The plan is to have no plan – PressThink →

I’ve been thinking about this article all week. It lays out exactly what we have all seen and observed, in plain sight, and lays out all that we are going to see from this administration in the coming months in response to the pandemic.

I’m including the whole.damn.article as it is today (in case it’s edited in the future):

The plan is to have no plan, to let daily deaths between one and three thousand become a normal thing, and then to create massive confusion about who is responsible— by telling the governors they’re in charge without doing what only the federal government can do, by fighting with the press when it shows up to be briefed, by fixing blame for the virus on China or some other foreign element, and by “flooding the zone with shit,” Steve Bannon’s phrase for overwhelming the system with disinformation, distraction, and denial, which boosts what economists call “search costs” for reliable intelligence.

Stated another way, the plan is to default on public problem solving, and then prevent the public from understanding the consequences of that default. To succeed this will require one of the biggest propaganda and freedom of information fights in U.S. history, the execution of which will, I think, consume the president’s re-election campaign. So much has already been made public that the standard script for a White House cover up (worse than the crime…) won’t apply. Instead, everything will ride on the manufacture of confusion. The press won’t be able to “expose” the plot because it will all happen in stark daylight. The facts will be known, and simultaneously they will be inconceivable.

“The plan is to have no plan” is not a strategy, really. Nor would I call it a policy. It has a kind of logic to it, but this is different from saying it has a design— or a designer. Meaning: I do not want to be too conspiratorial about this. To wing it without a plan is merely the best this government can do, given who heads the table. The manufacture of confusion is just the ruins of Trump’s personality meeting the powers of the presidency. There is no genius there, only a damaged human being playing havoc with our lives.

Small Business Loans: Shake Shack Is Not the Problem – The Atlantic →

This is the wrong take.

But again, the fault lies with the program’s architects, not its players.

Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

Don’t blame the drunk driver, blame the person who built the road. Blame the person who built the car. Blame the person who poured the drink.

I wish I could say I find it incredible that large publicly traded companies like Shake Shack, Ruth Chris Steakhouses, the Los Angeles Lakers, and a laundry list of energy and information technology companies with thousands of employees, millions in annual revenue and cash reserves, have the audacity to believe that they are “small business” and since the bill language doesn’t specifically spell out that they are ineligible, they apply for and end up receiving these loans that are intended to prop-up small businesses. No matter how many people they employ or how much value they provide, these large multi-million dollar companies shouldn’t receive this funding and they should be shamed.

On CNBC, Mark Cuban chimed in, saying that public companies that take federal loans under the PPP will “kill the brand.”

I’ve never ate at a Ruth Chris and probably won’t. While Shake Shack has vowed to return its $10 million loan, I may think twice about eating at their establishment again. And fuck the L.A. Lakers.

All of this is exposing how greedy and corrupt this system is.

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Link to original tweet

Statistical “Which Character” Personality Quiz results →

Based on my responses to the survey, my personality traits closely align with the following fictional characters:

1. 92% match with Charlie Young from The West Wing
2. 88% match with Lucius Fox from The Dark Knight
3. 88% match with Arthur from Inception
4. 87% match with Bruce Banner from the MCU
5. 86% match with Bernard Lowe from West World

Who I “think” I am (most days):
132. Gus Fring from Breaking Bad (73%)
188. Stanley Hudson from The Office (67%)
243. Bruce Wayne from The Dark Knight (61%)
249. Walter White from Breaking Bad (60%)

The Koenigsegg Gemera is the world’s most wickedly weird hybrid – The Verge →

The Gemera is one of the most impressive cars that has been announced in the last five years. More impressive than the (unreleased) Tesla Roadster and Cybertruck, the Porsche Taycan, and anything else in the performance electric or supercar categories. The design is perfectly Koenigsegg and stunning. The performance specs are absolutely insane. Plus, the Gemera has seating for four and four cup holders! Insane I tell you.

The last time I was this excited about a car it was the second generation Ford GT which came out of nowhere and blew me away with its design and specs. And yes, the Ford GT has cup holders.

Quiz: Which of these 2020 Democrats agrees with you most? – Washington Post →

I ended up agreeing with Bloomberg (15) and Biden (14) the most on the issues presented. Bloomberg wasn’t even on my radar and now I’m interested in reading more about his vision and proposed policies.

Klobuchar, Yang, and Steyer (all 12) were in the middle for me. I like all three of these candidates, but I don’t believe Klobuchar or Steyer have the appeal or presence to stay in the race. Yang might be able to hang in until the convention.

Buttigieg (10), Gabbard (6), Sanders (5), and Warren (5) were at the bottom. I sometimes think that Sanders and Warren are the direction the Democrats need to go, but it might be too extreme of a change considering where we’re at.

My prediction: Biden. I believe he’s closest to the center, has appeal, and may be able to sway R’s his way.

Setting a reminder to re-visit this post after July 16 and November 3.

Pocket Casts: 100 Most Popular Podcasts of 2019 →

Several of my favorite podcasts made the list:
This American Life
Serial
Reply All
Radiolab
99% Invisible
Freakonomics
Hidden Brain
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
WTF with Marc Maron
Song Exploder

Some other podcasts that I recommend (where you can just jump in and not previously have listened):

Cautionary Tales
Omnibus!
Radio Atlantic
The Accused

You can view my complete podcast subscription list at Podstand.

2019 Spotify Year in Review

Every year I post my Spotify Wrapped/Year in Review. This year I have to speculate if they got the 2019 metrics right. Based on what I remember listening to, it doesn’t seem to follow.

spotify2019-1

RHCP and The Smashing Pumpkins being among the top artists seems off. I know I went through most of the Smashing Pumpkins discography, but I also went through the back catalog of Brand New and Circa Survive several times and created specific playlists for these artists that I listened to multiple times.

The top songs is also off. I know “Sunflower” and “Peaches” are among the top songs I listened to (my kids), but where’s “Old Town Road,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Uptown Funk,” and all of the other songs my kids made me play literally every time we went somewhere in the car or were doing activities in the kitchen?

My decade in review:

spotify2019-2

The artists seem right, but the songs are off.

spotify2019-3

No surprise here.

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spotify2019-5

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Related: 2018 Spotify Year in Review