Dezinformatsiya is in the eye of the beholden

Surgeon general Dr. Vivek Murthy has instructed major tech platforms, already squirming under Congress’ thumb, to submit information about CCP virus COVID ‘misinformation’ on social media, search engines, instant messaging systems, etc., etc.. Big Tech is to determine how much misinformation has flowed/is flowing through their sites.

He doesn’t mention email, but – in the name of ‘Public Health’ – I see no barrier to him asking NSA for a dump of all email with the phrases “Fauci lies,” “Joe Rogan,” “Wuhan flu,” or “Great Barrington Declaration,” and/or the words “ivermectin,” “hydrochloroquine,” “zinc,” and “Z-pack” in any combination.

As explained in the Federal Register, Dr. Murthy wants to know

“exactly how many users saw or may have been exposed to instances of Covid-19 misinformation,” [as well as] “Any aggregate data and analysis on how many users were exposed, were potentially exposed, or otherwise engaged with COVID-19 misinformation…

“The definition of health misinformation for the purposes of this RFI is health information that is false, inaccurate, or misleading according to the best available evidence at the time…

Starting with, but not limited to, these common examples of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation documented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), any aggregate data and analysis on the prevalence of COVID-19 misinformation on individual platforms including exactly how many users saw or may have been exposed to instances of COVID-19 misinformation.”

So is the flip-flop advice from CDC about whether N-95 masks work serial misinformation? How about whether cloth masks work? Is it about the possibility the CCP virus leaked from a Chinese lab? Careers were stunted for asking that question. Scientists were heartily vilified.

Is it misinformation that natural immunity doesn’t count? How about counting death with COVID as death from COVID?

Is this misinformation from the CDC?

MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines can alter my DNA.
FACT: COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.

Both messenger RNA (mRNA) and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines work by delivering instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.

After the body produces an immune response, it discards all the vaccine ingredients just as it would discard any information that cells no longer need. This process is a part of normal body functioning.

The genetic material delivered by mRNA vaccines never enters the nucleus of your cells, which is where your DNA is kept. Viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver genetic material to the cell nucleus to allow our cells to build protection against COVID-19. However, the vector virus does not have the machinery needed to integrate its genetic material into our DNA, so it cannot alter our DNA.”

That myth/fact distinction seems to be not so settled science. BNT162b2 is the Pfizer vaccine. You can skip to the sentence I bolded:
Intracellular Reverse Transcription of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 In Vitro in Human Liver Cell Line

“Preclinical studies of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine BNT162b2, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, showed reversible hepatic effects in animals that received the BNT162b2 injection. Furthermore, a recent study showed that SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be reverse-transcribed and integrated into the genome of human cells. In this study, we investigated the effect of BNT162b2 on the human liver cell line Huh7 in vitro. Huh7 cells were exposed to BNT162b2, and quantitative PCR was performed on RNA extracted from the cells. We detected high levels of BNT162b2 in Huh7 cells and changes in gene expression of long interspersed nuclear element-1 (LINE-1), which is an endogenous reverse transcriptase. Immunohistochemistry using antibody binding to LINE-1 open reading frame-1 RNA-binding protein (ORFp1) on Huh7 cells treated with BNT162b2 indicated increased nucleus distribution of LINE-1. PCR on genomic DNA of Huh7 cells exposed to BNT162b2 amplified the DNA sequence unique to BNT162b2. Our results indicate a fast up-take of BNT162b2 into human liver cell line Huh7, leading to changes in LINE-1 expression and distribution. We also show that BNT162b2 mRNA is reverse transcribed intracellularly into DNA in as fast as 6 h upon BNT162b2 exposure.”

The misinformation definition does include “best available information at the time.” Which would seem sensible but for the examples of such information flipping back and forth on masking, for example, and D. Fauci’s admission that he lied about it. As he also admittedly lied about the threshold for herd immunity.

So, who determines the best available information? The government bureaucrats? Whom we know lie for political and CYA purposes?

When is mis actually dis? Maybe when spreading information you know to be false? Like Dr. Fauci’s mask/herd immunity lies, or his semantic games around gain-of-function, or his surreptitious interference with the Great Barrington Declaration?

And when does “at the time” expire? Is “vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way,” now misinformation? Half-misinformation? It’s only been shown in vitro, after all. The ‘Public Health’ narrative is that we don’t tell the public until there have been a couple of gold-standard RTCs in vivo. The public won’t mis this information. If they had it they might choose not to follow our advice about an experimental vaccine.

What Dr. Murthy’s definition means is ‘whatever we tell you at the time.’ And with the threat of Congressional regulation, he’s looking to enforce that under the “Public Health” version of the 1st Amendment. So, it’s far from over when Murthy gets the social media data.

Why wouldn’t he also have to know about the disproportionate effects of the CDC’s unconstitutional seizure of the rental housing market?

Seventy seven

The Other Club was first published February 19, 2005 on Google’s Blogspot.I have included a first day post below. It celebrated a display of American valor and courage that had taken place 60 years earlier.

In 2005 “valor and courage” would have been a nearly universal opinion. The memory would have invoked reverence and gratitude. Seventeen years later, I wonder…

As the post went up, Myspace was the largest social networking site in the world. The first ever Tweet was 13 months in the future. Facebook would not open to the general public for almost 18 months. YouTube had come online 4 days earlier. Ask Jeeves was still a thing. Google Maps had just been launched on February 8. Pandora was to be launched on August 25. Tumblr was 2 years in the future.

Surveillance capitalism was just booting up.

If you wanted to be notified of a new post at any given blog, you would subscribe to its RSS feed. If it supported one. To find other sites you might find interesting, you depended on blogrolls and word of mouth.

Content wasn’t targeted at you based on deep learning analysis of every search you conducted, every website you visited, every cell tower you passed, the content of your emails, every person you “followed”, every purchase you made, every app you used, or a comprehensive summary of the computer make and model, browser, OS, graphics processor, IP and MAC addresses… etc., you used while volunteering that information.

It was more likely than not you didn’t “google it” in 2005. Google processed a bit less than 37% of searches then. Ranked 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively; Yahoo, MSN, and AOL handled 54%.

Now Google attracts more than 90% of internet queries. Reading more than Twitter’s 140 280 characters before concretizing your righteous outrage has become passé. Facebook has gobbled up the open discussion space by strategically monetizing polarization.

Add TikTok, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, etc. etc., and you get a cultural petri dish where narcissistic moral-superiority contests flourish, and “mean girls” of both sexes actually make a living by practicing their sociopathy.

Signaling virtuous victimhood as indicators of Dark Triad personalities, from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, is a look into who powers the victimhood industrial complex.

“We show that individuals with Dark Triad traits-Machiavellianism, Narcissism, Psychopathy-more frequently signal virtuous victimhood, controlling for demographic and socioeconomic variables that are commonly associated with victimization in Western societies.”

A popular way to monetize victimhood is complaining about cultural appropriation. Hoop earrings, for example. As if persons of ‘Latinx’ persuasion invented hoop earrings. And, in their cultural purity, refuse to use anything invented by, say, a dead white British male. Like vaccination.

An environmental impact study would find “the better angels of our nature” an endangered species in a shrinking habitat. Gossip, maliciousness, and reputation savaging, you see, scale and can be monetized. And it works just as well if you can appropriate victimhood.

Well, this turned into more of a rant than a ‘happy anniversary to me.’ Enough.

TOC documents some bits of the last 17 years. Of topical interest, there are 109 posts tagged ‘canada’ as I write. The first is from February 25, 2005. I just tagged it. There are certainly more. Blogspot didn’t have tagging for a long time and I have only partially updated them. Now I’ll have to complete ‘Canada.’

I have made TOC’s ~2,900 posts into a ~2,100 page PDF. About 1.1 million words. Electronically signed copies can be made available. ;)

I think I managed to meet the level of Theodore Sturgeon’s adage: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.” ;)

Anyaway, here’s that first day post I mentioned above. Blogspot didn’t provide for images then, so I’m adding what I would have used.

Original inks have rotted and are replaced from web.archive.org.Saturday, February 19, 2005

Flags of our Fathers
John Bradley, Franklin Sousley, Harlon Block, Ira Hayes, Rene Gagnon and Mike Strank are the Navy corpsman and Marines who, on 23-February-1945, raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi. It’s a famous picture.

Still, Suribachi’s island wasn’t declared secure until 26-March, and it was 7-April before American fighter planes took off from the refurbished runway so many had died to secure.

Describing the Americans who fought this battle, Admiral Nimitz uttered the words that appear on the Arlington Cemetery monument to that flag raising: “Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue”.

Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal said that “the raising of that flag on Suribachi means there will be a Marine Corps for the next 500 years.”

Thank you Marines. Semper Fi. 440 years to go; though I expect you’ve extended that a bit in the interim.

Today is the anniversary of the beginning of the death-struggle for Iwo Jima, in which over 2,000 Marines died in the first 18 hours of fighting.

In the next 36 days Marines had a casualty every 2 minutes. 6,821 Americans and over 20,000 Japanese died. Of 353 Medals of Honor awarded during WWII, 27 were given for heroism on Iwo Jima; 13 posthumously.

And this was not the end of the Pacific war. In fact, it was just the first battle on Japanese soil.

My appreciation of this battle, and my gratitude to those who fought it, grew immensely when I read a book given to me by a former Marine. That book is Flags of our Fathers, by James Bradley.

Bradley discovered that his father, a Navy corpsman who survived the battle of Iwo Jima, had not only been awarded a Navy Cross for his efforts there, but was one of the men in the famous picture of the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi. He discovered this only after his father had died, as he sorted through his father’s papers.

Danielle Girdano is another person belatedly aware of her father’s contribution on Iwo Jima.

18 year old private first class Daniel Girdano, 4th Marine Division, 24th Regiment, 1st Battalion A Company, first saw Iwo Jima’s beaches on 19-February-1945. His daughter learned what really happened there almost by accident. She bought a vial of Iwo Jima ash for her father as a Christmas present in 2003, and he could not speak of his experiences still. “He saw this vial of ash, and this man who I’ve known my entire life as the Rock of Gibraltar, broke down,” she said.
https://web.archive.org/web/20051111155604/http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/westmoreland/s_303180.html

What she learned from her small gift resulted in the Legend of Heroes Memorial. A monument in glass, metal and wood; it has the faces of 10 Iwo Jima vets engraved on it. Her father is one of them. It is beginning a 49 state tour this weekend.

It is inscribed, “Boys became men, men became heroes, heroes became legends.”

I am cowed by the modesty, even self-effacement, of men like Bradley’s and Girdano’s fathers; though it is typical of those WWII vets who saw soul-wrenching combat. Part of it is certainly the modesty becoming of a different era, but I think most of it arises from the pain their experiences brought. (Note to John Kerry – your eagerness, sustained for 30 years, to capitalize on your experiences of “atrocities” in Viet Nam is one of the reasons you were not credible.)

I recommend Flags of our Fathers, but for a brief tour you should read Arthur Herman’s piece at:
https://web.archive.org/web/20060207155223/http://opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110006317

Herman also invokes contemporary issues via a perspective on the doubt and debate surrounding WWII strategies that most of us now think of as uncontroversial.
# posted by Hershblogger @ 2/19/2005 06:46:00 PM

For (targeting) the children

Chinese regulators call on gaming companies to protect kids’ physical, mental health

China is concerned about Chinese children’s exposure to Chinese social media apps like TikTok…

TikTok Faces EU Data Probes Into Children’s Safety, China Link
Bloomberg, Sep 14

How TikTok Serves Up Sex and Drug Videos to Minors
WSJ (paywall), Sep 8
Alternate sites here, summary; and here, archive.

…then maybe we should be concerned about our kids exposure to it, too. As well as exposure to our own ‘social’ media.

Facebook under more scrutiny after own research shows Instagram is harmful to teens
CNet, Sep 15

Techsurrection

Insurrection as a Service

Mike Solana, a VP at Founders Fund, has written incisively about the deteriorating relationship between the tech ‘community’ and California, especially San Franciscan, politicians. More on that later.

For now, you will likely enjoy the writing and the sentiment at the link above, subtitled “tech’s extraordinary act of censorship, power, implications, and maybe we should talk about the shadow state.”

Pirate Wires is a substack ‘blog.’ I’ve been checking substack (an interesting business model) regularly lately for reasoned insight from left-liberals* who’ve been booted from the MSM… Bari Weiss. Matt Taibbi. Glenn Greenwald.

I do not know Solana’s politics, but if he’s a VP at Founders Fund, I’m guessing he gets along with Peter Theil – whom I’ve mentioned before as my pick for President.

*I mean classical liberal, since it’s still necessary to specify

Pirate Wires is worth a subscription, the entry level is free.

Update:
I do object to this bit of that article, “The American Bill of Rights was written at the time of the printing press, a machine that anyone could buy…” Technically true, maybe, but I don’t think very many could afford a printing press.

Rallying the Tropes

The Left Aims to Pressure Big Tech to Silence Conservatives

That headline misses the real point. Oh, that’s part of it, but the real agenda is even more corrupt. Scarborough is advancing AOC’s call for regulating thought. Maim Scream Media™ just wants to write the regulations.

Normally a vicious attack by some noxious leftwing blowhards on a leftwing corporatist institution warms my heart, but this is actually an attempt by an increasingly irrelevant group of mendacious talking heads to weaponize the First Amendment against a rival which is eating their lunch.

And note that a Duck-Duck-Go search for – AOC’s call for regulating media – and the same search on Google search using the ‘!g’ parameter via Duck-Duck-Go, returns no reporting on AOC’s demand from CBS, NBC, NPR, ABC, NYT, WaPo, etc. etc..

Fox News, Reason Magazine, Forbes, and foreign papers, yes. But not the fifth columnists hiding behind a narrow definition of the word “press” in the First Amendment.

Seeing like a State

From our friends at the International Monetary Fund comes this innovation.

“Credit scoring using so-called hard information (income, employment time, assets and debts) is nothing new. Typically, the more data is available, the more accurate is the assessment. But this method has two problems. First, hard information tends to be “procyclical”: it boosts credit expansion in good times but exacerbates contraction during downturns.

The second and most complex problem is that certain kinds of people, like new entrepreneurs, innovators and many informal workers might not have enough hard data available…

Fintech resolves the dilemma by tapping various nonfinancial data: the type of browser and hardware used to access the internet, the history of online searches and purchases. Recent research documents that, once powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, these alternative data sources are often superior than [sic] traditional credit assessment methods, and can advance financial inclusion, by, for example, enabling more credit to informal workers and households and firms in rural areas.”

“[C]an advance financial inclusion…” By definition, then, it can advance credit exclusion.

Websites, Twitter accounts, YouTube videos, hosting platforms, and credit card processing are all already being cancelled, shadowbanned, disappeared and denied for political reasons. Now they propose to use your computer model, search history, and the sites you visit to determine your credit score.

If you visit the Southern Poverty Law Center too often, or QAnon more frequently than you “should” according to some algorithm; if you search for “All Lives Matter” or “Green Nude Eel;” if you use a Chromebook or an obscure brand tablet – then your credit score may suffer. That could turn out to be the least of your problems.

I can’t count the number of times people have told me they aren’t worried about such corporate espionage when I point out what Facebook really is, or tell them why to use Duck-Duck-Go instead of Google search. “I’m not doing anything wrong and have nothing to hide.” The problem, I explain, is that they aren’t the ones who decide that.

“The old cliché is often mocked though basically true: there’s no reason to worry about surveillance if you have nothing to hide. That mindset creates the incentive to be as compliant and inconspicuous as possible: those who think that way decide it’s in their best interests to provide authorities with as little reason as possible to care about them. That’s accomplished by never stepping out of line. Those willing to live their lives that way will be indifferent to the loss of privacy because they feel that they lose nothing from it. Above all else, that’s what a Surveillance State does: it breeds fear of doing anything out of the ordinary by creating a class of meek citizens who know they are being constantly watched.”

~ Glenn Greenwald

Mau-mauing the swamp dwellers

Facebook and YouTube continue to bury, or outright ban, well founded commentary on CCP virus public policy and the myriad election irregularities of which the Uniparty disapproves.

They aren’t alone. Amazon has banned books. Twitter banned all mention of Hunter Biden’s laptop, including suspending the New York Post‘s account.

That ban arguably lasted long enough to affect the election, and now that we know Hunter Biden has been under Federal criminal investigation since 2019 for his foreign business dealings, it seems like Twitter, et. al., should have some accountability.

The article slice below is behind a paywall. I think Glenn Greenwald is worth the less than a buck a week as an honest liberal entrepreneur. You pay as much for the CNN/MSNBC/CBS/PBS/ABC/NBC channels on your cable.

Some of what he writes is public. A link appears in TOC’s blogroll under Glenn Greenwald.

Greenwald left The Intercept (he was a founder) because they spiked an article he wrote about Hunter Biden before the election. That’s when I checked out his independent gig on Substack.

Greenwald (this one is paywalled) provides a gimlet eyed view:

The revelation that Hunter Biden is being criminally investigated for his business activities in China came on Monday from the investigative target himself, and he predictably and self-servingly depicted it as just a narrow probe about his “tax affairs” by the U.S. Attorney for Delaware. As I wrote last night, that by itself would be significant enough — the documents published in the weeks before the election by The New York Post contained ample information about exactly that matter, yet were widely repressed by a union of mainstream news outlets, the intelligence community and Silicon Valley based on propaganda and lies. But new reporting suggest the investigation has been far broader.

“The federal investigation into President-elect Joe Biden’s son Hunter has been more extensive than a statement from Hunter Biden indicates,” Politico reported Monday night. Specifically, “the securities fraud unit in the Southern District of New York also scrutinized Hunter Biden’s finances”; “investigators in Delaware and Washington were also probing potential money laundering and Hunter Biden’s foreign ties”; and “federal authorities in the Western District of Pennsylvania are conducting a criminal investigation of a hospital business in which Joe Biden’s brother James was involved.” CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz added that “at least one of the matters investigators have examined is a 2017 gift of a 2.8-carat diamond that Hunter Biden received from CEFC [China Energy’]’s founder and former chairman Ye Jianming after a Miami business meeting.”

We’re slipping into fascism backwards. One normally thinks of the formal government (Mussolini comes to mind) as the instigator of fascism*, but in the current case it’s most certainly rent-seeking large corporations leading the charge. And that goes far beyond our cybernetic overlords. It’s also Maim Scream Media™, academiots, and corporate whores mau-mauing the swamp dwellers.

Of course, Antifa and the present cadre of BLM have raised mau-mauing to an actually dangerous level with arson, looting, assault, and murder. They would be the brownshirts.

Then, there’s this:
Hunter Biden Email Reportedly Names Kamala Harris, Others as Key Contacts for ‘Joint Venture’ With China Energy Co

Perhaps Eric Swalwell could do with a serious “debriefing.”

*That definition is fatally flawed because it includes a mention of capitalism, but the misunderstanding is pervasive. Free markets are required under capitalism. Fascism precludes free markets.