Archive for September, 2013

Why Hashtags are Annoying….

   I have referenced several articles in the last few blog posts that I have posted. I guess my passions have been drained so I’m slightly apathetic when it comes to the thought of putting any energy into writing about them. It does not keep me from enjoying other people’s work and opinion, however. #appreciation#fellowhumanbeing#languagelove….see what I did there. Stupid. I fell on article called “How Hashtags are Ruining the English Language” and it put into words that irritated feeling that I have always felt when I see hashtags. I have tried to be in the groove, and have used them. Everyone else does. When I have been up late studying, I have used them in reference to being brain dead or needing coffee. I have used them recently to say that the cursed online game “Candy Crush” is #destroyinglife. I always feel like an idiot when I do it. It is like saying a sentence, then repeating the sentence in android like terms.
    I remember when hashtags first started, and I did not understand what they were for. If you clicked on them they streamlined all stories having to do with the word in the hashtag. This was central to twitter…which I use rarely, because it also is impulsive and lacking in depth, and quickly becomes redundant. This year though, I see hashtags one everything-even when they link to absolutely nothing. It is adolescent looking even. I have used them, and then deleted my whole status because I have just annoyed myself. I see some statuses and I am like …why? We used to say things that were slightly veiled so only certain people “got it”. Maybe some people post song lyrics, because only those in the know would be the wiser. But now, people just post their whole thought in the status and their emotion in the hashtags. I can’t imagine getting on Facebook (or anywhere else) “Sigh…gotta get through this”#missyou#sorry”. Heck no, you exhibitionist, digital attention monger, write real sentences, with real words and punctuation and send that emotion in private. Feeling creative? Say “I’m writing a blog…(or song..or sewing) because I am feeling creative. Feeling angry-just say you are angry.

  Well I have summarized and reworded the original article I was going to share, but I agreed so completely that I was excited to find like feelings. Here ya’ll go…

How the Hashtag Is Ruining the English Language (Updated)

If Twitter is useful for anything beyond a flamethrower of breaking news and URL errata, it’s forcing us to be considerate about language—we have to use space wisely. Unfortunately, the hashtag is ruining talking. #NotGonnaLie

This modern use of hashtags was pioneered several years ago by one dude: Chris Messina, a Google employee. Messina thought the old pound symbol—hitherto untapped online—could be a good way to “tag” tweets, adding order to the enormous gas cloud of noise that is 99% of all Twitter action. That function works—we could search for #fukushima or #tahrirsquare this past year and yield news.

This origin doesn’t matter anymore. Hashtags at their best stand in as what linguists call “paralanguage,” like shoulder shrugs and intonations. That’s fine. But at their most annoying, the colloquial hashtag has burst out of its use as a sorting tool and become a linguistic tumor—a tic more irritating than any banal link or lazy image meme. The hashtag is conceptually out of bounds, being used by computer conformists without rules, sense, or intelligence, a like yknowwwww that now permeates the internet outside of the tweets it was meant to corral. It pervades Facebook, texting, Foursquare—turning into a form of “ironic metadata,” as linguistBen Zimmer of The Visual Thesaurus labels it.

But why the need for metadata when regular words have been working so well? When the New York Times decided to acknowledge the hashtag this summer (!) it quoted Messina with a line that ought to be evidence enough to indict the #:

“You kind of have to be in-the-know,” Mr. Messina said. “So it’s one of those jokes where you’re like, ‘Oh, I see what you did there, because you’re on Twitter and I’m on Twitter.’ “

This makes sense to Zimmer: “[hashtags] show that you’re part of a community that shares these conventions, to show that you’re playing the game.” Beyond fashionable crutch, the hashtag makes people feel part of something. But we don’t need more inside jokes, culture cliques, or frivolous gestures. Adding a hashtag doesn’t make you “in the know,” because there’s nothing to know—most of the time I don’t see what you did there, because you didn’t do anything there. Like adding a rimshot to your own joke, we now stick hashtags in our digital statements because we think that might validate them as part of this new, mangled syntax.

Take #winning. What does it mean? Charlie Sheen’s sagging, animated corpse of a career spoke through his coke-nozzle and spoke to us. It wanted to proclaim that he was doin’ just fine. #Winning. It took off as the lowbrow badge of choice across Twitterdom, signifying success without showing it. You could say the saddest heap of shit, add #winning, and that seven letter thumbs up would make it OK.

Just dropped my girl off at GameStop shes gonna bey me Call of Duty cause were both high LOL #winning

The hashtag is a vulgar crutch, a lazy reach for substance in the personal void—written clipart.

Some examples of the Accessory Hashtag I’ve found on Facebook, where the germ has spread rapidly:


How the Hashtag Is Ruining the English Language (Updated)

How the Hashtag Is Ruining the English Language (Updated)

How the Hashtag Is Ruining the English Language (Updated)

How the Hashtag Is Ruining the English Language (Updated)


Why didn’t they just express the things they hashtagged?

In all of these cases, the hashtag is nothing more than an emoticon of sorts, saysUC Berkeley Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg. And this explicit See what I did here?hashtag use is plain “stupid,” Nunberg laments, because any trace of irony is neutralized once you point to it with a big honking #. Why write something excitedly when you can lazily throw in #excited? Why not just say “I miss you” instead of #missingyou? Why put a sentence through this kaleidoscope of formatting horse shit instead of just saying something? Say anything. The bar is set so head-imploding-ly low—just write a statement that doesn’t require me to retroactively apply a hashtag to get the gist of what you’re saying. Once the hashtag has been applied so sloppily, killed as a form of interesting metacommentary, “it’s not doing what it’s meant to,” says Nunberg. It’s broken and gratuitous.

The bad news is, we shouldn’t expect hashtagification to go anywhere. “That it’s misused,” says Nunberg, “comes with the territory.” Nunberg and Zimmer agree that the hashtag has potential as an exciting new form of creative expression and satire—everyone’s laughed at #whitegirlproblems at least once. And I’m inclined to agree. And like everything else on the internet, once it’s kinda popular, it’s reallypopular, and there’s nothing we can do about it. “[It] can be annoying, certainly,” agrees Zimmer, “to see people hashtagging in inappropriate places or creating arbitrary new ones where it doesn’t seem necessary. But that just indicates that the hashtag culture has really taken off.” Language is fluid, especially online, and that’s something to be eager about—unless it’s dragging our tongues down. I hope only that the fad part of the fire will flame out quickly, yielding a genuinely radical new way of speaking online. In the meantime, we’re all a bit dumber and a lot more confused. #FML

Photo courtesy of Jackie Lampungnano

Update: Eminent linguist and one of the greatest minds of our time, Noam Chomsky, wrote to me with his thoughts on the matter:

“Don’t use Twitter, almost never see it.”

There you have it.

Different Views on The End

During our break at work, a friend and I were assessing the news blaring from the tv. This particular friend and I share the same beliefs and generally the same view point, we just tend to process differently and usually have polar opposite attitudes about everything.
” The thing is, if we hit Syria what difference will it make ? Chemical weapons will still be there? (Him)
“It’s not about that, that’s just the hook they want people to bite, it’s stirring a pot to get world war three started. We cannot afford another war and all this will do is get other people mad. Then we will fall and they will rise. The new world order, one world government.”
He shruggs ” Im going to Heaven so …”
“Well I am too, but would you like to go quickly or would you like to be tortured?
” Don’t matter”
” yes it does ”
” what I mean is if it happens it was supposed to anyway , it always comes back to Israel and the Muslim nations anyway , right?
I sigh. Most of the time I have no argument. Most of the time we could be using the same words. Most if the tube the feeling behind them is completely different. Yes it is supposed to happen and yes those of us who know should not fear. But it’s not fear I feel. It’s still disgusting and abhorring and sad. It’s like watching someone say ” ok I am going to nose dive this plane into an island of fire ants and if I do not get approval I will still nose dive the plane into an island of fire ants , and everyone on board shall die- so where are my votes?
It makes me reflect on my life right now. What am I doing? What are my passions and are they worth my time? It makes me ask forgiveness from God and from everyone I may have hurt or caused grief. It makes me forgive, because tomorrow a broken heart or will wont swim very far will it?
Yeah, Im going to Heaven too- but we are not there yet. So lets get down to the Fathers business.

Main Core…Are You on It?

   Most likely, considering recent events and leaked information, I am on the list known as Main Core. Just sharing the article that I just read, and writing ones like it since 2008, would put me on it. Being a home school grad, may put me on it. Being a Bible College grad, might put me on it. Giving money to Israeli charities may put me on it. In reality, not many people are safe from being on this list, it is the stuff dystopia movies are made of, but this ain’t a movie, baby. 

  

 

Main Core: A List Of Millions Of Americans That Will Be Subject To Detention During Martial Law

Are you on the list?  Are you one of the millions of Americans that have been designated a threat to national security by the U.S. government?  Will you be subject to detention when martial law is imposed during a major national emergency?  As you will see below, there is actually a list that contains the names of at least 8 million Americans known as Main Core that the U.S. intelligence community has been compiling since the 1980s.  A recent article on Washington’s Blog quoted a couple of old magazine articles that mentioned this program, and I was intrigued because I didn’t know what it was.  So I decided to look into Main Core, and what I found out was absolutely stunning – especially in light of what Edward Snowden has just revealed to the world.  It turns out that the U.S. government is not just gathering information on all of us.  The truth is that the U.S. government has used this information to create a list of threats to national security that the government would potentially watch, question or even detain during a national crisis.  If you have ever been publicly critical of the government, there is a very good chance that you are on that list.

The following is how Wikipedia describes Main Core…

Main Core is the code name of a database maintained since the 1980s by thefederal government of the United States. Main Core contains personal and financial data of millions of U.S. citizens believed to be threats to national security. The data, which comes from the NSA, FBI, CIA, and other sources, is collected and stored without warrants or court orders. The database’s name derives from the fact that it contains “copies of the ‘main core’ or essence of each item of intelligence information on Americans produced by the FBI and the other agencies of the U.S. intelligence community.”

It was Christopher Ketchum of Radar Magazine that first reported on the existence of Main Core.  At the time, the shocking information that he revealed did not get that much attention.  That is quite a shame, because it should have sent shockwaves across the nation…

According to a senior government official who served with high-level security clearances in five administrations, “There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived ‘enemies of the state’ almost instantaneously.” He and other sources tell Radar that the database is sometimes referred to by the code name Main Core. One knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.

Of course, federal law is somewhat vague as to what might constitute a “national emergency.” Executive orders issued over the last three decades define it as a “natural disaster, military attack, [or] technological or other emergency,” while Department of Defense documents include eventualities like “riots, acts of violence, insurrections, unlawful obstructions or assemblages, [and] disorder prejudicial to public law and order.” According to one news report, even “national opposition to U.S. military invasion abroad” could be a trigger.

So if that list contained 8 million names all the way back in 2008, how big might it be today?

That is a very frightening thing to think about.

Later on in 2008, Tim Shorrock of Salon.com also reported on Main Core…

Dating back to the 1980s and known to government insiders as “Main Core,” the database reportedly collects and stores — without warrants or court orders — the names and detailed data of Americans considered to be threats to national security. According to several former U.S. government officials with extensive knowledge of intelligence operations, Main Core in its current incarnation apparently contains a vast amount of personal data on Americans, including NSA intercepts of bank and credit card transactions and the results of surveillance efforts by the FBI, the CIA and other agencies. One former intelligence official described Main Core as “an emergency internal security database system” designed for use by the military in the event of a national catastrophe, a suspension of the Constitution or the imposition of martial law.

So why didn’t this information get more attention at the time?

Well, if Obama had lost the 2008 election it might have.  But Obama won in 2008 and the liberal media assumed that he would end many of the abuses that were happening underBush.  Of course that has not happened at all.  In fact, Obama has steadily moved the police state agenda ahead aggressively.  Edward Snowden has just made that abundantly clear to the entire world.

 

After 2008, it is unclear exactly what happened to Main Core.  Did it expand, change names, merge with other programs or get superseded by a new program?  It appears extremely unlikely that it simply faded away.  In light of what we have just learned about NSA snooping, someone should ask our politicians some very hard questions about Main Core.  According toChristopher Ketchum, the exact kind of NSA snooping that Edward Snowden has just described was being used to feed data into the Main Core database…

A host of publicly disclosed programs, sources say, now supply data to Main Core. Most notable are the NSA domestic surveillance programs, initiated in the wake of 9/11, typically referred to in press reports as “warrantless wiretapping.” In March, a front-page article in the Wall Street Journal shed further light onto the extraordinarily invasive scope of the NSA efforts: According to the Journal, the government can now electronically monitor “huge volumes of records of domestic e-mails and Internet searches, as well as bank transfers, credit card transactions, travel, and telephone records.” Authorities employ “sophisticated software programs” to sift through the data, searching for “suspicious patterns.” In effect, the program is a mass catalog of the private lives of Americans. And it’s notable that the article hints at the possibility of programs like Main Core. “The [NSA] effort also ties into data from an ad-hoc collection of so-called black programs whose existence is undisclosed,” the Journal reported, quoting unnamed officials. “Many of the programs in various agencies began years before the 9/11 attacks but have since been given greater reach.”

The following information seems to be fair game for collection without a warrant: the e-mail addresses you send to and receive from, and the subject lines of those messages; the phone numbers you dial, the numbers that dial in to your line, and the durations of the calls; the Internet sites you visit and the keywords in your Web searches; the destinations of the airline tickets you buy; the amounts and locations of your ATM withdrawals; and the goods and services you purchase on credit cards. All of this information is archived on government supercomputers and, according to sources, also fed into the Main Core database.

This stuff is absolutely chilling.

And there have been hints that such a list still exists today.

For example, the testimony of an anonymous government insider that was recently posted on shtfplan.com alluded to such a list…

“We know all this already,” I stated. He looked at me, giving me a look like I’ve never seen, and actually pushed his finger into my chest. “You don’t know jack,” he said, “this is bigger than you can imagine, bigger than anyone can imagine. This administration is collecting names of sources, whistle blowers and their families, names of media sources and everybody they talk to and have talked to, and they already have a huge list. If you’re not working for MSNBC or CNN, you’re probably on that list. If you are a website owner with a brisk readership and a conservative bent, you’re on that list. It’s a political dissident list, not an enemy threat list,” he stated.

What in the world is happening to America?

What in the world are we turning into?

As I mentioned in a previous article, the NSA gathers 2.1 million gigabytes of data on all of us every single hour.  The NSA is currently constructing a 2 billion dollar data center out in Utah to store all of this data.

If you are disturbed by all of this, now is the time to stand up and say something.  If this crisis blows over and people forget about all of this stuff again, the Big Brother surveillance grid that is being constructed all around us will just continue to grow and continue to become even more oppressive.

America is dying right in front of your eyes and time is running out.  Please stand up and be counted while you still can.

Michael Snyder is the Editor of End of the American Dream and a regular contributor to The D.C. Clothesline.

Updating on What is Not Yet News

   I follow a blog called “D.C. Clotheline” and they just posted a photograph that a reader sent them. Interestingly enough this happened just hours after a friend and prophet/evangelist from my childhood posted a note on forgiving those who have hurt us, asking forgiveness for our selves and essentially making sure our spiritual closets are clean. Something is off and anyone with common sense in the physical realm, and a spiritual awareness can feel it. Something is in the air and all we can do is pray and make sure our lives, and our relationships or connections are clear. Maybe, with prayer, some things can be deterred-or maybe the time of awakening has begun and we will be transformed or tested and tried. It is good to be informed, and ready, regardless. Be aware, be safe and be ready. Here is the photo and blog from D.C. Clotheline

Matthew 24: 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains  

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