Dystopia

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

…We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.

…In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” – Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

Big Brother (1984)

Big Brother is the overarching antagonist of the late George Orwell’s 1949 masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four (also known as “1984“). He is an all-powerful authoritarian dictator of Oceania, a fictional totalitarian state taken to the extremes of its logical conclusion: where the ruling class are in complete and utter control of the hapless masses and wield absolute power.

In the society of Big Brother, the entire population is under constant surveillance via telescreens and has no privacy or freedom outwith what Big Brother decides to afford them – Big Brother is forever reminding his people of his presence via simple but effective propaganda.

Since the creation of Big Brother by George Orwell, the name has become a symbol for oppression, especially the type in which personal freedom is removed via surveillance and whenever a government is seen as abusing its power, it’s also often labeled a “Big Brother” state.

The Weird DARPA/Facebook “Coincidence” You Never Heard About

Ever hear about “Lifelog?” You know, the DARPA* project to create an automatically updated, itemized, organized, electronic list of every interaction you have, every event you attend, every place you go and everything you do?

The project that was announced as canceled the very same day Facebook launched? Well, neither had I?

In today’s Thought for the Day we explore the Lifelog/Facebook “coincidence” and what it tells us about our wired world.

*DARPA – The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is a research and development agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of emerging technologies for use by the military.

Citizenfour

(Oscar Winner 2015: Best Documentary, feature)

CITIZENFOUR is a real life thriller, unfolding by the minute, giving audiences unprecedented access to filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s encounters with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, as he hands over classified documents providing evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Poitras had already been working on a film about surveillance for two years when Snowden contacted her, using the name “CITIZENFOUR,” in January 2013.  He reached out to her because he knew she had long been a target of government surveillance, stopped at airports numerous times, and had refused to be intimidated. When Snowden revealed he was a high-level analyst driven to expose the massive surveillance of Americans by the NSA, Poitras persuaded him to let her film.

CITIZENFOUR places you in the room with Poitras, Greenwald, and Snowden as they attempt to manage the media storm raging outside, forced to make quick decisions that will impact their lives and all of those around them.

CITIZENFOUR not only shows you the dangers of governmental surveillance—it makes you feel them. After seeing the film, you will never think the same way about your phone, email, credit card, web browser, or profile, ever again.

Accelerometers are sensors for measuring acceleration forces. They can be found embedded in many types of mobile devices, including tablet PCs, smartphones, and smartwatches. Some common uses of built-in accelerometers are automatic image stabilization, device orientation detection, and shake detection.

In contrast to sensors like microphones and cameras, accelerometers are widely regarded as not privacy-intrusive. This sentiment is reflected in protection policies of current mobile operating systems, where third-party apps can access accelerometer data without requiring security permission.

It has been shown in experiments, however, that seemingly innocuous sensors can be used as a side channel to infer highly sensitive information about people in their vicinity.

Drawing from existing literature, we found that accelerometer data alone may be sufficient to obtain information about a device holder’s location, activities, health condition, body features, gender, age, personality traits, and emotional state. Acceleration signals can even be used to uniquely identify a person based on biometric movement patterns and to reconstruct sequences of text entered into a device, including passwords. In the light of these possible inferences, we suggest that accelerometers should urgently be re-evaluated in terms of their privacy implications, along with corresponding adjustments to sensor protection mechanisms.

Is Facebook eavesdropping on your phone conversations?
https://www.news10.com

So, be careful what you say in the presence of your phone. Facebook is not only watching, but also listening to your cell phone. It all starts with enabling your microphone feature in your settings.  Once you do, choose your words carefully.

The site, itself, admits in an online statement, “We use your microphone to identify the things you’re listening to or watching, based on the music and TV matches we’re able to identify.” But, experts contend that the site is going a step further. In what some users are calling an alarming trend, described as “Big Brother,”

Facebook also listens for certain buzz words. Once identified, those words trigger an interesting response.  Items are then carefully placed in your Facebook feed, specifically crafted with your interests front and center. Wait!  What?

We tested the theory with Kelli, and even we were surprised by what we found and saw.

Kelli enabled the microphone feature and talked about her desire to go on safari, right down to her mode of transportation.  “I’m really interested in going on an African safari. I think it’d be wonderful to ride in one of those jeeps,” she said aloud, phone in hand.

Less than 60 seconds later, the first post on her Facebook feed was a safari story that seemed to pop up out of nowhere. Turns out, it was a story that had been posted three hours earlier. And, after mentioning a jeep, a car ad also appeared on her page.

The Amazon Alexa Eavesdropping Nightmare Came True
https://gizmodo.com

Germany’s c’t magazine reports that in August the Amazon user—exercising his rights under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation—requested his own data that Amazon has stored. Two months later, Amazon sent him a downloadable 100Mb zip file.

Some of the files reportedly related to his Amazon searches. But according to the report there were also hundreds of Wav files and a PDF cataloging transcripts of Alexa’s interpretations of voice commands. According to c’t magazine, this was peculiar to this user because he doesn’t own any Alexa devices and had never used the service. He also didn’t recognize the voices in the files.

The user reported the matter to Amazon and asked for information. He reportedly didn’t receive a response, but soon found that the link to the data was dead. However, he had already saved the files, and he shared his experience with c’t magazine out of concern that the person whose privacy had been compromised was not told about the mistake.

C’t magazine listened to many of the files and was able “to piece together a detailed picture of the customer concerned and his personal habits.” It found that he used Alexa in various places, has an Echo at home, and has a Fire device on his TV. They noticed that a woman was around at times. They listened to him in the shower.

“We were able to navigate around a complete stranger’s private life without his knowledge, and the immoral, almost voyeuristic nature of what we were doing got our hair standing on end. The alarms, Spotify commands, and public transport inquiries included in the data revealed a lot about the victims’ personal habits, their jobs, and their taste in music. Using these files, it was fairly easy to identify the person involved and his female companion. Weather queries, first names, and even someone’s last name enabled us to quickly zero in on his circle of friends. Public data from Facebook and Twitter rounded out the picture.”

Using the information they gathered from the recordings, the magazine contacted the victim of the data leak. He “was audibly shocked,” and confirmed it was him in the recordings and that the outlet had figured out the identity of his girlfriend. He said Amazon did not contact him.

‘Constantly Listening’: Class Action Claims Amazon’s Alexa Makes ‘Secret Recordings’ of Users’ Conversations
https://www.classaction.org

Amazon.com, Inc. faces a proposed class action lawsuit that claims the tech giant’s Alexa virtual assistant secretly makes and stores recordings of conversations for the company’s benefit, even when users have no intention to interact with the device at all.

Google Assistant Class Action Says Users Are Recorded
https://topclassactions.com

Google Assistant records conversations on phones and Google Home devices, according to a recent class action filed in California.

The Google Assistant program uses voice recognition to answer questions and carry out commands, similar to the Siri service provided by Apple.

Certain phones, including the Google Pixel, are equipped with Google Assistant and the tech giant’s smart home products, including the Google Home, also use the voice recognition program.

Although Google Assistant is supposed to remain dormant until a consumer uses the prompts “OK, Google” or “Hey, Google,” a recent class action lawsuit claims that the program records conversations even when not being used.

FTC Issues Warning Letters to App Developers Using ‘Silverpush’ Code
https://www.ftc.gov

The staff of the Federal Trade Commission has issued warning letters to app developers who have installed a piece of software that can monitor a device’s microphone to listen for audio signals that are embedded in television advertisements.

Known as Silverpush, the software is designed to monitor consumers’ television use through the use of “audio beacons” emitted by TVs, which consumers can’t hear but can be detected by the software. The letters note that the software would be capable of producing a detailed log of the television content viewed while a user’s mobile device was turned on for the purpose of targeted advertising and analytics.

TikTok Can Now Collect Biometric Data
https://www.schneier.com/

A change to TikTok’s U.S. privacy policy on Wednesday introduced a new section that says the social video app “may collect biometric identifiers and biometric information” from its users’ content. This includes things like “faceprints and voiceprints,” the policy explained. Reached for comment, TikTok could not confirm what product developments necessitated the addition of biometric data to its list of disclosures about the information it automatically collects from users, but said it would ask for consent in the case such data collection practices began.

Telescreens In George Orwell’s 1984

In George Orwell’s 1984, the totalitarian government tries to control everything about its people, even their thoughts. In the story the inter group of government, the Party, does everything in their power to make sure that the lower people are fully loyal to them. Winston, the main character, notices many of the things the Party does to control him and the other people of the society. The Party does this in many way such as telescreens, the Thought Police, and microphones to control their people. The Party controls their people with means of telescreens. The telescreens are used to monitor people while they are at their homes. This done in order to take all privacy out of people ‘s lives. While in the view of the telescreen people feel threatened and like the government could be watching them at any moment, even though people don ‘t really know how often the government is actually watching them. Winton talking about the telescreens said,”There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment.”

This is shown in many places in the novel. It is know that there are telescreens that let the Party look into what you are doing, but there is also microphones out in public to monitor what you say. The microphones would have been best to catch people talking down the Party or to hear a slight change in their voice that would show that they were infact committing thought crimes. The microphones were in places all over the country, making it hard to find a place where the Party couldn’t hear them, “I didn’t want to say anything in the line… in case there’s a mike hidden there. There’s always the chance of one of those swine recognizing your voice.” This was said by Julia while she was in a secluded area with Winston in regard to the microphones. It helps to support that they use them all over the area and that it helps to instill fear into the people below the

WikiLeaks says the CIA can use your TV to spy on you.

The latest release from WikiLeaks detailing how the CIA has allegedly stockpiled a plethora of tools to hack a variety of everyday devices – from phones, to televisions to cars – is a stark reminder about the fragile state of Internet security. The US government has amassed extraordinary hacking powers largely in secret – and this leak might just force us to grapple with whether we are comfortable with that.

The most widely reported aspect of the purported leak is the allegation that the CIA has myriad ways to hack popular smartphones like iPhone and Android devices – and that the agency could be allowing its hackers to take control of internet connected televisions and covertly listen in on conversations in people’s living rooms. This type of attack has been the worry of many privacy advocates for years, as more and more televisions and other household devices (collectively known as the “Internet of Things”) are increasingly connected to the Internet while always “listening”.

There was never a doubt that the US and other government around the world would quickly move to leverage the ability to exploit these features, as more and more consumer electronics companies have made them standard in all sorts of household items. The former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper even made clear in testimony to Congress last year. But just how often governments have exploited this type of technology is still largely unknown.

Surveillance Under the Patriot Act

Hastily passed 45 days after 9/11 in the name of national security, the Patriot Act was the first of many changes to surveillance laws that made it easier for the government to spy on ordinary Americans by expanding the authority to monitor phone and email communications, collect bank and credit reporting records, and track the activity of innocent Americans on the Internet. While most Americans think it was created to catch terrorists, the Patriot Act actually turns regular citizens into suspects.

IRS would track all bank transactions over $600 under Biden plan

A major component of President Joe Biden’s plan to raise revenue to pay for his trillions of dollars in new federal spending is now under fire from trade associations across the country.

The Biden administration has made clear its plan to beef up IRS auditing by expanding the agency’s funding and power. Biden’s latest proposal would require banks to turn over to the Internal Revenue Service bank account information for all accounts holding more than $600.

Ministry Of Truth 1984

The main role of the Ministry of Truth is to rewrite history to correspond with the Party’s current claims. The function of Minitrue is primarily concerned with the mutability of the past, which is a central tenet of INGSOC. Inside the Ministry of Truth, employees like Winston Smith revise and recreate journals, articles, periodicals, and other forms of media to be utilized as government propaganda.

Operation Mockingbird (CIA)

The idea of a large organisation controlling the minds and thoughts of individuals, pushing them towards a specific ideology and certain life choices, may seem as science fiction, or as an absurd conspiracy that can be found in books and movies. However, for some, it is certainly not a new surprising discovery that corporations, organisations and politicians, manipulate public opinion in order to fit certain agendas. These, are in their turn manipulated by even bigger and more powerful organisations, such as the government itself.

The CIA controlling and manipulating civilians’ minds is not fiction: it is a conspiracy turned out to be true during the 1970s in the USA.

Following the Second World War, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was able to gain control over what was being published not only in the USA but more in general across the globe. It exerted much influence over what the public should be allowed to see, and what should be concealed. In essence, it ruled what ‘the public saw, heard and read on a regular basis’ (Tracy 2018).

Operation Mockingbird is a United States CIA campaign that aimed not only to influence the media but also infiltrate it.

Since the 1950s, the CIA started recruiting journalists, editors, and students in order to write and promulgate false stories. The CIA’s stories were entirely propaganda and their employees were paid huge salaries in order to promote such fake news. Essentially, the CIA managed to control both national and international newspapers through a bribe.

During the ‘50s, Cord Meyer and Allen W. Dulles devised and organised a propaganda outreach program. They recruited leading American journalists into a network in order to promulgate the CIA’s views.

The CIA went to the extremes of funding students, cultural organisations, and magazines that would spread the CIA’s views of events.

In 1977, Carl Bernstein published The CIA and the Media in Rolling Stone. The article exposed much of the CIA’s attitude towards the spreading of fake news and it’s tacit’ as well as ‘explicit’ collaboration with journalists. Bernstein explains how journalists did not limit themselves to write what the CIA suggested: their relationship was much more complicated and intimate. In fact, reporters ‘shared their notebooks with the CIA’, some of the journalists were also award-winning writers, and others became spies in Communist countries (Bernstein 1977).

According to Dice (2016), more than a billion dollars were being invested each year in such propaganda programs. The CIA’s writers were generously retributed, and there were no limits on how much they could receive: sometimes they were paid more than half a million dollars to spread the information required by the CIA.

When the CIA was caught out in their wrongdoings, they did not reveal the newspapers and the names of the journalists with whom they had collaborated in the past (Harrock 1976).

However, in 1973, the Washington Star published the names of around three dozens of American journalists. According to the CIA, revealing the names of those who had worked with them, meant ‘endangering’ the writers’ and reporters’ lives, as well as making them appear in a ‘ridicule’ light (Harrock 1976).

According to Bernstein (1977), the people that worked undercover for the CIA often were employed by the ‘CBS, Time, the New York Times, the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Copley News Service, ABC, NBC, Reuters’, and so on. Moreover, throughout the 1950s, the CIA invested much money in training their agents as journalists: according to members of the CIA, they ‘were taught to make noises like reporters’ before being placed in powerful organisations (Bernstein 1977).

In essence, mass media is able to implement manipulative strategies in order to alter ‘global perception’ about events, people, and situations (Washington 2017; citing Davis 2008). Certainly, it would be naive to believe that the government has stopped paying journalists ‘to spread disinformation’ (Washington 2017). The United States are often the first to spread information in order to serve their own objectives: as Washington (2017) points out, ‘the government plants disinformation in American media in order to mislead foreigners’.

Congressmen Seek To Lift Propaganda Ban

An amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on American audiences is being inserted into the latest defense authorization bill, BuzzFeed has learned.

The amendment would “strike the current ban on domestic dissemination” of propaganda material produced by the State Department and the independent Broadcasting Board of Governors, according to the summary of the law at the House Rules Committee’s official website.

The tweak to the bill would essentially neutralize two previous acts—the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987—that had been passed to protect U.S. audiences from our own government’s misinformation campaigns.

The new law would give sweeping powers to the government to push television, radio, newspaper, and social media onto the U.S. public. “It removes the protection for Americans,” says a Pentagon official who is concerned about the law. “It removes oversight from the people who want to put out this information. There are no checks and balances. No one knows if the information is accurate, partially accurate, or entirely false.”

The Pentagon spends some $4 billion a year to sway public opinion already, and it was recently revealed by USA Today the DoD spent $202 million on information operations in Iraq and Afghanistan last year.

In an apparent retaliation to the USA Today investigation, the two reporters working on the story appear to have been targeted by Pentagon contractors, who created fake Facebook pages and Twitter accounts in an attempt to discredit them.

Apple Pie Propaganda? The Smith-Mundt Act Before And After The Repeal Of The Domestic Dissemination Ban

ABSTRACT—For  over  sixty  years,  the  Smith–Mundt  Act  prohibited  the  U.S. Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) from  disseminating  government-produced  programming  within  the  United  States  over  fears  that  these  agencies  would  “propagandize”  the  American  people. However, in 2013, Congress abolished the domestic dissemination ban,  which  has  led  to  a  heated  debate  about  the  role  of  the  federal  government  in  free  public  discourse. Although  the  2013  repeal  of  the  domestic dissemination ban promotes greater government transparency and may help counter anti-American sentiment at home, it also gives the federal government  great  power  to  covertly  influence  public  opinion. 

A. Current Government-Produced Programming

It is common practice for news stations to broadcast news produced by others.  Private  companies  and  federal  government  agencies  frequently  produce and distribute video news releases (VNRs) that are then broadcast without  attribution  on  news  stations  across  the  country.172  According  to  a  2003 National Public Radio panel discussion on the use of VNRs, 100% of television  broadcasters  aired  VNRs,  and  many  stations  aired  them  several  times a month. Given the federal government’s willingness to work with broadcasters, it  is  likely  that  the  State  Department  and  the  BBG  will  begin  distributing  their  own  VNRs  to  interested  broadcasters.

As  explained  earlier  in  this  Note,  State   Department-   and   BBG-produced   programming   may   be   provided  to  an  interested  broadcaster  at  no  charge.  The  broadcaster  benefits from this arrangement because airing complimentary programming allows  the  broadcaster  to  devote  more  resources  to  other  projects. Typically,  VNRs  are,  in  fact,  provided  to  broadcasters  for  free,  because  under  current  law,  neither  the  entity  that  produced  the  VNR  nor  the  broadcaster  is  legally  compelled  to  attribute  the  source  of  the  material,  allowing  the  relationship  to  persist  undetected.

A  broadcaster  has  little  incentive to attribute these materials pro forma, because when the VNR is aired   anonymously,   the   audience   assumes   it   was   produced   by   the   broadcaster,  thereby  maintaining  the  appearance  of  credibility.  However,  when VNRs are broadcast without attribution, the consumer does not view them in the appropriate context, potentially resulting in a distorted opinion of  the  issue.  When  this  is  repeated  thousands  of  times  over,  society  as  a  whole risks unwittingly adopting a biased viewpoint. 

Sinclair’s Message Is Dangerous to Our Democracy

You may have seen the mash-up video posted on Deadspin of local news anchors on Sinclair Broadcast Group affiliates earnestly warning against “biased and false news.” Local anchors were required to read the script as written. After decrying the dissemination of fake news by “some media outlets” and “some members of the media,” the script warns, “This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.” Local KABB television anchors Jessica Headley and Ryan Wolf are the first featured on the video. The performance sparked a storm of well-deserved criticism, with pushback from everyone from 13 journalism school deans to a few of Sinclair’s own anchors.

Effects Of Book Burning In Fahrenheit 451

In Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian fiction novel written by Ray Bradbury, the concept of book burning is manifested to a great extent. The main character, Guy Montag, is a fireman whose primary job is to burn books and start fires, rather than prevent them. This is because books are illegal in the world presented in Fahrenheit 451.

The supposed reason for this is to restrict the thoughts and thinking of everyone and limit their questioning.

Google Leaks: Censorship Exposed

Zach Vorhies was a Senior Software Engineer at YouTube/Google for 8.5 years. In June 2019, Zach Vorhies Resigned from Google. He took with him 950+ pages of Google internal documents and delivered them to the Department of Justice and leaked them through Project Veritas to inform the public about Google’s extensive censorship system.

“The fascists of the past used to burn books, the fascists of today burn bits.” – Zach Vorhies (paraphrased)

Not banned books, but filtering and removing content

Online censorship of the freedom to read is nothing new. China blocks so many sites and so much content that it has earned the nickname, The Great Firewall of China.

There was never a thought that the type of control of Internet services and censorship in China would come to the Western world. But slowly, Internet services we use and take for granted every day are changing.

A handful of huge corporations dominates the Global Internet. Think here, Google, Facebook, and Twitter and for authors especially, Amazon and Apple.

All of them have their own interpretation of the limits of freedom of expression and freedom of speech. They are not ruled by any single government or institutional set of regulations. At least with China Internet, it is clear that the Chinese Communist Party dictates the rules.

For Internet users in the West, we have no idea who is in control. Nor what the rules are. If you are publishing books challenging the status quo, or that might contain offensive language to some, who decides if your content is appropriate?

How you are monitored, filtered, and banned

In 99.999% of cases, your comments and posts on social media are not checked by humans. A computer program called an algorithm checks the words or images you use.

In testimony to the US Senate, Mark Zuckerberg even said that Facebook was using artificial intelligence to monitor content on Facebook. All it takes is for a computer program to come across a small word sequence in one of your posts that it has been programmed to find, and your post is blocked, filtered, banned, and challenged, or worse, your account is suspended or closed. Have you noticed that even the New York Times is being curtailed on Facebook? Yes, don’t mention politics.

Twitter is suspending or closing accounts at an astonishing rate using computer algorithms. But try to learn how it is applied and to who and why. It’s a secret. But if you are unlucky enough to be the target of an algorithm, you will be arguing in the first instance with a computer if you want to complain. Then, unless you are a celebrity or a president, don’t expect to be able to escalate your complaint to a human.

Memory Holes In George Orwell’s 1984

As Winston describes what his job is at the Ministry of Truth, he mentions that he has to “rectify the original figures by making them agree with the later ones” (Orwell 39). Although much of the things that the Party does does not match up together, Winston is trained to make sure all of the events that happen connect with later events and continue to strengthen Big Brother’s power over the citizens.

It can be inferred that using a memory hole is a way for the Party to control the citizens and desensitize their brains from acting against the government. Memory holes achieve this task by completely obliterating information that is not needed or contradicts new information in London’s society. The fact that Orwell chooses the phrase “making them” shows how history is being forced to be recreated. The lack of response from Winston conveys that he is not confident and is fearful of the government, which in turn leads to the oppression of his own thoughts about the country’s history.

This concept is similar to American society in 2016 since the U.S. government frequently requests from Google to take down certain searches from the search engine. Google has been requested to take down 6,321 different things by the U.S. government, which shows how these requests can be considered a memory hole in real life (Sutter).

Winston reflects back on how the party alters the history of the country: “the lie passed into history and became truth” (Orwell 34). Although Winston knows that Oceania and Eurasia were in alliance before, he also believes that they did not have an actual alliance because of what the Party imposes onto the citizens’ memories of the past. Orwell’s use of the word “passed” possibly shows that the lies they create can easily to history and be masked as the truth. It can be inferred that Winston now knows exactly how the party paralyzes anyone from actual thinking, which is by changing the history. This can be linked to American society since doublethink in America is demonstrated in big supreme court decisions.

Wikipedia Is Badly Biased – Larry Singer

Wikipedia’s “NPOV” is dead. The original policy long since forgotten, Wikipedia no longer has an effective neutrality policy. There is a rewritten policy, but it endorses the utterly bankrupt canard that journalists should avoid what they call “false balance.” The notion that we should avoid “false balance” is directly contradictory to the original neutrality policy. As a result, even as journalists turn to opinion and activism, Wikipedia now touts controversial points of view on politics, religion, and science. Here are some examples from each of these subjects, which were easy to find, no hunting around. Many, many more could be given.

Examples have become embarrassingly easy to find. The Barack Obama article completely fails to mention many well-known scandals: Benghazi, the IRS scandal, the AP phone records scandal, and Fast and Furious, to say nothing of Solyndra or the Hillary Clinton email server scandal—or, of course, the developing “Obamagate” story in which Obama was personally involved in surveilling Donald Trump. A fair article about a major political figure certainly must include the bad with the good. Beyond that, a neutral article must fairly represent competing views on the figure by the major parties. But in fact, the only scandals that I could find in the Obama article were a few that the left finds at least a little scandalous, such as Snowden’s revelations about NSA activities under Obama. In short, the article is almost a total whitewash. You might find this to be objectively correct; but you cannot claim that this is a neutral treatment, considering that the other major U.S. party would treat the subject very differently. On such a topic, neutrality in any sense worth the name essentially requires that readers not be able to detect the editors’ political alignment.

Wikipedia is being used as a libelous, defamatory tool to control the covid-19 narrative

Just look what they have done to discredit Dr. Judy A. Mikovits, an intelligent research scientist who made important discoveries on retroviruses in vaccines and their connection to chronic fatigue syndrome. Wikipedia claims that her “medical claims are discredited,” that she is a “promoter of conspiracy theories,” and has been “accused of scientific misconduct.” The attack on Mikovits and her work is conducted because she worked closely with Dr. Anthony Fauci and openly speaks about his corrupt connections, scientific fraud and misguided advice.

Facebook Whistleblowers Expose LEAKED INTERNAL DOCS Detailing New Effort to Secretly Censor Vaccine Concerns on a Global Scale

  • Two Facebook Insiders have come forward with internal company documents detailing a plan to curb “vaccine hesitancy” (VH) on a global scale.

  • The stated goal of this feature is to “drastically reduce user exposure” to VH comments. Another aim of the program is to force a “decrease in other engagement of VH comments including create, likes, reports [and] replies.

See Who’s Editing Wikipedia – Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign

CalTech graduate student Virgil Griffith built a search tool that traces IP addresses of those who make Wikipedia changes.

The organization also allows downloads of the complete Wikipedia, including records of all these changes.

Griffith thus downloaded the entire encyclopedia, isolating the XML-based records of anonymous changes and IP addresses. He then correlated those IP addresses with public net-address lookup services such as ARIN, as well as private domain-name data provided by IP2Location.com.

The result: A database of 34.4 million edits, performed by 2.6 million organizations or individuals ranging from the CIA to Microsoft to Congressional offices, now linked to the edits they or someone at their organization’s net address has made.

Some of this appears to be transparently self-interested, either adding positive, press release-like material to entries, or deleting whole swaths of critical material.

On a Saturday in June 1972, Bernstein was assigned, along with Bob Woodward, to cover a break-in at the Watergate office complex that had occurred earlier the same morning. Five burglars had been caught red-handed in the complex, where the Democratic National Committee had its headquarters; one of them turned out to be an ex-CIA agent who did security work for the Republicans.

In the series of stories that followed, Bernstein and Woodward eventually connected the burglars to a massive slush fund and a corrupt attorney general. Bernstein was the first to suspect that President Nixon was involved, and he found a laundered check that linked Nixon to the burglary.

Astroturfing Information Megathread- revision 8

Definition of astroturfing: organized activity that is intended to create a false impression of a widespread, spontaneously arising, grassroots movement in support of or in opposition to something (such as a political policy) but that is in reality initiated and controlled by a concealed group or organization (such as a corporation)

How To Tell If Someone Is Controlled Opposition

What I can know is (A) what I’ve learned about the world, (B) the ways the political/media class is lying about what I know about the world, and (C) when someone says something which highlights those lies. I therefore pay attention solely to the message, and no attention to what may or may not be the hidden underlying agenda of the messenger.

In other words, if someone says something which disrupts establishment narratives, I help elevate what they’re saying in that specific instance. I do this not because I know that the speaker is legit and uncorrupted, but because their message in that moment is worthy of elevation. You can navigate the entire political/media landscape in this way.

Since society is made of narrative and power ultimately rests in the hands of those who are able to control those narratives, it makes no sense to fixate on individuals and it makes perfect sense to focus on narrative. What narratives are being pushed by those in power? How are those narratives being disrupted, undermined and debunked by things that are being said by dissident voices? This is the most effective lens through which to view the battle against the unelected power establishment which is crushing us all to death, not some childish fixation on who should or shouldn’t be our hero.

Have no heroes. Trust nobody but your own inner sense-maker. If someone says something that disrupts establishment narratives based on what you understand those narratives to be, go ahead and help throw what they’re saying into the gears of the machine. Don’t make a religion out of it, don’t get attached to it, just use it as a weapon to attack the narrative matrix.

This by the way is also a useful lens to look through in spiritual development, if you’re into that sort of thing. When you enter spiritual circles concerned with enlightenment, you’ll see all sorts of debates about what teachers are really enlightened and which ones are just pretending, and these conversations mimic precisely the exact kinds of debates you’ll see in marginalized political circles about who’s the real deal and who’s controlled opposition. But the truth is there’s no way to know with certainty what’s going on in someone else’s head, and the best thing to do is to stop concerning yourself with who has and has not attained some special realization or whatever and just focus on what they’re saying. If a spiritual teacher says something which helps you notice something you’d never noticed before about consciousness or perception, then use what they said and maybe stick around to see if they have anything else useful to say. If not, move on.

There’s no reason to worry about what journalists, activists and politicians are coming from a place of authenticity if you know yourself to be coming from a place of authenticity. As you learn more about the world and get better at distinguishing fact from narrative, you will get better and better at seeing the narrative matrix clearly, and you’ll come to see all the things that are being said about what’s going on in the world as weapons in the battle of narrative control. Pick up whatever weapons seem useful to you and use them in whatever ways they’ll be useful, without wasting energy concerning yourself with the individuals who created them. Call the bullshit what it is and use the truth for what it is.

Use Of Parlor Walls In Fahrenheit 451

Bradbury uses the parlor walls to demonstrate how an obsession with technology can isolate an individual. Mildred was particularly intrigued with the parlor walls.  Clarisse, on the other hand, was not. Clarisse commented, “I rarely watch the parlor walls . . . So, I’ve got lots of time for crazy thoughts” (Bradbury 7). Her thoughts are not crazy, Bradbury illustrates how backwards the society is. Having time to think is portrayed as abnormal in Fahrenheit 451.  Clarisse is the epitome of normal.  Clarisse has time to think, she can connect with the world around her. Mildred, on the other hand, refers to the parlor walls as family and the parlor walls have isolated her from her actual family and the outside world.

He saw her leaning into the great shimmering wall of color and motion where the family talked and talked and talked to her, where the family prattled and chatted and said her name and smiled at her and said nothing of the bomb that was an inch, now a half inch, now a quarter inch from the top of the hotel (Bradbury 152.) Bradbury is giving an example of how technology isolates and individual. The bombs were closing in on Mildred and she was leaning into the walls, oblivious to the bombs getting closer to her.

Lenhoff Alan stated, “Fahrenheit 451 raises challenging questions. Is it better to be unthinking and content, or thoughtful and troubled? Can people really be happy if they are passive automatons? But do books–or, rather, the ideas in them, or the act of pondering those ideas–assure happiness and wisdom?” Bradbury encourages cognition. Bradbury calls the reader to awaken and contemplate the themes of the novel. Through self-reflection one can identify their short comings. Bradbury’s is optimistic that self-reflection will prevent repeating mistakes of the past. The novel’s themes are an ideal way to prevent an unconnected and out of touch society.

Weezer – Screens (2021)

[Verse 1]
Young girl, lyin’ flat in her bed
Streaming images to her head

Homework or memes, slime or BLACKPINK
Eight hours gone, now her mind’s blown
She don’t, she don’t want me here

[Chorus]
Now the real world is dying
As everybody moves into the cloud

Can you tell me where we’re going?
Where will we be twenty-one years from now?
Everyone stares at their screens
Everyone starеs at their screens

Waiting on the World to Change – John Mayer

[Verse 2]

But when you trust your television
What you get is what you got
Cause when they own the information, oh
They can bend it all they want

“Life is Worth Losing” George Carlin (2006)

That’s why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it (transcript).

Morpheus, The Matrix (1999)

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember, all I’m offering is the truth – nothing more.”