THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General. Continue reading →
I,____________________, a Natural man/woman, living & breathing, and standing upon the land, and NOT a creature, or subject to, or of, the HOLY SEE/LAW OF THE SEA, do hereby attest & affirm, that I seek the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing by the Truth, in all matters, seen & unseen, known & unknown, real or imagined, tangible & intangible. Continue reading →
Today’s transcript is an excerpt from director Christopher Nolan’s 2008 The Dark Knightfilm. In this scene, Batman solicits the assistance of Lucius Fox in finding the Joker; to do this, Batman constructs a digital panopticon. Any mistakes in transcription are solely that of this humble blogger.
Batman: Beautiful, isn’t it?
Lucius Fox: Beautiful, unethical, dangerous. You’ve turned every cell phone in Gotham into a microphone. Continue reading →
In obedience to the order of the House of Representatives, of the ninth day of August last, requiring the Secretary of the Treasury to prepare and report, on this day, such further provision as may, in his opinion, be necessary for establishing the public credit, the said Secretary further respectfully reports:
That, from a conviction (as suggested in his Report now presented) that a National Bank is an institution of primary importance to the prosperous administration of the finances, and would be of the greatest utility in the operations connected with the support of the public credit, his attention has been drawn to devising the plan of such an institution, upon a scale which will entitle it to the confidence, and be likely to render it equal to the exigencies of the public. Continue reading →
“It seems to be so wrong that the Industrial Revolution can punch out gadgets, a million Twinkies in a day, if need [be]; there’s enough Twinkies for everybody, and it’s all done by machinery. The fruits of the Industrial Revolution ought to be liberty, and in that liberty people will have the chance to discover who they really are. I mean, I see people’s personality bloom and blossom. I see creativity pouring out of people like this. Not everybody who does this [full-time RV living] is creative, but many are, and the heroes are. They are out there writing, and it’s just one of those amazing coincidences that the thing that is the most fun in the world to do happens to be incredibly cheap and incredibly beneficent, you know? It’s good news for people. We consume less – I personally think that there’s a million people in the United States today that ought to be free, and they are not. If they think they need a million dollars in the banks before they can win their liberty, but the truth is, if you had an income stream of $500 a month after you get your rig, you can live this life and be free, and do the world a favor while you’re at it because your consumption will go way down.”
“In the walls of the cubicle there were three orifices. To the right of the speakwrite, a small pneumatic tube for written messages, to the left, a larger one for newspapers; and in the side wall, within easy reach of Winston’s arm, a large oblong slit protected by a wire grating. This last was for the disposal of waste paper. Similar slits existed in thousands or tens of thousands throughout the building, not only in every room but at short intervals in every corridor. For some reason they were nicknamed memory holes. When one knew that any document was due for destruction, or even when one saw a scrap of waste paper lying about, it was an automatic action to life the flap of the nearest memory hole and drop it in, whereupon it would be whirled away on a current of warm air to the enormous furnaces which were hidden somewhere in the recesses of the building.”
“How can we know whether someone has deliberately planted their own security hole in PGP? What if the government (pick any government) induced the PGP Corporation to insert a ‘backdoor’ that allows the police, FBI, KGB-reincarnated, et cetera to decrypt our messages and files with ease? The source code for various PGP versions is public. Expert computer programmers – definitely not employed by the PGP Corporation – can pounce on each new version and study the code carefully…[n]ot once has an alarm been raised that a deliberate weakness was inserted into PGP…[a]s a software test engineer, I must admit that code examination has its limits.”
Phil Zimmermann, the creator of Pretty Good Privacy, has repeatedly denied that his creation has any backdoors. Despite being investigated for three years by U.S. Customs for alleged export control violations, which he was cleared of, Zimmermann’s PGP is feared by certain Americans to be compromised in some way, whether it be technologically by the NSA or by Zimmermann simply handing over such a backdoor to the federal government. Last time I checked, in this country there is such a thing as the presumption of innocence before being proven guilty, not the other way around; folks who care about strong cryptography ought to give Zimmermann the benefit of the doubt by taking him at his word. Continue reading →