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View Diary: NSA Building Huge Data Farm (184 comments)

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  •  Hold data "on" or "of"... (6+ / 0-)
    Given all the parsing of words by government officials in the recent disclosures about NSA spying, Alexander's response depends on the meaning of the word "hold."
    Actually you missed the key weasel wording here.  It's not the definition of "hold" that matters.  It's an even smaller word.  It's the preposition "on".

    The question was about holding "data of Americans" and the answer given was about holding "data on Americans".  It's a very subtle switch but it DOES make a big big difference and its a very weaselly one.

    If you are holding data OF a person, it means holding data they created themselves - the content of their phone calls for example.  If you are holding data ON a person, it means holding metadata you created ABOUT them, for example a bit of text saying "We have observed that John Smith gets up at 6am each Tuesday."

    The change of preposition deflected the question without being obvious about it.  The question asked was whether or not they store the content of  the e-mails and phone calls, and the answer given was about whether or not they've stored actively written spying profiles.

    So if they do store everyone's content, but then don't store the analysis done about that content, that answer can be weaselly given.

    •  i like your theory! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avila

      and it is consistent with what we know thus far, that NSA is getting meta data rather than contents of our emails.

      i also think there is wiggle room with "hold" too. so it might be a double parsing. :)

      "It is in the shelter of each other that people live." Irish Proverb

      by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 12:47:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  stop misusing the verb "to parse". (0+ / 0-)
        •  stop being a dick (0+ / 0-)

          to a diarist who has been writing about very same topic  for oh, about seven years.

          •  Try being honest. (0+ / 0-)

            It's not that hard, all you have to do is decide that it's important not to lie.  Now take back your "being a dick" comment and actually talk about what i said or don't bother replying.  Here's a free clue - political wonks did not invent the verb "to parse", and they use it incorrectly.

            •  Avila IS honest. (0+ / 0-)

              You should apologize for implying that she is a liar.

              As for this:

              Here's a free clue - political wonks did not invent the verb "to parse", and they use it incorrectly.
              Here's a free clue:  No one SAID that political wonks invented the word parsing. But there is a political context for parsing, as with many words, that have different meanings in different contexts.

              So please take your personal attacks and arrogance and shove it!

              "It is in the shelter of each other that people live." Irish Proverb

              by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 01:54:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I do not apologise for identifying lying. (0+ / 0-)

                And you don't help matters by lying yourself with phrases like "your personal attacks and arrogance" that you know perfectly well are designed to inflame by levying untrue accusations.  You are trolling.

            •  C'mon. You can despise the way that "parse"... (1+ / 0-)

              ...is now and has been for some time commonly used outside the grammar realm. I can sympathize with you because I, too, hate how some words are now used that they weren't in the past.

              But linguists are profoundly aware that language is preternaturally protean. It is, indeed, one of the key elements of their field of study. Words and phrases shift meaning over time and new meanings are added tothem even while the old meaning remains intact.

              That is exactly what has happened to "parse." PDNC has pointed to additional meanings for the word that show she has used it quite correctly in her diary.

              You don't have to like it. And, of course, stating your objection to the fact that it has accreted new meaning is wholly reasonable given your own field of endeavor.

              But you cannot argue that the word doesn't also include meanings that go beyond its original meaning. That is a fact of life, or rather of language, which you are stuck with no matter how much you dislike it.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 08:39:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There is nothing wrong with deliberately migrating (0+ / 0-)

                meaning with additional connotations acknowledging that this is what you are doing, but there IS something wrong with doing it out of ignorance of the fact that your meaning is actually different, which is what happened here.  They weren't TRYING to come up with a new meaning - they were ignorant of the fact that they were using the word wrong, and then they misinformed the public.

                It's a bit like creationists using the word "evolution" incorrectly and then claiming that because they outnumber biological scientists, that the word now means what they say it does and biologists now have to defend it on those grounds because "we won the demographics battle and get to define the word now".

      •  you completely got my theory backward. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, kurt
        hat NSA is getting meta data rather than contents of our emails.
        Re-read my comment.  I was saying the precise opposite here. If this data center stores the contents INSTEAD of the metadata, they can say they don't store data "on" people here even though they do store data "of" people here.
        •  You may be right. Or, it may have been a... (0+ / 0-)

          ...just a sloppy prepositional substitution. If they had said "people's data" and opposed to "data on people," it would be clear.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 02:16:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, you're getting "this close" to being (0+ / 0-)

      able to tell us all what the meaning of is is.

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