From the blog earlier today: https://conflict-backchannels.com/2014/01/08/fns-nsa-senior-executives-memo-to-obama/ Our empirical and engineering mentalities in government may want to view terrorists as free radicals attaching themselves to distinctly bad ideas, “radical Islam” the most active, and then, probably because there’s a lot of in-house and contractor money in high tech R&D, they want massive computing to filter the humans likely to be the “bombs on two legs” (thanks, I think, to Alex Braverman for first using that term in a piece of fiction. Maybe not. I’m ageing).
The problem is the poison needs examination in concert with what may be known about language, perception, attitude, and behavior, a complex area for study. As far as I’m concerned, mention of, say, the Banu Qurayza or Aafia Sidiqui and quiet listening to how they’re spoken about should suffice for litmus as to who has repudiated facets of Islam, in behavior, even if not articulated specifically (e.g., as regards the validity of Surah 9:29, for example) and who really believe in the eventual imposition of dhimmi status and taxes and the conversion or slaughter of infidels.
What the American government wants is in part the universalism known to Jewry: if an idea about mankind is to work in theory, to be validated and integrated with knowledge, it has to work universally. Is there a relationship between marathon bombers and abortion clinic bombers — and the Unibomber or, perhaps, Charles Manson? I think there is and have placed “malignant narcissism”, a characteristic in personality, at the base. Of course, what that does is form a Janus between the dictator and a kind of revolutionary counterpoised, e.g., Assad : AQ-types in the Syrian revolution; and from Egypt, Mobarak : Muslim Brotherhood. Different talk — same walk.
The Boston Globe ran a wrap-up on the Tsarnaev Brothers today: Boston Marathon bombings could provide insight into other killings – Opinion – The Boston Globe – 1/8/2014. Posted to my status bar, it brought the complaint that Americans and the American domestic security establishment just don’t get it: ” . . . because we are too stupid to understand that terrorists really mean to kill us and only because they hate us.”
I should think contempt inseparable from an unchecked narcissism, and hate and its related butchery inseparable from the compound formed around here of “civilizational narcissism” (Haider Mobarak’s pet) and “malignant narcissism”, both of which have been addressed repeatedly on this blog.
Regard the reference to the NSA, can and will “the terrorist” signal be found and distilled from language by capable computers? Part of the answer is as above at least as regards the pools of candidates: slip some litmus into the conversation and see what colors come up in relation to it.
If the sifting is passive, watch for characteristic signal signatures like “crusader west” in traffic.
If we accept that the democratic free speech concept specifically protects discomforting political speech, including hate speech, which is what we do in the U.S., then separating the mouths with the bad attitudes from those who will operationalize their ideas becomes a little more challenging, the packaging of the sociopathic content being contained in many aspects of expression not signaled by exploiting a specific rhetoric rendered recognizable through its repeated phrases.
* * *
A good listener, imho (and just because I think so), applies analog and metaphor to what he hears as he hears it. In essence, the listening is turned toward implication, which in turn requires imagination and a nimble mind for the poetry — i.e., the internal established and potential relationships threaded into the metonymy of the language of interest.
Manufacturing a computer that “listens” to language and queries as rapidly as data arrives is just about speed and parsing; getting to an appliance that “listens well” and, in a sense, listens ahead of the speaker’s thoughts, well, for that, you have to hire somebody like me.
In fact, call me “a piece of work” in that regard, and I’ll take it as a compliment.
# # #