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Julian Assange is an asshole
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calverson
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Oct 7, 2011, 04:32 PM
 
I can't believe this, this guy is like the anonymous YouTube commenter of net celebrities.

Julian Assange is the man behind WikiLeaks, the organization that published thousands of classified U.S. State Department communiques in 2010 and quickly became the target of financial institutions and the U.S. Government. Last night, Assange Tweeted (via the wikileaks account) a link to an image claiming to be the medical records of the deceased, mere minutes after news of Jobs' death. The records show that Jobs had HIV, but the document is clearly a fake seeing as the testing facility SX Check wasn't in business in 2004, the date of the supposed HIV test.

Assange made no claim that the document was real, but linking fake medical records stating Steve Jobs had HIV just after he passed away from a real illness like cancer just shows a complete lack of respect.
     
olePigeon
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Oct 7, 2011, 05:04 PM
 
HIV is a real illness.
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calverson  (op)
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Oct 7, 2011, 05:28 PM
 
I realize the ambiguity of that statement, but the point is this guy was just trolling. Badly.
     
calverson  (op)
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Oct 7, 2011, 05:29 PM
 
Nice sig, btw. Or not "nice" but "nicely done".
     
olePigeon
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Oct 7, 2011, 05:34 PM
 
Thanks. (signatures don't show up half the time, don't know if it's Safari or MacNN.)

Yeah, he's kind of a prick. Richard Stallman was rather blunt.
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moonmonkey
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Oct 7, 2011, 07:09 PM
 
if it looks like a prick, sounds like prick and wanted in Sweden on rape charges.
Its Julian Assange.
     
lpkmckenna
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Oct 8, 2011, 03:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by moonmonkey View Post
wanted in Sweden on rape charges.
Assange is only wanted for questioning. He hasn't been charged, which make the Scotland Yard warrant and the extradition proceedings a complete farce. The Swedes could fly a prosecutor to question him in England at any time.
     
The Emperor of Ice Cream
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Oct 8, 2011, 07:47 AM
 
Assange thinks that freedom of information is a boon that supersedes every other possible consideration—political correctness, diplomatic discretion, national security, etc. If his philosophy is followed through to its ultimate logical consequences, we would have a world in which fraud, corruption and lying were impossible.

I'm not entirely sure that would be a good thing, but I think the idea is worthy of serious consideration.

And if Job's had died of HIV, what media outlet would opt not to run the story? Even if he knew that the document was completely fake, we should not be surprised he released it since he's all about unconditional disclosure of information and a fake document about Job's is still information in the same way that a counterfeit money printing operation is economic news.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Oct 8, 2011, 08:18 AM
 
There is a lot of information that those who do not need to know, should not know. The phrase "above your pay grade" is an accurate one; so is "above your ability to understand", along with "above your ability to contextualize" and "above your ability to process in a reasonable manner".

Total freedom of information would be an utter disaster for democracy.
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The Emperor of Ice Cream
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Oct 8, 2011, 08:38 AM
 
Yeah I know but who decides who sees what?

Total transparency is the lesser of two evils.
     
ghporter
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Oct 8, 2011, 08:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
There is a lot of information that those who do not need to know, should not know. The phrase "above your pay grade" is an accurate one; so is "above your ability to understand", along with "above your ability to contextualize" and "above your ability to process in a reasonable manner".

Total freedom of information would be an utter disaster for democracy.
In most military contexts, the phrase "above your pay grade" is equivalent to the other three phrases. This is due to the link between pay grade and responsibility, which requires the combination of more advanced reasoning and access to larger quantities of more detailed information (these address "ability to understand" and "to contextualize") and access to others who have far more detailed but far narrower information to provide the second, third, or fourth layer of background needed to understand and process the larger amount of information such individuals need to process.

This is equally true, maybe vastly more true, in diplomacy. An ambassador needs to know history, politics, culture, foibles, customs, music, food, literature, etc. of the country in which he/she represents his/her nation. The ambassador also needs to be able to provide the Secretary of State/Foreign Minister with straight forward and specific information on which foreign policy decisions are based. That's an awfully large responsibility, and through the late 20th Century, the US has been very good at putting appropriate people in the main office of an embassy, along with the right people to help him/her out.

That all goes exactly to what Shortcut points out, and it should explain why random diplomatic messages, without a whole lot of background and context are useless to the public. On the other hand, it also should help illustrate how those same uncontextualized random cables can be extremely dangerous. A cable, without date, about how Iran's leadership is just peachy and very pro US could cause a huge problem because all the way up until the revolution in '79, the Shah's government WAS pro US and we liked it that way, but since the revolution their government has been a completely anti-American theocracy that would possibly do something rash and harsh if someone started circulating such an undated cable...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Wiskedjak
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Oct 8, 2011, 08:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Total freedom of information would be an utter disaster for democracy.
Very true. Unfortunately, too many people who are at the appropriate pay grade abuse that trust to hide information about actions taken to serve their own best interests rather than the best interests of the country.

Having said that, it's quite clear that Assange is no altruist here either. It's unfortunate that our leaders have created a situation where we can't trust them entirely to keep appropriate secrets without abusing that power to serve their own personal interests and we need to rely on whistleblowers to uncover that abuse.
     
The Emperor of Ice Cream
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Oct 8, 2011, 09:02 AM
 
But if the disclosure of a few potentially problematic diplomatic cables was part of the price to be paid to bring a virtual end to deception and dishonesty in political and economic spheres, wouldn't it be worth it?

The way I see it, the only people who are going to lose sleep over Assange are the people in power who have something to hide from the public.
     
ghporter
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Oct 8, 2011, 09:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Very true. Unfortunately, too many people who are at the appropriate pay grade abuse that trust to hide information about actions taken to serve their own best interests rather than the best interests of the country.
Those individuals are not appropriate FOR their pay grade. Higher levels of responsibility require much higher levels of integrity, which a lot of higher up individuals just do not demonstrate. It is flatly illegal to classify information for purposes of evasion, to hide mistakes, to prevent embarrassment, etc. (it's spelled out in the National Security Act in detail), but it takes a whistle blower to get these violations addressed, and we may never know whether or not someone has been punished in any way for such abuse.

There are two basic kinds of classification, the overwhelmingly most common being "derivative" classification. That means that someone who produces information based on other, previously classified information, applies the appropriate level to their new product based on the level of classification the information it was derived from.

The other kind is "original" classification, and it is limited to a very small number of people, who, in the military, must be specifically designated as having that authority. Outside of the military, the most common person to have original classification authority isn't even an appointee; he's a bureaucrat who has his tail to look out for and has his eyes keenly focused on increasing the bottom line of his pay when he leaves government service. It is this kind of person we can thank for the lack of trust so many people have in the US government's ability to "do the right thing" in many situations.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Oct 8, 2011, 11:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream View Post
Yeah I know but who decides who sees what?
The people who you elect or are picked to run the country/company/etc. The people who have made it their life's work to decide who gets to see what.

Total transparency is the lesser of two evils.
It is not. It is by far the greater of the two evils. I firmly believe total transparency results in total paralysis. Those who are supposed to make important decisions, should be able to make them without having the burden of every idiot on the internet questioning their decision.

Many decisions are best made behind closed doors. You don't need to know. You might want to know, but you don't need to know; and you shouldn't know, because just by you knowing, the process of making hard decisions is made harder.
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Person Man
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Oct 8, 2011, 11:19 AM
 
If this topic continues down the path it has taken, shouldn't it be moved to the political lounge? Just sayin'
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Oct 8, 2011, 11:45 AM
 
Stop trying to take my fun away from me!
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The Emperor of Ice Cream
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Oct 8, 2011, 11:46 AM
 
Excuse me sir, I think you dropped this.

     
turtle777
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Oct 8, 2011, 12:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
There is a lot of information that those who do not need to know, should not know. The phrase "above your pay grade" is an accurate one; so is "above your ability to understand", along with "above your ability to contextualize" and "above your ability to process in a reasonable manner".

Total freedom of information would be an utter disaster for democracy.
^ This.



-t
     
calverson  (op)
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Oct 8, 2011, 04:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream View Post
Assange thinks that freedom of information is a boon that supersedes every other possible consideration—political correctness, diplomatic discretion, national security, etc. If his philosophy is followed through to its ultimate logical consequences, we would have a world in which fraud, corruption and lying were impossible.

I'm not entirely sure that would be a good thing, but I think the idea is worthy of serious consideration.

And if Job's had died of HIV, what media outlet would opt not to run the story? Even if he knew that the document was completely fake, we should not be surprised he released it since he's all about unconditional disclosure of information and a fake document about Job's is still information in the same way that a counterfeit money printing operation is economic news.


This thread is about Julian Assange being an Asshole. Job's didn't die of HIV. Julian was trolling. Start a thread in the PW if you want to get into unconditional disclosures of whatever.
( Last edited by calverson; Oct 8, 2011 at 07:31 PM. )
     
The Emperor of Ice Cream
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Oct 8, 2011, 07:21 PM
 
So you're saying that, because the thread title states Assange is an asshole, everyone who disagrees with you is off topic?
     
calverson  (op)
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Oct 8, 2011, 07:29 PM
 
You think that publishing false medical records right after Steve Jobs passed away is a nice thing to do?
     
The Emperor of Ice Cream
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Oct 8, 2011, 07:42 PM
 
No. But Wikileaks doesn't really have a political or moral agenda besides, "disclose everything." As soon as Assange starts making exceptions (based on questions of taste, morality, or whatever) the founding principle of the project is overturned.

The documents exist. Wikileaks made them public. That's all.

It's for us to decide what to make of them.
     
calverson  (op)
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Oct 8, 2011, 07:56 PM
 
Leaking false information isn't much of a leak, now is it?

I'm a graphic artist by past profession, I could make a memo that looks very convincing stating Steve Jobs is Lady Gaga's father, but that doesn't mean that Wikileaks is now going to "leak it" or that Assange is now mandated to "leak it" without first checking a few facts?

By the logic that Wikileaks should "disclose everything", it would render it useless then because each "leak" could be a bunch of bullsh*t dreamed up by some gay-bashing f*ckwit.

The only exceptions that Assange should make are "is this true?"
     
calverson  (op)
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Oct 8, 2011, 07:58 PM
 
Or at least try verify it.
     
subego
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Oct 8, 2011, 08:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by calverson View Post
Or at least try verify it.
This.

As much as I think Assange sucks, I wouldn't hold releasing this against him if it were true.
     
The Emperor of Ice Cream
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Oct 8, 2011, 08:41 PM
 
Fair point.

The general principle of total disclosure in perhaps defensible—that was all I was driving at.

But perhaps not this particular instance.
     
turtle777
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Oct 8, 2011, 08:47 PM
 
How about Assange disclose ALL the legal documents pertaining to himself.

Oh, wait, I forgot that there is a double standard. Nevermind.

-t
     
calverson  (op)
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Oct 8, 2011, 09:48 PM
 
The funny thing is, I think that Assange very well might be the "victim" of some kind of smear campaign or propaganda (and if there are articles to prove me wrong I am willing to look) as it would not be the first time that human beings have done this sort of thing to discredit people they consider dangerous.

But this is just d*uchebaggery.

     
subego
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Oct 8, 2011, 10:07 PM
 
That cormfuses me.
     
shifuimam
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Oct 9, 2011, 01:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream View Post
Yeah I know but who decides who sees what?

Total transparency is the lesser of two evils.
Wait, wait - in this particular situation, we're talking about the release of an individual's personal medical records. Are you trying to legitimately argue that a person should not be allowed to determine who has access to their medical records, or that a dead person's medical records should be publicly accessible by the masses?

If that's the case, I certainly hope you've got all of your personal information posted on the Internet somewhere. Bank statements, tax forms, medical records, college transcripts, and everything else that's typically considered confidential and personal documentation...
     
turtle777
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Oct 9, 2011, 01:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream View Post
Total transparency is the lesser of two evils.
Maybe you need to try less of black-and-white thinking.

Total transparency or NO transparency at all are NOT the only options in town.

Releasing personal medical records is an asshole move, no matter what.

And, for the record: of course Assange is an asshole. It didn't need this incidence to solidify his asshole status.

-t
     
The Emperor of Ice Cream
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Oct 9, 2011, 01:59 PM
 
^ You're both right and I agree.

However, there's a difference here that you're both overlooking. Famous people are news. I am not.

I want to preface this by saying releasing obviously fake medical records at this time was a shabby thing to do.

But let's imagine a hypothetical scenario in which the medical records in question are authentic. It is newsworthy for two reasons:

a) The patient is Steve Jobs.
b) They would establish that he had being lying about his medical status.

The public in general, and the HIV community in particular, would want to know why Jobs lied.

Now let us abolish the phantasy world we have just evoked. The question becomes,

Is Assange a douche for releasing records he knew to be fake at such a time or is he an idiot for believing they were authentic?

After some reflection, I'm inclined to agree with most of the above. He's a douche.
     
turtle777
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Oct 9, 2011, 02:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream View Post
But let's imagine a hypothetical scenario in which the medical records in question are authentic. It is newsworthy for two reasons:

a) The patient is Steve Jobs.
b) They would establish that he had being lying about his medical status.

The public in general, and the HIV community in particular, would want to know why Jobs lied.
It's still none of out f&*king business.

I want to know a lot of things. But most of them are none of my business.
Newsworthiness doesn't mean sh!t.

-t
     
The Emperor of Ice Cream
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Oct 9, 2011, 02:04 PM
 
I know! Of course not. But come on, how much celebrity news is our business? Almost none of it.

But enough.

Let me simplify my argument and put it in boldface: He's a complete douche.

Are we finished now?
     
calverson  (op)
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Oct 9, 2011, 04:05 PM
 
Yes. Thank you.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Oct 9, 2011, 06:17 PM
 
Surely the news worthy part of releasing such fake medical docs would be who faked them, depending who it was. I agree that any f**kwit with a computer can fake any document under the sun if they so choose and if Wikileaks wants to leak fake documents then they are giving themselves a monumental task, not to mention undermining any genuine documents they choose to release.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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