16 Dec 2010 | 472 words | conspiracy feminism wikileaks media

It is pretty obvious than there is much more to the whole #cablegate/wikileaks story than i was willing to concede in my last post (i might even be a bit embarrassed about it). anyway below are some pointers to some of the more interesting writings from the last couple of days. Also it seems that the pakistanis (who are not commonly known for their sense of humor) are really enjoying the whole wikileaks thing: Ad for sanitary napkins close to Tariq Road in Karachi via kabobfest. A good place to start if you want to put the rant from my last post into perspective is this post at zunguzungu that analyses Assange’s 2006 paper on ‘State and Terrorist Conspiracies‘ (pdf). If you are so inclined you can read this paper as an attempt to argue that reporting on the non-news contained in the cables will (or at least could) have a lasting impact on the operational capacity of nation states (which, of course would be a good thing).

Not directly related to the release of the cables are two articles that try to shed some light on the drama surrounding the sexual assault allegations against Assange. Naomi Wolf has a furious piece in the Huffington post in which she puts the international arrest warrant for and subsequent arrest of Assange in the context of how poorly nation states normally deal with sexual violence against women. Based on this she comes to the conclusion that ‘Sweden, Britain, and Interpol Insult Rape Victims Worldwide‘. Over at 538 Nate Silver applies bayesian reasoning to arrive at pretty much the same conclusion.

update 22.12.10: here is another one, ‘the blast shack‘ a really long writeup by Bruce Sterling that is full of absolutely delightful observations and analogies. Here are two of my favorite ones, a description of Assange as the personified internet…

If the Internet was walking around in public, it would look and act a lot like Julian Assange. The Internet is about his age, and it doesn’t have any more care for the delicacies of profit, propriety and hierarchy than he does.

… and a comparison between Bradly Manning and Jerome Kerveil:

Instead, he’s very like Jerome Kerveil, that obscure French stock trader who stole 5 billion euros without making one dime for himself. Jerome Kerveil, just like Bradley Manning, was a bored, resentful, lower-echelon guy in a dead end, who discovered some awesome capacities in his system that his bosses never knew it had. It makes so little sense to behave like Kerveil and Manning that their threat can’t be imagined. A weird hack like that is self-defeating, and it’s sure to bring terrible repercussions to the transgressor. But then the sad and sordid days grind on and on; and that blindly potent machinery is just sitting there. Sitting there, tempting the user.