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  • ddt 20.57 on March 20, 2017  

    Stay Angry; Stay Hungry

    The Boy from Mar-A-Lago

    The Boy from Mar-A-Lago……Available for download: https://sandyandrichardriccardi.bandcamp.com/track/the-boy-from-mar-a-lago-2

    Posted by Sandy and Richard Riccardi on Saturday, March 18, 2017

    Stay angry at what seems hopeless or unchangeable.

    Stay hungry for a life that is better—settling means everything said that you don’t like is fine.

    Focus your anger and hunger and DO SOMETHING off of every social network.

    As you act, share what you DO with everyone on a social network.

    This is how to live in 2017.

    This is how to live in 2017, just a modicum above complacent and compliant. 

    This is how to live in 2017, if living in 2017 isn’t like what you thought 2017 would be in 2016 or 2015 0r 1973. 

    This is how to live in 2017. 

    BandCamp lyrics/mp3

    tagged as: , eye on the prize, , the others,   
  • 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).


    tagged as: , , speaking, , the others   
  • 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 13.00 on January 26, 2017  

    This Coming Age of Silence

    Another day, another batch of executive orders, another round of reactions, worries, celebrations, and memes. There are so many stories to sift through. There is so much exhaustion of eyes, of minds, of rage, of delight. Five days in and people are unplugging from SNS (social network services) (social network services) (social network services) (social network services), filling their feeds with cats, LOLz, hot chicks, hotter guys, and Obama-nostalgia posts. 

    Not even a week has passed and these things have changed for the next four years:

    There is some good reporting and writing going on too, but not enough. These are all worth your reading time:

    Lastly, watch and remember this: Lest We Forget – Bill Moyers and four historians on the big lie behind the rise of Trump.

    #ddongtoday #dronesmotherfucker

    tagged as: , , , the others,   
  • 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.


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Ddong Today

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