Scott Horton Interviews Barrett Brown

Scott Horton, March 26, 2010

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Barrett Brown, regular contributor to The Onion, discusses the apparent attack on WikiLeaks by several national intelligence agencies, how hyperlinks make internet-sourced information easier to fact check than traditional media, the upcoming release (April 5 at the National Press Club) of a WikiLeaks video that reveals a Pentagon murder-coverup and why effective data encryption is now more important than ever.

MP3 here. (39:47)

Barrett Brown is a contributor to Vanity Fair, The Huffington Post, Skeptic, True Slant and The Onion. His work has appeared in dozens of other publications and outlets. He serves as director of communications for Enlighten the Vote, a political action committee dedicated to the advancement of the Establishment Clause. He is the author of Flock of Dodos: Behind Modern Creationism, Intelligent Design and the Easter Bunny and the upcoming book Hot, Fat & Clouded: The Amazing and Amusing Failures of America’s Chattering Class.

26 Responses to “Barrett Brown”

  1. [...] Horton interviewed me yesterday on the Wikileaks situation and related matters. The segment may be heard here. Have fun trying to figure out what the hell I’m saying, as I hadn’t had any coffee yet [...]

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AngelaKeaton. AngelaKeaton said: Antiwar Radio Barrett Brown: Barrett Brown, regular contributor to The Onion, discusses the apparent attack on Wi… http://bit.ly/aSZ5ZF [...]

  3. That could be a valid argument if politics and religion were nicely separated and did not overlap or interfere with one and other in line with Gould's thesis about the non overlapping magisteria of science and religion, which is also demonstrably untrue. I think this fits nicely in the antiwar radio format, but on the other hand I do see your point as a pragmatic consideration in hypersensitive contemporary America.

  4. Hey Scott, pfff just sent down a directive to not talk about religion because you're only supposed to talk about contemporary politics and issues. Sorry.

  5. I think we should leave the religious discussions to other platforms. Anti-war radio is supposed to handle contemporary politics and issues. Not philosophical and religious discussion

  6. The origins argument is one of traditional dogma vs modern dogma and competing interpretations of the facts, not science vs. religion. Many supporters of creation science and intelligent design are antiwar (i.e., their faith is rational, and hasn't been mutated or co-opted by neo-cons), and would be disappointed in the ad hominem put downs Horton and Brown lapse into towards them.

    One would never get a sense that about half the public rejects evolution, as the two self-flatteringly paint their side of the matter as the only rational one. The nice thing about the internet is, just as you can find sites like AWC that promotes noninterventionist foreign policy within a world media otherwise controlled by warhawks, one can also find pro-creation sites like icr.org et al that present that view reasonably as well, in a media establishment otherwise dominated by aggressive naturalists.

  7. I don't mind religious discussions or any other topic. What I don't care for is people talking about what they don't understand. Petaflops someone? Scott, you don't even understand what you don't understand, and your rants and fears of those things are about the same as my grand-mother's – irrational and religious (in the sense of not based on enlightment but rather on a simple set of belief). Some of these tools are useful and some are not, but altogether you should not blame the tools, rather the intent and policies of whomever holds the tools. Is that not how gun-rights advocates look at it?
    It's amazing how for one good interview on Antiwar Radio (Glenn Greenwald today), there are so many that sound like average uninformed chatter at the neighborhood bar…

  8. This brief comedy video skit demonstratess why the Soviets banned evolutionism: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14C-H3W03VI

  9. [...] Barrett Brown interviewed about WikiLeaks UpComing Press Conference and More MP3 here. (39:47) – AntiWar Radio [...]

  10. Loved the first part of the interview Scott. I've been a loyal listener since I heard you tear up that Neocon Kushner in that debate, but I could do without the ad hominem hostility I felt at the end of the interview. You've got more Christian listeners than think you have.

  11. Well, here's one problem with the theory of evolution: DNA hasn't evolved. While evolution studies the changes of the expressions of DNA, the basic language of DNA hasn't changed one iota since the first primordial bacteria. As the Bible says on page one, "In the beginning was the Word" (Maybe it was 'GACT?')

    Also, here's a problem with legally acknowledged gay marriage: marriage is a religious institution, and hence the government is prohibited by the first amendment from advocating any religion. However, by deciding for or against gay or straight or polygamous marriage, the government is advocating for some and against other religions. Governments can rightly legislate civil unions and the tax or legal benefits associated with legal mergers, to which all should have equal access, but marriage is and should be between individuals, their religion and their conception of the divine. The entire debate would go away if the government only recognized civil unions for gays, straights, or people who just want to legally merge, and left "marriage" outside of their purview.

    Just some thoughts ; )

  12. Sorry, that should have been "The Book of John," not "the Bible."

  13. Why doesn't the govt discredit wikileaks by deliberately leaking bogus documents and then showing that they are bogus?

  14. No, because of the internet we don't have to worry about the evangelicals erasing the knowledge about Darwin and other important scientific ideas (like the righteous did when they burned down the library in Alexandria, around 400 AD). We do have to worry about things like the Texas School Board which influences the topics and content in school text books. Because they are a major purchaser of text books, and every publishing company would love to get their contract, the rest of us have to settle for the fundamentalist oriented texts that are trying to serve the Texas Schools (oops, the marketplace screwed up again). If Texas wants to erase Thomas Jefferson because his belief in God did not match the memebers of the school board, that's Texas' problem. But my school board should not be limited by their medeival thinking. We should worry because Thomas Jefferson will still be archived somewhere, but no one will bother to look him up in the future if they are not taught about him, or know that he was an important person.

  15. Benjamin: Marriage is a religious action, but because of its legal ramification it is also a (legal)governmental action. Government is intruding into people's lives when they conform to religious bigotry and tell someone they are only permitted to marry one kind of person and not another. Bi-racial marriages used to be illegal for the same bigotted ideas that restrict homosexual marriages now. A law that allows gay nmarriage will not force churches to perform a marriage. One can have a civil marriage (not just union) performed by a judge, sea captain, justice of the peace or (God forbid) a form of Christianity that does not have homophobic hang-ups. Don't impose your religious blinders on the rest of us please, and keep the government out of marriage.

  16. Yep. Dembski's views and Intelligent Design aren't childish idiocies or fanatical approaches. On the contrary, it seems to me the "darwinist" crowd (Darwin, who was a sort of Dembski in his view about God's role, is rather estranged by the nowadays evolutionists dogma while nearly sanctified in image, but that's a long topic) is more aggressive.

    The global warming hoax "due" to human civilization's emissions of CO2 should induce enough caution when dealing with old establishments of power (political, scientifical) and their own agenda. Or Eisenhower's farewell address – the part about the scientific establishment which might be more important for our times than even the military-industrial complex well known part.

  17. I'm sure that's already been thought about, eCAHN. Remember the USG wants to maintain full-spectrum dominance and that includes thinking of any and all scenarios that could even conceivably occur. And that includes Wikilinks and trying to marginalize it somehow. I don't see how they could create a bogus document to be leaked whose source would be a government agency. That would only discredit the government agency, not Wikilinks.

  18. The fact that DNA (actually DNA itself has evolved from RNA and RNA itself has evolved from simpler molecules) uses the same basepairs is a major indication that all life, from ducks to appletrees and ants to humans originates from the very same ancestor. But actually the scientific evidence goes much, much further than that.

    The Bible says nothing about in any Word in the beginning in genesis, that is a reference to John and he's talking about Jesus not about the creation of the earth or biological life.

    Marriage is not a religious institution and certainly not of Judeo-christian-islamic origin as it existed way, way before the invention of judaism or christianity. Religion has assumed the role of authority that before was beholden to the leadership of the tribe, the city-state or whatever local authority. It has to do with legal rights about inheriting possessions and such very practical matters. There shouldn't even be a discussion about gay marriage as it should be self-evident that it is nobody's business but your own who you want to live with and have equal rights to everybody else.

  19. Darwinism is a litmus test for Mr. Brown, yet he has no idea why communists would not embrace the theory. That fact that Darwinism has racial and other human race implications. Gay marriage is another litmus test. Well what if you think the state has no place in relationships? Where does that leave you in the red-herring gay marriage debate? There’s another level of free thought that Mr. Brown should reach for.

  20. The internet is also a depository for a great deal of evidence pointing to major difficulties with evolution, and positive evidence for creation, that has been erased or excluded from text books and libraries. Texas and other states tried to include scientific information on both sides of the issue and was put down—that is what the school board battle was really about. A modern medeivalism of fundamentalist Darwinian absolutism is no better than any irrational medeivalism of yore.

  21. There isn't any positive evidence for creationism or you must use a very loose definition of "evidence." Of course our knowledge is not complete and consequently there are differences of opinion between scientists about the interpretation of evidence about certain minor details. Those issues are usually fairly quickly settled when more data becomes available. And when not the issue remains unsettled, the discussion goes on, people may reconsider and change sides of the debate regardless whether creationists may use it to "demonstrate" Darwinism about to implode and make way for Floodtheory or something like that.
    ID-ers/ creationists OTOH try to construct arguments inside the body of science to back up a story by Bronze Age authors that was meant allegorical in the first place with rethorics. So if there is any fundamentalism going on, it's easy enough to spot where it resides.

    Seriously however there is no place for intelligent design creationism in biology like there is no place for intelligent falling in physics because our knowledge of gravity is not complete.
    There is no "scientific information on both sides of the issue" that is what we call a false dichotomy, there is only one side to science and that is the scientific side.

    But the respondent nevertheless demonstrated once again why Gould was wrong.

  22. Benjamin: Marriage is a religious action, but because of its legal ramification it is also a (legal)governmental action. Government is intruding into people's lives when they conform to religious bigotry and tell someone they are only permitted to marry one kind of person and not another. Bi-racial marriages used to be illegal for the same bigotted ideas that restrict homosexual marriages now. A law that allows gay nmarriage will not force churches to perform a marriage. One can have a civil marriage (not just union) performed by a judge, sea captain, justice of the peace or (God forbid) a form of Christianity that does not have homophobic hang-ups. Don't impose your religious blinders on the rest of us please, and keep the government out of marriage.

  23. Normally I would suppress the urge to correct such mistakes or wait until someone comes up to correct me and then agree, but this just bothers me too much. I didn't mean false dichotomy but false balance: creating the impression of equivalence where there exists none.

  24. [...] background to this is available by way of my recent interview with Antiwar.org radio’s Scott Horton. At any rate, familiarize yourself with this issue; [...]

  25. [...] background to this is available by way of my recent interview with Antiwar.org radio's Scott Horton. At any rate, familiarize yourself with Wikileaks, the U.S. [...]

  26. [...] background to this is available by way of my recent interview with Antiwar.org radio's Scott Horton. At any rate, familiarize yourself with Wikileaks, the U.S. [...]

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