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Comment: Re:America next? (Score 1) 244

by circletimessquare (#49827659) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

the usa has much better free speech protections than russia

free speech leads to a populace that has a healthier critical eye than citizens in countries where few alternative narratives are allowed

russian government, by controlling media, is breeding flabby, uncritical russian minds

of course there are still critical russian minds. of course there are flabby propagandized americans. but on average, the usa does better than russia on this measure, because russian government's hostile attitude to alternative perspectives

Comment: Re:America next? (Score 1) 244

by circletimessquare (#49825043) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

well said and absolutely correct

furthermore, it trains critical minds to be exposed to everything. in this world, there is only one guarantor of truth: you. and you only get a good mind that can smell out bullshit by being exposed to all the different bullshit

although, there are minds that would have been great, in less free countries, but those minds are weak and flabby: hopelessly cynical

it is just as dangerous to reject everything as it is to be naive and believe everything. and such once-great minds get that way by being in an environment they see is all lies, but offered nothing valid as an alternative, anywhere. so they become hopeless cynics

such minds in the west can find other sources, and find out the truth, before they become blind kneejerk cynics. by seeing all the different perspectives

all perspectives have an agenda, but by seeing many agendas and perspectives, the depiction of an event can be seen for what it is by comparing the differences. in a controlled environment, with only one perspective, you either are a hopelessly trusting moron, or a hopelessly distrusting cynic, both equally hobbling

only with a plethora of sources and choices is the critical mind trained and maintained

Comment: Re: America next? (Score 1) 244

by circletimessquare (#49824915) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

it's a continuum in all countries

1. the naive, who believe what the official channels say

2. the genuinely critical and intellectually honest

3. the hopelessly cynical. too much automatic distrust is not intelligent, it's actually a personality disorder hobbling in the same way naivete is, to automatically reject all info, even something that might be true

the point is, in the west, those who are genuinely critical have more information sources to peruse, and therefore are better able to find out the truth. in controlled environments, places where fear dominates, the critically minded have less chance to find the truth and, as you say, often wind of hopelessly jaded and cynical and don't believe anything

this is weakness, not strength

Comment: Re: America next? (Score 1) 244

by circletimessquare (#49824517) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

there is propaganda and there always will be. but in a more free speech environment, you breed more critical minds, because you expose the minds to more bullshit. as opposed to walled gardens in countries with less free speech, which breeds weak minds

that's all i'm saying. the west is not perfect and never will be. it's just *better*

and people like you seem to think because you can't get perfection, then everything is the same. but it's not the same. therefore your criticisms are useless

more free speech means more critical minds. that actually means something. if you rejec tthat as useless, you only announce yourself as naive

Comment: Re:America next? (Score 3, Insightful) 244

by circletimessquare (#49824483) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

it's a continuum. the west falls for plenty of bullshit. it's just that, on the average, the west falls for less

every single example of the west falling for shit you just gave me, can also be shown in countries with less free speech. and they fall for *more*

the perfect is not the enemy of the good. if you gauge all countries against an ideal perfection of a populace of everyone being perfectly rational critical minds, which does not exist and never will, then your criticisms are useless

the west simply edges out countries with less free speech because they train more critical minds. the west is not perfect and never will be. it's just that, until countries that now have very little free speech get more, the west will simply do better than them, not perfect

Comment: Re:America next? (Score 1) 244

by circletimessquare (#49824301) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

there are no absolutes anywhere. it would be easy to find a person more level headed in russia and china than some people in the usa. but i'm talking about trends and averages

i'm talking about the media environment and what it does to a critical mind. an environment where anything goes means that critical mind is exercised more, exposed to more bullshit and gets more sophisticated and powerful

but a walled garden, where a government controls more of what is officially (and unofficially, as the existence of government troll brigades shows) said, you breed uncritical minds. that muscle is simply less developed because it is worked less

it's a continuum. the west simply edges out other countries on the continuum

i'm not denying that the usa has plenty of hysterical, propagandized morons, and plenty of uncritical minds. it does. a lot of them self-select and out of prideful ignorance choose to live in an ideological bubble where only ideas that support their prejudices is allowed.. *by them*, not by their government. they self-select to remain ignorant. if they hear something that challenges their beliefs, they immediately reject it

but the existence of such losers is an unchanging baseline across all countries: the propagandized fool. you can't do anything about such uncritical minds, and every country has them

we're talking about another population here

there will always be a regular crop of some people who are still intellectually honest and will seek out alternative narratives and alternative sources of news. such people in the west will simply find that a lot easier, and so there will be more critical minds in the west than in countries with less free speech protections. because such intellectually honest minds in more authoritarian countries will not find it as easy to find alternative views, they are trapped. and so they will not develop, and they will fall back into fear and propaganda. their government is purposefully creating a general population of uncritical, weak minds. it's a colossal weakness. the effort is just too hard (and sometimes dangerous) for those *initially* intellectually honest to see more critical views, more alternative views, because their government makes it hard, in countries with few free speech protections. and so such people, who would be the best minds in those countries, fall back into fear and propaganda, and never develop. not so in the west

in the west, the self-selecting propagandized morons will never seek out views that challenge them, yes, but we're not talking about such useless people, and such people exist in all countries

on the average, amongst all minds, not just closed ones, more free speech protections means you are breeding more critical minds, simply because such minds exist in a media environment in the west where they can be challenged more and better develop that muscle

Comment: Re:You're Talking About a Different Scale (Score 5, Insightful) 244

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: Re:America next? (Score 3, Insightful) 244

by circletimessquare (#49824035) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

the USA has better free speech protections. therefore, nonsense on the internet has less power

i am certain there is organized political trolling in the USA as well, by the government and by organizations with agendas, but it is less effective in the west

countries with less free speech protection (like china and their 50 cent bullshit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5... ) will rely on this sort of organized trolling as a means of persuasion and control, domestically and internationally. more than the west, simply because the west has less need to manipulate these whisper campaigns because nonsense on the internet has less power because are exposed to it more in a free speech environment and are more resistant to it. they simply have better trained more critical minds

the governments of authoritarian countries fear provocative opinions more, therefore they engage in this sort of nonsense more, because they view controlling people's opinions as important. their people wind of living in a walled garden of controlled opinion with less options to consider, and a state that officially endorses and pushes weak minded opinions and fear. the west simply doesn't give a fuck. the opinions and lies of random morons on the internet is exactly that, and most people can see that for what it is. you have to live in a paranoid insecure state to give much credence to inflammatory bullshit from random whispers on the internet

in the end, it weakens these countries, because you are breeding people with weak, easily manipulated minds. people in the west simply have better and more healthy bullshit meters. simply because when you can say anything, people do

expose a socially and psychologically normal person to 4chan for a month, and what do you get? a crackpot? no, a jaded experienced mind that can see bullshit coming from a mile away

exposure to the kind of thinking and commentary that resembles mental illness, amongst the more rational choices of speech, gives one a more critical eye and healthy skepticism. the ability to see the difference between credible words and manipulated words

but in countries where paranoid schizophrenic theories are actually supported and endorsed by the government's official media agencies as a means of control, you breed people to live in panic and fear. weak minds. it's a shame to weaken people's minds like this. russia, china, iran, etc., reap a side effect of their manipulations: a general population more susceptible to idiocies most westerners (not all) would easily reject, simply because westerners (even though some choose to stay within ideological bubbles and never consider other sides out of prideful ignorance, some personality types are universal, but limited) can, and do, see other sources of narrative, good or bad

Comment: You're Talking About a Different Scale (Score 5, Insightful) 244

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:Hilarious! (Score 1) 220

by circletimessquare (#49803299) Attached to: Chinese Nationals Accused of Taking SATs For Others

you're changing the goalposts

we were talking about leaders of nations, and now you are talking about the unrelated honorific applied to sports stars

so if you're changing the subject, i'll take that as your intellectually dishonest way of conceding my point here

i'm glad i've been able to show you something about your world. it's ugly. it's unfortunate. but it's reality we have to deal with

Comment: Re:Hilarious! (Score 1) 220

by circletimessquare (#49800999) Attached to: Chinese Nationals Accused of Taking SATs For Others

A leaders job is to lead the group to as good an outcome as possible (i.e. it is the task that the leader was chosen to do)

the guy who is focusing his effort on getting a good outcome for society has no time to maintain his leadership. so someone else leads

A leader who is only good at remaining the leader... he/she is a good Narcissist.

i agree. and? so what. yes, absolutely: leading societies is the work of truly gifted and screwed up people. demagogues. this is a problem about human nature, but that doesn't make the problem magically. the problem is baked into how we function as social groups, there is no avoiding it

you seem to live in this insulated ivory tower that doesn't know, understand, nor accept certain unfortunate but unavoidably true aspects of human behavior. your concept of an ideal leader will always, always, wind up being some guy who works for the actual leaders. the actual leaders are the guys who spend most of their tiem acquiring and maintaining their leadership. playing a game that you dislike, but who cares if you like it. the game is part of your reality. that you don't like it doesn't make it go away

you don't bother acknowledging that the game of jockeying for control and keeping it is the real subject called leadership, and the entire domain you call leadership is actually a separate sideshow that comes after and is subservient to the real topic at hand: the ugly ways leadership is acquired and maintained

welcome to reality. acknowledge it. then form your opinions

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