Joe Rogan Experience #1368 – Edward Snowden

All episodes of Joe Rogan Experience podcast are nearly three hours long, so I usually just watch the highlights. But this chat with Edward Snowden was well worth the full length watch.

Edward Snowden is one of the brightest and bravest people of our generation, and his story is fascinating. I think that this lengthy podcast episode provided a good channel for him to tell it. It’s not a tweet or a blog post, and it’s not strictly framed corporate media.

I also think that Joe Rogan is one of the finest interviewers today. In this episode, he shows that very well, but remaining silent for almost all duration of the show, with an occasional steer of the conversation.

I wish there were more content like this online.

Oh, and just for the record, “Permanent Record” is the book that Edward Snowden has written and is heavily referencing in this talk. I’ll definitely be buying a copy.

Blockchain : The Freeland Passport

Blockchain technology has been in the news a lot lately. Most of the attention however was on the cryptocurrencies and ICOs. But that’s a very tiny part of what the blockchain is all about.

There are many different applications of the blockchain technology – some we already know and some are yet to be discovered. But there’s this one particular milestone, which I consider of ultimate importance.

Freeland, which is a set of social, technological, and business experiments has recently announced the Freeland passport. Watch the above YouTube video (in English, or this one in Russian), which showcases the passport.

Now, with the quick “yes” answer to your question of “Is this real?”, let me ask you a question in return: is your mind blown yet? Mine is.

I think this is a very important milestone in major social, cultural, legal, technological, and financial transformations that are already changing the world. This passport is a beautiful bridge between the two very complex, yet very different worlds we now live in – the physical and the digital.

This is not the beginning, and this is not the end. But this is one of those moments in history, which a lot of people today won’t recognize as such, yet the generations to come will definitely point out and understand.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are living in the very exciting times!

Cyprus National Internet Portal for Open Data

It is via this Cyprus Mail article that I’ve learned that not only Cyprus has an official Open Data portal, but that it’s also the best in Europe:

Cyprus is one of the top five European Union countries in the field of Open Data for 2018, while the new National Open Data Portal data.gov.cy scored highest among 31 open data portals in Europe, a special honour and recognition for the Open University of Cyprus (OUC) that developed and implemented the National Open Data Portal in collaboration with the public administration and personnel department of the finance ministry.

So far I’ve only had a quick look around, and I have to say that it’s quite impressive!  Even though most of it is in Greek, Google Chrome translation handles it nicely.  Here are a couple of interesting bits to get you started:

And there is so much more … Well done, Open University of Cyprus!

10 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be True


10 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be True – some I’ve heard about before, some are new to me.  I’ll keep the list here for further reading and research.

  1. The Gulf of Tonkin Incident
  2. Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment
  3. Project MKUltra
  4. Operation Northwoods
  5. CIA Drug Trafficking
  6. Operation Mockingbird
  7. COINTELPRO
  8. Operation Snow White
  9. Secret Global Economic Policies
  10. The US Government Illegally Spies On Its Own Citizens

Citizenfour


citizenfour

It’s been a long while (almost two years in fact), since I posted a movie review.  It’s not that I haven’t seen any good movies in this period, but more of the fact that I tend to sound repetitive when I write these.  Watch that, this one is awesome, etc.

Last night I’ve watched “Citizenfour“, and I have to say I’m shaken by that documentary.   And I’m not a privacy or security freak, and I was somewhat familiar with Edward Snowden’s story.  This film, while portraying his personality, is not so much about him, as it is about the state of affairs.

As a non-US citizen, I have very little interest in what the US government is doing.  I don’t particularly care if someone is recording my Internet traffic, Google searches, or the phone calls I make.  I’m not worried about ending up “on the list”, or anything like that.

But not everyone is like that.  I do understand how government surveillance can be used, how data can be analyzed, and how pressure can be applied.  And I do share the point of view that the balance of power between the government and the people is way off (and not only in the US), and that we are beyond the point of any meaningful individual resistance.  It’s just that I don’t do anything about it, and Edward Snowden did.

For me personally, quite a few things were new in this film.  It was interesting to learn about the variety of NSA and CIA programs, the depth of their rich, and the technology that is in place already.  Some of it does sound like science fiction future, but is in fact very possible.   The stuff about security access in the NSA, drone video feeds, data gathering, analysis and search, with real time notifications, etc – all that was insightful.

The other side to the movie that I found interesting was the whole process that was used to expose these documents.  There is in fact no framework as to how such things can be done, what should and shouldn’t be published, how things can be verified, etc.  The move to remove his own bias and pass on the responsibility onto the journalists was interesting.

Overall, I think that the more people see this movie, the better.  The issues raised are very important and we should know about them.  It doesn’t only affect criminals or terrorists or Americans.  It affects everyone.  In particular everyone who has a phone, or a computer with an Internet connection, or a credit card.  After all, there are 1,200,000 people on the US watch lists, and from what I understand, this list is growing fast.