Been looking at Kickstarter, a means of crowdsourcing projects. Gotta say, if there’s a way to fund investigative journalism that is free of corporate financial influence, it’s probably something like this. The problems, of course: paranoia resulting in distrust of a trustworthy reporter; and the many, many other means of interfering with free speech.
It’s this last that I’m going to concentrate on. Some may recall that internet crapstorm regarding angry, troll-y charges of misogyny on the part of R. Scott Bakker. Bakker’s background is as a philosopher. He usually writes fantasy novels, but is also the author of a neuroscience horror book called Neuropath. The book contains FBI, NSA, serial killers, and a healthy dose of the kinds of things keep me blogging here.
To summarize: an online entity claiming to be an Asian woman claims to have read the first five pages of one of his books and then based a review of the man’s entire canon on that. It spread quickly in the small way that niche topics do.
In order to follow along with where this is going, I must remind the reader of two things. First, that there is a software package (indeed there is likely more than one by now) that allows a single user to pretend to be several. The implications for this are many.
False controversies designed to increase attention to a product is one. That’s essentially a publicity stunt. Creating a false sense of consensus is another. A website gets slammed with similar comments designed to alter the perception of, for example, a news article. And of course gang cyber bullying. One operative can make it seem as though a whole slew of people hate a particular person when it’s just the one sociopath behind the keyboard.
A couple of important quick notes:
• Like the wholesale NSA invasion of privacy of ordinary folks the government lies and claims it is aimed and used only on terrorist organizations and not Americans. At least where domestic drones are concerned, the SECDEF refused to say DoD would not use them on American citizens. Honesty’s ugly head.
• We only know about this software package because of hacktivist Jeremy Hammond and the FBI-backed Stratfor hacking. For this service and others, Hammond is finishing out a 10.5 year sentence.
• There are many historical examples of government interference in media, from ops like CHAOS and MOCKINGBIRD, to plans to dope or murder Jack Anderson and Carl Bernstein (and need I mention again the unsolved Michael Hastings situation?), to Bob “Navy Intelligence” Woodward to Anderson “CIA” Cooper to Alex “Stratfor” Jones. That this trend (and see again Stanley Milton Glickman, Peter Watts, Alan Moore, George Clooney, etc. on this blog) would like all malevolent government programs suffer from scope-creep, the expansion of it’s scope, should come as no surprise.
The second technical issue relates to the other way of achieving these goals: the unwitting dupe. Whether the person in question is prompted by cyberspace or spookspace PSYOPs (the former possibly using the same methods described above) or something like acoustic psycho-correction (see acpsycor2 tab at top for consideration of use on Koresh) is irrelevant. What’s relevant is that it’s possible, therefore it’s being done, and most people are unaware of either of those things.
All of which is to welcome a new member to the target club. A man of my acquaintance (who, like many of the other folks listed lost a pet, a corgi, when a friend “accidentally” ran the dog over; see Washington Post article quote at top of behmod tab at top about controlling animal behavior at least as early as the early 70s and the intent to progress that technology to include homo sapiens). His influence is growing. His messageboard was, as the one I think was targeted, the subject of the EZBoard hack I’ve detailed elsewhere on this blog.
Yes, author and game designer Monte Cook was recently accused of being misogynist just as Bakker had been:
Looking at the 3D chess aspect, it makes it appear to be radical progressives gone fascist. (I note this in part because that would also appear to be what certain hackers are thinking, such as the RL). It also forces the author and his supporters into the precarious position of possibly appearing to defend misogyny, or at least to correct the record against some people who appear to be mentally ill.
All-in-all a diabolically clever damned-if-you-do/don’t scenario. That’s how I know it’s not 100% naturally occurring.
But I also understand this:
(Bonus note: housemate’s friend just won the lotto. Given the exicement level, I’m gonna guess $50 or so. And yet quite interrupting when you’re writing.)