Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Dick-pic Revolution

Reposting my comment at Creekside.

2015 turned out to be a bizarre year for the surveillence state. In April, John Oliver interviewed Edward Snowden about the spy agencies' spying and used a "dick pic" to make his point. Later, the Canadian government passed Bill C-51 giving its spy agency free reign.

The "Dick Pic Revolution" began shortly thereafter and by December googling "dick pic" brought up over 500 trillion hits. It was estimated that 25-35% of all the penises in the world were now digitised and that fewer than 1% of searches would be free of dick-pics within the first 25 hits.

Rebel hacker group Anonymous joined the fray by hacking into government and corporate email programs and installing a virus, later made available freely for any disgruntled government or corporate employee to install at their workplace, that would attach a random dick pic to every email sent from those addresses.

Monday, April 06, 2015

"Third force"

This morning I was listening to this exchange, where notable commentator Gwynne Dyer was contrasted to an Alden Pyle-type named Kyle Matthews from the R2P crowd over whether it was "moral" (and therefore justifiable and necessary) to bomb ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Ugh. This shouldn't even be a conversation. The R2P folks I meet tend have a strange mix of naivety about the practicalities of conflict, an aversion to unpleasant facts, and some kind of strange faith in the ability of the Rest of the World (by which it is usually meant the West) to protect people by military force. Theirs is an absurdly linear, postivist, bloody positive way of thinking about complex problems, especially very dangerous ones where costs are measured in lives and gold.  The narrative is fantastical LotR or Harry Potter for these yes-men, not the moral ambiguity and no-guarantees reality of Game of Thrones.

The ISIS war is a civil war in nature, driven by local fanatics trying to gain maintain power, champion a religious affiliation, and so. Because it's a war driven by fanaticism, it will not adhere  to rules and conventions that aim to preserve life and protect non-combatants. So there are massacres and gruesome brutalities. This is the nature of civil wars driven by fanaticism. Like mad dogs fighting with claw and tooth, interfering in these kinds of fights is highly risky. As uncomfortable as it is morally, it is probably best to let them fight to exhaustion and then pick up the pieces afterwards.

But no, the political leadership in Canada, captivated by ego and maybe some End Times prophesy from their own churches, in addition to the various R2P Aldens will agonise and advocate for more intervention.

My guess? It's likely in the coming weeks or months Harper or Kenney will announce an expansion of the Canadian Army's role with more troops and a combat mission.

Friday, April 03, 2015

F-16 vs. F-35

So, when you say about the F-35 following a dogfight with an F-16,
“The door is open to provide a little more maneuverability.”
You really mean the F-16 driver danced around your F-35 until you got dizzy and had to land, right?