“I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.”

I’m a scientist now working in IT. I’ve been blogging at idontknowbut since 2002, when it was the fashion to pick an unusual “nym.” I decided to be different and use part of my name (not all, to cut down on spam), but the day came when I found other “james”s with the same idea and so I tweaked the name. I’ve worked in Berkeley of the Midwest for years, but I’ve never met Dan.

I’ve some expertise in physics, and interests in history, Africa, autism, and various “squirrels” that distract me.

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.”

What Twain actually published was: “Often, the surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict truth.”

If you prefer a more recent source: “It’s better to be uninformed than misinformed. I even doubt some of the pictures I see in the papers.” (Orville Hubbard)

A commenter here on HVAC and the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect wrote that he tries to interpret news stories using a simple procedure: determine the bias, and then assume the opposite of what the story claims. As a rule of thumb it has the obvious problem that every now and then a liar tells the truth–as with Twain’s liar.


One of the things they tried to drill into us early on was that you had to measure the measurable, but your measurement wasn’t complete without an estimate of the error on that measurement. And if you screwed up, say so. These disciplines aren’t common, but they’re valuable.


How do we figure out what’s real?

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” (Feynman)

I can go to trusted sources and believe them–just like everybody else does. They listen to their sources because they trust them, and they trust them because they’re just like what they’ve always listened to.

True, I have to compare a report with what I already think I know. If I estimate that it is consistent with what I have heard and believed already, it’s probably true—but those who believe the NYT and CNN do exactly the same. They’re in an echo chamber: I need to be sure I’m not.


We’ve lots of news sources. Sometimes they tell the truth. How do I know when?

Truth is generally binary, but unfortunately the probability that I trust a story has to be on a spectrum. If I have seen the scene myself, I consider it very true. OTOH, I don’t always know the context, and … “There’s a Bene Gesserit saying,” she said. “You have sayings for everything!” he protested. “You’ll like this one,” she said. “It goes: ‘Do not count a human dead until you’ve seen his body. And even then you can make a mistake.”

even doubt some of the pictures I see” After the Loma Prieta earthquake, the Goodyear blimp started showing the city instead of the now-cancelled ball game. We had friends in the area, and kept the TV on with someone eyeing it all the time. The blimp kept coming back to the same burning building. No doubt the effort to control the fire made a fine narrative, but what I wanted was a pan of the city to see how extensive the destruction was. All I was allowed to see was one burning building. And, to be fair, the bridge too.


If the story is from a known liar on a topic which he has lied about in the past and has an interest in lying about again, I judge the probability small. But not zero—as Twain noted, you can lie telling the truth—just leave out important context.

For each story, suppose the bare facts of the story (strip out the emotive stuff) are correct. What context is missing? Sometimes I can infer the missing context from “What would X be likely to do, and how would CNN interpret that?”

When trying to figure out the missing context, recall that people like to think they’re good people, and justify themselves. If that involves misrepresenting someone else’s motives or leaving out benign details, they’ll do it. But if they have any residual integrity, they’ll be uncomfortable leaving too much out–so there may be hints as to what’s missing. Otherwise I have to draw on what little I know of the characters involved to imagine what they left out.


I can assume that if CNN reports on controversial politics or social mores the report is false; either false in its facts or false in its framing. But what if they report on a storm, or a revolution in Chad, or a new business? They have no obvious reason to lie, except of course the reporter’s need to have an interesting story on a deadline. NYT and Daily News reporters have been known to make stuff up—not that long ago, either.

And sometimes politics and corruption invade what ought to be non-political realms. Remember Lysenko? Stories about his work might have seemed like science, but behind the scenes it was ideology down the line. Stories about a business (especially green ones) seem not infrequently to be puff pieces designed to spur investment in the bubble.

Lies about non-socio-political topics will probably trip me up, unless I have some prior knowledge about the situation.

Often if you remember prior stories about the same topic, you’ll notice that the “breakthrough” is incremental at best and rate the story accordingly. Or that the suspect seems to appear rather frequently in the police blotter. I don’t know about you, but my memory isn’t that prodigious.


I can cross-check. Do I hear the same report elsewhere?

Unfortunately the masters of smear and of advertising have learned how to spread their stories around so that they appear to be verified independently. Many outlets grab the same press release independently. Can I tell what the source was from reading the story? Sometimes yes. If I can’t figure out what the source is, that counts against the story’s veracity.


Can I check the original source? I’ve had a hobby of researching science reports in the media and comparing them to the originals—and a depressing hobby it is, too. By the time the telephone game plays out to the clickbait headline, the research often isn’t recognizable. Sadly, some of the originals are paywalled or in languages I don’t know or in notes never actually put online.


Apply the 24-hour rule. First reports are generally wrong. OTOH, sometimes the first report is all you get.


Is the story trying to manipulate my emotions? Does the sick widow really represent the majority of the attempted immigrants? Common sense says no, and counts against the story’s veracity.


Does the story make sense? Someone (haven’t found the quote) wrote that a 19’th century Englishman would commit any crime, do any treason, before he would walk Trafalgar Square without his pants. I was solemnly told back in 2016 that there was pedophilia dirt on Trump that was being kept secret. Tell me that Hitler regularly vacationed in London in 1943; it’s just as plausible—the secret couldn’t be kept.

Similarly, we were all solemnly assured that Vladimir “my country stays afloat with hydrocarbon sales” Putin wanted Donald “fracking” Trump to win the election in 2016. Nope; that’s an obvious lie. The advantage of it is that I could note who trumpeted it and put them on my liars list.

Maybe a case history showing how I tried to understand a story would be helpful. Or interesting. Or not.

Let me use a relatively simple story: Wuhan 2019A aka Covid-19 aka Wuflu aka horrible plague aka “nothing-burger.” (I have family and friends who were knocked down for 3 months with it. That’s not trivial. I also had friends mildly sick for a week.)

The first stories were about Wuhan, the Diamond Princess, and the Italy disaster.

Wuhan reports were of a contagious and dangerous virus, and that the government was using extreme measures to halt it. They had a motive to lie—the same one all dictatorships do—underplay the problems, trumpet the good things. Announcing problems is against interest, so we could assume the problem was at least as bad as they claimed. The Chinese released a RNA sequencing of the virus, which sounded like they’d been working on it for a while, but were offering info in good faith. And they claimed some success using hydroxychloroquine. Since they were confessing problems, and seemingly acting in good faith, I could give some credence to the early stories.

The Diamond Princess showed that it was deadly, but only a few percent would die, even in a population that skewed older. It was a nice controlled environment for testing, with few confounding issues. Some people stayed sick for a long time (see later personal experience above). The Diamond Princess owners would have had a great incentive to lie about illness aboard their ship—bad PR—but the Japanese didn’t. It seemed trustworthy information.

Reports from Italy sounded like a true disaster. Unfortunately, they didn’t come with the demographic details that would let one compare it to the Diamond Princess numbers. How much excess capacity did Italian hospitals have? If none, any plague will have people dying in the halls. Things sounded bad, but when you started asking questions about rates, the numbers weren’t there. The Italians didn’t seem to have a reason to lie about it, so the information was true—but not complete or useful.

I did not listen to the news. I gather from the effect of the news on other people that the media played up the danger-danger-danger aspects.


The early Chinese reports mentioned hydroxychloroquine. Hydroxychloroquine seemed a very odd medicine to treat a virus. (I had taken it weekly for years as a malaria prophylactic.) So I went to Google and looked up the papers that dealt with that. (I trusted Google not to hide the information. Why would they lie about medicine? Politics, sure, but why bother to lie about this?) I skimmed the papers I found, and learned to my surprise that the drug has been used against viruses too, and that the Chinese tests against Covid were preliminary and low-statistics, but positive.

A doctor claimed positive results in Europe, in another low-statistics sample. A later study using it on gravely ill patients found no benefit—I hope no-one here is surprised. So far, these reports seemed reliable within their limits, and didn’t disprove each other.

At this point I started taking a little more note of the news and found that chloroquine was now claimed to be both useless and dangerous (heart issues—actually retinopathy is the more common risk). From what I knew now, neither claim could be justified. Chloroquine had merely been proved not to be a miracle cure for the dying, and the heart risk was lower than the risk of the disease. From a reporter I could expect such exaggeration, but these came from health officials—or at least the officials never seemed to correct a misinterpretation. Somebody was lying.

Why would they lie? Just because Trump had said the drug might be useful? That’s an unworthy motive, but I sounded a sample of acquaintances and concluded that they were prejudiced to believe that anything Trump said was a lie and must be opposed. I could no longer trust that NYT/CNN and even the FDA/CDC could tell the truth on what ought to be a non-political question.

At the same time, I started frequently reading that chloroquine was a miracle drug and that anti-Trump people and big-pharma (in search of expensive/profitable new drugs) were suppressing it. (Chloroquine hadn’t been proven useful yet—that would take a large study. I looked at one of the meta-studies that asserted that it wasn’t useful, and wasn’t impressed.) Oops. I couldn’t trust the “right-wing” channels either. (The claim about big-pharma isn’t easy to prove or disprove.)

Skipping to the present—YouTube and Facebook have been caught deleting stories about the disease. They claim this is merely deleting dangerous misinformation. No doubt some of it is—but how do I know that? They’ve lied before. I can’t rely on the search engines to find unskewed information. I can’t even rely on DuckDuckGo: it turns out to rely on Bing, and Microsoft has already been caught censoring stories on China’s behalf.

I’m not a doctor or a medical researcher–this was a layman’s attempt to figure out what was going on.

At end of the day, unless I’m willing to put in work to find out the truth, I’m not going to get it.

I am not advocating utter skepticism. A lot of the news stories are more or less accurate–or would be if they were ever followed-up on. My stint on a grand jury gave me an appreciation for how inaccurate initial crime reports can be.

But I try to cultivate a “not proven” attitude to the news–especially early reports. “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” We can’t rely on journalists–we have to do it ourselves.

34 thoughts on ““I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.””

  1. We can treat the building collapse in Miami as a test, we’re already seeing all the stages of misinformation.

    The one knowledgeable person who examined the building in 2018 found troubling maintenance problems including deterioration of load bearing members but wasn’t concerned with the structural integrity except as a distant in time contingency. Another investigator using satellite synthetic aperture radar has measured subsidence amounting to less than an inch in ten years. That amount of settling is not generally a cause of failure.

    Personally, I’m glad I haven’t underwritten the professional liability insurance of the first engineer. I’m betting it will turn out to be some combination of poor materials, poor design. poor construction and deterioration from a hostile climate and likely all of them.

    So far, the stories I’ve read are keeping open all the possibilities as they should. A look at the site indicates that it will probably be months to years until an authoritative conclusion is reached. Aeons longer than the attention span of the press. I’ll give it no more than a few days until the void is being filled with nothing more than speculation, assuming I haven’t missed the start of that phase already.

  2. I have a son who is a lawyer specializing in construction defect litigation. I haven’t talked to him since this story began but will soon. As far as I know he has not yet moved to Florida (joke) but the potential money involved has to be limited. The building is 40 years old and the HOA owns it. I wonder what their insurance limits are ?

  3. Contemporary media articles are basically nothing but an unholy combination of Argument from Authority and Ad hominem logical fallacies. People need to accept that the reality of the MSM has nothing to do with the image they’ve built for themselves. Once you make that mental shift that they’re vicious partisans, their coverage makes total sense and you don’t have to try to justify their “mistakes” as being due to “incompetence” or “stupidity” or whatnot.

    Re: covid, as I said back then, to me the precautionary principle said that there was something new with too many unknowns, and in that situation you should act as if things aren’t “safe” until proven so, not act as if they are unless proven not to be. (I also still have never heard an explanation of how the “natural origin” theory can possibly be squared with the actions of the CCP starting last January.) So we should have shut down international travel in January, and we’d have been far better off. Take the immediate cost in order to avoid the possibility of the catastrophic outcome that you don’t have enough information to quantify. And I think we should have shut down schools by March, even a bit before we did. However, by the summer we knew definitively enough about it that schools should have been opened up completely normally by September. Unfortunately partisanship has melted people’s brains, and as we’ve seen in recent decades of the school shooting hysteria, people are absolutely terrible in making risk assessments.

  4. If you still listen to CNN (the most popular network voted by those trapped in airline terminals) – my hat is off to you. My question is, why?

    Most of the times these sources don’t overtly lie – Trump and the 3 year long accusation of “Russia Collusion” exempted – but they lie by omission.

    I have generally found that the overseas sources of newspapers are more accurate. And the WSJ.

  5. Re: Miami Condo Collapse. Here’s what I heard from an elderly acquaintance in the engineering field, who has lived and worked in and around Miami for many years. The two buildings of the condo were planned and designed at the same time by the company that had the planning permission. The North building (still standing) was completed first and selling for occupancy. The South building {partial collapse} was at that time complete only to the foundation and parking garage when the owner went bankrupt. While the legal and financial problems were worked out, the shell of the South building sat in the sun and salt for some time, between 8 months and a year, maybe longer. When building resumed, evidently no action was taken to remediate the exposed parts.
    To your point in this post – this information is presumably available via public information in the Miami-Dade real estate data base. I am not interested enough to research, but where is the reporter looking for a story? Not relevant to hanging DJT or DeSantis, so not interesting.

  6. I did hear from my son who agrees that the loss will be catastrophic and the D&O insurance will have limits far below the loss plus death liability. Apparently, he has heard that a vote was held after that 2018 report for an assessment to do the repairs and it was voted down. I wonder what banks hold mortgages on those condos ?

  7. While the legal and financial problems were worked out, the shell of the South building sat in the sun and salt for some time, between 8 months and a year, maybe longer. When building resumed, evidently no action was taken to remediate the exposed parts.

    There was an Oceanside CA condo project that went bankrupt back in the 70s and stood as a concrete shell for 10-15 years. It was finally completed and stands to day as the only ocean front high rise in that area. The soil in that area may be quite a bit different from that in FL.

  8. I would like to give a general plug for James, who has had a good blog these many years and has been a valuable contributor to my site. (Defined as someone who usually but not always agrees with me.)

    Brian, I think your assessment of the Covid responses is correct. I don’t know how we could have known it easily, but more response earlier and less later, particularly WRT children’s exposure seems about right. Over the last few days i have been trying to figure out what the underlying causes of the partisanship on the right were, all the way back to last spring. (The underlying causes of leftist partisanship are fairly obvious and well-known at this site, but the conservative ones seem like something new, and thus I want to try out a lot of possibilityies in my head before opining.)

  9. Everything is propaganda now, Its a war against everything, by everyone and its extremely amusing.

    My long held practice of believing no one, has yielded a bunch of usually truthful people and organizations, who often have real clues as to what is happening. I was able to almost immediately get information on Roman Protasevich almost immediately. It was hilarious.

    The western media is completely co-opted, and just pumps out America’s latest set of talking points about everything. The entire China bad crap is being rolled out a fact, although there is little evidence to support that.

    Its lies, all the way down and that is resting on a lie itself. There is a good reason for Bodidharma’s rather apocalyptic statement about reality: “Vast emptiness, nothing holy.” ;)

  10. I’ve actually been on Hydroxychloroquine for some time – for my Rheumatoid Arthritis. As I understand it, the main action of the drug may be to calm down inflammation (which is the source of the swelling and pain usual in RA). It’s worked fine for me, with very few side effects. The known eye problems seldom occur in the first 5 years of taking it daily.
    Probably the most problems caused by COVID were aggravated by the ventilators, which, when used in a supine position, not only dry out the respiratory system (leaving it vulnerable to secondary infections), but also made breathing much harder. The ONE simple step of turning COVID patients over on their stomachs was associated with greatly reduced morbidity.
    Frankly, hospitals allowed themselves into being pressured to over-treat the symptoms, and probably led to more than a few deaths. The over-stressed staffs skimped on cleaning and infection protocols, and that had a major effect, too.
    Add in lack of sleep and heightened stress – I’d be very surprised if all of the above hadn’t contributed to the death tolls.
    The thing is, few people are familiar with what good home nursing can do. There was a story in a major publication that had the wife of a patient describing how she cared for her husband at home. He survived, which I somehow doubt that he would have in a hospital (and, he would have been largely isolated from those he knew).

  11. “At end of the day, unless I’m willing to put in work to find out the truth, I’m not going to get it. … We can’t rely on journalists–we have to do it ourselves.”

    I keep returning to my late father’s advice — Listen carefully to what people say; listen even more carefully to what they do not say.

    As far as the CovidScam, the issue which got most of us really concerned at the beginning was those phone videos from China of well-dressed working age men collapsing on the sidewalk. Never happened again, not anywhere, and the reason why not cannot now be discussed in polite society. Today we see a US that has been permanently hobbled by business shut-downs and huge unrepayable debts — and a China that is booming. We have to draw our own conclusions.

    Or look at the BLMScam. When the arrest of a non-cooperative drugged-up unhealthy suspect goes wrong, all hell breaks loose. But when a dozen or more “Black” people are shot to death on a typical Chicago weekend, it is not mentioned in enlightened circles.

    Or look at the Climate Change Scam, where the relevance of overwhelming geological & historical evidence of continuous major non-anthropogenic change is never addressed, and even the vital role of the Carbon Cycle in maintaining all plant & animal life on Earth is ignored.

    Unless the proponents of something that they claim requires more intrusive government, higher taxes, and less liberty are proactive about openly addressing all the relevant issues, it is safe to assume they are promoting a scam.

  12. Lol, I am barely coherent. Must be the heat we are smashing records by almost 10 degrees celsius every few days. Anyway a test to see what percolates.

    Have you heard about Assange lately? A name so hated the spell checker won’t do it. ;)

    His dad was pleading his case when they let anyone near the court. No one cares, but at about the same time the chief witness, maybe its coincidence, has admitted his case was all lies, and fed by the CIA.

    Does this make it to any of you? I am everywhere, so I pick this stuff up right away.

  13. But I try to cultivate a “not proven” attitude to the news–especially early reports.

    This is a very charitable attitude towards the news, much more charitable than is deserved. I think “journalist” is a polite way to say “professional paid leftist liar.”

    I recall many years ago I bought the paper the day after an election to find out the local results. There were column after column of no data. I figured, OK, it went to press early in the AM, and the votes weren’t counted yet. So I bought the paper again the next day. There were no results printed at all. I don’t recall how much mention there was of the election, if any, but I do remember that there were no vote totals mentioned.

    No vote totals. I used to think this was mere incompetence, but in light of recent events, I suspect it was to help cover up vote fraud. You can’t object to suspicious results if you don’t even see the numbers.*

    Another example- I was following a particular pundit named Hugh Hewitt during the 2006 election cycle. There were several GOP-held senate seats with the Republican candidate reported to be narrowly behind, according to various polls. Hewitt dug through the internals of those polls and was reporting that actually the Republicans were ahead, because democrats were way oversampled, etc, etc. Then the election happened. The Republicans lost, and I distinctly recall thinking that the polls were right after all.

    Well, gosh. At that time, I figured that the idea that US elections were fraud-based kabuki theater was crazy talk conspiracy nonsense- but then came 2020. I have been inspired to revise my opinions to conclude that vote fraud has been a far more significant factor in American elections than I ever would have supposed, undertaken by a much more extensive operation than I ever would have suspected.

    And that could never have managed to succeed without the active participation of “journalists.” No one should ever trust these people, period.

    *This paper, btw, was the Detroit Free Press. This became the only newspaper in Detroit in the 1990s thanks to a “joint operating agreement” with the conservative-leaning Detroit News. Locally, this was a Significant Event. It was promised that both editorial boards would be maintained- the Free Press was and I presume still is leftist- and for a while they were. Then after a few years the conservative editor for the Detroit News was fired and its conservative-leaning editorial section was printed deep in the advertising section.

    The fun bit was the that the “journalists” of the Free Press claimed that the editor of the News had chosen to retire- which was a lie, because he had a column with the Wall Street Journal and wrote about what actually happened- and the whole reason for the JOA in the first place was because the leftist Free Press was being put out of business by the conservative Detroit News. Bottom line, again- journalists are lying leftist liars who lie and no one should believe anything they say, ever, on any topic.

  14. The western media is completely co-opted, and just pumps out America’s latest set of talking points about everything. The entire China bad crap is being rolled out a fact, although there is little evidence to support that.

    Says the China troll. Hilarious.

  15. Something I have wondered for months – why hasn’t anyone in the media bothered to investigate the source behind Derek Chauvin’s staying on the police force? It was either an indifferent Minneapolis police dept, or the police union.

    I suspect it was the union, that the media people didn’t want to ruffle their feathers.

  16. why hasn’t anyone in the media bothered to investigate the source behind Derek Chauvin’s staying on the police force?

    Bill, AFAIK Chauvin was following guidelines for uncooperative subjects. There are rumors about his personal life but I have seen nothing but speculation and bad faith. He was called by the rookies who were unable to control Floyd. I think he died of a drug overdose, NOT pressure on his neck. The pressure put on the Minneapolis ME was despicable.

  17. Mike that’s a whole aspect that has never been brought up by our media. Which gets back to the initial subject.

    I heard a good saying about all the so-called “journalists”.

    That is, unless they are willing to investigate a subject matter objectively they are just propagandists.

  18. The entire issue of exactly how how Chauvin’s actions aligned with the training and existing policy of the Minneapolis PD doesn’t seem to have been explored at the trial. I am basing that on what I read on Powerline which had an observer at the trial. There were a lot of rumors that Chauvin’s behavior was something out of his training, you’d think if there was some evidence that it would have been a major issue. His defense was certainly handicapped by a lack of resources and possibly by less than stellar representation.

    The simplest explanation is that the rumors about the training were simply false. Another could be that his lawyer thought that bringing it up would be counterproductive for some reason. Any exploration in the press would have implied possible mitigation and was therefore, out of bounds. Even Powerline seems to have started from the premise that his actions couldn’t have been justified.

  19. MCS, remember that the expert brought from LA by his defense lawyer was attacked and the house he used to occupy was vandalized. There was enormous pressure to lynch Chauvin and I thought his lawyer did a fair job. An appeal should be granted but won’t be in that state. The trial should have been moved but wasn’t. That decided it.

  20. it was well in keeping with training protocols, next time just give him a head shot would have had the same impact, and put him out of his misery,

  21. The change of venue issues bring back the OJ trial and the Rodney King cops’ trial. Garcetti, the father of the LA Mayor, was the DA and he moved the OJ trial to downtown LA from Brentwood where the crime occurred so he could get more blacks on the jury. Viola ! Acquittal !

    The Rodney King cops were tried in the community where the incident occurred and acquitted. The Clinton DOJ charged them with a federal crime, civil rights, and a downtown jury convicted them. Bingo ! I sent money to Stacey Koon’s family while he was in prison. Gross injustice but not unexpected.

  22. One of the things they tried to drill into us early on was that you had to measure the measurable, but your measurement wasn’t complete without an estimate of the error on that measurement. And if you screwed up, say so. These disciplines aren’t common, but they’re valuable.

    My profession – electrical engineering – is prone to confirmation bias at the level of 4-1/2 digits; I tell young engineers that unless you understand WHY the meter is reading what it it is reading, that reading can easily lead you to the wrong conclusion.

    People need to accept that the reality of the MSM has nothing to do with the image they’ve built for themselves.


  23. “That is, unless they are willing to investigate a subject matter objectively they are just propagandists.”

    Remember when journalists were whinging about “both sidesism”? They were finally saying the quiet part out loud. They prefer to be porpagandists.

  24. Related to the Gell-Mann effect:

    Knoll’s Law of Media Accuracy (Erwin Knoll, editor, “The Progressive”) :
    “Everything you read in the newspapers is absolutely true—except for the rare story of which you happen to have firsthand knowledge.”

    George Orwell, “Homage to Catalonia” (1938):
    “…it was the first time that I had seen a person whose profession was telling lies—unless one counts journalists.”

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Norvell (June 11, 1807):
    ‘It is a melancholy truth, that a suppression of the press could not more completely deprive the nation of its benefits, than is done by its abandoned prostitution to falsehood.

    “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day.”

  25. I have a good idea about what is going on. Its a bit of work, but you can find out so much now. Taking that capability, and using it to discern the lies told everywhere, by cross relating them, you can build up a pretty good picture of the truth.

    That allows you to see who always lies to you, who sometimes lies to you, and those few who regularly tell the truth.

    As well, wandering as widely as you can while doing this, keeps you from self reinforcing echo chambers, like this one for instance, that talk about their small range of interests, mostly to make themselves feel better, about their selves.

    Congratulations to the CCP on its hundredth birthday BTW. ;)

  26. > DuckDuckGo uses Bing

    Dogpile used to forward searches to multiple search engines, but apparently they just use Google and Yahoo! (which now forwards to Bing) now.

    A lot of stories that get ignored, memory-holed, or unlinked by Google and Bing can be found on Yandex. I’m sure Yandex has its own censorship and bias, but it’s not the *same* censorship and bias as Google and Bing.

  27. It’s not like Jefferson didn’t use the press to spread his own disinformation. He is a remarkable hero in so many ways – a man whose pen we can all be thankful for. Still.

  28. The entire China bad crap is being rolled out a fact, although there is little evidence to support that

    Could you possibly be any more transparent?

  29. NBC reported, that a year before the collapse “the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association began a desperate search for $16.2 million to fix major structural damage that was slowly threatening the Surfside high-rise.” At the time, the condo board documents indicated the association had only $770,000 in reserves.

    $770k is actually a substantial reserve. It doesn’t make sense to tie up a significant fraction of a condo building’s replacement cost in a cash reserve as a hedge against the extremely unlikely possibility that millions in structural repairs will be necessary. That’s what special assessments and commercial insurance policies are for.

    What protects condo residents isn’t cash reserves but rather the willingness of condo boards to do necessary repairs in a timely way and, if necessary, to evacuate buildings if structural failure seems possible. I know of a waterfront condo building that was condemned and evacuated for a couple of years so that serious structural problems could be fixed. Of course this cost the owners a ton of money, but it was better than risking a collapse, or tearing down the building on a preventive basis.

    I doubt Crist will get anywhere. The Democrats are eager to exploit any event that might be used to weaken DeSantis.

  30. Here’s some videos from an engineer that goes through the plans and some of the documents with good, not too technical explanations. I found most of his points persuasive.
    There are a number of different episodes including one where he is able to tie together a video taken seven minutes before the collapse that shows the ceiling of the parking garage starting to collapse and the sprinkler main broken with the plans showing where the major collapse probably started.

    As far as I’ve heard, none of the engineers that examined the structure said that there was a danger of collapse. I’m betting several engineers and building officials will be spending most of the next several years in court explaining.

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