… Read the rest
As of yet, in that weird and glittering quantum realm of possibility, there is an entire society waiting to be born. Somewhere in the not-too-distant future the settlers of Mars will have their own slang, their own accent, their own manner of dress. It’s simply a manner differentiation: Put a group of people on an island, give them 40 years, and they will spawn a unique culture. We see the same instinct in groups of children in high school; just imagine what we’ll do with a planet. We will refer to ideas as “being so Martian” or certain words or phrases as “sounding Martian.” Who will these people be? What will a Martian accent sound like? Will they wear their hair a certain way? Will certain jokes, phrases or symbols be uniquely their own? What will be the hallmarks of “Martian cuisine?” All these questions will be answered, all these things will manifest.
The Internet has been often likened to the printing press; a new technology that revolutionized communication and the freedom of information. But like the printing press, the Internet has also been the target of restrictions by those in the halls of power, who see freedom of information as a threat to their positions of privilege.
Why is this, exactly? What could possibly be the harm in having an informed populace? The danger, of course, is that people can find out what the agendas of their leaders are – and they, throughout history, have very seldom been aligned with the interests of those who are ostensibly lead.
In recent years there have been many attempts to restrict a free and open internet.… Read the rest
For the stoners out there, are you also compulsive personal quantifiers? Motherboard reports on the convergence of potheads and personal tracking technologies:
… Read the rest
For certain types of aging technology workers, especially in the Pacific Northwest, two favorite hobbies have reached a strange convergence: self-tracking and getting stoned.
Quantified stoners wear FitBit and Jawbone wristbands to track their daily activity, log their runs and bike rides on apps like Strava and RunKeeper, graph their moods, keep spreadsheets documenting their sex lives, and now optimize their buzzes with high grade weed and a range of data-enriched gadgets to go with it.
“She’s mad because her husband said he likes to go out to walk the dog with his one hitter and boost his step count,” Jenn, another mother I know from around our Northeast Portland neighborhood, told me recently during a quick gossip session. (Names and identifying details have been changed at the request of the seemingly respectable adults quoted.) The husband in question is not atypical
On July, 1, it was officially legal to get high in Oregon, and on October 1, recreational retail marijuana sales became legal.
Submitted to us via the Contact Page.
In February 2015 Ross Ulbricht was convicted of money laundering, computer hacking and conspiracy to traffic narcotics for his role (either with or as Dread Pirate Roberts) in creating and administrating the darknet market Silk Road. For this, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest sentenced Ulbricht to life in prison without possibility for parole. Why was Ulbricht treated more severely than most murderers and child molesters (not to mention wall street and state criminals who do far more societal harm than all others combined)? The only logical explanation is that they needed to make an example out of him not just for his actions but for what he represented. The draconian sentence sends a message that the government is doubling down on its destructive and wasteful war on drugs and is clearly threatened by agorists (ie.… Read the rest
International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) via ScienceDaily:
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Scientists have discovered a hungry black hole swallowing a star at the centre of a nearby galaxy.
The supermassive black hole was found to have faint jets of material shooting out from it and helps to confirm scientists’ theories about the nature of black holes.
The discovery was published in the journal Science.
Astrophysicist Dr Gemma Anderson, from the Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), said a supermassive black hole swallowing a star is an extreme event in which the star gets ripped apart.
“It’s very unusual when a supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy actually eats a star, we’ve probably only seen about 20 of them,” she said.
At the request of President François Hollande, the French Socialist Party has published a note on the international “conspiracy theorist” movement.
His goal: to prepare new legislation prohibiting it to express itself. In the US, the September 11, 2001 coup established a “permanent state of emergency” (Patriot Act), launching a series of imperial wars. Gradually, the European elites have aligned with their counterparts across the Atlantic. Everywhere, people are worried about being abandoned by their States and they question their institutions. Seeking to retain power, the elites are now ready to use force to gag their opposition.
Full post at Voltaire Network. h/t: patrack
Aren’t all sea mollusks kind of weird?
Stephanie Pappas via LiveScience:
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A marine mollusk built like a tiny tank can see with eyes made of the same material as its armor.
Acanthopleura granulata is a chiton, a pill bug of the sea. This animal has a shell made of overlapping plates, which allows it to roll up in defense if a predator manages to pry it from the tidal-zone rock it calls home. Researchers have long known that chitons have soft tissue embedded in their flexible suits of armor, and that some of this soft tissue is sensitive to light. Now, they’ve discovered that A. granulata has hundreds of actual eyes that can see an 8-inch-long (20 centimeters) fish from 6.5 feet (2 meters) away.
Even weirder, these eyes are made of the same calcium-carbonate mineral as the chiton shell. However, the animal does have to trade off some structural integrity in return for the sensory function.
Disinfonauts probably know about the Black Knight satellite controversy (if you don’t, check out these stories), but have you seen Pepsi’s new short film “Black Knight Decoded”? Once again Madison Avenue has coopted an underground meme and trivialized it, but with massively expensive production values and the most perfectly groomed actors money can buy:
This article originally appeared on Common Dreams.
Amid warnings that the proposed TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could undermine global attempts to rein in runaway climate change, new documents reveal that EU trade officials gave U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil access to confidential negotiating strategies considered too sensitive to be released to the European public.
The documents, obtained by the Guardian, offer “an extraordinary glimpse into the full degree of collusion between the European commission and multinational corporations seeking to use TTIP to increase U.S. exports of fossil fuels,” said John Hilary, the director of the UK organization War on Want. “The commission is allowing the oil majors to write the proposed energy chapter of TTIP in their favor.”
According to the Guardian: “Officials also asked one oil refinery association for ‘concrete input’ on the text of an energy chapter for the negotiations, as part of the EU’s bid to write unfettered imports of U.S.… Read the rest
It was April 8, 2003. I was in Baghdad, covering the war in Iraq. That day, Americans tanks started arriving in Baghdad. We were just a few journalists in the Palestine Hotel, and, as happens in war, the fighting began to approach outside our windows. Baghdad was covered in black smoke and oil. It smelled awful. We couldn’t see a thing, but we knew what was happening.
Of course, I was supposed to be writing an article, but that’s how it always goes — you’re supposed to be writing and something big happens. So I was in my room on the 16th floor, writing and looking out the window every now and then to see what was happening. Suddenly, there was a huge explosion. During the previous three weeks, there had been shelling with half-ton missiles, but this time, the shock — I felt it inside of me, and I thought, “It’s very close.… Read the rest