2011/01/14

Žižek on Wikileaks

Two of my favourite things, together. Slavoj Žižek's article on Wikileaks: Good Manners in the Age of WikiLeaks. He ends with this:

This is precisely our situation today: we face the shameless cynicism of a global order whose agents only imagine that they believe in their ideas of democracy, human rights and so on. Through actions like the WikiLeaks disclosures, the shame – our shame for tolerating such power over us – is made more shameful by being publicised. When the US intervenes in Iraq to bring secular democracy, and the result is the strengthening of religious fundamentalism and a much stronger Iran, this is not the tragic mistake of a sincere agent, but the case of a cynical trickster being beaten at his own game.

2011/01/06

Net Neutrality and Corporate Power

Arguing with libertarians about net neutrality is like trying to convince the Pope to open a condom factory. If you succeed, you've converted them. Belief that an unregulated market is always best is a fundamental libertarian plank. With the Pope you actually have a head start because he has admitted that there might be situations in which using a condom might be moral.

I'm not naïve. I'm no fan of state power. But neither of corporate power. The world in which we live today is a complicated one, in which corporate and state power are often intertwined or interdependent, but sometimes antagonistic to each other. A properly crafted net neutrality law would limit corporate power in the critical arena of internet access, and as a consequence would limit state power as well.

2011/01/05

Listing and Reversing Media Lies about Wikileaks

Update 2
In San Francisco, our part of the January 15th global protests for Wikileaks will focus on this issue; we are calling it a Media Intervention for Wikileaks.

Update

The article I was looking for is here. Doesn't mention Time or TNR, though.

The Big Lie

The biggest lie is that Wikileaks "indiscriminately dumped" 250,000 unredacted cables on the Web. The truth is that as of January 4th, 2011, they have released just under 2000 diplomatic cables, each of them carefully vetted by one of their partner news organizations. Glenn Greenwald has done a great job of attempting to slay this dragon.

Many, many mainstream media outlets have repeated this lie. Sometimes an organization is inconsistent, and tells the truth sometimes and the lie other times. We need to force each and every one to always say the truth.

NPR recently corrected their lie and apologized. This is great news! But just the beginning....

Somewhere out there I thought I read a list of all the other orgs and quotes and links to this big lie. Can't find it - so I'm putting up this. Please add examples in the comments.

Easy start: Time: "But the law is too broad a brush to try to draw a distinction between WikiLeaks' indiscriminate posting of the cables — which Burns called "nihilistic" — and the more careful vetting evidenced by The New York Times, Abrams said." This was the subject of an article by Glenn Greenwald.

The New Republic: "...Wikileaks would have dumped that information, along with the other 250,000 cables."

Corrected! Information Week

2011/01/02

Žižek

If you haven't heard of Slavoj Žižek yet, well, now's the time! He's a Slovenian philosopher. In many ways he fulfills the stereotype that the phrase "Slovenian philosopher" brings to mind. He has an intense yet approachable speaking style, strangely charismatic while being slightly disgusting. YouTube has many videos of his speeches. He clearly doesn't seem to care how he's dressed and exhibits tics worthy of a cokehead at 3am on a Saturday night.

He's also a genius.