My Train of Thought Down the Internet Rabbit Hole

Stop #1

While reading Twitter, social network analysis and data jouralism by Alessandro Zonin, one of many articles I found this morning during my first visit to LinkedIn‘s Data Journalism group,

Stop #2

I clicked a link to an obscure book (Who Shall Survive? by Jacob Levy Moreno) cited by the author. I am so grateful for the age in which we live where not only can I instantly go to the 84-year-old primary source without leaving my seat but then send my very own free copy to multiple devices with which I can read it anytime, anywhere.

I love (home to the WayBack Machine, among literally–and I mean literally in the literal sense–millions of other things).

Stop #1 again

A couple charts in Zonin’s article inspired a couple ideas for my Spotify app but I didn’t know the name of the chart type I wanted to use so I

Stop #3

Googled “types of charts” and, after opening a few results in other tabs,

Stop #2 again

I returned to and searched for “charts” wondering if there were other really old cool books related to data visualization.

One of the results was Charts On Ciphered Codes by William F. Friedman which is interesting to me in and of itself because I love Edgar Allan Poe who was one of the greatest cryptographers in history but also interesting because the book is in the William F. Friedman NSA Collection. So I clicked it

Stop #4

and saw it is also in the nationalsecurityarchive which, of course, I clicked. Here’s that collection of collections:

Those are just the top results. Look at all that yummy goodness!

Stop #5


The National Security Internet Archive (NSIA) above includes, among a giant pile of candy like the Friedman NSA Collection, the NSA Archive.

Am I the only thinking, “What are the Venona Documents”?

That Dept. of Army Technical Manual and a Field Manual that appeared a little further down both reminded me of my best friend from high school and college who collected lots of books that probably creeped most people out. He was not only one of those people with shelves of true-crime novels about serial killers but he also had books he could only find at gun shows like the infamous How to Kill from Paladin Press and an innocence-shattering Department of Defense book on … the title either called it “advanced” or “enhanced” interrogation. He bought this and I saw it in the early 90s, 10-15 years before such a term entered the mainstream vernacular.

Stop #6

So I googled that. First, I searched for “DOD advanced interrogation handbook”. What I find most interesting about these are URLs … I am also so grateful to live in a country were our government is this transparent and the rest of us are free enough to question and criticize our government.


The results often included “enhanced” so I then started searching for “enhanced interrogation” — that auto-populated as “enhanced interrogation techniques pdf” so I used that.


I opened many of them in other tabs but think I’ll just close those and get back to thinking about things less dark on this Wednesday like … today is my wife’s birthday and my daughter is baking a cake.

Well, I closed all of them except for this one …





Even Worse

No, not the Weird Al Yankovic album, but the conditions Amazon wants you to accept for connecting your Kindle to your Twitter account. I finally relented and connected both Goodreads and Facebook, posting a request that my friends alert me if any of my posts look questionable or suspicious.

My newfound willingness to give Amazon a shot ended with a screeching halt when I saw this:


I expected “post tweets” which I figured would prompt me to disconnect it pretty quickly but “Follow new people” and “update my profile information” means I won’t even be giving Amazon a chance to get disconnected.

That last sentence made me reconsider for just a second but I’m sure revoking access all but uninstalls the app on the Kindle. Methinks this may be why there are alternative apps for social networks and stuff. Perhaps they’re like cyber-condoms.

Connect != Install

Hmm … “connecting” Facebook didn’t install it … curious. So even if I never use Facebook (or Goodreads) on my Kindle, Amazon will be?

Install != Config

I just installed Facebook but, unlike Goodreads, despite having connected it, I still have to login. Before I even installed it, however, Facebook gave me a subtle heads-up:


A couple things to note about the above … Facebook tells me, “it looks like” someone recently liked your post. It doesn’t say actually did, as a fact, like something recently. I emphasize that because there were no new “likes” under my notifications. That totally groovy Go to Privacy Basics button doesn’t go to the Privacy settings as I expected–it opens a rather in-depth site and walk-through of how to control not only what other people see but what all those apps can see, do, and … AND … how much of what those apps do your friends can or have to see!

It’s like some person of conscience at Facebook was like … yeah, we let Amazon and whatnot do this but … maybe we should give our users a chance to fight back. Go Privacy Team, go!

That inspired me to take an in-depth look at Facebook’s app settings (note: not privacy options!) and I’ll post about that soon.

Also, I’m claiming “CyberCondom” as my new app-in-development name.