Link blog: prism, spying, nsa, privacy

The Ecuadorian Library — Geek Empire — Medium
SF author Bruce Sterling on Assange, Manning and Snowden, and the surveillance geeks at the NSA: "Citizens and rights have nothing to do with elite, covert technologies! The targets of surveillance are oblivious dorks, they’re not even newbies! Even US Senators are decorative objects for the NSA. An American Senator knows as much about PRISM and XKeyScore as a troll-doll on the dashboard knows about internal combustion." Via Mefi
(tags: politics bradley-manning nsa russia spying bruce-sterling xkeyscore julian-assange edward-snowden wikileaks internet prism)
What they mean when the government says “We do not have ‘direct’ access to your info” | Fabius Maximus
They mean "we’re sniffing the traffic, we don’t have root on Google’s servers", alleges Marcus Ranum.
(tags: nsa google spying sniffer marcus-ranum privacy security prism)
Gigantic Pentagram Found in Kazakhstan – Can Be Seen in Google Maps – The Vigilant Citizen – The Vigilant Citizen
Paging Charles Stross…
(tags: kazakhstan maps occult laundry pentagram)
Oversight: Thank you for volunteering, citizen. – YouTube
What David Cameron did next.
(tags: parody surveillance privacy funny oversight internet prism satire)

Link blog: funny, religion, atheism, stephen-meyer

Why It’s So Tricky for Atheists to Debate with Believers | Belief | AlterNet

Greta Christina lists some "heads I win, tails you lose" arguments against atheism: not criticising serious theologians, fatwa envy ("you wouldn't say that to Muslims"), "atheism is a religion" and so on.
(tags: religion atheism argument debate abiogenesis greta-christina)

Airbrushed for change – MyDavidCameron.com

Remixed Tory campaign posters. I like Hoodie Cameron.
(tags: politics funny uk government election david-cameron conservatives tory)

Stephen Meyer’s Bogus Information Theory

Criticism of Stephen Meyer's "The Signature in the Cell" based on Meyer's mistakes in information theory (or rather, the way he uses a made up definition of "information"). HT to Leonard Richardson, who rightly says it's a good introduction to what "information" does mean, regardless of what you think of Meyer's book.
(tags: information shannon entropy mathematics maths kolmogorov signature cell stephen-meyer intelligent-design creationism)

Pat Robertson is not unchristian

"This Jesus dude, and the new testament in general, is not all sweetness and light and "love thy brother" though those things definitely appear in more abundance than in the Old Testament. But still, according to the Gospels, Jesus spoke more about hell than about any other subject."
(tags: haiti pat-robertson hell christianity religion jesus)

Know Your Godless Heathen Positions

"It has become common, especially for the critics of atheism, to conflate atheism, materialism, naturalism, evolution, and natural selection. Then, an objection to one of these positions is taken to undermine all of them. This would be a mistake since there are several distinct positions here that the atheist may or may not also accept. And much of the energy that has been expended to knock them down is wasted because several of them turn out to be compatible with theism. Let’s clarify:"
(tags: science philosophy atheism matt-mccormick materialism naturalism evolution)

Russian Commuters Treated to Free Roadside Pornography

According to FOX News, "traffic jerked to a standstill". Via comp.risks.
(tags: funny traffic russia road porn pornography)

I, for one, welcome our new Russian overlords

I’d like to remind them that as a trusted radio personality, I can be helpful in rounding up fanficcers to toil in their underground salt mines.

Yes, the Russians bought LiveJournal. Either it’s a plot, which has been planned for over a year by the oligarchs, to destroy the free speech of the large number of Russian LJ users; or perhaps it’s just that Six Apart got fed up of all the complaints.

Theories abound: some people blame the sale plans for recent attempts to clean-up LJ, like the Strikethrough debacle and the recent introduction of the “denounce” button on everyone’s journal. (hairyears has a good posting on the latter, by the way, arguing that it’s an entirely sensible move on LJ’s part to prevent them from being sued by right-wing nutjobs).

Other good sources: Metafilter has some discussion, Encyclopedia Dramatica has some links to the stupidest responses so far, and vladmuthafucka records the thoughts of Putin himself.

I’ll stick around and see what happens, at least. ljdump runs every night here, just in case, but it’s far more likely that I’d use it to recover from some technical failure at LJ than to recover from a censored journal.