The Internet is Just a Prototype The week in hyperlinks #30

A weekly reading list to stimulate thoughts about the (digitised) world you might (or might not) want to live in.

Here is this week’s collection of articles and ideas that caught my eye, with a focus on ‘digital life’, broadband Internet and personal data. They offer data about the world we presently live in, and hints about the one we might wish to pass on to future generations.

My destitute friend Martine is in hospital again and in agony, and is asking for my help with all kinds of transport and other needs. Her benefits were sanctioned when she didn’t fill in the online journal to prove she’s looking for work — as she had no means of getting online. I’m not well myself right now, and don’t have a charity budget left for this month. If you’d like to help me to keep her going, I can’t ignore her plight. A dozen people sending £20 would solve the immediate crisis.

Censorship corner

Shocking Internal Google Docs Prove Their Orwellian Goals and Desire to Squash Free SpeechGateway Pundit

“Google determined that this bad behavior and mismanagement from Big Tech causes many problems, including breeding conspiracy theories. They quote President Trump as an example of these “conspiracy theories.” In 2016, Trump said “Google’s search engine was suppressing the bad news about Hillary Clinton,” though Google referred to this as a “conspiracy theory,” it was true.” — See also The Good Censor, a leaked Google document.

Facebook just shut down the ‘Right Wing News’ page with its 3.1 million followersTwitchy

“After Dr. Blasey testified, Right Wing News posted several false stories about her — including the suggestion that her lawyers were being bribed by Democrats — and then used the network of Facebook pages and accounts to share the pieces so that they proliferated online quickly, social media researchers said.” — How do you know they are false? See also:

Google CEO tells senators that censored Chinese search engine could provide “broad benefits”The Intercept

“GOOGLE CEO SUNDAR PICHAI has refused to answer a list of questions from U.S. lawmakers about the company’s secretive plan for a censored search engine in China.” — Bullets also deliver “broad benefits” in terms of pain relief for cancer sufferers, but we understand that’s a problematic ethical framing. One hopes.

Left-wing media, entertainment elites panic to censor new abortion film “Gosnell: America’s Biggest Serial Killer”Natural News

“As Infowars notes, Facebook has already refused to allow filmmakers to advertise the film on their platform. And one of the more popular crowdfunding sites, Kickstarter, have refused them as well. In addition, National Public Radio (which is taxpayer-funded) also refused to carry ads for the film. NPR’s problem with the ads? They won’t allow filmmakers to call Gosnell two things that honestly and truthfully describe him: An “abortionist” and a “murderer.”” — No comment on the abortion side, but it seems hypocritical demanding “neutrality” for networks whilst rejecting it for the rest of the digital supply chain.

Noteworthy news

High court dismisses latest data protection action against GoogleBlake Morgan LLP

“This case concerned a workaround developed by Google which allowed it to gather data about users of Apple’s Safari web browser and target advertising to those users, despite Apple’s privacy settings supposedly preventing such data gathering. … The judgment contains some important lessons for data protection claims.” — See also Google appeals $5 billion EU fine in Android antitrust case.

Google Exposed User Data, Feared Repercussions of Disclosing to PublicWall Street Journal

“As part of its response to the incident, the Alphabet Inc. unit on Monday announced a sweeping set of data privacy measures that include permanently shutting down all consumer functionality of Google+. The move effectively puts the final nail in the coffin of a product that was launched in 2011 to challenge Facebook Inc. and is widely seen as one of Google’s biggest failures.” — See also Google shuts down Google+.

Twitter says bug may have exposed some direct messages to third-party developers — Techcrunch

“Twitter said in a notice that only messages sent to brand accounts — like airlines or delivery services — may be affected. … The company said that the bug affected less than 1 percent of users on Twitter.” — This kind of error needs IT systems to be refactored around “privacy by design” data containers.

JUSTICE: Staffer Who Doxxed Senators Faces More Than 30 YearsSarah Palin

“As the Washington Examiner reports, 27-year-old Jackson Cosko was arrested last week and appeared before a federal judge where it was learned that he had snuck into the office of Democrat Senator Maggie Hassan. Once there, he accessed a staffer’s computer and uploaded personal information of three Republican senators onto their respective Wikipedia pages.” — Don’t dox powerful people, it seems. As for the rest of us, meh…

Google drops $10 billion bid for Pentagon contractCNN Business

“In a statement released Monday, Google said it was dropping its bid for a program known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI). The DOD is looking to move massive amounts of data to the cloud. “While we are working to support the US government with our cloud in many areas, we are not bidding on the JEDI contract because first, we couldn’t be assured that it would align with our AI Principles and second, we determined that there were portions of the contract that were out of scope with our current government certifications,” Google’s statement said.”

Global Internet could crash in next 48 hoursRT

“The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is responsible for maintaining the registry of domain names and IP addresses, will be changing the cryptographic key that helps protect the Domain Name System (DNS) or the internet’s address book.” — Seems to have gone OK.

Facebook says hackers accessed phone numbers, email addresses as part of latest breachFox

“In a blog post providing the update, Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of product management, wrote that the hackers used an automated technique to steal access tokens of about 400,000 people, ultimately getting the tokens of 29 million users.” — I am sure none of this data could ever possibly reach the political allies of Facebook. Just “hackers” before an election. Honest.

Cool tech

Drain Weasel Anti-Clog WandSmartocity

“Every time the water starts to accumulate in your sink or bath tub, use this anti-clog tool. It comes with over 100 hair snagging micro hooks that captures trapped hair. Its handle can be turned to 360 degrees for quick and efficient removal – no need for toxic drain cleaners.” — Much of the best innovation isn’t digital.

Uncool tech

5G Network Uses Same EMF Waves As Pentagon Crowd Control SystemNatural Blaze

“Below you can find a lecture from Dr. Ben-Ishai of the Department of Physics at Hebrew University. He goes through how human sweat ducts act like a number of helical antennas when exposed to these wavelengths that are put out by the devices that employ 5G technology.” — Telecoms as the new tobacco? See also Brain Science from Bench to Battlefield: The Realities – and Risks – of Neuroweapons.

Amazon selling sick ‘child-sized’ sex dolls online as campaign groups slam online giantThe Sun

“Although none of the dolls are advertised as being “children”, campaigners said they had the appearance of young girls. Earlier this year Amazon pulled child sex dolls from sale after widespread criticism from charities over concerns people who use such lifelike dolls may go on to sexually abuse children. But a Sun Online investigation found “child like” dolls are still available to buy from the online retailer.” — Yuk!

Important ideas

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Ending PovertyThe Atlantic

“In statistical tests, the traditional [economic] inputs appeared to account for only half the differences in countries’ output per person, suggesting that ideas might account for the remaining half—and that leaving them out of a growth theory was like leaving the prince out of Hamlet.”

The first meeting on Ethics in MathematicsUniversity of Cambridge

“We have a number of invited speakers from within mathematics and in other disciplines who will talk about diverse topics. We have two distinct classes of speaker. The first is a collection of these mathematicians who have worked on ethics in mathematics. The second class is a collection of allied experts from outside mathematics with relevant experience and knowledge.” — Session recordings available online.

Data of distinction

PEW: Americans Are Deleting Facebook From Smartphones FAST, Almost Half of All Millenials — Big League Politics

“In the months of May and June, the Pew Research Center surveyed over 4,500 American adults, and found that the majority have taken action to reduce their Facebook usage. With 54% having adjusted their privacy settings, 42% have taken a break from checking Facebook for several weeks or more, and 26% have deleted the app from their phone all together. Some 74% of Facebook users say they have taken at least one of these three actions at some point in the last year.”

Scientists Discover Matrix-Like Way to ‘Upload Knowledge to Your Brain’The Mind Unleashed

“The study in question, published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, found that subjects who received brain stimulation via electrode-embedded head caps improved their piloting abilities and learned flying tasks 33 percent better than a placebo group, but they didn’t get hardwired with an ability to speak German or suddenly understand how to navigate a plane if they never knew how before.”

MINIX: ​Intel’s hidden in-chip operating systemZD Net

“The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has called for Intel to provide a way for users to disable ME. Russian researchers have found a way to disable ME after the hardware has initialized, and the main processor has started. That doesn’t really help much. ME is already running by then. But Minnich found that what’s going on within the chip is even more troubling. At a presentation at Embedded Linux Conference Europe, he reported that systems using Intel chips that have AMT, are running MINIX.”

Facebook Controls 87% of U.S. Social Video Ad SpendingVariety

“Overall, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast, U.S. video ad spending will grow nearly 30% to $27.82 billion in 2018, meaning video will comprise about 25% of total U.S. digital ad spending this year. In 2018, YouTube will generate an estimated $3.36 billion in net U.S. video ad revenues, up 17% over last year, according to eMarketer. But because the Google-owned video platform’s traffic acquisition and content costs are more than half of its gross revenues — much higher than other platforms — YouTube’s video-ad revenue isn’t comparable to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter.”

Building the Decentralised Ecosystem – Who is Involved?Blockchain Blog

“To achieve a decentralised society, many more components need to be built, requiring global standards and large investments. My estimate is that it will take another 3-5 years before the ecosystem is ready for full-scale, enterprise adoption. Fortunately, many startups are working on various components of this decentralised ecosystem.” — Excellent piece of research.

Interesting views

Are Open APIs a Revolutionary Opportunity or a Cynical Trap?Tom Nolle

“If we had true model-driven service definition and lifecycle management, the only APIs we’d really need are those that generate an event, one to be passed into the model’s event-to-process orchestration to drive a change in state or inquire about status. These APIs would be very simple, which means that they could be transformed easily too. The barriers to customization and to the creation of useful services would fall, not because the APIs enabled the change but because they didn’t prevent what the fundamental architecture enabled.” — APIs enable novelty by outsiders, but the API platform wants to capture the value internally… hence tension. See also Is Broadcom’s Bet on WiFi vs 5G a Good One?.

The Carbonaro Effect: Magician reveals how fake news media indoctrinates the gullible masses with junk scienceNatural News

“Unlike most “magic” shows where talented magicians perform magic in front of people who fully expect to be dazzled by apparent magic, Michael Carbonaro performs magic that’s presented as “normal” reality. In other words, he performs astonishing feats of sleight of hand, but then acts surprised when observers express astonishment at what they just witnessed. In most of his bits, he tries to convince the observers that what they just witnessed was completely normal (and even commonplace). He accomplishes this through the application of social engineering strategies.”

Battle for the soul of America [PDF] — Michael McKibben, Leader Technologies

“If we could solve this Internet “scaling” problem, it would be revolutionary So, in 1997 I assembled a world class engineering team. We worked on the Internet “scale” problem for three years. In December 1999, we had the proverbial “ah hah” moment. We invented a new kind of metadata. It enabled the exchange of metadata instead of whole files. Some experts say our discovery was akin to Edison’s light bulb in its impact on society.” — Lawsuit plausibly alleging the core technology for popular media sites was stolen by the US Government.

Google’s China Ambitions Threaten U.S. National SecurityQuillette

“What can we do about China’s potential future ability to harm American politicians through influencing Internet companies that operate in both China and the United States?  Using antitrust laws to break up these businesses wouldn’t help because even if there was no single search giant, every American search company would still desperately want access to the Chinese market.  China can get what it wants from American scholars who must occasionally work in China, even though no one university has a large share of such researchers.” — See also Leak chips away at Google’s secrecy on China.

Why an artificial intelligence pioneer ditched Silicon Valley for BeijingOzy

“She founded Yi+ in Silicon Valley in 2013. After less than two years, recognizing the changing tide, she relocated the company to Beijing’s Zhongguancun district. “It will not be too long before China overtakes Silicon Valley as far as tech innovation is concerned,” she says unequivocally, highlighting government support for the artificial intelligence industry and the growing number of Chinese and foreign tech companies setting up shop in the capital.”

Is Twitter Headed for Certain Death?Alice Bonasio

“As a huge Twitter fan, it drives me mad how they refuse to work on things such as better search, but for all its flaws, I believe that it would be nothing short of a disaster if that came to pass. As Basta suggests, the company should look at ways of innovating rather than insisting on trying to make outdated models — such as monetizing adverts — try to fit.”

A Unified Theory of Everything Wrong with the InternetJesse Weaver

“In this bubble of anonymity, the real world is Schrodinger’s cat, both existing and not existing at the same time. This paradox is why we flush with embarrassment when we suddenly become aware of another driver watching us dance. Or why road rage stories that end in tragedy are so unnerving to hear. It’s the real world popping our bubble. We’ve killed the cat and now there are consequences.”

Universal Basic Income Is Silicon Valley’s Latest ScamDouglass Rushkoff

“Meanwhile, UBI also obviates the need for people to consider true alternatives to living lives as passive consumers. Solutions like platform cooperatives, alternative currencies, favor banks, or employee-owned businesses, which actually threaten the status quo under which extractive monopolies have thrived, will seem unnecessary. Why bother signing up for the revolution if our bellies are full? Or just full enough?”

Provocative perspectives

The Connection Between Intellect and Ego & the Rise of the Deep StateDauntless Dialogue, YouTube

“How is intelligence related to compassion and what does this relationship have to do with the inception of the Deep State?” — We select for cleverness and cunning over empathy and ethics.

How Globalists Plan To Use Technology And Poverty To Enslave The MassesSHTF Plan

“For example, India’s government has been hitting the news feeds lately as their supreme court recently ruled that the controversial Aadhaar biometric program is legal. In a nation of 1.3 billion people, around 1 billion have already been biometrically profiled in a national database. This data can include fingerprints, iris scans and face scans. I have heard it argued that India is a rather odd place to experiment with such a database, considering 60% of the population is under the poverty line and most people barely have basic amenities. But I would point out that this is why it is a PERFECT place for the globalists to start cataloging the world population on larger scale.”

Media of Merit

From Twitter:

From YouTube

Buyable books

The Octopus of Global ControlCharlie Robinson

“The Octopus of Global Control is a controversial, nonfiction book detailing how those in positions of power are able to manipulate society for their benefit, why they believe that they are entitled to impose their warped world view of reality on mankind, and how we can break free from their grip. The eight tentacles of control that are wrapped around humanity are the Military, Governmental, Covert, Physical, Financial, Media, Spiritual, and Scientific.”

The Polymath — Waqās Ahmed

“The Polymath is an exceptionally versatile human who excels in multiple, seemingly unrelated fields. Over history and across the world this fascinating breed has rejected ‘specialisation’ and shown us a more complete way of thinking and being. In doing so, they have shaped our past and will own the future. This book shows how.”

Microcosm and MediumJoseph Farrell

“I like to be left alone to determine the direction of my life, so I find Joseph Farrell’s Microcosm and Medium to be a breath of fresh air, first for its new information, then for some analysis by someone with advanced intelligence and terminal degrees, and thirdly for its approach to hope for humanity. There are things we can do to prevent the cell doors of tyranny from slamming shut.”

Reinventing Organizations — Frederic Laloux

“Most books on organizations are written for people hoping to find the secret key to gaining market share, beating competition and increasing profits. They offer advice on how to better play the game of success within the current management paradigm. “Reinventing Organizations” comes from a different place.”


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