Category Archives: Technology

Hollywood Hack Hysteria

Film, Free Speech, Hollywood, Private Property, Technology, Terrorism

From their citadels of stupidity, the US mainstream media went into full St. Vitus mode over an attack by hackers on Sony Pictures. The Apoplectic Press tell those they gull on a daily basis that North Korea is behind the hack, “which,” by BBC News’ more measured report, “exposed embarrassing emails and personal details about some of the world’s biggest movie stars,” escalating “after the supposed hackers made threats against cinemas showing the film.”

The moron media have shared speculations but not much credible evidence as to the source of the hack. Still, the president and his press corp assure everyone, no evidence required, that the crazy communist regime is the culprit: “US media quoted anonymous officials as saying that the FBI had linked North Korea to the attacks.”

Well, that settles it, now doesn’t it?!

It’s quite possible, maybe likely, that North Korean hackers were set loose on Sony Pictures and employees for the impending release of the “satirical comedy The Interview, which involves a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.” But the onus is on the moron media to present the evidence.

The film’s New York premiere was cancelled and cinema chains cancelled screenings, leading Sony to announce that it had “decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release”.

No great cultural loss. The same can be said of the decision by the Sony cowards to cancel the screening of yet another five of their crap products, among these Black Annie, a concept almost as alien as a white Kunta Kinte (of Roots fame).

So can anyone tell me what the histrionics are all about? Aren’t there clever, calm ways by which smart Americans can ward off hack attacks?


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Touting ‘Target Liberty’

Economy, Internet, libertarianism, Technology

If anyone can pull it off it’s Robert Wenzel, editor of Economic Policy Journal, and now of Target Liberty. Robert, to whose illustrious websites I contribute, decided to return EPJ to its economic roots, while at the same time designating and editing a new website for libertarian discussion.

At first, the move had the feel of a self-imposed antitrust bust. What was wrong with EPJ as it was? Had the premier libertarian site on the web become too big or too powerful for its own good? (If only.) Is not human action, or homo economicus in action, an all-encompassing proposition, as EPJ had become?

Then there were our dear editor’s idiosyncrasies: Target Liberty was severed from Economic Policy Journal. The new site’s presence on the established EPJ was initially reduced to a black spot (on the right, above the search window), conjuring the black spot of death handed to a condemned pirate, in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.

Columnists at Target Liberty were without archives. Contributors would struggle to promote the site in the absence of clear links to their work. And our readers were overwhelmingly opposed to the move, pressing their case with an impressive array of arguments.

On the other hand, EPJ had become “multidisciplinary,” arguably the intellectual equivalent of multiculturalism.

“Intellectual disciplines,” historian Keith Windschuttle has written, “were founded in ancient Greece and gained considerable impetus from the work of Aristotle who identified and organized a range of subjects into orderly bodies of learning. … The history of Western knowledge shows the decisive importance of the structuring of disciplines. This structuring allowed the West to benefit from two key innovations: the systematization of research methods, which produced an accretion of consistent findings; and the organization of effective teaching, which permitted a large and accumulating body of knowledge to be transmitted from one generation to the next.” (The Killing of History, Keith Windschuttle, Encounter, pp. 247-250.)

The intellectual discipline is one of the signal achievements of Western Civilization. This explains why those working in the postmodern tradition have striven mightily—reflexively, at least—to dismantle disciplines.

Ultimately, nobody beats Robert Wenzel in providing excellent and abundant content. Still, here are some thoughts on increasing our traffic and making it easier for contributors to promote both sites on their respective websites:

• Continue to write guest columns on other sites. What about Peter Schiff’s Euro Pacific Capital?
• Create a link and archive for each regular contributor on Target Liberty, too.
• Place a link (that is not a black spot) to Target Liberty on Economic Policy Journal. (This has since been accomplished.)
• Put faces to the words: a picture for each of our columnists.
• Encourage columnists to reply to readers.
• Write even catchier headlines.
• Link internally: If a news story is about, say intellectual property, link to an EPJ or TL article on the topic.
• Create an email list and send out a weekly newsletter featuring the best of our contributors (provided I’m in it, of course).
• Promote stories and columns by Tweeting them as well as posting links to Facebook. Contributors can, in turn, share links on their own social media pages. Posts can be made to automatically propagate to social media with automating applications.
• Upgrade the sites so they are mobile- and tablet compatible.
• Explore making an app.


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Demographic Distribution of Jobs in the High-Tech Industry

Intelligence, Race, Reason, Technology

“On average”: These two words (one is a preposition) are missing from Jared Taylor’s brutal appraisal of the demographic distribution of jobs in the high-tech industry. That, I think, would be my one quibble with Jared. Thus, “On average, Asians are better at programing than whites, whites are better at it than Hispanics, Hispanics are better at it than blacks, and men are better at it than women.”

Of course, if you have been schooled to think illogically—as are most graduates of America’s secondary and tertiary educational institutions—then disparity in the representation of racial groups in the high-tech industry, relative to their proportion in the population, you will chalk up to racism, sexism, onanism, etc.

However, should you care to pursue your illogic, as Jared politely urges, you will be at pains to rationalize the discrimination the high-tech market is alleged to exhibit toward Asians, who are more likely to be employed in the hi-tech sector than whites.

The wife of a high-tech magnate takes to cake for the most foolish statement to be quoted in the segment. She would not be enjoying the fruits of her husband’s labor had he made hiring decisions based on color and sex, rather than on talent. This colossal idiot claimed that the high-tech industry is “steeped in the pernicious myth of meritocracy.”


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Aaron Swartz: Parasites Have the Power To Kill The Host

Government, Human Accomplishment, Intellectual Property Rights, Liberty, Private Property, Technology

Aaron Swartz got too big for his boots, so the government decided to make life unbearable for the gifted young man, who had created more value for shareholders and customers when just a kid in short pants than any of the nogoodniks who prosecuted him. Yeah, freedom baby.

US media tries to forget the late Mr. Swartz . RT has not:

Swartz was a 26 year-old information transparency activist, who took his own life nearly two years ago, having faced a standoff with the government.
When he was just 14, tech prodigy Swartz helped launch the first RSS feeds. By the time he turned 19, his company had merged with Reddit, which would become one of the most popular websites in the world.
But instead of living a happy life of a Silicon Valley genius, Swartz went on to champion a free internet, becoming a political activist calling for others to join.
Swartz drew the FBI’s attention in 2008, when he downloaded and released about 2.7 million federal court documents from a restricted service. The government did not press charges because the documents were, in fact, public.
He was arrested in 2011, for downloading academic articles from a subscription-based research website JSTOR – at his university – with the intention of making them available to the public. Although, none of what he downloaded was classified, prosecutors wanted to put him in jail for 35 years.

Related: “MIT and the Prosecution of Aaron Swartz.”


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NASA And The Neocon National Greatness Agenda

Business, Free Markets, Neoconservatism, Republicans, Technology, The State

Hungry to sustain the National Greatness agenda, Republicans, who pose as the party of free-market capitalism, were furious when Barack Obama and his posse privatized aspects in the operation of NASA, the National Aeronautic Space Administration. Duly, neoconservative statist Chucky Krauthammer recently linked the so-called erosion of NASA under Obama to the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo crash. That’s what happens when you trust this kind of national greatness enterprise to the private sector is what Krauthammer seemed to be saying.

How many disasters has NASA (which, incidentally, has always been a private-public collaboration) weathered? Many. Which NASA official has been as devastated as Virgin founder Richard Branson, as quick to take responsibility for the failures, or as resolute about rectifying these?

Branson’s career in business has been spectacular. The test pilots, astronauts and scientists who work for him know the risks. They’ll get it done. The incentives to succeed are tremendous. Angelina Jolie and her brood will get to levitate above the earth more so than they already do, soon and safely.


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Me And The Idiocracy

Healthcare, Ilana Mercer, Intelligence, Internet, Media, Politics, Technology

“Dying For Obama’s Deadly Dogma” must be rather good, if a total of four twitter twits saw fit to “un-follow” me, subsequent to its posting.

I’m used to the Idiocracy! To paraphrase Mark Twain, I can live for two months on a good compliment from worthy, literate people like my editor at Quarterly Review. He wrote:

“Intellectuals are fated to be outcasts.”

And this from the gifted, successful, mystery novelist Sibella Giorello:

“In a word: BRILLIANT.”

Thanks to both. You made my day.


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