Cover photo
Edward Morbius
Attends Krell Independent Study


Edward Morbius

Shared publicly  - 
Candidates Scoresheet

Most credible claim to be able to clean up Washington.

Etc., etc.

Courtesy some guy named +Yonatan Zunger​.


Edward Morbius

Shared publicly  - 
"I'm going to do something I haven't done for the entire campaign. For those of y'all who have traveled with me all across the country, I'm going to tell you what I really think of Donald Trump. This man is a pathological liar. He doesn't know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And in a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology textbook, his response is to accuse everybody else of lying."

-- Ted Cruz, a few hours ago.

There's only one problem with that revelation: Those are all necessary requirements of a GOP candidate for any office today.
shogun x's profile photoDoug Senko's profile photo
Sounds more like some sort of cognitive breakthrough/stream of consciousness, self confession, to me.

Edward Morbius

Shared publicly  - 
How I Organise My G+ Experience

This isn't a "how you should organise your experience" post. It does, however, explain mine. One born of many false starts and much frustration. It's far from perfect (I'll note some preferred changes below), but it's better than the defaults.

I took virtually all my Circles and trashed them a long time ago. Best thing I ever did. This meant about 40+ Circles organised all sorts of ways.

I set up three primary circles called "high", "medium", and "low". They are, for the most part, the only ones that fead my home stream. Well, them and "provisional".

Each is set to the the appropriate level of "show posts in Home Stream" (a per-Circle setting).

I've replaced contextual Circles with Collections. I post virtually everything to a given Collection. Mind: that doesn't help others organise how they want to see my shit (G+ would need a Collections-to-Streams mapping for that, they don't have this), but I can at least somewhat bucket my own output. I'd also far prefer a tag based organisation, and one that was independent of distribution. Google seem to be wilfully idiotic in ignoring this suggestion, however.

I have other categories for "Smarter than your Average Bear" and "Creme de la Creme". The latter is for people who post rarely, and whose posts will ordinarily be lost in Stream noise. Strict Cronological Order has MANY problems. I'd rather, say, a given poster was given some number n of daily / weekly post slots to be spent.

"Comments Enabled" and "Notifications Enabled" are pretty liberal. I'll add anyone who strikes me as potentially clueful here, or who asks, unless previously noted as undesireable. They're tied to the "who can comment on your posts" and "who can send notifications" permissions. I will remove people from these who abuse the privilege, but that's fairly rare. They float around 1,000 members currently. Absent better moderation tools, this seems to be the best workable solution.

I have "Block Strike", "Comment Strike", and "Troll Watch" circles. Those are purgatories for people on risk of being uncircled or blocked entirely.

I have a number of category circles for asshattery, idiocy, or ideological perversion / agnotology. "Troll", "AGW Denial", "Idiot" (this need not be malicious, some people are just ... not intelligent), "Religious Nut", "Libertarian", etc. I do try to distinguish between those who hold views in good faith and those who are either deliberately spreading misinformation (or simply cannot drop topics) or end up disrupting all conversations they're a part of. These are strictly informational. Ironically, adding someone to these Circles frequently earns a circle back -- another gross misfeature of G+. What I do to you (in terms of organising my Streams) has all but zero significance on how you classify me.

I still have a couple of categorization Circles, mostly for Google employees.

And last but not least: I block fuckwits. Spammers, trolls, "hi" bots, grossly abusive types, irredeamable idiots, asshats, douchecanoes, and the like. If the interactions are noxious, toxic, hostile, disruptive, then I simply get rid of them. There's far too much noise online, and it's not as if finding it's a challenge. This has an absolutely amazing impace on the quality of my G+ experience. Oddly enough, if you block the worst sources of noise and disruption, you tend to find far more quality.

While I don't block those who don't actively manage out such disruption in their own streams, I'll often uncircle them. Political posters seem particularly prone to this. It is possible to have productive political discussions, see Andreas Schou or Jeremy Nixon for standout examples. There is a category of profile for which I wish I could see posts but not discussions (usually high-profile media accounts: news or space/science related profiles most particularly). Again, G+'s lack of meaningful moderation tools makes that a very high-touch activity if you want comments and quality.
Joby Elliott's profile photoJohn Wehrle's profile photoEdward Morbius's profile photoMarla Caldwell's profile photo
Oh goody, +J Stone​ is in my circle.

The archives community is a fairly clever approach to that. I have a "bookmarks" circle for that purpose, but that doesn't allow categories as communities do.

My circles are organized differently from yours, no surprise, but the one big change I made recently (before tonight's new "share plus ones" circle) was to add an "approved for Hangouts" circle for people I know well enough to allow direct Hangout connect without invitation. I've only been using Hangouts for several weeks, but it seems like it was a good control to implement.

Edward Morbius

Shared publicly  - 
To paraphrase Yeats: "That is no country for old me"

-- +Dan Weese​, noted elsewhere.

Edward Morbius

Shared publicly  - 
The Problem with Cloudflare (and the fault in its metrics)

This screenshot shows what looks like to me when I access it via the Orfox browser from Android. Orfox is a Tor-enabled version of Firefox that interacts with Torbot, the Android Tor client.

DeSmogBlog uses Cloudflare as part of its provisioning service. Cloudflare applies DoS / DDoS measures to sites through CAPTCHAs (or ReCAPTCHAs), which if I understand correctly, are actually served out by Google.

For a number of reasons, even with Javascript enabled (strongly frowned on when using Tor), these CAPTCHAs simply do not work.

Which probably means, to CloudFlare, that I'm recorded and reported as "successfully defended abuse".

This has a further effect: sites so obstructed by CloudFlare, not being accessible by legitimate Tor traffic, skew their own stats. Human legit users will recognise they cannot access these sites, and stop trying. Bots (generally) won't. So CloudFlare's own fucking incompetence (I've pointed this out to them in the past, the +Electronic Frontier Foundation​ has a lovely blog post "The Problem with CloudFlare", and there's been quite an extended discussion on Hacker News) means they're self-selecting for malicious activity.

CloudFlare's success metrics are skewed by self-selection as a result of CloudFlare's own incompetence.

Fix this shit.

#TOR #CloudFlare #EFF #TheProblemWithCloudFlare
T. Pascal's profile photoKevin Williams's profile photoEdward Morbius's profile photoNeil Howard's profile photo
I normally simply walk away (sometimes I will email the sigte & say why, but that does no good no-a-days).
 Cloudflare is a problem in more ways too, specifically in that they terminate SSL for site that they provide DDOS "protection" for on their servers... So that means that their clients must hand the private keys over to clownflare... What could ever go wrong with that?

Edward Morbius

Shared publicly  - 
You think the future of Solar Impulse 2 is peaceful applications? You're so cute

Inevitably that conceptual subversion finds its way home, along with the technology that enables officials to promote comfortable illusions about surgical killing and nonintrusive surveillance. Take, for instance, the Holy Grail of drone persistence, a capability that the United States has been pursuing forever. _The goal is to deploy solar-powered drones that can loiter in the air for weeks without coming down._

Another observation from Snowden's long essay in The Intercept. Implications of sustainable solar-powered flight aside, the context is of a world where "the battlefield" is everywhere, and offensive capabilities costing only a few hundred dollars each, if that (contrast the millions of existing cruise missiles) can loiter 24/7/365.

Snowden's point is that it's the US which now has these capabilities. Applying Bruce Schneier's observation -- what the NSA has today, black-hat hackers everywhere will have in a few years, this will be a widespread capability in the not-too-distant future.

Though in fairness, we're headed to that future with or without SI2. It's just that it's not promising what you might hope it will.

Smoke that.
We are witnessing a compression of the time frame in which unconstitutional activities can continue before they are exposed by acts of conscience.
Marla Caldwell's profile photoEdward Morbius's profile photo
/me withdraws in submission. Twitching.

Edward Morbius

Shared publicly  - 
Snowden, on Whistleblowing, at the Intercept

I’ve argued that whistleblowers are elected by circumstance. It’s not a virtue of who you are or your background. It’s a question of what you are exposed to, what you witness.

Snowden's comment here agrees strongly with thoughts I've had on the mundane (financial risk indicators such as FICO scores) and profound (radicalisation). Both are far more behavior modes than personality traits.

The classic instance to me is the grasshopper/locust distinction. Locusts aren't a species of grasshopper, they're a behavioral mode of grasshopper. Supply a grasshopper with the right environmental stimulus, and it "radicalises" into a locust -- physically transforming into a tougher creature, but also changing in a profound behavioral sense -- darkening the skies and scouring the land.

The thought that FICO scores and other financial indicators would fail to predict bankruptcy or default risk in stressful economic times occurred to me in the early 2000s bust. Systemic or exogenous stresses will tend to break regression models. Similarly for other predictive systems with effectively similar bases. Again, it's not a person's financial history that tells you what they'll do, but their circumstances, particularly when pushed too far.

Whistleblowing or other forms of rebellion are similar. Ultimately a realisation that the system of which you're a part isn't operating correctly or morally, based on what you've seen.

This is among the reasons why the biggest threats to such organisations are insider threats. Governments, terrorist alliances, businesses.

Another underappreciated trigger is pride or envy. One of the most famouse cases in history was among the precipitating triggers of Rome's collapse: Alaric's hurt pride at being passed over for promotion lead him to switch alliances, join with the Goths, and march on the empire, leading to the sack of Rome (no longer the capitol) in 410.

A system which both pushes at the moral limits of its agents, and denies the masses a share of its bounty, is a radicalising engine on both fronts.

h/t +Brett Coburn
Edward Morbius's profile photoJan van Hammerstien's profile photo
I had difficulties determining whether Snowden is actually Johnny Mnemonic? Based on the clip, It looks like the NSA has super cool UI and can actually surf within Cyberspace? Anybody that's actually seen anything that Mitre has built would be thoroughly skeptical?

Edward Morbius

Shared publicly  - 
“This is how a republic dies. Not with a bang, but a reprinted press release,” -- David Simon

Truth is, lying pays better than the truth.
Edward Morbius's profile photopaul beard's profile photo
+Edward Morbius If he didn't, he should have.

Edward Morbius

Shared publicly  - 
ZODIAC Killer!
This meme just keeps getting better.
@americancollins @adamzopf @thetomzone sorry man, your RT came up on my TL, and I just wanted to point out the original tweet to Tom. Justin Golightly. 20m20 minutes ago. Justin Golightly @SecretMovesMMA. @adamzopf @JESnowden I think this is why I have internet.
View original post

Edward Morbius

Shared publicly  - 
Cruz Ends Presidential Bid

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is ending his presidential campaign, according to his campaign manager, bowing to the reality that his crushing loss in Indiana all but assured the nomination of Donald J. Trump.

Mr. Cruz, who staked his bid in the Republican race on a message of conservative purity and religious faith, had suffered through weeks of setbacks as the primary calendar reached the Northeast, where Mr. Trump significantly expanded his lead.

Well, that's one dystopian future scenario avoided. The question remains as to whether the GOP sees a contested convention, revolts against Trump, or proceeds with him.

Meanwhile, Carly Fiorina gets to do what she does best: fire what's left of a demoralised, ill-guided, and dysfunctional organisation.

Edward Morbius's profile photopaul beard's profile photoJan van Hammerstien's profile photoMarla Caldwell's profile photo
I saw an op-ed earlier of a writer dreaming of a contested convention resulting in a Nikki Halley candidacy. I suspect hallucinogens were involved in that fantasy, but I would much rather risk a Halley presidency than a Trump presidency.

Edward Morbius

Shared publicly  - 
Dear Googles: Why is Circles Management such a make-work activity?

This is one of eight screens of my "Provisional" circle. It's where I add new profiles for, well, provisional consideration of being added to my main Streams circles. Or that's the theory.

First off, I cannot bulk edit anything here. Say, "select all" or "highlight-and-act" on sets of profiles, and either move them to another Circle, or remove them from this Circle. As has long been absent from G+ Circles, set operations (union, intersection, excluding) aren't possible.

I've hand-timed how long it takes to perform a Circle operation on a single profile. It's about ten seconds. My first question is WHY? What is it about recording and sending a state change that should take this long?

Secondly: that means ... FIFTEEN FULL FUCKING MINUTES to perform maintenance on this particular circle.


Fifteen minutes to update about 80 individual profiles? And I've got to sit here and wait individually through each of those?

Fuck. No.

Fix this shit.
Edward Morbius's profile photoMarla Caldwell's profile photo
Cheese and rice. I found it. Thank you. I have updated my circles and settings so that I now have a specific circle for people requesting plus one shares.

Edward Morbius

Shared publicly  - 
Geeps: Please check to see that you've got G+ "+1 sharing" disabled

Alternatively, you can apply this only to specific circles. I'd suggest creating a "+1 sharing" circle and selectively adding people to this.

The +1 share feature was added to G+ by Google apparently as a way to stem the "empty stream" problem inherent to social media, particularly those with no friends.

There is no way at all for the recipient of these posts to control the appearance of these posts within their Streams. Other than uncircling those engaged in this.

I believe the feature is also enabled by default.

Note that not all your +1s are reshared, it's pretty random. I've seen some spectacularly inappropriate stuff at times.

If you want to re-share a post, then re-share it.

Location of the control varies by client (Old Web, New Web, Android, iOS).


Android: Settings > Profile > Sharing > +1s visible.

iOS: Menu icon > Settings icon > Sharing +1s > remove all circles/people > Checkmark at top-right.

Desktop / Web: Settings > Manage other apps & activity > Manage apps and +1s on posts > Google > Visible to > Who can see your +1s on posts activity > "Only you" >Save.

(Who the fuck finds this an acceptable UI/UX for this setting?)

Mobile Browser: Control isn't accessible.

(I'll add other clients later if I can sort them out.)

I'll also request you Isubmit feedback to G+ that this feature should die. Submitting feedback from this post itself, "Read post and comments" is recommended and should suffice.

Sorry to be an old grump, but that's me.

I'll be contacting a few individuals directly.

Meantime, I flag inapproprate shares as abuse.


Edward Morbius's profile photoPer Siden's profile photoJovica Popovic's profile photoNeil Howard's profile photo
I turned this off aaaages ago, but you made me go & check..  (still off thank fuck!)  I don't use any other client than the desktop, and I imagine that at some stage , when you use the mobile client, it defaults to "on" across the board.
you said " Who the fuck finds this an acceptable UI/UX for this setting?" Almost NOTHING related to the desktop UI is sensible... There is no doubt that the developers DON'T use the system themselves so don't have a clue about UX, (and no-one gives a fuck either!)
Edward's Collections
Technological Archaeologist
I'm strongly reconsidering participation in G+ following the YouTube Anschluss, November 2013.  Content subject to deletion at any time.

Comments privileges on my posts are limited.  Email me if you cannot comment and would like to be added.

Google have time and again violated several key principles:

Respect.  Of my time, my attention, my expressly stated desires, and most of all, my intelligence by repeating these and other insults time and again.

Trust. I will share very limited slices of me online.  Time and again Google reached for more, and time and again I had to push back.  This last violation (which, had I not already gone fully pseudonymous would have fully outed me as it did others) was one step too far.  I extend trust once, not twice.

Privacy.  This is the immediate concern here, and I've tried to create a walled space within which I can act.  I no longer feel safe to act there.

This incident again has made painfully clear that Google don't understand the fundamental nature of privacy, of social norms, and of spaces.  Of the desire for individuals to keep different aspects of their life and online activity, even within a single pseudonymous identity, separate.  Yes, there are some smart people at the Plex, but socially, you're collectively beyond retarded.  And I no longer care.

I'm actively looking for alternative platforms to use.  
For the time being I'm retaining the Gmail account associated with this ID ( though I'll be migrating that as well (and am accepting recommendations).  Correspondents are strongly encouraged to use my GPG key:  C210 9883 FFB4 3AC1 DEBF  9A2C AC6F 1E84 420A B7BD

I may be found:

As "dredmoribus" on Reddit:  

Primary content and engagement on "the dreddit", a/k/a Dr. Edward Morbius's lair of the Id.

On the subreddit   My primary publishing point for now.

Blogging on DreamWidth: (presently inactive)

All of which is subject to change, of course (though Reddit's likely to be a good contact).

RSS/Atom feeds for the above are:
Feel free to drop those in your newsreader of choice.  It's a bit clunky, but notably less so than G+ itself is.

I do plan on leaving a tombstone account on G+ with forwarding information and last details, though I'll be removing most or all of my content eventually.

G+ was to an extent an experiment to see if I could participate on terms I was comfortable with in a large commercial social networking space.  The answer to that question has been found, and it is "no".

░░░░░███████ ]▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄              Bob is building an army
   ▂▄▅█████████▅▄▃▂             ☻/  against Google Plus
Il███████████████████].      /▌    Copy and Paste this all over 
  ◥⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙◤..     / \    Youtube if you are with us!


I don't do IM / Google Chat / Hangouts.
They're horribly intrusive and annoying.

I've blocked them in the G+ UI.  I don't check them. 
I've disabled all access / invite privileges.  
I'm not ignoring you, I simply don't see you.

If you want to reach me directly, either send a private G+ post, or email me (
I may respond to one or the other of those.

I thought I had a comments moderation policy here.  Apparently I don't.  Apologies for the oversight.

 See my /r/dredmorbius subreddit policy for the general parameters.

In particular, if you're requested to provide references, or context for naked links (particularly multimedia Audio / Video), do so.

I don't mind opposing viewpoints.  Viewpoints must be substantiated on request.  Failure to substantiate, or engaging in disruptive tactics, is grounds for deletion and/or banning.

The arbitration policy for moderation disputes is:  Moderation battles are short and boring: the moderator wins.


"If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged."  
 - Cardinal Richelieu (a/k/a  Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu et de Fronsac)

E pluribus unum


You can #Quack that:

Nature abhors a maximum.
 - William Ophuls

"Pseudonyms and anonymity are also an established part of many cultures -- for  good reason."
  - Alma Whitten, former Director of Privacy, Product and Engineering, Google

I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use.

Somewhere, there are two kids in a garage building a company whose motto will be "Don't be Google".
Bragging rights
I don't exist. I'm not here.
  • Krell Independent Study
    1610 - present
  • Timelord University
    (Date of coursework irrelevant.)
Technological Archaeologist
Basic Information
Other names