Building the Overmind, one pizza at a time

This little simulation is as distressing as it is amusing.

Which, I realize I’m delinquent in commenting on the three-card monte in which Bush & Pointdexter play “now you see it, now you don’t” with Total Information Awareness, but weariness forfends. Don’t worry however. Soon enough John of Wetmachine will make such a blog post about the all-compassing info-maw as to shake the Moloch/Overmind/Military-Industrial-Prison-WarInfotainment Complex to its very foundation!

where are they now?

Any conclusions from the following?

* Since 9/11, the portion of DARPA’s computer science budget going to universities has dropped drastically from $214M to $123M. (Pretty paltry, in my biased opinion.)

* Universities (at least the one’s I’m familiar with) are typically prohibited from doing classified research on campus.

* The total DARPA computer science budget over the same period has actually increased slightly, from $546M to $583M.

* DARPA’s Total Information Awareness project, initially unclassified, has officially been ended by Congress.

* The last year in which Ashcroft had requested unclassified funding for TIA was 2004. He had asked for something north of $100M.

Say, what is Ashcroft doing since going back into “private” life? What is Poindexter up to?

Total Government Awareness going the way of John Ashcroft?

A long time ago, I think I mentioned in a comment to something that there was a project at the MIT Media Lab to keep a database of uncorroborated information about government officials, analogous to Ashcroft and Poindexter’s “Total Information Awareness” monstrosity.

The project had been written up in several places, including Wired and slashdot, but now it seems to have shut down.

Why? Lack of interest (we get the government we deserve), or were they shut down? I have no idea.

The TIA project (ephemistically renamed “Terorist Information Awareness”) seems to have disappeared from the DARPA site, too. Does that mean it has been abandoned, or just gone silent.

access to media, privacy, conspiracies, nerds fighting back, and information architecture

The Government Information Awareness project is intended to bring transparency to politically and socially relevent information. A major idea is to allow users to post and contest unchecked information while retaining anonymity. It involves some really hard information architecture issues.

The inspiration came from a plot to collect and relate info on US citizens, by a man convicted of attempting to run a shadow government. That man is Admiral John Poindexter, and his Total Information Awareness plot has actually been implemented as the the more marketable Terrorism Information Awareness program.

I haven’t heard about GIA since its launch. I’m not sure if this is an interesting experiment that didn’t pan out, or if the idea could have legs.