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It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 7

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — chyrons, yes — but also a mini-essay on what happens when loose fingertips sink ops — and including a multi-math game physicists play ]
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IMO, defang is a great word — so I was delighted to hear the phrase, Mr. Trump’s attempts to defang the investigations

Let’s get to work, there’s lots to cover:

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Chyrons:

We’ve had bombshells before — meet new bombshells.

A regular fight metaphor:

An extraordinary one – jumping on a grenade!

And this one’s good, from the Georgia voter suppression story:

Running? D’oh, must be a sports metaphor:

and two from the 11th hour with Bryan Williams:

sustained and secretive assault is quite fine!

**

Words heard:

The Secretary of State in Georgia not only administered the election, he falsely accused the Democratic party of hacking to cover up his incompetence the weekend before the election, and he systematically harmed voters over a decade — he was not only the contestant, he was the score-keeper the referee. And there is no equitable system that allows that to be so. It’s not fair.

Rachel Maddow on Manafort, 2/19/2019:

And that fairly dire circumstance, the fact that sixty-nine and a half year old Paul Manafort is now looking down the twin barrels of a sentence from this Federal judge in Virginia and then another sentence from this Federal judge in DC, at’s, honestly is a crisis of his own making ..

And this — Neal Katyal called Trump Grandmaster Pinocchio. Now that’s certainly a Disney reference, but is it also a ref to hip hop — Grandmaster Flash — or chess — Kasparov?

**

Headers:

Catfishing was a new one on me, but certainly striking! Apparently it goes with sextortion:

Members of the military happen to be particularly high-profile targets for scams like catfishing and sextortion. Recently, a group of inmates in South Carolina were busted for allegedly blackmailing 442 service members using fake personas on online dating services. Not only can these tactics hit service members’ wallets, they may also represent a security risk if the victims have access to sensitive information.

Okay, it has natsec implications, and is clearly a word I need to learn.

The catfishing, here, was by a NATO research org, red teaming to see what NATO soldiers, with a little prompting, might reveal on social media:

The phony Facebook pages looked just like the real thing. They were designed to mimic pages that service members use to connect. One appeared to be geared toward a large-scale, military exercise in Europe and was populated by a handful of accounts that appeared to be real service members.

In reality, both the pages and the accounts were created and operated by researchers at NATO’s Strategic Communications Center of Excellence, a research group that’s affiliated with NATO. They were acting as a “red team” on behalf of the military to test just how much they could influence soldiers’ real-world actions through social media manipulation.

The results indicated that soldiers did indeed tend to leak information that “bad actors” might appreciate and use against them, or against NATO forces more generally:

By the end of the exercise, the researchers identified 150 soldiers, found the locations of several battalions, tracked troop movements, and compelled service members to engage in “undesirable behavior,” including leaving their positions against orders.

And guess what? The Russians are aware of the same possibility, and have banned the use of smartphones and similar devices by their troops as a consequence:

That combo of articles comes to us via Michael Robinson, to whom I must once again offer my grateful thanks.

And one thing more: the NATO group issued a report, and its title intrigued me:

Cognitive security was another term that’s new to me — IBM / Watson defines it thus:

Cognitive security combines the strengths of artificial intelligence and human intelligence. Cognitive AI learns with each interaction to proactively detect and analyze threats, providing actionable insights to security analysts for making informed decisions – with speed and accuracy.

That’s as much a sales pitch as a definition, but still gives us a sense of where these terms are trending.. and there’s reading to be done:

  • Wired, NATO Group Catfished Soldiers to Prove a Point About Privacy
  • Guardian, Russia moves to mask its soldiers’ digital trail with smartphone ban
  • NATO Stratcom, Responding to Cognitive Security Challenges
  • IBM, Artificial intelligence for a smarter kind of cybersecurity
  • That’s our mini-essay for the day, and maybe the week!

    **

    Now think on this:

    **

    Game on!

    Let’s end today’s snow-sweep with a game metaphor applied to physics, or maybe I should say the philosophy and practice of physics: it’s a game in which the rules — in this case, mathematical languages — change from move to move — from Natalie Wolchover‘s A Different Kind of Theory of Everything:

    It happens again and again that, when there are many possible descriptions of a physical situation—all making equivalent predictions, yet all wildly different in premise—one will turn out to be preferable, because it extends to an underlying reality, seeming to account for more of the universe at once. And yet this new description might, in turn, have multiple formulations—and one of those alternatives may apply even more broadly. It’s as though physicists are playing a modified telephone game in which, with each whisper, the message is translated into a different language. The languages describe different scales or domains of the same reality but aren’t always related etymologically. In this modified game, the objective isn’t—or isn’t only—to seek a bedrock equation governing reality’s smallest bits. The existence of this branching, interconnected web of mathematical languages, each with its own associated picture of the world, is what needs to be understood.

    That’s it!

    Oh, we are so aWoke to our emotions!

    Saturday, December 15th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — with an ee cummings verse and question re the internet of things ]
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    Quickly, since I’m just back from a (successful) surgery:

    I’m not entirely convinced that ee cummings is right, but I do sympathize with his emphasis

    **

    And the cummings quote?

    since feeling is first
    who pays any attention
    to the syntax of things
    will never wholly kiss you

    **

    And as the coders are coding for the internet of things, are they paying attention to feeling aspects of their coding syntax?

    Kissinger, Q and QAnon, MK-Ultra, sex slaves, HRH, &c

    Sunday, August 5th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — a strange and winding tale, from Frank Sinatra to Donald Trump with possible Babylonian intrigue, too ]
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    There has been a quick flurry of news attention devoted to QAnon — a supposed high-clearance, deep-cover source leaking confidential “the truth from behind the curtain” so to speak, supporting a Pro-Trump pro-Mueller (!!) narrative:

    causing Q ripples within conspiracy circles

    **

    Here:

    Tampa rally, live coverage,” wrote “Dan,” posting a link to President Trump’s Tampa speech in a thread on 8chan, an anonymous image board also known as Infinitechan or Infinitychan, which might be best described as the unglued twin of better-known 4chan, a message board already untethered from reality.

    The thread invited “requests to Q,” an anonymous user claiming to be a government agent with top security clearance, waging war against the so-called deep state in service to the 45th president. “Q” feeds disciples, or “bakers,” scraps of intelligence, or “bread crumbs,” that they scramble to bake into an understanding of the “storm” — the community’s term, drawn from Trump’s cryptic reference last year to “the calm before the storm” — for the president’s final conquest over elites, globalists and deep-state saboteurs.

    **

    Q-materials now have enough YouTube channels starting up daily than no single human can keep up with them, and I’m certainly not trying — but one Q-related social media post caught my eye recently:

    because it reminded me of a book I’d bought years ago, possibly as early as 1999, when I was researching conspiracism around the 1999/2000 millennium bug scare:

    featuring, if you can’t manage to read the small print or recognize the tiny photos, Bob Hope, whom she alleged was her owner, JFK, LBJ, Henry Kissinger, Nelson Rockefeller, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Elvis, Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jr, Reagan, who took her to visit Queen Elizabeth Ii to discuss a breeding program, it goes on and on.. Satanic ritual abuse, prostitution, porn, all under the auspices of MK_Ultra.. including cannibalism, human and animal sacrifice..

    Hillary Clinton‘s alleged pedophile ring out of a Pizzaria basement had nothing on this Kennedy-Kissinger-Ford lot, and now Q seems to be corropobrating a variant on the same plot line…

    For the Sarah Ruth Ashcrsft – Q connection see this tweet:

    A recent QAnon video drop:

    And the Royals? My book companion to the Bryce Taylor book was this one, about Prince Charles:

    I may be a Brit, but fair’s fair, we have our conspiracists, too.

    **

    Readings:

  • WaPo, ‘We are Q’: A deranged conspiracy cult leaps from the Internet to the crowd at Trump’s ‘MAGA’ tour
  • WaPo, QAnon: Meet a real-life believer in the online, pro-Trump conspiracy theory that’s bursting into view
  • WaPo, The mystery of ‘Q’: How an anonymous conspiracy-monger launched a movement (if the person exists)
  • WaPo, How QAnon, the conspiracy theory spawned by a Trump quip, got so big and scary
  • **

    I hope none of this will be confused with Bond’s Q and Q-bond — although Bond’s Q may be the inspiration for QAnon’s name, and Q-bond may make the whole Trump-Mueller duel/duet a whole lot tighter than it previously had been.

    Oh, and Q for Quelle (source) is a supposed ur-gospel containing the sayings of Jesus, from which the evangelists may have borrowed..

    Weather: waterworks, fireworks, & how the mindworks

    Friday, April 13th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — and reality alwys strains towards a metaphor of itself, doesn’t it? ]
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    Today’s weather headline:

    This isn’t a metaphor, weather here means weather, even thought you might imagine it’s politics it’s talking about. If it was politics and we were lucky, the header might read:

    Wild storm raging across globe to unleash all modes of extreme weather through the weekend

    **

    Here are some of the details, graphically — very graphically — represented:

    Blizzard conditions and heavy snow

    Extreme fire danger

    Oh, my!

    Tornadoes and severe storms

    Torrents!

    Just suppose this was politics, after all!

    **

    Another headline today:

    That’s almost meteorological, ne?

    Or try this one, a week out, and international in scope:

    I’d be lost without my wifi..

    Orwell, Fascism, &c – we need our own red lines, but where?

    Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — how far gone are we — from a sorta leftist-centrist-don’t-really-fit-labels POV? ]
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    I’m not sure what exactly JM was responding to here, there have been too many pointers..

    **

    I for one don’t think Charlottesville stacks up against Kristallnacht, and am wary of the words Fascism and Nazi. I wholeheartedly agree with JM Berger in his piece today, Calling them Nazis:

    There’s an increasingly common argument online against referring to the alt-right by its chosen name. “Call them Nazis” is the refrain. If you haven’t said it yourself, you’ve probably seen other people saying it.

    While this approach may be understandable and may suit certain rhetorical purposes, it’s a grave mistake for journalists and experts who substantively study and cover the movement to embrace this approach.

    JM continues:

    The alt-right category is extremely important to understanding what’s happening in this movement. Nazis are only part of this movement, or more correctly neo-Nazis, since most of them aren’t German nationalists. If neo-Nazis were America’s only problem, it would be a much smaller problem.

    **

    My concern here is with a somewhat different angle, and not specifically with the Charlottesville clashes. I’m noting the widespread tendency to suggest we’re already in Brownshirt territory, if not deeper in than that, and I think it may be a bit premature.

    IMO, we need to be cautious in where we draw the lines that say, beyond here is Fascism, or Nazism, it seems to me: exaggeration only serves to discredit those who indulge.

    There are real problems, both with overt swastika-wavers and with those who support or merely tolerate them. Which way the wind will blow over the coming few years, however, is yet to be seen.

    **

    However, getting back to Orwell

    — it does seem to me that scooping up more than a million IP addresses of epople who may have an interest in protesting Trump gies way beyond some kind of Orwell Limit.

    Orwell kept his resistance movement cellular and basically unnowable: datamining the web blows an enormous hole in that strategy.

    I’d have to say that with today’s news about DOJ vs DisruptJ20, one of my personal Orwell Red Lines has been crossed.


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