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« Last post by Cramulus on August 21, 2021, 02:30:56 pm »
Apple Talk / Re: The Compleat Billy Chronicles (thanks to Zenpatista)
« Last post by Doktor Howl on August 20, 2021, 04:02:23 pm »
So, interesting concept in the new files.

"Ghosting" (not the social concept).

A person moves through a crowd.  As cameras ID his face, they turn away or shut off, sending a signal to other cameras to do the same thing, then erase the footage.  Static cameras just shut off and erase footage.  People in the vicinity get bot sales calls that distract them for 30 seconds.  Wifi objects in the area drop coverage, distracting people.  Phone cameras shut off (Apple already has this feature for police).  The person walking has been trained in the usual ways of not being noticed (clothing that doesn't stand out, not making eye contact, etc)  His Uber is always on time, allowing him to keep moving to wherever he's moving, without standing around.  Never has to wait for an elevator, that sort of thing. The chip in his credit card changes the card's unique ID from one valid account to another.  OLRs ignore cars he is in, the same way cameras do (deleting memory).

Far more difficult to implement than it sounds, but possible.  And I can think of a hundred uses for it.

Aneristic Illusions / Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Last post by Cain on August 19, 2021, 01:31:37 pm »
It's actually not entirely clear. The Taliban do know that their attitudes on women, religious minorities etc have given them bad PR, and they do want investment coming into Afghanistan, because they are acutely aware that their inability to provide basic goods is part of what sealed their fate last time around. So they've definitely signalled rhetorically that they might be a bit softer on such things this time around.

Of course, it's easy to make a sales pitch when you're out of power, only to then go back on it once you're in control.

The thing is, the Taliban leadership is quite opaque. Haibatullah Akhundzada allegedly sits at the head of their leadership council, but he only makes statements a few times a year and wasn't very well known before the 2001 invasion. Whether he's actually in control, a figurehead or even still alive are all up for debate. Akhunzada was also a compromise candidate, back in 2016. Among the other more notable members of the Quetta Shura are Abdul Ghani Baradar, who heads the Taliban "political office" in Doha, Mohammad Yaqoob (son of Mullah Omar), who has spearheaded the current military campaign, and Sirajuddin Haqqani, son of the infamous Jalaluddin Haqqani and current head of the Haqqani network. He has close ties to Al-Qaeda and the ISI and oversees their financial and military assets in Pakistan. His relative, Abdul Hakim Haqqani, heads up the Taliban's negotiation team, at the personal request of Akhundzada, and is considered a hardliner - compared with the more moderate Baradar anyway.
Aneristic Illusions / Re: UK General Election 8th June: Shake it all about?
« Last post by Faust on August 19, 2021, 12:09:08 pm »

I try not to revel but she really got my goat with that comment a couple of years back and seeing a little bit of food shortages inspires a bit of schadenfreude in the worst part of me.

The famine In Ireland was directly caused by the UK exporting good crops and leaving nothing for the people here, three million people died, perhaps it is ignorance on her part, or a malicious little suggestion harking back to the days of genocide.

The reason I post this is the it seems the UK media are blaming pandemic for the food shortages and the media is going out of its way to not use brexit within 500 meters of any news article about food shortages.
Online I see people saying that if brexit is having an effect its only part of it and the majority of the reason is the pandemic:

Ireland, which is further from continental Europe and does not have a direct tunnel, is not experiencing any shortages, Covid is not a factor. Like at ALL. The supply chain issues the UK is currently experiencing are directly due to brexit and nothing else, but understanding why is the hard part.

Suppliers used to deliver to the UK and load up fully before returning continental Europe, now they are returning with half loads or worse, empty trucks, to avoid having to sit in customs for hours.
That is the first source of reduced shipping to the UK, its no longer as profitable for companies to do so.
The second is the driver shortage.

Again the online argument is that if drivers were paid more the issue would resolve and that businesses need to adapt and pay more. Unfortunately, while this would reduce the effect a little, the core issue is that a Driver who leaves home for delivery in France or Germany can deliver to most of the EU and be home before bed. This is incredibly difficult now with the UK, the adapting of increasing the pay for inconvenience is being forgone for personal quality of life. IE these lads dont want to shit on the side of the road in a six - eight hour wait at customs before having to resume to their destination, and then have to go home.
So the option is not just to pay for those extra hours of wait, but the inconvenience will need to be factored into the pay, you could be looking at double or triple pay to even attract the drivers back to the UK, and that is if there are no further delays added to the journey
This current problem cannot be resolved without: full autonomous truck delivery or rejoining the customs union. Or of course, get used to rickets from the lack of sale of citrus fruits.

The UK hasn't even implemented its side of the controls (which just adds to the endless catchphrase hypocrisy of "Taking back control of our borders").
This is due to happen October 1st, which it wont, because that wont just slow the supply chain further, it will grind to a standstill.

Aneristic Illusions / Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Last post by Faust on August 19, 2021, 11:52:36 am »
So, what you are describing there, that has me very worried, is that the Taliban are now more organized, war hardened, know the US playbook and are back in charge, in short, Afghanistan is in a much worse place then where the US found it.
Would I be right in thinking that unless they decide of their own accord to soften some of their stances on civilian side (Religious fundamentalism, homosexuality and women's rights) as to legitimise themselves in the eyes of the world as the rightful government of the country, the citizens are under a more oppressive, efficient and methodical regime then prior to 2001?
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Last post by Cain on August 19, 2021, 11:30:52 am »
I'm honestly not surprised.
As far back as 2016, about half of the districts of Afghanistan were under the de facto control of the Taliban when night fell. There was also a priority of overlooking the Taliban (to the point of practically supporting them) in order to contain ISIS in Afghanistan - who were and continue to be a very minor threat by comparison.

Beyond that, the Afghanistan Army only had one capable combat unit, it's counterterrorism forces that had been trained by the US - beyond that it was graft and corruption all the way down. Not to say these guys aren't fighting, because they are - Afghan forces have taken more casualties in some years than the US has had for the entire invasion - but when your commander is stealing the pay and will have you beaten to death for complaining, there's not going to be a whole lot of loyalty.

Of course the problem is more entrenched then that, in that the US never had a plan on how to integrate the Taliban back into power on any level. How best to put this...? In any kind of war, you have two options. Either you're going to kill absolutely everyone who belongs to the enemy team, precipitate a massacre. Or, at some point, you need to sit down and talk with them. Most historical war tends closer to the second, war is a continuation of politics by other means, military force is used to gain the most advantageous position in the negotiations to follow. We see this with regard to things like Nazi Germany - while the hardcore were (rightfully) hanged for their crimes, former Nazis with relatively minor blood on their hands were put in charge of Germany while the Occupation forces set about establishing ground rules. No-one liked it, but you needed these people to convince the ones behind them to lay down arms and agree to the new way of doing things.

And then you have the "no people, no problem" approach. However, and importantly, this does rely on you actually being able to kill all of them, which in Afghanistan was always going to be tricky.

Now the US had the chance to do the former. In 2001, the Taliban offered to put Mullah Omar under house arrest, enter negotiations to lay down arms and act as a political party in the new Afghan government system. Rumsfeld told them to piss up a rope, because the US policy at the time is "we do not negotiate with terrorists" and "we do not differentiate between terrorists and those who support them". That's the message they wanted to send, and as rhetoric goes it's not bad. But turning down the deal allowed the Taliban to disperse physically, build up support among the Pashto clans and tribes and put us in the situation that exists today. Between having no end-game for the conflict and not being willing to supply the forces necessary to achieve the outcome they had decided to pursue (again, logistical difficulties played a role here - supporting that many troops in Afghanistan would be hell on public finances) they always put themselves in a position where they'd be propping up a government with only partial legitimacy.

And this is without going into the very real clustefuck that is competing agencies in Afghanistan. The political types were cut out by the Pentagon. The Pentagon and the spies played at loggerheads. Different branches of the Pentagon pursued their own policies. There's whole books that focus just on that and that there wasn't a single person who ultimately controlled Afghanistan policy is part of the reason why it turned into a clusterfuck, other than the more theoretical problems of war termination presented above.

And so the moment they moved to leave, it was always going to come tumbling down. That it tumbled down this fast is mostly because the Taliban are very organised and already had an advantageous position due to previous decades of war minsmanagement.
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Last post by Faust on August 19, 2021, 09:29:43 am »
What are your thoughts on the Afghanistan Disaster, I see people saying they could have expected the whole country to fall in about a year but not 30 days?
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Last post by Cain on August 19, 2021, 02:19:27 am »
Interesting, the "inside job" angle is now looking significantly stronger:

Meanwhile, police have also arrested five officials who were part of the president's security in connection to the assassination. One of those arrested includes Dimitri Hérard, the chief of the General Security Unit of the National Palace, which is responsible for guarding the President's residence.24 police officers who protected Moïse were also being questioned.

Colombian media said Hérard allegedly visited Colombia a few weeks before the assassination, and the Center for Economic and Policy Research reported he is being investigated by US law enforcement for links to arms trafficking. Between January and May 2021, Dimitri Hérard made 7 trips from and to Colombia, Dominican Republic and Ecuador. Hérard had allegedly used an Ecuadorian identification document to travel from and to Haiti. On 22 July 2021, the Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso confirmed Hérard had access to an Ecuadorian identity card, due to his scholarship in the Eloy Alfaro Higher School of Military.
Apple Talk / Re: Last one to post in thread wins
« Last post by Q. G. Pennyworth on August 18, 2021, 07:56:01 pm »
Literate Chaotic / Re: Daily Nonsense Thread
« Last post by Q. G. Pennyworth on August 18, 2021, 06:48:54 pm »
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