“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Friday, May 16, 2014

Old Habits Die Hard.

I really belong to the 1980's-1990's group of Survivalists.  Those people were and remain very different in their attitudes and basic philosophies from the newer post 2000 self sufficiency lifestyle folks.

Before the advent of the Preppers, and before survivalism under that banner became mainstream,  most survivalists tended to be a low profile group.  It was almost exclusively male. That's not to imply women weren't involved in survivalism amongst the "hard core" but they were usually the spouses of survivalists more than being adherents themselves.

Operational Security is a term you hear a lot these days, but it becomes harder and harder to practice when you communicate with large numbers of other like minded people. Being like minded doesn't mean everybody shares the same methodology or philosophy.  Today it really means that you have common interests in some aspects of self sufficiency, but that's generally as far as it goes.

In using the blog as a means of communication, especially when commenting or responding to comments, you have to be very careful about inadvertently compromising someone.  Even the most innocuous statement can tell the world something about an individual that they would prefer not to have broadcast about.  You can also compromise yourself. After awhile, if you get careless, the aggragate result can be very surprising, and uncomfortable.  I sometimes feel that at my age, there's isn't a lot I can lose by these slips but depending on who is reading them and what their motivation is, that may not be true.

If one of your correspondents lives in a country where it's illegal to discuss certain aspects of life, and you do so in a comment left on their blog, can you get them into trouble?  I'm not talking about third world countries, either.  I have frequently left notes on comments I've sent to English bloggers, and said "if this might land you in trouble, don't post this." Sometimes, they don't.  Some other parts of the world that might surprise you are light on the "freedom of speech" aspect of blogging.  I don't want to cause difficulties for anyone so I have to take that into consideration. I would never be upset if someone did not post one of my comments because they were protecting themselves. I would be very upset if I got someone into difficulties.  It's easy for an American to do that because we aren't used to the idea of being arrested for expressing our views.

The Internet has changed everything.  There was a time when I might drive two days to meet with people and exchange ideas.  Meetings like this were usually set up through mutual acquaintances. They ordinarily involved tightly organized groups and frequently had strong political overtones. Often there was such a degree of suspicion and distrust that nothing positive could be achieved.

I think the number of groups devoted to mutual support and coordinated activity is much lower than it was then.  I know there are still some outfits quietly motoring along below the surface, but they tend to be much less common than they were. Today it's more a case of individuals sharing ideas , point to point through the internet.  Even the old events where bloggers who shared the self sufficient lifestyle would meet at some prearranged location for a "blogfest" don't seem to happen anymore.

Whether these are positive developments or not I genuinely don't know.   Because blogs are necessarily open to anyone who wants to read them if you want to achieve the maximum communication, there's a lot you can't discuss on blogs that could gainfully be communicated to others. I don't know of any way to address this.  Setting up a "restricted access" blog is technically feasible but it seems to defeat the purpose.

One aspect of laptops and tablets is that you can go on maintaining your blog , updating it and reading others, from anywhere.  You can pursue your interests without having to lose contact with other bloggers.  Sometimes that's difficult for me to remember and I have to struggle against the idea of shutting down for a bit when I'm involved in something outside my normal routine.

 It's the tendency to fall between two stools, the old way of doing things and the new technology that has changed those old ways.  Over the last thirty years I've learned to be flexible and I've tried to adapt.  I've made a lot of good friends that way, but it's certainly a different ball game these days.

17 comments:

  1. Yeah - One is restricted with the degree of transparency, because big brother is always watching. Even here...

    Have a good week "away" , Harry - and take care, y'hear :)

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  2. It frustrates me. I see news stories on BBC about things happening in other countries. I want to ask people living there about them, then I remember other stories about people being arrested in those countries for expressing their beliefs on"forbidden"topics.

    I'll still be around. Changed my mind about "going off the air." No real need as I have the kindle. A little change of pace will be good for me.

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  3. Its very hard to chart with like minded folks, as I always wonder what will be picked up via the internet. reminds me of the movie code talkers. Are we better off with a snails pace instead of a lightening round of questions?? I know John has a long mustache, in ww2 but who will replace the king??

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    1. Well, I know I am a bit loose lipped sometimes. I shouldn't talk about what guns I have, or how much ammo I have. The next thing that happens is the government comes up with some ATF edict or an Obama executive order fatwa, and I'm an avowed law breaker. But in my case, honestly, I don't think there can be much they don't know about me anyway. I've literally written hundreds of letters to politicians over the course of my life. I have a concealed carry permit and an FFL (C&R). I've been blogging for years.

      What I'm really more concerned about these days is getting someone else in a jam. In most European countries you can be arrested for "hate speech" if you publically say something like "maybe letting all these blood sucking islamists into the country where they don't assimilate and spend their time making bombs is a bad idea."

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  4. I had not considered your point about getting others in trouble over comments made - I need to be more careful as well. Thanks for pointing this out.

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    1. Well, even after all these years, I recently posted a comment about an individual being able to buy expensive equipment. Fairly harmless in the context, but it does identify this person as an individual with some money and that's one of the things you don't do. I deleted it but I still felt irked with myself. Things that might give away a person's location, their job, their family composition, phone number, et al are taboo.

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  5. As Dani mentions above, it Big Brother that is the issue anymore.

    I've had someone after me to restart my blog even suggesting the private blog option. It's not what the civilian can see that concerns me. Big Brother sees all. So when you or someone leaves comments asking them not to post if it will get them into trouble, Big Brother, no matter what country it is, has access to those comments whether they get posted or not.

    I've seen the articles online warning everyone that facebook records every keystroke that is entered even is if is a draft and you turn around and delete it. We have to assume that Google ( ie. blogger and youtube and circles ) record everything as well.

    For example, I know your general thoughts on Islam and I know you visit certain English blogs. Consider that last week ( or was it the week before) in Britain where some people got arrested for publicly expressing their thoughts on Islam and how those folks have ruined a once great country. Let's say you go to those blogs that you visit and say something snarky about Islam and those comments aren't posted. If those blogs are being watched, or worse yet, a general word search program is is place, then those comments you left have probably been seen by others even though they never made it to the public eye. They pretty much aren't going to do zilch to you here, but it may draw unwanted attention to them from now on.

    You and I have had a long email discussion about being afraid to say what's on our minds. So I don't want to rehash all that again, but this a different concept here about leaving comments in other places. Whether or not the comments ever get posted for publi consumption is a moot issue now I believe.

    Just my thoughts.

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    1. Matt,


      (captaincrunch)

      Your right, on what is happening in Britain. I fear that will happen over here in time. I can see the First Amendment getting watered down even further with maybe another "Constitutional Convention' bought on by the Progressives (See the Matt Bracken books "Enemies, Foreign and Domestic)
      I can see a time when blogging will become extinct thanks to ISP's requiring bloggers to pay for access (another way to further shut us up) and political pressure and Sharia law will scare many politicians into making laws that will erode the First Amendment and benefit the collective.

      Harry' I can not recommend the three books "Enemies, Foreign and Domestic" by Matt Bracken highly enough. The third book will have you locked up in your house unable to come out until the book is finished.

      The books mirror whats happening today. One mass shooting leads to a knee jerk reaction, another law is written, and so on and so on. A disaster here and another major disaster there. Toss in a few smaller disasters and a major economic collapse and along comes really bad people running the country.

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    2. Harry and Matt,

      (captaincrunch)

      Almost forgot...

      I gave all three of my books (Enemies, Foreign and Domestic) away. Otherwise I would have sent them to you guys. When I gave my books away it was on the condition they would be spread around so some people may "open their eyes" to what is really going on.

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    3. Matt, what you say is true. When you throw in the element of international communications, it gets much worse. Today, the FBI can and does arrest people on the basis of conversations. It was once the practice here that you had to actually take some step to implement some illegal action before you could be arrested. Now, they grab people out of McDonald's for doing nothing more than expressing their views. They search your house, you lose your job, spend 8 months in jail, lose your home, your car. Then, when the FBI has wrung the last drop of face time on the media out of you, they release you for lack of evidence without any compensation. That's reality in the U.S. today.

      But if you are talking to foreign nationals, it's often much worse. In Germany you can wind up under the jail house for comments like "Yeah, Hitler was a bad guy but he made the trains run on time and put people back to work."

      In England anything even vaguely derogatory in nature towards the massive Islamic problem there can get you arrested, but some low life Mullah can go on the radio in the same country and praise thugs for murdering British soldiers in British streets, Nobody arrests him. Do the British "authorities" prosecute people for "inflammatory blogs?" I don't know and I don't want to find out by getting one of my friends into trouble.

      It doesn't even have to be a governmental authority that does people in. Islamofascists in the Netherlands are fond of cutting up people they think have insulted their religion. Go out for a ride on your bike and wind up chutney in the gutter. So is it safe to talk to a Dutch person about that topic on their blog?

      Suppose you have a friend that lives in an African country, and you see a news show that has some very disturbing statements about "taking back the land stolen by whites and "returning" it to blacks." Can you email that person or leave a comment on their blog asking if they are really in danger of losing their land? I doubt it. In an environment like that who wants to put a friend on the skyline?

      I keep hearing about these books but I've never read any of them. I will see if the first one is on Kindle and give it a shot. They must be good.

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    4. CC, I have heard a lot about these books, and I've seen them advertised in many of the magazines I read. I've never tried one, but I will see if I can get a Kindle version and give it a whirl.

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  6. this is one of the reasons I don't comment on certain posts.

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    1. Sol, I know it. I think you are wise not to. I just hope the political correctness police don't show up one day at work and haul you off to jail because they see you have been to this URL. I say that only half in jest >:-(

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  7. i'm with Sol....there are blogs that i use to stay on top of certain types of information but i do not comment on those blogs and don't have them listed in my blogroll. that doesn't mean that blogger/big brother/NSA/CSE isn't tracking my blog use! i have had several blog friends ask me why we are not more political on our blog - reason one is we are canadian - bahahah! and most of our readers are american. so our political issues are very different. the second reason is that when we started our blog, we stated in our very first post that we would not get political. we were both members of the APN/CPN until it became clear that the APN had changed into a money-making venture - something we didn't believe in.

    however, Harry, you raise some very interesting questions about commenting on others' blogs. and like usual, your posts cause much interesting discussion.

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, I try to stay out of politics, believe it or not! But I'm not very successful. I really do care about what's happening down here and I get very frustrated and angry when I see our politicians doing very, very stupid things.

      It's hard not to say so. There's the feeling that if they successfully intimidate people into shutting up, they've won. I don't mind taking certain risks on my own behalf, but I am painfully aware of the obligation not to compromise other people.

      All I can do is try to be careful and not post anything in a hurry.

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  8. Lately I do wish I could just come out, and say everything I think. I don't want others forming opinions about me without knowing me. I even have to watch what I say at home. My son has some friends from other countries. I've said stuff, then found out he went back to school and said things to them. I felt like a real ass because my 8 year old can't keep his mouth shut. Yep I have to learn to zip my lips on occasion.

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    1. Alissa, we all have to be discrete to some extent. When you have small kids, they do have a disconcerting tendency to go to school and say "my mom said " when the discussion should have stayed inside the four walls of your house. I experienced that myself when mine were little. It's just not on for most of us to be entirely frank in our conversations. Particularly at work, and education even more so, the politically correct rule the roost. It's just how it is.

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