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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 12.44 on March 4, 2017  

    The. Press. Is. The. Enemy. Of. The. People.

    Facebook commenter on the above image (source):

    When the press is controlled by two or three massively wealthy individuals , it is indeed the enemy of the people. 

    When a staffer putting her feet on the couch is the top story, that makes the press the enemy of the people. 

    When the President putting ketchup on his steak is big news, the press is the enemy if the people. 

    When the press deletes content that negates their views (Huffington Post, MSNBC, CNN, BuzzFeed) the press is the enemy of the people. 

    When comedians are viewed as astute opinionmakers and intelligent thinkers forming the views of the public, the press is the enemy of the people. 

    When skin color and appearance should never be taken into account as far as qualifications for office (or anything else ) are concerned, but only for some (a Cheeto with a dead animal on his head and tiny hands), the press is most definitely the enemy of the people.


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  • ddt 10.42 on February 16, 2017  

    How to Play With Trolls

    Remember in how in school, there was always an asshole (or five). The ones that would do and say stuff just to get the teacher(s) amped up, to piss off other kids, to push others around … remember those asshats? Those were bullies. Bullies come with every endeavor we make into the public sphere—one might go as far as to say that bullies are a part of the world or bullies make you strong or bullies give you reasons to push back, to stand up.

    At the core of a bully is someone who gets off on pushing other people’s buttons, either psychologically or physically. When put like that, bullies are literally everywhere. President Trump is a bully, but this is already long in the tooth (along with bozo and punk). Much of the government consists of bullies—DAPL being the foremost example, but any video of black folks encountering a police officer in every US city almost always ends up with some form of bullying. The ultimate story arc of white privilege is when folks call Trump a bully like he is the first one to take a government office. History reveals/reminds that the United States government has been a 200+ years escapade of bullying with the rich and the white as masters of the bullying machine, establishing a pecking order where people of color are always at the bottom with the next tier up being anyone denying the definition of “normal”.  Trump is nothing more than another thread in a government that pushes people around and builds its successes upon that. Folks need to come to terms with that concept or be just another foot imprint in The Life of Reason

    The differences between a troll and a bully:

    a troll will do or say anything to detract one from a destination or idea usually by way of offense or threat

    a bully will do or say anything to get one to act in accordance with their wish which is often a form of humiliation

    The OED is less succinct in its scope:

    troll — a person who makes a deliberately offensive or provocative online post.

    bully — a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.

    It’s important to know this difference because the only “new” thing about the Trump administration (a White House of assholes; incompetence; hatred politics; etc. are nothing new), is that Americans are experiencing their first troll president (Russia has had this pleasure for the last 12 years, as have many other countries). It’s fitting that America has a troll for a president given the rise of the nonsensical internet and the growing infiltration and subjugation of mainstream American internet discourses by the 3rd internet (where there is the internet for regular things like CNN and Facebook; where there is the so called ‘darknet’ built on the onion protocol; where there is an alt-rite internet that mostly talks in circles to itself).

    Question: How many guides does the internet need for dealing with, living under, or resisting a troll president?

    Answer: As many guides have to be written until every pissed American starts reading the using the strategies within and building upon those ideas to enhance and create newer, better strategies. 


    How to Play with Troll by Ddong Today

    1. Don’t Feed the Troll — Trolls live for conflict (especially violence or its little sister, high school drama); not feeding the troll is internet debate 101, but IRL (in real life), folks seem to have both forgotten this basic rule or don’t know they’ve encountered a troll. The Billy Goats Gruff ultimately solved their troll problem with violence by chucking the troll into the stream where it, presumably, drowned. The key point of the story is that the first two goats got across by tricking the troll. That should be the take away. Tricking trolls is pretty easy, on and off line, because trolls are more focused on the disruption and destruction of a message that they’re able to be caught and called out on their BS. Call out each instance of troll BS to the troll’s face and the world. Trolls are so goal-oriented and their need for troll-success so deep that they would rather abort one failed trolling to get to another one that they can troll successfully to feel good about themselves and their trolling. Call that shit out, every time. 
    2. Don’t Ignore the Troll — It takes more effort to ignore a troll than it does to call one out and trolls know that, so the amount of time and energy being expelled makes the troll happy. One needs only to look at any Trump twitter fiasco to catch mental imagery of Narcissus gleaming because he is the most talked about girl in the strip mall. The troll love for attention deepens with every act of “inattention”. See the troll, name the troll.
    3. Don’t Try to Argue with the Troll — Trolls will use illogic against your logic and logic against your illogic and school you for being illogical, and if you’ve got an exceptionally feisty troll, school you on debate tactics. Talking with a troll is nothing like talking with a skilled spin-tactician like Kellyanne Conway, so one can expect what seems like chaos at every talkback. But remember that a troll will do anything to get one “off-message”, so all tools of trolldom and debate are put to use. The use of every tool in the shed usually leads to contradictory statements and positioning—the goals of disruption don’t allow one to also protect any one stance; troll hypocrisy is exceptional rife given enough time. So the key is to keep the trolling talking. Don’t let the troll think it has a trollvictory or it will stop engaging, instead give the troll things to talk about and let the troll talk. Soon the troll will expose itself to #1.  

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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 15.38 on January 31, 2017  

    READ: Anti-Muslim Ban Responses from Strongest to Weakest

    Interesting are the degrees with which each company takes its position. Facebook sounds complacent and ready to serve their new master. (figures though, Zuckerburg is to the 2010s what Bill Gates was to the 1990s). Maybe Tim Cook didn’t like his Cheerios and couldn’t focus on a final proof of Apple’s statement. It lacks the defiance of say, holding ground against bullshit requests from the FacebookI and then the government to build backdoors into its products. Then the rebel rousing tones from Y Combinator and Box. 

    That Adobe put out such a pitiful response shouldn’t make anyone feel guilty ever for pirating their software. 😉 #dronesmotherfucker


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  • ddt 19.48 on January 22, 2017  

    Y = C+G+I+NX, Baby

    A non-American family member asked today, “So, what are you gonna do?”.
    “Nothing. We are fucked.”

    If we do nothing we are fucked. If we try and fail, at least we can know that we did something. If we try and succeed, we think things will be different, better, how we don’t know, but the idea is that it won’t be what we find ourselves in today—incessant bickering across the SNS (social network services) stratosphere about how many people showed up to whose party. In other words: we know it won’t be high school. Whatever future there is going forward, at least (we hope), it’s got to be better than high school braggarts in the capitol and on the screens going round after round of I’m-right-and-you’re-wrong.

    If this is you, right now, on the internetz or in a bar, talking about this … this cruft of the inauguration, you’ve already lost. You’re already doing nothing if you are mindlessly sharing a comparative picture of Obama’s 2009 inauguration and the 2017 inauguration. If you’re not looking at the sources, you’ve lost. If you’ve taken at face value, any part of the MLK bust removed from The Oval Office—be it as the 😱-what-a-monster (leftie) or the LOOK!-fake-news (rightie), you’ve lost.

    The truth, the news, is somewhere in the middle. You have to think for yourself to find it. You have to read between the lines. You have to talk with people who agree with you and those who do not. Most of all, you have to listen.

    If you’re not listening, then you’re doing nothing.

    #dronesmotherfucker #ddongtoday

    Y = C+G+I+NX

    The first thing that America has lost is prosperity. How do I know? The fundamental equation of macroeconomics says so, without a shred of doubt. Y = C+G+I+NX. Don’t be scared. It’s much simpler than it looks. It just means: GDP = Consumption + Government expenditure + Investment + eXports.

    source


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  • ddt 11.15 on January 19, 2017  

    How to Write an Open Letter to a Wannabe Despot

    Case point: An open letter to Trump from the US press corps – Columbia Journalism Review

    This is for the choir and to ignite the conservators of conservatism and the alt-rite defenders of Trump (assuming there are any remaining, as some articles want folks to think). Trump won’t read this, assuming someone even gives it to him or he finds it linked on Twitter. If this does somehow reach the hailstorm of nothingness he has surrounded himself with, he will only skim it.

    Why?

    Consider the writing and the tone, this is a soapbox declaration of principles addressed to him. Addressing him directly has already been shown to be ineffective. This piece will get lefty shares and nods, and righty FUs and little else.

    How then does one get the attention of our soon-to-be POTUS?

    By not addressing him directly, as an actress did on tv not long ago. Don’t mention him. Don’t use the pronouns “you” or “your”. That’s how.


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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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