Sunday, February 20, 2011

Persona Management, Twitter-bombing, and the Weaponization of Social Media

You need to read This Daily Kos post and the one it links to. From the latter:
[Chamber of Commerce tools] HB Gary people are talking about creating "personas", what we would call sockpuppets. ... {But] a persona apparently goes far beyond creating a mere sockpuppet.

According to an embedded MS Word document found in one of the HB Gary emails, it involves creating an army of sockpuppets, with sophisticated "persona management" software that allows a small team of only a few people to appear to be many, while keeping the personas from accidentally cross-contaminating each other. Then, to top it off, the team can actually automate some functions so one persona can appear to be an entire Brooks Brothers riot online.

What's the solution? I don't know. But the workaround is, don't be swayed by anyone who's unwilling to meet in person - or anyone when, when you ask if he himself wrote the comments that've writing that has appeared under his name, pauses for a moment before saying Yes.

Also we'd do well to be suspicious of first-name-only comments, that you'd assume were from well-known local people.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Post Mortem - the Nevada County basics

Basic background information; with minor additions Mar. 1

If you saw the joint ProPublica/CaliforniaWatch/PBS Frontline investigation Post Mortem earlier this month, on the difficulties, shortcomings and lack of oversight of death investigations in the United States, you may have wondered what the situation is like in Nevada County.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The stories not covered

In localizing the ProPublica et al. "post mortem" report - which is what I've been working on - I am feeling a bit like Bob & Ray interviewing the cranberry grower - since meanwhile, back at the ranch, we have a reportedly mild-mannered local artist inexplicably lashing out in alleged violence and attempted murder at a local airstrip (link), and an alleged DUI driver in Penn Valley who while resisting arrest is said to have tripped and hit his head on a rock (link).

I would be remiss if I did not point them out; for others to pursue.

Tack II - blog changing course

Feb. 21,24 updates: Or not; stay tuned...

In the last couple years this blog has gotten more & more climate change centric - but being Cassandra (who was right) doesn't seem to be working, it's feeling more & more like yet another tarpit. So it's time for a different focus. Coming up: straight investigative (& occasional other) journalism.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The big picture, from Weather Underground's Jeff Masters

Dr. Masters was interviewed on KVMR last fall, but wasn't asked about the big picture on climate change. Here's what he told Joe Romm, who (presumably) did ask:

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Mini climate videos covering the important stuff at Planet Nutshell

Steve Easterbrook highly recommended these 3-minute climate videos at Planet Nutshell ("manages to pack in some of the clearest, most informative account of climate change I’ve ever seen"); so, I pass his recommendation on to you.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The big picture (was Upcoming on Soundings, at noon: Al Stahler talks to aerosol climate scientists, re Glory satellite)

Questions that should be addressed by any climate scientist speaking to our community:
  • What is the big picture that's emerging from climate science?
  • What websites or other resources would you recommend to a listener who's got 20 minutes to spend learning about climate change?

Feb 11 update: Steve Easterbrook's recommendations

Krugman connects popular unrest to food shortages to climate disruption

Droughts, Floods and Food - the current food price surge may be just the beginning.

"These soaring prices...having a brutal impact on the world’s poor, who spend much if not most of their income on basic foodstuffs. ... The consequences of this food crisis go far beyond economics.... there’s little question that sky-high food prices have been an important trigger for popular rage.
... ominous story....severe weather events have disrupted agricultural production. And these severe weather events are exactly the kind of thing we’d expect to see as rising concentrations of greenhouse gases change our climate — which means that the current food price surge may be just the beginning. ...."
Climate change is a war against the young; and the poor.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Foods for thought, deliberately obscure

How is the climate denial effort like an avalanche?

Does the existence of a Karl Rove preclude the existence of a Gandhi?
(or their archetypal equivalents)

that is all...

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Alpha Building to stop being a "local events" bulletin board

July update: Alpha Building continues to be a "local events" bulletin board.

Reinette Senum says "Gary Tintle, who owns the Alpha building [on Broad St. in Nevada City next to Calanan Park], has been allowing folks to put posters up for events until now" but can do so no longer, for insurance reasons; plus demolition is slated to start soon.

So, for anyone else who's been eyeing and coveting this display space, we're out of luck.

March update: in a phone call, Reinette confirmed that new posters _have_ subsequently been posted, but said this is because demolition was delayed.