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10 search-engine keyphrases bringing traffic to Afflictor this week:

  1. war is poetry to steve bannon
  2. germ warfare
  3. james baker donald trump supporter
  4. trump’s compulsive believers
  5. blundering into nuclear war
  6. bill o’reilly abe lincoln
  7. congressman john lewis
  8. woody guthrie in nyc
  9. oppenheimer on trial
  10. great journalism from 2016

Ah, Riyadh at last. Here, I’m finally free of Russiagate.

The medal’s nice, but can we touch a glowing ball with some other men?

Sally, we’ll get to state business as soon as I’m done opening a golf course.

This is great. What could possibly go wrong?

Hi Don. Remember to remove sanctions on Russia or pee tape, recorded phone calls, treason-related hanging, et cetera.

Who are those men handcuffing your husband?


• Trump undermining democracy and the GOP tearing the social safety net are dual threats to peace in America.

In the wake of the Washington Post Trump scoop, read Garry Willis’ 1974 review of All the President’s Men.

• Tax reform is a ridiculous reason for the GOP to protect Trump.

• Matt Taibbi penned an appropriately punishing postmortem of Roger Ailes.

• Julian Assange, perhaps a Kremlin stooge, spoke to Spiegel.

• Peter Diamandis believes humans will soon be massively connected.

• MADCOMS could make machines the “driving force in our culture.”

• In 1979, David Levy, chess hustler, knew machines would soon dominate.

• Technology giants, not the government, may build the AI Future.

• Nicholas Carr argues the robot apocalypse is being oversold.

• A brief note from 1888 about elephant executioners.

• A brief note from 1936 about Man Ray’s near-decapitation.

• This week’s Afflictor keyphrase searches: Alec Baldwin, Julius Evola, etc.


10 search-engine keyphrases bringing traffic to Afflictor this week:

  1. nassim nicholas taleb on trump
  2. trump dictator chic
  3. trump american mussolini
  4. toscanini fascist italy
  5. will we have another civil war?
  6. breitbart and julius evola
  7. malcolm gladwell alec baldwin
  8. opioid epidemic clermont county ohio
  9. tim berners-lee fixing the internet
  10. yann lecun machines with common sense

Vlad, this is Don. I made Comey disappear like Richard Simmons, so my troubles are over, right?

No, all these calls are being intercepted. You will still hang. So will that despised despot you love so much.

You mean you or Rodrigo Duterte?

No, the other one.


• The GOP’s odd Trump support may be partisanship. Could be something worse.

Zeynep Tufekci writes of the failings of the press during this desperate time.

Garry Kasparov talks technology, chess, Russia and more with Tyler Cowen.

 Yuval Harari imagines what will become of the post-work “useless class.”

• The ransomware attack reminds that a computerized world is a fraught one.

Michael Bess believes the ETA for profound bioenhancement is 2050.

The driverless future may leave Uber and Lyft on the side of the road.

• Old Print Article: Cranks and criminals that worry the wealthy. (1905)

• A brief note from 1949 about Il Duce’s stolen loot.

• This week’s Afflictor keyphrase searches: Caroline Cushing Graham, etc.

10 search-engine keyphrase searches bringing traffic to Afflictor this week:

  1. charles lindbergh feud with roosevelt
  2. caroline cushing graham essay about david frost
  3. nixon credibility gap trump
  4. francis fukuyama on autocrat trump
  5. mass weddings in fascist italy
  6. silicon valley and trump
  7. silicon valley immortalists
  8. harry tracy wild west outlaw
  9. westworld robot outlaws
  10. lawrence summers robots

This week, Mark Zuckerberg bottle-fed farm animals, perhaps hoping the photo op would help him in the 2020 Presidential race. He got the idea from a politician who’s been very successful in U.S. elections.


The American hard right has gone soft on the Kremlin. Why?

• Timothy Snyder predicts Trump will attempt an unconstitutional power grab.

Google wants to build a discrete city to conduct experiments.

Elon Musk wants to implant electrodes in our brains.

Yuval Harari asks if biometrics and algorithms can commandeer art.

• Siri’s Tom Gruber believes “personal memory enhancement” inevitable.

• Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the Carrie Nation of holy water, predicted US fascism.

• Lee Smith eulogizes Edie Sedgwick chronicler Jean Stein.

Algorithms tell Facebook when you’re sad and help judges determine sentences.

• Some U.S. workers training AI to complement them (replace them?).

• A brief note from 1932 about Dunninger the Mentalist.

• A brief note from 1932 about an octopus attack.

This week’s Afflictor keyphrase searches: John DeLorean, Anwar Sadat, etc.


10 search-engine keyphrase searches bringing traffic to Afflictor this week:

  1. john delorean in 1974
  2. direct democracy
  3. howard scott technocrat
  4. virtual reality inside our head
  5. autonomous car is a moving panopticon
  6. anwar sadat interviewed at the pyramids
  7. auction of zoo animals
  8. when a society descends into chaos
  9. luciano fiordi on robots
  10. esso gas station benito mussolini

This week, Sebastian Gorka, who couldn’t get security clearance to be a greeter at Walmart, left his White House position to spend more time with his family.


Matt Bai thinks the media may prevent Trump from normalizing. Oy gevalt!

• John Dean tells Spiegel that Trump supporters crave authoritarianism.

• Jay Rosen analyzes the “ritualized warfare” of the Trump WH and the press.

Henry Giroux discusses American authoritarianism and other recent nonfiction.

Ezra Klein talks to Playboy about politics (of course), media, Virtual Reality, etc.

• Demis Hassibis and Garry Kasparov share optimism for machine intelligence.

Facebook is approaching its Fake News issue as an engineering problem.

• Steven Levy asks Jack Dorsey about Twitter trolls, including the President.

Laurie Penny on the selling of well-being ideologies in sick societies.

• Old Print Article: Rev. Billy Sunday preaches his last. (1935)

• A brief note from 1950 about germ warfare.

• This week’s Afflictor keyphrase searches: Michael Tolkin, Christof Koch, etc.


10 search-engine keyphrases bringing traffic to Afflictor this week:

  1. michael tolkin discussing dystopia
  2. christof koch technological species
  3. joan didion newt gingrich moon
  4. cave of forgotten dreams
  5. robbing lincoln’s grave
  6. lawrence summers on artificial intelligence
  7. social welfare programs 1930s fascist europe
  8. are we living in a computer simulation?
  9. the ecological crisis in the 21st century
  10. p.t. barnum congressman

This week, Bill O’Reilly was finally fired after years of allegations and settlements regarding sexual harassment, which left him time for shoe shopping.

I want to loofah your vaginas.

We don’t have vaginas.

Okay, just give me some shoes then.


• Michael Wolff, a dreadful man, writes about Bill O’Reilly, a dreadful man. It’s what you’d expect.

• Response to Andrew Sullivan’s appallingly stupid take on race in America.

• Masha Gessen considers the ramifications of a U.S. military coup.

• Thoughts on Russiagate from Watergate accomplice John Dean.

• In purple Pennsylvania, Trump support has weakened but not collapsed.

David Grann includes All the President’s Men among his top True Crime titles.

• Life is cheap today in America, and cheap is often expensive.

Rachel Nuwer wonders if Western society is headed for collapse.

Alexei Navalny explains why Putin terrorizes the elites of his inner circle.

Steve Wozniak believes Apple and Facebook will be bigger in 2075.

• Online stars in China are investing heavily in surgical “perfection.”

• It’s best to never waste precious moments reading celebrity profiles.

Old Print Article: Maxwell Bodenheim murdered in Bowery flophouse. (1954)

• A brief note from 1934 about gangster John Dillinger’s remains.

• This week’s Afflictor keyphrase searches: Jose Canseco on killer robots, etc.


10 search-engine keyphrases bringing traffic to Afflictor this week:

  1. stalin wife’s suicide
  2. fordlandia tragedy
  3. walter scheidel the great leveler
  4. jose canseco’s theory of robots
  5. ursula k le guin alternative facts
  6. nikola tesla sleep habits
  7. kazuo ishiguro wealth inequality
  8. ryan avent social disruption
  9. american secularism
  10. is there an alternative to nations?

Vlad, this is Don. What’s the good word?

Pee tape, recorded phone calls, money trail, evidence of treason, noose for hanging, yada yada yada.

Well, at least the Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn went off without a hitch.

Arrest that gardener. He looks like an illegal.


  • Noah Smith writes of the plague effect of decades of neoliberalism.
  • Michael Tolkin talks apocalyptic visions from Trumplandia.
  • Garry Kasparov thinks intelligent machines will be a boon, not a threat.

Peter Singer advised utilitarians of good conscience to serve in the Trump Administration if they felt they could mitigate the awfulness of what was to be a deeply dishonest, bigoted, sociopathic White House, the caveat being they need be prepared to resign if asked to participate in unethical behavior.

The jury is still out on that advice. Everyone involved is complicit in the wanton destruction of the environment, an existential threat, and any attempts at neutralization will be rebuffed. Civil rights, voting rights, and women’s rights will be rolled back, no exceptions. Scientific research and culture will be casualties.

Mattis and McMaster are sometimes exhibited as examples of those who can inject some sanity into an unprecedented shitstorm, but they’ve both already had to often act within the constraints of Trump’s alternative universe, a constellation of lies about his predecessor wiretapping him, millions of illegal voters casting ballots, etc. McMaster has been able to eject Bannon and other kooks from the NSA, a real plus, but over time he’ll certainly have to carefully weigh how far he’s willing range from his core values.

A poisonous environment can gradually work on the healthiest bodies.

· · ·

In a Nautilus essay, Singer analyzes a different ethical question: How should we treat non-humans who possess some form of consciousness, whether we’re talking about ETs or animals that help make a BLT? The moral philosopher breaks no new ground in his arguments but states them well. As he writes, “the existence of another mind—another center of consciousness—places moral demands on us.”

The opening:

Last January I was walking with my granddaughter along a beach near Melbourne when we noticed several people gathered around a rock pool, peering into the water. Wondering what had attracted their attention, we went over and saw that it was an octopus. If the spectators were interested in it, it also seemed interested in them. It came to the edge of the pool, one of its eyes directed at the people above, and stretched a tentacle out of the water, as if offering to shake hands. No one took up the offer but at least no one tried to capture the animal or turn it into calamari. That was pleasing because, as Peter Godfrey-Smith says in his recent book Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness, an octopus is “probably the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien.”

If we do ever meet an intelligent alien, even a tasty one, I hope we have sufficient ethical awareness to think of more than pleasing our palates or filling our stomachs. My view that this would be the wrong way to respond to such an encounter, however, leads to a deeper question: What moral status would extra-terrestrials have? Would we have obligations to them? Would they have rights? And would our answers depend on their intelligence?•


Today’s my birthday, a day I celebrate with abject sloth. See you tomorrow.∼Darren


10 search-engine keyphrases bringing traffic to Afflictor this week:

  1. tvs watching people watching tvs
  2. trump economic lie joseph stiglitz
  3. “vaccine safety commission”
  4. regressive manufacturing fetish
  5. united arab emirates city on mars
  6. coppola’s the conversation
  7. dallas cowboys sensory deprivation tanks
  8. modern intentional communities
  9. tom wolfe william shockley
  10. i did once take judo in the days of the boston strangler

This week, an idiotic Kendall Jenner Pepsi commercial that co-opted the Black Lives Matter movement, caused an uproar. Then things got even worse…

Mr. Putin, if I give you a Pepsi, will you stop murdering journalists and your political opponents?

No thanks. I’ll never be that thirsty.

How about I give you a Diet Coke and you help me avoid being charged with treason?

Still not thirsty. Enjoy hanging.


  • Trump country, a land that time forgot, is realizing its votes may be costly.
  • Bruce Cumings soberly analyzes Kim Jong-un’s motivations, a real challenge.
  • Yuval Harari thinks the next great industry will probably be upgrading humans.


10 search-engine keyphrases bringing traffic to Afflictor this week:

  1. michael mcfaul trump russia
  2. mussolini’s burial
  3. joan didion impeachment
  4. steve bannon as exciting as the 1930s
  5. obscure peasant rasputin
  6. aubrey de grey in los gatos
  7. wernher von braun rocket expert
  8. salvador dali arrested 1939
  9. reality tv j.g. ballard
  10. ted chiang arrival

Vlad, this is Don. I’m in deep shit. The FBI is closing in, and there are more leaks in the White House than in an outhouse at Oktoberfest. What should I do?

Make sure noose for treason hanging made in America. Leaving now for Katt Williams concert. Bye.


  • Francis Fukuyama says our system is thwarting Trump’s autocratic aspirations. 
  • Anne Case and Angus Deaton follow up their 2015 bombshell about the declining health of middle-aged white Americans (1 + 2). Mark Harris pushes back at their findings.
  • America’s “deaths of despair” recall a similar crisis after the Soviet breakup.
  • Megan McArdle argues Utah is keeping the flame of the American Dream.
  • The current U.S. fetishization of factories fails to grasp some new truths.
  • A brief note from 1893 about an Indiana man who claimed to be a Russian spy.


10 search-engine keyphrases bringing traffic to Afflictor this week:

  1. malcolm gladwell on satire
  2. werner erhard moshe feldenkrais
  3. konstantin semenchuk wrangel island tyrant
  4. tycho brahe’s metal nose
  5. hunter s. thompson on trumpism
  6. warren hinckle editor
  7. man-bird flying machine
  8. ai and humans working together
  9. dr. strangelove and autonomous weapons
  10. riccardo manzotti robotics engineer

Vlad, this is Don. The AHCA is deader than Alan Thicke and Mike Flynn might be flipping. What should I do?

Maybe chillax with ugly American prostitute? I have to leave now to beat up children. Bye.

He ain’t pretty no more.

Let’s go straight to the Lincoln Bedroom.


  • Chuck Barris, a schlock seller who didn’t wind up in the White House, just died.
  • Masha Gessen talks the increased volatility of the U.S. and Russia.
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin thinks AI is no threat to workers. Wrong.
  • A look at computational neuroscientists who believe biology itself a fatal error.
  • Yuval Harari fields questions on myriad topics from public figures and readers.
  • Some of our behaviors will make future peoples see as us barbaric.


10 search-engine keyphrases bringing traffic to Afflictor this week:

  1. alexander dugin putin’s rasputin
  2. rasputin’s oldest daughter maria
  3. may otis blackburn los angeles cult leader
  4. jim jones preacher mass suicide
  5. cult infiltrator david sullivan
  6. trips festival lsd 1967
  7. war between major powers in our lifetimes
  8. walter winchell died alone
  9. willian hope coin harvey arkansas pyramid
  10. taking a personalized blue pill you just hallucinate in an entertaining way

Vlad, it’s Don. The walls are closing in. I need your help or I’m done for.

So sorry, Don. No time. Leaving now for a sexy three-way.

Hello, ladies.

No, I have no idea how I could have gotten dolphin syphilis.



10 search-engine keyphrases bringing traffic to Afflictor this week:

  1. moral authority seems to be encased in a frail body
  2. trump dossier
  3. this is a new fascism
  4. oswald mosley
  5. kevin baker on giuliani and trump
  6. what happened to lenin’s brain?
  7. the financial cost of climate change
  8. forest fenn treasure hunt
  9. driverless cars in oahu
  10. luna 9 soviet spacecraft to the moon

This week, Donald Trump donned a military flight jacket and an admiral’s cap, recalling his years of brave service in bunkers.



10 search-engine keyphrases bringing traffic to Afflictor this week:

  1. the idiot culture carl bernstein
  2. stupid seems to be everywhere these days jesse ventura
  3. modern conspiracy theories
  4. robots will show up in china just in time
  5. brain emulations
  6. does it matter that we might be living in a simulation?
  7. will the computer eventually be as common as the typewriter?
  8. edda mussolini
  9. please forget the statue of liberty
  10. statue of liberty daredevil

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