Thanks to the Internet of Things

Your trash disposal habits might now require a small EMP generator before you can safely throw away a lightbulb.

Recycling is definitely contraindicated without that EMP.  Or a 2 pound sledge (wear eye-protection).

The people scanning the conveyor belt to sort actual trash out of the recycling stream could quickly “monetize” burned out lightbulbs without even the bother of diving into a dumpster, and without any computer skills whatever.

Discarded smart lightbulbs reveal your wifi passwords, stored in the clear

I am quite sure this does not apply only to IoT lightbulbs.

The future is stupid, but not stupider than LIFX management. They sell you electronic security breachers so you can implant them yourself. Which would make you the stupidest.

The engineers at LIFX did not encrypt the RSA key on their “smart” lightbulbs, so an enterprising garbage collector who’d ‘learned to code’ could have root access to your home WiFi because you threw one away.

It isn’t believable that the engineers at LIFX failed to understand this problem.

Therefore, it wasn’t the engineers who decided to ship these Trojan Horses.

Therefore, protestation from LIFX that they’ve cleaned up their act is incredible.

That is, it is as credible as Google and Facebook when they claim they protect your privacy – even though selling it is how they prosper.

This is not to say LIFX planned to harvest your WiFi passwords.  It is to say they just didn’t give a shit.

I can’t wait until lightbulbs speak like HAL… I wonder if you can get HAL’s voice on Alexa or Google Home?

“Light?… Off.”
“Sorry, I can’t do that _your name here_.”

Sadly, most Millennials wouldn’t get the reference, not having seen 2001: A Space Odyessy. I’m sure they are installing these bulbs in their parent’s basements.

In China the government tracks your every move

Information Warfare: 1984 Becomes Real In 2024

In the United States, we just let Google and Facebook track us. With Twitter brownshirts and the Maim Scream Media™ as the enforcers.

On the whole, the Chicoms are likely fairer, and they’re certainly more circumspect.

See Mark Steyn: The Drumbeat of the Mob

and

Neo: The Covington chronicles: on hating the face of a teenage boy

I don’t much like Donald Trump, but, sorry, he’s not the problem.

Talk about toxic personalities and hate speech… you collectivists seriously need a privilege check.

Doublethink Boredom

Leaked video shows Google co-founder Sergey Brin comparing Trump voters to ‘fascists’ as he vows to thwart rise of populism in the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential Election

Brin talks about the typical mentality of Trump voters.He argues that those with ‘routine jobs’ were more likely to vote for Trump than those with ‘non-routine’ jobs – and said ‘boredom’ might explain the President’s popularity.

‘There’s actually a lot of historical precedent for boredom being a huge factor in vote choice,’ Brin told the crowd.

‘And actually in building extremism. We’ve done a lot of work on extremism that shows a high correlation with boredom.’

‘Data suggests that boredom led to the rise of fascism and communism. It sort of sneaks up sometimes, really bad things.’

Google Built China A Prototype Search Engine That Allows Government To Spy On Citizens’

“The search engine, codenamed Dragonfly, was designed for Android devices, and would remove content deemed sensitive by China’s ruling Communist Party regime, such as information about political dissidents, free speech, democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest.”

I guess the difference between the US and China is the Chinese leaders are bored. They’re certainly deplorable, and the routine of operating their totalitarian social credit apparatus must get boring. Especially if you have the mentality of a typical Chinese Communist. Brin’s going to help them with that, but won’t automating the surveillance state make running it even more boring? Where’s the fun in having a computer assign people to re-education camps based on a search term they use?

One must wonder about Brin. On one hand, perhaps we should heed this aphorism from F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” On the other hand, he seems to lack self-awareness.

IAC, Brin does not appear subject to the possibility of cognitive dissonance.

Perhaps George Orwell can explain it for us:

The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies—all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth

-Orwell, George (1949). Nineteen Eighty-Four. Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd, London, part 2, chapter 9, pp 220

You keep using that phrase. I don’t think it means what you want us to believe it means.

From the New York Times, a load of illogical, self-serving tripe:
What Facebook Taught Me About Net Neutrality

A few examples where Andrew McCollum destroys his own argument:

“Some colleges didn’t like Facebook, and because they functioned as their students’ internet providers, they would simply block the site.

While those blocks were always rolled back — often after sustained student outcry — they acutely demonstrated the power of providers to limit the freedom and openness of the internet at whim.”

“Always rolled back.” So, you could say it’s acutely demonstrated that we don’t need government regulation to maintain free access, or to decide what innovation is permitted. And that consumers have power.

“The internet has spurred innovation precisely because it has been an open, level playing field, where barriers to offering new products and services have continually come down over time.”

Yes, precisely as it was for 20 years BEFORE Obama’s imposition of “net neutrality” in 2015. Crediting Obama’s regulation with the innovation which preceded it is breathtakingly dishonest. Freedom is slavery.

“If an internet provider slows or blocks a site that you want to look at, it is denying you the right to freely choose the content that’s important to you.”

Exactly what Facebook, Google, Youtube and Twitter do right now, every f*&king minute, by treating users like rats in a Skinner box; banishing speakers whose politics they disagree with; “demonetizing” sites for the same reason; and skewing search results their Progressive principals’ principles don’t match. For profit. In secret.

“But we shouldn’t stop fighting to make our voices heard. If Mr. Pai’s proposal is adopted, we must take the fight to Congress and the courts until we regain a neutral internet that ensures consumer choice without constraint and innovation without barriers.”

I’m on board with that: As soon as Twitter is banned from banning people; when Google is required to make algorithms that don’t censor – and that don’t favor their own products; when Facebook is made into a public utility; when they all are required to pay YOU for using you as a product and conspiring to track your every interaction. I.e., when they are forced to provide the unfettered access they purport to champion.

Who is it that secretly conducted several unethical experiments in psychological manipulation? Facebook.

Who is it that showed the Russians a way to manipulate voters? Facebook.

Who is it that’s been massively fined for skewing search results? Google.

Who is it that bans normal speech? Twitter.

Who is it that demonetizes educational video channels? Youtube.

Who spies on you and sells your data? All of them.

And most of it is done in secret. You can’t even have a “sustained outcry” if you don’t know they’ve done it. ISPs can’t get away with that.

Here’s what net neutrality is actually about: Getting the government to point guns at what Schmidt and Zuckerberg find inconvenient to their amoral, exploitive business model.

From Evergreen College to Google

We should not be surprised that Google can’t bear to discuss their HR policies: From College Indoctrination to Corporate Intolerance

Moreover, students are taught that political speech with which they disagree is “violence” that should be shut down at all costs. They avoid uncomfortable topics by retreating to “safe spaces” on campus and shout down speakers who do not toe the far left line. Too many administrators and faculty promote such behavior. Those who dare to disagree—like Allison Stanger and Bret Weinstein—are run off campus.

It is no surprise, then, that corporations are increasingly populated with young adults who do not know how to handle political views or scientific claims they have been taught are out of bounds of public discussion. When Google’s diversity officer replied to James Damore’s email, it was an incoherent affirmation of the company’s diversity policy, coupled with an accusation of sexism. It didn’t even attempt to cite reasons why the science Damore mentioned was wrong, or why his political views about diversity policy were misguided. It just asserted they were, and then used that assertion the next day as a pretext to fire him. This is what we get when university professors abuse their power and attempt to turn students into pawns in their political game, rather than autonomous agents with the capacity (but not yet ability) to think for themselves.

The linked article mentions Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate, which I recommend. I’d suggest that reading Alan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind first would repay the reader. It speaks practically to the question of how we got here.

I’ll note that The Other Club has extensively spoken to the issue (note: there’s a lot of link rot). A very partial (not even anything on the “wage gap”) list:

2005
Larry Summers in the fall
Feminism’s self-inflicted wounds
Monkey business
My Mistake…

2006
There are some ideas so idiotic, it takes an intellectual to believe them
People hearing without listening
The Snatch Soliloquy
Orthodoxy prevails

2008
There are 3 kinds of women
Sex, math, and a feminist poll
Math and sex update

2009
Why not Harriet Miers?
Hey big spender…

2011
On the utter humourlessness of Canadian feminist fellow travellers

2015
‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first – verdict afterwards.’
Title IX as our conscience
Safe-space creation gap?

Googlethink

Former Google employee James Damore distributed a memo that asked Google to contemplate its HR policies. For this affront, he’s been fired. Here’s a representative sample of his ten page memo:

I’m not saying that all men differ from all women in the following ways or that these differences are “just.” I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.

I hope it’s clear that I’m not saying that diversity is bad, that Google or society is 100% fair, that we shouldn’t try to correct for existing biases, or that minorities have the same experience of those in the majority. My larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don’t fit a certain ideology. I’m also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I’m advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group (tribalism).

He is polite and conciliatory, but he’s questioning an orthodoxy which will not tolerate even the mildest suggestion that there are differences between males and females. Same thing happened to Larry Summers.

This, in a world where Facebook assures us that 58 “gender” options are not enough.

OK, so Google is intolerant of any opinions that don’t agree with the Progressive narrative. Why would you trust search results from such a company? Would they show you results they dislike if they can’t even bear polite internal discussion of employment policies?

How much confidence do you have in a company whose core principle is using you as a product to micro-define identity groups in order to sell advertising? Does that confidence increase or decrease when they fire someone who asks politely about internal identity group HR policies?

Google’s Alphabet, "A" is for amoral

Do You Trust Larry Page?

Though Mr. “Page is certainly convinced of his righteousness,” I am quite sure I disagree with him about what constitutes a “better world.” I make that claim from observation, not philosophical musing. Page is amoral, as reflected by his business ventures.

“Don’t be evil” is only half of the amoralist’s world view: The difficulty one has in peering out from a hyper-pragmatic moral vacuum is telling the difference.

What makes the author at the link above suppose that Nest (for example) won’t be monetized by advertising? Spying on people to ascertain what ads to serve them is the entire basis of Google.

When your Nest thermostat is reporting directly to the EPA that you’ve not set it lower but you’re using less gas, will they come to impose a fine if you have a Federally non-compliant woodstove? I guess that’s not technically advertising, but it’s certainly revenue enhancing for the Feds. If they buy the data from Google.

When your fridge is broadcasting how much ice cream, and what brand and flavor you eat, is it monetized by advertising? Only if Ben and Jerry and WeightWatchers bid on the data, I guess.

Android is not a cesspit of privacy violation and a security disaster by accident, and possibly not even by design. Larry Page just doesn’t care. As the author points out, Android is a Unix derivative, just like iOS. It’s how Unix was bent to corporate intent that’s the difference. Android is “free.” TANSTAAFL, as Robert Heinlein was wont to say.

Self driving cars are not being made for the convenience of the customer. They’ll help update Google Maps and report where you are at any moment, where you’ve been, and predict where you’ll go next. They’ll record every conversation, like your up-to-date television does now.

And forget that anyway, the objective is to make everything near you report about you on Twitter: The corporate surveillance State.

Imagine the public shaming to erupt in California when your bathroom scale reports a dripping shower head on its Facebook page. I don’t exaggerate: Remember, “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down?” That was California’s partial answer to the water crisis of the 70’s. It’s back, and soon they’ll have a way to check if you’re obeying. First, they gave you a toilet that must be flushed twice when it’s brown, next they’re going to check if you dare flush once when it’s yellow. Ads to get you to purchase the required sensor will be placed on your browser by Google when you search for “bathroom remodel.”

Google has several health care initiatives: Do you want them to know when you get a Viagra prescription? Start taking a cancer drug? Refill only half as often as expected because you can’t afford it, and are cutting your pills in half? Do you get ads for hookers, funeral homes and Canadian pharmacies as a result? That’s rhetorical.

Do the ads display on your new Nest 10 inch LCD thermostat with the microphone that not only lets you speak to it, but to Page’s servers? That’s an educated guess.

If you book an abortion, should the people who buy from Planned Parenthood get “Buy it now” rights on the parts supply? Google will sell that information if they are allowed to. Or even if they aren’t.

I trust Page to follow his “righteousness.” That is, to promote a soul sucking deconstruction of individual rights the extent of which we can’t yet quite grasp.

P.S.
Larry Page, of course, is not alone.
Harvard student loses Facebook internship after pointing out privacy flaws
Surveillance-based manipulation: How Facebook or Google could tilt elections
Billion Dollar Bully Trailer
Turning Humans Into Algos: The Trend Of Employees Wearing “Biosensing Wearable Devices” At Work

National Snooping Algorithm

The program [NSA’s PRISM, the record of all the phone calls you’ve ever made] does not allow the Government to listen in on anyone’s phone calls. The information acquired does not include the content of any communications or the identity of any subscriber.
-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper
DNI Statement on Recent Unauthorized Disclosures of Classified Information – June 6, 2013

Translated: “We don’t eavesdrop, we merely develop a map of everyone you talk to, everything you search for on the Internet and everything you buy with a credit card. And, by the way, your identity is obvious when we have that data. We promise not to look.”

Make sure you read this –
Why the Metadata the NSA Has on You Matters

Sufficiently thorough correlation reveals content. “Data mining” is Google’s raison d’être, Obama’s Narwhal (2012 campaign software) and NSA’s PRISM. Consider the following in that context.

The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide.”
-Barack Obama,
Weekly national address – August 21, 2010

If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.
-Google CEO Eric Schmidt
CNBC interview – December 3, 2009.

Google’s chairman is investing millions to fund a consulting firm for businesses staffed by Obama’s former data analytics team.
Google’s Eric Schmidt Invests in Obama’s Big Data Brains
Bloomberg Businessweek – May 30, 2013

Can you think of a word for a form of government that describes this sort of cooperation between giant corporations and government?

As ye sow, so shall ye reap

TOC sarcastically urged the fairness doctrine of “Search Neutrality” as an anodyne to Google’s crony capitalist push for “network neutrality.” Indeed, ye should be careful what ye wish for, Google. “Search neutrality” statists are now on your case.

Neutral search is what you should have championed, and demonstrated beyond all possible doubt. It’s the prime directive for your abandoned motto – “Don’t be Evil.”

Your neutrality is was your sacred trust, and getting straight with that discarded motto is probably a matter of survival as a private company. You promote open source software, though that’s more lip-service than reality. You lobby to make internet infrastructure a government service. Why should you object to enforced “neutral” search?

If people believe that exchanging your search algorithms for those of the Obama Administration wouldn’t make all that much difference, where does that leave you? You need to start thinking about all the things that distinguish you from Orwell’s Ministry of Truth. If you can’t explain these things, you will be assimilated by the O’Borg. And who will notice?