Bob and Chez Show

The Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show 9/11/13


American Accents: The Daily Banter Editor Ben Cohen Joins Us for the Hour; The President’s Syria Address; The Disarmament Deal; Team Obama is Not the Stooges Fixing the Plumbing; The New Greenwald Snowden Revelation is Full of Gaping Holes; The Wall Street Journal NSA Story is Old News; The Consortium of Left Libertarians and Hackers Disguised as Journalists; and much more. Brought to you by Bubble Genius, the Amazon Link and the Bowen Law Group.

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Bubble Genius

  • Oh, one more thing from the end of the podcast…I’ve made it a hobby to study hackers and their psychology (because it combines several aspects of my strange combo of degrees and technical experience). For people like Barrett Brown, I’ve come to the conclusion they have a misunderstanding about the nature of reality versus “virtual reality”. Their misunderstanding, which is probably due to a lack of ethical education/socialization or willful ignorance), frees them to do things they would never do in real life.

    Here’s a quick example of something that happened repeatedly for several years back when I was teaching computer programmers (of which, quite a few were young, male hackers). When discussing ethics I would discuss real crimes like someone breaking into someone’s home and breaking up the furniture and painting graffiti on the walls. They universally said, “Of course that’s wrong!” Give them the exact same scenario of a website and they said it was perfectly okay. They could not or would not accept the fact that someone else’s stuff online was the same as someone else’s stuff in the real world.

    Now, of those two types, the one who can’t understand and the one who doesn’t want to understand, the latter is the most dangerous, obviously. The truly ignorant ones didn’t lack in intelligence, but they were raised by parents who didn’t supervise their online activities in any way shape or form. Their behavior online was not put into any ethical context like their real world behavior was. This was only reinforced by video games (NOTE I am not blaming video games for the downfall of our values, by any means, I love a good first person shooter game myself) and other forms of anonymous interaction that allowed them to engage behaviors they would never, ever do in the real world. These kids honestly grew up thinking that if it was done online, no harm, no foul. Real world consequences just didn’t and doesn’t occur to them.

    The other kind like Barrett know damn well that what they do is wrong but they think because they CAN do it, they should. That arrogance is mixed with the heady feeling of power they get from hurting others from some other part of the globe without really risking themselves. It makes their tiny geeky inner nerd feel so big and so brave. They’re what I like to think of as the “Techno Bully”. Not only do we have to worry about the school yard bully who gives us wedgies and indian burns, we also have to worry about the quiet nerd in the corner who is more than capable of emptying out your bank account.

  • I FINALLY got a chance to listen to this! I had to give up my subscription to the After Party so this is my only “fix” now (other than reading your blog, of course).

    I loved the juxtaposition of derision and affection in Chez’ voice when he says to Bob, “Suck it, jackass”. 🙂

  • Lady Willpower

    It’s amazing to hear the disdain for Glenn Greenwald in Ben’s voice. At one time Ben was probably the most sympathetic to GG’s point of view on Banter.
    It just shows you have far Greenwald has fallen, in terms of journalistic practices.

  • Lex

    “left libertians” “anarchists” “nihilists” “hackers” god damn cesca you are sounding more and more like billo reilley everyday

    • Hal Swann

      More like, those he describes have become more like billo. You know, like when he pretends to be “in the middle”. Calling billo a right wing hack is the same thing as calling the Greenwald gang what they are. Fakes pretending to be something they aren’t.

      • Lex

        only way i could sound more like billo then bob cesca is if i went ranting about “the war on christmas”

  • muselet

    Americans have troubles doing British accents, in large part because most Americans don’t realize just how many British accents there are (PROTIP: there’s not just one). On the other hand, British actors’ American accents are usually cringeworthy because they’re all flat vowels and speaking at the back of the throat (to any British actor reading this: we don’t talk that way, so please hire a competent speech coach rather than just winging it).

    There’s a podcast called “The World in Words”—everyone who’s even slightly interested in language should listen to it—hosted by an expat Brit named Patrick Cox. A couple of times, he’s mentioned that people in the US think he sounds really English, but when he goes back to the UK, people think he’s American. Such is the magic of accents. [/language_nerd]

    I suppose I shouldn’t be too harsh on Arianna Huffington and the Huffington Post since I found Bob Cesca’s Goddamn Awesome Blog! Go! (which is still how it’s listed in my bookmarks, by the way) through Bob’s HuffPo pieces. However, as far as I can tell, Arianna Huffington has never been much interested in anything that didn’t directly benefit Arianna Huffington, which is why the sale of Sideboob Central to AOL for silly money came as no surprise. Maybe I’m being unfair—I can be that way sometimes—but she was a regular on a KCRW yak show called “Left, Right & Center” (I listened to it occasionally before realizing what a truly awful and pointless show it is, but that’s a discussion for another time), and she spent her time telling everyone else that they didn’t have nearly the profound understanding of politics or culture that she did, as she dispensed sub-David Brooks bromides in between hawking her books and other projects. Personally, I think the woman is shameless, or hadn’t you guessed that already?

    Kevin Drum pointed out yesterday that every crisis in history has been handled in a messy, ugly way. His title says it all: “Syria Is a Mess. But Every Other Crisis Has Been a Mess Too.” Events overtake every administration, so to pretend the Obama Administration is uniquely incompetent because Syria hasn’t already neatly sorted itself out is, well, nuts.

    Chez, you remind me of my favorite quote from the late and much lamented Chick Hearn: “I’d rather be lucky than good.” (Hearn always added that it’s even better to be both.)

    (Bob, whenever I use my iPad, I marvel. Thirty years ago, a computer that took up a large part of a large desktop didn’t have a tiny fraction of the power and flexibility of a device I can hold in my hand. Astonishing. And as tempting as it is to make an iDick joke for Chez, I will forbear.)

    I’m so fed up with The Guardian‘s reporting on the NSA right now that if the paper reported that water is wet, I’d stick my finger under a faucet just to be sure. Isn’t it a fundamental tenet of journalism to understand what the hell it is you’re writing about? It’s possible that somewhere in the vast number of files Edward Snowden absconded with there is one that contains something truly alarming and newsworthy, but we’ll never know because that one will be buried amid the thousands that are, for all intents and purposes, the NSA bragging to itself about what an awesome organization it is.

    Chez, just for the record, Ralph Nader’s HuffPo piece carried the ever-so-subtle title of: “Stopping Barry O’Bomber’s Rush to War”. At this point, Nader really needs to take up fly fishing or making folk art from dryer lint and disappear from public life.

    Chez, I agree with you about the media climate. When every story, every topic, is presented as an outrage, dammit!, we lose the capacity to deal with reality in all its messy glory. Maybe in a few years, online reporting will settle down—not necessarily a pipe dream, look how print reporting matured and prospered for a few decades in the 20th century—but right now it’s mostly a bunch of bomb-chucking loonies.

    I’ll leave the jokes about Glenn Greenwald, self-admitted technical ignoramus, making common cause with self-described hacktivists to others.


    • ranger11

      So the show she was on is called “Left, Right, and Center”? That kind of describes every position she’s taken over the past twenty years for that oppositional dollar. Clinton-she’s Right, Bush-she’s Left, and now with Obama she’s, I guess, a combination of Left and Right. Follow the money…

      • muselet

        Pretty much, yes.


  • RilesSD

    So awesome you got Ali G on the podcast! Techmology rules.

    • HA!

    • Lady Willpower

      I thought he sounded more like Michael Caine as Alfred.