We know they never went to the moon anyway, so what's the big deal?
On the 51st anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, MIT boffins have given an insight into an alternative history, one where US president Richard Nixon paid tribute to the astronauts who would not be returning from the Moon. Not to be confused with the Apple TV series For All Mankind, which presented its own alternate timeline, …
"My fellow Americans, today our nation and space program has suffered a tragic loss. While on his Apollo mission, Astronaut Neil Armstrong succumbed to a serious case of food poisoning. It seems that between takes on the Moon landing soundstage, Neil ate some egg salad that had been left out for several hours on the craft services table. He always loved that stuff, and through some mistake the spread was not refreshed on schedule.
We remain committed to the Moon and the Apollo Program, and are in negotiations right now with Rock Hudson and Charlton Heston. We think that either of these fine Americans will make a great stoic mission commander, though Chuck keeps rattling on about his fear of "damned dirty apes"."
>We know they never went to the moon anyway<
As shown in the 2002 French documentary "Dark Side of the Moon" (William Karel)
It is very good if you are the kind of person who likes watching history documentaries or are interested in the space program.
And it demonstrates that you don't need Deep Fakes to do deep fakes. Watch the film before reading the Wikipedia article :)
Surely the point was that the speech had already been prepared? Unlike your example, it is something that really could have happened, but fortunately reality was different.
Conspiracy theorists are people with a compulsion and they will conspiracy theorise in the absence of evidence, but I think it is absolutely necessary to get ti across to politicians and the public how they can be manipulated. Otherwise it will happen and people won't be aware. Only extreme examples will get it across.
*some* conspiracy theories have been proven right. That doesn't mean *most* have been, or the *majority* are true. If one can't tell the difference between fact and fiction then life must be very hard indeed. And just because one sometimes get's it wrong doesn't mean one should then automatically believe everything.
*some* drivers are terrible, and *some* people kill, and sometimes we make a bad judgement call. Does that mean all drivers are terrible, and all people kill and we always make bad judgement calls? no. So why are people so eager to prove their pet conspiracy theory right? Probs cose they have no life and don't have anything more useful to do, or it makes them feel special and gives them a sense of identity I suppose.
Critical thinking, one of the most important skills to teach, but almost no school I know teaches it. Heavan forbid the people can think for themselves
That speech is considered as one of the greatest speeches *never* given. Bringing it to life can be seen as an homage by the MIT to the author. It also has the advantage that everyone should know it's a fake, so it will spare us some conspiracy theories.
Hooked George Orwell to a dynamo yet? Pretty sure his spinning in his grave could power greater London by now?
Anyone else find it odd that the more the future becomes certain the past becomes less so?
I mean it taking Gas lighting to a whole new level (though our
unelected leaders currently are in the amateur hour level, what with blog editing and denying figures they put out mere weeks ago. And no, going for a drive to Barnard Castle is still not a good way to check your eyesight).
Can we have our competent but bland leaders back please? All is forgiven...
Deep fakes are the least of the problems now:
The New Jersey Judge that was just shot at her home by an assassin dressed as a Fedex Driver. She was just appointed to oversee the lawsuit against Deutsche Banks for losses from money laundering charges.
"The case, Karimi v. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft et al., No. 20-cv-08978 was filed on July 15, 2020, and has been assigned to Judge Esther Salas..... including, among others, the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein (“Epstein”) and two correspondent banks, Danske Estonia and FBME Bank, which were both the subjects of prior scandals involving financial misconduct; (3)"
The Epstein connection will dominate the news, "judge overseeing Epstein case murdered", but see the "Danske Estonia and FBME Bank" references? That's the suspected money laundering from Russia to Trump, aka "the Russian Laundromat". Now Trump will appoint a new judge to replace her.
The scheme is bogus loans, a bogus loan is made in the west between two companies party to the scheme, the loan is guaranteed by Russian backers, it is defaulted on, the company that made the loan sues the Russians, the Russian guarantor of the loan then 'pays out the guarantee', money then flows out of Russia to its intended target under cover of a fraudulent guarantee for a loan that was never real.
"Deutsche Bank was embroiled in a vast money-laundering operation, dubbed the Global Laundromat. Russian criminals with links to the Kremlin, the old KGB and its main successor, the FSB, used the scheme between 2010 and 2014 to move money into the western financial system. The cash involved could total $80bn, detectives believe."
See the amount of corruption money Russia is flooding the west with? And Trump did a default loan, and that was guaranteed by Russias VTB bank according to a whistleblower:
"Deutsche Bank’s loans to Donald Trump were underwritten by Russian state-owned VTB Bank, according to the whistleblower whose collection of thousands of bank documents and internal communications have captured the recent attention of federal investigators. Val Broeksmit acquired the emails and files of his late father, Deutsche Bank executive William S. Broeksmit, after Broeksmit tragically took his own life in 2014. Val informed the FBI in late 2019 about his knowledge of VTB’s underwriting of Trump’s loans, information he attributed to a network of sources connected to the bank he cultivated over the past five-plus years."
You will of course remember that Trump DEFAULTED on those Deutsche Bank loans, and yet the bank kept lending him money:
"The bank kept writing checks even after Trump defaulted on loans worth hundreds of millions and sued it. "
And with synchronicity, Barr tried to replace SDNY's prosecutor (prosecuting the Deutsche bank cases) with a lawyer from the firm representing Deutsche Bank. A man named jay Clayton:
Do you imagine Trump can ever give up power? You see how its in plain site. No need for deep fakery when its so blatant that nobody can see the wood for the trees!
So, you see why USA will face a coup. Trump will grab power, he has no choice. He seems to have found his militia now, in the Border Patrol force, under 'Chad Wolf' now currently snatching people off the streets of Portland. Republicans are so down the rabbit hole they'll follow him in the coup and sell out the USA.
Deep fakes are the least of your problems right now, the election will be killed, and USA democracy will flip to a dictatorship.
Good news Esther survived, she was in the basement, he son sadly not.
Also good news, in an odd sort of way, the current suspect has a personal relationship to Esther, one of her students, so the motive might be personal.
So, there is at least one civil case investigating the massive Russian money flow into Trump and his friends, still ongoing, even if the criminal investigations have been sidelined by Barr swapping attorneys.
This post has been deleted by its author
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I can only guess that the brilliant minds from MIT who came up with this doozy do not remember, or even know, who Richard M. Nixon really was.
What would have been the reaction had they made a deepfake video about Trump? Still funny?
The main difference between Nixon and Trump being that Nixon wasn't a moron. The rest was more or less identical.
...you can't make him say anything more outrageous than things he says on his own.
Maybe not says. How about does? I'm still holding out for a Stormy Daniels or Karen McDougal vid. It doesn't need to be real. I'd love to see a video of him slipping on the ramp, e.g.
And I can think of worse things he could, and probably would do under the right circumstances. It doesn't take a lot of imagination.
> Might want back and re-read the article [ ... ]
I read the article. This has nothing to do with the article anyway. It has everything to do with the video, and its authors.
There is nothing remotely funny or entertaining about Richard Nixon, in any materialization: real, fake or deepfake.
Might want to go read some history about Richard Nixon and what he was directly responsible for.
I'll give you one hint: more than 1.2 Million Vietnamese/Cambodian/Laotian civilians killed by mines, carpet bombing and chemical warfare (Agent Orange / Napalm) during the Vietnam War, on Nixon's orders. I'm not counting the US Servicemen dead, left behind, or who came back damaged beyond repair. While he was proclaiming at home that everything was going just great, the number of casualties was going down sharply, and victory was just around the corner.
That's just one of his accomplishments. He has many others. Watergate, Southern Strategy, War on Drugs, Law and Order, to name a few.
Still find him entertaining?
I know about Nixon. I wouldn't have voted for him in any election prior to when I was old enough to vote. I did not vote for him in any election after I was old enough.
The fake video is a learning tool with no intention of having any bearing on reality, outside teaching people about fake videos. If you have issues with that, all I can say is that you have issues.
> The fake video is a learning tool with no intention of having any bearing on reality
That's a lame excuse.
Richard Nixon does not belong in any kind of humor-based learning tool, or educational material. The implied humor - of which I see none here - is in piss poor bad taste. Whether it's based on reality or not is completely orthogonal.
One can educate and/or create humor without the need to manufacture fake videos of war criminals.
I will raise the issue of your own issues. You seem incapable of understanding how inappropriate this so-called learning material - which it really isn't - really is.
You also appear to be very quick at assigning an Internet Psychologist diagnosis onto anyone who happens to hold a point of view that's different than yours. That must be based on the implicit assumption that you are always right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.
Would you like to learn what I think about Internet Psychologists?
I understand (and share) your distaste for Nixon, but the article never said it was a joke or implied that there was any humour in it. I'm not sure where you got that idea?
But Nixon absolutely does belong in educational material: There's an old saying that applies here: "Those who do not learn from history...uh...i forget the rest".
> [ ... ] the article never said it was a joke or implied that there was any humour in it. [ ... ]
The humor is implied in the fake video. I never said anything about the article. Are we having reading difficulties here?
You'd have to be willfully blind not to understand the failed attempt at humor by absurd that's both implied, and explicit, in the video.
Let me give you - and those others who don't understand - a clue about why this video is inappropriate and in bad taste: for the same reasons a deepfake video of Joseph Goebbels reading the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would be (a) not funny at all and (b) in bad taste. There would be exactly zero educational point to it. Just like there's exactly zero educational purpose to this MIT pile of garbage.
Exactly WHERE is humour implied in the video? The fact you're the only seeing it as humorous suggests maybe any bad taste is all on you.
And I'm pretty sure the universal declaration of human rights was not a speech written for Goebbels to read so that comparison is not even slightly valid.
> The fact you're the only seeing it as humorous suggests maybe any bad taste is all on you.
I don't see it as humorous, or funny. At all. I have already stated that several times. And which is why I gave the Goebbels example.
However, its authors clearly did. As proven by the fact that the video has no other possible purpose. The video has no educational or informative value. It's either (a) a failed attempt at humor or (b) a tasteless ego trip along the lines of Look At What We Did! We Smart!
In either case, it's inappropriate.
Are you being intentionally dense, or is it just your natural state?
The video has no educational or informative value.
Blimey, you really do have problems, don't you.
It is not intended to be humorous, it is a valid example of the state of the art of deep fakes, and is also an interesting historical document, in that the speech was prepared for Nixon, but he never read it publicly.
It therefore has both informative and educational value.
> It therefore has both informative and educational value.
I'm happy it works for you. It doesn't work for me.
Lose the two-cent Internet psycho-analysis. No-one appointed you - or any other of your fellow Nixon fanbois - arbiters of truth and taste here.
If you find fake videos featuring Richard Nixon informative and educational, perhaps you should seek professional help.
Are we having reading difficulties here?
As someone who finds himself unfairly accused of being "hostile" somewhat regularly due to the language/tone I tend to use, and who therefore tries to be particularly tolerant and to not assume hostility when others use similar language, I'd just like to say: Wow, such unnecessary and unprovoked hostility. Did someone accidentally leave their "medicinal" cannabis at home today?
The humor is implied in the fake video
It doesn't come across as funny, or attempting to be funny, at all to me.
I'll grant you that the start section before the deepfake - the "problems" where they "lose the ship" are crappy: they're poorly edited, obviously reuse obvious footage and sound (such as the famous 1201 alarm) from various sources, etc. But the point of the video is the deepfake. I suspect they just didn't put very much effort into editing that together (to do a good job at that kind of thing would take quite a bit of editing work).
But funny? Attempting to be funny? No, I don't see it. And it seems neither does anybody except you.
Maybe you should consider doing what a rational, sensible person does when confronted by a video that offends them - stop watching it.
I find it kind of funny that you don't seem to be able to spell "humour" :P
You'd have to be willfully blind not to understand the failed attempt at humor by absurd that's both implied, and explicit, in the video.
I disagree. It could be that I (and seemingly others) are just really dense. Please explain exactly where the humour, both implied and explicit, is located. And what part is absurd?
Joseph Goebbels reading the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
1. A fan of Godwin, I see. No faffing about here!
2. The universal declaration of human rights wasn't written for Goebbels to read, and had nothing to do with him.
3. I would actually find that pretty funny. But I would agree that that would be in bad taste.
in bad taste
I don't see how this is in bad taste. Armstrong and Aldrin didn't die on the moon. Nobody has died on the moon. Nobody died in any of the Apollo missions (that ever went to space - we should all remember Roger Chaffe, Ed White, and Gus Grissom as heroes). The only people who have actually died in space were the three cosmonauts on Soyuz 11, a totally unrelated ship, program, and country that had nothing to do with Nixon.
This was a speech written for Nixon as a contingency plan. This is a "what could have been" thing. It's not (really) trying to deceive anybody - anybody with even moderate intelligence knows that Armstrong and Aldrin didn't die on the moon and that Nixon didn't give this speech. I suppose some might be fooled into thinking it's a pre-recorded speech that was never used, but I still don't see how that's harmful to anybody or in bad taste (all it would take to dispel that notion would be 5 minutes research, or showing the video to ~80% of the population of the planet).
But maybe you can explain how it's in bad taste after you've explained how it's funny.
Just like there's exactly zero educational purpose to this MIT pile of garbage.
As just one possible example: This video might alert a person who didn't know that a contingency speech was written to the existence of that speech, teaching them a factoid about the Apollo program, serving educational value, and making its educational value nonzero. QED.
You, Sir, are a scholar and a gentleman.
You, Sir, are a cunt.
why I didn't read your rant
Who cares? I sure don't. And we all know the real reason: because you're a cunt.
Since we're offering unsolicited life advice: Stop being such a cunt.
Translation for my fellow Yanks: A 99 is a vanilla soft-serve frozen dairy dessert served in a cone, with a confection known as a Cadbury Flake pushed into it. For some reason this combination of artificial ice cream and pseudo chocolate is much loved by many members of the British public.
Re: the revisiting of the Nixon story ...... Is that evidence of El Reg sort of also stuck in something akin to an infinite loop? ......https://www.theregister.com/2020/07/21/bork/ ...... and more guilty of recycling old news rather than wilfully complicit in thrusting forwarding with novel views?
Perhaps that is a problem and quandary to be unilaterally solved and jointly resolved by future advanced Intelligent sources providing new tales and trails to follow for agents/hacks to report back to bases on?
I don’t think the picture was too bad. The advantages of trying to fake poor quality TV. But the sound is dreadful. Even accounting for the poor mics at the time, he sounds like a Dalek. It sounds like one of those pop songs where the singer is OK, and mostly in tune, but has no power in their voice. So you overdub someone good singing as identically as possible to try and add some character and tone. You get a sort of chorus effect.
Also the voice sounds too normal. Nixon really liked to over pronounce words.
Wow, to think that these two brave men relied on a single engine in the Lunar Module ascent stage to return them from the moon's surface back up to the Command and Service modules in lunar orbit.
No other options available to them if that single engine failed to operate, they would have been stranded with no hope of rescue. From what I've read, the plan was to cut off all communications to the 2 astronauts once it was determined that there was no hope of them getting off the Moon. They would have died a lonely death out there.
In fact, they were very lucky after Buzz Aldrin accidentally broke the circuit breaker switch for arming the Lunar Module ascent engine - they used a pen to activate the broken circuit breaker switch although I have heard that they may have had other options available for fixing the problem if it became necessary.
these two brave men relied on a single engine in the Lunar Module ascent stage to return them from the moon's surface.
It's not as risky as it sounds. That engine was a known point of failure, so it used hypergolic propellant - two chemicals that couldn't not ignite when mixed. Lots would have had to go wrong for them to be stranded there.
I wonder if they were provided with a means to expedite their ends if they did find themselves stranded
There have been persistent rumours for ~50 years that they (and others right up into the STS program) were given cyanide capsules. This has been repeatedly denied by all involved. The justification given is that it wasn't necessary - if they wanted to kill themselves quickly all they had to do was open the hatch.
Lots of people don't buy this. It's been pointed out that asphyxiation is not pleasant, and that a painless suicide pill would be a practical and sensible thing to have on such a mission for almost no extra mass.
I don't know who I believe. Both make good points. I'd have given them cyanide pills if I was in charge.
It turns out cyanide is quite dangerous. Which might be reason not to use it, though I agree deliberately opening your hatch or helmet doesn’t sound much fun.
I’m not being facetious here. There was a case 2 years ago of an ex SOE operative from WWII, who’d kept his cyanide pill. I think he’d been dropped into France in 43 or 44. Anyway having terminal cancer, he decided to use it. Because the cause was known, it was deemed too hazardous to do an autopsy, even with full precautions.
So you’d have to be quite careful with the stuff, given you're in a closed environment. Then again, some of the LEMs had a chunk of plutonium strapped to the side to power the rovers, so why the hell not.
I’d imagine it was more a case of doing everything to succeed, and not planning to fail. If the astronauts had wanted it, they could have insisted, I’m sure. But I imagine that went against the grain of being a steely eyed missile man with the right stuff. And massive brass balls of course...
Or alternatively, if Armstrong can’t fly it off, Aldrin just punches the Moon until they achieve sufficient altitude for Collins to make the rendezvous...
cyanide is quite dangerous
That's a really good point.
I imagine that went against the grain of being a steely eyed missile man
You know I was just thinking after I wrote that last post that if I was in that situation - trapped on the surface of the moon with limited air supply and food and whatnot, I would hope that I would use all the time I had do as much exploring and science and stuff as possible. Do all those risky experiments that nasa wouldn't approve: How far can I run in the moon's environment in a spacesuit before I get tired? Just how messy is it when you rub one out in moon gravity? Will those hypergolic propellants burn through Aldrin's helmet visor? And when the air is getting really low: what actually happens when a human is exposed to the vacuum? It's not pleasant, but maybe you'd get some useful data. Make it count as much as possible.
I'd like to think that Neil and Buzz would have just kept on exploring until the bitter end.
Another thing that I was thinking after writing the previous post was that if there were cyanide pills, they were handed out in secret and without any paper trail. And that would be real unusual for Apollo: there's basically documentation on the complete history of every rivet that went into the truck that delivered the needles that were used to stitch the emblems onto their uniforms. Having no documented trace of something like a cyanide pill would be uncharacteristic, and I feel like if it was a secret it would have come out (either leaked or declassified) by now.
Aldrin just punches the Moon
For some reason, in that crappy litttle it's all gone wrong bit, they've got loads of little snippets of Gene Kranz saying, "Rog."
Having listened to both series of the BBC World Service's brilliant '13 Minutes to the Moon', I've heard a lot of recordings of Gene Kranz, my favourite quote being, "Let's not make things worse by guessin'." If you haven't listened to those, then do so as soon as possible. I think I preferred Apollo 13 to the Moon Landing - but they are both absolutely top notch. Even if Kevin Fong did slope off halfway through recording the second series to go and advise on Covid 19 response, making me wait for the final episode for a couple of months...
He also did another brilliant documentary for the Beeb on the lessons the military learnt in emergency trauma medicine in Iraq (and particularly) Afghanistan - which are now making their way into civilian hospitals. He's an air ambulance medic - so knows what he's talking about and what he's comparing to. Program is still available, so linky to BBC
I'd apologise for coming across as a bit of a Kevin Fong fanboy, except I'm probably guilty as charged.
I has just talking in another post about how the editing of that section is really awful. The repeated audio is jarring and bad. I suspect they didn't put very much time into it - the point is the deepfake, and doing a good job of something like that would be a lot of work.
I wasn't aware of 13 Minutes to the Moon, but it's now open in a tab and will be on a disk of mine within minutes. Thanks!
I have also heard quite a lot of Gene Kranz - he is a great man. "Let's not make things worse by guessin" Is pretty good, but I think my favourite Kranz moment is a much simpler one: "It was neat". Hits me right in the feels every time.
Apollo in Real-time is great too. Enjoy hours of BBC spaceyness. The Moon landing is a bit repetitive, but it’s deliberate in order to build you up to being able to listen to the whole communications recording, while recognising all the voices and the jargon. Hope you have fun.
My next job is reading Michael Collins' book, which is sitting on my table. After that I think I need a good book on the Soviet space program.
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