The Internet is Just a Prototype The week in hyperlinks

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

Here’s a collection of links to articles that caught my eye last week. They offer data about the world we presently live in, and hints about the one we might wish to pass on to future generations.

Why a More People-Centered Internet Is Needed + Why Memorial Day is Important — David Bray

“Which is why over Memorial Day weekend, I find myself wondering what sacrifices — ideally not of life or liberty — would any of us be willing to make if it could help heal fragmented societies? Thinking about our children and future generations ahead, what can help us move closer to a future that is more of Engelbart’s living learning communities that bring different people together vs. apart?” — The zeitgeist is shifting.

The Philip Cross Affair — Craig Murray

““Philip Cross” has not had one single day off from editing Wikipedia in almost five years. “He” has edited every single day from 29 August 2013 to 14 May 2018. Including five Christmas Days. That’s 1,721 consecutive days of editing.” — State-level actors are quietly working 24×7 to pollute your understanding of the world. This is an unfolding scandal: either Wikipedia management is aware, and is complicit; or is unaware, and is negligent. See also Wikipedia Is An Establishment Psyop.

How Big Brother made us fat — Fox News

A short video on why you’ve been lied to for decades by the medical mafia. How many have died from these delusions and deceptions? This is not new information!

Review: Our Towns – A 100,000 Mile Journey into the Heart of America — Public Intelligence Blog

“This is America’s song of life, this is the book we have been waiting for, the catalyst for moving America from the early adopters who have been in Great Awakening mode since at least 2012 (some since Woodstock), toward a mass movement that shuts down the 1% and brings “American Everyman” back to the center of the national stage.” — The revolution won’t be televised, because it is happening in town civic halls, taverns, churches, and local markets.

Electromagnetic radiation from power lines and phone masts poses ‘credible’ threat to wildlife, report finds — Telegraph Science

“The EKLIPSE report found that the magnetic orientation of birds, mammals and invertebrates such as insects and spiders could be disrupted by electromagnetic radiation (EMR). It also found established that plant metabolism is also altered by EMR.” — Our attitude to the safety case of changing wireless network frequencies and modulation schemes seems remarkably lax. Your doctor smokes Camel, and uses a 5G phone.

Exotic probability — Wikiwand

“Exotic probability is a branch of probability theory that deals with probabilities which are outside the normal range of [0, 1] … the valid possible alternatives for probability values are the real numbers, the complex numbers and the quaternions.” — My zone of conscious ignorance just grew a little. Is the development of science more about the creation of new ideas, or becoming aware (via search and social means) of under-used old ones?

Parrot learns to use Amazon Alexa in home — The Week

“Petra’s owners say the bird has a vocabulary of around 300 words, and likes to switch the lights in the home on and off at all hours of the day and night.” — Infosec, meet zoosec.

News crew discovers 40 cellphone-tracking devices operating around DC — Boing Boing

“They estimate — without disclosing their rationale — that half of the devices they detected were part of law-enforcement operations, while the other half are presumably operating on behalf of criminals or foreign spies (in April, the DHS finally admitted that they were concerned about many known “rogue cell site simulators” in DC).” — Our privacy is important to them… and not in a good way!

The World Will Be Painted With Data — Forbes

“The game changer is the persistent geolocation of AR content, and the ability to anchor objects in space so these virtual objects can be visible to an unlimited number of simultaneous users. It takes the tools that created Pokemon Go and integrates them with camera in your phone. Now the camera can reveal posts that you made in a specific, persistent location. Heretofore, mobile AR needed a marker to activate content.”

Twitter is treating Bulgarians tweeting in Cyrillic like Russian bots — The Verge

“Innocent users are able to recover their accounts reasonably quickly after a suspension, but then Twitter still treats them like digital outcasts, showing “tweet unavailable” messages when they respond to a conversation thread and also muting them from sending notifications to others. If you want to know what the term “shadow banning” refers to, well, it’s basically this sort of treatment.” — My love-hate relationship with Twitter is increasingly moving to the latter polarity.

We need a new Operating System for the Fourth Industrial Revolution — World Economic Forum

“This is all part of efforts to ensure this new phase of civilization is human-centric, benefitting not just the privileged few and driven not by the imperatives of technological development, but serving all of society. We must ensure that algorithms driven by vast data harvesting are trustworthy; that artificial intelligence and machine learning are as ethical as they are intelligent; and that data ownership is clear. These questions and many more are coming at us faster than we can formulate answers.” — Just don’t question the role of transnational finance and corporate hierarchy.

Fundamental Need for Human Sacrifice by Abrahamic Religions — Laetus In Praesens

“Girard’s thesis in a nutshell is that all culture is founded upon murder, upon the collective lynching of a surrogate victim or scapegoat whose removal restores peace and tranquility to a previously disrupted community.” — I am still trying to digest what this means, but it is definitely challenging to one’s fundamental beliefs.

Court Seals Documents for Google in James Damore Case — Breitbart

“Asking why Republicans are “defending Google,” Dhillon explained the extent of corruption in D.C. — “The very crass reason is that Google spreads the money around both sides. Google very carefully spreads the money around in the media as well, and in non-profits as well. They are really ubiquitous and everywhere.” — “As a result, people know which side their bread is buttered [on], and there are very few principled people who say ‘you know what, I don’t want to take your money Google, I’m going to criticize you, and I’m going to be objective about it.’”” — Google is #DeepState and corrupt, and I am not on their payroll, and never will be. I once got indirectly paid by them in a “blind” market research programme, but otherwise I am clean.

‘Plainly unconstitutional’: New Orleans jail records inmates’ calls to lawyers — The Guardian

““It was a sobering introduction to the fact that some of the basic ideas we might have about the way the law works, the things you learn in law school or might assume from TV, often aren’t the way things operate in Orleans parish,” said Frampton. He now teaches law at Harvard.” — It’s 2018, and we’re still haven’t secured the 19th century telephony application. We must do better.

Trump’s Blocking of Twitter Users Is Unconstitutional, Judge Says — New York Times

“If the principle undergirding Wednesday’s ruling in Federal District Court stands, it is likely to have implications far beyond Mr. Trump’s feed and its 52 million followers, said Jameel Jaffer, the Knight First Amendment Institute’s executive director and the counsel for the plaintiffs.” — Twitter is now “Ma Bird”, running the Public Switched Social Messaging Network, with all the consequences that implies. — Worth checking out, a “YouTube minus the censorship”

From their email… “ is being built to support over one billion video views per month. It has all the features you might expect in a professionally-built video hosting community such as video embeds, adaptive playback on mobile devices, video management, traffic reporting and much more. Most importantly, you won’t be banned just because some “snowflake” finds your videos to be offensive. Our view is that if somebody is “offended” by your video, they don’t have to watch it, right? In fact, we’re going to run contests for “the most offensive video of the week” just to exercise the boundaries of the First Amendment.”

Send us your nudes: Facebook’s bizarre strategy for fighting revenge porn — RT

“Uploaded photos will only be seen by “a very small group of about five specially trained reviewers” on Facebook’s Community Operations Safety Team who will give the image a digital fingerprint using a scrambling method called hashing.” — Man, am I in trouble if they ever acquire Grindr and federate their services.

Scientists Transferred Memories From One Snail to Another. Someday, They Could Do The Same in Humans. — Futurism

“Next, the team took some ribonucleic acid (RNA), which forms proteins based on cells’ DNA, from nerve tissue in the upper abdomen of trained snails and injected it into the untrained snails’ necks to get to their circulatory system. When they were shocked, the snails that weren’t injected with RNA curled for only a few seconds, the way all snails do when they haven’t been trained. But the ones injected with RNA from the trained snails? They held the pose for 40 seconds, as if they remembered how to respond to a stimulus, even though they had never encountered it before.” — Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

Zuckerberg set up fraudulent scheme to ‘weaponise’ data, court case alleges — The Guardian

““The evidence uncovered by plaintiff demonstrates that the Cambridge Analytica scandal was not the result of mere negligence on Facebook’s part but was rather the direct consequence of the malicious and fraudulent scheme Zuckerberg designed in 2012 to cover up his failure to anticipate the world’s transition to smartphones,” legal documents said.” — Where’s there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. Although with Facebook, death by smoke inhalation seems more likely than being devoured by the inferno.

Tree Antenna: using trees for radio transmission — We Make Money Not Art

“General George Owen Squier, the Chief Signal Officer at the U.S. army not only coined the word “muzak”, in 1904 he also invented in 1904 a system that used living vegetable organisms such as trees to make radio contact across the Atlantic. The invention never really took off as the advent of more sophisticated means of communication made tree communication quickly look anachronistic.”

Should AI Always Identify Itself? It’s more complicated than you might think — EFF

“While across-the-board labeling mandates of this type may sound like an easy solution, it is important to remember that the speech generated by bots is often simply speech of natural persons processed through a computer program. Bots are used for all sorts of ordinary and protected speech activities, including poetry, political speech, and even satire, such as poking fun at people who cannot resist arguing—even with bots. Disclosure mandates would restrict and chill the speech of artists whose projects may necessitate not disclosing that a bot is a bot.”

Woman says her Amazon device recorded private conversation, sent it out to random contact — Kiro7

“They said ‘our engineers went through your logs, and they saw exactly what you told us, they saw exactly what you said happened, and we’re sorry.’ He apologized like 15 times in a matter of 30 minutes and he said we really appreciate you bringing this to our attention, this is something we need to fix!” — Amazon’s new motto is “go straight to evil”.

The Revolution Will Have Structured Content — Think Blog

“Some languages, such as Tuyuca, have a feature called “evidentiality” which prevents the speaker from saying anything without also saying how they know it. It’s embedded in the grammar. … So in those languages you can’t say “Bob went to the store” without also saying how you know that Bob went to the store. You’re on the hook for your source. Think about how powerful that is. … Alas, English lacks this feature, but there are things we can do with the technology we have that might make up the difference.”

Next, the Internet: Building a Cooperative Digital Space — P2P Foundation

“At first, we had the idea that we could simply copy the Ubers and Airbnbs of the world, slap a co-op label on, and the world would switch over. But the more I’ve watched this platform co-op ecosystem grow, the more I get excited about how cooperation allows these businesses to do things differently. Cooperative ownership isn’t just some add-on mutation, it’s another sort of genome.”

Phase Shifting Humanity with Daniel Schmachtenberger — New Story Hub

“In this episode, Daniel talks about many deep and fascinating ideas to do with building a better future for humanity. He describes why we need non-self-terminating and antifragile systems to sustain life on our planet.” — These are not optional properties; they are fundamental to longevity of life and ecosystems.

Resilient data center? Break out the balaclavas — Datacentre Dynamics

“The next time someone offers you 99.999 percent of anything just ask them ‘over what period’ and watch their expression change – it can be fun.” — We’ve yet to fully apply antifragile engineering to data centres!

U.S. Websites Go Dark in Europe as GDPR Data Rules Kick In — WSJ

I can’t quote from it, as I can’t read it from here 🙂 However, GDRP-related changes show us the Web is 90% junk content and your freedom is worth $9.

What if your money had a mind of its own? — Prospect

“We use our existing money to pay for our essential needs, for schools, hospitals, charities and the arts. But the same money finances pollution, crime, human trafficking, even violence and warfare. If money could think for itself, if it could decide what it wanted to be spent on, it might well conclude that it didn’t want to get its hands dirty.” — “Ethical by design” is going to be the new forefront of technology innovation in a post-Google world.

Facebook and Google hit with $8.8 billion in lawsuits on day one of GDPR — The Verge

“The lawsuits are broken up into specific products, with one filed against Facebook and two others against its Instagram and WhatsApp subsidiaries. A fourth suit was filed against Google’s Android operating system.” — The beginning of the end?

Extinction Level Threat – Mind-control: the Missing Link — Veterans Today

“Scientists used soft materials to create a brain implant one-tenth the width of a human hair that can wirelessly control neurons with lights and drugs, and control the actions of mice with the press of a button.” — Seriously dystopian stuff, don’t read this near bedtime.

Cyberattacks are third largest threat to global society over next 5 years — TechRepublic

“Cyberattacks are now the third-largest threat facing the world, following natural disasters and extreme weather, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2018, released Wednesday.” — Bad architecture (and the resulting complexity) is really expensive. “Best effort” is as feeble in security as it is for performance and resilience, so let’s move on.

Are We on the Verge of a New Golden Age? — Strategy+Business

“The new technology giants, like Google, Facebook, and Apple, along with others developing robotics and similar technologies, will comprise the highest-productivity sectors. That’s understood. But they won’t lead us to a more decent society unless they encourage distribution. Otherwise, they are unacceptable monopolies.” — I believe we’re close to the “breakthrough” and a paradigm shift. The next 12-24 months will be game-changing.

From Twitter:

That lot should keep you all busy for a bit!

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