The Internet and ISIS: The Vanguard of Idiocracy

ISIS/ISIL and its ever-growing sickening murderous activities have increasingly become of concern.  If we wish to combat this cancerous terrorism and violence; we should take a page from Sun Tzu.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

There is no question that ISIS/ISIL represents an ever-increasing serious threat to peace in the Middle East; but it is also a growing threat to global peace; perhaps more so than any ‘movement’/ ’uprising’/ ‘revolution’ since the Nazis in the Germany of the 1930’s. In facing such a threat, it is important that we understand this enemy for what he/she is.  We must understand the conflict and ourselves in opposition; if we wish to prevail and succeed in victory.

There were many who misinterpreted the actions of the Nazis based on misunderstandings of their ideas, ideology, and ultimate goals. These misunderstandings led to their popularity in their early growth, successes in war, and contributed to delays in their ultimate demise (in fact, they are not gone yet). In retrospect, many aspects of their rise and the global conflict that resulted have been clarified. There was no mistaking the results of their actions. The cost to global peace, personal freedom, and civilization-at-large is undeniable in the deaths of not only the approx. 6,000,000 Jews of the Holocaust; but with approx. 50-80,000,000 people world-wide. The Nazis achieved such a powerful effect on humanity by shaping personal opinions and perceptions. Their tactics and techniques were certainly successful to their ends initially.

It is my opinion that ISIS/ISIL is utilizing the same tactics and techniques to far greater effect. Let us not misinterpret their actions in any other light, as were those of the Nazis; other than as crimes against humanity. ISIS has taken up the cloak of deception. They have cast themselves as a religious movement (Islamic); as did the Nazis (Nazism). Both are anti-Christian. But being anti-Christian by purporting to be Islamic is only a ploy. The difference between the leaders of ISIS and those of the Nazis is that the Nazis proselytized a ‘new religion’ and ISIS promotes an ‘old’ one. When looked at closely though; there are few differences in the actual tenets and doctrines of hate, distrust, murder and lack of humanitarian principles in general that are prominent aspects of both.

As Nazism spread, it learned to count on being ‘anti-Christian’ to garner popular support. Not that being a ‘Christian’ is necessarily a mortal sin, but by making it so; they justified actions that propagated crimes against humanity. The Nazis justified the murder of millions on the basis that they were only acting as Christianity had in the past, citing The Inquisition; and as the means necessary to their ends. They added hatreds for history, scientific rationalism, and indeed, for common human understandings, that eventually created the pure evil of the Nazi state and its influence on humanity.

The tactics and techniques of the Nazis focused on using all of the media and technology at their command at the time; let alone the weapons of mass destruction they were able to conjure as they gained momentum. Through ‘reeducation’ of ‘the masses’ to their ideas and goals; they were able to win many battles. They sought power and control through the manipulation of the ‘public’ sentiment, history, philosophy, religion, and even the love of the human family; in the most common of understandings of life, personal liberties, and our pursuits of happiness.

ISIS does the same. However, it has at its disposal the most powerful weapon of all time. It is one that the Nazis could dream of; but never had; the World Wide Web. Making matters worse, they frame the debate about the use of such weapons in terms that no one can argue. Their V2 rockets and atomic bombs are videos, pictures, and symbols that evoke human emotions in the form of fear, disgust, and hatred of others. They justify their murderous, misogynistic, and downright evil inhuman behavior by framing their actions in religious and philosophical terms. They blame Christianity, Judaism, and Capitalism equally for what they consider to be the ills of the world they live in. While there may be many truths in their perceptions; they are willing to accept the same ‘Final Solution’ the Nazis were.

They seek to use the media (the ‘Fourth Estate’) in the same way the Nazis did. “What a fool believes, he sees”. They seek to create not an “Independent Islamic State”; but a state where only what they believe is real; and therefore valid. Their ‘evil’ is in recognizing that what most people believe to be the truth is not. Furthermore, they seek to destroy any questioning or rational thought given as to why the world is the way it is.

They seek to replace rational thought with mere images and illusions. Videos of gay men thrown off of buildings in front of jeering and cheering crowds, hate-mongering language and actions toward Israel, brutal slaughter and murder of opposing voices, masked fearful warrior personas, and worse, the destruction of women and children.

“Hatred, murder, and rape run rampant in societies where Sharia law does not rule” is their mantra. Meanwhile, they practice the same actions in their day-to-day affairs, branding those as ‘infidels’ any whom they deem to be ‘heretics’. Is this not the same behavior of which they accuse ‘Christians’ and ‘Jews’?

This distinct hypocrisy is something that should not be ‘tolerated’. In fact, it is probably the only intolerance that can be justified. If we are to find a way to defeat ISIS and their recent allies Boko Haram; it is imperative that we find ways to neutralize and disarm them. We need to pay as much attention to disarming their ‘virtual’ weapons as we do to their ‘conventional’ weapons. Otherwise, we can look forward to the situation becoming explosively widespread before any progress is made in relieving ourselves and the planet from this threat.

Why use the subtitle “The Vanguard of Idiocracy” to describe the actions of ISIS/ISIL? The movie “Idiocracy” projected a “nation of the idiots, by the idiots, and for the idiots”. The definition of the word “idiot” according to Webster’s is “an utterly foolish or senseless person” and/or a “person of the lowest order…”. I do not use the term in the meaning of the leaders of ISIS/ISIL being stupid. On the contrary, they may be very intelligent; as were at least some of the leaders of the Nazis. They are certainly creatively intelligent in their manipulations of the perceptions of people as to their means and ends through public media spectacle. Their actions however are ultimately “foolish and senseless”.

Their actions lead me to believe that their view of society is that the masses of people ARE “stupid”. They believe that the majority of people in Western societies (in fact, in most of what we know as civilization) are ignorant fools. They use ‘spectacles’ of murder and mayhem to promote their world view as did the Nazis, knowing that any media attention is ‘good’ attention to promote their cause and establish power and control. There is no difference in their approach to gain power, recognition, and control of others and that of the Nazis. In fact; their approaches, tactics and methods rely on deception and all of the same techniques that the Nazis;   used to establish their footholds in civilization and extend their influence with disastrous consequences to the world-at-large.

We must make the internet distribution of their hatred, murder, and lies impossible. We must make such marketing so painful to them; that they cease to find it a fruitful means for disseminating their terrorism. This should be a priority as rational, thinking human beings. We cannot ‘nuke them’ into submission. That is impossible without causing the ‘collateral damage’ wars have involved in the past. So, what is the solution? Sun Tzu makes a few good points we can attend to:

“To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.”
Sun Tzu

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

“When strong, avoid them. If of high morale, depress them. Seem humble to fill them with conceit. If at ease, exhaust them. If united, separate them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.”
Sun Tzu

And finally;

“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Why the “latest and greatest” fail in Software Project Management

The idea of using the latest and greatest methodologies, techniques, tools, and people in software development is failing at an increasing rate. AGILE and SCRUM have become the standard methodologies of software development with every company engaged in such activities attempting to use some aspect of these in their development process; from the smallest project to the largest. It is thought that collecting the youngest, best, and brightest talent; combined with the latest and greatest of techniques, tools, and methodologies should guarantee the success of any project undertaken. Why then have the struggles of project managers to deliver timely successful products become greater and greater?

Some who are familiar with the processes and steps of creating successful useful software would point to several factors that are roadblocks to successful completion in any project. It has become common to point the finger at unreasonable timelines for tasks, lack of ‘talent’ in performing tasks at a quicker pace, and inadequate testing procedures for code that is written. But these are merely ‘symptoms’; not the ‘illness’ of failure in  successful deliverables. There is no question that the bars for success have been raised higher and higher, both in terms of expectations of deliverable product features and speed of production. It is also true that tools for design, code production, testing, and delivery have gotten better and better to allow for quicker production. So what then is the cause of the ‘illness’ of failure? It should be understood that a distinction is being made here between a software product created by a development team and that which is which is being developed by a single developer… The #1 reason is failure of communication!

Communication in understandable simple terms of the ‘complexities’ of programming on any application. The simple statement of purpose and intent is lacking. The ‘complications’ that all programmers, by nature, tend to create in elaborate thoughts of designing something ‘newer, whiter, brighter’ than the generation that has gone before; are multiplied. All of this is to be handled more quickly without discussion about the ethics, quality, usefulness, and value of the end product. In pressing for more speed in the process of development; meaning and purpose is lost. It is replaced by IM speak, 144 character lists of acronyms, and the misspellings of non-English speakers in the guise of efforts to ‘globalize’ applications. Misinterpretations and poor communications abound in internet development; and are even being made the norm in application SDLC. The practice of the AGILE/SCRUM stand-up has become a joke. A typical communication: “I worked on ‘bug’ tickets yesterday along with some ‘features’; and I will be working on the same today; and some more. No blocks…”. There is no ‘conversation’ in these exchanges. There is no ‘give and take’ in discussion. All communications are supposedly geared for brevity to keep the ‘process’ running smoothly while moving at a higher speed. No ‘extra talk’ is deemed necessary or appropriate and is a ‘block’ to speed.

This is the road that leads to failure…

Ted Bissell CV Word Format

Just Me

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Ted Bissell

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An Open Letter to Marc Zuckerberg and Chris Chan MBA

Chris Chan MBA Mark Zuckerberg

Chris Chan MBA
Mark Zuckerberg

Mr. Chris Chan MBA and Mr. Mark Zuckerberg:

Chris, I found your most recent post as an Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg on LinkedIn and felt compelled to comment and post my own take on your opinion. While I am in agreement with many of your criticisms of Facebook, I found your expressions to be self-serving and downright ‘greedy’ at the expense of others in the same manner that you accuse Mr. Zuckerberg and Facebook of being. You proudly place ‘MBA’ after your name, as if to assure those of us that use LinkedIn that it is a more ‘Professional’ forum; and that your opinions are worth more because of that (perhaps more than the college ‘drop-out’ whose opinions have driven the success of an approach to internet communication for the masses that far surpasses yours). Unfortunately, opinions are much like the other part of the body people use to discharge excrement. Everybody has one.

I have no dispute with your perception that Facebook has practiced an inconsiderateness towards its users in the forms of lack of concern for personal privacy in communications, incessant unwanted ‘targeted’ advertising, and even exposure to  ‘bullying’ and other downright ‘criminal’ activities. I think that most users of Facebook are somewhat naïve about these practices, and to some degree or another are encouraged to be. It is that naiveté which is exploited by Mr. Zuckerberg and Facebook. This is a problem I believe that there is a consensus of FB users concerned about.

However, your tactics for communication of this concern are no better. YOU hold yourself up as a critic of these practices by engaging in the same distasteful practices in the promotion of YOUR OPINIONS. This, to me, is hypocrisy at its worst. It smacks of ‘elitist’ attitude and the same sort of self-promotion that not only has affected Facebook; but LinkedIn as well. In fact, most ‘social networks’ have been ruined by self-aggrandizement at the expense of others elsewhere. Truly valuable opinions are not just simply expressed, they also require experience and learning of many complex issues to be valuable. Facebook’s greatest ‘sin’  has been the practice of ‘mystifying’ the technology of communications in the form of making it simple to express personal opinions to a larger and larger audience without concern for the complexities and consequences of doing so. Politeness, positivity in conversation, and simple common sense are put aside.

Other ‘social networks’ are no better than Facebook in these practices. LinkedIn Groups have become filled with advertising in the form of ‘recruiters’ for different technologies for  greedy exploitation of others who actually do the work of ‘implementing’ ‘social-networking’ as well as ‘technologies’ on the internet. As a long-time user of the internet (since 1991 and no…Al Gore did not invent it) I could complain that these activities have ‘ruined’ the internet. As soon as there was commerce established on the internet, it ceased in some respects to be the communications medium that Tim Berners-Lee, Marc Andreessen, and some others of my old acquaintances had envisioned. It quickly became an exploitable commodity, and then just as quickly, became an instrument of exploitation.

The technology of the internet was not designed to be exploitative by nature. It was designed to be a ‘populist’, ‘democratic’ tool for communicating simple informational messages among users for common understanding (a theme that perhaps Twitter has been truer to); not for ‘Telephone Marketing’.  However, the internet has certainly become less than ‘informational’ and more about personal opinion; or to be more accurate, more about personal opinion than common consensus on valuable opinion. There is no doubt that this problem is ‘global’ now. The ‘corruption’ of the internet will continue until it is totally and irrevocably destroyed by an alternative ‘system’ for information delivery among people.

It is my opinion that the ‘next generation’ of ‘social networks’ that gain success will be  those which deal with the concerns of personal privacy and the dissemination of valuable information on a global scale. As a programmer and developer of systems for delivery of content on the web; I have a responsibility to see this happen (I admit to my own exercises of self-aggrandizement in the past with coding). I can only encourage those who actually bring ideas to the internet to be ethical and back up their ‘opinions’ with real work in learning and understanding; not just the idea that I may get more young college girls to like me if  I build a billion dollar company, or the idea that if I graduate with an MBA I deserve to have my opinion be known above anyone else’s. LOL

So, unless you have an alternative to just ‘shutting the whole thing down’ please give my opinions a listen. I am currently developing a CMS for developers wanting to develop ‘social network’ platforms that are free from advertising, private by virtue of encrypted communications point-to-point between all users,, and encourage well-constructed and thought-out, polite communications, with verification of content information as well. I hope to introduce a version soon for my friends and colleagues to experiment with. Thanks for your attention.

Programming for OUR future! To @Edward Snowden #EdwardSnowden

Programming, Coding, Digital ‘discussions’ and ‘conversations’ and the like; have now become part of everyday life. Morality, religion, politics, sex, and humanity are trampled (if you don’t know this word…trampled…Google it). Privacy of thought, intention (good or bad) have been reduced to agreement; yes/no, like/unlike; disagreement has become a ‘consensus understanding’.  If you use Facebook, are you just one who is ‘passing a phase(phrase)’ and wishing well; or the devil in disguise? Am I  a ‘silly low-level systems administrator’, or can YOU do something to change the course of our history from the ‘Terminator’ to something more positive? Just a question?!…ALL answers are appreciated! Forget ‘drone delivery’, ‘stupidity’ of the Chinese in trying to ‘socialize’ an economy that has only history to recommend it, and John Kerry’s ‘Bergdahl’ B.S…Give us something human, real, un-geeky and I will lend all of the talents I have to make sure the ‘Global-Warming’ issue is understood as reality; not in virtual machine language! :-) Love and Blessings…

What’s Going ON?!!

Only Love can conquer hate! <3 ~ Marvin Gaye

What happened to the United States of America that I grew up in? Surrounded by positive aspirations to accomplish something better for the world; I fear now that even that notion has been trampled by the Fascist 1%…

Lyrics for the Zou

Had to get these lyrics down before I forget them as a melody:

Have you  ever put your head down to the rail,

and heard the bell ring through the steel !!!

Heard the wood laying underneath…surround it;

and the cries of those that are real?

A new approach

This is the beginning of an experimentation with integrating several different development tools and technologies with a single API for full production cycle from design through to release. The following are being included, although all not implemented in this first prototype:
Adobe Photoshop CS5
Acid Music Studio Pro
Free MP3 Editor
Converter Lite
Visual Studio 2013
Thanks for having a look!

3-D Printing Should Be About Quality!

3-D printing technology is picking up steam. The inexpensiveness of the parts and materials for manufacturing will make certain equipment configurations ubiquitous applications in all areas. This technology, along with gesture-based design technology, of the form that Elon Musk has designed; can totally revolutionize the entire manufacturing process. However, the efforts that the Van Gogh Museum has put forth; truly shows the quality and artistic beauty that creations from this technology can bring. Much more work can be done and needs to be done  to bring quality to productions with this technology!

UI Portfolio


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