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Messages - The Gorn

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I bet this would really surprise millions of people who innocently believe the reviews on these sites are objective or fair.  Obviously they aren't, if the companies spike very many of them.

This is ultimately incredibly foolish of the e-commerce gateways to do so.

When I shop for something seriously, I look first at the MOST NEGATIVE reviews. Because, as a mature intelligent adult, I know that N-O-T-H-I-N-G is perfect. Nothing. I WANT TO KNOW THE FLAWS. Negative reviews calibrate me on what to expect in real life.

What's often left are fanboys and paid shill reviews. Which are instantly recognizable and which provide NO value. They are DRIVEL as far as I am concerned when I have $ in my hand ready to spend.

When an Amazon or a Yelp removes negative reviews they are saying "fuck you" to me as a consumer because they deprive me of reality based product comparison facts.

To me few or no negative reviews are a sign of tampering.

Also, Amazon et al make their money off of a collection of many products and vendors. They SHOULD be honest because they always have revenue from someone.

There have been other things on Amazon. I no longer leave reviews for anyone. I dont care and its a waste of time.

The open question being begged is, why create unpaid content that benefits very rich companies?

Some people love the attention and at a less pathological level it can feel empowering to make your voice heard. I know a guy, a former software consulting who is an absolute douchebag, who has some huge following on Yelp. Yelp has a created path for Yelpers to achieve fame as "food critics" through recognition at events.

When the site starts spiking your reviews it's really time to check out and stop helping the assholes.

A few times when I've posted extremely emotionally reactionary reviews I've had them moderated away. Generally, no.

Yelp is one site that (so far) where I have had all of my reviews see the light of day, but Yelp has an extemely poor reputation for spiking reviews because of their computer algorithm, which they also don't explain. Moderated reviews go into the category "[blank] other reviews that are not currently recommended" and a visitor has to click through (it used to be you had to answer a captcha to see them!!!)

It's Kafkaesque because they don't tell you why your review was hidden and it's a shadow ban (the slimiest of all types) because they don't even tell you that you've been banned. Of course, social sites like Yelp have big spam problems so they don't tell you why, because that arms the spammers with info they don't want them to have.

If I ever have more than 1 review not be publicly visible at Yelp, I'll nuke every one of my reviews there as payback.

(note: I used my moderator discretion to move this to a public section where it should go. There is absolutely nothing personally identifiable in this posting.)

I put this in its own thread "because".

About the hosts file:

ChromIUM on Linux Mint does respect the Hosts file. (I had to restart the networking. But a redirect of Facebook to does cause FB to fail with server not found in ChromIUM.

I don't feel like messing with Chrome on Windows again so I'll take your word for it.

Chrome seems to do its own thing networking wise. This MAY be the reason why a couple of years ago when I was setting up motherinlaw's Chrome box, I couldn't get direct IP accesses of her printer (for setup of wifi printing) to work. Even though my experience on every other platform indicated that this was a no brainer.

Blocking Facebook may be IMPORTANT because:

Many, MANY websites and pages and especially news and opinion portals contain Facebook tracking widgets, bugs, pixels, and commenting stuff.

Facebook can therefore track you as an identifiable person across multiple websites, even and especially non Facebook related sites, because Facebook tracking is embedded in most public websites.

(Browsers: So figure out where Chrome or whatever obtains extra DNS information from, if it's not the hosts file. That's a surprise to me because the internet and routing stuff is the layer beneath the app layer, which would be Chrome or other browser.)

All Technology & Tech Help / Google and Facebook countermeasures
« on: March 27, 2018, 07:22:47 am »
People, here is an idea.

You can register a new/throwaway Gmail account (which is what you log in under for Google search engine) easily. I've farmed a collection of them over the years.

Why not:

1) Use a privacy VPN to obscure your real location.
2) Then stay logged in as an alias Google account when you need search.

Possibly if you start using the burner/fake/alias Google account from your personal ISP, Google will figure out your identity.

If you use a privacy proxy that doesn't keep logs (like Private Internet Access) and you keep highly personal info like documents with your identity on them off of Google or its cloud services like Drive, you should be pretty anonymous.

I find the services of Google to be extremely useful, including the much maligned search history. I've actually gone in quite a few times and searched on my search history. Very meta - search on the search terms I was interested in over the last several years. I have dug up web links that I otherwise never kept and had no other way to find.

Same with Facebook. I D Shukov did a test a few years ago that he wrote about here where he created a Facebook profile with no connections and he refrained from liking anything. As a result the ads that FB pushed at him were completely random. Obviously they didn't know "who" he was.

Discussions - Public / Using Fiverr for a real project
« on: March 26, 2018, 09:08:42 pm »
This stub post is provided for the benefit of search engines.

Only cool people who register and log in get to see the real meat of the thread at

Folks, let's get back to a far more useful topic, which is what I D came up with:

I think discussion of paid courses that individuals take in order to be qualified to conduct a new line of business are really interesting.

Not mega health insurance or other certification processes that don't affect me, you or anyone who could use this board.

So let's discuss real people stuff, not high dollar corporate meta I don't give one shit about.

So I'll toss in my experience and field observations:

I had one web design client last year - a supposed "freelance writer" - who had paid for expensive courses from this organization and also some writing "coaches":

The person I tried to build the site for (she canceled the project after many painful discussions where she leaned on me to prove the written collateral for her idea which she never successfully clarified or even stated coherently) said: "I've paid over $25,000 for copywriting courses and retreats and coaching and I don't have ANYTHING to show for it."

If you go to that AWAI site you'll see all kinds of rosy case studies and stories. But then go to Google reviews for this company:

And only one of the 10 reviews states that the person is making a consistent living and he started in 2004. But important to note: the popularity of people saying "I am studing copywriting" exploded since 2004. It's mainly traceable to AWAI placing ads in the magazine Writer's Digest for years.

Every single other review is talking about how wonderful AWAI is without much or any reference to actual business they're doing.

There's a culture with this company of having big events that are feelgood dog and pony shows that are generally their own internal competitions. They tend to anoint favored writers for a few months with guest blogger postings and then those people vanish from view, to be replaced by other recent graduates. I know this specifically because I've followed some of their "star students" on social media groups, and seen them post when they were "dismissed" from writing lead blog articles.

They build a culture of everyone creating confirmation bias for everyone else, and it's mainly wannabes telling each other how great it's gonna be. You never see two or three successful copywriters from these programs talking among each other, unless it's a staged meeting of "famous" writers who are the trainers for this place.

About 20 years ago I remember franchises like Subway (literally the sandwiches) and other opportunities you could allegedly buy into for a $50K or under investment were all of the rage with second incomers and retirees.

I think what has happened is that as real estate and other operating costs have increased, training stuff like AWAI has replaced that niche of low end starter buy-in business.

Personally, I don't think this course is meta enough.  :P

There should be courses on creating courses for people who wish to become trainers or coaches. In other words, who trains the expert coaches?

Another fine product of DoucheCo - liquidators of IRAs, pensions and 401Ks for today's income-desperate retirees.

There's infinite room for expansion of this concept. Lots of money to be siphoned offmade.

(admin note - I did copy & cutty pastey on the image memes thread. So the leading post here is a dupe of the one in the image memes thread. Just an experiment.)

Tuition is $6,700, inclusive of a $300 refundable deposit due at the time of application

This isn't the cost of a course that teaches you how to fish.

This is the cost of a course that teaches you how to teach others to fish for $$$ - quite lucrative.

They're probably setting you up with some branding swag that identifies you as a life coach in this area.

All Technology & Tech Help / Re: instagram
« on: March 23, 2018, 09:47:12 am »
I see almost ALL social media follows and likes of public figures as a transfer of your dignity and power as a person. You're basically saying "I bow in your direction and you are important enough for me to interrupt my day and otherwise give you my attention."

I am worthwhile and it's rare that I get supposed peer *friend's* attention.

I'll be Goddamned if I'm going to give someone with all kinds of public attention my own head space.

I'll make my own private bookmark of such content so that nobody can use my like or follow information to bolster the spoiled social media celebrity's ego.

All Technology & Tech Help / Re: instagram
« on: March 22, 2018, 08:16:45 pm »
That would be mildly redeeming.

Instagram is also where rich assholes post envy photos of their cars and possessions.

Basically, Instagram is the raw version of everything pathological about the human spirit.

All Technology & Tech Help / Re: instagram
« on: March 22, 2018, 01:07:04 pm »
Yeah really.  ;D

My extensive cross-cultural knowledge of and insight into popular internet culture is a testament to two things: one, an ADD like compulsion to learn out of sheer boredom.

Two, probably systemic immaturity on my part.  :o  :P  I wish I were 25 or so and knew (and understood) the shit that I know now. Seriously. Also a compulsion to be part of a "scene" without really partaking, or something.

All Technology & Tech Help / Re: instagram
« on: March 22, 2018, 10:57:46 am »
I am up to date. I watched Idiocracy.

2006 wants it's Mike judge comedy back  :P

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