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76  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Google 'reveals user' over Gmail child abuse images on: August 08, 2014, 04:49:25 pm
Does privar is really breached? I mean, the volume of emails sent is so big, it would take thousands of employees just to read them all.

There are entire (growing) fields of study devoted to this topic. No, one does not need an army of people to sit there and read through emails-- analytic methods or other forms of research can be used to single out those of interest.

Quote
The right to privacy has never applied to criminal deeds.

No one has said it does.

To take just one small example, suppose any of you young people who are in college or university want to conduct a survey of a few hundred people for the purposes of your academic work-- for a paper whose results will be published and available to the general public, and whose motive is not profit but learning and the general advancement of knowledge. You would still have to go through a rigorous review process and get approval from a local Institutional Review Board. Usually you would also have to provide assurance that you will safeguard "the rights and welfare of human research subjects." (Source). And yet companies like Facebook and Okcupid may conduct behavioral research on thousands, even millions of people with impunity. These two cases we only know because they publicly admitted it. Given the backlash against Facebook, many users did not sign up to be a part of such experiments. Over time they will amass an awesome amount of knowledge about human behaviors, and will be able to manipulate the public to an increasingly high degree. What is to stop companies from abusing this power?
77  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Google 'reveals user' over Gmail child abuse images on: August 08, 2014, 12:14:56 pm
dead0man-- I think you've missed my points-- although understandably. I'm not advocating getting rid of the Internet or Google here. Luddism, although an understandable reaction to the Industrial Revolution, proved unworkable in the long run (I know what a tracert is-- I work in IT). And the ability to see more of what people are doing has certain benefits- in catching child pornographers, or in epidemiology, for instance (although in the case of child pornographers and other criminals and terrorists, they want to engage in private abuses, so an easy solution for them is to simply stop using technology vis-a-vis their illegal activities. Ironically, it's those who are "innocent" or have nothing to hide who are the most vulnerable to having our privacy given away and our actions manipulated).

The point here is not to roll back the clock but to address the vast new issues and power imbalances that the aggregation of so much information - which was once considered private - has created. It must be recognized that the public has an interest in knowing what information is being collected about it, and to what uses this information is being put to. This is perfectly addressable through regulations, for example, that require corporations to report what information they are collecting on consumers and how they are using it, and perhaps, making the raw data available for academics and social scientists to also study this information and use it to advance public knowledge. I would have no problem with such corporations being compensated for such data. Of course, certain things-- such as anti-competitive behaviors, would be prohibited. I would elaborate more, but it would take time, and I am on lunch break.
78  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Google 'reveals user' over Gmail child abuse images on: August 07, 2014, 07:39:05 pm
You can have extreme privacy or you can join the 21st century.

You just summed up the precise problem far more succinctly than I could have. The loss of privacy is now taken with such fatalism, inevitability, that it is now being equated (almost accurately) with the march of time. "Lose your privacy and join the 21st century, or be stuck in the past!"

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You can't have both.  Google isn't <scary voice>EVIL</voice>.  Google, like the vast majority of the "they" you speak of want nothing more than to make money and ensure that they will make money next year.  They don't give two sh**ts one way or the other about your privacy, at least any further than how it or the lack of it affect their bottom line.  They don't keep an "E"ye on you to blackmail you or to make sure you don't smoke weed, they keep an eye on you so they know what to try and sell you.  You can view it as a horrible thing if you want, but it's not.  It's what companies have always done, Google (and the other "they") just have a lot more data at their finger tips.

The fact that Google seeks profits does not, in my estimation, make them benevolent. It makes them the same as any other amoral, profit-seeking entity. The same objection (benevolent inspector), of course, can and usually is made about any loss of privacy. "Why, it's okay if the NSA violates the fourth amendment, they're just looking out for our interest. You don't trust the government? They would never take advantage..." and so on. No, I don't trust Google. An entire generation is now growing up with no conception of what privacy even means, as previous generations understood the term. And I see very little public debate about this issue.

For just as the industrial revolution opened up whole new levels of extreme inequality, in wealth and in power, so does the information revolution open up whole new levels of inequality, the inequality of information, which was not even conceivable 20 years ago. The power not only to invade the private communications of individuals but to monitor, track, study, analyze, model, predict, and ultimately manipulate entire populations and their social behaviors. And unlike the industrial revolution, where the wealth of the nouveau riche, or the power of Gatling-gun equipped European empires was on public display for all to see, this revolution has largely been occurring invisibly.
79  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 07, 2014, 07:27:57 pm
A Google Maps of affected countries.

Strangely enough, I don't see Morocco on there, even though they confirmed one person died of ebola there.
80  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 07, 2014, 07:26:48 pm
Liberian soldiers have set up a blockade stopping people from western regions affected by the Ebola outbreak from entering the capital, Monrovia.

...

In neighbouring Sierra Leone, the head of the police in the east of the country said police and soldiers had imposed a "complete blockade" of the Kenema and Kailahun districts.

"No vehicles or persons will be allowed in or out of the districts" except those with essential food and medicines, he said.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28690799

New cases temporal regression trends in Sierra Leone:

http://i.imgur.com/e2m3sml.png

http://imgur.com/eGxXMPG
81  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Google 'reveals user' over Gmail child abuse images on: August 06, 2014, 09:50:18 pm
Except it's easy to avoid if you're a tinfoil hat wearer.  So it's nowhere near as good as Orwell's.

Except contrary to dystopian fantasies, the so called lone tinfoil hattie or lone wolf is no threat to the system. By dropping out of society, they have already removed themselves from relevance. Real power and control comes from managing the masses, and this is what companies like Google have the power to do. Sure, you might be able to avoid their products with a few conscientious people, but as soon as you start to become relevant, they know you- And the more influential you are, the more you show up on their radar. And they may know you at that point better than you know yourself. It's the mass movements and mass phenomena (such as, for example, the Arab Spring) that companies like Google now have the Eye over.

Second of all, even if you are a lone operator, unless you are doing something such that the cost of allowing one of these companies to see what you are doing outweighs the convenience if the service they provide, most people will accept their loss of privacy. This is insidious, for it seems like something voluntary, even when the person making the decision would rather protect their privacy. For instance, let's say I don't want Apple or Google to know what I'm doing on my smartphone. But let's say that means I can't buy an iPhone or android phone. I'm left with Windows or Blackberry. But the quality if those phones are so much worse, and Id still be giving up my habits to a giant corporation, so there's very little benefit and a high cost. Not buying a smartphone has an even higher cost, since now everyone is expected to have one, and even my boss expects it. So I give in and buy an android phone. Repeat that over virtually every consumer in the country and you have a situation where technology itself, as it invades our lives, strips us of our privacy and essentially turns us into guinea pigs for these secretive, powerful corporations.
82  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 06, 2014, 04:47:35 pm
There are a number of updates now coming in from all over the world - one thing I am glad to say is that I called British Airways on Saturday, the person on the line was helpful and promised to pass my message onto his manager, and this week they have announced they are suspending flights through the end of the month.

For now I just wanted to comment on a photo from the New York Times:



Here's how the green bucket works:
(1) A person infected with virus on his hands goes to the bucket and turns that yellow tap to open the disinfectant, thus infecting the tap with the virus.
(2) The person washes the virus off their hands.
(3) The person turns the yellow tap to stop the flow of the disinfectant, in the process re-infecting his hand with the virus due to the fact that he had earlier infected the tap.
(4) The next person goes to the bucket, turns the yellow tap, and infects themselves.
(5) Rinse and repeat steps 2-3.
(6) Rinse and repeat with the next 100 people.

Some of these measures just don't make sense.
83  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 06, 2014, 11:48:38 am
NATO says Russia may be about to invade. We are approaching the six year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Georgia. It may behoove Ukraine to temporarily declare a cease fire to remove any possible pretext for Russian intervention.
84  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Google 'reveals user' over Gmail child abuse images on: August 05, 2014, 11:36:01 am
40% of all webmail is still a freakishly large amount of information, especially when you consider that the amount of "mail" today is exponentially higher than it was 30 or 40 years ago. Back then, people either talked to one another on the phone or waited to meet in person. Besides, when you combine that with the fact that Google controls 90% of the search market, YouTube, the Chrome browser, and the android operating system (which could allow it to see all text messages, for instance) you get a system every bit as good as the one in George Orwell's 1984.
85  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Google 'reveals user' over Gmail child abuse images on: August 05, 2014, 10:28:09 am
Sure, they did the right thing, but the amount of power Google has over the populace is disturbing. Even 40 or 50 years ago, if you had said that there would be one company with the power to peer into every piece of mail sent in the country, albeit a private company, people would still find it extremely upsetting.
86  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 05, 2014, 09:22:56 am
Oh great, now it's right across the park. Are they telling me that I may have passed a man with Ebola on the bus?

I would wait to see if it's a confirmed case.

Recently, we have had three more suspected cases in Nigeria (including a doctor who treated Patrick Sawyer) and a confirmed case in Morocco. Morocco is a regional air hub for West African flights. That would make it the sixth country with a confirmed case in this outbreak (the United States being fifth).

Incidentally, a gargantuan conference of around 50 African heads of state is taking place in D.C. with president Obama ATM. The United States is playing catch up after years in which China has been providing infrastructure loans, and building mines and factories in Africa, which has helped the continent's economic growth to the fastest since the 1970s. What better way for the U.S. to show value in Africa than an effective response to the ebola epidemic?
87  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Is cultural appropriate really a thing? on: August 04, 2014, 01:28:28 pm
It has nothing to do with cultural mixing or exposing oneself to other cultures. There's nothing wrong with cultures interacting and adapting language, food, customs, dress, etc. from each other.

Right.

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Cultural appropriation is when people in a dominant cultural group exploit the culture of an oppressed group without respect for that culture. Often when the person in the dominant cultural group borrows the oppressed group's culture, they are reinforcing damaging cultural stereotypes in the process (like Katy Perry dressing up as a geisha and singing "I will love you unconditionally").

I sort of see your point here, but [shorted from long rant] as you said, the problem isn't "cultural appropriation", it's stereotyping. And I think there's a difference between stereotyping using the dress of a geisha, which very, very few modern women of any race continue to use, versus racial stereotyping in which one uses "blackface" or "yellowface", or the realistic dress associated with an ethnic group, and then proceeds to act out stereotypes. Particularly in a negative or denigrating way.

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It's also problematic in certain situations because the person in the dominant cultural group often gets credit and the financial rewards for inventing that piece of culture (the best example of this is rock and roll music). Ultimately it's about seeking a basic level of respect and recognition for the culture of historically marginalized peoples. Don't pretend you're celebrating Japanese culture when you're putting on yellowface and doing a china doll routine.

True, but imitation is a form of respect and recognition - one might say the ultimate form. Should white people not play rock and roll because it was invented by blacks?
88  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Is cultural appropriate really a thing? on: August 04, 2014, 12:40:35 pm
ITT people who don't really get what cultural appropriation is but enjoy attacking strawmen anyway.

And what do you think it is, O smart one?
89  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Is cultural appropriate really a thing? on: August 04, 2014, 12:31:32 pm
Tumblr SJW's are really far-right xenophobes in their own confused way given their opposition to culture mixing (and their very American/Eurocentric way of dividing people into "whites" and "POCs" and assuming history revolves solely around their relationship)

Mark this day. I actually agree with Snowstalker to some extent.
90  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 04, 2014, 11:42:35 am
Good lord. The number of cases / day has jumped from 39 to 81 in just the past two days!
91  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Millennials Up For Grabs? on: August 03, 2014, 11:38:41 pm
Speaking of generations, I've always felt that the Baby Boomer generation (born 1946-1964) does not really match the counter-cultural associations given to it, given that, for instance, Mario Savio and other leaders of the Berkeley Free Speech movement were born 1942-44 and thus are technically a part of the Silent Generation. At the other end of the spectrum, someone born in 1964 and would have graduated college in 1986, e.g., later than the character Bud Fox in Wall Street. An alternative, more cultural definition of the generations:

1942-1960 : Baby Boomers
1961-1979: Generation X
1980-1998: Millennial
1999-: Homeland

This also matches up closer with the Strauss and Howe definitions, except I tried to make each one exactly 19 years.
92  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: WaPo: "Suddenly, Obamacare Is More Unpopular Than Ever" on: August 03, 2014, 05:34:51 pm
The Kaiser poll has always been a bit strange. They showed it was popular when other polls showed it in the pits, whereas now they're showing it plumbing new depths while other polls show no change (that I know of).
93  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Millennials Up For Grabs? on: August 02, 2014, 09:01:45 pm
Let's not forget that the demographic explosion of minorities skews heavily young and thus more likely to be Democratic. Minority births reached a majority in 2011 , and around 55-60% of today's under 18 group is minority. It is projected that the under 18 cohort will reach minority majority status later this decade.

The young vote will be skewing even more black and brown each election cycle , furthering their Democratic lean.

Unless the Republicans actually ... *gasp* ... reach out to minorities.

They won't. It's much easier for them to become the white party.

Race-based political parties are disgusting. Politics should be about ideas and policies. One shouldn't be forced to become a leftist or a rightist based on the genes of birth. There's something inherently racist about it. I'm still hoping against hope that there is a place for all races in both parties...
94  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 02, 2014, 08:07:28 pm
Amazing first-hand blog post of the situation in Kenema. Some of the other photos on the site aren't too shabby either, really helps humanize the people of Sierra Leone.
95  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 02, 2014, 07:15:49 pm
Ebola patients break out of ward, hospital & city thrown into panic

Tokpa Tarnue, a local journalist on the scene told FrontPageAfrica Wednesday that the majority of the suspected patients were in a holding room at the Tellewoyan Memorial Hospital while awaiting their departure for a treatment and isolation center in Foya when they abruptly left their room and moved into other wards that later resulted to all health workers escaping the hospital compound in deep fear.

According to the journalist, the suspected patients managed to leave the hospital premises and ran into various homes and streets, a situation that caused severe panic among citizens and residents of Voinjama who were likewise escaping from the patients fearing not to contract the deadly Ebola virus. He told FrontPageAfrica that for several hours Voinjama was like a ghost town as many residents escaped the city while others locked themselves in their homes.

Said the local journalist: "Everybody left. They had suspected Ebola patients in a holding room that is not well equipped. They are normally kept there before they are taken to Foya. In the process of doing that, those suspected patients left their wards and stating entering the children's ward and other places while they were vomiting and releasing feces at the same time. Based on that the entire hospital staff all left including the doctors and nurses. Up to now they have not gone back to work."

http://allafrica.com/stories/201408010923.html?aa_source=acrdn-f0
96  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 02, 2014, 05:59:26 pm
Ebola seems to be a large part of why the western gorilla is listed as critically endangered. There are 95,000 western gorillas. There are only around 6000 eastern gorillas, but they are listed as endangered, one tier better.

Indeed, evidence suggests the virus devastates primate populations
http://www.4apes.com/news/general/item/602-What-Ebola-virus-means-for-primate-popul-20121207/602-What-Ebola-virus-means-for-primate-popul-20121207

Edit:

And speaking of monkeys, a November 2012 Nature article provided evidence of airborne transmission of ebola. Canadian researchers put ebola-infested hogs (in hogs, ebola only affects the respiratory system) in a room with four macaques, separated by wire fences 20 cm apart. In a supplementary PDF file, they provide a photograph of the setup. Two of the macaques were on the ground level with the hogs, and two of them were one level up. All four macaques came down with ebola, although they never had direct contact with the hogs.

Meanwhile, a U.S. doctor from Morristown, Tennessee has placed himself under voluntary quarantine after returning from treating ebola patients in Liberia. In the opinion of this medical professional and hero, the risks to him warrant such a quarantine. But he had to contact the C.D.C. of his own accord. Why are we rely on such voluntary effort - what about the plane load of people he flew in with? And what if he had developed symptoms mid flight?

Honestly I think the best thing the average person can do is to call those airlines still flying out of Lungi International Airport (Sierra Leone) and Roberts International Airport (Liberia) and get them to pull flights. Mention that Emirates Air, Gambia Bird and Arik Air have already pulled out.

British Airways Customer Service 1 (800) 247-9297
Air France Customer Service 1 (800) 992-3932 (Lungi only)
Delta Customer Service 1 (800) 455-2720 (they terminate flights Aug. 31, but should sooner)
Brussels Airlines Customer Service 1 (866) 308-2230
Air Côte d'Ivoire Customer Service 011 (<-- if in the U.S.) +225 20 25 10 30

Once some major airlines start pulling out the remaining ones will come under increasing pressure to do so, like a sack of dominoes.
97  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 02, 2014, 05:29:18 pm
I've created a Google spreadsheet that charts the number of cases per day, based on the Wiki entry, below:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1k_LJLH_mSqZ_LDnDJRKZjkcwoRz_ofJ8F5DWkeISAIs/edit#gid=0

As you can see, the number of cases per day has been steadily increasing since early June through July 30.
98  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Millennials Up For Grabs? on: August 01, 2014, 05:02:59 pm
Let's not forget that the demographic explosion of minorities skews heavily young and thus more likely to be Democratic. Minority births reached a majority in 2011 , and around 55-60% of today's under 18 group is minority. It is projected that the under 18 cohort will reach minority majority status later this decade.

The young vote will be skewing even more black and brown each election cycle , furthering their Democratic lean.

Unless the Republicans actually ... *gasp* ... reach out to minorities.
99  General Politics / Economics / Greece’s Credit Rating Raised by Moody’s on Fiscal Outlook on: August 01, 2014, 04:59:45 pm
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-01/greece-s-credit-rating-raised-by-moody-s-on-fiscal-outlook-1-.html

I'm linking this article just for the sake of linking to it. Yes, I know, we have all forgotten about Greece by now, but this is too.... I can't think of a word for it.... to pass up.
100  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 01, 2014, 12:59:57 pm
2012 Canadian study that infected macaques with ebola even with no direct contact

Quote
researchers from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the country's Public Health Agency have shown that pigs infected with this form of Ebola can pass the disease on to macaques without any direct contact between the species.

In their experiments, the pigs carrying the virus were housed in pens with the monkeys in close proximity but separated by a wire barrier. After eight days, some of the macaques were showing clinical signs typical of ebola and were euthanised.
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