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  Ford Motor Company practically abandons small passenger autos
Posted by: pbrower2a - 5 hours ago - Forum: Economics - Replies (8)

Ford will only sell two kinds of cars in America

54 comments

9 out of 10 Fords in the US will be trucks and SUVs, alongside a hybrid version of the new Bronco



Ford has previously made it known it’s placing its bets on two major areas: the extremely profitable line of trucks and SUVs and a heavy investment in more forward-looking mobility solutions like connected cars and smart cities. But the automaker made that official, as it announced Wednesday it would be abandoning all of its traditional sedans and hatchbacks for the North American market.

In its quarterly earnings call, Ford CEO Jim Hackett said the company would offer only the Mustang and new Focus (in SUV-like Active trim) in North America at some point in the near future, after the current product cycle winds down. This effectively kills the Fiesta and Fusion ranges, while the new Focus arrives sometime next year — likely sourced from a plant in China. The Taurus and current Focus sedans were due to expire this year, too.

Ford does have to keep an eye on its fuel economy averages, though. Hackett confirmed the 2020 Bronco SUV, which will share components with the 2019 Ranger pickup, would get a hybrid version. The Bronco is set to compete with the likes of the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota 4Runner. Jeep added a 48-volt mild hybrid system to the 2018 Wrangler, but it’s unclear if the Bronco will get a similar system or a plug-in hybrid format. Hybrid versions of the F-150, Escape, Explorer and Mustang have previously been announced.

With Ford now mostly getting out of its loss-making sedan business, however, the company could be on a better track to invest in new technologies. It’s already made further investments in its mobility services this year, as well as being fully invested in its “smart city” concept for the long-term.

Ford reported its first quarter net income for the year at $1.7 billion, up 9 percent year over year. However, its mobility division reported losses of $102 million for the quarter, which the company attributed to a one-time $58 million investment.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/25/17282...arnings-q1

Some more data:

If you have been thinking that you might buy a Mercury -- that division has been defunct since  January 4, 2011.

I haven't seen any news on the Lincoln division. Lincoln vehicles, I understand, are pricey -- and profitable, so I would not expect those to quite being sold.

If you are thinking of buying a new small car in the next five years, you might not have a Ford in your future.

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  Last known Lost person has died
Posted by: pbrower2a - 04-21-2018, 07:53 PM - Forum: Generations - No Replies

The last member of the Lost Generation with a verifiable birth-date, a Japanese woman, has died at the age of 117.

Nabi Tajima (田島 ナビ Tajima Nabi, 4 August 1900 – 21 April 2018)[1][2][3] was a Japanese supercentenarian.[4] She was also the oldest recorded Japanese and Asian person in history and the world's third oldest person ever to be validated by modern standards, behind Jeanne Calment and Sarah Knauss.[5]

She was the last living person to have been certified to have been born in the nineteenth century.


Tajima was born in Araki, an area which was then Wan Village, in the westernmost part of Kikaijima Island. From February 2002 until her death, she has resided in a nursing home named "Kikaien" (喜界園) in Kikai, Kagoshima.[6]

Her husband, Tominishi Tajima (田島 富二子), died in 1991 at the age of 95 according to some sources[7] or possibly 1992 or 1993 according to others.[8] She had nine children (seven sons and two daughters).[7] In September 2017 she was reported as having around 160 descendants, including great-great-great-grandchildren.[6]

Tajima became the oldest living person in Japan on 27 September 2015, upon the death of a 115-year-old anonymous woman who was living in Tokyo.[9] On 15 September 2017, upon the death of the 117-year-old Jamaican Violet Brown, Tajima became the oldest living person in the world—and the last surviving person born in the 19th century.[10] On 10 April 2018, Nabi Tajima became the world's third oldest person ever due to surpassing the final age of Lucy Hannah.[5] Others have claimed to be older, but none of these claims have been sufficiently validated.

She stated that her longevity was due to sleeping soundly and eating delicious food.[11]

Tajima died on 21 April 2018 at her home in Kikai, Kagoshima, aged 117 years, 260 days.[12] Chiyo Miyako, also from Japan, became the world's oldest living person.


(from Wikipedia)

(Chiyo Miyako was born on May 1, 1901, also in Japan, and is already the person to have achieved the ninth-oldest age of anyone with a verifiable date of birth).

The Lost Generation of Eleanor Roosevelt and Aaron Copland is now completely extinct.

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  Decoding the 4T - The Winners
Posted by: Another Xer - 04-20-2018, 01:03 PM - Forum: Turnings - Replies (20)

Even though we are well into the 4T, defining it can be a hard thing.  This isn't a new phenomenon, after all, in 1862 the Confederates thought they were the future.  When thinking about how to interpret the current 4T I find it best to start at the ending.  That seems counterintuitive, except that the ending may be the one thing we know.  We can't even agree on when the 4T started (I tend to think Hurricane Katrina, give or take a couple years).  But the one thing we know is this - the big winner of the 4T will be the Millenials.  

We know this because a key component of the Generational Theory is that the future is shaped by the Hero generation coming of age.  That's the Millenials.  The patterns of behavior following the Greatest Generation (GI) are already being established.  The Greatest Generation started becoming a force in electoral politics early in the Great Depression.  All signs are pointing towards increased activism from a Millenial Generation of which, only 29% think the country is headed in the right direction (link below).  

So where are the Millenials taking us?  For starters, Millenials are only 55% white, so expect the future to accept much more diversity.  According to studies, Millenials believe in education and place lower value on traditional roles of marriage and family.  About 1/3 of Millenials say faith plays no part in their lives.   Politically, 57% of Millenials view themselves as "Consistently or Mostly" Liberal while only 12% call themselves "Consistently or Mostly" Conservative.  27% approve of Trump's job performance.

Given where we currently are and the viewpoints of the Millenials, Trump and his supporters seem to have a very short window to change the opinions of the Millenials en masse.  If they aren't able to accomplish that, it will likely be lights out for any effectiveness from the Trump Administration after the November 2018 elections.  At which point, it is hard to imagine the Trump ideal winning the future.       

https://impact.vice.com/en_us/article/gy...-than-ever

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  4T is Speeding Along Now
Posted by: Another Xer - 04-18-2018, 05:52 PM - Forum: Turnings - No Replies

Hi all,
I am new to this site, though I first read the original Generations book when it was new and have discussed it and re-read it ever since.  It has really shaped my view of the world since early adulthood.  

It's a pretty interesting time to be alive in America right now.  We can see the 4T really speeding along now.  On the bright side, this turning does not seem to necessarily have to come with war and major bloodshed (maybe it will but that seems very avoidable at this point).  What we are seeing is the rapid destruction of the institutions that have been the hallmarks of the cycle.  

In government, we have a President elected by a minority of the voting public with the express goal of destroying the establishment (i.e. institutions and norms).  The Executive is at war with itself, with the President attacking the FBI and CIA, while hollowing out the State Department and Justice Department - leaving positions unfilled and making direct attacks on leadership.  Congress is an ocean of partisanship with all the old norms of bipartisanship fraying at the edges.  Gerrymandering has effectively ended democracy in some states and the filibuster is being picked apart at the edges and its demise is probably just a matter of time.  Even the Supreme Court is affected.  A popularly elected President was denied his Constitutional duty to select a justice and the selection was made by a President who lost the popular vote and with the support of Senators representing 45% of the US population.  What is the integrity of such institutions?   

Outside the world of government technology is destroying the norms most of us have grown up with.  Retail shopping has changed, financial investing has changed, job availability has changed, and while we have cool gadgets in our pockets, technology has even messed up music.  The world is changing rapidly and we will all adapt or die.  Many Gen Xers are choosing death (no surprise the opioid crisis is killing off middle aged white men).  The jobs of tomorrow will not look like the jobs of yesterday and economic anxiety is crippling communities across the nation.  All while the country is as rich as it has ever been - just in the hands of the few.  

An interesting time to visit a site like this.

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  Escape the echo chamber
Posted by: pbrower2a - 04-11-2018, 08:00 AM - Forum: Special Topics/G-T Lounge - Replies (2)

(Source -- much more is explained in detail from Aeon)


Quote:Something has gone wrong with the flow of information. It’s not just that different people are drawing subtly different conclusions from the same evidence. It seems like different intellectual communities no longer share basic foundational beliefs. Maybe nobody cares about the truth anymore, as some have started to worry. Maybe political allegiance has replaced basic reasoning skills. Maybe we’ve all become trapped in echo chambers of our own making – wrapping ourselves in an intellectually impenetrable layer of likeminded friends and web pages and social media feeds.

But there are two very different phenomena at play here, each of which subvert the flow of information in very distinct ways. Let’s call them echo chambers and epistemic bubbles. Both are social structures that systematically exclude sources of information. Both exaggerate their members’ confidence in their beliefs. But they work in entirely different ways, and they require very different modes of intervention. An epistemic bubble is when you don’t hear people from the other side. An echo chamber is what happens when you don’t trust people from the other side.

Current usage has blurred this crucial distinction, so let me introduce a somewhat artificial taxonomy. An ‘epistemic bubble’ is an informational network from which relevant voices have been excluded by omission. That omission might be purposeful: we might be selectively avoiding contact with contrary views because, say, they make us uncomfortable. As social scientists tell us, we like to engage in selective exposure, seeking out information that confirms our own worldview. But that omission can also be entirely inadvertent. Even if we’re not actively trying to avoid disagreement, our Facebook friends tend to share our views and interests. When we take networks built for social reasons and start using them as our information feeds, we tend to miss out on contrary views and run into exaggerated degrees of agreement.

An ‘echo chamber’ is a social structure from which other relevant voices have been actively discredited. Where an epistemic bubble merely omits contrary views, an echo chamber brings its members to actively distrust outsiders. In their book Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment (2010), Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Frank Cappella offer a groundbreaking analysis of the phenomenon. For them, an echo chamber is something like a cult. A cult isolates its members by actively alienating them from any outside sources. Those outside are actively labelled as malignant and untrustworthy. A cult member’s trust is narrowed, aimed with laser-like focus on certain insider voices.

In epistemic bubbles, other voices are not heard; in echo chambers, other voices are actively undermined. The way to break an echo chamber is not to wave “the facts” in the faces of its members. It is to attack the echo chamber at its root and repair that broken trust.



C Thi Nguyen

is an assistant professor of philosophy at Utah Valley University working in social epistemology, aesthetics and the philosophy of games. Previously, he wrote a column about food for the Los Angeles Times. His latest book is Games: Agency as Art (forthcoming).


My comment: a society that neglects philosophy yet churns out a surfeit of factoids, rumors, myths, and outright falsehoods offers no means of establishing truth as an alternative to falsehood and cannot distinguish relevance from triviality. We have no shortage of ideas, but many of those are simply wrong  (Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya, the Holocaust is a hoax, cocaine is harmless, 'race' is a reliable divide on ability and character) or abominable (it is fine to mess with children or persecute religious minorities).

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  Why best essay writing service is essential for students
Posted by: RonnieOneal - 04-06-2018, 11:12 PM - Forum: Society and Culture - Replies (1)

Making of essays with high perfection is a toughest task for majority of students. Essay making is the significant part of the education system. An essay must have a title, and then there must be a introduction part. After this content page and last part is conclusion. Each and every part of essay has its own individuality. Only perfect essay can score high marks.So students are trying to grab writing help from best essay writing service in all time to make better essays.

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  Can Higher Education Make Silicon Valley More Ethical?
Posted by: pbrower2a - 03-16-2018, 12:42 PM - Forum: Technology - No Replies

Technology is amoral. It is up to its users to resist the urge to do evil with it, whether cyber-bullying, the spreading of fake news and racist/ religiously-bigoted memes, slander or libel, plagiarism, or outright fraud and theft. Face it: evil is tempting. So it is with computing and web use. Most of us do not have the ability to code, but we certainly can compose messages -- some of which can hurt others emotionally and vocationally.

Can Higher Education Make Silicon Valley More Ethical?


By Nell Gluckman March 14, 2018

The internet and the technology companies powering it have shown their dark side recently. Racism and sexism have flourished, mostly unchecked, on social media. Algorithms used by Facebook and Twitter have been blamed for the spread of fake news. And as phones, cars, and household devices scoop up their users’ data, the expectation of privacy has practically evaporated.


Under each of those phenomena lie ethical quandaries. Is technological development outpacing our ability to tease out its implications? If so, is higher education responsible for the problem?

Jim Malazita, an assistant professor of science and technology studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, believes higher education has played a role. He thinks there’s something about how the STEM disciplines are taught — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — that discourages students from considering ethical questions as they learn the skills they need to work for big technology companies. But if colleges and universities are contributing to the problem, then they can also help fix it.

With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Malazita is piloting an initiative to inject discussions of ethics and politics into introductory computer-science courses at Rensselaer, in New York. He is pushing back against the idea that programmers should focus purely on technical work and leave the softer questions about how their products are used to social scientists. He hopes his students will see it as their job to build socially responsible technology.


Q. How is what you’re trying to do different from the way ethics and computer science are usually taught?


A. Rarely will you talk to a STEM student who says ethics aren’t important. But by the time they’re done with their education, they’re like, It’s other people around me’s job to make sure this technology is doing the right thing.

Rather than pairing computer science with a suite of courses to make computer science ethical, what if we get humanists into core computer-science classes to get students to think about the ethics and politics of computer science as part of their core skill set?
How can we teach you Python and coding, but at the same time always talk about coding as a political practice?

Q. What will that look like in your course?


A. We’re using data sets about various social issues, such as race and violence in New York City, and a Unesco database about education funding. We’re saying, Here are these data sets you’re going to have to crunch through using Python. What do these algorithms leave out? What can’t you account for?

We’re thinking through teaching how to use code and the way the code shapes the way you think about the database. Every language you learn has a bias to it, so let’s acknowledge that.

Q. What’s an example of a type of problem you might have your students solve that helps them understand their work as programmers more politically?


A. The data set about gun violence in New York City is already used by computer-science faculty in the classroom. But the way the problems are framed is: Walk through the data set, parse up where gun violence is and where it’s not. And then based on those findings, tell me where you would rather live and rather not live in New York City.

We use the data set, but with readings about gun violence. We ask what’s the problem with asking the question in this way. How can we use this data to understand the phenomenon of gun violence rather than “these parts of New York City are good and these parts are bad”?

More from the Chronicle of Higher Education.


Obviously for purpo0ses of discussion.

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  Trade War
Posted by: Tim Randal Walker - 03-15-2018, 06:44 PM - Forum: Beyond America - Replies (17)

Awhile back Peter Zeihan (Zeihan.com) noted in his newsletter that Trump administration seemed interested in tariffs.  Zeihan has described the origins of the free trade regime in his YouTube videos, and is now following the unfolding of this conflict.

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  Death penalty for drug traffickers?
Posted by: pbrower2a - 03-11-2018, 12:13 AM - Forum: General Political Discussion - No Replies

First, I consider this a bad idea. It adds new cruelty to the judicial system and may give drug traffickers mo0re cause to shoot it out with the police. Note that countries with draconian penalties against drug trafficking typically also have tough laws against the possession of firearms, something that the almighty NRA denies us. Drug rehab is a far more humane way of dealing with addicts and gutting the customer base of drug traffickers. We also need an economic order in which people believe that they have some chance of happiness and don't simply resort to killing themselves with drugs.

But Donald Trump is our President, he is a cruel man, and he practically never sees the other side of an issue except as treachery toward some Truth identical with his gut feelings.

  • President Donald Trump in a speech on Saturday called for executing drug dealers, praising other countries that adopt the practice.
  • Trump said he recently spoke with leaders in China and Singapore, who told him they'd eliminated their drug problems by giving dealers the death penalty.
  • It's not the first time Trump has raised the issue — he mentioned it earlier this month in a White House summit on opioid addiction.
President Donald Trump on Saturday repeated his call to give drug dealers the death penalty in an effort to solve the opioid crisis.

Trump gave a speech in Pennsylvania, stumping for GOP special election candidate Rick Saccone, but spent much of the time railing against various Democrats, members of the media, and countries the US trades with. But late in the speech, Trump grew impassioned when he began discussing the opioid epidemic, and said he'd recently asked leaders in China and Singapore about their problems with drugs and addiction.

"These people are killing our kids and they're killing our families, and we have to do something," he said. "We can't just keep setting up blue-ribbon committees with your wife and your wife and your husband, and they meet and they have a meal and they talk, talk talk talk, two hours later, then they write a report."It's not the first time Trump has floated the idea. He brought it up earlier in March during a White House summit on opioid addiction, arguing that other countries had rid themselves of their drug problems by imposing tough penalties.

"If you shoot one person, you get life in prison," Trump said, The Washington Post reported. "These people kill 1,000, 2,000 people, and nothing happens to them."

http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-dou...ies-2018-3

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  A study on Fake News
Posted by: pbrower2a - 03-10-2018, 02:39 AM - Forum: General Political Discussion - Replies (4)

from the Atlantic:


The Grim Conclusions of the Largest-Ever Study of Fake News


Falsehoods almost always beat out the truth on Twitter, penetrating further, faster, and deeper into the social network than accurate information.




“Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it,” Jonathan Swift once wrote.

It was hyperbole three centuries ago. But it is a factual description of social media, according to an ambitious and first-of-its-kind study published Thursday in Science.

The massive new study analyzes every major contested news story in English across the span of Twitter’s existence—some 126,000 stories, tweeted by 3 million users, over more than 10 years—and finds that the truth simply cannot compete with hoax and rumor. By every common metric, falsehood consistently dominates the truth on Twitter, the study finds: Fake news and false rumors reach more people, penetrate deeper into the social network, and spread much faster than accurate stories.

“It seems to be pretty clear [from our study] that false information outperforms true information,” said Soroush Vosoughi, a data scientist at MIT who has studied fake news since 2013 and who led this study. “And that is not just because of bots. It might have something to do with human nature.”

The study has already prompted alarm from social scientists. “We must redesign our information ecosystem in the 21st century,” write a group of 16 political scientists and legal scholars in an essay also published Thursday in Science. They call for a new drive of interdisciplinary research “to reduce the spread of fake news and to address the underlying pathologies it has revealed.”

“How can we create a news ecosystem ... that values and promotes truth?” they ask.

The new study suggests that it will not be easy. Though Vosoughi and his colleagues only focus on Twitter—the study was conducted using exclusive data that the company made available to MIT—their work has implications for Facebook, YouTube, and every major social network. Any platform that regularly amplifies engaging or provocative content runs the risk of amplifying fake news along with it.

Though the study is written in the clinical language of statistics, it offers a methodical indictment of the accuracy of information that spreads on these platforms. A false story is much more likely to go viral than a real story, the authors find. A false story reaches 1,500 people six times quicker, on average, than a true story does. And while false stories outperform the truth on every subject—including business, terrorism and war, science and technology, and entertainment—fake news about politics regularly does best.

More here at The Atlantic.

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