down the rabbit hole

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It feels a bit like I fell down a rabbit hole yesterday. I spent part of the day with a couple that might be getting evicted from their apartment. They were given an eviction notice saying they had 10 days to leave. The legal clinic said it wasn’t a legal one and not to leave. Now they are told that if it goes to the tribunal and they lose they will not necessarily get 10 days to move out because they’ve already had those 10 days pre-going to the tribunal. If that makes you go “huh?” you’re not alone. The whole system is incredibly crazy. People won’t need time to arrange another location and move out after a tribunal hearing because they’ll had time to do it before? Yet then who can afford to fight an eviction notice at a tribunal if it means you have to have a backup plan like that if you loose?

To try to get it clarified I phoned the landlord tenant board and talked to little-miss-chipper who told me that of course the landlord tenant tribunal will take everything into consideration and even if they are evicted that day it normally takes the sheriff a few days before they get around to kicking them out. I asked what appeal process their is and she refused to say, only told me not to worry the adjudicators are always fair.

Then I’m thinking about someone else who had requested assistance from social assistance. She needed a new mattress and she was entitled to the funds through the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Fund (which will be no longer available for anyone after the end of this year). She was told single people didn’t qualify for mattresses, but because she contacted her local anti-poverty they could talk to the case-workers supervisor and she’s got the money now, for the mattress. But it is incredibly arbitrary what people are able to receive or not and it makes me angry. The anti-poverty organization has no real power on anything, only the ability to tell the social workers that we’re watching and we notice the arbitrary nature of this.

So those things are part of what makes me feel like I’m living in a kafka story but there’s other things adding to the confusion. I’m reading The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser. This book is the scariest one I’ve read in a long time. It talks about the way the internet is functioning, and how our personalities are being analyzed within the computer. The computer systems are figuring out how to target advertisements to all our interests, but they’re also figuring out which news stories to put before us and personalizing search results. So when you google search, you’ll be given different results than I would, even if I used the same search terms. Will this mean a person whose search patterns suggest they are from a lower economic status be less likely to access the same information someone whose search patterns suggest they come from a higher economic status?

Search engines and internet advertising services are attempting to understand what types of arguments persaude people. The internet advertisements you see will be influenced not just by what topics interest you but by what type of arguments you tend to prefer. Politicians have always said different things to different people but they can target their ads even better than ever these days.

Someone told me recently that the Ontario Healthcare will not pay for surgeries for people over 75 soon, without “special permission.” I came home and did a google search and found piles and piles of pages all warning the same thing. Then I did a google search with the word “hoax” added and found all the mainline newspaper articles explaining about how a hoax email origionally written about Obama care (and lying about that too) has recently been re-written for Ontario. Over 75 year olds will be able to receive surgeries to the extent they currently did. No changes being made, but until I added the word “hoax” all I found was confirmations of the lies.

Then of course yesterday was September 11th, which meant that the conspiracy theory pictures reappeared on facebook. One of the pictures claimed that 6 out of 10 9/11 commission members have gone on record since to admit there was a U.S. government cover-up. I thought okay, that should be verifiable. My first google search turned up plenty of sites repeating the claim. Eventually I found

http://jayinreallife.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/6-out-of-10-of-the-official-911-commissioners-on-record-discuss-how-the-government-lied-about-the-official-story/ which links to sources. I followed some (but not all) of those sources. The blog post quotes Bob Kerrey as saying “There are ample reasons to suspect that there may be some alternative to what we outlined in our version . . . We didn’t have access . . . .” What was the full quote? This is what the article quoted really said.

Kerrey was dismissive of the conspiracy theories as well. Asked about the possibility of a controlled demolition at the World Trade Center, he scoffed, “There’s no evidence for that.” But he also noted that, quite apart from what Avery and others in the “truth movement” have proposed, many legitimate mysteries still surround the events of that day. “There are ample reasons to suspect that there may be some alternative to what we outlined in our version,” Kerrey said. The commission had limited time and limited resources to pursue its investigation, and its access to key documents and witnesses was fettered by the administration. “I didn’t read a single PDB,” Kerrey said, referring to the president’s daily intelligence briefing reports. “We didn’t have access to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed,” the mastermind of the plot. “We accepted a compromise, submitting our questions to him through the CIA. Now, that’s not the best way to go about getting your questions answered. So I’m 100 percent certain that [bin Laden] directed that attack, but am I completely comfortable saying there was no direct Saudi involvement, or that Saddam Hussein wasn’t involved in some fashion, or that the Iranians weren’t involved? I’m pretty close to 100 percent certain, but I’d be more comfortable if we’d interviewed Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.”

John Farmer is quoted saying “I was shocked at how different the truth was  from the way it was described .. The tapes told a radically different story  from what had been told to us and the public for two years.. This is not  spin. This is not true.” Is that support for the conspiracy theories?
Umm…. not really. Follow the link to the article and what are they talking about? They’re saying the pentagon tried to cover up how badly they responded to the attacks. That’s a little different than what the conspiracy theorists are implying he said. People want to imply that the government was covering up that they brought down the towers in a controlled demolition.

I’m tired of people misrepresenting things online. I’m tired of miscommunication and confusion.

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