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Listen … Rape is a polictically volatile topic (5:08 PM, Aug. 26, 2012) …item 2.. GAWKER — Unmasking Reddit’s Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web – Reddit had already exploded in outrage. (OCT 12, 2012 5:00 PM) …

Image by marsmet451
I had just told him, on Gchat, that I had uncovered his identity as the notorious internet troll Violentacrez (pronounced Violent-Acres).

Judging from his internet footprint, Brutsch, 49, has a lot to sweat over. If you are capable of being offended, Brutsch has almost certainly done something that would offend you, then did his best to rub your face in it.

His speciality is distributing images of scantily-clad underage girls, but as Violentacrez he also issued an unending fountain of racism, porn, gore, misogyny, incest, and exotic abominations yet unnamed, all on the sprawling online community Reddit.

At the time I called Brutsch, his latest project was moderating a new section of Reddit where users posted covert photos they had taken of women in public, usually close-ups of their asses or breasts, for a voyeuristic sexual thrill. It was called "Creepshots." Now Brutsch was the one feeling exposed and it didn’t suit him very well.
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……..***** All images are copyrighted by their respective authors ……..
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… message header for FSU News

Lately, several male politicians have been saying some really stupid things regarding issues on abortion, birth control and rape—things that they will never truly understand simply because they have different sexual reproductive organs.

Not to say this makes men any less China important, but it’s a little bit harder to justify their opinions on matters they can’t relate to.
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… marsmet491 photo … the world … FSU News – Coverage of rape evidence a problem — Poppy Harlow waxed on (6:46 PM, Mar. 20, 2013) …item 3a / 3b.. Anonymous 2013 Steubenville Rape Case — What if this was your daughter? (Published on Jan 6, 2013) …

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… marsmet491 photostream … Page 1

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…..item 1)…. Rape is a polictically volatile topic

… FSU News … www.fsunews.com

FSU News / section / News … www.fsunews.com/section/NEWS

5:08 PM, Aug. 26, 2012

Written by
SAMANTHA HUSTED
Staff Writer

FILED UNDER
FSU News
FSU News Views

www.fsunews.com/article/20120827/FSVIEW03/120826013/Rape-…|newswell|text|frontpage|p

Recently there’s been a really big women’s rights movement that has been continually growing and picking up tons of female and male supporters. It makes me feel good knowing that men and women alike can recognize there’s something wrong with the way our society treats women.

Though this movement is necessary and a step in the right direction for human rights in general, it has been spurred and has grown from a lot of negativity. Especially regarding women’s health and the right for a woman to choose what she does with her body.

Lately, several male politicians have been saying some really stupid things regarding issues on abortion, birth control and rape—things that they will never truly understand simply because they have different sexual reproductive organs. Not to say this makes men any less China important, but it’s a little bit harder to justify their opinions on matters they can’t relate to.

Which is why I get frustrated when politicians, men who are in power and make China important decisions, say ignorant things about issues they obviously don’t understand fully.

Take Congressman Todd Akin, what a swell guy. He states, “It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors….[pregnancies from rape are] really rare.” He continued, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Okay, wait, what? So does that mean anyone who’s been raped and has become pregnant as a result wasn’t really raped?

It wasn’t legitimate because her body didn’t ward off the offender?

What a ridiculous assertion. I think we should take a moment and recognize that rape is rape. There’s no way to legitimize it or make one rape more rape-like than the next.

It’s a horrible thing that happens to women and men everyday. And guess what? It can sometimes result in pregnancy.

Women aren’t just baby-making vessels who can control when they’d like to get pregnant. There’s no way of telling your uterus that maybe you’re not ready for a baby yet. Todd Akins has since apologized, but only after all the negative responses his statement recieved.

This whole situation regarding women’s health and a right for her to choose is immensely frustrating for me, especially when comments like Todd Akin’s are made. Ignorance such as his is unacceptable and is holding women back. Making cases of rape seem illegitimate and less China important is wrong. There’s no way to justify a rape and the fact that his statement was said shows me that he doesn’t care about women’s health. Just as long as they don’t get abortions he’ll be happy. It’s scary to think that Todd Akin has the power to make decisions that could potentially affect my body.

I feel like our society is constantly, to be super cliché, taking two steps backwards for every step forward. Our government can’t be fueled by ignorance and fear. If they don’t completely understand something they should try to and not spew word vomit like Akin was guilty of.

We need to build tolerance and understanding in our country. If things like rape make you uncomfortable, that’s okay, but that doesn’t mean you should shove your misguided “facts,” into a government forum.
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…..item 2)…. VIOLENTACREZ THE INTERNET REDDIT MICHAEL BRUTSCH CREEPSHOTS LONGREADS

… GAWKER … gawker.com

Unmasking Reddit’s Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web
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img code photo … THE MAN BEHIND THE TROLL … Michael Brutsch, 49

img.gawkerassets.com/img/181ycj8ex213ujpg/original.jpg

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Adrian Chen
OCT 12, 2012 5:00 PM

gawker.com/5950981/unmasking-reddits-violentacrez-the-big…

Last Wednesday afternoon I called Michael Brutsch. He was at the office of the Texas financial services company where he works as a programmer and he was having a bad day. I had just told him, on Gchat, that I had uncovered his identity as the notorious internet troll Violentacrez (pronounced Violent-Acres).

"It’s amazing how much you can sweat in a 60 degree office," he said with a nervous laugh.

Judging from his internet footprint, Brutsch, 49, has a lot to sweat over. If you are capable of being offended, Brutsch has almost certainly done something that would offend you, then did his best to rub your face in it. His speciality is distributing images of scantily-clad underage girls, but as Violentacrez he also issued an unending fountain of racism, porn, gore, misogyny, incest, and exotic abominations yet unnamed, all on the sprawling online community Reddit. At the time I called Brutsch, his latest project was moderating a new section of Reddit where users posted covert photos they had taken of women in public, usually close-ups of their asses or breasts, for a voyeuristic sexual thrill. It was called "Creepshots." Now Brutsch was the one feeling exposed and it didn’t suit him very well.

But Michael Brutsch is more than a monster. Online, Violentacrez has been one of Reddit’s most reviled characters but also one of its most beloved users. The self-described "creepy uncle of Reddit" has played a little-known but crucial role in Reddit’s development into the online juggernaut it is today. In real life, Brutsch is a military father and cat-lover. He lives with his wife in the Dallas suburb of Arlington, Texas. There are many sides to Violentacrez, and now that I had Michael Brutsch on the phone I hoped to find out where the troll ended and the real person began.

***
I first became aware of Violentacrez last year, when controversy erupted over a section, called "Jailbait," that Violentacrez had created on Reddit dedicated to sexualized images of underaged girls. (Brutsch adapted the name from "Violent Acres," a popular anonymous blogger he was fond of in the mid-2000s.) Reddit, for the uninitiated, is essentially a social news site; with a free username, anyone can submit and vote on content and can do so anonymously. And anyone can start a forum on Reddit dedicated to their interests, known as a subreddit. Today, there are about 10,000 active subreddits out of nearly 100,000 total, spanning a dizzying array of topics from funny pictures, to Power Rangers, to pooping. If a post gets enough "upvotes," as they’re called, it can be propelled to the front page of Reddit and a massive audience.

The breadth of topics and dedication of users has made Reddit, which calls itself the "front page of the internet," the single dominant force in internet culture today, boasting over 3.4 billion pageviews this August. It reached a new level of legitimacy last month, when President Obama held a Q & A on Reddit. These days, Reddit is mentioned in the same breath as Twitter and Facebook by pundits expounding on the power of social media.

But Reddit’s laissez-faire attitude towards offensive speech has led to a vast underbelly that rivals anything on the notorious cesspool 4chan. And with Jailbait, Violentacrez decided to create a safe space for people sexually attracted to underage girls to share their photo stashes. I would call these people pedophiles; the Jailbait subreddit called them "ephebophiles." Jailbait was the online equivalent of systematized street harassment. Users posted snapshots of tween and teenage girls, often in bikinis and skirts. Many of these were lifted from their Facebook accounts and thrown in front of Jailbait’s 20,000 horny subscribers.

Violentacrez and his fellow moderators worked hard to make sure every girl on jailbait was underage, diligently deleting any photos whose subjects seemed older than 16 or 17. Violentacrez himself posted hundreds of photos. Jailbait became one of Reddit’s most popular subreddits, generating millions of pageviews a month. "Jailbait" was for a time the second biggest search term bringing traffic to Reddit, after "Reddit." Eventually, Jailbait landed on CNN, where Anderson Cooper called out Reddit for hosting it, and Violentacrez for creating it. The ensuing outcry led Reddit administrators to reluctantly ban Jailbait, and all sexually suggestive content featuring minors.
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img code photo … Michael Brutsch, 49

img.gawkerassets.com/img/181yqzkufieghjpg/original.jpg

Michael Brutsch at a Reddit meet-up.

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On the phone, Michael Brutsch insisted he is not a pedophile but was unapologetic about Jailbait. He compared the photos of underage girls he posted to Britney Spears’ sultry "Hit Me Baby One More Time" video. She was 16 at the time, he said—how was that different than what he was doing? Brutsch said he only reposted photos that he’d found elsewhere, mostly on 4chan, and that he promptly removed any outright child porn that was posted.

"I’ve always been upfront about the sorts of things that I find attractive," he said. Brutsch didn’t create the creepshots subreddit which was launched earlier this year. But when it started to get heat after a teacher in Georgia was fired at the end of September for allegedly posting covert pictures of his underage students, it only made sense that the section’s moderators would bring Violentacrez on to help deal with the newfound attention. He was a moderator until Creepshots was banned this week amid increasing controversy. (The circumstances surrounding Creepshots’ ban is unclear, as Reddit’s General Manager had told Buzzfeed they would not ban the subreddit because it wasn’t breaking Reddit’s rules.)

Having his screenname mangled by Anderson Cooper on CNN for Jailbait was Violentacrez’s biggest moment as a troll, but it wasn’t his first time in the spotlight. Since Brutsch stumbled on Reddit from a link on the internet culture blog Boing Boing in 2007, he has pushed the boundaries of Reddit’s free-speech culture. He has done this mostly through creating offensive subreddits to troll sensitive users. Some of the sections Violentacrez created or moderated were called:

Chokeabitch
Niggerjailbait
Rapebait
Hitler
Jewmerica
Misogyny
Incest

You can look those up on Reddit and visit them if you’d like to ruin your day, but the content is self-explanatory.

Unlike Jailbait, which apparently sprung from a sincere interest, many of Violentacrez’s most offensive subreddits were created just to enrage other Reddit users. At this they were very effective. What happened was, some do-gooder would stumble upon one of his offensive subreddits and expose it to the rest of Reddit in an outraged post. Then thousands more would vote the thing to the front page of Reddit. Cries to censor it would sound out, to be almost inevitably beaten back by cries of "free speech!" The idea of free speech is sacred to many Reddit users, a product of the free-wheeling online message board culture from which Reddit springs. If you criticize someone else for posting something you don’t like, you are a whiny fascist.

Violentacrez explained his trolling philosophy to the internet culture website the Daily Dot in August of 2011. He had sparked yet another controversy by posting a graphic image of a partially clothed woman being brutally beaten by a large man, in "beatingwomen," a subreddit dedicated to glorifying violence against women. A Redditor had called out the picture in a post, and it was voted to the front page.

"People take things way too seriously around here," Violentacrez said. " I was not surprised by the outrage of the person who made the post, because I see it all the time. What was surprising was the community support for it. Most posts that complain about these things never do very well, and are quickly buried or deleted. I think it’s interesting how many people defend my right to act the way I do, while decrying my posts themselves."

A troll exploits social dynamics like computer hackers exploit security loopholes, and Violentacrez calmly exploited the Reddit hive mind’s powerful outrage machine and free speech values at the same time.

It was this pattern, repeated to various degrees dozens of times, that made Violentacrez an unlikely hero to many of the white male geeks who make up Reddit’s hard core. They saw Violentacrez as a champion in the fight against the oppressive schoolmarms: "He upheld a certain amount of freedom for the worst of us to ensure freedom for all of us," wrote one user in a post mourning his departure. Fans followed him wherever he went on the site.

As his fame grew, Brutsch began selling T-shirts with an illustration of a zombified version of Reddit’s alien logo, designed by a professional illustrator, that he had adopted as Violentacrez’s logo. He created a subreddit called Violentacrez, dedicated to news and posts about himself. Last year, the Daily Dot named him the most China important Redditor of the year. Violentacrez was the most influential user of one of the most influential websites on the internet.
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Violentacrez was a troll, but he was a well-connected troll.

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All the while, Violentacrez’s critics cried out the same refrain: "How does he get away with this?" One reason Violentacrez continued to occupy such a high-profile position on Reddit was of course his free speech rhetoric. But Violentacrez has historically had a close relationship with Reddit’s staff, a fact far less well-known than his controversial behavior. Violentacrez was a troll, but he was a well-connected troll. He told me he was close with a number of early Reddit employees—many of whom have now moved on—chatting with them on IRC or sometimes even on the phone. A few years ago, while Jailbait was still going strong, Reddit’s administrators gave him a special one-of-a-kind "pimp hat" badge to honor his contributions to the site, which he proudly displayed on his profile. Brutsch said he was even in the final running for a job as a customer support representative at Reddit last year.

During the Jailbait controversy, Erik Martin, the site’s General Manager, reached out to Violentacrez beforehand to warn him that they were going to have to shut down his prized possession, according to a chat conversation Violentacrez leaked at the time.

"Want to give you a heads up," Martin wrote. "We’re making a policy change regarding jailbait type content. Don’t really have a choice."

(Martin did not respond to requests for comment.)

Violentacrez’s privileged position came from the fact that for years he had helped administrators deal with the massive seedy side of Reddit, acting almost as an unpaid staff member. Reddit administrators essentially handed off the oversight of the site’s NSFW side to Violentacrez, according to former Reddit lead programer Chris Slowe (a.k.a. Keysersosa), who worked at Reddit from 2005 to the end of 2010. When Violentacrez first joined the site and started filling it with filth, administrators were wary and they often clashed. But eventually administrators and Violentacrez came to an uneasy truce, according to Slowe. For all his unpleasantness, they realized that Violentacrez was an excellent community moderator and could be counted on to keep the administrators abreast of any illegal content he came across.

"Once we came to terms he was actually pretty helpful. He would come to us with things that we hadn’t noticed," said Slowe. "At the time there was only four of us working so that was a great resource for us to have."

Administrators realized it was easier to China outsource the policing of questionable content to Violentacrez than to dirty their hands themselves, or ostracize him and risk even worse things happening without their knowledge. The devil you know. So even as Jailbait flourished and became an ever-more-integral part of Reddit’s traffic and culture—in 2008 it won the most votes in a "subreddit of the year" poll—administrators looked the other way. "We just stayed out of there and let him do his thing and we knew at least he was getting rid of a lot of stuff that wasn’t particularly legal," Slowe said. "I know I didn’t want it to be my job."

Violentacrez’s close relationship to administrators made him an elite member of Reddit’s army of moderators, known as "mods" on the site. Though much is made of the millions of users who submit content to Reddit, it’s Reddit’s over 20,000 volunteer mods who are the real secret behind its success. They act as janitors and editors, keeping their subreddits clean and well-stocked with content. Reddit’s main innovation has been to move these users up the food chain, from simple content-generators to management positions. This allows Reddit’s mind-boggling breadth of content and users to be overseen by just a few paid employees. The downside is that it requires Reddit’s official management to enter into uneasy symbiotic relationships with sketchy but effective moderators like Violentacrez.

And sometimes those relationships become more trouble than they’re worth. After the Jailbait controversy, Violentacrez claimed repeatedly on Reddit, he was cut off from administrators who had been burned by the controversy. In fact, when I spoke to him, Brutsch said Reddit admins had been keeping their distance for a while. He suggested that the site wasn’t what it used to be. In recent days, he has been posting less, stirring up less drama.

When it comes to mods, the political model of Reddit is not so much a vast digital democracy, as it’s often framed by fans and users, as online feudalism. Moderators like Violentacrez are given absolute control over their turf in exchange for keeping the kingdom of Reddit strong. Moderators become more or less powerful in direct relation to the number and popularity of the subreddits they moderate, so they try to take over other subreddits to boost their profile in the community. Inevitably, Reddit’s administrators develop relationships with the most influential moderators. Like feuding medieval lords vying for the king’s favor, moderators form alliances or wage epic flame wars over power struggles.

This is how Violentacrez, Reddit’s creepiest user, also became its most powerful. Sure, he was responsible for the absolute worst stuff on Reddit, and by extension, some of the worst stuff on the internet. But Violentacrez was also seen to be, as Chris Slowe put it to me, "a trustworthy and a positive member of the community." He moderated more than 400 subreddits and had many high-profile friends, amassed over many years. His stable at times included hundreds of popular mainstream subreddits, like Funny and WTF, that reach audiences of millions. Violentacrez further solidified his reach by becoming a mentor to other moderators. He created the first FAQ for Reddit’s rather unintuitive moderator interface. He also helmed a number of subreddits dedicated to providing guidance and camaraderie for other moderators, including the essential modhelp.

So it was no surprise that when news got out earlier this week that I was working on a story that would expose Violentacrez’s real identity, other moderators on Reddit rallied to defend him. The popular politics subreddit led the charge, by banning all Gawker links.

"As moderators, we feel that this type of behavior is completely intolerable," they wrote. "We volunteer our time on Reddit to make it a better place for the users, and should not be harassed and threatened for that. We should all be afraid of the threat of having our personal information investigated and spread around the internet if someone disagrees with you."

Some have taken this as an expression of Reddit’s users’ fondness of Violentacrez’s pornographic generosity. In fact the ban was probably more an expression of friendship by the Politics subreddit moderators. Violentacrez probably trained some of them. They were mad that their buddy was going to be outed for simply, in their mind, exercising his free speech—his unalienable right to anonymously post stalker shots of women.

***
When I called Brutsch that Wednesday afternoon and told him I knew who he was, I was a little taken aback by how calm he remained during our intense but civil hour-long conversation. I had figured that a man whose hobby was saying horrible shit just to screw with people online would rise to some new horrible level when conditions on the ground actually called for it. Instead he pleaded with me in an affectless monotone not to reveal his name.

"My wife is disabled. I got a home and a mortgage, and if this hits the fan, I believe this will affect negatively on my employment," he said. "I do my job, go home watch TV, and go on the internet. I just like riling people up in my spare time."

I asked if he regretted anything he had posted, now that he’d be found out. No, he said. "I would stand by exactly what I’ve done." The problem was, he explained, that if his identity got out, his many enemies would start attaching lies to his name because they simply don’t like his views. They would say he was a child pornographer, when all he had done was spearhead the distribution of thousands of legal photos of underage girls. They would say the fact that he created a subreddit dedicated to Hitler meant he was anti-Semitic, when really it was just trolling. (Brutsch says he’s got Jewish blood himself: "If you see a picture of me, I’m about as Jewish looking as they get.") They would Google-bomb his name and the word "pedophile" along with his publicly-traded company’s name.
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I asked if he regretted anything he had posted, now that he’d be found out. No, he said. "I would stand by exactly what I’ve done."

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He needed to keep his anonymity to protect his ability to express things many people think but hardly anyone says. With Violentacrez, "I got the freedom to talk about my personal life, my personal feelings… I’m sure there’s more than one person in this building who’s a pervert," he said, referring his office building.

He asked a number of times if there was anything he could do to keep me from outing him. He offered to act as a mole for me, to be my "sockpuppet" on Reddit. "I’m like the spy who’s found out," he said. "I’ll do anything. If you want me to stop posting, delete whatever I posted, whatever. I am at your mercy because I really can’t think of anything worse that could possibly happen. It’s not like I do anything illegal."

I told him it wasn’t my place to tell him what to do, that I was just reporting on what he’d already done, but this did shake me a bit. It didn’t help that our phone call had been unplanned and I hadn’t properly steeled myself for a tough conversation. In the beginning it was just supposed to be a friendly gchat conversation with Violentacrez, not a confrontation with Brutsch himself.

I had initially told Violentacrez I was interested in profiling him in light of the new controversy surrounding creepshots. I arranged the Gchat interview without hinting that a former online friend had tipped me off to his real identity during the Jailbait scandal, after the friend had become disgusted with his obsession with underage girls. Since then, Violentacrez had recorded the geek podcast The Drill Down with other high-profile Reddit moderators, outing his voice. All I had to do was call up Michael Brutsch and match his voice to Violentacrez’s. My plan that Wednesday was to have the chat with Violentacrez before calling Brutsch. I didn’t want to risk calling Brutsch first, only to have him shut down completely once he realized he was outed.

Unfortunately, I’ve never been good at keeping secrets. My poker face is so bad it can be read even through a computer screen, apparently. In our Gchat, I pressed Violentacrez about his anonymity enough that he grew suspicious. We were chatting about why he feels comfortable attending IRL meet-ups of Redditors if his anonymity was so China important to him when he caught on.

me: it seems like you’re not super careful about keeping your identity under wraps, if you meet people in real life. A lot of trolls I’ve talked to would never do that or give out as many details about themselves as they do.

violentacrez: have you been given my real name?

me: yeah

violentacrez: that’s not good

me: it seems like you’ve told a lot of people. Are you surprised it would get out?

violentacrez: yes, I thought I could trust those who know. Are you going to out me?

Panicking a bit, I quickly picked up the phone and dialed the number I had found on Brutsch’s online resume so I could hear Brutsch’s voice to see if it matched Violentacrez. It did.

"So, are you going to out me?" he said.

***
One thing that Brutsch wasn’t worried about when I talked to him on the phone was his immediate family finding out about his online habits.

"He won’t really care," said Brutsch of his teenage son, the one about to join the Marines. "He thinks I’m creepy as it is."

The Violentacrez clan seems to have walked out of a Todd Solondz movie, and a significant part of Violentacrez’s mythos on Reddit comes from the details he’s shared about his family. In 2010, Violentacrez hosted a legendary "Ask Me Anything" thread"—the same Q & A feature Barack Obama took part in last month. He was asked what was the creepiest thing he’d done "IRL" and delighted readers with a tale ripped out of Penthouse letters. "That’d be a tough call," Violentacrez wrote, "Perhaps oral sex with my 19-year-old stepdaughter." It was completely consensual, he claimed in the post, and went on to brag about how awesome it had been in graphic detail.

This happened over ten years ago, Violentacrez claimed. When his then-wife, the girl’s mother, found out, she "got mad, then got over it," Violentacrez wrote. He says they were married for ten more years.

His current wife is similarly accepting of Brutsch’s unsavory side, according to Brutsch. She is not only aware of his online habits, she’s also a prolific Redditor under the handle not_so_violentacrez. She is a founder of the Fibromyalgia subreddit. She has diabetes and plays the online game Kingdom of Camelot. Violentacrez said that at home, the two would lie in bed together with their laptops, both on Reddit, him posting his porn, she posting cute animal videos and pictures of dolphins.

About a year ago, Violentacrez’s teenage son did his own Ask Me Anything thread. His son uses the handle Spawn_of_VA and he is dad’s biggest fan. Interspersed among talk of family game night, Spawn_of_VA regaled readers with more weird tidbits about his father, including the fact that he has a "suitcase full of dildos in his closet" and a "roller type thing with spikes on it, he uses that to roll on his balls."

When I first read Violentacrez’s and his son’s AMAs I, like many other readers, figured this was just some next-level trolling. Violentacrez’s wife and his son were probably just sockpuppets, right? But on the phone, I asked Brutsch if Spawn_of_VA was really his son. He is, Brutsch said. I asked if everything he and his son had said in their AMAs were real. As far as he could remember, he said, it was.

***
The extent to which trolls separate, or fail to separate, their online and IRL lives is as varied as people themselves. There’s an idea of the troll as an information age Jekyll & Hyde, with the anonymity provided by the internet playing the role of Hyde’s serum that transforms the mild-mannered geek into a monster. Observers often cite the psychological theory called deindividuation, which argues people literally lose themselves when granted anonymity.

But Violentacrez/Michael Brutsch upset this idea by blurring his online and offline lives. Brutsch adopted a new name for trolling, but he built his horrible character on many details from his real life. In real life, Brutsch is an unabashedly creepy old man with seven cats and two dogs and a disabled wife and a teenage son about to join the Marines. He was all of that online, too—only he was famous for it.

Both offline and online he could be either a creepy uncle, or a loyal friend and helpful guide. Violentacrez had a surprising number of friends on Reddit, for someone who once created an entire subreddit dedicated to pictures of dead teenage girls (Picsofdeadjailbait). He helped organize IRL meet-ups, where he showed up in a t-shirt with his zombie logo on it, and told everyone there to call him "VA." Attendees agreed to blur his face in any resulting pictures before posting them to Reddit. Brutsch is an internet minister, and he said he once married a pair of Redditors in real life, though they only knew him by his "clean" handle: mbrutsch.

One longtime Redditor I spoke to talked about Violentacrez with the warmth of an old college friend.

"He’s a really a good guy," she said. This user was in the Arlington area for business once, and she stopped by Brutsch’s house for lunch. "He has the manners of a Southern gentleman," she said. "A bunch of neighborhood kids were over playing at his house."

The only thing missing was joining the name Violentacrez to the name Michael Brutsch, and even that information he had given to many of his online friends. Reddit administrators have long known his real identity, Brutsch said, which he gave them in order to prove that he had nothing to hide. But Brutsch was still anonymous to the people he wanted to be, mainly his employers, and by unmasking him I am sure to get criticism for supposedly violating his privacy.

Even before I published this article, Reddit had already exploded in outrage. (Gawker sites are now banned from over 60 subreddits, and some pissed off user has signed me up for approximately two dozen mailing lists.) The irony of being upset that a noted custodian of "creepshots" is getting some unwanted attention himself is obvious. Jailbait defenders would often argue that if 14-year-olds didn’t want their bikini pictures to be posted to Reddit, they should not have taken them and uploaded them to their Facebook accounts in the first place. If Brutsch did not want his employers to know that he had become a minor internet celebrity through spending hours every day posting photos of 14-year-olds in bikinis to thousands of people on the internet, he should have stuck to posting cat videos.

But for Reddit, the stakes are higher than just one man having to answer for things he’s done online. To them, the "doxing" of Violentacrez—"doxing" is hacker slang for publishing someone’s personal information in order to intimidate or punish them—is an assault on the very structure of Reddit itself. The Daily Dot sums up their logic:

At Web communities like Reddit, which thrive because users are free to say and do anything they want, doxing is a severe crime, both to users and the site’s staff. It’s far worse than offensive speech like racism and homophobia or, yes, even posting surreptitiously snapped photos of innocent women for creeps to perv over. Why? Because doxing undermines the community’s structural integrity: Reddit simply would not exist as we know it if users weren’t operating under the freedom of a flexible identity. So redditors aren’t banning Gawker to protect violentacrez, they’re doing it to protect themselves.

Under Reddit logic, outing Violentacrez is worse than anonymously posting creepshots of innocent women, because doing so would undermine Reddit’s role as a safe place for people to anonymously post creepshots of innocent women.

I am OK with that.

***
Brutsch shut down the Violentacrez account abruptly this past Tuesday, six days after we spoke. When I Gchatted him that night, Brutsch told me, "I guess I just got tired of all the hassle." He said he was done with Reddit for good. "Reddit ceased being fun a while ago," he said.

Now he’s going to spend the hours he used to lose to Reddit on work. "Oh, and possibly looking for a job will obviously keep me busy ;)"

I asked what he’ll miss most about Reddit. "The people," he said. "Reddit is nothing without the community. I’ve already gotten a few cheery goodbyes from people: ‘Keep in touch. You are still a good friend.’"

But he didn’t stay away long. In the past couple days, he apparently popped up in a private subreddit called "modtalk," where moderators and administrators talk clear up some misconceptions about why he’d left. (Including one rumor that I had somehow "blackmailed" him into quitting.) In the ensuing discussion, a user named themanwithnoname wrote, "VA, I don’t know you personally, but I’ve appreciated some of your comments over the years. I hope your life rocks from here out."

To which Violentacrez replied, under the handle VA_11102012: "I miss posting porn."

Update, Monday 10/15: Reddit’s Biggest Troll Fired From His Real-World Job; Reddit Continues to Censor Gawker Articles
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peace & ecommerce, a global system view

Image by Wonderlane
China is a likely winner of the information age supply chain through ecommerce
Peace and Ecommerce, A Global Systems View

By Linda Lane, MSIM, 2008
Policy, Law, and Ethics in Information Management, University of Washington

The Research Diary
Education justifies everything.
Attending a required Masters class “Policy, Law, and Ethics in Information Management” it was only ethical to admit that I worked three months drafting and publishing policy documents for Microsoft, which was now our current class assignment, to research Web based privacy policies and other related documents such as terms of use, conditions of use, code of conduct and learn more about them, with a diary of examples in the wild, and related materials. The educational idea is that we would then be able to contribute meaningfully to creating policy statements, and understand their underlying implications to end users and Chinese companies. But I had already done this work professionally, so it would be of questionable value for me to do the coursework on the same topic as if I had never done it before.

The instructor of the class, Glenn Von Tersch is that valuable-to-me teacher because he is a rare working professional in the field in which he instructs, he’s an intellectual property lawyer working in California, teaching in person in Seattle, and in my lingo, a local boy made good. Von Tersch assigned me to present information on freedom of speech, a topic I fell in love with, and wanted to research more. But for my final research I needed something else.

One of my favorite things to discuss in job interviews, or with anyone in earshot, is that I believe that the networked spread of ecommerce over the Web, filtering into even the poorest nations will aid in understanding through communication; that ecommerce leads to peace. In effect I believed that ecommerce contributes in a direct way to peace because it provides the fuel to grow and maintain the Internet. Also it seemed obvious that people and countries that are invested in and perform transactions with each other are less likely to go war against their own interests. Von Tersch said, “These topics you are interested in have more research value than freedom of speech, because 1st amendment rights have been heavily legislated, written about, and researched.” He mentioned something called “The McDonald’s Effect”, how having a McDonald’s outlet or franchise appears to contribute to peace between countries. So peace and ecommerce became my topic.

What I did not expect to discover is in human society war is considered the norm and peace the exception. I did not expect to learn about how ugly the 3rd world poverty creating monster of WTO became according to one economist, even though I live in Seattle where the initial protests were. I was surprised to know how Reganomics theory hangs on, like an old B-grade movie on late night TV, because someone somewhere in the supply chain makes money. I did not expect to find that privacy and intellectual rights are so tightly interwoven, or how they relate to conflict, security, potential world dominance and growth.

I had no way to guess that I would enjoy the study of economics – statistical, yes, nicely so, but dull no; as a global topic it is juicy-rotten, full of international spies, botched security, with rogue pirate computer chips, and unintended consequences.

Who can accurately predict how patterns of global economics relate to peace, privacy, property rights, policies and their outcome in the one breath away from today, the next 20-40 years? Who would think that China – the nation, McDonalds – the corporation, and Chicago crack dealers and their foot soldiers share so much in common when you view their information through these fascinating multi-dimensional facets?

One must be educated to search effectively for information. My knowing about the nature of search is not just intellectual knowledge; this is conditionalized through my own experience of failure to produce relevant search results within massive library databases.

My education began with a simple query on the Web “peace + ecommerce” which returned from Google “Theses on the Balkan War,” by Mike Haynes, from the International Socialism Journal, “Capitalism is inherently a competitively expansionist and therefore conflict ridden system” , effectively laying the blame for war on the US and Western capitalist nations and on any one claiming to be fighting a war with good intentions. I read it, thinking I would not see this relate to my project – also surprising very similar material was presented in the global economic books I read later .

As mentioned the pursuit of ‘education justifies anything’, like looking at any results, so I also clicked on an article entitled “Dinosaur Extinction linked to change in Dinosaur Culture” I read it, and it made sense that something like author Daniel Quinn’s theory of “The Law of Limited Competition” is an operant factor in global markets today, with war being genocide, and countries struggling to win economically laying waste to the very place they live. A notable example is Beijing, the air pollution capital of the world struggling to host the Olympic Games this year. I stored that URL for future reference. The theory and the reality imply that in the race to catch up and compete in global economics, the Chinese are killing themselves off before they arrive at their desired goal.

Then I queried in several of the University of Washington interconnected and extensive library databases on the same thing “peace + ecommerce” and found in all of them, zero returns, “0 Results”. My teacher was surprised and advised me to extrapolate and offer conjecture on what was likely, if few sources were available. I notified a friend studying economics who emailed related articles. Very frustrated I tried related queries and turned up articles on the economies of war . How perverse, I thought. I contacted a librarian through the online tool and chatted with her, explaining my quest. She suggested I query on “economics and public policy”. “How is public policy related to peace and ecommerce?” I asked. “Try Conflict Resolution” she replied.

Thus the reason I couldn’t find ‘peace’ is because the term used, in educated facet writers’ metadata which is designed to expose information to search, is ‘conflict resolution’ or ‘conflict prevention’. Oddly the social implication is that war is the norm. Maybe peace doesn’t exist anywhere. A reason I used ‘ecommerce’ instead of ‘global economics’ is due to consulting in that field for technology firms. Searching again returned few meaningful results — the user interface was strange, very slow, and clunky. I longed for Google .

Then I remembered the “McDonald’s Effect” our teacher mentioned, and quickly I located a reference on the Web, but it was deeply nested in a staggering number of oddly worded articles. I stopped without uncovering where the concept originated. The next night I searched again, and found the author Thomas Friedman and his related books. I briefly scanned all the related Wikipedia articles. I realized quickly that to become educated enough on my two topics, I had to some understanding of economics. This is because even to scrape by enough to search among the many interrelated topics one needs to know the central facet . Very esoteric topics require specialized language and deep knowledge of the subject.

More searches turned up substantial evidence that China lags behind other nations in ecommerce.

For years I worked in ecommerce designing interfaces (for Microsoft 2003 and Amazon 2007-2008), and working with supply chain software (as a director of an ecommerce company). But because I didn’t realize that one could understand it better, and that it is not as dull as computer science and its requisite cash register receipts , I never tried.

The "McDonald’s Effect" is named after "The Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention" created by the author Thomas Friedman’s slightly in cheek comments and his book, “The Lexus and the Olive Tree” (the update now titled "The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization").

Those books lead me to order Amazon ecommerce overnight book delivery, and I read, ‘The World Is Flat?: A Critical Analysis of New York Times Bestseller by Thomas Friedman’, ‘Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything’ , ‘Making Globalization Work’ which reports that there is hope in the world for peace. The Nobel Prize winning author helps the reader extrapolate based on significant knowledge of statistics and global economic analysis through his personal, professional, and academic connections.

Common Name Academic Name Book Title
McDonalds Effect Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention,
aka democratic peace theory Lexus and the Olive Tree

Dell Theory The Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention The World is Flat, A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century

peace conflict prevention
ecommerce global economics

"In his book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Thomas L. Friedman proposed The Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention, observing that no two countries with a McDonald’s franchise had ever gone to war with one another, a version of the democratic peace theory."

"The Dell Theory stipulates: No two countries that are both part of a major global supply chain, like Dell’s, will ever fight a war against each other as long as they are both part of the same global supply chain."
———————————————————————
Readings
The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century by Thomas Friedman
Larry Page, Google Co-Founder quoted by Thomas Friedman, p. 179, entire paragraph. “The more global Google’s user base becomes, the more powerful a flattener it becomes…”

From Friedman’s conversation with Google’s director of operations in China, Kai-Fu Lee, p. 181 entire paragraph ”In time individuals will have the power to find anything in the world at any time on all kinds of devices – and that will be enormously empowering.”

The Quiet Crisis, entire pages 368, 369, chapter on research in China, beating out American innovation in research. “The Chinese government gave Microsoft the right to grant post-docs.” “They work through their holidays because their dream is to get to Microsoft.”
“What are those?” She said the researchers get them from Microsoft every time they invent something that gets patented. How do you say Ferrari in Chinese.”

p. 370 “… whether we are going to implement or China is going to beat us to our own plan.” Council on Creativeness, regarding the Innovate America report, comment to Friedman by Deborah Wince-Smith.

Introduction p. X, Thomas Friedman, “Of course the world is not flat. But it isn’t round anymore either. I have been using the simple notion of flatness to describe how more people can plug, play, compete, connect, and collaborate with more equal power than ever before – which is what is happening in the world. … the essencial impact of all the technological changes coming together in the world today. … My use of the word flat doesn’t mean equal (as in ‘equal incomes’) and never did. It means equalizing.”

The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization by Thomas Friedman

Forward to the Anchor Edition, Thomas Friedman, “… my Golden Arches Theory – that no two countries that both have McDonald’s have ever fought a war again each other since the each got their McDonald’s.”

p. 7 “When I say that globalization has replaced the Cold War as the defining international system, what exactly do I mean?”

p. 8 “The cold war system was symbolized by a single word, the wall … “You can’t handle the truth,” Says Nickleson. “Son we live in a world that has walls…”

p. 8 “This Globalization system is also characterized by a single word: the Web. … we have gone from a system built around divisions and walls to a system built around integration and webs.”

p. 19 “What is information arbitrage? Arbitrage is a market terms. Technically speaking, it refers to the simultaneous buying and selling of the same securities, commodities or foreign exchange in different markets to predict from unequal prices and unequal information. The successful arbitrageur is a trader that knows…”

Chapter 3, p. 29. The Lexus and the Olive Tree
Photo: Jerusalem, December 29, 1998: Simon Biton places his cellular phone up to the Western Wall so a relative in France can say a prayer at the holy site. (Photo: Menahem Kahana, Agence France-Presse) [caused my spontaneous tears]

p. 47 “advertising jingle “Let us put a bank in your home” … office … newspaper … bookstore … brokerage firm … China factory … investment firm … school in our homes.”

The World Is Flat?: A Critical Analysis of New York Times Bestseller by Thomas Friedman by Ronald Aronica and Mtetwa Ramdoo

Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Chapter 5 “Why do Drug Dealers Still Live with Their Moms?” p. 89 “So how did the gang work? An awful lot like most American businesses, actually, though perhaps none more so than McDonald’s. In fact, if you were to hold a McDonald’s organizational chart and a Black Disciples org chart side by side, you could hardly tell the difference.”

p. 46 “There is a tale, “The ring of Gygnes,” … could any man resist the temptation of evil if he knew his acts could not be witnessed?”

p. 58 “Attendance at Klan meetings began to fall … of all the ideas Kennedy thought up to fight bigotry, this campaign was clearly the cleverest. … He turned the Klan’s secrecy against itself by making its private information public: he converted heretofore precious knowledge into ammunition for mockery.”

Making Globalization Work by Joseph E. Stiglitz
My favorite – the entire book was used to write this paper.

Web Resources
Please view attached Appendix www.crito.uci.edu/pubs/2004/ChinaGECIII.pdf regarding the reasons one study concludes that hold China back in ecommerce.

[1] Waiting until the time is right, one is good at something, or has collected all the facts, without making any attempts isn’t effective. I had to begin someplace even if it is incomplete so I started with the World Wide Web. “If something is worth doing well, at all, it is also worth doing poorly.” I am not sure where that quote came from but I read it in an article where someone presented their reasoning.

[2] You never know where something will come from in free rights actions or what it will mean later. For example the person at the center of the Alaskan “Bong hits For Jesus” case, Frederick Morse, now teaches English to Chinese students in China. As an adult it appears he has his head on straight in his wish to help others communicate, more so that those he fought in court.

From the CNN news article, published June 26, 2007, “In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens said, "This case began with a silly nonsensical banner, (and) ends with the court inventing out of whole cloth a special First Amendment rule permitting the censorship of any student speech that mentions drugs, so long as someone could perceive that speech to contain a latent pro-drug message." He was backed by Justices David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/06/25/free.speech/index.html/ downloaded March 13, 2008

[3] Pentagon attack last June stole an "amazing amount" of data” Joel Hruska Published: March 06, 2008 – 07:13PM CT arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080306-pentagon-attack-la… from “blueton tips us to a brief story about recent revelations from the Pentagon which indicate that the attack on their computer network in June 2007 was more serious than they originally claimed. A DoD official recently remarked that the hackers were able to obtain an "amazing amount" of data.

We previously discussed rumors that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army was behind the attack. “CNN has an article about Chinese hackers who claim to have successfully stolen information from the Pentagon.” Quoting Ars Technica: "The intrusion was first detected during an IT restructuring that was underway at the time. By the time it was detected, malicious code had been in the system for at least two months, and was propagating via a known Windows exploit. The bug spread itself by e-mailing malicious payloads from one system on the network to another." Via email from Jeremy Hansen on slashdot.org/

[4] “Chinese backdoors "hidden in router firmware" Matthew Sparkes, News [Security], Tuesday 4th March 2008 3:17PM, Tuesday 4th March 2008 www.pcpro.co.uk/news/173883/chinese-backdoors-hidden-in-r… The UK’s communication networks could be at risk from Chinese backdoors hidden in firmware, according to a security company.

SecureTest believes spyware could be easily built into Asian-manufactured devices such as switches and routers, providing a simple backdoor for Chinese companies or governments in the Far East to listen in on communications.

"Organisations should change their security policies and procedures immediately," says Ken Munro, managing director of SecureTest. "This is a very real loophole that needs closing. The government needs to act fast."

"Would they buy a missile from China, then deploy it untested into a Western missile silo and expect it to function when directed at the Far East? That’s essentially what they’re doing by installing network infrastructure produced in the Far East, such as switches and routers, untested into government and corporate networks."

Late last year MI5 sent a letter to 300 UK Chinese companies warning of the threat from Chinese hackers attempting to steal sensitive data. Reports at the time suggested that both Rolls Royce and Royal Dutch Shell had been subjected to "sustained spying assaults".

The issue has been debated by government for some time. In 2001, the then foreign secretary Robin Cook, warned that international computer espionage could pose a bigger threat to the UK than terrorism.

[5] Chip Piracy Might End With Public Key Cryptography. A Web Exclusive from Windows IT Pro Mark Joseph Edwards, Security News, InstantDoc #98491, Windows IT Pro “A group of researchers from two universities have proposed a way to prevent chip piracy. The technique uses public key cryptography to lock down circuitry.

In a whitepaper published this month, Jarrod A. Roy and Igor L. Markov (of the University of Michigan) and Farinaz Koushanfar (of Rice University) outline the problem and details of how their proposed technology will help solve it.

Chip designers sometimes China outsource manufacturing and that opens the door to piracy, should someone copy the design plans. The copied plans are then used to created ‘clone’ chips for a wide range of devices, including computers, MP3 players, and more.

"Pirated chips are sometimes being sold for pennies, but they are exactly the same as normal chips," said Igor Markov, associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. "They were designed in the United States and usually manufactured overseas, where intellectual property law is more lax. Someone copies the blueprints or manufactures the chips without authorization."

The groups propose the use of public key cryptography, which would be embedded into circuitry designs. Each chip would produce its own random identification number, which would be generated during an activation phase. Chips would not function until activated, and activation would take place in a manner somewhat similar to that seen with many applications in use today. Via email from Jeremy Hansen.Original source – EPIC: Ending Piracy of Integrated Circuits Jarrod A. Roy, Farinaz Koushanfar‡ and Igor L. Markov, The University of Michigan, Department of EECS, 2260 Hayward Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2121, Rice University, ECE and CS Departments, 6100 South Main, Houston, TX 77005 www.eecs.umich.edu/~imarkov/pubs/conf/date08-epic.pdf March 06, 2008

[6] Chapter 5 “Why do Drug Dealers Still Live with Their Moms?” p. 89 “So how did the gang work? An awful lot like most American businesses, actually, though perhaps none more so than McDonald’s. In fact, if you were to hold a McDonald’s organizational chart and a Black Disciples org chart side by side, you could hardly tell the difference.”

[7] Mike Haynes, Theses on the Balkan War, “Capitalism is inherently a competitively expansionist and therefore conflict ridden system” Issue 83 of INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM JOURNAL Published Summer 1999 Copyright © International Socialism, pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/isj83/haynes.htm/ accessed March 3, 2008.

[8] Readings p.7 “When I say that globalization has replaced the Cold War as the defining international system, what exactly do I mean?” p. 8 “The cold war system was symbolized by a single word, the wall … “You can’t handle the truth,” Says Nicholson. “Son we live in a world that has walls…”p. 8 “This Globalization system is also characterized by a single word: the Web. … we have gone from a system built around divisions and walls to a system built around integration and webs.”

“What is information arbitrage? Arbitrage is a market term. Technically speaking, it refers to the simultaneous buying and selling of the same securities, commodities or foreign exchange in different markets to predict from unequal prices and unequal information. The successful arbitrageur is a trader that knows…”

[9] Shared by miles on Feb 13, 2006 3:39 pm that I located through a mail.google.com/mail/?ui=1&realattid=f_fdn935gd&a…
[10] “As it gears up to host the 2008 Olympic Games Beijing has been awarded an unwelcome new accolade: the air pollution capital of the world.Satellite data has revealed that the city is one of the worst environmental victims of China’s spectacular economic growth, which has brought with it air pollution levels that are blamed for more than 400,000 premature deaths a year” www.guardian.co.uk/news/2005/oct/31/china.pollution

[11] “What we call ‘war’ is not all bad,” according to Virginia Johnson a former governmental planning consultant, who reminded me, “Without conflict there is no life. You don’t want ‘perfect peace’ there is no movement. The human standard is actually what we broadly call ‘war’; because without conflict, change, motion, growth we would learn nothing, we would have nothing, we would be dead.” Personal conversation, March 14, 2008, Seattle, Washington

[12] Readings Larry Page, Google Co-Founder quoted by Thomas Friedman, p. 179, entire paragraph. “The more global Google’s user base becomes, the more powerful a flattener it becomes…”

[13] Ranganathan, faceted classification, Five Laws of Library Science, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._R._Ranganathan, www.boxesandarrows.com/view/ranganathan_for_ias Personality, Matter, Energy, Space, and Time. (PMEST)
Personality—what the object is primarily “about.” This is considered the “main facet.”
Matter—the material of the object
Energy—the processes or activities that take place in relation to the object
Space—where the object happens or exists
Time—when the object occurs

[14] www.crito.uci.edu/pubs/2004/ChinaGECIII.pdf

[15] I learned about supply chain management mainly from the supply chain wizard Marc Lamonica, Regional Chief Financial Officer at Sutter Connect, www.sutterconnect.org/, and our mutual friend Web entrepreneur and ecommerce product engineer Adam Kalsey, and Sacramento State University teacher Stuart Williams, of Blitzkeigsoftware.net, blitzkriegsoftware.net/StuartWilliams/default.asp

[16] Introduction to Computer software classes in the 1970s consisted of FORTRAN cash register receipt programming, which is by implication is what ecommerce actually does.

[17] Freakonomics is a must read book of comedy and connections.

[18] Golden Arches, definition on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Arches, accessed March 13, 2008

[19] Readings “The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century” by Thomas Friedman, p. 421

[20] Readings p. 19 “What is information arbitrage? Arbitrage is a market term. Technically speaking, it refers to the simultaneous buying and selling of the same securities, commodities or foreign exchange in different markets to predict from unequal prices and unequal information. The successful arbitrageur is a trader that knows…”

[21] “Conservation groups say acid rain falls on a third of China’s territory and 70% of rivers and lakes are so full of toxins they can no longer be used for drinking water.” Satellite data reveals Beijing as air pollution capital of world, Jonathan Watts in Beijing The Guardian, Monday October 31 2005, www.guardian.co.uk/news/2005/oct/31/china.pollution

[22] “…After watching Jobs unveil the iPhone, Alan Kay, a personal computer pioneer who has worked with him, put it this way who has worked with him, put it this way: "Steve understands desire." … Fortune CNN Magazine March 5, 2008, money.cnn.com/2008/03/02/news/companies/elkind_jobs.fortu…
accessed March 5, 2008

[23] Mac Margolis, “How Brazil Reversed the Curse, Latin America used to suffer the deepest gap between rich and poor. Now it is the only region narrowing the divide. Upwardly Mobile: Middle-class Brazilians” www.newsweek.com/id/67850 NEWSWEEK Nov 12, 2007 Issue

[24] Mike Haynes, Theses on the Balkan War, “Capitalism is inherently a competitively expansionist and therefore conflict ridden system” Issue 83 of INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM JOURNAL Published Summer 1999 Copyright © International Socialism, pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/isj83/haynes.htm/ accessed March 3, 2008. “The optimism that the end of the Cold War might lead to a new world order has been shown to be false. The hope that it would release a peace dividend that would enable a new generosity in international relations has been belied by experience, as some of us sadly predicted it would.3 Though the arms burden has declined, there has been no outpouring of aid to Eastern Europe, no new ‘Marshall Plan’. The result has been that the burden of change has fallen on the broad masses of the population, wrecking lives across the old Soviet bloc in general and in one of its poorest components in south eastern Europe in particular. According to the World Bank, the number of people living in poverty (defined as having less than a day) in the former Soviet bloc has risen from 14 million in 1990 to 147 million in 1998.4 Worse still, the advanced countries have continued to reduce further the miserly sums they devote to aid to the even poorer areas of the world. The OECD countries are rhetorically committed to an aid target of 0.7 percent of their output. In 1990 they gave 0.35 percent, and by 1997 the figure had fallen to 0.22 percent, with the United States under this heading giving 0.09 percent of its output, a figure in startling contrast to the expenditure devoted to destruction.”5

[25] Readings p. 46 “There is a tale, “The ring of Gygnes,” … could any man resist the temptation of evil if he knew his acts could not be witnessed?”

[26] Readings p. 58 “Attendance at Klan meetings began to fall … of all the ideas Kennedy thought up to fight bigotry, this campaign was clearly the cleverest. … He turned the Klan’s secrecy against itself by making its private information public: he converted heretofore precious knowledge into ammunition for mockery.”

Some of the research in this paper on piracy, was provided by Jeremy Hansen of Seattle, Washington, USA. Mr. Hansen’s email regarding economics served to inform me on this topic. Teacher: Glenn Von Tersch.

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