Reportage from those with something to say.
Face masks are breaking facial recognition algorithms, says new government study. Face masks are one of the best defenses against the spread of COVID-19, but their growing adoption is having a second, unintended effect: breaking facial recognition algorithms. Wearing face masks that adequately cover the mouth and nose causes the error rate of some of the most widely used facial recognition algorithms to spike to between 5 percent and 50 percent, a study by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has found. Black masks were more likely to cause errors than blue masks, and the more of the nose covered by the mask, the harder the algorithms found it to identify the face.
George Floyd: The Big Lie. Everyone on planet Earth as well as every last penguin in Antarctica has seen the nine-minute video of Derek Chauvin kneeling on the side of George Floyd’s neck. Mind you, he wasn’t kneeling on his throat, because you can choke someone by doing that. Minnesota’s Antifa-friendly Attorney General Keith Ellison—and who, as luck would have it, happens to be black, not that there’s anything wrong with it or that any of what I’ve just told you would bias him in such cases—has been aware of this footage since late May and suppressed it from being leaked long enough for rioters to burn half the country down.
Immunology Is Where Intuition Goes to Die. There’s a joke about immunology, which Jessica Metcalf of Princeton recently told me. An immunologist and a cardiologist are kidnapped. The kidnappers threaten to shoot one of them, but promise to spare whoever has made the greater contribution to humanity. The cardiologist says, “Well, I’ve identified drugs that have saved the lives of millions of people.” Impressed, the kidnappers turn to the immunologist. “What have you done?” they ask. The immunologist says, “The thing is, the immune system is very complicated …” And the cardiologist says, “Just shoot me now.”
The Media’s Political Suicide. McClatchy had bought Knight Ridder for $4.4 billion to create the second largest news company. After going into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, McClatchy was won in an auction by a hedge fund, which also owns the National Enquirer, in a secret bidding which started with $30 million cash and $270 million in debt. None of this says anything good about the future of its D.C. bureau, or the Miami Herald, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Sacramento Bee, the Kansas City Star, and other hollowed out husks of major urban papers carrying huge loads of pension debt and even bigger loads of radical left-wing politics.
The Invention of ‘Systemic Racism.’ It is now the official view in government, industry, and education that African Americans and certain other “people of color” perform poorly in schools and the workforce, but nonetheless must be treated as if they perform well. The statistically weak performance of African Americans, according to the official view, is not their fault; it is the fault of other people. Namely, as we have been told ad infinitum, it is the fault of American slavery.
Why Do Our Intelligence Agencies Keep Lying to Us? After listening to three years of lies about Russiagate from the Department of Justice and the FBI, not to mention the State Department and various of our 17 (count ’em) intelligence agencies, it’s hard to believe any arm of our government anymore. Regarding Russia, it’s Trump who built up our military, resuscitated NATO, instituted a raft of sanctions, and, most of all, made America into the leading energy producer in the world. This last is damaging to Russia like nothing else because the fragile former superpower is so dependent on oil exports for its economic survival.