Emerging Issues

KURZWEILAI: “Corporations are People, my friend” – and they might be slowing down evolution, or even preventing Utopia. The approaching Technological Singularity could bring drastic changes, such as rendering money obsolete via…

Shawn Wasson at The News Junkie describes his journey into the other Internet: The Internet has evolved quite a bit since I first logged on to CompuServe in 1994. I’d spent a…

FBIDevlin Barrett reports in the Wall Street Journal:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s top cyber cop offered a grim appraisal of the nation’s efforts to keep computer hackers from plundering corporate data networks: “We’re not winning,” he said.

Shawn Henry, who is preparing to leave the FBI after more than two decades with the bureau, said in an interview that the current public and private approach to fending off hackers is “unsustainable.” Computer criminals are simply too talented and defensive measures too weak to stop them, he said.

His comments weren’t directed at specific legislation but came as Congress considers two competing measures designed to buttress the networks for critical U.S. infrastructure, such as electrical-power plants and nuclear reactors. Though few cybersecurity experts disagree on the need for security improvements, business advocates have argued that the new regulations called for in one of the bills aren’t likely to better protect computer networks …

Atlantis PlatformVia Common Dreams:

A whistleblower who has a standing lawsuit against BP has argued this week that the company’s Atlantis Project, located 150 miles south of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico, faces “present and imminent danger.”

The whistleblower, Kenneth Abbott, is a former BP contractor on the Atlantis. His lawsuit says that BP failed to keep required records of the safety systems for the Atlantis.

Back in 2010, Food & Water Watch, which joined Abbott’s lawsuit, warned that the massive Deepwater Horizon oil disaster foreshadowed another Gulf of Mexico disaster caused by BP’s Atlantis platform. At that time, Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, said, “We have evidence that Atlantis is unsafe and is in danger of creating an even worse spill than the one caused by the Deepwater Horizon explosion.”

Destroy SpermReports Reuters via Yahoo News:

The digital age has left men’s nether parts in a squeeze, if you believe the latest science on semen, laptops and wireless connections. In a report in the venerable medical journal Fertility and Sterility, Argentinian scientists describe how they got semen samples from 29 healthy men, placed a few drops under a laptop connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi and then hit download.

Four hours later, the semen was, eh, well-done. A quarter of the sperm were no longer swimming around, for instance, compared to just 14 percent from semen samples stored at the same temperature away from the computer.

And nine percent of the sperm showed DNA damage, three-fold more than the comparison samples. The culprit? Electromagnetic radiation generated during wireless communication, say Conrado Avendano of Nascentis Medicina Reproductiva in Cordoba and colleagues.

The left/right paradigm is coming to a quicker end than I thought. Robert Schiller writes at Al Jazeera: Economics is at the start of a revolution that is traceable to an unexpected source:…

Via ScienceDaily: The less people know about important complex issues such as the economy, energy consumption and the environment, the more they want to avoid becoming well-informed, according to new research published…

Via Press TV:

U.S. Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro says the U.S. and the Israeli regime are set to hold their ‘largest and most significant’ joint military maneuvers without offering details about the time and location of the war games.

More than 5,000 U.S. and Israeli forces will take part in the war drills, said Shapiro, in a Saturday speech at the Israeli-sponsored think tank, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). He reportedly did not mention a specific time and location for what observers have described as part of the new U.S.-led publicity campaign aimed at raising the threat level against Iran.

The joint military maneuver will simulate Israel’s ballistic missile system and will allow Washington to ‘learn from’ Tel Aviv’s experience in warfare, the senior American official added.

PopulationGreat roundup of opinion found in the Detroit Free Press:

What’s the biggest issue facing humanity as the global population reaches seven billion?

Montreal’s Le Devoir newspaper asked for an answer from correspondents around the world. Here are the replies, including a link to that from the Free Press. Note the recurring theme of fresh water, not a problem here in the Great Lakes region, but a critical issue for millions of people in many regions.

Writing for the journal Reclamations, George Caffentzis wonders why there is no movement in the United States to abolish our increasingly oppressive system of institutionalized student loan debt: Debt has had a…

Apply as many grains of salt as you see fit (personally I think he makes many good points, but WWIII? I’d be surprised), but here is Alex’s predictions on the impending WWIII: