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Category: Computers & Technology

Our job, part III-b: Communications brass tacks

I’m quite determined not to write a part III-c(5)(xyz) of this series, so I plan to give as good a brass-tacks overview of alt-communications potential as I can in this one post. I’m sorry to disappoint you who expect detail, but that would literally require a book. Hopefully I can provide a framework and a few good links on where future privacy tech might go. But this is an area where you of the Commentariat can fill in where I have to skim. H/Ts in advance to S, CX, the blog Commentariat, and the members of the Living Freedom Forums.…

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Our job, part III-a: Talking about communications privacy

Once again I’m breaking a long, detailed screed into a two parter. I really have to stop splitting multi-part series into multi-part mini-series. But not just yet. —– Many years ago I got a mocking write-up in one of the big national tabloids for suggesting that someday freedom lovers seeking private communications might resort to carrier pigeons. I’d made the remark only in passing (in a book chapter having to do with many alternate forms of covert communications, from modern adaptations of hobo sign to dead drops). But apparently I’d managed to come up with an idea so ridiculous that…

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Dealing with our new totalitarian reality, part II
(We have just two jobs to do)

There’s a strange paradox at the heart of our unique and growing totalitarianism. On one hand, our ruling classes are as putrescent as any powdered princeling from France’s ancien regime. They have been for a very long time. Marie Antoinette may never have said, “Let them eat cake” when informed the deplorable masses had no bread. But today public and “private” figures like “let them eat ice cream” Pelosi, “take your jabs and pay no attention to my depopulation dreams” Gates, and “fighting climate change by blasting hydrocarbons from my private jet” Kerry are an undeniable fact of our lives.…

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Dealing with our new totalitarian reality, part I

There’s one thing you can say for totalitarianism: the coolest people will all be Outlaws. They’ll import and export goods without government controls. They’ll provide free-market services. They’ll operate free communication networks. They’ll make unregulated products and sell them in unregulated ways. They’ll barter, use cash, use gold or silver, develop and use new forms of cryptocurrencies. It’ll be just like Libertopia. Except, you know, with the ever-present threat of death or long, harsh imprisonment. But that’s what Outlaws are about. Since totalitarianism is the direction we’re going, hey we might as well enjoy a few silver linings. —– I…

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Being well-informed amid media madness, part II

Mark Twain (is alleged to have) quipped, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.” Borepatch, upon consideration of our current condition, amended that to, “If you don’t follow the media, you are uninformed. If you do follow the media you are both uninformed and misinformed.” Got a point there, Brother Borepatch. On the other hand, there’s also this possibility: If you don’t follow the media, you might be far better informed. —– I gave up TV on December 27, 1994 and never looked back. I’ve been unable to do the same for…

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Well-informed, fake news howlers

I promised part two of “Being well-informed amid media madness” by the end of this weekend. Technically, I’m delivering. I just finished writing the thing. It needs to marinate overnight, though, before I polish and post it. Meanwhile … While researching for the positive, constructive side of the media madness mess, I conducted many searches, such as “how to get a life,” “how to be well-informed,” and “how to recognize fake news.” I wasn’t surprised that most of what I found proved to be useless for my purposes. I wasn’t even surprised that much of it turned out to be…

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Where there’s Internet, there’s hope
(plus an invitation)

The news is dire, depressing, infuriating, terrifying, ominous, twisted, biased, and generally panic-inducing. As always. Okay, it’s more than usually ominous lately, what with the country rather suddenly being ruled by a coalition of pandering post-Alzheimers proponents of the old order and a whole new class of juvenile Masters of the Universe. The flick-of-a-switch “disappearing” of Parler and our then-present president from the ‘Net finally rattled us in a way that previous censorship, deplatforming, demonetizing, Twitter mobs, and disappearances of lesser ‘Net operations could not. Scary, scary, scary, scary, scary. BUT. Have you noticed that activist ‘Netizens (that good old…

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Communications in the Purge

This morning. I hung up from a long phone call with a friend in which we talked (among other security-related issues) about alternative communications for these censorious, tech-whim times. I poured myself a new cup of tea, hit the button to download mail, and in comes a message from another friend with the above subject line: “Communications in the Purge.” The entire (bcc broadcast) message was nothing but alternate email addresses, phone numbers, and physical addresses that could be used to reach him if our tech overlords switch off standard avenues of communication. We’ve gotten so used to the Gods…

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High tech but third world

Still working on the rumored blog post “In Praise of Men.” I actually began putting words on pixels today, then decided I needed to consult with an actual male person. (Not on how I should write it, but about things going on in his head.) Might be a few days on that, as he currently has a LOT going on in his head. And his time. And every other part of his life. Meanwhile I thought I’d pop in and bitch. Or better yet, give you, my stalwart (and oh-so-patient) readers a chance to bitch. My question is this: Do…

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