by William Skink
James Damore, the Google employee martyred by upper management for sharing his opinion internally with peers, is just the latest example of a liberal ideology grown increasingly brittle to criticism. Here is more Damore from an op-ed he was invited to write for the Wall Street Journal:
We all have moral preferences and beliefs about how the world is and should be. Having these views challenged can be painful, so we tend to avoid people with differing values and to associate with those who share our values. This self-segregation has become much more potent in recent decades. We are more mobile and can sort ourselves into different communities; we wait longer to find and choose just the right mate; and we spend much of our time in a digital world personalized to fit our views.
Google is a particularly intense echo chamber because it is in the middle of Silicon Valley and is so life-encompassing as a place to work. With free food, internal meme boards and weekly companywide meetings, Google becomes a huge part of its employees’ lives. Some even live on campus. For many, including myself, working at Google is a major part of their identity, almost like a cult with its own leaders and saints, all believed to righteously uphold the sacred motto of “Don’t be evil.”
Echo chambers maintain themselves by creating a shared spirit and keeping discussion confined within certain limits. As Noam Chomsky once observed, “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”
But echo chambers also have to guard against dissent and opposition. Whether it’s in our homes, online or in our workplaces, a consensus is maintained by shaming people into conformity or excommunicating them if they persist in violating taboos. Public shaming serves not only to display the virtue of those doing the shaming but also warns others that the same punishment awaits them if they don’t conform.
As someone who has challenged the echo chamber of Montana Democrats from the heart of their liberal stronghold in Missoula, I can identify with what Damore is experiencing right now. But if I thought pushing back against the rationale to destroy Libya was tough, challenging the accepted narrative that Russia hacked the US presidential election appears even more difficult.
For those of us who didn’t self-segragate into the resistance echo chamber after Trump was elected, The Democrat/MSM/Intelligence campaign to scapegoat Russia for HRC’s shocking electoral defeat was obvious. Every new headline was anonymously sourced and inflated claims, like all 16 alphabet soup agencies agreed that Russia hacked the election, quickly deflated when scrutinized.
Unfortunately for all humans living on this planet, the resistance has been impervious to mounting evidence that the case against Russia has slowly collapsed.
A few days ago The Nation picked up on a report that should be the stake through the heart of this brazen propaganda campaign to de-legitimize Trump. Here are legitimate professionals in the field of intelligence providing forensic evidence that the emails from the DNC were leaked, not hacked:
Lost in a year that often appeared to veer into our peculiarly American kind of hysteria is the absence of any credible evidence of what happened last year and who was responsible for it. It is tiresome to note, but none has been made available. Instead, we are urged to accept the word of institutions and senior officials with long records of deception. These officials profess “high confidence” in their “assessment” as to what happened in the spring and summer of last year—this standing as their authoritative judgment. Few have noticed since these evasive terms first appeared that an assessment is an opinion, nothing more, and to express high confidence is an upside-down way of admitting the absence of certain knowledge. This is how officials avoid putting their names on the assertions we are so strongly urged to accept—as the record shows many of them have done.
We come now to a moment of great gravity.
There has been a long effort to counter the official narrative we now call “Russiagate.” This effort has so far focused on the key events noted above, leaving numerous others still to be addressed. Until recently, researchers undertaking this work faced critical shortcomings, and these are to be explained. But they have achieved significant new momentum in the past several weeks, and what they have done now yields very consequential fruit. Forensic investigators, intelligence analysts, system designers, program architects, and computer scientists of long experience and strongly credentialed are now producing evidence disproving the official version of key events last year. Their work is intricate and continues at a kinetic pace as we speak. But its certain results so far are two, simply stated, and freighted with implications:
There was no hack of the Democratic National Committee’s system on July 5 last year—not by the Russians, not by anyone else. Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak—a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device. In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system. This casts serious doubt on the initial “hack,” as alleged, that led to the very consequential publication of a large store of documents on WikiLeaks last summer.
Forensic investigations of documents made public two weeks prior to the July 5 leak by the person or entity known as Guccifer 2.0 show that they were fraudulent: Before Guccifer posted them they were adulterated by cutting and pasting them into a blank template that had Russian as its default language. Guccifer took responsibility on June 15 for an intrusion the DNC reported on June 14 and professed to be a WikiLeaks source—claims essential to the official narrative implicating Russia in what was soon cast as an extensive hacking operation. To put the point simply, forensic science now devastates this narrative.
Once again, those of us outside the echo chamber expressing skepticism were absolutely right to be skeptical. But how will the resistance respond?
I know how partisan bloggers like Don Pogreba have responded to me in the past, and that’s to use mockery and terms like “conspiracy theory” to discredit my opinions and sources. Apparently establishment Democrats have no better response than something I would expect to read from
Intelligent Discontent The Montana Post. Here is the DNC response to The Nation’s piece:
Editor’s note: After publication, the Democratic National Committee contacted The Nation with a response, writing, “U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded the Russian government hacked the DNC in an attempt to interfere in the election. Any suggestion otherwise is false and is just another conspiracy theory like those pushed by Trump and his administration. It’s unfortunate that The Nation has decided to join the conspiracy theorists to push this narrative.”
This is the response of a desperate political party still totally invested in the now discredited narrative that Russia hacked the election.
It doesn’t seem to matter how many investigations have so far produced no substantial evidence of Trump’s collusion with Russia to hack the election.
It doesn’t seem to matter how much money and time is being wasted focusing on this cooked-up scandal when so many other dire issues are literally begging our lawmakers for attention.
It doesn’t even matter that tensions with Russia have surged to levels unseen since the height of the Cold War.
Nope, the party of safe spaces and identity politics is too invested in this propaganda campaign to admit defeat now.
As the Democratic Party and its Deep State colluders continue pushing the world closer to another world war, the rest of the world continues seeing America as the biggest threat to world peace, just like they did back in 2013, when Obama was president.
It’s amazing the different perspectives that exist outside the echo chamber of the resistance. If that echo chamber isn’t dismantled and its prisoners liberated, I’m afraid those perspectives will be destroyed along with our ability to live on this planet.
If the resistance can’t admit the narrative they so desperately hoped would be their ticket to depose Trump is nothing more than a contrived intelligence op, then we are in real trouble. Anyone who has perpetuated this false narrative has a responsibility to bring attention to this new evidence.
If they don’t, and knowingly continue pushing this false narrative, then I hope they are seen as the dangerous ideologues they are–hopefully before a nuclear war with Russia or a civil war in the States breaks out.
This was my favorite headline on the Nation piece: “The Nation Article About the DNC Hack Is Too Incoherent to Even Debunk”
From the piece, which of course, is just the deep state protecting itself from the truth:
But this article is neither conclusive proof nor strong evidence. It’s the extremely long-winded product of a crank, and it’s been getting attention only because it appears in a respected left-wing publication like The Nation. Anyone hoping to read it for careful reporting and clear explanation is going to come away disappointed, however.
If you want to get to the actual claims being made, you’ll have to skip the first 1,000 or so words, which mostly consist of breathtakingly elaborate throat-clearing. (“[H]ouses built on sand and made of cards are bound to collapse, and there can be no surprise that the one resting atop the ‘hack theory,’ as we can call the prevailing wisdom on the DNC events, appears to be in the process of doing so.”) About halfway through, you get to the crux of the article: A report, made by an anonymous analyst calling himself “Forensicator,” on the “metadata” of “locked files” leaked by the hacker Guccifer 2.0.
This should, already, set off alarm bells: An anonymous analyst is claiming to have analyzed the “metadata” of “locked files” that only this analyst had access to? Still, if I’m understanding it correctly, Lawrence’s central argument (which, again, rests on the belief that Forensicator’s claims about “metadata” are meaningful and correct) is that the initial data transfer from the DNC occurred at speeds impossible via the internet. Instead, he and a few retired intel-community members and some pseudonymous bloggers believe the data was transferred to a USB stick, making the infiltration a leak from someone inside the DNC, not a hack.
So if you have any evidence for a Russian “hack” please lay it out Don.
I think your concern about anonymous sources isn’t credible, considering dozens of articles from anonymous sources have been lobbed at Trump without a peep of concern from partisans like you. I will also point out that named sources have signed this letter, putting their reputations on the line to go against the echo chamber you are apparently stuck in. I guess you don’t think these people have any credibility:
only an ideologue would ignore this. even worse, you are trying to attack the credibility of the messengers because the information doesn’t conform to the narrative the resistance has placed so much of their hopes in with regards to deposing Trump.
Your sad tale about the struggle you endured to inform us all about Libya would be more compelling had you not cited false propaganda when you did, a correction I note you still haven’t made.
Deflection, avoidance, parry and thrust. The guy is a moving target. But as I remember Pogie, he is all about “trusted sources,” that is, turning off our brains and letting others think for us. I think it is commonly known now as the high school honors curriculum, which leads of course to high SAT scores, prestigious college placement, and yet more automatons like Pogie littering the landscape.
I once thought you were a shill, Don, others using you … that would be a step up from the intellectually bankrupt simpleton you present.
So go ahead, ask me about John Lennon, moron.
Let’s assume your tech bro badly misappropriating Noam Chomsky to defend his sexism is right and that we’re all trapped in echo chambers and “we spend much of our time in a digital world personalized to fit our views.”
Have you ever considered the possibility that you do exactly the same thing? I imagine no one likes to think that about himself. Maybe you’re right about me and the liberal elite of Missoula you despise so much, but how is it that you have masterfully escaped the echo chamber? Don’t you privilege news and information that comports with your preexisting worldview?
There are certainly far more named former and active intelligence officers, for instance, who do agree that Russia interfered with the American election or tried to, at the very least.
In all seriousness, I don’t know that you’re going to persuade those of us you insult and suggest lack intelligence. I guess it’s commendable that you keep trying, but wouldn’t those powers of discernment be best applied on yourself? Might it not be productive to critically examine how you get information and how you select what’s true in a sea of competing claims and evidence?
It might be more productive for all of us to do more of that and less insulting people who have chosen different worldviews.
Just a thought. I look forward to your series of insults about my intelligence, career, and/or personal life in response.
yes, I am in my own echo chamber, but I think what I hear is more accurate than your half-blind partisanship. I wasn’t shocked when Trump won, for example. I think it helped to pay critical attention to how Democrats under Obama operated for 8 years. it was truly amazing. partisans like you not only ignored the continued militarism and loyalty to Wall Street, you became active cheerleaders of a new form of American Imperialism, the R2P scam foisted on Libya and attempted on Syria. and then you’re shocked when identity politics and lesser-evilism can’t win it for HRC.
I think my perspective was greatly influenced by working at a homeless shelter from 2008-2016. I experienced quite a lot during that time period in my life. I saw how an Idaho transplant used the shelter to launch her political career with Montana Democrats. I saw how the number one priority of development impacted the “transients” when a Missoula “progressive” did the Mayor’s bidding to criminalize downtown sidewalks. I got to see a lot, and I know more than what I can write about.
I see it getting much worse, but at least now you and the resistance can just pin everything on Trump because he’s gonna make scapegoating great again.
I expect you will continue telling your half-blind narratives of evil Republicans doing this and that, and you will continue being half right. I will continue operating from this echo chamber–and since you have so graciously restored my ability to comment at your rebranded outpost, expect to hear some reverberations from time to time.
You have no idea what my experiences are, what I’ve read, what or what my core values are. What’s so frustrating and time wasting about these periodic spats is that we’ve proven that for whatever reasons, personal or political, we cannot persuade each other.
I’m not sure how it serves the purpose of bringing down Wall Street to attack Missoula legislators you have a personal disagreement with and I’m not sure how spending the amount of mental energy you periodically seem to on my blog accomplishes the end of American imperialism.
But do what you need to do. This exchange illustrates quite nicely why I’ve tried so hard not to engage. It’s not about you. It’s about how I choose to spend my “half-blind,” “partisan” time.
I don’t understand the value of you spending your time commenting at my site, given my combination of stupidity and willful ignorance, but go for it.
But please try to follow the commenting guidelines at my site. That’s all I ask.
Don’t waste your time commenting over at ID Liz.
Dissenting commenters are judged harshly while Don and his sheep are free to insult outside the guidelines.
“…we don’t need no thought control…” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkJcbZ3Ph9Q
BDS movement vs. AIPAC Dems are leading the charge against human dignity in New York. Propaganda rules the MSM. The anti-Russia narrative destroys the potental benefits of our political system. It’s all been dismantled. Why are Dems still pushing slavery, ecological rape and pillage, drone warfare and nuclear war? Resist. Resist. Resist.
I’ve never been convinced that Russians actually hacked our election — though a young woman recently went to jail for revealing a “classified” report showing a Russian effort to fool with voting technology in several states. But I’m pretty sure the Russian oligarchs wanted Trump to win and tried to help him. Trump appears to be part of an international capitalist/criminal syndicate which, of course, includes Russians. They’re not ideological. They’re just greedy and power-grabbing.
Follow the money.
Guess who owns the banks? And guess who’s hacking the tiny brains of congressional representatives who accept AIPAC bribes? https://israelpalestinenews.org/philip-weiss-role-jewish-democrats-bill-imprison-israel-boycotters-20-years/
comment removed – WS
Hey Erin, I smell a libel suit here.
Great day for Montanans guys – this is off the topic, but the Montana Dems picked a new Chairman. Somebody to help a reeling party recover, with new ideas and new energy? Nope – Mary Sexton – a Gov BS / Bullock crony, who is a rabid environmentalist to boot. As I was hoping – the Dems learned nothing from the last election cycle,
“Rabid environmentalist”? I guess you support the further degradation of our environment. Drill baby drill, right?
Mary Sexton is about as mainstream of liberal bureaucrat as you can get. Her environmental stances are very centrist, with her time at the Nature Conservancy being the epitome of a private/corporate environmental stance.
Calling Mary Sexton a rabid environmentalist is about as accurate as calling Steve Bullock an alt-right libertarian.
Look at who she gives money to. I did a little digging and it’s a who’s who of liberal Dems and causes.
Do you think I’m wrong, when I say her appointment is good news for the GOP?
After all, she’s one of the powers-that-be who sold out to Hillary before the primary, and helped get singing Robbie the nomination.
Liberal dems are not rabid environmentalists. Most, if not all radical enviros steer clear of party politics and politicians. They find them all rather yucky and phony. Even Green Party politics are very tepid.
You really need to get out more Eric. True radical enviros like Derrick Jensen and Deep Green Resistance are avoided by democrats like the plague. Go read his stuff sometime and get some perspective.
Proof of the hack attack.