Voices from Russia

Monday, 16 June 2014

16 June 2014. What Some People Will Believe… or… Conspiracy Theories Run Amuck at Rutherford Institute

01 madman

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A new twist on the “black helicopter/big central all-knowing computer” nuttiness is the idea that the government will implant chips in everything and they’ll control the world (and us) that way. Here’s a good example of such thinking. Read it? Good! It’s BS from stem to stern, from top to bottom! All totalitarian systems run into two main limits… time… and money. Firstly, people have to enforce such draconian fiats. That is, at some point, a real person has to be involved in the affair. Sure, the NSA collects a gazillion bits of info each day… but it can only analyse a fraction of it due to constraints imposed by a lack of analysts. Fifty years ago, people predicted that money would disappear, replaced by credit cards. Well, guess what? Good ol’ fashioned cash is still around… all the better to pay bribes to the friendly neighbourhood pols and bureaucrats!

If one looks at the old USSR, one sees that totalitarianism wasn’t as pervasive as Western propaganda had it. Firstly, many people agreed with socialism, so, the organs really didn’t need to watch them. What happened is that a ton of security bureaucrats wrote memos that no one read and they received orders that they couldn’t carry out, but they pretended to. You see much the same in the contemporary US Department of Homeland (In)Security. After Stalin’s death, the number of political prisoners went down, and stayed down. It was simply not an efficient way of handling dissent. The organs’ most effective weapon was their reputation… people remembered the Stalinist methods and that alone deterred many. Actually, what the organs did was to create an atmosphere of public mistrust… that was more harmful than any imprisonment (one can say that Russia is still getting over that).

In like manner, technological totalitarianism would run up against many of the same constraints. The system would only be as good as the people who ran it. It’d be only as pervasive as funding would allow. In short, the “sky is falling” conspiracy theorists are chock fulla shit. By the way, Paul Craig Roberts is solid on many other topics, and this POS article is by a guest writer, from a crank Washington stink-tank called the Rutherford Institute. After all, there are hackers, and geeks would figure out ways to crack the system. Before you knew it, there’d be workarounds! I have faith in mankind. The conspiracy theorists will always be with us… but we don’t have to attend to them. There be goofy shit out there, peddled by even goofier people. Have a care… and do bite the coin before accepting it.

BMD

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Science (and Horror) of Green Clouds

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Last week, Muscovites got treated to a peculiar sight… a huge green cloud over the city. Because I grew up in North Carolina, my immediate thought upon seeing it (I was jogging to the House of Journalists at the time, running late for a film screening) was “tornado”. Green clouds usually point to a large amount of ice in the clouds, which in turn is a sign of oncoming hail, which could mean that a tornado’s forming nearby. Of course, in Moscow, a tornado would probably mean the End of Days (cue dramatic organ music), rather than a weather phenomenon. What the “green” actually signified this time around was a pollen cloud. It’s a sure-fire way for nature to point out that it’s really spring outside, as opposed to the fake not-quite-spring Moscow usually experiences for all of March and until mid-April or so.

The pollen cloud was a beautiful eerie sight, and I bring it up because of how people reacted to it. There were the usual quips on social networking sites afterward of course, but what got me was the fact that a lot of people genuinely freaked out. This included the people I saw taking pictures of the cloud with awestruck expressions on their faces. An expat friend messaged me that evening, “It’s 2012, it can’t be a coincidence!” He was only half-joking, I think. Nobody likes to see anything unusual in Moscow… or other big cities. Big cities are always destroyed just a little too gleefully in all of the blockbusters. This is beside the fact that the green cloud blanketed Moscow on the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. Uh huh, that’s right… 26 April. Also a coincidence? Well, yes.

The thing about pollen is that it’s pretty annoying. I don’t even have any major allergies, but my eyes still get irritated in the spring from all of that plant-dust floating around in the air. Don’t even get me started on the state of my (yes, very green) windowsill right now. Nevertheless, after the pollen cloud had come and gone, all of the green leaves in Moscow seemed to unfurl all at once. The horror movie treatment did the trick. The weather turned. The ladies, including myself, ditched the thick leggings. We waited for the other shoe to drop, but it didn’t happen. Sometimes, a freaky green cloud is just a freaky green cloud, even in the year 2012.

2 May 2012

Natalia Antonova

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/natalya_antonova_blog/20120502/173168636.html

Editor’s Note:

Here’s the meat of it all:

Sometimes, a freaky green cloud is just a freaky green cloud, even in the year 2012.

Now, that’s the ticket. As for me, I’m old enough not to believe in oddbod conspiracies, rum internet rumour, or flapdoodle speculation. For me to believe it, it must meet a three-fold test:

  • Is in character for those involved? Has this happened before with this lot? As people ARE “creatures of habit”, it’s unusual for someone to do something “out of character”. There are rare individuals who think and act “outside of the box”, but they’re very rare (His Nibs and Laurus Škurla are such… Bobby K and Paffhausen aren’t).
  • What’s in it for whom? Is it in someone’s interest? Don’t invest things with non-existent conspiracies… trust me, most people can’t keep the security and secrecy needed for a real plot. Ask yourself, “Cui bono?” That’s the normal motivation behind most things… is it in the best interest of this-or-that individual or faction? The First Families prop up the present state of affairs, not because it’s good for the Church or because they’re implementing some notional “plan”, but because it’s good for them and their egotistical view of themselves.
  • Who knows whom? Are these jabronies related in some comprehensible way? Again, as a rule, it’s not secretive machination (except in some political cases); it’s simply just a like-minded set of similar individuals with analogous backgrounds. We can see this at SVS, the cabal around Paffhausen, and the lot of Angliochian konvertsy around Freddie M-G and Dreher. For instance, Brum, Eliel, and Fathausen all go back as common disciples of the Mad Hatter guru Podmoshensky and they studied together at Berkeley Theological Union (don’t forget, Fathausen dropped out before finishing a degree). It’s the old “us versus them” mentality.

Again, conspiracies only exist in the fevered imaginations of the ignorant or hysterical. Indeed, the whole notion’s rather ludicrous, isn’t it? That is, what we face isn’t a dragon… it’s a bunch of jokers in a dragon suit (like at Chinese New Year)… quite another thing entirely. Nothing’s what it appears to be… just keep your head clear, observe what’s actually in front of you, and realise that it may take some time for most of the narod to tumble onto what’s really out there. It won’t be easy… it won’t be short… but we don’t face ogres and demons… we just face “freaky green clouds”. Pass me the jug, and take a hit yourself. The world hasn’t stopped being crook in the last 24, has it?

BMD 

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