Amusing ourselves to death

Two prophecies. Neither came true; or both did.

On the Path of Knowledge

This is perhaps one of the most striking passages I have read for a while. It describes the modern world with startling accuracy. In our fear of an increasingly authoritarian rule, we have allowed a far more dangerous vision to come true: heedlessness

Below is the foreward of Neil Postman’s book “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business“, accompanied by a comic illustration of the two ideas. It gives a concise comparison of the two authors views and what they foresaw society will become. But perhaps the remarkable part of this whole story passage lies beyond its lines with us:

Most of us will read this and continue living our life exactly the same way as before

…wake up

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We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn’t, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves…

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The NSA has programs that collect data on US Supreme Court Justices and elected officials, and they secretly provide it to Israel

Latest Snowden revelation makes things look as if the NSA was being run by Israel all along.

Thanks to Snowden, we now know the NSA:

  • Had James Clapper lie under oath to us – on camera – to Congress to hide the domestic spying programs Occured in March, revealed in June.

  • Warrantlessly accesses records of every phone call that routes through the US thousands of times a day JuneSeptember

  • Steals your private data from every major web company (Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, et al) via PRISMJune and pays them millions for it August

  • Pays major US telecommunications providers (AT&T, Verizon, et al) between $278,000,000-$394,000,000 annually to provide secret access to all US fiber and cellular networks (in violation of the 4th amendment). August

  • Intentionally weakened the encryption standards we rely on, put backdoors into critical software, and break the crypto on our private communications September

  • NSA employees use these powers to spy on their US citizen lovers via LOVEINT, and only get caught if they self-confess. Though this is a felony, none were ever been charged with a crime. August

  • Lied to us again just ten days ago, claiming they never perform economic espionage (whoops!) before a new leak revealed that they do all the time. September

  • Made over fifteen thousand false certifications to the secret FISA court, leading a judge to rule they “frequently and systemically violated” court orders in a manner “directly contrary to the sworn attestations of several executive branch officials,” that 90% of their searches were unlawful, and that they “repeatedly misled the court.” September September

  • Has programs that collect data on US Supreme Court Justices and elected officials, and they secretly provide it to Israel regulated only by an honor system. September

[source]

The Real Story Behind Facebook Moderation and Your Petty Reports

The other perspective.

The Internet Offends Me

Imagine going to work every day and at the start of your day, with your first cup of coffee, you sit down to glance at beheadings, children in the process of being raped, human bodies in various stages of decomposition, the living and dead results of domestic violence, hanging bodies of 10 year old boys accused of being gay, real-life snuff films and bloody dog fighting rings and their subsequent results. Can you think up a human horror? I’ve probably seen it or a picture or video of something very similar. It’s fair to say that some of the people who work around me do not fare so well. Often they end up suffering from the endless barrage of horror they witness 8 to 12 hours per day. Did I share that *most* of these people make around a dollar per hour to do this job? That’s the truth. Not…

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What are the odds! :D

I swear its real!

While working on something I just thought of checking the system date (oh right, I was checking the NGINX logs) and very very coincidentally I landed on that. Thought it would be cool to upload it here 😉

Found a bug in the iPad!

The Photos app hanged when I was moving photos around, zooming in and out. Has something to do with multi-touch. Googled it and found lots of people cribbing about the same on the Apple Forum 😛

Following is the screenshot after which I wasn’t able to do anything in the app. Had to close it and reboot the iPad. Did someone just scream ‘Windows’? 😛

Taken when the Photo app hanged on the iPad