If a Best Buy technician is a paid FBI informant, are his computer searches legal? – The Washington Post

The case raises issues about privacy and the government use of informants. If a customer turns over their computer for repair, do they forfeit their expectation of privacy, and their Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable searches? And if an informant is paid, does it compromise their credibility or effectively convert them into an agent of the government?

Best Buy spokesman Jeff Shelman … “Any circumstances in which an employee received payment from the FBI is the result of extremely poor individual judgment, is not something we tolerate and is certainly not a part of our normal business behavior.”

Source: If a Best Buy technician is a paid FBI informant, are his computer searches legal? – The Washington Post

Bill Perry Is Terrified. Why Aren’t You? – POLITICO Magazine

nukes are suddenly—insanely, by Perry’s estimate—once again a contemporary nightmare, and an emphatically ascendant one.

Americans no longer think about the threat every day. Nuclear war isn’t the subtext of popular movies, or novels; disarmament has fallen far from the top of the policy priority list.

Perry’s hypothesis for the disconnect is that much of the population, especially that rising portion with no clear memories of the first Cold War, is suffering from a deficit of comprehension. Even a single nuclear explosion in a major city would represent an abrupt and possibly irreversible turn in modern life, upending the global economy, forcing every open society to suspend traditional liberties and remake itself into a security state.

As for a nuclear explosion, by Perry’s lights, the consequences are so grave that the rational thing would be for people in the United States and everywhere to be in a state of peak alarm about their vulnerability, and for political debate to be dominated by discussion of how to reduce the risk.

And just how high is the risk? The answer of course is ultimately unknowable. Perry’s point, though, is that it’s a hell of a lot higher than you think.

“Nuclear weapons are the biggest public health issue I can think of.”

“As a 90s baby I never lived in the Cold War era,” wrote one participant, with the Reddit username BobinForApples. “What is one thing today’s generations will never understand about life during the Cold War?”

Perry’s answered, as SecDef19: “Because you were born in the 1990s, you did not experience the daily terror of ‘duck and cover’ drills as my children did. Therefore the appropriate fear of nuclear weapons is not part of your heritage, but the danger is just as real now as it was then. It will be up to your generation to develop the policies to deal with the deadly nuclear legacy that is still very much with us.”

Source: Bill Perry Is Terrified. Why Aren’t You? – POLITICO Magazine

NeuroLogica Blog » The Misinformation Wars

This mental trap has always existed in the human mind, but now there is an actual infrastructure of information that caters to it, reinforces it, and solidifies it. It is not only the pathologically delusional that can fall into this trap. Now anyone who wanders even a little into the badlands can be consumed by it.

The central problem with conspiracy thinking is that it is self-contained, immune from external reality. Any information can be made to seem as if it supports the conspiracy. Any missing information is being suppressed by the conspiracy, and any evidence against the conspiracy was manufactured and is therefore proof of the conspiracy. If you disagree, you are a dupe, or you are part of the conspiracy.

Higher standards of everyday journalism would help.

One problem, however, is that there is an inherent tactical advantage to not caring about the truth at all. The truth is constraining, and if you are free to make up whatever bullshit serves your narrative, this will make you more nimble in the misinformation wars. It is as if one side is using biological and chemical weapons while the other side is limiting itself to conventional weapons and the Geneva Convention.

This is the problem to which I cannot find a solution. The inherent problem is that it is critically important for society to be free and for the media and speech to be free. How do we simultaneously defend free speech while opposing the abuse of that speech to spread targeted misinformation? The usual answer is, to use your own free speech to spread accurate information. But that just gets us back to the fundamental asymmetry.

Source: NeuroLogica Blog » The Misinformation Wars