I have decided to cross-promote my ‘other’ blog on this one. So here are a few links to topical or interesting posts from that blog.
The Internet, Technology, Social Atomization and Snowden (June 11, 2013)
Over the last few days, I started writing a post about the Edward Snowden saga on at least four different occasions, only to be interrupted by new information or good articles by other writers. I would especially recommend a series of articles on the broader implications of the NSA surveillance scandal and Snowden himself in the The Atlantic. I will write about my thoughts on those and other related issues in subsequent posts. Many other writers and bloggers have written about the nature, implications, mindset of the NSA or the motivations of Snowden etc. But few realize that what happened in the last three weeks was made possible by a combination of fairly new circumstances and resultant possibilities.
The Fragility of Complex Systems and Snowden (June 12, 2013)
The last 3-4 years have seen repeated instances of a phenomena that “should” never happen in human societies. I am talking about the effects of massive information leaks pulled off primarily by one or two people. Whether it is Julian Assange and Bradley Manning in the case of WikiLeaks or the stuff pulled off by Edward Snowden within the last few weeks, it is hard to minimize the impact of such incidents on the organisations affected by them. But let us first ask a less obvious but very important question.
Since when did large nation states and huge organisations with annual budgets in the hundreds of billions start fearing solitary dissidents within their ranks?
Long-Term Effects of the Snowden Saga on the NSA (June 18, 2013)
More than a few of my previous posts reference a very important, but often ignored, observation about the behavior of large human systems. It can be briefly stated as:
The responses of large human systems to small injuries almost always amplifies the damage caused by said injuries, and frequently results in the development of hitherto non-existent pathologies.
So how is this observation playing out in the aftermath of the Snowden saga? Let us begin by going through what has occurred to date and what will almost certainly occur in the near future.
The Elites Vs Snowden (June 22, 2013)
One of the most peculiar, but overlooked, criticism of Snowden by mainstream ‘pundits’ and ‘experts’ goes something like this:
He is just a guy who did not complete high school or attend university and does not know what he is doing.
OK.. Let us take this criticism at its face value and see the logical consequences of each resultant scenario based on what has occurred to date.
Snowden Has Become “Anti-Citizen One” (July 6, 2013)
..There is however an interesting, if little noticed, parallel of this story with events in a video game series – Half Life 2. The main protagonist in that game series and the prequel (Half-Life) is a physicist known as Dr. Gordon Freeman. As you can see below that character has more than a passing resemblance to Edward Snowden, something that has been previously noted on other blogs.
But the parallels between Snowden and Freeman run even deeper. The Freeman character just like Snowden did not start out as a person out to bring down the system. Infact the first few minutes of ‘Half Life’ shows him to be an otherwise unremarkable scientist at a secret government facility. He becomes what he ends up becoming the main character largely because of a combination of circumstances and events beyond his control, or G-man puts it at the beginning of ‘Half Life 2′- “the right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world.”
Amateur cuties paying some attention to the balls..
Some more chicks blowing their photographer..