Saturday, January 20, 2018

The New Coach House

The New Coach House

“On July 29 [2017] I began to release the amazing new documents from my McLuhan File that have never been heard or seen before. Don't miss them if you’re interested in new territory scoped out in the McLuhan Quadrant …”
Bob Dobbs


Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
20 January

Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
13 January

Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
6 January

NY Times Lets Trump Supporters Make Their Best Case for the President

The New York Times

The Times editorial board has been sharply critical of the Trump presidency, on grounds of policy and personal conduct. Not all readers have been persuaded.

In the spirit of open debate, and in hopes of helping readers who agree with us better understand the views of those who don’t, we wanted to let Mr. Trump’s supporters make their best case for him as the first year of his presidency approaches its close. We have also published some letters from readers who voted for Mr. Trump but are now disillusioned, and from those reacting to these letters and our decision to provide Trump voters this platform.

To the Editor:

Donald Trump has succeeded where Barack Obama failed. The economy is up, foreign tyrants are afraid, ISIS has lost most of its territory, our embassy will be moved to Jerusalem and tax reform is accomplished. More than that, Mr. Trump is learning, adapting and getting savvier every day. Entitlement reform is next! Lastly, the entrenched interests in Washington, which have done nothing but glad-hand one another, and both political parties are angry and afraid.

Who knew that all it would take to make progress was vision, chutzpah and some testosterone?


To the Editor:

I voted against Hillary Clinton more than I voted for Donald Trump. That said, President Trump has exceeded my wildest expectations. Yes, he is embarrassing. Yes, he picks unnecessary fights. But he also pushed tax reform through, has largely defeated ISIS in Iraq, has named a number of solid conservative judges, has prioritized American citizens over illegal immigrants, has gotten us out of several bad international agreements, has removed a number of wasteful regulations, is putting real pressure on North Korea and Iran, has reined in a number of out-of-control agencies, and so on and so on.

I loved George W. Bush, but he failed on policy over and over again. If it takes putting up with Mr. Trump’s brash ways to see things get done, that is a deal I’m willing to accept. To be honest, I’m not sure he would have accomplished what he has so far without being an unrelenting public bully.


To the Editor:

I voted for Donald Trump and, considering the alternative, I would do so again. Newsflash: Not all Trump voters are Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables.” Many of us are well-informed and highly educated, and we are weary of the Democrats’ tiresome focus on identity politics, class warfare, and disparagement of corporations and the “wealthy.”

Opinion polls give Mr. Trump a low rating, and I would, too, for character, personality and temperament. But I would give him high marks for policies and programs that are stimulating the private sector, which, after all, pays the bills for the Democrats’ extravagant welfare programs. And because of Mr. Trump we have an education secretary who actually cares more about educating children than appeasing the teachers’ unions. Continue reading at The New York Times

Jerry Saltz | Trump’s Border Wall Prototypes Should Be a National Monument

Christoph Büchel Wants to Turn Trump’s Border Wall Models Into Land Art, Artnet
Is Donald Trump a Conceptual Artist?, NY Times

Friday, January 19, 2018

It’s the (Democracy-Poisoning) Golden Age of Free Speech

“The issue is not orality and its spin-offs. It's TACTILITY SQUARED which has flummoxed all cultures and has them all scrambling. The Millennials can be understood under this carapace.

McLuhan, in Understanding Media, talks about how the desire for more money is a tactile expression. The excessive desire to make money by any means necessary in all our Gutenbergian and Marconian institutions since the 70’s period of ‘stagflation’ is a little noted example of the baroque spiral of TACTILITY SQUARED. Emphasizing ‘shareholders' profits’ to the exclusion of hardware development is not an extension of visual space, but the endless, involving process of expanding/exploring the Resonant Interval (‘Wall Street’).”
Bob Dobbs


For most of modern history, the easiest way to block the spread of an idea was to keep it from being mechanically disseminated. Shutter the news­paper, pressure the broad­cast chief, install an official censor at the publishing house. Or, if push came to shove, hold a loaded gun to the announcer’s head.

But today that playbook is all but obsolete. Whose throat do you squeeze when anyone can set up a Twitter account in seconds, and when almost any event is recorded by smartphone-­wielding mem­­bers of the public?

In today’s networked environment, when anyone can broadcast live or post their thoughts to a social network, it would seem that censorship ought to be impossible. This should be the golden age of free speech.

And sure, it is a golden age of free speech—if you can believe your lying eyes. Is that footage you’re watching real? Was it really filmed where and when it says it was? Is it being shared by alt-right trolls or a swarm of Russian bots? Was it maybe even generated with the help of artificial intelligence? (Yes, there are systems that can create increasingly convincing fake videos.)

Or let’s say you were the one who posted that video. If so, is anyone even watching it? Or has it been lost in a sea of posts from hundreds of millions of content pro­ducers? Does it play well with Facebook’s algorithm? Is YouTube recommending it?

Here’s how this golden age of speech actually works: In the 21st century, the capacity to spread ideas and reach an audience is no longer limited by access to expensive, centralized broadcasting infrastructure. It’s limited instead by one’s ability to garner and distribute attention. And right now, the flow of the world’s attention is structured, to a vast and overwhelming degree, by just a few digital platforms: Facebook, Google (which owns YouTube), and, to a lesser extent, Twitter.

These companies—which love to hold themselves up as monuments of free expression—have attained a scale unlike anything the world has ever seen; they’ve come to dominate media distribution, and they increasingly stand in for the public sphere itself. But at their core, their business is mundane: They’re ad brokers. To virtually anyone who wants to pay them, they sell the capacity to precisely target our eyeballs. They use massive surveillance of our behavior, online and off, to generate increasingly accurate, automated predictions of what advertisements we are most susceptible to and what content will keep us clicking, tapping, and scrolling down a bottomless feed.

So what does this algorithmic public sphere tend to feed us? In tech parlance, Facebook and YouTube are “optimized for engagement,” which their defenders will tell you means that they’re just giving us what we want. But there’s nothing natural or inevitable about the specific ways that Facebook and YouTube corral our attention. The patterns, by now, are well known. As Buzzfeed famously reported in November 2016, “top fake election news stories generated more total engagement on Facebook than top election stories from 19 major news outlets combined.” Continue reading at Wired

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

LaRouche’s Economics Class Series

The Genius of Trump

The Washington Post

The genius in the White House has always believed that what makes him special is his ability to get things done without going through the steps others must take.

In school, he bragged that he’d do well without cracking a book. As a young real estate developer, his junior executives recalled, he skipped the studying and winged his way through meetings with politicians, bankers and union bosses. And as a novice politician, he scoffed at the notion that he might suffer from any lack of experience or knowledge.

So when President Trump tweeted last weekend that he “would qualify as not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!” it was consistent with a pattern of asserting that he will do this his way, without bending to expectations about what constitutes proper presidential behavior.

The tweet, issued in response to a new book that suggests his closest advisers doubt his mental stability, not only doubled down on his belief that smashing conventions is the path to success but also underscored his lifelong conviction that he wins when he’s the center of attention. In the ceaseless battle of life, Trump made clear by claiming the title of genius that he won’t give way to those who believe he doesn’t belong at the top.

“There is a certain kind of genius to winning the presidency like it was an entry-level job,” said Dave Shiflett, the co-writer of Trump’s first book about his political views, “The America We Deserve,” which was published in 2000. “To go into those campaign rallies with just a few notes and connect with people he wasn’t at all like, that takes a certain genius. His genius is he’ll say anything to connect with people. He won by telling the rally crowds that the people who didn’t like them also didn’t like him.” Continue reading at The Washington Post

Monday, January 15, 2018

iON | Bob Dobbs’ Private Sessions

The New Coach House

9 May 2009
Session 30
Electricity, UFOs, and Oak Ridge

10 October 2009
Session 173
Happy House of Stewart

30 October 2009
Session 191

10 October 2009
Session 172

28 May 2009
Prince Harry & Beijing

Part 1, 2
1 September 2009
Session 132-133

31 August 2009
Session 132

Part 1, 2
25 March 2009
Session 4

Part 1, 2, 3
16 April 2009
Session 11

Dr Carolyn Dean & iON Negotiate the Contents of a New Encyclopedia of Ailments & their Solutions

The New Coach House

Episode 1
18 July 2009

Episode 2
Acne, Acne Rosacea, Addictions, Agoraphobia, Allergies
21 April 2009

Episode 3
Alzheimer's, Amenorrhea, Anemia, Angina Pectoris, Anorexia, Anxiety, Arthritis, Asthma, Atherosclerosis, Athlete's Foot
21 April 2009

Episode 4
Bedwetting, Bladder Infections, Boils, Blisters
4 May 2009

Episode 5
Bronchitis, Bruising, Burning Feet, Burning Mouth, IBS
11 May 2009

Episode 6
Bursitis, Callasus, Corns, Warts, Melanoma, Cancer, Candidiasis, Bad Breath, Love
12 May 2009

Bob Dobbs & Katie Thomas

The New Coach House

The Beatles and McLuhan: Understanding the Electric Age, by Thomas MacFarlane
Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
28 October 2017