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Mad World

MAD WORLD

And I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very very
Mad world, mad world

Image result for the primal scream

The haunting Gary Jules version of the Tears for Fears’ Mad World speaks to me in these tumultuous mad times. It must speak to many others, as the music video has been viewed over 132 million times. The melancholy video is shot from the top of an urban school building in a decaying decrepit bleak neighborhood with school children creating various figures on the concrete pavement below. The camera pans slowly to Gary Jules singing on the rooftop and captures the concrete jungle of non-descript architecture, identical office towers, gray cookie cutter apartment complexes, and a world devoid of joy and vibrancy.

The song was influenced by Arthur Janov’s theories in his book The Primal Scream. The chorus above about his “dreams of dying were the best he ever had” is representative of letting go of this mad world and being free of the monotony and release from the insanity of this world. Our ego fools us into thinking the madness of this world is actually normal. Day after day we live lives of quiet desperation. Despite all evidence our world is spinning out of control and the madness of the crowds is visible in financial markets, housing markets, politics, social justice, and social media, the level of normalcy bias among the populace has reached astounding levels, as we desperately try to convince ourselves everything will be alright. But it won’t.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Shadow Banning Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg: We’re All Digital Ghosts Now

Shadow Banning Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg: We’re All Digital Ghosts Now

Just about the only bulwark against being silenced by the modern-day tech-corporate-NKVD-Stasi is Patreon.

If you do a search of shadow banning, you’ll find sites that claim to help you identify whether Twitter or Instagram has shadow banned your account. The basic idea of shadow banning is to spoof the shadow-banned user into believing their public posts are visible to all while in reality the posts are visible only to the user or in some cases to the users’ followers.

Wikipedia’s definition of shadow banning is:

“Shadow banning (also called stealth banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting) is the act of blocking or partially blocking a user or their content from an online community such that it will not be readily apparent to the user that they have been banned.”

Here is whatis.com’s description: “Shadow banning is controversial because it allows an administrator or moderator to effectively become a censor and prevent specific users from interacting with other members of an online community on an equal basis.”

Shadow banning and outright banning are only the tip of the iceberg: everyone who posts content on the web or social media is subject to much more subtle and completely opaque controls on how much of your digital presence has been ghosted–not just in social media communities but in searches and how links to your site/content and re-posts of your content are handled by the tech cartel that controls what’s visible and “found” on the web and social media.

This cartel is dominated by Google and Facebook. Google controls over 90% of all search: what search results are displayed, the weight given to links (the page-rank assigned to websites) and a variety of other factors that can be depreciated, removed, omitted or blocked by algorithms and/or human censors (a.k.a. administrators) without recourse and without the site or user being informed.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Facebook’s New Troll-Crushing “War Room” Confirms Surveillance By Corporation Is The New America

Facebook on Wednesday briefed journalists on its latest attempt to stop fake news during the election season, offering an exclusive tour of a windowless conference room at its California headquarters, packed with millennials monitoring Facebook user behavior trends around the clock, said The Verge.

This is Facebook’s first ever “war room,” designed to bring leaders from 20 teams, representing 20,000 global employees working on safety and security, in one room to lead a crusade against conservatives misinformation on the platform as political campaigning shifts into hyperdrive in the final weeks leading up to November’s US midterm elections. The team includes threat intelligence, data science engineering, research, legal, operations, policy, communications, and representatives from Facebook and Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Instagram.

“We know when it comes to an election, every moment counts,” said Samidh Chakrabarti, head of civic engagement at Facebook, who oversees operations in the war room.

“So if there are late-breaking issues we see on the platform, we need to be able to detect and respond to them in real time, as quickly as possible.” 

This public demonstration of Facebook’s internal efforts comes after a series of security breaches and user hacks, dating back to the 2016 presidential elections. Since the announcement of the Cambridge Analytics privacy scandal in March, Facebook shares have plunged -14.5% It seems the war room is nothing more than a public relations stunt, which the company is desperately trying to regain control of the narrative and avoid more negative headlines.

The war room is staffed with millennials from 4 am until midnight, and starting on Oct. 22, social media workers will be monitoring trends 24/7 leading up to the elections. Leaders from 20 teams will be present in the room. Workers will use machine learning and artificial intelligence programs to monitor the platform for trends, hate speech, sophisticated trolls, fake news, and of course, Russian, Chinese, and Iranian interference.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Supreme Court Takes Case That Could End Internet Censorship, Expand First Amendment

Supreme Court Takes Case That Could End Internet Censorship, Expand First Amendment

Supreme Court Takes Case That Could End Internet Censorship, Expand First Amendment

After the recent purge of over 800 independent media outlets on Facebook, the Supreme Court is now hearing a case that could have ramifications for any future attempts at similar purges.

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to take a case that could change free speech on the Internet forever.

Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, No. 17-702, the case that it has agreed to take, will decide if the private operator of a public access network is considered a state actor, CNBC reported.

The case could affect how companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and YouTube are governed. If the Court were to issue a far-reaching ruling it could subject such companies to First Amendment lawsuits and force them to allow a much broader scope of free speech from its users.

The Court decided to take the case on Friday and it is the first case that was taken after Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the Court.

DeeDee Halleck and Jesus Melendez claimed that they were fired from Manhattan Neighborhood Network for speaking critically of the network. And, though the case does not involve the Internet giants, it could create a ruling that expands the First Amendment beyond the government.

“We stand at a moment when the very issue at the heart of this case — the interplay between private entities, nontraditional media, and the First Amendment — has been playing out in the courts, in other branches of government, and in the media itself,” the attorneys from MNN wrote in their letter to the Court asking it to take the case.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is Social Media Destroying Humanity on Purpose?

Is Social Media Destroying Humanity on Purpose?

You may not be on social media yourself, but chances are your friends and family are. Some of us are on there for work purposes and some so we can keep in touch with loved ones who live far away. There are valid reasons we have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But things are getting ugly out there in Internetland and it begs the question of whether social media is destroying humanity.

And even worse, is social media destroying humanity on purpose, because it was engineered to do so?

You’d have to live under a rock big enough to block all internet communications to not have heard about the privacy scandals that have plagued Facebook recently. From Cambridge Analytica mining user’s datato Facebook’s massive profits from your data, it’s been all over the news. Zuckerberg even had to testify to Congress about it for 10 hours recently, in the end apologizing for his part in the scandal.

But your lack of privacy may be just a drop in the bucket. 

A while back, Facebook admitted that they were performing psychological experiments on users by adjusting their news feeds to see if they could alter the moods of users. They have a long and disturbing history of experimenting on users.

But it may be far more serious than merely toying with us. It’s entirely possible that they’re actually programming us. All it takes is a glimpse at the headlines to realize the world has become more insane than ever – and maybe this has been done deliberately. Maybe social media is destroying humanity on purpose.

One former Facebook executive said, “We have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”

And everyone knows this is true.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Pentagon is building a ‘self-aware’ killer robot army fueled by social media

The Pentagon is building a ‘self-aware’ killer robot army fueled by social media

Official US defence and NATO documents confirm that autonomous weapon systems will kill targets, including civilians, based on tweets, blogs and Instagram

An unclassified 2016 Department of Defense (DoD) document, the Human Systems Roadmap Review, reveals that the US military plans to create artificially intelligent (AI) autonomous weapon systems, which will use predictive social media analytics to make decisions on lethal force with minimal human involvement.

Despite official insistence that humans will retain a “meaningful” degree of control over autonomous weapon systems, this and other Pentagon documents dated from 2015 to 2016 confirm that US military planners are already developing technologies designed to enable swarms of “self-aware” interconnected robots to design and execute kill operations against robot-selected targets.

More alarmingly, the documents show that the DoD believes that within just fifteen years, it will be feasible for mission planning, target selection and the deployment of lethal force to be delegated entirely to autonomous weapon systems in air, land and sea. The Pentagon expects AI threat assessments for these autonomous operations to be derived from massive data sets including blogs, websites, and multimedia posts on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The raft of Pentagon documentation flatly contradicts Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work’s denial that the DoD is planning to develop killer robots.

In a widely reported March conversation with Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, Work said that this may change as rival powers work to create such technologies:

“We might be going up against a competitor that is more willing to delegate authority to machines than we are, and as that competition unfolds we will have to make decisions on how we best can compete.”

But, he insisted, “We will not delegate lethal authority to a machine to make a decision,” except for “cyber or electronic warfare.”

He lied.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The CIA is Investing in Firms That Mine Your Tweets and Instagram Photos

SOFT ROBOTS THAT can grasp delicate objects, computer algorithms designed to spot an “insider threat,” and artificial intelligence that will sift through large data sets — these are just a few of the technologies being pursued by companies with investment from In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm, according to a document obtained by The Intercept.

Yet among the 38 previously undisclosed companies receiving In-Q-Tel funding, the research focus that stands out is social media mining and surveillance; the portfolio document lists several tech companies pursuing work in this area, including Dataminr, Geofeedia, PATHAR, and TransVoyant.

In-Q-Tel’s investment process.

Screen grab from In-Q-Tel’s website.

Those four firms, which provide unique tools to mine data from platforms such as Twitter, presented at a February “CEO Summit” in San Jose sponsored by the fund, along with other In-Q-Tel portfolio companies.

The investments appear to reflect the CIA’s increasing focus on monitoring social media. Last September, David Cohen, the CIA’s second-highest ranking official, spoke at length at Cornell University about a litany of challenges stemming from the new media landscape. The Islamic State’s “sophisticated use of Twitter and other social media platforms is a perfect example of the malign use of these technologies,” he said.

Social media also offers a wealth of potential intelligence; Cohen noted that Twitter messages from the Islamic State, sometimes called ISIL, have provided useful information. “ISIL’s tweets and other social media messages publicizing their activities often produce information that, especially in the aggregate, provides real intelligence value,” he said.

The latest round of In-Q-Tel investments comes as the CIA has revamped its outreach to Silicon Valley, establishing a new wing, the Directorate of Digital Innovation, which is tasked with developing and deploying cutting-edge solutions by directly engaging the private sector. The directorate is working closely with In-Q-Tel to integrate the latest technology into agency-wide intelligence capabilities.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“It’s Over For Me” Matt Drudge Warns Public “You’re A Pawn In The ‘Ghetto-isation'” Of The Web

“It’s Over For Me” Matt Drudge Warns Public “You’re A Pawn In The ‘Ghetto-isation'” Of The Web

The very foundation of the free Internet is under severe threat from copyright laws that could ban independent media outlets, according to Matt Drudge. “I had a Supreme Court Justice tell me it’s over for me,” said Drudge, warning web users that they were being pushed “pawn-like” into the cyber “ghettos” of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

“Reclusive” Drudge says he has not had a photo taken in 8 years

As DCClothesline.com reports,

During an appearance on the Alex Jones Show, Drudge asserted that copyright laws which prevent websites from even linking to news stories were being advanced.

“I had a Supreme Court Justice tell me it’s over for me,” said Drudge. “They’ve got the votes now to enforce copyright law, you’re out of there. They’re going to make it so you can’t even use headlines.”

“To have a Supreme Court Justice say to me it’s over, they’ve got the votes, which means time is limited,” he added, noting that a day was coming when simply operating an independent website could be outlawed.

“That will end (it) for me – fine – I’ve had a hell of a run,” said Drudge, adding that web users were being pushed into the cyber “ghettos” of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

“This is ghetto, this is corporate, they’re taking your energy and you’re getting nothing in return – nothing!”

Watch the full interview below…

Drudge warned that social media giants like Twitter and Facebook were swallowing up content and strangling the organic growth of independent Internet news platforms. Automated news aggregators like Google News also came under fire.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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