Sunday, June 29, 2008

Chasing Spamalot


Dr. Danielle Allen's investigation into e-propaganda, in a profile Saturday by the WaPo:
"What I've come to realize is, the labor of generating an e-mail smear is divided and distributed amongst parties whose identities are secret even to each other," she says. A first group of people published articles that created the basis for the attack. A second group recirculated the claims from those articles without ever having been asked to do so. "No one coordinates the roles," Allen said. Instead the participants swim toward their goal like a school of fish -- moving on their own, but also in unison.

Obama's campaign, for better or worse, is writing the manual on combating this new asymmetrical guerrilla warfare. Obama has not shied away from the rumors -- he mentions them frequently. "Before I begin," he told a pro-Israel group this month, "I want to say that I know some provocative e-mails have been circulating throughout Jewish communities across the country. . . . They're filled with tall tales and dire warnings about a certain candidate for president. And all I want to say is -- let me know if you see this guy named Barack Obama, because he sounds pretty frightening."
Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

We are the microgeneration

A new government report to be released Monday mirrors a Conservative Party policy announced six months ago advocating "a decentralised energy revolution," according to The Independent of London.
The government-backed report, to be published tomorrow, says that, with changed policies, the number of British homes producing their own clean energy could multiply to one million – about one in every three – within 12 years.

These would produce enough power to replace five large nuclear power stations, tellingly at about the same time as the first of the much-touted new generation of reactors is likely to come on stream.

[. . .]

The 130-page report . . . has been produced by a consultancy, Element Energy, after a wide-ranging survey of public attitudes on installing household renewable energy systems. It has been financed, and steered by, 14 official and other bodies including DBERR, the official Energy Savings Trust, five regional development agencies, British Gas, the Micropower Council and the Ashden Trust.
After some hemming and hawing over energy policy in Britain, including entertaining building more nuclear stations and reducing support for microgeneration that leaves Britain well behind the rest of Europe, the report may offer a change of direction:
The report offers a very different future, as do the Tories, who see microgeneration as central to their philosophy of redirecting power to individuals. David Cameron sees "decentralised energy" as "a key part of our political vision, energy for the post-bureaucratic age". He believes microgeneration could make Britain, and individual communities, "self-sufficient in energy".
Post-bureaucratic? Decentralized? Self-sufficient? What kind of conservatives are they growing over there? Real conservatives know that the only way to cheaper gas and more freedom is drilling, drilling and more drilling. Clearly, British conservatives are a looney bunch of DFHs. Call Bill O'Reilly to have them arrested.