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the art or practice of using symbols especially by investing things with a symbolic meaning or by expressing the invisible or intangible by means of visible or sensuous representations: as
a : artistic imitation or invention that is a method of revealing or suggesting immaterial, ideal, or otherwise intangible truth or states
b : the use of conventional or traditional signs in the representation of divine beings and spirits
The Rorschach test (German pronunciation: [ˈʁoːɐʃax]; also known as the Rorschach inkblot test, the Rorschach technique, or simply the inkblot test) is a psychological test in which subjects' perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation, complex algorithms, or both. Some psychologists use this test to examine a person's personality characteristics and emotional functioning. It has been employed to detect underlying thought disorder, especially in cases where patients are reluctant to describe their thinking processes openly. The test is named after its creator, Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach.
If you followed me today because of my exasperated comments about the NSA, or simply because you appreciate a good Tolkien analogy and see the actions of the US government with respect to user privacy as problematic and want to do something about it , let me recommend a few places where you can put your money where your mouth is:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation:
These guys are on the front lines fighting against bad or misinformed legislation, defending people whose lives are destroyed by same, or just agitating for changing a broken system. They have real lawyers who win real cases, up to and including before the Supreme Court. Read up on what they do for yourself, and support them:
The American Civil Liberties Union
The ACLU has a much broader portfolio than the EFF, but they have badass lawyers who have done a lot to try to fight things like the Patriot Act.
The Edward Snowden legal defense fund
Edward Snowden is the man who was willing to see his own life ruined to bring to light the illegality, abuses of power, and general lack of oversight of the large states surveilling their own citizens.
I think the guy is a hero; even if you think he's a punk, it's hard to argue he hasn't changed the shape of the debate about this issue for years to come.
I think he deserves a pardon; until then, his legal defense fund is the next best thing:
This is the big story in tech today:
I'm just going to post my thoughts on this. Standard disclaimer: They are my own thoughts, and not those of my employer.
# these guys.
I've spent the last ten years of my life trying to keep Google's users safe and secure from the many diverse threats Google faces.
I've seen armies of machines DOS-ing Google. I've seen worms DOS'ing Google to find vulnerabilities in other people's software. I've seen criminal gangs figure out malware. I've seen spyware masquerading as toolbars so thick it breaks computers because it interferes with the other spyware.
I've even seen oppressive governments use state sponsored hacking to target dissidents.
But even though we suspected this was happening, it still makes me terribly sad. It makes me sad because I believe in America.
Not in that flag-waving bull# we've-got-our-big-trucks-and-bigger-tanks sort of way, but in the way that you can looked a good friend who has a lot of flaws, but every time you meet him, you think, "That guy still has some good ideas going on".
But after spending all that time helping in my tiny way to protect Google -- one of the greatest things to arise from the internet -- seeing this, well, it's just a little like coming home from War with Sauron, destroying the One Ring, only to discover the NSA is on the front porch of the Shire chopping down the Party Tree and outsourcing all the hobbit farmers with half-orcs and whips.
The US has to be better than this; but I guess in the interim, that security job is looking a lot more like a Sisyphus thing than ever.
Also of note, this article from September may call some recent technical decisions into relief:
reply to post by akushla99
Does Brad Pitt have genetic engineers saying "We made him, and he is a clone"?