Thursday, June 20, 2024

Random Roundup: trying to kibosh the capital gains tax; trying to debunk misinformation; jousting over "likes"; hearing Dr. Fauci's story; and laughing at Trump

Some interesting factoids and articles recently: 

First, some comments on how Canada's rich people are trying to kibosh the Liberal plan to increase tax rates on capital gain profits: Oh, call me a dreamer, but isn't it just too bad we don't seem to have any journalists who could, oh, I don't know, maybe, actually EDUCATE people about what the government is really trying to do? Yes, I know, its just pie-in-the-sky thinking... At Bugeyed and Shameless, Justin Ling writes Prebunker Mentality New research in combatting misinformation suggests the truth may have a future yet. But we're solving for the wrong problem.
...we’ve got a core group of people who are willing and eager to create, adopt, disseminate, and remix misinformation into conspiracy theories. Then we have a bigger chunk of people who are more discerning, but also deeply distrusting and/or viscerally partisan. That means that, as these narratives take shape, charlatans in the media and unscrupulous politicians adopt them as emotional truths. At that point, these ideas cannot be debunked or fact-checked because they have become a part of adherents’ political identities. This has a push-pull effect between partisan and politician, as they each drag each other further down the line of radicalization.
Belief in misinformation today is not a question of ignorance, but of faith. And it’s because, to the faithful, the lies are more trustworthy than our institutions.
This is how the MAGA movement came to see COVID-19 vaccines as dangerous, the election as stolen, and the January 6 insurrection as a peaceful gathering of patriots (that was also an FBI false flag.)
There is no way to prebunk, deplatform, or fact-check away this problem. And it was grossly unfair of us to expect that these misinformation experts have a tonic that will heal this. But because we adopted these unrealistic expectations on them, we have been disappointed when they don’t deliver. As such, it was so much easier for their respective institutions to ditch them when the water got choppy.
So let’s stop doing the same thing and expect better results. We need to stop looking at this as a purely informational problem and start recognizing it as a trust problem
To that end, institutions — academic, journalism, government — have a lot of work to do.
Moving on, so Musk decided that X needs to hide who "likes" posts and Mark Hamill isn't having it: In The Atlantic, Dr. Fauci describes the hell of trying to save American lives during the Trump administration: The First Three Months of the Pandemic
...I took no pleasure in contradicting the president of the United States. I have always had a great deal of respect for the Office of the President, and to publicly disagree with the president was unnerving at best and painful at worst. But it needed to be done. I take very seriously a statement in the first chapter of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, of which I have been an editor for 40 years: “The patient is no mere collection of symptoms, signs, disordered functions, damaged organs, and disturbed emotions. [The patient] is human, fearful, and hopeful, seeking relief, help, and reassurance.” This compels me to always be honest; to be unafraid of saying that I do not know something; to never overpromise; to be comforting, yet realistic. Admitting uncertainty is not fashionable in politics these days, but it is essential in my work. That’s the beauty of science. You make a factual observation. If the facts change, the scientific process self-corrects. You gather new information and data that sometimes require you to change your opinion. This is how we better care for people over time. But too few people understand the self-corrective nature of science. In our daily press conferences, I tried to act as if the American public were my patient, and the principles that guided me through my medical career applied....
This is sort of sad, isn't it?
Finally, here's some people talking about Trump:

1 comment:

aweb said...

Reporter on CBC did a look at this, and to be "balanced", he made the case for why doctor's practices will be worth a bit less in the future, after all their years trying to get around income taxes by socking everything into their corporations for future capital gains tax rates. Poor doctors (with assets worth literal millions). Or "poor people selling the second home they inherited", like this was some problem most people face

People (mostly in Ontario) who seem to think that a second home (worth a million dollars thanks to real estate market bubble blowing) in cottage country is some sort of regular joe thing can please go away. If you deliberately didn't realize income, preferring to "invest" in your own company (dr., lawyer, fisher, farmer, etc.) so you could sell it to retire, and now it's worth so much money it blows by the one-time thresholds and you have to pay extra're a millionaire several times over, this tax should be applied to you, and that particular tax planning loophole (hiding assets in personal corps for later sale) should maybe be closed entirely?