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I'm interested to hear peoples thoughts towards wikileaks. I recently changed my facebook profile pic to a photo of Mr Assange, and was promptly abused by a former good friend in the states. This guy labled me a supporter of terrorism and an ignorant asshole amoungst other abusive words.

 

Then last night I was watching a delayed telecast of the show "The Colbert Report" that aired about 2-3 weeks ago in the states. During this show he was discussing this issue with the man who leaked the pentagon papers back in the day, and started the segment with a montage of News and Current Affairs shows, with securtiy expert after expert calling for the assination of Julian Assange and how he was a terrorist.

 

Perhaps my former friend in the states was correct in calling me an ignorant asshole, because I simply fail to understand why Wikileaks is causing such an adverse reaction from certain parts of society.

 

Your government lies to you, it gets caught out, and instead of being shitty at the people who have decived and lied to you(the government), you call for the death of the person who exposes this??

 

I don't get it.

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Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

 

I hear ya loud and clear on that one. I'm by no means a political cause junkie, although admittedly this issue I do give a shit about. I normally wouldn't post this kind of stuff anywhere near the interwebs. The only reason that I have is due to all these posts recently bemoaning about how there is no substance on this forum and its just questions on button clicking in AE and C4D.

Given your response I've failed badly at attempting to change that culture.

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I'll have a go at this with the disclaimer that i should be in bed and i'm not gonna check to make sure i'm making sense :D

 

You'd have to understand the mindset of your friend, who is not at all alone in his beliefs as an american, but who also does not, by any stretch, represent the whole of the country. For a certain segment of the population, it seems like there's a huge psychological draw to the emotional security granted by generally believing that your kind is the "right" kind. That your people are the good people, that your government is the right government. This is an acknowledgement, for right or wrong, that people are full of good and evil, and that, by god, you're on the right side of that duality. Now, America is the land of the free and home of the brave, so of course it's on your side, and you're on its. Which, taken together, makes perfect sense in the same way all circular logic does because you and your country are united against baddies all over the world and are bringing liberty to godforsaken lands you've barely even heard of. You're a good one and you support your country's actions, which in turn must be good, so you're good for supporting it, right!

 

Well, there's really no reason to question that because it's not frequently questioned by the 'good guys', except here comes old wikileaks which is digging up some pretty serious evidence for the claim that the country and its people are doing some pretty shady shit. Well, that's mud in the eye of the good guys, so clearly wikileaks must be a bad guy. And that's of course extremely simple logic that can be argued down in 3 seconds, but the problem is that it's not argued as logic, it's simply held as a sentiment. And you can't really argue a sentiment. Especially one that thinly holds together a person's sense of decency and righteousness. It's a way of self-validating that people don't want to let go of. So lots of people instead accept absurd alternatives to the logical conclusion (ie. "they must be terrorists because they're attacking the US") and justify them with unfounded info. I suppose you could say it's a kind of mass denial.

 

The real problem here, as your friend has highlighted for you, is that the people who feel this way are people who feel really threatened by something like an organization who's capable of exposing the country's nastier side, and as such, they're gonna be more likely to lash out at a wikileaks or a vocal proponent, or an "un-patriot". These are going to be the loudest people. The people who really spit venom. They're people who feel like they have a lot to lose in terms of their own self-worth. And they're right, really. Look at how depressed the majority of german society was after they got slapped off of their highchair. I'd make reference to North Koreans, but their fervor is so uniformly steadfast, I think the last one standing will be screaming the glorious leader's golden name as s/he dives on to bayonettes. The personal and social psychologies of americans are pretty interesting, but this is the one you're gonna hear about more because as more dirt is uncovered, it's just going to shout louder.

 

We have a press which is supposed to help us keep our representatives accountable, but corporatisation has mucked that up, so for some of us, wikileaks is helping return some of that accountability. For others, wikileaks is kind of a wake-up call. And for your friend, wikileaks is an affront to his understanding of himself and all of his kind, and a very real threat as a result, so it gets whatever today's fashionable labels are for the bad guys. We might have called them heathens, or heretics, or communists or enemies. Right now they're terrorists and your friend is pretty sure that their leader is the devil incarnate come to burn his world.

 

I just thought of a better way to explain your friend's mindset, but i'm f-ing tired and no one will have read to here anyway. :D

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...there is no substance on this forum and its just questions on button clicking in AE and C4D.

 

Ok, so if I want a texture to have transparency I have to load it into the color channel and the bump channel?

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This belongs in the "Woe is MoGraph" thread, but one of my favorite parts about mograph.net was that it was the only place I was able to have intercontinental dialogue with a slew of other people from other countries.

 

For the benefit of non-Americans... let me share with you the process of being born American.

 

...

 

You are born as an American.

You are fucking awesome!

You learn that America is the greatest country in the entire fucking would.

You learn that Columbus discovered America.

You learn that your country was the "land of opportunity"

You learn that your country created the model of Democracy (except for... ya know... slaves).

You learn that your country saved the world in World War I.

You learn that your country saved the world in World War II.

You remember from WWI and WWII that with hard work and determination that American's can do anything.

You learn that American's fucked up in Vietnam.

You learn that Columbus was actually an idiot and that white men stole America from an entire civilization.

You learn that the US only got involved in WWI and WWII at the last possible moment.

You realize that your country is using 1/3 of the world's energy even though it's only 1/10 of the population.

You realize your government is responsible for oppressing 3rd world nations.

You realize the CIA is responsible for just as much terrorism as any radical muslim organization.

You realize that Iraq is that same mother-fucking thing as Vietnam.

You realize your vote isn't worth shit.

You realize that the power of Journalism died while you weren't looking.

You realize how religion has influenced American politics.

You realize that there's something fishy going on between Israel and the United States, but you can't put your finger on it.

You realize that Obama isn't going to change shit (but thank god he's not making as many enemies as GWB)...

 

And then you get to WikiLeaks.

 

Personally, as the son of a US military officer, I find the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights to be one of America's most important contributions to humanity. Sadly, it's dead/dying. TSA workers can strip search you. NYPD can randomly look through your bags on the subway. Honestly, this place is a shadow of the ideals we once had. America is too fat, and too lazy, and too busy playing Red Dead Revolver to give a shit about the truth/freedom/liberty.... to give a shit about WikiLeaks. Maybe this country was no better 200 years ago, but it feels like it might have been. I have not met a single military man who trusted the media. I have not met a single liberal who has trusted the media. The fact is that we're out of control and nobody can stop the train... and nobody knows what to do.

 

Assange is the most American thing that has happened to America in years... and I thank him deeply for drinking our milkshake.

 

:)

 

-m

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^^binky^^ nice way to simplify some of the extremism. Some of that attitude is a case of them vs. US, J.A.'s actions portray the U.S. in a negative light, which in your friends eye's is criminal. And to some extent he is...he did illegally access government information.

 

Let me preface this by saying i haven't followed this story in great detail. I Don't understand why everyone is so upset with Assange to begin with. Simple facts. The Government did some not so nice stuff...Surprise? the government (politicians/officials) lied about it...surprise? They got caught lying...anyone surprised yet? has anything changed? no, is anything going to change? no, the U.S. was just the first government to get caught and no one else wants to, so everyone is after him. I don't think releasing all the pages was necessary to prove his point.

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I am not very keen on C4D forums that have threats about politics / religion, it makes me feel very uncomfortable. We are not here to forge nor ventilate our opinions about those things, there are many other places to do so.

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I am not very keen on C4D forums that have threats about politics / religion, it makes me feel very uncomfortable. We are not here to forge nor ventilate our opinions about those things, there are many other places to do so.

 

cry-baby.jpg

 

If you don't like it , don't read it. :P

 

 

Wtf are you talking about Threats?

 

 

 

@Monkey- Nice. Couldn't say it better myself

Edited by getSOME

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I think Eric Schmidt (teh google)put it best

"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. "

isn't that what they tell us every time they put up another security theater?

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Despite rumors to the contrary, there's a principled case for informed Americans (or anyone) to not feel rosy about all of Mr. Assage's efforts. Of course, to the extent that any country is participating in "shady" activity, shedding light on that fact can be a very good thing (defining shady is a whole separate discussion.) The problem is, the whole "exposing the truth is always right" attitude is often an excuse for all kinds of reckless and immoral behavior. It's basically saying, "Hey, I'm on the side of the angels so everything I do is automatically justified." Included in the Wikileaks documents were things like detailed descriptions of vulnerable infrastructure targets within the US and elsewhere. This is one example of where the illusion of simply wanting to expose the truth starts to become something more sinister, or at best something extremely careless. Wanting to expose wrongdoing is one thing; wanting to make a nation more vulnerable to attack is another. I don't find the quest for truth to be a sufficient defense when it comes to endangering people, whether they be Americans or otherwise. It may be the truth that placing a bomb in a particular location will make an airliner explode more efficiently, but publishing that information doesn't make you a hero simply because it's truthful.

 

At the bottom of this is a lot of knee jerk "what's bad for the America must be good for the world" sentiment, which is just as simplistic and naive as the "America is always right" viewpoint.

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Binky, I think you got mostly everything except the one reason/excuse that I find compelling to some extent. The one reason/excuse is a bit cowardly, but it's the one that gets people. That is, that by exposing all this crap being done by the United States, suddenly you give a lot more people a reason to hate "us" and then for extremists to act on that hate. That makes us much less safe.

 

This is the Machiavellian point of view, that safety and stability are in the end more important than ethics and altruism. That's why governments feel they can torture people, can "deal" with rotten dictators, etc. By torturing the few, they can save the many from death. By dealing with rotten dictators, they can control the even worse dictators. And on and on.

 

The opposite of the Machiavellian point of view is the altruistic point of view, that we need to get all the truth out on the table, even if it's extremely painful, so we can extract the venom, the thorns, the hooks, whatever it may be, and actually heal the wounds of dishonesty and deal with our difficult issues with total transparency. Also, that means we have to treat everyone with civility, even the people who don't want to treat us that way, which means that even if we COULD torture important information out of a terrorist, information that could save thousands of lives, we DON'T, because that's not how we roll. But that means we are less safe. More people will hold onto grudges and hate, because of the truth they know, and can take advantage of us because they know exactly what we are doing now. And it means that we don't have any information about other people that they don't know about. We'd never have the upper hand, so to speak.

 

The problem with the altruistic point of view is that it is dangerous and uncomfortable. The founding fathers, I believe, mostly followed the altruistic goals with the American Revolution. They wore their feelings on their sleeves when forging the constitution and rebelling against England. They were willing to fight and die, because they would be attacked for their beliefs. However, I've also heard stories that the founding fathers wanted to abolish slavery, BUT they felt they could not because if they tried, it would have destroyed the nation, and at the time the unity of the nation *with* slavery, was a lot more desirable than total chaos.

 

So there is a balance between the altruistic and Machiavellian point of views. The question is, how far do we let the Machiavellian point of view go? Would we rather feel safe knowing (or not knowing) the CIA is out there secretly assassinating people who want to start wars with us? Or would we rather be completely honest about what goes on in our country, which means we can't secretly do anything, which makes it more difficult for us to assassinate ANYONE who wants to start wars with us, which means we are much more likely to have wars. Because, even if we were honest, there are always people who will hate America just as much, not because we did anything wrong, but because our ideals are different than theirs.

 

However, all the comments above about how we Americans (well from the United States, anyway) are born and raised to think of America as a great land are true. In many ways, I think it is such a great land, but it is definitely not immune to corruption and decay.

 

It is funny how some of you have brought religion into this, specifically Christianity. We often find it is the conservatives, the Republicans that want to keep this stuff under wraps, because it is the "moral" Republican leaders THEY elected being threatened by the information being leaked. And if we associate the conservatives and Republicans with mainstream Christianity, as we often do, we have to think about where Christ would fall on Machiavelli vs. altruism. Wasn't he willing to be put in uncomfortable, dangerous, and life-threatening circumstances because he openly did what he felt was right? Didn't he treat everyone with dignity and respect even when they spit on him and seriously hurt and crucified him? He openly kicked everyone out the temple when he wasn't happy with what they were doing. He never dealt in shady ways. (I guess he did speak in parables so that those unready for the truth wouldn't understand him.) But there were many who really didn't like him, and his life was in danger because of it. But if those who call themselves Christians are too proud or too cowardly to face the truth, and the dangerous and difficult consequences that come with the truth, then there is something more wrong with the moral integrity of the people as whole, than with the whistle-blowers and wiki leaks out there.

 

But we all knew that. Moral, ethical, and social integrity is difficult to find these days, obviously so in politics, and slightly less obviously in war. None of that is a surprise.

 

But if there is some way we can stand up, brush the dust off of ourselves, and say, "Dang it, we want the truth out in the open even though it really hurts and makes other people want to kill us. And we are willing to feel the pain of yanking out that giant sliver sticking out of our chest. And every single one of us is ready to stand up on a plane and die to make sure the terrorists can't get the 747 to the World Trade Center or the White House. And we are all willing to be drafted and go to war when a REAL reason for war comes upon us. And we'll do all this so that we don't have to torture one more person for information. And we'll do all this so we don't have to put one more person through a demeaning TSA screening." If we ever get to the point where we could say that truthfully, then maybe we could get out of this mess.

 

I can't say I'm ready to do all that. I wish I was. I've been pretty comfortable all my life. I'm pretty darn comfortable having a paid military go to war for me. I'm pretty darn comfortable feeling that because the CIA and the Black Ops and whoever else is out there doing underhanded deeds to get the bad guys, I probably won't ever have to worry about standing up on a plane to fight the bad guys. I'm comfortable knowing that I can sit at my computer, here in America, doing motion graphics and not have to worry about the United States being invaded.

 

The question is: Am I letting myself be too comfortable? Are we?

Edited by jayfaker

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I am not very keen on C4D forums that have threats about politics / religion, it makes me feel very uncomfortable. We are not here to forge nor ventilate our opinions about those things, there are many other places to do so.

 

I'm not sure that this is a C4D forum...is it?

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I'm not sure that this is a C4D forum...is it?

 

I thought that was a joke... maybe I'm wrong.

 

Specifically, I thought base80's whole post was a joke because of all the recent complaints about mograph.net being inundated with C4D questions in my Woe is Mograph thread.

Edited by jayfaker

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Included in the Wikileaks documents were things like detailed descriptions of vulnerable infrastructure targets within the US and elsewhere. This is one example of where the illusion of simply wanting to expose the truth starts to become something more sinister, or at best something extremely careless. Wanting to expose wrongdoing is one thing; wanting to make a nation more vulnerable to attack is another.

 

You make a decent point, but what you're talking about is Security through Obscurity.

If ANY government is using obscurity to keep their citizens safe/secure... they aren't doing their job.

That's not security... at least not worthy of the modern era.

 

If I understand correctly, you're saying we should only tell the truth when it serves us... and I do actually think the truth always serve us. Remember how the predator drones got hacked a couple years ago because they didn't encrypt their video feeds? The WSJ (among many news outlets) reported that terrorists were able to exploit this weakness with SkyGrabber... a $26 software program. You could say that the WSJ put soldiers at risk by reporting this, but I believe that the government contractors that made the predators without an encrypted video signal were the ones who put soldiers at risk. AFTER it was reported... the problem got fixed. Should we blame the WSJ? Or thank them for bringing such poor security to our attention and as a result, fixed it?

 

-m

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now this is like the old mograph.net - we just need some more right wing mographers to pop off on the majority of us moderate and progressive mographers

monkey, what you said earlier was spot on and how i've come to feel

 

the wikileaks thing seems even more sinister to me... almost like it was concocted to roll back internet freedoms and stir things up in the middle east. not that everything in it was handmade, but what was not included seems so. sounds crazy, but manufacturing opinion is no joke these days.

 

little tricks like the 2003 Iraq "mobile weapons labs" leaks to the NYT that the bush team would then take to meet the press and say "see, even the NYT says so"

 

the idea that we are an educated and aware and ultimately powerful voting public is to me kind of a sad joke - and the 24 hour information news cycle is enough to keep us busy, and keep us talking but honestly we might as well be talking about the NFL because on that national level we are pretty much equally proles to football fans

 

base80, good to see you around here

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now this is like the old mograph.net - we just need some more right wing mographers to pop off on the majority of us moderate and progressive mographers

monkey, what you said earlier was spot on and how i've come to feel

 

the wikileaks thing seems even more sinister to me... almost like it was concocted to roll back internet freedoms and stir things up in the middle east. not that everything in it was handmade, but what was not included seems so. sounds crazy, but manufacturing opinion is no joke these days.

 

little tricks like the 2003 Iraq "mobile weapons labs" leaks to the NYT that the bush team would then take to meet the press and say "see, even the NYT says so"

 

the idea that we are an educated and aware and ultimately powerful voting public is to me kind of a sad joke - and the 24 hour information news cycle is enough to keep us busy, and keep us talking but honestly we might as well be talking about the NFL because on that national level we are pretty much equally proles to football fans

 

base80, good to see you around here

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Binky I thought your post was great. I read the whole thing, it was insightful and I thank you for enlightening me on a side of this issue that I was failing to understand.

 

the_Monkey, well said, couldn't agree more. Any tool that is used to make institutions such as government more accountable can only be a good thing in the long run.

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I really have no opinion what-so-ever about this as it doesn't affect my taco consumption, but that being said, it makes me very happy that topics like this are being talked about again. Despite the subject matter, Binky always blows me away with his viewpoint on things. Even though Monkey always sounds one step away from an OCD riddled conspiracy nut ( :P ), I love hearing him throw out his opinions like poo at his observers. Continue. I mostly just posted this waste of words so I would be auto-emailed the rest. Why are you still reading this? Look the fuck away, you're wasting your life right now.

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