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The banality of a darknet developer

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^Um...I'm using 'darknet' as an adjective. Just like 'web developer' is not someone who is necessarily doing development work the Internet itself.

-40hz (February 06, 2015, 04:15 PM)
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But, the even the article is not using it as an adjective.  So...  :huh:

Like, if you look at the title "This Anonymous Web Developer Makes Counterfeit Banking Sites for $15K"

I see... darknet subreddit.  And I also see that he set up darknet marketplaces.

But they never use it as an adjective, so that's where I suppose the disconnect occurs to me.  How does anonymous=darknet?

^The choice of using the word 'darknet' as an adjective was purely my own. And unless conventions have changed, 'darknet' has primarily been used (in my experience) to refer to the anonymous part of the deepweb where connections get made where neither the identity of the person accessing - or the server hosting - is known. So yes...I guess anonymous web = darkweb.

At least to me it does.  :)

If somebody is taking it to mean 'criminal' because the activity I was posting about clearly is, I don't really know what to say. People think that about the deepweb too - although I've always understood the deepweb to be the parts of the Internet that aren't reachable via regular public search engines. Or in some cases (often by design) sites that are not able to be reached by any search engine at all.

But again, these are geek terms. And while the definitions for this sort of "in" terminology are generally agreed upon, the specific details, amendments, qualifications, wrinkles, semantic gamesmanship, and attempts at disambiguation often go on ad nauseam. (Even geeks have their private agendas and axes to grind, just the same as normal folk do.)

Hope that clarifies my end. If there was a disconnect, it's hardly your fault. Or mine really. You can probably google a thousand articles that would disagree with my use of the term: darknet. And there'd likely be just as many that wouldn't. So think Humpty-Dumpty in Carroll's Through the Looking Glass:

Humpty Dumpty took the book and looked at it carefully. 'That seems to be done right —' he began.

'You're holding it upside down!' Alice interrupted.

'To be sure I was!' Humpty Dumpty said gaily as she turned it round for him. 'I thought it looked a little queer. As I was saying, that seems to be done right — though I haven't time to look it over thoroughly just now — and that shows that there are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents —'

'Certainly,' said Alice.

'And only one for birthday presents, you know. There's glory for you!'

'I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't — till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.'

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. 'They've a temper, some of them — particularly verbs: they're the proudest — adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs — however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That's what I say!'

'Would you tell me please,' said Alice, 'what that means?'

'Now you talk like a reasonable child,' said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. 'I meant by "impenetrability" that we've had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you'd mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don't mean to stop here all the rest of your life.'

'That's a great deal to make one word mean,' Alice said in a thoughtful tone.

'When I make a word do a lot of work like that,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'I always pay it extra.'

'Oh!' said Alice. She was too much puzzled to make any other remark.

'Ah, you should see 'em come round me of a Saturday night,' Humpty Dumpty went on, wagging his head gravely from side to side, 'for to get their wages, you know.'

(Alice didn't venture to ask what he paid them with; and so you see I can't tell you.)

'You seem very clever at explaining words, Sir,' said Alice.
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Just to point out some tidbits about English grammar...
@Ren - to your very good point, I've changed the header in the OP to read "a Darknet developer" rather than "the Darknet developer." It's much more accurate to phrase it that way. :Thmbsup:
-40hz (February 06, 2015, 01:07 PM)
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Yes - the use of the indefinite article "a/an" changes the meaning significantly (see below at the end). Which leads to...

Hmmm... I develop software.  And I'm on the internet.

... I'm an... internet developer?!
-wraith808 (February 06, 2015, 01:34 PM)
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This works because of the general familiarity of the terminology is able to dispel any ambiguity. i.e. The semantic components themselves act to clarify the grammar.

I'm an architect.  And I'm on the internet.

-wraith808 (February 06, 2015, 01:34 PM)
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This doesn't work. The structure:

> Noun1 of Noun2

Can be rearranged as:

> Noun2's Noun1

Or, in this case:


(Also, compare "John's son" and "the son of John".)

(In other words, the difference between an adjective and a possessive can be obscured by the syntax (grammar).)

The meaning there is significantly different from:

> I'm an Internet architect.

As with "internet developer", this is grammatically ambiguous, though the context and frequency of use should serve to clarify the intended meaning, i.e. A developer on the Internet vs. A developer of the Internet.

With "darknet", the term isn't in sufficiently common usage for most people to be able to properly understand the intended meaning, i.e. they do not have any reference to make the proper distinction. Thus, usage is prone to ambiguity. Again, the difference between whether it is a possessive or adjective creates that ambiguity. Here's another example:

1. Microsoft Xbox
2. Microsoft's Xbox

In #1 we are sufficiently familiar with "Microsoft" to understand the relationship. (Also, there's a different emphasis at play here, but for the current purpose, that should be ignored to avoid tangents.)

I'm quite certain that everyone here understands well enough what "the darknet" is and isn't, but this crowd is extraordinarily well educated in the general field, and far above what your average computer user is. For us to understand the proper relationships is trivial (or second nature), but for the general public, there is a good deal of ambiguity going on. i.e. It is simple for experts to discern meanings from ambiguous text as they can recognise absurdities that the general public may not be able to.

Far too often language gets co-opted for political purposes, and while our politics may differ significantly, I'm relatively certain that we all share a common value in cherishing an open and free (as in freedom) world-wide communications network (information super-highway/Internet/darknet/meshnet/whatevernet).

Anyways... Hopefully I've illustrated one of those tidbits in English grammar where ambiguity can create confusion.

But to the point that I was making... it's a developer that uses the Darknet.  And I think that's the point that Ren was getting to.  Someone using the medium that just happens to be a developer... isn't a developer of that medium.
-wraith808 (February 06, 2015, 04:06 PM)
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Yes. I was pretty lazy above and only outlined that specific case. Here above I mentioned the definite article, but didn't expand on that -- I think it's clear enough to understand how "the darknet developer" can be interpreted as an abstract noun, and thus, "all developers on the darknet" can then be inferred, again illustrating how that ambiguity quickly mushrooms into a wildly inaccurate distortion of the facts.

Now, would anyone like me to lecture on number agreement and ambiguity in English grammar? ;D

Now, would anyone like me to lecture on number agreement and ambiguity in English grammar?  ;D
-Renegade (February 06, 2015, 09:25 PM)
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LOL! No. Thank-you, please.  ;D

This one is for you Ren...even though I'm sure you've already seen it:

 :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup:

^^ Heh! That was cute! I'd not seen that before.

BTW - Ambiguity in number agreement is actually very interesting. :) The tl;dr is that you end up switching a subject and its modifier in order to emphasise where the importance is. However, you may still end up with disagreements between British and American grammarians. FWIW, American grammar delivers more information in this context.


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