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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".

@dredmorbius @onan So there's a book that you might dig called "The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation" which is written by the dude that is the head of digital collections at the LoC.

It gets right in to the nitty gritty of "good enough is better than not at all" which so many archivists seem to shy away from.

There is something to be said for clarity and fidelity, but that comes after basic preservation and access.

Oh! Tomorrow morning is my #SummerSchool talk! Y'all should come! It's at 10am AEST/12am UTC. DM me if you need the link. I'm talking about how we did modelling with the community.

Working with a couple archivist on a podcast concept, and I'd like some feedback.


TFW you prefer to visit wikipedia's page about project X over project X's own website to find out what the heck it even is.

of a rule / law of likelihood of truth/falsity given increased sensing / recording capabilities regarding phenomena?

The idea's occurred to me. I doubt it's original. Spelled out here:

"An Empirical Razor for Discerning Rare, False, and Faked Phenomena"

Social Media as Common Carrier and Policing

I've argued for a while that The phone company does not promote content or connections, while algorithmically-driven social media platforms have been doing just that in the name of “driving engagement”.

Pointing this out on Diaspora, Simons Mith responds:

Therefore: if social media companies either choose to or are forced to become common carriers, the ‘driving engagement’ activities that they currently perform will transfer to other parties. But those activities will remain just as pervasive and odious as it they are now, because that’s what works, and the social media companies, once they’re common carriers, won’t be obliged to police it. And I also reckon the police will continue to remain exactly as interested in policing it as they are now.

That's highly cogent.

I'm not entirely sure how to respond, though I do note that earlier networked common carriers are not entirely limited from restricting types of conduct or types of exchanges. Additionally, postal services, railroads, and transit agencies have their own inspectors or police forces. In the case of broadcast networks, there is the network censor and government oversite (FCC in the US). Even hotels have detectives.

@pluralistic might be interested.

Open tab to search for something.

Get distracted.

Forget what I was searching for.

I'm now searching for what I was searching for.

Who makes good desktop computers? I'm gonna throw Linux on whatever I buy but I don't have the time or energy to build a PC right now. Any suggestions for something good for this purpose? I'm also interested in the Intel dedicated GPU if possible. Please advise.

I mean, fuck me, how can you not love this?

(Not only that but because you see the full command, you won’t forget how to actually use the original tool.)


I'm actually surprised that "dyood" didn't pick up any votes. That's an alternate form of the California pronunciation, as contrasted to the "California sheep" form, dyu-u-u-u-u-u-de.

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Is anyone out there involved in a mutual aid tool sharing library, current or past? I'm talking with some folks about organizing one and we have some logistical questions. (please boost!)

Somehow we've built personal interactive computers that, in 2021, in daily use, regularly get into states where they take upwards of a minute to react to keystrokes and mouse clicks, and we've convinced ourselves that this situation is either perfectly normal or entirely the user's fault.

Things That Fall

Bully Pulpit, Episode 1

Bully Pulpit is a podcast about politics, media, culture and society based on four simple principles: observation, argument, narrative and honesty. It should also go without saying that the interviews, essays and pieces will hinge on evidence — as opposed to the asinine and dangerous political currents that favor sentiments and full-on delusions over facts. Indeed, I don’t invoke Sturm und Drang lightly, because that was the name of the intellectual and artistic movement of the late 1700s that privileged sentiment over reason, rejecting Rationalist rigor in favor of human emotion. (Thanks for nothing Jean-Jacques Rousseau.) And as long as we’re doing historical shoutouts, let me also offer a Rough Rider-hat tip to Theodore Roosevelt, the pioneer of Progressivism, who is my spirit guide in this enterprise.

@mntmn I just saw this video by Louis Rossmann and while he seems to be happy with it, I think schematics not being public is a big 👎👎

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