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David Gerard
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David Gerard

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Freaky.  
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David Gerard

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Rocknerd: Film links. KUNG FURY! http://rocknerd.co.uk/2015/07/28/film-links-kung-fury/ and other stuff
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Rocknerd: The silver age of music: the Midas plague. How do you keep up? http://rocknerd.co.uk/2015/07/26/the-silver-age-of-music-the-midas-plague-how-do-you-keep-up/ it's extended think piece week, obviously
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I try stuff using Google Play All Access, Bleep and Bandcamp. If I really like it I try to find somewhere selling FLAC downloads. If I can't, I try to find a used CD as cheaply as possible, rip it, and then get rid of it.
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One of the little pleasures of life is using "Inspect element" and "Delete node" in Firefox to get rid of the "you must log in to Quora to see more" overlay.
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Dear geeky lazyweb: Advice needed! What's a good 2.5" SSD, >=250GB for Dell E6410? Windows 7, used for gaming and painting. What's a bad one?
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£160 would get me what I'm after for Lenovo X230. I'll see what I can talk them into ... Basically, if a developer wants something they usually buy it, and that carries over to operations.
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A-Mazing Mead Updates: nuclear mead, accidental sparkling mead
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David Gerard

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Just noticed this. Three years too late, +Yonatan Zunger finally admits what EVERYONE had been telling him for the previous three years, and what LOTS OF PEOPLE AT GOOGLE had told the company would happen before the Real Names Policy was adopted, and precisely why this was a problem.

Everyone with power over that decision KNEW THIS SHIT AT THE TIME, because they had it explained to them in fine detail. They didn't care. These people are building your world.

So, um, yeah, thanks three years late.
 
A few days ago, +David Brin shared a post about GamerGate, in which he opined that this is a problem which would be solved by greater transparency: "It is only anonymity that lets bastards like this operate," he says, "Accountability is the light that sears most kinds of badguys, whether they operate in criminality or in high places."

I disagree with his analysis, and this disagreement is rooted in part in my experience of information-revelation policies on social networks. (e.g., name requirements) While there was an expectation that people would behave better when their activity was tied to their own identity, as that identity is presumably a highly valuable and non-renewable resource to them, the evidence weighed against it: people seem quite willing to be jerks under their own identities.

In practice, the forced revelation of information makes individual privilege and power more important. When everyone has to play with their cards on the table, so to speak, then people who feel like they can be themselves without consequence do so freely -- these generally being people with support groups of like-minded people, and who are neither economically nor physically vulnerable. People who are more vulnerable to consequences use concealment as a method of protection: it makes it possible to speak freely about controversial subjects, or even about any subjects, without fear of harassment.

(A classic experiment which you can easily replicate is to change your profile photo to that of a young woman for a few weeks. Change nothing else, even your name, and see what happens to your interaction pattern. I've seen quite a few people run this test and the results are, shall we say, quite visible)

GamerGate is one example after another of why transparency has asymmetric effects. The worst-case consequence for members of the mobs is fairly minimal: they won't face social ostracism by their friends (who after all, support them), they are highly unlikely to be placed in any physical danger (the police will protect them), and their jobs are not likely to be affected either -- and if they are, they can find others. Conversely, the threats against women in the field were physical and real, and (as you'll see if you ever experience the real ability of local and federal law enforcement to deal with harassment and threat cases, for manifold reasons) there is reason to believe that they do not have access to adequate police protection.

Essentially, transparency of this sort removes a tool which is normally used to equalize power gradients within a society. So while the notion of "sousveillance" (at the heart of Brin's vision of a transparent society, where everyone has surveillance powers over everyone else) as applied to the powerful is important, I would always apply two strong qualifiers to it:

(1) Power is not a single real number; some people are powerful on some axes but very vulnerable along others. (cf the recent leak of nude photos of celebrities)

(2) Transparency directed at the powerless increases power gradients, whereas transparency directed at the powerful decreases it. 

Which is to say, a misdirected transparency catalyzes further oppression, rather than relieves it. And I think that the example you give here falls precisely into that category: the perpetrators of GamerGate are relatively immune to consequences compared to its victims, and so transparency would heighten rather than relieve the problem.

(This post is adapted from a comment I made on that thread)
Privacy/transparency issues involved in GamerGate? It is a horrid thing.  But is also proves my point about The Transparent Society.  It is only anonymity… - David Brin - Google+
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+God Emperor Lionel Lauer In my case, I'd explode more or go nutser, but yeah.
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Rocknerd: Blacklisters: Adult (2015). http://rocknerd.co.uk/2015/07/25/blacklisters-adult-2015/ authentically recreated early 1990s grunge
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Rocknerd: Putting the record industry on Bitcoin: Why this won't work. http://rocknerd.co.uk/2015/07/23/putting-the-record-industry-on-bitcoin-why-this-wont-work/ an extended think piece
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Buttcoin Classics: Kerbal Currency Program https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1mLNaRGemM
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