Hating the Internet 90

The meeting in Paris to hand out the Libyan oil and reconstruction contacts to Western companies, the NATO assault on Sirte and surrounding towns, the continuation of control orders in the UK, even the unchallenged Israeli spokesman on TV saying that the Mavi Mamara was laden with arms and that all those killed were terrorists: all of these things make me feel that liberalism is so otiose that there is no chance of resonance, and there is no point in my screaming into the void. It is hard to summon up the willpower to keep blogging.

Not too pleased with the internet today either. Searching for the Wikileaks cables which the Guardian say are now available and freely searchable. Why are they not up on a website somewhere? Tried the Pirate Bay site to which someone posted a link. Could not get the cables to download, but did manage to infect my computer with all kinds of shit casino programmes, my homepage has become some rubbish called facemoods, etc. Is this what the brave new world of internet sharing became? Buggering up people’s computers for money?

You will recall that when commercial publication of The Catholic Orangemen of Togo was stopped by the mercenary Tim Spicer and legal parasites Schillings, I responded by making it available free online. I now can’t find it anywhere where it is not hidden behind registration or payment or the sort of crap downloads I just got given by The Pirate Bay.

I actually have no desire to download the Wikileaks cables anyway. I just want to search and read them. Why is that so difficult? Bloody interweb thing is useless.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

90 thoughts on “Hating the Internet

1 2 3
  • Clark

    Jon, a good thing about software being free is that it isn’t just the military that get to use good software.
    Mark Golding, I’ve often thought that the insecurity of Windoze is convenient to the Powers-That-Be; it encourages Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt about the Internet, and keeps the sheeple to the “safe”, commercial sites. There’s a lot of alarmism about. In the end, it’s a damn nuisance to have your system infected, but it’s hardly life-threatening.

  • Jon

    > I don’t think that tools can be judged by the morality of the jobs they
    > are put to, or even the morality of people that contribute to their creation.
    I agree with this in part, but there’s a small sliver of me that resents *my* work being used for immoral ends. Much like you not wishing to link to the unprocessed cables, I guess – it can feel like an inescapable theoretical culpability.
    Thanks for the link, btw – much more moderate!

  • jakey

    I’m not knocking Ubuntu or any of the other distros, I ‘ve set my ‘puter up to dual boot ( windows & ubuntu), but….
    for a newbie whose used to windows, ubuntu isn’t as intuitive as it might be. Ok, so it might well be worth the time and effort to get up to speed, but until you are it’s easy to become frustrated and put off by the fact that doing stuff takes longer; you have unlearn, relearn and then do…..instead of just do.
    Ok it won’t protect you from back doors but to provide some protection to your ( windows) system against downloading nasties I would suggest ( in addition to firewalls & antivirus software) that you install & use a SANDBOX.

  • jakey


    While I’m at it……instead of Firefox…..try out SRWare’s browser Iron.
    You might also find Ixquick to be a better option than Google as your default search engine.

  • Thumb

    Second all that above about GNU/linux. Best way to wean yourself off familiar corporate software is to get virtual box (virtualbox.org), and download a number of the most popular distributions from distrowatch.com. You can test different linux distributions in an application running on your current system. When you’re good and ready you can pick one and replace your corporate software, or partition the disk and put Linux on too. Painless and not too frightening. You’ll end up so proud of yourself that you’ll bore all your friends.

  • mary

    Fight against the Lansley proposals. The people (sheeple) have been warned. They will only miss the beloved NHS when it has been dismantled.
    This is only the beginning.
    4 September 2011
    NHS hospital management by overseas firms ‘discussed’
    MPs are due to debate the health bill this week
    NHS shake-upQ&A: The NHS shake-up
    Analysis: Why the NHS wants to move on
    How the NHS works in rest of UK
    More competition planned for NHS
    Senior officials have discussed handing the management of up to 20 English NHS hospitals to overseas companies, emails released by the government indicate.
    Talks included plans to hand over one hospital at a time due to “political restraints”, the Observer reports.
    It comes as Lib Dem peer Shirley Williams said she has “huge concerns” over the NHS reform plans.
    Health Secretary Andrew Lansley says claims the government aims to privatise the NHS are “ludicrous scaremongering”.
    The emails were released after a Freedom of Information request by non-profit investigations organisation Spinwatch.
    They are reported to show that consulting firm McKinsey was acting as a broker between the Department of Health and “international players” for contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
    /…. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-14778406
    Read up The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism … notably economist Milton Friedman and his radical Chicago School of the 1950s and 60s …

  • Paul Johnston

    Two questions to those using Windows.
    Do you surf the internet using an account with Administrator privileges (BIG NO NO!)
    Have you enabled scripting languages (javascript) on your browser of choice (see noscript at http://noscript.net/)
    Yes the piratebay site is a nightmare but you can take precautions.
    @Clark unfortunately some software and hardware does require Windows and please do not get me started on (Cross-Platform Software) i.e. bloody Java, been struggling with Netbeans for four days now!
    @Thumb, yes I do like Virtual Box as well, nice to see Oracle are still keeping it “Open”.

  • Edward

    My biggest concern with the private sector internet schemes is our loss of privacy. Everything we do on the internet is recorded.

  • CheebaCow

    I’m a Windows user, for the simple reason Windows has the largest software library. OSX is pretty and *kinda* secure, but the software library is lacking. I want Linux to succeed, but imho still needs a fair bit of polish. 3d drivers are lacking, audio stacks are all over the place and then there are the inevitable wireless issues. There are also countless apps needed for business that have no Linux equivalent. I also enjoy gaming……..
    To keep a Windows box secure while browsing the web, I recommend the following Firefox plugins.
    1 – Adblock Plus (a ridiculous amount of malware is served up by ad servers. Probably the biggest cause, as it can result in 100% legit sites spreading malware).
    2 – Noscript (stops javascript by default, which most WWW malware requires to run).
    3 – Cookie Monster & BetterPrivacy (block privacy invading tracking cookies)

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Off topic – but do consider.
    Wars of aggression equal barbarism.
    Juan Cole is one for “humanitarian interventionism” – a recipe for resource grabs and violations of
    principles of sovereignty under international – but, the good Professor sits comfortably within the liberal humanitarian camp.

    “Democracy now” is no better and Amy Goodman, appears to me to be now a paid employee ( not of an independent ilk).

    Read more:-


    And the wars go on…..

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Juan Cole is one for “humanitarian interventionism” – a recipe for resource grabs and violations of principles of sovereignty under international law – but, the good Professor sits comfortably within the liberal humanitarian interventionist camp.

  • CheebaCow

    Like you said in a previous thread, Juan Cole allowed one of my comments, then allowed his fanbois to call me ridiculous names (Stalinist) but then my response to them is blocked. I’m surprised. Even the professors I disagreed with vehemently while I was at university would never have used such cheap tactics to make their argument.
    The thing I like most about Craig’s blog is that it allows such divergent views. Most political sites I visit, even if containing views very close to my own, I rarely bother with the user comments as they tend to only endorse one point of view. It gets tedious reading the same circle jerk time and again. I never know what I’m going to get when I load up the comments on this site, there is actually honest debate on all topics.

  • John Goss

    Couldn’t agrere with you more, Clark, about the diversion of taxes from military purposes to useful ones. Let’s hope the peactaxseven win their case in Europe. Though David Cameron is strongly opposed to Europe having any powers over the nation state. We will see.

  • Paul

    @John Goss

    “There is an onus on us all, especially those with the technical know-how, to create a list of whistleblowers whose names are in the public domain and make sure they are not persecuted for having told the truth.”

    Yes. That was the first thing that occurred to me, too. Since these people can no longer be protected by keeping their names private, perhaps they can be by making their names very, very public. (Amnesty International seem to be very good at this, for example.) If, and when, of these people are arrest or – I really hope it never comes to this – disappeared, it needs to be widespread public knowledge immediately.

    Is anyone aware of any attempts to achieving/ensuring this?

  • John Goss

    The immediate problem appears to be the volume of material released, (250000 US cables) and then being able to access or catalogue the material. Although these cables, and their authors, are said to be in the public domain there does not seem to be a clear, safe way of accessing them. And how would ordinary individuals know whether the cables are genuine or spurious? Unfortunately such knowledge is well beyond my expertise.

  • Clark

    John Goss and Paul: maybe no immediate reaction is needed to the publication of the unredacted cables. Much noise was made about the “irresponsibility” of Wikileaks when the Afghanistan material was released, but even the US defense department said that no one was persecuted as a result.
    So maybe massive, comprehensive publicity should not be deployed immediately, but a close watch kept upon the people named. Targeted publicity could always be deployed later if some group starts taking reprisals.

  • Roderick Russell

    Craig it’s a very pessimistic statement when you say – “liberalism is so otiose that there is no chance of resonance, and there is no point in my screaming into the void.” Nothing wrong with liberalism except that Britain hasn’t been moving down that track since 1914.

    None of the political parties is liberal in the true sense, though one pretends it is. Liberalism is about rule of law, democracy, a decentralized state where power is spread around, a free press, free markets, etc. What we have is rule by the establishment disguised under a veneer of pretend democracy, a press censored by MI5/MI6, crony capitalism in the City replacing the free market capitalism that used to exist on Main Street, and in the last 60 years we have turned one of the most decentralized (and free) countries in the world into a very centralized bureaucratic State. The problems we have do not stem from liberalism, but from a lack of liberalism.

1 2 3

Comments are closed.