Will Potter, investigative journalist and author of “Green is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege” recently gave a TED Talk outlining his work on Communication Management Units, (CMU’s) which are special units in the US prison system designed to contain and monitor those labeled as “domestic terrorists.” He was able to contact and meet with environmental activist and former CMU prisoner Daniel McGowan, and he discusses this and other CMU-related information here:
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Investigative journalist Will Potter is the only reporter who has been inside a Communications Management Unit, or CMU, within a US prison. These units were opened secretly, and radically alter how prisoners are treated — even preventing them from hugging their children. Potter, a TED Fellow, shows us who is imprisoned here, and how the government is trying to keep them hidden. “The message was clear,” he says. “Don’t talk about this place.” Find sources for this talk at willpotter.com/cmu
Father Daniel Berrigan once said that “writing about prisoners is a little like writing about the dead.” I think what he meant is that we treat prisoners as ghosts. They’re unseen and unheard. It’s easy to simply ignore them and it’s even easier when the government goes to great lengths to keep them hidden.
As a journalist, I think these stories of what people in power do when no one is watching, are precisely the stories that we need to tell.… Read the rest
Johann Hari is the author of Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.
One of my earliest memories is of trying to wake up one of my relatives and not being able to. And I was just a little kid, so I didn’t really understand why, but as I got older, I realized we had drug addiction in my family, including later cocaine addiction.
I’d been thinking about it a lot lately, partly because it’s now exactly 100 years since drugs were first banned in the United States and Britain, and we then imposed that on the rest of the world. It’s a century since we made this really fateful decision to take addicts and punish them and make them suffer, because we believed that would deter them; it would give them an incentive to stop.
And a few years ago, I was looking at some of the addicts in my life who I love, and trying to figure out if there was some way to help them.… Read the rest
Allan Savory at the 2013 TED Conference:
The universe seems incredibly complex. But could its rules be dead simple? Juergen Schmidhuber’s fascinating story will convince you that this universe and your own life are just by-products of a very simple and fast program computing all logically possible universes.
Juergen Schmidhuber is Director of the Swiss Artificial Intelligence Lab IDSIA (since 1995), Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Lugano, Switzerland (since 2009), and Professor SUPSI (since 2003).
He helped to transform IDSIA into one of the world’s top ten AI labs (the smallest!), according to the ranking of Business Week Magazine. His group pioneered the field of mathematically optimal universal AI and universal problem solvers. The algorithms developed in his lab won seven first prizes in international pattern recognition competitions, as well as several best paper awards.
Since 1990 he has developed a formal theory of fun and curiosity and creativity to build artificial scientists and artists.… Read the rest
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden made an unannounced virtual appearance at a TED conference in Vancouver this week. This time, Snowden’s appearance was enabled by a remote-controlled robot that featured his face on a large screen. RoboSnowden was interviewed by WIRED founder Chris Anderson, and”father of the internet” Tim Berners-Lee.
… Read the rest
In attempt to brush up their severely tarnished image after censoring my presentation“The War on Consciousness” from the TEDx website today (on the grounds that I was “unscientific”) and also censoring the presentation “The Science Delusion” by my colleague Rupert Sheldrake for the same reason, TED have now rushed to create a remote corner of their website, which I imagine they hope no-one will see, where our talks have been put back online and may be debated: http://blog.ted.com/2013/03/14/open-for-discussion-graham-hancock-and-rupert-sheldrake/.This gesture, they claim, is in response to my suggestion that they had censored us and should be taken as evidence of their “spirit of radical openness”.
All I can say is this is extremely devious behavior on TED’s part. On the one hand they take down two videos from Youtube that had generated enormous public interest and traction (mine had received over 130,000 views and Rupert’s over 35,000 views).