Power and space

Russia will be building Jordan a nuclear power plant. An interesting move considering how much fear and consternation there currently is in the region about some countries nuclear capabilities.

Huh, Canadians are the biggest internet users in the world. A little surprised, but when you average things, I guess maybe. Neat.

RadioShack in a classy move puts Customer Data up for sale in Bankruptcy Auction. But again, it is their property now. This I think is one of the things that’s going to take some time to get into the public consciousness and make people less likely to give out info, because companies can die, and you don’t know who’s going to loot the corpse.

Nasa is planning a mission to launch in 2020 where a Robot will land on an asteroid, pick a 4m sized boulder and sly it home to earth orbit over the next 6 years. This is a great beginning if it goes off and also by the time it arrives we could have some great labs in space to study it, even now just dock it with ISS probably and do EVAs to bring in samples.

Truly bizarre, Comcast can’t or won’t give a home in or near it’s area internet so the new homeowner, a work from home software developer, may have to sell it after owning it for only two months. a) Internet is a life’s blood now, get it? and b) telecoms monopolys like this are horrific and going to create new weirdly happed dark parts of cities.


Catchup march 20-25

Under the heading “We’re all doomed” Every Browser Hacked At Pwn2own 2015 at CanSecWest. But in good news, it is reported that ActiveX may soon be scrapped in South Korea.

A New Alzheimer’s Treatment Fully Restores Memory Function For Mice which is pretty damn exciting, even if I am getting ahead of myself.

As much as I want to believe, and own a few merch mugs from them to that point, Mars One is receiving a lot of criticism as it is supposed to be ramping up but not so much. The word “scam” is appearing. A little more time will tell. Sad but maybe not shocking if true.

Remarkably little reporting on Costa Rica Going 75 Days Powering Itself Using Only Renewable Energy. Simply amazing work!

Edward Snowden’s latest leak shows that Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) cooperated with the NSA and ran false flag hacking operations with the intent to attribute them to other sources. This just further draws criticism to the currently tabled “anti terrorism” bill C-51 which has no added oversight for a lot of new powers to fight these potentially fictional threats.


Catchup march 15-20

So I stop reading the news for 2 little weeks and what happens?

It seems Facebook OK’ed breast feeding photos just before #FreeTheNipple landed

Isreal’s Netanyahu is reelected for a fourth term. It’s weird to me how disconnected the lives we live can be. As soon as I stopped reading my news feeds I completely forgot/didn’t hear about how the election was going and what the results were. The news is two weeks old but reading through my cached feeds it was new to me. Maybe some people who still have cable tv and get the news or even news papers were up on this, but at the same time, it certainly wasn’t a point of conversation I heard about at all. Just hammers home how important it is to find some way to connect yourself to the news.

In another quiet step of the web continuing to divide and segregate Yahoo closes it’s last Chinese operation in Beijing. I see more and more “international” (read American, first and big) net companies pulling out of markets like China as native and national competitors pop up. This can be for many reasons, but it’s something to watch.

I’m pretty sure this isn’t the answer: Fatal gang rape case prompts marketing of small handguns for Indian women

A new Steve Jobs documentary “depicts a man ‘utterly lacking in empathy'” which hi-lights a few of my problems with the cult-of-Jobs worship. Unlike other big tech company owners, most notably Bill Gates, Steve Jobs turned off all philanthropy at Apple when he came back in the 90s and never turned it back on even when they saw ridiculous profit. Personally he was the same. Reports of him being an unbelievably hostile and aggressive boss are rampant. But people want to emulate him. Because despite all that he made money and that appears to be what is most important?


Twitter comedy

Nasty flu offlined me for a bit. Work/sleep/work only. Brain is booting back up. Got a bit of a backlog. Just starting. This was funny from twitter recently

Marc Andreseen @pmarca
Thanks to Lyft and Uber, now anyone with a car can offer rides to other passengers. Hence, income inequality reduced


Some days seem more grim than others

Ugh. Some days.  13,000 reported tortured to death in Syria in the last 2ish years by the government, 108 of which were children. A 71 year old nun was gang raped in eastern India by robbers. Ikea is pulling its magazine from Russia over fears of violating their no gay propaganda laws.  And more.  Some days the news is a bit much to take in all at once.

Switch tracks to comical depressing: Turkish Ministry Recommends Banning Minecraft — Over Violence.

On the other hand, if you read long enough, you find potential causes for hope like CO2 emissions from 2014 being the same as 2013 even with 3% world economy growth.  We still need to wait a few years and a ton of other caveats, but maybe that is something.


It’s strange out there

So somedays you are playing a game of golf and the dinosaur’s legacy goes and spoils the whole day. Those are some excellent photos of a very disjoint happening.  Life can get weird so quickly.

The Hubble telescope watching aurora on Ganymede seems to have show indications of a massive underground ocean, deeper than Earth’s.  I cannot wait till we can send probes to these watery moons and see if anything even more strange emerges or is hiding down there.

The CIA has been running a multi year campaign to steal Apple’s secrets and break their protections on their devices. Honestly the fact it’s still running is actually shockingly good advertising for Apple. And my security favourites InfoSec Taylor Swift and the grugq are both big fans of their phones. Sadness for me, an Android fan.

And a 16K light year away star has been discovered to be pulsing to the Golden Mean. Obviously I’m hoping for a Type II society sending out a message. But probably in fact not. Just nature being crazy and amazing.

And that’s all I have time for this morning :)


Hello to the bots!

I already filter and or act as a lens for some things. I read. A lot. my goodreads is a testament to that, with a huge to read list (288 and counting) and about 30 books a year. I read a lot, and some of it’s pretty not good but some is. So I spit out the occasional recommendation for friends. And they appreciate not having to read all the other stuff I do to find the recommendations.  A little less for tv but a bit similar. One thing that helps with that though is I have an audience in mind. Here I’m mostly talking to me and the web crawlers for now. Not sure who I should be picturing as I try to lens or filter for. We shall see. So!

Well, that was a bit big and dense. And not well digested. Maybe not quite what I’m looking for. We shall see

 


Morning, try to be on good behaviour in public

Starting 2015 off right by trying to blog more (what it’s March already?). Well, this is as good a place as any to start: Ellis on The Manfred Macx Media Diet from 2012. And then more recently from his newsletter Orbital Operations:

A few times a year, I compare my current practise against this website post I wrote in 2012, to see how I’m stacking up against it. It’s a consideration of a second of Charlie Stross’ near-future sf novel ACCELERANDO. I am quite aware that this is not a thing that normal people do. It is a no-win situation. Because one is comparing oneself and one’s practise to the broad strokes of a fiction. It’s an absurd thing to do to yourself.

But, for me, it’s a cognitive whetstone: it makes me think about the way I’m processing information. And, on what is probably a more vain plane, a way to think about thinking in public.

So bear with me, I’m new at this. And may give up easily.

A manned Solar powered plane is continuing its around the world trip.

Everyone crying a video camera in their phone and easy access to viral social media is still catching a generation off guard. The latestish scandal is in Oklahoma where some students in a frat were caught on video which instantly went viral doing a racist chant. They were already kicked off campus by the university and now may face expulsion.

 


Basic Income: Bots are going to force the issue 3

CGP Grey released an amazing video today: Humans Need Not Apply, which is basically about how we are now entering our second ecno-techno revolution (the first was with basic atomization and the doing away with a bunch of basic labour as humans and horses were replaced by brainless machinery) where by new smart bots are going to be replacing a whole lot of people in the work force and new high tech jobs are being created at a tiny tiny fraction of the rate of other jobs being destroyed. Paper napkin estimates could place job displacement/unemployment easily from 25% to 45% in the not to distant future. Don’t believe? Charlie Stross has been banging on for a while now about how self driving cars will fairly rapidly replace any other kind of cars which has second order effects like killing any kind of paid driver from limo to taxi to buy to trucker to heavy machinery like at mines to dump truck driver. And the same can be applied across just a shocking number of industries. Seriously though, just go watch the video.

 

Done? Ok. So maybe now it’s time to talk about Basic Income [or this interesting article] (again) yes? I think we need to just drop any kind of “but it’s supporting the freeloaders” style arguments.  Already now I’d argue they aren’t worth your time because there is a lot of evidence in support of many socialist programs and safety nets that even though they do bleed into some of that, over all they are a boon to society as many “able bodied” and “hearty contributor” citizens are able to bounce back more rapidly (or at all).  But that’s nothing compared to the fact that very soon half of all of us may be unemployed with more on the way.  As CGP Grey mentioned, the Great Depression was at unemployment levels of a “mere” 25%. Anyone want to imagine the economic collapse we’d be facing at higher levels of rampant poverty and starvation and lack of ability to support yourself? If a quarter to half the population around these parts suddenly couldn’t get by?  And this will be just about as bad for the other half still employed because they will be deriving their wealth from the economy, which, as we said, will be in free fall collapse. So basically everyone is doomed if that happens.

 

So again I say, Basic Income.  Economy is pretty much defined as the velocity of the flow of money (I’m not an economist). We need people to have money to spend to keep it all working for the few people still “contributing” and extracting additional wealth that way.  Also for the reason we don’t want everyone to starve to death in our robot utopia future. Finally we have gotten rid of scarcity and work and yet everyone is poor and starving except the robots and maybe the 1% (maybe)? Only humans…

 

There’s another effect of this though. Tax. Corporate tax to be exact. If the majority of people aren’t extracting wealth from the economy except in the form of Basic Income, then all the big gains will be made by corporations, that will now be “staffed” largely by robots. If those are the big and really only instruments of economic wealth generation, then that’s where all the tax will have to be extracted from to support all us humans.  And hey, why not, because Corporations are people too now you know :)

 

More and more people are starting to think this way from Switzerland who is actually voting on it in a referendum soon, to The Expanse Series of books I just finished reading incorporating it, to more mentions in the news.  I think we need to all start discussing and implementing it pretty quickly, for all our sakes. There is a wide range of ways to do it so lets try to skip over arguing about if and just move to how. We may be starting to run short on time.

 

Edit: And after posting this I learned about the vibrant community over at the sub-reddit r/BasicIncome so welcome to anyone there visiting, and anyone else? You should head over there and look at all the discussion. Reddit comments here.

 

Reading: We