Relative Silence

weatherbeatenhollowsofsnow:

Wikileaks got the blame for putting a US embassy cable regarding Zimbabwe into the public domain. They were soundly condemned by the media and various pundits for endangering Morgan Tsvangirai and the potential for some semblance of democracy in Zimbabwe. As it happens, Wikileaks did not choose to release the cable into the public domain and publish it. It was the Guardian newspaper which made the decision.

UPDATE: Here’s Glenn Greenwald’s piece on the issue.

claytoncubitt:

INTERVIEWER: You regard addiction as an illness but also a central human fact, a drama?

BURROUGHS: Both, absolutely. It’s as simple as the way in which anyone happens to become an alcoholic. They start drinking, that’s all. They like it, and they drink, and then they become alcoholic. I was exposed to heroin in New York - that is, I was going around with people who were using it; I took it; the effects were pleasant. I went on using it and became addicted. Remember that if it can be readily obtained, you will have any number of addicts. The idea that addiction is somehow a psychological illness is, I think, totally ridiculous. It’s as psychological as malaria. It’s a matter of exposure. People, generally speaking, will take any intoxicant or any drug that gives them a pleasant effect if it is available to them. In Iran, for instance, opium was sold in shops until quite recently, and they had three million addicts in a population of twenty million. There are also all forms of spiritual addiction. Anything that can be done chemically can be done in other ways, that is, if we have sufficient knowledge of the processes involved. Many policemen and narcotics agents are precisely addicted to power, to exercising a certain nasty kind of power over people who are helpless. The nasty sort of power: white junk, I call it - rightness; they’re right, right right - and if they lost that power, they would suffer excruciating withdrawal symptoms. The picture we get of the whole Russian bureaucracy, people who are exclusively preoccupied with power and advantage, this must be an addiction. Suppose they lose it? Well, it’s been their whole life.”

thoughtcriminal:

seed, tell your friends, transfer to offline media, upload to other servers, post on messageboards, make encrypted backups, distribute widely, etc., etc.

sneak046:

It’s still here…

wilwheaton:

The cables show the extent of US spying on its allies and the UN; turning a blind eye to corruption and human rights abuse in “client states”; backroom deals with supposedly neutral countries; lobbying for US corporations; and the measures US diplomats take to advance those who have access to them.

This document release reveals the contradictions between the US’s public persona and what it says behind closed doors – and shows that if citizens in a democracy want their governments to reflect their wishes, they should ask to see what’s going on behind the scenes.

I was wondering what the big deal was when this morning as I was making my lunch for work the ABC News people said to go and look on the internet because the news about Cablegate was too big for them to cover… Not sure if that’s because it only broke as they were filming, or if one of the remaining stalwarts of the ‘old news media’ in Australia just admitted that they can’t keep up.

kathleenjoy:

Blog calls for men to wear kilts, sans underpants, to protest TSA screenings | Raw Story

The “superfantastic” twist to “National Opt-Out Day”: If you feel the screenings are humiliating, let the government share your embarrassment (pun intended) by wearing a kilt. And if you’re, ahem, ballsy enough, join the protest wearing it like a true Scotsman, sans underpants.

The idea was first suggested by The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, who writes: Think about it — if you’re a male, and you want to bollix-up the nonsensical airport security-industrial complex, one way to do so would be to wear a kilt. If nothing else, this will cause TSA employees to throw up their hands in disgust. If you want to go the extra extra mile, I suggest commando-style kilt-wearing. While it is probably illegal to fly without pants, I can’t imagine that it’s illegal to fly without underpants. If you are Scottish, or part Scottish, or know someone who is Scottish, or eat Scottish salmon, or enjoy Scotch, or have a vestigial affection for “Braveheart” despite Mel Gibson, you can plausibly claim some sort of multicultural diversity privilege — the term “True Scotsman” refers to soldiers who honor their tradition and heritage by wearing kilts without drawers underneath.

“[Nov. 24 is] the day ordinary citizens stand up for their rights, stand up for liberty, and protest the federal government’s desire to virtually strip us naked or submit to an ‘enhanced pat down’ that touches people’s breasts and genitals,” the organizers of “National Opt-Out Day” declared on their web site. “You should never have to explain to your children, ‘Remember that no stranger can touch or see your private area, unless it’s a government employee, then it’s OK.’

I bolded that bit at the end for emphasis. Fuck the TSA. I hope the Australian government don’t go down the same crazy path.

michaelk42:


Let your tomb join the social network
It’s time for the tombstone to be upgraded for the 21st century. A team  of creative designers has developed a Bluetooth enabled grave that will  allow mourning friends and family members to sync with digital media  while weeping over your death. The E-Tomb, featured on Yanko Design,  is a concept piece that tries to connect the emerging importance of  social networking with the traditional form of cemeteries. A solar panel  in the headstone powers a hidden hard drive that stores information  from key webpages like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Visitors to the  E-Tomb can interact with this data via their smart phones and the  Bluetooth connection. Mourners will still be discussing their lives with  the dearly departed, only now they’ll be doing it through the medium  that we’ve grown accustomed to: the internet.
…

via Singularity Hub
How about a few terabytes of solid state storage and wifi, so we can seed torrents of our prodigious movie/warez/pr0n collections long after death, too?

michaelk42:

Let your tomb join the social network

It’s time for the tombstone to be upgraded for the 21st century. A team of creative designers has developed a Bluetooth enabled grave that will allow mourning friends and family members to sync with digital media while weeping over your death. The E-Tomb, featured on Yanko Design, is a concept piece that tries to connect the emerging importance of social networking with the traditional form of cemeteries. A solar panel in the headstone powers a hidden hard drive that stores information from key webpages like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Visitors to the E-Tomb can interact with this data via their smart phones and the Bluetooth connection. Mourners will still be discussing their lives with the dearly departed, only now they’ll be doing it through the medium that we’ve grown accustomed to: the internet.

via Singularity Hub

How about a few terabytes of solid state storage and wifi, so we can seed torrents of our prodigious movie/warez/pr0n collections long after death, too?

ripperdoc:

Online reputation can be hacked. Release the flood gates.

Pretty sure I’ve come across this before, but still very interesting.

hamandheroin:

The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily so they can meet their quota of getting FREE FOOD donated every day to abused and neglected animals in their shelters.
It takes less than a minute (only about 15 seconds actually) to go to their site and click on the purple box titled, ‘Click Here to Give - it’s FREE!’. Every click gives about .6 bowls of food to sheltered dogs. You can also click daily!
Keep in mind that this does not cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising. [via.]
Go to the website here.
If you can’t even do this once, you have no heart.

hamandheroin:

The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily so they can meet their quota of getting FREE FOOD donated every day to abused and neglected animals in their shelters.

It takes less than a minute (only about 15 seconds actually) to go to their site and click on the purple box titled, ‘Click Here to Give - it’s FREE!’. Every click gives about .6 bowls of food to sheltered dogs. You can also click daily!

Keep in mind that this does not cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising. [via.]

Go to the website here.

If you can’t even do this once, you have no heart.

pushart:

Metaphysical Neuroma - Attila Adorjany

Added this to the RSS feed as soon as I saw it come up in that Whitechapel thread. Love the art style.

pushart:

Metaphysical Neuroma - Attila Adorjany

Added this to the RSS feed as soon as I saw it come up in that Whitechapel thread. Love the art style.

sneak046:

From The War of the Worlds to Nineteen Eighty-Four, some science fiction goes down in history. But what about the brilliant books that got away? We asked scientists and writers to nominate their lost…

I’ve read 1 out of the 10 listed (the fantastic Random Acts of Senseless Violence, which I think Warren Ellis actually recommended), which seems decent for books that have supposedly slipped through the cracks.

The first tattoo read: Khrushchev’s Slave. The second: Slave of the USSR. The third: Slave of the CPSU. ‘Now, after three operations,’ wrote Kuznetsov, ‘the skin is so tightly stretched … he can no longer close his eyes. We call him The Stare.’

Russian criminal tattoos: breaking the code (The Guardian) 

- Also, Londoners: FUEL’s Russian Criminal Tattoo Archive exhibition currently on show at 4 Wilkes St

(via wurzeltod)

m1k3y:

‘Dead Drops’ is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space. I am ‘injecting’ USB flash drives into walls, buildings and curbs accessable to anybody in public space. You are invited to go to these places (so far 5 in NYC) to drop or find files on a dead drop. Plug your laptop to a wall, house or pole to share your files and date. Each dead drop contains a readme.txt file explaining the project. (via “Dead Drops” preview at Aram Bartholl – Blog)

Absolutely love this idea/installation. Will also be interesting to see how the public uses and abuses it.

m1k3y:

‘Dead Drops’ is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space. I am ‘injecting’ USB flash drives into walls, buildings and curbs accessable to anybody in public space. You are invited to go to these places (so far 5 in NYC) to drop or find files on a dead drop. Plug your laptop to a wall, house or pole to share your files and date. Each dead drop contains a readme.txt file explaining the project. (via “Dead Drops” preview at Aram Bartholl – Blog)

Absolutely love this idea/installation. Will also be interesting to see how the public uses and abuses it.

Amber Yust, a transgender woman living in California, went to San Francisco’s DMV to get her name changed on her driver’s license. She had a court ordered name change and was easily able to get a new driver’s license with her new name.

But her interactions with the DMV didn’t stop there. The employee who had processed her name change wasn’t happy that he had helped a transgender person. So he took Yust’s personal information from the DMV office, and mailed a letter to her home, calling her an abomination, telling her she was going to hell and that she had made a very evil decision. The letter came complete with quotes from the Bible.

Yust received this letter at her home address on Monday. Turns out that not only did the DMV employee neglect his duties to treat people who come into the DMV respectfully, but he breached security and personally harassed Amber by using the home address she provided to the DMV.

“I was shocked to receive this letter from the person who processed my paperwork at the DMV,” she said. “I would never have expected that a DMV employee could use information from my name change application to reach out and personally attack me. This has been a traumatic experience for me and I want to ensure that nothing like this happens to anyone else.”

Yust has reached out to the Transgender Law Center to look into the incident and possibly represent her.You can also urge the DMV to look into this case, and hold any employees accountable, here.

“This was an egregious act committed by a government employee,” said Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center. “Transgender people deserve to be treated with respect at agencies like the DMV. What happened to Amber is despicable, and we intend to do everything we can to hold the responsible parties accountable and to prevent this from happening again.”

Hopefully, the DMV employee won’t get away with taking personal information  from the job and using it to harass DMV customers. No one should get hate mail at their home after simply making a trip to the DMV to change their license. The harassment Amber faced was inappropriate and far over the line, and the California DMV needs to hold its employees accountable.