Category Archives: Newsworthy

Who we are dealing with

As our President works to secure peace, we must, with vigilance, remain eyes-wide-open about the nature of his counterpart, especially the methods Kim Jong-un employs to maintain power.

Atrocities Under Kim Jong-un: Indoctrination, Prison Gulags, Executions

With the meeting of President Trump and Kim Jong-un of North Korea on Tuesday in Singapore, human rights groups are watching for Mr. Trump to bring up North Korea’s widespread crimes against humanity. Mr. Kim rules with extreme brutality, making his nation among the worst human rights violators in the world.

Parliament statement

Food for thought from across the pond…

Russian Hybrid Offensives: November Statement to Parliament

Below is the unedited text of a statement sent to to the UK Parliament’s Fake News Inquiry on November 21 2017. The intention at the time of its submission was to provide Parliament and MPs the time to deal with inevitable future disinformation campaigns led by the Kremlin.

 

A little poison for the system

If I may offer an opinion by way of metaphor: A dose of bureaucratic inertia, with a chaser of simple-minded weakness, salted rim of cynical political manipulation, and this toxic tonic of state and military justice is made ready yet again for our body politic to gut.

GTMO symbolizes the inversion of American ideals. It’s a tragedy, a poison in the system that endures.

Mr. Trump, give these men trials, sentence them to normal military prisons — show real strength and affect real change where your predecessors could not: Find a deal to shutter this ugly creature from the swamp. The legacy you seek, to make America great again, can yet be secured.

Marcus

Trump Signs Order To Keep Prison At Guantanamo Bay Open

President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to keep open the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, after pledging during the campaign to “load it up with some bad dudes.”

Digital frontlines

In the interview below, a Googler speaks about “the redirect method”, a technique her colleagues used to influence extremist sympathizers away from ISIS through targeted advertising. While any effort to combat extremism is good news, what the savvy young employee of the megacorporation misses is that it’s the targeted advertising itself, and the consolidation of media online, that her company and its very few rivals like Facebook have done to global society that may be the more relevant concern. As many have noted, Google and Facebook’s recommendation algorithms and market dominance create closed information systems, rabbit holes of intensification that steer viewers toward greater consumption of self-same information. So the young man who watches an ISIS video will be bombarded with more ISIS videos well before he ticks a blip on anti-ISIS algorithm, and is finally served alternative information that may pull him back from the abyss.

Alphabet and Facebook are not honest brokers. They have engineered, deliberately, media systems that offer free societies high-stakes emotional manipulation over civil discourse: propaganda over debate, all in service of that age-old, but deadly sin, avarice. This new old-reality begs a few questions: Who benefits? Can it be controlled? Would mandating a diversity of viewpoints from the algorithms be helpful? Maybe it’s time to consider breaking up businesses that control so much of what we see, what we think?

What is social media doing to society?

We need to deepen our understanding of how social media platforms are being weaponized-and to find technological solutions to counter this trend. MIT Technology Review’s Martin Giles and Yasmin Green of Jigsaw explore this topic.

Hybrid threat

I recently had to write a few paragraphs about something called a hybrid threat. Results below.

— Marcus

Al-Amlaqa

The 51st state

15 years ago, it was predicted…

The Fifty-First State?

Going to war with Iraq would mean shouldering all the responsibilities of an occupying power the moment victory was achieved. These would include running the economy, keeping domestic peace, and protecting Iraq's borders-and doing it all for years, or perhaps decades. Are we ready for this long-term relationship?

 

— Marcus