Tag Archives | The Atlantic

The 120-Year-Old Mind-Reading Machine

ce461324aFrom The Atlantic comes this tale of the unlikely “science” of yesteryear.

In the 1890s, when technologies like telephones and automobiles and lightbulbs were still strange and wonderful and new, inventors promised another remarkable device would soon be ubiquitous: the mind-reading machine.

Inspired by the phonoautograph—a new device that showed what sound waves looked like on paper—the scientist Julius Emmner invented a machine that he said could record thoughts. It was simple, really. If invisible sound vibrated in a ways that could be measured, Emmner figured, why wouldn’t unseen thoughts do the same?

“Sound is addressed to the ear,” he told The Times of Washington, D.C., in August 1895, “yet it may be made visible, a proof of which fact is found in the phono-autograph, in which the vibrations of sound are made distinctly visible.” Reporters took him at his word. From that same article: “Mr. Emmner is carefully guarding his secret, but he speaks so enthusiastically of his success that he must have obtained the most satisfactory results so far from his investigations.”

via The 120-Year-Old Mind-Reading Machine – Adrienne LaFrance – The Atlantic.… Read the rest

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Media Roots Radio: DC Think Tanks Create New Cold War Tipping Point

On March 3rd, 2014 Abby Martin decided to speak her mind and express her disappointment regarding the Crimea media coverage from all sides of the spectrum live on her television show, Breaking The Set. The story went viral on the mainstream media, only because her show airs on Russian backed RT, and Russia had just stepped into the conflict following the coup in Ukraine. Immediately following this action, a cadre of younger thirty-something neoconservatives in the heart of Washington DC tried to smear Abby after discovering her political views. In addition to the distorted take-down attempts against her, they tried to hijack her stand and manipulate it into anti-Russian / pro-US propaganda.
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Rebooting the Net Neutrality

PIC: Perumalism (CC)

PIC: Perumalism (CC)

The Atlantic on why recent net neutrality foul-ups are really bad for business, especially the small start-ups that fuel innovation.

via The Case for Rebooting the Network Neutrality Debate – ​Barbara van Schewick – The Atlantic.

Entrepreneurs and startups know that the threat of blocking and discrimination undermines their ability to get funding. As legendary venture capitalist Fred Wilson—whose firm Union Square Ventures was an early investor in Twitter, Foursquare, Zynga, and other Web 2.0 household names—pointed out:

“Many VCs such as our firm would not invest in the mobile Internet when it was controlled by carriers who set the rules, picked winners, and used predatory tactics to control their networks. Once Apple opened up competition with the iPhone and the app store, many firms changed their approach, including our firm.”

In 2007, while the FCC was investigating Comcast’s blocking of peer-to-peer file-sharing applications like BitTorrent, many entrepreneurs told me that they couldn’t get funding because investors were concerned their application would be singled out for discriminatory bandwidth management.

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Making the Rounds With Your Friendly Neighborhood Drug Dealer

PIC: DEA (PD)

PIC: DEA (PD)

The Atlantic’s Roy Klabin accompanies drug dealer Carlo on his rounds. (A drug dealer is a person in your neighborhood… in your neighborhood…)

Via The Atlantic:

During the evenings I spent accompanying Carlo on his rounds, I learned that his customer base included people of all walks of life. Within one four-hour period, I saw Carlo cater to NYU students, lawyers, artists, bankers, and a college professor—all ordering drugs to their apartments as casually as if it were Chinese food.

“This isn’t something I can do forever,” Carlo told me. “People always get caught. Someone gets jealous, your phone gets tapped, someone snitches, or you get stupid and sell something in the wrong place.” As we spoke, his phone vibrated constantly; he responded to each text, scheduling his evening ahead.

Carlo has been dealing for almost 15 years. He sells marijuana, cocaine, ketamine, and magic mushrooms, but his most-prized asset is his connection to a Canadian MDMA distributor.

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