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  1. #11
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I do think we have fewer heroes in our current times compared to previous generations. I don't think we have any lack of villains. Just think of this list:

    Osama Bin Laden
    Gitmo
    Haliburtan, Lockheed Martin or any other corporation involved in the military-industrial complex
    Bush/Cheney especially in how they pushed the Iraq war
    Fox News
    Everyone involved in the housing bubble and credit default swaps
    consistent devaluing of US currency during the past decade

    There are probably more issues if I think about them. Overall I see us passively accepting everything that is happening to us, while past generations were more active as a whole. And what has been done about the issues listed above? Bin Laden is still at large for all we know. Obama was supposed to correct the problems caused by Bush/Cheney but we're still in both wars and last I checked Gitmo is still open.

    Really the only hero I can think of is Jon Stewart in that he holds up Fox News to show everyone how rediculous it is. The other group I see as proactive is the Tea Partiers, but I think many of them were lead into getting something they didn't really want. Overall it does make me wonder where the heroes have gone, and why people don't seem to care so much anymore.
    While I wouldnt agree with considering the Tea Partiers as heroes I would agree with you about their possible fate, I do agree that there's more villains than heroes but elites are gonna roll you know and I see a lot of what happens on the contemporary political scene as reflective of that.

    To be honest the whole Bin Laden thing has appeared in the wake of 9/11 like an attempt to create a Cold War without an enemy state, a different kind of Cold War which will continue indefinitely, its had a mixed success to be honest and a lot of the terrorism I suspect has more than a little in the way of proxy battles behind it between states and elites and even scheming spooks.

    The thing is that a lot of the battles between supposed heroes and villains appears staged to me, like the imaginary fifth column in 1984 by Orwell, especially the liberal or media icons, like what I said in the original post Wikileaks was heralded as a progressive, liberal and "anti-establishment" why? I dont see it as consequential for the establishment, not sure about it being progressive or liberal either and I ultimately believe their actions will benefit the establishment or at least the state because errosion in privacy or confidentiality generally do.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReflecttcelfeR View Post
    He is a villain because he told the truth?
    I'm sorry? About what?

  3. #13
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    I do think the WikiLeaks thing is interesting, mostly because of the growing imbalance between what governments and corporations know (or can easily know) about individuals, and what we as individuals know (or can find out) about our government and corporations.

    It's now possible to track individuals on a level previously unimaginable. Your credit card purchases, phone calls, internet activity are all available to government (often seemingly without a warrant to any real suspicions) and to corporations (often with lax security policies). Yet, at a time when our lives are increasingly exposed to the government and large corporations, individuals haven't gained nearly as much access to the private details of large corporations and government.

    I think WikiLeaks is interesting, because it's turning the tables and using some of the same technology (especially technology that allows easy copying and dissemination of data) to expose the secrets of government and corporations. So, on some level I'm sympathetic to exposing the secrets of how governments and corporations are abusing their power, and giving individuals the same insight into the workings of those organizations that they have into the detailed workings of our own lives.

    On the other hand, there are also ethical and moral considerations. A lot of the WikiLeaks data about the state department amounted to gossip and personal details. I don't think that's particularly helpful. In addition, it's possible that leaked data could compromise a military operation, and put people's lives at stake. (And again, one's view on the ethics may depend on who you think is in the right—if anyone—in a military conflict.)

    One could also presumably use WikiLeaks to publish data gained by corporate espionage to bring down a corporate competitor. That doesn't necessarily make WikiLeaks different that other data publishing media, but does show how leaked information may be serving someone's specific ends, rather than being only used by whistle blowers.

    So, I have no liking for Julian Assange and I find it hard to see him as a martyr, but I think the developments are interesting and food for thought. It will be interesting to see if sites like WikiLeaks become part of a growing trend of exposing private government and corporate information, or if they are just blips on the radar that cause organizations to tighten their security and become more punitive towards those that leak data.

    I am concerned that Bradley Mannings (who apparently leaked US government data to WikiLeaks) is being held in extreme solitary confinement despite not having been proved to be physically dangerous nor having been convicted of any crime (as yet). Granted, the US military justice system and one's rights while in the military are different, but months of solitary before any kind of trial seems inhumane.

    Also, is leaking data and exposing secrets treason, even if the intent is not to harm the government? Does it matter if the intent is whistle-blowing to stop immoral and/or illegal behavior? How about a citizen of a foreign country publishing that data? Clearly it's not treason for them... but how does international law handle such things? If there aren't laws, will countries quickly pass them motivated, in part, by self-interest?

  4. #14
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I think its difficult when the threat of dismissal from your post is insufficient to get you to respect confidentiality, its very unprofessional conduct to leak information and so far as actual whistleblowing goes I'm pretty sure there's channels to go through other than the sensationalist media or foreign agencies likely to exploit the information in their own ways.

    Solitary could be mandated by a desire to avoid a Jack Ruby style intervention on someone responsible for leaks, just saying.

    The thing about government or corporate information gathering is that it is governed by laws and rules which however imperfect are aimed at creating accountability, who are wikileaks accountable to? How are they accountable? Does their existence in any way really contribute to a rethinking of what can be and is gathered or just add to the amount of people who are casually collecting it? This isnt exactly a rebalancing of power or a new social contract by any stretch of the imagination really. Although I'd accept its significant that people are desperate to see it as such.

  5. #15
    morose bourgeoisie
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    What about the pope? Isn't he a hero?

  6. #16
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tawanda View Post
    Some of those listed are generally agreed by society as being 'villains' to everyone in a particular society, such as Bin Laden, but for the latter things listed there is a much larger gray area where you can find debate as to whether people see those things as villainous or even almost heroic (I have met those certain view who think Bush is a hero, and follow Fox News religiously in a serious context instead of a humorous one ) Thing is, there seems to be internal debate between those who are working for an altruistic cause or a selfish one.
    This is always the case for heroes though. Dr. King was not universally liked while he was alive. Far from it in fact. A lot of what makes a hero is fighting for something that's hard to fight for. And there are usually going to be two sides when that happens. But I don't see people fighting so much anymore.

    I also think people are much more apathetic and desensitized, or else a lot of the working class works too much to really think about it, and only think that working more/getting more jobs is the only way to get the bills paid/food on the table etc. I find it funny that some of these people also have really terrible finance managing skills.
    People certainly are more apathetic. But I'm not sure why we are more apathetic now compared to previous generations.

    While I wouldnt agree with considering the Tea Partiers as heroes I would agree with you about their possible fate, I do agree that there's more villains than heroes but elites are gonna roll you know and I see a lot of what happens on the contemporary political scene as reflective of that.
    I see a lot of the typical people attending these things as heroes. I see the leadership as villians. Because a lot of conservatives I've talked to are pissed at both Bush and Obama about the bailouts and runaway spending. But just recently both parties agreed on a bill that added 800+ billion to the deficit, so the politicians are still ignoring the thing that a lot of the typical people are pissed about.

    I think you are right that this is typical behavior for "elites". What I see as atypical is just the plain acceptance of all the crap being thrown at us. Maybe it's because politicians have learned how to imitate heroes. One could say that Obama has done it on the left as much as the Tea Party candidates have done it on the right. So people get behind them hoping to see them make a difference, but then they end up disappointed.

    The thing is that a lot of the battles between supposed heroes and villains appears staged to me, like the imaginary fifth column in 1984 by Orwell, especially the liberal or media icons, like what I said in the original post Wikileaks was heralded as a progressive, liberal and "anti-establishment" why? I dont see it as consequential for the establishment, not sure about it being progressive or liberal either and I ultimately believe their actions will benefit the establishment or at least the state because errosion in privacy or confidentiality generally do.
    I'm still not entirely sure what to think of Wikileaks. The internet is kind of a wildcard for everyone. You mention Orwell which I think that kind of future is easier to imagine with TV or radio or some similar medium being the primary way to broadcast information. Using these media it's for those in charge to spread propaganda and control what goes out. On the internet anything can go out. I think overall the "elites" are scared of the internet because it is empowering the typical person. That means the "elites" have less comparative power.
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  7. #17
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Hero my butt.

    Causing potential harm to others is no hero. That is like saying Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold are heroes for showing what goes on in school.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Fan.of.Devin's Avatar
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    Potential harm to who?
    Anyone mentioned in the leaks who's potentially open to harm because of them in the manner you're insinuating is already getting shot at on a daily basis (the US troops in Pakistan, who aren't officially there, for instance).

    The only personal harm he's done is to a few people's reputations.
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  9. #19
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    I'd say this age is completely starved for heroes, to the point that doing anything can get one acclaimed as such.

  10. #20
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fan.of.Devin View Post
    Potential harm to who?
    Anyone mentioned in the leaks who's potentially open to harm because of them in the manner you're insinuating is already getting shot at on a daily basis (the US troops in Pakistan, who aren't officially there, for instance).

    The only personal harm he's done is to a few people's reputations.

    In Korea, the nuclear-armed regime of Kim Jong Il learned that its longtime protector, China, may be turning on it and is willing to contemplate unification of the peninsula under the leadership of the South Korean government in Seoul. In Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discovered through the leak that while his Arab neighbors were publicly making nice, privately they were pleading with the U.S. to launch an attack against Tehran's nuclear program. Whether that revelation weakens Iran's bargaining position or whether it will encourage Iran's leaders to hunker down and be even less cooperative in negotiations remains to be seen. What is plain is that in Iran and elsewhere, the WikiLeaks revelations could change history.
    This is called personal harm to a few people's reputation? Classified documents are classified for a reason.

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