Um, I Think It's Time for a Thread on WikiLeaks

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If a poll is taken within the next week and shows a huge spike in war unpopularity, or something else quantifiable that can possibly be traced back to this leak, I might be willing to say that the leak was important, even without any huge new revelations. My hesitance would be how shitty most polling is and how little they generally can tell us, but that's pretty much the only way you could say that these leaks were somehow "important." Trying to saying so without having that is just making shit up.

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:16 (eight years ago) link

xp k3v, suggestion for future: when you don't know shit about something don't call people conservatives because they disagree with your one hour old opinion, k?

― Mordy, Tuesday, July 27, 2010 12:09 AM (1 minute ago)

yes, the fact that i haven't served in the military or have had my thoughts on intelligence leaks previously published disqualifies my opinion that disclosing this information is a good thing, regardless of its impact. and i hardly need your view on this to think you're a conservative

xp yeah there's the thing - you wouldn't know it but there's this crazy thing called principle, mine says uncovering secret shit that governments and militaries do is awesome, whether the info is interesting or mundane, whether it 'has an impact' or not

terry squad (k3vin k.), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:22 (eight years ago) link

Ah yes, the uncovering secret shit is good principle. I believe Kant wrote about that in his Critique of Practical Reason.

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:24 (eight years ago) link

If a poll is taken within the next week and shows a huge spike in war unpopularity, or something else quantifiable that can possibly be traced back to this leak, I might be willing to say that the leak was important, even without any huge new revelations. My hesitance would be how shitty most polling is and how little they generally can tell us, but that's pretty much the only way you could say that these leaks were somehow "important." Trying to saying so without having that is just making shit up.

― Mordy, Tuesday, July 27, 2010 12:16 AM (7 minutes ago)

i mean this paragraph just makes me want to vomit. that shit is laaaaaaaame wikileaks, you shouldn't have even published this, fuckin attention whores. way to distract me from more important issues such as what crazy comment rush limbaugh made and what color john mccain's poop was today

terry squad (k3vin k.), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:30 (eight years ago) link

Quotation marks of random shit you wrote, how fun!

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:32 (eight years ago) link

Free availability of information & transparency of government seem bedrock values of any democracy worth the name & that hardly seems like a controversial thing to assert in my opinion - what immediate measurable good is done by these values seems rather beside the point

gross rainbow of haerosmith (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:37 (eight years ago) link

otm

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:37 (eight years ago) link

Ah yes, the uncovering secret shit is good principle. I believe Kant wrote about that in his Critique of Practical Reason.

― Mordy, Tuesday, July 27, 2010 12:24 AM (13 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

this is kind of an important value in a liberal democracy isnt it? im on the fence about the intrinsic 'worth' of the information contained in the memos but its hard to argue that their publication is anything but a net good

max, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:39 (eight years ago) link

^yes (to aero & max)

terry squad (k3vin k.), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:40 (eight years ago) link

First of all, free availability of information & transparency of government are wonderful things to aspire to, but no government has ever practiced it fully, and no political philosopher has ever argued that a State can practice it fully and remain a State. But even putting that aside, k3v has now conflated my argument ("Let's wait and see if these leaks are truly valuable") which this other argument ("Wikileaks is wasting my time"). I already wrote that Wikileaks is a fine thing, even if this isn't the most useful leak. But in k3v's world everybody's political positions have to be the most thoughtlessly knee-jerk opinion on any given issue. There is no space for nuance or consideration, just blindly supporting anything that sounds good to you. It's insane and a total poisoning of any kind of intellectual life. Let's not think about issues on their own, just accept some vague, half-formulated "position," trumpet our own moral superiority, and condemn anyone who might disagree on any point as a crypto-conservative, or just simply a conservative.

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:40 (eight years ago) link

someone register me a better nemesis than this cargo shorts goof

terry squad (k3vin k.), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:41 (eight years ago) link

Like, if we want to talk about the value of a totally free information society, by all means let's have it. But k3v isn't actually interested in any kind of discussion of substance. He just comes up with a talking point and defends it to the death. Maybe we shouldn't be celebrating that.

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:42 (eight years ago) link

k3v, I think you'll get a new nemesis when you start writing coherently. I certainly won't have any issue with you at that point.

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:42 (eight years ago) link

He also doesn't argue at all. At the end of every conversation is boils down to some personal reference. He calls me out by my full name, asks me about my personal habits, mentions my WDYLL photo. This is seriously what ILX is gonna defend?

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:44 (eight years ago) link

kevin is the assange of ilx

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:44 (eight years ago) link

leaking the classified contents of wdyll photos

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:45 (eight years ago) link

He's really just a thoughtless dick tbh.

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:45 (eight years ago) link

It's insane and a total poisoning of any kind of intellectual life.

for a guy attempting to present a reasoned argument, this sort of hyperbole seems, to put it mildly, counterproductive

gross rainbow of haerosmith (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:47 (eight years ago) link

well at least its a more interesting beef than whiney v. deej

max, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:47 (eight years ago) link

that said k3v takin shit personal with appearance-related stuff is NAGL & you know it - you're perfectly capable of making your case without being uncool, and given that your case is righteous, I can't see why you'd shoot it in the foot

unless you're drunk, often when I get in "fuck you you fascist" political argts on ile it means I have got into the wine again

gross rainbow of haerosmith (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:49 (eight years ago) link

well at least its a more interesting beef than whiney v. deej

to be fair, my cat vs. the arm of the couch is a more interesting beef than whiney vs. deej

gross rainbow of haerosmith (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:49 (eight years ago) link

First of all, free availability of information & transparency of government are wonderful things to aspire to, but no government has ever practiced it fully,

but to take it back on topic, how can you in good conscience present such a specious and, yes, conservative argument? "wonderful things to aspire to, but no government has ever practiced it fully" isn't even on topic - the whole point of the various checks & balances in place is to move, push, nudge or force the elected & taxpayer-supported government toward as close to the ideal as possible. that means that every violation of the principles in question -- whether they're "important" or not (but as a governed citizen, I'll be the damn judge of that, and my [or anybody's] "yes it matters" cancels out any and every "naw, never mind") -- should be brought to light as quickly & and publicly as possible. Any case against the value of transparency will need to be made with something better than "well, nobody's perfect": which is a fair summary of what you say in the sentence above. Your sentence concludes

nd no political philosopher has ever argued that a State can practice it fully and remain a State.

which isn't germane to the case, I don't think; this seems like the classic appeal-to-authority, i.e., fallacious reasoning.

The rest of your case is a personal attack, in the process of decrying personal attacks: I don't need to point out the contradiction there.

gross rainbow of haerosmith (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 04:56 (eight years ago) link

I need to go to sleep and not be arguing here but: Presumably we both agree that certain kinds of information should be kept secret from the public (such as information that WikiLeaks currently has and is sitting on because it will put people's lives at risk) and that certain kinds of information should be released (that which will result in meaningful change and helps people's actual lives and does other good quality of life stuff in the world). If you believe in both those categories, then you inevitably have to believe that something can be neither, or a little of both, or any other permutation. And thinking people generally sit down and think about: Was this good? Instead of just broadly applying the principle and coming out with a conclusion without the rest of that discussion. I wasn't just making personal attacks for no reason -- and I certainly wasn't attacking him PERSONALLY. I was attacking the kind of argument he is relying upon; one where we deduct any kind of analysis because it might undermine something we consider a principle. It's the triumph of ideology over thought. And btw, didn't even Morbz write that this leak thing might not be worth anything? If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, does it make a sound? If something is leaked and it has no affect in the world, is it a good thing just because you personally got a release of a warm-feeling chemical into your brain? I guess it was good for you, but let's not over read the value.

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:02 (eight years ago) link

(And let's not run around calling people crypto-conservatives because they decided to analyze the material themselves and not just rely on their gut to tell them if it's good or not.)

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:03 (eight years ago) link

People were comparing these leaks to the Pentagon Papers! If the only good they do is they fulfill a personal principle, I think some articles explaining why they weren't that important are in order! I don't think someone trying to put them into a real perspective is somehow furthering the evil conservative agenda.

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:06 (eight years ago) link

So Julian Assange, hot or not?

I vote hot. What a guy.

mittens, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:12 (eight years ago) link

If something leaked and it does not impact the world, yes, it's a good thing, because it perpetuates the free flow of information, which, as I say, is an essential component of a democracy. I'm perfectly open to the idea that democracy is too flawed & perilous a thing to be dragged out for too long, or that its principles are in need of overhaul, but that's because I have Marxist ghosts in my closet, and I suspect that the result of such an overhaul is a state with more power than you really want a state to have. but if the actual principles in play are to be adhered to, then yes, absolutely, the leaking of suppressed information that has no value whatsoever is in itself a good thing, a strike in favor of democracy itself. the system benefits, and it principles are affirmed, when suppressed information is made public.

the only information that I will concede any state organization has the right to keep secret from the public is information that might directly put soldiers in the field in harm's way. troop movements. battlefield positions. how the war was being conducted eight years ago - four years ago - last year? I get to know all that if I want, as long as somebody's willing to publish it.

xpost this is not a personal principle. it is a bedrock principle of our democracy.

gross rainbow of haerosmith (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:14 (eight years ago) link

Ok, one more thing I have to say on this topic tonite: When you're a kid, at some point of your life, assuming you're in a situation where you're learning either the ten commandments, or generally ethical imperatives, you might have a question. It says do not kill, but what about if someone is trying to kill you first? Or someone is threatening someone else's life? And then you begin to learn that even the most important ethical decisions have nuance, and situations can shift no matter what the underlying principle is. So hopefully when you're an adult, and you see a WikiLeaks story, you've learnt that things in life are more complicated than, "yay, this sounds like some principle I have," and maybe you think, "I want to learn the details so I can decide whether it is a good thing, a bad thing, or a neutral thing." I have much more respect for the second person than the first.

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:15 (eight years ago) link

Yeah you are not even arguing in anything like good faith. This is not "some principle I have." Your attempt to characterize it as such is an egregious violation of the most basic tenets of debate, and suggests that your case is weak and you know it. The ethical question that you attempt to invoke - "does the information have value" - was asked before the principle was put in place, and is also not comparable to "is someone trying to kill me." Your desire seems to be to interrogate a couple of principles long ago agreed on by the framers of the founding documents and supported by hundreds of years of tradition. It is incumbent on you to explain why those values need a re-think, not on people who celebrate the exercise of such values to justify their satisfaction.

gross rainbow of haerosmith (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:21 (eight years ago) link

yeah and you're alone here it seems in witholding judgment on whether free access to such information is inherently good. it is - the information may not serve everyone's ends, or the government's, but demanding they not be able to control the dialog by dictating what is known and what is not is, like aerosmith says, a bedrock principle of democracy

xp

terry squad (k3vin k.), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:24 (eight years ago) link

I don't think I saw this linked, but if it was I'm sorry.

http://www.ted.com/talks/julian_assange_why_the_world_needs_wikileaks.html

Evan, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:25 (eight years ago) link

I'm not sure how you can say that the principle of all information should be free is something long ago agreed upon by anyone. Foucault writes that information is an intrinsic piece of power relationships. Inequalities of information have been apart of the United States since its founding. That doesn't mean that information isn't good, just that it isn't unqualifiedly good. As in any other principle, nuance is important. I didn't say that k3v shouldn't believe free information isn't good, just that he should be more willing to examine case by case to see if it fulfills his principles. Surely you don't believe outing Valerie Plame was good, because you recognize that even tho it involved taking secret information and making it public, that was situated in full contexts that undermined some kind of essential principle. I'm just asking that you maintain that ability to think about even things like WikiLeaks, and not to defame people who want to have a more cogent response to a particular leak than, "yay, freedom of information!"

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:27 (eight years ago) link

Also, you two realize you basically invented this idea about free information being at the bedrock of democracy thing and are running with it now?

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:28 (eight years ago) link

Like certainly more free information is important in a Democracy than in a totalitarian government, but let's not pretend like information inequalities weren't built into the very foundation of Democracy.

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:29 (eight years ago) link

Also, you two realize you basically invented this idea about free information being at the bedrock of democracy thing and are running with it now?

seriously how can you be making these claims with a straight face? admit that you are wrong & have been proven wrong. it's the gentlemanly thing to do.

http://www.jmu.edu/madison/gpos225-madison2/bill_of_rights_text.htm

honestly dude. one foucault ref does not make up for claiming that two guys on ilx invented freedom of the press.

gross rainbow of haerosmith (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:32 (eight years ago) link

really because it seems obvious to be that access to information by all parties & by people in all levels of political power is essential to a fair debate, and by extension democracy, the thing where everyone gets a say in how things are done

terry squad (k3vin k.), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:33 (eight years ago) link

xps

terry squad (k3vin k.), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:33 (eight years ago) link

to me*

terry squad (k3vin k.), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:33 (eight years ago) link

meant to have an image in that post between lines & here it is

http://www.coloradospringscriminallawyerblog.com/Bill%20Of%20Rights%2012-26-09.jpg

gross rainbow of haerosmith (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:33 (eight years ago) link

Now you're just strawmanning me. I treasure the freedom of the press and think WikiLeaks is a good thing. I just don't believe every leak every on a case by case basis is good because of that. Also, you don't believe that either (see Valerie Plane) you just don't want to admit it.

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:35 (eight years ago) link

Valerie Plane is a person with a right to privacy & with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, rights placed in jeopardy by the revelation of her identity. These are rights in conflict. You know this already and just want to argue; you know very well that asking "is the information valuable?" isn't germane to any discussion of freedom of the press. whether the information might cause someone to come to harm as a result of its revelation is absolutely a fair question. other questions about whether the information is useful or interesting may be fun parlor games, but the continued exercise of a free press is always worth celebrating.

gross rainbow of haerosmith (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:39 (eight years ago) link

And you were not strawmanned. You did indeed state that people here had made up the right of the public to information, which is the freedom of the press; how else does the public get its information? other than the use of our psychic powers I mean.

gross rainbow of haerosmith (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:42 (eight years ago) link

it's plame

max, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:43 (eight years ago) link

other questions about whether the information is useful or interesting may be fun parlor games, but the continued exercise of a free press is always worth celebrating.

This is the real problem in my eyes. You've totally missed the forest for the trees. The reason why we celebrate a free press is because of how it equals an often inequal power dynamic. It gives information to those who tend to not have it from those who do. It wonderful to have a working press in place because that transaction is an important one. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't actually look when that information is transacted and decide whether it was valuable or not. The only reason for the principle is to have the valuable information! It's not magically worthwhile on its own, and if a particular piece of information doesn't actually affect that power imbalance it's totally legitimate to point it out. That doesn't mean media is bad, or that good information is bad. It just means this particular piece might not be worth something. Far from being a parlor game it's the ONLY game in town.

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:43 (eight years ago) link

in later iterations of internet English the m was elided, do keep up with the linguistics max

gross rainbow of haerosmith (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:44 (eight years ago) link

how else does the public get its information?

http://www.ilxor.com

markers, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:44 (eight years ago) link

Thanks max, spelled it right the first time but phone-typoed it the second. And Smithy, I wasn't saying that you invented the free press. If you read that in what I wrote, I apologize. That's much broader than what I intended. What I intended was some kind of total free information principle is an invention. Even Democracy relies on some power imbalance to work (it's built into the very voting system, which remains confidential, and goes to the executive use of power where certain presidential claims to classified information have also been kept). Pretending like the State has no right to classified information is a willful misreading of history, I'd argue.

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:46 (eight years ago) link

The only reason for the principle is to have the valuable information!

that's a nice thing to think, I guess, but now who's cutting stuff from whole cloth? the reason for the principle is the full exercise of the freedoms available to us as citizens. one of the functions of a free press is to read books that have scenes with people having sex. there isn't any valuable information in those scenes. most such scenes are badly written, repetitive, and debased. and it's still a great thing that people write, publish, and read them. "human freedom" is a perfectly fine principle not in need of nobler principles to help it out.

gross rainbow of haerosmith (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:47 (eight years ago) link

I hate to admit this but I kind of have the hots for Assange, what he's doing is pretty amazing and apparently that silver hair happened really suddenly some years back entirely from the stress of what he does!

Gumbercules (Trayce), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:48 (eight years ago) link

Now you're conflating two things. One is making public what originated started as private and the other is allowing things into the public discourse. The former exists to correct power imbalances. The second doesn't (unless the State lists the sex book as classified). xp

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 05:49 (eight years ago) link

myeah. he may be a cnut but free press and whistleblowing should still be possible too

StanM, Thursday, 13 June 2019 11:50 (one month ago) link

I already said that. anyway.

StanM, Thursday, 13 June 2019 11:50 (one month ago) link

Sorely tempted to say ah fuck it in this case.

calzino, Thursday, 13 June 2019 11:55 (one month ago) link

Nah, it's important he goes to Sweden. Rape needs to be punished.

Frederik B, Thursday, 13 June 2019 13:00 (one month ago) link

Lol he'll get punished alright

Bash Street Kids: Endgame (Bananaman Begins), Thursday, 13 June 2019 15:31 (one month ago) link


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