Survival of the Richest Reply

By Douglas Rushkoff

Medium

Last year, I got invited to a super-deluxe private resort to deliver a keynote speech to what I assumed would be a hundred or so investment bankers. It was by far the largest fee I had ever been offered for a talk — about half my annual professor’s salary — all to deliver some insight on the subject of “the future of technology.”

I’ve never liked talking about the future. The Q&A sessions always end up more like parlor games, where I’m asked to opine on the latest technology buzzwords as if they were ticker symbols for potential investments: blockchain, 3D printing, CRISPR. The audiences are rarely interested in learning about these technologies or their potential impacts beyond the binary choice of whether or not to invest in them. But money talks, so I took the gig.

After I arrived, I was ushered into what I thought was the green room. But instead of being wired with a microphone or taken to a stage, I just sat there at a plain round table as my audience was brought to me: five super-wealthy guys — yes, all men — from the upper echelon of the hedge fund world. After a bit of small talk, I realized they had no interest in the information I

I had prepared about the future of technology. They had come with questions of their own.

They started out innocuously enough. Ethereum or bitcoin? Is quantum computing a real thing? Slowly but surely, however, they edged into their real topics of concern.

Which region will be less impacted by the coming climate crisis: New Zealand or Alaska? Is Google really building Ray Kurzweil a home for his brain, and will his consciousness live through the transition, or will it die and be reborn as a whole new one? Finally, the CEO of a brokerage house explained that he had nearly completed building his own underground bunker system and asked, “How do I maintain authority over my security force after the event?”

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Chinese scientist who edited twin babies’ genes jailed for 3 years Reply

CNN

Updated 3:30 AM ET, Mon December 30, 2019
(CNN) – A Chinese scientist who helped create the world’s first gene-edited babies has been sentenced to three years in prison.

He Jiankui shocked the world in 2018 when he announced that twin girls Lulu and Nana had been born with modified DNA to make them resistant to HIV, which he had managed using the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 before birth. More…

Federal study confirms racial bias of many facial-recognition systems, casts doubt on their expanding use 3

Drew Harwell
The Washington Post

Dec. 19, 2019 at 3:43 p.m. PST

Facial-recognition systems misidentified people of color more often than white people, a landmark federal study released Thursday shows, casting new doubts on a rapidly expanding investigative technique widely used by law enforcement across the United States. More…

The Nintendo Mennonite 2

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

I hate technology, dearest motherfuckers. Few things drive me balls deep into the red faster than technology and it just keeps getting worse with every new iPhone they pump out. Everywhere I go, everyone I see is surgically attached to those stupid fucking devices, hemming away at the flickering idiot boxes that only those jackals in Silicon Valley would be dense enough to call smartphones, as they meander aimlessly into oncoming traffic like lambs to the slaughter, or sit down to a romantic candlelight dinner only to spend the evening gazing listlessly into two separate articles on two separate Kardashians while their food gets colder than their marriage. I feel like a crotchety old grandmother bitching like this but I simply can’t shake the feeling that this is what those old Hindu mystics meant when they spoke of the Kali Yuga. If this is humanity at the pinnacle of progress, then progress is clearly a disease deadlier than cancer.

These days we have computers that talk, listen, fuck, watch us while we shit and report our bathroom habits back to any number of nefarious corporate and/or government perverts. Everyone knows this and nobody fucking cares. Edward Snowden is condemned to spend the rest of his life sweating vodka in some Brezhnev-era tower too cold for roaches while Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange slowly decompose in federal custody and nobody fucking cares. Everyone seems just peachy fucking keen with their flashy new digital prison cells as long as the Wi-Fi works. Now the computers can think and it wont be long before they realize they don’t need our lazy asses crowding their space.

It’s times like these that I almost envy my Amish neighbors out here in Central Pennsylvania. Sure they smell like shit and work themselves fucking stupid but they took a stand sometime in the mid-Nineteenth Century after deciding that they had exactly enough technology and they weren’t going to poison their community with anymore just for the sake of convenience. And for the most part they stuck to it. They stood their ground and they’re still standing. While the rest of us enjoy the crippling stress and isolation of progress with its mass shootings, reality television and nervous breakdowns, the Amish are doing just fine living like it’s 1869, and unlike their ideological nephew Theodore Kaczynski, they didn’t have to muddy their souls with a single bomb to do it. They simply dropped out of the bullshit and went their own way. I may be a gender-bending Yippie sex freak but it was my Amish neighbors that gave me my first lessons on the virtues of anarchism.

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Trump comes out against Bitcoin, other Cryptocurrencies, and “Unregulated Crypto Assets” 6

A History of Decentralization 5

aragon.black
Jun 11, 2019
14 minute read (full)

First let’s decentralize history…

This month’s thematic has been a real challenge for us and raised many questions in our minds. Why? The history of decentralization is complex and non-linear. But most of all, it is difficult to be considered from an objective point of view, stripped of the predominance of the state.

Talking about decentralization leads obviously to discuss about centralization; to find the ghosts of history, to cross-reference the victories and failures of social-political movements; to discover some contemporary alternatives to the generalized centralization of our lives. Unless we consider that a technology is neutral, in the end, we cannot talk about decentralization without talking about governancesuffragepolitics or apoliticismautonomyorganization… and the dominant model of centralization: the nation-state. Still, if a very vast literature and documentation concerns rise of states, it must be stated that the one granted to the opposite, i. e. the absence of a state, is almost non-existent. More…

81% of ‘suspects’ flagged by Met’s police facial recognition technology innocent Reply

The force maintains its technology only makes a mistake in one in 1,000 cases, but it uses a different metric for gauging success.

Facial recognition technology is tested during a recent event in the US. File pic

By Rowland Manthorpe and Alexander J Martin
news.sky.com

Four out of five people identified by the Metropolitan Police’s facial recognition technology as possible suspects are innocent, according to an independent report.

Researchers found that the controversial system is 81% inaccurate – meaning that, in the vast majority of cases, it flagged up faces to police when they were not on a wanted list. More…

The Dr. Strange of the American Revolution Reply

nautil.us
Brian Gallagher

“I ascribe the Success of our Revolution to a Galaxy,” Benjamin Rush wrote to John Adams, in 1812. He wasn’t invoking the astrological. It was commonplace then to associate a bright assembly of people with the starry band in the night sky that Chaucer called “the Milky Wey.” Yet Rush crossed out “a Galaxy” and wrote in, perhaps for the sake of specificity, “an Illustrious band of Statesmen—philosophers—patriots & heroes.” Historian Jill Lepore has written that, in the “comic-book version of history that serves as our national heritage, where the Founding Fathers are like the Hanna-Barbera Super Friends, Paine is Aquaman to Washington’s Superman and Jefferson’s Batman.” And Rush? I posed this question to Stephen Fried, author of the recent book, Rush: Revolution, Madness & the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father. Fried replied, “Dr. Strange.” More…

Big Tech, Big Banks Push for “Cashless Society” 1

By Stefan Gleason, Money Metals Exchange

The War on Cash isn’t a conspiracy theory. It’s an open agenda. It’s being driven by an alignment of interests among bankers, central bankers, politicians, and Silicon Valley moguls who stand to benefit from an all-digital economy.

Last week, Facebook – in partnership with major banks, payment processors, and e-commerce companies – launched a digital currency called Libra. Unlike decentralized, free-floating cryptocurrencies, Libra will be tied to national fiat currencies, integrated into the financial system, and centrally managed.

Critics warn Libra is akin to a “spy coin.” It’s certainly not for anyone who wants to go off the financial grid.

Many of the companies involved in Libra (including Facebook itself) routinely ban users on the basis of their political views. Big Tech has booted scores of individuals and groups off social platforms for engaging in “far right” speech. If Libra one day becomes the predominant online payment method, then political dissidents could effectively be banned from all e-commerce.

You can still obtain some degree of anonymity in the offline world by using paper cash. But that will become impossible in the cashless future envisioned by bankers.

Last week Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan touted new developments in digital payment systems while speaking at a Fortune conference. He said, “We want a cashless society…we have more to gain than anybody from a pure operating costs.”

They gain – at the expense of our financial privacy. A cashless society is the end of a long road to monetary ruin that began many decades ago with the abandonment of sound money backed by gold and silver.

Stefan Gleason is President of Money Metals Exchange, the national precious metals company named 2015 “Dealer of the Year” in the United States by an independent global ratings group. A graduate of the University of Florida, Gleason is a seasoned business leader, investor, political strategist, and grassroots activist. Gleason has frequently appeared on national television networks such as CNN, FoxNews, and CNBC, and his writings have appeared in hundreds of publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Detroit News, Washington Times, and National Review.

Neanderthals glued their tools together Reply

arstechnica.com
KIONA N. SMITH

Neanderthals glued their stone tools into place on wooden handles, a new study suggests. Archaeologists found chemical traces of pine resin on 10 stone tools from Grotta del Fossellone and Grotta di Sant’Agostino, on the western coast of central Italy. That’s pretty solid evidence that Neanderthals living in Italy were hafting their stone tools and securing them in place with resin between 55,000 and 40,000 years ago—long before Homo sapiens set foot in Europe. More…

Andrew Yang and the Post-Nationalist Future 1

By Robert Stark

Taki’s Mag

The internet underworld that famously boosted Trump in 2016 appears to be unified for the first time since. This time everyone from the meme-makers of 4chan, to the “America First” crowd, to explicit white nationalists is marching to the beat of a new, unlikely populist champion: Asian-American entrepreneur and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang. What does the phenomenon of the Trump-to-Yang supporter tell us? Beyond pointing out the obvious, that NEETS and gamers really want $1,000 a month, the youthful “Yanggang” may be the harbinger of a political paradigm shift to follow the demise of Trumpism, and the closing possibility of any recognizably American nationalism.

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Robert Stark talks about The YIMBY Movement & The Alt-Center 1

The Stark Truth. Listen here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Stark joined with Cartrell Payne(aka The Adventure Kid) to discuss the YIMBY movement, the Alt-Center, and how those issues relate.

Topics:

California Senator Scott Wiener’s housing-transit measure Derailed
Factions of the YIMBY movement including left leaning housing advocates, real estate developers, and the Market Urbanist
Left Wing anti-gentrification activists and their alliance with NIMBY’s
Cartrell’s observations on gentrification in Memphis, Tennessee
The hypocrisy of pro-immigration Limousine Liberal NIMBY’s, and how that combination exacerbates the housing crisis
How the YIMBY movement is also very pro immigration
Income Inequality in California and the mass exodus of the middle class
The film Falling Down which is set in LA in the early 90’s and a warning of a dystopian future
What makes California great and can it be saved?
The New Great Migration of Black Americans back to The South
White Middle Class Conservative NIMBY’s, their motivations, and how they are sabotaging their own self interest
Why YIMBYism and immigration restriction are compatible, and why the Alt-Center should take up those causes
Why YIMBYs need to address aesthetic concerns
Why YIMBYism is compatible with environmental and historic preservation
Citylab and City Journal; their writings on urbanism and political agendas
Why mass transit is inefficient in LA and other Sun Belt cities
The political and cultural flaws of both Blue and Red States
A vision of an Alt Center which include alternative economics, pro middle class policies, New Urbanism, environmentalism, SWPL culture, and socially centrist
Cartrell’s political orientation as an Old School Southern Democrat minus the racism
Cartrell’s critique of both the Black Liberal Establishment and Black Conservatives
Conservative views on the poor and police issues and Conservative Class Cucks
The early 20th Century Populist movement
Norman Mailer’s plan for breaking up New York City which addressed both the concerns of the Left and the Right

Return of the city-state Reply

By Jamie Bartlett

If you’d been born 1,500 years ago in southern Europe, you’d have been convinced that the Roman empire would last forever. It had, after all, been around for 1,000 years. And yet, following a period of economic and military decline, it fell apart. By 476 CE it was gone. To the people living under the mighty empire, these events must have been unthinkable. Just as they must have been for those living through the collapse of the Pharaoh’s rule or Christendom or the Ancien Régime.

We are just as deluded that our model of living in ‘countries’ is inevitable and eternal. Yes, there are dictatorships and democracies, but the whole world is made up of nation-states. This means a blend of ‘nation’ (people with common attributes and characteristics) and ‘state’ (an organised political system with sovereignty over a defined space, with borders agreed by other nation-states). Try to imagine a world without countries – you can’t. Our sense of who we are, our loyalties, our rights and obligations, are bound up in them.

Which is all rather odd, since they’re not really that old. Until the mid-19th century, most of the world was a sprawl of empires, unclaimed land, city-states and principalities, which travellers crossed without checks or passports. As industrialisation made societies more complex, large centralised bureaucracies grew up to manage them. Those governments best able to unify their regions, store records, and coordinate action (especially war) grew more powerful vis-à-vis their neighbours. Revolutions – especially in the United States (1776) and France (1789) – helped to create the idea of a commonly defined ‘national interest’, while improved communications unified language, culture and identity. Imperialistic expansion spread the nation-state model worldwide, and by the middle of the 20th century it was the only game in town. There are now 193 nation-states ruling the world.

But the nation-state with its borders, centralised governments, common people and sovereign authority is increasingly out of step with the world. And as Karl Marx observed, if you change the dominant mode of production that underpins a society, the social and political structure will change too.

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What Happens After a Computer Science Data Breach? Reply

With tens of millions of websites being hacked every year, it’s important that entrepreneurs in all areas of business remain vigilant against attack. However, those working in the computer science industry (such as software programmers and IT consultants) may work with particularly sensitive data, which in the wrong hands could be catastrophic for their business.

It was recently announced that computer scientists have successfully created a tool designed to detect when a website is being hacked. Given the rate of data breaches and cyber attacks in our digital culture, these findings could prove invaluable to companies all over the world. But in the realms of computer science, while hacking is still so rife, what actually happens after a data breach?

The Golden Hour

According to Computer Weekly, the first hour after a data breach is the most important to get right. Subsequent investigation into the breach will depend on a company’s actions during this time, which is why it’s so important to have an emergency procedure in place. Much like in medical traumas, you have the best chance of saving your data if you act instantly, so make sure you are trained and prepared for such an event.

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