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I was kinda expecting Palantir to be on the list. In other words, they should have been.

I still find it amazing to see how much true 1984 is becoming. I am sure the next phase is thought control, because "crimes" start there and have to be prevented at all costs. Let's get inside the minds of people and put CCTVs and audio recording devices everywhere. In tables under restaurants, in cars, in buses, every possible place. Crime has to be prevented.

The future is scary.

At the same time, Huxley's Brave New World also appears to be becoming more and more true.

"In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or it might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies -- the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant.

In a word, they failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." [0]

Most people don't perceive these changes to affect them/their daily lives, so they are not concerned with it. They don't care.

[0]: http://www.huxley.net/bnw-revisited/

Panem et circenses... Governments never change.

It was Juvenal that coined this system, a mechanism of influential power over the Roman mass. "Panem et Circensus", literally "bread and circuses", was the formula for the well-being of the population, and thus a political strategy. This formula offered a variety of pleasures such as: the distribution of food, public baths, gladiators, exotic animals, chariot races, sports competition, and theater representation. It was an efficient instrument in the hands of the Emperors to keep the population peaceful, and at the same time giving them the opportunity to voice themselves in these places of performance. [0]


During the Barrett Brown leaks, Palantir specifically gave a presentation diagramming the social network of Occupy, and suggesting which nodes the FBI should target to divide the movement as much as possible. They absolutely should have been in the article.

A coworker was offered a job there recently. I told him if he took the position he was dead to me.

Thankfully he did not, as he is an amazing engineer and he's more valuable to the world not being there.

What a weird thing to be proud of.

It's long established here on HN that you and I absolutely are not aligned on our values of privacy and security.

When are we having that beer?

I don't think this has much to do with politics.

How does it even make sense for you to be asking about getting a beer with me? Your friend considers a job you don't approve of and is dead to you. What am I? Presumably something worse than that, right?

My point is, reconsider coercing your friends into taking only the jobs you approve of.

Heh -- Yeah, typical tptacek form:

1. How does Palantir's technology which deeply enables the blackmailing surveillance state NOT have to do with politics.

2. You have a shitty sense of humor. Can't a friend say to another friend "You do X, you're dead to me"

3. You stated in a previous post where we deeply disagreed "But I'd still have a beer with you"

4. Your comments do begin to reinforce something I said to you previously which you took very deep offense to; I believe that you're being an apologist to the egregious security state that the NSA has made the USA become. To me, it is subtle but still apparent, I am pretty damn sure, through all our interactions here on HN, that you are incapable or purposefully reticent of seeing what a threat to the world the US intelligence apparatus is. I had said this previously, based on my opinion that this was due to the nature of your work/livelihood - and that at the time that was an assumption, but it is actually your direct comments that reinforce my position.

Stop trying to make NSA (and the surrounding technology/security companies) acceptance happen. Its not gunna happen.

2. Doesn't track. “Dude if you don't make it out for drinks tonight, you're dead to me” would make sense. “If you do <serious thing> you're dead to me” isn't really funny.

Sure, if you have no context; Friend and I are totally aligned on what we think of the current state of the int environment is.

We work in tech. We share same aversions to certain activities.

He's talented IT guy, companies interested; had offer from several SV bigco's - had offer from this company as well, which we talked about in depth. He ended up making a different choice - and then later I had told him what I stated in my OP; the context and the parties between which this conversation happened; it was funny.

The core of the sentiment though is not: I personally am against companies which built their core business on supporting the surveillance state.

A lot more can be said on that topic; debates over proper use of tech, where lines are drawn, define core business, these problems apply to all industries, etc.

But the fact remains that there are companies who services are more greatly leveraged by the surveillance state. This company is one of them. I don't support them.

First, the idea that the "you're dead to me thing" was just a funny joke is disingenuous. Your meaning was plain.

Second, if this person is actually your friend, and not, I don't know, some kind of minion, you'll respect that they have their own brain and their own moral compass and they're capable of making their own judgements. Maybe you'll even be comforted by the fact that you'll occasionally disagree, as those events validate the notion that we have free will and are not simply deterministically arriving at the same conclusions from the same stimuli.

We're dragging this out a bit now. Obviously, I don't believe that you'd cut off your friend because they made a career decision you didn't approve of.

I'll be in SFBA the week of the 18th. Happy to buy you a beer.

(Among the users whose comments I read religiously is 'pg, in whose tag cloud the largest words would be "PLEASE" and "STOP" and "THIS", and I sort of live in fear of triggering one of those comments myself, so, "uncle" or whatever it takes to end this thread).

I would contest that samstave is doing The Lord's work, in this here situation. To that, I say Amen.

...oh, and let's not leave out the fact that these are private companies. This is not Socialism. This is not INGSOC.

Even without the totalitarianism, the very same oppression crops up. Instead of the single Big Brother brand name, it's a cottage industry private security firms acting as thought police.

Invisible hand of The Market, indeed.

No, the police are doing the policing, and the private companies are supplying the technology.

There is nothing in the article for you to believe otherwise (that the tech companies are doing the policing or any other scenario).

Academi (née Blackwater) is a private company, which has been hired by US police departments for crowd control. For example, they were sent to New Orleans, right after hurricane Katrina plowed into the Gulf coast.


It's like someone made an unholy bit of fan-fiction mashing together Robocop, 1984, and the bleak bits of Gibson, and it then was used as a policy document.

In the actual year 1984, everyone was reading the novel "1984" for fear that we had gotten there. Most regular folk concluded that we in fact were not even close.

However, keen observers knew then that this attitude was, well, uninformed. It was clear that 1984 was true well before 1984.

So I find that much of this alarm is overwrought.

Sounds like the UK where you can be jailed for a tweet.

You can be jailed for a tweet pretty much anywhere if that tweet is a direct, credible threat of violence.

In the UK you do jail time if it hurts someone's feelings.

The law responsible for that was recently overturned: http://reformsection5.org.uk/

In short, it is no longer illegal to use what a policeman or court might judge to be "insulting words or behaviour".

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