Fwd: GNU hackers discover HACIENDA government surveillance and give us a way to fight back

Robert J. Hansen rjh at sixdemonbag.org
Wed Aug 27 21:37:10 CEST 2014

> Is there really as much of a distinction as some would have us 
> believe?

Yes, absolutely.  If the problem is X and your advocacy loudly insists
that Y is happening, then you're (a) not solving X (although Y might
need fixing anyway), and (b) all the people you've persuaded to join
your cause will desert you as soon as they discover you were totally

As an example: malaria kills millions of children worldwide.  Imagine an
advocate telling people, "we must end malaria, and we can start by
getting these villages clean drinking water!", and getting tens of
thousands of people to donate money to the cause of drilling safe water
wells in the developing world.  Yes, preventable diseases caused by
unclean drinking water is a *very* serious problem, and yes, those wells
will almost certainly ameliorate some problems... but it will do
absolutely nothing to stop the spread of malaria.

How do you think people who bought into the advocacy, who believed they
were saving the world from malaria, will react when someone comes along
and tells them, "uh, the advocate was completely wrong, and although you
may have done some good for the eradication of, I don't know, cholera or
something, you've had zero effect on malaria"?

I'll tell you what happens -- an epidemic of cynicism.  And that hurts
us all.

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