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Marx, Engels and the Squalidization Insufficiency March 5, 2014

Posted by olvidadorio in Economics.
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Marx and Engels are commonly ridiculed for predicting the proletarian uprising with “scientific certainty”. Both were convinced that capitalist exploitation would inevitably lead to further impoverishment of the working class, to ultimate squalor and that resistance would naturally arise: Capital’s scramble for profits and greater power would depress wages, in turn decreasing buying power, further exacerbating cost-cutting pressure on capitalists, etc… The cycle of the market would form a screw, digging deeper into its own demise.

Now let’s check history to see how well that went… Oops. Amongst the most common and obvious snides to be heaved at this prediction of proletarian uprising has been that it simply didn’t happen. Granted, it did not. Which, if you think like me begs the question: Why?

A commonly held belief is that consumption was so exorbitant that there was no chance for a downward spiral to develop. The industrial nations “opened up” ever new “markets” continuously (i.e. found a state or swaths of individuals willing and able to buy something new), to a point where demand for labor would continue to rise, allowing workers to negotiate for higher wages and ultimately more buying power (i.e. new markets), keeping the wheels of consumption and production in constant spin.

While this effect truly did occur (granted, with many hiccups and anomalies along the way) there is an underlying monstrous factor which mostly goes completely overlooked:
What Marx, Engels, as well as their critics failed to see (or foresee) was the sheer abundance of resources we found and were able to pull out of the earth, particularly using machines. With these means only were we able to feed the endless gluttony of human consumption and do this magic thing called “opening up new markets”. Without the resources to build stuff, there’s not much of a market to open. Only because of the extraction of fossil coal, and later oil, we were able to expand industrialism’s productive fruits to larger and larger swaths of the world population, and most essentially: We were able to do so without any skin off the elite’s teeth. They could get rich, everyone could get rich… It was all the better and none the worse. (simplified)

It must however be noted that this effect is a gigantic historic anomaly: For the overwhelming majority of human existence (on the basis of which, naturally, Marx & Engels made their predictions, whether they believed so or not), resources were a zero-sum game. For higher-ranking individuals to get ahead, others must be reduced to squalor. This has been the case from Pharaonic times all the way to the modern-day garment factories of Bangladesh.

The modern-day globalized garment factory is a clear example that capitalism has no built-in compunction about continuing to treat humans like dirt, just the same as the system operates fine while turning paupers into consumers (and the other way around). Conversely, just as we can find pockets of the ancient economic zero-sum game extending into the upward growth-slope of early industrial capitalism (i.e. Bangladesh), we can also find it cropping up again within the economics of decay and late-stage capitalism.
Such is basically the profit-model of low-wage and no-wage enterprises like Wal-Mart (the poster-child bad boy) or Amazon (the slicker one): Destroy healthy-margin local business, suppress the class of people doing the actual work to significantly lower social status and wealth. This is acheived by exploiting modern means of communication and control, as well as a more orderly and uniform society with ever more complex schemes of regulations and legal pitfalls (favoring the large) to build bigger and more brittle control structures. Finally you skim off riches at the top of a much wider and shallower pool. The recipe is simple: lower margins off more items. This is a resource-poor, non-growth (at least in any valuable sense of the term), zero-sum profit model. It comes perhaps as no surprise that such a model arose just about in a time when the USA’s abundant mineral wealth began to wane.

To be clear, our marvellous historic anomaly of bountiful resources is ending as we speak. The world once again has become a zero-sum game — or is at least in the process of becoming such. Yes I know, it may not feel that way yet, but this is mainly because we’re just tearing through the remaining resources at a faster rate while simultaneously fine-tuning our processes so as to do the same with less. Nevertheless there will have to be an adjustment of our overall mentality to accommodate the reality of a bounded world. Furthermore I would posit that our economic world-view and economic theory will follow course. (I – for one – predict a resurgence of the ill-advisedly maligned physiocrats.)

Of course, none of this means there will be a proletarian uprising in western industrial nations of any sorts, but that’s another topic for another time (and perhaps not at all)…

As a final note: I do wonder to which extent one might apply Marx’s theory to present-day China. After all, it is an advancing industrial nation bumping up against resource constraints. — Hence it might not get to play the game that saved us western industrialites from squalidization.
I know that so far the Chinese economy has been able to play the expanding-markets and rising-pay game successfully. However, even after throwing the American consumer under the bus (with a little help of the US elite) and outsourcing much of their harsh working conditions to other countries (southern Asia, Africa), Chinese growth in terms of physical wealth to the masses will falter. What will happen then, once looming shortage in raw materials builds pressure to either taper off wage increases or speed up inflation? (This pressure arises since the elites will need to limit mass consumption if they want to maintain their accustomed level of access to capital returns and material goods. The peeling off of the US-American lower- and middle class is an example of this effect in slow-motion.)

All this depends on how long China can continue to ride the upward slope and build up a system-affine middle class. Once real difficulties kick in though, setting the stage with an external military threat might be a good option to provide a mental framework to the masses, in order to mediate as to why their lot is not improving. This is both expedient and natural, as there will be growing geopolitical rivalries involving China, shifting from the US to the rising Russian Federation.
However, even given this militaristic pressure-release valve, expect more cunning and ambitious elements within the Communist Party of China to start re-discovering their “red roots” (maybe in a form of palace revolt) in order to ride the rising tide of discontent.

Perhaps. 🙂

Post China July 31, 2013

Posted by olvidadorio in Economics.
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I often enjoy reading dispatches by Stratfor, a Texan intelligence/analysis think-tank-for-hire. Most recently this opinion piece: The PC16: Identifying China’s Successors. Stratfor’s head, George Friedman speculates, which countries might at some point take on China’s role as cheap work-force manufacturing country. Their thesis: a ragtag group of up-and-coming developing countries from Tanzania to Peru will fill this role, with investments from small cut-throat margin manufacturers leading the way.

I agree with a lot of Friedman’s analysis. Case in point: One friend in China had lost his job in the US, when his employer closed its cap/headgear factory. He was offered to move to China to work as their representative with the manufacturing subcontractor there. Needless to say he took the job (and the raise). I was intrigued to hear that recently he was sent to Bangladesh to scout out new manufacturing locations. China is in fact getting too expensive for his industry to outsource to. He reported conditions in Bangladesh were rather atrocious, perhaps just right for business.

One aspect strikes me as amusing about Friedman’s message. He has been pooh-poohing China’s ascent for quite a while. Mainly its military rise to power, but in this case its economic strength. As an example for the economic rise and fall of China, Friedman points to Japan and Germany, both of which saw great economic growth in the mid 20th century by selling their cheap but disciplined workforce to the US-dominated world market.

Both are definitely interesting examples and have undergone a transition via initial industrial expansion to saturation. I may not be an expert on the country, but rumors of a Japanese economic crisis have been with me just about all my conscious life. Germany I know a bit better. I remember distinctly how the late 80ies and early 90ies were marked by a kind of crisis of self: It was a popular topic for political commentators to reflect on Germany’s slide from economic poster-child to merely normal, plagued economy. The word used was “musterknabe”, something between poster-child, first-in-class and teacher’s pet. I think this choice of words (maybe subconsciously) belies what truly was afoot: Germany, like Japan and later China has been toiling as industrial work-horse in the stable of the dollar-denominated world market, headmastered by the USA.

But this exactly has been and still is the collective myth in Germany: export is good. “Exportweltmeister” — “world champion of export” Germans like to call themselves and proudly pound their chest when the yearly numbers roll in. Indeed, producing such high-value output with a moderately sized and pricey workforce is something to be proud of. However, I do remember wondering as a child: but we work more than they do. Why is this good?

Indeed, why? No sane country would tolerate a long-standing trade surplus in industrial goods — effectively subjecting its workforce to serf-labor at the hands of other nations — unless it is either weak, or (someone) gets something significant in return. Usually we find a combination of both.

Mid 20th century Germany and Japan got the gift of having an industrial economy at all. If they didn’t play ball with the US no access to resources would have been had. You needed dollar-denominated investors in order to get dollar-denominated materials. See, the fact that the US can run up such an epic trade deficit tab does have something to do with the fact that there are US soldiers stationed all over the world, making sure that resource markets don’t get closed off and shipping lanes stay uninhibited for shipments to the free, brave and well-adjusted.

This is exactly the reason why it made sense for China to lease out its workforce. Now the Chinese elite is stuck with entanglement in the US system of trade — and higher aspirations. The difference between China and Japan/Germany is that the latter two did not have a military and geopolitical option. They were weak. They still are, to a certain extent. China was weak, but there are no obvious barriers to changing that, other than rubbing up against US hegemony, Russia and India. I don’t know about you, but once the resource stakes get higher later in this century, a bit of rubbing won’t hold hardly anybody back no more.

…Which is why Friedman has been harping on about China’s military underwhelm. To Stratfor and its whole ecosystem, US hegemony is axiomatic. In the very article I mentioned above, Friedman speaks of the natural cycle of rise and fall — for China and all other nations — not for the US.

No other world can be sold to their clients and this is what they do, it’s their job. They must explain the world intelligently, but through an amenable lens please. To us less interested in fantasy it can serve to bemuse: In Stratfor parlance, US weakening influence abroad is getting sold as “US losing interest in doing police work for others”. Since when does this make sense? Being police is being empire! Remove the policing and all you are left with is an encrusted exploitative trade balance which will, which must crumble.

This crumbling will be of interest — and I’m the last to predict that it will leave China and how it’s currently run unscathed. I don’t know how it will turn out. I have previously suggested one scenario. The issue with history is that scenarios that make sense don’t necessarily have to manage to come to pass. One central assumption of mine was that the Chinese elite values its investments, which are entangled in the US-controlled economy. — Controlling exchange from RMB to dollar being a big part of its mechanism for extracting wealth from its serf-people. How much do these elites care about their involvement with the US? I don’t know. There’s always more messed-up versions of devolving tensions between powers. I hope we don’t get those.

Germany has also been cut loose a bit from its waning big brother, Onkel Sam. Nevertheless, the power of myths prevails. Germans still believe in the redeeming value of an export-driven economy. I believe the EU has been one attempt to solve the tension between reality (of becoming a regional power) and the myth of export.

In fact, a clever friend of mine once pointed out that calling Germany an export nation is a bit of a scam. Most of its exports go to other EU member states, which, if things go one way, is much more of a domestic exchange than not. Taken as a whole, the EU trade balance has pretty much been straddling parity for the last ten years (with a recent uptick).

Remember the two reasons I gave, why a country would engage in big trade surplus arrangements? There were two options: (a) weakness (b) getting something else in return. The current spates around the Euro are exactly the second part of why export. Germany is trying to get something in return for those exports to its neighboring countries, namely to let German elites own and dominate their economies.

This strategy has so far not been particularly elegant. I wonder whether we’ll see some more old-fashioned military, geopolitical posturing on Germany’s part. Though something tells me it’s not their style. And Germany still is an occupied country. As for China, I see no such impediments, at all.

What I do see is many practical difficulties to China, Russia, India, Germany, Iran challenging US hegemony. If they are smart (and usually they are), expect a policy of nibbles all round. Bit by bit, calculated provocation, rock the boat until it creaks. In the end, we will see that the emperor has no clothes — and the waters of reality will rush in and engulf the far-flung shrouds of the US imperial system. It will be too ephemeral to withstand. With that, American Consumerism (TM) will no longer be. The US will turn on itself, either neglect the troops abroad or mostly bring them home.

Which is when everyone else gets to duke it out in their own back-yard. Stratfor, unfortunately, will find itself out of a job.

Why I’m kinda pro-nuclear April 25, 2011

Posted by olvidadorio in Earth, Economics.
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As Bill Gates succintly makes the case for, as a global society we’re running into an energy/fuel crunch at the same time as we’re heading into a global climate catastrophe. Ramifications are pretty harsh. In this environment the Fukushima reactor melted, Germany decided to take its nuklear plants off the grid and everybody else is pushing off construction of new ones. Pro-nuke flaks have been re-iterating  this one chart which supposedly shows nuklear to be so un-deadly compared to other sources of energy  while using the severly downplayed version of statistics on Chernobyl – no, I don’t believe only 40 people died as a result of that, inflating numbers for coal – anybody with a bad lung is  eligible, and ignoring the perils of long-term storage of nuclear waste (who’s going to guarantee a stable political system 500 years from now). But exactly that concern about stability makes me support widespread nuclear research and deployment. I really don’t see any of the renewable/sun-based energy sources cutting their mustard; they just do not have the necessary energy density to power an industrial society. And to make things worse, all those new-fangled wind and solar farms can only be constructed so relatively cheaply using an industrial process that’s heavily reliant on fossil fuels. Even more general, all our transportation is reliant on fossil fuels and will become much more difficult and potentially inefficient when based on electricity (which we’d have to produce somehow, don’t ask me how).

So if we don’t build lots of nuklear power plants (preferrably of the breeder type and the like, otherwise peak Uranium bites us in the butt) we’re going to run into some serious power-shortage. And with it, shortage of eerything, very much so down to food. And if those kind of things happen, people will start wars. And if wars happen, nuklear plants will become much more of a target.

So building nuklear plants might make us safer from nuklear meltdown. Because they keep us fat and happy.

Options for the middle class May 20, 2010

Posted by olvidadorio in Earth, Economics.

Even though I study Cognitive Science, oftentimes I introduce myself as a computer scientist – as that is what I am  effectively. So I told this guy, while waiting in line at a state office that I study Computer Science. And he said “Good, you know that’s where all the money is.” My reply was kind of “um, well who knows how long..”. Here’s why:

Every Google search supposedly uses as much energy as burning a light-bulb for one hour (it makes sense that Google is getting into the energy-supply business). Computing devices are really the tip of the iceberg of a vast and complex, resource-hungry non-locally maintainable industrial complex that is geared towards constant growth and development, always making this year’s second coming next year’s plastic crap.
I don’t think this’ll go on forever. No bets when things will change, but this world of ever-expanding mass-computing won’t go on they way it is today; I am unsure what its state will be at the end of the great energy-shrinkage that I expect, because there’s no good idea what this energy shrinkage will look like, specifically when it starts and how long it will take.


In response.. February 10, 2009

Posted by olvidadorio in Economics.

.. to @jagalicious (and thank you for your input) :

if fed ties “printing money” to concrete assets cf. sweden 1990s. & pipes toward production, may avoid harsh too many $s chasing 2 few goods that is, avoid classic inflation.

Sweden 1990s definately looks like the type of intervention that I would prefer (basically nationalizing  banks).
Piping towards production would be a very, very good idea for the afore consumption-reliant states. But how? There would have to be quite a bit of investment (credit!), but with banks being nationalized they could be forced to extend credit!
An additional problem is that consumer demand is a lagging trend, that is, we won’t be seeing the real slouch until after a few months, exactly in time to dampen producer’s spirits who already have to deal with plummeting prices and overcapacity all over the world (wave to China). [Oh glumm, glumm 🙂 ]
It is not really clear whether the US would be able to actually retrieve the value put in to save the banks, as in the case of Sweden 1990s. If the current crisis is changing the global economy fundamentally, then less value will be retreivable. The intervention will have been much larger, also proportionally, after all this goes through, including the feds humungous swap-lines, as well as structural changes all around the world, Sweden was more-or-less an isolated case. But the model is well worth considering as far as I can tell.

so werg, will human nature change enough to invent a better model than money as a medium of exchange?

No, I really don’t believe that human nature will change any time soon (hey, by definition that won’t happen — and I’m convinced that evolution via selection is rather broken among us humans at the moment). The question would be whether the form of money we employ today is truly connected to human nature!
I don’t think so. Sure, the concrete form of coins or similar tokens of value has been around for quite a long time and in many cultures. It’s just dead useful, as long as you have a mercantile society! However, those tokens used to (have to) have society-independent (material- or production-) value! This is no longer the case. Ever since those italian merchants developed modern book-keeping we’ve been messing around with our underlying monetary system, changing it all the time. Nowadays it’s not about money — it’s all about credit! And I’m quite sure that our monetary system will continue to change!

Even though I can’t foretell in which direction, I know which direction I’d find interesting: Make banking and money-issuance a peer-to-peer process along the lines of ripple.

In our current system the role of the bank is more and more superfluous. Clearing is done electronically, there is no need for physical institutions. They aren’t absorbing risk as the should, they hand out credit which in the end needs to be guaranteed for by the whole society anyway. Hence credit procedures must be standardized which leaves little room for actual contribution. The whole sector of investment-banking has kind of bloated (though initially potentially useful system of distributing value to initiative).

Banks and credit-based money have for long been the social method to make people work, even if their work is not directly connected to satisfying basic needs, by giving them buying power via money. Of course all this is totally based on people’s confidence in the currency’s value. To maintain economic confidence in pieces of paper and numbers on hard-drives, such a system necessitates continuous growth and — almost all over the world — big government debt.

Personally I believe that a market-economic system less based on perpetual growth would be better. Changes in such directions need crises, though. Hence my heightened interest. 😉

The roof is on fire February 7, 2009

Posted by olvidadorio in Economics.
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Folks, this economy is going to pot. And it’s just amazing to watch it unfold. It is so striking that this is a necessary and inevetable occurrence of (finally) a dose of economic, even physical reality in the guise of market forces. These have been determined by our overspending, overblown infrastructuring overblown consumption and askew distribution of value in our world economy (i.e. US long-long standing trade deficit & export surplus in Germany, China — the US consumer has been getting a free lunch for decades!). And all these bailouts, stimulus packages and what not are doing is a) pay off those who still are clinging to power (specifically monetary power) and b) increase the pressure for downward adaption of our entire system.


It’s only After Dark January 23, 2009

Posted by olvidadorio in Economics, Humans, Me.
Tags: , , , ,
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After quite a hiatus (but after all, it was vacation), here are some reflections (warning: glumness may follow):

  • I have become slightly more aware of the importance of organization for social prosperity. It is really of utmost importance. It’s what seemed to me to be #1 reason why Nicaragua is 3rd world.
  • I have been touched by what I saw on TV, watching President Obama’s inauguration. It is impressive how such sentiment can be connected to a leader. I believe they call it hope, but they gotta pry that from my cold, dead lips. 😉 [read a blogpost]
  • Living in US suburbia brings to mind the expansiveness of the US-American middle class as a mass of people. People used to such grand life-styles!

On Laziness There is not very much room for laziness in the industrial nations I know. Even the easygoing US. Easygoing here sometimes seems to translate into extra work to be extra nice. (Not that I wouldn’t try to be nice!)
I’m quite lazy — that’s what was so neat about the time I spent in Costa Rica and Nicaragua: I was in a really tight financial situation. But being lazy was a sensible choice there. It saved energy, so I needed to eat & drink less — and I really enjoyed the tropical weather and living outside. Is it sensible here too?
All those nice appliances, gadgets and amenities of industrial life! For example these Computers. All built on this baffling machinery of modern society. It blows my mind again and again, that all these ghosts are alive and moving in such admirable concert. All this system of interdependency sometimes eats on my mind! If something were to go wrong — and I suspect it will, the fear I have is that folks will hurt. (In another only slightly related news, I have been thinking of how the Israeli people are running into pain, I fear — in the long-, the geo-strategic & demographic run.)

Oh, how glum all this is, I do apologize! Very! I am still quite concerned that this or that might collapse at some point, but maybe it’ll take a bit longer than feared, and come more gradually, so we’ll hopefully have plenty of room to wriggle our way through the crisis while having a gratifying life.

But for the proponents of the “people will come up with something, people have always come up with something” thesis: I totally agree. But it’s not at all guaranteed that what they will come up with will resemble our current lifestyle, even in some of its most fundamental amenities. On the other hand, I do not suggest a doomsday scenario, well I kinda suggest it, but I do not expect it. Our lives and our expectations will change, which is just absolutely normal. The difference is simply that I often times live in expectation of social change. You know, it’s change we can believe in… dollars… yeah right.

On a more personal note I notice getting a bit older again. I accustoming myself to my mid-twenties and am nursing some chronic bodily weakness, most vividly present in my everyday life for half a decade now. My hope is very much to get myself on a track of recovery from pain by setting myself up in a more regular life-style now. Please bear with me in your thoughts, that I may.

My aunt has an ant-invasion going on in her house, and she’ll be calling the terminator. At the family I stayed with in Nicaragua this was a non-issue; they had a dirt floor. Ants simply were present.

Strategies 4 AI November 6, 2008

Posted by olvidadorio in Machine Learning, Money.
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Had another cherished meeting with the good gang this weekend. Topics ranged from pubic hair to l33tspeak. In between I gave an overview of some of the ideas I had, that haunted my subconscious, but that I couldn’t work on while entrenched before my thesis. Luckily the fortress is bust and so we got to talk our way thru strategies for AI, in length (grab the slides/handout). Most of it’s rather impractical, since requiring command of a slightly larger workforce than the 0.5 portion I’d consider myselves, but the main take-home massages wuz:

  • Numerically adaptable (sooft) computing suffers from curse of dimensionality w.r.t. number of parameters. Also, many easily-traineable models (e.g. Hidden Markov Models, Support Vector Machinas) are computationally low-grade (i.e. far from turing-equivalonce). That will not do for semantic & pragmatic generative models. Rule-based, crisp stuff is not adaptable to model our (kinda continuous-valued) world, hence kinda inadequate (at least as stand-alone).
  • So we need numerically adaptable methods that really can be used to calculate high-level problems. And we need ways to adapt those parameters.
  • Idea 1: Integrate whatever you’re doing into a big, adaptable AI-environment. Let lots of people work on it. Hope that that will give you lots of computational resources and eyeballs to adapt to very specific problems. Caveat: You need a system that basically works, so that people will even start using it — and then they still have to see some benefit in it. So you kinda need a working system to start with, possibly on a restricted domain.
  • Idea 2: Dream up some learning-heuristics and other methods that either make your parameters-to-be-learned less, or faster learneable, while still being computationally powerful. I propose a predator-prey learning model, where a generator has outsmart a classifier (and vice versa) to get good learning even if you only have positive and no negative training samples. Also, I suggest ways to spread the parameter-butter (weights of recurrent neural nets) across more bread (memory-capacity) by placing these neural nets like robot-controllers into an artificial world, in which they have read-write access.

Some of this runs under crazy dreams some of it is more like potential Master’s thesis.

And if you actually read this far and still are following the text, I congratulate you. While reading through I was slightly flummoxed at the rate of reader-unfriendliness some of the constructions exhibit. Maybe it’s just l33t.

Sharing A Currency System October 6, 2008

Posted by olvidadorio in Earth, Economics, Money.
Tags: , ,
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One of the fundamentals of sharing an economy-around-a-currency:

You share the responsibility to retain the currency’s value.

This fundamental responsibility has been and is being trodden upon by the federal reserve system in the US — in the effort of mending prior irresponsibility by financial institutions. If one for some reason thinks one has to use standard fiat money (money not backed by commodities, i.e. gold) then one should either not go for fractional reserve banking or totally not go for free-wheeling, no-state-intervention, market capitalism. Simply because this free-wheeling market, combined with fractional reserve banking can be exploited for short-term gains, which then necessitate big governmental intervention such as the current bailout. So — as people have been pointing out — all this necessitates the opposite of non-interventionism to keep the economy going.

What the current situation will create is inflation in dollar and dollar-backed currency. Which will increase US-depression. I’m a little bit worried about that country and its economy, especially if one takes into account that it consumes 50% of the worlds oil-production. You know, oil isn’t going to be getting significantly cheaper, unless something really strange happens.

I’m looking forward to my time in the states. I might have to find work there, so I’m a bit worried about the job market too.

Edit: Solely predicting inflation is not quite on spot. We have already seen massive deflation in the housing market and there will be further deflation in other parts of the material economy as it will probably be much harder to receive credit! There also has been deflation on the financial markets so far, however, expect to see inflation creeping up, due to the simple fact that there are, acutely, more dollars floating around that have been conjured from thin air at the federal reserve. Also, US treasuries will most probably be leaking onto the market, as primarily asian stakeholders will try to diversify away from the dollar.

Inflationary and deflationary effects may cancel each other out in part, making development look more moderate, in the end however, i would say that decline in trust in the US economy would lead to inflation.

Information Warfare: Opinion-Spam August 17, 2008

Posted by olvidadorio in Advertising, Humans.
Tags: , , ,

This is the first time I’ve seen something like this; I received a spam-email (in German) that didn’t want to sell anything, it wanted to shape my opinion:

Ein kleines Mädchen spricht die Wahrheit ßber georgische Angriffe:
(YouTube manipuliert den Aufrufzähler und lässt dieses Video nicht populär werden)

2000 Tote innerhalb von 2 Tagen durch georgischen Angriff – RIP
Fßr alle Kinder, Frauen, Männer die durch georgische Angriffe umgekommen sind starten wir diese Aktion.

Wir sind gegen Propaganda in deutschen Medien!
Wir sind keine Medien-Marionetten.
Wir wollten die WAHRHEIT! Wir sind das Volk!

Verbreite diese Nachricht wie ein Lauffeuer! (Emails, Blogs, Foren, ICQ)
Zusammen sind wir stark.

English summary: “A small girl speaks the truth about the Georgian invasion; Atrocities by Georgian military. We are against propaganda in German media. Spread this news like wildfire!”

I guess that someone who’s strongly interested in promoting the Russian government’s views just bought a list of email-addresses off some spam-base. The fun thing is that I personally actually don’t need to be convinced to view the Georgian version rather critically. Incidents such as these however do underline the creepyness-factor of the Putin-controlled aparatus.

Has anyone had experience with this? Maybe it’s connected to this Botnet-buildup?

Propaganda party.