Ironically, Cloudflare goes full Nazi to censor Nazis and realises that they just went full Nazi

0

Posted by Cynic | Posted in Australia, Censorship, Internet, Logic, Philosophy, Politics | Posted on 22-08-2017

Cloudflare is one of the more important companies on the Internet. If you’re unfamiliar with their name, you’ve certainly seen the results of their services.

In a recent event, Cloudflare dropped Daily Stormer as a client.

If you’re unfamiliar with Daily Stormer, count yourself lucky. They’re full on Nazis. Or were. They’re offline now.

(If I have to explain why Nazis are bad, please just go away.)

Matthew Prince from Cloudflare posted a well thought out blog post here:

https://blog.cloudflare.com/why-we-terminated-daily-stormer/

The irony is that they went full Nazi to censor Nazis, and at the end of the blog post, realise that they went full Nazi.

In the blog post, Matthew sides with “due process” over “free speech”:

Freedom of Speech < Due Process

The issue of who can and cannot be online has often been associated with Freedom of Speech. We think the more important principle is Due Process. I, personally, believe in strong Freedom of Speech protections, but I also acknowledge that it is a very American idea that is not shared globally. On the other hand, the concept of Due Process is close to universal. At its most basic, Due Process means that you should be able to know the rules a system will follow if you participate in that system.

Due Process requires that decisions be public and not arbitrary. It’s why we’ve always said that our policy is to follow the guidance of the law in the jurisdictions in which we operate. Law enforcement, legislators, and courts have the political legitimacy and predictability to make decisions on what content should be restricted. Companies should not.

This is entirely misguided. You can’t have due process if speech is muzzled. This should be obvious enough.

He also weighs in with some moral arguments:

You, like me, may believe that the Daily Stormer’s site is vile. You may believe it should be restricted. You may think the authors of the site should be prosecuted. Reasonable people can and do believe all those things. But having the mechanism of content control be vigilante hackers launching DDoS attacks subverts any rational concept of justice.

I think those are worth breaking down a bit more.

You, like me, may believe that the Daily Stormer’s site is vile.

That’s a personal opinion, but yes, I also find them vile.

You may believe it should be restricted.

Absolutely not. While I may find DS vile, I’m not willing to denigrate free speech to only speech that I don’t find vile. The only speech that may rightfully be restricted is that speech which is criminal in nature, such as incitement to violence, etc. This has been covered in literature extensively.

You may think the authors of the site should be prosecuted.

No. I don’t. It shouldn’t be a crime to be an asshole fucking loudmouth. There are many things that I find personally repulsive that I don’t think should be prosecuted. My opinion shouldn’t dictate how other people live their lives. Even if I find it abhorrent. (The exception being criminal behaviour, and again, this has been covered many times, so I won’t repeat it here.)

Reasonable people can and do believe all those things.

No. Reasonable people don’t believe all those things. You just went full fucking Nazi on actual Nazis and you’re trying to justify your horrific behaviour.

But having the mechanism of content control be vigilante hackers launching DDoS attacks subverts any rational concept of justice.

This is true. I have no dispute there. Due process needs to be followed, and in order for that to happen, people must be free to speak.

Then at the end of the post, Matthew seems to flip around somewhat, and realise that he and Cloudflare have crossed a very important line.

Someone on our team asked after I announced we were going to terminate the Daily Stormer: “Is this the day the Internet dies?” He was half joking, but only half. He’s no fan of the Daily Stormer or sites like it. But he does realize the risks of a company like Cloudflare getting into content policing.

That’s a telling and important bit, and perhaps the most important bit in the blog post.

He was half joking, but only half.

The point of free speech is that we need to tolerate (not accept!) things that we disagree with, and even things that we find horrific.

It’s that difference between tolerance and acceptance that seems to be blurred.

In 2012 Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics entitled, “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” You can find it here:

http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2012/03/01/medethics-2011-100411.full

The authors argue for infanticide, or in plain English, murdering babies. They even extend it to murdering toddlers up to 3 years old.

While some people may not find murdering babies horrific, I do. However, I never considered that muzzling those people and censoring them to be an option.

I’m struggling to find anything that’s more horrific than murdering babies. Perhaps I’m lacking in some imagination.

Sure, we could talk about adding in other crimes, such as rape and torture, but at the end of the day, are they really all that much horrific than simply murdering toddlers and babies? I think that in those terms, we start to lose perspective as it’s so far beyond any semblance of morality or decency.

Still, there’s no excuse to censor those authors as far as I can see.

You don’t win against full Nazis by going full Nazi. Let the marketplace of ideas prevail. Most sane people reject Nazism, just as they reject infanticide. We don’t need to censor non-criminal speech.

Moral and Ethical Consideration (1)

0

Posted by Cynic | Posted in Anarchism / Voluntaryism, Logic, Philosophy | Posted on 11-01-2017

Some things are outside of the scope of morality and/or ethics.

When we ask questions about what is moral or ethical, we limit those questions to certain areas or topics or considerations. We do not ask whether it is murder to put rocks in a rock crusher. We do not ponder the ethics or morality of our actions when we dip a piece of celery or a baby carrot from a veggie platter into some delicious dip and eat it.

Rocks, carrots, celery, and many other things do not enter into our sense of what is moral or ethical.

When we mow the grass, we do not think about the feelings or life of our lawns. The same goes for trimming the hedges and trees around our homes.

Similarly, we do not think of the decision to drink coffee or tea as moral or ethical decisions, because they aren’t.

Whether we wear beige or grey or navy blue pants is another decision that is outside of the scope of morals and ethics.

But this is no surprise. Morality has a defined scope.

In the next post on this topic, we’ll look at some simple examples where morality begins to come into the equation, and how it can be blurry.

Soldering the wrong LEDs into the right fixture

0

Posted by Cynic | Posted in Logic | Posted on 31-10-2015

Tags: , , , , ,

I bought some LED bulbs and screwed up the size.

Naturally, it’s impossible to find an adapter for the bulb here. (Yep – nowhere.)

So, I have an E14 bulb and my fixture is E17 or “Intermediate”.

I’m thinking, just, like, FFS… does everything need to be this hard?

But then it’s just an opportunity to unf**k a situation. A challenge! 😀 YAY~!

More on the “screwed up” phase, I’d broken an E17 bulb when I tried to take it out without letting it cool off enough.

Ok… I’m an idiot sometimes. Freely admitted.

But now… I have a broken bulb… and bulbs that are the wrong size! YAY!~

I take the E17 socket, then solder in my E14 bulb. Here are the pics of me fixing my f**k ups. 🙂

I tested my fixture, and it worked. So I started soldering… I used wire strands to wrap around the bulb’s end and then soldered into the broken E17 fixture. I’d tested it, and it worked as it was.

DSC_0001

DSC_0002

DSC_0003

 

By this point, I had the one side nicely soldered. However, it didn’t work. I drilled a hole into the end, then inserted a copper wire, and soldered again.

DSC_0004

 

DSC_0005

DSC_0006

 

And it worked. So I screwed it in.

DSC_0007

DSC_0008

DSC_0009

And it worked nicely.

I think I’ll just order some adapters off of AliExpress. It was a lot of work to get that working.

Peace!

Ryan

 

Editing and Charitable Reading

0

Posted by Cynic | Posted in Anarchism / Voluntaryism, Cynicism, Logic | Posted on 31-12-2014

Tags:

It seems that fewer and fewer people today are capable of actually reading, and even fewer are capable of a charitable read. The concept of a charitable read is important, but seems to have been lost.

Today I read a simple article that you can find here. In it, I found this:

“And sorry, we can’t yet tell you what’ll [sic] be,” the post reads, in part.

In there “[sic]” indicates that the editor has detected an error. You can read about that here.

From the quotation, there is nothing grammatically wrong about it. Truncating some and expanding some, we can derive this:

We cannot tell you what will be.

There is no error there. In fact, a charitable read would be to possibly infer that the speaker is making an allusion to Doris Day singing “Que Sera, Sera“.

This assumption may not be correct, but it doesn’t change the grammatical correctness of the sentence. If my assumption is correct, the speaker has been rather eloquent, and the editor has been rather ignorant.

Though the sentence does have a certain “flavour”, there is no error.

This indicates to me that editors are sometimes ignorant of English grammar, and unwilling to entertain the idea of English grammar structures that don’t fit into a strict set of prescriptive criteria.

Abstracting this to a bit more of a higher level, I have seen in many cases where readers are unwilling to try to understand the speaker, and instead interpret the speaker in the worst light possible. This is the exact opposite of a charitable read, and is anathema to any kind of productive intellectual discourse.

If you are unwilling to try to understand the person you are speaking with, there is no point in even talking. Simply admit that you are a closed-minded asshole and walk away. That saves everyone a good amount of time.

Peace,

Ryan

 

The Memory Hole is Very Real

0

Posted by Cynic | Posted in Anarchism / Voluntaryism, Awake, Censorship, Logic, Police State | Posted on 19-11-2014

Tags: , ,

memory hole

If you’re not familiar with the memory hole, it’s when information starts disappearing. It’s happening again (it actually happens pretty often). See this post. If you follow up and check, you will see that the video is starting to disappear.

This is in part why my original post here (now password protected) was verbose and complete in its information. (A redacted version is now available here.)

Whenever information is sensitive, it’s a good idea to download it and preserve a copy in case it is needed at a later date. The censors and tyrants out there love nothing more than controlling information, and the less control we allow them, the better.

I will be uploading the speech from the link above to help ensure that there is no memory hole.

 

Poison in Alternative Media: The Real News and Reason TV

0

Posted by Cynic | Posted in Anarchism / Voluntaryism, Awake, Cynicism, Idiotic Statements, Logic, Philosophy, Rant | Posted on 02-05-2014

The alternative media delivers a far more accurate and better picture about what is going on in the world, but there are times when they have catastrophic failures and present the same talking points that you would expect from the bobble heads on MSNBC. No matter the source, one must always be vigilant to think critically about what is being said and not blindly trust a source simply because they’ve been correct in the past.

I recently saw 2 extreme failures (or perhaps lapses in judgement). One failure led me to abandon a particular source, while another caused me to lose a lot of respect for a journalist who I would otherwise consider near impeccable.

THE REAL NEWS

In what can only be considered a bubonic nuclear train wreck, Jaisal Noor of The Real News interviewed Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The SPLC is a leftist hate organisation that targets pretty much anyone that isn’t a neo-liberal communist. While they may “get it right” about some organisations, they group together people like Judge Andrew Napolitano and Ron Paul with organisations such as Stormfront.

Jaisal’s interview stopped short of being completely obsequious, but was never-the-less simply pandering to the extreme agenda of the SPLC. Listening to Mark Potok spew his venom and hatred either makes you vomit uncontrollably, or laugh hysterically at his lunacy.

This is that interview:

The lies and deceit out of Mark’s mouth start quick and never stop; he doesn’t waste much time before getting to “racist and anti-semitic”.

But do watch for yourself. If you wonder about any of the points Mark makes, you can easily do a tiny bit of digging to discover that he is lying or twisting the situation.

The comments below the video are filled with people unsubscribing from The Real News.

I got into a mini-discussion on Twitter with Jaisal, condemning his choice to give a platform to a hate group.

https://twitter.com/jaisalnoor/status/457520668914245632

Of course the land issue became “HE’S A RACIST”:

https://twitter.com/jaisalnoor/statuses/459354921746583553

your nut job rancher hero is a raging racist

Which should come as no surprise. The left invariably resorts to name-calling as it loses the debate due to a lack of logic, reason, and supporting facts/evidence.

But whether or not someone is or isn’t a racist has no bearing on their property rights. Though you wouldn’t know this if you’d ever heard any of the rhetoric from the left. For the left, it seems that natural rights are contingent upon your agreement with them.

Had Jaisal taken the time to actually look into what Cliven Bundy said, he would be hard pressed to accuse him of being racist. You can find Cliven Bundy’s remarks here:

And here with a full transcript of what he said, which you can compare against the convenient snippets found in the left-wing media:

http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2014/04/24/cliven-bundy-controversial-remarks-full-context-video-with-transcript/

For the full video, which is over an hour long, check here:

http://bambuser.com/v/4549915

One of the problems with the left is that leftist rarely ever give anything a charitable read. Their goal is to root out anything that could possibly be (mis)construed as other than what it is so that they can exploit it for political purposes. No big surprise there.

But, all the evidence is readily available and out in the open for anyone to verify.

REASON.TV

I was pretty shocked to hear Nick Gillespie in this video:

Reason.TV and Nick Gillespie are generally pretty darn good. They’re still pretty statist, but minarchism is a good deal closer to sanity than the authoritarianism preached by the left-wing communists and the right-wing fascists. (Is there a difference between them?)

The article for the video is here:

http://reason.com/archives/2014/04/29/3-policies-that-are-more-racist-than-don

From the video:

“Racist rants by federal land moocher Cliven Bundy…”

Seriously Nick? Really? At that point I figured that I’d stepped into the twilight zone. I lost a lot of respect for Reason and Nick there.

Speaking about Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling:

They can go fuck themselves.

Apparently Nick got his news about Bundy from Salon and MSNBC.

NOTE: I don’t watch professional sports. I have zero interest in the athletes, coaches, or team owners. I’ve not read anything significant about Donald Sterling or the accusations against him, and have nothing to say on that topic. So, maybe Nick is right about Donald going off and fucking himself. I don’t know.

Nick is way off base in his comments about Cliven Bundy. But aside from Nick accusing Bundy of being racist, perhaps more concerning are his accusation that Bundy is a “moocher” and assertion that the land belongs to the federal government. Nick’s accusation there is eerily reminiscent of what one would expect to hear out of the SPLC, while his assertion is flat-out statist.

The rest of the article is actually quite good. He nails 3 good points with good support and arguments. The “meat” of the article isn’t objectionable – it is his use of racism and Bundy as a “launch pad” for the article that is off-base.

POISON

While the first case with The Real News is more akin to a drinking glass full of poison on a generously prepared banquet table, the second case is far more subtle/insidious. Nick slips in a poison pill into what otherwise would have been a wonderful, tall glass of freshly squeezed juice. i.e. Where The Real News had an entire episode full of poison, Reason.TV merely poisoned a portion of the episode.

SCRUTINY & VIGILANCE

I won’t be watching any of The Real News anymore. The magnitude of the lack of judgement in giving the SPLC a platform is simply far too much to continue to attribute any credibility to them. i.e. There is no point in watching complete garbage and trying to make sense of it.

On the other hand, I’ll still continue to watch Reason.TV and read Reason. However, I will certainly be much more suspicious about what they report from now on.

Everyone has a lapse of judgement or makes an error every now and then. Expecting otherwise would be foolish.

I suppose the take-away lesson from the above is that even from sources that you would normally trust, it is still best to listen and read with a critical mind and not simply accept what is being presented to you. (This blog post included.)

At the end of the day, we are all responsible for our own beliefs and actions. Very often we are deceived into believing horrible things. But it is not the “being deceived” that is the fault – it is the refusal to see through a deception that is a fault. This requires that we question our beliefs with the same or greater vigilance that we would apply to the messages we receive through others and the media, be that mainstream media or the alternative media.

Cheers,

Ryan

Jesus Is an Anarchist (Mirrored essay)

1

Posted by Cynic | Posted in Anarchism / Voluntaryism, Awake, Logic, Philosophy, Religion, Sovereignty, States | Posted on 26-04-2014

Tags:

There is an excellent essay called “Jesus Is an Anarchist” at http://www.anti-state.com/redford/redford4.html.

But it seems like Anti-state.com is no longer maintained, and the essay may disappear at some point. I’m mirroring it here to ensure that it is available in at least 1 other place. When the “anti-state.com” graphic logo is gone, then you’ll know that it’s disappeared.

This essay is an excellent read for anyone looking to learn a bit more about Jesus, Christianity, or anarchism. You don’t need to be religious to get a lot out of this essay, and you don’t need to be an anarchist to get a lot out of it.

As a side note, anyone interested in the occult will get some pretty deep insight here. I should also note that those with a superficial understanding of the occult will likely not understand that last sentence in the least. (“Occult” means “hidden”, and Redford strips away some superficial occult layers in this essay.)

Those who are more serious about reading and understanding might do well to read along with a KJV at the ready. Please note that there is a reference in the essay that appears to be a typo.

The complete essay is available at the bottom of this page as a zipped download.

 


Jesus Is an Anarchist

(A free-market/libertarian anarchist, that is–otherwise what is called an anarcho-capitalist.)

by James Redford

The above title may seem like strong words, for surely that can’t be correct? Jesus an anarchist? One must be joking, right?

Read the rest of this entry »

What Nobody Noticed About the Bundy Ranch Protests…

1

Posted by Cynic | Posted in Anarchism / Voluntaryism, Awake, Logic, Police, Police State, Politics, Sovereignty | Posted on 21-04-2014

Tags:

BLM is already there. Protesters show up. People get tased, assaulted, and arrested.

More protesters show up. A lot more. Some have guns. Nobody gets tased, assaulted, or arrested. Nobody gets hurt.

Something to think about.

Why Rich People Should Do Less Time in Prison Than Poor People

0

Posted by Cynic | Posted in Anarchism / Voluntaryism, Logic, Philosophy, Stupid Questions | Posted on 18-04-2014

Tags: , ,

V is for VoluntaryRich people should do less prison time for the same crimes compared to poor people. Here’s why.

In the modern world, you must pay taxes or you go to prison.

If tax is not theft, then the government owns a percentage of the results/rewards/consequences of your labour/time.

In other words, you are not solely responsible for the consequences of your actions. The government assumes a percentage of the rewards/consequences of your actions through tax. (If they could take your smiles and laughs, I’m sure they would.)

However, different people pay different rates of tax, depending on how much they earn.

For example, someone making a little may pay 25% of the fruits of their labour to the government as tax, whereas someone who earns much more may pay 75% of what they earn to the government.

In both cases the government steps in to assume ownership or responsibility for a percentage.

Now, if two people in different tax brackets commit the same crime, would it not make sense for the government to be consistent in its role of assuming the consequences of people’s actions, e.g. the rewards of the fruits of people’s labours (consequences of their actions), should they not equally assume that same responsibility for negative consequences?

On a 10 year prison sentence, it would then be just for the poor person in the 25% tax bracket to only do 7.5 years in prison (25% belongs to the state), whereas it would be most just for the wealthy person in the 75% tax bracket to do a maximum of 2.5 years in prison (75% belongs to the state).

Rich people should be less accountable than poor people under the law because the law works by percentages, and everyone must be treated equally under the law according to the rule of law. Of percentages. Because logic. Errr… science… err…

Ahem…

Or maybe tax is just slavery by a percentage, and that’s the problem that should be dealt with, and the only way for the rule of law to be upheld is for NOBODY to take what doesn’t belong to them whether it be a percentage or an entirety.

Huntercoin: Welcome to the Blockchain!

0

Posted by Cynic | Posted in Bitcoin, Logic, Philosophy, Software | Posted on 24-02-2014

Tags: , , , ,

Huntercoin-logoHuntercoin is a crypto currency game that is played on the blockchain. This is significant, and particularly that “played on the blockchain” part.

The blockchain is a public ledger of account that can be used for currency transfers, assets, smart contracts, smart property, snippets of code, escrow, distributed companies, distributed property, and yes – even GAMES!

But all of that seems very distant, abstract, and probably even bizarre. What is a “smart contract”? What is a “distributed exchange”? What is…? What can I do practically? What use is this? How can I visualise this?

Forget all that. Let’s just play a game. Huntercoin… It will all become much clearer soon…

Players send orders to the Huntercoin network. They do this through client software, or what you might think of as “the game program”. Their orders are registered in the blockchain then read by all the other players as they download the latest block in the blockchain and process the orders for all the other players.

Since everything is done securely through cryptography, nobody can fake orders or ignore orders or change them. The only thing you can do is see what happened. We’ll look more at this below.

Now, if you’ve played Huntercoin, or if you’ve read in the forums, you’ll have encountered the deadly “Pending” monster that seems to go on forever sometimes. You’ll also see the game speed up or slow down.

I’m a bit fuzzy on “pending” and stuck transactions. You can run “huntercoin-qt.exe -rescan” though, and that should “unstick” the transaction. However, that will take a while for the client to start again. The other options are to “deletetransaction” or “rebroadcast” the transaction.

For the speeding up and slowing down issue, this is quite interesting. To understand what’s happening, you need to know a few basic things about crypto currency mining.

Miners all compete for a block. They solve very difficult mathematical puzzles that can take longer or shorter to solve. The difficulty factor changes to cause the problem to become more or less difficult, and that change regulates the time it takes to “find a block” to “about” 1 block every X minutes, depending on the coin.

Bitcoin blocks come at a rate of about 1 every 10 minutes. Litecoin takes about 2.5 minutes. Huntercoin has 2 algorithms, SHA-256 and scrypt, set to find blocks every 2 minutes, and averaging to 1 block per minute due to there being 2 algorithms.

As blocks are found on the Huntercoin blockchain, a turn is processed. Here’s a table showing some blocks found with the times and algorithms.

Id Date Algo Time since last block
63979 23/02/14 13:00:51 sha256 0:00:07
63978 23/02/14 13:00:44 scrypt 0:00:21
63977 23/02/14 13:00:23 scrypt 0:01:28
63976 23/02/14 12:58:55 sha256 0:00:57
63975 23/02/14 12:57:58 scrypt 0:01:41
63974 23/02/14 12:56:17 scrypt 0:01:05
63973 23/02/14 12:55:12 scrypt 0:00:18
63972 23/02/14 12:54:54 scrypt 0:00:14
63971 23/02/14 12:54:40 scrypt 0:00:51
63970 23/02/14 12:53:49 sha256 0:00:53
63969 23/02/14 12:52:56 sha256 0:00:47
63968 23/02/14 12:52:09 scrypt 0:00:56
63967 23/02/14 12:51:13 sha256 0:00:51
63966 23/02/14 12:50:22 sha256 0:01:54
63965 23/02/14 12:48:28 scrypt Average time: 0:00:53

There you can see that the actual algorithm that finds a block fluctuates. You can also see a 7 second block, a 14 second block, and a 1:54 block. But the average time there is 53 seconds, which is pretty close to 1 minute. A larger sample would push that number closer to 1 minute.

Gamers that are expecting a perfectly linear flow-of-time will be disappointed. Time does not flow in a perfectly linear fashion on the blockchain – it flows in averages.

But this really only adds to the challenge of the game. It adds a dimension that we’ve not really seen before in real-time games – non-linear time. While some gamers will complain about this, they should embrace it as it is not going to change because that’s the nature of the blockchain. It’s simply better to accept it and deal with it. If you can use it to your advantage, that’s what we call “skill”.

In the game, since you’re publishing your orders, they are all out in the open for anyone to read. Here’s an actual example:

{
    "color" : 3,
    "0" : {
        "x" : 94,
        "y" : 453,
        "dir" : 9,
        "stay_in_spawn_area" : 0,
        "loot" : 0.00000000
    },
    "1" : {
        "x" : 248,
        "y" : 435,
        "fromX" : 245,
        "fromY" : 441,
        "wp" : [
            252,
            427,
            248,
            375,
            248,
            373,
            248,
            370,
            246,
            361,
            242,
            357,
            217,
            349,
            206,
            343,
            155,
            292,
            154,
            286,
            142,
            271
        ],
        "dir" : 8,
        "stay_in_spawn_area" : 0,
        "loot" : 0.27500000
    }
}

Under “1” you’ll see the x & y coordinates (248,435). You’ll also see “wp”, which is the set of waypoints for the hunter. Those are where the hunter will go, if nothing happens in the meantime.

So you can see exactly where players are going!

Does that ruin the game?

Absolutely not! At any time that hunter could change course or do something different at any time, e.g. destruct and kill surrounding hunters that are a different colour.

But sending those orders leaves the player free to do other things and not worry too much about sending more orders for that particular hunter. This balances the need to keep your plans secret with the need to not enter every single step.

So, what does this mean for playing so far? Well, probably that you should plan your moves 2 blocks ahead. When you send your orders by clicking the “Go” button, you often end up waiting for a couple blocks. A little bit of planning can remedy this, and your game will go a bit smoother.

That’s a quick look at Huntercoin, the blockchain, and how to play with a better understanding of the blockchain.

Hopefully I’ve given you a better understanding of Huntercoin and how it uses the blockchain to enable a game. And hopefully you can imagine other ways that the blockchain can be used for smart contracts, property, distributed companies, and many, many more as of yet unimagined uses for the blockchain.

If you’re not already onboard the Bitcoin/crypto train, it’s far from too late. This is early. Get on board for the fast-track to the future of transactional systems.

Cheers,

Ryan