The truth is rarely pure and never simple.By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.
The young know everything, the middle-aged mistrust everything and the old accept everything.
The trouble with being honest...is that one soon gets found out. Science is the record of dead religions. From: Philosophies for the Over-Educated. Oscar Wilde.Having been a member of various mailing lists over the years, and even creating and managing one or two myself...i was in right at the beginning with the old bulletin boards; one becomes well versed in the deceptionary tactics and diversionary strategies of others. At the same time, because a mailing list is a medium in which people share learning, experiences, habits and customs, and where one can learn some new ones, and learn which new ones don't work and others which can be very effective; it was there that I learned the art and science of deception and diversion. I would go as far as to say that I am a mere student of it, as it is an art and science in which I am extremely interested, and watching and digesting the works of those who have their masters and ph.d's in it...can be a lot of fun, as well as entertaining and educational. There is nuffink better than a new and innovative bit of deception, a rarity these days. The torturers are an exception...they cause a lot of pain and suffering, all of which is unnecessary.
The problem I have with all this research is there is generally an assumption by the scientist that he/she knows what truth is, and also knows what a lie is and this is included in their model, be it mathematical, computational or evidential; when it is merely an hypothesis, an assumption, a presumption or a prejudice. Being of an age where I have yet to reach the age of 3 score years and 10, I still mistrust everything. However, one must temper that with being prepared to believe everything and everyone, certainly until they are found out.
There isn't a mailing list yet, of which I have been a member, which hasn't had some kind of deception going on, on it. After all, to paraphrase John Young, there are plenty of "Sartre's Waiters" around, and I dare say, because of its nature and size, quite a few on this mailing list...and who come from quite a variety of backgrounds, certainly in the "Anglosphere".
One of the best ways of deceiving people, is to believe in the lie. To be so well versed in it, that no weakness, no crack can be found. This is called ones "legend" a very special word which spies use. Credible legends are very difficult to create today, the pervading nature of computers, of massive digital storage and mass searching, will often find the crib in the legend...which is why it isn't used so often, (e.g. see the programme "The Americans") and of course, it is a lot cheaper and more efficient to use computers. If one believes in the lie, then one can convince others of its truth. The minute that one becomes forgetful of the lie...one is found out. Acting, along with the Art and Science of Deception, is humanity's second oldest profession. Politicians, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Directors of Intelligence, Promulgators of the Knowns and Unknowns think they are past masters of it, but soon get found out...if only because they, or the people get tired and bored.
When I was once a shop steward, I went away on a week's course to learn all about negotiation with management, about truth and lies and bluffing and being nice and being nasty with a smile on one's face. I learned how to gather and select facts to suit my aims, or my way of thinking, of how to twist facts around to my way of thinking, and, more importantly, and more difficult, to twist them round to other people's way of thinking, when this was considered necessary. To twist facts one has to have facts in the first place, and those facts have to be acceptable facts, or at least known facts, credible facts. The truth isn't necessarily the truth, and because many people believe in such a truth...it doesn't make it truth...but it might help win a war. To be perfectly honest, one also has to know lies too, what kind of lies, how they are told, when they are told, in what way they are told, and how to remember them...Like that old song of Lou Reed's..."Who said what to whom and where..."
One of the interesting facts about computering, is how international it has become. In the good ole days of national media, television, radio, films, newspapers, the equivalent of a "D" notice or some such thing would be adequate for a nation state to suppress any criticism, or even the knowledge of the masses; the unthinking classes as they were thought of; like an abdicating king's sexual and most intimate relationship with a married woman. However, it was never absolute, never completely secure. One nation states laws does not necessarily apply to another nation state...unless of course, they have created some law in common. So, when a politician says one thing for home consumption, and then says or does something else for foreign consumption, the world wide web soon picks up the contradictions of policy at home and that of the international and passes it round the world, where people who are interested in such matters can be informed of it, and can then return it home. It is called transparency, or journalism but it is an indirect form of transparency. Some countries have been forced to shut down the internet all together in time of crisis, but found the blanket approach, counter-productive. Far better to use it for finding out who the "culprits" are, the activitists and their networks, links and so on. Like the Egyptians and Tunisians and now the Chinese have done using some new spyware they have developed, which attaches itself to mobile phones, like "The Blob" film.
However, journalism is also suffering from a problem, getting information on the internet is so easy, the tap of a button, it is cheap...however the problem is, is it correct, or just copied like gossip, and sent round the world as truth or fact. And just because everyone believes it, doesn't mean to say that it is true. Most of the investigative teams and journalists have been put to rest, too expensive, too slow, too many resources. The second problem for journalists, or anyone who is in the information market, is how does one make a profit or a living and share data, information, knowledge, so that one maintains its copyright, or its confidentiality or its commerical secrecy...and who has copies of it, and who shares its copyright and who has access to it, surreptiously or otherwise.
Another problem is that of the informant, or the whistleblower, be it a police informant or a citizen wishing to communicate with his M.P. or with a journalist, or in some other way, some information which may be sensitive or private, or even to be kept secret for a variety of reasons, can no longer do so. That is the real world. What does it mean? It means that people will stop informing them, because they will be scared of being found out. They will only share it amongst themselves and their own circles, as they have always done. Like zamesdat publishing in the USSR. Is this a good or bad thing? Democracy is about consulting people, involving them in the process and progress of their own futures, participating in the decision-making.
The internet and world wide web was once a great way of doing it, now, not so good...Vested interests, international and national powerful interests, well financed and knowledgeable interests, both private and government are trying, like anal retentives to grab all the wealth for themselves and keep it to themselves, and only share it out or sell it amongst themselves; and at some time, like boiling water in a kettle, it will all bubble over. Money circulation will accumulate in fewer and fewer pockets, hence the recent economic crisis. It could only be partially solved by a huge injection of money into the world economy, called quantitative easing, turning traditional Capitalist Economic Laws into toilet paper. Only by funding banksters and rewardin financial crooks, could the governments keep enough economic and political stability to survive...but because that money went into the financial world, instead of the commercial and business world of the small business person and trader, and nothing was done about separating the investment banks from the ordinary banks; and little was done in the way of reform; it will crop up again
We all have dirty washing, skeletons in our cupboards, which we would rather leave there. Even Jesus Christ had a few of those...though I can't think of any of those at the moment...but his oppressors didn't need them to make a martyr out of him. And the "higher up" in society one goes, the more one is seen as fair game. Fact of life, I am afraid...an apt old truism here perhaps, "When the shit flies, everybody ducks".
Really, the answer is very simple, one just has to convince the "Big Yins" the error of their ways and everything will be "hunky dorey" again. The question though, is not so simple..."How does one convince them?"
A few thoughts before Christmas... ;-) ATBDougie (Also known as Sooty)...or is it "Sweep" I can't remember now, senility is...bliss?.
On 16/12/14 06:46, Aftermath wrote:
Very interesting article on censorship using sock puppets and influencing mass opinions...http://www.digitalnewsasia.com/digital-economy/censorship-shadowy-forces-controlling-online-conversationswas originally presented at HitB2014..Very trippy stuff. The article is pretty darn insightful, but the full story comes from the presentation. They show examples of nation states using sock puppets to sway public opinion, show how its possible to detect such sock puppetry and are now creating tools to expose others doing the same thing.From the original presentation:"There have been many discussions online about governments making use of sock puppets on social media sites (and on the Internet in general) to sway popular opinion. Keen observers have spotted military RFP’s calling for the creation of sockpuppet-control software or recruiting groups of students to fill this space. Recent Snowden revelations reveal that GCHQ’s JTRIG has been largely dedicated to such tasks, but there has been little talk of it in information security circles. We hope to change that.While many intuitively agree that sock puppets could be used for distraction (or mass trolling), very little can be said conclusively about such attacks, in part because they have not been widely scientifically demonstrated & measured. We hope to change that.In this talk, we aim to briefly cover the background of sock puppets (and related attacks) before moving on to real world demonstrations & “attacks“. Rigging polls, abusing Twitter, causing Reddit riots & targeting popular news organisations are some of the (many) attacks covered. In all these cases we discuss what we tried, what worked, what didn’t and what the implications are of the attacks. Where possible we will cover defences and solutions.So, if you are interested in a glimpse at “Censorship 2.0″ or just want to learn how to troll people on Reddit, you should attend this talk."