Archive for media

Klaatu Barada Palin

Posted in opinion, politics with tags , , , , , on 2008 October 1 by KLP

This article helped me enunciate the major, non-policy related reason why Sarah Palin bothers me so much. I used think her resemblance to a number of annoying cartoon and sit-com mothers irked me so. But no, my ire results from her apparent difficulty in passing a Turing test. I take that back. What really gets me is that she can fool so many people with what I would call an unsuccessful performance.

Consider the various Sarah Palin quote generators’ eerily similar outputs. Well, they definitely don’t pass any Turing test, but my point is that too often, that which spouts from Palin’s mouth lacks coherence, relevance, even sentience. Her interview transcripts dumbfound. Joe Biden’s slip-ups, however, help prove that he’s not a bot. They demonstrate his fallibility and highlight his character. I have yet to encounter a bot which possesses these traits. As such, if Gotcha Journalism exists, I don’t see it at play here. I entirely understand Palin’s interviewers’ astonishment and recognize that if anything they’re not out to get Palin. They’re just aching to see what happens when they type in penis.

Advertisements

Justice by Embarassment

Posted in opinion with tags , , , , , , on 2008 September 23 by KLP

If only that Tennessee undergrad, David Kernell, had actually discovered something interesting in Governor Palin’s inbox, he wouldn’t look like as much of a loser right now. Governor Palin and her backwards ways could use a good shaming, but not by someone trying to be 1337 and accessing her inbox. A sort of pathetic, electronic Hail Mary, Kernell’s attempt enjoyed no more than a moose’s chance in Palin’s back yard. I don’t know how his efforts, or lack thereof, make him a hacker, but if he ever wanted the title he now has the mainsteam media to thank.

For the most part, I’ve heard two stories regarding what happened: one, that some hacker hacked poor Governor Palin, and two, that Yahoo!’s web-mail security sucks. Both lack the proper relevance. The first story screams hyperbole and the second, in addition to inadequately assessing free web-mail security, simply isn’t news. I want to hear the story about state officials conducting state business over an insecure medium, why they do it, and how are they allowed to do it.

Some folks, who I assume to agree with me, at least in part, decided to drive the point home to Bill O’Reilly. As I understand it, his website has some features and content only available to paying subscribers. As such, the site keeps information on the subscribers, but not securely. Now the subscriber information resides, in part, on Wikileaks.

I’m sure the prank will compel O’Reilly to find a secure web host, but I doubt that he’ll put his foot in his mouth out of embarrassment. For that, or any other sufficiently big target, only a big enough prank will do.

So now I’ll just come right out and say it: I want to see more of what happened in The Usual Suspects where the police escort service gets exposed. For the uninitiated, here’s a little synopsis of the scene at hand. In it, the New York City police arrest and generally harass some gangsters for apparently no reason. Afterwards, the gangsters get their revenge by spectacularly exposing the corruption within the department. And it’s awesome.

As a matter of definition, the gangsters carry out their revenge vindictively, but they do so in a big way that really messes things up for the corrupt police department. Also, no one really gets hurt. I’d love to see more pranks of this caliber as a matter of avenging the public and generally embarrassing people who deserve it. I think the folks responsible for going after O’Reilly had the right idea, but I hope that they and anyone else so inclined step it up next time.

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

@dmytri

Venture Communist. Miscommunications Technologist. Telekommunisten Polemicist. ThoughtWorks Analyst.