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+ - The Long and Winding Road to the Surveillance Society->

Submitted by smugfunt
smugfunt (8972) writes "There is a new blog post by Adam Curtis tracing some of the strange connections and interesting characters in the evolution of the digital Panopticon we find ourselves living in. He posits that many of the data-driven systems now used in all sectors of society have the effect (deliberate and accidental) of forestalling change/fostering stability. As always, he brings to our attention some hitherto unnoticed 'men behind the curtain'."
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Comment: He already made the sale, this is just the collect (Score 1) 138

by smugfunt (#47330265) Attached to: Former NSA Chief Warned Against Selling NSA Secrets

This venture, it seems to me, is just a way to legitimize the payback for services he has already rendered while he was at the NSA. His 'clients' already know who they are, and they will expect to get nothing more concrete for their million per month than his continuing influence (or perhaps silence) in certain matters.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 341

by smugfunt (#47040673) Attached to: UK May Kill the EU's Net Neutrality Law

BT owns the copper line going to my house, and it is broken

+1 for Charliemopps. I had the same problem as you; it would work when BT came to test it, but sometime it was shit. After a couple of visits I made the connection with the rain and on their third visit I suggested to the BT guys that they replace my underground wire with an overhead one from the handy pole outside. Problem solved.

Comment: Re:Britain is but a client state of Uncle Sam (Score 1) 43

by smugfunt (#46895831) Attached to: British Spy Chiefs Secretly Begged To Play In NSA's Data Pools

It derives from the French "Grande" as in "big", referring to the Island of Britain as the larger part or Brittany

'Great' became part of the official title when Scotland joined Britain (being England and Wales) in 1707. Before that it was only occasionally used, when it was necessary to distinguish Britain from Brittany, mostly in Latin or French. So 'derives' is not correct IMHO.

Comment: Re:Rewarding the bullies... (Score 1) 798

2)Parental issues, usually their parents are drunks, or pay zero attention to them.

Yup, or the wrong kind of attention. In primary school I once walked home with a kid with nascent bullying tendencies (I was much bigger than him). As he walked in his back door I heard his mother launch into a rabid sweary tirade at him for no reason I could see. So he was being bullied at home and just doing the same thing at school.

Comment: Re:Money: Two Kinds (Score 2) 91

by smugfunt (#46626413) Attached to: Book Review: Money: The Unauthorized Biography

Commodity money can also change in value when the supply of (or demand for) the commodity changes. This can be naturally arbitrary, or due to market manipulation by large holders. If the commodity cannot be produced fast enough to match wealth creation there will be deflation. The gold standard era was not devoid of economic crises. The tally-stick era was much more stable, probably due to the broader range of commodities it employed and the lack of fractional reserve shenanigans.

Fiat money should be adjusted to keep prices stable, without worrying about an underlying thing. This does mean it is open to adjustment for other reasons. Good governance is the answer to that. How to get it is left as an exercise for the reader :-)

Not read von Mises directly, but I know he is of the Austrian School. Anyone who is hostile to the very idea of government will dislike fiat money. Personally, I prefer to be ruled by an accountable government than by a private bank, or worse.

Comment: Money: Two Kinds (Score 3, Interesting) 91

by smugfunt (#46624793) Attached to: Book Review: Money: The Unauthorized Biography

There are (at least) two kinds of money, and they work differently.

Commodity money is based on some thing which is in limited supply. We don't use this anymore.

Fiat money is created by the Government out of nothing. It gets it into circulation by Government spending. It gets it out of circulation by taxing. People use it because they have to pay taxes in it. If the total amount of wealth is increasing the Government must run a deficit or there will be deflation. If it runs a surplus there will be inflation and recession.

See MMT for more info.

Part of our economic problems come from people (including policy makers) being stuck in commodity money mind-sets when we are using a different kind of money entirely. Currently there is a deficit and a recession because the deficit isn't big enough and there is too much tax! There are structural reasons too, like the Government spending on the wrong things.

Comment: Re:This is a propaganda war first of all (Score 1) 623

by smugfunt (#46527225) Attached to: Russian Army Spetsnaz Units Arrested Operating In Ukraine

Your article almost entirely supports my position. That quote is a simplification of a confused SIGINT train. The NV boats were certainly chasing the Maddox away from Hon Me (which two days earlier had suffered attacks from SV commandos). The Maddox fired warning shots. The NV boats returned fire. One machine gun bullet hit the Maddox. The detailed account by the NSA makes no mention of torpedoes being loosed.

NSA Report:

the Maddox was not on a purely passive mission. U.S. intercept sites in the area were alerted to the real reason for the Desoto missions, which was to stimulate and record North Vietnamese [REDACTED] reactions in support of the U.S. SIGINT effort.

stimulate == provoke

That report is quite unequivocal: the second "attack" did not happen.

You said:

Just that one [first] attack by the North Vietnamese would have been sufficient as a casus belli.

Neither LBJ nor McNamara thought so, despite the fact that that was exactly what they were looking for.

Comment: Re:This is a propaganda war first of all (Score 1) 623

by smugfunt (#46524909) Attached to: Russian Army Spetsnaz Units Arrested Operating In Ukraine

Well, like you I wasn't there. My summary of events is taken from the conclusions of the NSA according to the Wikipedia page.
As to where the Maddox was:

The Maddox when confronted, was approaching Hon Me Island, three to four miles (6 km) inside the twelve-mile (19 km) limit claimed by North Vietnam. This territorial limit was unrecognized by the United States.

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan