Source: How the CIA Writes History
The Cold War is over and Angleton is gone, but the espionage techniques he mastered — mass surveillance, disinformation, targeted assassination, and extrajudicial detention — remain with us, albeit on a much larger scale. Since September 11, 2001, the power of secret intelligence agencies to shape our future is obvious.
Yet it wasn’t until I went to Georgetown in search of one of Angleton’s darkest secrets that I came away with a personal lesson in how the CIA makes history — by erasing it.
Source: Edward Snowden: The Internet Is Broken | Popular Science
The activist talks to Popular Science about digital naïveté
security, surveillance, and privacy are not contrary goals. You don’t give up one and get more of the other. If you lose one, you lose the other. If you are always observed and always monitored, you are more vulnerable to abuse than you were before.
Why doesn’t mass surveillance work? That is the problem with false positives and false negatives. If you go look, our program is 99.9 percent effective, and that sounds really good, but when you think about that in the context of a program, that means one out of every thousand people is going to be inaccurately identified as a terrorist, or one out of every thousand terrorists is actually going to be let go by the system, and considered to not be a terrorist.
Let’s think about the example of AT&T sharing with the government more than 26 years of phone records. That’s the full span of these people’s lives. They’ll never have made a phone call on AT&T that hasn’t been captured.
Metadata is the technical word for an activity record, so the government has been aggregating perfect records of private lives. And when you have all of someone’s phone records, purchase records, every website they’ve ever visited or typed into Google, or liked on Facebook, every cell phone tower their phone has ever passed and at what time, and what other cell phones were at that tower with them, what you’ve done is you’ve written a secret biography of every person that even they themselves don’t know.
It says “of Software Development”, but really it’s applicable to any project.
I think it is interesting to consider *when* each of these concepts was coined, relative to the others.
Source: 15 Fundamental Laws of Software Development
From Occam’s Razor to Parkinson’s Law of Triviality, let’s discuss some of the most useful adages and quotes in the world of software development.
Source: Charitable Plutocracy: Bill Gates Philanthropy, Washington State & the Nuisance of Democracy
Once upon a time, the superwealthy endowed their tax-exempt charitable foundations and then turned them over to boards of trustees to run. … Today’s multi-billionaires like Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates are a different species of philanthropy.
Education-reform philanthropists justify their massive political spending as a necessary counterweight to the teachers unions; yet, the philanthropists can, and consistently do, far outspend the unions.
multibillionaires acting as philanthropists aggravate the problem [of plutocracy] by channeling vast sums into the nation’s immense nonprofit sector. Their top-down modus operandi makes this a powerful tool for shaping public policy according to individual beliefs and whims. And they receive less critical scrutiny than other actors in public life. Most people admire expressions of generosity and selflessness and are loath to find fault.
Source: Is the U.S. Ready for Post-Middle-Class Politics? – The New York Times
A particular vision of the American dream has shaped elections for decades. What happens when people stop believing in it?
“The upper middle class are surprised by the rise of Trump. The actual middle class are surprised we’re surprised.” – Richard V. Reeves, a scholar at the Brookings Institution