Cam's Blog

November 29, 2010

Stupid Ann Applebaum is stupid

Filed under: Politics — cfranc @ 12:46 pm

More on Wikileaks, from Slate. Here’s a quotation:

The cables “reveal,” among other things, that the United States is (surprise!) lobbying others to organize sanctions against Iran, that South Korean diplomats have discussed what would happen if North Korea collapses, that U.S. diplomats have been bribing other countries to accept ex-prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. (I suppose it is “news” that the United States spies on the United Nations, but forgive me if I am not as horrified as I should be.) Germany’s Der Spiegel concludes, furiously, that the United States “seeks to safeguard its influence around the world.” I’d be a lot more worried if the opposite were true.

She asks us to forgive her that she is not horrified that the US orders its diplomats to spy on the UN. My reply: no, you are not forgiven for your apologetics.

Julian Assange — A conspiracy as a weighted connected graph

Filed under: Math, Politics — cfranc @ 12:22 pm

This afternoon I found Julian Assange’s old blog via Reddit. It’s a very interesting read; in no time at all I stumbled on this old, unfinished document. In it he describes modeling a conspiracy as a connected graph, where nodes represent individuals in the conspiracy. Edges are weighted according to the value of the information communicated between the two nodes. Assange calls the total weight of the graph the total conspiratorial power of the conspiracy. One can fight a conspiracy by disconnected highly weighted nodes. Traditionally this has been achieved by

killing, kidnapping, blackmailing or otherwise marginalizing or isolating some of the conspirators.

I find this document interesting not because it says anything deep, but because (1) its mathematical bent appeals to me and reveals Assange as an analytical thinker, (2) it was written before Assange began to take on the US political and military conspiracies, and shows that he had been thinking about how one would go about such a fight long before he began Wikileaks, and (3) the fact that it is unfinished leaves one (well, me namely) with the perhaps mythical impression that Assange is too heroically busy to finish setting his thoughts in type. Or, the impression that he is too wise to expose his most closely guarded thoughts to his enemies.

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