Author Archive | Disinformation

EFF’s Game Plan for Ending Global Mass Surveillance

We have a problem when it comes to stopping mass surveillance.

The entity that’s conducting the most extreme and far-reaching surveillance against most of the world’s communications—the National Security Agency—is bound by United States law.

eff

 

That’s good news for Americans. U.S. law and the Constitution protect American citizens and legal residents from warrantless surveillance. That means we have a very strong legal case to challenge mass surveillance conducted domestically or that sweeps in Americans’ communications.

Similarly, the United States Congress is elected by American voters. That means Congressional representatives are beholden to the American people for their jobs, so public pressure from constituents can help influence future laws that might check some of the NSA’s most egregious practices.

But what about everyone else? What about the 96% of the world’s population who are citizens of other countries, living outside U.S. borders. They don’t get a vote in Congress. And current American legal protections generally only protect citizens, legal residents, or those physically located within the United States.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

“Mobilize” Q&A Video + Free Screenings in VA and VT

Disinformation’s Mobilize will be screening for free in Arlington, Virginia and Norwich, Vermont on January 30th. Special thanks to all of the non-profit sponsors who put together these events. More details and information about screenings can be found on the official Mobilize website.

Back in December, the San Francisco Public Library hosted a free screening of Mobilize. Above is a video of the Q&A with the filmmakers including: director Kevin Kunze, CABTA’s Ellie Marks, UC Berkeley’s Joel Moskowitz, and EHT’s Lloyd Morgan.

If you can’t make it to the Vermont or Virginia screenings, Mobilize is available as a download, stream (below video), or as a DVD. Visit the product page for more information.

Mobilize from TDC Entertainment on Vimeo.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

President Obama’s State of the Union Sale

State Of The Union (201501200003HQ)In President Obama’s State of the Union address last evening, he mentioned many subjects that are integral to our country and our lives (for Americans reading this, that is, but most of the issues affect everyone – like drone strikes). Many of those key topics are reflected in our award-winning library of documentary films.

We think everyone needs to see these films while the country considers President Obama’s agenda, so we’re giving you a chance to purchase them at 40% off the list price (just use the coupon code “StateofUnion at checkout)

Here’s what the president had to say and why our films are so relevant:

“As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we’re threatened, which is why I’ve prohibited torture, and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained.” – President Obama 1/20/15

Related films:

UnmannedUnmanned: America’s Drone Wars: A film by Robert Greenwald that takes a hard look at the impact of American drone use in Pakistan.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Transhumanism: Longevity & Immortality

Transhumanism barnstar.png

Antonu (CC)

[Excerpted from Transcendence: The Disinformation Encyclopedia of Transhumanism and the Singularity by R.U. Sirius and Jay Cornell]

Living beyond the perceived limits of an individual human life seems to be the central obsession of transhumanist culture. Transhumanists are against death. Many of the projects and developments discussed in this book are explicitly aimed at the defeat of the Grim Reaper. If you think death is okay, a transhumanist might call you a deathist. A deathist is an enemy of transhumanism, just as a capitalist is an enemy of communism, or a Marxist is an enemy of capitalism.

BEGINNINGS

The quest for extreme longevity through contemporary science method began to gather steam in the latter half of the 20th century. In 1962, American physics professor Robert Ettinger proposed that the biological sciences would someday soon find a key to immortality, and that cryonic preservation was a way that a person living in the 20th century could keep himself intact until that great day.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Criticisms of Transhumanism

Anti transhumanism

[Excerpted from Transcendence: The Disinformation Encyclopedia of Transhumanism and the Singularity by R.U. Sirius and Jay Cornell]

Empowering individuals and transcending what were long considered human limits: these goals are exciting to some, but they’re disturbing and frightening to others. Let’s put major objections to transhumanism into one or more of four categories: that it’s unfeasible, directly dangerous, indirectly dangerous, or immoral.

“IT WON’T WORK!”

It’s easy to be skeptical about technological predictions. After all, nobody commutes by personal helicopter or nuclear-powered automobile, or has a kitchen robot cooking dinner. Nuclear power never made electricity “too cheap to meter,” and controlled fusion has been twenty years away for about sixty years now . . . and still is.

Some say that mind uploading is impossible, pointing to the assumptions implicit in the concept: the idea that “you” (your self, mind, or soul) is something distinct from your body.This philosophical dualism is seen as inconsistent with the materialism transhumanists otherwise profess.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Transcendence: RU Sirius & Jay Cornell on Transhumanism

TranscendenceR.U. Sirius and Jay Cornell are the authors of Transcendence: The Disinformation Encyclopedia of Transhumanism and the Singularity. Transhumanism has been a hot but divisive topic on disinformation, so we felt there was a need to foster greater understanding of just what transhumanism is, and is not, hence the format of the book is an A-Z encyclopedia.

We asked Jay and R.U. to answer a few questions about the book and the topic in general:

RU, you have long been associated with the transhumanism movement; can you tell us how you got hooked and what your personal interest in transhumanism is?

RU: In a sense, I go way back to the 1970s, although I wasn’t familiar with the term transhumanism then. I think the only person using it at that time was a guy named F.M. Esfandiary. I was, if you will, turned on and tuned in by Timothy Leary and his cohort in conscious evolution Robert Anton Wilson.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Charlie Hebdo Cartoon Covers

By now everyone is aware of the Paris assassinations of the Charlie Hebdo journalists. We feel sure that Charb and his team would want their work to go far and wide in response to the acts of the murderous Islamists who carried out France’s worst terrorist incident since the 1960s, so here are a couple of the cartoon covers that, in the eyes of some, required the death of the people who created them:

charlie hebdo

For those interested in supporting what’s left of Charlie Hebdo, its lawyer, Richard Malka, has confirmed that next week’s edition of the magazine will be published on Wednesday and will have a print run of one million, instead of the normal 60,000 copies.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

“McLuhan For Beginners” — Book Giveaway

McLuhan For BeginnersAfter the success of the Tusk giveaway, Disinformation has decided to do another one! This time, we’re offering 10 copies of McLuhan For Beginners.

In case you haven’t heard of the For Beginners series, “it is a graphic nonfiction series that deconstructs complex ideas and makes them accessible to the everyday reader. Every book in the series serves one purpose: to present the works of great thinkers and subjects alike in a straightforward, accessible manner.”

For Beginners has over 50 titles in their catalog, but we thought that the Disinfo audience would appreciate McLuhan For Beginners.

Marshall McLuhan was one of the most brilliant and original thinkers of the 20th century. He was so far ahead of his time that he predicted the future and offered a critique of human behavior in a media saturated world that is perhaps more valuable in today’s Internet age than it was in his own time.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll

Peter Bebergal, disinformation friend and contributor, has a fascinating new book out called Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll. We recently caught up with Peter and asked him some questions in this exclusive interview:

Disinformation: You seem to struggle somewhat to define “occult.” Is it a loaded term?

Bebergal: For a word with such a simple definition, the “occult” has lost almost all meaning, as when you say a word over and over again until it sounds made-up. When I told people I was working on this book, the responses were wildly different, and extremely prejudicial. Some folks assumed I was writing only about the devil and rock music, others—believing the occult to be nothing more than base superstitions—thought the project had no merit, and then there were those that assumed, and hoped, I was going to be making metaphysical claims. I’m sure there were others who worried about my soul.… Read the rest

Continue Reading