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Comment: Re:You're Talking About a Different Scale (Score 1) 237

by ultranova (#49827715) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

I just don't think those tactics would work all that well within the US. It seems like whenever an organization DOES try an astroturfing campaign ("Citizens for Enhanced Comcast Monopoly") it gets spotted so quickly for what it is that it seems to achieve negative results.

Russians aren't idiots, they simply think things will get better if they pretend to believe the lies and let their country and its leaders engage in one immoral act after another - just like Americans, or really anyone. And their reward is the same, too.

Comment: Re:par for the course (Score 1) 237

by ultranova (#49827611) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

The professional Russian trolls are about as subtle.

Do we know Cold Fjord is not a Russian troll? After all, he's making American patriotism look bad by associating it with authoritarianism.

Thing is, you don't need to be very good at trolling if you are working full time at it. You will always get the last word against people who has better things to do than to argue with paid trolls.

You will always get the last word, and then what? The point of such trolling is to disrupt, to keep people arguing over stupid shit forever so they're too busy to discuss Putin's failures or what to do about him; if other posters ignore him, he has failed.

Comment: Re:You're Talking About a Different Scale (Score 5, Insightful) 237

by eldavojohn (#49824103) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

Frankly put, I'm unaware of "American organized political trolling" that rivals this.

Americans are quick to believe the Official Narrative, no matter how absurd. Mass media is the professional 'troll' that gets people to fight each here.

Again, you're conflating two things that are significant enough that I don't see a simple one-to-one comparison here.

The clear difference here is that the trolls in the article are a nebulous entity whereas the media trolls are not. I know to laugh at Glenn Beck and Katie Couric. I know who they are. I recognize their blubbering stupid talking heads. They're a trainwreck of lies and half truths. On the other hand, you can't stop google from returning search results that confirm what you're looking for. When it's a "trending hastag" on Twitter, you can't figure out if it's legit or not. How do I know that podonski432 on Twitter is the same individual on Youtube named ashirefort posting videos of an explosion is the same person retweeting podonski432 and adding ashirefort's video to their tweet?

Mass media doesn't employ subterfuge and I sure as hell can stop reading the New York Post & Washington Times & CNSNews & Huffington Post and all that other drivel. I can't, however, identify easily that this account on Twitter is just the new troll account that tricked me last time.

You do know that it's news if the New York Times is caught lying or spreading known falsities, right? I watched Jon Stewart hold a "reporters" feet to the WMD fire on one of his recent episodes. There's no self-policing mechanism like that among trolls.

Comment: You're Talking About a Different Scale (Score 5, Insightful) 237

by eldavojohn (#49823955) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

It's just about time to drag the American organized political trolling on sites like reddit, twitter, and tumblr into the open too, right?

Well, astroturfing is no new tactic but ... I think what this article deals with is scale. 400 clearly skilled (bilingual at the least) individuals running multiple catfish personalities online day in and day out ... the whole thing on a budget of $400k a month? That level and size is probably unparalleled by ... say, Digg's conservative idiots.

You have one entity orchestrating the 12 hours a day work of 400 individuals on topics that are pro-Russian and tangentially pro-Russian. They are sophisticated enough to "hit play" at a certain time to unfold a natural disaster or assassination or anything to destabilize/confuse a region and they do so over many accounts on multiple social media platforms. They create video, screenshots, websites, etc. And they use proxies and sufficiently sophisticated means to appear to be disjoint at first glance.

They appear to have run an exercise on a rubber plant explosion in Louisiana for no other discernible purpose than to test out their new super powers or demonstrate their abilities to their customers/leaders.

Frankly put, I'm unaware of "American organized political trolling" that rivals this. This is paid. This is tightly controlled. This is prepared. This is unified. American organized political trolling is just a run-of-the-mill monkey shitfight with the occasional Koch Bros/Soros website (usually easily sourceable) thrown in.

Now if you can point me to a faked ISIS attack on American soil right before an election that was done by some political group stateside, I'd be interested to hear about it.

Comment: Re:Negotiating when desperate (Score 1) 549

Whilst the proliferation of easy credit shoulders a lot of the blame, a significant amount still falls onto the shoulders of the credit addled. They could say "no" when the bank offers them an easy loan. They could say "no" I dont need an expensive car. They could say "no" to credit and pay cash/debit at the store.

They could say "no" to credit, live miserly, and then get in debt anyway due to, say, medical bills. Or they could use credit and at least have good memories on their deathbed.

Comment: Re:Pay them market value (Score 1) 225

The fact they were working at CMU suggests they were already paying them market value.

The fact they aren't working there anymore suggest they weren't.

What I think actually happened is that Uber treated the Robotics Engineering Center as a startup with a set of internal working relationships and expertise that they wanted. Since they couldn't actually buy the Center they just hired away all the researchers.

So the employees rather than shareholders, managers or the CEO got a fat paycheck for being good at their jobs. That's communism!

Comment: Re:I've always wondered... (Score 2) 204

If we could thrawl space for dissipated matter and energy and thus create new stars, wouldn't the stop the heat death?

That particular method won't work, since stars "burn" fuel and eventually all will be gone. However, combining general relativity with quantum physics might allow us to control the shape of spacetime in a way that basically amounts to creating new "baby" universes.

Alternatively, an expanding universe can not actually experience heat death, since the expansion itself causes the ambient temperature to fall. However, taking advantage of this fact would require giving up anything resembling our current fleshy forms. Of course, we'll probably end up doing that anyway, since mind uploading has obvious advantages once we leave the only known environment - Earth - where our bodies are actually convenient. And of course, it might turn out mind uploading is actually impossible, in which case we have problems.

And of course, it's always possible that the Laws of Thermodynamics are not, in fact, absolute, or more likely, don't mean what we think they mean. It wouldn't be the first time people jumped to conclusions without thinking of all the implications.

Comment: Re: So, the other side? (Score 1) 422

by ultranova (#49808341) Attached to: Mandriva CEO: Employee Lawsuits Put Us Out of Business

There are times i wonder if WW2 was facists vs facists about who was to run the circus.

Fighting fascists on their own terms will, of course, make you more like them. Just like the Cold War led to the committee of counter-revolutionary - excuse me, anti-American - activities, War on Drugs led to police behaving like a criminal cartel, War on Terror in practice means assassinations and bombings, and so forth. You cannot wield power without yielding to it; you can sit on a throne but it'll be the logic of the throne which dictates your actions, not the other way around.

"Even if we lose this war, we still win, for our spirit will have penetrated our enemies' hearts." --Goebbels

âoeWhoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.â --Nietzsche

Goebbels was smarter than Nietzsche, at least in this regard; he saw the process as inevitable. An evil regime might be crushed by force of arms, but the spirit it embodies can't be. And of course the same works the other way too, thus for example the Baltic states popped right back into existence as soon as Soviet oppression slipped. Humans aren't really sapient yet; we simply have some of our instincts dictated by memes rather than genes, and the process is unconscious. Becoming fully aware of it is likely the next big step forward, assuming we survive our current troubled childhood.

Comment: Re:So, the other side? (Score 1) 422

by ultranova (#49808237) Attached to: Mandriva CEO: Employee Lawsuits Put Us Out of Business

We all do, but there aren't enough resources to provide luxuries for 6 billion people.

He didn't ask for "luxuries" (what does that even mean? running potable water would be luxury in third world), he asked for security. There's enough resources to feed, clothe, house, and connect everyone, even if you assume most companies are so economically inefficient they'll have to close doors once their employees have any options besides destitution.

No, the real reason those on top will fight tooth and nail any changes is that they'd lose their power if those under them could flip them the bird and walk away in reality, not just in theory. But they don't ultimately have options: they can't provide enough jobs at sufficient pay level to keep the current system going, since then their competitors will undercut them and/or the shareholders will oust them, and they can't stop using more and more automation, which will make the situation worse and worse. The change is coming, with the same logic of marketplace that rised them up corroding the foundations of their power. The only questions that remain open are where we'll end up, and how many people get killed on the way there.

Comment: Re:So, the other side? (Score 1) 422

by ultranova (#49808143) Attached to: Mandriva CEO: Employee Lawsuits Put Us Out of Business

They had already gotten what they worked for.

No, they hadn't. As the judge noted, the company had not fulfilled its contractual obligations towards them.

They were stamping their feet and demanding severance money from a company that didn't have the money, and not caring if they destroyed the company and the lives of the superior employees who still worked there.

They were demanding money that the company owned them. If the company had accumulated debts it couldn't pay that's the CEOs fault.

But your comment about "superior employees" piques my interest: do you think someone who's "inferior" in some way should not only lose, but internalize their defeat so they'll be submissive to their "superiors"? Is that the world you authoritarian libertarians - for a lack of better description - want to see?

Nasty, stupid children acting just as expected.

Do you also make such comments when the bank or other company demands you pay your debts? Or is it just the peons who have obligations to their liege lords?

Yes, I think I understand you now. Authoritarian libertarian. Didn't think it was possible, but I guess human creativity is truly boundless, especially when you wouldn't want it to be.

Comment: Re:So, the other side? (Score 1) 422

by ultranova (#49808123) Attached to: Mandriva CEO: Employee Lawsuits Put Us Out of Business

Unless the government pays them on behalf of the bankrupt company,

Sure, why not? Seems to me like that would be an excellent way to stimulate economy, letting people working for startups concentrate on their jobs rather than whether it's time to jump ship. And as a nice side bonus it'd help make "unofficial" employment less attractive.

You could even take it a step further and have the state pay the entire payroll for a startup, and deduct it from any money you take out of the company or get from selling it. Sure, you'd lose some to fraud, but it would still be a step up from the current method of giving money to banks and large companies who then pay every single cent as dividends and bonuses.

Comment: Re:So, the other side? (Score 1) 422

by ultranova (#49806285) Attached to: Mandriva CEO: Employee Lawsuits Put Us Out of Business

Isn't "enlightened self interest" the whole fucking point of capitalism?

No, making as much money as possible is the whole point of capitalism. And if you screw over others to make more profits said profits are yours, while the costs are public. It's a classic tragedy of the commons, and it's slowly but surely destroying the entire system. A welfare state could manage the damage, but is currenly unfashionable, and frankly it seems the society is going - if it hasn't already - over the tipping point where the vicious circle of poverty leading to damaged infrastructure leading to economic problems and more poverty can't be stopped anymore.

Comment: Re:So, the other side? (Score 1) 422

by ultranova (#49806121) Attached to: Mandriva CEO: Employee Lawsuits Put Us Out of Business

That only works once. You get yours (maybe), nobody else will have the opportunity to get anything. In this case it appears the terminated employees will get less than they would have if they had compromised rather than taking down the company.

Compromises require trust: you have to be able to trust the other party to be negotiating in good faith, rather than just buying time while they're hiding the valuables. There's been too many instances of the latter for any such trust to exist. And no system can work once people lose faith in it.

If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.

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