At the end:
> "On this web portal, there was a chat system, a forum system and a bunch of things set up so we could all communicate," Tekk said. "I guess their goal for us was to have this elite programmer society where we would make encrypted or anonymous services that would serve everybody."
> "Once we succeeded, once we were part of this thing, once we were working with them, we kind of lost interest," he said.
Well, that seems kind of trivial :-). Surely they meant "a 112-digit number to prime factor"
The fun thing is: even if it was an elaborate secret-service recruitment drive, I'd feel a bit let down that it wasn't something "more."
Yeah, that's kind of what I mean as well.
If it'd been written to only a few people, there are an incredible number of ways to watermark the content.
E.g. did all of the emails even include a questionnaire? Were some emails 5 words long, and others 5 paragraphs?
I guess the easy/lazy way would be to tailor the questions to each unique email.
Basically, I think the sanitation excuse is a bit too convenient, and an attempt to buy into the super-secret mythology.
Going to individual academic institutions may be one way, but this would also be quite localized, and hard to scale. It also misses intelligent people who are unable to afford to attend such an institution, especially in a place like the United States where the cost can be prohibitive for many, even with scholarships and other aide.
Reddit probably isn't a good place. There's more snobbery and faux intellectualism there than there is actual intelligence, and that's even when focusing on the more intelligent subreddits. It's similar for those who regularly contribute to Wikipedia. It's more about politics there than it is about intelligence.
Digg is pretty much dead. Slashdot is nearly dead. HN has a rather limited audience. A lot of intelligent people voluntarily choose not to use Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or other social networks due to privacy concerns.
So 4chan does look like a reasonable alternative. There's a large audience, its members are probably smarter on average than you'd find elsewhere, and it avoids many of the problems with the other websites or social networks that put a lot of focus on identity.
With correct targeting you can get some very smart people.
Sturgeon's Law (90% of everything is shit) applies, and since /b/ is so rapid there is a lot of stuff in that 90%.
When /r9k/ started (I remember it when the Robot image was up) it was interesting. There are a couple of smart people in /g/ (especially if you're interested in Plan9 or FDE under Linux to protect Loli)
There is a bit of a problem with semi-smart people thinking they are smarter than they are. (And because of the volume of people you tend to meet a lot of them).
Cicada 3301 (wikipedia.org)
56 points by imb 215 days ago | flag | cached | share | comments