Censoring the Internet

China’s scary lesson to the world: Censoring the Internet works – By Simon Denyer, Washington Post, May 23, 2016

BEHIND THE FIREWALL: How China tamed the Internet | This is part of a series examining the impact of China’s Great Firewall, a mechanism of Internet censorship and surveillance that affects nearly 700 million users.

In China, the government can censor the pics and memes you send to your friends via IM– Posted on Jul 19, 2017 by Caleb Chen

“Chinese censorship has hit new dystopian levels. Internet censors in China are now able to delete an image sent from Party A to Party B, before the image makes it to Party B. While China has long had the power to scrub text and remove public posts, the ability to censor images in one-on-one WeChat is new and demonstrates exactly how far the government’s tendrils extend into Chinese tech companies.”

Also, take a look at the E|S|P previous post on censorship and surveillance:

Our Inevitable Descent into Censorship: A story that begins with surveillance – by Mary Strayhorne, Mar 26, 2016
Credits

Featured image source:  Cartoon by Brian Gable, The Globe and Mail, Toronto (published by CartoonArts International / The New York Times Syndicate, Feb 6, 2006, available at  https://www.nytsyn.com/cartoons/cartoons?start_date=1901-01-01&search_id=5782576&media_type=cartoons#271380) (last accessed Sep 12, 2017).

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Political Stalemate or a Sign of Things to Come

Do both primary popular GOP and Democrat candidates think they are above the law, what is next?

If popular GOP candidate Donald Trump’s comments about forcing the U.S. Military to act on illegal orders to torture insurgents (on the battlefield?) and Hillary Clinton gets indicted for yet another Clinton ‘Emailgate’ scandal for breaching national security, what happens next?

At this point the top two candidates are appearing unfit to lead the nation.  This may be the first accurate result of how the media plays an integral and dangerous role in the American political system.

Hillary Clinton’s litany of scandal

Last Night, Donald Trump Disqualified Himself
© Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

E|L|P Daily Dose of Founding Perspective

Today’s founding perspective is from Thomas Jefferson on the nature of politics and government:

“Let those flatter, who fear; it is not an American art. To give praise which is not due might be well from the venal, but would ill beseem those who are asserting the rights of human nature…Open your breast, sire to liberal and expanded thought. Let not the name of George the third be a blot in the page of history…The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail. No longer persevere in sacrificing the rights of one part of the empire to the inordinate desired of another; but deal out all equal and impartial right…This is the important post in which fortune has placed you, holding the balance of great, if a well poised empire.”

(As quoted in Jon Meacham’s Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power)

 

Our Inevitable Descent into Censorship: A story that begins with surveillance

“The “spiral of silence” is a well-researched phenomenon in which people suppress unpopular opinions to fit in and avoid social isolation. It has been looked at in the context of social media and the echo-chamber effect, in which we tailor our opinions to fit the online activity of our Facebook and Twitter friends. But this study adds a new layer by explicitly examining how government surveillance affects self-censorship.”

Elizabeth Stoycheff, assistant professor at Wayne State University and the lead researcher of a recent study that “shows that knowledge of government surveillance causes people to self-censor their dissenting opinions online” was “disturbed by the findings.”  The study–published in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly and reported by the Washington Post–scruitinized “the effects of subtle reminders of mass surveillance on its subjects” where “the majority of participants reacted by suppressing opinions that they perceived to be in the minority.”  Stoycheff said that “participants who shared the “nothing to hide” belief, those who tended to support mass surveillance as necessary for national security, were the most likely to silence their minority opinions.”  Mass surveillance silences minority opinions, according to study (Karen Turner, Washington Post)

She further remarked that “the fact that the ‘nothing to hide’ individuals experience a significant chilling effect speaks to how online privacy is much bigger than the mere lawfulness of one’s actions. It’s about a fundamental human right to have control over one’s self-presentation and image, in private, and now, in search histories and metadata.”

With an almost lethargic sense of irony, I was pretty dispassionate about this tiresome conclusion.  Fear of being judged is hardly a novel revelation.  Think back to high school, someone was always watching or being meticulously judged for dressing funny, acting strange, or generally being out right weird.  Guilty.

I was never very good at censoring myself and still (clearly) have a penchant for being borderline criminally outspoken.  So, censorship.  What does it look like as it evolves in a modern digital age?  How does surveillance play a role in the devolution of the unhindered flow of ideas?  Wait, why was I not in a rage about this?   My critical thinking brain triggered and thus began my barfly research and blogging tendency. Read More

E|L|P Daily Dose of Founding Perspective

“We were under [the] conviction of the necessity of arousing our people from the lethargy into which they had fallen as to passing events.”  Thomas Jefferson on the reasoning behind the Day of Fasting and Prayer resolution of Tuesday, May 24, 1774.

Anyone up for a fasting this Tuesday, May 24, 2016?

 

 

 

 

Who has the Power?

First example in a meeting:  “I hear what you are saying, but we’re not going to do that.”

Second example is a father to his child trying to pursuade him to choose an alternative:  “What if we put ice cream on top of the cheeseburger?”

The first ends on a negative and can have the effect of shutting down the discussion for further ideas, arguably giving the speaker power over the discussion, but not the problem being solved. The second ends on a positive without dismissing the child’s idea entirely, leaving the child with the understanding that discussion is important as it inspires ideas and, clearly, creative and collaborative problem solving, thus empowering the child to continue to seek knowledge, the truest form of power. Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.

Check out the original post by Nicholas Thompson (The New Yorker) and the comment string:

Original Post: https://www.linkedin.com/hp/update/6100806761839677440 

Perspectives on Being a Single Woman Over Thirty

7 Things Not to Say to a Single Woman in Her 30s

Highlight:  [On advice to try online dating] As if most thirtysomethings haven’t thought of this already. As if they haven’t already been bombarded by potential suitors with unsolicited dick pics or have experienced confusing Tinder profile photos featuring newborn babies in a hospital (Is this guy married?). Many people assume online dating expedites the situation, but it sometimes only makes being single feel worse.

How Single Women Over 30 are Made to Feel Inferior

Highlight:   The study focused on messages these women got from their social environments. A lot of the messages were pretty pejorative and intrusive, and the major finding was that at this time in their life – ages 28 to 34 – there was a lot of focus on their single status. It underscored their visibility and invisibility. The invisibility is their actual life experience of not being married by a certain age; some people would just assume they had kids because they were 31. Their younger siblings were starting to marry and have kids, and this felt awkward and not natural. 

Why Millennial Women Are Burning Out At Work By 30

Highlight:  These early career flameouts are reflected through the corporate ladder. Today, 53% of corporate entry-level jobs are held by women, a percentage that drops to 37% for mid-management roles and 26% for vice presidents and senior managers, according to McKinsey research. Men are twice as likely as women to advance at each career transition stage. One rationale is that men are more likely than women to do things that help their personal wellbeing at work, thus negating burnout, according to the Captivate Network. Men are 25% more likely to take breaks throughout the day for personal activities, 7% more likely to take a walk, 5% more likely to go out to lunch, and 35% more likely to take breaks “just to relax.”

The Pain of Being Excluded Because You Are Single

Stigmatised for being single: More women are choosing to live alone but they’re becoming irritated at being pitied and patronised by their married friends

Karl Marx’s Idealistic Concept of the Equalizing Effect of Socialism: A Perspective from the Dead Center of the Former Middle Class

To be clear, I grew up within a solid middle class family. My father was a lawyer who spent most of his career as a workers’ compensation attorney for hard working, often blue collar clients. My mother was a high school educated real estate paralegal–with a few college credits under her belt–who worked her tail off for over 20 years for attorneys until she went out on her own to form a title company. My parents worked their butts off. I know, my brother and I were latchkey kids in the 80’s and 90’s, born and raised in the DC suburbs. Never rich, sometimes well off, sometimes not so well off and at the mercy of market forces we could not control ourselves. We make good Marx ideology candidates. Keep reading.
I spent the first 15 years of my post-public high school life working and earning four degrees: an associates, a bachelors, a Juris Doctor, and, finally, a Master of Laws. I also have over $300,000 in student loan debt. Yes, it is blood curdling. So, you bet your ass, I paid attention in class and worked my tail off too.

I emerged ready and willing to hit the ground running, only to find that my education no longer holds the same market value it did when I was sold the idea of more degrees. I had educated myself out of the market entirely.

After all that hard work, with crippling student loans to pay back, and not one response to a single resume in 6 months (not one in dozens of applications), to say I was livid would be an understatement. What has become the ultimate equalizer now? Technology. In my case, likely a poorly designed job applicant algorithm.

So, I did what any over-educated and underemployed person would do, I sat and thought, tried to figure out where it all went wrong. I spent months thinking I did something wrong, that I used poor judgment, that I was wrong somehow. I played through all scenarios and kept landing on the same question mark: ‘wait, so when did life become fair enough so that everyone gets a trophy for just showing up?’

No. You dear sweet idealistic people brought up with privilege and self-esteem, life is not fair. If you disagree, then I point you to the ISIS crisis. Do you think they or their victims find life fair? But I digress.

For now, I point my critical finger at Karl Marx and I begin my analysis on him. If you don’t know who he is, I’m sure you are well-versed in Wikipedia, though I urge you to spend time to review multiple credible sources. What’s a credible source? If you are college educated, shame on your teachers or shame on you for not paying attention in class that day.  If you are high school educated or otherwise, it isn’t typically found on a standardized exam and I would be happy to explain. Read More