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Comment: Re:Now using TOR after WH threats to invade homes (Score 1) 277

by causality (#48931289) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

Today, all one needs to do is say the government wants it and many will assume it is bad. It is the flip side of the same coin.

That's because there is a limit to how many times they can lie to people, blatantly and without remorse, before the people stop trusting them. My grandparents grew up during a time when this went on, like it does today, but not nearly as much and was not well known (consider Hoover's FBI, or the involuntary radiation exposure experiments carried out against black people, or the use of the CIA to overthrow democratically elected foreign leaders). They saw it as a matter of honor or duty to have trust and faith in the republic and the leaders its processes have put there. That's been shattered and won't be repaired any time soon.

In the personal realm, most people become suspicious of everything someone says after the very first confirmed deliberate deception. The amazing part is that government is given so many chances, that people are so impressed with official symbols and pomp and circumstance that they would ever believe known liars who have never faced any serious consequences for their deceptions.

Comment: Re:Now using TOR after WH threats to invade homes (Score 1) 277

by causality (#48929977) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

And how does one find those targets in the first place if they have no connection with known targets? How does one find the group to infiltrate? The point is that there are many new cells that are popping up that have no connection what so ever with known terrorists. How do you find those new cells?

The idea is that limiting police powers in order to safeguard freedoms (and with them, the balance of power between the individual and the government) is acknowledged as making the job of police harder. The polices' job being harder does, in fact, mean that some number of criminals will go free some of the time, criminals who otherwise would have been caught and prosecuted. This is why absolute security is the antithesis of absolute freedom, so the question then is how to balance the two. When you safeguard liberty as your first priority and assign a lower priority to the effectiveness of law enforcement, you understand that you are taking a higher risk that you yourself will be harmed by a criminal that law enforcement could have stopped.

That's why freedom is not for cowards. The problems you worry about are well known to people who understand and value freedom. They choose freedom anyway. They also realize that the danger with which you're so concerned has been overstated. You're much more likely to be killed by a cop than a terrorist, and any factual inquiry into that based on facts would lead you to the same conclusion. Incidentally, you're also more likely to be injured by lightning. In the last 100 years, many, many more people were killed by their own governments than by any foreign enemy, so the credibility of this danger has been well established. Limited, transparent government is a time-tested manner of managing this danger.

As an aside, if terrorism is truly such a great problem and we want to reduce it in a real and effective manner, we should also stop giving excuses to the people who hate us. It's much easier for an enemy to justify their position, raise their troops' morale, and recruit new members into their brand of exteremism when they can point to concrete acts of ruthless domination the USA has actually committed. Law enforcement would certainly be more effective if its list of potential suspects could be reduced, facilitating a more focused approach on those that remain.

Anyway, the real spirit of freedom, the more value-based, individual, and courageous part that you and so many others keep failing to even recognize, let alone try to understand, is that those who understand freedom realize that a few more guilty men may go free. They consider that a small price to pay, an exchange of a finite quantity that numbers can describe in order go gain something priceless and worthwhile. It's yet another instance of failing to comprehend a viewpoint because you do not personally share it, therefore you get sidetracked by related but irrelevant issues because you have no idea how to articulate a meaningful response to it.

Comment: Oi (Score 1) 217

by fyngyrz (#48929867) Attached to: Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey

I was saying that it makes a lot of sense for Facebook not to allow pictures of Mohammad in Turkey. Just like they don't allow boobies in the USA.

It doesn't "make sense", it simply retards social progress by keeping neurotics from considering the darker corners of their own thought processes. I mean, seriously. "Boobies bad"? That's just... pitiful. I am perfectly ready to describe anyone who isn't pleased by the sight of a nice pair of boobies in any neutral, humorous, peaceful, appreciative or loving context as a broken human being. One for whom I have sympathy and pity, but in no way does this engender any urge to force the world into a form that serves to insulate them from the toxic processes of their own twisted psyches.

As for drawing Mohammad, your assertion that there is no purpose but offense is wrong out of the gate. Art is one reason, political commentary is another, historical illustration is another, simple choice is another, and yes, offense is one but that doesn't make it an invalid use.

Comment: Re:Now using TOR after WH threats to invade homes (Score 1) 277

by causality (#48929619) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

Berating me is doing nothing to change my mind. I do not respond well to bullies.

Actually, the social shunning/shaming of those who advocate positions that are detrimental to society does serve a useful and positive function. Consider the way most people would respond to someone who openly advocates racism, for example. The response such a person receives would not be a pleasant one and really would discourage them. This is a good thing and it's a service to everyone else.

The only difference between racist views and pro-authoritarian views is the method by which they damage society for everyone else. Honestly the idea that your safety is in terrible danger from terrorism, and that giving up freedom and privacy is an acceptable solution, is a form of cowardice. It enables tyranny and those who advocate it are enablers. It's also inconsistent with reality: you're more likely to be injured by lightning than by terrorists, and you're very much more likely to be harmed by police or other members of your own government than any terrorist. If you were truly interested in your safety you would religiously monitor weather reports and you would advocate that the federal government be reduced in size and power.

Meanwhile, it's a fact of life that not all opinions are equally valid. Some, like yours, are rooted in ignorance and cowardice and have proven extremely dangerous each time they are put into practice, as an honest reading of history would reveal to you. Yes, the USA is not the first nation to use the idea of a foreign threat as an excuse to curtail civil liberties. The delusional among us seem to believe that it does happen to be the very first nation that will do this without causing a complete disaster (which has always taken the form of a totalitarian government under which human life is without value). Neither an understanding of history nor of human nature could possibly support this delusion.

I'd like to leave you with two quotations that this conversation reminds me of. You see, we (collectively) keep rehashing these same old debates not realizing that great effort has already been poured into thinking about what are not new issues. The first is from C. S. Lewis:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

The other is a dialog between Hermann Goring, a leading member of the Nazi Party, and a man named Gilbert, during an interview conduced in Goering's prison cell during the Nuremburg trials, on April 18, 1946:

-----

Goring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

----

Something I hope you will consider.

Comment: Who says it serves no purpose? (Score 3, Insightful) 217

by fyngyrz (#48928309) Attached to: Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey

What offends you may not offend me. And vice-versa. What serves no purpose for you, may serve a purpose for me. Be it intended offense, or otherwise, or both at once.

No one in the USA has the "right to not be offended." Being offended is subjective. It has everything to do with you as an individual, or as part of a particular group; it varies due to your moral conditioning, your religious beliefs, your upbringing, your education; what offends one person or group (of any size) may not offend another, nor a person of another grouping; and in the final analysis, it requires one person to attempt to read the mind of other persons they do not know in order to anticipate whether a specific action will cause offense in the mind of another.

And no, codifying an action in law is not in any way sufficient... it is well established that not even lawyers can know the law well enough to anticipate what is legal, and what is not -- any more than you can guess what is offensive to me, or not.

Sane law relies on the basic idea that we try not to risk or cause harm to the bodies, finances and reputations of others without them consenting and being aware of the risks. It does not rely on the idea that we "must not cause offense."

Law that bans something based upon the idea that some individual or group simply finds the behavior objectionable is the very worst kind of law, utterly devoid of consideration or others, while absolutely permeated in self-indulgence.

Comment: Re:First they came for... (Score 2) 217

by fyngyrz (#48927551) Attached to: Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey

what have you "won" exactly?

You "win" Turkish citizens annoyed with their government -- a win in the only venue likely to be able to create change there.

so you're for not opening diplomatic relations with cuba? we should just never ever ever reconcile or talk with cuba?

Diplomatic relations are not on the same level as corporate sponsorship of repression. Yes, we should talk to other governments, definitely including cuba, and yes, we should allow our citizens access if they wish to go there, and vice-versa.

But no, I don't think it is a positive thing when corporations adopt behavioral restrictions that are antithetical to freedom in general. It's not that I expect them to change, it's just that I don't like it, and as I am free to object and explain here, I do so.

we don't talk to iran? what is iran's attitude going to be then?

This is a straw man. I am all for talking to, and mutual visitation of, Iran (Cuba, etc.) These things allow cultural values to spread -- because generally, the dialog is quite open. I am not for FB repressing speech. These are not the same issues.

you are a dogmatic rigid ideologue

It's always entertaining to watch someone slinging mud at their own straw man.

If you want to know what I think, ask me. Don't put words in my mouth.

Comment: They only come for the ad viewers (Score 2) 217

by fyngyrz (#48927447) Attached to: Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey

the absence of facebook won't make those problems go away.

I missed addressing that; responded a bit too quickly, sorry.

I consider this assertion to be flawed; here's why. FB has a very high public profile. Any visitor to the US that is exposed to social media is likely to be aware of both the institution and its reach. They can also learn that the reason "they can't have nice things" is because their government has stepped in the way of their citizens using religion as an excuse. Likewise, US family members who cannot connect with Turkish family members are likely to hold strong opinions, and share them.

If anything is going to make things change, I think that's far more likely than a FB presence that is repression-compliant.

Of course, this would require Zuckerberg and crew to operate using a metric quite different from the "maximize users as ad viewers" model, and that doesn't seem to be in the cards.

Comment: Agreed (Score 2) 217

by fyngyrz (#48927347) Attached to: Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey

There is an issue of State here, the Turkish State, requiring Facebook to filter and or creating at least the implied thread[sic] they will be blocked if they do not filter.

Yes. But it is, in fact, the Turkish state. Not the US state.

I agree with you that I don't like FB's policy here (nor Turkey's) and I would be much happier if FB operated with a lean towards freedom of speech, but that's never been who they were -- they mute, restrict and ban US posters on a regular and constant basis WRT written material and photographs, and they have inflicted their "Real Name" policy on members without regard for the numerous negative consequences.

The objective of FB is to sell ads they can put in the faces of their members. Those who describe members as FB's "product" seem to me to be very close to the mark. How they treat membership, then, can be expected to be the fruits of a policy to maximize the size of the group. And frankly, that's what I see when I look at their policies. Not care for quality, safety or freedom of speech -- just a place to farm ad consumers.

I suspect we're in a similar position to someone trying to tell a happy dictator that "absolute power is bad." It wastes our time and annoys the pig. Er, Zuckerman, I mean. But I repeat myself.

Life is a game. Money is how we keep score. -- Ted Turner

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