On flight simulators, Tetris, and the CIA
April 12, 2002 5:43 PM   Subscribe

On flight simulators, Tetris, and the CIA The Sunday Times Mag has a feature on Gilman Louie, popularizer of Tetris who was recruited by the CIA in 1998. " Louie's marching orders were to provide venture capital for data-mining technologies that would allow the C.I.A. to monitor and profile potential terrorists as closely and carefully as Amazon monitors and profiles potential customers."
posted by brookish (13 comments total)
I almost choked on tonight's calzone when I read the phrase "amateur fighter pilot." Gee, I read all of Dick Marcinko's books; does that make me an amateur SEAL?
posted by alumshubby at 6:03 PM on April 12, 2002

Make that two of us, alumshubby. That was definitely spit-yer-beer-level odd.
What does this guy do, go down to the Air Force Base and say, "Hey, guys, mind if I take the F-16 for a spin maybe strafe a few subdivisions?" "Yeah, sure Gil, just don't scratch the chrome."

I suddenly feel a lot less safe.
posted by jonmc at 6:56 PM on April 12, 2002

I asked Ellison whether these legal restrictions should be relaxed. ''Oh, absolutely,'' he said. ''I mean absolutely. The prohibitions are absurd. It's this fear of an all-too-powerful government rising up and snatching away our liberties.'' Since Sept. 11, Ellison argued, those qualms no longer make any sense: ''It's our lives that are at risk, not our liberties,'' he said.

It's so easy for a billionaire to say. What a Doctor Evil.
posted by crasspastor at 7:19 PM on April 12, 2002

As someone points out in the article, the actual index of terrorists is so narrow that most profiling in this manner will be essentially useless. Frankly, the algorithms credit card companies use to detect fraud and Amazon uses to recommend merchandise are inconsistently effective at best. Using technology this raw to criminalize people is a bad idea.
posted by donkeyschlong at 7:36 PM on April 12, 2002

Between this post and the one just below, I am feeling very glum.
With what little wisdom the world is ruled.
posted by y2karl at 7:59 PM on April 12, 2002

The author was interviewed on Fresh Air about the article yesterday.
posted by euphorb at 8:18 PM on April 12, 2002

He dismissed the risks of privacy violations: ''I really don't understand. Central databases already exist. Privacy is already gone.''
I feel better already.
posted by Geo at 10:43 PM on April 12, 2002

I actually imported tetris before he did, but nobody would buy the idea. I called it "shit keeps falling".
posted by Settle at 11:21 PM on April 12, 2002

So, the Antichrist is gathering his forces then?
posted by Mack Twain at 11:41 PM on April 12, 2002

If this works, how long will it be before the conspiracy theorists start claiming that 9/11 was coordinated by software companies looking for a replacement for dot-com money?
posted by adamsc at 12:53 AM on April 13, 2002

So, the Antichrist is gathering his forces then?

Eeeeek. I was wondering myself about the implications of how Marco de Beast this article could be fodder to. Luckily I chalk it up to yet another conspiracy of creating the illusion that Revelation is right on.
posted by crasspastor at 5:09 AM on April 13, 2002

"''Once ze rockets are up, who cares where they come down?/That's not my department,' says Wernher von Braun.''"

I'm gonna lace my whiskey with coffee, and go ride my bike in the Texas sunshine.

posted by Opus Dark at 7:43 AM on April 13, 2002

Ve shoot for the stars, but sometimes ve hit London.

-Mort Saul as WvB
posted by NortonDC at 8:56 AM on April 13, 2002

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