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  1. Seconda domanda: Cambridge Analytica segnala come propri casi di successo il ruolo consulenziale avuto per la Brexit e le presidenziali USA del 2016. Questo vuol dire che la propaganda computazionale data-based ha successo prevalentemente con i movimenti populisti? Qui entriamo nella fantapolitica, ma è possibile provare a ragionare sulla questione. Se fosse vero che il populismo è più sensibile ad una comunicazione semplice e mirata, vorrebbe dire che la mente di chi vota conservatore sia diversa dalla mente di chi vota liberale. Chi ha sollevato la questione è il linguista George Lakoff che nel suo libro “Moral Politics” ha ipotizzato che i conservatori hanno un modello familiare rigoroso, in cui i valori sono fondati su autodisciplina e lavoro duro, mentre i liberali hanno un modello familiare partecipativo, in cui i valori sono basati sul prendersi cura gli uni con gli altri.
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  2. Falsehoods almost always beat out the truth on Twitter, penetrating further, faster, and deeper into the social network than accurate information.

    And blame for this problem cannot be laid with our robotic brethren. From 2006 to 2016, Twitter bots amplified true stories as much as they amplified false ones, the study found. Fake news prospers, the authors write, “because humans, not robots, are more likely to spread it.”

    Political scientists and social-media researchers largely praised the study, saying it gave the broadest and most rigorous look so far into the scale of the fake-news problem on social networks, though some disputed its findings about bots and questioned its definition of news.

    “This is a really interesting and impressive study, and the results around how demonstrably untrue assertions spread faster and wider than demonstrable true ones do, within the sample, seem very robust, consistent, and well supported,” said Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, a professor of political communication at the University of Oxford, in an email.

    “I think it’s very careful, important work,” Brendan Nyhan, a professor of government at Dartmouth College, told me. “It’s excellent research of the sort that we need more of.”
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  3. We saw that President Obama, who was an outsider to the US military-intelligence complex, initially wanted to reign in the abuses of agencies like the CIA and the NSA, but in the end he did very little. Now we see a confrontation between president Trump and so-called Deep State, which includes the CIA and the NSA. Can a US president govern in opposition to such powerful entities?
    "Obama is certainly an instructive case. This is a president who campaigned on a platform of ending warrantless wiretapping in the United States, he said "that's not who we are, that's not what we do", and once he became the president, he expanded the program. He said he was going to close Guantanamo but he kept it open, he said he was going to limit extrajudicial killings and drone strikes that has been so routine in the Bush years. But Obama went on to authorize vastly more drone strikes than Bush. It became an industry. As for this idea that there is a Deep State, now the Deep State is not just the intelligence agencies, it is really a way of referring to the career bureaucracy of government. These are officials who sit in powerful positions, who don't leave when presidents do, who watch presidents come and go, they influence policy, they influence presidents and say: this is what we have always done, this is what we must do, and if you don't do this, people will die. It is very easy to persuade a new president who comes in, who has never had these powers, but has always wanted this job and wants very, very badly to do that job well. A bureaucrat sitting there for the last twenty years says: I understand what you said, I respect your principles, but if you do what you promised, people will die. It is very easy for a president to go: well, for now, I am going to set this controversy to the side, I'm going to take your advice, let you guys decide how these things should be done, and then I will revisit it, when I have a little more experience, maybe in a few months, maybe in a few years, but then they never do. This is what we saw quite clearly happen in the case of Barack Obama: when this story of Snowden exposing the NSA's mass surveillance » came forward in 2013, when Obama had been president for five years, one of the defences for this from his aides and political allies was: oh, Obama was just about to fix this problem! And sure enough, he eventually was forced from the wave of criticism to make some limited reforms, but he did not go far enough to end all of the programs that were in violation of the law or the constitution of the United States. That too was an intentional choice: he could have certainly used the scandal to advocate for all of the changes that he had campaigned on, to deliver on all of his promises, but in those five years he had become president, he discovered something else, which is that there are benefits from having very powerful intelligence agencies, there are benefits from having these career bureaucrats on your side, using their spider web over government for your benefit. Imagine you are Barack Obama, and you realise - yes, when you were campaigning you were saying: spying on people without a warrant is a problem, but then you realise: you can read Angela Merkel's text messages. Why bother calling her and asking her opinion, when you can just read her mind by breaking the law? It sounds like a joke, but it is a very seductive thing. Secrecy is perhaps the most corrupting of all government powers, because it takes public officials and divorces them from accountability to the public. When we look at the case of Trump, who is perhaps the worst of politicians, we see the same dynamic occurring. This is a president who said the CIA is the enemy, it's like Nazi Germany, they're listening to his phone calls, and all of these other things, some claims which are true, some claims which are absolutely not. A few months later, he is authorizing major powers for these same agencies that he has called his enemies. And this gets to the central crux of your question, which is: can any president oppose this? The answer is certainly. The president has to have some familiarity going in with the fact that this pitch is going to be made, that they are going to try to scare him or her into compliance. The president has to be willing to stand strongly on line and say: 'I was elected to represent the interests of the American people, and if you're not willing to respect the constitution and our rights, I will disband your agency, and create a new one'. I think they can definitely be forced into compliance, because these officials fear prison, just like every one of us."
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  4. Let’s Encrypt is a free and open certificate authority developed by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). Certificates issued by Let’s Encrypt are trusted by almost all browsers today.

    In this tutorial, we’ll provide a step by step instructions about how to secure your Nginx with Let’s Encrypt using the certbot tool on CentOS 7.
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  5. Tutti dal notaio. Per una rievocazione del «metodo Marino» da applicare sul neo eletto governatore della Regione Lazio, Nicola Zingaretti. Solo che questa volta, a differenza di quanto accadde al sindaco, la maggioranza per far scattare il «tana libera tutti» ci sarebbe già senza aiuti esterni. Ovvero i 26 consiglieri di opposizione che hanno perso sì le elezioni, ma hanno comunque un voto in più in consiglio rispetto alla coalizione di centrosinistra per via dell’anatra zoppa, partorita dalle urne (anche qui è colpa della legge elettorale adottata nel Lazio).

    La mossa a sorpresa, come risulta a Il Messaggero, è già in fase avanzata ma l’esito è ancora da scrivere. Lo sprint parte dal civico Sergio Pirozzi, forte della copertura politica di Matteo Salvini sempre più alla conquista del Centro-Sud. In queste ore sono stati già contattati i leader degli altri due macro gruppi: Stefano Parisi e Roberta Lombardi. Entrambi confermano a questo giornale l’esistenza del piano. Ma con delle differenze.

    La neo capogruppo grillina si è presa «un po’ di tempo» per parlarne con gli altri eletti del M5S (10 in tutto) e soprattutto con il capo politico Luigi Di Maio. Anche nel frastagliato fronte di Parisi (composto dai gruppi di Energie per l’Italia, Forza Italia, Fratelli d’Italia, Lega, Noi con l’Italia: 15 consiglieri) inizia a serpeggiare la pazza idea, seppur con qualche distinguo. Pirozzi e Salvini (che conta 4 consiglieri eletti nel Lazio) aspettano solo la proclamazione dell’ufficio elettorale centrale per lanciare una conferenza stampa che sarà seguita da una manifestazione sotto la Regione al grido «tutti dal notaio: ritorniamo al voto». Una questione di pochi giorni, «poi scopriremo i giochi», dice il sindaco di Amatrice.

    In caso di dimissioni di massa delle minoranze, Zingaretti decadrebbe subito, verrebbero riconvocate le elezioni entro sessanta giorni e il governatore non si potrebbe più ripresentare. Dietro a questo scenario esplosivo non c’è solo il sindaco di Amatrice, ma appunto proprio il leader della Lega pronto a usare questa carta per mandare anche un messaggio a Berlusconi e a Forza Italia sul tavolo parlamentare. Ovvero: mai con il Pd, né al governo né in Regione, in versione «stampella» a Zingaretti.

    In queste ore di sospetti, c’è poi un articolo che passa di chat in chat: è il 43 dello statuto del Consiglio regionale del Lazio. Al paragrafo 2 spiega che «l’approvazione della mozione di sfiducia» da parte della metà più uno dei consiglieri «comporta le dimissioni della giunta regionale e lo scioglimento del consiglio». Questa è la seconda ipotesi, preferita al momento da Parisi, per far saltare il governatore dem. Ma avrebbe una premessa: la partenza dei lavori dell’Aula e di tutta la macchina regionale, dalla giunta alle presidenze delle commissioni. Terreni di accordo tra il centrosinistra e le minoranze, rappresentate al momento da ben 7 gruppi, per non parlare delle varie correnti interne ai 5 Stelle o a Forza Italia.

    Fin qui lo scenario, poi c’è anche un pezzo di realtà molto prosaica: un consigliere regionale nel Lazio guadagna circa 7mila euro al mese, netti. Non proprio una miseria, un motivo che potrebbe spingere più di un eletto a darsi malato davanti al notaio e magari assente per motivi personali il giorno di un’eventuale sfiducia in Aula.
    Dall’altra parte della barricata, poi, c’è Zingaretti: il presidente che sogna la segreteria del Pd in questa fase così complicata ha interesse a far scoprire le opposizioni. E quindi aspetta di capire se sono davvero intenzionate a staccare la spina o se sarà possibile, al contrario, trovare un’«intesa programmatica» su quattro temi portanti del Lazio (sanità, rifiuti, trasporti, sociale). Di sicuro, da quando ha vinto le elezioni, in controtendenza con il resto del Paese e con un centrosinistra largo comprensivo di Leu, il fratello del commissario Montalbano non fa che ripetere: «Se c’è un accordo bene, altrimenti si va tutti a casa». Oggi Zingaretti incontrerà la sindaca grillina Virginia Raggi per un vertice amministrativo che sarà guardato con molta attenzione anche fuori dal Campidoglio. La partita di poker è appena iniziata. E mai come questa volta i destini del Lazio si intrecciano con quelli del governo.
    Tags: , , , , , by M. Fioretti (2018-03-15)
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  6. “If everyone was to behave like us then the world would be a better place — we would be able to get rid of guilt, inequality, competition, greed and anger.”“If we all ate less and were less materialistic the world would be a better place.” “Only by changing ourselves can we change the world, by our living example.”

    This is the one foundational belief system of every intentional community that all members can agree on. This was also the justification that the hippies used for practically everything. The theory goes like this: Instead of acting in the world, all you have to do is become a peaceful, non-violent person — a model human, and others will follow your model. This is how you change the world, by focusing entirely upon yourself.

    The results of this experiment are, generations later, clear — changing yourself became a vast industry of self-help books and courses, dietary, fitness and personal “spiritual” planning regimes — a form of obsessive self-focusing and self-policing, which, it turns out, corporations are very happy to encourage.

    The Final Test of the Blank Slate: Children

    There is one other final and hard-to-face factor that is an unintended consequences of Utopian alternative parenting experiments. There is a reason that the average life of a Utopian project is the time to takes to settle and begin to raise children.

    Children are the authoritative test of the theory that humans are born a blank slate and that all behavior is conditioned “by society” — of Rousseau’s potent idea that man is “born free but is everywhere in chains.” Children of Utopians should behave very differently than “old world” children, because they have been brought as blank slates into an egalitarian environment, and have been raised with positivist behavioral conditioning.

    But the children of Utopians fail every test: they are selfish, they grab and steal, they fight, and love competitive sports, they bully and they lie — just like all other children. Lying, it turns out, is a necessary developmental stage in learning. These naturally dishonest, violent creatures disprove the theory of human mind as a blank slate upon which images of perfection can be drawn.

    As the behaviorist J. B. Skinner (creator of Walden Two) realized, you can’t pass what you’ve learned on through your DNA so any achievements in equality achieved have to be repeated from scratch. Utopian behavioral engineering is an ongoing struggle against something that Utopians deny even exists — human nature. Not only are Utopian parents horrified by the little dictators that they have spawned, they find that they themselves have horrible anti-Utopian cravings to put their children above all the others. The maternal bond and the need for privacy also seem to be pan-cultural. Children brought up communally suffer neglect, as other adults find ways of refusing to care for children that are not their own. The lack of childcare and of constancy in who is “mother and father” leads to kids not being taken care of at all, falling between the cracks, leading to abuse and damaged children. People care a lot more for their own kids than they do for other kids as an obligation. One frequently hears Utopians complaining that someone else’s children are ruining everything.

    As for mothers — we discovered after the 1970s that “free love” communes turn into coercive systems in which women are forced to sleep with men they don’t want to. They also lead to male dominated harems. John Humphrey Noyes, the father of “perfectionism” and “complex marriage” fathered 58 children in his commune in the 1850s. Another Utopian collective in Holland was so radical that it’s male leader removed the age of consent and slept with his own daughters and those of other parents. While, the Friedrich’s Hoff Commune, led by Viennese performance art guru, Otto Muehl, collapsed with Muehl being given a “seven year prison sentence for widespread sexual abuse of minors.” Variations on this sickening story have been repeated with convicted sex offender and cult leader William Kamm and Warren Jeffs with his “50 brides.” When a charismatic leader takes control and demands that others de-condition themselves, exploitation is tolerated and then becomes the norm. All of this is done, with the coercive Utopian alibi that all capitalist and patriarchal behaviors and boundaries must be swept away. Auroville, which attempts to be government-free, and money-free, has been plagued with growing reports of the crimes of Sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape and murder.

    No matter how much Utopian communities try to get rid of the idea of sexual ownership — the female desire to chose a mate may be a constant for our species. It does however ensure the continuation of competitive behaviors, which leads us once again to hierarchies. To get rid of this, female choice would have to be stopped, a process that we associate with cultures that are oppressive.

    The Shakers who were celibate and only adopted children became extinct after their adopted children refused to adopt the rules of Shakerism. The Harmony Society died out because it refused to reproduce. And the experiment in Fourierirsm known as Brook Farm ended after with many child related problems, one of which being when the children refused to be placed at the bottom of the Fourierist redistribution hierarchy and were forced to clean the toilets.

    So many intentional communities create trouble for themselves by trying to replace the nuclear and extended family structure with other forms of mating and child rearing, only to find that mothers and children simply want to leave.

    Intentions Are Not Enough

    One of the great mistakes we make in interpersonal behavior, is to judge people by their intentions and not by the real outcome of those intentions. To let them off with saying “we meant well.” The same is true for wider society and the many and repeated failures of applying Utopian ideas to reality are nearly always excused by the same means — people say “but we meant well” or “it’s still a good idea, it just hasn’t worked in practice yet.”

    It could be that the greatest failing of intentional communities is contained within this very formulation. A community that is based upon declaring intentions is apt to be fearful of outcomes that would disprove those good intentions and invalidate them. So, the burying of facts about failure (moral, practical, political) would appear to be one of the secret tasks of those who live by intentions alone, who, rather than trying to address problems as they arise would rather bury the results, hide the outcomes and continue as if good intentions were all that was required. It is precisely this denial of outcomes that leads intentional communities to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Good intentions are clearly not enough but we shall undoubtedly continue to witness the communities of those who live by the constant re-affirmation of good intentions alone, continuing to fail and to bury the evidence of their failure in order to “keep on believing.” A result of this is that intentional communities will not learn from their mistakes, and will keep on springing up, not as a force that will gather momentum or lead to progress as we move through history, but as a ceaseless eruption of the same good intentions beset by the same systemic problems and doomed by internal contradictions to fail, all over again.
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  7. Ultimately, as a community tool, el paquete serves to inform and connect members of the community in ways the official channels haven’t ideologically or practically acknowledged need connecting. In a sense, the network is facilitating an exchange, not of ideas, which Cubans have always had, but opportunities, which have traditionally been limited.

    The paquete is more than a big dump of media. It’s a system, an economy, and maybe even a mental model for understanding how Cuba operates, in spite of, or as a result of, the otherwise antiquated media economy, with state-controlled broadcast and print networks. It serves to entertain, educate, and inform the Cuban people of what’s happening on and off the island in a way that’s unique to their cultural situation.

    The next time I head back to Cuba I’m going to try to patronize as many paquete advertisers as possible, as not just as a way of getting at the Cuba that’s behind the tourism curtain, but as a show of solidarity with their resources encouraging this emerging cultural ecosystem.
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  8. This is going to require a fight. The common story is that the robots are the threat to workers, but robots are just robots. It’s not robots that need to be bargained with, or that can be. The real obstruction will come from those, as in times past, who will find it too tempting to keep on accumulating the benefits of automated efficiency for themselves. It will take a fight to ensure those benefits are really shared — not through philanthropic handouts, but through a recognition that prosperity is a collective inheritance.

    Basic income advocate Peter Barnes, for instance, suggests deriving the funds from dividends on the use of such shared assets as clean air, the electromagnetic spectrum, and financial markets. This is like the model Alaska already uses to distribute about $1,000 from natural-resource wealth to each resident every year. The trouble is, too many industries are too used to regarding our shared assets as theirs to exploit. It is their shareholders we will be bargaining with. Sometimes, these shareholders are ourselves through pension funds or our 401k retirement plans.
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  9. Ma se questa legge fu approvata, perché allora non abbiamo un vincitore? Perché anche il ballottaggio dell’Italicum è stato censurato dalla Corte costituzionale. Dando vita, così, a un sistema “monco” (il cosiddetto Consultellum) che era il sistema elettorale in vigore prima dell’approvazione del Rosatellum: un semplice sistema proporzionale, con soglia di sbarramento al 3% e premio di maggioranza solo in caso di raggiungimento del 40% da parte di una singola lista. Nonostante il risultato eccellente, persino il Movimento 5 Stelle si è fermato molto al di sotto di questa soglia.

    Quindi, dopo averle letteralmente “provate tutte”, possiamo affermare che non è a causa del Rosatellum se nel Parlamento attuale non c’è una maggioranza. Al contrario, come ha di recente ricordato il nostro Andrea Maccagno, il meccanismo misto previsto dal Rosatellum, con la sua quota di collegi uninominali maggioritari, mette in condizione tutte le forze politiche di ottenere la maggioranza dei seggi, sia alla Camera che al Senato: a condizione, però, di avvicinarsi al 40% dei voti – e di vincere nei collegi uninominali “giusti”.

    Ma se nessuna delle forze politiche riesce ad ottenere abbastanza voti, prendersela col sistema elettorale è piuttosto privo di senso. Sarebbe ora che i protagonisti del dibattito pubblico se ne rendessero conto e chiedessero alle forze politiche di prendersi le loro responsabilità nelle sedi istituzionali opportune, come avviene in tante altre democrazie contemporanee.
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  10. E allora ecco la modesta proposta che giro a Di Maio e Salvini. Vi vogliono uniti. Unitevi. Per quei due mesi che servono ad approvare la legge elettorale a doppio turno alla francese e non un giorno di più. Poi a rivotare con lo strumento, antico sogno della sinistra, proposto nella Bicamerale, quello che funziona così bene a Parigi e nei nostri grandi comuni. Chi ha il 50% al primo turno passa e poi due settimane dopo il triello diventa duello. Sappiamo bene tra chi. Toccherà agli elettori e non più ai partiti scegliere. Notinmyname? Bene, notinyourname!
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