Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Apology without Responsibility?

TEPCO's ex-chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata apologized to victims of the Fukushima disaster but did not take responsibility. 

Professional negligence is at issue in the hearing at the Tokyo District Court, resulting in death and injury.  Specifically at issue in the trial is the failed sea-wall and whether TEPCO's leadership should have been able to predict the tsunami.

I've read many times there is an engraved stone marker high in the hills above the plant that warns readers not to build below that marker because of tsunami risks.

Ancient wisdom may have seemed anachronistic to the modernist builders of nuclear power plants in the 1960s and 1970s but we see that human faith in technology can be very misplaced with the Fukushima disaster.

One interesting aspect of the news report published in the Asahi Shimbun is the apology for deaths caused by the disaster. If you read western media accounts, you would not think a single person died from the Fukushima disaster, even the plant manager's death by throat cancer is allegedly "unrelated" to the disaster:

Mikiharu Sugiura and Chikako Kawahara (October 30, 2018). Ex-TEPCO head apologizes to victims of 2011 nuclear disaster THE ASAHI SHIMBUN. Available,
A former chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, apologized to victims of the 2011 nuclear disaster but would not acknowledge responsibility.
"I deeply apologize to those who died, their bereaved families, injured people, local people and society at large," Tsunehisa Katsumata, 78, said Oct. 29 during the 33rd hearing of a trial at the Tokyo District Court of three former TEPCO executives accused of professional negligence resulting in death and injury as a result of the disaster.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Propaganda: Cultivating Each in their Individuality in the Era of Social Media

Jacques Ellul’s now-classic (1965) Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes articulated the characteristics of propaganda, detailing how propaganda must cultivate each individual in their individuality in order to produce changes in crowd activity.

The capacity to cultivate each individual in their individuality in order to control the crowd has never been greater.

Facebook allowed information of up to 50 million users to be handed over to Cambridge Analytica, a "political data firm" and Google acknowledged it had exposed private data of hundreds of thousands of users of its Google+ social network (here).

Apple's CEO Tim Cook recently remarked to The Wall Street Journal that the "scraps of information" acquired through social media are assembled meaningfully by a surveillance-industrial complex that threatens privacy while enabling unprecedented tailoring of persuasive messages:
Sam Schechner and Emre Peker (Oct. 24, 2018). Apple CEO Condemns ‘Data-Industrial Complex.’ The Wall Street Journal, https://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-ceo-tim-cook-calls-for-comprehensive-u-s-privacy-law-1540375675
Mr. Cook went further on Wednesday, likening the underlying data-collection practices of the targeted online-advertising world—a business worth tens of billions of dollars a year—to surveillance. It is language more common from privacy activists than tech CEOs.

“These scraps of data, each one harmless enough on its own, are carefully assembled, synthesized, traded, and sold,” Mr. Cook said. “This is surveillance. And these stockpiles of personal data serve only to enrich the companies that collect them. This should make us very uncomfortable.”
Ellul's conceptualization of propaganda as persuasive messaging devoid of concern for truth and/or ethics has been fully realized in the era of mass surveillance and algorithmic governance:
Coles, T. J. (2018, October 8). Fake News and Weaponized Bots: How Algorithms Inflate Profiles, Spread Disinfo and Disrupt Democracy. Counterpunch, https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/10/08/fake-news-and-weaponized-bots-how-algorithms-inflate-profiles-spread-disinfo-and-disrupt-democracy/
Algorithms are getting so sophisticated that it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell which online comments are real and which are generated by “bots”; which sites are genuinely popular and which are generating fake hits.
Accordingly, Julian Assange of Wikileaks described corporate efforts to control the Internet as an "existential threat to humanity":
Julian Assange calls effort of corporations to control Internet discourse “an existential threat to humanity” (18 January) 2018 https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/01/18/assa-j18.html
The following statement was sent by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the January 16 webinar Organizing Resistance to Internet Censorship, featuring journalist Chris Hedges and WSWS Chairperson David North. Assange sent the statement from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been trapped for five and a half years. (See today's report on the webinar here)

The future of humanity is the struggle between humans that control machines and machines that control humans. Between the democratization of communication and usurpation of communication by artificial intelligence.
The new influence peddlers aren't simply corporations but also nations
Sheera Frenkel and Nicholas Fandos (Aug. 21, 2018). Facebook Identifies New Influence Operations Spanning Globe. The New York Times  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/21/technology/facebook-political-influence-midterms.html?emc=edit_th_180822&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=329620000822

Welcome to the Brave New World....


Social Engineering: The Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity, i360 and Social Science One https://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2018/07/social-engineering-koch-brothers.html

Friday, October 26, 2018

Fukushima Daiichi Really Steamy Today

I've been regularly checking TEPCO's cams trained on Fukushima Daiichi - now seven years out.

After seven years of watching, I have a good sense of what is "ordinary" and what looks strange.

Today the plant looks extra steamy. It has been months since the "steaminess" factor was so dramatically evident.

There was a magnitude 5.7 earthquake not too far from the plant yesterday:

The cams suggest that the common spent fuel pool, featured in the foreground of this screenshot below, is the source or a source for the steam:

It is not raining and the streets are dry at the Futaba intersection. The temperature is 59F, with a 40% chance of precipitation and 84% humidity. The increased steaminess does not appear to be stemming from a change in weather given recorded conditions over the last 30 days:

see here: https://www.accuweather.com/en/jp/fukushima-shi/223551/october-weather/223551

Below see a comparative screenshot from October 20 at 00:00:37, with a low of 56F that day:

As I'm watching the emissions immediately over the spent fuel pool seemed to worsen, turning yellower, although it is still not raining on the Futaba cam.

Perhaps the earthquake disturbed still-hot fuel, jostling damaged and highly-radioactive spent fuel rods stored in the common spent fuel pool.

The flashing light at Fukushima Daiichi that can sometimes be seen from the view of the Futaba plant was activated as I watched this morning and typed this blog post.

I've always speculated that flashing light indicates a spike in radiation levels. Of course, this is PURE SPECULATION as I've no way of testing my hypothesis.

The Fukushima Daiichi is ongoing, as this blog aims to remind whoever finds it. TEPCO is planning on dumping highly contaminated water in the Pacific Ocean, adding to what has already been described as the single worst radiation-contamination event for the oceans.

A large earthquake could bring down the structures at Daiichi because the ground has been saturated by the underground river and by TEPCO's efforts to cool hot fuel with hundreds of tons of injected water daily.

Fukushima Daiichi is not simply Japan's problem. The problems there also belong to the US. And they belong to every other nation on earth because the fate of the world's oceans signify directly to the fate of humanity itself.

Humanity’s End Foretold in Destruction of Oceans: Majia's Blog: Humanity's End Foretold in Destruction of Oceans

Compromised Oceans mean Compromised People: Majia's Blog: Compromised Oceans Mean Compromised People

Radiation plumes headed to N. America Majia's Blog: Fukushima Radiation Plumes in the Ocean Headed to ...

Pacific Ocean tipping points http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2014/11/pacific-ocean-tipping-points.html

Bioaccumulation: Cesium is One Among the 1000 Radionuclides Unleashed by Fukushima Bioaccumulation: Cesium is One Among the 1000 Radi...

Contaminated Water at Fukushima Daiichi Majia's Blog: Contaminated Water at Fukushima Daiichi ...
Will Fukushima Daiichi Kill Vast Swathes of Ocean life Majia's Blog: Will Fukushima Daiichi Kill Vast Swathes of ...
Endless Atmospheric and Ocean Emissions Majia's Blog: Endless Atmospheric and Ocean Emissions

How much Fukushima Fuel is in the Ocean http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/09/how-much-fukushima-fuel-is-in-ocean.html

Ocean Releases Majia's Blog: Ocean Releases