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  • ddt 23.35 on April 11, 2018  

    Zck Doesn’t Give a Fck

    The tweet is here.

    The most obnoxious thing about this tweet is here. Read it. It’s an excellent piece entitled: “WHY ZUCKERBERG’S 14-YEAR APOLOGY TOUR HASN’T FIXED FACEBOOK”.

    The answer is simple: Mark Zuckerburg is a misanthrope. He does not care about anyone. Worse, he is a sociopathic misanthrope, he doesn’t care about anyone, yet he spends time and effort pretending like he does to get other people to relax and keep thrusting themselves into the passive-aggressive shart known as Facebook. Most people do this to get rich, but Zuck has already bought and sold 2 billion people. 2,000,000,000,000. Twelve zeroes. 2/7 of the population on the planet.  

    By now, it ought to be plain … to everyone, that Facebook’s 2 billion-plus users are surveilled and profiled, that their attention is then sold to advertisers and, it seems, practically anyone else who will pay Facebook—including unsavory dictators like the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte. That is Facebook’s business model. 

    The only happy ending to Facebook is the one where Zuck goes to prison and his company is dissolved and its data destroyed. And … it will never happen. 


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  • ddt 15.41 on February 15, 2017  

    The Way to Con Like Kellyanne

    Ddong Today hasn’t made time for this character yet, but her LEGO effigy made it to the Trump administration figurehead caricature photoshoot a couple of weeks back. It took a little work with the limited LEGO on hand to find a white block for the main head. The imagery is all there, for whatever nonsensical sounding gospel spews from Conway’s mouth, she is just mouth on a stick whose main purpose is to disrupt and confound (part of the larger FEWP agenda). Her style (as analyzed below) is as magnificent as it is malevolent. She’s been on the inner circle of the 2016 ticket and now has a seat at that same table where she is directed to do what she does best, thwart all intelligence with her illogic. 

    Illogic is a common theme for Westerners in South Korea and the strategies to deal with an illogical mouthpiece like Kellyanne Conway are the same:

    • walk away if you can
    • do not engage if have to stay
    • take away the reasons for the illogical mouthpiece to keep talking by switching to a new topic where the purveyor of illogic will begin to spout logic (sports works well here, no one would ever twist the rules of baseball, for example), once common ground of logic is established through the new topic, feel out the illogical mouthpiece for weaknesses of their illogical philosophy, then:
      • if a weakness can be found, slowly and very gently walk the illogical mouthpiece back towards the original topic reinforcing the bounds of the agreed upon logic from the new topic (really, this almost never happens … you’ve got a 30/70 chance) 
      • if no weaknesses can be found, get the fuck away from the nonsense before you kill
    • if you can’t find common logical ground with the illogical mouthpiece, get away (you’d wouldn’t hang around talking to acid, would you?)

    Watch the video to help you reverse engineer this gunk before applying the strategy above. 


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  • ddt 08.04 on February 13, 2017  

    What We Talk About When We Talk About the Internet

    What we think of as the internet has been under assault for years, perhaps even more than a decade, and to be honest, the nature of the assault has been vastly brushed over because for the longest time, the internet was place for a few kinds of information we could afford to not take seriously. Stuff like cats battling it out with lightsabers, lists of every cultural and literary appropriation of the phrase ‘bad boys’, random meme generators, quick checks of whats-her-face in that movie, and hundreds of other bits of uselessness have become such a staple of two generations that it’s gobbled up the two before it (aka the “my mom is on Facebook” and “my grandpa tweets” phenomena) and has eaten its way into all the others that are up-and-coming. 

    It’s been a sick, fun ride that’s made a handful of people very, very, very rich. It’s also been a host of other things that aren’t that great. The internet has devastated mom-n-pop shops of all kinds (bookstores, video stores, copy shops). The internet has shredded most traditional media. Where Americans sat and watched the 5, 6, and 11’o clock news for basically 50 years, now most Americans get their news in fragments, sped-read across multiple sources. The veracity and integrity of “the media”—and let’s not get carried away here, the old model sucked and was either too liberal or too conservative (depending on who you talked to), but there were still standbys and a few names folks felt they could trust. This is almost all gone now. In another four years, or eight years, news, as we know it today, will be gone. This isn’t an alt-rite thing, this isn’t a Trump thing, this is what happens when there is a cultural shift in the way people relate to technology and each other in the same time period. The old systems don’t survive, they sort of adapt, cling, stagger, droop, and eventually die. Slowly. Think horses to cars; acoustic to electric; landline to cellular.

    Since the early days of the world wide web, AOL, news groups and the like, the idea of being anonymous has been appealing and the fear of loosing that anonymity has shaped most of the arguments over the internet since. For a while it was cookies, web sites set little files on your computer called cookies that tracked your habits, remembered your preferences and this freaked folks out. Then it was less than 1kb invisible images that couldn’t be blocked like cookies could. And later “browser profiles”, how your browser is configured leaves a footprint that can be tracked across the internet. Groups like the EFF work to keep these things private so folks can continue to have believe they have privacy (Snowden taught us better). 

    In the years leading to where we find ourselves today, news channels, newspapers, and urban legends would conjure the almost monthly story on the ‘evils of the internet’ with sensationalist headlines: Internet Safety for ChildrenHow Kids Fool Their Parents on Social NetworksRising Number of Kids Exposed to Online PornThe Undercover Parent, etc. All of these stories focus on the need for children to “understand the dangers” and suggestion some sort of parental supervision. This is where the dialog end for nearly everyone, if they bothered to start it at all. Yes, children are at risk, yes parents should monitor their children’s online behavior to the point of using spyware because it’s the responsible thing to do.

    We don’t talk enough about how everyone must be vigilant, how everyone should deal with cyberbullying, how families should keep an online eye on each other, much like they would if a family member were crossing the street. It’s that basic, but it’s also worse than that basic example. 

    For every company with an internet platform which exists to coral folks into groups and push ads in front of them or to harvest everything online keystroke for meta-data and then sell that information, millions of people willingly give up their most precious information: their address, their phone number, their status, their age, their income, etc. Companies are not responsible for the safeguarding of that information. If they loose it, you loose your account. If they get hacked, you loose your account (and a lot more if your password was 123456gg). Companies are not libel for not protecting your precious information. If you had a Yahoo! account anytime in the last 10 years, all of that data is being trafficked on the internet. If your Yahoo password was used for another account, that information is also being trafficked on the internet. The CNN article is a fucking joke of victim blaming:

    Use different passwords for all online accounts
    Beware of emails asking for more information
    Block access to your credit report

    They mention some of the fault is on Yahoo!:

    Companies need to step up security measures to protect themselves not only against hacking, but also against the aftereffects of hacking like credential stuffing attacks … “The trust that your users have in you is directly tied to the level of security they expect … If you don’t have confidence [in Yahoo] in the future, that’s a personal decision people need to make …

    Yahoo! rejected the repeated advice of their own security staff which is why they’re an easy target for this class-action lawsuit. There is no law and it’s not common policy for companies to detail what happens in case of a breach to your data or what (fi any) responsibility they have to protect that information. This is one of the most fucked up and least talked about things about the internet today.

    This exposure, this complete disregard for privacy in a constant race to fatten the wallets of a few isn’t as nasty as the internet has become.

    The worst of the internet is driven by three things laid out above (perhaps indirectly, so): money, privacy, lack of responsibility. To say that we, the users of the internet, are wholly in charge of those three things is what the Flim-Flam Man says with his wagon of broken trinkets as he blows through town. The suggestion that internet consumers users can walk off of a platform like Yahoo! to something else to show their displeasure is about as helpful as suggesting a family pick up and move house because the faucet water is toxic (hello Flint critics)—it has no basis in reality. One doesn’t just pull 50GB of photography, thousands of followers, and move to another Flickr. Media consolidation has had that ill effect on the internet too, just as much as not actually being in possession of those thousands of followers has had an ill effect (e.g. no client / benefactors list to move; just like no other house to move to when your water is poisoning you). 

    People are products of the web pages they log into in any equation where the company behind that page draws a single penny of profit from the existence of that person’s account. 

    These companies don’t get (not yet) that they have to protect their product.

    This means policing your platform. Companies should start by taking a stronger position on hate speech, then work down from there by employing well-train, human readers (and not algorithms) to sort things out. 

    This means not carving your platform into silos and attempting to milk coin from everyone. Companies should start by keeping everyone in the same pool, let users decide who they do and do not want to listen to or talk with.

    This means, and some aren’t going to like this, striping away the privacy. Companies should start by forcing users to use their legal name—Facebook has already started this, Twitter shoulda started long ago.

    This means protecting user data like IP, on a secure server, locked up, with limited access. Companies should have been compelled by law to do this from the beginning, and this is unlikely to become law under the Trump administration—watch the Yahoo! class action lawsuit; also watch the Verizon / Yahoo! deal, the outcome of those things will determine what happens next.

    This means separating freedom of speech from harassment (from “having fun” to criminal). Real, legal names go a long way here. There’re good reasons and background to support this move, read: And Then the Breitbart Lynch Mob Came for MeLeslie Jones Twitter Racism; Gamergate; How the Alt-Rite Influenced Trump Supporters’ Language on Facebook (“a large-scale analysis of 8,215,332 comments from 1,734,738 different accounts” … accounts, not people); Amid the Chaos in Berkeley, a Grinning Face, Covered in Blood (the nefarious case of Eddy Brock).

    #dronesmotherfucker


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  • ddt 15.29 on February 6, 2017  

    Wild Echo Chambers

    Meet our friend Hoaxy. We tasked Hoaxy with the phrase “crowd size”, and this (above) is what Hoaxy spat back: data, lots of data. What Hoaxy does is track stories across the and then separates the data it collects into two, color-coded sets. One set for “claims” and one set for “fact-checks”. While still in beta, what Hoaxy does is important because it presents us with tangible, visible clusters of information and tells us how and information is being distributed across the internetz and where the hubs of “claims” and “fact-checks” are. On the left side, Hoaxy graphs the increase in frequency of the search word or phrase corresponding with a date (note the January 21 spike). Best of all though, Hoaxy shows relationships between those hubs and everything else (on the right side; the wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff).

    When the colors are revealed (above), Hoaxy’s data shows which locations on the internetz are restating claims and which ones are stopping to fact-check. For example, the node “realDonaldTrump”, in the cluster (above, right) is purple and the branches from it are 50/50 orange (fact-check) and purple (claim). This half those who read a claim about crowd size (our search phrase) wrote about the claim and fact-checked it—shown in a purple node, to orange branch, to orange node. 

    The masses of purple are equally insular in all of Ddong Today’s test searches with Hoaxy. These purple tumors with no orange intersects are where the alt-rite live, read, bitch, and plot. This is what an alt-rite echo chamber looks like (above, centered around Alex Jones).

    A side effect of Hoaxy is the blunt demonstration of the two halves of the political spectrum which rarely engage each other …


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  • ddt 12.47 on January 22, 2017  

    Why Can’t Anyone Count?

    Check out this CNN site with a thingamajig called a “gigapixel”:

    http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2017/01/politics/trump-inauguration-gigapixel/

    It’s a massive, scrollable photograph of the inauguration. Be sure to swing a hard right with your mouse/finger and check the massive cluster of people that reaches back to the Washington Monument.

    Whatever the National Park Service (NPS) retweeted, they’ve been forced to delete it. And when putting sooo much faith in their counting, remember that they undercounted the Million Man March in 1995 (emphasis mine):

    within 24 hours after the March there arose a conflict about crowd sizeestimates between March organizers and Park Service officials. The National Park Service issued an estimate of about 400,000 attendees, a number significantly lower than March organizers had hoped for. After a heated exchange between leaders of the march and Park Service, ABC-TV-funded researchers at Boston University estimated the crowd size to be about 837,000 members, with a 20% margin of error.

    Vox is pimping the “no one showed” up story, but the images they have are from probably 30 minutes before CNN’s gigapixel shot was taken. And this tirade isn’t helping:

    Yesterday, at a time when our nation and the world was watching the peaceful transition of power, and as the president said, “The transition and the balance of power from Washington to the citizens of the United States.” Member … some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting. For all the talk about the proper use of Twitter, two instances yesterday stand out. One was a particularly egregious example in which a reported falsely tweeted out that the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. had been removed from The Oval Office. After it was pointed out that this was just plain wrong, the reporter casually reported an con … tweeted out that a Secret Service agent must have just been standing in front of it. This was irresponsible and reckless. Secondly, photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way … in one particular tweet to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall. This was the first time in our nation’s history that floor coverings have been used to protect the grass on the mall. That had the effect of highlighting any areas were people were not standing, while in years past the grass eliminated this visual. This was also the first time that fencing and magnetometers went as far back on the wall preventing hundreds of thousands of people from a … being able to access the mall as quickly as they had in inaugurations past. Inaccurate numbers involving crowd size were also tweeted. No one had numbers because the National Park Service, which controls the National Mall, does not put any out. By the way, this applies to any attempts to try to count the number of protesters today in the same fashion. We do know a few things, so let’s go through the facts. We know …”

    He then goes into “the facts” as the White House is choosing to spin them today. He goes on about the great reception President Trump received this place and that place, takes a dig at the Democrats, mentions Canada and Mexico. Then chastises the press for not writing about those things. Finally, he follows it all up with a schedule of what President Trump will do tomorrow before walking out.

    It’s easy to miss in the video and maybe in the transcript, too, but the harshness of the press secretary’s tone when he says, “This was irresponsible and reckless.” This is the sitting government adding a layer of aesthetic interpretation to what is being said about them in a public forum. Other governments have done this too, it’s not special, unique, or even worrisome per se, but it is very worthy of note here, because this is presented within a larger context of “fake news”. The reporter says it was a mistake. Brietbart calls it “Fake News on Day One“. Ddong Today calls it ‘jumping the gun’.

    Whatever it was, it is no more irresponsible and reckless than any number of things that have gone down since this fiasco started with a rant about raping Mexicans.

    Forget the numbers and counting, as stated in the Vox article, real counts aren’t known for days or weeks until after an event. The thing to watch are the press conferences, the tone the White House sets down as “acceptable” (e.g. not irresponsible, not reckless), and what other stories, events, people, facts, etc. will fall into the newly defined category of ‘irresponsible and reckless’.

    #blasttheechochamber #ddongtoday

    Update:

    Slate has a comparison of Twitter cover images when the @POTUS Twitter account flipped over. Some President Trump staffer uploaded a picture of Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Of course someone caught it and so there is media fodder about it.

    These “mistakes” feel more like digs and FUs than ignorance. It takes energy to do stuff like this and unless that image was just one in a default upload folder. And President Trump himself has shown again and again that he’s a big fan of the petty dig.

    Meanwhile the counting continues …


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  • ddt 08.49 on January 19, 2017  

    The False Caring of Facebook

    Consider this screen capture:

    This is Facebook’s way of pretending to give a shit about you. Nothing happens when you put this junk on your timeline. Except … Facebook makes more money off of you and your friend because affirmation of that connection, that meaning, creates more metadata for Facebook to mine. If you really want to celebrate your friendship, then got do something with your friend instead of allowing a self-masturbating animation of your digitally limited Facebook friendship to be spewed on the internetz. Really, no one cares, not even your friend.


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Ddong Today


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