Suckpuppets and Expanding the Information Desert

Posted on 21/02/2011 by


Pandora’s Box: the gift that keeps on giving. Anonymous really hit the jackpot when they were looking for the lulz. Hats off to you folks, and masks on, because that’s some really awesome stuff getting leaked.

I finished this at 03.00… there might be typos, please be kind when pointing them out. I’ll correct things tomorrow.

The news about the now-infamous HBGary ‘sockpuppet’ scheme still bubbling on the Internet, and with good reason. This sort of programme is one of very far-reaching implications, and can be tied quite nicely into a very big picture indeed. First, however, a point of order: henceforth, as far as I am concerned, these are not sockpuppets, nor ‘online personalities’. They are suckpuppets, because 1) they suck, 2) they’re not real, and 3) the person controlling them is dumber than Aaron Barr.

That’s very dumb. More stupidity bashing to follow, sit tight!

The intention of having suckpuppets is very simple: disruption of conversation, and marginalisation of living human beings. Suckpuppets, like trolls, can flame people off discussion boards and chat rooms, as well as create false consensuses, (I hate that word for its ugliness,) and generally be so objectionable as to turn what could have been an elucidating conversation into an exercise in schoolyard bullying.

Ostensibly suckpuppets would be applied to conversations of ‘national security’ consideration, along the lines of “well, there’s this dam, see, and if it should happen to be blown up…” et cetera, et cetera. Additionally, one might expect that the marginalisation would be of the people making observations about the dam, as well as potentially attempting to help realise the suggestions into something more concrete.

That is wishful thinking, simply because the US government is insane. In fact, it is stark raving lunatic crazy mad. More on why in a moment, but for the time being take it on faith, at least for the benefit of maintaining logical flow of my argument.

A symptom of the US government’s madness is that it insists on treating everyone — literally everyone — as a terrorist. The entire world is collectively guilty until proven merely suspicious, because no one can ever be innocent. As far as the USG is concerned, we could be aiding and abetting the Terrorist and not even know it. Take my blog as an example of this: my blathering could be seen through the veil of lunacy as providing information to terrorists, even though I’m just restating that which others have said before me.

Because of this madness, and because the USG has suckpuppets at its disposal, it will use them, as part of its internal security, against everyone. It does not have the capacity to differentiate between those conversations and people which are legitimate concerns, and those who are truly innocent, law-abiding citizens. All have equal possibility to be subjected to suckpuppetry, because all are equally potential terrorists.

Once the suckpuppets are in place, and the technology shown to be viable, I sincerely doubt that the USG would be content to stop there. Some bright, Aaron Barr-type chap will likely come to the revelation that one can take the splog idea, combine it with the suckpuppet system, and create networks of zombie blogs spewing out disinformation like mad. With sufficient resources behind this, it would conceivably be able to create a similar false-consensus, people-marginalising effect as the suckpuppets. Perhaps this is already ongoing and I haven’t yet noticed!

Within that framework, a very serious problem arises: information quality available to the average person will drop to somewhere around zero. This it a similar problem to what I wrote about cyberanarchy: when a Google search for the nearest post office can only discover a sea of information about how the post office is in league with the Beast to prevent the fourth coming of Zombie Jesus, there is a serious problem. If so mundane a search cannot give meaningful results, what happens when someone wants investment information?

Perhaps most importantly, the average person will be increasing hard-pressed to inform herself about what their government is doing, when all she can find is 1) propaganda insisting that everything is just fine, go back to your cubicles, and 2) the government is wonderful, loves everyone personally, and does big things for the benefit of the people. In other words, propaganda.

Without clean, dense information sources, decision-making quality drops dramatically. This is axiomatic: rubbish in, rubbish out. One cannot make good decisions based upon faulty information, full stop. The sole intent of these suckpuppets is to drive out any and all ‘unapproved’ information, regardless of quality or content; in essence, taking what might be useful and besieging it into obscurity with blather and truly useless non-information.

The metaphorical picture here is that of a desert: there is nothing alive except for some very tiny little oases of life. I think it should go without overmuch explanation that the Internet is mostly just desultory blather, easily overlooked and ignored by almost all. However, there are many oases to be found, and it is here that one can expect suckpuppets to congregate in earnest. They are designed to destroy these oases by desertify-ing the quality of information. This is truly weaponised stupidity: one stupid person can do the damage of ten stupid people acting in concert.

And here I arrive at why the US government is completely, utterly insane. It is an information desert: for the past 100 years at least, it has systematically crushed any ‘unapproved’ conversation, from Socialism in the 1910s to really anything of critical substance today. In the course of that oppression, the institution has quite literally forgotten that it is oppressing people; within the USG’s institutional thought, the lack of obvious conversation is seen not as its own creation, but rather a new threat to be investigated and crushed.

Hence, the suckpuppets: a new and insidious tool to attack a threat which is really just a mirage on the horizon of the USG’s private desert. The USG has been institutionally wandering through this desert for so long that it has gone stark raving mad; it is starting at shadows and inventing new methods of oppression to act upon threats which aren’t even in existence. Indeed, one could argue that tools such as suckpuppets are invented and utilised simply because they can be.

In a sensible institution, someone inside the organisation would have the intelligence and foresight to understand the basic implications of something like suckpuppets and put a stop to the matter. However, stupid people acting in concert for at least a century have ensured that any and all potential sources of ‘unapproved’ thought have been eradicated from the USG institutional framework, leaving behind very moronic people like Aaron Barr, who wouldn’t know computer security if it came up and eradicated his company. This has taken the USG well beyond stupid, past the realm of idiocy, and through the looking-glass of retardation, to the point where only Bushisms will suffice.

Yes, it is that serious. The US government is misundereducated, overmisinformed, and malmiscomprehending basic realities of life.

Madness comes into the picture here, because the USG is trying to make the world conform to its alternate reality. Its reality does not function, full stop. Yet it continually tries to make it work and truly believes it can, like a gruesome Greek parable. It does so with tools, such as suckpuppets, a creation which represents the latest in a long-term assault upon sovereignty, both of countries and of individuals. An individual has the innate human right to think, and a country has the right to decide its own path; that is part and parcel of sovereignty. By attempting to crush sovereignty under the weight of suckpuppet-spew, the USG shows itself for what it truly is: an out-of-control organisation hell-bent upon controlling everything, because it can understand nothing.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Posted in: Analysis