Spread financial definition of spread

Psycho Betting and Stats 301-Degenalytics Question

!!!!DISCLAIMER:!!!!
Before you even start watching this for entertainment and see if you get offended by this un-P.C. content. Don't be a pussy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Igsb3ejgbL8
If you can't handle it, leave this thread. If you can, then you may proceed to the next level.
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📰📜Story📜📰:
I've been scatter-brained, ire-filled, soul-searching and lost after a 7-day Degen Marathon that brought a shit load of misfortunes. I used to hate social media, but I've learned how to wield the soc. med. sword like a fucking Degen Jedi. I'm going to promote an honest cause where I seek to be victorious in the end. Just you watch you fucking doubters, haters, blockers, scammers. How much grit and intellect would the average fucking person have to endure what I've gone through in the last fucking 48 hours and still come out alive with a sense of greater purpose?
Had about $400 to $500 in righteously earned bonus dollars earned through impossible grinding degen mission that came pretty close to accomplishing (91%).
I would have had some imaginary >$600 BR by now, but instead the roll-over deadline caused the entire deposit to be forfeited and I manage to salvage some $100.
Due to a bonus rollover scheme, 80U of my balance was stuck in bonuses and if I fail to accomplish the roll-over by the deadline, it all gets forfeited.
With a $500-$600 balance, I could have somewhere at $900-1000 by now after a 20-2 W-L record on European football on Wednesday.
How did I get that record yesterday, by sampling a bunch of solid pre-game picks and live betting using my own fucking brain. I consult with the finest in capping. With $10-$20 bet sizes, That would have put me up maybe $15x16 = +$240 at minimum. $1000 was the imaginary bank roll. As of today, betting with $1 units, after Monday-Wednesday's successful run, while Tuesday was a -$50 blip, I converted $100 to about close to $200 (40U).
🤪🤑Psycho Betting🤑🤪:
I learned the art of psycho betting. Taking some well-advised 10U and 30U psycho bets that put my bankroll up a significant amounts, but a big loss does the opposite. Yesterday I manage to hit 4 grand 30U slams in a row, however many on juiced lines, so each $30 bet one returns about $15-20. Thus my bankroll grew nearly +100 units and sits close to $200 from the initial $100 I manage to salvage after that bonus robbery.
If you want to fucking learn the art of Psycho-Betting to the extremest and be successful at it, fucking put in $100 in Bovada (remember to use money that you can afford to lose) and get that fucking bonus for the purpose of looting the bookies in a successful vengeance scheme. This guy is a fucking Artillery: https://twitter.com/GoTimeCappers.
Fucking hit more than 4x30U grand slams yesterday and some 10-20U cherries on top. I tailed his free picks and other through consultation [Haha fucking reddit/sportsbook will probably ban me for promoting another tout, :)].Of course with my $1.5U size on a crippled bank roll, I cannot grow it to as much as I wanted to using GoTime's techniques. I would have been at another +$400 if I had $6 units. It's a high risk and high reward system, but if you are confident with your picks you go big on it. If you lose it, then you grind back with smaller 10U and 20U bets to try to get back to part to be able to do another 30U bet. The goal is to be like 2-1, 3-0 on 30U grand slams a day. There is some level of sustainability and back up plans to execute in case the 30U bet did not work out. It is very improbable for you to lose 10 in a row on well researched picks that the experts in the community have common agreement on. A lot of the times, the lines shift to reward you less for the pick since big money is already on the pick.
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!!!!!DISCLAIMER: DO NOT READ BEYOND HERE IF YOU HATE MATH OR HAVE AN IQ OF < 89!!!!!
Use the chart on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ_classification
Here is a Nice Calculation to do:
📚📑💻Stats 301 Question in Degenalytics💻📑📚**:**
Lastly I asked anyone in the past few days to do a Stats 301 question with Degenalytics Context: To fucking determine the probability that an avg Joe with a $100+100 Bonus Bank-roll or $500 + 250B bank roll can actually pull off the $3000/$7500 grind in some number of N months betting with supposedly 2 full months of real sports (N-2) getting Obliterated by COVID-19. I want you to give me an analytical calculation or a simulation of your work and give me all the possible scenarios.
Then give the final verdict of if that number converges to 0.000% or 100.00% that the average Joe would succeed his false-hope mission for a successful rollover.
In other words think of it like this: If the average joe bets his entire bank roll 12 or more times (roll-over is not x10 because of bookie juice), what is the probability that he will still end up in the green? Also assign a tilt probability factor that the Average Joe would go on some emotional tilt spree to end up bust again? And make it even harder by eliminating 2-3 full months of real sports (N-2.5) and having to bet on Bovada's limited shitty ass lines and shitty live odds.
If you fucking want to eliminate the -2.5 months, then allow the average joe the freedom to bet on N months of e-sports [hahah] and see where that goes.
I had a bad experience betting on e-sports for 2 months and only end up -15-20U. I'm not saying that I lost because I suck at e-sports betting or I tailed the wrong people. The Bovada lines are super shitty and limited. Most of the time, on live esports, all you see are dashed out lines as if they fucking know what the rigged result is and prevent people from doing hedge bets or try to bet opposite spreads when they are winning to guarantee an insurance 1-1 with minimal damage incurred to their bank-roll. The live betting experience on e-sports on the Bovada platform is so bad that you are guaranteed to lose in the long run. Fucking hell Bodog/Bovada even offered me a $250 deposit on 100% bonus after the Rudy Gobert day in Mid March. They advertised the joys and wonders of getting rich betting off esports.
I was so tempted to deposit, however I kind of over-slept and missed out on the dead-line so they closed the bonus offer. Pretty good relief that I did not fuck-up my real credit card and bank account by falling for that scam again. It was an accidental Grace of God moment to fucking avoid that E-sports deposit marketing scam.
BONUS Questions:
A: Calculate the number of months needed and number of successful bets required for the conservative degen 1u bettor to grind out the roll-over playing
$2.00 tug of war with the bookie.
B: Calculate the odds that a professional capper who knows how to adjust unit sizes (1u-5u), do parlays once a while, will succeed the roll-over in some
N-2.5 months or add some e-sports to have fun to keep the N factor.
C.1: Calculate the conditional probabilities for the bettor succeeding in the mission if on the first few days of betting:
i) He loses bet 1 for about $20.
ii) Wins bet 1 for about $20 to earn $17.5.
iii) Goes on a 3 game losing streak
iv) 5 game losing streak
v) Positivity case: The guy got lucky and nearly doubled his bank roll on a decent run from day. Up +100U or $200. [I'm sure that out of bad discipline the average Joe would still go -200U in the long run with a pretty high probability.]
C.2: Determine the mathematical scheme on how the Bookies can use your first few losses to eventually put you in a 60+:40- (Greater than 60% locked in bonus, less than 40% of your deposited money). Bonus:Locked funds ratio.
The Jinx-King answer: It converges to zero [hahaha], but I really am interested in know what other scenarios math and stats people have come up. And your mathematical approaches and formulae used to generate possible scenarios and probabilities. But I think it is safe to say that for the average Joe,the answer is 0.00% success rate. Bodog/Bovada knows this exactly and refuses to put a hiatus on the roll-over deadline. Instead they keep it going so that people can try to wager on e-sports and lose their entire bank roll. They are only interested it getting 100% of your locked funds so that they can buy expensive cruises, yachts, beach mansions, resort packages, etc in Aruba or some other tropical place. Where you got millions of desperate Americans, Canadians in struggling economies with lost jobs and zero positive cash-flow. About 10% or so or perhaps even more deposit money into off-shore gambling websites hoping they can roll-over their bank-roll some ridiculous number of times and make a few bucks to put food on the table.
In fact, it makes matters worst being jobless, having zero cash flow and having locked funds in scamming bookies. If you are not good at casino or sports-betting games, you would have:
A: Lose your entire deposit for failing to grind it out properly.
B: Not grind it out on time on whatever dead-line the roll-over was.
C: Even if you did successfully grind that shit out using conservative 1u betting and play $2 tug of war with the bookie, you will end up just wasting your time grinding it out for hours and hours on end. It would have been better for you to fucking find a job at some farm helping out with harvesting crops or work in meat plants so that food does not go to waste. I bet you I can make more money than your $2 tug of war in one a day picking off cans and bottles off the streets in some exercise walking/running/biking + collection routine then selling it to the recycling center for $0.05-0.25 a unit. Trust me at my university, I spot maybe about 50-200 empty/partially driven cans and bottles left on desks, lecture halls, the floor, libraries, work areas, etc. Supposed that I harvested that shit, I would be making $5-$20 a day collecting it all and going to the recycling center once every week.
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⚖Conclusions⚖:
The fucking company knows this COVID-19 closure shit and want to use it to their advantage to continue to rob millions of their customers. Last week, I tried to call customer service, chat help, email, etc. and management has spoken to plead my case to delay the roll-over dead-line in a pro-rated time frame so that customers with locked balances can resume betting with their full balance when Game 1 of any Major League Sport actually returns. They give me the same bull-shit over and over saying they decline my request. For what reason?
  1. The terms and conditions written in fine print for accepting the bonus conversion challenge. "Rules are Rules."
  2. They were aware my deadline of June 22 at 19:23 ET was approaching soon. They knew I was on a mission to salvage my bank roll before they yank out the 60-75U trapped in bonus balances (i.e. Ghost money). By the end of it, I realize I made a foolish mistake. Most of my wins were just from bonus money and I was rewarded $0.00 on righteous wins on expired bonuses.
Therefore Bonus money only earns bonus money which put my entire bank-roll in a 80:20 ratio where the bookies control 80U in ghost money. By the end of the roll-over deadline, they get to yank out 80U of my balance at the deadline and left me with about $100 (20U) bank roll to regrind.
  1. They knew I was winning consistently making solid picks.
During my 110 hour marathon over the brutal grind of losing more than 70 hours of work, leisure and recreation; 35 hours of sleep; to a fucking impossible grind of trying to roll over some 60% of $7500 on sports I have little knowledge of capping (i.e. E-sports, Table Tennis, European football) after a few days of studying the game, I was picking up my stride to grind it to 91%. They fucking knew that if I had another day to grind, they would be coughing up +$600-800 of withdrawable balance to my account.
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Bio:😎📚🎓👨‍🎓
I am a Fucking PHD Candidate (2-6 months from graduating and not having to pay another round of BS tuition) who does a shitload of mathematics, statistics, simulations, mathematical physics, wrote scientific papers. I've won T.A. Awards, Government/Provincial/Institutional level scholarships, Conference presentations, with even Undergrad honors back in the day. DM me if you need a fucking CV to prove my fucking credentials.
Why am I able to write a lot of shit? Because my fucking brain operates on some max level Intel Xeon chip on overclock mode and I cannot do much to shut it down other than going to sleep. They only way is to write articles that I think might benefit the community.
I have a crazy interest in sports and Degen'ing. I love to fucking put action on sports games, be proud about making the correct calls on the outcome of games before it happens, and then boast to my circle of competitive friends about who's the fucking Boss. As tabboo as society think us degens are, I think this absolute BS. There is a pure enjoyment in watching sports and having action on it. It is nice to get paid beer money to cover a round for your buddies, or earn that rent money over a successful night of betting on shit you actually enjoy watching. Fuck I rather make $300 for one evening of enjoying sports rather than working a 9-5 dull job to try to afford rent/mortgage. If I can fucking pay off all my monthly expenses in 3 fucking successful nights of 3 hr sessions of sports matches, that would be ideal. I would take the lather over a 9-5 rat-race grind.
Overall I am "PRO" in the debate for local single sports betting bookies to be established in Canada. Get these fucking scamming off-shore books like bodog/Bovada who contribute only contribute "Bagel" to the Canadian Economy, but instead make it worst by scamming the masses of hard working or desperate people to leak out some sum of billions of dollars of national GDP. Probably the same applies to all American States, that people should not have to cough up their hard earned $$$$ to off-shore scamming bookies. I shall write an article about this later to justify my arguments later.
Ultimately I my goal is to obliterate or negate the influence of all the cons, scamming bookies, and false touts out there who are just interested in stealing people's $$$. To write out full studies on exposing their schemes in an objective lens.
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Calling me out: (Think I cannot track these pussy downvotes? I know you cowards 😂😜😎)
If you think I'm full of BS, then send me a personal DM to have a 1v1 argument the same way that Stephen A debates sports with Max Kellerman. You can downvote me or flame me with empty hate talk all you want on public threads. But don't be a fucky pussy by avoiding a debate with me. Trust me, I'm going to win and be the last one to state a real point that you will have no comeback for [haha]. Lastly, if you are open to discuss or debate with me about some issues, do some resarch/exploration, betting strategies, etc., I would love your collaboration in some projects I got going on.
Ultimately, I should help every honest worker strive towards Degen success or if not, just to purely enjoy putting action on sports games. If you are too full of yourself, then you are on your own, I bid thee adieu, and wish you all the best. However you will be absolutely declined to all services and counsel I work to provide to friends for free.
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Social Media📺🎬
Some extra Resource to how I got to this point in my mission.
Here it is for starters:
June 23, 2020: The Impossible Pursuit Reddit/sportsbook/Brag and Bitch (Tuesday)
June 24, 2020: Doubling Bank roll and rewarded Bagel: Reddit/sportsbook/Brag and Bitch (Wednesday)
June 24, 2020: How can you win 5 in a row and lose it all simultaneously? Reddit/sportsbook/What is your most impressive win?
Full Twiiter: https://twitter.com/jinxking0p5
All my media: https://twitter.com/jinxking0p5/media
Discord: ????? To be solved.
Challenges: Got a few right in progress now and a couple of drafts I am working on.
The Jinxking Crusade (In progress): https://twitter.com/jinxking0p5/status/1275516258822131714?s=20
Turns out many people cannot withdraw anything out of Bovada/bodog due to some website glitches. Will try to recover a bankroll to attempt a withdrawal, however I am likely to have the same issues too. They will make some lame excuse to not give me a cheque. Definitely no point of pursuing anything in bovada/bodog if they refuse to give you withdrawables. The goal is to get their website off outta here. As well as get them out of advertisements. They definitely pulled off some "Get the fucking money and run scheme" and you will likely not see your money again. GG
The Jinxking Challenge (In progress): https://twitter.com/jinxking0p5/status/1275661929940467713?s=20
Want to expose a bad tout who over prices the service and has a mediocre record? Tail and fade to call their their BS or mediocre non profiting record out. Also good for finding legitimate winners too. This will be a mission to expose shitty touts on Twitter the way Penn & Teller exposes BS in the market.
submitted by jinxking0p5 to sportsbook [link] [comments]

Effortpost: A Guide to Peruvian Politics and The Upcoming Congress Election

Since most of the time the SA countries that get the most attention are Argentina, Brazil and Chile, I've wanted to make a little post so you guys can know more about one of the emerging economies of the region, Perú.
This 26th of January, 24 million Peruvians (out of 33 Million) will go to the voting booths to elect the new Peruvian Congress for 2020-2021. Now you might ask yourself, "Are they really gonna elect a Congress that will last 18 months, how would a short term like that get anything done ?" and the answer is that in September 30th of the last year, President Martin Vizcarra dissolved congress after theyhad denied the vote of confidence to two Cabinets.
So, he called elections for a new congress to be formed in order to continue the term of the last one, which started in July 2016 and will end in July 2021, the same date of the Bicentennial of Perú's declaration of independence from Spain.

Long term context:

In the 80s Maoist Marxits terrorist group that had separated from the Peruvian Communist Party, called the Shinning Path started gaining lots of power and influence in the poorest parts of Peru, mainly the highlands.
They were motivated by Inequality and the explotation of the burgoise, deciding to part ways of the Peruvian Communist party because they though the only way to reach power was with the "Popular fight"
They killed between 40K and 70K people, and took advantage of the poor economic situation of the Country to almost take power.
The Economic situation was horrible. Inflation reached 7694,6 % in 1990, with poverty almost reachign 80% and GDP per capita 738 USD in 1988.
The situation would make the 1990 Elections extremely important, although nobody would realize how much of the future 30 years of Peruvian politics would be defined by the election.

1990 Election and the Legacy of Vargas Llosa and Fujimori:

The Peruvian Presidential elections have Two Round system. To win a Peruvian Presidential election a candidate must reach at least 50% of the Popular vote, if he doesnt then a second round or ballotage is called between the two candidates that had the most votes in the first round.
In 1990 there was a clear favorite, Neoliberal's boi Mario Vargas Llosa. His campaign focused in Liberal Pro Markets reforms and following IMF's plan of austerity and privatization in order to fix the economy. He was very criticized for being an "European that wants to sell the country".
The other big candidates were current Vice President Luis Alva Castro and a man that had never held public office before, the Outsider Alberto Fujimori.
Since how awful the current government was at handling the economy and the Shinning Path, It became obvious that Alva had no chance of winning the election, so Vargas Llosa was predicted as the run away winner of the election.
However his policies seemed too "extreme" for the public, and his "European-esque" rethoric and way of being didnt get support from the poorest parts of the countries. These regions supported Fujimori, the most "moderate" candidate that promised to fix the economy without doing privatizations or implementing a shock policy.
The first round saw Vargas Llosa win 33% of the Popular vote, 10 points ahead of the Vice President and 3 ahead of Fujimori. However in the second round it became "Everybody against Vargas Llosa", with the leftist parties expressing their support of Fujimori so that he could beat Vargas Llosa.
In the second round Vargas Llosa got 38% of the vote, growing barely 5 points overall while Fujimore got 62% of the vote, becoming President of Perú.
Now the funny thing is, Fujimori literally used Vargas Llosa's plan step by step and was celebrated as a Hero for it. From the Privatizations to the shock policy, with some corruption in between.
Also in 1992, due to the fact that Congress didnt let him pass laws in order to fight the terrorists (Mainly cause Vargas Llosa coallition got a majority of the seats in both the senate and the house), he decided to dissolve congress.
The leftist parties supported the dissolution of congress, but they started to turn against Fujimori when he started the shock policy, but at that point his popularity rose through the roof because of the dissolution of congress.
Also, a national intelligence agency set up by the previous government and trained by the US (Thanks daddy) captured Abimael Guzman, leader of the Shinning Path, without shooting a single bullet.Fujimori quickly took credit for this (even though the agency acted without his guidence) and basically became the "Hard working Japanese immigrant that came to Perú and saved the country".
And that was how "Fujimorismo" was born.

The fall of a Dictator and the Peruvian Economic Miracle.

Fujimori ran for re-election in 1995 and after a small belic conflict with Ecuador where Fujimori took advantage and did some good old populism, his godlike popularity allowed him to get re-elected on the first round with an outstanding 64% of the vote.
I'll fast foward towards the end of his second term since most of the shit he did didnt get unveil until his second re-election in 2000.
Basically, Fujimori did an Evo and runned for election even though his own constitution didnt allow for a third consecutive Presidential term. He won re-election in an extremely shady election, where 3 million peruvians decided to vote in blank in protest of the handling of the election.
Then due to a series of Videotapes being leaked, It came to light how Fujimori:
The last two were already being talked about in the public eye, but they only became "serious" after the leaked tapes confirmed it and gave it credibility.
So, Fujimori escaped to Japan and resigned by Fax.

The commodities boom, Peruvian Economic Miracle and the present of Perú.

First of all, Fujimori was captured in Chile in 2005, and in 2007 sentenced to 25 years in jail by being found guilty of 5 Crimes, including crimes against Humanity (In Perú if you got more than one criminal sentence, you only serve the longest one)
However Fujimori to this day still has a lot of popular support, with his oldest Daugther and former first lady (His wife leaved the charge of first lady to her daughter since Fujimori was torturing so she didnt speaked up about the Corruption taking plance during his government) being back to back Second-Round loser of the Presidential elections of 2011 and 2016.
I wont talk a lot about the three man that succeded Fujimori, mainly since they pale in comparison to the importance Fujimori has in politics til this day. So I'll just give a short summary of their policies and their stances.

Issues to solve in the upcoming elections:


The voting system:

So know its time to explain what Voting method will be used in the upcoming congress election:
Its basically how the American Senate its elected, with FPTP voting and proportional representation according to a State/Region population.
However there is also something called "Preferential vote" which is really complicated to explain, but I'll do my best.
The preferential vote is an alternative that the voter has to elect one or two candidates of his preference to Parliament
Each voter has 2 preferential votes, but they can only be used for the party you are voting for. (If you dont want to you dont need to use them)
An example to make things easier:
Lets say that I vote for the purple party, if I want to I can vote for two individual candidates from their Party in order for them to get into congress even if The Purple party dont get a majority of the vote.
For example, In 2006 Keiko received the most preferential votes in history, with 2nd and 3rd place being his Brother Kenji in 2011 and 2016.
Overall there are 26 electoral districs with the seats being divided this way:
Metropolitan Lima + the foreign votes have 36 congressmen.
La Libertad and Piura have 7.
Arequipa and Cajamarca have 6.
Five Electoral Districs have 5.
Five Electoral Disctrics have 4.
Two Electoral Districs have 3.
Eight Electoral Districs have 2.
One Electoral Distric has one congressmen.
Now before you ask, the reason as to why Lima has so many seats is the fact that over 10 Million people live in Lima, which is literally 30%+ of the country's population.

The Major Parties:

I'll start by naming the parties by their average polling numbers, from most supported to least.

Acción PopulaPopular Action:

Acción Popular is one of the only "big" parties that is not really tainted by Corruption, which gives them a big bonus in the eye of the Peruvian Public.
They have held the presidency twice in their history, once in 1963-68 when he was ousted by a millitary coup and then again in 1980-85. Both times the Presidency was held by Fernando Belaúnde Terry.
His legacy is mainly his work and investing in infrastructure, as most of the roads connecting the Peruvian Jungle and the highlands were made during his second term, with the urbanization of Lima ocurring during his first term.
However part of his legacy is also the fact that in his second term he didnt do anything to stop the Shinning Path when they were getting started back in the highlands, mainly because he though they were just a small communist group with no real power.
In the 2016 general elections they ended up in 4th place behind Popular Force (Fujimori's party), Peruanos por el Kambio (PPK's party) and Frente Amplio (socialist party).
Back in 2016 their candidate, Alfredo Barnechea, did really well with the public. However a lot of their talking points were about changing the "Neoliberal" economic system that creates inequality, although he has said that he believes free markets are the best way to develop economic prosperity. So overall I would define them as a Social Democrat.
Also, last year former Peruvian President Alan Garcia shot himself due to the shocking amount of evidence of corruption during his second term in office. During the funeral, Barnechea gave a speach about how a political persecution had "killed" Alan Garcia and stated that Garcia was an innocent man.
They are also way too "Nationalistic" and blast way too much "Anti-Venezuelan immigration" propaganda, talking about how most of them are "thiefs" and bullshit like we need to "take our country back"
Some quotes from their Manifesto:
"[Our goal is] To be a free, modern and democratic country of inclusive and equal content. We want a society of freedom, fairness and equality, where all Peruvians recognize and treat each other as equals, with opportunities that allow us to reach our dreams and aspirations"
"[Our Economic goal is to] promote a competitive economy and diversified; composed of roads, transport and connectivity, articulated by the markets to generate wealth, through public investment and private, and for the application of science and technology, for the creation and multiplication of decent employment, with greater added value and a fair income distribution and wealth."
Personal rating: 6/10
They are not my favortes, mainly due to their emphasis on changing the "neoliberal" economic system although they dont hate the markets like the leftist parties do, and due to the fact that Barnechea openly supported Garcia's corrupt ass in his funeral. Also they are too nationalist in my opinion.However I believe they will respect democracy and wont turn the economy into shambles, so overall they are pretty decent.

Partido Morado/Purple Party:

I've gotta admit, this is my favorite Party by far and I will be voting for them in a few weeks, so sorry if I'm a little biased.
In the 2016 Presidential Election, Julio Guzman ran for President with political party "Todos Por El Perú" (He appeared in various ads with a purple background, so he became known as "The Purple Guy").
He gained popularity mainly for his TED talks style conferences in universities and news shows.
However due to constant attacks from the right and a little from the left, they found out irregularities in the registration of the presidential ticket of the party, so he pulled out of the election.
Months later he left the Party and went out to form his own: The Purple Party.
Remember how PPK bailed himself out by givin pardon to Fujimori ? Well when that happened many member of the party felt betrayed, so they quit the party and formed "Liberal Party". After the dissolution of congress most of them went to the Purple party and are now running for congress.
The Purple Party (Yes, thats their official name) identifies themselves as a "Radical Centrist Party" and while I wouldnt really call the whole party as Liberal, they got some members that are 100% liberals, for example:
Alberto de Belaunde: Former PPK congressmen. He lead succesful legislative proposals like legalize medical marijuana, a tax on single use plastic bags and tried to get congress to pass a Civil Union for the LGTBQ community (He is homosexual, by the way) but sadly couldnt do it.
Overall the party has always supported pro-market and pro-LGTBQ reforms in the past. They also supported gender quotas for political parties in elections.
They used to be very pro-immigration but due to the public backlash and the growing xenophobia in the country they've become more "moderate" about the topic and stated things like "Immigration is good but needs to be controlled"
They have also spoken against "Neoliberalism", but unlike Popular Action they gave a definition of "Neoliberalism" and why they opposed it.
Some quotes:
"To achieve [Economic and Social Progress] this it is necessary overcome the limitations of neoliberalism and socialism that, in their various aspects, have until recently oriented development initiatives, and that do not give a satisfactory answer to the demands and opportunities of modern life"
"We understand that the most important change in the socio-economic reality of Peru's The last years is the new way of thinking of Peruvians. The maturation of massive migration from the countryside to the city, coupled with economic growth driven by an environment global favorable and progressive access to information technologies, promoted the Emergence of a new Peruvian. A new optimistic Peruvian, who knows he can reach his longings. A Peruvian who wants to progress and is less concerned with differences in class, race or religion; and rather, he is convinced that in life we ​​can all progress at the same time."
"Republicanism allows us overcome neoliberalism and socialism, reconciling the two emotions of the new Peruvian: his entrepreneurial attitude that does not see the market as an enemy, and his longing for equal rights and opportunities. In this way we seek to give theoretical content and ideological to the political center, betting on going to the root of our problems, in order to Build comprehensive solutions"
Personal Rating: 8/10
I've always like the Party and Guzman's proposals, but when the Liberal Congressmen joined their party I really started to look more into them and I found out that they were a really good option, perhaps even the best.
They've never had an actual party member in congress tho (Not counting the ones from the last one), and while that is worrysome the fact that they have experienced people that have, for example worked for the World Bank.
Fun fact: Julio Guzman is a Jew practitioner of Judaism

Fuerza PopulaPopular Force (Fujimorismo's Party)

First of all, I need to tell you that Fujimorismo (The cult of personality around Fujimori and his "ideas that saved the country") never had an official Party. For example Alberto Fujimori ran with different parties all 3 times he got elected.Her daughter Keiko also ran with 3 different parties when se ran for congress in 2006 and for president in 2011 and 2016.
After Fujimori resigned there was a bit of turmoil in the country, with a decent % of population still viewing him favorably.
Now, some people though that he was innocent of anything and his presidential advisor Vladimiro Montesinos (Basically the Peruvian Dick Chenney) was responsable of all bad things. Other groups believed that Fujimori did commit those crimes and believe the human rights abuses were necessary in order to defeat Terrorism and that the corruption charges pale in comparison with all the "good" he did to the country.
So after Fujimori escaped and in between he returned and got jailed there were many "Fujimorist" parties, but they were all spread out and lacked any real support.
Thats until 2006, when Fujimori's Daughter and former first lady Keiko ran as congresswomen for Fujimorist coalition "Alianza para el Futuro"
She ended up being the most voted congresswomen in Peruvian history with almost 700K preferential votes.
In the 2011 elections they made an actual party, Force 2011. Eventually the official Fujimori Party changed names to "Popular Force" after losing the election of 2011.
So you might ask yourself "Okay Fujimorismo is all about the cult of Personality around Alberto, but what kind of policies do they support?" and that is a tricky question.
In the past it was basically crony capitalism (after the privatizations Fujimori stopped with the reforms and economic growth halted in 1995-2000 in comparison to 1992-95) with conservatism, authoritarianism and basically populism.For example, since Fujimori "defeated terrorism and Marxism" everybody that is to the Left of Fujimorismo is called a "Terruco" (Its a way of saying Terrorist, kinda like how Communist Commie) by Fujimoristas.
Also, they've supported conservative groups like "Con mis hijos no te metas" (Dont mess with my kids) that are against gender-ideology based education, legalization of weed, same-sex marriage and abortion.
However Keiko (Alberto's Daughter) expressed to be in favor of same-sex marriage back in 2016, although I think this was a simple way to get votes from the youth (Most young people are Anti-Fujimori) so basically just populism.
At the end of the day the only real policies that have been consistent among all Fujimorist parties has been:Authoritarian policies like putting the armed forces in the street as a way of fighting crime.Conservative social policies that reduce public expression.And basically Populism of all types (For example past elections there were reports of them giving out straight up cash in exchange of votes.)
What has been Fujimorismo's aproach regarding this election ?
Well basically deny all corruptions charges and say that the dissolution of congres was unconstitutional and that Vizcarra is a dictator.
So I guess anti-Corruption policies are not a thing for them.
Personal Rating: 0/10

The Broad Front/ Frente Amplio:

This is by far the biggest Leftist party in Perú and they poll around 4-3%. Which shows you that:
A. The shinning path has left a big public fear about socialism and leftism in general.B. Like in all countries, leftist fighting among themselves is also a big thing in Perú.
Recently they were fighting about Venezuela because Gregorio Santos, a former governor, stated that "The Venezuelan fight against Imperialism was a beautiful thing" and that "The real dictatorship is the one we have in Perú by the wealthy elites".
Despite him not being a member of any party at the moment, his comments sparked basically a civil war in between most leftist parties, with the Tankiest of them leaving the Parties that didnt support Maduro.
Frente Amplio has suffered from this, mainly because it was meant to be a coalition of Social Democrats, Socialists and Communists. Most hard leftists have left the party and the Popular more "mainstream" have also left it.
For example in 2016 Frente Amplio got third place in the 2016 Presidential Elections only behind PPK and Keiko, mainly due to their young and "charismatic" leader Veronika Mendoza.
She used to be a member of Ollanta Humala's party but abandoned it after he "sold out"
However due to all the Venezuela termoil she abandoned the Party and formed her own, New Perú. But it seems like both she and Frente Amplio are worse off, with their popular support being a shadow of what it was in 2016.
Personal Rating: 3/10
Their Economic policies are shit, the fact that they got actual communists and socialist and its not just succs make them an non-viable choice in my opinion.
They've got some good takes in social issues but like most lefties they make all problems part of the "class struggle" which makes progress really hard to achieve.

Undecided/Indeciso:

If "Undecided" and "Vote in blank" were candidates, they would run away with the elections. The whole "all parties are the same" has really taken a toll on Peruvians politics, with people not believing in political parties anymore.
Overall Lima and the big cities tend to vote for Vargas Llosa-esque candidates like PPK (He won Lima in both 2011 and 2016) but the rest of he Regions tend to go for more Nationalist and conservative candidates.
The last polling went like this:
The Rest are polling at 1% or less, so I wont be talking about them cause it would make the post longer than it needs to be.
So in short, since what most Peruvians know about politics is "Fuck Fujimori" I believe that in the end of the day a majority of undecided voters will go for the most "moderate" candidates like Popular Action and the Purple Party.
If any of them manage to do good things while in congress, I could imagine both parties disputing the second round (Winning the Presidency in the first round is virtually impossible) of the Presidential election next year.
As you might have figured out by now, English is not my first language so sorry if my grammar could be better.
If you have any question feel free to ask, it took me some time to make this post so the all support is appreciated.
Gracias!
submitted by The420Roll to neoliberal [link] [comments]

CINEPLEX INC (TSX: $CGX ) STOCK OPPORTUNITY

CINEPLEX INC (TSX: $CGX ) STOCK OPPORTUNITY

Cineplex (TSX: $CGX)
CINEPLEX INC (TSX: $CGX ) STOCK OPPORTUNITY
Another great medium risk but high potential return stock. The stock has taken a beating because of Covid19 & movie theater closures.
Investors think Cineworld's C$34/share buyout offer will be cancelled, yet Reuter's reported, "Cineworld Says No Change In Co's Position On Cineplex Takeover Since March" on April 7. That's double your money at C$11.69 (at post) if it goes through.
Investors also think Cineplex will cancel their monthly $0.15 per share dividend in their next ER that they delayed until June 29, 2020.
Investors are discounting Cineplex's possible rise of online movie rentals to offset their onsite losses.
The odds don't get better than this but do your Due Diligence before investing.
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The Motley Fool described Cineplex as having a "virtual monopoly" over the cinema market in Canada.
#StockPick $CGX -- #ShakingTheTree with #Shorts hitting all the #Bulls #StopLoss down. Easy double or triple opportunity here. Do your #DueDiligence. Good luck to all.
#StockPick #CGX $CGX $CGX.TO
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MY DUE DILIGENCE:

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52 Week Range:
Low: C$6.30 (Coronavirus Crash)
High: C$34.39 (Buyout Offer)
CGX Stock Performance
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Cineplex Inc., formerly known as Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund and Galaxy Entertainment Inc. is a Canadian entertainment company headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. Through its operating subsidiary Cineplex Entertainment LP, Cineplex operates 165 theatres across Canada. The company operates theatres under numerous brands, including Cineplex Cinemas, Cineplex Odeon, SilverCity, Galaxy Cinemas, Cinema City, Famous Players, Scotiabank Theatres and Cineplex VIP Cinemas.
Divisions:
  • Cineplex Odeon
  • Galaxy
  • Famous Players
  • SilverCity
  • Colossus
  • Coliseum
  • Cinema City
  • Scotiabank Theatre
  • Cineplex Cinemas
  • Cineplex VIP Cinemas
Subsidiaries:
  • Cineplex Entertainment LP
  • Player One Amusement Group Inc.
  • Famous Players LP
  • Galaxy Entertainment Inc.
  • Cineplex Media
  • Cineplex Digital Media Inc.
  • Canadian Digital Cinema Partnership (78.2%)
  • Topgolf-Cineplex Canada LP (75%)
  • SCENE LP (50%)
  • Cineplex Entertainment Corporation
  • World Gaming Network Inc. (80%)
  • Alliance Cinemas
2019-present: Proposed acquisition by Cineworld
On December 16, 2019, Cineplex announced a definitive agreement to be acquired by the British cinema operator Cineworld Group, the second-largest film exhibitor worldwide, pending shareholder and regulatory approval. Cineworld would be paying $34 per-share—a 42% premium over Cineplex's share price prior to the announcement, valuing the company at CDN$2.8 billion. Cineworld planned to pay US$1.65 billion, and to fund the remainder by taking on debt.
The sale was approved by Cineplex shareholders in February 2020. Activist shareholder Bluebell Capital Partners called for the Canadian government to block the sale, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. which in turn led to the temporary closure(s) of all Cineplex movie theatres across Canada since March 16, 2020, and up until further notice.
https://www.cineplex.com
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cineplex_Entertainment
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Cineplex Store
Browse from over 8500 HD movies including the latest releases and earn SCENE points every time you rent or buy. Watch online or look for the Cineplex Store.
https://store.cineplex.com
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ESPORTS: WorldGaming Network (WGN), formerly Virgin Gaming (now owned by Cineplex), is an online video gaming platform that hosts head to head matches, tournaments and ladders for consoles and PC gamers. WorldGaming has had over 3 million gamers register for its platform worldwide which makes it one of the most robust and dynamic global eSports communities. There have been over 6.7 million matches played over 20,000 tournaments held on WorldGaming.com since 2010.
Newzoo: Global esports will top $1 billion in 2020, with China as the top market (Feb 25, 2020):
Global esports revenues will surpass $1 billion in 2020 for the first time — without counting broadcasting platform revenues, according to market researcher Newzoo.
Globally, the total esports audience will grow to 495.0 million people in 2020, Newzoo said. Esports Enthusiasts (people who watch more than once a month) make up 222.9 million of this number.
In 2020, $822.4 million in revenues—or three-quarters of the total market—will come from media rights and sponsorship.
“As the esports market matures, new monetization methods will be implemented and improved upon,” said Remer Rietkerk, head of esports at Newzoo, in the report. “Likewise, the number of local events, leagues, and media rights deals will increase; therefore, we anticipate the average revenue per fan to grow to $5.27 by 2023.”
https://venturebeat.com/2020/02/25/newzoo-global-esports-will-top-1-billion-in-2020-with-china-as-the-top-market
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VIRTUAL REALITY
On September 13, 2018, Cineplex announced that it would acquire a stake in VRStudios—a Seattle-based provider of virtual reality installations, and utilize its equipment for as many as 40 VR centers across the country.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cineplex_Entertainment
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PLAYDIUM
Playdium is a family entertainment centre chain owned by Cineplex Entertainment through its subsidiary Player One Amusement Group. The flagship location in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada launched as Sega City @ Playdium near Square One Shopping Centre on September 7, 1996. The 11 acres (480,000 sq ft) centre cost CA$17 million to build and included an arcade, batting cages, go-karts and mini-golf. A partnership with Sega GameWorks, it featured many arcade games from that company such as Daytona USA, and eight-player racing setups for Indy 500 (as Virtua Indy) and Manx TT Super Bike. Indy 500 remains available today. In 1999, the centre was renamed to Playdium. The company opened up two more locations in Brampton and Whitby in late 2019.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Player_One_Amusement_Group#Playdium
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The Rec Room
The Rec Room is a Canadian chain of entertainment restaurants owned by Cineplex Entertainment. First opening in Edmonton in 2016, its locations feature entertainment and recreational attractions such as an arcade, driving simulators, recreational games, and virtual reality, as well as restaurants and bars, and an auditorium with a cinema-style screen, which can be used for concerts and other live events.
The Toronto location features The Void virtual reality attraction. In July 2018, Cineplex announced that it would become the exclusive Canadian franchisee of The Void and add additional locations (such as the Mississauga and West Edmonton Mall locations).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rec_Room
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SCENE (loyalty program)
SCENE is a Canadian loyalty program established in 2007 by Cineplex Entertainment and Scotiabank.
The main reward is a free movie ticket, starting at 1,250 points for a regular or 3D ticket. Over the years, the program has expanded to include a greater variety of rewards, including restaurants and sporting goods.
https://www.scene.ca
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FOOD & BEVERAGES
Cineplex has an Outtakes (French: Restoplex) restaurant in 94 theatres, some which replace previous restaurant partners (Burger King, KFC and New York Fries) and others which introduce restaurants at locations which did not previously feature one. VIP Cinemas and some Xscape locations feature a licensed lounge with more premium offerings compared to Outtakes. Poptopia is a flavoured popcorn restaurant offered in a full-service format at 22 locations. Other Cineplex theatres may feature Poptopia at the concession stand, but only in the caramel corn and/or kettle corn flavours.
Ice cream at Cineplex locations debuted with Baskin-Robbins and TCBY. Beginning in December 2007, Yogen Früz became the preferred partner. On January 1, 2014, Cineplex acquired a 50% stake in Yoyo's Yogurt Café. As of January 2017, 77 Cineplex theatres feature Yoyo's restaurants, while Yogen Fruz is still available in 23 Cineplex theatres while TCBY is available in 16 locations. Cineplex also manages Melt Sweet Creations, an in-house dessert bouqtiue brand targeted at women ages 19-35 debuted in December 2017 at Cineplex Cinemas Queensway and VIP. Melt is available at 13 locations.
Beverages are available in both cold and hot formats. Cold beverages include the Coca-Cola lineup, which replaced the Pepsi lineup used at locations formerly owned by Famous Players. 12 locations feature Coca-Cola Freestyle. Hot beverages include Starbucks as the incumbent provider with 105 locations, all which offer Pike Place Roast coffee (regular or decaf) and Tazo tea. Select locations also offer premium drinks such as caffè mocha or caramel macchiato. Tim Hortons is available as a full-service restaurant in five locations,[75] with Brossard being the only location to offer both Tim Hortons and Starbucks.
In most theatres, Cineplex offers sale of alcohol to 19+ guests in Ontario (18+ in Alberta) similar to the VIP theatres albeit from a selection of beer or cider beverages.
If Aurora Cannabis (ACB) & Cineplex (CGX) partnered up to offer CBD & THC infused Cannabis 2.0 edibles in movie theaters, especially the IMAX & 3D ones, it should do very well. Canadian Cannabis Industry stocks should also do well as I posted earlier Cannabis Stocks Opportunity.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cineplex_Entertainment
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RECENT NEWS:

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Cineworld to buy Canada's largest movie theatre chain in $2.8B deal (Dec 16, 2019):
Cineplex’s stock had been trading close to the Cineworld offer price of C$34 per share through early 2020, but has since plunged 40% following the virus outbreak.
Cineplex could lose a potential lifeline if its outstanding debt exceeds more than $725 million. As of December 31, 2019, the debt level was $625 million. The debt might balloon past the threshold with a further lockdown extension.
https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/cineworld-to-buy-canada-s-largest-movie-theatre-chain-in-2-8b-deal-1.4731547
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Cineplex shares fall after short seller raises concerns about Cineworld deal (March 5, 2020):
https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/cineplex-shares-fall-after-short-seller-raises-concerns-about-cineworld-deal-1.4840173
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Cineworld Dives After Cineplex Activist Urges Rejection of Deal (March 16, 2020):
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-16/cineworld-dives-as-cineplex-activist-urges-canada-to-block-deal
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Cineplex closes locations, provides Cineworld acquisition update (March 17, 2020):
https://mediaincanada.com/2020/03/17/cineplex-to-close-all-canadian-locations
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Cineplex Inc. cuts salaries of full-time employees after part-time layoffs (Mar 23, 2020):
P/T employees laid off in Canada & USA. F/T employees take reduced base salaries & senior executive team takes 80% reduction in pay.
https://www.cp24.com/news/cineplex-inc-cuts-salaries-of-full-time-employees-after-part-time-layoffs-1.4864434
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Cineworld halts dividend and says will 'monitor progress' of its buyout of Cineplex (April 7, 2020):
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/cineworld-halts-dividend-and-says-will-monitor-progress-of-its-buyout-of-cineplex-2020-04-07
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Staggered seating, nostalgic films: Cinemark offers a look at movie going post-coronavirus (Apr 15, 2020):
Cinemark, the third-largest movie theater chain in the U.S., hopes to reopen at least some of its doors to the public in July.
With no major movie release until mid-July, theaters could play “library” movies, which are movies that have already previously been released in cinemas, for several weeks.
If social distancing restrictions are still in place the company said it would either sell every other reserved seat in the theater or suspend reservations and just sell 50% of the tickets per theater.
“Even at peak periods of time in a normal environment, our occupancy levels range from 20% to 30% and we can operate profitably during those scenarios...” - CEO Mark Zoradi
He added that Cinemark has seen attendance as low as 10% and still was able to turn a profit.
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/15/cinemark-offers-a-look-at-movie-going-post-coronavirus.html
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North Vancouver's Park & Tilford Cineplex permanently closed (May 20, 2020)
The company closed all 165 theatres across Canada in March due to COVID-19, but the 1,382-seat Brookesbank Avenue location won’t be among those reopening, Cineplex has confirmed.
With Cineplex closing its Lower Lonsdale theatre in 2019, it leaves Park Royal as the only place to catch a big screen flick on the North Shore.
“We thank the community for their patronage over the years, and look forward to welcoming them at neighbouring Cineplex Cinemas Park Royal and VIP,” said Sarah Van Lange, executive director of communications. “I’ll note that our intent is to repurpose the Park & Tilford theatre space, which we’ll have more details on at a later date.”
https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/vancouver-news/park-tilford-cineplex-movie-theatre-permanently-closed-north-vancouver-bc-2365365
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OTHER NEWS & RUMORS:

Why Amazon’s Rumored Buyout of AMC Entertainment Makes Sense (May 12, 2020):
If Amazon can buy AMC, they can most certainly by CGX & dominate & control most of North America's movie theaters. Amazon would then control Hollywood! Why stop there, they should buy Cineworld too.
https://investorplace.com/2020/05/why-amazons-rumored-buyout-of-amc-entertainment-makes-sense
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AMC Entertainment Surges 56% on Report of Talks With Amazon (May 11, 2020):
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/amc-entertainment-surges-56-report-133822697.html
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Alert: Cineplex (TSX:CGX) Could Be Acquired by This Incredibly Unlikely Source (May 12, 2020):
Despite Cineworld maintaining its commitment to buy Cineplex, the market has a different opinion. Remember, Cineplex agreed to be acquired at $34 per share. As I type this, the stock trades at $14.44. There’s no way the spread would be that wide, unless investors were writing off the acquisition completely.
Fortunately for beleaguered Cineplex shareholders, a new suitor could very well come along — one virtually nobody sees coming.
Although I think there’s potential for a private equity group or some other deep-pocketed investor taking a run at Cineplex’s cheap assets, there’s a much more interesting suitor on the horizon.
That acquirer is Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN).
https://www.fool.ca/2020/05/12/alert-cineplex-tsxcgx-could-be-acquired-by-this-incredibly-unlikely-source
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AMC says it will no longer play Universal Studios films (Apr 28, 2020):
“AMC believes that with this proposed action to go to the home and theaters simultaneously, Universal is breaking the business model and dealings between our two companies,” AMC Chief Executive Officer Adam Aron said in a letter addressed to Universal Studios Chairman Donna Langley.
Universal added that the company looked forward to having “additional private conversations” with AMC but was “disappointed by this seemingly coordinated attempt ... to confuse our position and our actions.”
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/28/amc-says-it-will-no-longer-play-universal-studios-films.html
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Cineworld joins AMC in banning films from Universal Studios (April 29, 2020):
Cineworld, the world’s second largest cinema chain, has followed its rival AMC in banning Universal Studios films from its cinemas when they reopen, after the Hollywood film-maker released Trolls On Tour direct to streaming platforms.
“There is a certain system of windows which are a custom in the market and this sets the time difference between the theatrical market and other ancillary markets, among them streaming. Any movie that will not respect this window will not be shown in Cineworld group,” Mooky Greidinger, Cineworld’s chief executive, said on Wednesday.
https://www.ft.com/content/3cc70161-e157-4ff1-bfbd-a886dd6d9af5
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Odeon bans all Universal Pictures films as studio skips cinema releases (Apr 29, 2020):
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/ap29/odeon-bans-all-universal-pictures-films-as-studio-skips-cinema-releases
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AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc.
AMC Theatres (originally an abbreviation for American Multi-Cinema; often referred to simply as AMC and known in some countries as AMC Cinemas or AMC Multi-Cinemas) is an American movie theater chain headquartered in Leawood, Kansas, and is the largest movie theater chain in the world. Founded in 1920, AMC has the largest share of the U.S. theater market ahead of Cineworld and Cinemark Theatres.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMC_Theatres
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Cineworld Group PLC
Cineworld is the world’s second largest cinema chain, with 9,518 screens across 790 sites in 11 countries: the UK, the US, Canada, Ireland, Poland, Romania, Israel, Hungary, Czechia, Bulgaria and Slovakia. The group’s primary brands are Regal (in the US), Cineworld and Picturehouse (in the UK & Ireland), Cinema City (throughout Europe) and Yes Planet (in Israel).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cineworld
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And Action! All the Movies We Can't Wait to See in Summer 2020 and Beyond (May 22, 2020):
Fingers crossed that it’ll be safe to step into a theater this summer. If they open, there will be plenty to watch. “Summer hits are the popcorn movies,” says film historian, author and podcast host Leonard Maltin. “They can be the biggest box-office hits of the whole year.”
Rest of 2020:
  • To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar - VIP (Jun 1)
  • Unhinged (Jul 1)
  • Tenet (Jul 17)
  • Mulan (Jul 24)
  • Summerland (Jul 31)
  • Random Acts Of Violence (Jul 31)
  • The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run (Aug 7)
  • Sound of Metal (Aug 14)
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (Aug 14)
  • Fatima (Aug 14)
  • The One And Only Ivan (Aug 14)
  • The New Mutants (Aug 20)
  • Bill & Ted Face the Music (Aug 21)
  • Antebellum (Aug 21)
  • Monster Hunter (Sep 4)
  • A Quiet Place Part II (Sep 4)
  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (Sep 11)
  • The King's Man (Sep 18)
  • Candyman (Sep 25)
  • Tom Clancy's Without Remorse (Oct 2)
  • BIOS (Oct 2)
  • Death On The Nile (Oct 9)
  • The Witches (Oct 9)
  • The French Dispatch (Oct 16)
  • Halloween Kills (Oct 16)
  • Snake Eyes (Oct 23)
  • Lord And Miller Connected (Oct 23)
  • Everybody's Talking About Jamie (Oct 23)
  • Come Play (Oct 30)
  • Black Widow (Nov 6)
  • Clifford The Big Red Dog (Nov 13)
  • Deep Water (Nov 13)
  • Godzilla Vs. Kong (Nov 20)
  • Soul (Nov 20)
  • Happiest Season (Nov 20)
  • James Bond ‘No Time To Die’ (Nov 25)
  • Free Guy (Dec 11)
  • Dune (Dec 18)
  • Untitled Coming To America Sequel (Dec 18)
  • West Side Story (Dec 18)
  • Top Gun: Maverick (Dec 23)
  • Untitled Tom & Jerry Film (Dec 23)
  • The Croods 2 (Dec 23)
  • News Of The World (Dec 25)
  • Escape Room 2 (Dec 30)
2021:
  • Mortal Kombat (Jan 15)
  • Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (Jan 15)
  • 355 (Jan 15)
  • Chaos Walking: The Knife of Never Letting Go (Jan 22)
  • Rumble (Jan 29)
  • Cinderella (Feb 5)
  • Nobody (Feb 26)
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Mar 5)
  • Raya And The Last Dragon (Mar 12)
  • Sony/Marvel Morbius (Mar 19)
  • The Boss Baby 2 (Mar 26)
  • Reminiscence (Apr 16)
  • Ron's Gone Wrong (Apr 23)
  • Shang Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings (May 7)
  • Spiral: From The Book Of Saw (May 21)
  • Cruella (May 28)
  • F9 Fast & Furious (Apr 2)
  • Bob's Burgers (Apr 9)
  • Infinite (May 28)
  • Space Jam 2 (Jul 16)
  • Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (Jul 16)
  • In the Heights (Jun 18)
  • Minions: The Rise Of Gru (Jul 2)
  • All This Victory (Aug 7)
  • The Woman in the Window (TBD 2021)
  • Blithe Spirit (TBD 2021)
  • The Personal History of David Copperfield (TBD 2021)
  • Greyhound (TBD)
& MUCH, MUCH MORE MOVIES than listed coming to the big screens.
THE 65 MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIES OF 2020 (May 20, 2020):
https://editorial.rottentomatoes.com/article/most-anticipated-movies-of-2020
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CONCLUSION:
Nothing beats watching a great movie on the big screen in premium format:
  • Prime Seats
  • IMAX
  • UltraAVX
  • D-Box
  • VIP Cinemas
  • 4DX
I'm sick of the congested internet & buffering of online movies & services during Covid19. They need to upgrade the internet infrastructure to 5G & Fiber Optics before it can really grow in my opinion -- especially buffering 4K & 8K movies & future tech that will only require more bandwidth going forward.
Younger people are not afraid of Covid19 like the older crowd. When theaters open, they will rush in to see their favourite movies.
Betting that people won't want to go to movie theaters when they re-open, is like betting the same against live sporting events or music concerts.
No home movie theater can match a real movie theater, even the smaller discount ones, unless you're Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos etc.
With Cineplex's Canadian Monopoly & diversification into other entertainment arenas like eSports & Virtual Reality, as long as they don't go bankrupt & social distancing restrictions are loosened, the stock should increase 2 to 3 times by end of 2021 in my opinion -- especially if the Cineworld Buyout goes as planned or another company like Amazon buys them out for a strong presence & control in Canada.
If a Coronavirus Vaccine is discovered sooner than later, then this stock will rebound accordingly & rapidly -- especially if they don't cancel or even if they do, resume Dividend payments in the future. At current prices, Dividend yield is about 13% per year.
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Social distance cinema: drive-in theatres boom – in pictures (May 5, 2020):
We are all social creatures & want to go to movie theater as a social activity, to see & be seen; otherwise, why would Drive In Movie theaters boom during Covid19?
If no one goes out to be seen anymore, then all the Vanity Goods & Services will go under too & we will all dress in sweat pants & T-Shirt -- no need for designer suits & dresses working & staying at home. LOL ;p
https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2020/may/05/social-distance-cinema-drive-in-theatres-boom-coronavirus-in-pictures
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Internet Bandwidth Requirements:
Online streaming remains the biggest source of 4K content, led by Netflix and Amazon’s growing selection of original series. But many consumer broadband connections aren’t fast enough to allow reliable 4K streaming.
Home Theater Movie Resolutions:
  • 4K (UHD): 3,840 x 2,160 pixels
  • 1080p (Full HD): 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
  • 720p (HD): 1,280 x 720 pixels
  • 480p (SD): 640 x 480 pixels
  • 8K: 7,680 x 4,320 pixels
For comparison purposes, 70mm film - still considered by many to be the gold standard - is roughly equivalent to a 12K resolution in digital terms, so digital's still got some catching up to do on that score.
submitted by extriniti to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

Evidence of God in Plain sight - Part I

"The only way to rectify our reasonings is to make them as tangible as those of the Mathematicians, so that we can find our error at a glance, and when there are disputes among persons, we can simply say: Let us calculate [calculemus], without further ado, to see who is right."
~~~Gottfried Leibniz (1646 - 1716)
Before demanding proof, the problem needs to be framed first. I will try to make this write up somewhat of a resource. All the related body of knowledge will hopefully help with the necessary framing. Mathematics by itself cannot prove anything outside the relationships between numbers. But one can formally represent thoughts and/or observations through mathematics in such a way that their consistency can be tested. On some fundamental level we accept these representations even without proof because they look right. The famous 1+1=2 although not yet proven still makes perfect sense. Granted we can provide proofs within a subset of mathematics, in this case algebra, but mathematical proofs on a fundamental level are elusive.
What mathematics does well is to make sense of measurable, comparable and chance scenarios. Relevant to this discussion, the probability that our existence is a mere chance is much more than 10 to the power 50, which is a generally agreed upon number for impossible in most modeling tools. The actual calculated number for life to have occurred by chance is anywhere between 10 to the power 10 and 10 to the power 100. In fact, some even scale the latter number up to several million.
All that I am about to share has been around for decades, a couple even past the half a century mark. Hence, the claim that there is no evidence of God is nothing but sheer ignorance. Some would even claim it is a choice. Then there are those who get discouraged or surrender to their confirmation bias instead of seeing it through, just because somebody claimed to have “debunked” it.
Evidence/proof of God debate
If we were to look for a purely mathematical proof for the “existence” (for want of a better word, God by definition is free from the constraints of time and space) of God that concisely and accurately details such a proof, then look no further than Gödel. But do read on, it is not only about Gödel. There is a tendency in some quarters to attack Gödel’s verified proof (See note 1 below), but here is the thing, it makes no sense to use the old set of rules to attack the new set of rational rules Gödel himself helped formulate.
Let us not forget the crisis in mathematics at the turn of the last century. It was Gödel that made the old set once again tenable to begin with. A reality devoid of necessity, possibility and all the truths that cannot be demonstrated in "all possible worlds" is not real. Most critics of the proof utterly and totally misunderstand the expression “all possible worlds”. It is not a reference to some imaginary far away world(s), the world in question is right here and how we make logic and reason to work and perceive everything in the present. Hence, Gödel’s proof is nothing, but ontological proof expressed mathematically without Hume’s critique of ontological proof applying to it.
Sure, we can argue some more over the maintainability of ontological proofs, but if that would resolve anything to the satisfaction of all then I am all in. Sadly, that is not what the five thousand-year-old history of the issue has taught us.
The often-observed rigid way of demanding proof by some skeptics is at best dated, even mathematicians are moving away from something as fundamental as equality to equivalence. Counter intuitive to some but that is exactly what is happening. And there are very good reasons for that.
Gödel did a fantastic job, however there is another way, for lessor mortals, to go about providing more than enough evidence for the existence of God through mathematics. Before we venture out, the first question that must be raised is, “What attribute of God can be measured with our existing tools?”. Why is this important? Because without any measurement we will lack data to work on. And the analysis of any existing data will remain unresolved if we do not know what we are looking for.
But first allow me to bring in some much-needed context- warning-long read. A lot of you are very well clued into the debate but others may find it useful. It is also hoped that those who were previously exposed to some part of the relevant research will benefit from a properly framed second look.
No matter what kind of proof we come up with, the proof of God is going to be relative; what passed as proof in the era of Vedas, Bible or Quran revelations would be laughed at today and by the same token even if we were to come up with a workable demonstration to prove the existence of a God, people a thousand years from now would think of it as funny, at best. The funny thing is that we cannot even imagine why it would appear funny to them.
So, where do we start? The claim or the many claims pointing to communication between man and God would be one way to go about it. It is of course possible to move the veracity of communication from man to God from the anecdotal to empirical and verifiable by simply scaling it in the same way that it is already done routinely in the case of some anecdotal evidence. An interesting perspective here. However, it will make more sense to focus on the claims of communication from God to man because if there is going to be any measurable attribute of God it is probably going to be in this form of communication.
The question of what exactly it is that one would want to see measured or data collected on and with what, needs gathering.
Before we tackle this issue of communication let us deal with the proverbial “So where is the evidence?” Well there is tons of evidence, the real question ought to be what exactly would one like to see and in what form? If one expects eight neat lines preferably in plain English that should jump at someone and wash away all their currently held conviction then no, it’s not going to happen. Besides, a determined skeptic can simply dig her or his heels in and keep dismissing everything. There is no rational cure for irrationally held convictions.
Please do not say any scientifically verifiable empirical evidence will do.
We must be careful not to slip into Scientism. The very claim “we should only believe what can be scientifically proven” cannot be scientifically proven. It is, first, a philosophical claim and secondly, a classic Self-Defeating Statement. Wanting science to have all the answers doesn’t translate into science having all the answers. That holds true for both the present and the future.
To start with the observable Universe is convincing enough for most people.
A quick take first. To the question “If God created the Universe then who created God?” please refer to infinite regression while keeping in mind the definitional contrast between the creation and the created. Both cannot be part of the same regression chain. A series of similar or identical propositions where the sole demonstration of each one is the previous one, leads to fallacious reasoning. Not to mention category conflict when we want to know who created an infinite being. Another infinite being? If so, then what exactly is infinite to begin with? Mathematically one can play around a bit with infinity in terms of aleph-naught etc. but general infinite is just that, infinite, one infinite.
From another angle, “Who created God?” is a separate question that cannot be used to scrap or answer the original question “Who created the Universe?”. Similarly, even if one were to assume that the Universe was not created does not discount asking the question “Does God exist?”
The current “There is no God” narrative is unraveling fast within the very circles that were leveraged to get it going. In the scientific community, there is a change of attitude being witnessed. Until recently, few scientists would have risked the G-word even in private for obvious reasons. Now they are thinking big.
The issue of information for instance is gaining steam and has in fact moved beyond the “information realism”. In the words of one proponent/Author: Bernardo Kastrup
“As I elaborate extensively in my new book, The Idea of the World, none of this implies solipsism. The mental universe exists in mind but not in your personal mind alone. Instead, it is a transpersonal field of mentation that presents itself to us as physicality—with its concreteness, solidity and definiteness—once our personal mental processes interact with it through observation. This mental universe is what physics is leading us to, not the hand-waving word games of information realism.”
Even evolution itself needs a rethink to accommodate the “beauty” factor. And some have started doing just that by unfreezing Darwin’s original concerns about beauty.
Here is a glimpse into somebody many thinks should get the Nobel prize.
Why science needs imagination and beauty
In a slightly different vein, some take the view that there is no proof that God is responsible for the existence of the Universe even if God exists. Others take the easy route and declare that it is impossible to get to the truth as things stand today.
Funny how easy it is to declare something impossible, in most cases it is reduced to a simple declaration, compared to the effort required to show something that was thought impossible possible.
Yes, that old "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" again. In the information age, to claim absence when there is presence is the height of ignorance.
The seriousness of any truth claims , cuts both ways. Claims both positive and negative must be backed by evidence. Yes, you can prove a negative. Not only that, but almost any negative claim can be restated in the positive. The supposed argument from silence is not the way to go either. Usually employed to try and dilute existing evidence.
We all are aware of the ever-evolving talking points of the self-appointed “Horsemen” of the “movement”. From the very weak negative existential proposition-one that tries to deny the existence of something- to the faulty analogy of the Spaghetti monsters. This pasta driven improbability scenario seems to have run its course. The shift to the absurd current talking point “God ‘probably’ does not exist” declaration is telling. All of these positions are problematic. Both ontologically and when reduced to naked numbers.
Let me quote Jonathan Sacks, author of The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning, who articulated the issue wonderfully:
“Atheism deserves better than the new atheists whose methodology consists of criticizing religion without understanding it, quoting texts without contexts, taking exceptions as the rule, confusing folk belief with reflective theology, abusing, mocking, ridiculing, caricaturing, and demonizing religious faith and holding it responsible for the great crimes against humanity. Religion has done harm; I acknowledge that. But the cure for bad religion is good religion, not no religion, just as the cure for bad science is good science, not the abandonment of science.”
The current “probably” talking point pushed through the debating circles has opened the door to absurd reactions. How about labeling food as “Probably not poisonous” and airplanes marked “Probably safe to fly.” The debate is not even about the evidence that something is confirmed absent, there is none; the focus must be on defining what will be an accepted form of evidence to an individual when it comes to God. Various claims pointing to tons of evidence needs exploring, however, before evaluating the different forms of evidence, one needs to set individual believability thresholds.
So, what exactly are individual believability thresholds?
Believability is tied to hands-on individual verification and validation. The key is to avoid the “my experts are better than your experts” trap. Hunting for evidence should not be dependent on believing somebody before believing in something, or not believing in something.
So, what’s wrong with experts, one may ask?
Nothing. As long as they all agree on a given body of knowledge. The problem arises when two “experts” derive completely opposite conclusions from the same set of facts, and one is back to square one. And ironically left with a leap of faith between competing claims. Often confirmation bias is the easy route out.
The other logical question to ask would be why not become an expert yourself?
Always an option for those who can hack it, not to mention the cost associated with gaining expert level knowledge. Did somebody mention 10,000 hours? Even at minimum wage that will add up to a pretty sum. Even 1,000 hours will be a bridge too far for most.
What is the point?
The point is that the evidence needs to be in a form that any reasonably educated person can understand and internalize it.
So how do we define any reasonably educated person?
How about Reading, Writing,and Arithmetic? That sounds about right. And we may only need two out of three here.
Let us also tackle the question, read taunt, of which God?
I think we need to go past that one very quickly, God must be one and the only God unless we go back now and change the definition of God. Besides, when the evidence is verified, this question will resolve itself automatically for each individual,irrespective of what name he or she calls God. Which, by the way, is a more accurate reflection of the “different gods” taunt, as opposed to actual different gods. Besides, it would seem that we are wired for oneness.
Let’s come back to what type and/or level of evidence will satisfy someone? To some it would seem as an attempt to shift the burden of proof remember the burden of proof is on the claimant, as we are constantly reminded. Actually, not in this case. What does it have to do with someone helping someone else find suitable evidence from the already published works? If we want some help, then it doesn't hurt to help facilitate the process. One also always has the option of going it alone. That is, if one is able to get past one’s own impossibility mindset.
The essence of inquiry is that we must start out by asking questions. We only ask questions when we are not satisfied with the usual canned answers. So, let us revisit the three most often discussed:” What is the purpose of life?”, “Where did we come from?”, and most importantly,” Where are we headed?”.
What about those who are not interested in chasing answers and are happy with things as they stand? In that case, there is no issue to resolve, at least not for the time being. However there is evidence that points to our tendencies to seek spirituality. Let us not forget a consensus is growing that 40 plus is the age of maturity, at least for men, women mature a little earlier, hence most have time. This is something that cannot be forced but bringing it to the attention of those not yet aware, in the best possible way, of course, must be an obligation as well. We can compare it to a safety or security issue, if one knows that a certain path is harmful (through a minefield for instance) to the point that irreparable damage is a possibility, then not pointing it out is irresponsible in the least and can even be termed criminal by some.
After a while, it became clear to many of us that between the fence sitters and the blind faith proponents there must be a third way. Although the militant Atheist deserves to be ignored (I don’t know and you don’t know), along with the Existentialists (at best an idealistic doctrine), my question to the fence sitters is: “How long are you willing to wait?”.
If we were all immortals, then I would jump up and sit on the fence right beside you lot and wait. This belief, non-belief, is not going to help me as an individual if the answers are not forthcoming within my lifetime and preferably earlier part of it. I have to shape my life now and ensure I don't miss a trick. Even by taking on Pascal's deficient wager I am still spreading my bets better than most. The write and wrong of it from a philosophical point of view is irrelevant to me as an individual. I am on the clock.
If the desire is to look for answers, then the first question towards that end is a question of dealing with our current constraint; so, we circle back to what attribute of God can be measured with our existing tools. Without going into too much detail of how most of God’s attributes are out of our reach except one, let me make a case for the one that can be tested despite our constraints in a bit. In this way we can hopefully distance ourselves from the difficulty of defining what mathematics itself is or for that matter how a human mind works.
Coming back to the issue of being “satisfied” with “things as they stand”, Science has highlighted the fact that at a certain age the mind is no longer satisfied with “it is what it is”. The prefrontal cortex continues to grow and there are competing theories as to when it peeks but this much is agreed upon, a search for life’s purpose and direction keeps growing with age.
Let us quickly go through some other popular themes. Some may ask, if there is a God then won’t it be his or her responsibility to show us the evidence? Yes, indeed that is a logical position. The first thing that needs exploring is this very fact: did God already communicate the evidence/proof for his existence to us, that is all of us?
Then there is the “Why doesn't God just show himself”? Apparently to every single person out there.
Instead of getting into second-guessing God as to why God doesn’t just show himself to every single person, let’s stay with the evidence for God’s existence. When we meet God, we can always ask that particular question (s) at that time. In the meantime, let us focus on the doable. Besides, once God decides to do that then it is game over and none of what is being discussed will be relevant at that point.
Let’s also put aside questions like; why not pray to God and ask him to bend the physical laws of nature? A small demo will do, some may ask. Well, unless the demo is with a running commentary from God himself, it may be of very little use to us. Not to mention the fact that then we will be veering into an on-demand demo from God scenario. Interesting! That old efficacy of prayer again.
George Burnap articulated it well.
“God governs the universe by fixed and uniform laws, not only for the sake of order but for human good... The fulfillment of every human desire would break up this order and bring everything into disorder and confusion.”
And we actually find evidence of this, more on that later …
Measuring attributes of God
So finally, we will try to narrow down the one attribute of God that can be tested, at least to a certain degree. First up omnipresence. Do we currently have the tools to test God’s omnipresence? Given the fact that we are still struggling to confirm the presence of over 80% of what constitutes the Universe around us, so no, the omnipresence of God is a far cry for now. Similarly, testing for the omnipotence of God has its own set of constraints. Chief among them, linking any event to God, not to mention what level of testable power, within a given event, that can be “witnessed”, will be enough to term it Godlike. And then there is always going to be the issue of the on-demand occurrence of such an event.
So, what is left?
In fact, there is one attribute of God that can be tested both in terms of the past, the present and the projected future and that is God’s omniscience, which is intelligence and knowledge without measure. We may not have the tools to explore the full extent of God’s intellect, but we can set ourselves realistic criteria which should be sufficiently advanced to be termed Godlike and then try to apply them.
This also fits very well within the energy, matter and information trinity of General system theory. We see how the input of data is the key to making any system work. Closely related is the order to create the information for input and the order to initiate the input of the same. More on that can be found here
So once again, where do we start?
An excellent evergreen question. The most logical place to start testing for Godlike intelligence would be in any possible communication from God, as previously touched upon. Hence, focusing on claims in the name of God will be a good starting point. Here we will be relying on Mr. Occam and his instrument of choice. Before we proceed, it may be a good time to set some ground rules in order to maximize the chances of success. The first logical premise will have to be that the claim is of actual communication as opposed to reporting on such communication from God, in other words, the very word of God where God unambiguously and repeatedly claims to be the author of the communication.
The second premise has to be that the communication is intact and in its original form. The reason for this particular condition is pretty obvious. If we can’t have access to the original form, then we will be restricted to merely what is said in the communication and to some extent on who conveyed the message. What we need is to be able to run forensics .
This line of thinking, some may feel, is preparing the ground for countering the circular argument criticism of the like, “It is true because the Bible/Quran/Veda says it is true”. Criticism aside, given the modern tools at our disposal, we should be able to test and do a forensic audit for other than what is said in these claims of communication from God. The logical place to start once again must be the major religions of the world because those messages obviously have had the biggest impact.
Going by the historical records, the one religious book that can be dated very close to the claimed original events is the Quran. The recent Birmingham manuscripts come to mind.
Here again some may say that it is a case of cleverly steering the argument in the favor of one religion. I don’t know about the steering bit, but yes, we should always go where the argument takes us. It is reasonable to assume that if close to two billion people believe in something similar, it is worth investigating first.
Some may say, “Surprise, surprise!”. Sarcasm noted, but I am willing to stick my neck out with considerable confidence. Interesting to note that most of those who champion the new Atheism have a special bias reserved for Islam. Do they already know something?
So, when do we get to the juicy stuff if there is any?
Modern communication protocols
One thing I can guarantee you is plenty of juice. So, here is how I will try to build the case. Let me first touch upon how we authenticate the integrity of communication in modern times and then try and build a case for the integrity of the message of the Quran in a layered approach. The believability is tied to individual discoveries that build into literally a tsunami of evidence, and the accrued punch it packs.
The so far discovered markers in the Quran point to the fact that there is something for everyone. From the very simple to mind-boggling complication as one would expect from a divine message.
The reason for this lengthy context was to try and satisfy as many people along the way and deal with the often-asked questions as we went along.
So, here is the important bit. The way we authenticate a modern communication is by embedding metadata in the message itself. That is data that says something about the data being communicated. If we want the data secured, then we encrypt it on top of that. I am not going to devolve too deep into the field of signal transmission or the vast field of encryption but just touch on the principles on which they are based.
The Quran’s markers are in fact not only related to these principles but break new grounds in helping us view this field. The layers I referred to have to do with both reading a straightforward text on one hand and becoming aware of the arrangement of this very text in ways that give us additional information. In the same way text mining and text analytics work. The evidence of God for the non-experts but reasonably educated, can be found in this additional information. Interestingly there is enough of it to keep even the experts busy for thousands of years to come, yes, thousands at least.
Modern communications rely on packets of information. Every transmission consists of hundreds of these packets which are routed through various nodes of a given network or interconnected networks. The packets leave the point of origin and may or may not follow the same route and then are reassembled at the intended destination point using the header information which contains the metadata attached to each packet. Currently, there is a constant back and forth exchange between the origin and destination points of each message which ensures that all packets are accounted for. The technology is already in place where even this constant cross-checking of packets between the point of origin and the destination point will not be necessary. Simple algebraic equation will be applied to packets themselves and the message as a whole, to authenticate the integrity of messages (s) on arrival. The Quranic transmission, in fact, takes these principles to a whole new level.
Early findings
This whole thing picked up speed with a chap called Muhammad Fuad Abdul Baqi. Basically, what he did was to index every single word used in the entire Quran. In fact, he did it for Hadith (The claimed sayings of the Prophet of God) books as well, but as one would expect only the Quran exhibits the phenomenon we will be exploring. There are claims for patterns in other religious texts as one would anticipate but those, when compared with the Quran, are like the showing of the proverbial candle to the sun. It’s the sheer quantity and complexity of the discovered data that set it uniquely apart. Not finding the patterns in other books does not mean they lose all value. Not being in their original form has a lot to do with it of course.
So, how will we connect all this to the evidence of God? The very fact that not only God in first person is claiming to be the author of the Quran - remember our first premise - but the Author of the Quran throws down the gauntlet to all comers to reproduce a work like it. Still, we are not going to take what Quran says at face value as of yet.
Logically, “because the book says so” will make more sense after we first establish the authenticity of the Quran the product. We will initially try to verify and validate the complexity of its content to such an extent that it should point to something way beyond coincidences and firmly in the sphere of a Godlike intelligence. Once the verification process is done, we can then revisit and see what is being said in it and find the connection to the source of the communication. In short, the focus is to get to a framework where evidence of God can be justified, presented and verified.
As I previously mentioned, some of you may have been exposed to some aspect of this phenomenon, in both a positive way and a negative manner. What is missing from most understandings is the fact that this thing is several levels deep. A determined skeptic may boohoo one aspect of it but when the larger picture emerges only the very blind will be able to ignore it.
Before I introduce the most basic first layer, the word count, it is important to point out that this is not numerology, no memory tricks, no mirrors and certainly no smoke. Just straight up math. What we have is a number of interrelated patterns based on counts and the positioning of words, terms, and letters. The signature of God is in the scale and complexity of these arrangements. In contrast, the most famous of the Bible code is based on Equidistance Letter Sequence (ELS) and that too in well-defined very limited number of boxes. The Quranic patterns are not only several layers deep but touch each and every chapter, verse, word and even letter of the Quran.
The reason I will mostly stick with counting/Arithmetic is because in addition to our self-imposed “no experts” constraint, deriving definite and sound conclusions from the various “scientific” verses of the Quran is not always obvious if one lacks the relevant domain knowledge. Given that the natural languages, by definition, are elastic, and a case can always be made to say that is not what the author meant etc. Quran, in fact, has an elegant solution for it. More on that later.
Apologies for deferring tolater, but there is so much to cover. The other issue why these references to scientific phenomenon need to be sidelined, is the accusation that a lot of the present discoveries had some references in different ancient manuscripts, both religious and otherwise. Hence the author could have had access to them and thus no miracle. Therefore, we will stick as close to prior as humanly possible. Even though theywould be lottery winning odds to somehow conclude that the author got lucky by not dragging in the mountain of proven wrong references scattered in the same type of sources where he allegedly sourced his scientifically correct descriptions.
In the interest of framing the issue accurately allow me one last digress. Before we get into the structural elements of the Quran, it is important to keep in mind two important fundamentals. The first one has to do with the multitude and diversity of rhetorical tools employed in the Quran and second has to do with the number of domains the text tackles. The former sprawls across alliteration, analogy, antiphrasis, antithesis, asyndeton, assonance, cadence, chiasmus, epizeuxis, equivoque, homonymy, hyperbole, isocolon, simile, metaphor, metonymy, palindrome, parenthesis, polyptoton, rhetorical questioning, and synecdoche. The latter takes it to another level. Quran is not only a complete and comprehensive political and economic system on one hand, but the depth and breadth of its narration even covers social and personal mannerisms, including marital discipline.
At its core, the Quran establishes rules relating to fair governance, economic equality and resource allocation, inheritance and property rights, criminal justice, astronomy, chemistry, biology, psychology, sociology, business and so on.
It was important to go through all that before we get into the numbers and ratios.
Quran is a sea of knowledge expressed in the most eloquent manner possible. It is also important to point out that extensive knowledge of the Arabic language is not a must to be able to verify the evidence in question, reason and logic is, which in a way makes the Quran more or less language neutral.
So, what is this numbers “game” of the Quran?
Layers of the Quranic patterns
The order I will be introducing these layers in, is based on my personal understanding and can actually be used in any given combination and quite a bit of overlap should be expected. In fact, we see that almost every discovered pattern extends beyond its core location and touches a number of other points in the Quran. In all probability pointing to a super structure or structures.
... Continued in Part II of III
submitted by Davidgogo to Quran_focused_Islam [link] [comments]

Chihayafuru 3 Companion Guide - S3E21

<-- Previous (S3E20) | Next (S3E22)
Poem of the Day: I Have Learned To Both Love And Hate
The Japanese title of S3E21 is ひともをし or "Hito mo oshi" (Crunchyroll: To restore my faith), which refers to the first line of Poem 99 by Emperor Gotoba. Emperor Gotoba was the 82nd emperor of Japan, reigning between 1183 and 1198. He was named after Emperor Toba and the "Go-" or "後" means "later", so he's often referred to as "Late Emperor Gotoba". Emperor Gotoba had an eventful tenure, culminating in the Joukyuu Disturbance, where he attempted to retake power from the Kamakura shogunate. Unfortunately, he was defeated and exiled to the Oki Islands, where he eventually passed away. Although Poem 99 is one of conflicting love and hate, Gotoba did not pen it in reflection upon his exile, but rather for "personal grievance" before these events. In fact, Gotoba was a catalyst in reviving Japanese waka poetry, as he commissioned the compilation of the Shin Kokinshuu, the successor to the Kokin Wakashuu, which became and remains an important part of Japanese literature.
Mostow translates Poem 99 as:
People seem dear and
people also seem hateful
when vainly
I brood about the world—
this self who broods about things.
Much of the poem appears at face value, but Mostow puts emphasis on the usage of "hito" or the people who are the subject to Emperor Gotoba's conflicting feelings of love and hate -- and who cause his brooding grievance. Similarly ambiguous, the Crunchyroll translation of the first line of Poem 99, "To restore my faith" loses the original meaning of "Hito mo oshi". Madhouse (and actual karuta cards) uses ひともをし, with hiragana for the "oshi", and the first two lines of the poem (the two "hito" lines) translate into the part of the poem that reads "...to both love and hate my fellow man." This can either be interpreted in kanji as "惜し", which many books (including Mostow) use and means valuable/dear, or as "愛し", which translates to lovely/sweet/precious/adorable. The translation, in either case, seems to be along the lines of "People are lovely" or "People are valuable", but with a second following line of the poem that contradicts the first, which suggests a theme of conflicting feelings, or there being two sides to a coin.
We can see this in the episode, with Chihaya, Arata, and Taichi. Chihaya battles uncertainty in what she should do with regards to Taichi distancing himself from her, while Arata and Taichi play each other in a tournament. Initially, both of them are awkward and standoffish, until a misunderstanding of where they should be playing breaks the ice. As they play, Arata and Taichi find their feelings of friendship and rivalry bubbling to the surface, highlighted by Arata's blush and their contesting of cards. Their relationship conflict isn't just between the two of them though. The dynamic between Chihaya, Arata, and Taichi is delicate, with respect to both karuta and the romantic triangle, and it leaves all three characters confused about who or how they should behave. As the match goes on, the fleeting nostalgia slowly wears away for both players and the uplifting music comes to a halt, when Taichi asks Arata if he said anything to Chihaya -- obviously asking if he's confessed his feelings -- to which Arata replies that he did. Taichi passes him the Chihayaburu card representing his intent to also compete for Chihaya and although it's not clear who took that card, as the episode closes, it's revealed that Arata beat Taichi. On the train home, Taichi is shown asleep, a tear finally escaping from behind his cool mask.
Retro, near the very end of the episode, says,
17:10 - Retro: "You've gotta keep this a secret, but all of the "In" cards are my worst ones. Not only the ones that start with "In," but the ones with "in" in the second verse, too! They always confuse me for a second, and there are so many of them..."
Here, the "in" cards are cards that start with the Japanese hiragana "hi" (ひ). Specifically, 12 cards flash on screen -- all 3 cards whose first verse starts with "hi" (hitomo, hito, and 9 of the 10 cards whose second verse (player card) starts with "hi". There is one notable missing card though, and that's the #49 (mi-ka-ki).
Why that card? It's because, of the 10 cards whose second verse starts with "hi", 9 of them have the "to" hiragana (と) as their second character. #49 doesn't, and so it's left out. So although Retro doesn't show it, or perhaps know it, he's reacting here not to the "hi" (ひ) cards, but to the "hito" (ひと) cards.
(For a visual guide to what we're trying to say here, look at this annotated screenshot.)
As mentioned, "hito" is Japanese for person/people, or (人). So Retro is not necessarily scared of the "hi" character specifically, but symbolically he's afraid of some aspect of other people. It's not even the first time Season 3 has brought up the "hito" cards as well -- Shinobu, as we noted back at the end of our S3E14 writeup, took a few "hito" cards in a row there too and we had speculated on what that might mean for her back then.
But then Yukari comforts Retro, and his Hokuo clubmates then barge in, telling him that they didn't care if he wasn't Class A. This show of support from his friends helps align the idea of "people" toward an overarching theme that has been running through most of Season 3 so far, including this episode -- the idea of relationships, regarding the development of new bonds with other people and how each character utilizes those ties, as well as the idea of identity, and what karuta means to each player.
Hotel Room Scene
We see this idea of identity and bonds in a very strong Taichi hotel room scene. Nishida notes a little later on, in reference to the New Year's Karuta Tournament at Otsuka Karuta Memorial Hall, that,
04:13 - Nishida: "Dang, Mashima's entered in this one, too."
And we know that both tournaments were on the same day. So, even if Taichi had followed the rest of the Mizusawa team onto the train, he'd have played in a karuta tournament with Chihaya the next day, been able to support his team as a captain, and maybe even have the chance to play and defeat Chihaya. He even brought along his Mizusawa team shirt. So why, as Kana alluded to, did he do this?
The answer lies in Taichi's room, situated in Biwako Hotel in Otsu City. After watching the television clip about the storm, which is sure to appear next episode, and the recap of the Meijin final, he hints as to the catalyst -- Arata's challenge of the Meijin and his own failure to do so -- before laying out the karuta cards on the ground. We are given a full view of the board, so it can be easily mapped, as follows:
Taichi practice board (24-22 Taichi)
And this is where Yuki/Madhouse hide a shiny "show, don't tell" gem for the deep readers. While "his" side of the board seems to be laid out in a normal fashion, his "opponent's" side of the board is entirely laid out using Arata's preferred card layout! It fits perfectly with the map that we saw in S3E11 and see later again at 12:26 of this episode, but neither Taichi nor the show ever mention this.
03:20 - Taichi: "Dr. Harada is my mentor. I should have been the one to say that." 03:38 - Taichi flicks #45 (a-wa-re) from "Arata's" top left. 03:41 - Taichi flicks #46 (yu-ra) from "Arata's" lower right. 03:51 - Taichi: "I don't think I could face Arata and keep a cool head. How should I fight? Against Arata... Against myself?"
But he does at least mention Arata several times, and therefore we can conclude that the reason that Taichi stayed behind was specifically to try to play Arata in the tournament. We can also probably extend this to say that this is his version of "not running away," at least in his mind, something that's strengthened during the game with Arata later on when Taichi confronts him about Chihaya.
For the moment though, we see Taichi's identity crisis playing out within the hotel room, everything from his eyeless look as he walks in the door (references to buddha statues/unawakened power), to the storm about to rage through Japan, to the abandonment of the Mizusawa team represented by the T-shirt, to his line about how he should have been the one to challenge Suou, to the Arata reflection in the room window.
New Year's Karuta Tournament
We have already mentioned some ideas around Taichi missing this tournament in the previous segment, and we will return to it a little later on as well. But for now, one more interesting thing to point out is the schism between Mizusawa that seems to be slowly developing. Not only in terms of Tsukuba's words about being the next club president, but also that half the team was dressed in formal kimono, and the other half were not, and the difference was framed by the players as those who were "serious" versus those who were not.
The idea wasn't even floated to Nishida and Komano beforehand, as they seem to be surprised that anyone was going to do so at all, and both of them just have their team shirts on, similar to what Taichi would have worn. But then, this concept of the "serious players wearing kimono" versus the "players wearing the Mizusawa team shirt" perhaps signals at the continuation of the shift away from the Mizusawa team toward their individual journeys, now that they've won the high school tournament already.
04:51 - Kana: "We'll be in our third year of high school soon. Our last year. Everything is too precious to waste."
Kana also delivers the above line, atop a scene of Chihaya and the number 38. The rendition of the #38 poem that we have is incomplete ("My fear is not of being forgotten [...]"), but is about the poet thinking about a man she was separated from, and this ties in to both Sumire and Chihaya thinking of Taichi to close out this segment.
Takamatsu Memorial Cup
This segment opens with a line from a bystander:
06:18 - Bystanders: "That's him! That's the one we saw on Nico! I saw that! What he said was pretty crazy, huh?"
That highlights what we talked about at the start of the last episode writeup, when we talked about the difference between the Niconico stream and a real life broadcast, and how the former would be more persistent and easily accessible to the younger generation, fostering a community and thus contribute to the spread of karuta, while also touching on the subject of chat room anonymity versus the infamy of having one's mis-steps caught on camera and preserved for all time.
07:03 - Yoshioka: "Oh... If there's anything I hope for, it's that you have someone like Sato Kiyohiko, grade 9."
We might be wrong, but we don't believe this character has been introduced to us yet. Googling reveals that this is mild spoilers. However, grade 9, out of a possible karuta association grade of 10, represents a lifetime's worth of achievement in karuta, and "having someone" like that means either as a mentor or as a rival. Yoshioka then leaves, and Taichi immediately walks into the same shot, leaving the astute viewer with a number of possible connections to draw from that little visual image.
New Year's Karuta 2
07:39 - Retro sends #96 (ha-na-sa) flying. 08:09 - Chihaya wins a card to lead 23-20. 08:55 - Reader recites #63 (i-ma-wa). Chihaya wins it.
We are formally introduced to the Tamaru siblings from Saitama Sakura-kai (埼玉咲良会), though they had already been showcased on screen earlier in the episode. The girl here is shown to be playing Hiroshi, and near the end of the episode, we find out that she wins Class B and gets promoted to A. This means that Retro lost to her really early on in the tournament (and not at the very end or anything like that) and has been crying for ages before Yukari rescues him.
One nice touch here is that Chihaya wins one voiced card in this segment, the #63 (i-ma-wa). In contrast to the Retro scene later on, this is one of the "hito" cards that Retro is bad at. And in contrast to his sister, the Tamaru brother loses to Chihaya here, in the same round as Retro does, to the eventual Class winner.
Also, in response to the Tamaru brother's small talk here, Chihaya has a scene where we get magical aura sound effects and the two of them are shrouded in darkness, and then light. This doesn't seem to be a visual effect, nor a sound effect, that has ever been used for Chihaya before, and it represents her growth from just watching the four competitors duke it out at the MasteQueen match alone, since she credits them directly afterwards,
09:00 - Chihaya: "The sight of Shinobu-chan crumbling to pieces, and when she recovered... Dr. Harada's passion, and Suo-san's strength... Arata's determination, and Taichi's challenge... By clashing together, they change. Can I make my own beginning, too?"
Well, three of the four anyway. She even manages to squeeze Ms. Miyauchi into the conversation as her mentor. Sudo does summarize this up at the end of the episode, when he goes,
20:16 - Sudo: "I had a feeling about it before... But you really can make yourself totally empty. Even when you keep absorbing stuff from around you... How do you do it?" 20:28 - Sudo: "I guess sounds resonate better in emptiness."
And this segment is where we actually see Chihaya displaying what Sudo was talking about. Lastly, Sumire watches the others play on, while she herself is unable to play since the Class D tournaments are held elsewhere. It's notable that unlike Taichi, she came to watch them even though she knew Taichi was not going to be present, and that she picked coming to cheer on her team over other options, including the tournament that she could have played in in order to advance her own karuta rank.
This loyalty is in stark contrast to Taichi's actions. And yet, she is shown stuck outside the door in darkness while the others play, and her words at the end of this segment, together with the teardrop in her eye, refer both to the end of the year as well as the end of this episode with the tears in Taichi's eyes, as well as perhaps the end of the club as she knows it in its current form.
09:50 - Sumire: "Mashima-senpai's the only one who's not here. I wonder why... A new year has begun... But it's the end that I'm more concerned about."
Takamatsu 2
We talked about the contrast last episode in how Arata, with his glasses and poor family and a few "blinded" scenes in Seasons 1 and 2, was the one set up as being able to see (and with only his eyes visible, at that, whenever he has his mask on), whereas Taichi, with his perfect eyesight and privileged upbringing, was the one shown with the eyeless look in a number of scenes. Here in this segment, the reverse analogy continues, with the Nagumo Society making a big deal of their black shirts, and the dark-haired Arata seated across the sandy-haired Taichi with his light blue shirt and representing the Shiranami Society (The kanji for Shira, or 白, literally means "white".) And yet, through the segment, Arata is the one shown as constantly demure and blushing and "pure," whereas Taichi is the one that gets lines like,
13:49 - Taichi: "I can't let him take even one card easily. I have to play dirty karuta against Arata. Pressure him to fight hard against someone he sees as beneath him..."
Alongside his brooding and dark karuta style and thoughts. He even flashes back to scenes where other people are looking at him with fear or horror, almost as though it were part of his inspiration. He cannot even look at Arata to start. Yet, one shared mishap with seating arrangements later, along with the actual symbolism in taking each other's seats, we see that Arata also has the same issue toward Taichi.
They both come to realize that they're not so different from each other after all, what with Taichi knowing Arata's board patterns and how to combat the cross-stroke, and Arata walking right next to Taichi and arguing for cards. Arata even loses his eyes at various points here. Even Taichi combatting Arata's cross-stroke is reminiscent of Arata himself, as Hajime told Arata back in S2E23, just before he took one of Shinobu's strongest cards with a perfect cross stroke, a style that was described as "nasty" by one of the tournament organizers:
S2E23 13:51 - Hajime: "You break an opponent by attacking their strengths." S2E23 14:11 - Organizer: "This reminds me of the nasty style of karuta Master Wataya played."
So as the little bromance builds up, the question is, whose mental image are we looking at for this scene at 13:01? That scene never happened in real life as far as the viewers are aware. It's recited by Arata, but has Taichi's eyes superimposed over it afterwards, so maybe the point is that there's no definite answer to it.
P.S. This line at 12:17, when the onlookers are describing Suou stepping into the room, is translated in English as "What's he doing here?" In Japanese, the line is voiced as "Meijin? Nani shi."
This is a cute little pun -- the #25 card, (na-ni-shi), is the card that Harada faulted on at the end of Game 4 during the Luck of the Draw. And more broadly, it's the Meijin/Master Card because the first characters of the reciter and reader card, put together, spell out "Meijin" (Master) in Japanese. So the onlooker invokes the Master Card's unique syllables as a direct exclamation to the Master actually walking into the room.
Takamatsu 2 Board Stuff
At 14:35, we see a map of the board, and can work backwards to get the starting board map from there. From there, though the episode doesn't focus on it, we can map out the board moves.
Taichi vs Arata (25-25)
That board gives us two conclusions. Firstly, as Taichi points out, it does fit Arata's board layout, with one small exception, the #41 is out of place. This is fine though, as even Suou did this in his practice matches with Chihaya and Taichi -- those board layouts are followed exactly by the players copying and practising with them, but the actual players tend to have a slight variation in their layouts. This does lead to one interesting and very strange point though. Here, Taichi starts in surprise, and says,
12:22 - Taichi: "I've seen this before... "
Before we launch into the entire flashback about him playing a virtual Arata to help out Dr. Harada. But we know that Taichi has memorized the list and knows it by heart -- after all, as we demonstrated earlier, he used the layout to build Arata's board last night in the hotel room as well. So why this feigned surprise and flashback now? For whatever reason, this actually establishes Taichi as an unreliable narrator to us viewers here, which lends more credence to the idea that the flashback to the Taichi x Arata game in Arata's room, that never happened, was a look into Taichi's mind's eye.
Anyway, the second conclusion is that this scene at 12:24 is drawn wrongly. Here, Taichi is supposed to be recognizing Arata's board layout based on looking at the cards in his bottom left quadrant. But this is actually Taichi's bottom left quadrant, even though the shadow has him on the bottom side of the board from this orientation instead. More Madhouse errors! Yet, this also ties in pretty nicely with the idea that Taichi and Arata are in essence two sides of the same coin, very similar and yet different from each other, to the point that even the animators mix them up.
13:04 - Arata wins #62 (yo-o) from his middle left row after an argument. 25-24 Arata. 14:08 - Kyouko recites #57 (me). Taichi wins it from his lower right. 24-24. 15:00 - Arata wins something from Taichi's top right row. 24-23 Arata.
62: Said night was young when the false rooster's crow, but the gates of Afusaka remained shut. 57: Long last we meet, only for me to leave hurriedly, for I could not recognize you, like the moon hidden behind the clouds.
The two cards that Arata and Taichi exchange here are both cards about being hidden, or not recognizing each other, but they're also the two Queen cards that Haruka and Shinobu drew before the start of Game 1 of their match -- Murasaki Shikibu's #57 and Sei Shonagon's #62. Though what this means is speculative at best, it's fascinating that Suou is watching these two play now, and figuring out their relationship, the way that he was watching Haruka and Shinobu play the day before. And moreover, Taichi, and not Arata, is the one that grabs the "winning" #57 card, despite Arata arguing for and "winning" the #62 one, and Taichi is the one that gets to go home with Suou after the tournament is over.
For the moment though, we also see a ball of light similar to what Taichi was walking to at the end of S3E20 -- it's floating over Arata's head, and is what Taichi strives to become or overcome.
15:11 - Kyouko recites #66 (mo-ro). Taichi wins it from Arata's top right row. 15:38 - Taichi: "Arata, did you... say something to Chihaya back in the fall?" 15:46 - Arata: "Uh... Yeah. I did." 15:50 - Taichi passes #17 (chi-ha) over to Arata. It goes to Arata's middle right row. 21-20 Taichi. 15:59 - Taichi: "I see." 16:03 - Chihaya (flashback): "I play offensive karuta. The more I want a card, the faster I let it go. Then I go in determined to take it."
Finally, Taichi's challenge scene arrives, an episode late, but hot on the heels of the #66 card, translated as:
66: Would the mountain cherry blossoms return my affection, for there is no one else out here.
It's a card about desolation, and cherry blossoms (a symbol of Chihaya) not returning their affection, and so is probably the most apt card in the deck for Taichi to confront Arata and send his challenge, in the form of the #17 card, on. Since he doesn't actually know what Arata said to Chihaya, nor her lack of reply to her, this is probably more of a response to Arata's line from back in S3E7 after Yoshino, which has been lying unanswered on Taichi's part this entire season:
S3E7 08:38 - Arata: "But Chihaya doesn't really belong to anyone, does she?"
S3E7's episode title was "Arashi fuku," or "the storm blows," making this particularly fitting in light of yesterday's weather forecast in the hotel room:
02:44 - Weatherman: "We'll see stormy weather across Japan starting tomorrow..."
And as the stormy weather starts to roll in, the episode ends just like the previous episode ended -- with characters on a train and one of them in tears. This time, instead of the Mizusawa team, it's Taichi and Suou that are travelling together, a very telling juxtaposition against the ending of S3E20.
Bonus
As we've already dealt with the Retro/Yukari scene, and Sudo's words to Chihaya, we're skipping right along to the bonus section.
We've already talked about the implications of Taichi signing up for both tournaments, and how he chose to play with Arata instead of playing with Chihaya and the rest of the Mizusawa team as he searches for his identity. But there's also another angle to it, which is Eastern Japan vs Western Japan, and this, together with mentions of the #99 (hi-to-mo) and #100 (mo-mo) cards, and their poets (Emperor Gotoba and Emperor Juntoku respectively) in Retro's scene, tie together in another way -- Japanese history and the end of the Heian Period (794-1185 AD).
Emperor Gotoba was born in 1180 AD into a tumultuous period, at the start of the Genpei War, as the Minamoto and Taira families/clans were clashing with each other, with the Minamoto eventually sweeping across Japan from the east to the west, destroying the Taira clan, establishing a Kamakura Shogunate, and starting the Kamakura Period (1185-1333 AD).
During that time, a succession of child emperors ascended to the throne as figureheads. Emperor Gotoba took the throne at the age of 3 and was forced out of power by the Shogunate in 1198 AD when he was 18. Emperor Gotoba himself had replaced Emperor Antoku, who took the throne at the age of 2 and was killed when he was 7, and he was eventually replaced by another 2 year old, Emperor Tsuchimikado, who ruled until he was 14, and then Emperor Juntoku, poet of #100 (mo-mo), who ruled from the age of 13 to 23.
In the case of Emperor Gotoba, most of his notable political and artistic work was actually done after he was forced to step down. He still held considerable power and influence, and as mentioned, Emperor Gotoba himself commissioned Fujiwara Teika of #97 (ko-nu) to compile the Hyakunin Isshu, among other things. He also bore several children, two of which (Tsuchimikado and Juntoku) were the next two Emperors of Japan, and thus Emperor Gotoba held power behind the scenes as a Cloistered Emperor (aka the Insei System).
That's a very basic run-down of Japanese history at the end of the Heian Period. From all that, we can see that period of Japan was rife with strife, and featured succession after succession and power change after power change, not only on the Imperial Throne but in the Shogunate and elsewhere as well. In the middle of that, the noble families often had to choose which side to support carefully -- the successful Minamoto revolt against the Taira in 1180 was helped by a lot of families who switched sides at the right time, whereas an unsuccessful one led by Emperor Gotoba in 1221 didn't garner enough support, and that decision often determined if your family held on to wealth and power or not.
All these tie heavily in to the idea of identity and affiliation, because alliances were often made by marrying daughters of one family with sons from another, and what then happened to those families when their original clan switched allegiances and they were now married to their enemy? This happened fairly often, and led to many hard choices being made by various families, even leading to the creation of new families entirely at times.
In this light, what Taichi does is interesting because he switches allegiance by not getting onto the train at the end of S3E20, and playing in the Takamatsu Memorial Cup instead. This is because of the players we know in each tournament -- the New Year's tournament contained his Mizusawa team and the other Hokuo players, the Tamaru siblings from Saitama Sakura Club (east of Tokyo), and all those people play in the Eastern Japan qualifiers. Whereas the Takamatsu Cup contained four players from the Nagumo Society, including Murao, Arata and Daisuke, as well as Yuikawa, Keiichi, and Rion. With the exception of Rion, that entire latter group is affiliated with Western Japan and plays in those qualifiers -- Rion as well is only here due to family ties, with her grandmother reading for the match.
So even though the two competitions were not set up that way, having both held on the same day meant that they naturally tended to gravitate toward all the strong Eastern players in one tournament and the strong Western ones on the other. And what this implies for Taichi (and Rion) might still remain to be seen, but it definitely brings up shades of the political situation at the end of Japan's Heian Period for me. Taichi signing up for the New Year's Karuta Tournament, and then not attending it, in itself is either a sign of defection (if he signed up for Takamatsu at the last minute), or of hedging one's bets (if you think he signed up for both early and picked one to drop out of at the very end), depending on your point of view. And at the very end of S3E21, he's on a train back to Tokyo with Suou, who Chihaya strongly disliked.
This is made even stronger with all the talk by Mizusawa and Hokuo about their next club presidents, implying a passing of the karuta torch from one generation to the next, a theme that has already been played with with Suou's near-abdication of his throne, and the Harada/Haruka age insights, and is sure to be touched on more in the upcoming episodes.
by walking_the_way and ABoredCompSciStudent
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“About 24 hours after arriving from Moscow, a private jet regularly used by the head [German Gref “co-chair of Putin’s A.I. board”†] of Russia's largest state-run bank remained at an airport just a short drive from where Donald Trump is vacationing.” – Inquisitr (2020)

Inquisitr—Mystery Deepens Over Why Kremlin Bank CEO’s Plane Remains In Florida, 50 Miles From Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago
(1/5/2020) “Almost 24 hours after landing at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) in Florida early on Saturday morning, as The Inquisitr reported, a private jet frequently used by the CEO of Russia’s largest state-owned-bank remained on the ground there—about 50 miles south of Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach where Donald Trump is vacationing until Sunday afternoon.
Whether Sberbank CEO German Gref† was aboard the plane when it arrived on a 12-hour, 23-minute nonstop flight from Moscow remains unconfirmed. Russian media has reported that the plane, a Gulfstream G650 operated by Jet Air Group with the tail number RA-10204, is used frequently and perhaps exclusively by Gref.
(UPDATE: According to flight records posted by the site FlightAware, the Sberbank jet departed Fort Lauderdale at 12:23 a.m. EST on Sunday morning, just 21 hours and 34 minutes after it arrived from Moscow—where it landed on the return trip at 6:17 p.m. local time, or 10:17 a.m. EST, a nine-hour, 53 minute flight.)
Flight records posted to Twitter show that the plane made the same nonstop flight from Moscow to Fort Lauderdale last year, on the same dates. On January 4, 2019, the plane landed in Fort Lauderdale at 2:49 a.m., according to the records. In 2020, the plane arrived at the same airport on the same date, landing at 2:31 a.m.
Last year, however, Trump did not spend his holiday break at his Mar-a-Lago Club, remaining in the White House during what was then an ongoing government shutdown. On January 4,Trump was indeed present at Mar-a-Lago but left the estate at 9:55 a.m.—six hours and 24 minutes after the Sberbank jet touched down—to visit Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach. He remained at the golf club until 3:12 p.m., according to a public schedule posted by FactBase.
Sberbank has been under United States economic sanctions since 2014, over its involvement in Russia’s annexation of the territory of Crimea from Ukraine. In November 2013, however, Gref himself co-hosted a party honoring Trump in Moscow, during Trump’s visit there for the Miss Universe beauty pageant, according to a report by The Daily Beast. Trump was then the owner of the pageant.
Following Trump’s return to the United States following the 2013 event, he received a mysterious ‘gift’ from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The gift was reportedly ‘a black lacquered box’, but the contents of the box have never been publicly revealed.
Like the contents of the ‘gift’ from Putin to Trump, the purpose of the Sberbank private jet’s trip to Florida from Moscow is also a mystery, even as the plan sits on the tarmac at Fort Lauderdale airport as of 1:30 a.m. EST on Sunday.
According to the online flight records from 2019, the Gulfstream private jet departed from Fort Lauderdale 30 hours and 11 minutes after landing there, making another nonstop flight back to Sheremetyevo Alexander S. Pushkin International Airport (SVO) in Moscow.” http://web.archive.org/web/20200106153745/https://www.inquisitr.com/5821555/kremlin-bank-ceo-jet-florida-donald-trump
†Herman (German) Gref:
[“Sberbank, headed by Herman Gref, the other co-chair of Putin’s A.I. board, is also among the banks providing biometric services that feed into the Digital Profile System.” – Claims Journal (2019)]
•Vedomosti (Russia)—Sberbank Invested in Facial Recognition Technology (11/17/2017) “Sberbank Recognizes a Customer by Sight: The Bank intends to provide biometric access to any of its services.” http://vedomosti.ru/technology/articles/2017/11/17/742077-raspoznavaniya-lits (http://archive.is/sbLOR) [Translated]
•Bloomberg—The Day Trump Came to Moscow: Oligarchs, Miss Universe and Nobu (12/21/2016) “Meeting with top group of Russian financiers, industrialists; They discussed a possible Trump Tower and inspected sites The last time Donald Trump made an appearance in Moscow was November 2013 for the Miss Universe contest he famously owned. It was a glittering event filled with carefully choreographed photographs and parties. Then another, more private, invitation arrived: Come to Nobu to meet more than a dozen of Russia’s top businessmen, including Herman Gref, the chief executive officer of state-controlled Sberbank PJSC, Russia’s biggest bank. Gref, who was President Vladimir Putin’s economy minister from 2000 to 2007, organized the meeting together with Aras Agalarov, the founder of Crocus Group, one of the country’s largest real-estate companies, which was hosting the beauty pageant at one of its concert halls.” http://bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-21/the-day-trump-came-to-moscow-oligarchs-miss-universe-and-nobu (http://archive.is/7X1bc)
•NBC News—Putin Rival Ties Kushner Meeting to Kremlin Bankers (10/17/2017) “A prominent exiled Russian oligarch said in an exclusive interview with NBC News that he is nearly certain Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to collaborate with the Trump campaign, and that he believes a top Russian banker was not ‘acting on his own behalf’ when he held a controversial meeting with Jared Kushner last December. The pointed remarks come from a longtime Putin rival, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an oil executive who was Russia's richest man before he was imprisoned and exiled by the Kremlin. ’I am almost convinced that Putin's people have tried to influence the U.S. election in some way’, Khodorkovsky told MSNBC’s Ari Melber in his first U.S. television interview since Trump took office. [...] His former head of human resources, Sergey Gorkov, now runs a Kremlin bank and met with Kushner in December last year. The U.S. has accused Gorkov's bank of providing cover for Russian spies. Khodorkovsky says Gorkov was a ‘fine employee’ who ‘carries out orders’, suggesting the banker would not have been acting alone in meeting with a senior figure of the incoming Trump administration. ‘I have no doubt that he wouldn’t do anything on his own behalf’, Khodorkovsky said. Khodorkovsky also said he believes Gorkov's orders come from either Andrey Kostin or Herman [German] Gref, who both run Kremlin-backed banks that were sanctioned by the Obama administration.” http://web.archive.org/web/20190706131958/https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/putin-rival-ties-kushner-meeting-kremlin-bankers-n811631 [“Hermann Gräf, better known as Herman Gref*, is a Russian politician and businessman. He was the Minister of Economics and Trade of Russia from May 2000 to September 2007. He is the CEO and chairman of the executive board of Sberbank, the largest Russian bank.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Gref]
•Fast Company—Russia’s Largest Bank Just Launched a State-Of-The-Art Coding School to Ease Dependence on Western Tech; Sberbank, which is currently under U.S. sanctions and whose CEO [Gref] has ties to Trump, launched School 21 in Moscow last week. (11/30/2018) “The biggest bank in Russia, which has been under U.S. sanctions since 2014, just launched a state-of-the-art coding school in Moscow that aims to train thousands of world-class software engineers in the arts of cybersecurity, gaming, and the latest AI technology for years to come. School 21, which operates under the umbrella of Ecole 42, a global pioneer in IT education backed by French billionaire Xavier Niel, is wholly owned by Sberbank. It is free, open to aspiring coders from 18 to 30 years old, and has 21 levels of proficiency. The school is highly competitive—its inaugural program has a class of 500 students out of more than 85,000 applicants, and the plan is to scale up to 2,500 a year in the long term, according to Business FM radio station. Sberbank told Fast Company that it plans to run two more application cycles next year, one in the winter and one in the spring, and that it might open a second office in St. Petersburg. The school’s launch is raising concerns about Russia training thousands of highly skilled cyber specialists at a time when the United States is expanding its sanctions against Russian entities, including Sberbank-xbacked properties, and amid heightened tensions in Europe last week over a naval skirmish between Russian and Ukraine in the Kerch Strait. It also comes against the backdrop of the Russian government’s disinformation efforts in elections around the globe, which the Kremlin has vehemently denied. In addition, Sberbank has been in the spotlight due to the history of high-level connections between the bank’s leadership, the Russian government and Donald Trump’s associates before he became U.S. president. It was bank chairman Herman Gref who set up Trump’s meeting with Russian businessmen during the Miss Universe pageant in 2013 in Moscow, an event which Sberbank co-sponsored, while Trump was exploring building a Trump Tower in Moscow. Trump’s hotel plans are making headlines again this week due to the plea deal that Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen negotiated with the Mueller probe–Cohen admitted that he lied when he previously claimed that the deal fell through in January 2016, now conceding that talks for a Trump Tower in Moscow continued up until June 2016.’ Russia’s largest bank just launched a state-of-the-art coding school to ease dependence on Western tech; Sberbank, which is currently under U.S. sanctions and whose CEO has ties to Trump, launched School 21 in Moscow last week.” http://web.archive.org/web/20181201002817/https://www.fastcompany.com/90274333/russias-largest-bank-just-launched-a-coding-school-to-ease-dependence-on-western-tech
•Claims Journal—Vladimir Putin Wants Everyone to Love the Way He Watches Them (10/22/2019) “Officials in Moscow have spent the last few years methodically assembling one of the most comprehensive video-surveillance operations in the world. The public-private network of as many as 200,000 cameras records 1.5 billion hours of footage a year that can be accessed by 16,000 government employees, intelligence officers and law-enforcement personnel. Now the entire system is about to be equipped with what City Hall is billing as some of the most advanced facial-recognition software outside of China, claiming it will be more accurate and easier to search than London’s older, bigger network. The upgrade will dramatically expand a pilot program that led to the capture of as many as 10 wanted criminals a month either at major public events or inside the city’s warren of 269 metro stations. Moscow’s embrace of the technology, which the West is increasingly curtailing in response to public pressure, is being challenged in courts on political and legal grounds by opponents of President Vladimir Putin. But the monitoring tool is just one of several Russia is deploying, including mandatory recordings of all cellular calls. Many of the initiatives are based on recent advances in artificial intelligence, a science Putin sees as the ticket to global domination for whichever nation masters it first. Putin and lieutenants led by Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin say measures such as geolocating every active in the country, creating ‘digital profiles’ of each adult and collating online complaints against authorities are all necessary to ensure public safety and improve services. They’re betting most voters will accept further privacy curbs like the facial-recognition rollout in exchange for safer streets and greater convenience in their daily lives. ‘We’re conducting experiments in schools, clinics, hospitals and in transport to introduce this technology, which, of course, will facilitate the work of a huge number of people and make these industries more efficient’, Sobyanin told Putin at a meeting on artificial intelligence earlier this year. While so-called authoritarian tech, from automatic people trackers to online censorship bots, has triggered a worldwide debate about the proper balance between governing and surveilling, Moscow has so far made a better case for Big Brother than most cities. Russia’s capital ranks No. 1 among 40 metropolises in the latest UN survey of ‘e-government effectiveness in the delivery of public services’. London, by comparison, is fourth, Shanghai 11th and New York 14th. [...] Sberbank, headed by Herman Gref, the other co-chair of Putin’s A.I. board, is also among the banks providing biometric services that feed into the Digital Profile System. The support of Gref is vital to the success of the program because Sberbank serves as a payment agent for most household bills in addition to safeguarding almost half of the country’s savings. Gref is fond of repeating the mantra ‘big data is the new oil’, but privacy experts say the concentration of so much personal information in a single database will make Russia an ideal target for identity thieves, not unlike Equifax Inc. The U.S. consumer-scorer was breached in 2017, exposing the credit histories of more than 145 million people. (Sberbank itself was the victim of a data leak affecting as many as 60 million clients, Kommersant reported this month. The bank said the incident impacted just 5,000 holders of its credit cards.) Potentially more worrisome in a country routinely accused of harassing the political opposition is that the new database could be a precursor of the kind of ‘social credit’ system China is developing. It’s a name-and-shame way to keep tabs on the behavior of the population by issuing grades, with demerits applied for things like smoking or circulating whatever’s deemed fake news. In 2016, the company launched the FindFace website and application. With the help of it, it was possible to find a person’s profile in VKontakte in a few seconds. The launch of the ‘innovation dating service’, as the company initially positioned it, provoked a series of scandals—users deanonimized not only fellow travelers in the subway, but porn actresses and rally participants, the technology was used even by the Bellingcat investigation team. And then they told about the application in the ‘Wait for me’ program on Channel One, and NtechLab, as Kabakov said, began to receive ‘five offers of cooperation per day’. Now the founders explain that FindFace was just a showcase that helped pitch technology. For example, with help from FindFace German [Herman] Gref† deanonimized his secretary within one second after being introduced to the algorithm, according to someone familiar with the head of Sberbank. But in 2018 both the site and the FindFace application were unexpectedly closed. This had to be done because of possible complaints, including from VKontakte, says one of the interlocutors of The Bell. Spending time and money on the courts did not make sense; the founders of NtechLab already understood that they would not make money on recognizing pretty girls.” http://web.archive.org/web/20191024034256/https://www.claimsjournal.com/news/international/2019/10/22/293704.htm
•The Moscow Times—Russia To Grant Police Access to Bank Customers’ Biometric Data (12/19/2017) “Russia’s police and intelligence services will gain access to bank customers’ biometric data without their consent under new legislation making its way through the State Duma. Russia’s Communications Ministry and the Central Bank are overseeing a pilot project that will use personal biometric data to remotely verify bank account applications by late 2018. The Rostelecom state telecoms provider will operate the project, despite widespread concerns over state surveillance, data storage and privacy rights. A state deputy co-authoring the bill was cited as saying that ‘law enforcement officers will not have unlimited access to the system’ and that data would only be provided after official requests, the Vedomosti business daily reported Tuesday. According to the draft bill, Rostelecom would be required to share bank customers’ biometric data without their consent with Russia’s Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service (FSB). The data collected will include facial images and voice recordings, and may be expanded to iris recognition, palm and fingerprint scanning, according to Rostelecom. ‘If a person is law abiding then they will have no reason to worry’, Elman Mekhtiev, the vice-president of the Russian Association of Banks, was cited as saying by Vedomosti.” http://web.archive.org/web/20191121205917/https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2017/12/19/russia-to-grant-police-access-to-bank-customers-biometric-data-a59987
•The Moscow Times—Moscow Arrests 42 Suspects Using New Facial Recognition Technology in Metro Stations (5/24/2018) “A pilot project implementing facial recognition technology in Moscow has reportedly led to the arrests of 42 suspects in a month. Moscow has ramped up video surveillance ahead of the FIFA World Cup that kicks off in three weeks, including with facial recognition capabilities at metro stations capable of identifying 20 faces per second. Around 50,000 photographs of wanted suspects have been uploaded into the Moscow metro system, the state-owned Sberbank vice president Stanislav Kuznetsov told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Thursday. ‘As a result, 42 repeat offenders were detained at four metro stations in a month,’ Kuznetsov was quoted as saying. He said Sberbank CEO German Gref plans to discuss expanding the facial-recognition system beyond four metro stations with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin at the annual economic forum underway in St. Petersburg. Sberbank acquired a stake in the VisionLabs facial recognition company last fall to create a ‘unique biometric identifier’ involving face, voice and retina identification.” http://themoscowtimes.com/news/moscow-arrests-42-suspects-using-new-facial-recognition-technology-in-metro-stations-61567 (http://archive.is/qU8WU)
•The Bell (Russia)—The Russian Elite is Jostling to Solve Putin’s “2024 Problem” (7/20/2019) “This week we look at how a senior official wants President Vladimir Putin stay in power after his current term ends in 2024. We also explain why protests over the exclusion of independent candidates from local elections is a sign of a system under strain, and how Moscow is set to roll-out one of the world’s biggest face recognition systems. The Russian elite is jostling to solve Putin’s ‘2024 problem’ The speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, this week publicly offered a solution to Putin’s ‘2024 problem’—what to do about the constitutional limit on two consecutive presidential terms. Volodin, who was previously oversaw domestic politics in the Kremlin, published an article (Rus) in the State Duma’s official magazine laying out his idea for changing the constitution to give parliament more authority. [...] Why the world should care: The Russian elite is increasingly obsessed with the ‘2024 problem’, and jostling within the elite is already well underway. At present, a variation of Volodin’s plan seems the most likely outcome. [...] Protests over Moscow’s local elections highlight cracks in the system: If the Kremlin wants to keep Putin in power beyond 2024, it will have to improve the functioning of its political management machine. Anger this week over local elections in the capital revealed how the system is faltering: the authorities’ ineptitude turned the vote—in which no one was interested—into a trigger for repeated demonstrations† in downtown Moscow. [...] Why the world should care: The Kremlin’s political management machine is coping less well with each passing election, and their failure in Moscow significant—in a crisis, the country’s fate will be decided in the capital. This is a bad sign ahead of the 2021 Duma elections, and a blow to Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, whose name appears in discussions of presidential candidates in 2024. Moscow is set to install a state-of-the-art face recognition system: While paranoid internet users across the world call for a boycott of FaceApp, the Russian app that generates an image of an elderly you, Moscow City Hall is building the world’s largest face recognition system. Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, will take part in development and has already collected the biometrical data of tens of millions of Russians. - Moscow City Hall announced a tender this year for 105,000 video cameras with face recognition software. As of now, only 1,500 have been installed, but the police have already used them to identify and arrest about 100 criminals. According to The Bell’s calculations, the new system will cost no less than $50 million, a price tag that the city can easily afford. - There are three main bidders: Ntechlab, which was founded by people close to the Presidential Administration and two companies in which Sberbank is a shareholder: Speech Technology Center and VisionLabs. - Market sources say that Moscow’s face recognition system, once rolled out, will only be comparable in size with systems already in place in China. - Sberbank looks well placed to provide the raw data to make the system work. Since last year, the bank has been collecting biometric data from its clients (93 million people), and in December, CEO German [Herman] Gref said they already have data from ‘millions of people’. Why the World Should Care: Concentrating resources could mean Russia becomes the world’s number two player in face recognition systems. Remember this when you visit Moscow, walk the city’s streets and see the mounted cameras on every building.” http://web.archive.org/web/20190801101206/http://thebell.io/en/the-russian-elite-is-jostling-to-solve-putin-s-2024-problem
[“A more advanced operation could use the full suite of services utilized by companies to track political attitudes on social media across all congressional districts, analyze who is most likely to vote and where, and then launch, almost instantly, a customized campaign at a highly localized level to discourage voting in the most vulnerable districts. Such a campaign, due to its highly personalized structure, would likely have significant impact on voting behavior.” – Brookings Institution (2008)]
•Brookings Institution—Weapons of the Weak: Russia and AI-driven Asymmetric Warfare (2018) “‘Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind. It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.’ – Russian President Vladimir Putin, 2017 Speaking to Russian students on the first day of the school year in September 2017, Putin squarely positioned Russia in the technological arms race for artificial intelligence (AI). Putin’s comment signaled that, like China and the United States, Russia sees itself engaged in direct geopolitical competition with the world’s great powers, and AI is the currency that Russia is betting on. [...] Currently, Moscow is pursuing investments in at least two directions: select conventional military and defense technologies where the Kremlin believes it can still hold comparative advantage over the West and high-impact, low-cost asymmetric warfare to correct the imbalance between Russia and the West in the conventional domain. The former—Russia’s development and use of AI-driven military technologies and weapons—has received significant attention. AI has the potential to hyperpower Russia’s use of disinformation... And unlike in the conventional military space, the United States and Europe are ill-equipped to respond to AI-driven asymmetric warfare in the information space. The latter—the implications of AI for asymmetric political warfare—remains unexplored. Yet, such nonconventional tools—cyber-attacks, disinformation campaigns, political influence, and illicit finance—have become a central tenet of Russia’s strategy toward the West and one with which Russia has been able to project power and influence beyond its immediate neighborhood. In particular, AI has the potential to hyperpower Russia’s use of disinformation—the intentional spread of false and misleading information for the purpose of influencing politics and societies. And unlike in the conventional military space, the United States and Europe are ill-equipped to respond to AI-driven asymmetric warfare (ADAW) in the information space. Russian Information Warfare at Home and Abroad: Putin came to power in 2000, and since then, information control and manipulation has become a key element of the Kremlin’s domestic and foreign policy. At home, this has meant repression of independent media and civil society, state control of traditional and digital media, and deepening government surveillance. For example, Russia’s surveillance system, SORM (System of Operative-Search Measures) allows the FSB (Federal Security Service) and other government agencies to monitor and remotely access ISP servers and communications without the ISPs’ knowledge. In 2016, a new package of laws, the so-called Yarovaya amendments, required telecom providers, social media platforms, and messaging services to store user data for three years and allow the FSB access to users’ metadata and encrypted communications. While there is little known information on how Russian intelligence agencies are using these data, their very collection suggests that the Kremlin is experimenting with AI-driven analysis to identify potential political dissenters. The government is also experimenting with facial recognition technologies in conjunction with CCTV. Moscow alone has approximately 170,000 cameras, at least 5,000 of which have been outfitted with facial expression recognition technology from NTechLabs. Still, Moscow’s capacity to control and surveil the digital domain at home remains limited, as exemplified by the battle between the messaging app Telegram and the Russian government in early 2018. Telegram, one of the few homegrown Russian tech companies, refused to hand over its encryption keys to the FSB in early 2018. What followed was a haphazard government attempt to ban Telegram by blocking tens of millions of IP addresses, which led to massive disruptions in unrelated services, such as cloud providers, online games, and mobile banking apps. Unlike Beijing, which has effectively sought to censor and control the internet as new technologies have developed, Moscow has not been able to implement similar controls preemptively. The result is that even a relatively small company like Telegram is able to outmaneuver and embarrass the Russian state. Despite such setbacks, however, Moscow seems set to continue on a path toward ‘digital authoritarianism’—using its increasingly unfettered access to citizens’ personal data to build better microtargeting capabilities that enhance social control, censor behavior and speech, and curtail counter-regime activities. Under Putin, Cold War-era ‘active measures’—overt or covert influence operations aimed at influencing public opinion and politics abroad—have been revived and adapted to the digital age. Externally, Russian information warfare (informatsionaya voyna) has become part and parcel of Russian strategic thinking in foreign policy. Moscow has long seen the West as involved in an information war against it—a notion enshrined in Russia’s 2015 national security strategy, which sees the United States and its allies as seeking to contain Russia by exerting ‘informational pressure…’ in an ‘intensifying confrontation in the global information arena.’ Under Putin, Cold War-era ‘active measures’—overt or covert influence operations aimed at influencing public opinion and politics abroad—have been revived and adapted to the digital age. Information warfare (or information manipulation) has emerged as a core component of a broader influence strategy. At the same time, the line between conventional (or traditional) and nonconventional (or asymmetric) warfare has blurred in Russian military thinking. ‘The erosion of the distinction between war and peace, and the emergence of a grey zone’ has been one of the most striking developments in the Russian approach to warfare, according to Chatham House’s Keir Giles. Warfare, from this perspective, exists on a spectrum in which ‘political, economic, informational, humanitarian, and other nonmilitary measures’ are used to lay the groundwork for last resort military operations. The importance of information warfare on the spectrum of war has increased considerably in 21st century warfare, according to contemporary Russian military thought. Maskirovka, the Soviet/Russian term for the art of deception and concealment in both military and nonmilitary operations, is a key concept that figures prominently into Russian strategic thinking. The theory is broader than the narrow definition of military deception. In the conventional military domain, it includes the deployment of decoys, camouflage, and misleading information to deceive the enemy on the battlefield. The use of ‘little green men,’ or unmarked soldiers and mercenaries, in Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 is one example of maskirovka in military practice. So is the use of fake weapons and heavy machinery: one Russian company is producing an army of inflatable missiles, tanks, and jets that appear real in satellite imagery. Maskirovka, as a theory and operational practice, also applies to nonmilitary asymmetric operations. Modern Russian disinformation and cyber attacks against the West rely on obfuscation and deception in line with the guiding principles of maskirovka. During the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections, for example, Russian citizens working in a troll factory in St. Petersburg, known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA), set up fake social media accounts pretending to be real Americans. These personas then spread conspiracy theories, disinformation, and divisive content meant to amplify societal polarization by pitting opposing groups against each other. The IRA troll factory itself, while operating with the knowledge and support of the Kremlin and the Russian intelligence services, was founded and managed by proxy: a Russian oligarch known as ‘Putin’s chef,’ Yevgeny Prigozhin. Concord, a catering company controlled by Prigozhin, was the main funder and manager of the IRA, and it went to great lengths to conceal the company’s involvement, including the setting up a web of fourteen bank accounts to transfer funding to the IRA. Such obfuscation tactics were designed to conceal the true source and goals of the influence operations in the United Stated while allowing the Kremlin to retain plausible deniability if the operations were uncovered—nonconventional maskirovka in practice. On the whole, Russia’s limited financial resources, the shift in strategic thinking toward information warfare, and the continued prevalence of maskirovka as a guiding principle of engagement, strongly suggest that in the near term, Moscow will ramp up the development of AI-enabled information warfare. Russia will not be the driver or innovator of these new technologies due its financial and human capital constraints. But, as it has already done in its attacks against the West, it will continue to co-opt existing commercially available technologies to serve as weapons of asymmetric warfare. AI-driven Asymmetric Warfare: The Kremlin’s greatest innovation in its information operations against the West has not been technical. Rather, Moscow’s savviness has been to recognize that: (1) ready-made commercial tools and digital platforms can be easily weaponized; and (2) digital information warfare is cost-effective and high-impact, making it the perfect weapon of a technologically and economically weak power. AI-driven asymmetric warfare (ADAW) capabilities could provide Russia with additional comparative advantage. Digital information warfare is cost-effective and high-impact, making it the perfect weapon of a technologically and economically weak power. U.S. government and independent investigations into Russia’s influence campaign against the United States during the 2016 elections reveal the low cost of that effort. Based on publicly available information, we know that the Russian effort included: the purchase of ads on Facebook (estimated cost $100,000)27 and Google (approximate cost $4,700), set up of approximately 36,000 automated bot accounts on Twitter, operation of the IRA troll farm (estimated cost $240,000 over the course of two years), an intelligence gathering trip carried out by two Russian agents posing as tourists in 2014 (estimated cost $50,000), production of misleading or divisive content (pictures, memes, etc.), plus additional costs related to the cyber attacks on the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. In sum, the total known cost of the most high-profile influence operation against the United States is likely around one million dollars. The relatively low level of investment produced high returns. On Facebook alone, Russian linked content from the IRA reached 125 million Americans. This is because the Russian strategy relied on ready-made tools designed for commercial online marketing and advertising: the Kremlin simply used the same online advertising tools that companies would use to sell and promote its products and adapted them to spread disinformation. Since the U.S. operation, these tools and others have evolved and present new opportunities for far more damaging but increasingly low-cost and difficult-to-attribute ADAW operations. Three threat vectors in particular require immediate attention. First, advances in deep learning are making synthetic media content quick, cheap, and easy to produce. AI-enabled audio and video manipulation, so-called ‘deep fakes,’ is already available through easy-to-use apps such as Face2Face, which allows for one person’s expressions to be mapped onto another face in a target video. Video to Video Synthesis can synthesize realistic video based a baseline of inputs. Other tools can synthesize realistic photographs of AI-rendered faces, reproduce videos and audio of any world leader, and synthesize street scenes to appear in a different season. Using these tools, China recently unveiled an AI made news anchor. As the barriers of entry for accessing such tools continue to decrease, their appeal to low-resource actors will increase. Whereas most Russian disinformation content has been static (e.g., false news stories, memes, graphically designed ads), advances in learning AI will turn disinformation dynamic (e.g. video, audio). Because audio and video can easily be shared on smart phones and do not require literacy, dynamic disinformation content will be able to reach a broader audience in more countries. For example, in India, false videos shared through Whatsapp incited riots and murders. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Whatsapp (owned by Facebook) is an end-to-end encrypted messaging platform, which means that content shared via the platform is basically unmonitored and untraceable. The ‘democratization of disinformation’ will make it difficult for governments to counter AI-driven disinformation. Advances in machine learning are producing algorithms that ‘continuously learn how to more effectively replicate the appearance of reality,’ which means that ‘deep fakes cannot easily be detected by other algorithms.’ Russia, China, and others could harness these new publicly available technologies to undermine Western soft power or public diplomacy efforts around the world. Debunking or attributing such content will require far more resources than the cost of production, and it will be difficult if not impossible to do so in real time. Second, advances in affective computing and natural language processing will make it easier to manipulate human emotions and extract sensitive information without ever hacking an email account. In 2017, Chinese researchers created an ‘emotional chatting machine’ based on data users shared on Weibo, the Chinese social media site. As AI gains access to more personal data, it will become increasingly customized and personalized to appeal to and manipulate specific users. Coupled with advances in natural learning processing, such as voice recognition, this means that affective systems will be able to mimic, respond to, and predict human emotions expressed through text, voice, or facial expressions. Some evidence suggests that humans are quite willing to form personal relationships, share deeply personal information, and interact for long periods of time with AI designed to form relationships. These systems could be used to gather information from high value targets—such as intelligence officers or political figures—by exploiting their vices and patterns of behavior. Advances in affective computing and natural language processing will make it easier to manipulate human emotions and extract sensitive information without ever hacking an email account. Third, deep fakes and emotionally manipulative content will be able to reach the intended audience with a high degree of precision due to advances in content distribution networks. ‘Precision propaganda’ is the set of interconnected tools that comprise an ‘ecosystem of services that enable highly targeted political communications that reach millions of people with customized messages.’ The full scope of this ecosystem, which includes data collection, advertising platforms, and search engine optimization, aims to parse out audiences in granular detail and identify new receptive audiences will be ‘supercharged’ by advances in AI. The content that users see online is the end product of an underlying multi-billion dollar industry that involves thousands of companies that work together to assess individuals’ preferences, attitudes, and tastes to ensure maximum efficiency, profitability, and real-time responsiveness of content delivery. Russian operations (as far as we know), relied on the most basic of these tools. But, as Ghosh and Scott suggest, a more advanced operation could use the full suite of services utilized by companies to track political attitudes on social media across all congressional districts, analyze who is most likely to vote and where, and then launch, almost instantly, a customized campaign at a highly localized level to discourage voting in the most vulnerable districts. Such a campaign, due to its highly personalized structure, would likely have significant impact on voting behavior. Once the precision of this distribution ecosystem is paired with emotionally manipulative deep fake content delivered by online entities that appear to be human, the line between fact and fiction will cease to exist. And Hannah Arendt’s prediction of a world in which there is no truth and no trust may still come to pass.“ http://www.brookings.edu/research/weapons-of-the-weak-russia-and-ai-driven-asymmetric-warfare (http://archive.is/mMlyN)
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How to Read Odds. If you bet on sporting events, you must be able to read odds and understand what they mean. Furthermore, you need to quickly calculate the potential winnings for different bets, especially if the odds are changing while the event unfolds. Odds tell you the likelihood that an event will occur (a team... The TED spread is the difference between the interest rates on interbank loans and short-term U.S. government debt ("T-bills").. Initially, the TED spread was the difference between the interest rates for three-month U.S. Treasuries contracts and the three-month Eurodollar s contract as represented by the London Inter Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR). However, since the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Spread definition is - to open or expand over a larger area. How to use spread in a sentence. Teaser bets: An alternative kind of parlay involving tweaking the point spreads in the bettors favour in return for lower odds. Outright bets: a bet on the team or player to win a competition. Head-to-head bets: A bet on the winner of two competitors in head-to-head competition. This is more common in events with larger fields such as major golf tournaments. spread betting Wikipedia A form of gambling (or investment ) in which a bookmaker (or broker ) predicts a range of outcomes (or share price movements ) and the better (or investor ) places a stake on a higher or lower result and thus wins or loses a multiple of that stake, the multiple depending on the accuracy of the prediction

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