orwell and truth
Become a revolutionary and expose the truth about The CCSSI and the new ‘Truthy’ database designed to track your ‘misinformation’.

 

Data mining of student information via The Common Core States Initiative and the State Stabilization Funding has been a big concern at Missouri Education Watchdog for many years.  We’ve thought from the beginning the the standards were necessary not for educational reasons, but they served as the vehicle for data gathering:

the common core standards initiative is the vehicle that drives the longitudinal data system.  Without the adoption of the standards, the data system could not collect the amount of student data needed to supply various federal agencies and private researchers for workforce purposes.

Peter Green agrees and writes in The Huffington Post the real reason for Common Core adoption and implementation.  From Are Common Core Standards Actually Data Tags?:

Don’t think of them as standards. Think of them as tags.

Think of them as the pedagogical equivalent of people’s names on Facebook, the tags you attach to each and every photo that you upload.

We know from our friends at Knewton what the Grand Design is — a system in which student progress is mapped down to the atomic level. Atomic level (a term that Knewton lervs deeply) means test by test, assignment by assignment, sentence by sentence, item by item. We want to enter every single thing a student does into the Big Data Bank.

But that will only work if we’re all using the same set of tags.

We’ve been saying that CCSS are limited because the standards were written around what can be tested. That’s not exactly correct. The standards have been written around what can be tracked.

The standards aren’t just about defining what should be taught. They’re about cataloging what students have done.

Remember when Facebook introduced emoticons? This was not a public service. Facebook wanted to up its data gathering capabilities by tracking the emotional states of users. If users just defined their own emotions, the data would be too noisy, too hard to crunch. But if the user had to pick from the Facebook standard set of user emotions — then Facebook would have manageable data.

Ditto for CCSS. If we all just taught to our own local standards, the data noise would be too great. The Data Overlords need us all to be standardized, to be using the same set of tags. That is also why no deviation can be allowed. Okay, we’ll let you have 15 percent over and above the standards. The system can probably tolerate that much noise. But under no circumstances can you change the standards — because that would be changing the national student data tagging system, and THAT we can’t tolerate.

This is why the “aligning” process inevitably involves all that marking of standards onto everything we do. It’s not instructional. It’s not even about accountability.

It’s about having us sit and tag every instructional thing we do so that student results can be entered and tracked in the Big Data Bank.

 

  The CCSSI has little to do with accountability or education.  IT’S A DATA GATHERING FEAST for those Federal agencies and private researchers for tracking purposes.  Green continues:

If you are in a state that “dropped” the Core, here’s one simple test — look at your “new” standards and ask just how hard it would be to convert your standards/tags to the CCSS standards/tags. If it’s as simple as switching some numbers and letters, guess what — you haven’t really changed a thing, and your data is still ready to be tagged and bagged.

 

Remember when the Organizing for Obama (OFA) boasted of its data gathering ability to track individuals? We raised concern that this massive data gathering would enter into governmental websites as well. From Common Core data mines for Obama’s website:

common core data mines for obama

 

From Maxine Waters Confirms “Big Brother” Database:

“The President has put in place an organization with the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life,” Representative Maxine Waters told Roland Martin on Monday. “That’s going to be very, very powerful,” Waters said. “That database will have information about everything on every individual on ways that it’s never been done before and whoever runs for President on the Democratic ticket has to deal with that. They’re going to go down with that database and the concerns of those people because they can’t get around it. And he’s [President Obama] been very smart. It’s very powerful what he’s leaving in place.”

 

Representative Waters was clear that this was from President Obama.  Whether it was in his capacity as President or just through OFA was not verified in this video clip.  However, we were all aware of the data gathering by the government via The Affordable Health Care Act and The Common Core State Standards Initiative.  Now THE GOVERNMENT (not the private OFA) is planning to mine your social media tweets for ‘misinformation’.  From HotAir:

The federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter.

The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online.

The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.”

The university has received $919,917 so far for the project.

“The project stands to benefit both the research community and the public significantly,” the grant states. “Our data will be made available via [application programming interfaces] APIs and include information on meme propagation networks, statistical data, and relevant user and content features.”

“The open-source platform we develop will be made publicly available and will be extensible to ever more research areas as a greater preponderance of human activities are replicated online,” it continues. “Additionally, we will create a web service open to the public for monitoring trends, bursts, and suspicious memes.”

“This service could mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate,” the grant said.

Pay attention to this comment by a reader on richochet.com about the quest to track ‘misinformation’ statements by citizens:

John Hendrix

“Our data will be made available via [application programming interfaces] APIs and include information on meme propagation networks, statistical data, and relevant user and content features.”

Background on what an “API” is:  all software is comprised of a set of functions or procedures.  Some of these functions or procedures are exposed to external users.  These exposed functions or procedures are called “APIs” .

Put another way, these APIs are provided so that external users can query the underlying database.  In of itself this is quite orthodox because nobody in the right mind will allow outsiders low-level access to the database.

But that said, Truthy’s developers will design these APIs so that external users can conduct queries on Truthy’s db.  The design of these APIs will constrain the kinds of  queries that can be conducted, the extent that data-mining can be conducted and so on.

Hold these concepts while I switch to another line of thought:  We have the technology to analyze  of social networks.  Our military used this kind of technology to capture Saddam Hussein.

Hold THAT thought while I switch again: I was intrigued by the kinds of details the IRS demanded of Tea Party groups.  For example, any direct or indirect communications with legislators, copies of all printed material provided at meetings, lists of speakers, requirements to name who has or will distribute materials, etc., etc.  When I heard about the weirdly specific requests that involved naming Tea Party activists I thought that, if I was trying to build a right of center social network DB then this would be a good way of going about it.

Now to bring this all together:

  1. I believe that the developers of Truthy are going to have a very massive, detailed social network db;
  2. that the raw data stored in Truthy’s db will be quietly–and nightly–uploaded to, say, the massive computer systems that will be used by the Democrats in 2016.
  3. That the data-mining supported by the public APIs will be weak-beer compared to the data-mining possibilities that can be conducted on the raw data.

So, is Truthy’s purported mission–”detect[ing] political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution”–is just a stalking horse for Truthy’s actual purpose: a data-vacuum-cleaner–funded by our tax dollars–for loading social media data into the databases used by Democratic campaigns?

Question:  Do you really think the ‘data tags’ via The Common Core State Standards Initiative are just for education, or like this ‘Truthy’ initiative by the current administration, is the CCSS data for some other purpose?  Watch #Truthy tweets on twitter which seek to shame Indiana University for creating this database to track people’s social media tweets and target them if ‘someone’ reports them.  Think #AttackWatch which shamed the OFA’s attempt to tattle on those who spread ‘misinformation’ about candidate Obama.

What is egregious about this latest foray into tracking ‘misinformation’ is that it is now sponsored by the government, not a political action committee. The government’s intrusion into our health, education and social lives is intrusive and does not promote liberty; it promotes tyranny.

 

Published August 26, 2014

 

 

 

 

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