Category Archives: internet freedom

Social Media Isn’t Real (And That’s Okay).

Two quick reminders: Social media isn’t real and I write this blog from a female feminist perspective. My views may be completely off the wall compared with yours (isn’t that cool?!), and whatever the next few paragraphs say, they are no means an attack on anyone I personally know- I feel we can all relate to this shit, na’mean?

i like you more than the instagram you

This is probably true, unless ur a garbage person in real life but super sweet online.

So recently, a few people have commented on pictures of me and my finance on social media, saying things along the line of “perfect couple” or whatever. And I’m not gonna lie, that attention is kind of a nice feeling, but nonetheless I’ve been really, really taken back by these statements. Because a picture alone cannot tell you much about our relationship. I’m not saying that my relationship with my partner is bad or anything like that, but it’s definitely not “perfect”, and I don’t want people thinking that about us, because, well, it’s not true! Also, just real quick: no one’s relationship is perfect.

I know a lot of people have been feeling less-than lately because of internet culture, and I just want to reiterate that social media is not real, and perceive people’s “realness” based on their social media persona can be super toxic, yo. What we see online of people is just part of their cultivated digital personality. Ok, wait a minute. Let me back up real quick. What we see online is of real shit, but the meaning we infer from it is not real. I like social media. I get to see pictures of my friends kids, of my family that lives far away, and just funny shit that my friends post. However, thinking that these pictures are actually a true, complete representation of these people’s lives is way misleading.

Yo, you wanna know the real kicker is? It’s that our feeling of less-than in comparison to someone else’s social media life actually has everything to do with our own perceived inadequacy. Feeling envious of anything or anyone is totally based in how we feel about ourselves, right? We can’t be envious unless we are comparing ourselves to someone else, and if we feel shitty about ourselves in the first place, than jealousy is gonna come around a lot quicker. It sucks that social media makes people think that their lives have to be a certain way because their “friends” lives look that way. Also, this is a pretty big realization that I had to learn the hard way, through years of being jealous (including being jealous of people online). I totally was in the camp of “I suck at life because my house is always messy, I don’t know how to be super crafty/good at makeup/athletic/rich/someone who travels a lot/insert whatever here, plus I have split ends and acne on my face”. It wasn’t until I learned that it is freaking impossible to compare my true, authentic personality to anyone else’s, that I started to feel better about my less than perfect life. We are all unique, and that’s a freaking wonderful, crazy, amazing thing! If my house was spotless, and super beautifully decorated from shit I made, and if I went surfing every weekend after having a brunch of grass-fed grass, well… I probably wouldn’t be super thrilled because that’s not being authentic to myself! It honestly took me basically my whole life to understand this- that there is no reason to compare myself to anyone else because it’s comparing apples and anti-freeze. We’re all different and that’s dope.

Ok, ok ok, I’m being a little overzealous. I totally still get jealous sometimes. I look at people’s Instagram posts and that thought will come in my head- the “I’m not worthy” thought. The thing is now I have a following thought that is, “oh shit, social media can’t communicate what the real truth is behind this picture, and this person strategically picked this photo to post”. ALSO, I don’t know what your motive was for posting that photo, just like you don’t know what my motive was for posting another picture of my dog (it’s because my dog is the fucking cutest and I want the world to know).

And also- it’s totally okay to post whatever the fuck you want. Who gives a shit. And if you post something like a selfie because you are feeling shitty, and want some superficial attention- dude, that’s okay. Or maybe you’re really feeling yourself and that’s why you post a selfie. Dude, do you. Sometimes, when I’m down, I’ll take a selfie and filter the fuck out of it because it makes me feel better. But here’s the deal- it’s still not real, and once we all start realizing that about social media, I bet you $5 that a lot of people will start to feel better about their lives. I think social media can be a really great thing. We just have to keep in mind that it’s not real before actual, real emotions develop in response.

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A Quick Explanation of “Cuck”

First off- googling “‘cuck’ sucks” is nsfw. i learned that the hard way.

cuck robot

it’s just a fucking dumb word for dumb people

Okay. So the word “cuck” (short for “cuckservative”) has been floating around the internet for the past year. Or, at least, I only started noticing it in the past year and it was pretty much reserved to the subreddits of /r/pol and /r/thedonald until a few months ago. Recently, I’ve been seeing “cuck” used as an insult, or to insinuate an insult, on more mainstream internet platforms like Facebook and I’ve also heard it used IRL, pronounced in a bunch of different ways.

I’ve been interested in the etymology of the word “cuck” for a while now, especially because of the alt-right implications, and finally devoted a few hours of a stormy Sunday afternoon to dig in. And boy, oh boy, what a mess I found.

So, I’ve always associated “cuck” with the alt-right. Now listen, my knowledge of the alt right is limited to grabya-headlines about Richard Spencer getting punched in the face and from Chapo Trap House’s explanation of  things like Alpha-males and their riveting reading series of people like Mike Cernovich. If I had to describe the alt-right, I’d say they are a loosely organized far-right group, majorly male, and who aim for a society that furthers oppressive patriarchy for capitalistic gains that is ultimately rooted in hate/fear. Their values revolve around preserving the white man’s race, so hello racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and all the other different ways to categorize hating one group of people that are not white.

Okay, wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s get back to “cuck”. The word itself sounds like a bad word. It starts off with that hard c sound (see: the same sound in the beginning of “cunt”), and ends in the hard “ck” (see: the same sound at the end of “cock”). The mere pronunciation sounds like words that we already deem as offensive. What my mind first went to when I read “cuck” for the first times online was the sound a chicken would make- cuck cuck cuck! You know, like cucking. Turns out, I was kind of right. “Cuck” is a derivative from “cuckoo bird”… and “cuck” is a shortened form of “cuckold”… and a “cuckold”, by the definition of dictionary.com, is a husband to an unfaithful wife…Okay, wait, what? Okay, okay, okay, let’s recap- The cuckoo bird, which is a bird depicted as “crazy” in many different folklores from around the world, is the root term for “cuckold”, who is the husband of a wife that has sex with other men, which is the root for “cuck”, which is the insult that this whole blog post is about.

So apparently, cuckold is also a porn genre… I’m not well versed in porn genres, but cuckold porn seems to take different forms, all involving a man’s wife having sex. Apparently, a lot of cuckold porn includes the unfaithful white wife sleeping with a black man, which relates back to the inherent racism that exists in the alt-right. Some men in online communities have even professed that they are proud cuckolds- they enjoy watching their wife have sex with another person. So, this is where I am confused- this isn’t really that crazy of a fetish, right? It’s not really all that taboo at all. So here I think is where the alt-right tried to morph this term into an insult. When the alt-right uses “cuck” or “cuckservative” they are calling out men who don’t subscribe to their creed as weak. “These cucks can’t even take charge of their life enough to keep their wives from cheating!” The alt-right are simply appealing to men’s vulnerability about masculinity . “Cuck” is aimed specifically to offend men- to question their masculinity… because a cheating wife is emasculating (in the alt-right’s opinion). I hope that the men I know have a strong enough sense of self and understanding of human relationships that they wouldn’t feel less masculine because their wife was unfaithful. It also is in the favor of the alt-right that “cuck” has a harsh pronunciation and sounds like an offensive word.

For cuckold to exist, a power hierarchy in genders must exist- The implication of the alt-right’s definition of cuck is based on the idea that men should be stronger than women, that they should keep their women in line, and that they should be manly enough to control their life. They try to make the association between cuck and lack of autonomy, and this bias is completely sexist. The idea that a husbands wife is cheating on him with a black man, well that is just unacceptable, the worst-of-the-worst, in the alt-right’s eye! Ugh, what a bunch of sexist and racist fearful little boys.

The evolution of this word is interesting because of its rapid spread throughout online political culture and it’s ambiguous pejorative use.  Any man who is not an alt-right pledgee, is by default a cuck (and therefore a beta, but that’s a whole different blog post).  If the alt-right was actively trying to recruit members, then they would need to rethink their messaging- “cuck” doesn’t pacify men any more than the word “bitch” or “pussy” does. But, I don’t think the alt-right is actively trying to recruit members. Sure, they allow for prospective members to come to them, but they aren’t necessarily marketing themselves in the mainstream. So that’s actually really comforting, because the alt-right doesn’t have nearly as much power as the internet will lead you to believe. They are simply a group of men, who sit behind computer screens, and believe that they are genetically better than non-white men, and that their genetic traits need to be preserved.

I feel like “cuckservative” or “cuck” is just a really dumb and lazy insult. I mean, “cuck” in itself has no real meaning. At least “pussy” has a meaning.  As far as “pussy”‘s etymology, I wonder what came first- the vagina or the insult? Who knows.  I guess where insults come from doesn’t really matter, but my money’s on vagina (my theory is “pussycat” being used as a sexual innuendo dating back to like the Elvis days).

Alright. So what would I want someone to get from this blog post? That the word “cuck” is stupid, and it shouldn’t be given any greater power than the measly muscles it already has. “Cuck” exists in the alt-right universe, and we don’t need to acknowledge that realm of the digital milieu if we don’t want to. Using the word “cuck” just associates you with the alt-right losers and honestly has no real meaning other than the meaning that we give to it.

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Progressives and Political Correctness (or lack of)

on-political-correctness

lulz but 4real

I just watched a Dave Rubin YouTube video entitled” Why I Left the Left”,  uploaded via Prager University (just real quick, incase you’re not familiar- they aren’t a university, they’re a blog/media site that gave themselves the title of “university”). Rubin basically said progressives don’t have a progressive agenda because progressives support censorship via political correctness, they don’t believe in the exercise of free speech as demonstrated from such responses in Berkeley to Milo’s planned speech, and they don’t believe that laws should protect religious freedoms even though the absent of these laws violates religious people’s conscious and autonomy (ie: progressives believe no matter who comes in for a wedding cake, say Adam and Steve, Cathy’s Christian Cakes still has to make it even though Cathy believes that Adam and Steve are the devil). Oh, and the video also asserts that trigger warnings are bad and are for cry baby snowflakes who can’t deal with a little blood/angry words.

None of this is true. At least it isn’t true for myself and the “progressives” that I surround myself with. Videos like Rubin’s referenced here are dangerous because they’re spreading a message that generalizes a huge group of people into one school of thought that has defined, or perceived, limits (cough*propaganda*cough). If we group everyone together we lose individuality, which is where truly great ideas will come from. It boxes us all together, and that’s not real! To say that my ideas and outlook on life are the same as all progressives is wrong and a stupid thing to assert. Just because I’m a progressive doesn’t mean that I think we should be spending all of our money on saving baby seals and giving undocumented people mansions.  It gets especially dangerous when the issues/schools of thought a group of people are linked to isn’t even what they endorse or believe.

PROGRESSIVE TRUTH ALERT: Liberty and Social Justice aren’t Mutually Exclusive.

I don’t believe in political correctness in the sense of censorship. I believe people shouldn’t be bigots, and as a society we should value using language in a way that conveys the most truth. This is really important in the digital age where facts can easily get distorted through the rapidness of communication. The Pew Research Center has recently published their recent and updated findings about racial disparities in American society for Black History Month. In a time of much needed good news, Pew reports that there are more African Americans in Congress than ever before with 50 between the House (47) and Senate (3), comprising of 9% between the two chambers. The gap between blacks and whites for finishing high school is also narrowing, where 88% of African American’s have received their high school diploma in comparison with 93% of whites. So where does political correctness come into play here? It doesn’t. I’m stating facts with the absolute greatest objectivity possible. See, if I said something like “blacks aren’t as smart as whites and that’s why they don’t graduate as much”, then I would be spreading a falsehood and would fall on the dishonest side of the political correctness spectrum. If I said “n*ggers are poorer than whites” then I would be using politically incorrect language that falls very closely to the end of the ignorant, dishonest side of the PC spectrum- but hey, if we’re trying to get rid of PC language totally, then the above statement isn’t just politically incorrect, but fucking ignorant, bigoted, and racist.

It was surprisingly difficult to find any information about political correctness online and depending on what you read you will probably get a different understanding and interpretation of the term. I found comedians doing monologues about the topic and sarcastic articles about political correctness in action, but nothing direct and objective within the first five results of a basic google and YouTube search. The only results that did first appeared were additional PragerU and Dave Rubin videos about the topic, which is interesting that they are promoting political incorrectness the most. They seem to be advocating a dissent view on something that doesn’t really seem to be an issue (coughpropellingpropagandacough) for most open-minded people.

The biggest argument about political correctness that I can find is that it sugar coats language and that people need to stop being so soft and easily offended. And I agree with this argument- in my opinion, free speech is the most important American value and it is imperative that we speak in a way that best communicates our message. I don’t agree with ignorant language, however I don’t think it should be banned. I don’t think the argument is so much about being “politically correct” as much as I think it is not being an ignorant idiot. Derogatory speech like nigger, faggot, retard, and spic are not just “politically incorrect”, but are ignorant and conveys that the sender is a racist/bigot/sexist/whatever and gives the message a subtext of hate and unintelligence.

I am a progressive who strongly believes that freedom relies on the right of free speech. I think that Milo should have been able to speak at Berkeley, and that people who were destructive in order to ban his speech are just as dangerous as his rhetoric. It seems that a lot of objectors to political correctness think progressives only believe that speech should be restricted to what aligns with what is soft and comfortable. This couldn’t be further from the truth. See, progressive want progress, we want our society to evolve to a place where we can live our best lives together. Progress can only come from new ideas, and without the ability to think and say whatever you want, the chance of progress greatly diminishes.

cute-wedding-gay-top

awwwww ❤

And what about the issue of the gay wedding cakes? Should a bakery be forced to make a cake for Adam and Steve if they believe that it should be Adam and Eve? Yes. I mean, we rationalized slavery because of the biblical verses where God said it was cool to own other people as long as we treated them nicely. It is impossible for equality to exist if our society legally allows for inequality in any capacity.

So, what about places like Curves, the gym that is exclusively for women? A quintessential part of Curves’ mission is to provide a space where women feel comfortable while working out, and one way they are able to do this is by not allowing male members. I am very supportive of the underlying value of Curves’ mission- that women shouldn’t feel judged or uncomfortable when trying to be healthy- however, I do think it is wrong to exclude men from joining. I think that Curves should do everything that it can to continue programming and engaging in business decisions that are womencentric, but by principle, should not be exclusive to women.  Curves should be allowed to state right from the get-go that their message is to make women comfortable when working out and the main way this is possible is by not having a male presence. Men who are aware of this should honor this request, but no be obligated to it. They shouldn’t be banned from joining, but they should probably rethink their motivation for joining a woman-centered gym.

One other argument thrown in with the anti-political correctness ravings was about the allocation of tax money. It argued that nuns, who are against the use of contraceptions, should not have to pay taxes which fund organizations like Planned Parenthood. My response to this is: I am against war, but I still have to pay taxes for the senseless killings in the five places we’re actively bombing right now. I don’t like where my taxes are going, but I believe in democracy and representation of the people, and if I really don’t want my tax money to making white-phosphorous bombs, then I need to take a stand and work to change this.  

And real quick on trigger warnings- I always thought they were kind of stupid until very recently. I’ve had knee-jerk reactions to seeing posts online that say things like: “TW: rape culture/assault” followed by a paragraph about an interaction the poster had last night with a drunk stranger who lifted her skirt in a bar. I’ve often read these things and thought, that’s not that crazy that it needs a disclaimer, right? We shouldn’t be that sensitive and people should be able to read about that encounter the girl posted without feeling some sort of way, right?

Ehh, not really. Let me use a real example from last week that ended in the realization of “oh shit, this is why trigger warnings aren’t stupid”. I was scrolling through my facebook feed, procrastinating doing work, and stopped when I saw a friend, who normally posts silly videos about dogs or equally mindless shit, posted a video that lacked description, but looked intriguing enough for whatever reason. At first I wasn’t sure what I was watching, and the video just seemed like a bunch of people watching a cop trying to help a woman stand up who was hunched over. I immediately thought that maybe the woman was guarding a puppy or something innocent, but was shocked into reality after about 10 seconds when I recognized that the woman was overdosing on what I assume to be heroin. I was not ready, nor expecting, to see an active overdose and I’d be lying if I said the video didn’t shake me up. I have had the unfortunate opportunity of witnessing people overdose on drugs before, and it is something that I prefer not to watch. If I had I known that the video was of an overdose, I simply would have just kept scrolling without giving it a second thought.  However, since there was no description, let alone a trigger warning, I endured an emotional moment that I would have preferred to do without.  So even though this video probably didn’t bother most people who watched it, having a trigger warning would have been helpful for the ones like me who would prefer not to see that. This goes for people who have unresolved trauma from sexual assault and have an emotion reaction to reading about rape or sexual assault online. Trigger warnings aren’t so snowflakes feel safe, it’s so real people don’t have to look at shit that might be emotionally disturbing, that’s all.

So all in all, progressives, at least progressives like myself, value liberty and free speech just as much as the next person. Placing people in boxes ends conversations before they can begin and stifles creativity, which is integral for the evolution of society to a more just and loving world.

 

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Digital Personalites vs Real Life

[Editing this article, I noticed that I generalize a lot. I make assumptions and say things like “I think people think that…” or “a lot of people view others this way…”. I don’t know if these generalizations are true. However, I felt that, if I think like this, that others probably do too. This post, along with all of my blog posts, area based off my own observations in life. I may be completely wrong about everything in this post; perhaps it is all just a reflection of myself… but that’s for another article.]

There are the “Album Lists of Your High School Years” statuses going around on Facebook, and I really enjoy reading them. I like seeing the albums that my friends would define as the most influential during their adolescent years, and I liked posting my own and replying to the comments left by friends. Last night was a snowed in, cozy Saturday night, and I contently spent the night coloring, listening to the albums of my youth, yogaing, and checking in on facebook every hour or so to respond to notifications about these lists. And I had a great night! It was a lot of fun!

digital-personalities

I promise I’m not a dog.

I enjoy using social media, and like most aspects of it. I also kind of think that social media is a new type of art, a genre we don’t yet have a name for, in that it can be used as a way to express ourselves and connect with others, and that’s great! However, I think it’s important to keep in mind that social media is an activity. It’s something to do for fun, its something akin to reading, writing, playing an instrument, painting, playing solitare, whatever.

So here’s where I see the problem: I believe a lot of people forget that social media is an activity. I think a lot of people view other people’s social media presence and internet usage as an extension of those people- That their social media usage isn’t something that they are doing, it is a part of who they are. And it is through our social media usage and internet presence, that our digital personalities are created and live.

Ok. Let me share an example of social media defining people. There is this woman who I am friends with on social media platforms. She posts shit that I like (most of the time, I actually ❤ it). And she likes (and <3s) a lot of my posts. We have a few mutual friends in common, and she always seemed like a cool chick. I recently met her in real life, and she sucked. She was rude to my friend, and was not the person who I expected her to be. I was so surprised! I like her digital personality a lot more than I like her actual personality… so, what are the implications of this?

The biggest problem I see with forgetting that digital personalities are not real, is that we judge people before we even know them in real life. We think because someone likes Feminist Pages and endorse #InsertWhatevereHere organizations, then they probably embody the aspects of those pages and things in real life. And depending on how they use the internet (the statuses say that they write, who they retweeet, what pictures they post), most believe that this person is probably similar to their online personality in real life. And this, like my example above, is not true. All digital personalities and true personalities are two different things, regardless of how similar they may seem.

In fact, how I view someone online is made up in my own mind. How I read a status, the tone of voice that I read in my head of a person, is what forms my opinion of them. And this can easily lead to dangerous miscommunication.

Also, there’s the chance of “transference” happening when interacting with people on the internet. I’m thinking of the social work definition of transference, which is when a client is reminded of someone else in their life by the counselor, and then sees the counselor with a tint of the other person’s personality or likeness- which is not who the counselor is. So, another example. Say that Johnny looks at Kim’s profile online. They don’t know each other personally, but Johnny sees that Kim likes “Save The Everglades” page. Johnny’s friend from high school’s sister, Catherine, also likes this page.  Catherine always rubbed Johnny the same way because she was aggressive about her views on environmentalism. Because of this, Johnny already has an idea about Kim, and associates her with Catherine. In reality, Kim just liked the page because her friend asked her to, so the page would get more likes. Johnny doesn’t know this, and decides to not be friends with her online, or in real life, because he doesn’t like how he perceives her digital personality.

This example might seem extreme, but what about when you get a friend request from someone you don’t know personally and they shared a pro-Trump status on their page. Are you going to not judge this person as being a Trump supporter, and then automatically associate them with how you feel about other people who are diehard pro-Trumpers? I’m honestly asking. I can confess that I am guilty of making such judgments.

How about people who aren’t good at using social media? Their digital personalities are most likely not going to be good representations of their actual personalities. What about the person who might not be the best writer or speller? If they use the wrong grammer, do we think they are stupid? This is an easy example, and I’m sure you can think of many more that carry greater weight.

How about the people who seem like they are really good at using social media? Their endless selfies have kabillions of likes, their statues are well thought out, and their videos charming. Is their life really great? Probably not. But that doesn’t weaken their digital personality’s influence on all that they touch.

I’m not sure exactly how my social media/online digital personality is interpreted by people, and that can make me feel a little weary at times. Because I want people to look at my social media usage and think that this I something that I do, not what I am. I also need to be aware that how people view my digital personality is unique to them. I don’t want people to read my posts in a tone of voice that is sarcastic, condescending, or rude, because that’s not the tone of voice I use to write them. However, someone who doesn’t know me and has an opinion of me based on what they see of me online may believe that I am rude, sarcastic, and condescending. And that sucks, man, because its not real.

So I guess the question is, are you aware of your digital personality? And do you care? I care about mine and hope its as similar to my real personality as possible. But it’s still not actually me, just like how I view you online is not actually you. 

facebook-me-real-me

I hope for my digital personality to be as close to my real personality as possible.

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Short Intro to John McAfee who is Running for President as a Libertarian

I’ve wanted to write about John McAfee for a while, but ironically enough, my computer has been out of commission for the past month because of a corrupt file when downloading McAfee virus protection. This isn’t John McAfee’s fault, he sold the company years ago. He’s the first to criticize the software that bears his name,  calling it garbage since he sold it over 20 years ago. I have to agree with him on this.

John McAfee is running for president

John McAfee displaying how I felt when the company he no longer owns, but created 20 years ago, really fucked up my computer last month.

ANYWAYS, I was first introduced to John McAfee when I was researching the iPhone San Bernardino case. The first interview I watched was this, on RT News-and I totally recommend it as a starter as an introduction to his ideologies and character. He strongly defends Apple, explaining that a “backdoor” that Apple would have to create to unlock the phone would cause a way for hackers to get into phones. McAfee’s definition of hackers isn’t defined as the 15 year old kid who hacked into top secret FBI files in February, or the 16 year old who hacked into the personal email account of the head of the CIA.  When John McAfee talks about hackers, he’s talking about the government.

When John McAfee speaks about cyber security he does so with an air of confidence, truthfulness, and callous. He rivals Trump on outrageousness (watch that link, it’s not anything that you think its going to be… seriously. oh and he may have murdered a man) but has the alternative congeniality that could certainly gain him Bernie supporters. However, anyone who argues that they’re not afraid of the government seeing all of their internet activity (the “why does it matter if I’m not doing anything wrong?” people) may hear McAfee’s rhetoric as Orwellian as he describes the dystopia that giving up privacy for security will cause. He’s pretty persuasive though, and I think if he’s able to get his message out, more people will understand the risk that giving up our right to privacy is.

I agree with McAfee on a lot of issues, which I tend to do so with many libertarian views. I’m wondering how he might mess up the Democratic Party too now that he is finally be recognized as a presidential candidate. The Hill posted this “campaign ad” today… which will definitely start to help gain him attention. He’s certainly an alternative to Trump and Clinton. What I wonder about is how many Sanders’ supporters he will gain (that is, if Sanders’ doesn’t get the dem nomination). The Democratic Party could really be fucked then, with the #StillBernie crew pledging their allegiance in the general election and McAfee possibly persuading even more young dems for his vote.

Who knows. There’s a lot to come. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if McAfee’s name becomes household before November… at least I hope it does.

 

 

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FBI vs. Apple Outcome- Be Afraid, Be Very, Very Afraid

I haven’t written anything for a while, and its not because I haven’t had thoughts, but ive just been really busy to the point where you’re so busy that you all of a sudden become unbusy and you’re not sure how to deal with it, so you figure out a way to become even more busy than before, and then after a few days of just straight up stress you realize, “oh yeah… I forgot that I need balance in my life” .. you know what I mean?  Anyways…

Lets talk about one of my favorite topics: Cyber security. This is a topic near and dear to my heart because it’s fucking intense shit. I want to write a few posts about my feelings on recent cyber security threats from our own country, and decided to start with the most recent, eyebrow raising case, the US vs. Apple.

go tim cook!

Tim Cook- willing to fight for American’s Privacy

So everyone probably has heard about the San Bernardino iPhone Case. The FBI vs. Apple case. February 16th, 2016, the Federal Court ordered Apple to unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter to see if the shooter was working directly with ISIS. Specifically, the FBI is asking that Apple make software that would allow people (or really, in this case, super computers that can try multiple combinations quickly until it figures out the passcode) to try passcodes on iPhones as many times as they’d like before all of the information on the phone is deleted. Currently, if you have an iPhone, you can try to unlock the phone up to 10 times in a row with a wrong code before it swipes all the info clean.

The next day, Apple strongly said no, which is a nice, big “fuck you” to the government.

Well, why wouldn’t Apple want to help unlock the phone? Surely, Tim Cook and everyone at Apple would want to find any other terrorists who may be connected to this travesty. And the answer to this, is of course they want justice for the victims families and to help find any additional terrorist ties. But the real reason why Tim Cook doesn’t want to build this software is because he believes in the American values of LIBERTY and PRIVACY.

So can the FBI really not just unlock it anyways? The argument is that the Apple’s software all are signed by an authorized signature from Apple when there are an updates or changes in the software’s encryption. What the FBI apparently can’t do is forge this secret signature and they need Apple’s help. But don’t get it twisted- again, they aren’t trying to just unlock the phone- they are asking for Apple to build SPECIFIC SOFTWARE that the government can use to unlock any iPhone. And that, my friends, is what this whole circus is all about. It’s not about the tragedy in San Bernardino, that is simply the guise the government is using so that they can strengthen the capabilities to spy on its own citizens.

Tim Cook did already give the government everything that they could that was on the phone, btw, before the court order. Plus the government made a mistake- they would have been able to upload information up to the cloud, but fucked up when they changed the user name on the phone, and therefore can no longer backup the phone onto the cloud.

Here’s Tim Cooks words, explaining that this case is not a case about unlocking a phone, but is case about the future of civil liberties:  “We cant have a backdoor that’s only for the good guys [to use]. Any backdoor that is created give the bad guys can exploit anyone’s iPhone”. Cook explains that if Apple makes this software being requested, that it is analogous to creating cancer for technology. 

And if the government has the power to make apple write this software, then what is next? What else will Apple be forced to create in the name of “security”? A few republican debates ago, when I transcribed the whole thing, the candidates were in agreement that we should basically draft computer programmers to work for the FBI. And if they don’t comply then they are breaking the law. So  Silicon Valley folk, I’d consider making sure that your passport is up to date before you get drug into a cyber war.

The government was never meant to be this big in terms of ruling daily life. With a precedent set by Apple if they were to give into the government would basically give the a-ok for the government to strong arm nongovernmental agencies to comply with them. Technically, due to the court order the FBI had, they could have come in with heavily armed SWAT teams and made the employees at Apple work to make this software. They didn’t because they were able to find an Israeli company to unlock the phone (its not clear to me if they just unlocked the phone, of if they created software that can ultimately hack into anyone’s iphone). That’s how out of control this whole thing is.

 

Tim Cook takes pride in his company. He made a wonderful statement with his interveiw with Charlie Rose, in which he said that the people buy apple products are his customers, not the government. This is about civil liberties, if we take encryption away, the only people affected are the good people, not the bad people. If we limit it, it will hurt the good people because anyone can hack into any iPhone. He also explained that there are things that technology should not be allowed to do.

Ok, how about the “Why should I care, I’m not doing anything bad, let the government record all of my daily doings, who gives a shit” argument. Well one, it is the principle. When you are giving up all of your privacy to the government you are giving up your autonomy. The founding fathers decided that the government should not get in peoples way of choosing how they want to live.

HumanCentiPad

Kyle didn’t read the terms of use for the new iTunes update and look where that got him.

You know the terms and conditions that no one reads? Well, most of the apps on your phone ask for permission to due multiple insidious things, such as make calls, record you, to listen to your phone calls, to read your text messages, all without even having the app running. And since you agreed to those terms and conditions- well, you willingly gave permission to be under big brother’s watch.

And what are some examples how this can get out of hand?: say in a custody court, the judge allows the husband to open his wife’s phone and shows a picture of her smoking marijuana. This can get her kids taken away, even if it was a one time thing at a party.

Or what if you get pulled over, and your car gets searched, including your phone. And they open up your phone and see all your naked pictures of you and your husband. This might not be incriminating (unless you live in Mississippi where sodomy is illegal and you’re giving your hubby a bj- because that is considered sodomy), it still is a total invasion of privacy.

So this is why I’m worried about the future of the internet and our civil liberties. They are already being compromised. And when government is already so corrupt, who is to know what else will happen. The FBI’s overstepping of liberties is enough to recognize that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

 

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I Transcribed the GOP Debate in a quick and easy to read format because i’m scared of people not caring.

Look at this group of winners.

I WISH THEY WERE HOLDING HANDS.

Alright. I’m getting weary of the media, no matter the bias. I watched the whole GOP debate on Tuesday night, which deeply frightened me for our country. Wednesday morning I see no media actually reporting on the debate. I tried to find explicit articles about specific points of the debate, but couldn’t. I did however find lots of soundbites and commentary on who won the debate, and who attacked who, and how entertaining it is.

I know a lot of people probably didn’t watch the debate and just waited to watch or read about it on the Facebook headlines. And this is what makes me nervous. I’m weary of leftist and right media.

My semester of gradschool is over for the holiday so I decided to spend my entire Wednesday re-watching the entire debate again and decided to transcribe it in an easy-read way for anyone who wants to hear the GOP candidate’s ACTUAL stance on foreign policy. I’m also going to add anecdotes in italics of my own commentary mixed throughout. I absolutely have a left bias. There were three commentators, Wolf Blitzer, Dana Bash, and Hugh Hewitt. I’m only going to use MODERATORS for the sake of simplicity. I tried my best to make headers, but there was so much overlap chronologically between issues discussed.

Here’s the Washington Post’s transcription I used and the YouTube playlist I used to re-watch on Wednesday. There are links to clarify things that I thought would be handy because I had to look them up myself.

OK, here we go:

INTRODUCTIONS

PAUL: Let’s not close the internet or ban religions. Let’s stop arming ISIS allies. Only Arab Nations should have boots on the ground

KASICH: I have a daughter. We need to unify our country.

CHRISTIE: Obama and Hillary sucks.

FIORINA: I’m angry and I started out as a secretary. 

( This is like a rocket scientist  saying that he started his career by being a life guard in 10th grade at the Scranton Country Club) 

BUSH: I love war. Obama and Hillary sucks.

RUBIO: America was great once, I know, my grandpa told me about it.

CRUZ: We’re at war. Don’t let in refugees who are terrorists. Being politically correct is dumb.

CARSON: Let’s all pray silently for San Bernardino (5 second silence).  Let’s kill ISIS.

TRUMP: Wall. Build up military. Iran deal was stupid, I said that first.  Also everyone fucking loves me.

HOW TO KEEP ISIS OUT

MODERATOR: Trump, what do you wanna do to keep ISIS out?

TRUMP: Wall. If refugees are here they have to go back.

MODERATOR: Bush, why don’t you agree with Trump?

Bush: (looks so nervous having to be the first person thrown to the Trump Fire Pit): We need to destroy ISIS. We can’t ban all Muslims bc then we can’t have a coalition w/ Muslim countries. The Kurds are our best allies. Do you really want circus boy Trump? He’s a chaos candidate.

TRUMP: Bush sucks. Let’s make America great again.

BUSH: Trump, you’re dumb. We need to engage with the Muslim world to defeat ISIS.

RUBIO: ISIS is growing, we need to get rid of them.

CRUZ: Everyone understands what Trump has proposed, and I am not going to speak against Trump because I’m scared of him. I introduced legislation that would suspend America from taking in refugees for three years from any country that ISIS and al Qaida are in (basically every country). Obama and Hilary suck. (Cruz is questioned again about disagreeing Trumps ideas, which he never answers). Radical Islam isn’t a religion, it’s a political and theocratic ideology that wants to kill us.

FIORINA: We need solutions, not lawyers arguing over laws. We need to do something here and there. Caliphate. We need to do two things- bring back the Patriot Act and ask the private sector to help because the government can’t figure out this new, gosh darn, technology thing.

CHRISTIE: Fuck Bush and Clinton. Restore Patriot Act.

KASICH: Let’s do the Gulf War again. Saudis organized a lot of Arab nations. We need to teach local police forces how to spy on their citizens using the Patriot Act.

Wolf Blitzer: Hey Cruz, you signed the Freedom Act which isn’t a Republican.

CRUZ: Yeah, but it ended the fed govt from collecting the bulk collection of phone metadata for millions. It strengthened the spy tools we have, before we could only spy on a small amount of Americans and mostly land lines. Now we can spy on virtually everyone, regardless of communication vessel.

RUBIO: Cruz, you’re dumb. I didn’t sign Freedom Act because bc we need more tools. The Metadata Program we lost was a “valuable tool that we no longer have at our disposal”.

CRUZ: That’s not true and Rubio knows it. Mark Levin. Rubio’s super PAC is running ads they know are lies that is Alinsky like. The old program covered 20-30% of civilians, new one covers 100%.

RUBIO: You just gave out confidential information, bro. Nothing under the freedom act is new. (Cruz looks at moderators like, wtf is this dude talking about and nervously chuckles to himself) The freedom Act took away a good tool that let NSA spy quickly. The next terrorist attack, America’s gonna be like, oh shit I wish we didn’t have the Freedom Act bc we could’ve found the terrorist before they did something.

PAUL: Oh, Marco, you get it all wrong. We’re less safe bc were distracted. Rubio opposed security at every point. The Gang of 8 bill would of liberalized immigration. Rubio sucks, he likes liberals and has love for Schumer.

Rubio: Oh yeah, well your amendment sucked only 10 ppl signed it bc it would ban everyone from coming to US.

Paul: Naw, it would halt immigration from high risk countries. Every terror attack since 9/11, the terrorist came here legally. I want background checks.

CHRISTIE: “Listen, I want to talk to the audience at home for a second. If your eyes are glazing over like mine, this is what it’s like to be on the floor of the United States Senate.” (Christie does look high af) In NJ I used the Patriot Act and it worked.

CARSON: No more PC talk. We’re at war, I told congress, “go ahead, declare the war”. We’re in danger. The Muslim Brotherhood said in the Explanatory Memorandum that was discovered in the Holy Land Foundation Trial that we can attack America when they use PC talk.

Moderator: Carson, which person was right before, Rubio or Paul?

CARSON: Idk, let them answer and fight over it. (What a great way to not answer the question or have an opinion)

BUSH: Some Muslims want peace. Destroy ISIS.

SURVEILLANCE AND INTERNET

Moderator: Silicon Valley hasn’t been helping the NSA by turning over user’s records. Should they?

FIORINA: The US sucks at technology because they are using wrong algorithms. The kids today are smart at technology. DHS says we can’t look at terrorist facebook page- well wtf, I look at my kids facebook pages, isn’t this the same thing? We don’t have to force the kids to making them work with the NSA but we should ask them nicely. (I feel like she’s saying to her kids, “Kids, can you come and help me set up the DVD player?”)

TRUMP: ISIS is better at the internet. Let’s filter and close parts of the internet.

KASICH: That’s dumb. Lets just give local authorities the tools to spy. (what a fucking scary idea)

CARPET BOMBING ISIS

CRUZ: Hell Yeah! Let’s use overwhelming force, like in the Gulf War. We need to spy on ppl. Doesn’t everyone wanna spy on everyone else’s phones and emails? (no) I don’t know how I would carpet bomb ISIS without killing everyone in the city, but let’s do it anyways. I wanna fuck up ISIS so bad.

RUBIO: We need ground force to kill ISIS from Suni Arabs. Our Air Force sucks.  Every war has a propaganda proponent and ISIS is winning at propaganda.  Cruz votes for less money for military stuff and iron dome (He probably said this to make Cruz look anti-Israel)

CRUZ: I told Texas that I wouldn’t hold citizens w/o due process so I couldn’t sign the Defense Authorization Act. Rubio loves Obama and Hillary.

RUBIO: If some is an American citizen and love ISIS then we’ll treat them as a member of an army attacking this country. (This type of talk makes me nervous, basically saying that anyone who is seen as a terrorist can be shot in the face by US army) Our navy and air force sucks.

TRUMP: ISIS doesn’t care if we kill them, but they care if we kill their families, so lets kill their families.

BUSH: That’s really stupid.

TRUMP: Bush sucks.

MODERATOR: Carson, you cool with killing kids?

(Audience boos at this question.}

CARSON: I look in kids eyes and they don’t like me, but then I cut open their heads and fix their brains, and then they like me. Better to look at the big picture.

Moderator: So you’re okay with killing kids? That is what war involves.

CARSON: I’m not ruthless, but I’m tough. I’ll do what I gotta do to protect America.

 

HAS AMERICA FUELED THE GROWTH OF ISIS?

Rand: We armed allies of ISIS who were against Asad, that was stupid. Gaddafi in Libya was stupid. Also, Trump is stupid for thinking of closing the internet. Also, if we kill kids we won’t be part of the Geneva Convention.

TRUMP: Wait, I think I just want to infiltrate the internet and close Syria’s internet.

PAUL: A Regime change is dumb and never works. We have ppl coming now to foreign relation committees like, ‘Hey, ya’ll should arm Al-Qaida’. This is stupid. If we tackle Asad shit’s gonna get even more kray-kray.

KASICH: We need boots on the ground with allies. Gulf War.

RUBIO: We can’t have a coalition bc the Arab countries think Obama sucks. Arab countries wanna kill ISIS a lot too. BC Obama lead from behind meant there were no other troops on the ground when the Asad rebel attacks started.

(You can hear someone say “That’s factually incorrect” on stage).

FIORINA: I’m tough and strong. I’ll get ISIS. Bring back warrior class. Quotes Margaret Thachter.

CHRISTIE: I’ll meet with the King of Jordan because he’s my bro.

CARSON: Let’s kill the caliphate bc that gives ISIS legitimacy. We need to take their OIL  because ISIS is rich (happy to hear OIL brought up). ISIS is rich and they give money all over the world.

CRUZ: Obama and Hillary suck. Gaddafi, Mubarak, and Asad are bad, but at least they helped fight ISIS.

RUBIO: Revolt against Gaddafi was started by the people, I sided with Obama then because shit was gonna get crazy no matter what. Gaddafi cooperates because he thought we were gonna Saddam Hussein him. We need to work with Jordan and Saudi Arabia, but not Asad because he’s anti-American and pro-Hezbollah.

CRUZ: No such thing as moderate rebels. Netanyahu is against Asad too and he doesn’t’ want to see Syria controlled by ISIS.

KASICH: Asad is aligned with Iran and Russia. Make sure they don’t make a Shia Cresent all long Middle East. Let’s fuck up Asad cuz that’ll fuck up Russia and Iran.

TRUMP: (Protesters start booing him) We did a disservice to humanity. Should’ve saved our money. Middle East is a mess.

FIORINA: Obama and Hillary suck.

TRUMP: We have nothing from the Middle East pursuits. We need to take the oil (As soon as he says “oil” the buzzer goes off), not bomb it, just take it and distribute it. It wasn’t so fashionable to say “take the oil before” but I’ve been saying that for three years, and now they are saying it.

 Oh, and Ben Carson is a really nice guy.

CARSON: The Middle East has been fucked, how can we fix that with little bombs?

BUSH: We need strategy for stable Middle East. We’re unsafe. Obama sucks.

PAUL: We did good when we killed Saddam Hussain. Both sides of a war has evil. Regime change just brings chaos and rise to radicals.

CRUZ INTERRUPTS: We should be defeating our enemies, we should have regime change in Iran because Iran has declared war on us.

TRUMP: Asad is a bad guy. We’re backing up ppl who we don’t even know who they are (rebels). One thing at a time. We need to get rid of ISIS first, than Asad.

CHRISTIE: Obama sucks and fucked up shit with Iran deal bc it helped ISIS. Iran causes ISIS.

PAUL: Regime changes are stupid, it was dumb in 2013 when we gave al Qaida arms and now we’re fighting against our own arms. We need realistic foreign policy, its dumb to think of a Utopian world that we spread peace and freedom

KASICH: US shouldn’t be part of civil wars. “There’s a difference between Iraq, where you have Sunni, Shia, and Kurds together after the first World War by the Western powers. It doesn’t work. It needs to break up into three parts”. “We need to punch the Russians in the nose” and Russia is threatening our Eastern European allies.

FIORINA: We should walk away from Russia like Regan did at Reykjavik. Putin sucks, we can’t talk to him until we have a new deal with Iran and air space and allies, and we’ll cut off the money flow and will rebuild things under his nose and do military exercises in the Balkans. ISIS is because of Obama and Hilary.

CHRISTIE: I’ll shoot down the Russian plane in a no fly zone. I’ll talk to Putin all the time. Obama is a “feckless weakling”.

PAUL: Russia was invited by Syria and Iraq to fly through that zone. Shooting down a Russian plane will start WWW.

BUSH: “I know what I don’t know”. Need bigger military.

TRUMP: Bush sucks. I was talked about a lot in the first debate so CNN has good ratings. (Protersters start yelling)

BUSH: Trump won’t be president by insulting his way and ratings don’t matter.

KASICH: We’ll be great when we can all work together and strengthen our economy

CARSON: Because I don’t talk a lot means I’ll be a good president.

IMMIGRATION (AGAIN)

RUBIO: My path to citizenship is work visa for 10 years and then you can apply. I know this isn’t very Republican of me.

CRUZ: I’m not like Rubio. Gang of 8 Bill gave Obama ability to take in refugees without doing background checks. We need more boarder control.

RUBIO: 2013 refugee had a different meaning than today. Cruz supports immigration.

CRUZ: Rubio is just trying to confuse everything. I was against Rubio’s legalization. I’m fighting to secure the border, Rubio isn’t.

TRUMP: Walls work, just look at Israel!

BUSH: Obama sucks.

CARSON: Syrians don’t want to come to USA anyways, they want to go back to Syria. We need to give their allies weapons, but we’re afraid the Kurds will them. And when we give weapons to Saudi Arabia to distribute to allies, only 10% of the weapons get out of Saudi Arabia. Refugees that come to America will definitely be terrorists, so we can’t take any.

PAUL: Rubio was wrong about Gang of 8, it had no provisions for extra safety for refugees. Why hasn’t Rubio tried to strengthen border control?

RUBIO: We probably shouldn’t take refugees bc they might be terrorists.

PAUL: Gov’t shouldn’t be giving out charity like food stamps and housing, and charity would be helping out the refuges. My church holds donation drives.

CHRISTIE: Naw, no refugees, too dangerous. Obama sucks. Women can be terrorists.

KASICH: I kept Ohio safe, except that one time when the government placed Central Americans in Ohio and I didn’t know about it.

NORTH KOREA:

FIORINA: We need China’s help to tackle Kim Jong-Un. I’ve done business with China so I can do it. We got to push back against their cyber fuckery and not let them control the trade route in the South China Sea. We need help from Australia, Japan, and the Philippines.

CARSON: China has more influence on N. Korea. N. Korea is fucked financially because they built their military but let their ppl starve, so we can capitalize on that. We can do that with Putin too. We need to get rid of old energy laws. We have the energy, we just need to lead in energy. Economic power > Military Power. If we don’t get the military right, nothing else matters. (I love the contradiction in the last two sentences here).

BUSH: Fuck Obama and Hillary. 23 million American cyber files are in the hands of China right now. We need to give reliability relief to private sector. We need to retaliate against China and then they’ll respect us.

NUCLEAR TRIAD?

TRUMP: I don’t know what that is. Nuclear is bad.

RUBIO: You idiot. The triad is the ability of US using airplanes, nuclear subs, and from the ground to shoot nuclear weapons. All three of the triad needs to be modernized because they all suck now.

MODERATOR: ASKS ABOUT CRUZ’ OPINION OF TRUMP.

TRUMP: “I’ve gotten to know Cruz over the past 3-4 days, he has a wonderful temper, don’t worry about it”  THEN: TRUMP TO CRUZ: You better not attack me (like a dad threatening his son)

CRUZ: I have daughters. We gotta kill ISIS and Iran.

TRUMP: I won’t run as an independent, promise.

CLOSING REMARKS- WHY U BE PRESIDENT?

CHRISTIE: I was in NJ when 9/11 happened.

FIORINA: I put more security in our company when 9/11 happened.

BUSH: Hilary sucks. My detail plans will keep us safe. I don’t make false promises.

RUBIO: This is the most important election of the generation. It’s the election that will “usher in the best era of our country”.

CRUZ: Obama sucks. Regan was good. Fuck terrorist. Big military.

CARSON: I’m happy I was born in the USA. I hate PC language.

TRUMP: Shout out to the veterans. Nothing works. We are losers now. I’ll make us win. “We’ll have a great, great country, greater than before”

 

FIN

 

 

 

 

 

 

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