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  • Feb 21, 2022 @ 05:17pm

    Re: Re: The Future

    Hi Nasch,

    Many of these comments from the Techdirt regulars did not age well > Like what?
    I'm going to give the beginning of an answer in appreciation of the civility or your response.
    1. The inflated death toll of the virus.
    2. The effectiveness (and need) of a vaccine.
    3. The usefulness of lockdowns.
    I like reading the thoughts of others. Though my main issue was the impenetrable CERTAINTY expressed. <----snip---->
    What's the difference between propaganda and misinformation? Not being snarky, but clearly you have a difference in mind to put them in opposition like that.
    Once again, appreciation. Setting aside the recent connotation of the word, misinformation simply means giving information that is knowably untrue without necessarily intending to lie. Propaganda, disregarding its original benign meaning, has a necessary power imbalance between the giver and receiver. People in power (a few) use propaganda to distort the "worldview" of the masses (the many). The root of this is about control, though we use names like fascism and such. The names and labels don't really matter and are often distractions. What matters is the corrupt desire to control. For several decades, in the US, propaganda has been deliberate, relentless and backed by increasingly sophisticated science and technological capabilities. Despite my enthusiasm for "science" and technologies, (both of which are human outputs) I do NOT recognize them as innately positive. Who controls the pronouncements of science (and how) and the development and use of tech is critical in any analysis of any use in public policy or the public good. Way too often those analysis are not actually done at all. Propaganda essentially teaches that certain policies are good by default or by inertia (one already believes it). In the 'information age' there is an increased ability for info and misinfo to come from anyone and go to anyone. This means, for example, an ordinary person can use "better speech" (as Techdirt often writes) and such to counter "official" propaganda. This is much of the foundation to the social phenomena of "waking up" (later distorted to "being woke", then "wokeness"). People are exposed to more honest info or just different info more often, that was previously obscured. However, the American public has been so propagandized (marketed to) for so long and so effectively, thus internalizing it, that it is resistant to anti-propaganda. Because of this relentless manipulation the populous is also vulnerable to false info even from non-powerful sources (probably an undesired side-effect). Propaganda broke individual and social mechanisms that evaluates truth and adjacent moral implications. Along with the chaos this produces, it weakens the influence of legacy power and a power struggle ensues. For too many of the masses, instead of using the newfound communicative powers to reach others and counter propaganda they amplify it or create there own. In other words, they reproduce what they learn... The current misuse of the word "misinformation" means information that does not match or is not sufficiently supportive of official propaganda or legacy power. True of false is mostly irrelevant. The consequences of the prolific spreading of deliberate falsehoods are being projected onto persons with no real power (This is the same marketing trick used to make the rich virtuous and the poor wretched, for example). "Sunlight" is NOT "acting like a disinfectant" nor "causing the roaches to scurry away" as the sayings go. Too many, especially on the internet, lend themselves as defacto soldiers to attack unsuitable targets. Often through the creation of cartoonish villains and dehumanization. Truth is hard. Truth is also powerful. For us humans, Reality very, very rarely permits swaggering certainty. But Bubbles do. Improper swaggering certainty, much like Bubbles, are harmful to communities and societies. Falsehoods are plentiful, easy and weak on their own, but they are crafted to the desires of the wielder. In a Bubble attached to a power structure falsehoods can be "truth", though still personalized, and be given the strength and many of the observable powers of truth. Internalization means that defending one's Bubble is like defending one's life. A phenomena I used to think of as Irrational Self Preservation. Any ideas that threaten the Bubble means "war". Though not new, it's what we are seeing now.

  • Feb 20, 2022 @ 03:55pm

    The Future

    Many of these comments from the Techdirt regulars did not age well, but sadly, I doubt it matters or is noticed. For a time I thought I might be well adapted to this community...

    None of the components of this Covid saga is new. Failure to come to grips with issues of the past allows the damage that is done in the present. And now extreme cultish factionalizing on top of everything else almost guarantees further damage in the future. Whether right or wrong it seems that people who don't already agree with you are impossible to reach.

    Irrational certainty, villainization and propaganda are far greater dangers than the exaggerated, misused and manipulative concept of "misinformation".

  • Mar 28, 2020 @ 04:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Cure, please

    Define "absurd".
    The news media may be mostly at fault, but I kept seeing death toll estimates in the hundreds of thousands or even millions. It doesn't happen. Then the next time they over dramatize again. I will watch Dr. Campbell later, thanks. I think I will learn more about the yearly seasonal flu. What are the death tolls? How many are infected? I already know that the "flu vaccine" is mostly ineffective than not, many years. I know persistent stress can have noticable adverse health results. I wonder what the affect of wide scale stress is on an entire populous? What are health tolls of tanking an economic system that relies so much on money as the American system does? Not trying to sound smart...

  • Mar 28, 2020 @ 04:07pm


    I don't understand the point of the fractela part. I am forced to assume it is an insult. Intentional misinterpretation is at times offensive to me and I would not do it. I consider it sophistry. BUT, I am an internet stranger so self-description is only meaningful if one accepts it.

    And if you want to take my words out of context again, I’m going to explain them so you can’t without being 100% wrong.
    When I wrote "you" in the original comment I should have wrote "one". Reading Techdirt makes me aware of the points you raise in this new comment. I am not arguing against the interpretation of law or the intent of conservatives. I was attempting to suggest a reconsidering of what already exists. There are perhaps undesirable consequences to the dynamics that are playing out now. Because, Mr. Masnick talks about protocols over platforms I thought Techdirt would be receptive to a rethinking.

  • Mar 28, 2020 @ 03:20pm


    Why is every response you make to me an attack on me, personally? Sorry for another question. IRL I find that people routinely make statements in situations where a (real) question is more appropriate. People spend too much time spitting out beliefs instead of forming them. Me asking questions is putting my 'money where my mouth is'? As a regular, clearly respected, Techdirt commentator your comments and opinions hold weight. Why must that weight come down on my neck? (sorry)

  • Mar 28, 2020 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: Cure, please

    No, but it's the next best thing if we don't have a cure.
    Is that so? How did 'We' come to believe that? Maybe I should trust your judgment on this, but is that your judgment?

  • Mar 28, 2020 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Perhaps Twitter should be part of a new standard of basic speech? OR Perhaps Twitter is part of a new defacto standard of basic speech? The point of the original question was to suggest a subject for consideration not for an immediate pat answer.

  • Mar 28, 2020 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Cure, please

    Is there a reason now for everyone to be locked down now? I cannot accept that as a given, I want work through it myself OR learn from trustworthy sources. Does anybody remember the absurd responses and estimates for SARS and Ebola?

  • Mar 28, 2020 @ 09:31am


    "Free access"? Interesting wording...
    Perhaps Twitter is part of a new standard of basic speech? Otherwise you may promote a situation where power (and/or deference to the twitters of the world and the forces that control them) is a prerequisite for truth telling or telling lies or just being right or wrong or being part right and part wrong.

  • Mar 28, 2020 @ 09:19am

    Cure, please

    Is vaccine now synonymous with cure? If so, how did that happen?

  • Feb 20, 2020 @ 04:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Holy crap! Do you have brain damage?!
    Try to follow, please!
    I read an article or two or maybe three about Depp and Amber Heard. I relayed that information in the first paragraph. Then, I commented, for myself, in the second paragraph. Get it?
    First paragraph: simply states what articles said, including defamation.
    Second paragraph: my comments, chastises paper. DOES NOT MENTION OR IMPLY DEFAMATION or ANY legal argument.

  • Feb 14, 2020 @ 09:47am


    FYI. I am not hostile to Mr. Masnick. I didn't even notice he wrote this, until your comment. My objection was aimed at The Washington Post. That last, tacked on sentence, was a little about an opinion that Mr. Masnick might have.

  • Feb 14, 2020 @ 06:28am


    What the hell are you talking about?! I didn't say much about defamation at all! Do you think I'm accusing someone of defamation? I wrote what I intended, there is NO ACCUSATION!

  • Feb 13, 2020 @ 05:31pm

    Re: Re: Careful Of logically leaping off a cliff

    I'm not Johnny Depp.

  • Feb 13, 2020 @ 11:40am


    In your first quote of The Washington Post, they mentioned Johnny Depp. I've been reading recently that Johnny Depp was slandered by his ex-wife Amber Heard as being an abuser. Apparently, audio was released that proves, in her own words, that she, herself, was the abuser. If I understand correctly the Washington Post was aggressively pushing the original false narrative with Depp as the abuser. Depp is now pursuing at least one defamation lawsuit. The Post may be vulnerable.

    The Washington Post mentioning Johnny Depp in this context was dishonest and manipulative. Even innocently, quoting The Post here (or ANY quote, really) without thoughtful caveat potentially helps spread an intended falsehood... So much then for the supposed basic honesty of the mainstream media (or those who give them unearned trust).

  • Feb 06, 2020 @ 09:21am

    Doing well in Iowa is mostly about momentum. Iowa is relatively small, overwhelmingly white therefore it is not a big or even medium delegate cache and it is not representative of the democratic electorate. Between the effective (if not actual) collusion of Iowa democrats, the DNC and the non-impartial media Buttigieg is gaining the likely undeserved benefit of momentum. These events suppressed the benefits to the candidate the MSM and the DNC clearly despise (Sanders). It will greatly distort the outcome of the upcoming New Hampshire primary (2-11-20) that Sanders was blowing out according to polls. Biden survives when he should not have. None of the top candidates drop out. From a certain point of view it's win, win, win, win, win. Among other things this incident is a demonstration of power / a show of force and a willingness to abuse.

    Two benefits of a caucus is that support and vote intent is highly visible and votes are counted openly, making silent cheating harder. Two negatives of a caucus is the tendency for chaos and the tendency for LOTS of little (and some big) arbitrary and capricious uses of power by officials. For the first time, In 2020, an app is used that decreases the positives of visibility and openness and (along with rule changes) increases the negative of chaos. Delaying the vote totals also decreases the positives. It's been reported that the app was developed starting only two months ago, was not tested, was known to be non-working a week prior and is tied to Buttigieg and Clinton. The Techdirt community should be especially suspicious of some of the comments about the malfunctioning app, the data it collected and why they're reporting incomplete totals for days. It is thoroughly unreasonable to describe this primary debacle as simple incompetence or some app coding error.

    Coming into Iowa, it was obvious that Sanders was in the best position to win. How do you minimize the result?... An influential and traditionally accurate poll was scuttled right before voting began (caused by Buttigieg). As in 2016, there are highly unusual coin tosses. First, by choosing to toss coins for questionable reasons (abuse of power), like using the toss to break a tie that doesn't exist (https://twitter.com/jaylencavil/status/1224531122354298881). Then, the tosses themselves are suspicious or outrageous (chaos, abuse of power) (https://twitter.com/jackposobiec/status/1224731240793767936). I'm beginning to wonder if the laws of probability function properly in caucuses. Even with a suspicious and incomplete 62% reporting, Sanders lead in vote count and tied in actual delegates. Meanwhile, media outlets loudly and repeatedly report a meaningless and incomplete Buttigieg win/lead using a "state delegate equivalent" instead of a vote count without making that clear. MSNBC stated that rural Iowa counties (aka Buttigieg counties) are weighted higher, so each vote is worth more (I don't even know if this is true or not). The Democrat's primary process is not democratic, the DNC promotes or pressures desired outcomes. The MSM does not report on elections, they interfere in them. Our "leaders" don't truly believe in voting or elections, they rig elections while maintaining the illusion of fairness. All the while, each of these powerful entities is misdirecting backlash to a Russian Boogey Man. People want what they want and many are not restrained in how they get it.

    Election corruption is not new, even in the US. These days, it is increasingly visible and thus more readily knowable. It doesn't seem to matter to many who should notice this. This caucus is RIDDLED with suspicious behavior, at minimum. If a tree falls in the woods and noone wants to hear that, does it make a sound?

    • Some ignore corruption because the outcome is desirable or acceptable. Does it matter if something is not real or right if it is treated as real and might makes it right?
    • Some will throw out gibberish phrases like "conspiracy theory" to sabotage reasonable consensus or a reasonable assessment of events. It's like flipping over a table when you are about to lose a board game. Once objective observation is undermined falsehoods can fill the void.
    • Thinking shortcuts, in cliché form, will be trotted out like: incompetence before malice or whatever the phrase is. Something about recognizing what's in front of ones face appears to threaten the bubbles that so many are immediately certain they are not in.
    • I've notice that people judge an idea based on how they FEEL about those they see as already believing it. Using feelings in this way in inadvisable unless one understands how those feelings came to be. Was it by prejudice? Was it stoked by some self-serving politician or by the manipulative media? Also, is it fair to cling to negative attitudes about people whose objective reality one refuses to acknowledge?
    • Some people will claim to notice ills only when those ills can be weaponized against those who are NOT guilty of it. Like smearing an enemy as anti-semitic...

    People want what they want and many are not restrained in how they get it, but what causes the rest of us to tolerate or support it and not call it what it is?

    <---Paragraph redacted by me--->

    Also, I wont panic. I have a towel.

  • Jan 22, 2020 @ 09:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ...by european standards I'm right-wing, Wendy. By US standards I'd be a flaming leftist. Strangely enough still a conservative one.
    Perfect example of how the use of labels is not good. Use labels too much and you find that you "know" things that are meaningless or completely untrue.

  • Jan 22, 2020 @ 09:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    There's a varied bunch of people posting here, bringing a wide range of opinions with them from hard right to full-on socialist, with every kind of permutation in between.
    Bubbles are a force of social nature (one might say). They don't respect self identifications in label form. This is a logical statement, but a particular logic doesn't always apply. Logic is "absolute", therefore it is only valid in very limited scenarios. Also, 'logic scales with the user' (quoting myself). A user must truly understand the nature of what they are applying logic to. [I'm not saying the last two sentences apply to you]
    I came in as a front-end website designer and developer with basic skills...
    Hmmmm. Many of us here are in computer specific fields.
    I'm basically conservative...
    I've noticed and remember.
    Thad, Uriel, and Stephen are progressive...
    I remember Thad and Uriel. I didn't know they were progressives.
    ...btr and SDM are more right wing.
    I think I remember btr. Thanks for the info. I sometimes don't pay attention to who writes what. I tend to focus on the content, but knowing the author IS sometimes important. As for me, I don't use labels. Not because I'm a hipster or too cool or something. Labels are not useful to me and are rarely applicable. While labels make "knowing" things "easier", they often interfere with understanding (example: try REALLY listening to be people discuss politics).
    ...any bubble that ever forms here will pop pretty quickly.
    You cannot say something like this in a broad, generic way. Also, the bubble metaphor falls apart here. Sometimes bubbles are "mapped" to power structures (like organizations). When the structure collapses the bubble simply gets transferred. Bubbles are about clinging to unrealities. Bubbles don't pop, they are dismantled.

  • Jan 22, 2020 @ 08:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    TD, suffers the same strawman driven, partisan echo chamber that most other media suffers from, with extra Mockingbird, whereas Greenwald at least appears to have taken an Ethics in Journalism class at some point. This is a media pundit driven site, feuled by quippy commentary, and many vapid commenters who know nothing about journalism.
    I find your comment too sharp and suspiciously hostile (but I would not have hidden this comment - I don't know if the community sees you as a regular troll). If this were true, I wouldn't come here so often. BUT, they are not invulnerable to echo chamber behavior. For instance, I didn't care for the two articles, I noticed, about the possible health effects of 5G. I'm a technology enthusiast (?). Both Techdirt and I would have a possible, if not likely, bias in favor of disregarding this idea. I felt the articles did not only not address this probable bias, they might have leaned into it. The comments echoed. Contrary to recent attitudes, objectivity is a thing.

  • Jan 21, 2020 @ 07:19pm


    [I don't think you have ever responding to any of my (meager # of) comments. Does this make me a troll, now? ;) ]... On-line as well as IRL I prefer to listen much, talk (write) little. I am willing to consider a critique. Good, sincere critique is rare, lately. I hope you do not believe that either you, Mr. Masnick or the Techdirt community itself is invulnerable to existing in a bubble. It doesn't work like that. These days you avoid it by identifying the possible bubbles and denying them.

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