dredmorbius's recent activity

  1. Comment on Propaganda, censorship, and surveillance are all inherent attributes of information monopoly in ~tech

    dredmorbius
    Link
    Note that Joindiaspora joined the Great Bitrot in the Sky earlier in 2022. The submitted article and discussion are archived at https://archive.ph/8ceqI.

    Note that Joindiaspora joined the Great Bitrot in the Sky earlier in 2022.

    The submitted article and discussion are archived at https://archive.ph/8ceqI.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on File not found: A generation that grew up with Google is forcing professors to rethink their lesson plans in ~comp

    dredmorbius
    Link
    VoxMedia have a cookie "consent" form with no option to reject cookies. I'm finding that absolutely unacceptable. @deimos is there any prospect for sitewide bans of domains doing this?

    VoxMedia have a cookie "consent" form with no option to reject cookies.

    I'm finding that absolutely unacceptable.

    @deimos is there any prospect for sitewide bans of domains doing this?

    3 votes
  3. Comment on How factories were made safe in ~humanities

    dredmorbius
    Link Parent
    Yep. I've been following Roots of Progress for a few years now. It's consistently strongly libertarian, techno-optimist, cornucopian effort. I'm not sure if that's by intent or out of ignorance...

    Yep.

    I've been following Roots of Progress for a few years now.

    It's consistently strongly libertarian, techno-optimist, cornucopian effort. I'm not sure if that's by intent or out of ignorance and lack of ability and insight, though the end results don't much matter.

    As I've said: the questions and topic it's addressing are vitally important. The capability and skil with which it's being executed are utterly unsuited to the challenge.

    5 votes
  4. Comment on How factories were made safe in ~humanities

    dredmorbius
    (edited )
    Link
    Roots of Progress explores a fascinating and critically vital question, but does so under ideological blinders and using manifestly obvious rhetorical techniques (strawman arguments,...

    Roots of Progress explores a fascinating and critically vital question, but does so under ideological blinders and using manifestly obvious rhetorical techniques (strawman arguments, blame-the-victim, historical revisionism) which hugely impair the entire project.
    Tremendous potential. Miserable accomplishment.

    It is an exceedingly slanted narrative omitting much and painting a pointedly inaccurate history.

    The author has grossly cherry-picked sources and issues. See by comparison:

    Some other interesting case histories would be Union Carbide's Bhopol disaster, the Johnstown flood, PEPCON, and many others.

    It's a target-rich environment.

    7 votes
  5. Comment on Twitter starts to require login to view tweets in ~tech

    dredmorbius
    Link
    An interesting response to Twitter’s staged rollout of “you must be logged in to view tweets” surveillance misfeature … would be for sites to ban Twitter links As noted by others, the fall-on...

    An interesting response to Twitter’s staged rollout of “you must be logged in to view tweets” surveillance misfeature … would be for sites to ban Twitter links

    I’ve been having that discussion with one popular tech discussion forum. They’re considering the option.

    On Reddit, such a block could be implemented individually by mods of key forums, as well as by Reddit admins themselves.

    On the Fediverse and Diaspora, instance and pod admins can ban links to Twitter, or rewrite those to go through other interfaces (#Nitter and #Threadreader being the most viable presently).

    As noted by others, the fall-on impact on organisations relying on Twitter for their own outreach would be significant.

    There's speculation that Twitter are testing the waters and will roll this back. I'd say a sharp spanking would be a caution not to even think about this kind of bullshit.

    7 votes
  6. Comment on Moderators of hundreds of popular subreddits sign open letter calling on Reddit founders to do more to combat COVID-19 disinformation in ~health.coronavirus

  7. Comment on The inside story of how the lowly PDF played the longest game in tech in ~tech

    dredmorbius
    Link Parent
    Chrome/Android doesn't support extensions. Though yes, that's useful for desktop users. (Note that mobile is about 90% of present Web use.)

    Chrome/Android doesn't support extensions.

    Though yes, that's useful for desktop users.

    (Note that mobile is about 90% of present Web use.)

  8. Comment on The inside story of how the lowly PDF played the longest game in tech in ~tech

    dredmorbius
    Link Parent
    I browse virtually exclusively in Incognito mode. There are no cookies.

    I browse virtually exclusively in Incognito mode.

    There are no cookies.

    1 vote
  9. Comment on The inside story of how the lowly PDF played the longest game in tech in ~tech

    dredmorbius
    Link
    I get only a first-'graph tease of the article. Someone care to Pastebin (or PDF) the text? (One thing HTML has going against it is an increasing amount of paywalled / blocked content.)

    I get only a first-'graph tease of the article.

    Someone care to Pastebin (or PDF) the text?

    (One thing HTML has going against it is an increasing amount of paywalled / blocked content.)

    3 votes
  10. Comment on Reddit is quietly rolling out a TikTok-like video feed button on iOS in ~tech

    dredmorbius
    Link Parent
    It already has. Quality subs simply don't get discussion or traction. Mainstream subs are overwhelmed by crap. "All" is reposts of Tik Toc, Giphy, Imgur, IG, FB, and other meme-engines. I wanted a...

    It already has.

    Quality subs simply don't get discussion or traction.

    Mainstream subs are overwhelmed by crap.

    "All" is reposts of Tik Toc, Giphy, Imgur, IG, FB, and other meme-engines.

    I wanted a discussion site / bloggy kind of place (see /r/dredmorbius). I gave up on that years ago, and the continued direction of Reddit is only further downhill.

    4 votes
  11. Comment on California Gubernatorial Election in ~talk

    dredmorbius
    Link Parent
    This is the sixth recall attempt against Newsom alone. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_California_gubernatorial_recall_election https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gavin-newsom-recall-california-governor/

    This is the sixth recall attempt against Newsom alone.

    Before this election, the only other gubernatorial recall attempt in California that qualified for a general vote happened in 2003, which resulted in Gray Davis being replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger.[3][4] The recall election will be the fourth gubernatorial recall election ever held in the United States.[5] This election is the result of one of at least 54 attempts in California's history to remove an elected governor from office and one of six efforts to remove Newsom.[3][4] Every California governor since 1960 has faced some form of recall attempt.[6]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_California_gubernatorial_recall_election

    The effort to recall California's Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom is growing, and his allies and Democrats are taking notice. This will be the sixth recall attempt against Newsom, now two years into his first term.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gavin-newsom-recall-california-governor/

    9 votes
  12. Comment on Much Ado About Title Case in ~tildes

    dredmorbius
    Link Parent
    I actually hadn't thought of that, but yes, you're precisely right. There are also the ambiguous cases --- is it "Polish" or "polish", or "UPS" or "ups"? That's where something with context...

    I actually hadn't thought of that, but yes, you're precisely right.

    There are also the ambiguous cases --- is it "Polish" or "polish", or "UPS" or "ups"?

    That's where something with context awareness might do better.

    1 vote
  13. Comment on How to scrub your online footprint? in ~tech

    dredmorbius
    (edited )
    Link
    There are several facets to this: What data exists? Who has access to that? What future data will be created? What can be removed? I'm going to tackle a few aspects others have neglected. Seek...

    There are several facets to this:

    • What data exists?
    • Who has access to that?
    • What future data will be created?
    • What can be removed?

    I'm going to tackle a few aspects others have neglected.

    Seek strong personal privacy and data protection standards. This is an increasingly prevalent discussion and policy in parts of the world, though it's not yet been unified. Europe's GDPR, a smattering of data protection laws in the US (many at the state level), and a few others elsewhere exist. If you're covered by a relevant jurisdiction, seek the maximum protection these laws have to offer. If you're not, advocate for strong data protection and privacy laws where you are.

    I've been looking at different conceptualisation than has been common to date, of informational autonomy, a concept that combines elements of free speech, privacy, right to know, and protections from fraud and disinformation. Keep in mind that many of these principles conflict, a fact which is at the core of the concept of informational autonomy: there exist trade-offs between the elements addressed.

    For good and more traditional views, I recommend Daniel Solove, Helen Nissenbaum, Phlip E. Agre, Jeffrey Rosen, Warren & Brandeis, Cory Doctorow, Bruce Schneier, Paul Baran, and organisations such as the ACLU, EPIC, EFF, and others.

    In particular, legislation and regulation over the collection and exchange of personal information is probably the most useful to pursue. Making information expensive, dangerous, and worthless will vastly reduce incentives to collect, exchange, and analyse it.

    Most of the data created by and about you is not publicly available. It comes in the form of "data smog" from credit and debit card purchases, payroll processors, transit cards and tollway tags, Web browser activity, your ISP's tracking, your mobile phone, Internet of Things devices, and more. That's not going to turn up in a Google search but is accessible through data brokers. The subscription costs are high for an individual but exceedingly cheap at volume.

    Old data ages out relatively quickly. Much of it persists for a long time, but its value falls off fairly quickly. Simply cutting of further feeding of this collection helps immensely. The payoff isn't immediate, but in a year, or two, or five, or ten, you'll have very little online footprint.

    You can actively request exclusion from collections or deletion of stored data. This may not succeed, but you've little to lose by asking.

    Using aliases or pseudonyms going forward helps. Keep in mind that there are many and powerful deanonymisation tools, and putting data back together is often very easy. Good "tradecraft" (anti-surveillance practices) is hard, but even a modest effort makes you far less trackable than the typical person.

    Not having a strong online presence is itself a strong signal. At least for now, though if perceptions and practices change it may not be. I'm very mixed on the question of whether it's better to go off-grid or to throw out spurious or innocuous noise. A chief argument against "chaffing" (throwing out distracting information) is that it's still pretty easy to detect the signal within the noise.

    An incremental approach can be surprisingly effective. Find the largest footprints, go after those, and keep walking down the list. Eventually you'll have little to show for.


    Updates & Corrections: Swapped in Helen Nissenbaum for Martha Nussnebaum (my error), added Paul Baran (co-inventor of packet-switched networks and very early digital privacy author), added links for named authors pointing to publication(s) relevent to discussion.

    13 votes
  14. Comment on Much Ado About Title Case in ~tildes

    dredmorbius
    Link Parent
    While noting I'm Totally Down With Sentence Case, there are some good titlecase converters ("titlecase <string>" at DuckDuckGo, e.g.), and I've written my own (the special cases and acronyms...

    While noting I'm Totally Down With Sentence Case, there are some good titlecase converters ("titlecase <string>" at DuckDuckGo, e.g.), and I've written my own (the special cases and acronyms (initialisms for the pedants) are surprisingly numerous). Not perfect. But pretty damned good.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on Reddit announces online presence indicators in ~tech

    dredmorbius
    Link Parent
    /r/dredmorbius is hardly a large sub, but yeah, I'm done, and have been for years. "Nothing at all" is literally a better alternative than "New Reddit".

    /r/dredmorbius is hardly a large sub, but yeah, I'm done, and have been for years.

    "Nothing at all" is literally a better alternative than "New Reddit".

    2 votes
  16. Comment on Movie at the Ellipse: A study in fascist propaganda in ~misc

    dredmorbius
    Link
    @deimos: NB the scraped authors list is incorrect. (A report/flag method might be helpful.)

    @deimos: NB the scraped authors list is incorrect.

    (A report/flag method might be helpful.)

    1 vote
  17. Comment on The Great Deplatforming: An alternate explanation for the Parler, et al, shutdowns in ~tech

    dredmorbius
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Sure, though that reckognition's been slow in coming. It's widely, but still not universally admitted now. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is still in denial. In 2009, Twitter Revolutions were...

    it is these monopolies that allowed these hate groups to recruit and flourish as they have in the first place.

    Sure, though that reckognition's been slow in coming. It's widely, but still not universally admitted now. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is still in denial. In 2009, Twitter Revolutions were cheered so long as they occurred in Moldova, Tunesia, Iran, Egypt, Ukraine. Outside the U.S.

    Chickens will roost.

    Organisations are not unitary entities, and factions or differences exit, between executives, between managers, between managers and staff, among employees, investors, business partners, clients, and vendors. Consensus or controlling opinion shifts.

    Disinformation, or role in revolution, is not contingent on private corporate monopolies. In The Matrix, John S. Waterman devotes much of his introduction of this 1990 guide to the burgeoning universe of global data networks to the just-occurred Tiananmen Square Massacre, much news, disinformation, and censorship of which occurred online. There was Serder Argic's denial of the Armenian Genocide spam on Usenet in the 1990s. A uniformly reachable amplifying channel is all that is required, and walled-garden networks arose in large part due to the filtering failures ... mostly spam, but also legally problematic content such as warez, CP, prostitution, illicit trade, and other factors.

    2 votes
  18. Comment on The Great Deplatforming: An alternate explanation for the Parler, et al, shutdowns in ~tech

    dredmorbius
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Mostly addressed here, though the assertion really isn't of some Big Plan and far more: Looking at what's occurring. Testing fit against alternatives. Looking for disproving evidence (YouTube's...

    Mostly addressed here, though the assertion really isn't of some Big Plan and far more:

    • Looking at what's occurring.
    • Testing fit against alternatives.
    • Looking for disproving evidence (YouTube's actions, noted in link).

    Your criticism applies equally to Greenwald's QAnon-level conspiracy theory.

    Evidence appears thin, yes, tough my read is that there's slightly more for my view, several elements emerging since formulating it. In Greenwald's case, key claims (no Parler participants at coup) have been robustly disproved.

    Listing out specific elements of support or counterindication would be more helpful than broad brush smears. Which is specifically how I structured my ccounterproposal to Greenwald.


    Edit: 2022-1-23: markdown on slightly.

  19. Comment on The Great Deplatforming: An alternate explanation for the Parler, et al, shutdowns in ~tech

    dredmorbius
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    To be clear, I'm suggesting a possible explanation, a hypothesis. Both supporting and falsifying evidence can emerge, or do exist, and should reflect on likelihood. In an emergent situation we...

    Just because a scenario is technically plausible, doesn't mean it is worthy of consideration without evidence.

    To be clear, I'm suggesting a possible explanation, a hypothesis. Both supporting and falsifying evidence can emerge, or do exist, and should reflect on likelihood. In an emergent situation we cannot simply work off proof, but must use inference and prior experience.

    The scenario is plausible, and:

    • Conforms with previous experiences in which apparent spontaneous action were later demonstrated to be coordinated. The COINTELPRO files are full of these, amongst others.
    • Has support from available information of extensive public investigations.
    • Mentions (NPR on air, none written that I've yet found) of sealed indictments.
    • The long-established strategic importance of disrupting enemy planning, organisational, and communications capacities. From Sun Tzu to CCCC.
    • A long history of close associations between government and comms providers going back to postal services, telegraphy, telephone providers, wireless networks, broadcasters, and data processing.
    • Web hosting and online services are less well documented, but are similarly key to control, monitoring, disruption, and feeding in government propaganda and disinformation.

    For what it's worth, a bit of counterevidence is YouTube's only temporarily suspending Trump's channel. Though that itself might be strategic, and several earlier bans were temporary, then extended. In Greenwald's case, key claims (no Parler participants at coup) have been robustly disproved. In response, Greenwald has doubled down on them.

    Finally: both hypotheses under consideration --- Greenwald's and mine --- are largely unfounded. Specifically, Greenwald's argument fails your tests harder than mine as there is in fact no supporting evidence provided at all.

    The question is one of how best to account for visible actions based on thin and suspect information, explaining not just observed behaviour but causal or institutional mechanism or understanding. A working model should be useful and consistent, and ultimately stand to historical evidence. That will take a while.

    2 votes