What’s lost as cursive handwriting goes away? Intelligence … memory … turns out handwriting isn’t just some bugaboo in stuffy, old-fashioned teachers’ minds.
In Thailand, protestors salute with the touching gesture borrowed from The Hunger Games. The junta doesn’t like it.
Hm. I dunno. I guess if you’re too busy, have the bux, and don’t mind your dog pigging out on treats, this could assuage your guilt. Frankly, though, if I had the money and no time, I’d go with an automated fetch machine, instead. Keep ‘em lean and well-exercised. (H/T ML)
The stated goal of the Afghan effort is no less than the collection of biometric data for every living person in Afghanistan. At a conference with Afghan officials in 2010, the commander of the U.S. Army’s Task Force Biometrics Col. Craig Osborne told the attendees that the collection of biometric data is not simply about “identifying terrorists and criminals,” but that “it can be used to enable progress in society and has countless applications for the provision of services to the citizens of Afghanistan.” According to Osborne, biometrics provide the Afghan government with “identity dominance” enabling them to know who their citizens are and link actions with actors.
Yep. It’s always tried out first on prisoners, “enemies,” the mentally defective, children, and others who aren’t in a position to resist effectively. Then it comes to our neighborhoods.
But no problem! Hey, it’s to help “provision of services”! I’m sure they’ll drop the creepy “identity dominance” discription when it comes time to apply all this to us. It’ll go away. Just like “Total Information Awareness” did.
(Article is from April. I just found it this morning — and I don’t think much will have changed (at least not changed for the better) since it was published.)
Now I’ve exchanged maybe five sentences with this kid in the past, all completely casual. But with virtually no preamble, he informs me that he’s had a bad month because on his birthday he came home to discover his girlfriend and his roommate doing guess what on the living room sofa. He commences to go into detail.
I make a few politely sympathetic noises while trying to indicate that I’m doing something really, really — I mean really, vitally! — important on my computer. I eventually have to say outright that I’m deadlining.
I’m embarrassed that any young man would think that a stranger either would want to hear the intimate details of his relationships or should hear them.
Where are the boundaries? Are there boundaries any more?
Kurt Hofmann gives it good and hard to the tyranno-cop who claimed police militarization was needed because of those non-existent rising rates of violent crime. And to fight American military veterans.
Those Texas open-carry activists whose tactics of carrying long guns into businesses have proven so … counterproductive, to say the least … are learning from their mistakes.
My worries are broader yet. Covert ostracism of groups of people — any group of peaceable people — starts a dangerous (to the point of deadly) trend. Covert ostracism by private corporations at the direction of government is fascism (and I don’t use that term in any figurative or overblown way; that’s one normal function of the corporate-government partnership that’s the definition and essence of fascism).
Covert ostracism as a tool of government for getting its way when it can’t get its way through open law-spewing is … a big, big step on the path to destruction. Of trust. Of human decency. Of the concept of equal protection under law (never mind that equal protection has always been a myth; even a myth can have a civilizing purpose). Of civil society. Of so many valuable things.
Yeah, we’re already on that path. I know. But once you start shutting masses of peaceable people and businesses out of normal commerce, you create pariahs. You don’t drive them out of business; you merely drive them … elsewhere. You also drive them to be something other than what they are.
And like so many other attempts to force some governmental ideal of “morality” on people, you end up driving immorality.
Of course, you also create Freedom Outlaws. So the ostracism promised by Operation Choke Point (and its inevitable successors) wouldn’t be a total loss. But OCP is both a sign of and an “advance” upon the irreplaceable loss of all that makes civilization worthy of the name.
Of course the growing cybermilitary will never be used against thee and me. Never. How could you even think such a thing? But now that you have thought such a thing, you can be sure that the NSA, the Pentagon, and a whole bunch of rich government contractors know what to do about it. (H/T H)
This is both fun and educational: How Secure is My Password? Just in case, I suggest you not enter any real passwords, but something entirely different that just has the same general mix of numbers, letters, and symbols as any password you might use. And of course, how long it takes a PC to crack your password and how long it takes some creepazoid with the full power of government behind him are two very different things.
Why we should all watch Groundhog Day. (Contains spoilers; but then, is there anybody who hasn’t already seen or doesn’t already know how that great movie unfolds?)