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Category: Privacy and self ownership

Owning our own information and telling Big Brother to get lost

Life is too short for this

Last night I awoke at midnight and spent the next three hours skimming along the edge of sleep. Instead of discoursing with the demons that like to alight in those hours, I drifted in love and beauty. From a cocoon of comfort, my minds eye watched colors and shapes. Golden columns rose and dissolved. Waves of aqua and emerald and pink flowed and ebbed. Figures twisted into view before fading into mist. I understood that I was experiencing a history of art. Not viewing art from afar. Not learning about it academically, but being in art as its been created…

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A ramble through the collapsing oligarchy

(H/T Brad; from the early days of the convoy, but forever heartening) The aristos are scared. Question is: Are they scared enough? That is, do they finally realize it’s time — and past time — to heed the pleas of the peasants? Answer (of course): No. Sure, some of the lower level, more directly accountable ones — provincial and state governors — are grudgingly getting the message. (Thank you, Canadian truckers.) At higher levels, they still seem to think, as aristos always think, that a vigorous ass-kicking or a handy war will put an end to the uppitiness and afterward…

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Failing institutions, fading memories, falling civilizations?

A friend of mine works in a field that’s on the cutting edge of the cutting edge. He’s a problem-solving genius and his reputation has taken him all over the world. This cutting edge business (like any industry) utilizes many types of experts. Some are experts in exciting new tech. My friend’s expertise, OTOH, happens to be in a specialty that, while absolutely vital, is old tech. It’s not “sexy.” Even the big schools associated with it no longer teach it. Lots of brilliant young people are never learning it even on a theoretical level, and have no idea it…

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Sunday, Sweet Sunday

I’ve never been one for sentimentality or its fraternal twin, nostalgia. I’m a firm believer that the good old days were never all that good. Boomers tend to remember Davy Crockett hats, “Leave it to Beaver,” and how well-scrubbed and obedient children (allegedly) were in the 1950s while forgetting how their entire generation suffered through constant fear of being nuked to a crisp (“Duck and cover,” as if that would help anybody). Eighties kids no doubt miss big hair, big metal, and MTV “when it was the real thing” while glossing over the AIDS epidemic. Children of the seventies? Well,…

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Violence, fantasy and reality:
Where does it go from here?
Part I

The other day I witnessed a conversation I could never have imagined. Picture two successful professionals, thoroughly decent people, respected (perhaps even revered) in their fields. Intelligent, moderate individuals, but outside what was once the political mainstream. They relax over glasses of wine, discussing a certain prominent “public health expert.” They discuss whether prison is too good for said expert, or whether dragging him behind a mule cart, drawing, castrating, quartering, and placing his head on a pike in a public square is more appropriate. And no, they hadn’t had that much wine. Both were embarrassed by their own words.…

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From alpha to omicron, there’s nothing new under the shining delusions of authoritarians

One October day in 1844, thousands of followers of William Miller awaited the return of Jesus in glory and their own glorious ascension to heaven. The non-event that followed became known as The Great Disappointment. It didn’t help that the whole non-believing world was laughing their asses off while the devastated Millerites grieved and tried to recoup. You’d think something called The Great Disappointment would have been the end of the Millerite cult. But only if you underestimate the self-justifying irrationality of human beings. Sure, some walked away. But many who walked simply became True Believers in a different sect…

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Dog blog and encouraging links

Comments on last week’s blog got me down. Between the vociferous guy who wanted the rest of us to start shooting (but who himself was best at standing on the sidelines verbally sniping) and the vociferous guy who complained that our brave, newfound allies in resisting government diktats weren’t philosophically pure enough for him, I despaired. Oh, as always there were also great comments — and a lot of them. But it’s like when your day goes 90% wonderful but is 10% overrun by a**holes … well, in that case it’s 100% overrun by a**holes. You don’t go home from…

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We are — suddenly — not alone

I’m pausing the “Our job” series to talk about what’s going on now, which is so bad it might become good. —– When you thought about your line in the sand I’ll bet you never thought about this. I bet you thought about gun confiscation or internment camps or invasion by blue-helmeted “peacekeepers.” Maybe you believed your line in the sand would be reached if your religion was outlawed or your son or daughter was drafted to fight in one of the empire’s future foreign wars. Your personal line in the sand could be any one, or two, or three…

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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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