Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

Fake news: the Elephant in the Room

April 11, 2017

When commenting on the “new” phenomenon of “fake news” with presumably a multiplier effect with the Internet, there is an elephant in the room getting ignored by most of the traditionally respected actors in the sphere of news and commentary. They have formed a kind of “mutual admiration society” with a circularly reinforcing view of events that excludes outlying and dissenting views.

The ones who are most troubled about fake news and looking for ways to limit its effect are the ones often most guilty, in other words.

Tabloids have peppered newsstands in stores and supermarkets for decades, including testimonials of women who gave birth to two-headed aliens.

This “new” theme of “fake news” was tossed out first in the 2016 presidential campaign, pushed by both Obama himself and the Clinton campaign.

In a typical use of the term, the Washington Post was so aghast at the fake news scare that it published a list of fake news sites, throwing in serious right-leaning sites questioning official ruling party views, like Breitbart.com, in with actual blatant and overtly “fake news” sites like “The Onion”.

And of all the accused “fake news” sites getting fingered by “authoritative” sources in this discussion, is a simple news link aggregator, www.drudgereport.com,  that does not even pretend to offer its own content, and does not even have original commentary, and includes links that are even helping drive people to traditional newspaper sites like the Washington Post itself!

That list was made by an apparently “fake front” for some group that demanded anonymity from The W. P. to protect itself from blow-back purportedly, and then quickly disappeared into the cyber ether.

But let us look at a mere handful of items from the history of “fake news”.

The sinking of the Battleship Maine was immediately blamed on Spain by the Respectable Establishment Press in the United States. To this day the cause of the explosion that sunk it, deep in the bowels of the ship, is a mystery.

The sinking of the Lusitania was used as a pretext to involve the U. S. in World War One, the “Great War”. We now know, a fact hidden then, that the Lusitania was loaded with all kinds of bellicose material. Instead of reminding both Woodrow Wilson and the public of his guarantee that he would not involve the country in that war, it cheered the battle and helped cover up the military nature of that ship’s cargo, using civilian passengers as “human shields”.

More recently, the chemical attack in Syria in 2013 proved to be a “false flag” attack by the rebels supported by the USA in funding and equipment, as reported in several European newspapers and by respected award-winning journalist Seymour Hirsch: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line
Those rebels were actively developing these weapons. The version of the recent 2017 attack that a standard Syrian bomb hit a rebel depot storing such weapons is a much more credible version.

And yet, most, though not all, the Elephant in the Room swallowed up the story without questioning why the winning side of the war, now not having to worry about Trump’s administration removing him (“Regime change is off the table”), would want to risk it all by using chemicals.

There is much ado about nothing. The winners of any crackdown on “fake news” are in a Truth is Lies ministry, as in Orwellian worlds. “War is the health of the state”, the saying goes, justifying attacks on civil liberties.

There is another good example of the “wild west” Internet doing more good than bad. ACM Communications recently published an article about the posting of what purported to be a solution to the “P versus not P” problem. It was refuted quickly, in about one day. One day! That used to take submission to peer review, with months required for review then publishing, and do it again for a refutation if it got past the months of peer review.

The Internet is Peer Review on Steroids.

In computing and science, there is not much to fear there either, except from the self-appointed “opinion leaders”. America still has a great many people thinking for themselves.

Personalization: Google “experts” preference

June 26, 2016

Not for nothing the Google bosses are cozy with Obama and vice versa.
They stated from the beginning they wanted to be the gatekeepers of all the information in the world, only they stated it as a benefit to their users.

Personalization makes all kinds of sense, but it is also a Trojan horse. That information flows the other way too.

A few years agony, also, Google announced, not too loudly, that they were going to give extra preference points to “experts” in search results. That means the same old Monotone Media saying the same things and using the same talking points and insults to us. The “experts” they’re talking about are either (1) clueless, or (2) big fat liars. “Sneeze” is indeed a good word for it.

 

Open Source

December 31, 2015

Open source is the inevitable future for coding and software. It is one of the most important characteristics of the changes that society will undergo as a result of the Internet, which itself was borne of “public-domaining” of its technology.

In fact, Open Source is the sharp point of the advance of deeper changes. The angel said in Daniel 12 of the Bible that “knowledge shall be increased”. The printing press made it possible to publish scathing criticism of kings, who promptly clamped down on this new danger to society (sic) by requiring a “copyright”, or right to copy, a book.

With the computer age came electronic copying, and with the Internet came electronic sharing. With computers also came “hacking” by those with the aptitude. The copy-left movement sparked when MIT hackers saw their code escape hidden from them into the clutches of copyright by people who had nothing to do with creating it.

Companies are getting tired of budgets bloated by the arbitrary residuals and the captivity of proprietary fences. Even creators of web sites by the most well-known original Microsoft dot-net experts are abandoning all the insane licensing. Microsoft itself has acknowledged the inevitable.

Oracle has the tightest of proprietary technology it seems and the worst of fees and peripheral charges. Not for nothing Larry Ellison offered to “donate” their software for a national database of all Americans for free. (They make $150 per hour for hiring out their consultants.)

Open source has spilled over into other contexts too. There is now the “Creative Commons” licensing. The rebellion against fiat monopoly grants by a central committee is spreading without a shot being fired.

https://wiki.creativecommons.org/images/6/62/Creativecommons-informational-flyer_eng.pdf

The effects will cascade further still, and is already. IBM has shared its Power-8 technology for the core hardware of its bread-and-butter systems with a group of giants. Google is building out a huge data center based on it, in combination with other open technologies.

Big corporations might even be able at this point to get a general ledger item total of the cost of patents, copyrights, and licensing. It distracts from other revenue streams. One can even argue that patents are just copyrights as well, since they must be legally described in explicit language.

The line between “fair use” of copyrighted material is so artificial, so arbitrary, that the laws and rules could NEVER be so clear as to avoid a future of never-ending litigation. The situation is so bad that there are thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of patent applications, every year, whose sole purpose is to take something rather evident, or even obvious, to protect its applicants from lawsuits.

The thing will come crashing down. Even the great Isaac Newton said he only “built upon the shoulders of giants” who came before him.

Just as when social pressures obligated kings to give up the censorship over works of literature that copyright laws were meant to enforce, and “pseudo-democratize” it by granting monopolies to creators, and just as the printing press itself created a new environment for sharing ideas new and old, stories new and old, the ease of electronic sharing will eventually overcome the resistance of today’s versions of mercantilism and feudalism.

In any case, we can now unmask the truth that the riches that flow from “intellectual property” royalties usually do not go to the actual creators, but to their employers. Only a few of those who become the most famous eventually get out from under their binding contracts, or have the talent to make hay from them. The Microsoft company structure does nothing but pay the coders, same as for Oracle, HP, and all the licensing producers of proprietary software. Given a good chance to make a living without having to give away their smarts to the boss, most of the good coders, writers, artists, musicians would stampede toward freedom.

Maybe they already are. The natural state of man is not to become a mindless controlled drone. We are individuals, all of us humans, and each of us, the way our Creator made us.

Peer review is dead; Long live the free Inter-Networks!

April 24, 2014

http://www.examiner.com/article/peer-review-potential-and-peril

Ah, forget about peer review. All those arguments against it, and then you throw it all away by simply saying that peer review is good, we just need good peer *reviewers*.

But having peer reviewers are exactly what is wrong with this thing. It’s a moral hazard, a massive temptation for enforcing conformity.

The greatest advancements in science history have been made against the resistance of the cabal of the majority of those who make a living based on the ideas they believe in, or have vested interest in.

Joao Mageijo, British Royal Fellowship recipient, wrote of his wrestling match with peer reviewers trying to get his paper published on his theory of the variable speed of light.

The article mentions the Krebs Cycle. Consider a recent episode in which a solution to the problem of “P versus NP” was proposed on the Internet directly, no “publishing”, no peer review, straight to the Web. It only took one day for dozens, maybe hundreds, to prove that the “proof” was wrong.

The Internet has already killed any lingering relevance peer review may have had. The Internet, or rather the penetration of interconnected electronic communications networks (doesn’t have to be “the” Internet) involves media that are basic and ubiquitous change to culture and the body politic, that it promises historical upheavals comparable to the discovery of the printing press.

So “peer review” today as a gatekeeper for the scarce resources of paper publication, is defunct. Its defenders are those who have already entrenched themselves in positions of power and authority in their respective disciplines, and wish to protect their emotional and career investments. Or call it “feeling threatened” by the wild free-for-all of the Internet.

Crazy ideas about and are quickly also shot down in the wider context of the Internet, and relegated to the dunce corner. Giving them wide coverage quickly exposes their flaws.

You can now tell which ideas are on shaky ground by how much they depend on peer review today for their continued circulation, in fact. Climate-gate exposed one of those. Creationist scientists’ papers are shut out when the science is sound, because the authoritarians in power “cannot allow a divine foot in the door”. That’s a quote from one of them, in his “explanation” for why scientists hold ideas that make no sense.

It’s like Gamaliel at the council of the Sanhedrin discussing the apostles in the book of Acts. “But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” Acts 5:39.

 

“Conspiracy theory” thinking is mainstreaming; the powers that be are flabbergasted

April 19, 2014

Tis was my response to the insightful article at the Daily Bell, found at the link following:

http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/35214/Conspiracy-Theory-Goes-Mainstream/

Some of the people at his level of accomplishment have been privy to certain facts shared in the “street” and in “water-cooler” conversations, and in parties, where the rich and powerful chit and chat. Their acquaintances, among whom are the very people referred to in this article, have the idea that he is one of their own “insiders” because he has the position he holds. So they relax and let it slip.

A few “insiders” I have come across only talk to me because I already know this stuff. My wife, a former “diputado” in a Latin American country that is the topic of buzz in anarcho-capitalist and libertarian circles these days, was reluctant to open up when we first met, but of course admitted that these shadowy forces even in the legislatures are some of the worst monsters there are. *Some* of them, not all. Obviously my wife was one; but she got out after at first chance, only one term.

The worst of them seem to be the “Endarkened” Ones, to sue an antonym, who fancy themselves “interplanetary guardians” of Earth, according to one close family member of mine who was bedazzled by one of them during his wanderings. Stuffed goat’s heads all over the house, he said.

De-programming got started when one of Governor Reagan’s aides (yes that Reagan) was enraged when his son came home one day talking about Jesus after one of the principal “Jesus People” groups had spoken to him. He hired out as an expensive operator, to kidnap the adult children of his clients from their “cults”, subject them to bright lights, drug them into stupor, and work on them till they “turned”. He was thrown in the slammer when his work led him to snatch somebody from a Catholic lay Bible study group. His first point of advice to “deprogrammers”: take away their “marked Bibles”.

I could relate other personal tales of knowledge of these guys. One political power player from south of the border told me her dad warned her to always obey them. “Captains and kings”, they call themselves, and “Grey Guards”. I was once invited by email from the “Bavarian Lodge” to consider joining them, together with a stock tip as enticement and inducement and to compromise, surely. I did NOT bite of course. Hint: it is a company that will surely benefit from the government mandates relating to embedded chips, which is in turn surely the “mark of the Beast”.

But anyway, like I always retort as a last resort: When in history, has their *ever*, at all, been a lack of the rich and powerful plotting to become ever richer and more powerful?

Intellectual Property Monopolies Clarified

March 22, 2014

Tibor Machan always has something interesting to say in his columns at the Daily Bell web site. For example, his article “Intellectual Property, Anyone?”.

One comment pointed out that one reason that many intellectuals, even some libertarians, defend “intellectual property” monopolies, is “the envy that the intellectual suffer for the successful, troglodyte businessman”…

That may be true for many, but not for all.. But there is at least an idea that other parties who use someone’s new idea are somehow “freeloading”. I do believe in “credit where credit is due”, but this is impossible to do “justly” in the long run when you create incentives for “rent-seeking”. That’s what a copyright and patent regime does , especially in a land of corporations, or, the present land of corporations.

It inevitably becomes a battle of wits and trickery. Two people who have the same idea, but one of them lives closer to the patent office. Is that “fair”? I’m a software engineer, but some of my code is generic functions that I’ve written before. Whose code is that?

The US Constitution included the mention of copyright and patent, with a parenthetical clause that says the purpose was utilitarian. It a land of individual artisans, maybe, maybe not.

The most convincing argument, though, against “intellectual property”, in my opinion, is the total, absolute, unequivocal requirement by definition of an agency (government, mob, dictator, etc.) with powers to violate the non-aggression principle, PLUS the total, absolute, unequivocal arbitrary and capricious nature of where the boundaries are on “intellectual property”. That is, how far does it reach? How many years?

One science fiction writer, Robert Sawyer I think, wrote once that he thought copyrights should be limitless, without expiration, and inheritable to all generations!

This is all because we have come to think of copyright in this way. I have read that before the introduction of the printing press, there was no such thing as copyright, and copyright itself was “invented” by kings and authorities for the purposes of censorship. Think the “stamp act”. Think permits for the First Amendment akin to permits for the Second.

Although Thomas Cahill in his book “How the Irish Saved Civilization” pointed out that the reverence for books that the Irish learned from St. Patrick led to a noble’s exile for sneaking into his neighbor’s palace in the dark of night to copy the neighbor’s books in the dark!

The idea of monopoly rights for inventions for utilitarian purposes is also part and parcel with the idea that a monopoly of force over a bounded geographical area –or unbounded, as some world dictatorship advocates would have it– is necessary for scientific, artistic, and technological advancement.

One example demonstrates the lie of the collective utilitarian argument used in the USA Constitution. Tim Berners-Lee, and hypertext (and related ideas), and his colleagues, public-domaining the Web, and we all can see the results.

A more expansive article of evidence is the “open source” movement (as in the Open Source Foundation, which grew out of the idea of “free software”, with “free as in free speech, not free beer”, Richard Stallman’s preaching point. Tens and maybe hundreds of thousands of programmers are contributing to projects that by now ALL of us use.

Linux servers dominate the nodes used to carry the Internet. Firefox and Chrome and other freely shared browsers are pushing Internet Explorer out of the way. More and more of us are using Open Office or Libre Office or the Google applications to do their documents. This has inspired a parallel movement to do the same thing with hardware inventions, but not just computer hardware, but physical inventions. Open Source programs for 3-D printing for example.

And note that the barriers for entry into the class of patent-holders also holds back new inventions. With the new law Obama recently signed, it’s also a matter of who gets to the patent office first, and no matter if you had prior art, no matter if it was already in the public market. Get the patent and start trolling.

Another argument against patents as incentives for invention is the obvious fact of incentives to suppress them. A new energy patent holder (see infinite-energy.com, and use the hyphen!) might be tempted to sell it to an oil company for a billion bucks, and the oil company might consider it a bargain! And don’t forget the rumor of the light bulb that never burns out. Amazing how long those lights last in your car’s dashboard. And remember Tesla’s suppressed inventions. He might have been able to continue some of that today, with crowd-sourcing.

But the clincher, in my opinion, is the fact that no matter how you might enforce copyright or patent monopoly in the real world, there is no “natural” way at all, no “self-evident” way at all, to do it without arbitrary and capricious decree by somebody against any and all others.

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Left-fascists riot in Honduras Congress, democracy, and individual freedom

February 1, 2014

Herein read my reaction to comments in La Gringa’s “blogicito”, found at the following link:

http://tinyurl.com/m7wyh7m

This episode of changing rules in Honduras just shows the general peril of ANY government. Democracy is NOT any “better” than any other form of government. Power corrupts. Taxation is extortion by definition, no matter how many of the majority vote for it. Follow the law or go to jail. By the way, though, I read various articles on the proceedings, and they are not the end of the democracy as depicted, so much as a lot of noise and riot by a party founded by people who in power did much worse, of course.

The United States’ long history is the best attempt maybe along those lines, and look where it is now. The “strong media” of the 19th century is now a sycophantic mouthpiece for more control over every piece of your life by government. The best example of this is their treatment of the champion of individual freedom in the United States in his presidential campaign, Ron Paul.

But college kids loved him. He was different, and showed character by shutting down lobbyists, like Larry Abrammoff said in a Q&A on CSpan once, he was one that you could not get anything from him with offers of money. Otherwise, he said they’re more or less all for sale.

Centralization of power in the United States began with the Constitution, had a false start with Alexander Hamilton’s central bank baby, which Andrew Jackson killed off, got a second wind with Abraham Lincoln, and then accelerated after the Federal Reserve Bank was created and populated with the bankers they were supposedly going to regulate for the people’s interest, and it was created after a campaign that pretended it was to stop their abuses. The Income Tax was another abuse enacted the same year. It’s an abuse because I don’t have the right to tell you how much you get to keep of the fruits of your labor and how much you have to pay me for “protection”. Even if you vote for me. Theft is theft. Or call it extortion if you must, because it depends also on how “stable” such thieves are in office.

At least by a vote they have to got through pretense.

Allende was voted a plurality in Chile, and when he began ruling as an economic and political tyrant, the Congress had no constitutional remedy, so they passed a resolution DEMANDING that the military stop him. Allende did not yield to diplomatic pressure, either, and a lot of that saw the (again) sycophantic controlled “strong” media cheering Allende for cutting down Anaconda copper.

The media (outside Honduras) did not report the abused Allende perpetrated any more than they did Zelaya’s. But in 2009 we already had the Internet. So the only mainstream reporting during both abusive regimes was condemnatory of the moves against leftist-fascism.

Think not; more centralized control is their game plan. At least that’s what they do. Some as zombies, true, but nonetheless.

That’s why hope for Honduras, in my opinion, has two grounds for optimism.

ONE, the fact that one of the poorest country in Latin America, and that was already saturated by violent gangs and the same demagaguery as Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, and even Argentina and Brazil, nonetheless pushed back against the tyranny.

TWO, they worked quickly to find a way to bring Honduras out of the vicious poverty swamp. They scoured the world and brought people from Chile to share how they became the first Latin American developed country. They investigated the examples of South Korea (contrast with North Korea) and Hong Kong and China’s special economic zones (that copy the HK model), Singapore, that became prosperous while their neighbors sank in the mire.

The politics is noisy in Honduras right now, and the dirty laundry is now public, but it was always thus. It’s just that after 2009, they have to stay clean, at least until the sons of the Chavez-Zelaya-Castro marriage grab a majority or plurality.

It was always much WORSE in fact. I have certain knowledge that many of the Congress years past were into the kinds of business that would make Al Capone blush. And that includes some of those now demanding “democracy” from the controlling coalition.

Fighting over the spoils of conquest is what this is, and people must push back against any government having any power at all to loot anybody.

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the  blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised…

Matthew 17:24 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?

25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?

26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.

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The Internet and the Obamacare and a Controlled Net?

October 27, 2013
The bitcoin logo

The bitcoin logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daily Bell covers another phenomenon with another way of looking at things:

http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/34692/Facebook-Changing-the-Face-of-Mercantilism/

Events are tending to consolidating into a setup for the infamous Mark of the Beast government. Everybody is using plastic, they’ve nationalized the ID already (done long ago almost everywhere outside the USA), and the Internet is a perfect vehicle for a buy and sell medium. IP6 Internet, I believe, they say anyway that it’s “more secure” than IP4. Don’t know enough about it yet to say, but “more secure” can mean anybody you transact with could identify you positively (as much as is possible).

Bitcoin can get traction in the stealth side of the Internet, somewhat, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be an attempt to use it to control the entire world’s economic activity. They could even let go of the current dollar disaster, no problem, they’ve already got some of these international units in place, euro-units, whatnot.

In fact, they could just criminalize all transactions done outside their scope.

Lots of readers are jumping in on this and thinking there are too many problems for this to make it work. Obamacare is a good warning on that, as central planning is always eventually doomed anyway. No matter with all that stuff they’re feeding the popular mind to scare them (us) with what their secret agents will do to bad guys (“Oh, and he owns an anti-government web site”).

No man shall buy or sell save he that hath “the mark”. But eventually, it all crumbles on the head of the dictator and dictators who get this thing going. During the plagues, a “grievous sore” falls on those who do have “the mark”, and eventually, “he [The Beast] shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”

Why Open Source will dominate the future and is spreading freedom.

October 1, 2013
Tux, the Linux penguin

Tux, the Linux penguin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Why Open Source will dominate the future and is spreading freedom.

 

1. The USA situation is where it all ends up, in the end, it’s just that the bigness multiplies the moral hazard (an economic term) of rent-seeking, and concentrates more economic influence. Being the declining #1.

2. Enterprises pay for modernization, for sure, of their own software. Work for hire is not relevant. IBM has even paid big for projects that enhance Linux, for example, including the big belly flop dive of a billion dollars –with a “B”– some years back.

3. Which brings me to the point that the very title you gave to this discussion supports my point. IBM is making Linux work well on the mainframes!

4. Speaking of which, we also note that Linux is treated in technical terms as an “equal partner” with IBM i and IBM p on the Power Servers. Its role has only grown.
And that means it shares the spot with what looks from my perspective like the absolutely best multi-user proprietary operating system ever built, the IBM i, of course.
And yes, I’m sure it still beats Linux, even though both of them share one shortcoming with the mainframe, and that is no native GUI. (Which by the way Frank Soltis said once was something he always regretting deciding against.)

5. But note that even with the IBMi on Power, IBM opted, instead of enhancing the operating system with the new functionality that has been coming at us from open source projects, they decided to just incorporate the open source applications into the operating system (or plugged onto it). Apache, PHP, MySQL, Java, and of course HTTP and HTML, and the rest. And our fellow brethren of the “order of the i” have jumped in and added Ant, and Python, and lots more, God bless them.

And you could make a case for Scott Klement’s open source projects blowing open great new vistas of productivity for the i community.

6. Android is taking lots of market share from what would have been Apple’s domain, and probably expanded the touch-screen market in the process.

Bottom line, not going away soon, especially before libertarian principles start affecting central planning territory, but it is in start-up mode.

 

 

Phil Zimmerman is in the news again… Get encryption

June 24, 2013

Phil Zimmerman has long been a hero to people who respect the right as recognized in the Fourth Amendment of the United States. He’s the one who open-sourced PGP (“Pretty Good Privacy“) that can protect your communications from private spying by others, but also apparently protects it from government.

Privacy services companies stand up against Big Brother — RT News:
http://rt.com/news/privacy-services-companies-boom-142/

Got nothing to hide? It seems like it’s the government that has plenty to hide –from US THE PEOPLE!

Matthew 10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be