News Briefs 06-10-2014

Why-the-world-stays-screwed-up edition.

Thanks to Kapryan.

Quote of the Day:

NSA plays a lot of word games.

The DIA document shows that for the NSA, ‘collection’ of your e-mails doesn’t mean what you think it means. It means something totally different. They want to be able to say they’re not ‘collecting’ your data, so they claim that even though they copied all your e-mails, put them in a server for five years, and searched them at will, that’s not ‘collection’ because your e-mail didn’t go into a report.

The NSA plays the same games with all of the words they use — they say you are not a ‘target,’ even though they collect, store and search all your data. They say your data is collected only ‘incidentally,’ even though the NSA intentionally designs its programs to collect everything you do online. They say your data is not collected ‘under this program,’ which almost certainly means it is collected under some other program. The NSA says things, using some very tortured and legalistic definitions, which are technically true but designed to mislead Americans about how it collects and uses our data. The NSA’s collection and use of Americans’ data would never stand up to any kind of public scrutiny or judicial review. The only way these programs survive is because they are shielded from review and oversight and challenge in the courts.

John Tye, a former State Department official, in ‘New documents show how Reagan-era executive order unbounded NSA’.

  1. Koch and Consciousness
    Was anyone else surprised by the change Christof Koch has gone in consciousness studies:

    “This theory clearly says that a digital simulation would not be conscious, which is strikingly different from the dominant functionalist belief of 99 percent of people at MIT or philosophers like Daniel Dennett.”

    “I think consciousness, like mass, is a fundamental property of the universe.”

    Woah. That’s coming from a mainstream scientist. Is the field really changing? I don’t know. But Tononi’s theory is definitely gaining a lot of fans.

    1. Th field is changing. Just
      Th field is changing. Just look at the new broths of particle theory and the characteristics of those reputed particles. Situation very fluid.

  2. “Do not be ‘led astray’ by

    “Do not be ‘led astray’ by ‘commonly understood definitions’.

    The age of word games is indeed upon us. Words like ‘stop’, ‘go’, ‘up’, ‘down’, ‘left’ and ‘right’ have long lost any common sense reliability.

    When you get into the deeper language stews of today, nothing has to mean anything it says because there is not a single office, not a single court, not a single university on this planet that can run counter to this sideshow.

    In fact, what I just said might have meant that I was about to tip a bottle of jack and grill some mealworm.

    Gotta love this 21st century. ((ack!))

  3. Kill the Messenger
    Webb broke the story in the San Jose paper, for Chrissakes. It was missed or passed on by the Holy Trinity of the New York Times, Washington Post, and LA Times.

    What a major embarrassment for what were supposed to be the pre-eminent investigative media outlets in the US at that time.

    I don’t think it’s much of a story as to why they went after him. You don’t even need to add the intelligence community to the conspiracy mix. He simply was a rotten egg conspicuously dripping down those haughty Fifth Estate faces.

  4. Fairies?
    In case you’ve been wondering, I included the fairy links in today’s news to show you where all the inflation we supposedly no longer have has gone to — fairy houses.

    Once charming little garden decorations, fairy houses now cost up to $100.000. For that price, they’d better be covered in thick gold leaf, with miniature forged da Vinci’s on the walls.

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