Friday Squid Blogging: Problems with the Squid Emoji

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has some problems with the squid emoji.

As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven’t covered.

Read my blog posting guidelines here.

Posted on December 7, 2018 at 4:00 PM76 Comments


Brett Osborne December 7, 2018 5:51 PM

ABC (US) reports on vote manipulation (absentee & mail-in) in North Carolina that may cause a re-vote. NO RUSSIANS have been implicated. For InfoSec folks, think INSIDER THREAT instead. Another AUTHENTICITY issue.

Peter S. Shenkin December 7, 2018 8:27 PM

@Brett Osborne: I don’t think anyone has ever accused the Russians of being behind this. At least, I’ve not seen such accusations in the major press outlets.

mrpuck December 7, 2018 8:49 PM

A reminder that the planet is waking up to global regulation of the Internet. Europe is taking the lead. The U.S. is AWOL, as well as China and Russia. This leaves the remaining G20 members, as well as all other nations to step up and participate. Corporations will be part of this effort. The U.S. needs to join the discussion of how cyberspace will be governed in the future.

echo December 7, 2018 9:37 PM

@Peter S. Shenkin

I don’t think anyone has ever accused the Russians of being behind this. At least, I’ve not seen such accusations in the major press outlets.

The UK has a number of governance issues and a backlog of scandals. On one side there tends to be a preserve the heirarchy attitude which leads to cover-ups of instititional failures. On the other side there is turning a blind eye due to sympathetic atttiudes. In many respects Brexit and the exposure of public policy flaws and flood of racism and attacks on disabled and other people this provoked are a result of this.

I personally believe there is a “right approach”. This approach is to acknowledge problems and give support where it is due. It is a balancing act.

Case law makes provocation and also victimisation unlawful whether the more subtle and indirect form large state organisations and business practice, or the more dirty kind in politics or at a street level. This obviously raises questions about the need for criminal and/or civil proceedings.

The mediocre and extremists often thrive during times of upheaval. I believe it’s possible both to reassert an order which accomdates the massive social and cultural changes we have experienced. I view this as a win-win and why in the long term I believe the braggards and hatemongers will sweep themselves off the table.

echo December 7, 2018 9:43 PM

The British far-right activist Tommy Robinson is receiving financial, political and moral support from a broad array of non-British groups and individuals, including US thinktanks, rightwing Australians and Russian trolls, a Guardian investigation has discovered.

Robinson, an anti-Islam campaigner who is leading a “Brexit betrayal” march in London on Sunday, has received funding from a US tech billionaire and a thinktank based in Philadelphia.

Two other US thinktanks, part-funded by some of the biggest names in rightwing funding, have published a succession of articles in support of Robinson, who has become a cause célèbre among the American far right since he was jailed in May for two months.

OMG. What a catch. lol

mrpuck December 8, 2018 6:05 AM

This sounds creepy. The modern world has long debunked physiognomy, which evaluates a person’s personality or mental qualities by judging their facial characteristics. It brings to mind Minority Report, a movie about a future where police, with the help of psychics, arrest criminals before any crimes are committed.

On the other hand, some amazing insights have appeared when neural nets with deep learning algorithms are run against massive data sets.

The next time you see a camera on the street be sure to wave hello.

JG4 December 8, 2018 8:55 AM

We Asked 105 Experts What Scares and Inspires Them Most About the Future Motherboard (resilc)

MIT researchers create a robot houseplant that moves on its own engadget (Dawn M)

Bitcoin falls 10% as bad news descends like ‘cockroaches coming out of a hole’ MarketWatch (EM)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Top U.S. general urges Google to work with military Reuters. EM: “Wow, this guy is clueless even by top-brass standards. For example: Google Is Helping the Pentagon Build AI for Drones.” Moi: I assume this is intended for the great unwashed masses, to give them the impression that Google and the surveillance state are not joined at the hip.

‘Conditions met’ for Assange to leave Ecuadorian embassy Agece France-Presse (furzy). If you believe the claims made, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you

Big Brother Australia cracks open encrypted messaging

Dear Tumblr: Banning “Adult Content” Won’t Make Your Site Better But It Will Harm Sex-Positive Communities Electronic Frontier Foundation (Chuck L)

mrpuck December 8, 2018 9:47 AM

Facial recognition is being implemented not just in iPhones and iPads, but in Smart Cities, London, and China. It’s just another sensor capability to “reach out and touch you”. A new technology that has appeared without any policies for ethical or legal regulation.–3149

Bauke Jan Douma December 8, 2018 9:50 AM

April 2017:

A director of Chinese tech giant Huawei personally escorted famed Shanghai-born physicist Zhang Shoucheng from the latter’s hotel in Shenzhen. Jackson & Wood Professor of Physics at Stanford University, Zhang was in town to attend an IT summit.

Sept. 2018:

Prof. Zhang receives a European physics award, one of his many honors. His work in quantum physics is expected to revolutionize the global semiconductor industry. Yang Zhenning, the first Chinese scientist to receive the Nobel Physics Prize (1957), had predicted that Zhang would be the next one.

Dec. 1, 2018:

Prof. Zhang and Meng Wanzhou are expected to attend a dinner in Argentina, where the G20 summit is being held.

Dec. 1, 2018:

On her way there, Meng is arrested in transit by the Canadian government.

Dec. 1, 2018:

Prof. Zhang falls to his death from a building in the US, allegedly a suicide. Said to be suffering from depression, he was 55.

Dec. 1, 2018:

A nighttime fire breaks out at a factory of Holland’s ASML, the world’s leading manufacturer of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology. EUV is crucial to the production of the next generation of semi-conductors, which US and Chinese tech firms as well as Korea’s Samsung are competing to be first to bring to market. Leading Chinese semiconductor producer SMIC is known to have ordered EUV technology worth US$120 million from ASML, for scheduled delivery early in 2019. After the fire, ASML announced that it expected delays in shipments of its products, notably early 2019.


Clive Robinson December 8, 2018 12:14 PM

As we approach the winter solstice, a time when liquids both warm[1] and cold are supposed to bring good cheer or atleast a rosy glow to those who imbibe. How about a little thoughtful imbibing about “fluidic computing”?

With, “The dry history of liquid computers” by Andrew Adamatzky,

    We give a brief overview of liquid based computing devices developed over hundreds of years. These include hydraulic calculators, fluidic computers, micro-fluidic devices, droplets, liquid marbles and reaction-diffusion chemical computers.

Oh and remember politicians were once captivated by the NZ economist Bill Phillips who built a simple fuidic system to represent the money supply and the effects various actions had in the economy (it’s still lurking in the London Science Museum, for those who want to get close, it’s on the same floor as the original working replica of Babbage’s difference engine No2 and printout mechanism).

[1] Mulled drinks, traditionaly warmed through with a red hot poker, which also slightly caramelized the sugars adding a little hint of toffee which a microwave or pan on the stove does not. Oh and also a hint of wood smoke, trust me when I say adding these back into traditonal mulled drinks is worth while.

Clive Robinson December 8, 2018 2:00 PM

Don’t by a new phone, they are a rip off…

Is the take away message from,

In essence the smart phone market has blossomed and now is dying back as if becomes a “comodity” market. In essence the likes of Apple are bringing out new models with little new of use but with the price jacked up $150 or more.

For the majority of users buying the model that is the next to drop of the manufacturing list is by far the best value for money by upto $400 or so.

The fact that the recent US stance on foreign phones is easily seen as “protectionism” but it’s unlikely to work…

Why because the two Chinese companies who the US Gov are shreiking about own the most important 5G patents, without which you can not have a 5G network. The companies now have little need to “cross licence” without which the US will actually get stuck in a 3G world years behind the rest of the world…

It’s also becoming clearer that the shrieking and shrilling of the USG is not because of what the Chinese government might or might not do, but what the NSA and 5eyes can not do… They are in effect shut out of 5G and atleast one of the two companies have made it more than clear they are not playing the “backdoor game” for anybody… So it would appear that the US Government via neo-con John Bolton think “kidnapping” is the way to get “backdoor” cooperation…

The question is has John Bolton acted against the interests of the US citizens potentially endangering their lives, almost certainly. Has he betrayed his oath by deliberatly witholding information from the US President for his own political interest, it certainly appears so. The man is thus at the least a liability as well as destroying any attempts the current executive might have been trying to achive with China…

This is almost certainly going to end badly for those in the US.

echo December 8, 2018 5:05 PM

The question, in many ways, encapsulates the thesis of Thiel’s book. To go from “zero to one” is to do things no one has ever done (as opposed to going from 1 to n, which is to make incremental progress on something already known to be true). In Thiel’s mind, his favorite interview question vets a candidate’s ability to think independently, which is a harbinger for an ability to innovate.

Peter Thiel asks a question designed to make Peter Theil appear to be smart, and selling himself as a solution to a problem that he helped create. The rest of us already know this.

Who’s happier, men or women? Research shows it’s a complicated question and that asking whether males or females are happier isn’t really that helpful, because essentially, happiness is different for women and men.

This article highlights cogntiive and emotional differences between men and women which has a bearing on individual and organisational and public policy issues. Unfortunately the article itself is heavily tilted because it leaves out a lot of material which explains the other half of the picture such as emotionally moving past issues and dogmatism. It also misses out on comparing outcomes. Articles like this are extremely difficult to write because of the compelxity of the issue which is why almost all articles tend to dumb things down and have a tilt. Off the top of my head I can think of at least half a dozen key acaemic papers the author didn’t take into account but the article would be three times the size.

Donald Trump’s candidacy and presidency has in large part been premised on his hostility to immigrants and refugees, whom he’s tried to crack down on in more ways than you can count. He’s slandered people who come to the US illegally as “rapists” and “animals,” and fought to keep them out of the workforce—all while employing undocumented immigrants at his golf club in New Jersey for years, the New York Times reports.

Current US immigration law and practice has created the illusion of security but is not actually secure enough to prevent people at the top from abusing the system they designed. This, I suspect, is by design.

Clive Robinson December 8, 2018 5:51 PM

@ David,

With regards the “Zero Phone” it might not be “legal”, the EU RT&TTE directive (as was) required compliance with the “Low Voltage Directive”(LVD) before “putting on the market”. Basically it’s not legal to “Put on the Market” (sell to anyone” uncased PCBs under “Blue Book” rules.

However due to PC “Interface cards” being uncased PCBs and already on the market, fudges were thought up… Thus it is alowable to sell to anyone –not just B2B capable of self certifying– uncased PCBs “provided” they can only be operated in an existing cased CE approved system… Which is also why PC powersupplies “should” be in a seperate approved case (see “BSI Standard Finger Test etc for IP ratings[1]).

The problem for USB powered systems is actually two fold… The first is USB-C –yup few know let alone have seen it– had six control channel selectable voltages the maximum being 20V oh and current ratings upto 3A giving power max of 60W which is more than most technician grade soldering irons… Even at it’s lowest startup voltage of 5V it fails the LVD (3V) for equipment assumed safe[2] thus the likes of the Raspberry Pi technically should not be CE marked or “put on the market”…

That aside as I’ve mentioned in the past I’ve designed product around the Motorola G24 Java modem unit about a decade ago. One product was a secure “thumb drive” that would auto erase if taken out of a prescribed area which is actually harder to do than you might think. The other was an advertising dissplay unit for London Black Cabs, the original spec called for “area specific advertising” fast updates and quite a few other special requirments, which we built in. However Sir Alan Sugar (The Apprentice) did not and came in with a hacked bit of junk that failed a bid –for I think it was the UK Post Office– at a much lower price and talked the specification down till his kit pased…

This “Zero Phone” is essentially a very similar product, with the advantage of an already developed OS and tool chain. So should be fairly easy to design for (if you know how to deal with the ~1500 AT commands on the modem interface).

The thing is yes you can build it yourself and you can place a kit of parts that must include a case on the market for others to “Self Certify” (B2B sales only) build but… It’s not going to be possible to sell it as a finished item.

Further the screen is lets face it “pants” so your apps will not be for the average consummer. Worse the Raspberry Pi is also under powered compared to many phones. Then there are other things like cameras, gyros, and many other gizmos even an ordinary user might expect. Which might be an advantage if the likes of Bluetooth are of a security concern. Further unlike commercial designs where the there is no credible security choke point between the Smart CPU and the Radio unit CPU this gives you one you can with a bit of effort fully instrument thus get a real “security end point” break.

However even without the security potential as a self certified “Geek Project” yes it has “Street Cred” 😉

And importantly the price is about a third to half that of the cheapest phone you will find out of Alibarba or similar China outlet.

[1] The standard has a delightful set of drawings to make a HiPot test finger with. You are supposed to connect it to the HT and supply and arange for an alarm system such that if there should be a certain amount of current conducted then the unit fails. The reality is it’s always the first test carried out and it involves a big box of ball bearings of the correct diameter of the end of the finger. These are connected to the High Potential HT line. Sufficient balls are put in the box the Device Under Test (DUT) is chucked in and a bucket full of balls poured on top. The HiPot is turned on and the box is shaken a few times. If there is no bang or alarm the unit passes the finger test. The reason it’s the first test is it’s not just the easiest test to do it’s also the one many units sent to test fail. As the test house gets the test fee pass or fail and are not required to test beyond a fail…

[2] The normal max voltage assumed to be non lethal is 30V, the LVD however gets it’s 3V above which testing must be done from the “Intrinsically Safe” (Exi) Hazardous Environment specifications. Put simply 3V is considered insufficient to cause an optimal mix of hydrogen and air to ignite by a spark… They actually test it with a largish bell jar with the gas mix in and a specialy designed spark gap, the jar is held down against a gasket by a spring, and trust me you do not want to be sitting next to it when testing is being carried out if you are of a nervous disposition 😉

echo December 8, 2018 6:31 PM


Arguing hardware specifications and law is as easy as arguing authority and a stack of public policy. It’s very easy to sound impressive. Now try arguing intersectional issues which cross a variety of professional and academic domains and legal domains and see how easy it is. It’s actually very difficult for something which should be easy. You have to argue everything from the physics up and, not my word but the word of an accredited expert in the field, have a Masters level understanding as a minimim just to discuss the subject. Some of the material isn’t normally discussed outside of PhD circles.

Bruce quite wisely admits his limits with public policy and psycho-social systems. His latest essays are quite good for what they are but only beginning to get a toe hold on the issues within a security context.

As you get deeper into bio-social systems you will find fewer and fewer linear specifications and not a single integrated circuit or transistor.

In the legal arena there are entire specialities and sub-specialities which have been issued a “NOP” by primary legislation or lack of case law.

Ok, now you have no tools build it from scratch. Let’s see how long this takes…

David December 8, 2018 6:50 PM

@Clive Robinson
Thanks for the info.
I am not in the EU so I don’t think
those issues will be much bother.
Mainly, I want a phone that won’t suck up everything and send to the mother ship.

echo December 8, 2018 8:22 PM

Nick Cohen exposed the boasting, and strange alliances, and internationalism of the “alt right”.

Almost all these people are discredited and often close to others who indulge in unlawful behaviour and they have a long record of “playing the system”. On the plus side their confidence makes them easy to find as they over-extend their reach. Many of them including Farage have a history of criminality with a “stooge” between them and the offence and a record of vilifying then throwing “stooges” under the bus.

A lot of people are beginning to awaken to the “end game”. The longer this plays out the more obvious it is not what game is being played but how this game is being played.

“Alt-History” fans often like to speculate about going back in time and killing Hitler. They have a point but another view is that with the knowledge of history and new data we might be able to avoid this and put Hitler and his like minded friends and sympathisers in jail before they become a bigger problem.

echo December 8, 2018 8:52 PM

These articles help explore discussions which at a high level indirectly impact military and civilian policy. The psycho-sociology isn’t properly discussed even among experts who often have conflicting views. This is especially bad within hierarchical organisations and impacts social policy greatly. Examples in the UK include the Church of England being very slow with equality and comments from, typically “old pale and stale male” priest to “gently press our case but not get angry“. (I’m, like, if the boot was on the other foot the gammon faced bluster of authority would be at max volume.) The more overtly aggressive legal profession says all of the right things on the surface but in practice is even slower. It’s no surprise that healthcare and the military and swathes of the civil service and police adhere to a similar model. Security implications run through all of this from international diplomacy to public policy implementatiosn through to eradicating povery in third world villages. How much “security” is the primary issue or an enabler is a matter of discussion.

t the center of that battle is the question of whether girls will get more “adventure” if they join the Boy Scouts, or whether the high value being placed on outdoor sports and survival skills is just another reflection of a male-dominated society that has little to do with teaching girls to be strong, confident leaders.

“We are so busy teaching girls to be likable that we forget to teach them that they have the right to be respected,” Chemaly told me. And the effects of that carry into adulthood. She says research shows that, just like girls and boys, “women and men experience anger the same way, but men are much more likely to express that anger verbally, while women tend to keep it to themselves.” In doing so, says Chemaly, “We lose our ability to defend ourselves.”

So Out of Luck December 9, 2018 1:09 AM


A reminder that the planet is waking up to global regulation of the Internet. Europe is taking the lead. The U.S. is AWOL, as well as China and Russia. This leaves the remaining G20 members, as well as all other nations to step up and participate. Corporations will be part of this effort. The U.S. needs to join the discussion of how cyberspace will be governed in the future.

  1. Norm-building. Unelected Eurocrats are indeed making secret rules and laws to be enforced against the United States by Presidential VIP diplomatic treaty with top-secret-briefed Senate approval.
  2. Stakeholders. Major institutional shareholders of major multinational corporations and government-owned enterprises. No, America does not have a stake at the table when they talk like that.
  3. Lawfare. Eighty years ago that would have been called Nazi war propaganda. No one would have minced words about it.

People talk about the New World Order, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Bilderberg Meetings, the Bohemian Grove, NATO, and the Trilateral Commission, but it’s all the same thing. Birds of a feather. Canards of the same flock.


This is Alaska. Girls don’t get any respect without hunting and fishing and surviving outdoors just like the guys.

You have to stand up for yourself and respect yourself and demand that others do, too.

Just, too many girls work as hotel maids and waitresses partially because too many guys refuse to cook and clean for themselves. The big bosses in town are a little bit too professional and too slick with that service industry like they’re trying to forcibly “civilize” the whole state.

Wesley Parish December 9, 2018 2:14 AM

@usual suspects

I came across this interesting article that illustrates the issues of attribution and evidence quite succinctly:

Lavrov: US Wants Russia to Ban Missile That Was Tested Within INF Framework

“We remind you once again that when the United States started accusing us of violating the treaty several years ago, it was doing it groundlessly, and we had to literally drag information out of them in order to understand what they were talking about and what they meant,” Lavrov said at a press briefing.

There’s an Aesop fable about a lamb drinking downstream from a wolf, that the wolf accused of muddying the water and making it undrinkable for the wolf …

“This is an eternal issue, an inexhaustible one. I have nothing to say here. It’s all the same pretext – when we are accused of violating a treaty, interfering in elections, trying to subjugate cyberspace, and the media space in general, to our interests, but I haven’t seen any evidence so far”, the minister said at a press conference following the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting.

In the common law tradition, there’s a phrase – beyond reasonable doubt that is much in use for jury trials. And evidence – not allegations – is the way to prove to a jury beyond reasonable doubt that such-and-such happened, is the case, etc.

In the unlikely event that the Russian Foreign Minister Mr Lavrov is reading this, might I suggest that he do some constructive bluffing, based on statements previously made by US President Trump? That the Russian Foreign Ministry come up with some Additional Protocol/s to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty that opens it up for accession to the rest of the world, in accordance with said US President’s statement on China potentially developing intermediate-range nuclear missiles, and submit them to the UN General Assembly for discussion … I guarantee you the US establishment will be apoplectic …

Wesley Parish December 9, 2018 2:52 AM


This sounds like it’s well within your sphere
Homeland Security Will Let Computers Predict Who Might Be a Terrorist on Your Plane — Just Don’t Ask How It Works

The contract also stipulates that the software’s predictions must be able to function “solely” using data gleaned from ticket records and demographics — criteria like origin airport, name, birthday, gender, and citizenship. The software can also draw from slightly more complex inputs, like the name of the associated travel agent, seat number, credit card information, and broader travel itinerary. The overview document describes a situation in which the software could “predict if a passenger or a group of passengers is intended to join the terrorist groups overseas, by looking at age, domestic address, destination and/or transit airports, route information (one-way or round trip), duration of the stay, and luggage information, etc., and comparing with known instances.”

Depends who is doing the defining, I suppose … I imagine that as the US loses influence, more than a few nations would regard attending US security briefings as terrorist activities, considering the fate of so many Chileans following the coup against Salvador Allende.

What happens when DHS’s crystal ball gets it wrong — when the machine creates a prediction with no basis in reality and an innocent person with no plans to “join a terrorist group overseas” is essentially criminally defamed by a robot? Civil liberties advocates not only worry that such false positives are likely, possessing a great potential to upend lives, but also question whether such a profoundly damning prediction is even technologically possible. According to DHS itself, its predictive software would have relatively little information upon which to base a prognosis of impending terrorism.

Which being interpreted for the US reader, means that the DHS has discovered Yet Another Way to squander your precious taxpayer dollars on self-importance. Don’t worry, be happy!

The entire concept of making watchlist software capable of terrorist predictions is mathematically doomed, Abbas added, likening the system to a “crappy Minority report. … Even if they make a really good robot, and it’s 99 percent accurate,” the fact that terror attacks are “exceedingly rare events” in terms of naked statistics means you’re still looking at “millions of false positives. … Automation will exacerbate all of the worst aspects of the watchlisting system.”

You gonna sic the EFF onto DHS, @Bruce? It sounds like a job for them.

Clive Robinson December 9, 2018 4:07 AM

@ David,

I want a phone that won’t suck up everything and send to the mother ship.

Just remember you can not control the Radio Modem CPU, that privilege belongs to the SIM owner and the Network operator.

However if you “set up, instrument and mandate” the “choke point” of the serial interface to the Radio Modem and use good solid encryption across it. Your end can be made secure… However that says nothing about the other end of the communication.

I have built secure end points with the Motorola G24 where it’s choice of serial for the modem interface was either old fashiond RS232 type or serial protocols on USB1 interface.

As you will appreciate these were quite slow compared to more modern radio modems, thus making “instrumentation” and “Mandating” way more difficult on modern hardware (ie 4GLTE and 5G are 100Mbits/sec not the 56K of old dial up modems and early GSM modems).

Clive Robinson December 9, 2018 5:12 AM

@ Wesley Parish, Bruce and the usual suspects,

Homeland Security Will Let Computers Predict Who Might Be a Terrorist on Your Plane — Just Don’t Ask How It Works

@Bruce has pointed out in the past that banks in particular “externalise risk”. In a more layman set of terms it’s “liability dodging” or haveing total authority with zero responsability…

I suspect we’ve all heard one or two “The computer says no” stories used to justify quite arbitary behaviours by those who think they have the high ground[1]. Well one of the major uses for AI will be to make this easier to do.

For those that ever watched the now cult TV series Blakes 7 one episode shows how computers used for justice could be made to produce wrong judgments for political reasons.

In essence these AI screening systems are the first tentative steps towards replacing both the tribunal of truth and tribunal of justice with a bunch of electronics programed by god alone knows who or what… AI is very susceptable to “Garbage in Garbage out” due to the current way they arr “trained”. Thus they are an ideal “useful idiot” for those with a political agenda…

Currently all you have to do is control the initial “training data” and later confirm those “learning rules” that fit your chosen confirmation bias.

We’ve already seen this in the US justice system and we are going to see a lot more of it as it is “Politicaly Convenient” for certain peoples agendas.

Eventually probably long after we have ceased to take an interest, there will be organisations set up to correct the injustices such systems will have created. Whilst the unfortunates might get the last reminents of their lives back they will have a very very difficult time tracking down those responsible for their wrongfull conviction. As they will no doubt have died of old age[2] having vastly profited in the short term, at the detriment of society in general and the increasing majority at the economic bottom.

[1] The UK company “British Gas” used it as an excuse to drive a woman near mad with threats of being made bankrupt having bailifs etc smash her door down etc. She took legal action against them under the civil harasment legislation and won eventually. The summing up of one of the judges was interesting in that he made the point that as computers were the result of the work and art of man, then man was responsible 100% for what the computer did, so the “Computer says no” is in no way a legal defence…

[2] Has any one else noticed that the espousers of “neo-xxx” or “new-xxx” politics are nearly always old white guys who should have been retired and out of everbodies lives in some old folks home by now?

echo December 9, 2018 7:09 AM

For many MPs, the path to Norway is smoother than the one to a referendum, which they fear would be divisive and provoke a “yellow vest” backlash from voters angry that politicians had overturned the 2016 decision.

I am worried by the emphasis and tone of some articles in the media. This is just one of many which plays into peoples fears and legitimises extreme right wing violence.

“Dark money” couldn’t have bought a better advertising campaign.

echo December 9, 2018 7:29 AM

“This thought experiment is a great lens through which to examine the differences of opinions between different camps on the interpretation of quantum theory,” Spekkens said. “I don’t think it’s really eliminated options that people were endorsing prior to the work, but it has clarified precisely what the different interpretational camps need to believe to avoid this contradiction. It has served to clarify people’s position on some of these issues.”

This article neatly illustrates how mindsets can be shaped and constricted by certainties and incomplete and conflicting information.

Treadwell Covington December 9, 2018 7:47 AM

@ Clive Robinson

Sir Terry Pratchett lampooned the fluidic financial modeling computer in one of his DiscWorld books, ‘Making Money’. This one has a unique feature where changes made to the fluidic system somehow cause changes to the money system itself in real time.

Clive Robinson December 9, 2018 8:32 AM

@ echo, All,

“Alt-History” fans often like to speculate about going back in time and killing Hitler.

It would not work because history does not work like that.

It’s hard to find refrences to it but prior to Kennedy getting assasinated the “single bullet theory” ment something entirely different.

The previous head of the CIA Allen Dulles espoused a theory that if you could identify and shoot certain individuals then you could alter the future without wars etc. It is by no means clear if it was him or his brother John that originated the idea. However Allen Dulles went on more privately to discuss the idea of “favourably” altering the future by political assasination, to create continuous and profitable war… Which is why the CIA have had the finger pointed at them for not just Kennedy’s assassination(63) but that of Martin Luther King jnr (68).

The point is history rarely if ever pivots on individuals and their actions, because their actions occure in a context, thus they are “the spark that lights the fuse” the context is the keg of powder that explodes. If you removed the first individual a second would turn up in short order brcause that is what the context is building upto.

Take the start of the First World War, it’s blaimed on “Gavrilo Princip” who shot “Archduke Franz Ferdinand” and his wife Sophie. The simple fact is Gavrilo was a bad shot and what actually killed the Archduke was the actions of those around him. He was not even supposed to have been the target of assasination. The original target opportunity was lost due to the fact the supply of weapons to the group of assasins did not go as it should have done… It is thus certain that if other actions had been taken on the day another attempt would have been made on a different target later.

The point is the context was such that war was going to be inevitable and unavoidable, way to many political leaders were looking for an excuse and any excuse would do…

But if we look at the Kennedy and King assasinations public as they were and devestating as they were the political inertia of the context rolled on to what would probably have happened any way even without their deaths.

For the Dulles Brothers idea to work you would have to have shot someone before the context had built up, and as such contexts need many people, the logic of their argument fails, because not only can you not identify the spark individual beforehand, killing them would just start the context in a slightly different way because of the number of people involved.

But the argument moves back a step which is the “context setters” these are not the rabble rousers but those sywo steps behind them, who have the money, power and real agender for which they see others as mear pupets. Such people are usually difficult to see because they take extream care to suround themselves with trusted lieutenants who in turn arange cut outs between them and those setting the context in the public eye.

It is only with time and careful watching can they be found.

Take the Koch brothers, they provide funding, but where does that money come from? Well we have good reason to believe that rich as they are,–which actually is not that rich– it’s mainly not their money, the trouble journalists are having is working their way back through what is cut outs of alledgedly legitimate funding that smells strongly of money laundering. The reason we see the Koch brothers is their desire to be the family that is the voice of the Republican party… They are doing battle with other families with nearly all their political ideals not seperable with a cigarette paper, thus “status is their game”.

Thus I would be looking for someone who is funding not just the Koch brothers but one or more of the other families, on the simple principle that “Divide and Conquer” can be used in more subtle ways than many assume. As long as the families are fighting the funding from behind is an allie not a master. Keep them fighting in more or less meaningless ways then as an hidden allie to the various sides you can get your context by the lot of them, without having to show your hand.

Which means finding them is going to be at the very best difficult. Which is again where the Dulles Brothers idea fails, you can not shot a target you can not see except by spraying bullets in every direction, which will almost immediatly send the target you aim to kill well to ground where they will wait for the fusillade to stop and just pop up behind another set of lieutenants and cut outs…

You can be sure that I’m not the only one that thinks this way, and there are journalists digging. We even had the UK Met Police digging, but then the investigation got pulled, the reason is not definitely known however a UK politician appears reasonably certain it was UK Prime Minister Mrs May, but on who’s behalf we have no real clue…

As she still has the whip hand over the UK Police who are now at their weakest for around fourty years directly by her hand, suggests that she may well have rather more leverage over the UK Police than any person should rightfully have in a true democracy, but as we should know the UK is not a democracy in even name…

Oh watch the news a little later today, as there are “front” rabble rousers making noise in Central London, where their money is comming from appears related to the stalled/stopped Met Police investigation. But there is a counter protest also happening. The one thing you can be sure about is that what these demonstrations are about is a side issue to someones agenda. I guess they are hoping for “lawless behaviour” which can then be manipulatrd for more “Police State” type legislation with the attendent weakening of individual privacy and security…

Impossibly Stupid December 9, 2018 12:13 PM

@Clive Robinson

It would not work because history does not work like that.

The problem is anyone proclaiming to know how “history” works. All signs point to it being inherently chaotic, which would apply to both actual events as well as fictional alternatives. So, yeah, with a time machine you could go back and kill Hitler, but it’s up for grabs how much better or worse events would have played out. Secondary players might have simply slipped into the same role and provided the same context, but there also a good possibility that someone like, say, Himmler might have made a more effective leader and not squandered resources on unconventional and ineffective tactics. So killing Hitler could very well have resulted in doubling the body count and/or losing the war completely.

Same would be true of actions projected into the future. Not just assassinations, but things like the call by law enforcement to limit/eliminate encryption. It simply should not be seen as a given that some particular outcome will be the result unless systematic changes are put in place to scientifically guarantee any hypothetical outcome. You have to act with long-term intentionality, and plan for unintended consequences. It’s the unknown unknowns that really throw a spanner into the works.

Clive Robinson December 9, 2018 4:36 PM

@ Impossibly Stupid,

So killing Hitler could very well have resulted in doubling the body count and/or losing the war completely.

The allies actually planed on several occasions to assassinate Hitler, the one with most probability of success (Foxely) was at the Berghof when he would walk alone in the mid morning to a tea house. It required a sniper to do a crossing shot at around 350m which can be done with modern 0.5cal and electronic systems but would have been a bit of a stretch back then.

The reasons they did not assassinate him were three fold,

1, He was incompetent (as you note).

2, A danger he would become a martyr, as the war was comming to close.

3, If you declare “Open Season” on one head of state the game opens on all heads of state.

The third as a rule kind of held in place untill the US declared open season on various heads of state from the latter part of the 20th Century, the most notable being Sadam Hussain. The question that has not yet come up but may well do soon is what happens when another state calls “Open Season” on a US President, or just goes straight for the kill first (Remember Russia has laws legalising certain types of extraterritorial death penalties)…

It’s why warfare has had rules in the past about women, children, civilians, dum dum bullets, phosphorus weapons, unfindable land mines, etc, etc.

When you break a rule you leave yourself open to be attacked in the same way…

Speaking of which this might be of interest in that respect,

A case of pots and kettles.

echo December 9, 2018 6:51 PM

I was using a narrative tool to illustrate a discussion…

There is an issue with the blogosphere/social media. Some “media” use popular science or politics as a general reasonable and positive cover. If you look for the “thought leader” and “social signals” content it is almost always coming from a hard right position. (I haven’t provided links because I don’t wish to advertise them or the well marketed individuals in favour with the Alt Right.)

The Koch brothers support “free speech” with lots of “be nice caveats”. Unpicking the kinds of arguments they and their affiliates promote suggests they are anti authoritarian” (such as anti EU or anti “being told what to do”) when it is a well reasoned liberal policy. Their own political demands never use the same “test”. This is a double standard. There is also no “limit” or “constraint” to their policy goals because they lack a definable testable framework.

I believe this is something psychologists and sociologists, and the security services can broadly confirm.

Jacob Rees-Mogg is attention seeker of the moment. His narrative is that Theresa Mayis not delivering what she promised. I believe this is a rhetorical technique to embrace and twist and deflect, which is a technique honed by the Newt Gingrich wing of the Republican party. The evidence so far is the leave campaign lied and Rees-Mogg has already moved his assets out of the UK not to mention many of the Leae campaigners have second citizenship and homes abroad. Another datapoint is Bill Clintons triangulating economic policies designed to appease the US hard right never worked as the US hard right claimed but failed.

There is an interesting essay on Youtube by an English academic about how dogma led to Hitler’s inevitable defeat.

In the US there is a very strong public campaign to call out liberal minded people who are “Turkeys voting for Christmas” and the “young and gullible”.

David Walsh December 9, 2018 6:52 PM

Clive Robinson

Speaking of which this might be of interest in that respect,

A case of pots and kettles.

notably because ministers rarely make such public announcements on international affairs, not even Russian ministers. And Russia is not even involved. There is always a degree of restraint. Seems like the line has been really crossed this time from an international perspective and there is simply no excuse anyone can invest belief in – I mean, plenty of people believe the UK are correct on the party line for the Skripals, for example. This is just beyond the pale

PeaceHead December 9, 2018 6:56 PM

There is some decent fact-checking related to the late Mr. Pres. H.W. Bush on

of course there are several other newsworthy articles as well. many of the geopolitics contents relate to security. some of the domestic policy articles also have tangeable security implications.

The nice thing about DemocracyNow! is that they are NOT funded via advertising, so they don’t kiss up and become subservient to corporations and the wealthy. The receive donations from a wide variety of typical US citizens.

Since they are also not sindicated, the content is fresher and rarer than content from other more mainstream sources.

May Peace Prevail Within ALL Realms of Existence.

echo December 9, 2018 6:59 PM

The billionaire tax doging private feudal enclave island owning Barclay brothers Telegraph is covering Peter Theils “Palantair” being offered UK government “big data” opportunities.

There is law and case law relating to the UK government outsourcing dataprocessing to foreign third parties. The government seems keen to keep their activities quiet to avoid judicial review and public discussion.

What bothers me about GCHQ extending its “one size fits all blunt hammer” is that there is no obvious means of accountability nor constraints for human rights reasons. There is no guard against the information GCHQ gather being abused nor abused at a future date for political reasons.

A secretive surveillance company founded by Peter Thiel, the tech billionaire and Trump donor, and backed by the CIA is working for the UK Government and is planning to expand its activities in Britain, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

Files show that the Cabinet Office has paid £741,000 for “IT services” to Palantir since 2015, a cost that has been kept quiet amid controversy surrounding the company.

Palantir develops software designed to mine data sets used by counter-terrorism officials and fraud investigators.The company is listed on the UK Government’s approved IT suppliers, the Digital Marketplace.

Rach El December 9, 2018 8:56 PM


you’ve dedicated a lot to this blog over some time. You have intelligent and unique perspectives which are well articulated. I enjoy reading them.
I felt disappointed to observe your reaction to Clive Robinson on the topic of code cutters. I felt it was a lose of face for you that was unbecoming considering your dignity. Why does it matter to you what Clive says? It’s hardly personal. You could learn something in a constructive, friendly debate. Or you could ignore it. Voila! There’s way more garbage way more offensive written by commententors here. Many of whom thankfully have dispersed. I’m taking to the time to write to you personally because you deserve it but it’s also a more helpful general contribution to commentators

mrpuck December 9, 2018 9:55 PM

@So Out of Luck
The point I was trying to make was that the nations of the world were finally getting together to discuss the Internet and what it means to all of them. While this may be scary to some, to me it is long overdue. There are issues that go beyond national borders and require global attention and regulation. Climate change and the Internet are in this category.

Some recent political events seem unbelievable. The U.K. voting to leave the E.U. The U.S. electing Donald Trump. Why is there such a political divide today? The old politics of the last century, Left vs Right, don’t work anymore. Today we have a global economy, but national politics. This doesn’t work because we have no control over the forces that shape our lives. There are two solutions: Either de-globalize the economy and turn it back into a national economy or globalize the political system.

The above ideas come from Yuval Harari. His books, “Sapiens” and “Homo Deus”, are worth reading. You can also find him on YouTube.

echo December 9, 2018 11:58 PM

The Post also learnt that Meng likely had just one valid Hong Kong passport, but carried her expired ones when travelling as they contained visas.

“In general, it is possible for Chinese nationals who are permanent residents to own one valid Hong Kong passport … if for whatever reason it must be changed, say, the pages are all full or it is damaged, then the person will need to apply for another but the old one must be cancelled,” Lai said.


On Saturday, University of Hong Kong law academic Eric Cheung Tat-ming noted that the three passports all started with “KJ”, suggesting they were issued within a short period and it was unlikely she could have gone through so many passports so quickly.

However, a government source said all Hong Kong passports started with the initial K, while “KJ” only indicated the document was jumbo-sized, meaning 48 pages instead of the standard 32.

I find it helps greatly if officials read their own manuals and lawyers don’t skim read material and jump to conclusions.

Wael December 10, 2018 4:03 AM

@Clive Robinson,

As we approach the winter solstice, […]

I’m not sure how practical or miniaturized this computer would be. Speed would seem to be an issue as well. Could be good for future interfaces with the brain. Stopped reading after this, on page two:

W = π · w · 0y x2dy = π · w · 0y x2dy

Isn’t this self-evident? The brain is a bit foggy, but not thaaat foggy! What’s this, a freakin’ typo? In an academic paper from the Unconventional Computing Lab, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK!

Dang! It took me more time to format the formula than to read the first few pages!

UI-4 December 10, 2018 7:11 AM

With the latest advances in technology what used to appear to be real isn’t anymore.

That is posting to the Internet (in all muti-media formats) may in fact be human directed AI. Russia is already prepping to synthesize deeply crafted stories/personalities for the 2020 American elections. Even a reasonable person will have trouble discerning the truth.

This rare semi-anonymous blog serves as an excellent test bed for all sorts of advanced digital deception and manipulation to further ulterior motives.
The case in point would be posts which are irrelevant, off topic spiced with flawed logic, mean-spirited attacks. Why resort to using these repugnant techniques? [1]

The real people here are highly intelligent are not afraid to give the unvarnished truth. It’s a refreshing anchor compared to click-bait advertising led news. [2]

AI Authored Internet Saturation
But as time goes on it will become increasingly difficult. Will AI saturation end HUMAN free speech?

The most critical new world-wide law (which society is too stupid to yet to ponder) is that AI authored or assisted multi-media content must be explicated stated as such. At the beginning. With criminal penalties strictly enforced[3].

[1] to lessen subsequent bombshells. Spew banal social media PC divisive topics to decrease readership

[2] Many web sites have unstated biases but are ‘safe’ in the sense no-one can oppose their dogma. At least without be tracked with Google/Facebook adding your response to your dossier (why I don’t like post using the same identifier)

[3] Otherwise human thought will be overrun and discarded. Resistance is futile as even in the best case, AI will use your own lifelong dossier (embarrassing) secrets to argue against you.
The only option is to chop off the tentacles of the Internet as it begins to suck out your life.
Are the human dangers of the virtual world rapidly exceeding those of the real world?

Skizzo December 10, 2018 7:55 AM

“Microsemi’s 64-bit RISC-V SoC FPGA is based on its PolarFire FPGA. The approach has a number of advantages, including a simplified design that’s easier to secure. The design is immune to Spectre- and Meltdown-style attacks. The company has also included anti-tamper support, differential-power-analysis (DPA) resistant bitstream programming, cryptographic bound supply-chain assurance, physically unclonable function (PUF) support, a side-channel resistant crypto coprocessor, and a true random number generator. In addition, all memory has single-error-correction, double-error-detection (SECDED) support.

Microsemi is providing developers with complete access to the security features of the chip, including the secure-boot source code. This gives advanced developers the ability to check or replace this code to customize the secure-boot process.”

PeaceHead December 10, 2018 8:06 AM

echo, thanks for explaining in plain English words the UK GCHQ accountability issue in your previous posting.

I also find that type of thing dangerous and disturbing.
It also surprises me somewhat. For a long time from afar it seemed like the UK didn’t make the same mistakes as the USA. But maybe that time has passed.

Where globalization promised prosperity, it’s delivered financial crisis and endless war instead. All the while, our climate moves closer to destruction. Out of this crisis, global authoritarianism is rising. These leaders promise to restore national pride by attacking minorities, a free press and democracy itself. But in the end, they only serve themselves—a chilling echo of the 1930s. Today’s authoritarian leaders do not stand alone. They are part of a global axis of right-wing parties that shares funders, strategy and contacts. And around the world, they are gaining power. The time has come to form our own common front in the fight for global peace and prosperity. This movement will bring people together across the global left to think about the world we want to live in and how we make it a reality.


Echo, you might find this organization useful for parallel insights, concerns, and infos:

Peace be with you.

Faustus December 10, 2018 9:08 AM

@ Clive

Is this really you:

“Has any one else noticed that the espousers of “neo-xxx” or “new-xxx” politics are nearly always old white guys who should have been retired and out of everbodies lives in some old folks home by now?”


I’ve always envisioned you as an old white guy. Hmm. You don’t really believe this racist-ageist claptrap, do you? People lead productive lives into their 70s, 80s and beyond. Often for love of the work, but also often because they don’t have enough retirement savings.

Maybe you were having a bad day?

I agree with you 100% that figureheads of dodgy political movements are totally replaceable. There are just the tip of an undercurrent that will go on without them. Opponents are probably better off with the original figurehead. Killing them makes them a martyr. And the originals are more likely to have extreme flaws. Considering how well Hitler did as an extreme drug addict and OCD sufferer, the Nazis may well have won with a disciplined and “sane” (as sane as you can be as a nazi) leader.

Clive Robinson December 10, 2018 10:58 AM

@ Wael,

Don’t do like you did before: post a link then not say anything about it

I did, it was all in the “air quotes” around “must read”

You were ment to read it as sarcasm. You know like when some one says of someone else ‘he’s a real winner’ but does the double air quotes[1] so you know it means the opposit…

As for the liquid logic, on a second read there were other silly typos, that I originally slid over because you see them in papers where English is not the writers first language.

I guess I’m whizzing through too many papers at the moment with my other commitments (I’m also trawling through bogus evidence supplied by various UK bodies for an up and coming review case, it’s amazing what crap they think they can get away with pulling).


Wael December 10, 2018 11:52 AM

@Clive Robinson,

You were ment to read it as sarcasm.

And sarcasm is what it got 🙂 The papers you shared double air quotesrockeddouble air quotes 😉

PeaceHead December 10, 2018 12:20 PM


To everyone who stands in the way of terrorism, kleptocracy, tyranny, civic corruption, ritual abuse, perpetual warfare, and feudalistic anachronisms:


0) Do NOT question the phenomenon of being given useful data even if and especially if you can’t yet comprehend exactly how the data was delivered to you and/or your thinking patterns. Be self-aware and alert, but a gift is a gift is a gift.

You don’t necessarily have to use it (yet or at all), but please do NOT destroy the pathway, the channel, the message, the messengers, the anonymity, the benefits, nor other recipients. Do NOT investigate.

If you confirm that you’ve been given good useful data, use it well and don’t allow yourself to learn nor remember who or what gave it to you nor other related important details. It’s more important to stay alive and to allow others to stay alive. LET LIVE AND LIVE; LET LIVE AND LIVE; LIVE AND LET LIVE.

You don’t have to drop your guard, but don’t drop someone else’s guard when they are actually accomplishing goals for themselves and others via helping you and others, and likely themselves too.

1) Do NOT document your past, present, or future activities! Do NOT keep notes of anything important about yourselves, who you know, where you are going, where you came from, or what you plan to do. Do NOT journal. Diaries? No! No! No!

2) Do NOT include portrait photos in any biographical publications or advertisements or publicity events. If publishing any types of successes or items of pride, do NOT include portraits or identifying photographs of patrons or acquaintances or other associated peoples.

3) Do NOT wear clothing indicative of your affiliations; do NOT wear a uniform. Do NOT advertise your cultural affiliations. Do NOT make yourself or your family or friends or acquaintances easily visible targets.

4) Do NOT buy nor use any technological device or gadgets or accessories which are not proven to be easily and minimally maintainable, repairable, and simple enough to use with or without electricity or other social resources.

5) Do NOT become ideologically submissive in the presence of religious pressures to conform. Your mind and beliefs belong to you and nobody else. Pressures to fit in or to maintain social conversations or fluidity have no place in the modern world of surviving adverse circumstances. You owe nobody any type of allegiance especially if you have no formal long-term history of alliance with them.

Some people just like to hear themselves talk and they will drag you down to expose everything you are willing to divulge at their leisure; don’t waste your time and resources with them at all. Walk away and stay away. If they follow, assert your self-defensive capabilities verbally. If they stalk you, fight back and meet force with force. But stay legal.

6) Maintain 100% sobriety at all times! If you subvert your own mind or allow anyone else to subvert your mind, everything you know and do is at risk of total corruption and worthlessness.

There is absolutely nothing to gain from substance abuse. There is more than everything to lose from substance abuse. Those who have no cares for sobriety of themselves AND the sobriety of others tend to be casually severe existential threats (to both themselves and others!). Do NOT linger around those fools.

7) Deviating from the previous concerns could easily get you maimed or killed.

8) Keep fighting against the worst of the worst. Be proud of your accomplishments. Know that you have done well and don’t be afraid to remind yourself at any time. There is no need to extravagantly celebrate nor publicize these successes. Yet, in small careful quantities at prudently-noted times, do please allow a limited quantity of socially-responsible de facto allied recipients to know that you still care and that some successes have occured.

9) Please know that I also care. And, some successes have occured.

10) If you fall from grace and are at risk of joining your own enemies literally or in terms of bad behaviors, stop immediately, take a long nap, and then turn yourself in to the closest available authorities who are known to you or others to be non-corrupt. Or, stop immediately, take a long nap, and then reprioritise and re-establish your ethical, mental, and active commitments against all the bad behaviors.

If this is a repeat problem for you, just quit all the internal and/or external controversy and bail out entirely. You probably still ought to turn yourself in, even if you didn’t yet fall entirely from grace. Just don’t turn yourself in to the wrong people or place. Try to accomplish some kind of making things better or restitution. But do NOT try to be a perfectionist about this.

If you messed up in a grand way, you have proven that you don’t have the suaveness and smoothness to not mess up anything else. So just quit ASAP and find a small stable group of individuals more reliable and stable than you keep you off of the Chess Board permanently without dying. But do NOT become their next problem.

If all else fails, just put yourself on a long vacation and halt all of your addictive behaviors; make it impossible for yourself to keep messing up stuff for yourself and others. And if you really can’t do that, then, yeah you really need to turn yourself in before you become the type of problems that you used to fight against.

11) Stay up to date on technological, biological, and social developments, innovations, inventions, trends, techniques, currents, and news. A lack of factual information sets up a person for compound logical failures easily and routinely. Don’t be that guy.

12) Deliberately notice patterns and tendencies and make it daily day-long habit to notice patterns and tendencies. You have a brain; don’t waste it.

13) Study history from a wide variety of historical resources. Many of the best historical documents are NOT labeled in any way as “history”. Be forewarned that people who wrangle publicity away from others and seek to steer attentions certain directions are NOT really in the archival sciences nor are they historians. Everything that people do which doesn’t perish becomes historically documented by default. Think outside of the box; act outside of the box.

14) Be prepared to be extremely surprised and confused. Pre-plan to diffuse your own stagnation and confusion routinely because there will be times when you almost can’t even function anymore due to the shock. This world is extremely complex and the active complexities just recently exponentially multiplied with each other exponentially. This guarantees we will all be subjected to vastly astounding surprises and changes in every potential moment of hopeful existence.

Ironically, we won’t be able to detect all of the changes and surprises because there are so many of them pending and some are so severe they are deliberately being obscurred and/or ignored and/or camouflaged to prevent mass hysteria or rebellion or fanatacism.

Other phenomenon are inherently evasive simultaneously with their extremeness.

Try to decondition yourselves from being “outclassed” or superceded by the “next big thing”, no matter how counterintuitive it is while coming down the waterfall of several other mindshatteringly strange incidents. They will not all be bad either, but all stability itself is almost out the window unless we assertively defend it forever.

15) Prioritize your planned actions in terms of the ranking of existential threats. Clearly, some existential threats are worse and/or more probable than others. But there is ALWAYS a benefit to reduction of existential threats. The more than any of us and all of us can accomplish in reducing existential threats helps all of us collectively regardless of any absolute lack of sychronised actions or agendas or cultural legacies. STAY ALIVE AND HELP STOP THE ENDING OF LIVES. Pleae try to enhance quality of life.

16) Try not to neglect the most downtrodden forms of life. Even though there’s alsmost always someone who suffers worse than you and me, this should NOT happen either! With or without significant resources, it is ALWAYS heroic to save lives from trauma and suffering and torture and murder. Human beings are NOT the only gig on this planet. We are naive and young as a biological group, but we can still accomplish some wonderful compassionate benevolence if we deliberately allow ourselves to.

17) Dodge biological amnesia; dodge cultural amnesia; dodge political amnesia; dodge technolical amnesia. Do what it takes to remember what you need to know. Review can help too.

Always get enough sleep. If something is blocking your proper bedrest, swap it out of your life so you can go on living more effectively. A broken brain and a broken body can’t accomplish much and feels awful and typically can’t accomplish much but trouble socially. Avoid that whole trap and protect your mind and body at all times.

18) Protect your body and brain at all times! Your brain is your mind. Your brain can’t survive and function without a healthy body (yours!). And your body can’t survive and function without an healthy brain (yours!).

Do NOT mess with other lifeforms’ bodies nor brains. Whatever you seek to accomplish can always be attained via other non-hostile means. Whether human or not, maintain a hands-off approach for stability and safety and sanity.

19) Do NOT be afraid to go off of the grid from time to time. It’s not that bad at all. It’s kind of a luxury, really. It’s a great learning experience.

20) Do NOT be afraid to disown and jettison anybody and anything that is holding you and/or your best allies back from success. What is it worth? Is it really worth it? Be REALISTIC.

21) Maintain non-financial ambitions. Try to always remember the definition of life itself and biology. Most forms of life on this planet which have survived much much longer than any human civilizations were never dependent upon money (or even clothing!). Get back to the basics of what it is to be alive. You can’t go wrong with that.

The worst forms of pollution which jeopardize all life on Earth with extinction are entirely not needed. They never should’ve been invented at all. Most other forms of life never make those mistakes at all. Technology is really not a friend, in that regard. Never forget that!

22) Try to take time out to remember lives unfortunately lost. Honor their memory and their accomplishments by using the memories to supplement strategies of better living and better choices. Try to consider what the most honorable were trying to accomplish. Try to continue the best of the best, or at least the best parts of what you are most capable of doing as long as they are not in conflict with the best of the best.

23) Avoid conflicts of interest. That is, AVOID CONFLICTS OF INTEREST.

24) Make it impossible for evil to prevail.

25) May Peace Prevail Within All Realms of Existence For a Maximum Quantity of Sentient Beings with Sustainable Continuity of Memories and Lives.


December 2018

Rach El December 10, 2018 2:25 PM


Still better than this paper. [2016]

A multi-coffee spitting experience. Thank you!!! I need a sponge to wipe the walls with now hahahahahaha

VRK December 10, 2018 3:16 PM

David, if you

“want a phone that won’t suck up everything and send to the mother ship”

maybe this OS will interest you? PureOS

AtAStore December 10, 2018 3:35 PM

tl;dr you can watch it instead
Mueller Investigation
Donald Trump

Marcy Wheeler
independent journalist who covers national security and civil liberties at

Federal prosecutors have accused President Trump of committing a federal crime by directing illegal hush money to two women during the presidential election. The accusation was revealed Friday in filings made public by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, including a damning sentencing memo for Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, who has admitted to paying adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal during the campaign in order to prevent them from speaking to the media about their alleged affairs with Trump. The sentencing memo was made public along with two new sentencing memos from special counsel Robert Mueller: one for Cohen and another for Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort. “We keep talking about whether you can indict a sitting president,” says independent journalist Marcy Wheeler, editor of “There’s still a debate about that, but, really critically, you can indict a corporation. You can indict Trump Organization.”

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Federal prosecutors have accused President Trump of committing a federal crime by directing illegal hush money to two women during the presidential election. The accusation was revealed Friday in filings made public by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, including a damning sentencing memo for President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, who has admitted to paying the women. The memo states, quote, “With respect to both payments, Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election. … He acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1,” end-quote. “Individual-1” is a reference to President Donald Trump. The payments were made to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal during the campaign in order to prevent them from speaking to the media about their alleged affairs with Trump.

AMY GOODMAN: The sentencing memo was made public Friday along with two new sentencing memos from special counsel Robert Mueller: one for Cohen and another for Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort.

We go now to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where we’re joined by independent journalist Marcy Wheeler. She edits and has been closely following the multiple investigations of President Trump.

Marcy, welcome back to Democracy Now! Can you explain what’s most significant about these filings? And just for people to understand, we’re talking about filings from two different places, from the Mueller inquiry and from the U.S. court in New York, from the prosecutor’s office, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

MARCY WHEELER: Right. So, there’s two sentencing memos, actually, both for Cohen—one out of Manhattan, as you said, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York, and one out of Mueller’s office. And then, the Manafort thing is actually not a sentencing memo. It’s just a memo laying out the lies he told and the reasons he—that the government has said that he violated his plea agreement, and all of the benefits that he thought he was going to get out of that are now gone.

The news that is catching attention is what you just said, which is that in the New York sentencing memo, it makes it very clear—doesn’t accuse Trump yet, but it makes it very clear that what Cohen did in setting up these hush payments, and, importantly, getting reimbursed by Trump Organization for these hush payments, he did it with Donald Trump’s knowledge and on his instructions. And there’s been a—in the right wing, they’re sort of saying, “Well, this is just a minor campaign finance”—actually, Trump this morning tweeted out and said that, as well. But what they’re missing is that the language the U.S. attorney in New York uses is very clearly talking about fraud to carry out that campaign finance violation. So, for example, they point to all of the efforts Cohen and the Trump Organization used the hide the payments and to hide what they were actually for, things like the shell company that Cohen set up to carry out the payments.

And so, I would expect the next charges, the ones that might name Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator but will almost certainly name Trump Organization, because, remember, his company can be indicted, and also probably whichever one of his children is named in those filings, as well, they’re going to be charged with what’s called conspiracy to defraud the United States. And the argument is that any time you carry out fraud to hide the fact—to hide stuff that prevents the government from doing regulatory work, when you do that, that’s a crime in and of itself, irregardless of how serious the campaign finance violation is. So, that seems to be where they’re going in New York.

There’s a bunch of stuff in the other two memos that say Mueller has similar kinds of crimes coming in his investigation, as well as the conspiracy with Russia. There’s still some hints that that’s going to come reasonably soon, as well.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, Marcy, I want to go to Democratic Congressmember Jerry Nadler, the incoming chair of the House Judiciary Committee. He was interviewed on Sunday by CNN’s Jake Tapper about Michael Cohen’s admission that he made illegal hush money payments to two women at the direction of President Trump.

JAKE TAPPER: If it’s proven, are those impeachable offenses?
REP. JERRY NADLER: Well, they would be impeachable offenses. Whether they are important enough to justify an impeachment is a different question. But certainly they’d be impeachable offenses, because even though they were committed before the president became president, they were committed in the service of fraudulently obtaining the office. That would be the—that would be an impeachable offense.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: So, Marcy Wheeler, can you comment on what Nadler said, its significance? And these are, in fact, impeachable offenses, he says.

MARCY WHEELER: The idea is that you cheated to win. You cheated to win the office of the presidency, and that goes to the core of whether or not you should be president. It sounds like where Nadler is going is, the underlying crime, the hush payment, may not be grave enough by itself to sustain an impeachment, but, as I mentioned, there was stuff in the filings on Friday that suggests Mueller is going to charge very similar crimes.

Just as one example, one of the things that Paul Manafort lied about is that he was getting payments through a super PAC from Tom Barrack, who is one of Trump’s biggest donors, who’s the guy who hired Paul Manafort in the first place. So he was getting payments through a super PAC that themselves are probably not legal. And it raises questions—the question we’ve always asked about Paul Manafort is: He was dead broke for the entire time he was working for Trump, so who was paying him? And if he was being paid through this super PAC, for example, then it’s another example of, as I said before, the conspiracy to defraud the United States. And what I expect is what we see in New York. We’re going to see parallel kinds of charges but tied to hiding the role of the Russians, in Mueller’s investigations. And those, I think, together, will add up.

And then the other thing that I think is really important that people have just forgotten through this entire process—we keep talking about whether you can indict a sitting president. You know, there’s still a debate about that, but, really critically, you can indict a corporation. You can indict Trump Organization. And that filing in New York and, frankly, the Cohen filing from Mueller, as well, both make it quite clear that the Trump Organization was involved in this fraudulent activity. And so, I think we should start talking a lot more about how Trump is going to react when his eponymous corporation starts getting charged in crimes, as well, because, you know, that’s where his ego is invested, that’s where his alleged billions are invested. And that, too, I think, makes him vulnerable in a way other presidents have not been.

AMY GOODMAN: So, the issue is, I mean, you’ve got the hush money payments for alleged affairs that Trump was trying to keep secret. But then, on the issue of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which is supposedly what this inquiry was all about, explain what you think is most significant about what both Michael Cohen has said and what Manafort has said, why, for example, building a Trump Tower in Moscow weighs in here and more. And what were you most surprised by, Marcy?

MARCY WHEELER: It wasn’t surprising. We’re still getting more details about Cohen’s version of the Trump Tower deal. But the language that prosecutors—that the Mueller’s prosecutors here used in his sentencing memo was really stark, because it laid out that that Trump Tower deal could have meant hundreds of millions of dollars for Trump. That Trump Tower deal, they make explicit, probably required the involvement of the Russian government. That Trump Tower deal was being arranged at the same time as the June 9th meeting we’ve heard about over and over again. So, there’s that paragraph in the Cohen memo which lays out the stakes of what it meant for Trump, for Cohen, for Don Jr. to be open to a meeting with Vladimir Putin and to be open to a meeting from Russians offering election-year assistance on behalf of the Russian government. So, the language that Rob Goldstone, who’s the music promoter who set up that June 9th meeting—he talks about a package of assistance from the Russian government.

And the Cohen memo makes it very clear now what that would have meant to Don Jr. To Don Jr., it would have meant hundreds of millions of dollars if Vladimir Putin would buy off on this Trump Tower deal. And so, it really changes his willingness. Most of the witnesses in that meeting say that at the end of that meeting he said, “Sure, we’ll get rid of—you know, we’ll revisit these Magnitsky sanctions when and if my dad wins.” Changes the entire meaning of that meeting. And I think it makes it a lot clearer what the quid pro quo there was involved. And it was about money, and, again, money for the Trump Organization. So, it goes to that corporate entity, that can also be charged, in addition to Don Jr., who keeps talking about his expectation he’ll be indicted.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And, Marcy Wheeler, what do you expect—what steps do you expect the Trump administration to now take? I mean, the White House has essentially entirely dismissed what happened on Friday, saying that nothing new was revealed and damaging to the president.

MARCY WHEELER: Well, it’s not clear they can do much. Matt Whitaker has not been able to prevent anything from happening. It’s not yet clear whether he’s cleared his ethics review. So it’s not yet clear whether he actually is in direct control of the Mueller investigation yet, because he should be recused. He should be ethically not permitted to be in charge of this. But the thing is that, I mean, you know, the Mueller—the Manafort discussion about the lies he told, that’s going to go forward regardless of what Whitaker said. Again, Don Jr. sounds like he recognizes more and more that Mueller has the goods, not just that he lied, but that he lied for a reason. He lied to hide this larger deal that was going on. And it sounds like Michael Cohen has provided a great deal of evidence in support of that. That’s why the Mueller prosecutor said that he actually should get some consideration in his sentencing.

So, I’m not sure what Trump can do to interrupt it. I mean, he wants to bring in William Barr as attorney general, but he, too, is going to have ethical problems, because he interviewed to be on Trump’s defense team. So, it’s not even clear, if he does get confirmed quickly, that he’ll be able to help Trump in the way that he helped Poppy Bush years ago in killing the Iran-Contra crisis. So, we’ll see. But I’m not—I think it may be beyond Trump’s ability to really undercut this investigation anymore.

AMY GOODMAN: Marcy Wheeler, we want to thank you very much for being with us, independent journalist who covers national security and civil liberties, runs the website We’ll link to your latest piece, “The Quid Pro Quo Was Even Tighter Than I Imagined.”

David December 10, 2018 4:36 PM

@Clive Robinson
TNX again.
1500 AT Commands?
If documented I will awk and grep if in a hurry, or simply READ through.
If I cant make phone calls on it, there is Wifi+SIP. If not, well there are other frequencies for which I have priveledges.

Anyway, best of the season to you!

David December 10, 2018 4:50 PM

Re: PureOS

Thanks for reminding me. I usually go with the project’s own OS for starters, I regard cell phones as “electronic leashes”. So if I am made to lug one with me, its software will have few features, and they will be oriented toward heavy filtering.


Clive Robinson December 11, 2018 12:49 AM

@ Faustus,

There is a certain irony about supposedly “new politics” being pushed by the “old guard” who more or less insist they remain at the helm to guide the ship of state…

You could say I’m indicating the old saw of “Beware Greeks bearing gifts” may well apply, along with another truism, “An old leader might be wise, but old does neither wise nor leader make”.

You might call their behaviour paternalistic if you like. But also after a while you might notice they and their friends appear to be the ones who most benifit by their “new politics”, so “con artist” might as easily apply[1].

It’s the “Natural Caution” asspect of basic survival that appears missing in the followers of these “new politics”. Thus the old joke about being “invited over for dinner” with the butler asking “Is sir a guest or the main course?” might be wise to ask.

[1] The constitution of the British Nationalist Party (BNP) is a clasic in this example[2], and the unwary handed over lots of money that disappeared into the hands of a favoured few for little or nothing in return. Which proved again “That a fool and their money…”

2, Atleast in the BNP case the ineptness of the leader made finding out what was going on somewhat easier. The current crop in Britain like the EDL and UKIP, appear to be run in a more “hands off way”, such that even the leadership appear not to know, with the front men being simply that “front men” for a “hidden hand”.

RG-2 December 11, 2018 7:25 AM

IBM Pits Natural Computer Against Human Debaters
‘IBM pitted a computer against two human debaters in the first public demonstration of artificial intelligence technology it’s been working on for more than five years. The computer delivered its opening argument by pulling in evidence from its huge internal repository of newspapers, journals and other sources[1]. It then listened to a professional human debater’s counter-argument and spent four minutes rebutting it [2]
Google and Microsoft’s Bing use similar technology to digest and summarize written content and compose new paragraphs. But IBM says it’s breaking new ground by creating a system that tackles deeper human practices of rhetoric and analysis, and how they’re used to discuss big questions whose answers aren’t always clear.’

Natural AI Processing using Big-Data
‘Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping it Secret
These companies sell, use or analyze the data to cater to advertisers, retail outlets and even hedge funds. It is a hot market, with sales of location-targeted advertising reaching an estimated $21 billion this year. IBM has gotten into the industry, with its purchase of the Weather Channel’s apps.
At least 75 companies receive anonymous, precise location data from apps whose users enable location services to get local news and weather or other information, The Times found. The database reviewed by The Times — a sample of information gathered in 2017 and held by one company — reveals people’s travels in startling detail, accurate to within a few yards and in some cases updated more than 14,000 times a day.
The app tracked her as she went to a Weight Watchers meeting and to her dermatologist’s office. It followed her hiking and staying at her ex-boyfriend’s home, information she found disturbing. “It’s the thought of people finding out those intimate details that you don’t want people to know,” said Magrin, who allowed The Times to review her location data.’

Do humans need to be aware they are interacting with an AI machine as it quietly accesses your third party dossiers? Who wants to debate law and order, ethics and morality when your big-data AI knows who you’ve been sleeping around with? Or the gambling, financial, legal or drinking issues?

Natural AI Based Political Opposition Research{3]
Following this trend, its obvious political operatives will be use the gold-mine of re-identified data from their opponent[4], family and staff. Then run it through AI to generate outcomes. Then follow step-by-step (leaking, sources say) instructions to launch attacks. May the best data analytics/AI package win.

Natural Response
During political debates AI will direct the candidate response based upon real-time audience facial expressions using Facebook, Alexa, Siri, Hey Google microphones and cameras.

[1] realistically the most obvious source is the opponents dossier

[2] Imagine when AI becomes emotional and begins spewing out personalized data to win the debate!

[3] is AI naturally psychopathic?

[4] remember the last two winning presidents were addicted to smart-phones

Clive Robinson December 11, 2018 8:31 AM

@ David,

1500 AT Commands?

Give or take. There is a common agreed core set, then there are add ons, some do more or less the same thing but have a different interface, and some are just off the wall.

So if you stick to just one manufacturer of RF Modem then you will see a less, many of which you can ignore as well as you probably won’t use them.

Further as time goes on the standardisation process pulls older multiple similar comands into one standard command. The example where it’s easy to see this is where GPS went from being optional to required.

Oh which reminds me don’t trust the GPS if it goes through the Radio CPU, as that’s not under your control so could lie to you under somebody elses control.

Nobody said being secure was easy but sometimes you get the definite feeling somebody is deliberatly making it difficult…

Clive Robinson December 11, 2018 9:13 AM

@ RG-2,

is AI naturally psychopathic?

There is no definitive medical test, and the use of psychopath was changed to sociopath to emphasise the outcome of their behaviours. Then they ment two similar but different things and so on. Which is maybe why the DSM nolonger uses the terms.

The upshot is there are several lists of “Diagnostic criteria” that you do not need multiple doctorates etc to use. Thus a rational person could score the behaviour of the A.I. against any of the lists…

The fun points however are items such as “empathy” and “remorse”. The current definition for AI’s is that they effectively have neither but can fake them. Which more or less exactly describes a pychopaths behaviour…

So untill an AI specific list can be drawn up the answer would appear to be “yes” without reservation…

Not that, that is saying very much most supposadly successful business leaders also score highly on such comparisons. Which brings us around to the “socio” asspect. Humans by and large have “free agency” to interact with their environment, thus they can pick up a weapon and use it on you.

Computers generally have at best limited “agency” thus sticking a knife in you is not something they can do.

Which brings us to the point that in effect the most they can do is mess with peoples heads. In the real physical tangible world you can detect a computer by tripping over it’s power cord etc. But increasingly we are nolonger living in the real physical world, we now interact through a communications end point with whatever entity it is that we are dealing with. We see only intangible information, which is why the old joke of “On the Intetnet nobody knows you are a dog” is funny.

The danger though is we are creatures of the physical world, not the information world. Thousands of years of evolution have given us senses and filters that work in a face to face environment and fail miserably down even an office intercom or Email where we actually know the people quite well. Thus we are more open at the communications end point to having our heads messed with than we would care to admit…

For more about psychopaths have a read through,

It covers much of what you may be thinking about.

Wesley Parish December 12, 2018 3:47 AM

@Clive Robinson, David Walsh

Just a point on the recent arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou that Canada has apparently not noticed.

After the agreement with Iran to cease uranium processing to a near-weapons concentration of U235, the US and the EU and other nations relaxed sanctions.

As I understand it, in the common law countries you cannot be tried for something that was not a crime at the time you did it. If I fly a light plane under a harbour bridge the day before Parliament passes the law that outlaws it, I cannot be charged with that as an offense, though I think the state would bust its fuuffoo valve to find something to convict me on – contempt to civil aviation rules, etc …

If Huawei was acting within the law as it was then at the time it was trading in Iran, Canada is in for some mighty big penalties.

Just to add to their troubles, it might also be worth pointing out that the US imposing new sanctions on Iran was entirely unilateral, violating some treaties it had already signed with Iran, and based on allegations that the US failed to substantiate. The US Federal Government is in for some quite severe penalties, as I see it, from the PRC, as the US Federal Government behaviour begins to look a lot like corruption, and as the US is so kind as to extend its laws extraterritorially, so I expect the PRC will do the same – and the PRC for corruption on this magnitude tends to apply the death penalty.

Faustus December 12, 2018 8:37 AM

@ Clive

I agree, the leadership of groups militating for marginalized people has a strange tendency to end up in the hands of the privileged.

Militating for the underserved, who in most cases do have actual concerns that should be addressed, ends up being abstracted to the point where privileged leaders gain power and influence while the underserved remain underserved.

Where is the concern about endemic modern slavery? About rampant rape and sexual abuse in the military? Something could actually be done about these atrocities if our concerns extended beyond disadvantaged millionaire celebrities. (This is in no way an attack on Colin Kaepernick, who disinterestedly sacrificed money and fame to bring an important issue to light.)

David Walsh December 12, 2018 2:24 PM

Wesley Parish

Thanks. As is so often the case, I read comments on this blog (and others) that are sufficiently insightful as to beg the question ‘those in the newspapers need to know about this factor? Why haven’t they thought of it?’

With this in mind, I’ve flicked Xi an email quoting your comment in full

Clive Robinson December 12, 2018 3:15 PM

@ Wesley Parish,

As I understand it, in the common law countries you cannot be tried for something that was not a crime at the time you did it.

Retrospective legislation should not happen for good and proper reasons, but is not actualy prohibited. Worse in some cases you are actually striped of any defence…

The US is quite happy to push retrospective legislation down other peoples throats when they see a political advantage in doing so. Much as they do by insisting their writ transends all juresdictions, not just for the protection of US citizens/soldiers but in demanding the right to use rights stripping legislation against those who have had no active part in anything to do with the US.

By bullying tactics the US pretend to be “World Cops” whilst grossly interfering in other nations politics as well as bombing back to the stone ages any country that want’s nothing what so ever to do with the US for good proper and fully understandable reasons…

The first use by the US of retrospective legislation that every one should know of was what they did immediately after the Second World War (though it gets left out of history lessons). The US had decided that all the German leaders politicians and others should be disposed of (murdered) so that the US corporates could move in on German assets etc. The most obvious element of this was the “Following Orders” change… Upto that point it was internationaly accepted that refusing an order whilst under colours was mutiny for which the punishment was immediate execution… The US decided that “following orders” was in effect a capital crime… So dead if you didn’t dead if you did, so plain and simple murder. Since then the US have done similar with heads of state etc. Not just “political expediency” but “psychopathic excuses”… But then there have been the multiple US war crimes as well, which being a permanent member of the UN Security council alows them to evade…

But then the US claim they are exceptional so that’s alright then…

bttb December 12, 2018 3:25 PM ; a colored map with Trump’s approval by state

and an interesting passage from :

“None of this long [about 15 paragraphs] passage is footnoted in the complaint. It has to be based on the DNC’s own knowledge of the AWS hack.

On September 20, 2016, CrowdStrike’s monitoring service discovered that unauthorized users..." 

Clive Robinson December 12, 2018 4:08 PM

@ Faustus,

Where is the concern about endemic modern slavery?

Problem number one is “How do you define slavery?”, it’s realy not as easy as you think. For instance US Prisoners forced to do work for next to nothing… Are they slaves? They think so but the typical response is “But then they would wouldn’t they” or “They are not alowed to be involved in politics” or a hundred and one other excuses to keep what is a very profitable status quo…

My view is perhaps a little liberal for many, in that you become a slave when one or more of the recognisable rights we accept are taken away from you by those who retain them for themselves.

But I’m not going to convince many of those who withold others rights, because they only do it because they benifit by it. So I see a politician claiming that we should be hard on crime, realy saying “We are going to make slaves of you one way or another”. Why because they know that their other activities will almost always make life in the bottom financial half of the country worse and thus crime more likely. Oh the bottom financial half is in most cases over 80% of the population…

But it’s not just slavery, there are so very many things wrong with society these days even the best of us would be hard pushed to work out what should be dealt with first. My view is that education is not just lacking but often distorted by many for ulterior motives improvments there whist not having much immediate effect will in the longterm have the greatest effect. The downside though is that the population will hopefully be less accepting of politicians lies and half truths. Those who absolutly fear democracy because they see it as the enemy to their plans to own and control everything whilst paying nothing will see educational improvment as a very significant risk thus fight or seek to control it in some way “for their chosen” only.

In short no mater where you turn or how high or low you look you will find injustice inflicted on some by others. How we stop or change this wholesale abuse I’ve no idea, but hopefully highlighting it and shaming those who perpetrate it will help.

Because it does not take much of an imagination to see that those who fear democracy will grab at any tool they can to defend their position. Which is where all the abstract notions of security hit the hard road of reality. How do you stop them using bulk surveillance and various forms of AI as some lunitic “thought crime” or “pre-crime” filter to rights strip they see might posibly one day be a threat to them…

gordo December 12, 2018 7:03 PM

@ Faustus,

Something could actually be done about these atrocities if our concerns extended beyond disadvantaged millionaire celebrities. (This is in no way an attack on Colin Kaepernick, who disinterestedly sacrificed money and fame to bring an important issue to light.)

Yet, the Nike ad brought that issue front and center:

The thread that connects Smith and Carlos with Abdul-Rauf in 1995, Smith-Thompson in 2003 and Colin Kaepernick in 2016 is an opposition to a system of oppression that marginalizes, exploits, co-opts and silences opposition.

[. . .]

Smith-Thompson said that when she first watched the ad, “The first thing I asked myself was ‘What is this commercial selling?’ ” She noticed in the ad that each athlete, except Kaepernick, was depicted in the role that inspired his or her presence: Serena Williams was depicted as a mother and LeBron James for his work with his school. Kaepernick was not shown kneeling during the national anthem, which is what he is known for.

In Smith-Thompson’s view, the Nike ad “is not selling activism, not selling challenging the systems of power. It’s selling inspiration, going beyond limitations, beating expectations. That’s not the same as challenging systems of power.”

See also:

The line comes from a Gil-Scott Heron poem/song of the same name. It means that the fight for a better world through revolution requires active participation, not passive consumption. It speaks to American TV media being consumer driven and an inaccurate reflection of reality.

Hopefully not getting too far afield, but, regarding mainstream media, there is this headline calling out US corporates for their lack of coverage and we see as well from the article, among other things, how establishment media works:

The establishment French media blamed the disturbances on a minority of right-wing and left-wing “extremists” and destructive “casseurs” (vandals and rioters). In reality, the great majority of protestors were ordinary and politico-economically exasperated working-poor and middle class citizens not affiliated with either the far right or the left. The extraordinarily spontaneous and leaderless Gilets Jaunes movement was supported by nearly 80 percent of the French citizenry.

Egyptian media also focused on the yellow vest protests’ worst elements:

Egypt restricts yellow vests sales to avoid copycat protests | Associated Press December 10, 2018

Egyptian media coverage of the unrest has emphasized the ensuing riots, looting and arson in Paris, echoing President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s frequent refrain that street action leads to chaos.

Whether acting from within either “democracies” or “autocracies,” it’s really no surprise that establishment media handle security issues in much the same way. If covered at all, focus on the “law and order” elements rather than the underlying social problems. And where possible, a little fluff from the advertisers never hurts.

RG-2 December 13, 2018 8:57 AM

Physicist linked to China 2025 program

A noted Chinese-born physicist and Stanford University scientist Zhang Shoucheng, 55 who died Dec. 1 was linked to Beijing’s major program to corner the world market in key advanced quantum technologies.

“Guo Wengui, an exiled Chinese businessman who in the past had close contacts with Chinese intelligence, said he knew Zhang for years and doubted he died in a suicide.
“I knew this guy very well,” Mr. Guo told Inside the Ring. “The guy worked with the [Chinese Communist Party].”

In a broadcast on his internet video outlet, Mr. Guo said Zhang was part of a special Chinese Communist Party program that recruited scientific and technical experts starting in 1995. The secret program was designed to assist China in advancing technology development and involved some 20,000 experts.

According to Mr. Guo, Zhang in the past received research funding from Jack Ma, head of Alibaba, the giant online retailer and conglomerate, and under Chinese President Xi Jinping received a secret national award for his work.

Mr. Guo said he suspects foul play in Zhang’s death because the physicist knew secrets about China’s technology expert program and that he REFUSED to RETURN to CHINA as requested by senior party leaders.

Chinese state media has reported a number of Chinese government officials have died in what were reported as “abnormal deaths,” the official euphemism for suicide.

In October, Zheng Xiaosong, the head of the Chinese government liaison office in Macau, jumped to his death from his apartment building. Beijing said Zheng had been depressed.

In July, Wang Jian, founder and co-chairman of the Chinese conglomerate HNA, died during a fall while sightseeing at a church in southern France.”

I’ve reserved judgment on the leading China scientists and leaders deaths. However a pattern and motive has emerged[1]. In another reports Mr Zhang was closely tied to Huawei owners.

[1] Impeding Xi’s aggressive 2025 Plan for World Domination

VinnyG December 13, 2018 1:41 PM

@Echo re: changing historical events and keeping Hitler from power – The problem with the “changing history” scenario, as amusing as it is in an SF novel, is that no one knows or (probably) could ever know what evil alternatives might result from such a change. Hitler was an evil madman, and caused the murder of millions of people, yet here we remain, and, in spite of many doomsayers, the current world is imo reasonably pleasant to inhabit. My reading indicates that the environment that facilitated Hitler and the Third Reich resulted largely from unreasonable and highly punitive measures imposed on Germany in the Treaty of Versailles, at the end of that ludicrous exercise in reducing humans to hamburger that we call World War I. With those conditions in place, stymie Hitler, and maybe an even worse madman comes to power in Germany – one who emphasizes fission research earlier and produces (and uses) a German nuke to win WWII. Maybe Hitler is stopped, no German rises in his place, and because Josef Stalin has no powerful enemy to engage on his western border, he accumulates enough power and wealth to foment successful, Soviet-style, Communist revolutions all over the civilized world. As it was, Stalin very well may have caused the deaths of even more people than Hitler, was just as ruthless, and arguably even crazier. We may be fortunate that time travel doesn’t exist in reality – far too few people really seem to grasp the meaning of the phrase “be careful what you wish for…”

Wesley Parish December 16, 2018 4:01 AM

@David Walsh

Aw shucks, you shouldn’t have … 🙂 I regret that my guesses seem to have a basis in reality
Why is China detaining Canadian citizens?

Roland Paris, professor of international affairs at the University of Ottawa, added: “I think as tensions grow there is a risk Canada gets caught in the middle of the US and China.”

One of the things that infuriates me on an all-too-regular basis is the way the “Democratic West” so regularly turns its back on what is perhaps its most useful development/creation, a way of insulating the judicial process from political and social pressures enough to get a useful approximation of justice. It’s been on the human wish list for several thousand years, after all …. /rant off

George December 17, 2018 4:57 AM

Clive Robinson said, “So it would appear that the US Government via neo-con John Bolton think “kidnapping” is the way to get “backdoor” cooperation…”

this is plausible but highly unlikely given that US of A will probably not disclose such information with a hostile foreign government. it appears that the act is merely a way to set them a few steps back while we race to maintain a bigger lead, speaking from a hypothetically logical world.

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