Attention: Secret agents need to update Notepad++
torhu
Quote:

"Vault 7: CIA Hacking Tools Revealed" has been published by Wikileaks recentely, and Notepad++ is on the list.[1] 8-)8-)8-)

Chris Katko

Except the hack only works if the computer is already compromised. (Like any traditional exploit.) So it's not like Notepad++ is shipped with a virus.

Also, notepad2-mod MASTER RACE. DOWN WITH NOTEPAD++.

torhu

Right, I actually use Notepad2-mod as my default editor ;D

LennyLen

I'll stick to using UltraEdit.

Derezo

...was sublime on the list!? ARE WE ALL MR ROBOT?

bamccaig

I guess it's neat that Notepad++ announced it and tried to guard against it. Not sure where they're finding the reference though because I couldn't find 'notepad' or 'note pad' in the referenced page.

I use Vim. >:( If anybody's going to hack my vim it's a clever Unix programmer and it's going to make it better. >:(

Bruce Perry

I bought Sublime - as well as Beyond Compare :)

Now if only I could find a video-editing package that had favourable licensing terms. They all feel as if they're out to get me. Take VideoPad for instance. It's by far the one I've got on best with, but they violated my trust as a customer. They offer a free version for non-commercial use, allow you to start your project, and then tell you after a week or two that you can no longer use pro version features unless you pay for it. Even if you know this is coming, there is no way to tell the software to disable pro features in advance, or to find out which features are pro ones. It is designed to trap you and force you to pay against your will. On principle, even though I like the package and would otherwise be very tempted, I WILL NOT PAY. (And no, I haven't pirated it. I found a workflow using only the free features.)

When I was considering whether to buy Sublime and Beyond Compare, I just looked into Sublime's track record of users seeming well looked after for years, and, in Beyond Compare's evaluation version, the option for specifying what level of functionality you want the program to behave as so you can truly evaluate the different purchase options - and both also allow you to install for yourself on multiple computers, which, again, VideoPad doesn't and nor does almost any other video editor in its price range - and it was a no-brainer.

(Serif MoviePlus had better multiple-computer licensing terms, and I did buy it, but unfortunately, the page turn transition was buggy so I couldn't use it for the project in question and asked for a refund. It doesn't help that their expert moved on and the software is no longer being developed. Shame, really.)

bamccaig

I bought Sony Movie Studio or something like that a couple of years back to try to edit motovlogs. Cost me something like $120, I forget CAD or USD. It didn't really seem very great, considering it was a commercial product, and it was Windows [and Mac?] only. About a year after that I reverted back to a Linux only desktop so it was useless to me. When motovlogging came back around I discovered OpenShot, which is free software (i.e., open source). It doesn't have many fancy features, but it does have everything I ever used in the proprietary suite to date. I'm not sure what either one is capable of because I don't really know what I'm doing, but all I really need is the ability to clip and cut and add in music tracks and occasional text or images on screen.

Chris Katko

I want to start making some YouTube videos but I have no idea if any (free) video editing software is worth it. Currently my stuff only consists of single camera videos or captured game sessions with OBS.

I had an epiphany a couple nights ago that I could use PowerPoint / libre_equivalent and then record myself talking live over sections (or pre-record the audio) and sync up the slides while recording the screen view into OBS Studio. I think that would work for a variety of situations and still be super easy.

Bruce Perry

Blender has some limited video editing support. There is (or was) a real feeling of nothing being initialised properly when you create it, forcing you to set settings all over the place and waste a lot of time - but hey, it's free.

Or you can do what I did and take the free version of VideoPad. Just be aware that some of the features (certain transitions, effects and output formats) will be taken away from you after a while, so be ready for it. But then, using the built-in transitions is a perfect way to look amateur, so if you're doing anything serious, you'll probably get away with it. ;)

jhuuskon

Davinci Resolve is pretty much the most advanced video editor you can get for free. Being advanced also means it has a really steep learning curve. But it's powerful and free.

Bruce Perry

Wow :) That's going to get tried out at some point.

Gideon Weems
jhuuskon said:

Davinci Resolve is pretty much the most advanced video editor you can get for free.

Does Lightworks not count?

Bruce Perry

Not when it restricts you to 720p in the free version (or 1080p if you accept being forced to use Vimeo). ;)

Chris Katko

Yeah, I downloaded it and then got to that point and was like WTF? 720p? I'm trying to move toward 4K, FFS.

Gideon Weems

That sounds like crap.

Neil Roy

Nothing wrong with Notepad++. They released an update so 7.3.3 checks to make certain the effected DLL (not Notepad++ itself) is valid.

I'll continue to use it. I love it too much.

Chris Katko

I use Notepad2-mod (fork) because it some useful features over Notepad2, but N2 is still WAY less "menu overkill" than Notepad++. So it doesn't have "as many" features but the core set are great and the ones you commonly use.

And then I pull out Notepad++ if I really need the extra missing feature (rarely).

But at that point, I'm half tempted to use a real operating system (Linux) and just toss the problem into Bash/Python/etc.

Arvidsson

I use Notepad2-mod (fork) because it some useful features over Notepad2, but N2 is still WAY less "menu overkill" than Notepad++. So it doesn't have "as many" features but the core set are great and the ones you commonly use.

Sounds nice, I'll have to check it out! I'm always a fan of minimalism where appropriate.

MiquelFire

I use Scite. Technically I could be infected by the CIA >.>

Aaron Bolyard

I use Scite. Technically I could be infected by the CIA >.>

Not to ruin the fun, but the Notepad++ exploit was used by CIA agents to mask their actions in a public setting. For example, the agent is attempting to gather information from some foreign government organization; so they open Notepad++ with the exploit DLL to run the payload while they type whatever into Notepad++ while sitting in some embassy or whatever.

Running specialized tools via some shell is suspicious. Typing something in Notepad++ isn't.

bamccaig

I'm not sure that's the case because if it was they wouldn't need a mechanism to hijack Notepad++ in the wild. If they control the machine they can easily modify it.

In terms of using Notepad++ to mask suspicious behavior, I imagine to most people Notepad++ would be suspicious in itself (it's not the kind of software the average Joe would be used to). A better solution would likely be some kind of special kernel that intercepted a keypress combo and then silently treats then next string of inputs specially without echoing anything. E.g., Shift+Esc or maybe AltGr+m. Now every key on your keyboard is mapped to a command to run, including one that might allow silent shell access. Windows is such an unimaginative community. :P

Aaron Bolyard
bamccaig said:

I'm not sure that's the case because if it was they wouldn't need a mechanism to hijack Notepad++ in the wild. If they control the machine they can easily modify it.

Simply put, you're wrong.

The Fine Dining tools, which Notepad++ was a part of, were made to hide the actions of CIA operatives.

1) https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/cms/page_20251099.html

2) https://blogs.sophos.com/2017/03/10/qa-wikileaks-the-cia-fine-dining-and-dll-hijacks/

You don't want to be running unusual programs. You'll blow your cover.

bamccaig

Simply put, you're wrong.

I can't be wrong because I didn't assert anything. I merely weighted your assertion against the behavior of everybody else. If it is as you say it is then it's not an exploit in any way and it has absolutely fuck all to do with the software listed. That means no "fix" can be done and the work they did to validate the DLL certificate was a complete waste. While that might well be the case, it makes me wonder why anybody is giving this any time at all (including us). It sounds like a complete non-issue in terms of software security. The only people that should be interested are those that may be targets of the exploit, to know that they need to watch for innocent software too. But I think that goes without saying that a intrusive software can be running in the background. It's only in the Windows world that people assume every program must have a flashy window in front of it that explains how it works. In any case, we should close the thread because clearly we're discussing something that didn't happen.

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Aaron Bolyard
bamccaig said:

It sounds like a complete non-issue in terms of software security.

Which gets more clicks? "Notepad++ exploit used by CIA to spy" or "CIA has zero days exploits and uses them to spy on foreign targets"?

The dangerous parts of the leak, in my opinion, are the bountiful number of zero days for all sorts of software/devices and the ability for the CIA to reasonably deflect blame by utilizing malware from other states and hacking groups.

bamccaig

While it doesn't say much, I found it funny that the list of operating systems was limited to Windows. :P Either this document is incomplete, or the project is heavily targeted at specific kinds of targets, or they just don't have exploits for BSD, Linux, and Mac. We know at least that they can hack "100%" of Apple mobile devices though so I suppose it's wishful thinking that Linux isn't on their list somehow.

Paul whoknows

I have a text file with all my passwords, e-mails, repositories accounts and other important information and I always open this file with Notepad++ :-X

Neil Roy

I have a text file with all my passwords, e-mails, repositories accounts and other important information and I always open this file with Notepad++ :-X

I use a piece of paper in notepad (a real notepad). Lets see them hack that! ;)

bamccaig

I guess I'm not at that age where I need to do that yet, and even so I'd probably try to find a password manager tool that I trusted first, but if I ever did decide to keep a master file with passwords or sensitive information in it the very least I'd do is encrypt the file so it never touched the disk in plain-text form. :-/

Chris Katko

Nice try NSA. ;) I'm not listing where I store passwords but it sure as hell ain't "in the cloud." I've always been suspicious of these organizations. They could literally be run by Russia or China and you'd have no idea.

While I doubt my passwords are unhackable, I'm not going to go out of my way to make it EASIER for a nation-state to get them either. :P

Also, after last year where NO FEWER THAN SIX BUSINESSES LEAKED MY INFO, I decided to use a unique, 64-character password generated by piping /dev/random into an SHA-512 cipher. I was @!#%!in' pissed. I'm still waiting for Congress to pull their heads out of their asses so we can SUE companies who lose our data.

If our personal data is worth MONEY to be sold to advertisers, then it SURE AS HELL represents a calculable financial loss. If I download a movie I didn't pay for, I get fined or jailed. If a company gives away MY CONTENT (along with a BILLION OTHER USERS in Yahoo's case) without my permission, why the hell are they still a company? Why haven't the FBI et al stormed the building and took over?

bamccaig

I find it bizarre that you consider "Russia" or "China" the enemy, and somehow your own government (or it's many heads) isn't a threat?

As for why corporations aren't shut down when they expose your information, I'm sure you already know that the system isn't designed to be fair. The system is designed to exploit the people for the gains of the wealthy. There was never any expectation of fair play defined. It isn't going to work that way. Ever. The USA is not the nation that everybody is taught that it is. And I don't know of any nation that works that way. Anarchy would be the closest thing, and that too would not be fair, but at least there would be no deception about who is getting fucked and why.

Aaron Bolyard

I wrote my own password manager.

It's not fancy but it works. All my passwords are 12-24 characters (depending on site max length) of random data piped to base64.

I only remember a few passwords: my disk encryption password for my primary desktop and laptop, the password I use for backups, and the password I use for my password manager. The rest are unknown to me and managed completely by the password manager.

Bruce Perry

What about your e-mail password? If you ever lose your passwords for everything else, you need access to your e-mail to reset all those passwords.

Aaron Bolyard

My email password is stored in my password manager.

The only way to lose my password manager would be for all my backup plans to fail at the same time. This would mean 1) The contents of my safety deposit box were destroyed 2) My home was robbed and the thieves stole my backup media, or the contents of my home were lost in some accident like fire 3) The hosting providers have lost my data.

It's more likely I get amnesia from tripping over my chihuahua and hitting my head. What do you think? :)

Bruce Perry

So why not also memorise your e-mail password?

Chris Katko
bamccaig said:

I find it bizarre that you consider "Russia" or "China" the enemy, and somehow your own government (or it's many heads) isn't a threat?

When have I ever in my 10+ years of here, defended the CIA/NSA/FBI?

That being said, there are LAWS that protect me from my own government. There is nothing to stop Russia from hacking my computer, or straight up assassinating me.

Aaron Bolyard

So why not also memorise your e-mail password?

But why, when it's also stored in my password manager?

My password manager is a file I store in various locations, on site (i.e., at home) and off site (e.g., online and at my bank). It has my email passwords in it. I don't get why I'd have to memorize my email passwords if I can just access it via my password manager.

Also, more generally: Russia is bad but so is the United States is classic Whataboutism. Falling for Soviet-era propaganda tactics are we? :)

Neil Roy

Had Britain allied with Russia near the start of WW2, a lot of lives could have been saved. Eventually they allied with them to defeat Germany. Also, China was the victim of Japanese aggression during WW2 and everyone suffered because of Germany.

So who do we ally with? Japan and Germany and consider China and Russia the enemy. Stupidity at it's finest!

Bruce Perry

Yeah, because the countries haven't changed since then, and I can now accuse you of calling my German girlfriend a Nazi ;D

bamccaig

That being said, there are LAWS that protect me from my own government. There is nothing to stop Russia from hacking my computer, or straight up assassinating me.

You think your government would never break any domestic laws? ??? And also, might want to double check on those laws because I think a lot of them have been disarmed or dismantled in the last decade..

Neil Roy

That being said, there are LAWS that protect me from my own government. There is nothing to stop Russia from hacking my computer, or straight up assassinating me.

Because the United Stated Government would never spy on or hack your computer or say... cellphone right? You realize that ALL nations on this planet, all the major ones anyhow, ALL spy on each other and their own citizens. Otherwise they might have a difficult time finding terrorists and other local threats.

I haven't heard of any Russian assassinations lately.

Yeah, because the countries haven't changed since then, and I can now accuse you of calling my German girlfriend a Nazi ;D

Nah, not all Germans were Nazi's. Not all Germans supported Hitler either, but that didn't stop him did it? My point is, Russia has never been a threat to North America. Even during the Cuban missile crisis they were not a threat as the ONLY reason they put nukes in Cuba is because the United States had placed nukes pointed at Russia in Turkey. Tit for tat. It's a common theme, the United States currently has ships in the Baltic sea near Russia and then everyone is in shock when Russia has ONE ship 3 miles off the shores of the USA.

I firmly believe that Germany will get a new leader and build it's military again. As will Japan. I don't see Russia or China as a threat, they have only ever been concerned with protecting their own interests. They may be a threat to their own people, but I don't see that as any of our business.

bamccaig

Note: When a country doesn't want to breach its own laws it will just ask an ally to violate its citizens' rights for it. The other nation doesn't have to play by the same rules on the record, and ultimately it's up to your government to hold them accountable or forgive them for violating your rights. If they're acting on behalf of your government obviously they're going to be forgiven. A favor for a favor. So no, your government is definitely not off of the hook simply because laws exist. They're the ones that wrote the laws, enforce them, and they'll damn well rewrite them as they see fit. To assume that you have power over them, or that they don't have power over you, is naive. It's that line of thinking that is leading us down this doomed path we're all on. Our governments have already been outed by whistleblowers and the like. It's not even a question of whether they're doing wrong. The alarming thing is that there are no consequences. Nothing ever comes of it. They just keep doing it. What the fuck.

Chris Katko

There's an amazing lack of comprehension of what I said. ::)

Neil Roy

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Chris Katko
Neil Roy

Good!!! We could use some of that against the anti-Trump people! Might save some public property from being destroyed in riots.

Also, that happened in the Ukraine, not in Russia... but... I guess it is always Putin's fault right?! ::)

bamccaig

I'm not sure what's interesting about that shooting. Sounds like just another government covering up its secrets the only way they know how. Are we asserting that the US government has never killed somebody trying to out them? I don't think anything good would have happened to Snowden or Assange if they were caught... Perhaps the only difference here is that the guy running thought he was safe and could stop.

Chris Katko
bamccaig said:

. Are we asserting

No. I am asserting that the likely hood of myself dying or being hacked is far more likely to occur by China or Russia's hand, not the USA's. If you can't understand the relative risk, there's really no way to continue the discussion.

I work in IT for a living. We don't fend off hacks from the USA every day. We fend off China. And China. ... And China. ... And... China.

http://www.govtech.com/security/204318661.html

China accounts for almost more than ALL OTHER COUNTRIES COMBINED. A few percentage points more and they would. That's a DAMN IMPORTANT statistic, in the same way the USA's spending on conventional warfare GDP is more than almost all other countries in the world combined... that's another (but off-topic here) IMPORTANT statistic.

If any of us were ACTUALLY afraid of the USA killing you, you wouldn't be talking so casually about it.

Neil Roy

I find it interesting that Snowden found it safer to live the rest of his life in Russia, than remain in the USA. Very interesting. He certainly didn't feel safer in the good old US of A now did he?

And I'm not afraid of the USA, I'm in Canada.

Chris Katko

That's a kind of silly lapse of logic. He angered the USA. So he went to a country powerful enough to "say no" to the USA. He also went to a bunch of other countries before Russia, each of which the USA tried to get him extradited from. That has nothing to do with countries killing DISSENTERS. It's a non sequitur argument.

Meanwhile, protests are going on RIGHT NOW in over 100 cities across Russia over corruption, and the assassination of the anti-putin leader.

http://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/protesters-gather-in-100-cities-across-russia-top-putin-critic-arrested,502474

http://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/protesters-gather-in-100-cities-across-russia-top-putin-critic-arrested,502474

Aaron Bolyard

Snowden wanted to seek asylum in South America but his passport was revoked while in Russia. He didn't go to Russia to seek asylum, just like you wouldn't say you're visiting France when you have a layover in France (or whatever; just an example).

But what do I know. :)

The narrative "Snowden gave Russia/China/etc national secrets for protection" is bullshit.

Gideon Weems

If nothing else, this thread has put me in the mood to watch Citizenfour, one of my favorite films. If anyone has not seen it, consider it recommended--if for no other reason than being able to watch actual footage from the inside, as events unfurl to historical proportions. And if you have seen it, let's hug, man!

Chris Katko

A related good one.

The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz.

video

He was the one cool guy behind Reddit--originally not apart of it until the Y-combinator start-up guy made them work together. He actually cared about civil liberties and when Reddit staff moved to San Fransisco all the others basically all sat around and goofed off instead of working. He hated working there and said, "I can't get anything done in this noisy environment." So he basically forced them to fire him so he could do better things. He would have crapped himself if he saw what Reddit has become... a huge censorship hugfest.

I'll never forget Reddit censoring the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Apparently, a bunch of gays being mowed down by a Muslim--one of the worst shootings in US history--isn't "news." They even deleted a post directing people where to donate blood. I know too many gay people to let that slide.

http://www.vocativ.com/328593/orlando-shooting-reddit-exodus-censorship/

https://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/4ntim1/rnews_mod_tells_user_to_kill_yourself/

Aaron Bolyard

Are you confusing subreddit mods (users) with Reddit (the company)?

Chris Katko

AHAHAHHAH. I literally had a section that said "I know someone is going to say, omg, that's the mods not the admins!" but I removed it.

Anyone who looks deeper into Reddit, will find a clear line of admin support for toxic, harassing subreddits that push staff supported political ideologies, and a hypocritical clamp down of the opposite. In other words, "The rules are what we say they are, and only apply when we say they do."

Additionally, Reddit has done things like kick people off their user accounts so celebrities can have their proper name. Like /u/presidentobama. Or, when /u/spez (the CEO) edited people's comments without their consent. But those are all childish compared to the clear narrative setting, and hypocritical application of community guidelines while intentionally never actually clarifying "what the rules actually are"--which is demanded every month for years now to no reply.

For example, every year they say they're getting rid of Shadowbanning (making it so your account and comments can't actually be SEEN by anyone but you don't know). But after 5+ years of saying it, they still haven't.

[edit] For another great example. /r/exmuslim users are STALKED by active Muslims, and phished to find their identity. A young woman was beaten by her family because they found her identity and contacted her parents. Reddit has taken no action to protect them, or even acknowledge the problem. Meanwhile, people on /r/the_donald make "mean memes!" (oh god, not the memes!) and Reddit has consistently threatened and clamped down on them saying "If you so much as link to another sub, we'll ban you." Rules that other subreddits do not have to follow.

My political affiliation doesn't matter. If a conservative company was crapping on liberals, I'd care just as much--and my post history proves as much. So don't write this off as some sort of partisanship.

Aaron Bolyard

Reddit (the website) is a 'Choose Your Echochamber' adventure, nothing more, nothing less. Yes, there is a bias towards liberal views, but that's because most users are, you know, liberal and thus most subreddits are also liberal.

Reddit (the company) benefits from removing the most hateful of communities for monetary reasons. (It also benefits from removing illegal communities, too. Of course).

I mean, you're welcome to try and bring up liberal-leaning subreddits as hateful as the various far-right subreddits that have been banned (like /r/altright), but to be frank, I've never seen any.

(Look, I do agree Reddit sucks, and it does apply its rules selectively, but it's primarily a financial issue--e.g., a narrative guided by money--not some partisan issue. If Reddit profited from benefiting conservative views at the expense of liberal views, you'd be arguing the reverse right now.)

edit: ok I should be done with edits.

Gideon Weems

The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz.

This has been on my list for a while! I know of Aaron Swartz mostly for his contributions to RSS, though... Never heard of Reddit before.

Neil Roy

Meanwhile, protests are going on RIGHT NOW in over 100 cities across Russia over corruption, and the assassination of the anti-putin leader.

Really?! You mean... you can protest in Russia and not get machine gunned down? You realize the fact that there are protests in Russia speaks volumes against what you have said against them?

Also, the fact that they are the ONE safe haven people who are threatened in t he USA is a HUGE PLUS in my books! They are the ONE nation the United states hasn't got their filthy tentacles into. I can see why an American might not like that... well... until the USA threatens THEM anyhow.

Aaron Bolyard

[edit] For another great example. /r/exmuslim users are STALKED by active Muslims, and phished to find their identity. A young woman was beaten by her family because they found her identity and contacted her parents. Reddit has taken no action to protect them, or even acknowledge the problem. Meanwhile, people on /r/the_donald make "mean memes!" (oh god, not the memes!) and Reddit has consistently threatened and clamped down on them saying "If you so much as link to another sub, we'll ban you." Rules that other subreddits do not have to follow.

Well I have something fun! A moderator of a leftist sub banned from Reddit for refusing to censor "bash the fash" comments.

Bruce Perry

Wow, this thread took a poisonous turn :-X

Aaron Bolyard

Wow, this thread took a poisonous turn

Well it is an anarchy subreddit. ;D

(Personally, I don't browse it. The only reason I mentioned it was because it's a leftist being censored by Reddit admins, not a rightist [?]. Exceptions to the rule, yada, yada, whatever, it was just a poke.)

edit: Completely misread what you wrote. Thought you said "that thread took a poisonous turn." Woops.

Chris Katko

We should definitely relax and not touch hot button issues so much.

I think abortion is murder, but I don't like women having agency over their bodies. So I think all babies should be aborted.

bamccaig

:D

Chris Katko

Oh, back on the Reddit train:

It turns out /r/the_donald has SIX MILLION SUBSCRIBERS but Reddit has been capping both their votes and their subscriber count. Why... I have no freakin' idea. Whether it's pettiness or some sort of "half clever" attempt to reduce their footprint. They have 6 million subscribers yet only report 385,000 and have been capping it for months at that number... even though the subreddit keeps growing every time Reddit mods censor an important event like the Pulse Nightclub shooting.

Go ahead, check for yourself.

https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/

It'll show 385,000 subscribers. Oh wait, it looks like they forgot to censor/change that number in their advertiser page:

https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comments/62lh2b/can_confirm_the_donald_has_over_6_million/

Oops.

That, or they're inflating their subscriber numbers to potential advertisers. Which sounds a lot like fraud. ;)

[edit] Looks like they're doing it to other subs! Have the toxic, sexist, misogynistic virgins at /r/the_donald uncovered site-wide advertising shenannigans? ::grabs popcorn:: This goin' be good.

[edit]

https://archive.fo/UkycK

Here's an article about it. Apparently they undercut the_donald numbers by >1400%, while other subs are cut by orders of a magnitude less.

http://archive.fo/UkycK/6b3be0c7cd2bd69c453d3bd4e8e3b6141f0abce0.png

(Archive doesn't support direct linking I think.)

Aaron Bolyard

But do we know if Reddit only counts 'active' users among the subscriber count?

In other words, if 5 million accounts are created solely to upvote/downvote and inflate subscriber count, and these accounts never actually participate in discussion or post content, are they excluded from subscriber counts? If so, could it be that The_Donald has a high number of accounts that don't actually participate, and instead are only used for brigading?

Companies already offer services for this very purpose, it wouldn't be surprising to find some subreddits are guilty of using them.

bamccaig

It's ridiculous for anybody to care either way. It's ridiculous for advertisers to pay on such an arbitrary metric, and it's ridiculous for a particular forum within a site to attempt to fake the number for any reason. Regardless of what is true or what isn't true, it's ridiculous to care in this case. If Reddit is a shitty host for free discussion there's a simple answer: stop fucking using it.

Chris, you've been complaining about this for a while now, and I can't help wonder why you still go there. Find a better medium for discussions you're interested in, or create one if you can. You cannot control what "Reddit" decides to do, and unfortunately you're in the minority so no amount of backlash is going to sway them. They do not even feel your temper tantrums, or even the collective tantrums of the movements you're interested in. The opposing side is much bigger and stronger. Merit does not matter in this world, irrespective of who is merited in this or any other debate. The "witch" trials did not occur because people collectively got together and surmised that surely there are witches based upon the evidence. They occurred because people are stupid, gullible, destructive animals. The majority follow, and the few that lead are aware of their power and rarely or never does that lead to righteousness or good.

Neil Roy

Chris, yeah, typical media shenaigans. Purposely trying to deflate the numbers to make it appear like support is much less than it is.

We should be used to this by now. The liberal media simply does not have an honest bone in their collective bodies. Thankfully, artificially changing the numbers does not alter the reality. ;D 6 million is hardly a minority. ;D

bamccaig

9 billion people can be wrong. It wouldn't make a single right person any less right. The number of people that believe something doesn't influence its validity, for the better or worse. Good ideas are good regardless of how many people think so. Bad ideas are bad regardless of how many people don't.

Neil Roy

And yet, you thought the numbers were important enough to accuse Chris of being in the "minority". Hypocrite!

bamccaig

I don't think "minority" or "majority" are overly important, other than steering us away from useless avenues. All I meant by it was that a small group's noise is muffled by the larger group. The "Feminist" platform in particular is PC-central right now. A woman will automatically get much more attention than a man, and automatically much more credibility, even if she's a complete moron. Men are the enemy to PC culture, which is in control. White men in particular are the enemy. Like I said, merit doesn't matter. No matter how good your ideas are, the rules are already laid out. Women always were and are "oppressed" apparently. And as sick as it is, the "gender card" is more powerful than the "race card", even though women haven't suffered nearly as much as some other "minority" groups (how is a group that comprises approximately 50% of the population a "minority" anyway?!).

The only point that I aim to make is to direct your energy where it has a chance in Hell of winning because you'll never convince "Reddit" to support you with merit. There's too much money, or at least they believe so, in supporting the other side. They're probably right.

I've come to the same conclusion. Although I support the general direction of a few political movements, such as "OpenMedia" and the Green Party of Canada, I've recognized that they're trying to win a fixed game (think casino), and they're trying to do it on my dime. Many of their ideas are good (though not all), but they believe that if they just collect enough money that they can fight against million and billion dollar industries. The worst part, they brag about superficial victories and beg for more money implying that they'll be able to go all the way. It's infuriating how ignorant they are. Years and years of losing at every turn and they somehow think it's going to change in their favor all by itself any day now. As if the system is perfectly fair and all they need is another $10 and they can make the public aware of the problem and everything will revert.

Activist money is never going to win that fight for the underdog against political and corporate interests. And every time they ask for just a little bit more (weekly according to my inbox) all they accomplish is robbing honest people of their earnings to employ these activists in a futile fight. I'd much rather the time and energy and money was spent researching the topics, improving upon reliable studies, and educating the public. More would be accomplished that way than saying "60 thousand people said they don't like this, please stop", or even "6 million people said they don't like this, please stop". That's fantastic, but all anyone understands is that "35 million people didn't oppose this" or "324 million didn't oppose this". Which brings us back to my previous point. If we want to win the fight we need to strip money of its power and instead empower good ideas.

Who gives a shit what the majority of people believe? A significant proportion of the planet believes in some kind of magic man in the sky for which there is no concrete evidence. People are idiots. What should matter is what the science says, and what the science says is actually what the majority of scientists in a particular field can agree best explains a particular idea. This creates a bit of a paradox for state-funded research. And at the same time, state-funded research is probably the only research that has any hope of being unbiased. Likely, we need policies that force state-funded research, if not research in general, to support the scientific community as a whole. Don't ask me how we can fairly and legally define or quantify it. It's not a simple problem. Perhaps some kind of peer-to-peer cryptographic system akin to Bitcoin is the answer. I'm just rambling.

Probably a good start is making all scientific research public by definition. No more corporations hording ideas, or universities and other interest groups requiring a financial contribution to see the findings of a study. I don't think that is valuable, and it probably hurts the system in general. Maybe it's idealist of me, but I think something more open would force good ideas to persevere and would defeat bad ideas before they got off the ground.

Chris Katko
bamccaig said:

Chris, you've been complaining about this for a while now, and I can't help wonder why you still go there.

It's an abusive relationship. I've been there for almost ten years, and posted well over... 30,000... 50,000 comments... maybe more. I still remember how great it "once was" and how great it was to discuss ideas and learn from people with a diverse range of viewpoints.

Now it's consolidated into one view point. The new liberal "Agree with me or die." viewpoint.

And I find that genuinely sad. It's one of those things you never realize how great and unique it was, until it's gone.

I used to hang with all the international kids at college. I loved learning from my friends about their home countries of China and India (the BEST DAMN COFFEE that you can't even buy in the USA), South Sudan (as they were declaring independence!) and Bangladesh. But now I'm long away from college, and Reddit likewise has gone to censorship mode. So I've got very few venues for open discussion of ideas from people genuinely interesting in learning and growing.

I haven't changed. I still love ideas. But the world seems to have moved on.

[edit] Oh, and on the topic of "Companies only censor to make money, not for one specific ideology."

Naming your character after the current president is apparently too offensive for Overwatch. ;D

video

Think about that. Does anyone recall getting banned or fired for supporting Obama the last two elections? When I was a teen, I used to play Ravenshield with the nickname Teddy Ron Paul.

I've got an awesome GIF somewhere that really highlights what's going on. The distributions of "left" and "right" used to have much much more overlap, but the leftists have gone more left, and the rightists have gone more right and nobody is talking to anybody anymore.

Moreover, with tech being almost completely consolidated to San Francisco, these "private companies can do whatever they want" just so happens to be almost always liberals banning conservatives. And that's very dangerous when media/information channels are so consolidated these days (and getting worse every year). Because when everything is pro-liberal, you get zero accountability for the bad liberals, and make it super easy to censor specific topics that get in the way of a political agenda.

If 99% of websites were conservative and banning any mention of global warming (including Google search results), you'd sure as hell care. Well, I'm a hardcore moderate and I'm trying to care about both sides--whoever the underdog is that year.

[edit]

BINGO, here it is. Notice the last ~4 years, things went INSANE.

http://i.imgur.com/SISLwcJ.gif

(Not sure why Allegro.cc is failing to embed this. Direct link.)

(And as someone who voted for Obama, I have to say, WTF was he doing? He single-handedly helped divide Americans with his extremely divisive us-verses-them speeches. He had a GREAT opportunity to bring us closer together... the FIRST black President! And then he used his platform to separate us further. What a dickhole.)

Bruce Perry

That gif just proves that people want to see more boobies :)

Chris Katko

That's hilarious. =D I should edit all of the links in my posts later on to be graphs of boobs and make future readers wonder why everyone is so casually discussing our topics while I post boob graphs. ;)

Thread #616789. Printed from Allegro.cc