Tag: Internet

Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for June 6, 2017, it’s episode 123, the Southern Fried Terror edition of the podcast coming to you this week (or so it may sound) from the moon! Todd is in Farmington Connecticut, Mike is in Palo Alto, we are recording the podcast on a Dictaphone Steampunk Victorian Recording machine. You can *hear* the history!

Our topics this week are the reaction of Theresa May to the terror attacks in London and related thoughts. As the people of Britain ask: “what concretely are you going to *do*???” May answers (unbelievably) we’re going to spy on the internet…and we are going to have uncomfortable conversations. Look, uncomfortable conversations are fine and all…but how about simply rounding up the 3000 or so top terror suspects in the U.K. and either expelling them or locking them up?

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The subject of alternatives to Google came up in another thread. Google may (or may not) have adjusted their algorithm to exclude conservative results. One member in that thread suggested Bing is better. What are the Ricochetti using these days to search the Internet or even to search the search engines? Preview Open

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I guess this is just another of my nonpolitical rants. I get so tired of seeing any Internet headline that contains the words “everybody’s talking about….” I know it cannot be true, because I am not talking about whatever it is. Am I not part of everybody? I’ll bet you aren’t talking about it either, […]

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I generally poo-poo arguments that “social media is ruining political discourse”. I generally believe that more discourse is better than less discourse, that with any amount of discourse you’re going to get some that’s good and some that’s lousy, and therefore when total discourse increases you’re inevitably going to get more of the bad stuff along with […]

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Popular periodicals have changed. I’ve been perusing Good Housekeeping, Readers Digest, and Women’s Day for years. Since 2008 or so, I’ve noticed some differences in tone and material. First, there’s far more shameless product placement in the women’s magazines, and perhaps in the Digest too, although it’s more prominent in publications for ladies. Now an article on house decor is not just an […]

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I started using the Internet in the early 90s, before Mosaic (father of Netscape, grandfather of Mozilla, great grandfather of Firefox) was widely available, when one used tools like TELNET, FTP, and GOPER and email clients like Pine and Mutt (still used today on UNIX and BSD command lines the world over). At one point, […]

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I discovered Ricochet through its flagship podcast in September 2012. I was living in Germany at the time and was ravenous for conversation in a language which I could understand and isn’t exasperating by design. In those days I’d listen to the podcast while hanging clothes out to dry in the basement of our home, […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Can Hillary Do Anything Authentically? #DeleteYourBotsHillary

 

It’s Friday, and since that’s another day of the week, it means a further example of Hillary’s deception and deceit. The accumulated never-ending pile of poop emojis fills the massive trust and honesty deficit canyon known as Clinton, Inc. as exhibited in yesterday’s incredible video. Even after President Obama endorses the first female criminally investigated presidential nominee, her campaign continues to fray at its tattered and torn duplicitous edges.

If you spend anytime online beyond the friendly confines of Ricochet you are aware there is a yuge pro-Hillary support group who bounce from site to site and regurgitate similar spew with such vitriolic precision that it even astounds those who dwell under bridges. And yet, surprise … it now turns out that most of her soylent green “fans” are in fact not made of people, but bits and bytes. Yes, Hillary’s campaign is spending its contributors hard earned donations on creating robots to saturate Algore’s invention.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Town Stocks in the Digital Age

 

1-colonial-stocks-granger

The Internet is a door into the world. One can research history, philosophy, theology, biographies, and read news stories from around the world. But doors go two ways: When you open your web browser you have, in a very real sense, invited people into your home that you would never allow to walk through your front door; in fact, you wouldn’t allow many of them off the sidewalk. In this age of instant information, it is ironic that — with all of us having doors open to the Internet town square — the stocks used in past centuries to punish individuals have reappeared.

The shooting of a gorilla at the Cleveland Zoo to protect a toddler has brought out the… well, hardly the best in some people. Some of those outraged by the killing of the gorilla know how to do Internet research and, when some news outlets released the mother’s name, they acted:

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Senator Sanders did his doddering fool act last month or thereabouts & said, it’s unacceptable that some nobody country worth nothing in comparison to the accounting errors in the federal budget has faster internet than America. I know a bit about that country, because that country is Romania. Yeah, the internet speed is sweet unto […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. China: Harbinger of a Brave New World

 

shutterstock_275764925Totalitarianism is a function of technology. Prior to recent times, governments might claim to be absolute, but they did not have the record-keeping, administrative capacity to make good on that claim. Now they can do so far more easily than ever before — without hiring armies of spies. All that they have to do is follow the population on the Internet and use computers to collect and analyze the data. What Google can do, governments can do — and in Xi Jinping’s China that is what they are going to do. As The Weekly Standard reports,

China’s Communist government is rolling out a plan to assign everyone in the country “citizenship scores.” According to the ACLU, “China appears to be leveraging all the tools of the information age—electronic purchasing data, social networks, algorithmic sorting—to construct the ultimate tool of social control. It is, as one commentator put it, ‘authoritarianism, gamified.’ ” In the system, everyone is measured by a score ranging from 350 to 950, and that score is linked to a national ID card. In addition to measuring your financial credit, it will also measure political compliance. Expressing the wrong opinion—or merely having friends who express the wrong opinion—will hurt your score. The higher your score, the more privileges the government will grant you.

To do this, of course, the Chinese government needs help, and that is where private enterprise comes in. Alibaba and Tencent are set to administer the plan; and, if you hold stock in Yahoo, you are party to this as well.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Shaun’s Musings: The Internet and Privacy

 

My father bought the house’s first computer in 1995. Before then, I had used a rickety old typewriter with a flying ‘g’ that seemed to eat the ink cartridges faster than I could replace them. Happy with my father’s new purchase, I set to work on writing a novel. We had AOL in those days, but the Internet was not anywhere near where it is today. On the first day I started using the Internet, my father sat down with me and gave me a good piece of advice that I have never forgotten. “The Internet is a public place,” he told me. “I don’t care what website says it’s private. Automatically assume that everything you write, buy, and look at online will still be visible twenty years from now.”

That advice came in handy years later when I lost an entire manuscript I had saved since I was sixteen. Remembering that I had shared the file with some friends in order to gain some feedback, I was quickly able to find and download it. The date? May, 1997, just weeks before I graduated high school.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Behold the Canadians, Destroyers of Worlds

 

Avid Life Media is a Toronto-based company that makes millions on the sexual weakness of others. It runs three sites, Ashley Madison, Cougar Life and Established Men. The first two are for married peopleAM that are looking to be matched up for affairs, the latter for young women who wish to be the mistress of a successful and well-heeled man.

Of course, this service is promised to be 100% safe and discreet.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Has the Internet Really Been a “Colossal Economic Disappointment”?

 

shutterstock_59508448That’s the strong claim made by venture capitalist and former Intel executive Bill Davidow for Harvard Business Review“For all its economic virtues, the Internet has been long on job displacement and short on job creation. As a result, it is playing a central role in wage stagnation and the decline of the middle class.”

I took issue with Davidow in a recent piece for The Week. It’s just too much. While there is little doubt that automation has driven job polarization — bad for clerical workers and those doing repetitive factory work — one also has to acknowledge that the US economy is creating gobs of jobs right now. And there is some reason to believe wages will soon be on the upswing. Also, Davidow doesn’t offer evidence that the Internet or robots or other smart machines are behind the sharp drop in labor force participation or the employment rate vs. demographics and the aftermath of the Great Depression. Oh, and what about the nearly million app developer jobs created by the Internet? What’s more, economist David Autor argues that the “the deceleration of the U.S. labor market after 2000, and further after 2007, is more closely associated with … the bursting of the dot-com bubble, followed by the collapse of the housing market and the ensuing financial crisis … and the sharp rise of import penetration from China following its accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001.”

Along the same lines, here is Ferdinando Giugliano in the FT on some new research:

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Fatal Conceit of the FCC

 

Reason ran an article today about the ongoing Title II-based regulation of the Internet by the FCC. If you haven’t followed the issue, the FCC voted in February to reclassify broadband providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act, a move which puts high technology companies on par with Ma Bell, circa 1950. Among other things, this accession to power grants the FCC the ability to regulate rates and the so-called “paid prioritization” of bandwidth.

The authors of the Reason article note the strange tension in allowing the FCC to solve a problem that, apparently, was founded on anti-competition grounds:

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Surreal Fantasies of Western Man

 

isis-flag-1 (350x243)We live in an electronic paradise that is allowing us to retreat from any meaningful contact with another human being.

I can now barricade myself in my own small fortress in the American Southwest and order a pizza or groceries by tapping on some keys. I can leave the money on the front porch in an envelope and peer out the window and wait for the delivery person to leave and without having to say a word to another person my hunger and thirst has been satisfied.

There are beneficial uses of the internet and there are detrimental uses of the internet.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Critical Minority That Makes Us Great

 

shutterstock_94254988After a career in very large business ranging from big industrial work to Silicon Valley madness, I settled down in my second half of life — it used to be called “retirement” — to work with small businesses. After 10 years of advising, coaching, and salvaging many entrepreneurs I’ve come to two conclusions: 1) Starting and keeping a small business healthy is a crucible of pain and challenge to which few are suited; and 2) The large institutions of government, labor, and finance are antithetical to small business existence.

Despite these dire observations, the resilience of America has always been led by the critical few who move outside the established framework and go somewhere new. We once celebrated pioneers —not the famous ones, but the unnamed ones who slogged the Oregon Trail, farmed the plains, or dealt with the Dust Bowl. We saw an untamed, wide-open frontier called the Internet change our everyday lives, driven by thousands of individuals with the drive to try something new.

America provided the freedom to try. It allowed you to fail or prosper.