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   Re: [xml-dev] Rigged Aggregators?

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> Possibly, but just saying he is crazy is more likely to
> make him believable where such things are believed.

When dealing with the more crackpot-leaning arguments there's really NO WAY
to avoid giving them creedance with any sort of comments; neither for nor
against.  One need not even leave the XML backyard and gaze upon the mess
that is RSS for a fine example.

> The web has a funny habit of denying things are possible that
> prove to be very possible.

I'd argue this is true regardless of being on or off the web.

> Over time, the amount of effort required to
> secure web resources is proving inordinately expensive.

If you'd use a less-than-sweeping generalization you might stand a better
chance of that argument holding water.

> 1.  He names names.  One of them is a frequent contributor
> to this list.  That's bad.

Oh hardly.  It's nothing more than an attention grabbing ploy.  It's little
more than attempting to tarnish the image of 'known names' in the hopes
their credibility might rub off and somehow give the article currency.  As
the saying goes, you can add any amount of ice cream to horse manure and
it'll never be called good, but add the tiniest bit of horse manure to ice
cream...  Seems he's trying to add his manure.

> 2.  He insinuates RSS aggregators are used in Federal elections.
> Not as far as I know.

No, they're not.  I'm in Washington DC and have a reasonably clear view of
uptake RSS tools are gaining.  We should be so lucky.

> Maybe other aggregators are and if so,
> is his scenario implausible?  Probably.  Impossible?  No and
> that is why this kind of article gets legs.

No, it's attention from that those should know better or are just looking
for a salacious angle.

> 3.  He cites the ChoicePoint fiasco.  That is a big fiasco.

And has no relevance to elections.

> Don't know if they use RSS aggregators.

Doesn't matter if they do.

> They do aggregate
> and they were bilked but by a social ploy, not a technical one.
> Still, we've all seen the power of the comment lifted out of
> context and put into a fertile field.

Given fertility by whom?

> It is better to debunk than to deride.  Again, he is citing
> tech that is pretty dear to the people on this list and the
> web is a fabulous promoter of superstitions.

No, PEOPLE are fabulous promoters of superstiions, the medium has nothing to
do with it and never has.

> Loco conspiracies
> are often accepted until debunked, and true conspiracies are
> sometimes outed by loco sources.

Not often enough to justify this article's claptrap.

> The dataMegaMarts are a real problem but that is a separate
> issue from that blog.

Exactly, the abuses put forth by Choicepoint, et al, in and of their own
right are heinous enough to DEMAND attention.  That data derived from them
could or couldn't be used for any number angles on conspiracy theories is
irrelevant.  As Twain said "Gather facts first and twist them at your
leisure."   The mechanism for gathering (or disseminating) has nothing to do
with it.

(CFR 28 Part 23 doesn't apply to them,
> and in fact, expressly doesn't apply to them, so they are a
> neat way around the Federal guidelines.  The law has to catch
> up to technical innovations as usual, but people have to make
> that happen).

What's needed are more people who bug the shit out of their elected
representatives and actively seek to derail the elections (or re-elections)
of nitwits that continue to let these shenanigans take place.  With regard
to elections is perhaps the point made by Edumnd Burke, "All that is
necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

-Bill Kearney


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