Those Conspiracy Fantasies

Social media has given rise to a wealth of manure spread as ‘conspiracy theories’…..I mean there is NOTHING that cannot be said and then turned into a conspiracy that grows legs and gets wilder and crazier…..NOTHING.

Let’s look at those theories…….

Conspiracy theories or better yet, conspiracy fantasies – as these are in fact, not theories – have been around for a long time. Worse, the advent of the Internet including the so-called social media, which in reality are corporate media run by huge online business corporations, has significantly cranked up the spreading of conspiracy fantasies. Today, everyone can “publish” and with this, more and more conspiracy fantasies appear and they gather speed. The Internet provides a rather fruitful ground for conspiracy fantasies.

Whether Internet has fueled conspiracy fantasies or not, virtually all conspiracy fantasies have a few common parameters that practically all of them share. Perhaps one of the most important signifier of conspiracy fantasies is the fact that those who create and believe in conspiracy fantasies are convinced that nothing happens by chance – not in society, not in politics, not in the economy, and not in history.

Secondly, conspiracy fantasies connect things that are not connected. The fact that something can happen “out of the blue” is impossible to comprehend for the advocates of conspiracy fantasies, and even more so for those who invent, sell, and broadcast conspiracy fantasies.

Thirdly, conspiracy fantasies thrive on the hallucination that nothing is quite what it seems – whether at first sight, or even after a second look. Fourthly, creator of conspiracy fantasies are also convinced that everything that occurs is the result of some secret machinations. And, finally, behind many things lurk a destructive, and above all, secret groups of plotters and schemers.

These conspirators, secret organizations, and institutions (preferably government institutions) are manipulating everything from behind the scenes. Secretly, they pull the strings behind almost everything. On the whole, UNESCO and the European Union suggest that virtually all conspiracy fantasies have six commonalities.

Virtually all of these are found on conspiracy fantasies placed on the Internet. At the dawn of the Internet, Mike Godwin has proposed something that became Godwin’s Law. This law says, that the longer an Internet discussion goes on, the more likely it is to mention Hitler, at which point it usually, though not always, comes to an end.

Old Nazi and New Conspiracy Fantasies

I am an old fart and have been living long enough to watch this moronic exercise go from fringe to main street…..and all that time I scratch my head to try an understand how it has come to the age of ignorance.

Once again I blame the rise of ‘indispensable’ social media as the culprit to spread lies and stupidity.

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Beware Of Your ‘Smart’ Devices

It is Sunday and time for a little FYI…..

These day it seems that devices will do everything you use to do for yourself short of wiping your butt.

I am an old fart so I prefer to turn the TV on myself….make my own coffee and answer the door bell…..but the generation now has come to depend on their smart devices for everything short of impregnating their partners.

But please beware…..

Have you ever felt a creeping sensation that someone’s watching you? Then you turn around and you don’t see anything out of the ordinary. Depending on where you were, though, you might not have been completely imagining it. There are billions of things sensing you every day. They are everywhere, hidden in plain sight – inside your TV, fridge, car and office. These things know more about you than you might imagine, and many of them communicate that information over the internet.

Back in 2007, it would have been hard to imagine the revolution of useful apps and services that smartphones ushered in. But they came with a cost in terms of intrusiveness and loss of privacy. As computer scientists who study data management and privacy, we find that with internet connectivity extended to devices in homes, offices and cities, privacy is in more danger than ever.

Your appliances, car and home are designed to make your life easier and automate tasks you perform daily: switch lights on and off when you enter and exit a room, remind you that your tomatoes are about to go bad, personalize the temperature of the house depending on the weather and preferences of each person in the household.

To do their magic, they need the internet to reach out for help and correlate data. Without internet access, your smart thermostat can collect data about you, but it doesn’t know what the weather forecast is, and it isn’t powerful enough to process all of the information to decide what to do.

https://theconversation.com/smart-devices-spy-on-you-2-computer-scientists-explain-how-the-internet-of-things-can-violate-your-privacy-174579

Damn!  I am lazy but I still had rather to do things for myself.  I will not allow any of these devices in my home….I may have a smart phone but that is the extent of it for me.

BEWARE!

Guard your life carefully.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Violence Against The Russian People

I post this because we Americans will gladly hate a people….which is so sad.

The people of Russia are in the dark about this war in Ukraine….thanks to the tight control Putin and his government has over the content they are allowed to see and hear.

But even the hypocrisy and cynicism we have seen to this point by Big Social Media does not prepare one for a shocking development today, as first reported by Reuters and then picked up by the Washington Post: Facebook (and Facebook-owned Instagram) have “updated” their “Community Standards” guidelines and will now allow calls for violence against Russians.

Yes that’s right. Russians – not the Russian government or the Russian economy, or even top Russian political figures but just plain old Russians – are now subject to new guidelines that ALLOW rather than forbid “Hate Speech” and even actual calls for violence!

It is very clear that we are not progressing as a society toward ever-more liberal values. We are regressing to a violent, feral state. Endlessly looking inward for enemies to destroy. “Anti-vaxxers,” Trump voters, and now just plain old everyday Russians. Kill them. They are evil. Is this OK?

Facebook, a de facto arm of government, is now encouraging calls for violence against innocent people who happen to be of a particular race or ethnic background or linguistic group.

Race-hate of an unpopular ethnic and religions group? Haven’t we seen this horrific movie before?

(antiwar.com)

Seriously?

So it is perfectly OK to use violence against a people that have no idea what is happening in Ukraine……how sad.

Actress Mila Kunis, who is Ukrainian, has made a statement about this……

Mila Kunis says she has always felt far more like an American than an Eastern European—but when Russia invaded Ukraine, it felt like “part of my heart just got ripped out.” Kunis was born in Chernivtsi, southern Ukraine, and moved to the US with her family in 1991, when she was 7. In an interview with Maria Shriver, she said the world should blame the people in power in Russia for the conflict, but ordinary Russians shouldn’t be seen as the enemy, the Hill reports. “I do really want to emphasize that. I don’t think that that’s being said enough in the press,” Kunis said.

“I don’t think it’s the people of Russia, so I don’t want there to be a thing of all Russians are horrible human beings,” Kunis told Shriver, per People. “I don’t want that to be the rhetoric.” Kunis and her husband, Ashton Kutcher, started a GoFundMe fundraiser last week to support refugees and humanitarian aid efforts. It has now raised more than $20 million, with Kunis and Kutcher contributing $3 million. The full interview will be released Sunday via Shriver’s Sunday Paper newsletter.

I agree….do not hate a people for the stupidity of their leaders.

But sadly I feel this will all fall on deaf ears….for Americans seem to have to have someone to hate.

Thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Ukraine And Social Media

I have bitched about the media coverage of the Ukraine/Russia conflict…..the lack of actual action footage just regurgitation of stock vids and photos….then there is social media which seems to have better coverage of the armed conflict….but then the question should be asked if their reporting is accurate or just propaganda.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has already fueled some nascent misinformation tactics, including the spread of realistic video game footage and the use of TikTok to create fake war zone livestreams.

The content highlights how misinformation on the internet tends to constantly evolve, with some older forms of misleading content remaining relevant (many users continue to share older videos mislabeled as coming from the ongoing conflict). 

And while TikTok has in recent years vowed to crack down on misinformation, its relatively recent entry into the mainstream as a major social media platform, along with some of its unique features, have made it ripe for misleading content.

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/war-ukraine-sparks-new-wave-misinformation-rcna17779

Maybe we should not believe everything we see on social media…..maybe we should look deeper for what the real story is…..just a thought…..

Amid the alarming images of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine over the past few days, millions of people have also seen misleading, manipulated or false information about the conflict on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Telegram.

One example is this video of military jets posted to TikTok, which is historical footage but captioned as live video of the situation in Ukraine.

Visuals, because of their persuasive potential and attention-grabbing nature, are an especially potent choice for those seeking to mislead. Where creating, editing or sharing inauthentic visual content isn’t satire or art, it is usually politically or economically motivated.

Disinformation campaigns aim to distract, confuse, manipulate and sow division, discord, and uncertainty in the community. This is a common strategy for highly polarised nations where socioeconomic inequalities, disenfranchisement and propaganda are prevalent.

How is this fake content created and spread, what’s being done to debunk it, and how can you ensure you don’t fall for it yourself?

https://theconversation.com/fake-viral-footage-is-spreading-alongside-the-real-horror-in-ukraine-here-are-5-ways-to-spot-it-177921

This article gives the reader that truly wants to know what is happening in Ukraine and not buying into the hype then the 5 ways to spot bad info is perfect (if only people will do what is needed)

But that assumes that the reader wants to know or just follow the lies that fit what they want to believe.

So far I have seen nothing in the media that they are trying to debunk the spread of misinformation on their part…..they just keep spreading the manure of hearsay.

People are dying at least we could do is ask hard questions and find out why this is happening.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–13Dec21

“Birds Aren’t Real!”

This has been a trending meme on Twitter for months.

Want more information?

Have you ever seen a baby pigeon? No? It’s probably because birds aren’t real but rather government drones used to spy on you and steal your information. That’s according to the Birds Aren’t Real movement, and a movement it is: hundreds of thousands of young people are now on board. Some will even tell you that woodpeckers are fluent in Morse code. Thankfully, it’s all a joke, as the 23-year-old founder of Birds Aren’t Real finally admits in a New York Times interview. “Yes, we have been intentionally spreading misinformation for the past four years, but it’s with a purpose,” says Peter McIndoe of Memphis, Tenn. “It’s about holding up a mirror to America in the internet age.”

It was a spur-of-the-moment decision. McIndoe was in downtown Memphis in January 2017 when he spotted a women’s march and counterprotesters in support of then-President Donald Trump. He grabbed a poster, flipped it over and wrote “Birds Aren’t Real,” then began spouting stuff about a government cover-up. “It was a spontaneous joke, but it was a reflection of the absurdity everyone was feeling,” he tells the Times. The episode went viral, drawing in Generation Z, which grew up in “a world overrun with misinformation,” per the Times. McIndoe knew a thing or two about that himself, having been homeschooled in rural Arkansas, where he was taught that “evolution was a massive brainwashing plan by the Democrats and Obama was the Antichrist.”

He began embodying the character he’d created, not faltering once in a 30-minute interview with Audubon in 2018; paid actors to pose as bird truthers; and built a fake history of the movement with friend Connor Gaydos. It fooled the public and local media, but members knew the reality. One describes the movement as “fighting lunacy with lunacy,” per the Times. Another says it’s “more about media literacy.” Or as Audubon described it: “a chimera of conspiracies that wraps satire, modern insecurities, and internet culture into a successful marketing scheme.” Merchandise sales not only cover McIndoe and Gaydos’ living expenses but support the movement overall. As McIndoe tells the New Statesman, it’s “a safe space of sorts, for people to come together and laugh at the absurdity of the world that we’re in right now.”

This illustrates the stupidity that social media creates…..and the stupidity that people are willing to accept.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–22Oct21

Will twice be the charm for the former president?

He has started the second social media platform…the first attempt fell om his face…..

Former President Trump’s long-promised social media platform will be here soon. Trump announced the forthcoming launch of TRUTH Social in a press release Wednesday, saying the site’s parent company, the newly created Trump Media & Technology Group, aims to “create a rival to the liberal media consortium and fight back against the ‘Big Tech’ companies of Silicon Valley, which have used their unilateral power to silence opposing voices in America.” Trump remains banned from Twitter and Facebook. A beta launch of TRUTH Social is expected next month for “invited guests.” A full public debut is expected by the first quarter of 2022, Fox News reports. “Truth Social” was trademarked by Trump Group Corp. in July of this year. More:

  • Announcement: Read the press release in full here. It contains this statement from Trump, chairman of TMTG: “I created TRUTH Social and TMTG to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech. We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced. This is unacceptable. I am excited to send out my first TRUTH on TRUTH Social very soon.”
  • Site: TRUTHSocial.com contains a link to pre-order the app on Apple’s App Store, a form to sign up for the waiting list, and this description of the site: “America’s ‘Big Tent’ social media platform that encourages an open, free, and honest global conversation without discriminating against political ideology.”
  • App: The App Store page features screenshots of what the app will look like, and an option to pre-order it.
  • Familiar? If those screenshots are giving you a sense of deja vu, the Guardian notes that the user profile shown on the App Store page “bears a striking resemblance to a Twitter profile.”
  • Video: A subscription video-on-demand service featuring “non-woke” content is also planned, CNBC reports. The streaming service will be called TMTG+, Axios reports.
  • Trump Jr.: Donald Trump Jr. went on Fox News on Wednesday night to tout the upcoming site; he said TRUTH Social will allow people to express their First Amendment rights instead of conservatives being censored. Watch the clip here.
  • Reaction: Justin Amash, the Republican-turned-Libertarian, tweeted, “A former president seeking to reclaim power announcing that he’ll soon be sending out his ‘first TRUTH’ via his new platform ‘TRUTH Social’ is some real Orwellian s***.”
  • Minutiae: A special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) will be involved in the launch of the site; for more on the ins-and-outs of that, see Reuters and the Wall Street Journal.
  • History: Axios notes that Trump’s team was at one point in talks with FreeSpace about building a social app, and that Trump’s team and former aide Jason Miller also tried to come to a deal on Gettr, which Miller ultimately launched alone.

A meeting place for MORONs.

Maybe a better title for this new platform should be The ZOO–Where the creatures meet.O see that hackers have greeted the new “platform”…..

Donald Trump created Truth Social to “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech,” but the former president’s new social media platform doesn’t have the legs yet to stand up to hackers. Just a couple of hours after Trump on Wednesday introduced Truth Social and its parent company, the Trump Media & Technology Group, someone breached a private version of the still-to-be-launched social media site. They went to town, first creating a fake “donaldjtrump” account, then setting up even more not-real handles under the names of Steve Bannon, Mike Pence, and Twitter’s own Jack Dorsey, reports the New York Times.

From there, the hackers went the scatological route, posting profane rants that targeted Dorsey, as well as photos of defecating pigs. Claiming responsibility for the breach: the infamous hacking collective Anonymous, with members telling the Times the move was part of their “online war against hate.” “We had a fun time trolling it to high heaven,” one hacker says. Mikael Thalen of the Daily Dot talked to a representative from the group, who told him they sussed out the name of a developer involved in the project then used the Shodan search engine to do some digging.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Do You Spread Misinformation?

Boy is there a wealth of this sort of BS these days thanx to social media that gives every little plot legs to grow into a narrative.

I know it is difficult to separate truth from the manure….and how do you keep from help spread the fertilizer of discontent?

Well there is a way to know the difference….

Sorting through the vast amount of information created and shared online is challenging, even for the experts.

Just talking about this ever-shifting landscape is confusing, with terms like “misinformation,” “disinformation” and “hoax” getting mixed up with buzzwords like “fake news.”

https://theconversation.com/misinformation-disinformation-and-hoaxes-whats-the-difference-158491

I have written about this stuff before….for misinformation is just one tool of propaganda……these are good posts that can help you as well….

What Is Propaganda?

Propaganda 2.0

There is a technique to help you from being a spreader of misinformation…..

The problem of misinformation isn’t going away. Internet platforms like Facebook and Twitter have taken some steps to curb its spread and say they are working on doing more. But no method yet introduced has been completely successful at removing all misleading content from social media. The best defense, then, is self-defense.

Misleading or outright false information – broadly called “misinformation” – can come from websites pretending to be news outlets, political propaganda or “pseudo-profound” reports that seem meaningful but are not. Disinformation is a type of misinformation that is deliberately generated to maliciously mislead people. Disinformation is intentionally shared, knowing it is false, but misinformation can be shared by people who don’t know it’s not true, especially because people often share links online without thinking.

Emerging psychology research has revealed some tactics that can help protect our society from misinformation. Here are seven strategies you can use to avoid being misled, and to prevent yourself – and others – from spreading inaccuracies

https://theconversation.com/7-ways-to-avoid-becoming-a-misinformation-superspreader-157099

These are simple steps that if taken can keep you from being a super spreader of manure.

But then you may ask just how was all this manure made possible?

Bad information isn’t new. Propagandists and scam artists have been selling their brand of proverbial snake oil for ages, all to bend people’s thinking to their goals. What’s different today is that the digital world flings information faster and farther than ever before.

Our brains can’t always keep up.

That’s because we often rely on quick estimates to figure out whether something is true. These shortcuts, called heuristics, are often based on very simple patterns (SN: 9/20/14, p. 24). For instance, most information we come across in our daily lives is true. So when forced to guess, we often err on the side of believing.

A few simple tricks make fake news stories stick in the brain

There is more than enough misinformation on social media…..do not become one of the liars that keep this country divided.

Don’t spread manure

Question everything!

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You KNow

“lego ergo scribo”

From The ‘Can’t Fix Stupid’ Files

I have always thought morons that break the law and post selfies or videos of the act and think they will get way with it…..I feel they are swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool.

Take all the selfies and videos that have been posted of those committing the insurrection of 06 January….were they so flipping stupid to think that they would be safe in posting these incriminating social posts?

Well my thought is they were idiots in the highest degree….but is there a reason they are this flipping stupid?

Many Trump supporters who took part in the January 6th riots at the United States Capitol building made the job of law enforcement officials much easier by snapping incriminating photos of themselves committing crimes as they were happening.

MLive.com this week talked with several extremism experts for some clues about why so many MAGA rioters thought they’d get away with sharing photos of themselves breaking the law to the entire world.

Sam Jackson, a professor at the University at Albany who studies anti-government militias, tells MLive.com that the rioters likely thought they would succeed in overturning the results on the 2020 election and thus imagined creating historical records of themselves to show they were heroes at a world-changing event.

“I think a lot of it has to do with the folks who participated feel like they weren’t doing anything wrong, probably combined with a sense that they thought they were doing something historic,” he explained.

“The people who went to the Capitol trying to ‘stop the steal,’ by and large, expected that they were going to succeed at that and thought that they would really push the government to make different decisions,” he said. “Some of them didn’t realize the seriousness with which storming the Capitol would be taken.”

(alternet.org)

Good to have scientific explanation….but mine is more simple and just a valid….these insurrectionist are just morons….they lack any knowledge beyond stupidity.

Speaking of morons….

The greatest threat to America is not foreign terrorists, its domestic morons.

 
Clarence Darrow accurately tagged Trump and his worshipers….

Thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Why Is Google So Big?

I recently got a prompt for my GMail that stated that “something is wrong and my account cannot be accessed temporarily”….I thought Google cannot access one of their own sites? WTF?

This got me to thinking about Google.

Just when did they become the monopoly they are today?

The easy answer is ….the Obama era happen!

I know just what am I blaming Obama for this time?

A report has been released that explains how the FTC allowed Google to run rampant

A damning new Politico series based on 312 pages of internal memos reveals that federal antitrust regulators appointed by former President Barack Obama “misread the evidence in front of them and left much of the digital future in Google’s hands,” even though investigators concluded that the tech giant’s effort to dominate mobile internet searches was well-documented and illegal.

The reporting sheds light on the 19-month probe by the Federal Trade Commission that, in early 2013, amounted to what some described as a slap on the wrist. The series comes as Google faces three antitrust lawsuits from the Department of Justice and coalitions of state attorneys general—one of which was expanded Tuesday—and lawmakers’ calls to break up Big Tech.

As technology reporter Leah Nylen details:

Hundreds of pages of unreleased internal FTC memos, obtained by Politico, show for the first time that the agency’s commissioners dismissed substantial evidence to support the monopoly claim, including taking the rare step of rejecting a recommendation by staff investigators to sue.

The contracts at the center of the fight made Google the default search engine on almost all U.S. smartphones and locked in that exclusivity for years, giving the company a major advantage just as Americans were starting to flock to smartphones. In its antitrust suit against Google last October, DOJ revealed that the company pays as much as $12 billion a year to Apple alone to keep its search engine as the default on iPhones, iPads, and the Safari browser.

Antitrust experts and critics of Google’s practices responded by blasting decision-makers at the FTC and reiterating demands for an end to such exclusionary contracts.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/03/16/total-scandal-memos-expose-failure-obama-era-ftc-stop-googles-monopoly-power

There is so much darkness around the Obama years….there is so much more than “change we can believe in”.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–31Mar21

It’s official Donald the Orange has his own social platform.

“The Magnificent Legacy of the Trump Presidency”?

When I read those words I damn near choked on my coffee.

Allow me  to explain……

A website for Donald and Melania Trump’s personal offices has gone live, promising to preserve “the magnificent legacy of the Trump Administration, while at the same time advancing the America First agenda.” So far, content on 45office.com is thin, USA Today reports. There’s a page with a bio of each of them and forms inviting visitors to “share your thoughts,” “request a greeting,” and invite the former president or his wife to an event. The form asks who else is going to the event, such as media or any “notable attendees,” per CNN. The site also has a series of photos of the Trumps during his term in office.

“Through this office, President Trump will remain a tireless champion for the hardworking men and women of our great country,” the homepage says, per the Hill. Since being removed from social media sites after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the former president has used an email subscriber list when issuing political statements. The effort has been less successful than his Twitter posts were, per USA Today, and Trump might being putting his releases on the new site. An aide said recently that Trump was in talks about starting a site that would “redefine” social media, but there’s been no sign of it yet.

“A tireless champion of heard working men and women….”

Once again coffee spewed across the room.

What legacy?

Perhaps he means the butt kissing of dictators or is it the failed pandemic response or maybe it is the incitement of a riot…..whatcha think?

Have you ever heard such crap?

I wrote about this possibility before……https://lobotero.com/2021/03/23/closing-thought-23mar21/

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”