Wednesday, June 19, 2013

World's scariest video

This video is indeed scary, though not in the ghosties-and-gore sense of the term. I'm talkin' paranoia. If you're the sort who gets aroused by fear, these words will leave you quivering with full-body hyper-orgasm.

The above talk comes to us by way of Kathleen Fisher, a computer expert at DARPA. Let me stress: only the first few minutes are scary; the rest is techno-gobbledygook that will interest only a few readers of this blog.

You'll be particularly enchanted by the bit about the mp3 file. "Death by Mahler" wouldn't be such a bad way to go. The opening of the Fifth, perhaps...

While listening to Fisher speak, you may find yourself thinking about the strange case of journalist Michael Hastings, who died in a single-car crash that has yet to be fully explained. However, to suggest a link would be the epitome of irresponsible journalism.

So whatever you do, don't think that way.

Also, some of you may recall an earlier Cannonfire post about a telematics device called Slashdot, provided by the good folks at Progressive Insurance. (I still get hate mail from Progressive on that one.) The lecture embedded above may provide a few clues as to how someone could use Slashdot to perform all sorts of mischief. However, some people would call me a fearmonger if I made such a suggestion.

So whatever you do, don't think that way.

(Thanks to reader Dan for providing the link.)


Anonymous said...

Oh Jeeze, Joe. Like we're not freaked out by all these recent Snowden disclosures. But now our cars???

Makes sense though. The car I'm driving now, a 2011 model, is basically a computer on wheels. I noticed last night that the report of Hastings death was already producing conspiracy theories. Add the car detail, how easily they can be hacked and controlled remotely or infected with viruses and we're off to the races, particularly when you consider the man's body of work.

Very scary stuff when we're living in an atmosphere of doubt regarding all major institutions. Glad I didn't read this or listen to the vid before going to sleep last night :0).


ColoradoGuy said...

Umm ... DARPA. the builders of the Internet. They know what they're talking about. If this much is in the public domain, what do they know that is still classified?

The KTLA video is something to see; the engine was thrown free of the car, and the car violently exploded (like in the movies) when it hit the tree. Are free-flying engines and explosions now a standard feature of Mercedes?

Anonymous said...

No conspiracy theories, Joe but I do have a question for Obama;

How many Craft employees are on the pubic payroll in the 50 states?


Anonymous said...

From his last Buzzfeed article

"The attitude the Obama administration has toward Manning is revealing. What do they think of him? “Fuck Bradely Manning,” as one White House official put it to me last year during the campaign.
Screw Manning? Lol, screw us.

Perhaps more information will soon be forthcoming."


Lea said...

I imagine Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill are sitting up and taking notice today.

Twilight said...

Coincidences do happen - but.... Revelations brought to public notice by a fearless journalist. Within days another fearless journalist is killed in a car crash on an empty road, while driving a luxury car with previously unimpeachable safety record.

“The probability of a certain set of circumstances coming together in a meaningful (or tragic) way is so low that it simply cannot be considered mere coincidence. ”
― V.C. King

Jack said...

This video constitutes indisputable proof that anyone who ever died in a car crash after criticizing the government was killed by the government. Obviously. Only an Obot or a paid shill for the new world order would dare to disagree.

After all, Project Northwoods!!!

Kidding aside: People always *could* believe whatever the hell they wanted, without evidence. This story just makes it a little easier.

Joseph Cannon said...

Jack, believe it or not, I agree with you. Or at least with the spirit of what you said.

Still, we should always keep an eye on the current state3 of spy-tech. And I gotta admit -- the Hastings death DOES seem more than a little odd.

Anonymous said...

Nowadays, it's irresponsible if you don't speculate.

I want to hear what his widow has to say about his whereabouts on that fateful morning.


cracker said...

"Nowadays it's irresponsible if you don't speculate." This is probably an understatement, considering that Michael Hastings effectively ended the military career of General Stanley McChrystal, a man who has both the face and the track record of a mass murderer.

Jack: you're a laff riot, but I'm not sure referring to other people as "paid shills" is a good strategy for you.

Joseph Cannon said...

I took Jack's point. And anyone who wants to call ME a paid shill is kindly invited to seek another web site.

Jack said...

I hope my comment wasn't taken as a criticism of anyone here. It was intended as a general comment on how, nowadays, among the libertarians, the Paulbots, the Obama haters, the teabaggers, no proof is needed for any assertion. For those who are interested in the truth, it's frustrating.

The freaking Tea Party is going to have thousands of rallies in the years to come raging about "Obama's out of control IRS persecuting conservatives." The non-scandal at the IRS will forevermore be held up as evidence of Democratic Party tyranny.

These fuckwits have no interest in the truth. In fact, they are openly hostile to the truth. That's why Pig Person Darryl Issa refused to release the transcripts that exonerated the White House from the reckless and idiotic charges leveled by everyone from Willie Geist at Morning Joe to Ted Cruz to Alex Jones.

I used to think everyone believed you should have PROOF, or strong evidence, before making ASSERTIONS.

But we're way, way past that, now. Purity Trolls and Republicans are openly contemptuous towards standards of evidence and requirements of proof. They think Obama's perfidy or the government's evil are so self-evident that slowing down to collect and present truth is just a waste of time. After all, "everyone knows" the White House is controlled by a criminal regime, or that the government is a despotic police state.

I know, I know. Life is a lot less exciting when we have to constrain our rants to what can be proven. And let's face it, having fun is what this is all about for most participants: Sitting at their computers in their underwear with their thumbs up their asses, screeching at the top of their lungs about their far ranging hatreds and biases.

We could be a better country if we had better people. But we don't, so we can't.

Jack said...

Still, we should always keep an eye on the current state of spy-tech. And I gotta admit -- the Hastings death DOES seem more than a little odd.

I totally agree with the first half of this, and am more than willing to keep an open mind about the possibility that Hastings was killed by *someone,* whether in the government or not. I'm not a naif. I've been speaking out about CIA plots and government abuse of power since the 1980s. And let's face it: The Bush years represented a real dive into the dystopian rabbit hole -- a hole we are still stuck in.

But there are a whole lot of steps one has to take to get from "Hastings died" to "Hastings was killed."

Let's face it: Today's internet assholes don't have time for all that work. They're more than happy to jump from ANY premise to "Obama did it as part of his evil plot to ruin life in America."

I have to say, Joe: This criticism doesn't really apply to you. Your writing is careful and circumspect. But we're inundated at Reddit, or on YouTube, or in the random comments on newspaper sites or conesrvative blogs, with assholes who will say ANYTHING if they think it can be used to damage Obama.

This reminds me of something Bob Cesca said on his podcast's latest episode: The difference between Glenn Greenwald and Michael Hastings is that Hastings was a real journalist. If he had reported the NSA story, it never would have been as full of holes as Greenwald's "reporting" has been. It would have been damning and revelatory, but it would have been ACCURATE.

If people are going to do a job - attacking the NSA or the government or Obama, or defending them - they should have enough self-respect to do it right. And doing it right is hard. And a lot less fun that bellowing at the top of our lungs and making whatever assertions feel good.

Jack said...

You want to know how despotic a tyranny America is?

Hastings had just bought a new Mercedes. He was, basically rich. Rich off reporting that constantly attacked the government and other institutional powers, and reporting that took down one of the most powerful military leaders in the world. Remember how McChrystal was jerking Obama around in 2009? Hastings defeated *that* guy.

America, for all its many, many faults, is still a country where a pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps reporter like Michael Hastings can get rich attacking the powers that be.

Despotism this ain't.

James said...

Great point, Jack. One minute you're taking down one of the most politically powerful generals in the American military and the next thing you know you're burning to a crisp in your brand-new Mercedes Benz which inexplicably veered left and exploded, sending its engine and transmission - still connected to one another - nearly 200 feet up the street.

It's funny how life works sometimes...

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting, and scary, thought not to me personally, as I don't drive a car (and the fewer people who do, the better).

As for Hastings, I suppose his brand-new Mercedes made him drive at 4 in the morning in a trendy part of Los Angeles too?

Joseph Cannon said...

James, I think the point is that presumption is the enemy of investigation. Conclusions are supposed to come at the end of an investigation, not the beginning. Conspiracy addicts forget that fact.

Let me again state that I do think Hastings' death is very odd and does warrant serious research.

Maz said...

"[...]an earlier Cannonfire post about a telematics device called Slashdot[.]"

Understandable brain-burp; your post referenced a Slashdot thread about a device called Snapshot.

Don't know if I ever finished my very long comment on the post, but the punchline is that I think you put too much faith in the patent application, which played the usual game of trying to be as all-inclusive as possible without be ruled invalidly so. Accordingly, the patent discusses numerous possible inputs to Snapshot, most of which are either obsolete or not used by the actual product. Yeah, they *could* add a GPS input -- which would likely necessitate an external antenna, which would give the game away -- but I see no reason to think they have. (As I recall, at the time the patent was applied for, there either was *no* civilian GPS available, or civilian GPS had been available for only a few months.)

Jack said...

James said:

"One minute you're taking down one of the most politically powerful generals in the American military and the next thing you know you're burning to a crisp ..."

I like how you compressed 3 years into a couple of minutes. From one of your minutes (June 2010) to "the next thing you know," three years elapsed. But no one would know that from reading your post, would they?

"... in your brand-new Mercedes Benz which inexplicably veered left and exploded..."

How do you know it's "inexplicable" how the accident happened? Just because you personally don't know how it happened (and, let's face it, how would you?), doesn't mean it's "inexplicable."

"... sending its engine and transmission - still connected to one another - nearly 200 feet up the street."

Oh! They were still connected! I hadn't thought of that! How ominous, and meaningful! I guess Obama *did* kill Hastings!

Once this news about how the engine and transmission were still connected hits the press, Obama is toast!

Jack said...

Hey, guess who's pushing the "Michael Hastings was killed by our evil Democratic government" line of BS?

Yep, you guessed it. Fox News.

Unknown said...

So, I think it is safe to say he wasnt going 100mph. See this:

Hastings car does not sustain anything like that collision damage.

Second, I have viewed at 25 photos and I have not seen skid marks. And Hastings car appears to have driven straight into the tree - only slightly splitting the car in half.

Third, again viewing the photos - when the engine and trany ejected from the vehicle it did not leave drag marks on the median strip nor anything I could see on the road way.

Fourth, the right front wheel ends up about even with the engine and trany but on the opposite side of the street. You can only see this from the video in the first minute or so when the driver pulls up.

5. I'll leave it up to the car experts, but the several dozen I have read are incredulous that this car would explode into flames upon impact.

I am sure there are more anamolies than my untrained eye can see. How do these events all happen in the same event? Again, the experts I have read are miffed that this particular unique sequence of events could all happen at this one car crash.

Unknown said...

I am throwing this out here to see where it goes. Cars dont just explode.

I dont know enough either way - but he makes a fairly convincing case that cars dont explode - they burn - and they burn and they burn.

Gus said...

coach, you are correct, cars do not explode. If anything, they catch fire as you mention.

No, I think it's stretching to say that this wasn't murder. By whom, or for what reason remains to be seen. Somehow, I don't think "the democrat government" is the culprit (since there aren't really any democrats in government....well, okay, maybe a couple....just corporatist lackys). I would rule out the military angle, despite the story being released 3 years ago. In Hastings book, he quotes direct threats (at the time, allegedly in good fun) aimed at him if they "don't like what he writes". Could be coincidence of course, but I think it's hard to discount murder at this point.

Anonymous said...

They didn't confirm his death. Can you reject: MH eit questioning & investigation continue?

Alma said...

This is cool!