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This One Trick Will Revolutionize Your Use of Social Media: Block fuckwits.

On social media, the advantage is that a large userbase and participation. The disadvantage: it's 99.9999% crap.

What's working for me is to filter ruthlessly. If someone is disruptive, ideological, insane, or crazy-making, I'll block them without thought (I used to agonize over that, I don't any more).

High signal is rare, but odds of missing out by blocking idiots are low.

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"Pseudonyms and anonymity are also an established part of many cultures -- for good reason."

- Alma Whitten, former Director of Privacy, Product and Engineering, Google

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On authors who were publishing information technology panopticon concerns in the 1980s, or earlier

A quickie dump.

Paul Baran / RAND

  • "On the Engineer's Responsibility in Protecting Privacy"

  • "On the Future Computer Era: Modification of the American Character and the Role of the Engineer, or, A Little Caution in the Haste to Number"

  • "The Coming Computer Utility -- Laissez-Faire, Licensing, or Regulation?"

  • "Remarks on the Question of Privacy Raised by the Automation of Mental Health Records"

  • "Some Caveats on the Contribution of Technology to Law Enforcement"

Largely written/published 1967--1969.

Willis Ware / RAND

Too numerous to list fully, 1960s --1990s. Highlights:

  • "Security and Privacy in Computer Systems" (1967)

  • "Computers in Society's Future" (1971)

  • "Records, Computers and the Rights of Citizens" (1973

  • "Privacy and Security Issues in Information Systems" (1976)

  • "Information Systems, Security, and Privacy" (1983)

  • "The new faces of privacy" (1993)


Shoshana Zuboff, In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power (1988) Notably reviewed in the Whole Earth Catalog's Signal: Communication Tools for the Information Age (1988).

"Danger to Civil Rights?", 80 Microcomputing (1982) (

"Computer-Based National Information Systems: Technology and Public Policy", NTIS (September 1981)

"23 to Study Computer ‘Threat’" (1970)

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

"Privacy and Information Technology" bibliography is largely 1990--present, but contains some earlier references.

Similarly "Privacy"

Credit Reporting / Legislation

US Privacy Act of 1974

Invasion of Privacy Act 1971 - Queensland Government, Australia

Arthur R. Miller, The assault on privacy: computers, data banks, and dossiers

"The Computer, the Consumer and Privacy" (1984)

Richard Boeth / Newsweek

The specific item I'd had in mind:

Richard Boeth, "Is Privacy Dead", Newsweek, July 27, 1970

Direct PDF:

Based on an HN comment:

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My present Recaptcha policy:

Request audio.

Respond "Fuck you Google"

Repeat until access granted, or the joy fades.

Bonus: All audio AI parsing tends to "Fuck you Google".

A Space Alien Cat's Person of the Year suggestions

Assking on Diaaspora, Dr. Anthony Fauci, healthcare workers and SARS-CoV2 were mentioned, three that had occurred to me.


  • Patient Zero, whomever that was.
  • The WHO.
  • Front-line / key / essential workers.
  • Denialsts.
  • Tucker Carlson / Sean Hannity / Rupert Murdoch / Newscorp.
  • Charles Koch. He read his brother's obituary, a sneak preview of his own might be justice.
  • Disinformation.
  • The Plutonomy.
  • American Voters.
  • The Mercers.
  • Black Lives Matter.
  • George Floyd.
  • Catastrophic Risk.
  • Societal Dysfunction.
  • Xi Jinping.
  • A changing Earth.

Honorable mentions: Joe Biden, AOC. Their time will come.

Previously: POTY?

"Culled mink rise from the dead to Denmark's horror" actual headline this morning #2020

When you call yourself “free and open source” and you’re a raging surveillance capitalist.

Hey, FOSS Post, you’re a bit shit, aren’t you, darling?


I'm way late to the party discovering . Or more accurately, realising I'd already run across her work.

She's an Italian-American now in the UK, doing interesting work on , , and , , and . Much is similar to ideas I've been pursuing for the past decade (almost certainly influenced by the penumbra of her work).

This Wired profile was buried in my article backlog and has been there for months if not years. I only consciously registered her name a few days ago.

Hi all! We would like to hire one part time DevOps on Mastodon service maintain and helping us trying/integrating experimental features. We can accept remote work and welcome to apply. Please send us your Resume (or LinkedIn link) to Suji.Yan AT ;) Many thanks.

Elegy for Hungary 

After a decade I still have friends and acquaintances letting me know that they’ve realized that things are really bad in Hungary and really, “what are things turning into”.

Don’t be like that and 7-9 years late to pulling back your country from authoritarianism. It’s too late.

"I... can't vacuum... because us-east-1 is down." – Geoff Belknap

1 Hiroshima-scale atomic bomb (15 kilotons TNT) is the energy equivalent of 37,500,000 ham sandwiches (at 400 kcal/sandwich).

44 bits

So, a redditor tracked down the location of a monolith placed in the Utah desert a few years ago, recently discovered by authorities, who did not disclose where it was.[1]

It's relatively well known that 33 distinct bits is enough to uniquely identify any individual person now alive on Earth.[2]

Geospatially, assuming 10m2 resolution, 44 bits is enough to identify any unique region on Earth's land surface (46 bits buys you the oceans).

Searching for a ~1m2 monolith visually within a 10m2 square is reasonable.

GNU units:

You have: ln((.3 * 4 * (earthradius^2) * pi)/10m^2)/ln(2)
Definition: 43.798784
You have: ln((1 * 4 * (earthradius^2) * pi)/10m^2)/ln(2)
Definition: 45.535749

49 bits buys 1m accuracy, 63 1cm, 69 1mm. Anywhere on Earth, land or sea.

For comparison, cellphone positioning accuracy is typically 8--600m:

  • 3G iPhone w/ A-GPS ~ 8 meters
  • 3G iPhone w/ wifi ~ 74 meters
  • 3G iPhone w/ Cellular positioning ~ 600 meters


The power of disparate data traces to rapidly narrow down search spaces on a specific item, individual, or location, is what makes aggreggation so powerful, and terrifying.




Getting post-Y2k flashbacks from reactions to the 2020 election.

"All that fuss and nothing happened."



Informatics of the Oppressed by Rodrigo Ochigame :

Information is power. In pyramids, power is concentrated, so also information, which is hidden or kept to be used at the right time, with a view to accumulating and concentrating more power. In networks, power is deconcentrated, and so is information, which is distributed and disseminated so that everyone has access to the power that their possession represents.

— Chico Whitaker

cc @dredmorbius

I just noticed that the Bogomolny's website is still on-line. I must have misspelled his name, last time I searched for it:

@dredmorbius @woozle @dlovell

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