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Pence to use Dominion machines to count electors’ votes

The 6 January elector ‘ballot’ count is going to go down as the greatest troll of all time.

You may or may not know, but the Vice President gets to count the electors. That’s the one thing the Constitution makes crystal clear. Apparently the plan is for Mike Pence to roll in a Dominion voting machine (or a knock off that looks like one). He’s then going to pull out a USB drive, update the software just before the count, and use the machine to count the elector ballots.

Remember, this will be on national television. The count will not only come out fractional, but it will result in more votes than actual electors AND result in Trump winning more electors than Biden.

The chamber is expected erupt in chaos. Obviously the count will be challenged. Pence will then conduct a ‘recount,’ but he will use the machine to print the recount ballots and then hand count those. The recounted number will be similar to the original count, only changing by a couple votes, but it will result in Trump winning by even more than before.

Dems are expected to cry “fraud” and Pence will object and call for order. He will tell them that it’s too late to challenge because it’s already done. The count is finished. He will then deliberately wipe the machine’s software.

link to original

Face masks and interpersonal communication

Ignoring their purpose and irritating things about them, I find I quite like face masks. They are providing rich insights into social norms.

Since about one-half of the face is covered by a mask, people are giving off less information. Their cognitive and emotional signals are weaker, semiotically dimmer. There is less to process.

For me this is pleasant. I now focus more on people’s eyes, and subjectively this is easier for me, less intense, even less stressful. I enjoy talking with people more than before.

I am a bit hard of hearing so maybe I have tended to look at people’s mouths too much. Maybe eyes are just a better thing for me to look at than mouths. Surely, simply the reduced signal of a half-face compared to a whole-face is a big factor. Face masks provide a sort of graphic white space that enhances the elements we get to see.

Also, a face mask hides one-half of my face. People actually seem more friendly to me. Maybe my mouth looks bad and they are treating me differently? Or maybe they like the reduced overall graphic landscape as much as I do. We are like Japanese rock gardens communicating even more through deliberate sparseness.

Art changes how we see. So does technology. Face masks are an old technology, but like any clothing or covering they can also be thought of as a kind of artwork, especially while they are still relatively new to us. We remember how it used to be; and can still reliably compare how it is today to that.

Schizoid Personalities

The person whose character is essentially schizoid is subject to widespread misunderstanding, based on the common misconception that schizoid dynamics are always suggestive of grave primitivity. Because the incontrovertibly psychotic diagnosis of schizophrenia fits people at the disturbed end of the schizoid continuum, and because the behavior of schizoid people can be unconventional, eccentric, or even bizarre, nonschizoid others tend to pathologize those with schizoid dynamics—whether or not they are competent and autonomous, with significant areas of ego strength. In fact, schizoid people run the gamut from the hospitalized catatonic patient to the creative genius. (link to original; scroll to Chapter 9, Schizoid Personalities)

This is one of the best essays on psychology I have seen in a long time. Highly recommended. I bet the whole book is good, but all I have read so far is this chapter. ABN

The agony of speaking

My SO and I are doing some painting. Mostly it’s fun, but as we discuss colors and color combinations, it has become glaringly obvious that it can be extremely difficult to talk about what we want but easy to convey our ideas by showing an example of what we want.

I wanted to do something in brown. Words flew all over the room but got us no closer to mutual understanding, let alone agreement. We looked at color charts on the computer but couldn’t agree on what we meant by saturation, muted, lighter, or darker.

My SO, who is much better with color than I am, thought the meanings of those terms were obvious. “You’re overthinking this! You must know what lighter and darker mean!”

“Not when I consider luminescence or saturation, I don’t. I really don’t.”

Is a red-brown lighter or darker than a blue-brown? More or less saturated? I honestly was lost in the terminology and was driving my poor SO crazy.

After several days of this, at some point I noticed my wallet lying on the table. “This is what I mean,” I said. “I want a color like this.” The wallet was a well-worn, dark, leathery brown.

She immediately knew what I was talking about now. “What you want is a really dark brown… that’s almost a black.”

Excited, we went back to the color chart (which has 3,500 color variations) and looked into a different classification of browns. Low and behold, the darkest one available—Tarpley Brown—is exactly what I wanted.

So,  I had something in my mind’s eye but failed repeatedly to convey it to my SO through the use of language. She tried to figure out what I meant but kept searching for a more woody sort of brown while becoming increasingly confused by my groping attempts at description.

From this, we can see how difficult it is to understand other people or even ourselves. Many important aspects of being human simply do not have clear examples in the world around us and are much more difficult to put into words than a color.