Internet

One Of The World’s Truly Great Frauds.

And no, not this time. I’m not talking about Barack Obama, though he would almost certainly finish in the top five. I don’t know how Americans let ourselves be taken to the cleaners time after time. America is undeniably the most open-handed and generous nation that this globe has ever seen. We have held incalculable power with far more restraint than any civilization in history.


Vint Cerf, Google's 'Chief Internet Evangelist', has slammed the UN proposals.

We’ve also been the world’s greatest saps. It’s a sad truth that the more people receive without expectation of repayment, the more resentful they become. The other sad irony is that these selfsame entities’ very existence would be highly questionable without the auspices of the United States and the generosity of our people.

The United Nations was formed in 1945 at the end of World War Two. It almost immediately began a shift to the left, as monies destined for the poor of the countries of the world was taken and used to fund fiefdoms and armies to support the strongmen that emerged in the third world.

The United Nations did a credible job in the Korean War, though the US and South Koreans carried most of the burden of executing the war. Since then, it’s been a steady decline into totalitarian conflict. Under the the UN’s supposed ‘protection’, tens of thousands of people have been slaughtered, raped and enslaved. Money and food shipments meant for starving people have disappeared completely, while UN security forces looked but didn’t see.

Why this great country permits this American-hating parasite to feed off of our citizens is a mystery that many of us would like answered. And now the UN looks to regulate internet use. We’d like to wish them good luck, because they’re going to need it.

This is just another vast power grab by a power-hungry and totally extra-legal organization that has more in common with terrorists than with the American people and the west.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2010

Discretion is the better part of Moderation

TechPresident, writing about the Slate story reviewing moderation practices on Sarah Palin's Facebook page, says it is "less a cleaned-up open Facebook conversation than a some sort of curated narration to the life and times of Sarah Palin."

Dickerson and a colleague built a program that tracked comments on 10 Palin posts over the course of 12 days. Now, you might assume that team Palin took a hatchet to especially negative, anti-Palin commentary. And some of that, it seems, happened.

But that's not all that went down. The Palin enterprise also scrubbed from her feed comments where, found Dickerson, folks went after people who wrote mean things about her. Racial slurs were enough to get the boot, yes. So were suggestions that she shouldn't let her kids (Bristol, presumably) do reality TV or vaguely-worded notes about Barack Obama birth certificates. Also no good: excessive religious imagery and mild objections to Palin's picks of candidates to endorse.

So, the Big Story here is that Palin's staff tries to maintain a decent community by keeping things civil and focused, and weeding out the jerks?

Look, we've gotten too wrapped up in the idea of politicians and/or technology having clear, defined and consistent rules.  That just doesn't work in a social medium. If you create any kind of bright line "no racism/cursing/personal attacks" rule, then you have to make decisions about exactly what does and does not qualify as racism/cursing/personal attacks - and you will be attacked for your decisions no matter where you draw the line.

Social interactions are too fluid for that kind of strict rule-making.

So what is the answer?  I think there are two reasonable options: 

  • Safe Harbor: A couple years ago (I can't find it now), Patrick Ruffini pointed out that the more control you try to exert, the more responsible people will hold you for what you allow.  Moderation = Responsibility.  The Obama campaign went the other direction, largely allowing anybody to post anything and only exercising minimal oversight.  When you have a flood of content, nobody blames you for the idiots leaving drops on the carpet.
  • Discretion: As appears to be the case at Sarah Palin's Facebook page, discretion is the better part of moderation.  That makes sense.  We don't demand hard, fast, bright line rules in the offline world, because we couldn't possibly make rules to cover every social situation. We wing it.  We use discretion. We do the best we can and move on. 

Maybe that will be the best way for political organizations to manage their online communities, as well.  Politics is already complicated enough. The online world doesn't have to be much more complicated than the offline world.

 

Technology is Tactics, not Strategy

Ross Douthat makes two crucial points.

#1 - Online success is less about the technology, and more about the ideas and motivation.

[T]here’s no necessary connection between online organizing and liberal politics. The Web is just like every pre-Internet political arena: ideology matters less than the level of anger at the incumbent party, and the level of enthusiasm an insurgent candidate can generate.

#2 - Unfortunately, Republican politicians still have very little in the way of real ideas...

If liberals are feeling disillusioned, though, their right-wing imitators may be ripe for an even greater letdown. The Obama administration has at least gone some distance toward enacting an agenda that the net-roots left supports. The “right roots” activists are rallying around politicians who are promising to shrink government without offering any plausible sketch of how to do it.

#1 is about winning the battles (elections) & #2 is about winning the war (better government).  Achieving #1 without addressing #2 is an establishment-protection racket.   Republicans need to insist on more than the usual tax and spending rhetoric.

Unhealthy For America…House Bill 1 Trillion And Climbing.

If you build your house on sand….President Obama is getting some of his karma back. His unmitigated arrogance and self-aggrandizement is going to come at a terrible price to the country…to him and those around him. But they can’t see that yet. Now we even see the First Lady politicizing breast cancer, to advance what is very probably going to be a health care bill which is going to arrive DOA. From my lips to God’s ears. The House bill, should it pass, would cost this country ONE TRILLION DOLLARS and counting. Nothing the government EVER does comes in at anywhere close to the wild imaginings of the authors of these nutzoid  creations. As we speak, there appears to be an insurrection in the House which will stop “Nancy with the Smiling Eyes” bill dead in its tracks. A group of 40 pro-life Democrats has joined with Republicans to pledge to VOTE NO on any bill which has provision for funding for abortions… which it does. This would ensure that the bill in its present form would never leave the House floor. Nothing this President, or the Marxists he’s imported to his government have done, has been with the interest of the American people, the economy, or our military services who are engaged around the world fighting an implacable enemy who would see this country destroyed. It has been done to further an only slightly less onerous ideology, whose goal is control over every aspect of American life and values. The assault by the administration on the first amendment, as exemplified by the attack on Fox News, has been (at long last) met by a unified group of major network editorial chiefs who must have finally woken up and smelled the skunk cabbage that is the Obama White House. They saw, belatedly, but they saw that they would invariably be next. They have drawn a line in the sand. Now we get to see if they have the strength of their convictions. This fight has only just been joined. The White House’s FCC lapdogs are after the freedom of the internet also…resistance is mounting to that assault as we speak. A FREE PRESS IS A FREE SOCIETY… the internet is part of that press, free and unrestrained it is a priceless resource for instantaneous delivery of information. True it is incumbent upon the user to filter through the mists of sometimes wildly inaccurate and fanciful stories that are available out there, but this is freedom of expression and the press also. Keep your hands off our Net. Keep your hands off our radios, keep your hands of of our televisions. The communist leftists cannot compete in the arena of ideas, so they have to co-opt it through stacked courts and regulatory agencies which are not subject to the crucible of public scrutiny, whose examination they cannot withstand. Darkness and secrecy were ever their way. The Free Press and the Free Internet cast a light upon them which shows them for what they are. Enemies of America…and Enemies of the American people.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2009

 

Obama In Your Computer

Weren't the Dems the ones shocked and appalled by George W. Bush's Patriot Act?

This morning, I read an article about a bill currently proposed in the U.S. Senate that will grant "temporary" access to the president over private home internet usage during a so-called, "cyber security emergency."  

So, when the President wanted to grant warrantless wire taps to gain information on possible terrorists after an actual national terrorist attack occurred on American soil, it was a travesty to tap phones?  But a cyber-security emergency, now that requires spying on Americans?

Let's be real:  This is a sad attempt by the liberal movement to silence the opposition.  Hundreds of thousands of Americans are genuinely frightened by the slippery slope the current health-care reform will lead this country into, and Obama's minions are trying to pass it in any way possible. 

Change? I think not..

Read the whole article at CNET news. (news.cnet.com)

PDF 2009: Chasing the Internet Leader

The annual Personal Democracy Forum was Monday and Tuesday in New York, and it was very good.  As always. You can read more about it at TechPresident.

Naturally, there was a great deal of conversation about the imbalance between the Left and Right online.  The general consensus is that Republicans are behind on the internet, though there is a great deal of debate over how and why.  The least convincing answer was offered by a PDF audience member, and it basically boiled down to "Republicans suck. Democrats are cool.  So we're better at the internet."

Yeah, well, those who forget history...

Democrats race to catch up to GOP online

The Democratic National Committee relaunched its Web site Friday and appointed its first technology adviser in an effort to match the Republican party's success in using the Internet to build its constituency. [...] "We realized that the Republicans were ironically peddling their Stone Age ideas with modern-day technology tools, and we were just not at their level in our dedication to technology," Buck said.Insiders say it's widely acknowledged that the Republican committee has done a better job than the Democrats' committee in creating an online strategy.  The Republican committee "is far and away ahead in securing a large constituent of online activists and does a better job of using the medium to move their message," said Pam Fielding of E-advocates, an Internet advocacy consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.

That was 2002.

What changed?  Again, that's the subject of a great deal of debate, but I would argue that it was two things:

  1. Republicans got comfortable.
  2. Democrats got entrepreneurial.

In 2016, there's no doubt that the online landscape will be very different.  The Right will be much more effective.  The only question is how they will do it.  The balance of power on the Right will depend, in large part, on who the new entrepreneurs are and how they build the infrastructure.

Tea Parties Harness the Power of the Internet

Today is Tax Day Tea Party Day. There are tax protests scheduled around the country, and as I noted in a previous article, they're even in Vermont. Boston and Atlanta are both expected to have huge numbers of protesters, and while there is no definitve count yet, it appears these Tea Parties will be large enough an numerous enough that even the main stream media won't be able to ignore them.

A fascinating element of today's protests is how Tea Party organizers harnessed the power of the internet to generate a truly grass roots movement.

Maybe the conspiracy theorists aren't that wrong after all

I'm usually pretty dismissive of conspiracy theorists, not being one of the those "black helicopter" Republicans thinking every meeting of the Council of Foreign Relations is a dangerous cabal.

But, sometimes people simply start getting out of hand. You know, the ol "slippery slope" idea.

Which is why I was a little unnerved by this article in Time magazine

How Obama Is Using The Science of Change

Two weeks before Election Day, Barack Obama's campaign was mobilizing millions of supporters; it was a bit late to start rewriting get-out-the-vote (GOTV) scripts. "BUT, BUT, BUT," deputy field director Mike Moffo wrote to Obama's GOTV operatives nationwide, "What if I told you a world-famous team of genius scientists, psychologists and economists wrote down the best techniques for GOTV scripting?!?! Would you be interested in at least taking a look? Of course you would!!"

Moffo then passed along guidelines and a sample script from the Consortium of Behavioral Scientists, a secret advisory group of 29 of the nation's leading behaviorists. The key guideline was a simple message: "A Record Turnout Is Expected." ..

The existence of this behavioral dream team — which also included best-selling authors Dan Ariely of MIT (Predictably Irrational) and Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein of the University of Chicago (Nudge) as well as Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman of Princeton — has never been publicly disclosed,......

President Obama is still relying on behavioral science. But now his Administration is using it to try to transform the country.

Stop me for a second. Does the name "George Orwell" spring to mind?

Read the whole article. I want you to reflect then on the utter arrogance that pervades the concept that the American public are in need of what amount to behavior modification, not appeals to rational self-interest or national self-interest.  And that the answers to what is best for Americans are already known to the Obama administration.  Therefore, we must be conditioned to accept the pre-ordained answers.

Democracy. Who needs it. The voters might make mistakes. We'll deprogram them

  But Obama is no therapist changing individuals one at a time. He's an organizer trying to build community and inspire collective action through house parties and Facebook as well as rhetoric about shared values. In other words, he's trying to create social norms — behavioral change's killer app....

The research proves change can come about when it's easy and popular, but making it lucrative — or even mandatory — can make sure it happens.

Hmm, wasn't that why we got rid of King George III?

Now I acknowledge governments here and elesewhere have used pretty subtle and pervasive means to foster their agenda. But generally campaigns against drunk driving and for racial tolerance are means to promote already agreed upon social policies. Same with appeals to patriotism to bolster domestic support for a nation's foreign policy.

 What the Obama people here are seeking to do is a quantum leap forward and away from the concepts of individual liberty and representative government.  There's no political consensus on fixing entitlements or heath care or the energy system. And by seeking to impose social conformity on the "appropriate options", the Obama camp seeks to subvert the need to obtain the consent of the governed.   No wonder they've kept it all secret.

Time identifies this problem, and then adopts an "ends justify the means" defense.

  The idea of public officials, even well-meaning ones, trying to engineer our private behavior to produce change can seem a bit creepy.

But face it: Obama is right. Our emissions are boiling the planet, and most of our energy use is unnecessary. Our health expenditures are bankrupting the Treasury, and most of our visits to the doctor can be traced to unhealthy behavior. We do need to change, and we know it.

  So much for debating what we ought to do.  Just follow what "The One" has decided is best.

I'm slightly familiar with the science of behavior modification, having a son who is on the autistic spectrum.  It's ironic that concepts like Applied Behavior Analysis are used to help children with an expressive disorder properly communicate their wants and needs.

The Obama Behavior Modification agenda is designed to prevent typical adults from communicating their needs and wants; since more and more choices will be taken away from us and replaced with a government approved "default option", and tremendous peer pressure brought to bear against those with undesirable nonconformist choices.

Now, if this didn't leave you a little queasy, I refer one to Hot Air, and Ed Morrissey's fear that the Internet will now be legally subject to appropriation by the administration

The bill addresses the need to protect vital networks from cyber attack, but it gives a lot of power to the executive branch — perhaps too much power.

 I don;t know if the  Cybersecurity Act of 2009, S.773 would provide unfettered power to the Obama Administration to shut down the Internet. Morrissey suggests the bigger problem is   "that the bill essentially repeals the Fourth Amendment." 

If the Obama Administration wanted to quell some ad hoc "tea party" national civil protest movement, certaintly screwing with the World Wide Web would be one way to do it. That is how it is done in China, isn't it.

Again, I'm not big on conspiracy theories. But putting these two things in juxtaposition also doesn't leave me with warm feelings about the good intentions of the current administration. This keeps up, this RINO may go libertarian yet.

===Update===

While I was thinking about this, I realized that there had been a behavioral scientist who had written extensively on topics related to human choice.

Burrhus Frederic Skinner (March 20, 1904 – August 18, 1990) was an American psychologist, author, inventor, advocate for social reform,[1][2]and poet.[3] He was the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University from 1958 until his retirement in 1974.[4] He invented the operant conditioning chamber, innovated his own philosophy of science called Radical Behaviorism,[5] and founded his own school of experimental research psychology—the experimental analysis of behavior. His analysis of human behavior culminated in his work Verbal Behavior, which has recently seen enormous increase in interest experimentally and in applied settings.[6] He discovered and advanced the rate of response as a dependent variable in psychological research. He invented the cumulative recorder to measure rate of responding as part of his highly influential work on schedules of reinforcement.[7] [8] In a recent survey, Skinner was listed as the most influential psychologist of the 20th century.[9] He was a prolific author who published 21 books and 180 articles.[10] [11]

 

OK, so why does this matter that Skinner is the major influence on contemporary behavior sciences. Well, what did he have to say about permitting individuals make decisions?

This was his little dissertation of applying behaviorism to society.

Beyond Freedom and Dignity is a book written by American psychologist B. F. Skinner and first published in 1971. The book argues that entrenched belief in free will and the moral autonomy of the individual (which Skinner referred to as "dignity") hinders the prospect of using scientific methods to modify behavior for the purpose of building a happier and better organized society.

Beyond Freedom and Dignity may be summarized as an attempt to promote Skinner's philosophy of science, the technology of human behavior, his conception of determinism, and what Skinner calls 'cultural engineering'.

"Almost all major problems involve human behavior, and they cannot be solved by physical and biological technology alone. What is needed is a technology of human behavior. 

Skiiner wrote another book Walden Two, "an earlier novel in which Skinner depicted a utopian community based on his ideas regarding behavior modification. In Beyond Freedom and Dignity Skinner extends his argument for explicit cultural engineering of which Walden Two may be seen as an example."

Accordingly to Wikipedia, Noah Chomsky took a big swipe at Skinner's efforts to apply behavioral psychology to societal reform.  I'm not sure I'm accustomed to having him as an ally, but when a hard lefty like him and a RINO like me are going libertarian, well, hmmmm

 

 

Maybe the conspiracy theorists aren't that wrong after all

I'm usually pretty dismissive of conspiracy theorsts, not being one of the those "black helicopter" Republicans thinking every meeting of the Council of Foreign Relations is a dangerous cabal.

But, sometimes people simply start getting out of hand. You know, the ol "slippery slope" idea.

Which is why I was a little unnerved by this article in Time magazine

How Obama Is Using The Science of Change

Two weeks before Election Day, Barack Obama's campaign was mobilizing millions of supporters; it was a bit late to start rewriting get-out-the-vote (GOTV) scripts. "BUT, BUT, BUT," deputy field director Mike Moffo wrote to Obama's GOTV operatives nationwide, "What if I told you a world-famous team of genius scientists, psychologists and economists wrote down the best techniques for GOTV scripting?!?! Would you be interested in at least taking a look? Of course you would!!"

Moffo then passed along guidelines and a sample script from the Consortium of Behavioral Scientists, a secret advisory group of 29 of the nation's leading behaviorists. The key guideline was a simple message: "A Record Turnout Is Expected." ..

The existence of this behavioral dream team — which also included best-selling authors Dan Ariely of MIT (Predictably Irrational) and Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein of the University of Chicago (Nudge) as well as Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman of Princeton — has never been publicly disclosed,......

President Obama is still relying on behavioral science. But now his Administration is using it to try to transform the country.

Stop me for a second. Does the name "George Orwell" spring to mind?

Read the whole article. I want you to reflect then on the utter arrogance that pervades the concept that the American public are in need of what amount to behavior modification, not appeals to rational self-interest or national self-interest.  And that the answers to what is best for Americans are already known to the Obama administration.  Therefore, we must be conditioned to accept the pre-ordained answers.

Democracy. Who needs it. The voters might make mistakes. We'll deprogram them

  But Obama is no therapist changing individuals one at a time. He's an organizer trying to build community and inspire collective action through house parties and Facebook as well as rhetoric about shared values. In other words, he's trying to create social norms — behavioral change's killer app....

The research proves change can come about when it's easy and popular, but making it lucrative — or even mandatory — can make sure it happens.

Hmm, wasn't that why we got rid of King George III?

Now I acknowledge governments here and elesewhere have used pretty subtle and pervasive means to foster their agenda. But generally campaigns against drunk driving and for racial tolerance are means to promote already agreed upon social policies. Same with appeals to patriotism to bolster domestic support for a nation's foreign policy.

 What the Obama people here are seeking to do is a quantum leap forward and away from the concepts of individual liberty and representative government.  There's no political consensus on fixing entitlements or heath care or the energy system. And by seeking to impose social conformity on the "appropriate options", the Obama camp seeks to subvert the need to obtain the consent of the governed.   No wonder they've kept it all secret.

Time identifies this problem, and then adopts an "ends justify the means" defense.

  The idea of public officials, even well-meaning ones, trying to engineer our private behavior to produce change can seem a bit creepy.

But face it: Obama is right. Our emissions are boiling the planet, and most of our energy use is unnecessary. Our health expenditures are bankrupting the Treasury, and most of our visits to the doctor can be traced to unhealthy behavior. We do need to change, and we know it.

  So much for debating what we ought to do.  Just follow what "The One" has decided is best.

I'm slightly familiar with the science of behavior modification, having a son who is on the autistic spectrum.  It's ironic that concepts like Applied Behavior Analysis are used to help children with an expressive disorder properly communicate their wants and needs.

The Obama Behavior Modification agenda is designed to prevent typical adults from communicating their needs and wants; since more and more choices will be taken away from us and replaced with a government approved "default option", and tremendous peer pressure brought to bear against those with undesirable nonconformist choices.

Now, if this didn;t leave you a little queasy, I refer one to Hot Air, and Ed Morrissey's fear that the Internet will now be legally subject to appropriation by the administration

The bill addresses the need to protect vital networks from cyber attack, but it gives a lot of power to the executive branch — perhaps too much power.

 

 

A New Internet Bill Guaranteed to Fail

According to CNN, Republican Congressman are looking to force ISP's into keeping records for two years for all users.

This bill is horribly designed, on more than just one level.

First, it requires copious amounts of data storage. I don't think that Congressmen recognize how much data even a small network can generate. Data storage is becoming cheaper nowadays, but it's still a huge hurdle. What data should be saved? All packets? Login information? Website caches?

Two, storage equals money. You're going to add to the operating costs of not only big companies like AT&T, Verizon et all, but you're also going to reduce the ability (as if it wasn't non-existent now anyways) of a startup company.

Three, there's a great many people who use Wi-Fi who do not have it locked down with security. Will they be held liable to keep this data as well, or will it just be for those who use it commercially? The article is unclear, and it's very likely that the average person or small company will know how to store data correctly.

Fourth, the idea that I should have to give up my identity on the net is a poor one. The Internet grants anonymity, and with that, freedom. Will some people use that freedom to try to get around laws? Most certainly. But all this bill will do is force those who wish to break the law to do a slight amount of reading on how to mask your IP, how to steal Wi-Fi addresses from unsuspecting people, or find some other workaround.

If this bill goes into place, how long until the names and data get used for reasons other than their true purpose? A week or a month?

There are some good arguments for data retention by bigger companies (and they're already doing it, to some extent) but there is no need for the majority of people to store records for two years.

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