The Ministry of Togetherness

    Citizens who have dutifully uploaded their images to Facebook or other sites for use by the Party have shown their loyalty to Big Brother. We must seek to uncover those whose faces are not in the database. We must find them out, and send their pictures to the Ministry of Togetherness, what we once knew as Facebook. 

    The Party says those who keep their faces secret have reasons to live in the shadows.  They are a threat to your safety, your peace and your happiness. The Party's mission is to protect you from the enemies of the people.

    Big Brother says those who tell the truth about the Party and the menace of the opposition haters are promoting togetherness.

    Those who oppose togetherness will have a very dear price to pay.


    The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It

    Clearview AI, devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app. You take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared. The system — whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites — goes far beyond anything ever constructed by the United States government or Silicon Valley giants.

    Facial recognition technology has always been controversial. It makes people nervous about Big Brother....

    Facebook is going to get Trump re-elected — because it’s good for business.

    Facebook’s decision not to require fact-checking for political candidates’ advertising in 2020 has flung open the door for false, manipulated, extreme and incendiary statements. Such content is rewarded with prime placement and promotion if it meets Facebook-designed algorithmic standards for popularity and engagement.... I expressed my fear that with Facebook’s help, Mr. Trump will win the 2020 election. The recent hiring of a right-wing figure to help manage its news tab has reinforced those fears. In my comments in Davos, I also pointed out that Facebook has been used to cause worse damage in other countries than the United States. In Myanmar, for example, military personnel used Facebook to help incite the public against the Rohingya, who were targeted in a military assault of incredible cruelty....

    The National Archives and the Library of Congress are undergoing a metamorphosis into a history obscuring Ministry of Truth:

    The Library of Congress abandoned plans last year to showcase a mural-size photograph of demonstrators at the 2017 Women’s March in Washington because of concerns it would be perceived as critical of President Trump, according to emails obtained by The Washington Post.


    You're right, America is going in a very wrong and imo dangerous direction. All these tech companies need to be torn apart and highly regulated. I just address one part of your post. We really need to know if the Library of Congress has always been a milquetoast institution or if it's kow towing to Trump. Has it in the past showcased photos critical of democrats? For example has it show photos of demonstrations with signs claiming Obama was a Muslim or born in Kenya?

    The National Archives is just fine, leave them out of this. Media (and NCD by including them in this blog) is spreading disinfo. about them by not issuing corrections of old stories. The whole situation was blown out of context and misrepresented.

    They made a quick, almost immediate, and correct response and rectified the situation. Probably started with an intern choosing the altered photo for promotional purposes. They didn't really have to do more than admit it was a mistake not having to do with collections, but they did do more, went out of their way. It's clear they care a great deal about their long-term archival reputation. I was actually impressed that they didn't just shrug the complaint off but went out of their way to rectify it.

    We made a mistake.

    As the National Archives of the United States, we are and have always been completely committed to preserving our archival holdings, without alteration.

    — US National Archives (@USNatArchives) January 18, 2020

    In an elevator lobby promotional display for our current exhibit on the 19th Amendment, we obscured some words on protest signs in a photo of the 2017 Women’s March.

    — US National Archives (@USNatArchives) January 18, 2020

    This photo is not an archival record held by the @usnatarchives, but one we licensed to use as a promotional graphic. Nonetheless, we were wrong to alter the image.

    — US National Archives (@USNatArchives) January 18, 2020

    We have removed the current display and will replace it as soon as possible with one that uses the unaltered image.

    We apologize, and will immediately start a thorough review of our exhibit policies and procedures so that this does not happen again.

    — US National Archives (@USNatArchives) January 18, 2020

    No collection photos were altered by them to begin with. They just bought a promo photo for the front of the exhibit that had the alteration which they did not recognize as altered and they reacted nearly immediately to the complaint when it was pointed out and have changed that. Clearly lack of oversight of an underling, I know, I myself was as an intern grad student volunteering at a Historical Society was charged with setting up similar exhibit promos.

    But on another thing you say: Of course they will in the future "showcase" photos critical of all manner of politics PROPERLY LABELED AND UNALTERED of course. If you think otherwise, you don't get their job. One of their jobs is to collect all manner of propaganda. Their job is to keep a record, including a record of bad nasty political tactics and unfair smears of all varieties. User of the archives is the one that judges what's going on with the stuff they collect, or the curator of an exhibition if they decide to do an exhibition. Archives don't judge anything.

    Nobody minds Facebook having business pages, BMW owner groups, hobbyist groups, political candidate pages.

    But when Facebook allows microtargetting of political "ads" at gullible or receptive "low information" people profiled as being such, it is not " bringing people together", it's dividing them with a very sharp scalpel blade for $$$$$. Political ads are OK, even ones that may not be entirely true, but there should be no secret behind the curtain  targeting, everyone on Facebook should see them so they are exposed faster and are less effective money wise. Targeting of political ads with algorithms should be banned. The system now at Facebook is a demagogues dream.

    AA, apologies by the Archives for suppressing history, will that still happen if your Trump voters re-elect him?

    I agree with counselor Painter here that this is where PoMo has gotten us:

    In academia we’ve always had wing nuts who claim there is no objective truth, that one person’s facts are as good as another person’s facts.
    Now we see that perverted ideology surface where it really matters: the senate impeachment trial of the President of the United States.

    — Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) February 1, 2020

    The United States has only had one postmodern President— @realDonaldTrump.
    If we don’t fix this problem soon, he could be our last president.

    — Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) February 1, 2020

    Makes me recall al the yammer about Bill Clinton and his ilk having "relativist" morality. Was supposedly the end of the Judeo-Christian world to some. Nope. Few of those complaining saw that it was actually Derrida and pals plotting the end of our world before Clinton got there.

    This is the truth. Saw this painting in the Louvre in 2014. Driftglass's photoshop.

    enorme! mais oui, absolutement, l'etat c'est moi! laugh

    love the Sean Hannity figure especially.

    but ya know, in actuality, he'd be crowning Melania there, and I just wonder if he'd actually do that...

     Although David's initial sketch represented the Emperor in the act of crowning himself, the final painting shows him crowning the Empress—a gesture that presents a nobler, less authoritarian image, described by Napoleon himself as that of a "French knight."

    meanwhile, yez, this is just like Drumpf doing narrative

     on Napoleon’s orders, he included Letizia Bonaparte (“Madame Mère”) in his painting, although she had not attended the coronation ceremony, of which she disapproved; again on the Emperor’s instructions, he portrayed the Pope making a gesture of blessing, having originally represented him with his hands on his knees; and the Emperor’s sisters stand immobile, though they held the Empress's train at the ceremony itself.
    These various artistic solutions, designed to suit this monumental painting and its fascinating hero, fully satisfied the Emperor: "What relief, what truthfulness! This is not a painting; one walks in this picture." 

    (and, more seriously, David is one of the first to start doing "narrative" in western art, the kind we still do today in "cinema" and the kind that PoMo picks on as the problem of elite-created "truth" for the masses to consume....)


    Trump should cordon off his next inauguration and sign an emergency executive order banning smart phones and cameras.

    Court artists like David could create loyal depictions of the enormous unprecedented crowds.

    breaking his heart:

    Boris doing the Orwell "war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength" thing:

    Nowhere near intellectual enough for Orwell - fully in the oost-war Marvel Comics genre. A shame that era passed 70 years ago, whatever the screen adaptions. Pinning your strategy to dreams of former greatness - Chronicles of Narnia v LOTR in 2020? Total madness. And Trump will fuck him on trade like last year's concubine - I suppose the bloom will be off that rose in a matter of months, no loving "Rocketman" endearments, just "you know the way out".

    and so it begins:

    Doublethink is the belief of two contradictory statements. For example, War is Peace. Doublethink not only signifies the great ignorance of the people in such a society, but Big Brothers ability to manipulate the people's views.

    Boris: "Abandoning free trade means expanding  free trade"

    "And on the third day free of the onerous burdens of EU standards, oversight and membership, Boris decreed the free press is the enemy of the people."

    Oh, they've been doing it for a while. Just Brexit frees Boris up a bit more, not that he ever gave a shit what anyone thought.

    I kinda got a kick out of this one from Dec. that I saw at the bottom of the page at The Guardian:  Boris Johnson 'hides in a fridge' to avoid Piers Morgan interview

    This Matthew Gertz is not the congressman, he's with Media Matters for America:

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