I-Phone 6, with some minor tooling changes can be used to make the I-Phone 10. It might take a couple of weeks to fabricate the tooling and a couple hours to install (I can make the install go faster) but I suspect that it is components, not the machines to assemble them, that are the long lead time items in a new I-Phone.

      I wrote a book, with Rich Frain, about this. It focuses on packaging machinery because that is his business and a big part of mine. But the concepts are pretty much universal to all automated manufacturing machinery.

      You can buy it on Amazon “Secrets of Buying Packaging Machinery” or download it free at https://www.fraingroup.com/ebooks/

      Here’s a paper on the importance of speed to market https://www.fraingroup.com/case-studies/global-confectionary-manufacturer-gets-millions-incremental-revenue-speed-market/

      Probably dragging this thread way off topic so apologies and I will shut up now.

      John Henry

    59. John Henry Says:

      Well, just one more,

      Manufacturing in China, or any other Asian country, increases lead times. Moving production back to the US as many companies have been doing for the past 20 years, may have higher labor costs but these are compensated for with much better lead times. Along with better quality and other benefits.

      An anecdote about lead times: Virtually all of my clients have Walmart as a major customer. Major in the sense that it is 30-75% of total sales. They are constantly pushing for faster lead times between order and shipment.

      I was in a plant that makes pack-flat furniture a few years ago. Not Ikea but that kind of furniture. A brand name, perhaps bigger than Ikea in the US.

      We were talking about how demanding Walmart is as a customer. The plant manager told me that they sell a lot to Walmart but sell even more through Amazon. Walmart talks about shipment in days. I think they might have been 4 days order to ship with Walmart.

      Amazon talks about shipment in hours. When I was there, the Amazon contract called for shipment in 36 hours. Not 2 days, 36 hours. On the first of the following year that dropped to 33 hours. This was one of the reasons they called me in.

      This furniture is not made to stock because they have several thousand different items and inventory would be prohibitive. Everything is made to order and turned around and shipped in 33 hours.

      John Henry

    60. Mike K Says:

      I was in Costco the other day. We have a 50 inch TV but I was trying to figure out how to connect a sound bar since both my wife and I use hearing aids and would like to get a volume feature so we don’t need the hearing aids. At one time I had a Bose system but gave it away and they are expensive.

      Anyway, the Costco price for the Samsung 50 inch TV was about $362. At Amazon it is over $400.

      $456

      I’m still trying to figure out how to do it.

      Costco cheaper than Amazon ? Even so, l the price drop in flat screen TVs is amazing.

    61. Jay Guevara Says:

      I’m still trying to figure out how to do it.

      We got Roku wireless speakers (which are powered by the mains, not by batteries) and put them on the end tables adjacent to the sofa.

      They work great.

      Just a thought. Hope that helps.

    62. Grurray Says:

      Manual assembly is, often, more flexible than automated assembly with less changeover time. But the automated machinery that Apple uses to make the I-Phone 6, with some minor tooling changes can be used to make the I-Phone 10. It might take a couple of weeks to fabricate the tooling and a couple hours to install (I can make the install go faster) but I suspect that it is components, not the machines to assemble them, that are the long lead time items in a new I-Phone

      John, to dig around down in the weeds just a little bit more, 5 or 6 years ago Foxconn announced they were going to build a million robots to fully automate their assembly of the iPhone. It didn’t work, and their excuses were exactly what MCS stated.

      However, the challenges of integrating automation become clear in the case of Foxconn factories. Of the one million robots that Terry Gou proposed to install, only 50,000 were implemented three years later. According to the general manager of Foxconn’s automation technology development committee, Day Chia-Peng, the endeavour proved more arduous than expected: aside from the difficulties of replicating human hand-eye coordination, any robotic solution needed to be constantly adjusted as product cycles in the electronics industry continue to decrease. (7) Following this experience, Day strongly advised local governments not to regard robots as the ultimate panacea for labour shortages.

      Other Chinese tech companies has similar automation experiences as the article spells out. Now I don’t doubt that if you and your colleagues put your heads together you could make something work. I’ve seen packaging machinery, and I’m always impressed with whatever I’ve come across, from handling to conveying to vibratory sorting and feeding. That last one gets really impressive, how you make imprecision work in your favor to certain degrees.

      However, Foxconn and the others were attempting to adapt 6-axis robots for this work, which I’m sure you’ll agree becomes a whole other kettle of fish. Tooling or fixture changes are probably simple enough, but precision and validation couldn’t be accomplished. The closer we try to copy real human movement for robots, the more the goal posts move away from us.

      So the bridge technology they’re now talking about is collaborative robots, where the human assembler works directly with and partially controls the robot arm. These are the so-called cobots you have probably heard about. ABB’s Yumi or Rethink Robotics’ Baxter, which I believe just went out of business. Whether this is the best way for industry to proceed or whether American reshoring can improve on it, I don’t know. It is where things are moving, and the Chinese experience seems to be driving it.

    63. John Henry Says:

      I wonder if there is an error in the numbers. Total world industrial robot production in 2017 was only about 350,000 all types, all sizes. Given industry growth, I suspect all the builders were running near capacity.

      I wonder where Foxconn thought they would find a million robots?

      Foxconn does not seem dumb so I expect they were blowing smoke.

      Assuming they could have gotten the robots, I wonder where they would have found the robot techs to deploy them on the floor.

      Without knowing more detail my guess is that it wasn’t that the robots could not dot the tasks. Camera (machine vision) guided robots routinely work to precisions measured in microns.

      I’d be willing to bet the failure was due to supply of machines and techs.

      John Henry

    64. John Henry Says:

      Collaborative robots are a really cool technology. Baxter (us) and universal(danish) were two of the first but now there are probably 20 companies building them.

      I am a big fan of “cobots” as they are called.

      For a brief primer on what they are https://www.packagingdigest.com/robotics/what-are-collaborative-robots-and-why-should-you-care1505

      The real robotic revolution is in vision. Used to be that a robot had to pick a part, say a screw that was oriented in position and in a precisely defined location. Only then could it find and pick it up.

      Then, the hole for the screw had to be in a precise location.

      Now 3d cameras can look in abox of screws, guide the robot to pick it and orient it.

      Then as long as the hole is in the field of vision, the camera finds it and guides the screw to it. The technology is incredible

      John Henry

    65. Mike K Says:

      I can’t recall of it was here that I mentioned the erosion of STEM programs with the new “Dean of the School of Engineering Education.”

      Well we now have evidence of the destruction of standards.

      Rigor is the aspirational quality academics apply to disciplinary standards of quality. Rigor’s particular role in engineering created conditions for its transfer and adaptation in the recently emergent discipline of engineering education research. ‘Rigorous engineering education research’ and the related ‘evidence-based’ research and practice movement in STEM education have resulted in a proliferation of boundary drawing exercises that mimic those in engineering disciplines, shaping the development of new knowledge and ‘improved’ practice in engineering education. Rigor accomplishes dirty deeds, however, serving three primary ends across engineering, engineering education, and engineering education research: disciplining, demarcating boundaries, and demonstrating white male heterosexual privilege.

      We are doomed.

    66. James the lesser Says:

      From the linked article about why we should get rid of rigor: “No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author.”

      I’ll bet I can guess a conflict of interest.

    67. MCS Says:

      In a post-industrial America, what will we need real engineers for anyway? The job should be redefined as the ability to regurgitate PC blather. As with so many things, Jimmy Carter was a pioneer.