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In which I am alternately thinky and shallow - Tactical Ninja

Aug. 1st, 2011

09:25 am - In which I am alternately thinky and shallow

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TIME article on the latest DDoSing of LiveJournal. Kind of puts it into perspective for those of going "Oh noes! Can't get mah crack!" Also makes me more determined to stick with LJ because while I have loads of options for voicing my uncensored opinion, I appreciate that not everyone does and I would like to continue supporting a site that's putting in the effort to make sure the service remains available despite being given so much shit for it.

The other day I was reading about the Cult of the Dead Cow and the origins of the term 'hacktivism'. One of the things that popped out at me is that back in the 90s when the term was first thrown around, attempts were made to pin a meaning to it that encompassed the ethos of those who were engaging in it at the time. What they came up with was based on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which was intended to have binding power (unlike the Universal Declaration of Human Rights). Article 19 reads thus:

"Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice."

This is relevant to my study and also to my interests. It's kind of ironic that DDoS, which is almost the opposite of freedom of speech, can be seen as either censorship or legitimate direct action depending on who's doing it and what for. I've seen it described as a type of sit-in, and I've seen it described as silencing. Certainly if the Russian government really is DDoSing LJ, I'd count that as censorship. But what about DDoSing Visa? What's the difference between these?

And in my mind as I consider these things, I remind myself I only have 4,000 words and I'll only be able to touch on the philosophical questions around DDoS and the activities of Anonymous. *sigh*


This weekend I revisited Dragon Age: Origins for the first time in a year or so. Yes yes I know DA2 is out and I'll buy it once it stops being ridiculously priced. Meanwhile, monsters! Only this time not. That was last time. I dutifully followed the questlines, got the Ashes, bonked Alistair, yadda yadda. This time I wanted to see how many of the characters I could bed as the game progressed. What I have learned:

Zevran is easy. He'll shag you after you've been sharing it around with everyone else, and you can pick him up whenever you want.
Alistair is the hottest pixel-based imaginary friend I've ever had. Seriously, whoever did his graphics got them close to bang on - he does the smouldering look remarkably well. Although I wish they'd not done the laughing bit because nobody's mouth does that when they laugh, and ew! Ohai uncanny valley.
I could have bedded Leliana but got forced to choose between her and Alistair and hello Sarcastic Englishman vs Shoe-Loving Ultra-Feminine Ladygirl, no contest. Shut up Freud, you're dead.

What I haven't figured out is how to get both Leliana and Alistair into bed. I figure the last one should be the one you end up with because they're all NO MINE when they get attached to you, and neither seems willing to shag before they adore you - but how do you get one into bed without pissing off the other one?

Clearly I'ma have to start again with a strategy. Maybe I should go read some PUA forums? I think part of the problem is I genuinely feel bad about hurting their pixel-feelings. I know Alistair will shag you after you shag Zevran, so he'll probably shag you after you shag Leliana too, but I don't know how to get her to shag me before Alistair's all attached and if that happens, he friendzones you and it's all over. Maybe I should be saving the onyx dragon statuettes for later.. hmm..

What? I told you I have OCD right?

Also, I find myself amused by the idea of giving people random gifts irl and telling them it's to get their approval rating up so you can shag them later.


Meanwhile, the laser is fixed. Germany came through and my appointment is tomorrow, after which I may stop posting for a few days - or I may not but you'll have to decipher it since I won't be very onto the editing and even on a good day I'm Typo Central. I also have non-vision-necessary tasks lined up to entertain myself with, because otherwise I'd go stir crazy with four whole days off and no reading allowed. As it is I'm a bit nervous about what I'll do.

But but BUT! Non-defective eyes OMGOMGOMG!!11?!

Comments:

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From:heartofawarrior
Date:July 31st, 2011 10:49 pm (UTC)
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Yay for the laser being fixed! Hope everything goes off as planned :-)
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:July 31st, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)
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*gives you brightly coloured fabrics*
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From:tatjna
Date:July 31st, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)
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For me? You shouldn't have! But I'm glad you did.

(Approval +10)

Would you like to come back to my tent?
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:August 1st, 2011 02:07 am (UTC)
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*cue cutscene*
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From:tatjna
Date:August 1st, 2011 02:11 am (UTC)
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Just don't laugh beforehand because that is creepy.

Also, *hands you a Shiny Silicone Chip*

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From:qarl
Date:August 1st, 2011 01:34 am (UTC)
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No love for Morrigan?
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From:tatjna
Date:August 1st, 2011 01:35 am (UTC)
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I haven't played a male character yet, but it's on the list. Gotta catch em all!
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From:qarl
Date:August 1st, 2011 01:38 am (UTC)
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Wow, I assumed she wasn't gender locked (so to speak).
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From:tatjna
Date:August 1st, 2011 01:41 am (UTC)
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Her and Alistair are both heterosexual. The rest, afaik, are up for anything.

Hubba hubba. etc
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From:tatjna
Date:August 1st, 2011 02:17 am (UTC)
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As with the mammoth hunting, I am happy for you to show me the way.
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From:tatjna
Date:August 1st, 2011 02:24 am (UTC)
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True role models lead by example.

/pompous gittery
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From:tatjna
Date:August 1st, 2011 02:35 am (UTC)
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You misread me. YOU are leading the foray into the tender mercies of the Brood Mother.

I'll be over here with the grey warden and the elf.
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From:tatjna
Date:August 1st, 2011 02:44 am (UTC)
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*cough* Rule 34 *cough*
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From:tcpip
Date:August 1st, 2011 02:07 am (UTC)
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And in my mind as I consider these things, I remind myself I only have 4,000 words and I'll only be able to touch on the philosophical questions around DDoS and the activities of Anonymous. *sigh*

Can we reprint this? The ethics of particular political actions are very important to us..
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From:tatjna
Date:August 1st, 2011 02:10 am (UTC)
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What, that paragraph or the 4000 words?

Because the essay will really only touch on ethics in its quest to prove Anon is a genuine social movement.
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From:tcpip
Date:August 1st, 2011 03:29 am (UTC)
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The 4,000 words...
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From:tatjna
Date:August 1st, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
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I'll probably post it up here when it's done - from there you can decide if it fits with what you're trying to do. ;-)
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From:tcpip
Date:August 1st, 2011 03:32 am (UTC)
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Awesome, look forward to it.
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From:hep
Date:August 1st, 2011 04:52 am (UTC)
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UGH cult of the dead cow. i hate those poser scumbags. the only one of them that EVER did anything worthwhile was sirD and they hung him out to dry over bo anyway. bullshit.

if you ever want to know deep dive info on the hack scene i am your girl. i would pin el8 down as way more influence for hacktivism than cDc tho. those guys were just showy jerks who could talk big but not actually hack anything. MoD and LoD were much more impressive. even the fkn free kevin movement deserves more props. the unfortunate part of the internet's history is that it was written by either the victors or those who blogged loudest.
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From:hep
Date:August 1st, 2011 04:56 am (UTC)
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also i think the legitimacy of ddos depends on who is doing it. if the government is doing it it is always silencing, because a govs job is to listen, not shout down. if people are doing it as citizens because of something they disbelieve in, i think its like irl civil disobedience. when people sit in at the capitol building to make their grievances heard it is their right because gov belongs to all of us. but when a gov ousts those people from the building it is wrong and silencing because the gov belongs to all of us, not just the ones who it agrees with. etc etc.
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From:helianthas
Date:August 1st, 2011 03:05 pm (UTC)
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It's also important to me who the sit-in or ddos affects. Folks at my university, protesting budget cuts and upcoming course reductions, locked down one of the biggest classroom buildings on campus, thereby denying hundreds of students access to their classes. So they were denying education while protesting cuts to education. I dont't get it...

Ps thanks tatnja for the link to the article, I'd heard rumor for the reason behind the attack but this clarifies it

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From:tatjna
Date:August 1st, 2011 08:42 am (UTC)
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Sounds like pretty much any history. ;-) el8 get a mention in the thing I've been reading, but the others I haven't heard of.

What I'm mostly interested in at this point is finding a continuity of the idea of exposition/freedom of information (depending on whether you're exposing state/corporate secrets a la Wikileaks or attempting to allow free flow of information among the general populace - which seems to be what at least part of what activist-style hacking is about). It seems from what I've been reading that DDoS has been *cough* frowned upon in certain circles historically, but it appears to be gaining a certain legitimacy when applied to causes in the name of freedom of information - and I kind of need that as a hook to hang the 'social movement' angle on.

As an aside, it strikes me how similar the Anonymous meme and the Burner do-ocracy style are in concept (and subversion of norms).
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