Occasional thoughts and deeds of an Engineer
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  • What does this mean??

    Posted on September 25th, 2019 cwmoore No comments

    Gaslighting is a term often used by mental health professionals (I am not one) to describe manipulative behavior used to confuse people into thinking their reactions are so far off base that they’re crazy.

    The term comes from the 1944 MGM film, Gaslight, starring Ingrid Bergman. Bergman’s husband in the film, played by Charles Boyer, wants to get his hands on her jewelry. He realizes he can accomplish this by having her certified as insane and hauled off to a mental institution. To pull off this task, he intentionally sets the gaslights in their home to flicker off and on, and every time Bergman’s character reacts to it, he tells her she’s just seeing things. In this setting, a gaslighter is someone who presents false information to alter the victim’s perception of him or herself.

    Whataboutism gives a clue to its meaning in its name. It is not merely the changing of a subject (“What about the economy?”) to deflect away from an earlier subject as a political strategy; it’s essentially a reversal of accusation, arguing that an opponent is guilty of an offense just as egregious or worse than what the original party was accused of doing, however unconnected the offenses may be.

    The tactic behind whataboutism has been around for a long time. Rhetoricians generally consider it to be a form of tu quoque, which means “you too” in Latin and involves charging your accuser with whatever it is you’ve just been accused of rather than refuting the truth of the accusation made against you. Tu quoque is considered to be a logical fallacy, because whether or not the original accuser is likewise guilty of an offense has no bearing on the truth value of the original accusation.

    Whataboutism adds a twist to tu quoque by directing its energies into establishing an equivalence between two or more disparate actions, thereby defaming the accuser with the insinuation that their priorities are backward.

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  • Email 2 Me: From Firefox

    Posted on September 25th, 2019 cwmoore No comments
    Top 5 podcast episodes about online privacy
    Over the past five seasons, Firefox’s IRL: Online Life is Real Life podcast has delved into what privacy violations are happening on the internet, who they’re happening to, why they keep happening, and importantly, how we can all take steps to reclaim our privacy online.

    Below, we’re pleased to share a staff-curated list of the top 5 IRL podcast episodes we’ve produced about online privacy.

    1. The “Privacy Policy” Policy
    Privacy policies are generally long and dense. Why do they exist in the first place? Do they actually protect you? What can we do to make them better?
    Listen now »

    2. Making Privacy Law
    Explore the recent history of Big Tech regulation in Europe and learn about what’s on the horizon for privacy law in the U.S. and around the globe.
    Listen now »

    3. Privacy or Profit – Why Not Both?
    Is the choice — privacy or profit — a false dilemma? Meet the people who have built profitable tech businesses while also respecting our privacy.
    Listen now »

    4. Your Password is the Worst
    We should hold companies accountable for better security, but we also need to hold ourselves accountable for good password hygiene. Learn why passwords matter, and what makes a good one.
    Listen now »

    5. The Surveillance Economy
    Big Tech companies collect so much personal data for profit that they’re changing the fundamentals of our economy and even our way of life.
    Listen now »

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  • Climate Crisis Illustrated.

    Posted on September 25th, 2019 cwmoore No comments

    by SIERRA Staff

    Ahab straddles the tip of a gliding whale. A lone fisherman sits on a bed of dissolving ice. Into an endless sea of bobbling plastic, a young boy casts out a line into a suffocated sliver of water. These are just some of the disturbing climate renderings from Barcelona-based street artist Pejac. In these provocative drawings, human and natural worlds collide with absurd and destructive consequences that reveal an all-too-inexorable truth: The Anthropocene will spell the unraveling of both if we don’t act now.

    By Charlie: There is Yin – Yang that can help one visualize as well. This is one for those that lack imagination or are in denial. Or how about “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”.

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