This link was sent to me by a good friend and PhD researcher. It is long, heavy reading and may change your perspective on this topic and life in general.… Read the rest
Cliff Schecter reports that Bill Gates is donating $1 million for universal background checks for putative gun buyers, at Daily Beast:
… Read the rest
Somewhere in a large glass tower in Northern Virginia, there’s a guy who runs guns with a French name having a bad day. With good reason.
It was reported Monday that Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and incredibly wealthy guy, and with his wife, Melinda, have given $1 million to Initiative 594 in Washington state. The ballot initiative, if passed by voters on November 4 (and it currently enjoys overwhelming support), will require universal background checks for all firearm purchases in the state.
Gates is only the latest Washington billionaire to give to the effort, with original Amazon investor Nick Hanauer providing crucial early funding, and more recently upping his overall donation to $1.4 million. Additionally, Gates’s Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, has provided $500,000 for the cause.
… Read the rest
One of the steps towards to making robots into the all powerful overlords envisioned in books and movies is to teach them all human knowledge. A project named Robo Brain can do this without any help from humans, trawling the web in search of information and then sharing it with robots.
The project is being carried out by academics at Cornell University’s Department of Computer Sciences. A team comprised of many of the same researchers who were responsible for producing the Tell Me Dave robot that’s able to understand and follow natural language instructions.
Robo Brain is also able to understand natural language, and uses this capability to make sense of the information it finds on the internet. It allows robots to understand how the world works using the data it finds, as opposed to simply storing the data without having any insight into it.
This week, I’ll be moving to the next poll topic you all voted on: Favorite Conspiracy Theory. This past week’s poll was another close race. The Omnipotence Paradox was in first for awhile, but it looks like “the Chicken or the Egg” pulled through as the winner.
Favorite “Conspiracy” Theory
Again, I’m definitely missing some, so feel free to share your favorite in the comments.
- Who really shot JFK?
- The theories around 9/11
- Faked moon landing
- New World Order/Illuminati
- The theories around MKUltra
- FEMA Concentration Camps
- Reptilian Conspiracy
- Water Fluoridation
- Area 51
- The Chicken or the Egg (23%, 69 Votes)
- Omnipotence Paradox (21%, 62 Votes)
- Ship of Theseus Paradox (17%, 49 Votes)
- Liar Paradox (14%, 40 Votes)
- Socractic Paradox (13%, 39 Votes)
- Crocodile Dilemma (6%, 17 Votes)
- Sorites Paradox (3%, 10 Votes)
- Grelling-Nelson Paradox (3%, 9 Votes)
Total Voters: 295
An interesting read from The Guardian about neoliberalism and its erosion of human values within the market.
via The Guardian:
The self-serving con of neoliberalism is that it has eroded the human values the market was supposed to emancipate
… Read the rest
To be at peace with a troubled world: this is not a reasonable aim. It can be achieved only through a disavowal of what surrounds you. To be at peace with yourself within a troubled world: that, by contrast, is an honourable aspiration. This column is for those who feel at odds with life. It calls on you not to be ashamed.
I was prompted to write it by a remarkable book, just published in English, by a Belgian professor of psychoanalysis, Paul Verhaeghe. What About Me? The Struggle for Identity in a Market-Based Society is one of those books that, by making connections between apparently distinct phenomena, permits sudden new insights into what is happening to us and why.
Instead of being vague and click-baiting everyone, I went ahead and put the spoiler in the headline. I don’t want to make everyone watch yet another ice bucket challenge video. But I wanted to share because, after all, it is David Lynch. Besides, often will you get to see Lynch playing Somewhere Over the Rainbow horribly on a trumpet as iced espresso is dumped over his head?
[disinfo ed.'s note: A referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country, separate from the rest of the United Kingdom, will take place on Thursday 18 September 2014.]
I despise nationalism. I despise patriotism. I hate bagpipes, I hate kilts and tartan and I hate the cringe inducing shouts of “wha’s like us” in bars across the nation at closing time on drunken Saturday nights. I love the other countries we share this little island with. I am not what you could ever call a patriot or a nationalist and I would call myself European long before I’d ever call myself Scottish. I believe in cultural and ethnic integration. I believe in a world where nationalities blur into one another rather than divide on tribal lines. I have been, until fairly recently, a staunch ‘No’ voter. However, all things considered, I now feel I am left with no choice but to vote Yes in the forthcoming referendum.… Read the rest
Just thought the Disinfo crowd might find this piece interesting. It was posted originally on AlterNet, so click through the link to read the entire thing.
… Read the rest
Here’s a dirty little secret you won’t see in the daily papers: corporations conduct espionage against US nonprofit organizations without fear of being brought to justice.
Yes, that means using a great array of spycraft and snoopery, including planned electronic surveillance, wiretapping, information warfare, infiltration, dumpster diving and so much more.
The evidence abounds.
For example, six years ago, based on extensive documentary evidence, James Ridgeway reported in Mother Jones on a major corporate espionage scheme by Dow Chemical focused on Greenpeace and other environmental and food activists.
Greenpeace was running a potent campaign against Dow’s use of chlorine to manufacture paper and plastics.
Some Disinfonauts might recall that last month I posted a rather scathing commentary in regards to the career of blow-hard skeptical debunker James Randi. Of course I hope people realize that I write polemic rants like this to reflect the negativity that the closed minded “skeptical” community, hardline materialist types, and religious people alike have been directing at anyone with alternate spiritual practices for the vast majority of recorded history. We deal with this condescension constantly and to pretend there isn’t a bias against things like Shamanism, the Occult, or Psi is sort of like pretending there’s no homophobia or misogyny, or that racism is just a thing of the past. For the record, we’re not talking about a fictional “sky-god” but rather the potentiality of the human imagination. It’s incredibly bizarre how many people desperately want to believe that this potentiality doesn’t exist and will eat up anything that reinforces this deeply held belief no matter how short on facts or evidence their claims happen to be.… Read the rest
Or maybe it’s more disinformation than misinformation. Either way, I’m guessing that none of you are surprised.
via AlterNet (Please follow the link to read the entire piece):
… Read the rest
In her latest blog post, US National Institute on Drug Abuse director Nora Volkow claims that “science should guide marijuana policy.” But if the nation’s top anti-drug doc truly believes that facts, not ideological rhetoric, ought to shape America’s drug policies, why does she feel the need to keep distorting the truth about pot?
Writes Volkow: “Besides being addictive, marijuana is cognitively impairing even beyond the phase of acute intoxication and regular use during adolescence may cause a significant, possibly permanent IQ loss.”
Or, more than likely, it may not. In fact, the very study Volkow relies on to make this questionable claim was publically repudiated in a 2012 review published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.