Saturday, January 21, 2017

Who do we trust?

In the early days of WWII, or a bit earlier, an American 'computer' company set up digs in Germany. I expect it used punch cards in a very primitive manner. The information fed into the system included fine detail of German citizens, down to language spoken, native language, Jewish language knowledge, Jewish ancestors and Yiddish language skills. Written information flooded in from all over Germany and it was all put into this primitive computer system. Maybe even information from occupied countries was put into the database.

This collated information database gave Hitler all the information he needed in one database and we all know what then happened.

So who was this company and is it still around? Indeed it is. It is called IBM. That would be the IBM company that thoroughly screwed up Australia's last census and had to shut its online census site down for weeks from around 8pm on census night, just as people finished dinner and then went online to do their democratic duty. It was not a cyber attack from overseas but just the sheer incompetence of IBM. A few weeks later, I did eventually fill my census in with a lot of nonsense as a reaction to the scarily bizarre census experience, and that our data will be retained with our names. It seems I am now an unmarried hetrosexual without relatives. somewhat of a contrast to my last census data, where I was a gay man in a defacto relationship with many relatives.

Of course if you were a homosexual in Germany in 1939, that would have gone into the database too and many suffered a similar fate to the Jews of Europe.

So, a company that complicity worked with Hitler and sorted and collated the information he needed for the Holocaust to happen, and without doubt knew how and why the information was needed, is now a big and 'moral' company in the US. And our Australian government entrusted IBM with our census? Disgrace! That IBM was allowed to flourish in the US is a disgrace.

Trust IBM with your data? I don't.

17 comments:

  1. Since the US was not at war with Germany a lot of business was still done until Pearl Harbour and ever then it was Germany who declared war first so business would have kept going. When war was declared Coco Cola saw their profits going down the drain so a new drink was made for Germany, Fanta. After the war it was gradually slipped onto the American market. I can't look at the orange muck without thinking of the profits over people.

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    1. The history of Fanta #101, unfortunate though it is. Thanks Jah Teh.

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  2. I didn't know that about Fanta. Never liked it, and now have another (and excellent)reason.
    And no, I don't trust IBM with our data, but I don't trust our guvermint either.

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    1. EC, you may have seen in today's press about how we are ever increasingly distrustful of governments. I wonder why? The Centrelink scandal, and that is what it is, for a start.

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  3. Who do we trust? Not Big Business, not the Government in general, not Politicians in particular. I hadn't know any of that about IBM and now I'm concerned about my truthful answers to the census questions. "They" know who I am and where I live and what I do and how much I 'earn'. Yikes!

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    1. River, just wait until you get the letter from DSS telling you that you have been overpaid. I'd like to think that would not happen, but who knows?

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    2. I don't think it's likely, but if you hear unholy screeching coming from the west, you'll know I got one.

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  4. Seems in our world, the nasty greedy evil people always benefit most. Our new presidents' cabinet is composed almost entirely of billionaires. They'll create policy from their lofty rich ass thrones without so much as ever having any clue how most of us live. No doubt my life will soon get harder. I do have terrible fears, and dreams about trying to live homeless.

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    1. Strayer, when I was younger, I had an idea that it did not matter about those who ruled over you are rich. Now, as in everything, shades of grey have come into my thoughts. How far can Trumpet and his minions go? I do think for the first time for quite a number of years , he will be a one term president.

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  5. What a terrible bit of history :(

    The question is why would IBM (or any other important company) agree to help Nazis with commercial projects. Not, I think, because the IBM workers were committed Nazis who wanted to destroy Germany's enemies. Rather huge German companies like Bosch and VW made truck loads of money from "employing" enslaved concentration camp workers. Perhaps that was also true for IBM.

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    1. Hels, it always about money. Nothing to do with the lowly production workers, but everything to do with upper management. At a guess, I would think IBM in Germany employed Germans when undergoing such a serious project. The US and Germany certainly had strong communication and links of mutual financial interest until war was declared.

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  6. Thomas Watson the IBM founder is famous for having said, when computers were a new development that "only about five people in the world would need a personal computer".
    I wish he could see me now, in bed with my laptop.

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    1. Not an exciting Saturday night for you Annie. I am now off to bed this Saturday night with my tablet for fun. What a time we have lived through.

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  7. I'm finding it difficult to believe in 'anything' moral these days Andrew. Could be a side effect of US electing a chump as president.. just proves it's really true, anyone can become president over there!

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    1. Clever, Grace. Yes anyone in the US can become president, anyone.

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  8. IBM was not the only commercial enterprise to cooperate with the Nazi regime or turn a blind eye and deaf ear towards what was happening.

    Whilst Warner Brothers stopped its distribution of films to Germany early on, MGM kept up its supply (I'm not sure for how long) and went to the extent of deleting Jewish sounding names from the movie credits. (Both studios had Jewish management.)

    And then there were holders of the high moral ground - one example, the Pope - who also suffered blindness and deafness during much of WW11.

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    1. Interesting about the movie companies, Victor. Though they were Jewish run, again all MGM could see is profits. The Catholic church has a long history of staying silent still to this day.

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