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Control, Chaos, and Trust

John Le Carre, a/k/a David Cornwell, is interviewed in The New York Times, and opines on the matter of the greatest intelligence coup of the past quarter millennium:
Q: Do you really think the Russians really have something on Trump?
A: the veterans of the S.I.S. [the British Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6] think, which is yes, kompromat was done on him. Of course, kompromat is done on everyone. So they end up, the theory goes, with this compromising bit of material and then they begin to release parts of it. They set up an ex-MI6 guy, Chris Steele, who is a patsy, effectively, and they feed him some stuff that's true, and some stuff that isn't true, and some stuff that is demonstrably wrong. Which means that Trump can then stand up and deny it, while knowing that the essence of it is true. And then he has a stone in his shoe for the rest of his administration.
It's important to remember that Putin is a K.G.B.-trained officer, and he thinks in the traditional K.G.B. way.
This is an inversion of the classic conspiracy-theory gambit.
If you have something that's bogus which you want people to believe as true, you wrap it in enough true facts to create a plausiblity of truth. At the extreme, only the one falsehood need be present. This is what makes untangling a well-constructed (though, mind, false) conspiracy theory so frustrating: there are large elements of it which check out. And the higher the ratio of truth to lie, the higher that cost.
(There are certain heuristics which may be useful short-cuts to finding that lie. Often cui bono, "who benefits", is pertinant. Or as commonly expressed, "follow the money".)
If you have something that is true, but you want people to think it is bogus, you throw in enough lies to impugn the credibility of the whole.
Which of course raises the question why would you want to do that?
I'll point you back to the Get Smart, the 1960s TV spy spoof. The principle organisations were CONTROL and CHAOS. Or rather, KAOS.
Putin is an agent of KAOS.
The goal here isn't to present one story or the other. It's not to make the case that Trump is, or is not compromised by the Russians. The goal is to create uncertainty over which story is in fact true, whilst undermining simultaneously the institutions of politics, faith in the U.S. administration, and the credibility of media.
This is an attack on trust itself.
And why trust? Because of all mechanisms for efficiency which exist, the ability to safely assume that things are as they appear, and that systems and people and institutions will perform as they are supposed to perform, is the greatest of all.
Operating in a world without trust puts a direct verification cost on all communications, obligations, and expectations. And as David Gerard has noted regarding Bitcoin: "It turns out that a tiny bit of trust saves you a fortune."

One last thing ...

Do you like what you're reading here? Would you like to see a broader discussion? Do you think there are ideas which should be shared more broadly?
The Lair isn't a numbers game, my real goal is quality -- reaching, and hopefully interacting with, an intelligent online community. Something which I've found, in several decades of online interactions, difficult to achieve.
But there's something which works surprisingly well: word of mouth. Shares, by others, to appropriate venues, have generated the best interactions. I do some of that, but I could use your help as well.
So: if you see something that strikes you as particularly cogent (or, perhaps, insipid), please share it. To another subreddit. To Twitter or Facebook or G+. To the small-but-high-quality Metafilter. To your blogging circle, or a mailing list. If you work in technology, policy, economics, or academia, there as well. To reporters or columnists covering similar topics.
Thanks, Morbius.
submitted by dredmorbius to dredmorbius [link] [comments]

Games and Theory: Cognitive biases Part 5.

This being the 5th such post, I think I might start a conversational practical where we can test what we have learned in context. I'm still thinking of how best to implement such a practical it will likely be on the lines of taking up a "hot topic" and representing both sides of the argument in a convincing manner. Ideas would be welcomed.
OK intro done. Onward and Forward!
The conjunction fallacy is a formal fallacy that occurs when it is assumed that specific conditions are more probable than a single general one. The most often-cited example of this fallacy originated with Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman:
Linda is 31 years old, single, outspoken, and very bright. She majored in philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with issues of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in anti-nuclear demonstrations.
Which is more probable?
  1. Linda is a bank teller.
  2. Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement.
The majority of those asked chose option 2. However the probability of two events occurring together (in "conjunction") is always less than or equal to the probability of either one occurring alone.
This is a perfect example of how to convince someone of something with out lying, in fact telling them accurate information in advance about the questions target would often be deemed helpful, though it will influence their choice in the question, even illogically so. Sometimes you won't have to even ask the question. If necessary you could perpetuate false information but you need to articulate the situation that a) they can't prove it wrong or b) shouldn't know in the first place.
  1. The regional manager of a company is coming to the local branch today
  2. The regional manager is wearing a suit and wine shirt, and is coming in as a mystery shoppecustomer.
  3. As its supposed to be a secret assessment they shouldn't know
  4. You appear in a suit and wine shirt, get special treatment of which they aren't supposed to give, because they think you are someone you are not.
Having intimate knowledge of corporate structure, is obviously beneficial in such a ruse, having the ability to name drop other local managers it may be a case of just calling a head saying your "xyz" from "abc" and that "the regional manager was just in and he is heading your way"
In regards to the practical examples of the base of the bias, that's just a case of painting your opponent with a brush to undermine their side of the discussion. We see this at a political level around election time a lot.
A certain state of mind wherein high values and high likelihoods are overestimated while low values and low likelihoods are underestimated.
It is an effect of rounding, where people tend to prefer information in more simple details, much like when you may turn your audio settings to 45 or 50 but never 47 whole round numbers are en mass more preferable. In this instance something like .0001% = never, and something like 97% or 99% = always, for instance believing a world ending comet strike is impossible because its unlikely.
Combined with the Base rate fallacy and the Availability heuristic fallacy which can cognitively shift an unlikely event into the mind set of a regular event, it will shift an unlikely event into an "always" event. Catholic priests being child molesters is a perfect example. Most anyone you will ask will say that "all catholic priests are child molesters" however statistically person per person catholic priests are less likely to be child molesters then the average person so far as to say statically they are unlikely to be child molesters.
It is equally possible, by paving the way with the correct cogitative biases in the correct order to invert a 1/100 chance of occurrence in someone's mind to a 99/100 chance and eventually a 100% matter of fact occurrence, pick the right person and they will take it up as a cause and perpetuate the idea for you. Regardless of the what and why of it, if someone unknowingly perpetuates your agenda due to intentional social engineering we call these people "proxies"
In computer networks, a proxy server is a server that acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers.
In Social Engineering, a Proxy is an involuntary person that acts as in intermediary for you or your accomplices seeking to to either upstream or downstream information to or from a target.
If someone is knowingly in on "IT" what ever it may be they are an accomplice, but much like an involuntary botnet where by peoples computers are hi-jacked for an alternate agenda than the owners use, say generating bitcoins, d-dosing servers and used against their will. If you hi-jack someone's thought processes and skew their perception and understanding alter what they believe to further an extended goal they are a proxy. Examples of proxies may include...
The last one I mentioned, we saw a lot of during the occupy movement, with out clear leadership people could turn up with a group of friends be active in the camp for a week and then declare themselves leader new people lacking understanding would assume this to be true because enough people said it, then the camp would be dragged into supporting some alternate agenda, it happened to a lot of camps and thus made the entire movement look direction less. Being unwillingly dragged into an agenda they didn't support also functioned as an exit gate, causing standing dedicated members to leave the camps, removing the opposition to the "usurpers" agenda. I was lucky enough to be positioned to observe this happening individually on a global scale.
The processes of forwarding or gathering information through a social network of at least 2 people. For instance I submit an idea to you and you perpetuate it to your friend, that is an upstream. Down streaming would be me gathering information about your friends from you. The Upstream or Downstream can be as long as you want but due to Chinese whispers and loss of message integrity it can be tricky and require a level of talent to perpetuate an idea beyond 2 degrees. it is said that everyone in the world is within 6 degrees of each other of contact from each other, so theoretically you could indirectly social engineer anyone on the planet by indirect propagation of ideas, maintain data integrity, while keeping the various proxies unconscious of their actions is without question my unfinished masterwork, and as its based on 6 degrees of separation, It will be called "6 degrees of control" it will likely be my magnum opus. I felt it was necessary to make a point about it rather than just casually brushing over it. it may be practically impossible but it is theoretically possible and pushing it to its practical limits will likely be something that will take me to my end. Here is an instance of how multiple degrees of up streaming via proxies might work.
Although that might sound simple enough, social engineering requires a lot of precision and as your message spreads like branches on a tree, it gets diluted and inaccurate, this can be cured by exit gates to an extent but full and detailed information about every possible and potential link in in the chain would need to be gathered, and a game tree for said links be plotted out, The work would be immense and a computer wouldn't have the intuition to carry it out. I heard tell that palantir were working on something for some American 3 letter agency but I can't dig up anything about that to link to, so maybe that's not public knowledge.
Anyway I've once again gone miles off topic.
A contrast effect is the enhancement or diminishment, relative to normal, of perception, cognition or related performance as a result of successive (immediately previous) or simultaneous exposure to a stimulus of lesser or greater value in the same dimension.
This is pretty simple, if you know any annoying person who always tries to one up your story every time, the reason you feel annoyed is his one upping you doesn't comparative make his story better, but your one less notable. Essentially undermining what you have to say. Equally if you were in a fight with your significant other and one party calls the other out on say "not washing dishes" the 2nd party might highlight that the first party didn't do "insert other chore here" in an effort to undermine the importance of the supposed issue causing conflict how ever this often has a backfire effect in that while it does undermine the nature if the initial point presented, it pisses off the first person because the point they initially made was "one upped" and discredited and they feel the same slight as one would do if they tried to tell a story just to have it bested, as tempers are already flaring in a heated discussion this leads to further irrational behavior. <--- that's worth noting next time you have a disagreement with your SO, you can maybe more strategically disagree with them postpone further escalation and irrational behaviour, and turn an irrational argument into a logical discussion.
I'm sure many of you would like to say you are a victim of this one :-P . The curse of knowledge is a cognitive bias that leads better-informed parties to find it extremely difficult to think about problems from the perspective of lesser-informed parties.
If you have ever tried to teach a 50yr + person about computers this is it right here, you can't even comprehend the basic stuff they don't understand because its intuitive to you, words you might use to describe what to do and how to do it, are words out side the lexicon of the person you are talking to you may as well be explaining to a Japanese person what the words "the" and "is" mean.
This is best exploited when playing dumb, people a) like to feel intellectually superior and it strokes their ego to help others and b) being slow and "dumb" makes people impatient and they will often do things for you because its easier than explaining things to you. If you ever told an older person to get off the computer and just do something for them rather then explain "how to" this is a perfect example.
In a social engineering capacity, having someone else do work for you and and be impatient with you, but be still feeling good because of the ego bonus can be very beneficial. I have gotten through passport control and luggage check on more than once occasion in by doing this sort of thing which many would agree are pretty strict security check points. admittedly I am a white male and I wasn't doing anything illegal it was more to see if I could so failure for me was going to the back of the queue. however I have yet to meet an apathetic impatient person who wants to deal with an incompetent, ignorant, painfully innocent, and polite person twice.
This is a solid one to remember for your day to day conversations or anything work related. the decoy effect (or asymmetric dominance effect) is the phenomenon whereby consumers will tend to have a specific change in preference between two options when also presented with a third option that is asymmetrically dominated. An option is asymmetrically dominated when it is inferior in all respects to one option; but, in comparison to the other option, it is inferior in some respects and superior in others. In other words, in terms of specific attributes determining preferability, it is completely dominated by (i.e., inferior to) one option and only partially dominated by the other. When the asymmetrically dominated option is present, a higher percentage of consumers will prefer the dominating option than when the asymmetrically dominated option is absent. The asymmetrically dominated option is therefore a decoy serving to increase preference for the dominating option.
If you are say competing in work with an idea with a work colleague or maybe socially as a host for a social engagement, and your idea competes with a 2nd idea, you could submit a 3rd idea whose sole purpose is to make your initial idea look better.
say you are going back to someone's place after the bar for drinks, you don't want to drive afterwards or have to go anywhere so it suits you to stay in bed and sleep when everyone leaves. You submit your option, you have better home entertainment and are more centrally located so its easier for people to get home there after, but you are further away where as your opponents option is closer, you then raise the idea of someone else's house which is as close as option 2 but in your direction, slightly more centrally located but not as good and lacks sufficient home entertainment. every point raised as a "con" to the 3rd point will nearly be a direct Pro in regards to yours, and by making people think about it them selves rather than saying it to them it is inducted into their thought process.
I think that's it for today, as usual I'll edit this afterwards when I see how readable it is, questions welcomed and encouraged, also if you have suggestions, topics you want me to address or content you want me to expand on, please don't be afraid to ask if I get no feedback I may as well just be soap boxing on a street corner like a weirdo.
submitted by ridik_ulass to gamesandtheory [link] [comments]

Solution: Blockchain Voting-- a secure electronic voting framework that we needed yesterday. Voting fraud happens because of 2 things: a) CorruptGov runs elections, b) Inconsistency in voting systems act as 'plausible deniability'.

These guys claim we're ready for it now, for the 2016 election:
Our government has cheated elections several times and they will continue to cheat and steal the vote so long as we can blame tallies on little old ladies counting the ballots; disenfranchised black people in florida; hacking; "lost" absentee ballots (or suddenly 'found' absentee ballots); diebold voting machines (or whatever they call themselves now); misreporting from the media; supreme court decisions that were wrong (gore v bush) because it was a politically-imbalanced cabinet at the time; and finally the existance of a theivery corporation's ploy called the electoral college as a means to overrule any deep-state-disapproved, democratically-elected republicanism.
These inconsistencies in our voting systems allow a corrupt government to 'get away with it', because 'problems' act as a 'plausible deniability' gambit for fraud. While the Spectacle spins off countless hours of news media coverage over the "possibility of fraud" and election scandals, talking bobble heads gobble on with ineffectual nonsense to a captive audience with the sole intention of selling pharma medications that don't work, food that's not fit to eat, and cars we can't afford. In other words, controversy is commodified: we'll be taking your money, kthanxbye.
Steal elections. 'lections. Make money, money. Steal elections 'lections. Make the money money.
Somewhere in there is a hit rap song.
Enter Blockchain Voting
It's important to enumerate all those problems, not as a whiny rant, but to demonstrate how Bitcoin technology can absolutely free us from these problems and end all controversies, so that we can get back to the task we once had of making this world a freer, better place for all humans everywhere (which is--to my mind--the core assumption of american exceptionalism).
The *Blockchain is an electronic, cryptographic public ledger used in bitcoin to track all transactions that have ever happened. It's used as parity check to prevent double spending (similar to the 90s era ecommerce problem of "click only once"). Anyone using bitcoin has a copy of every transaction that has ever been made. This means that every bitcoin user is part of one giant virtual bitcoin based bank with direct access to the bank's database of transactions. Think about how powerful that is.
It also means that the idea that bitcoin is anonymous that is commonly held (and propagandized by the main stream media as 'a money technology that enables crime') is simply false--its only semi anonymous. This means that bitcoin transactions are all traceable. This is why if you want anonymity, you use an online proxy service to create temporary bitcoin addresses to anonymize yourself, but this only protects you by hiding behind the service itself. There is soon to be a darkweb version of this service which will be a tor hidden service that will not be answerable to any government, and that will ensure true anonymity.
The blockchain is a powerful tool, and people are utilizing the metadata aspect of the blockchain in several creative ways. One in particular is in creating a secure electronic voting framework
These guys claim we're ready for it now, for the 2016 election:
Bitcoin can create this framework in many ways; but I believe most popularly it would use an exploitation of bitcoin' 'colored coins', 'tagging' coins with a form of metadata. Such as blue or red; business or personal; savings or dailyexpenditures; Hillary or Trump. In the case of bitcoinvoting, the 'value' aspect of the coins would be irrelevant. So one would only have to solve bitcoin for a relatively small number of bitcoins. Given that the smallest unit in BTC is 0.00000001 BTC, only 2 BTC would be needed to enable this, giving each person 0.00000001 BTC; if you used 3-5 BTC, that would be enough for at least the next 100 yrs of voting, given the US population is currently around 318.9M, and less than that would be legal to vote
So in this scenario, casting a vote would entail spending 0.00000001 BTC of Bernie-colored coin or Trump colored coin, to a bitcoin address representing your county's ballot box (or a federal ballot box address). You have a copy of your transaction, so do they, and you have everyone elses's vote, and so do they.
Semi-Anonymity is implicit because bitcoin addresses are just numbers, although they are traceable. This can be resolved fairly easily by using a central server. People will complain and say "who runs the server"? With bitcoin, it doesn't matter... you still have a copy of your vote and can check it. It precludes changing your vote. It elminates this problem entirely.
The 'Registration process' would need to be figured out. It could be the case that 2 bitcoin systems are used, one that registers a voter and another that handles casting votes.
How it Fixes
  1. ) Tally -- blockchain public ledger allows anyone to count the votes -- Fixed!
  2. ) Government changes votes in the database -- blockchain ledger disallows -- Fixed!
  3. ) Voting machine problems -- it's all electronic, consistent with bitcoin voting. All you need is a computer, the open source voting system is security-audited by the public and runs off a CD as a diskless OS. You print a paper wallet and write your vote to it --- fraud = Fixed!
  4. ) Absentee ballots -- no longer exist. You can vote instantly from anywhere in the world -- Fixed!
  5. ) Misreporting from MSM -- can't happen anymore as anyone can call immediate bullshit with software designed to tally based on your blockchain -- Fixed!
  6. ) Supreme Court Decisions -- blockchain won't fix a bad decision from the SCOTUS -- NOT FIXED! Although the people will have perfect evidence to hold the court itself in contempt of court and hold a collective vote of no confidence calling for immediate, permanent disbarrment of all members of SCOTUS from any future government office. Or we shoot them dead.
  7. ) Electoral college -- blockchain won't fix this so long as we have a system that politically upholds a fraudulent misapplication of democracy like this. However it will amplify differences between the two, supporting a narrative that the electoral college is the "Establishment's" vote versus the "people's vote". So it's a NOT FIXED! However, I believe people would like the democracy enabled by blockchain voting that they'd run towards it and admonish the electoral college as perfect manifestation of deep state elitism.
Re: Item #3 above: yes, not everyone has a computer. So you would have to have voting places still, but they would be computer labs connected to the internet or libraries, or your friend's computer...any computer that can boot from CD or USB stick can become a voting machine. There is software that hash-checks the diskimage and writes a certified copy to your media; you boot to it and it turns off every device but monitor, mouse and connects to internet to check your registration; or you just send your registration and vote info and if you do it again, it will overrule the last vote or ignore it (a decision to make...should you be able to change your mind prior to the election day, by which all votes must be cast and beyond which they won't be counted...
submitted by 911bodysnatchers322 to conspiracy [link] [comments]

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