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/b/ luvz Kittehs

dusty-halp

Apparently the internet hate machine is alive and well, and this time they’re going after some douchebag who filmed himself abusing a cat and stuck it on youtube.  Somebody put two and two together, identified the guy, and next thing you know the police are knocking on his door.

Dude did not know an important rule; don’t fuck with the kittehs!  If you do the internet will mess you up. 

dustyavenge

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Oprah pwned by Anonymous

OMG, Anonymous pwned Oprah!  These loosely confederated Internets boys and girl have brought us such wonderful things as rickrolling (via duckroll), LOLCats, and pedobear, and the world is slowly becoming aware of their existence.

After all, they’re more than internet meme machines.  Earlier this week someone broke into Sarah Palin’s email box and posted some of the conent online.  And they busted this pervert, which is quite ironic considering what the prankster posted on Oprah’s message boards:

“It does not forgive, it does not forget, the group has over 9,000 penises, and they’re all r*ping children.”

Shudder.  Incredibly rude and horribly offensive, that’s Anonymous for you.  Who the heck is screening Oprah’s material?  She should have verified what she was repeating, someone with that much power should be especially careful!

We can easily determine this is an Anon posting through some amateur “higher criticism”:

  1. Anonymous’ infamous “Message to Scientology” video, which ended with this:

    Knowledge is free.
    We are Anonymous.
    We are Legion.
    We do not forgive.
    WE DO NOT FORGET.
    Expect us.

  2. The phrase “over 9,000” is an old intenet meme (something to do with DragonBall Z), and this caused at least one “news” organization to report that Anonymous have over 9,000 members in their “Internet Hate Machine” broadcast.
  3. The offensiveness of this statement is pure 4chan style; they always seek to shock even the most jaded.  These guys are direct decendents of those who created shock sites like goatse and tubgirl.

While of course I don’t condone this type of griefing, I can’t help but be amazed at their subversive abilities and their extensive impact on popular culture.  You might not even realize it, but I estimate that more popular internet memes have been spread by Anonymous than anyone else.

And to also be clear to all those news reporters out there: ANONYMOUS IS COMPLETELY DECENTRALIZED.  There is no “leader” of Anonymous.  There is no membership.  There is no formal ideology, and no website or spokesperson.  There is anon culture, but there is no centralized authority AT ALL.

Anyone who contacts you claiming to speak for Anonymous is LYING.  Anyone can claim to be anonymous, and the average Anon griefer can’t identify a single other member (or “hacker” as those woefully misguided “news” organizations keep insisting), except maybe a few friends.

If you truly wish to know about Anon you must “LURK MOAR, newfag!”

.

PS: NO, I am NOT a member of Anonymous, just someone who’s interested.  I don’t post anywhere they do, and I don’t participate in their Invasions in any way.  I like them, but I also find them completely offensive.  Fascinatingly offensive….

And as you can see, I use my real name instead of an alias, despite the very real chance of retaliation from those who I might offend (I’m Soorrry! :)   All I do is lurk sometimes, and write about it in my silly blog.  It’s like how I’m interested in Christian history and theology, so I write about it.  But I’m not a Christian, see?  Who knows, maybe I’ll write a book about Anon some day..

The Internet Is NOT a Big Truck. It’s TUBES!!!

This is why the internet wins:

Puppygate 2008

Saw this on digg yesterday, looks like it’s been picked up by mainstream news. 429 hits on google news (for puppy + marine), probably going to be three times as many tomorrow. While the jury is still out on whether this was a stunt or not, It appears to be quite real; a US Marine tossing casually tossing a living puppy off a cliff.

Netizens quickly identified the alleged perp (from Monroe, WA!), posting his bobo site and personal contact information all over the internet. Death threats started rolling in; Anon does not take kindly to bullies. It’s not that the puppy’s life is more important than even a depraved person’s life, it’s that this man hurt something smaller and weaker than him just to appear macho to his friends. I have a feeling he’s regretting it now….

That sort of behavior drives the kiddies mad; probably because they’ve all had personal experiences with people like this. I realize that most of our Marines are good discipled soldiers; it is unfortunate that a unstable minority makes them all look bad. And it seems a whole lot of bother over one animal (last year PETA put down 97% of the animals in their care).

The things that horrifies us the most is 1) the innocents of the victim and it’s terrified screams, 2) the senselessness of the violence, and 3) the act was committed by a warrior who’s nominal purpose is to protect the US people and their interests.

The powers that be should be warned; you do not control media distribution anymore! The Internets is Serious Business. Traditionally we have not see these images in mainstream news; even today YouTube pulled the video for “violations of terms and services”.  So that particular battle is certainly not over, but the blatant, moralistic, and politically convenient suppression of the truth will not succeed.

Kill Your Television

Having taken the last 6 months or so off, I had plenty of daylight hours to burn, only a small portion of which I used to do anything productive. Rather, I went through a period of “high inertia”, did some great internet surfing and T.V. watching.

Somehow I managed to make it through 63 episodes of Six Feet Under, an absolutely top notch HBO series. This is some of the BEST television ever made, IMO. And I watched all of Futurama, from beginning to end, and watched the new movie. Another amazing show. House is back and better than ever.

I watched American Gladiator. Wolf. Helga. Oh. Yeah.

I watched all the new Doctor Who, and the spinoff. Not to be flaimbait, but Torchwood is better. Way better; it’s better than most American TV shows. Still not as good as Red Drawf. Speaking of space shows, I watched some old Star Trek TNG and Voyager, TNG doesn’t age well, and Voyager isn’t far behind. But 7 of 9…yeah, that was a great idea; insert lame”Assimilate me!” joke here. Borgs are so cool.

Sci Fi/Fantasy is gaining in popularity, especially shows set in the present that contain fantastical Must see TV includes Heroes, Lost, and Jericho. Good TV includes Eureka and Moonlight. Even canceled shows like Journeyman and 4400 delivered with good characters and good storytelling, just not picking up the viewers in this online age.

I just watched the new Knight Rider premier. Yet again the car is by far the most well developed and three dimensional character. There are many other new shows worth checking out. Breaking Bad is a must watch. Californication proves that Duchovny’s still got it in ‘im. Weeds isn’t new anymore, but it took a few seasons to catch on. Burn Notice is lots of fun.

As a poker player I really enjoy Poker After Dark, as it shows you a large percentage of the hands. This helps you get a feel for the gameplay, making it more nuanced and realistic instead of a final table all-in shove fest. High Stakes Poker is also lots of fun.
I saw quite a few good miniseries. The Lost Room was good creepy fun. Rome was completely outstanding, some more BEST TV. The Nova Series on Evolution is a must watch for anybody who wants to make an informed decision on Intelligent Design vs. Evolution.

I can’t highly enough recommend the Nova episodes The Mind’s Big Bang and What About God. The first covers the evolution of consciousness and memetics, the second is a intense and surprisingly non-judgmental documentary on a private Evangelical liberal arts college in Illinois. Students at Wheaton College are taught that Science and Christianity are basically not at odds with each other. This claim comes under direct fire, as many of the students here were raised to believe in Biblical inerrancy, including a 6 day creation and the historical existence of Adam and Eve. So needless to say, the topics of Evolution, Higher Criticism, and Genetics are fraught with peril.

I would add that so are are Geology, Physics, Meteorology, Astronomy, and the Scientific Method at its very basis, but that’s just me. Very interesting and educational television.

The Natural Philosophy of Scientology

xenu-pam.jpg

Someone went way overboard, and mailed packets of suspicious white powder to a number of Scientology offices. Fail; it terrified a bunch of people and wasted time and resources better utilized keeping the peace and tracking down Osama. This act has been vilified in the blogosphere, and Anonymous has condemned it and declared itself innocent of provoking this sort of behavior. Many have commented that this would make a good form of black propaganda, noting the many misdeeds of major and minor Scientologists.

If this was a Scientology operation, then it was done by a squirrel. Ditto if it was an Anon op. Not standard tech! The more I study these guys the less I believe that your average Scientologist is crazy or immoral; they are sane, rational, and follow the same basic code of ethics that the rest of us do. Good, solid citizens that you want for next door neighbors. They might try to give you a copy of Dianetics, but as long as you respect their beliefs they’ll respect theirs.

But if you are hostile to their beliefs, there is a good chance they’ll label you a suppressive person and consider you fair game. This is unfortunate and all to common in CoS, anybody who openly disagrees with their view of the world is persecuted to the fullest extent allowed by law, and sometimes beyond. This meme has been very damaging and is leading to a public relations nightmare that the church might not ever recover from.

Scientology was nominally founded as a way to improve the human condition through Science and Dianetics. Find me one Scientologist that would disagree with this and I’ll give you a nickel. But in order to practice the Scientific Method, you must publicize your finding for peer review, allow people to disagree with your findings, and even attempt to discredit them. You must take people’s criticisms and address them, and even discredit your own findings if you become convinced by evidence that you were wrong.

Indeed, this is a very accurate representation of L Ron Hubbard’s earliest activities, although he was of the type to rarely be convinced he was wrong about anything. Still, he tried to answer every critic, and deal with every situation; obsessively detailing exactly how everything should be painstakingly interpreted and resolved in order to make the idea all hang together. In this he behaved almost exactly like a scientific revolutionary, in the Kuhnian sense.

THIS DID NOT CONTINUE. The organization became more and more insulated as the attacks on their belief system became more hostile. They were called a cult, and started to behave like one. LRH became more and more isolated, always surrounded by adoring believers who thought he was the best thetan incarnation to come around in trillions of years. By definition it is impossible to practice Good Science in that environment The system became extremely hierarchal and tightly secretive. These days, to openly disagree with the church became exactly the same as mocking someone’s religious faith, and it is not taken lightly.

This is a far cry from where Scientology began, and it’s my personal belief the young LRH would be heartbroken if he saw his legacy today. He got rich, yes, but he lost the very basis of scientific value along the way. I’m a big science fiction fan, and Hubbard was one of the founding members of this genre. Their views on religion were extremely influential, as were their views on science. These were unmistakable and obvious values of the science fiction of Hubbard’s early career, causing many a Christian to vilify scifi as atheistic and humanistic propaganda. I’ve read a ton of it, and I think that’s a pretty fair judgment. They convinced me!

Nowadays, both Science and Science Fiction have moved into new territory, while Scientology is stuck in the 1940s. We now understand that rigid and authoritarian tech guidelines can never accurately model robust complex behavior. We understand that electroshock therapy really F’s people up, as does giving kids a bunch of mood altering drugs. Complexity, decentralization, networks and computation are everywhere around us, yet were practically unknown in the golden age of scifi. We understand that the clockwork universe is a myth, as we stare into the throat of the Singularity.

Is Scientology a corporation or a religion? Is it a sociological cult or a personality cult? Are they Amway or Jonestown? A knowing fraud or an honest delusion? Maybe it’s all true and 100% correct and Scientific Rationalists are the crazy ones. Probably something in between. I’m still checking it out.

War on Scientology

Scientology has been all over the Internet recently, due to the propaganda video with Tom Cruise on the benefits of Scientology. “Re-Reading KSW”, “Orgs”, and “Have you met an SP?”; the specialized vocabulary is punctuated by what seems to be uncontrollable laughter, although maybe he has to pee real bad.

“Being a Scientologist, when you drive past an accident, it’s not like anyone else, it’s, you drive past, you know you have to do something about it. You know you are the only one who can really help. That’s what drives me.“

Enter a hacker group called “Anonymous”, loosely centered around the /b/ random board on 4chan. They call themselves /b/tards, and are always up for LULZ. You won’t find much about these guys on Wikipedia, but Encyclopedia Dramatica has much to say if you are curious about this odd anarchic subculture.

A rough timeline of Project Chanology.

  1. First it was the Tom Cruise video leaked to youtube, most likely by frustrated reporters who weren’t able to get it shown through a mainstream channel. Much mirth and merrymaking did occur.

  2. This video was quickly taken down, as the CoS likes to abuse the DMCA in order to suppress free speech. Seriously, they have a long history of this. Uh oh. If you really want to piss off “the Internet”, try to shape reality by the suppression of information. You are guaranteed to get a violent reaction.

  3. A group of hackers called Anonymous attack back with a DOS attack on the Scientology website that apparently brought it down for days. This was quickly followed by a video in which war on Scientology was declared.

    “Over the years, we have been watching you. Your campaigns of misinformation; suppression of dissent; your litigious nature, all of these things have caught our eye. With the leakage of your latest propaganda video into mainstream circulation, the extent of your malign influence over those who trust you, who call you leader, has been made clear to us. Anonymous has therefore decided that your organization should be destroyed. For the good of your followers, for the good of mankind–for the laughs–we shall expel you from the Internet and systematically dismantle the Church of Scientology in its present form. We acknowledge you as a serious opponent, and we are prepared for a long, long campaign.”

  4. CoS, not really knowing how to sue a bunch of random kids on the Internet, decided to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to those responsible for the Anon attack. This lead to even more mirth and merrymaking, as CoS had listed a bunch of anonymous proxies as “clues” to the hackers’ identities. When CoS realized their n00b error, they quickly took the page down, but not before internet archives could get it.

  5. Anon somehow got their hands on a bunch of Scientology documentation, and made it available…well, everywhere. Really, you can’t plug these leaks, a search for “SECRETDOX.rar” on the file sharing networks pulls up plenty of torrents.

As I see it, it’s CoS: 1, Anon: 4. One crazy inbred group versus another, but my money is on Anon. This could get very ugly before it’s over, so be careful out there!

Link to Gawker article

Link to Wired article

“Knowledge is free.

We are Anonymous.

We are Legion.

We do not forgive.

WE DO NOT FORGET.”