Tuesday, August 26, 2014

#1984

Via Instapundit comes this bit of creepiness:
The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.”
The tone-deafness is gobsmacking.
.

29 comments:

RevolverRob said...

To be fair - It's easy to think the government is the one that approved this study since NSF is funding it. But that's not really how NSF funding works. You see, grants and proposals are submitted, and volunteers, academics with jobs at universities, etc. Sit on review panels and review the proposals for NSF - The government's role in the process is basically as a glorified intern providing coffee and occasional meeting space in meat space to do these kinds of things, not to really gather any oversight.

None-the-less the directives and solicitations for NSF directives do come from .Gov. But even those are written by non-.Gov employed academics who volunteer their time to work for NSF.

It's not as though Obama Admin is sitting around the NSF office with a rubber stamp to fund or not fund.

I'd post this over there...but I have to be honest, when someone says "NSF is denying funds to evolution deniers." Like that is a problem...My brain feels all fuzzy.

-Rob

Firehand said...

Be interesting to see how they define 'misinformation' and 'hate speech'.

mikee said...

Having written grant applications to the NSF, DARPA, heck, even the USDA, I can say honestly that the incestuous nature of the grant solicitation/application/approval/funding apparatus is loaded with the equivalent of insider stock trading: who you know is often more important than what you propose. See Solyndra's funding path for an example: right through the White House, not the funding agency decision process.

And if "academics" are writing the grant directives for the feds, GIGO. Garbage In, Garbage Out, an old acronym whose disuse in modern times should be reconsidered.



Anonymous said...

Joe Biden juggles kittens.

Gerry

Tam said...

RevolverRob,

"To be fair - It's easy to think the government is the one that approved this study since NSF is funding it.

{snip}

None-the-less the directives and solicitations for NSF directives do come from .Gov.

{snip}

It's not as though Obama Admin is sitting around the NSF office with a rubber stamp to fund or not fund.
"

Try not to read too much into what I wrote. :)

Tam said...

RevolverRob,

As an addendum, the "tone-deafness" to which I refer is that I will just about gua-ron-tee that at least one person involved with this study down in Bloomington, Indiana either:

1) Had a "Dissent Is Patriotic" bumper sticker on their car, or...

2) Attended a protest where giant papier mache heads of George Bush adorned with swastikas and Stars of David danced around

...within the last eight years.

Anonymous said...

room 101!

docjim505 said...

"Truthy" database? They really need to come up with a better name. Sounds like a pack of recent college grads flogging their own talking po... Oh... Oh, never mind.

Caleb said...

Of course IU was the university behind this. It's not like they have anything better to do, since Purdue is doing all of the real science and research.

Joel said...

The federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter.

So the good news is that their database won't actually do anything, including contain data. Because the federal government couldn't stencil the reserved parking spaces at the 'truthy' database's giant government building for a measly $1 million.

Tam said...

Joel,

" Because the federal government couldn't stencil the reserved parking spaces at the 'truthy' database's giant..."

Refer to RevolverRob's comment above. The database is creepy, yes, but it's some guys at IU getting a grant, not a new giant federal anything.

staghounds said...

Yet. Nor is it folded into any current giant Federal something.

And again, we're the tone deaf ones- most people will never hear of this or ponder it if they do. To most of the rest, this is a good thing as long as the right people are in charge of it.

Windy Wilson said...

Firehand, considering how people nowadays regard facts contrary to their opinion as "just your opinion", and how academia is irremediably Leftist, I don't think we'll see any surprises in their definitions of 'misinformation' and 'hate speech'.

armedlaughing said...

Not room 101...
AREA 51!

gfa

Anonymous said...

And I just received a solicitation for a donation yesterday from IU!

I printed this out and will mail it back to them.

Shootin' Buddy

RevolverRob said...

mikee - You and I have had different experiences with government agencies. Yes, nepotism exists at that level, but at least in my field it is about science that is going on as much as who you know.

Tam - My response was a bit more tailored to the Ricochet article you linked to than your post directly. I totally got your tone-deafness point.

-Rob

tailwind said...

The vast majority of research grants like this result in nothing more than a final report. The main purpose is to spend money and keep otherwise unemployable "researchers" "employed."

The Jack said...

"Social Pollution"?

That's a... newspeaky term ain't it?

I can just imagine it's usage: "Look we're not restricting free speech, we're just fining polluters."

Tam said...

The Jack,

"That's a... newspeaky term ain't it?"

Inorite?

Old NFO said...

It's ALL going to be in the definitions... One wonders if 'we' could get a few added to the database... And tailwind, they potentially 'could' get SBIR funding up to about another $1.5M for a 'proof' case...

Gustave de Vindt said...

Attack Waaaaaaaaaaaatch!

2.0

Sarthurk said...

Bwhaaaaahahaha! Awesome Tam!

Richard Blaine said...

More money down the drain...

Solution - report EVERYTHING garbage in, garbage out. Turn what ever tiny signal they'd like to find into noise.

Seerak said...

The Jack: pretty much any "Social _____" coming out of academia or Leftists (but I repeat myself) is "newspeaky".

Cargosquid said...

If this DID have an actual chance of working "fairly," and accurately, the Democrat party would be doomed.
It would reveal the hate of the Left.
The mainstream media would be exposed.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Well, I look at it this way. As a White Middle-Aged MaleMilitary Veteran who is a NRA LIfe Member and Nose-Holding Registered Republitard with a CHP, I figure I'm on so many "Terrorist Watch Lists" that I, as an "Enemy of the State," look forward to THEM wasting Time, Money and Effort keeping Track of ME.

After all, "You can't Fight the Signal, Mal. It's EVERYWHERE!"

Mr Evilwrench said...

Like any employer, go with experience. If you're planning to seek and compile such information, you want to have the people with the most experience living and using it, to do so.

global village idiot said...

Barack Obama was on the Grassy Knoll on 22 November 1963.

Barack Obama talked B. Arnold into switching sides after Saratoga.

Barack Obama was responsible for New Coke.

Your call which is the greater tragedy...

gvi

Buzz said...

My "hometown."

No, I'm not proud.
No, I'm not the least bit surprised.
Yes, I escaped the lunacy to attend Purdue.

Just a recommendation to anyone that visits: It requires more latex and repellent than surfing Huffpo or DU.