Archive for October, 2011

Why the quoted price of Bitcoin doesn’t matter

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Bitcoin is a very new technology, even though the concept that it brings to life is decades old. The double spending problem has been solved; this means that it is possible to use a digital certificate to stand in the place of money and be sure that no one else can spend that certificate other than you as long as you hold it. This is an unprecedented paradigm shift, the implications of which are not yet fully understood, and for which the tools do not yet exist to fully take advantage of this new idea.

This new technology requires some new thinking when it comes to developing businesses that are built upon it. In the same way that the pioneer providers of email did not correctly understand the service they were selling for many years, new and correct thinking about Bitcoin is needed, and will emerge, so that it reaches its full potential and becomes ubiquitous.

Hotmail used familiar technologies (the browser, email) to create a better way of accessing and delivering email; the idea of using an email client like Outlook Express has been superseded by web interfaces and email ‘in the cloud’ that provides many advantages over a dedicated client with your mail in your own local storage.

Bitcoin, which will transform the way you transfer money, needs to be understood on its own terms, and not as an online form of money. Thinking about Bitcoin as money is as absurd as thinking about email as another form of sending letters by post; one not only replaces the other but it profoundly changes the way people send and consume messages. It is not a simple substitution or one dimensional improvement of an existing idea or service.

As I have explained previously, Bitcoin is not money. Bitcoin is a protocol. If you treat it in this way, with the correct assumptions, you can start the process of putting Bitcoin in a proper context, allowing you to make rational suggestions about the sort of services that might be profitable based on it.

If Bitcoin is a protocol and not money, then setting up currency exchanges that mimic real world money, stock and commodity exchanges to trade in it doesn’t make any sense. You would not set up an email exchange to buy and sell email, and the same thing applies to Bitcoin.

Staying with this train of thought, when you type in an email on your Gmail account, you are inputting your ‘letter’. You press send, it goes through your ISP, over the internets, into the ISP of your recipient and then it is outputted on your recipient’s machine. The same is true of Bitcoin; you input money on one end through a service and then send the Bitcoin to your recipient, without an intermediary to handle the transfer. Once Bitcoin does its job of moving your value across the globe to its recipient it needs to be ‘read out’, i.e. turned back into money, in the same way that your letter is displayed to its recipient in an email.

In the email scenario, once the transfer happens and the email you have received conveys its information to you, it has no use other than to be a record of the information that was sent (accounting), and you archive that information. Bitcoin does this accounting in the block chain for you, and a good service built on it will store extended transaction details for you locally, but what you need to have as the recipient of Bitcoin is money or goods not Bitcoin itself.

Bitcoin’s true nature is as an instant way to transmit money anywhere in the world. It is not an investment, or money itself, and holding on to it in the hopes that it will become valuable is like holding on to an email or a PDF in the hopes it will be come valuable in the future; it doesn’t make any sense.

Despite the fact that you cannot double spend them and each one is unique, Bitcoins have no inherent value, unlike a book or any physical object. They cannot appreciate in value. Mistaken thinking about Bitcoin has spread because it behaves like money, due to the fact it cannot be double spent. This fact however has masked Bitcoin’s dual nature of being digital, duplicable and not double spendable.

Bitcoin is digital, with all the qualities of information that make information non scarce. It sits in a new place that oscillates between the goods of the physical world and the infinitely abundant digital world of information, belonging exclusively to the digital world but having the characteristics of both. This is why it has been widely misunderstood and why a new approach is needed to design businesses around it.

All of this goes some way to explain why the price of buying Bitcoins at the exchanges doesn’t matter. If the cost of buying a Bitcoin goes to 1 This does not change the amount of money that comes out at the other end of a transfer. As long as you redeem your Bitcoins immediately after the transfer into either goods or currency, the same value comes out at the other end no matter what you paid for the Bitcoins when you started the process.

Think about it this way. Let us suppose that you want to send a long text file to another person. You can either send it as it is, or you can compress it with zip. The size of a document file when it is zipped can be up to 87% smaller than the original. When we transpose this idea to Bitcoin, the compression ratio is the price of Bitcoin at an exchange. If a Bitcoin is $100, and you want to buy something from someone in India for $100 you need to buy 1 Bitcoin to get that $100 to india. If the price of Bitcoin is 1 then you need 10,000 Bitcoins to send $100 dollars to India. These would be expressed as compression ratios of 1:1 and 10,000:1 respectively.

The same $100 value is sent to India, wether you use 10,000 or 1 Bitcoin. The price of Bitcoins is irrelevant to the value that is being transmitted, in the same way that zip files do not ‘care’ what is inside them; Bitcoin and zip are dumb protocols that do a job.

As long as the value of Bitcoins does not go to zero, it will have the same utility as if the value were very ‘high’.

Bearing all of this in mind, its clear that new services to facilitate the rapid, frictionless conversion into and out of Bitcoin are needed to allow it to function in a manner that is true to its nature.

The current business models of exchanges are not addressing Bitcoin’s nature correctly. They are using the Twentieth Century model of stock, commodity and currency exchanges and superimposing this onto Bitcoin. Interfacing with these exchanges is non-trivial, and for the ordinary user a daunting prospect. In some cases, you have to wait up to seven days to receive a transfer of your fiat currency after it has been cashed out of your account from Bitcoins. Whilst this is not a fault of the exchanges, it represents a very real impediment to Bitcoin acting in its nature and providing its complete value.

Imagine this; you receive an email from across the world, and are notified of the fact by being displayed the subject line in your browser. You then apply to your ISP to have this email delivered to you, and you have to wait seven days for it to arrive in your physical mail box. The very idea is completely absurd, and yet, this is exactly what is happening with Bitcoin, for no technical reason whatsoever.

It is clear that there needs to be a re-think of the services that are growing around Bitcoin, along with a re-think of what the true nature of Bitcoin is. Rethinking services is a normal part of entrepreneurialism and we should expect business models to fail and early entrants to fall by the wayside as the ceaseless iterations and pivoting progress.

Bearing all of this in mind, focussing on the price of Bitcoin at exchanges using a business model that is inappropriate for this technology simply is not rational; its like putting a methane breathing canary in a mine full of oxygen breathing humans as a detector. The bird dies even though nothing is wrong with the air; the miners rush to evacuate, leaving the exposed gold seams behind, thinking that they are all about to be wiped out, when all is actually fine.

Bitcoin, and the ideas behind it are here to stay. As the number of people downloading the client and using it increases, like Hotmail, it will eventually reach critical mass and then spread exponentially through the internet. When that happens, the correct business models will spontaneously emerge, as they will become obvious, in the same way that Hotmail, Gmail, Facebook, cellular phones and instant messaging seem like second nature.

In the future. I imagine that very few people will speculate on the value of Bitcoin, because even though that might be possible, and even profitable, there will be more money to be made in providing easy to use Bitcoin services that take full advantages of what Bitcoin is.

One thing is for sure; speed will be of the essence in any future Bitcoin business model. The startups that provide instant satisfaction on both ends of the transaction are the ones that are going to succeed. Even though the volatility of the price of Bitcoin is bound to stabilise, since it has no use in and of itself, getting back to money or goods instantly will be a sought after characteristic of any business built on Bitcoin.

The needs of Bitcoin businesses provide many challenges in terms of performance, security and new thinking. Out of these challenges will come new practices and software that we can only just imagine as they come over the horizon.

This article is available in Hungarian

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Steve Jobs and two old posts on Apple and MacOS

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Steve Jobs died yesterday, at the age of 56. That is a young age to die these days. Had he been healthy, we could have expected another thirty years of his influence… now he’s gone. Very sad.

I didn’t like Apple computers initially. They appealed mainly to stupid people who did not like to think and learn how things work. MacOS used a file system that made it a pain to share things with Mac users, corralling them off into a fenced in crippled world that was cut off from everyone else.

The number one promise of commodity computers, that they can be used to connect people, was broken with the old MacOS. On top of that, it instilled a counter productive siege mentality in its legions of irrational adherents.

That is an old Mac ad, perfectly exemplifying their bad attitude.

Then, everything changed.

Thanks to Steve Jobs returning to the company he started, Apple did something that very few companies have the guts to do; throw out their bedrock product that sucks and replace it entirely by starting again from scratch with something that is better. I am talking about NEXT/UNIX.

For years people like me had dreamed of a UNIX with an Apple quality interface. It would mean that we had all the stability and power of UNIX with the ease of use of Apple. It seemed like an impossible dream, because it would have meant that the entire existing user base of MacOS would need to change over to some new imaginary UNIX OS. It would mean developers like Adobe re-writing all their mac specific apps from the bottom up.

This is exactly what happened.

This is a BLOGDIAL post from Wednesday, January 26, 2005 about the advert above:

This advert is the perfect example of why I used to hate the Apple philosophy.

A philosophy that said, “You are too dumb to learn and thats OK”.

Apple was a company that use to sell computers whose selling point was that you didn’t have to learn in order to use them. In fact, this advert and many others made a virtue out of not having to learn. This was coming from a company that was selling itself as the makers of the best computers for education. Appalling and anti human in equal measure. Humans love to learn, they love challenges, they aspire, they collect knowledge – this is what is special about them. The Apple Macintosh was a tool that kept the user dumb; anathema to anyone with human curiosity about how things work.

Now of course, the anti learning OS that MacOS was has been completely dumped for a real OS, UNIX, ‘arcane’ command line and all, and lo and behold, its the best operating system ever, for the dumbest of the dumb and the highest of high evolutionaries and all in between.

You can ‘just do your work’ like the Apple devotees use to bleat, AND you can run Ruby (almost) straight out of the box; its the best of both worlds, and a miracle that Apple had the guts and foresight to completely abandon their previous OS for a completely fresh start. This is what sold me on Apple, and having finally bought one, it has performed as expected over the year that I have been running it. Perfectly.

I just had an uptime of 38 days, the restart due only to software update. It never fails. You can get into an uninterrupted workflow with it….you know the rest.

What Steve Jobs showed everyone, again and again, is that you do not have to put up with second best with whatever it is you are making. You can have the best of all possible worlds, and you can sell it.

This, for me, is his greatest contribution, on top of all the software directed and marshalled by him. People now imagine and expect things to be ‘Apple like’; powerful simple to use, stable and beautiful all at the same time.

What apple did to mobile phone interfaces, simply by existing, is a perfect example. Looking at the Sony/Ericsson P900 and the iPhone gives you a good idea what I am talking about. All mobile phone manufacturers are trying to catch up with Apple’s iPhone with their derivative, clunky mock Apple interfaces. The ideas that Steve Jobs expressed through Apple are the very definition of ‘raising the bar’.

Many people complain about the proprietary nature of Apple. I myself don’t like the idea of their completely un-private iCloud service. None of this is Apple’s problem, and you could have guaranteed that if Steve Jobs had lived, Apple would have radically changed direction to make what was broken not only fixed, but great.

People like Steve Jobs do not come along very often, and they are almost irreplaceable. In the field of technology, people with arts sensitivity and deep technical insight are rare. You mostly get wooden, high functioning autism spectrum types that don’t have real love for what they do because they do not understand love the way artists do. These people have their uses and their place, but to create magic, to inspire and fire the imagination, to take bold steps you need a person like Steve Jobs, who has a balance of characteristics. Then you need to have him in charge.

I have no doubt that there will be other neuro-typical people with great and broad strengths. What is not so clear is wether there will be a confluence of circumstances that will put them in a position to end up running a company like Apple. I do not know what people Apple have who could replace Jobs as the chief inspirationalist. Even if they had one, could he be put into control in a way that Steve Jobs was?

Who knows?

What we do know is that Steve Jobs is up there with Edison, Ford, Wang, Marconi, Crock, Wright, Bell, Hamming and others in the pantheon of inventors, entrepreneurs and thinkers that changed everything fundamentally.

Take a look at this:

People like this are what we need, in every sphere. People who are not frightened of making a mistake, people who do not instinctively think, “Why?”, but who always reflexively think, “Why not?”.

Its the people who think, “Why not?” that make the world better, that abolish evil, stupidity, broken things and the lies and base cowardice of the status quo.

What this man did, how he did it, his relentlessly high expectations and standards will live long after his death.

Its a great privilege to have been alive to see it.

UPDATE…

Richard Stallman and Eric Raymond have both come out with statements condemning Steve Jobs because Apple has created a jail for its users. They are correct. Apple iPhone and its App ecosystem are closed, restricted and un-free. They stop you from doing exactly what you want on your own property, your mobile phone. I run an Apple iPhone, and its jailbroken. I also run Android on it with Bootlace I own what I buy, and no one can tell me what to do with my own property.

These two people, who are highly intelligent, suffer from a problem of their own reality distortion field, where what they think is right is what is true and the only truth, and everyone else is nothing more than a shadow on the wall of the cave.

This is why they think (by example) that everyone should be expected to use Emacs instead of Pages or Word to write letters, and that they are being defrauded and jailed by not using Emacs.

This is pure unadulterated autism on stilts. These people are incapable of understanding the big picture, or other people’s positions in the real world. Their attitude is what has hampered the adoption of free software. Their sour brand of blinkered, narrow, intolerant, unsympathetic, ridiculous, narrow minded, low horizon thinking kept the greatness of Linux away from millions, continues to allow the jail they despise so much to grow exponentially and doesn’t do anyone any favours at all.

They are not even able to sympathise with the death of a human being; how can you expect these same people to empathise with a computer user who just wants to type out her homework, print it and hand it in?

As I have said before, it takes well grounded people with functioning empathy to make software products great and accessible to the public. Debian would still be in autism jail if it were not for Mark Shuttleworth and Ubuntu; to this very day, Debian does not have a single screenshot on its site. Compare and contrast with Ubuntu. Which one do you think a person who wants out of computer jail is going to try?

At the end of the day, these people are illogical. On the one hand, they want everyone to be out of Apple’s jail. On the other they do everything they can to turn people off of their software. They refuse to polish it. They refuse to listen to anyone’s requirements. They even mistreat the people who collaborate on improving their software. Free Software is a success despite the sabotage acts of Richard Stallman.

Many years ago, the free software foundation ran a campaign called ‘defective by design‘ where they encouraged people to boycott Apple because it used DRM. You cannot play music on the best system available by boycotting it. You have two choices; write better software than Apple does, or write liberation tools that give people full control over their property.

Obviously the former is impossible for the FSF; it takes empathy to be able to write tools that ordinary people can use. Clearly the latter is the route to go, and lo and behold there are literally millions of people who have the best of both worlds on their i-devices through jailbreaking.

A very small number of incredibly clever developers have made it possible for millions of people to be able to run Emacs on their iPhones. And its legal.

It is a source of consistent amazement to me that people who understand how software works do not understand that software problems can be solved with software. The Apple jail problem is one that can be solved by writing applications that free the user. Rather than do this, they exhort people to boycott the best products ever developed so that they can use software that the developers will not even provide a preview image of… its so ridiculous its hard to imagine that its even true.

Consider this. Organisations like the Free Software Foundation need donations to survive. Irrational or not, noone will donate to an organization run by people who celebrate the death of men who have brought so much good to so many people.

Apple, even though its products are not perfect, has, as I say above, done much to raise our expectations and standards. They have unleashed the imaginations of millions of people, allowed them to communicage ←- I actually typed that – with each other despite using devices that run proprietary software.

The net effect of Apple and Steve Jobs has been positive. It means that the advocates of free software have to do better, write better software and start acting like neuro-typical people or they will simply be left behind forever in a niche as the cloud combined with trusted platform hardware completely eliminates any possibility of running what you want on your own hardware.

Without millions in backing to hire developers, and most importantly, communicators, the FSF is doomed. No one will mourn them, despite the amazing work they have done, the crucial software they have written and the philosophical framework and licenses they have developed.

These people simply must come to terms with their own limitations and start to behave in a way that will foster adoption of their systems. Either that, or leave it to the Mark Shuttleworth’s of this world who have the skill to do what they cannot do. Either way, as it stands now their beneficial movement needs to change if it is to reach the millions of ordinary users that need to be ‘freed’.

Consider also this. Nintendo produced computers that are the ultimate form of jail. They allow you to only run their cartridges on their hardware. You have no access whatsoever to the operating system, and indeed, no way to access anything with an alphanumeric keyboard. All you are given is a small controller. Who in their right mind would say that Nintendo has brought only bad into the world because they release computers that only ran programmes written by their partners.

Its completely insane.

Computing is not static. Its future remains unwritten. That future will be mediated by software. If the FSF and its adherents do not write the software that shapes the future, their arguments are meaningless. Software is the only thing that matters. If you do not write it, and people cannot run your software, you have no future, no matter how good your ideas are or how moral they are or noble your intentions.

US CENTCOM Strategy of Troll FAIL

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

As the empire starts to crumble, and the talking heads in the MSM dwindle in influence, replaced by the likes of Alex Jones and Infowars, desperation methods are being rolled out to try and sabotage alternative and social networking media.

It will not work.

The problem they have is one of reputation, and six degrees of separation.

Because everyone is connected to everyone else by only six steps, it is now impossible to inject a lie into the hive mind of The Mass and have that lie survive scrutiny.

We have spoken about The Mass before on BLOGDIAL; it is the accurate prediction of the Twitter mediated hive mind that is impervious to the State and its lies.

Even if this vile attack on the truth through manipulation and lies was successful in any way, countermeasures can be built in software that would completely eradicate the influence of these glove puppet agents provocateurs.

Using the model of the PGP web of trust and the fact of six degrees of separation, it is possible to build a self organising, self healing global network of trusted introducers who can re-tweet only what is known to have not come from a glove puppet.

These trusted introducers and their messages would carry more weight than any glove puppet, and in fact, Twitter almost does this spontaneously through its simple method of people following each other and getting to know the sort of tweets that come out of the people they follow.

Anyone who uses these social networking tools understands that un-following is instant, adaptive network healing; if someone you follow says something that is a lie you either refute them by replying in public or un-following them and never again re tweeting their messages.

These simple actions are like the behaviour of antibodies fighting off infection, in this case, the infection of lies told by lying glove puppets.

These military people simply do not understand the world the are now living in. They cannot use their ridiculous twentieth century PSYOP strategies by ‘upgrading‘ them and superimposing them on Twitter; it simply will not transpose to these media.

What they must now realise is that lying as a strategy is finished. This would be the breakthrough that would put them on a strong footing for total domination of the social networking space. Sadly (or happily) they simply have not got a clue, nor the ethical foundation to make the correct strategic decision.

Lets do this!

The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

They will fail.

A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an “online persona management service” that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.

Wait a minute, is it the US Military, or is it some snake-oil salesman in California who made a successful pitch?

The project has been likened by web experts to China’s attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet.

This is utter nonsense, Grauniad style. Censorship has nothing to do with organised glove puppetry; everyone can continue saying whatever it is they like, unimpeded. Can these morons even define the words they are using? Shocking stupidity, and par for the course at the Grauniad!

Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives.

Critics are nothing more than cry babies whining instead of writing software. As I say above, a web of trust can be built either spontaneously or with software designed to tamp down glove puppetry and MILCOMTROLLS. You can always spot trolls very easily, especially when they use templates or multiple identities to spam comments. The Telegraph comments sections are full of garbage; all you have to do to tune it out however, is to set Disqus to ‘best rated’.

The single act of people rating comments up (and not down, there is no downvote button) crowd-sources the bullshit out of sight. If an organised team of MILCOMTROLLS tries to hijack the comments, it is always the case that the best refuting comment outshines the glove puppetry, and the takeover backfires completely.

The people who put this contract out to tender have absolutely no idea how any of this works, and it is going to backfire on them spectacularly. Just ask Johan Hari about how Google can expose misdeeds in English. Any MILCOMTROLLS that try and poison threads or spin the hash tags will be spotted, outed and crowded out, reinforcing the exact opposite messages that they are trying to push.

The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities known to users of social media as “sock puppets” could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.

So what? Its just like other governments wanting nuclear weapons because the USA has them, or countries like India wanting ID Cards because most European countries have them.

The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations “without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries”.

This is unfeasible, and if it is feasible, the web of trust can isolate and expunge these glove puppets. Also, consider that when individuals write blog comments or send tweets, they think about what they are writing, instead of working from a script. The only way this MILCOMTROLL plan could possibly work is if they hired individuals to write from the MILCOM point of view, genuinely on a case by case basis, with the target articles distributed to them for attack.

You cannot create a fool proof system where one person can control ten identities and not be crowded out or discovered. Because each of these identities, credible or not, will all be propagating the same point of view, this fact alone would be enough to characterise, isolate, and quarantine them.

Centcom spokesman Commander Bill Speaks said: “The technology supports classified blogging activities on foreign-language websites to enable Centcom to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US.”

Ron Paul 2021!

He said none of the interventions would be in English, as it would be unlawful to “address US audiences” with such technology, and any English-language use of social media by Centcom was always clearly attributed. The languages in which the interventions are conducted include Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Pashto.

Its unlawful to glove puppet in English for American audiences, but its A-OK to ASSASSINATE Americans.

You cant make this stuff up.

Centcom said it was not targeting any US-based web sites, in English or any other language, and specifically said it was not targeting Facebook or Twitter.

Lies lies and more lies.

Once developed, the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with any number of co-ordinated messages, blogposts, chatroom posts and other interventions. Details of the contract suggest this location would be MacDill air force base near Tampa, Florida, home of US Special Operations Command.

Once again, coordinated messages will be identified and neutralised. Think about this as a possible way of destroying the effectiveness of this dastardly plan.

Akismet is a distributed tool for eliminating spam. It is 99.99% effective. A system like that could be used to completely eliminate the occurrence of glove puppets and mass up/downvoters.

Since these people will be working in a coordinated way, their acts will be synchronised. It will be possible to identify them as a group and then systematically exclude them from showing up in comments or as up-votes. Digg has some experience in this, where massive groups of paid Diggers were organised to push stories onto the front page. Since these people all work together, it only takes a few instances of them working to simultaneously to generate a unique fingerprint of their behaviour, which can then be tested against when future MILCOMTROLL style attacks are initiated.

Of course, all this happens silently in the software, so like SEOs trying to game Google, they will meet with a very serious problem the instant they roll this programme out. Anyone working with Gmail knows that it is spam free. This proves that distributed, collaborative filtering and secret sauce software can work to keep out the bad guys.

Centcom’s contract requires for each controller the provision of one “virtual private server” located in the United States and others appearing to be outside the US to give the impression the fake personas are real people located in different parts of the world.

These people are not going to be posting in English. This is a big hurdle for the glove puppets who are going to be operating their MILCOMTROLL identities. Online credibility is not just a matter of getting an accurate word for word translation of an idea; there are cultural references, nuances and cues that the American military are notoriously and hopelessly bad at. Can you imagine some shorn headed operative in jungle camo, sitting in an air conditioned room in Tampa Florida, trying to pass herself off as a muslim man in Riyadh? Or ten different people in Riyadh?!

The whole idea is simply ridiculous, and in fact the targets of this rubbish will not need any special software to detect these MILCOMTROLLS, they will give themselves away when they post during prayers or some other stupid (and fatal) basic cultural error.

It also calls for “traffic mixing”, blending the persona controllers’ internet usage with the usage of people outside Centcom in a manner that must offer “excellent cover and powerful deniability”.

This is snake oil straight from the brochure. NO $ALE!

The multiple persona contract is thought to have been awarded as part of a programme called Operation Earnest Voice (OEV), which was first developed in Iraq as a psychological warfare weapon against the online presence of al-Qaida supporters and others ranged against coalition forces.

Ridiculous. There were no al-Qaida in Iraq before the Americans got there. This is pure and utter bullshit, and those with memories longer than goldfish know this. The war of blowing people to bits, and pictures of it, are worth many thousands of MILCOMTROLLS. You cannot win hearts and minds with a gun, or a drone. Period. This is a waste of time and a waste of money, and I strongly suspect that anyone who has been on a tour in Iraq will confirm this. The military are giving more money to Ron Paul; more than all the other candidates combined. This is not an accident; these people know what is really going on, and no amount of snake oil, lies, glove puppets or trolls can stop the truth from coming out.

Since then, OEV is reported to have expanded into a $200m programme and is thought to have been used against jihadists across Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

And its not working, on a purely objective PR level, removing all aspects of right or wrong, who started what or anything other than the measure of mindshare. All you have to do is watch the propaganda that these people produce on LiveLeak. No troll, no commenter no one can counter the stark shock value of what these people are disseminating. They are winning the PR war because their PR is quantitatively better. Once again, this has nothing to do with what you personally think about them and their motives, its a pure matter of mathematical fact.

OEV is seen by senior US commanders as a vital counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation programme. In evidence to the US Senate’s armed services committee last year, General David Petraeus, then commander of Centcom, described the operation as an effort to “counter extremist ideology and propaganda and to ensure that credible voices in the region are heard”. He said the US military’s objective was to be “first with the truth”.

The best counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation programme would be to elect Ron Paul. It is a scientific fact that all terrorism against the USA would cease thirty days after Ron Paul was elected.

Do you think that that is a big claim to make? Very well, dont believe, me take it from someone, the only person in fact, who has done a 100% accurate study of the true nature of terrorism: Professor Robert Pape, in his lecture “Dying to Win”

In this lecture, he will prove to you with unassailable facts that if Ron Paul wins, terrorism goes away.

This month Petraeus’s successor, General James Mattis, told the same committee that OEV “supports all activities associated with degrading the enemy narrative, including web engagement and web-based product distribution capabilities”.

This is utter nonsense on stilts. The ‘enemies narrative’ as outlined by Dr. Pape is that America is occupying other people’s countries. That is the ONLY narrative, and no amount of glove puppetry can alter this fact. Only a complete removal of American forces from foreign lands can change the narrative and end the nightmare.

[…]

Finally, we get to the ‘me too’ part of the article:

It is unclear whether a persona management programme would contravene UK law. Legal experts say it could fall foul of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981, which states that “a person is guilty of forgery if he makes a false instrument, with the intention that he or another shall use it to induce somebody to accept it as genuine, and by reason of so accepting it to do or not to do some act to his own or any other person’s prejudice”. However, this would apply only if a website or social network could be shown to have suffered “prejudice” as a result.

Is an online identity, a nom de plume a ‘false instrument’? Any website that takes comments from anyone using any name has entered into a contract where such an act is acceptable, and so de-facto, the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 could not apply. The fact is that UK law is not anywhere near being relevant to glove puppetry and where they apply existing law, they nearly always get it horribly wrong, like the recent case of the autistic Troll imprisoned for… trolling.

Trolling is a simple matter of freedom of speech (property rights). The people who own the servers are publishing on their own property. They enter into contracts with people who leave comments. It is as simple as that. There is no space in that contract and interaction for the State to interject itself.

This article was amended on 18 March 2011 to remove references to Facebook and Twitter, introduced during the editing process, and to add a comment from Centcom, received after publication, that it is not targeting those sites.

[…]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

Yeah, bullshit.

This is so full of fail there is fail spilled all over the floor.

The people who are least susceptible to MILCOMTROLL propaganda are the targets of this insane scheme. They are not going to buy any of this, and any attempt to spin the Twittersphere or blogosphere in English, in the USUK, as they are no doubt trying to do right now, is doomed to failure.

The mass rejects their malignant attempts at influence at every step, and as the economy continues to degrade, all calls to ignore the Federal Reserve, wage more wars, re-elect mobsters and murderers is going to ring so hollow that the sounds will resemble the biggest bell ever cast.