Hal Berghel: Spot the Lie — New Book and Precis

Hal Berghel

Hal Berghel

DEFENDING AGAINST BIG DADA: DEFENSIVE TACTICS FOR WEAPONS OF MASS DECEPTION

The first casualty of power politics, advocacy journalism, dark propaganda, rumor mills, and media-politico echo chambers is truth. Here’s a defensive tactic for your consideration.

Scholars have been concerned with the pollution of our infospheres (‘infopollution’) for many decades. As I prepare this column I am reminded of a column that I wrote on information overload in 1997 (Cyberspace 2000: Dealing with Information Overload, Communications of the ACM, 40:2; February 1997). Some of my predictions were spot on – e.g., the Web did indeed evolve toward multi-mediocrity and self-indulgent tripe. To deal with this, some of us experimented with “cyberbrowsers” that could be optimized with respect to search relevance and maximal information uptake (Customizing information: Getting what we need, when we need it, IEEE Computer, parts I and II, September and October, 1994). But I was deluded into thinking that the solution to the needle-in-haystack problem was primarily a navigational issue. I failed to anticipate that the Web would become a convenient weapon of mass deception. As the toxicity of the Web increased, it became obvious that sophisticated navigation alone won’t solve the problem of information overburden, and that defensive browsers were needed. By the mid-1990′s the information content of large parts of cyberspace rivaled that of air dancers and lava lamps.

This toxicity may have been anticipated by alert and well-read software developers. By 1990 propaganda models of mass media had been carefully articulated by scholars such as Alex Carey (Taking the Risk out of Democracy, University of Illinois Press, 1997), and Herman and Chomsky (Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent, Pantheon, 1988). Further, the Orwell-Huxley models of dystopia had been extended to mass media by Neil Postman since the 1960’s (see, e.g. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, Penguin Books, rev. ed., 2005). So the handwriting should have been visible on the erudite’s wall. However, I was` blindsided by the most insidious side of infopollution: mass deception. This is my chance to redeem myself for the oversight.

Read full post includes precis of the indicators of lying.

Comments Off
Sep 2

Berto Jongman: Global Collapse – Limits to Growth Was Right Plus Robert Steele on What Limits to Growth Got Wrong

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we’re nearing collapse

Four decades after the book was published, Limit to Growth’s forecasts have been vindicated by new Australian research. Expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon

Graham Turner and Cathy Alexander

The Guardian, 1 September 2014

The 1972 book Limits to Growth, which predicted our civilisation would probably collapse some time this century, has been criticised as doomsday fantasy since it was published. Back in 2002, self-styled environmental expert Bjorn Lomborg consigned it to the “dustbin of history”.

It doesn’t belong there. Research from the University of Melbourne has found the book’s forecasts are accurate, 40 years on. If we continue to track in line with the book’s scenario, expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Sep 2

Berto Jongman: Peter Singer on Effective Altruism & Cause Prioritization

Tags:
Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Peter Singer on Effective Altruism & Cause Prioritization – this is a short from a longer interview Adam Ford did recently with Peter Singer.

Effective altruism is a philosophy and social movement which applies evidence and reason to working out the most effective ways to improve the world. Effective altruists consider all causes and actions, and then act in the way that brings about the greatest positive impact. It is this broad evidence-based approach that distinguishes effective altruism from traditional altruism or charity. Effective altruism sometimes involves taking actions that are less intuitive or emotionally salient. The philosopher Peter Singer is a notable supporter of effective altruism.

Comments Off
Sep 1

Anthony Judge: Eradication as the Strategic Final Solution of the 21st Century?

Anthony Judge

Anthony Judge

Eradication as the Strategic Final Solution of the 21st Century?

Indicative checklist of possible domains of application

Introduction
Eradication as primarily inspired by the philosophy of weeding
Preponderance of references to the eradication of zombies
Indicative checklist of domains of strategic predisposition to eradication
Evaluation of strategies of eradication and the possibility of alternatives
Eradication in the light of radicalization, liminality and termination
Unquestionable eradication and the eradication of questioning
Toward comprehending the paradoxical eradication dilemma of the Abrahamic religions
References

Comments Off
Sep 1

Jean Lievens: Sharing Economy Sucking Chest Wounds…

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

The Unbearable Loneliness Of The Sharing Economy

by Brian S Hall

August 25th, 2014

The sharing economy promises the potential for riches, personal empowerment, new modes of work, and fear, the kind of fear that swells from a livelihood dependent upon algorithms, star ratings, and the feedback of strangers.

When we imagined the future, certainly starting from the point when the smartphone was born, few of us expected a world where in-kind tips and real time number crunching might determine where we live, how well we ate, the size of our home, the composition of our dearest friends.

Of course, in a world where billions are virtually connected, all fighting over the same job, the same task, the same dollars to be made by sharing our rooms, our cars, our talents, can we have any real friends? Or does everyone morph into some 21st century amalgamation of customer-competitor?

The billions of dollars fueling Uber, Airbnb and the sharing economy appears to generate as much fear as it does potential, and rightly or no, the great minds and deep pockets of Silicon Valley are failing to address these fears.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Aug 29

John Maguire: Edgar Morin WISE 2013 Special Address YouTube (18:04) 7 Complex Lessons for Education

Focus on error and illusion, need to deal with uncertainty. A great deal of error arises from reductionism.

See Also:

2013 WISE Prize Laureate: YouTube (4:34) Vicky Colbert of Colombia on The New School for the Silent Revolution

2011 Edgar Morin on YouTube (12:23): Edgar Morin: Seven Complex Lessons in Education

Review: Homeland Earth

Review: Seven Complex Lessons for the Future

Comments Off
Aug 28

Berto Jongman: Iraq, Syria, Libya, UK – Intelligence failures all

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Iraq, Syria, Libya, UK – Intelligence failures all

• Lack of intelligence as well as Intelligence
• Intelligence begins at home, but should be deployed away

Given the resources available to US – and British – intelligence agencies, it seems strange that the attraction, influence, finance, and military strength, of the extremist group which calls itself Islamic State (Isis) came as such a surprise.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Aug 27

Pierre Cloutier: The French Alternative to Being American

Pierre Cloutier

Pierre Cloutier

Of note.

Opinion: Speak French, or resign to becoming American

By John-Jean Ofrias

The Gazette, 22 June 2014

In this 21st century, the country of my birth, the United States of America Incorporated, has become greener — in a way that is perverse.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Aug 26

SchwartzReport: Good News on Forests and Air

Categories: Earth Intelligence
Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

This is a wonderful story that gives some hope that the dominant culture is opening to the interconnected and interdependent nature, of nature.

Seeing the Wood
The Economist (U.K.)

More good news. The Clean Air Act, which the Theocratic Right has been trying to undermine since it was passed, we now know, based on actual data, has done great good. Not enough to be sure, but at least a step in the right direction.

Thanks To The Clean Air Act, We Breathe 3 Million Fewer Tons Of Toxins Each Year
EMILY ATKIN – Climate Progress

Comments Off
Aug 25

Jean Lievens: Isabelle Stengers on on user movements and systems of horizontal apprenticeship

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Isabelle Stengers on on user movements and systems of horizontal apprenticeship

Andre Ling introduces the importance of the the Belgian philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers:

“She is a truly remarkable philosopher and currently one of my favourites. While she has written some very solid books on the philosophy of science (such as The Power of Invention, Cosmopolitics, and others), her more recent books are shorter, highly accessible and powerful. The titles of her two most recent books that I especially want to share with you are:

* Capitalist Sorcery: Breaking the Spell

* Au temps des catastrophes: Resister a la barbarie qui vient (currently only available in French, but due to be translated, I am told, in open access format in English)

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Aug 24