About Me

My photo
Brutal Antipathy is a pseudonym for a blogger and forum debate enthusiast whose views often rest well outside of social baseline. A self confirmed atheist, misanthropist, and sadist, his commentary ranges from parched textbook facts to satire and sarcasm. He is a proponent of free speech and individual liberty even when these are taken to excess. His political views shift between lower case libertarian and enlightened despotism depending on the level of contempt he is feeling for his fellow humans at any given moment. His reading interests include history, general science, archaeology, comparative religion, psychology, & sociology. Other interests and hobbies include practicing various crafts, torturing his slave, blogging, playing with his dogs, collecting antiques, role playing & tactical simulation games, renaissance fairs, and cheerfully making other people miserable by holding up a mirror of their shortcomings and repeatedly bashing them in the face with it. L is the owned slave of BA. She basically has the same interests and views as her owner except in music.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Anonymity For You & Me

"What are you so ashamed of?  Do you have something to hide?" I've had more than a few sanctimonious morons ask me this because I have refused to make my face and name public on the internet.  Virtually every one of those disposable scented crotch freshener inquisitors have been American, where the Supreme court has several times explained that various amendments compound to give us the right to privacy.  This means that I also have the right to not have my vehicle or home searched without a warrant.  In the spirit of maintaining my privacy, should I be pulled over by police, I would not consent to having my vehicle searched.  I would refuse not because I had anything to hide, but on general principle.  Should they detain me, obtain a warrant, and proceed with a search, they will find nothing incriminating.  This would of course frustrate the police, as from their point of view I could have consented to the search and spared them a wild goose chase.  I doubt that it would occur to the police that had they respected my rights they would not have found themselves in such a position to begin with.

Disturbingly, the police are the least of my worries online.  Police, even the bad ones, are restrained in their actions.  Abuse of power by police eventually comes to light, and a balance is restored.  Even bad cops have to fulfill their role of protecting and serving when push comes to shove.  Not so with the general sheeple scum of society.  The sheeple might have to follow the rules of sheepciety, but if something is not expressly forbidden, they will gleefully pounce on it.  Witch hunts and the Inquisition started this way.  Ethnic cleansing starts this way.  Character assassination starts this way.  And now we have a new tool, a powerful tool with which to repress and harm our fellow humans.  We have the internet.

I have had an e-mail account hijacked on three separate occasions.  Once it was for mass mailing of malware to my contact list, just a random attempt at identity theft and credit card fraud.  Twice it was an act of malicious foresight by individuals attempting to silence me.  It was about this time that I became very interested in internet privacy.  Things have only gotten worse as people begin to realize the potential of the internet, and pervert that potential for less than friendly uses.  Today we have name, flame, and shame campaigns that ignore due process and presumption of innocence.  Those terrible inconveniences might bind the hands of the justice system, but the ignorant masses don't have to abide by those rules, so blame first and don't bother to check facts later.  The reason people would do this is simple, and something that I have been telling you for a long, long time.  People are scum.  They don't care about due process, they don't care about guilt or innocence.  Most are too stupid to think through the possible consequences of their actions, and the few who know better are too morally bankrupt to give a damn.  The end justifies the means.

Public exposure can ruin a person.  If you are a BDSM'er, you can lose your job if you are publicly named by a mob of virtual torch and pitchfork wielding sheeple.  The same goes for being an atheist in some parts of the country.  I fall into both categories, and was raised in the Bible belt.  I have lost jobs because my employers have discovered my atheism, and I am not alone in this.  We have several recent cases of people involved in BDSM finding their jobs threatened as well, a Canadian mountie coming to mind.  Outing people can cause them to lose careers, social standing, even families, and the scum of the Earth sheeple do not give one rat's ass, because they think they are doing a good thing.  Or even because they think the person deserves it.  Maybe even because they merely don't like the person.  The road to hell is paved not only with good intent, but also vigilantism and petty spite.

L and myself have had literally dozens of people contact us and inform us that they were reporting us to the police, the FBI, the RCMP (despite our not being Canadian or in Canada, but what can you expect from a delusional troll that thinks he shags an alien lizard-girl?), and even the CIA.  At least a hundred others have expressed a desire to do so, if only they knew who and where we were.  None of those people have had anything more than the slightest glimpse into our lives, but wish to do us harm simply because we do not follow their particular blind faith of BDSM doctrine.  If you are unable to see so far the reason for maintaining ones anonymity online, you are dumber than I give you credit for, which means your brain must often forget to tell your lungs to breathe, because I consider the average Joe to be pretty dumb indeed.

People can, and will, attack you for no reason other than you don't agree with them.  I have written before about the rift within the atheist/skeptic community over an unattractive twat being asked for coffee, and as crazy as it may sound, the rift is still going strong.  Justin Vacula stepped down from his seat in the Secular Coalition of America after the witch hunters began a blatant character assassination of him, petitioning the SCA with barefaced lies. The good people at Skeptic Ink have archived much of the thousands of comments that went down, and the truth of Vacula's offense boils down to his A)disagreeing with the radfem element that is responsible for the schism, and B) posing the name and address of one of the radfem cultists whose name and address were already public knowledge on her own website.  Vacula posted that information in self defense.  The amoral cultists have learned that they can silence people on Youtube by filing a digital millennium copyright act complaint, or DMCA. This serves a double purpose, because if the person contests it, their name and address is revealed to the person filing the complaint.  These human maggots have taken to filing fraudulent complaints in order to silence those that disagree with them, then if the person contests the complaint, the vermin have his name and address so they can begin to harass him in person.  Vacula was the victim of one such fraudulent complaint, and he contested it.  The vermin were horrified to learn that their tactic might backfire on them, as when a complaint is contested the name and address of the person filing the complaint is revealed.  Not to be discouraged by reality, these wastes of a pulse then accused Vacula of contesting the DMCA complaint in order to gain the name of his accuser.  Because he defended himself and his right to free speech by contesting a fraudulent complaint, the lynch mob claimed his reasonable response to a false claim was a nefarious act!  Again acting in self defense, Vacula pointed out how ridiculous this claim was by demonstrating that his accuser's name and address were both available on her online stores website.  This of course was used to accuse him of dropping the information in an attempt to let people hurt the very person who was attempting to hurt him!  Such is the 'logic' of these cretins.  The same DMCA attack has been used by these same people to silence and gain the name and address of the online persona Girlwriteswhat because she too argues against their brand of cult mentality.  GRW's account can be read on the link I provided.  Are you starting to see why I keep my name and face offline, you ignorant buffoons?

The people behind these forms of attacks are shameless and malicious.  If there is any doubt as to their intent of using personal information gained, take a look at this blog.  The names of the key players show up in the comment section below.  What begins with the thinly veiled threat of "We know who you are." morphs into a study on the Stanford Prison experiment in the comments, with token consideration for potential damage to the family of the person being outed expressed and readily discounted.  In the discussion on what to do with personal info on the internet personae Franc Hoggle, one comment (#115) says:

My personal opinion on anonymity is that we have no reasonable expectation of it, by the way. Morally, I see exposing Hoggle as “zero harm”; he had no right to expect privacy to begin with.
However, it may entail a small sacrifice for yourself, in that your standing may be slightly diminished in the eyes of people who think such relevelations are wrong (and if you are among these people, in your own eyes). Weighing that against any potential benefit is something beyond my knowledge of the situation. Not that it likely matters much to you, but you’ll have my approval either way.

This person sees zero harm in outing someone, and thinks that Hoggle has no right to expect privacy.  His only concern is that outing someone might make the person doing the outing look bad!  This is the sort of insane rationalizations you encounter.  Their argument is one of safety.  They accuse Hoggle of being a misogynist who has performed sexual assault by way of verbal threat.  Now, sexual assault is something that would deserve outing someone.  However, you must remember that we aren't dealing with rational people here.  We are dealing with a cult mentality in which little things such as reality and logical thought are unacceptable.  Hoggle's grievous crime against humanity, his foul and misogynistic act of sexual assault was...and I quote..."If I were a girl, I'd kick her in the cunt."

The 'horrid sexual assault' was also taken out of context, as it was a response of exasperation after multiple attempts on Hoggle's part at rational debate was met with wave after wretched wave of cult ideology and insult.  For this, these ninnies spent days trying to justify whether or not to attack the man's life and livelihood and possibly harm his family in the process.  Makes you feel all warm and tingly when you make your identity known online, doesn't it?  Knowing that you are safe and secure in the presence of such upstanding, ethical, compassionate individuals must help you sleep well at night.

Not convinced that your anonymity needs protecting yet?  Try then this post, where cultist Greg Laden proudly boasts of his attempts to silence virologist Abbie Smith, going so far as to attempt to wreck her academic career.  His mention of this is the #4 comment.  Laden was upset not that Smith herself had attacked him, but because she had failed to censor her blog where other people had insulted him.  Notice how no one commenting even questioned the ethics of doing this.  This transcends cyber bullying.  These people are cyber terrorists who are hell bent on destroying anyone who dares disagree with them as well as destroying anyone who dares allow people to express differing opinions.  These are not the actions of rational, skeptical people.  These actions are identical to Scientology's "Fair Game" tactics in which anyone who disagrees is to be punished by any means possible.  These are the actions of a rabid cult,pure and simple.

Some of you are probably thinking that none of this has anything to do with you.  These are atheists and skeptics, after all.  Blasphemers and Doubting Thomases, so what does it matter?  I will not bother defending the atheist position here.  Look instead to the skeptics.  These stuffy, over-educated party poopers are your front line of defense against the never ending waves of nonsense that most scientists are too busy to address. When a medium or channeler claims that for only a few hundred bucks they can put you in touch with a long lost relative, the skeptics are the ones pointing out how these shysters perform.  The skeptics are the people who expose faith healers for liars.  The skeptics are there to help you understand that the twenty dollar energy band on your wrist will help your sports performance as much as will a painted nickel. The skeptics are the people that try and protect the gullible masses from scammers, frauds, charlatans, and nonsense in general. The skeptics are the good guys, and their good intentions lead you to critical thinking, not hell.

These attacks are not limited to their critics.  Neuroscientist and author Sam Harris is only involved in this circus due to his being ranked alongside Richard Dawkins as one of the "Four Horsemen" of atheism.  Cultist PZ Myers, a disgusting little troll who is envious of not being so prominent, was happy to endorse an article which misrepresented Harris'views in his own tellingly titled piece And the hatchet strikes...

Harris had never criticized Myers' cult, had never gotten involved in the debates, had never asked a narcissistic moron for coffee. Harris' only crime was being ten times the scientist and public figure than Myers will ever hope to be.  Myers is helping to actively promote the lie that Harris is a racist who approves of torture and preemptive nuclear strikes.  Harris's dignified response can be found in his blog entry Wrestling the Troll.

Not that it matters whether you are even remotely involved.  When  mental cases like Myers and his cronies decide to destroy someone, the person doesn't have to do anything wrong.  Take for instance the case of Ed Rybicki, whose short fiction story Womanspace was published in the journal Nature in September of 2011.

The story is a comical tale of two gentlemen tasked with the duty of buying a pair of knickers by their wives. highlighting their ineptitude at completing this task, the men speculate on the existence of a hidden dimension accessible only to women in which they are able to navigate through a shopping maze and locate objects within stores that are impossible for men to find.  Evolutionary biology is thrown in, and the self depreciating author notes that this ability of women was likely responsible for our survival as a species.  It is a cute, witty, and obviously comical story which was meant to entertain.  Naturally by the fifth comment on the online journal's entry of the story Mr Rybicki is accused of promoting open sexism.  The same critic also terribly misrepresents a sentence in the story, somehow translating the words "significant female other" to mean aged men with housewives.  Nobody bothers calling the person out on this glaring misinterpretation. Instead, the critics become more and more preposterous in reading what they want into the story.  One goes so far as to make gender and racist comparisons {Gayspace, Jewspace, etc.).  The more Mr Rybicki and his brilliant and successful Professor wife try to straighten things out, the more ludicrous the accusations against them become.  Before you think that this attack has nothing to do with our wild eyed cultists, take a look at the cult refuge on the grotesquely misnamed freethought blogs with an article calling Mr Rybicki a misogynistic asshole.  Rybicki discusses the experience, as well as the people going to his academic supervisor about it and calling for a petition to censor him in an interview on the Lateral Truth.

Ed Rybicki was a casualty of a money making propaganda machine.  A generation of young women and men have left college filled with a mythology of a vast conspiracy of a patriarchy.  They have been taught that everything in Western culture is designed to repress women.  When they exit those hallowed halls and find themselves in the real world, they can't find evidence of this myth.  Convinced that the myth must be true because their women's studies teacher says so, they begin reading their mythology into everything in an effort to 'prove' it true.  Their enemy doesn't exist, and so they are forced to invent it.  Ed was an innocent civilian bystander, an enemy of convenience in a fantasy world of male domination.

Me, I'm not so innocent.  I am a very vocal critic of dogmatic ideology, be it in a religious or secular camp.  I am opposed to censorship, to enforced political correctness, and to repression of free speech.  I live an alternative lifestyle which is considered radical even by others within the same scope of alternative lifestyles.  I am an atheist in a world that is ninety percent theists.  I am not ashamed of any of those things.  In fact, I am quite proud of most of them.  I have nothing that in a just world would need to be hidden, but I do have people to protect, myself among them.

In a world where lives can be destroyed though character assassination, in a world where people will join a lynch mob because fact checking and critical thought are too hard, in a world where the morally devoid will debate the ethics of harming family of someone that has criticized them - in that world the cloak of anonymity
is ones best and first defense.  I will continue to maintain my anonymity  thank you very much.  I will use tools to change my IP address, I will use disposable e-mail accounts, I will provide false names and locations to websites,  I will create other personas which are unassociated with my better known ones, and I will staunchly refuse to post a photo of myself online.  I would strongly urge anyone who has a job or a family to do the same.

I have used just one example, that of the radical feminist cult that has infiltrated the atheist/skeptic community.  They are by no means the only people who can or will stoop to this level.  You could be a target because of your political affiliations, your religious beliefs, your opinion on abortion.  You could be targeted simply because someone doesn't like you, is envious of you, or wants your job.  There are probably as many reasons for you to come under attack as there are human beings.  You can't really know if or when you may be targeted.

My solutions will not protect me out in the world, but they will help to protect me online, which happens to be the place where most of us feel safe to let down our hair and speak our mind.  Even as we do this, companies are checking Facebook and Myspace as part of their screening process for potential employees. In far too many cases our online selves are childishly easy to trace back to our offline selves.  This great and vast tool that is a monument of free speech, the internet, turns out to be a double edged sword.  Our words not just used against us, but twisted, mangled, and reinterpreted to say whatever someone wants us to say.

Even twitters and Facebook announcements can be altered to say things which were never said.  There are even video tutorials for how to fake screen captures.  Take someone on Facebook, say.  Let's use John Q. Public.  Now JQP had just posted a message on a social network saying how much he enjoyed work today.   Take a screenshot of it, alter the message to say how JQP is planning on murdering his bosses family, raping his dog, and forcing the boss to watch before skinning him alive and wearing his skin to work on Casual Friday.  Now send that altered message to JQP's boss as a concerned citizen.  Or make death threats directed at a politician, or fill the message in with racial slurs and forward it to the NAACP, the possibilities are endless.  And you can bet your backside that if you do this enough, someone that receives one of those messages is going to take it seriously.  Send the right message to the right activist group and you can expect a very nasty backlash against JQP.  He may be able to prove his innocence, but a lot of people will fail to notice that and will remember instead when hearing JQP's name that he was the guy that butchered a family, wore his bosses skin to work, etc.  People are great at repeating soundbites, less great at fact checking.  I'll say it again, people are, you guessed it, stupid.  While I wish with ever fiber of my being that stupidity were painful, the stupidity of other people can be painful to you.  A trivial disagreement, a criticism of ideology, even flirting with someone that someone else has a crush on can cause a person to attack you with the fury of a wolverine.  Add a dash of ever too common sheeple mentality and general human stupidity and you are dangling from the end of a rope before you even know what hit you.

Cover your butt online.  If you think you are being too careful, you are mistaken.  If you think that you are being paranoid, you are almost being careful enough.  Kick it up a notch and you will be relatively safe.  If you want to ignore me, just don't say I didn't warn ya when you find yourself dangling from the end of a noose.

No comments:

Post a Comment