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[liberationtech] It's about time we publicly declared privacy was never dead.

Moon Jones mjones at pencil.allmail.net
Wed Nov 6 05:31:30 PST 2013


Shava Nerad:
> On Nov 5, 2013 8:32 PM, "Moon Jones" <mjones at pencil.allmail.net> 
> wrote:
>> Shava Nerad:
>>> If these young people could dream together, on and offline, some
>>>  hero's journey -- to change their world reasonably peacefully, 
>>> fighting dragons, taking all that world building F&SF they love 
>>> and putting that modeling to work IRL?
>> 
>> Sounds like a Stalinist/1984 goal. I find your stance puzzling. You
>> seem to be against the current political way, yet you are pushing
>> for a far more totalitarian society.
> 
> How do you see that?  I see this as a continuation of the work of 
> movements such as the SCLC and the poor people's movement that 
> followed.  Were those totalitarian?

People don't dream together. People dream in their own ways. But they
can unite for a common goal. Stalin, Christianity, Islam make people
dream together. To paraphrase Mr. Carlin: because you have to be asleep
to believe it. Sure, they can agree and work together. But leave the
dream. An atheist can be against school prayer or the exhibition of
christian sex toys on walls. So does a minority Muslim. While a
Christian belonging to a different sect might be against that prayer,
but might be for the exhibition. Dreaming together sounds like
brainwashing, although I dislike the term.

> Governments work to make us distrust popular movements because they 
> can effect reforms.  Public education, 40-hour work weeks, public 
> libraries, womens sufferage, civil rights, divestiture, (cc), FOSS. 
> Are these Stalinist?

A government is a group of people guided by some rules. Same goes for
the Middle Age guilds. Making an abstraction, a totem out such an entity
is only making things worse for you. But, sure, you can start your own
religion based on that. So you do have advantages and disadvantages,
like with any other stance.

A government, or more DO NOT work. People do. And people means many.
Each with a personal agenda. Work with them and you can find your way.
Fight the «Government» and you'd be Don Quichotte.

Changing from conspiracy theory and venerating a virtual totem pole, to
proven social progress is just another propagandist trick. Sorry. I'm
not saying you are evil or that you are trying to trick people. As a
matter of fact, most people I've met over the years are not even vaguely
aware of the techniques they employ. They just know they are effective.
And, like with any other job they do their best to do it better.

To make things even more complicated, although the source of those
social advancements you mention were not from the Soviet Union, and had
no connection with Stalin or Lenin, they were brought in about a third
of the World because of their actions. Russian peasants were very close
to slavery. Same went for the workers. Those not killed by the regime,
got things Americans (of US) can only dream of: 40–hour work week, paid
sick leave, paid leave days, universal healthcare, gratis healthcare,
social housing, social support for the one working, but also for the
family, and so on. In a society a few centuries behind the rest of
Europe, Stalinism brought reproductive rights to the women and helped a
bit with raising the children. In an illiterate empire they brought
reading, writing and libraries. So they were a factor of progress. Which
does not make Stalinism, Leninism or Maoism any less totalitarian.

> It might suggest this list comprises a list of interested parties. 
> Why are you here?  This field has been my vocational center for two 
> decades, arguably three-ish.

I subscribed because of a talk that spilled over some other mailing list
I read. I admit, I never spent the time to read. I merely wanted to get
my reward, meaning the discussion I was after. Pretty much like clicking
«I agree» on a form printed on my screen.

> Seems we both care about it.  I hope you don't have to protect the 
> net from me.  Heh…

I'm not protecting anybody or anything from anybody or anything. I just
want to point out a few mistakes. Sure, it's more probable that I'm the
mislead. But that fact makes no difference. If you want I can step down.
I usually don't follow beyond two or three replies.

>> The Patriot Act is a law. Another law can just erase it. It's
>> quite simple. Just enough people have to care. No need of
>> mysticisms.
> 
> Were it simple, a lot of very smart people might have figured a way 
> to do it in a decade.  There is a lot of political machinery going 
> into FUD, security theater, politics of fear -- you know these 
> terms?

It is that simple.

Very dumb people have figured it out. Very smart people probably already
know that. But not enough of them care about it. You see, knowing that
is wrong to let somebody beaten up for a few pennies does not make
anybody interfere. Knowing that one can beat the attacker or the
enjoyment of being called a hero that can make a person interfere. There
can be even dumb reasons: the resemblance of the one getting beaten up
with someone you love. The reason says it's not the same person. The
emotion couldn't care. And so on.

In short: people know. Some care. Not enough.

Political machinery is another abstraction leading up to another totem.
Sure, society has some rules. The rules are agreed upon by most members
of that society. Be it a masonic lodge, a country, a faculty. And rules
can be changed.

I am a bit familiar with those terms. Like any religion, they are based
on ignorance. To rephrase it: magic does not work. Because the active
elements or ingredients do not exist. Yet people make it real. Murder
can be a major crime in some parts of the World. Killing a cursed man
makes it a natural continuation of the curse in a backward society. Find
the body of a child and the whole village is disturbed. Find the body of
a cursed man and most are happy they were not the cursed one. Fighting
«the politics of fear» or enforcing them is part of the same show. It's
precisely as the confrontation with a great wizard.

> To get people to care without *making* them care, but bringing them 
> to care through a journey of understanding and discovery (which, in 
> my hopeful moments,  I see Snowden as a part of, although I waver… )
>  is far harder than scaring them out of their rights.

Care, without care by bringing them to care. Weird. Really weird.

I know this kind of logic works on new age types. But each time I fail
to see the logic.

> Enough people have to care and stand against fear-based arguments. 

There is no fear. Because there is no threat. And because there is no
afterlife, there is no preparation involved. So the root is much much
deeper.

> They need to be brave and take risks. 

There is no risk. Or better said: there is no extra risk.

> They have to have a sense of 
> meaning and identity with a cause, if not unity or nation (I come 
> from generations of philosophical anarchists, myself, but that might
>  take some hours of discussion to pin down pragmatically.  Most 
> often, I simply describe my politics as anti-obscurantist. Sometimes,
> a Spinoza-era liberal.).

There is no meaning. There is no identity. But there is joy in
exploration. There is pleasure to be gained from new ways. F*ck Spinoza
and his pantheism! He was a huge step forward in the human thought in
the Dark Ages of Christianity. To the chagrin of the extreme right, that
proves the Jews have once again been ahead of the others. No, I'm not
Jewish, but I admire what they have brought to the Universal Culture.
Back to Spinoza. Try Epicur.

> People caring doesn't happen without steward leadership and art and 
> it never has.  You can call that mysticism, poetry, zines, 
> leafletting, soapboxes, folksongs, or propaganda according to your 
> taste and the side you're on, in relation to the people when they 
> begin to wake up and care. ;)

And THAT was part of the mistake made by Marx. At least he knew it all
the time, but the glory and adulation of the communist crowd were waaay
too tempting.

I don't call that anything. Leadership should be a fluid concept.
Cryptoparty style if you like. You know something, you do that
particular something. Cook me a wonderful meal and I'd be more than
happy to clean up afterwards.

> Gandhi,  MLK, and Mandela all got charged with mysticism.  I am 
> humbled.

And they were. Mystics. And hypocrites. When I get into their
biographies I get sick to my stomach. They brought with them some good
things. And their societies were backward enough to call that a
progress. And they did it in a spectacular way. And they make good
quoting material. And they inspire political activists all over the
world. That does not make them any less disgusting.

>>> Not just clever language 
>>> and fine speechifying.
>> 
>> This paragraph is precisely that: clever language and fine that 
>> thing.
> 
> Yes, which is why I am asking for help.  If you aren't interested, 
> this isn't your project.  Might not be as evil as you presume.

I don't presume evil. Only pointing out the situation. Fighting
propaganda with propaganda does not make the system any better. In case
of win, it makes it YOUR system, whomever you want to include in the
word «we». Today, as stated the system is theirs, the ones you oppose,
the current propaganda generators. I'm truly indifferent as to whom
reigns a rotten system.

>> Nobody need a movement. The movement is there. Or is not.
>> 
> Haven't studied much political science or history?

I don't have a PhD in that, so I can't say much.

> Take free software or open source as examples.  (I more often use 
> feminism.) 

I'm really puzzled. Do you make these mistakes as a natural
misunderstand or is it for the purpose of blurring the issues? Do you
wield them as a weapon or employ them as a tool, these confusions?

Free software is open source. Open Source movement is just a way to
please the corporate owners. As a way of getting the free software ahead
is a clever step forward. As a way of losing some of the initial goals,
it can turn out to be a bad thing. Right now they are almost the same.
Or, I contemplated for a while the differences. Could not find ONE open
source app that can't be turned into free software. Higher on the
abstraction ladder you have APIs vs standards and so on. But back at the
user there is no difference.

I don't see the connection with feminism. Sorry.

> I see, in my "evil corporate view," a few dramatic and 
> well-backed personalities and organizations, publicity engines, and 
> catfights over art, philosophy, and meaning.  (Maybe aided in this 
> perspective by being FSF's first PR person).  They annoy people 
> getting the work done… now… but they still refine the memes and craft
> licenses and do significant catalytic heavy lifting and shielding, as
> well as spreading the ideas so much faster in resistant areas
> (including non-software areas of society).

Sure. Evangelism. As long as it brings education it helps society. Make
it bring obscurity and things are turning the other way. Again I'm using
Christianity as an easy example. Spreading the belief into a savage,
ancient set of ethics was bad. Bringing reading and writing was good.
Telling the woman has no reproductive rights — bad. Telling nobody can
kill another — good. The same way, whatever you cover by «corporate» can
be good or bad. And that is ONLY my way of seeing things. An old man
trying to spread his genes or hoping for immortality can be the exact
opposite in his view of good vs bad.

> Or, learn from the history, and save yourself from repeating it, and 
> prevents others using their superior literacy hardcore organizational
> politics and power against you.  Knowing methods doesn't necessarily
> make one an enemy -- it can make one a warrior for peace.

Oh! If people would not want to repeat it there would be at least one
day a week teaching Holocaust in every school. But, somehow money making
or the teaching of abstractions is very important. Important enough that
enough people do care. See? About the Patriot Act there aren't enough
people caring. And cheating them into accepting your point of view does
not make things any better. A society based on propaganda needs some
laws like that. And its going to enforce other laws like that. More or
less subtle. But subtlety makes a cosmetic change.

> I am not your enemy,  I think.

You can't be. I'm not sure anybody can be my enemy. But this is purely
semantics.

> But you are right to not trust easily.  How could I advise otherwise,
> with my background?  Perhaps not so justified dissing someone on this
> list as totalitarian so very facilely.  We've barely met.

Sorry, I don't know your background. My comments are purely based on the
message I read. Nothing more.

Cheers!



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