The phone call came from a charming woman with a bright, engaging voice to the cell phone of a TIME Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer. She wanted to offer a deal on health insurance, but something was fishy.
“Ultimately we abandoned that and believed in the idea of trickle-down and the idea of the market economy and the market knows best, to the point where now libertarianism in my country is actually being taken seriously as an intelligent mode of political thought. It’s astonishing to me. But it is. People are saying I don’t need anything but my own ability to earn a profit. I’m not connected to society. I don’t care how the road got built, I don’t care where the firefighter comes from, I don’t care who educates the kids other than my kids. I am me. It’s the triumph of the self. I am me, hear me roar.”—David Simon: ‘There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show’
“However, the industry’s D.C. attack dog, Rick Berman, felt no such compunction, and commenced snarling immediately. On the day of the strike back in August, his Employment Policies Institute ran a full-page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal featuring a big photo of a Japanese kitchen robot. The fast-food protests “aren’t a battle against management,” the ad proclaimed, but a “battle against technology.” Should workers push too hard for super-size wages, shiny automatons might well be deployed in restaurants across the country, making you-know-who totally redundant.”—[Easy Chair | Home of the Whopper, by Thomas Frank | Harper’s Magazine]
“While it costs, on average, about $27,500 annually to imprison an inmate in Colorado, it costs around $62,000 to house an inpatient at a mental health correctional facility. Community mental health programs—crisis lines, therapy groups, peer counseling—cost about $3,000 per person each year.”—Riders on the Storm
“By the 1970s, President Richard Nixon suggested lowering costs by shutting down Kennedy’s community centers, and President Ronald Reagan’s social services cuts in the 1980s closed many of the remaining mental hospitals for good—which left thousands of people unsheltered and helped create the national homelessness crisis that continues today.”—Riders on the Storm
“America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves…. It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters.”—Quote by Kurt Vonnegut: America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but … (via pieratt)
“Perhaps the best story stems from the busy holiday season of 2006. A temporary employee in the Coffeyville, Kansas, fulfillment center showed up at the start of his shift and left at the end of it, but strangely, he was not logging any actual work in the hours in between. Amazon’s time clocks were not yet linked to the system that tracked productivity, so the discrepancy went unnoticed for at least a week. Finally someone uncovered the scheme. The worker had surreptitiously tunneled out a cavern inside an eight-foot-tall pile of empty wooden pallets in a far corner of the fulfillment center. Inside, completely blocked from view, he had created a cozy den and furnished it with items purloined from Amazon’s plentiful shelves. There was food, a comfortable bed, pictures ripped from books adorning the walls—and several pornographic calendars.”—Brad Stone, The Everything Store (via petervidani)
“One of the problems with what I do is that I look for patterns in human behaviour, and once I see them I have difficulty un-seeing them. And there’s a set of patterns I keep seeing that are implicit in our news reportage—specifically, the reporting of legal cases. Patterns which seem to me to have a very simple underlying cause but which we take so much for granted that we don’t recognize them explicitly.
1. Justice is a religious cult.
2. Law is holy scripture.
3. Judges are priests.
4. Judicial capital punishment is human sacrifice.”—The cult of justice - Charlie’s Diary (via opit)
A great deal of confusion to which we shall pay more attention, the last time we are together, has been raised between “data” and “metadata.” As though there were a difference and “metadata” were less.
I need to explain to you in the simplest way I can why this is nonsense:
Illegal interception of the content of a message breaks your secrecy. Illegal interception of the metadata of a message breaks your anonymity.
It isn’t less, it’s just different. Most of the time it isn’t less, it’s more.
“Well, in these sorts of conversations, the phrase “3D printer” always comes up – you know, musicians, authors and journalists have all been shat on by the software companies so it’s the artist’s turn soon, and people will just start downloading your works for themselves. I don’t see it happening just yet …”—Brian Eno and Grayson Perry on how the internet taught us we are all perverts
“Doesn’t it sound ridiculous that Europe can produce a project like CERN but seems incapable of producing an online service to keep track of papers written about CERN? Could it be because Silicon Valley has convinced us that they are in the magic industry?”—The Internet Ideology: Why We Are Allowed to Hate Silicon Valley
“If Ronald Reagan was the first Teflon President, then Silicon Valley is the first Teflon Industry: no matter how much dirt one throws at it, nothing seems to stick. While “Big Pharma,” “Big Food” and “Big Oil” are derogatory terms used to describe the greediness that reigns supreme in those industries, this is not the case with “Big Data.” This innocent term is never used to refer to the shared agendas of technology companies.”—The Internet Ideology: Why We Are Allowed to Hate Silicon Valley
The insecurity of baseband software is not by error; it’s by design. The standards that govern how these baseband processors and radios work were designed in the ’80s, ending up with a complicated codebase written in the ’90s - complete with a ’90s attitude towards security. For instance, there is barely any exploit mitigation, so exploits are free to run amok. What makes it even worse, is that every baseband processor inherently trusts whatever data it receives from a base station (e.g. in a cell tower). Nothing is checked, everything is automatically trusted. Lastly, the baseband processor is usually the master processor, whereas the application processor (which runs the mobile operating system) is the slave.
While we can sort-of assume that the base stations in cell towers operated by large carriers are “safe”, the fact of the matter is that base stations are becoming a lot cheaper, and are being sold on eBay - and there are even open source base station software packages. Such base stations can be used to target phones. Put a compromised base station in a crowded area - or even a financial district or some other sensitive area - and you can remotely turn on microphones, cameras, place rootkits, place calls/send SMS messages to expensive numbers, and so on. Yes, you can even brick phones permanently.
“Growthism’s great crime—and yes, it is a crime; for it is costing you and I, right here, right now, lives we should be living, instead of the days we find ourselves limited to—is that it prevents societies from developing a sophisticated conception of what prosperity is. And hence, how to attain it. It is failing because it is stifling us from reaching past the tired, rusting idea that prosperity is merely stuff and trinkets, glittering baubles and gewgaws—and that it might, instead, be health, friendship, purpose, wisdom, resilience, happiness, a searing sense that all one’s days have mattered.”—This Isn’t Capitalism — It’s Growthism, and It’s Bad for Us
“Beyond actually trapping local burglars, the capture house program’s overriding and perhaps most successful effect is to inspire a very peculiar form of paranoia in those who would otherwise make a living from breaking and entering: the uncanny feeling that perhaps this apartment is not real, but a kind of well-furnished simulation, a mirage run by the local police department and overseen by invisible cameras.”—Fully-Furnished Fake Houses in UK Run Solely to Trap Burglars
“Every government has the responsibility to protect the rights of its citizens to be free from the intrusive spying of outsiders. No government can pretend to sovereignty and responsibility with respect to its citizens unless it makes every effort within its power and its means to ensure that outcome.”—Snowden and the Future - Part II: Oh, Freedom