Infoterrorism: a primer

INFOTERRORISM - a primer This document is written to promote the use of infoterrorism as a means of spreading the only truly heretical philosophies in a democratic society, namely anti-democratic ones. Official forms of discourse permit only limited exposure to these ideas, but in the world of information a sheeplike audience can be divided between those who can awaken and those who need to be shocked and spurred into blind insane rage and fear. This is the goal of an infoterrorist, and he or she knows success has been achieved when discourse about forbidden topics breaks out yet again with those on the side of society as it is strident denouncement. For those who wish some symbolism, this tendency to divide audiences is why Satan and Hitler and McCarthy remain potent historical figures even decades after their "defeats." They represent something which is not permissible in society yet, as frustration builds, seems a tempting option to most who realize first that things are broken and second that current democratic-liberal-industrialist methods will do NOTHING to fix them. Table of Contents ----------------- I. Concept II. Methods III. Targets IV. Goals I. Concept ---------- Infoterrorism works by attaching information "objects" to basic impulses for all living things: terror and opportunity. In any given political situation in a modern, post-industrial type of society, those who own the means of media will have disproportionate control over the population as a whole, who will be oblivious to the actual situation, as all of their information comes through other people or media agencies. Consequently, it is easy for the controlling investors in society to portray a certain facade and have it be accepted by the masses, who, burdened by excessive hours at work and often destructive recreational activities, are in no shape for the critical thinking required to understand the actuality, provided they had the intelligence for it (most don't) and access to clearer information (few do) and the inclination or education to parse the issues into real-world effects (almost none do). Thus the job of society's stockholders is easy. However, because people live in a fragile shell of assertions made by other people, they instinctively have distrust at the back of their minds when hearing anything, no matter how adamantly they preach it. This is the first rule of infoterrorism - in a house of cards, no one believes 100% that his hand is as portrayed. This allows one to wield "terror": inserting doubt into the minds of the electorate and, more importantly, into the minds of the purchasing public, whose economic decisions impact "Western" liberal-democracies more than votes on issues determined by politicians in distant cities. An approach from the opposite angle is to use "opportunity": to convince people that there may be better profits, experiences and social power to be gained from doing other things. This can be as simple as portraying a certain attitude as hip and distanced from the mess that is society, or as complex as showing them how they would have more money and free time in another economic or social system. Between "terror" and "opportunity," the infoterrorist like a careful lover has a full palette of effects to use upon his or her audience, much like the "good cop/bad cop" of old TV shows or the "good news/bad news" of a saleperson. It is a force sufficient to in certain situations counter the "good behavior/bad behavior" operand conditioning that democratic, liberal societies use as a threat against their citizens, thus keeping them in line with the industrialist agenda while they are (technically) "free." II. Methods ----------- The basic strategies of infoterrorism are thus: - Suggest doubt regarding an underpinning of the facade of our society and its investors. - Use facts in a new context ("spin") to show how certain truths are not only not acknowledged, but denied, by our society. - Introduce paranoia and distrust of mainstream information. - Associate public figures or ideas with profits being made that are denied to the average person. - Illustrate the painful boredom and isolation of living in society. - Suggest an opportunity blocked by the powers that be which causes the individual to feel deprived/cheated. - Point out a loss of opportunity or higher opportunity cost for social ideals that do not immediately benefit the individual. - Demonstrate how future effects perceived to be far distant are already occurring. - Impersonate someone allied with the forces that be (unwise and illegal to allege you are actually employed by the gov't and on the payroll for your words) and cariacature the beliefs of those who blindly follow the system. - Allude to conspiracies, vast profits, hidden benefits, and lurking threats. The motive behind what you are doing is a desire to cause instability, and within the area opened in the minds of the public by that instability, to drop a few tantalizing ideas of both certain negative ("terror") and potential positive ("opportunity"); this is essentially a giant "spin" game to reconstrue society's dogma as something destructive and to simultaneously point out the advantages of doing it another way. Our weapon is doubt against an enemy who traditionally profits from doubt and fear; we are reclaiming that doubt and fear, and using them to construe society as an illusion (which it is) and to point out that the consequences of this illusion are imminent. Useful themes: - Social decay. - Harm to young women and children. - Cost and fear to the people who try to comply with society, thus making their allegiance cheap and wrongly placed. - Individual lack of success because of "..." - Threat to current way of life - Threat to the self-image of each reader as having an understanding of society and its motivations. Ideological icons fall the fastest when shown in their practical effects; for example, it's well and good to talk about such abstracts as "freedom" and "justice" and "honesty" but when "spin" can be used to reintroduce these absolutes as misapplied in the current context, those who support the system for reason of achieving them will experience a polar reversal in position. For example: "I used to support the government because it guaranteed us freedom, but now that I see that certain topics cannot be discussed, I realize this 'freedom' is benefitting someone other than me and other Regular Joes just trying to make a goddamn living!" Another example: "I really like the idea of justice, but when we indulge these expensive and lengthy efforts to root out evil, it ends up costing us taxpayers mucho money!" The Process ----------- To gain the attention of someone, first attract them with something that is enigmatically ambiguous; then, sabotage the image they have of what they already have; then, fan the flames of confusion while making the statement that you can't answer every question, but you know that one thing is a good idea. In that final "good idea," enclose your virus, of the simple sort such as: - Ideological socialist societies do not waste effort on supporting everyone, thus can afford to reward those who are law-abiding and hardworking. - All these emotional politicans talk up a big storm about really arbitrary stuff, but who's actually trying to make sure we won't all die from cancer because the environment is polluted? Who is stopping crime, or protecting American jobs? - It sure is confusing, with all these fancy names people use, but I think a government for the people who founded it isn't a half-bad idea, and one we should get back into the political spectrum. Here are the stages of infoterrorism: a. Doubt The key word here is "enigmatic": this doubt must suggest a hidden side to an issue or existence in society, and insinuate that something better exists outside of it and that negative consequences (though avoid "conspiracy") are inevitable with the current path. b. Assertion State something bold but totally vague, such as, "It appears to me that our society is failing." c. Confusion At this point, you are without form regarding a final argument: explore every possible thought and "spin" each one to make its outcome and conclusions ambiguous and most likely threatening. "Yep, those socialist governments sound good, but you pay a lot of taxes, and I don't know many that have prospered" -or- "It sure is tempting to just go libertarian, but that type of government assumes every person is equally sensible, and I know that isn't true." Appear to tentatively support every option, yet conclude by casting doubt on both it and the current system/idea. d. Implication Complementing your enigmatic opening to the exchange, you will want to conclude with a vague suggestion under which lies the firm suggestion that something quite different than the current plan must be done. "Well, if we ever get past this, it's going to be some kind of government that places our needs ahead of the profits of its members." The above examples are written around a political topic outline, but can be applied to any idea or event. These are managed through dialogue in public forums or through articles or flyers; the same formula can be applied in many situations and never fails because it is both circular and conclusive without appearing to be so; by constantly alluding to negative consequences and hinting that positive ones may lie in another direction, you assert the most important thing: the current idea has failed and another one of a type completely alien to it must be selected. Hacking ------- No infoterrorist should be opposed to changing public data in order to achieve political ends. While the democratic, moralistic, ownership-based industrial monetarist society in which current first world citizens have grown up would condemn those acts, to those with a longer span of attention and consequently, vision, it is apparent that industrial society and the religions/philosophies that justify it would rather destroy all life on planet earth than pass up an opportunity for short-term profit. "DALLAS, Texas (Reuters) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. shareholders this week voted down proposals concerning global warming and renewable energy, as the head of the global energy giant said profits take precedence over social causes. 'We won't jump on the bandwagon just because others may have a different view,' Chief Executive and Chairman Lee Raymond said. 'We don't invest to make social statements at the expense of shareholder return.'" The primary use of hacking, or gaining entry and control of publically-accessible computing resources, is to support a fiction or campaign in progress. Much has been made of hackers defacing websites, but what about a hacker inserting a "hidden" memorandum commanding Exxon Mobil Corp counsellors to bring charges against environmentalists? Supposing a hacker decided to make all of eBay's prices shift to absurd lows, or created a scheme by which Virgin Records mailed free CDs to anyone willing to sign a petition supporting eugenics? These sorts of things, while usually quickly uncovered and stopped, represent one front of infoterror via hacking. The rest is far subtler. Whether using customer reviews on a site to insinuate certain business practices to a retailer, or slowly altering language in public statements so that a company or individual appears to enforce a certain political view, the subtle practice of back-creating supporting evidence for public insinuations is the domain of hacking for infoterrorist purposes. A few suggested options: - Inserting articles on multiple news sites to make them "real" - Changing stock prices to make it appear as if a corporation is in trouble - Making fictitious characters into mouthpieces on corporate web sites - Altering dates or figures to undermine a move by an adversary - Removing certain products or altering their descriptions - Forged mass emails to communicate a public viewpoint for a company/person - Altered DNS records to suggest ownership of resources by target parties - Reprogramming spyware sites to piggyback viruses on their own code - Fake white pages and yellow pages listings to corroborate stories - Adding accounts that appear to be certain people with certain opinions - Photoshopping porn to include the faces of target victims - Releasing internal "security patches" which subvert software A further use for hacking-related knowledge is the covering of tracks. If you are presenting a discussion in a forum, it would not do for opposing viewpoints to come from the same machine IP, browser type or provider. Through skillful use of proxies, borrowed resources and other masking activities, one can avoid much of this trauma. While these are important abilities, they are beyond the scope of this article; is a good place to begin research on these topics. Hacking was once the culture of getting machines to do impressive things by thinking outside of the box; now, we realize the box is being imposed on us all and it must be conquered, and so "hacktivism" enters a new stage: the manipulation of public consensual belief. Examples -------- The following are examples of general infoterrorism, although hacking could be used to back them up. 1) [ On over forty internet forums popular with people who like to discuss politics and society, the following was posted with the title of "Declining minorities at colleges?" ] Affirmative action in admissions and hiring at public universities ended in 1998 when California voters passed Proposition 209. Since then, the percentage of African-American and Hispanic students has declined at UC Berkeley. Blacks now make up just 3.8 percent of the undergraduate student population, down from 6.1 percent in 1997, while the percentage of Hispanics has fallen from 13.2 to 10.2 percent. How is that groups which make up 25% of a local population area and have extensive public, including Federal, scholarship programs, fail to make it into college at rates higher than 4 and 10 percent? [ At a similar number of forums which discuss popular music, it was posted with the title "Racism at colleges on the rise." The result was that on politics forums, many people discussed it from both angles, and on the rock music forums, loudmouths and rabble-rousers screamed at the top of their lungs about "racism." From user accounts not related to those who posted the original articles, the forums were linked; what ensued was a massive flame war in which the insistent, strident, fearful screaming of the leftist side made them appear to discredit themselves, while doubt hovered over the issue as more rational minds steadily mentioned things done to combat racial inequality that have failed in the past, without making any strong assertions or responding to personal attacks. ] 2) [ On a metal forum, people are discussing the Milwaukee Metalfest, a gigantic ripoff of entertainment for people who'd like to go spend a lot of their parents' money in Milwaukee. It works by having them sign up to see 50 bands, of which they can possibly see 25, and of those, perhaps 10 are worth seeing. Most people show up and buy expensive beer, CDs and tshirts and miss the good shows, making profit for those who set up the show and no one else. This idea was not copy-and-pasted but was re-written on three forums on which people discuss these topics, by three different user accounts who regularly posted on those forums; the result was a whisper rumor introduced strategically instead of via wide coverage (neo-spamming). ] The number one reason not to go: the fest has had declining attendance in years past and its label supporters negotiated for slimmer contracts this year (cheaper). Thus it's not certain the thing won't slide into bankruptcy before this year's fest. 3) [ This article is pure dynamite, and thus is distributed everywhere in the edited form, which suggests the truth of the issue: squabbling over social issues based in egalitarianism has diluted the country with those who are less capable of contributing while bankrupting it of its resources. In every forum where this was introduced, another link to an alternate system of government outside of democracy and capitalism was posted, or a link was posted praising a traditional enemy of the United States, e.g. Cuba, Russia, Europe or China. ] "The new accounting shows the United States is broke. The true obligations of government were 10 times larger than Treasury debt held by the public. The present value of these unfunded obligations is a mind-numbing $43 trillion. Republicans and Democrats have distracted us with unending battles between haves and have-nots for decades. Over the same period they have bankrupted the country. " New report is released after figures are quietly edited out of the latest US budget projections: over the next decades, the USA is going to slide into total debt and lack of fund oblivion. Since not all of our newer citizens contribute money and more importantly, time and effort, to social programs as did our older class of citizens, this augurs for a quicker-than-predicted slide from first to third world for most people in North America. III. Targets ------------ There are two general types of places: dialogue areas, and newsitem areas. The former include all types of Internet forums, chat rooms, p2p chats, etc.; the latter includes any place that items of note with chronological importance are posted, including news sites, blogs, guestbooks, newsletters, and flyers. Infoterrorism is not limited to the Internet alone, nor is it limited to "legal" (if you've read this far, you know that "legal" and "illegal" are arbitrary terms referring to what is to the advantage of a government and its stockholders) methods. For example, if you can find a way to send news reports out through a broken mailing list, or insert a video feed at your local television station, or even corrupt a signal bounced off a satellite, all are fair game for the ideological troll and infoterrorist. a. Usenet There are many groups for political discussion; here are a few of the most common on which people discuss ideas: talk.politics talk.politics.guns talk.politics.drugs talk.politics.mideast talk.politics.misc soc.politics soc.politics.marxism soc.culture.usa alt.abortion alt.abuse-recovery alt.current-events alt.politics alt.politics.usa alt.politics.europe alt.politics.bush alt.politics.religion alt.politics.liberalism alt.politics.conservatism alt.politics.libertarian alt.politics.greens alt.politics.british alt.politics.radical-left uk.politics uk.politics.crime uk.politics.economics Some groups for good general trolling: alt.rush-limbaugh alt.flame alt.skinheads alt.revisionism alt.drugs alt.religion.christian soc.culture.jewish soc.culture.israel soc.religion.islam It is worthy to remember to hit also local groups like nyc.politics, mn.politics, and de.kultur. b. Sites Types of sites that are worth pursuing: - Newsletters These cultivate consistent readers and each have a "flavor," or particular mix of pet issues. This makes them great places to pick up reactionary minds to force into paradox. - Blogs Now that the net is here, everyone wants to be a television star, or at least have their own personal opinions page. Most of these permit you to enter comments, and at least two major pieces of software are swiss-cheese hackable. Methods that work on discussion sites: - Cut and Paste Formulate a position post that introduces an issue and begins its analysis and cut and paste this to at least ten different sites. This prompts debates which can reach critical mass among specialized net communities. - News Summaries Find an article that supports your position and excerpt the two or three most vital sentences. Then use the cut and paste method to propagate this everywhere; expect incendiary rhetoric to follow, and if you respond to that with passive but pointed repartee, expect unfettered flame warfare. - Allude No matter what site you're on, there is one considered by most of the members to be more important or "together." Find a post vaguely on topic at that source and give it spin on the less confident source; watch as people fall over each other to make their opinions conform to an image ideal (which you now control). You can find these sites with a search engine. Type "politics forum environment" into a search engine and you will find many useful links; you can also type "democrat guestbook" and find other sites; still others are useful issues, such as "abortion discussion" or "racism mailing list." Opportunities abound; if you find good places, share them at a public meeting point for infoterrorists, such as: c. Coordinated Action The most important facet of going on an infoterrorism strike is to coordinate action. If one of you is to be the "bad guy," an other or others must be "good guys." Specify in advance who will take each side of the debate and who will bring in what types of information; some participants spew facts, others make arguments, and still others offer personal commentary. Each can operate in sequence to present a very realistic discussion of the topic matter, given "spin" at its culmination in the vague direction of the desired propaganda message, if organized in advance. A few general concepts: - Research Related Ideas Find areas and arguments associated with your topic and use them to context arguments and discussion. If you are debating nuclear power, remember to also research conventional power and nuclear disasters. - Form Dynamic Groupings Put together fire teams for each issue that will create a set of conflicted viewpoints and resolve them in a direction positive for your intended communication. - Divide Tasks Before you even start trolling, it makes sense to divide research among members of the team. Research is twofold; first, you must understand the subject; second, you must find online and offline targets for your propaganda. If someone receives a flyer in their mailbox the same day they read something online, the effect is similar to reading about a presidential speech in a newspaper after hearing it the day before on TV. - Assault Set up some means of communication among yourselves that is not public and dive into the attack. Remember to stay in character, but not to overdo it. Doing this will help you shape the virus you want to present in its many forms. Just as with mainstream media, it is most effective to present all sides of a debate and then to hint at the conclusion you would like to be accepted; the best way to do this is to cast doubt on other options and make the option you would like to become commonplace as the most obvious despite well-publicized flaws. This way, people overlooking its flaws and seeing its essential value will feel a sense of self-worth in having discovered it as an opportunity. To recap, infoterrorist is about wedging your audience between "terror" and "opportunity"; you want to make the ideas we have in use today in society seem to be publically safe but to have potential terror lurking in their continued application, and you want to make things "discredited" seem sketchy at a surface glance yet valuable and full of opportunity in long-term application. d. Create Propaganda Part of any successful infoterrorism action includes a fun and vastly creative part of this discipline, the making of propaganda. Propaganda does not usually pound on tables and scream for your "side" of an argument; rather, some of the best propaganda either argues other sides in ways that associate them with selfish, destructive, mindless or special interest groups, such that other special interests will see them as competitive. You will often find yourself setting up competing propaganda voices and allowing their interplay to cast ambiguity upon issues so that in the final act a clear and pleasant voice can suggest something similar to an idea suggested before that happens to coincide with your own propaganda goals. Types of propaganda: - Newsletters Amazingly, assembling news and short opinion pieces and humor into an email text and sending/posting it weekly can attract many people to a cause. - Web Sites Any time you have an opinion, whether yours or that of your characters, that you need to express, put it on a web site with at minimum an explanation and links list. - Temporary Sites For quick exchanges, set up one page sites on "free" servers to dispense articles and files. - Link Sites For any issue, a site can take a neutral view and, after putting online an introduction and disclaimer, link all of the idiot voices from one side and only the intelligent voices from another. - Flyers The real-world portion of infoterrorism is useful. Controversial flyerings often make the news and real-world flyerings can reinforce views people have read about online. e. Tools Since you are going to be doing battle, you need to have tools kept in order which can aid you in all of the tasks you undertake. - Arguments List Your opponents rarely have opinions of their own, and if so, they're mostly derivative. Each time you encounter an opponent, note their arguments and classify them by what the person is trying to say; then, paste your answer afterwards. If you do this in a large text file, you can always have it handy for responding to new opponents regurgitating essentially similar arguments Example: 1. Guns are bad for economy Challenge: Guns cause many deaths and violence and slow down the economy. Response: As recorded in Stafford and Herlitz (1994), those who are gunned down are overwhelmingly unspecialized labor and easy to replace. Further, every death injects several thousand dollars in funeral costs back into the economy, on average. - Logical Fallacies These are worth knowing because they describe certain logical errors that are universally practiced, and catching a person in one of these makes it easy to document their failure. A short list of sites detailing this concept. - - - - Here is a short list of logical fallacies from Stephen Richardson ( and his excellent site on this topic: Material Fallacies False Cause Assuming that one event is caused by another, just because one happens after the other, is the fallacy of false cause. The two events could have both been caused by another event, or they could be totally unrelated. "More people die in hospitals than anywhere else. Therefore, going to a hospital causes death."(6) Hasty Generalization A hasty generalization is a general rule that is formed from only a few examples, or examples that are really exceptions. "A bear lives at the zoo, therefore, all bears live at zoos." Misapplied Generalization Generalizations applied to cases that are exceptions to the rule are said to be misapplied. "Tools are useful, therefore this hammer will be useful." One may not need a hammer, or the hammer may be broken. False Dilemma When an argument overlooks alternative possibilities, it creates a false dilemma. "America: Love it or Leave it." (7) Compound Question A compound question is one which is phrased in such a way so as to unfairly limit the possibilities of one's answer. "Are you still as selfish as you used to be?" Even if one answers "no," one would still be admitting that one had been selfish in the past. One subset of the compound question fallacy is the persuasive definition. Redefining the terms of an argument to make them support the conclusion is the persuasive definition fallacy.(8) False Analogy When an analogy is drawn between dissimilar objects or ideas, it is called a false analogy. Comparing "apples and oranges" is a well known example of a false analogy. Contradictory Premises A conclusion which is drawn from premises which cannot both be true at the same time is the fallacy of contradictory premises. "'What would happen if an irresistible force met an immovable object?' (One student's answer: 'An inconceivable smash!')"(9) Circular Reasoning An argument which contains the fallacy of circular reasoning uses its conclusion as support of its premises. It uses "the original thesis as proof of itself."(10) "C. S. Lewis was a good author, because he wrote good books. I know he wrote good books because he was a good author." Insufficient or Suppressed Evidence Someone who uses the fallacy of insufficient evidence draws a conclusion from only a few unrepresentative examples. "That type of car is poorly made; a friend of mine has one, and it continually gives him trouble." An argument that uses the fallacy of suppressed evidence uses as evidence only the facts that support the conclusion, disregarding the rest of the pertinent facts. This fallacy illustrates how the conclusion was formed before all the evidence for it was gathered, or even in spite of it. In scientific writing, this fallacy is seen in "a failure to look for evidence that will confirm or deny a proposed hypothesis," and it is also seen "when one believes an alternate explanation refutes another explanation without a comparison of the merits between the two explanations."(11) Fallacies of Relevance Irrelevance An argument is irrelevant if it proves or disproves the wrong point. This fallacy is really a broad category that includes almost all of the fallacies of relevance. "In a discussion of the relative safety of different makes of car, for instance, the issue of which cars are made domestically and which are imported is a red herring."(13) Personal Ridicule Someone who ridicules his opponent instead of addressing the premises of the argument commits this fallacy. "You wouldn't believe someone with his political views would you?" One type of the personal ridicule fallacy is the 'straw man.' When someone uses this fallacy, he applies a characterization or stereotype to his opponents to make them easy to refute. For example, saying that "a person who advocates reduced military spending is . . . in favor of giving in to the Russians," is a straw man fallacy.(14) Appeal to the People Using the feelings, actions, and/or prejudices of the general populous as a support of an argument may invalidate it. "Everyone's doing it!"(15) Appeal to Authority Using the opinion of an expert in a field other than the one being discussed may invalidate the argument. "Coke is the favorite soda of 9 out of 10 actors, therefore we should have Coke at our picnic." Appeal to Ignorance Assuming that a premise is correct because it can't be disproved displays the fallacy of ignorance. This is the "guilty until proven innocent" fallacy. "A classic example is this statement by Senator Joseph McCarthy, when asked to back up his accusation that a certain person was a communist: 'I do not have much information on this except the general statement of the agency that there is nothing in the files to disprove his Communist connections."(16) Appeal to Pity An argument that uses this fallacy may be invalid because it depends on the idea that one will be more likely to accept the conclusion if one feels sorry for someone or something associated with it. This is the "victim" mentality. "I know I flunked every exam, but if I don't pass this course, I'll have to retake it in summer school. You have to let me pass!"(17) Appeal to Force Threats and intimidations used to force someone to accept an argument constitute an appeal to force. "If you don't do what I tell you, you'll lose your job!" Appeal to Money Advertisers frequently appeal to the desire to save money or get more money to induce people to make purchases. Despite their success, their appeals are fallacious. "Buy our products and save up to $50 every year!" Emotive Language Using a word, phrase, or argument only to stimulate emotions invalidates ones argument. "President Clinton's best allies are the Clinton Haters."(18) The author of this quote used the term "Clinton Haters" to stimulate emotions. He described the "Clinton Haters" as willing to "say anything and charge him [Clinton] with anything that comes out of their heads when they get out of bed in the morning." He gives no evidence that anyone that impulsive actually exists. In this case, this fallacy is similar to the personal ridicule fallacy. Tu Quoque This fallacy is used as a defense, where the person being criticized accuses his critic of doing the same thing himself. ("Tu quoque" means "you too."(19)) "Son, it is your bedtime. Go to bed." "But dad, you are staying up!"(20) Genetic Error When someone disregards a premise or an argument only because of where it came from, they commit a genetic error. "The source of an argument is irrelevant so far as logical proof is concerned."(21) "[Clinton's] lieutenants . . . dismiss even legitimate questions as products of 'the attack machine.'"(22) Anthropomorphism When someone projects human feelings and qualities to animals and inanimate objects,(23) he commits a fallacy of anthropomorphism. "After millions of years of work, Nature had created many diverse species of plants and animals." Non Sequitur When the premises of an argument are not logically connected to the conclusions, the argument contains a non sequitur. "Trees are green; therefore human beings enjoy spinach."(24) Verbal Fallacies Ambiguity Using undefined words or words whose meaning is vague constitutes an ambiguity. For example, in 1997 the Commonwealth of Virginia proposed buying "probe kits" for every student to help in math. Regarding this ambiguity, C. R. Taft said, "To be sure, there is the matter of 6,000 'probe kits,' or data-collection devices. What data these devices collect and how they do so was never defined clearly." Equivocation Someone who uses a word in more than one sense, but gives the impression that only one meaning was meant, is using an equivocation. Anyone who presents an argument needs to use only one definition for each of his terms. When more than one definition is used for a certain word, it can cause confusion and be misleading. "Death is a subject of utmost gravity. Gravity is what keeps us from falling off the Earth. Thus, death is primarily what keeps us from falling off the Earth."(26) Composition Assuming that a group will have the same qualities as the individuals in it is the fallacy of composition. This fallacy and the next one are types of equivocation. "In the fallacy of composition, the individual terms that comprise a group . . . are equivocally confused with the collective term."(27) "A spider is a beneficial member of an ecosystem. Therefore, introducing millions of spiders into an ecosystem would be advantageous."(28) Division When one assumes that the individuals in a group will have the same qualities as the group they are in, one commits the fallacy of division. "That orchestra is the best in the world, therefore it is made up of the best musicians in the world." However, the best orchestra in the world may not have the world's best solo violinist. Amphibology A sentence that is structured in such a way as to make more than one interpretation possible is an amphibology. "Wanted to sell: A highchair for a baby with a broken leg."(29) Abstraction Taking a quote out of context is known as abstraction. Using this fallacy can totally change what was originally meant. Francis Bacon purportedly said, "Philosophy inclineth a man's mind to atheism." But what he actually said was, "A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion."(30) Here is another short list, with summaries, this time from another site, Fallacies of Distraction False Dilemma: two choices are given when in fact there are three options From Ignorance: because something is not known to be true, it is assumed to be false Slippery Slope: a series of increasingly unacceptable consequences is drawn Complex Question: two unrelated points are conjoined as a single proposition Appeals to Motives in Place of Support Appeal to Force: the reader is persuaded to agree by force Appeal to Pity: the reader is persuaded to agree by sympathy Consequences: the reader is warned of unacceptable consequences Prejudicial Language: value or moral goodness is attached to believing the author Popularity: a proposition is argued to be true because it is widely held to be true Changing the Subject Attacking the Person: the person's character is attacked the person's circumstances are noted the person does not practise what is preached Appeal to Authority: the authority is not an expert in the field experts in the field disagree the authority was joking, drunk, or in some other way not being serious Anonymous Authority: the authority in question is not named Style Over Substance: the manner in which an argument (or arguer) is presented is felt to affect the truth of the conclusion Inductive Fallacies Hasty Generalization: the sample is too small to support an inductive generalization about a population Unrepresentative Sample: the sample is unrepresentative of the sample as a whole False Analogy: the two objects or events being compared are relevantly dissimilar Slothful Induction: the conclusion of a strong inductive argument is denied despite the evidence to the contrary Fallacy of Exclusion: evidence which would change the outcome of an inductive argument is excluded from consideration Fallacies Involving Statistical Syllogisms Accident: a generalization is applied when circumstances suggest that there should be an exception Converse Accident : an exception is applied in circumstances where a generalization should apply Causal Fallacies Post Hoc: because one thing follows another, it is held to cause the other Joint effect: one thing is held to cause another when in fact they are both the joint effects of an underlying cause Insignificant: one thing is held to cause another, and it does, but it is insignificant compared to other causes of the effect Wrong Direction: the direction between cause and effect is reversed Complex Cause: the cause identified is only a part of the entire cause of the effect Missing the Point Begging the Question: the truth of the conclusion is assumed by the premises Irrelevant Conclusion: an argument in defense of one conclusion instead proves a different conclusion Straw Man: the author attacks an argument different from (and weaker than) the opposition's best argument Fallacies of Ambiguity Equivocation: the same term is used with two different meanings Amphiboly: the structure of a sentence allows two different interpretations Accent: the emphasis on a word or phrase suggests a meaning contrary to what the sentence actually says Category Errors Composition: because the attributes of the parts of a whole have a certain property, it is argued that the whole has that property Division: because the whole has a certain property, it is argued that the parts have that property Non Sequitur Affirming the Consequent: any argument of the form: If A then B, B, therefore A Denying the Antecedent: any argument of the form: If A then B, Not A, thus Not B Inconsistency: asserting that contrary or contradictory statements are both true Syllogistic Errors Fallacy of Four Terms: a syllogism has four terms Undistributed Middle: two separate categories are said to be connected because they share a common property Illicit Major: the predicate of the conclusion talks about all of something, but the premises only mention some cases of the term in the predicate Illicit Minor: the subject of the conclusion talks about all of something, but the premises only mention some cases of the term in the subject Fallacy of Exclusive Premises: a syllogism has two negative premises Fallacy of Drawing an Affirmative Conclusion From a Negative Premise: as the name implies Existential Fallacy: a particular conclusion is drawn from universal premises Fallacies of Explanation Subverted Support (The phenomenon being explained doesn't exist) Non-support (Evidence for the phenomenon being explained is biased) Untestability (The theory which explains cannot be tested) Limited Scope (The theory which explains can only explain one thing) Limited Depth (The theory which explains does not appeal to underlying causes) Fallacies of Definition Too Broad (The definition includes items which should not be included) Too Narrow (The definition does not include all the items which shouls be included) Failure to Elucidate (The definition is more difficult to understand than the word or concept being defined) Circular Definition (The definition includes the term being defined as a part of the definition) Conflicting Conditions (The definition is self-contradictory) IV. Goals -------- It is wise, after subjecting a reader to lengthy texts, to review what has been said and what its major objectives are. Here are the goals behind what we've discussed, which is the use of information manipulation in public internet/media to change the opinion of those who use these forms of information media. A. Install Paranoia The goal is to make people doubt what they have been told by adamant public sources. B. Connect People and Resources They never hear the side other than that which benefits society somehow; point them to resources and historical documentation. C. Discredit Opposition Make those who stridently preach the opposite of what you desire people to accept, through "spin" and redefinition of some of the values these opponents preach, appear to be less concerned with the individual than their own profit (this is almost always easy, since it is usually the case that they are profiteers and not public servants). D. Present a Controlled Spectrum Make sure you cover all sides of a debate, but much as an innoculation uses a weakened form of a virus to train the body to fight its stronger pure form, you will weaken certain sides of the debate while strengthening others. E. Leave an Exit Path You want to set up a pressure chamber and then make one area easier than others for people to select as the ideas with which they identify; this idea should be the one you would like to be accepted. Because ideas reflect how lives are lived, and to have poor ideas means failure instead of success, people associate their self-worth with the ideas they use to justify their lives. Attack all of what they are and they get defensive; gently show them how what they have accepted is broken, and then allow them to select a "new way" on their own, and the audience falls into your hands. To repeat from above, here are the stages of infoterrorism: a. Doubt The key word here is "enigmatic": this doubt must suggest a hidden side to an issue or existence in society, and insinuate that something better exists outside of it and that negative consequences (though avoid "conspiracy") are inevitable with the current path. b. Assertion State something bold but totally vague, such as, "It appears to me that our society is failing." c. Confusion At this point, you are without form regarding a final argument: explore every possible thought and "spin" each one to make its outcome and conclusions ambiguous and most likely threatening. "Yep, those socialist governments sound good, but you pay a lot of taxes, and I don't know many that have prospered" -or- "It sure is tempting to just go libertarian, but that type of government assumes every person is equally sensible, and I know that isn't true." Appear to tentatively support every option, yet conclude by casting doubt on both it and the current system/idea. d. Implication Complementing your enigmatic opening to the exchange, you will want to conclude with a vague suggestion under which lies the firm suggestion that something quite different than the current plan must be done. "Well, if we ever get past this, it's going to be some kind of government that places our needs ahead of the profits of its members." If you use the information in this file wisely, you and your organization can substantially decrease the effectiveness of opinion control in industrial society. This helps counterbalance a massively popular media and "patriotism" that denies most issues of real value. This is a solemn art for those with patience, but when concluded, it often has devastatingly powerful effects. (c) 2003 ANUS Infoterror Squad Update - June 8, 2004 --------------------- I. How to Find Targets A metaphor for the sites and media you seek is this: each room has four corners, and together they form the construct that encloses space and is a room. Similarly, for any issue, there will be a number of sites that have part of the picture, and between them information is shuttled by users who translate it with their own additions and values in the process. Therefore, what you are looking for is the evidence of that information. Search engines can be a big help, but the surefire best way to find anything on the net is to wade several levels deep through specialty pages devoted to that topic, where you will find that areas in which regulars participate. These will in turn feed other areas, and be fed by tangentially related sites; you can find these by user-posted links or hardcoded references. Hit the related sites first while approaching the regular poster areas with multiple personae, or slam the regular areas with a single, knowledgeable, nonjudgmental persona while letting multiple sock puppets slam into the related and tangential sites. II. Proxies: A Useful Tool Even the relatively stupefacted denizens of the post-AOL internet have figured out that, if someone presents an opinion they don't like, they can hit the red button marked IP ban. This puts your IP address in a database of disallowed accesses, and whatever script verifies cookies on the site checks against this database when any page is accessed. If you're banned, you have several recourses, but the simplest is a proxy. There are both simple proxies, which forward on your IP address in a header field (bad) and anonymous proxies, which entirely hide your origin (good). Unfortunately, these are hard sought, so some Google and searches are necessary to find lists of these; often, lists can be had via file-sharing services as well. To use a proxy, go into Tools->Internet Options->Connections in Internet Explorer. Click on the "LAN Settings" button; it will pop up a window which allows you to enter, among other things, a proxy address and to check off a box that turns on the proxy. Your surfing will be slower, but will not transmit your original IP, thus allowing you to continue information harassment. III. Search Engine Bombing The newer search engine algorithms give higher rankings to sites which are linked from many other pages with similar keywords. For this reason, the instant you start trolling any topic area set up a webpage, even if on a free host (there are now a number of $3-5/month webhosts as well), and put up your links list, preferrably with lots of descriptions that include juicy keywords between the tags. Using a legitimate account, hit every public area where such a thing would be useful; new users will link to your links list, and search engines will find these links as well. As a result of this work, your site will be linked more highly in the search engines. At this point, you can begin the process of keyword bombing, whereby you reassociate innocent terms with other keywords. You do this first on your links list, and then, with as many public postings and links on other sites as you can (manually enter the URLs of the pages that link correctly in at least one major search engine). An example: Hot anal pedophiliac sex and young boy buttery buttock blasting anal sex Using the four corners metaphor again: if enough corners pick up these terms, soon search engines will identify that link with the keywords mentioned. It's also worth taking a few minutes to search each engine for public forums that it indexes regularly (try "forum" and "bbs" and "message board") and finding a way to sneak links into either your signature, or at least a post on each. Then sit back and watch the comedy! (c) 2004 ANUS