But few rooms have changed so much so fast as his dining room, where he often eats his lunch amid stacks of newspapers and briefing sheets. A few weeks back, the President ordered a gutting of the room. They wanted to make me happy.
Trump says he used his own money to pay for the enormous crystal chandelier that now hangs from the ceiling. Since at least as far back as Richard Nixon, Presidents have kept televisions in this room, usually small ones, no larger than a bread box, tucked away on a sideboard shelf.
The President raises a remote and flicks on the screen, sorting through old recordings of cable news shows, until he comes to what he is after: a clip from the Senate hearing earlier in the day, as broadcast on Fox News. Graham asks if Clapper stands by his statement that he knows of no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Trump waits quietly, until Clapper admits that nothing has changed. Trump pantomimes a sort of victory. He was the head of the whole thing. He said no. Nor does he note that Clapper, out of government for nearly four months, could not possibly know everything the FBI has learned, and likely would have not known all even when he was in office.
Trump also leaves unmentioned that he had a meeting that day with his new Deputy Attorney General about firing Comey, the director of that investigation. But for now, Trump is focused on his TV. The next clip starts to play, this time showing Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley asking Clapper and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates if they ever requested that the names of Trump, his associates or members of Congress be identified by name, or unmasked, in a legal intelligence intercept.
They are desperate for breath. Clapper, on the screen, pauses several beats to search his memory. After a delay, Clapper finally answers, admitting that he had requested an unmasking, which would have been a routine occurrence in his former job. The running Trump commentary continues.
Moments later, the President watches as both Clapper and Yates testify that they had reviewed intercepts containing the unmasked identities of Trump, his associates and members of Congress. This, to Trump, is yet another victory, the lead-lined proof of his still unproven claim that Obama surveilled him before he was sworn in.
They surveilled me. Among the many frustrations, none seems to burn quite as much as the disrespect he feels he has received from the press, which has steadily failed to reflect his version of reality. The story he wants told is not the one the nation reads and sees. In his view, the past months have included a steady string of successes, broken only by occasional missteps, which are invariably overplayed and misinterpreted. After a rough start, an Obamacare replacement passed the House.
A red line against the use of chemical weapons has been re-established in Syria. Political prisoners have been released from Egypt. American companies have been arm-twisted into staying in the country, while Trump has personally inserted himself into a handful of negotiations over weapons systems and trade agreements to try to get Americans a better deal. But the turmoil of his presidency has so far dominated the headlines, pushing out much of what he considers to be the good news he thinks he deserves.
The press has focused on the disruption; his false statements in office; the fear and dislocation in immigrant communities; the many campaign promises, from eliminating the export-import bank to declaring China a currency manipulator, on which Trump has equivocated. Of the many firestorms he has had to fight, none has burned as brightly as the tweets he sent accusing Obama of wiretapping him at Trump Tower. The head of the FBI, Comey, whom he had discussed firing earlier that day, had testified that there is no evidence that this happened.
So he has been arguing that the wiretapping he alleged could include routine surveillance, which was not directed by the White House, of legal surveillance targets who spoke with people in his campaign. He seeks vindication. To cope with this new reality, the President says he is trying a mindfulness trick: he has tried to tune out the bad news about himself. Of course, as his public outbursts indicate, he does not always succeed, but he says he no longer feels a need to know everything said about him. The following day, the news of the Senate hearings will once again fail to comport with the meaning he derived from his TiVo.
Flynn is now facing an investigation into foreign payments that officials say he failed to report. But he can still tweet. So now he walks out of his dining room, followed by the same substantial entourage of senior aides. Back in the Oval Office, he checks in with his waiting staff. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. But there are even more pressing matters. Trump turns to McMaster, who was the subject of a column on Bloomberg earlier in the day, quoting anonymous sources saying the President was unhappy with his performance.
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Crop insurance flaws fuel farm distress 10 min read. What the new GST should look like 9 min read. For family floater plans, insurers will have to disclose how the accrual and redemption of benefits will be considered Photo: iStock. People with their heads down, more comfortable engaging with a miniature world-in-a-box than with the people around them. We see it for what it is. The ability to both monitor and manipulate individuals is rapidly increasing. Over the past decade, technologies to track our online behavior were perfected; the next decade will see massively increased surveillance of our off-line behavior.
The combination of these technologies makes it possible for observers Amazon, government, Facebook, etc. At the same time, increasingly sophisticated technology for emotion and response manipulation is being developed. This includes devices such as Alexa and other virtual assistants designed to be seen as friends and confidants. I see individuals for the most part having less control as time passes.
While that behavior is certainly not new, the rapid turnaround and instant responsiveness of the internet and social media appear to be reinforcing it in ways that are ultimately undesirable, a situation that is further reinforced by the substitute of labeling and denunciations for examination and reasoning about facts. It was naive of social media companies fail to consider and prepare for the prospect that their platforms could be misused for large-scale information warfare e.
Furthermore, these companies have shirked their responsibility to their users by failing to protect their customers from cyberwarfare. This has caused a lot of disinformation to spread online and has fueled myriad divisive online interactions. In addition to these issues, there is quite a bit of evidence mounting that people are spending more and more time alone using digital communication as a proxy for face-to-face interactions and this is increasing loneliness and depression among people, particularly our young adults.
These technologies should be designed to promote healthy interactions. One way to accomplish this would be to switch to more interactive options for conversation e. It remains to be seen whether any of the promises made by digital technology companies to address these issue will be implemented. Device use will lead to more social alienation, increased depression and less-fit people.
Anonymous digital strategy director. The tendency to engage with digital content and people not present instead of people in our immediate presence is growing, and small-screen trance has become an accepted interpersonal norm in the workplace. Culturally-induced attention-deficit behavior has already reached staggering proportions, and is still rising.
One significant aspect of public life is our relationship to work. While proponents of an elusive work-life balance may argue that you can always switch off digital technology, the reality is that [it] is not being switched off — not because it cannot, but there is now a socio-cultural expectation to be always available and responding in real-time.
An anonymous digital strategy director for a major U. I spend too much time answering emails, communicating in digital spaces and just trying to keep up. This causes a significant amount of stress and a lack of deliberate, thoughtful approach to information sharing. One cannot keep up with personal and professional email accounts, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and all the rest. Truly, it is just too much.
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