*edit, March 25, 2015 – I see another YouTube video has bit the dust. I replaced it. It’s Noam Chomsky talking about diversions in society, like sports, that keep people from knowing about important matters affecting them.
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Allan Woods follows:
Canada’s pitch to have Google, Facebook and other American technology giants battered by the National Security Agency spy scandal store sensitive date in this country would be a great economic driver, but do little to concretely safeguard delicate personal information, Internet and privacy experts say…
The Star reported Thursday that the domestic spying efforts laid bare by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has prompted the federal government to try to lure the Silicon Valley titans to Canada and have them establish data centres where their user information can be stored, ostensibly outside the reach of U.S. intelligence.
Industry Canada owned up to the effort, saying: “Canada is open to businesses who create jobs and help grow our economy.”
Cashing in on the worldwide web crisis could do just that…
I tossed in a number of responses to this article but didn’t keep perfect track of them. I was distracted by a more detailed, line by line assessment of the article I was doing at the same time. There’s so much to say here. Fortunately, The Star allows you to view comments you’ve posted even when they haven’t been or will not be accepted. Here’s the two comments I posted in response to the above linked-to article by Allan Woods:
**Industry Canada owned up to the effort, saying: “Canada is open to businesses who create jobs and help grow our economy.”** Well, If we assume that Industry Canada is being honest, rather than trying to shine up their friend Harper’s image, then Industry Canada is making no sense. Harper’s policies kill jobs, as Thomas Walkom (Walkom goes too easy on the Harperites in my view – http://bit.ly/1iTA2cp) and many others note. He’s not alone in that style of leadership of course. Is Industry Canada, which would talk about those policies if it cared about job creation, trying to somehow shine up Harper’s image, or ideology, here?
Allan must have struggled with this piece, as his non sequitur attests. After quoting the expert who notes that data in Canada is simply (Five Eyes anyone?) handed over to Americans when they ask for it, he says “Cashing in on the worldwide web crisis could do” the job of making jobs in data storage in Canada. Unless he’s adopting the cynical view of corporations and their tools who are serious about moving their data to Canada because they are confident that they can ‘con’ customers into believing what there is no evidence to support. Even that is iffy though. Corporations, and their lawyers, surely know about the laws here, especially if they’re examining them. Are they wise? Not even a little, except by some narrow measures. They can make money but we ‘all’ eat industrial food, exist in poisoned bodies, are watching the Arctic disappear while eating popcorn and waiting for the manmade Armageddon that those who could have prevented it said “Nah” to because they don’t care.
While CEOs and their lawyers certainly know about the laws of countries those companies are contemplating moving operations to, that doesn’t mean that their customers are clued in. So, Is the plan one which will see companies con their customers into believing that they care more about their privacy, as evidenced by their move to safer Canada? That’s ‘the way’ they think, for sure. But is that exactly what they’re thinking here? One thing’s for sure. Things are not as they appear.
I know how dumb people can be, by choice. People just don’t want to bother knowing. They find it depressing. I’ve been hit with that many times. It’s quite discouraging. As Chomsky notes, People can spend a lot of time and effort figuring out sports stuff. The complexity of what they delve into is often considerable. And yet, You can’t get people to think about important stuff. And as with anything you practice, you will get good at not caring about what – outside of sports and entertainment – is going on around you if you regularly choose to ignore it all. That’s why I have a saying: “20 minutes.” People don’t spend any time thinking about important matters, which is why they are hurting. They leave their lives in the hands of monsters who don’t care. Are they surprised that those monsters are eating them?
Even so, I suspect that people aren’t ‘that’ dumb. I don’t think they will buy marketing by Silicon titans who pitch superior security and privacy in Canada.
I try to encourage people to spend 20 minutes a WEEK thinking about important things. I’m trying to shame people by suggesting 20 minutes a week, rather than 20 minutes a day. But I also believe that if people responded and they did think about important matters 20 minutes a week, that would work. In short order the harmful propaganda would begin to lose its effect. Of course, Who knows what elites and their tools would do then? When I recommend to people 20 minutes a week thinking about important matters, I point out that turning on the tv and watching CNN or CBC doesn’t count. The ‘thinking’ I’m referring to isn’t passive. It’s active. You take some issue or current event and you lift a little finger and you research it. You get an assortment of views on it, which means using the internet. But if you don’t want to do that, then read a book or a magazine. And it becomes substantial when you consult the alternative media. The difference between doing that and just getting an assortment of views from mainstream media is like the difference between a meal with potatoes and vegetables and fish and a meal with potatoes and potato chips and mashed potatoes.
I attempted to attach a comment to Thomas’s above article. It may or may not get accepted. This is it:
I think Thomas went too easy on the job-killing ‘Conservatives’ here. Their policies, and they aren’t alone in pursuing them, since they began have been job-killing policies. Have they ever changed them, or hinted that they’d like to change them, to bring back manufacturing? What about infrastructure spending? Just by insisting – and using their policy-making power when necessary – that bosses pull their weight and pay decent wages, that would boost the economy and create jobs. Small businesses for example, could pay off loans, expand and hire more workers if people had the money to spend supporting those businesses. Social infrastructure can’t be ignored. Unemployed people have to survive by tapping scared parents and stretched friends, since the safety net is gone. Give them the kind of insurance they’ve paid for, instead of giving it to banksters who should be in jail, and, again, money goes into the economy.
Elsewhere, Thomas relentlessly points out in his columns how the Harperites’ goal has been to gift bosses by reducing wages throughout the working class. Again, That’s ‘not’ good for the economy. But it’s not about that kind of economy. It’s not about all Canadians. It’s about the minority of Canadians who are doing okay, namely elites, their political partners and voters who are willing to hold their noses and support politicians and parties that will protect them if they remain silent about the devastation of their fellow Canadians by this fascist leader who believes in inequality.
It all comes down to the nature of this brand of Conservative. Conservative, applied to politics, doesn’t mean what it used to. It’s definitely a nasty label now and many wear it with pride. That’s called perversity.
It’s like the old parable of the frog and the scorpion (or one of its variants). The frog and the scorpion both need to cross the river. The scorpion asks the frog to take him on its back. The frog objects that the scorpion might sting him. The scorpion answers that he wouldn’t do that and doom himself in the process and so the frog agrees. When the scorpion stings the frog midway, the frog asks him why. The scorpion says it’s his nature and so it is. And part of that nature is to lie in order to get one’s way. But that’s okay. The scorpion is a professional.
My way of explaining how this world works, partly, is to refer to the rickety mansion system of things, summed up in the term ‘corporatocracy’, coined by John Perkins. Corporatocracy, with neoliberal capitalism powering it, is destructive. Fiduciary responsibility, or codified greed, means that when faced with an ethical way to do business that might be a little less profitable than an unethical way, a corporation will choose to take the most profitable – from a narrow standpoint – course. Worse, Corporatists (fascists) are believers, conveniently, in inequality. The game they play is ‘riches for the strongest’. It’s a game in which there has to be losers. These self-modded players get a kick out of surviving by taking the means of survival from others. In a money system, in which money means life, that means that they enrich themselves mainly by breaking whatever rules will enable them to impoverish others. None of it is necessary, which is why they are in big trouble with God.
If you were able to give a truth serum to corporatists and then ask them whether they would prefer to be masters in a rickety mansion where servants, in the numerical majority, waited on them and saw to their every need and want even while they suffered deprivation and even though it resulted in the neglect of the mansion itself to the point where it was unsafe, OR equals in a safe, intact mansion in which everyone contributed, fairly, and everyone benefitted and no one had power over anyone else, the corporatists would say they prefer to be masters in the rickety mansion. How do I know that? There’s nothing to know. Just open your eyes. I’ve only described the world we all inhabit.
I’m fortunate to be able to play on my laptop at work after the bank I do security in has closed. I’ve done this post at work. I periodically do patrols and on one of them something caught my eye. I thought it was a magazine. I took a second look and found that it was a flyer for a convention having to do with protecting your business from hackers. I don’t know why a flyer for a 2011 convention is of interest to anyone here. Nevertheless. I did a check online for information and found a reference to the same convention, mainly run by an organization called Security Congress Magazine. I have no idea whether it still exists and don’t really care. The flyer warns loudly: “Don’t Give Hackers The Upper Hand.” Well, We can’t have that, Can we? Except that, as we’ve learned since Edward Snowden’s revelations, hackers are good and bad, but there are certainly good ones out there. And the most evil are…? The NSA
As Chomsky points out often, when examining the hypocrisy of his country, the Nuremberg trials after World War II established that when one nation attacks another, not in self-defense, the crime is the greatest that can be committed by humans for it encompasses all other crimes (See “The Obama Doctrine”). Today, The obscene Obama administration, led by a murderous president, rampages across the planet using its military to steal countries whose resources it wants or so as to position itself better in the great game. And everything it does it says it does for ‘national security’ purposes. It launched a cyber attack against Iran for such a ‘reason’. People don’t talk about it much, which is understandable. People sit passively in front of their television sets and are fed knowledge and religion by corporate owned media. Stuff might get out that way, including important stuff like the above cyber attack. But, over time, the major media fashions information and propagandizes and indoctrinates so that what the people know will be what the corporatocracy wants it to know. Only individuals with the wherewithal, the will and willingness, will question authority and actively seek out information about current and past events. They will seek out information about information. But, alas, They may be many, but they are still too few. The 99% isn’t wholly comprised of activists or activist-minded citizens. Maybe 1% of that 99% is like that. There’s nothing you can, or should, do about that, beyond trying in peaceful, democratic ways to encourage caring. It’s a free universe. You can’t (shouldn’t) force people to care. But caring is knowing.