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David Brin

David Brin 

Futurist, Science Fiction Author, Scientist. Advocate for a Transparent Society.

Occupation: Author, scientist, futurist, public speaker

Followers: 60,762

Cream of the Crop: 10/22/2011

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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 57

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2017-07-06 23:46:09 (57 comments; 17 reshares; 105 +1s; )Open 

The nerve. He attacks and undermines American science - the key source of all of our successes, attacks the west coast tech industries, source of most of our exports, assails higher education - our one zone of unambiguous superiority - and screams at our civil servants, intelligence community and US military Officer corps, dashes our alliances, sneers at democracies and cozies up to every single dictator who's not a Castro....

..and he dares to say things like he's defending the West? He is the champion of the confederacy and destroyer of the West.

No... he's Saruman's assistant. Sauron is Rupert Murdoch.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/06/world/europe/donald-trump-poland-speech.html

Most reshares: 19

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2017-07-25 17:27:49 (5 comments; 19 reshares; 74 +1s; )Open 


A Neuroscientist Just Tricked 4 Dodgy Journals Into Accepting a Fake Paper on 'Midi-Chlorians'. The good news: This is science doing what it is supposed to do, vigorously competitive self-policing for integrity, which it has vastly more of, per capita, than any other field. These “Sokal tests” are very effective. The bad news? It won’t be interpreted that way by that War-on-all-fact-users movements of the far-left and entire right. The hilarious news? Well, read what these dopes allowed to slip by, losing them (we hope) their jobs!

http://www.sciencealert.com/a-neuroscientist-just-tricked-4-journals-into-accepting-a-fake-paper-on-midi-chlorians


Most plusones: 135

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2017-07-05 17:05:06 (15 comments; 7 reshares; 135 +1s; )Open 


There may be 10,000 hypervelocity blue stars that escaped from the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) when their binary companions exploded. That velocity, added to the speed of the LMC itself, could account for their blazing sprints, and why we spot them along a general line leading from the LMC to the constellations of Leo and Sextans. Since blue stars only have shot lives, this means there may be up to a million of their remnants — neutron stars or black holes — speeding along the same general path.

Latest 50 posts

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2017-07-27 05:52:29 (6 comments; 4 reshares; 46 +1s; )Open 

California officials have gone to the big Defcon hacker convention challenging the best to test security of voting systems and ensure fair elections. You’ll find no representatives from red states. The top qualification to be the Republican Secretary of State is how eagerly and effectively you gerrymandering, voter denial, rigged voting machines, plus “losing” thousands of registrations just before every single election. Your Republican neighbors won’t even deny this, anymore. They are proud of it, the confederates.
http://www.pressreader.com/usa/los-angeles-times/20170726/281921658114457

Which leaves the democrats as honest… but stupid. The response to Trump’s “Voter Fraud Commission” should not be “there’s no voter fraud!”

It should be: “There’s almost no examples of fraudulent voting, but plenty of cheating by red state officials. So here’s thedeal. We’ll go along with y... more »

California officials have gone to the big Defcon hacker convention challenging the best to test security of voting systems and ensure fair elections. You’ll find no representatives from red states. The top qualification to be the Republican Secretary of State is how eagerly and effectively you gerrymandering, voter denial, rigged voting machines, plus “losing” thousands of registrations just before every single election. Your Republican neighbors won’t even deny this, anymore. They are proud of it, the confederates.
http://www.pressreader.com/usa/los-angeles-times/20170726/281921658114457

Which leaves the democrats as honest… but stupid. The response to Trump’s “Voter Fraud Commission” should not be “there’s no voter fraud!”

It should be: “There’s almost no examples of fraudulent voting, but plenty of cheating by red state officials. So here’s the deal. We’ll go along with your ‘investigation…’ plus gradually ramping up voter ID… in exchange for —

— you backing a full appraisal of the nation’s voting machines.

— compliance assistance to help poor Americans GET ID!

— an end to gerrymandering.

Failing to express their objections this way is just dumb.___

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2017-07-27 01:13:33 (16 comments; 11 reshares; 45 +1s; )Open 

In a crucial test of artificial intelligence, software agents competed to get the best deal–a very effective bit of AI vs. AI dogfighting researchers have dubbed a “generative adversarial network”– the agents began drifting away from standard, understandable language and invented codewords for themselves that sound like gibberish. Neither was offered any sort of incentive for speaking as a normal person would. So they began to diverge, eventually rearranging legible words into seemingly nonsensical sentences. In other words… AI going their own way.

https://www.fastcodesign.com/90132632/ai-is-inventing-its-own-perfect-languages-should-we-let-it?utm_campaign=Abundance%20Insider

In a crucial test of artificial intelligence, software agents competed to get the best deal–a very effective bit of AI vs. AI dogfighting researchers have dubbed a “generative adversarial network”– the agents began drifting away from standard, understandable language and invented codewords for themselves that sound like gibberish. Neither was offered any sort of incentive for speaking as a normal person would. So they began to diverge, eventually rearranging legible words into seemingly nonsensical sentences. In other words… AI going their own way.

https://www.fastcodesign.com/90132632/ai-is-inventing-its-own-perfect-languages-should-we-let-it?utm_campaign=Abundance%20Insider___

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2017-07-26 20:57:23 (7 comments; 2 reshares; 43 +1s; )Open 

'Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) -- who is bafflingly chair of the House Science Committee -- penned an op-ed praising the “benefits” of climate change. He goes as far as to celebrate carbon dioxide emissions for melting Arctic ice to allow for “new commercial shipping lanes”. They've spent years telling us climate change wasn’t happening, now it’s suddenly a good thing?' Sorry 314 guys. This has been going on for years. They shift the goal posts with stunning agility. Vast farms in Canada will replace those lost to desert in Mexico and Texas! (Oops, there's no topsoil up there, and even if things warm, there'll just be one, short growing season, to replace two long ones, down south.) And thawing tundra will pour gigatons of methane into the atmosphere. But this is the sort of raving monster the GOP puts in charge of the Science Committee.
https://s... more »

'Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) -- who is bafflingly chair of the House Science Committee -- penned an op-ed praising the “benefits” of climate change. He goes as far as to celebrate carbon dioxide emissions for melting Arctic ice to allow for “new commercial shipping lanes”. They've spent years telling us climate change wasn’t happening, now it’s suddenly a good thing?' Sorry 314 guys. This has been going on for years. They shift the goal posts with stunning agility. Vast farms in Canada will replace those lost to desert in Mexico and Texas! (Oops, there's no topsoil up there, and even if things warm, there'll just be one, short growing season, to replace two long ones, down south.) And thawing tundra will pour gigatons of methane into the atmosphere. But this is the sort of raving monster the GOP puts in charge of the Science Committee.

https://secure.314action.org/page/m/29bb518d/4bcfc9d7/ba99448/77f63956/2403641867/VEsE/___

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2017-07-26 17:50:28 (3 comments; 2 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 


Here's a good article on METI - the rash cult wanting to send "messages" to aliens - and the response of a dozen SETI thought-leaders, including myself, asking for discussion.

https://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=38149


Here's a good article on METI - the rash cult wanting to send "messages" to aliens - and the response of a dozen SETI thought-leaders, including myself, asking for discussion.

https://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=38149___

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2017-07-26 16:47:42 (3 comments; 4 reshares; 47 +1s; )Open 

A chain of small volcano cones has been found at the bottom of Valles Marineris on Mars, dating back only a couple of hundred million years. Almost yesterday!

https://www.space.com/37606-mars-young-volcanoes-valles-marineris.html

A chain of small volcano cones has been found at the bottom of Valles Marineris on Mars, dating back only a couple of hundred million years. Almost yesterday!

https://www.space.com/37606-mars-young-volcanoes-valles-marineris.html___

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2017-07-25 23:16:35 (48 comments; 18 reshares; 115 +1s; )Open 

To the best of my knowledge, never before in US history has a governing party voted to advance to the floor, for final voting, a major bill affecting up to 80 million Americans that only one senator has actually seen. The same party blasted dems for taking "only" ten months and "only" three extensive committees and hearings, in 2009 for the ACA. These are monsters, hypocrites, and determined tyrants.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/25/john-mccain-obamacare-repeal-240946


To the best of my knowledge, never before in US history has a governing party voted to advance to the floor, for final voting, a major bill affecting up to 80 million Americans that only one senator has actually seen. The same party blasted dems for taking "only" ten months and "only" three extensive committees and hearings, in 2009 for the ACA. These are monsters, hypocrites, and determined tyrants.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/25/john-mccain-obamacare-repeal-240946
___

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2017-07-25 22:33:16 (0 comments; 6 reshares; 23 +1s; )Open 

Midweek posting is about unusual tactics the Union side of this Civil War phase should consider. Seriously. the dems need to fret less over policy proposals and focus more on... judo.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/07/boycotts-and-other-weapons-for-union.html

Midweek posting is about unusual tactics the Union side of this Civil War phase should consider. Seriously. the dems need to fret less over policy proposals and focus more on... judo.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/07/boycotts-and-other-weapons-for-union.html___

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2017-07-25 17:27:49 (5 comments; 19 reshares; 74 +1s; )Open 


A Neuroscientist Just Tricked 4 Dodgy Journals Into Accepting a Fake Paper on 'Midi-Chlorians'. The good news: This is science doing what it is supposed to do, vigorously competitive self-policing for integrity, which it has vastly more of, per capita, than any other field. These “Sokal tests” are very effective. The bad news? It won’t be interpreted that way by that War-on-all-fact-users movements of the far-left and entire right. The hilarious news? Well, read what these dopes allowed to slip by, losing them (we hope) their jobs!

http://www.sciencealert.com/a-neuroscientist-just-tricked-4-journals-into-accepting-a-fake-paper-on-midi-chlorians



A Neuroscientist Just Tricked 4 Dodgy Journals Into Accepting a Fake Paper on 'Midi-Chlorians'. The good news: This is science doing what it is supposed to do, vigorously competitive self-policing for integrity, which it has vastly more of, per capita, than any other field. These “Sokal tests” are very effective. The bad news? It won’t be interpreted that way by that War-on-all-fact-users movements of the far-left and entire right. The hilarious news? Well, read what these dopes allowed to slip by, losing them (we hope) their jobs!

http://www.sciencealert.com/a-neuroscientist-just-tricked-4-journals-into-accepting-a-fake-paper-on-midi-chlorians
___

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2017-07-25 01:19:02 (36 comments; 15 reshares; 98 +1s; )Open 

At an event for military men and women, the President of the United States ordered service personnel to engage in politically partisan activity, violating both law and custom going back two centuries. At a Boy Scout gathering, he segued from the Scout Oath to screaming that "Obamacare is death!" while he demanded pure loyalty to the Presidency... that he never gave Barack Obama. Earlier he declared his power to pardon to be unlimited. All in the last 24 shrill hours.

Tomorrow, the US Senate will be asked to vote on a bill that ONE senator - Mitch McConnell - wrote and that almost no others have seen, that went through no committee hearings, no negotiations, no deliberation or what used to be called politics. The GOP screamed in 2009, when dems held only 10 months of hearings in only three committees. Now the Republicans have completed their long transition to demanding that the greatest... more »

At an event for military men and women, the President of the United States ordered service personnel to engage in politically partisan activity, violating both law and custom going back two centuries. At a Boy Scout gathering, he segued from the Scout Oath to screaming that "Obamacare is death!" while he demanded pure loyalty to the Presidency... that he never gave Barack Obama. Earlier he declared his power to pardon to be unlimited. All in the last 24 shrill hours.

Tomorrow, the US Senate will be asked to vote on a bill that ONE senator - Mitch McConnell - wrote and that almost no others have seen, that went through no committee hearings, no negotiations, no deliberation or what used to be called politics. The GOP screamed in 2009, when dems held only 10 months of hearings in only three committees. Now the Republicans have completed their long transition to demanding that the greatest legislature in the world become a caudillo's rubber stamp.

The adults in this nation are noticing, and we shall see how many of them have the courage to stand up. There are 6 GOP senators who could - if they were American heroes and not sniveling cowards - help save the nation by bolting and forming a new party. There are two Supreme Court Justices -- Roberts and Alito -- who might truly save the nation by ending gerrymandering, decisively and forever. If they were Americans.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/24/politics/trump-boy-scouts-rally/index.html___

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2017-07-24 23:46:01 (10 comments; 11 reshares; 50 +1s; )Open 

There's a lot of buzz because it was announced at the AGU meeting that the moon's lava flows suggest there's some water in the lunar mantle. Does this prove that I am wrong and there truly are accessible resources on the moon... other than small deposits of ice at the poles?

Sorry. The moon has lots of good stuff. But almost none of it is FRACTIONATED or separated into highly concentrated ores. On Earth this mostly happened from geo processes, especially water streams above and below ground. In asteroids it happened because a proto planet broke up. Nothing like such processes happened on the moon. If there is mantle water, it is in parts per million and you’d need to dig very deep, then crush and melt the rock. Good luck with that.

http://www.newsweek.com/water-moon-researchers-mantle-volcanic-material-641200

There's a lot of buzz because it was announced at the AGU meeting that the moon's lava flows suggest there's some water in the lunar mantle. Does this prove that I am wrong and there truly are accessible resources on the moon... other than small deposits of ice at the poles?

Sorry. The moon has lots of good stuff. But almost none of it is FRACTIONATED or separated into highly concentrated ores. On Earth this mostly happened from geo processes, especially water streams above and below ground. In asteroids it happened because a proto planet broke up. Nothing like such processes happened on the moon. If there is mantle water, it is in parts per million and you’d need to dig very deep, then crush and melt the rock. Good luck with that.

http://www.newsweek.com/water-moon-researchers-mantle-volcanic-material-641200___

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2017-07-24 20:42:21 (6 comments; 3 reshares; 33 +1s; )Open 

From Scout: "On Friday, James Clapper, Former Director of U.S. National Intelligence, and John Brennan, Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, spoke with CNN's Wolf Blitzer at the Aspen Security Forum about Trump, Russian hacking, and national security. The entire hour-long conversation is a must-watch, remarkable for the candor and urgency expressed by two world-class intelligence minds.

Said Clapper: “One of the things I’ve recommended to the Senate Intelligence Committee is that maybe there should be a requirement in the future that before all presidential and congressional elections, 120 days before, the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the FBI should say what’s the state of cyber intrusions that are designed to compromise the integrity of the electoral system,” Clapper suggested.

Clapper, of course, was referencing the tensionthe Oba... more »

From Scout: "On Friday, James Clapper, Former Director of U.S. National Intelligence, and John Brennan, Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, spoke with CNN's Wolf Blitzer at the Aspen Security Forum about Trump, Russian hacking, and national security. The entire hour-long conversation is a must-watch, remarkable for the candor and urgency expressed by two world-class intelligence minds.

Said Clapper: “One of the things I’ve recommended to the Senate Intelligence Committee is that maybe there should be a requirement in the future that before all presidential and congressional elections, 120 days before, the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the FBI should say what’s the state of cyber intrusions that are designed to compromise the integrity of the electoral system,” Clapper suggested.

Clapper, of course, was referencing the tension the Obama administration faced between sharing what it knew about Russian interference with U.S. citizens and being perceived as trying to throw the election for Hillary. But while the U.S. may have been the most prominent example of international hacking designed to skew the outcome of its election, it certainly will not be the last.___

2017-07-24 17:27:31 (1 comments; 2 reshares; 21 +1s; )Open 

China: Abandoning their ancient superstitions ... and embracing OUR ancient superstitions!
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/22/world/asia/china-western-astrology.html

When Young Chinese Ask, ‘What’s Your Sign?’ They Don’t Mean Dragon or Rat
BEIJING — China, the birthplace of the Chinese zodiac and some of the world’s oldest and most sophisticated fortunetelling techniques, has a new obsession: Western astrology.

What remains a largely niche interest in the West has in recent years become a mainstream cultural trend in China, especially among the younger generation. At dinner tables and in coffee shops, friends and strangers trade the latest gossip and tidbits about their astrological profiles.

Agh, so the selflobotomization of the west is now affecting other possible sources of civilization.

China: Abandoning their ancient superstitions ... and embracing OUR ancient superstitions!
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/22/world/asia/china-western-astrology.html

When Young Chinese Ask, ‘What’s Your Sign?’ They Don’t Mean Dragon or Rat
BEIJING — China, the birthplace of the Chinese zodiac and some of the world’s oldest and most sophisticated fortunetelling techniques, has a new obsession: Western astrology.

What remains a largely niche interest in the West has in recent years become a mainstream cultural trend in China, especially among the younger generation. At dinner tables and in coffee shops, friends and strangers trade the latest gossip and tidbits about their astrological profiles.

Agh, so the selflobotomization of the west is now affecting other possible sources of civilization.___

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2017-07-24 03:26:29 (8 comments; 15 reshares; 96 +1s; )Open 

Billionaire Nick Hanauer spoke up three years ago to warn his fellow moguls that, if unfairness, cheating and wealth disparity (skyrocketing to levels last seen before the French Revolution) weren’t addressed soon, “mobs and pitchforks will be coming for us.” Now Hanauer talks about the wave of resentful populism that Donald Trump tapped, and how Trump was able — for now — to get the resentful marching for oligarchs and not against them. A temporary respite, he says, calling on the old money and Wall Street and inheritance lords to see their own long term self- interest, and join the tech zillionaires in choosing moderation, not parasitism.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/18/to-my-fellow-plutocrats-you-can-cure-trumpism-215347

Billionaire Nick Hanauer spoke up three years ago to warn his fellow moguls that, if unfairness, cheating and wealth disparity (skyrocketing to levels last seen before the French Revolution) weren’t addressed soon, “mobs and pitchforks will be coming for us.” Now Hanauer talks about the wave of resentful populism that Donald Trump tapped, and how Trump was able — for now — to get the resentful marching for oligarchs and not against them. A temporary respite, he says, calling on the old money and Wall Street and inheritance lords to see their own long term self- interest, and join the tech zillionaires in choosing moderation, not parasitism.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/18/to-my-fellow-plutocrats-you-can-cure-trumpism-215347___

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2017-07-23 19:55:16 (8 comments; 3 reshares; 22 +1s; )Open 

Weekend posting "Moore's Law's demise and the crisis of expertise."

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/07/moores-laws-demise-and-crisis-of.html

Weekend posting "Moore's Law's demise and the crisis of expertise."

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/07/moores-laws-demise-and-crisis-of.html___

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2017-07-21 19:46:08 (12 comments; 6 reshares; 45 +1s; )Open 

All around the world, scientists are building repositories of everything from seeds to ice to mammal milk — racing to preserve a natural order that is fast disappearing. Both disturbing and reassuring in some ways… though I admit some pique that the description of “life arks” in EARTH (1989) gets no mention.




All around the world, scientists are building repositories of everything from seeds to ice to mammal milk — racing to preserve a natural order that is fast disappearing. Both disturbing and reassuring in some ways… though I admit some pique that the description of “life arks” in EARTH (1989) gets no mention.


___

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2017-07-21 01:43:24 (21 comments; 6 reshares; 62 +1s; )Open 

For all his many faults, John McCain is an adult and an American and not totally allergic to facts. In other words - not a confederate cultist helping to hijack U.S. conservatism. Recall how Donald Trump mocked McCain with: “I like people who don’t get captured.” That’s just the tip. In this linked article, a Koch-ist shill decries John McCain for saying that Vladimir Putin is more dangerous than ISIS. But let’s be clear: Vladimir Putin - who I do admit and avow to be a genius — is organizing an "axis" of like-minded autocrats that stretches from Ankara, Damascus, Minsk and Tehran through its pivot in Moscow through the Altaic region to include now Manilla, with much friendly cooperation by Beijing. The shared narrative - that democracy is decadent and useless and dangerous and that the Western Enlightenment must be brought down - is now the core and driving philosophy promoted bythe right-w... more »

For all his many faults, John McCain is an adult and an American and not totally allergic to facts. In other words - not a confederate cultist helping to hijack U.S. conservatism. Recall how Donald Trump mocked McCain with: “I like people who don’t get captured.” That’s just the tip. In this linked article, a Koch-ist shill decries John McCain for saying that Vladimir Putin is more dangerous than ISIS. But let’s be clear: Vladimir Putin - who I do admit and avow to be a genius — is organizing an "axis" of like-minded autocrats that stretches from Ankara, Damascus, Minsk and Tehran through its pivot in Moscow through the Altaic region to include now Manilla, with much friendly cooperation by Beijing. The shared narrative - that democracy is decadent and useless and dangerous and that the Western Enlightenment must be brought down - is now the core and driving philosophy promoted by the right-wing oligarchy in America, as well. Given that this campaign has achieved a principal goal of discrediting -- in the eyes of 1/3 of Americans -- every single profession that deals in facts, from, science and journalism to the US military Officer Corps...then yes, this foe is vastly, vastly more dangerous than ISIS.

http://www.salon.com/2017/06/03/john-mccain-thinks-vladimir-putin-is-a-greater-threat-than-isis-hello-senator-the-world-is-calling/

Now Fox is shrilly calling the Clintons “Russian Stooges” for having done some paid speeches. Um, it ain’t the pay, guys, it’s the favors. Trump just ended US support for the moderate rebels against Putin’s pal Assad. “Adoptions” was and is code for wanting the Trumps to end US sanctions against Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the Donbass.

As for Hillary and Barack? They were Enemies Number One and Two to Putin. They gave Russian hedgemonism its worst setback since the fall of the USSR, when we supported the people of Ukraine chasing out their KGB-puppet president and turning to the west. Putin and the Moscow press DIRECTLY credit HC and Obama with that. Directly, and declared vengeance.

Tell us, oh, Fox. How do you explain away that? Oh, Don’t have to. Your viewers do not care about verifiable “facts.”___

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2017-07-20 23:40:33 (6 comments; 3 reshares; 30 +1s; )Open 

Pungent and on-target, as always, Robert Reich describes all the things that Donald Trump has done, promises to do or in in the process of doing for Vladimir Putin, and the things Putin has done in return. And while these do not prove a subornation by collusion or blackmail, Reich shows that’s the simplest explanation. After all, half of the pro-Putin actions don’t just help Moscow, they actively hurt us. Can you offer a simpler explanation? http://robertreich.org/post/161358902975

Alas, Reich leaves out half the list! Like waging war on every American expert profession (now including the intel community and the officer corps. Like rattling sabers at Iran so they’ll move closer to Russia. Like slashing our R&D efforts, burning our future seed corn. Like inciting civil war instead of negotiated politics.

Oh, and “adoptions.” The right’s code word for striving like madto give Put... more »

Pungent and on-target, as always, Robert Reich describes all the things that Donald Trump has done, promises to do or in in the process of doing for Vladimir Putin, and the things Putin has done in return. And while these do not prove a subornation by collusion or blackmail, Reich shows that’s the simplest explanation. After all, half of the pro-Putin actions don’t just help Moscow, they actively hurt us. Can you offer a simpler explanation? http://robertreich.org/post/161358902975

Alas, Reich leaves out half the list! Like waging war on every American expert profession (now including the intel community and the officer corps. Like rattling sabers at Iran so they’ll move closer to Russia. Like slashing our R&D efforts, burning our future seed corn. Like inciting civil war instead of negotiated politics.

Oh, and “adoptions.” The right’s code word for striving like mad to give Putin relief from sanctions including the Magnistky Act. Oh, and this week? The US backing out of supporting the moderate, anti-Assad rebels.
=====___

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2017-07-20 20:46:20 (24 comments; 12 reshares; 71 +1s; )Open 


The ability of our confederate neighbors to concoct excuses for the plantation lords seems to have no limits. Now that it’s openly admitted and proved that the Trump family, the Trump campaign manager and the GOP leadership all actively salivated over and sought Russian help, the new Fox line is “why didn’t Obama speak up?”
https://newrepublic.com/article/143853/republicans-know-russia-scandal-america-deserves-answer

Now we know why. Because Obama did try to negotiate with Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan on a joint statement deploring any foreign meddling, in compromise language that would be non-partisan. It was the president’s job to be cautious and judicious and not leap to yell (remember those days?) What was the response?

Mitch McConnell threatened Obama that if he even mentioned the “Russia Thing” in public, the GOP leadership would accuse Obama ofelection medd... more »


The ability of our confederate neighbors to concoct excuses for the plantation lords seems to have no limits. Now that it’s openly admitted and proved that the Trump family, the Trump campaign manager and the GOP leadership all actively salivated over and sought Russian help, the new Fox line is “why didn’t Obama speak up?”
https://newrepublic.com/article/143853/republicans-know-russia-scandal-america-deserves-answer

Now we know why. Because Obama did try to negotiate with Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan on a joint statement deploring any foreign meddling, in compromise language that would be non-partisan. It was the president’s job to be cautious and judicious and not leap to yell (remember those days?) What was the response?

Mitch McConnell threatened Obama that if he even mentioned the “Russia Thing” in public, the GOP leadership would accuse Obama of election meddling. No matter how much FBI and CIA evidence was presented to those two, the response was the same. In other words, outright, deliberate, partisan treason.

Oh, but more and more grows clear. I have wondered for some time where’s been the reporting on Donald Trump’s mob connections. What? You are shocked? Shocked that a casino owner and slumlord might have been involved in international money laundering?
https://newrepublic.com/article/143586/trumps-russian-laundromat-trump-tower-luxury-high-rises-dirty-money-international-crime-syndicate
___

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2017-07-20 18:09:42 (1 comments; 1 reshares; 12 +1s; )Open 

Another midweeker. About Sci Fi and Magic and great TV series! "What is magic? What was the most optimistic SF series? And other Questions!" And boy could we use some optimism!

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/07/what-is-magic-what-was-most-optimistic.html

Another midweeker. About Sci Fi and Magic and great TV series! "What is magic? What was the most optimistic SF series? And other Questions!" And boy could we use some optimism!

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/07/what-is-magic-what-was-most-optimistic.html___

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2017-07-19 21:13:49 (9 comments; 13 reshares; 55 +1s; )Open 

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is axing the State Department's Cyber Issues office. The office, established under Obama, is responsible for coordinating all global diplomatic engagement on cyber issues and liaising between companies, the department, and the White House.

In the midst of weaponized AI propaganda and increasing international cyberattacks on financial, health, water, and power infrastructure, that's a function the U.S. needs now more than ever. This will set us back years in our ability to negotiate with actors like China and Russia and defuse international cyberwar.

Yes, there are agencies charged with cyber defense in DoD and CIA and NSA etc, none of those are charged with actually negotiating a new international arrangements to reduce these threats. That's the State Department's job - to apply formal and diplomatic pressure on state sponsors of... more »

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is axing the State Department's Cyber Issues office. The office, established under Obama, is responsible for coordinating all global diplomatic engagement on cyber issues and liaising between companies, the department, and the White House.

In the midst of weaponized AI propaganda and increasing international cyberattacks on financial, health, water, and power infrastructure, that's a function the U.S. needs now more than ever. This will set us back years in our ability to negotiate with actors like China and Russia and defuse international cyberwar.

Yes, there are agencies charged with cyber defense in DoD and CIA and NSA etc, none of those are charged with actually negotiating a new international arrangements to reduce these threats. That's the State Department's job - to apply formal and diplomatic pressure on state sponsors of cyber misbehavior like North Korea, China, Russia... oh... never mind. Understood.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-19/tillerson-is-said-to-shut-cyber-office-in-state-s-reorganization___

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2017-07-19 04:06:39 (12 comments; 7 reshares; 63 +1s; )Open 

Space and science should not be "political" , except in the sense of calmly assigning budgets and priorities in a grownup and ambitious program of outreach. Certainly NASA's budget has been safer than almost any other science agency - perhaps because it lets Republicans claim: "Who, me? How can I be at war against science when I fund astronauts?" Of course let's put aside the cancelation of almost all climate or resource or environmental monitoring satellites, or the banning of use of the word EARTH from most NASA mission statements...

...because this goes much deeper. Tune in here and see the high quality of perspicacious individuals Paul Ryan appoints to science related committees, as Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. of the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Science, Space and Technology's Space Subcommittee asks a panel of planetary scientists to... more »

Space and science should not be "political" , except in the sense of calmly assigning budgets and priorities in a grownup and ambitious program of outreach. Certainly NASA's budget has been safer than almost any other science agency - perhaps because it lets Republicans claim: "Who, me? How can I be at war against science when I fund astronauts?" Of course let's put aside the cancelation of almost all climate or resource or environmental monitoring satellites, or the banning of use of the word EARTH from most NASA mission statements...

...because this goes much deeper. Tune in here and see the high quality of perspicacious individuals Paul Ryan appoints to science related committees, as Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. of the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Science, Space and Technology's Space Subcommittee asks a panel of planetary scientists to speculate about the possibility of a Martian civilization thousands (not billions) of years ago.

https://www.space.com/37534-mars-civilization-evidence-congress-nasa.html

Others will comment on this and joke about it. Or sob that this is the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Science. But let me draw your attention to a point most will miss... Rohrabacher's reference to the Moon, which is the destination beloved of Republicans, who want the U.S. to join Russia, China, Europe, India and billionaires in scurrying to repeat dusty footprints on a sterile, useless (for the immediate future) rock.

A coalition of nearly all space scientists, Silicon Valley investors and - yes, democrats - prefer to go prospecting asteroids, whose resources might make mining on our planet obsolete, pouring forth riches of mind boggling proportions. But then, that fact underlies the GOP eagerness to stop the asteroid platinum rush. Their ruling caste has sunk costs in Earthly resource extraction. There's nothing on the moon to render those investments worthless. So by all means, back to the dustball!___

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2017-07-18 22:17:09 (0 comments; 4 reshares; 18 +1s; )Open 

Midweek posting is about The masterful art of manipulation, and how American politics were deliberately warped by fellows like Dennis "friend to boys" Hastert and convicted felon Tom DeLay. Oh, be proud of defeating the clear majority via cheating.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-masterful-art-of-manipulation.html

Midweek posting is about The masterful art of manipulation, and how American politics were deliberately warped by fellows like Dennis "friend to boys" Hastert and convicted felon Tom DeLay. Oh, be proud of defeating the clear majority via cheating.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-masterful-art-of-manipulation.html___

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2017-07-18 19:21:53 (6 comments; 15 reshares; 71 +1s; )Open 

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert was released from prison in Minnesota. For 6 years this admitted child molester was head of the Republican Party and the GOP's standard bearer. He declared the "Hastert Rule" that threatened punishment against any Republican who, at any level or for any reason, ever negotiated - even over matters vital to the national interest - with any Democrat, helping Rupert Murdoch to turn the GOP into the most tightly disciplined partisan machine in US history.

Hastert's #2 Republican - Tom DeLay - who raised political cheating to a high art, also became a convicted felon.

Hastert's tenure, two heartbeats from the presidency, followed the previous top Republican - a 3x divorcé - and preceded the fellow who lied to us all about WMDs and plunged us into trillion dollar quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan. But fundamentalists will... more »

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert was released from prison in Minnesota. For 6 years this admitted child molester was head of the Republican Party and the GOP's standard bearer. He declared the "Hastert Rule" that threatened punishment against any Republican who, at any level or for any reason, ever negotiated - even over matters vital to the national interest - with any Democrat, helping Rupert Murdoch to turn the GOP into the most tightly disciplined partisan machine in US history.

Hastert's #2 Republican - Tom DeLay - who raised political cheating to a high art, also became a convicted felon.

Hastert's tenure, two heartbeats from the presidency, followed the previous top Republican - a 3x divorcé - and preceded the fellow who lied to us all about WMDs and plunged us into trillion dollar quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan. But fundamentalists will make any excuse for the stunning immorality of GOP leaders - including the present "grabber." They excuse these opposite-to-Jesus stinkers for one reason. Because they hate the same folks. Scientists. Teachers. Journalists. Law professionals. Anyone who deals in facts.

When you have a common enemy, all is forgiven. And yes. Judge a movement and its members by who they proclaim as their enemies. All the folks who look at God's creation - called objective reality - with God's greatest gift. Curiosity.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/federal-records-hastert-released-prison-minnesota-48698133___

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2017-07-17 20:36:17 (4 comments; 1 reshares; 10 +1s; )Open 

Anyone in the Baltimore/DC region or beyond who is a fan of SF and the future, have a look at the upcoming Escape Velocity event! Thrills and intellectual stimulation, along with helping to promote DC's coming Museum of Science Fiction....

https://escapevelocity.events

Anyone in the Baltimore/DC region or beyond who is a fan of SF and the future, have a look at the upcoming Escape Velocity event! Thrills and intellectual stimulation, along with helping to promote DC's coming Museum of Science Fiction....

https://escapevelocity.events___

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2017-07-17 17:58:16 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

Geez can anyone explain why I wasn't a consultant on this show? (though for sure, I'm looking forward to it.) Second question: why do so many previews give away almost the whole story? I hope this one will be as good as Person Of Interest was... only with the difference that its core message is one that we need. A confidence-building notion that we -- all of us together -- are potentially great.

http://www.cbs.com/shows/wisdom-of-the-crowd/video/CDStYZVwEjfD6mYHp2aBkCbRbr3e3foT/wisdom-of-the-crowd-first-look/

Geez can anyone explain why I wasn't a consultant on this show? (though for sure, I'm looking forward to it.) Second question: why do so many previews give away almost the whole story? I hope this one will be as good as Person Of Interest was... only with the difference that its core message is one that we need. A confidence-building notion that we -- all of us together -- are potentially great.

http://www.cbs.com/shows/wisdom-of-the-crowd/video/CDStYZVwEjfD6mYHp2aBkCbRbr3e3foT/wisdom-of-the-crowd-first-look/___

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2017-07-15 20:39:47 (1 comments; 4 reshares; 39 +1s; )Open 

More and more we're coming to realize that this is all about psychology. About personality. So, this weekend's posting links you to a dozen or so of the most perceptive peeks into the mind of Donald Trump and his coterie, family and party. The best is an essay by Rebecca Solnit that's actually... compassionate! And of course, I weigh in with crackpot perspectives of my own that (ahem) keep proving right. Alas.

Oh, and Vive la France! Tune in to find out why.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/07/forget-politics-this-is-all-about.html

More and more we're coming to realize that this is all about psychology. About personality. So, this weekend's posting links you to a dozen or so of the most perceptive peeks into the mind of Donald Trump and his coterie, family and party. The best is an essay by Rebecca Solnit that's actually... compassionate! And of course, I weigh in with crackpot perspectives of my own that (ahem) keep proving right. Alas.

Oh, and Vive la France! Tune in to find out why.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/07/forget-politics-this-is-all-about.html___

2017-07-15 04:38:45 (7 comments; 0 reshares; 46 +1s; )Open 

It looks like no Democrat has the guts to do it. So my "Designated Trump-flatterer" turns out to be - the President of France! Followed by the (also French) Prime Minister of Canada. Good for you old frogs! Now teach our own Resistance the art of Judo.


It looks like no Democrat has the guts to do it. So my "Designated Trump-flatterer" turns out to be - the President of France! Followed by the (also French) Prime Minister of Canada. Good for you old frogs! Now teach our own Resistance the art of Judo.
___

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2017-07-13 22:13:59 (7 comments; 5 reshares; 36 +1s; )Open 

Tiny, Lens-Free Camera Could Hide in Clothes, Glasses. Surprised? It's sometimes called "Brin's Corollary to Moore's Law... the cams get smaller, faster, cheaper, better, more numerous and mobile with every passing day. Light is spreading everywhere and you will not evade it... but you might USE it to stay free and safe, if citizens learn to look back at power. See The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?

https://www.livescience.com/59642-ultrathin-tiny-lens-free-camera.html


Tiny, Lens-Free Camera Could Hide in Clothes, Glasses. Surprised? It's sometimes called "Brin's Corollary to Moore's Law... the cams get smaller, faster, cheaper, better, more numerous and mobile with every passing day. Light is spreading everywhere and you will not evade it... but you might USE it to stay free and safe, if citizens learn to look back at power. See The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?

https://www.livescience.com/59642-ultrathin-tiny-lens-free-camera.html
___

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2017-07-12 22:49:48 (2 comments; 8 reshares; 39 +1s; )Open 

Revered colleague and friend Nancy Kress offers up wisdom here on whether science fiction does its part to encourage problem solving... or goes for cheap undermining of both science and confidence.


Revered colleague and friend Nancy Kress offers up wisdom here on whether science fiction does its part to encourage problem solving... or goes for cheap undermining of both science and confidence.
___

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2017-07-12 21:25:31 (3 comments; 6 reshares; 74 +1s; )Open 

Michael Ravine, one of the guys who made the Malin camera that takes the big pictures on Juno, just posted this image of Jupiter's Red Spot. You've seen it here, first. Wow. Eye of Sauron stuff!

https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/Vault/VaultOutput?VaultID=10394&t=1498672205

Michael Ravine, one of the guys who made the Malin camera that takes the big pictures on Juno, just posted this image of Jupiter's Red Spot. You've seen it here, first. Wow. Eye of Sauron stuff!

https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/Vault/VaultOutput?VaultID=10394&t=1498672205___

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2017-07-12 04:28:52 (6 comments; 0 reshares; 35 +1s; )Open 

Reminiscent of a scene in my 1989 novel EARTH, the National Wildlife Property Repository, near Denver, is crammed with stuffed monkeys and ivory carvings, snow leopard coats and dried seal penises, chairs with tails and lamps with hooves. The repository contains 1.3 million confiscated items. See a purse of alligator skin; a stool made of an African elephant foot with a zebra skin cushion; walrus tusks; a hat made of black bear skin; medicinal snake wine; an orangutan skull. A room filled with tigers and leopards. I don’t know if it existed in 1989… but read my ultimate suggestion for what to do with these things… in EARTH.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/10/science/national-wildlife-property-repository-colorado.html

Reminiscent of a scene in my 1989 novel EARTH, the National Wildlife Property Repository, near Denver, is crammed with stuffed monkeys and ivory carvings, snow leopard coats and dried seal penises, chairs with tails and lamps with hooves. The repository contains 1.3 million confiscated items. See a purse of alligator skin; a stool made of an African elephant foot with a zebra skin cushion; walrus tusks; a hat made of black bear skin; medicinal snake wine; an orangutan skull. A room filled with tigers and leopards. I don’t know if it existed in 1989… but read my ultimate suggestion for what to do with these things… in EARTH.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/10/science/national-wildlife-property-repository-colorado.html___

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2017-07-11 23:03:34 (1 comments; 2 reshares; 26 +1s; )Open 

Midweek posting is about science fiction! Starting with... Over the years, many folks have written to me about The Postman. Most of them grasp its core message — that any civilization-wide collapse would not be like the Mad Max genre cliché, featuring survivors who only hunker down in passive acceptance while a lone hero battles some grotesque villain and his mohawk-wearing thugs. But Postman was deliberately crafted to break that cliche. Come read about how both those fighting for civilization -- and some wanting to bring it down -- are now citing this novel!

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/07/surviving-apocalypse-postman-influences.html

Midweek posting is about science fiction! Starting with... Over the years, many folks have written to me about The Postman. Most of them grasp its core message — that any civilization-wide collapse would not be like the Mad Max genre cliché, featuring survivors who only hunker down in passive acceptance while a lone hero battles some grotesque villain and his mohawk-wearing thugs. But Postman was deliberately crafted to break that cliche. Come read about how both those fighting for civilization -- and some wanting to bring it down -- are now citing this novel!

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/07/surviving-apocalypse-postman-influences.html___

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2017-07-11 02:58:11 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 32 +1s; )Open 

The coming Starship Conference in Monterrey will feature both me and Miguel Alcubierre, known for a speculative warp drive by which a spacecraft could achieve faster-than-light travel.

Scan through the cool prizes for supporters of the Kickstarter campaign.



The coming Starship Conference in Monterrey will feature both me and Miguel Alcubierre, known for a speculative warp drive by which a spacecraft could achieve faster-than-light travel.

Scan through the cool prizes for supporters of the Kickstarter campaign.

___

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2017-07-10 21:47:43 (52 comments; 11 reshares; 82 +1s; )Open 

More than half of the Republicans surveyed for Monday's Pew poll say colleges and universities are hurting the country, a drastic shift from how the same group viewed such institutions two years ago. Alas, this article doesn't go to the heart of why. Every single fact-using profession is now warred upon by Fox and right-media... scientists, teachers, doctors, journalists, economists, civil servants... and now the FBI, Intel Officers and the U.S. Military Officer Corps.

The Orwellian hate fest toward fact-people became essential, as they are the ones standing in the way of a re-imposition of 6000 years of feudalism. And what do all fact-folks have in common? Nearly all were influenced by the fact-places called colleges and universities.

There's more to it, of course, and I explore the disease in more detail here: "Declining trust in our expert castes: what are... more »

More than half of the Republicans surveyed for Monday's Pew poll say colleges and universities are hurting the country, a drastic shift from how the same group viewed such institutions two years ago. Alas, this article doesn't go to the heart of why. Every single fact-using profession is now warred upon by Fox and right-media... scientists, teachers, doctors, journalists, economists, civil servants... and now the FBI, Intel Officers and the U.S. Military Officer Corps.

The Orwellian hate fest toward fact-people became essential, as they are the ones standing in the way of a re-imposition of 6000 years of feudalism. And what do all fact-folks have in common? Nearly all were influenced by the fact-places called colleges and universities.

There's more to it, of course, and I explore the disease in more detail here: "Declining trust in our expert castes: what are underlying causes?"

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/04/declining-trust-in-rising-fear-of-our.html___

2017-07-10 20:53:24 (0 comments; 7 reshares; 28 +1s; )Open 

Says Malin Space camera designer Mike Ravine: "In case you’d like to see what things are looking like on Juno in advance of this evening’s perijove pass, there’s a realtime rendering of the current spacecraft location at:

http://www.lizard-tail.com/isana/orb/misc/juno_spacecraft/

Closest approach is a 6:55 PDT this evening. Eleven minutes later, we’ll fly over the Great Red Spot. Hopefully, it won’t take too many days to be the images down…"

Says Malin Space camera designer Mike Ravine: "In case you’d like to see what things are looking like on Juno in advance of this evening’s perijove pass, there’s a realtime rendering of the current spacecraft location at:

http://www.lizard-tail.com/isana/orb/misc/juno_spacecraft/

Closest approach is a 6:55 PDT this evening. Eleven minutes later, we’ll fly over the Great Red Spot. Hopefully, it won’t take too many days to be the images down…"___

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2017-07-10 18:41:34 (11 comments; 9 reshares; 95 +1s; )Open 

Here is a very perceptive and articulate Australian view on Trump at the G20. It's actually the best summation of our situation that I've heard or read or seen, all in a compact, on-air report about POTUS effectively ceding leadership of the world to China and Russia. The background image - of the president of the United States, friendless, wandering the lunch table looking for any of the leaders willing to have him join them - would be heart-melting, if not so richly earned.

https://www.facebook.com/abcnews.au/videos/10156942348159988/?pnref=story

Here is a very perceptive and articulate Australian view on Trump at the G20. It's actually the best summation of our situation that I've heard or read or seen, all in a compact, on-air report about POTUS effectively ceding leadership of the world to China and Russia. The background image - of the president of the United States, friendless, wandering the lunch table looking for any of the leaders willing to have him join them - would be heart-melting, if not so richly earned.

https://www.facebook.com/abcnews.au/videos/10156942348159988/?pnref=story___

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2017-07-10 00:16:50 (4 comments; 7 reshares; 95 +1s; )Open 

High on the list of Republican nightmares is the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court might issue its long-overdue ruling against gerrymandering — a blatant cheat and crime against the people and constitution of the United States.  The court weaseled out, back in 2004, by throwing up its hands and proclaiming, “we don’t see a clean solution, so we won’t even try.” But there are signs that, in this new case, Justice Kennedy at least is reconsidering.

One difference, this time, is that mathematicians and statisticians have given the anti-gerrymandering forces a new, legal argument based not on maps but upon each voter’s proportionate likelihood of ever having a vote that matters.
 
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/do_the_math/2017/06/how_to_fix_gerrymandering_by_making_state_legislatures_bigger.html

A second difference is that the maps havegotten so much wo... more »

High on the list of Republican nightmares is the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court might issue its long-overdue ruling against gerrymandering — a blatant cheat and crime against the people and constitution of the United States.  The court weaseled out, back in 2004, by throwing up its hands and proclaiming, “we don’t see a clean solution, so we won’t even try.” But there are signs that, in this new case, Justice Kennedy at least is reconsidering.

One difference, this time, is that mathematicians and statisticians have given the anti-gerrymandering forces a new, legal argument based not on maps but upon each voter’s proportionate likelihood of ever having a vote that matters.
 
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/do_the_math/2017/06/how_to_fix_gerrymandering_by_making_state_legislatures_bigger.html

A second difference is that the maps have gotten so much worse and so spectacularly egregious that it should “shock the conscience” of even John Roberts and Samuel Alito. (To be clear, it is time for those two gentlemen to decide, at last, whether they are with the people and the great American Experiment, or rationalizing enablers of a feudal-oligarchic putsch.)

One potential solution, offered on Slate by Jordan Ellenberg, would certainly help: increase the number of state legislators in each state.  Doubling the number makes gerrymandering much, much harder. There are drawbacks, of course, since this adds expense to state government, though miserly New Hampshire does fine with a House of Representatives with 400 members, each one representing just more than 3,000 people.
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/do_the_math/2017/06/how_to_fix_gerrymandering_by_making_state_legislatures_bigger.html

“Enlarging state legislatures obviously wouldn’t do anything to solve the problem of gerrymandering U.S. congressional seats (though lots of people think the House of Representatives, too, should be a lot larger).”

Also: “In some states, Wisconsin among them, increasing the size of the legislature would require amending the state constitution.”

And none of this changes what I wrote several years ago, about gerrymandering, here:
http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/gerrymandering1.html

While democratic politicians are very very different from republican ones, the DP pols did buy into the criminal voter-rape of gerrymandering… till voters in many blue states rebelled! California, Oregon, Washington and others — blue voters slapped their preferred politicians across the face and said “stop it!” And the Goppers cheered, knowing with certainty that they’d gain advantages… but it didn’t happen! Democrats did BETTER after the cheat was removed!

But the sheeplike confederate masses in red states have never lifted their heads to rebel against this travesty. Nor will they. Read my article… then know that there are solutions. We must have them. Or the republic is doomed.

http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/gerrymandering1.html___

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2017-07-09 23:58:02 (22 comments; 13 reshares; 79 +1s; )Open 

US teen birth rate plummeted 53% since 2007, with a 9% drop in 2016 alone, as all of the vigorous Obama-era programs took full effect.

Outcomes. Ditch the polemic and compare actual, actual measurable outcomes.
see outcomes compared here --

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/06/so-do-outcomes-matter-more-than-rhetoric.html

US teen birth rate plummeted 53% since 2007, with a 9% drop in 2016 alone, as all of the vigorous Obama-era programs took full effect.

Outcomes. Ditch the polemic and compare actual, actual measurable outcomes.
see outcomes compared here --

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/06/so-do-outcomes-matter-more-than-rhetoric.html___

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2017-07-08 22:26:37 (1 comments; 2 reshares; 17 +1s; )Open 

XPrize has FB-posted a well-produced video of me explaining the concept of the self-preventing prophecy, and how we gird ourselves through science fiction to face tomorrow's perils.

https://www.facebook.com/XPRIZE/videos/808449792667555/

While we're at it, here are more Ted-style talks about our future!

(1) The “Neo” Project aims to create a vividly beautiful film, combining science and art with optimism. They feature my blather about peering into the future. Vivid imagery and remarkable sound editing.

http://anewbreedofhuman.com/announcement-trailer/

(2) Video of my talk on the future of A.I. to a packed house at IBM's World of Watson congress in Las Vegas, October 2016. A punchy tour of big perspectives on Intelligence, as well as both artificial and human augmentation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlwsJpwg3e0more »

XPrize has FB-posted a well-produced video of me explaining the concept of the self-preventing prophecy, and how we gird ourselves through science fiction to face tomorrow's perils.

https://www.facebook.com/XPRIZE/videos/808449792667555/

While we're at it, here are more Ted-style talks about our future!

(1) The “Neo” Project aims to create a vividly beautiful film, combining science and art with optimism. They feature my blather about peering into the future. Vivid imagery and remarkable sound editing.

http://anewbreedofhuman.com/announcement-trailer/

(2) Video of my talk on the future of A.I. to a packed house at IBM's World of Watson congress in Las Vegas, October 2016. A punchy tour of big perspectives on Intelligence, as well as both artificial and human augmentation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlwsJpwg3e0

(3) At the Smithsonian - "Will we diversify into many types of humanity?"

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/future-is-here/david-brin/?no-ist ___

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2017-07-08 20:28:12 (14 comments; 2 reshares; 30 +1s; )Open 

Should we care that "will" is being pushed as a noun by this White House? That happened during the previous GOP manic phase - 2001-2003 - when neocons (remember them?) proclaimed glorious justifications for war. That mania collapsed, but the following 13 year depressive phase is now over, as new, belligerent trumpetings arise, once more, from the bipolar elephant. And no one in politics or the media has put it together. Except in today's posting. Come dissect this potentially lethal disease...

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/07/triumph-of-trump-be-afraid-of-manic-will.html

Should we care that "will" is being pushed as a noun by this White House? That happened during the previous GOP manic phase - 2001-2003 - when neocons (remember them?) proclaimed glorious justifications for war. That mania collapsed, but the following 13 year depressive phase is now over, as new, belligerent trumpetings arise, once more, from the bipolar elephant. And no one in politics or the media has put it together. Except in today's posting. Come dissect this potentially lethal disease...

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/07/triumph-of-trump-be-afraid-of-manic-will.html___

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2017-07-08 17:08:05 (12 comments; 12 reshares; 46 +1s; )Open 

Stanford’s new, four-layer 3D-chip design replaces silicon with carbon nanotubes (sheets of 2-D graphene formed into nanocylinders). Top layer is sensors, then resistive random-access memory (RRAM) cells. Then two logic layers. Three-dimensional integration is the most promising approach to continue the technology-scaling path set forth by Moore’s law, allowing an increasing number of devices to be integrated per unit volume…

…though in fact, Moore’s law is collapsing in what I call the Big Flip, as the last 50 years of advancement in computational hardware slows down… but progress in software (which had been glacial) seems to have taken off spectacularly - especially in Learning Systems - in just the last couple of years.


Stanford’s new, four-layer 3D-chip design replaces silicon with carbon nanotubes (sheets of 2-D graphene formed into nanocylinders). Top layer is sensors, then resistive random-access memory (RRAM) cells. Then two logic layers. Three-dimensional integration is the most promising approach to continue the technology-scaling path set forth by Moore’s law, allowing an increasing number of devices to be integrated per unit volume…

…though in fact, Moore’s law is collapsing in what I call the Big Flip, as the last 50 years of advancement in computational hardware slows down… but progress in software (which had been glacial) seems to have taken off spectacularly - especially in Learning Systems - in just the last couple of years.
___

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2017-07-08 05:29:50 (23 comments; 11 reshares; 64 +1s; )Open 

Nine out of 10 Americans say in polls that global poverty has been staying the same or worsening. But that’s just one more way in which we’ve become a silly people, addicted to gloom instead of the confidence that let us overcome a depression, defeat Hitler, go to the moon and achieve a million other miracles. In fact, there has been a stunning decline in extreme poverty.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/01/opinion/sunday/good-news-despite-what-youve-heard.html?src=me

Every day, another 250,000 people graduate from extreme poverty, according to World Bank figures. About 300,000 get electricity for the first time. Some 285,000 get their first access to clean drinking water.

“When I was a boy, a majority of adults had always been illiterate, but now more than 85 percent can read. Family planning leads parents to have fewer babies and invest more in each. The number of globalwar d... more »

Nine out of 10 Americans say in polls that global poverty has been staying the same or worsening. But that’s just one more way in which we’ve become a silly people, addicted to gloom instead of the confidence that let us overcome a depression, defeat Hitler, go to the moon and achieve a million other miracles. In fact, there has been a stunning decline in extreme poverty.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/01/opinion/sunday/good-news-despite-what-youve-heard.html?src=me

Every day, another 250,000 people graduate from extreme poverty, according to World Bank figures. About 300,000 get electricity for the first time. Some 285,000 get their first access to clean drinking water.

“When I was a boy, a majority of adults had always been illiterate, but now more than 85 percent can read. Family planning leads parents to have fewer babies and invest more in each. The number of global war deaths is far below what it was in the 1950s through the 1990s, let alone the murderous 1930s and ’40s.” And that’s just the start of it. A rising global middle class is being uplifted by one force above all… American consumers buying every piece of crap made in factories around the world, as workers get paid (sometimes unfairly and in poor conditions) enough to keep their kids in school.

Read how leprosy… among many other diseases, is in steep decline.

Am I a pollyanna? It is precisely because the world has so many remaining problems that we must pay attention to the great progress that’s been made, so that we can have confidence in our problem-solving potential. Those on the crazy far-left and insane entire-right who get angry at can-do techies and optimists… they are the real enemies of humankind.

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2017-07-07 22:42:53 (5 comments; 18 reshares; 31 +1s; )Open 

Again, a terrific article about “weaponized propaganda” can be found at the Scout site. We need to solve this thing, before it kills us.

https://scout.ai/story/the-rise-of-the-weaponized-ai-propaganda-machine


Again, a terrific article about “weaponized propaganda” can be found at the Scout site. We need to solve this thing, before it kills us.

https://scout.ai/story/the-rise-of-the-weaponized-ai-propaganda-machine
___

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2017-07-07 21:10:38 (11 comments; 3 reshares; 38 +1s; )Open 

I’ve been asked to comment on the rise of “open science,” a fascinating topic. There is an irony:

1. The one monotonic trend of the 20th Century was the professionalization of everything. This gave us spectacular benefits of both scale and specialization, but it could not be maintained because it is essentially zero-sum. A skilled person must be one thing or else another.

2. Cracks began to appear in the late 20th as hobbies, pastimes, avocations began to burgeon in positive-sum ways. ("I can be several things.") Today, amid a burgeoning Age of Amateurs, we see rigidity of professional castes crumbling. There are more blacksmiths, sword-makers and hand looms today than at any point in 100 years... and ever-more amateur scientists, participating in well-organized mixed projects with professionals.

3. There is a dark side, in that scurrilous forces in societyare n... more »

I’ve been asked to comment on the rise of “open science,” a fascinating topic. There is an irony:

1. The one monotonic trend of the 20th Century was the professionalization of everything. This gave us spectacular benefits of both scale and specialization, but it could not be maintained because it is essentially zero-sum. A skilled person must be one thing or else another.

2. Cracks began to appear in the late 20th as hobbies, pastimes, avocations began to burgeon in positive-sum ways. ("I can be several things.") Today, amid a burgeoning Age of Amateurs, we see rigidity of professional castes crumbling. There are more blacksmiths, sword-makers and hand looms today than at any point in 100 years... and ever-more amateur scientists, participating in well-organized mixed projects with professionals.

3. There is a dark side, in that scurrilous forces in society are now waging propaganda war against all skilled, fact-using castes.The "war on science" is only the tip of the iceberg, as expertise itself is slurred.

So here's the irony. We need the reduction in guild categorization that was threatening to hamper progress. The Age of Amateurs and opening of fileds like science, to input from bright and earnest outsiders, will benefit civilization. This is a point that I raise in my book: "The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?"

On the other hand, the 20th Century's professionalization of expertise was what brought us to this party. Waves of amateurs can augment skilled elites usefully, and challenge them beneficially! But it is pure suicide to denigrate every clade of people who know their fields and have spent their lives developing stunning levels of skill. Scientists, teachers, journalists, doctors, civil servants, law professionals... they can be mistake, from time to time, and they always merit watching...

... but it is the critic who bears the burden of proof, when he says: : I read a couple of articles and I know more about this than folks who have spent their life understanding the field."

See more of my missives about the Age of Amateurs here:
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2012/09/crowd-sourcing-citizen-science-new.html

http://research.dynamicpatterns.com/2010/08/02/david-brin-talks-about-the-future-of-the-amateur-scientist/

and especially:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw9_Q9FzljI
___

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2017-07-06 23:46:09 (57 comments; 17 reshares; 105 +1s; )Open 

The nerve. He attacks and undermines American science - the key source of all of our successes, attacks the west coast tech industries, source of most of our exports, assails higher education - our one zone of unambiguous superiority - and screams at our civil servants, intelligence community and US military Officer corps, dashes our alliances, sneers at democracies and cozies up to every single dictator who's not a Castro....

..and he dares to say things like he's defending the West? He is the champion of the confederacy and destroyer of the West.

No... he's Saruman's assistant. Sauron is Rupert Murdoch.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/06/world/europe/donald-trump-poland-speech.html

The nerve. He attacks and undermines American science - the key source of all of our successes, attacks the west coast tech industries, source of most of our exports, assails higher education - our one zone of unambiguous superiority - and screams at our civil servants, intelligence community and US military Officer corps, dashes our alliances, sneers at democracies and cozies up to every single dictator who's not a Castro....

..and he dares to say things like he's defending the West? He is the champion of the confederacy and destroyer of the West.

No... he's Saruman's assistant. Sauron is Rupert Murdoch.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/06/world/europe/donald-trump-poland-speech.html___

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2017-07-06 22:18:17 (0 comments; 6 reshares; 32 +1s; )Open 

Midweek posting is a bit of a rant that explores how deeply inimical the alt-right agenda might be. And it may be much worse than you thought.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/07/is-there-goal-in-all-of-this-argument.html

Midweek posting is a bit of a rant that explores how deeply inimical the alt-right agenda might be. And it may be much worse than you thought.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/07/is-there-goal-in-all-of-this-argument.html___

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2017-07-06 18:05:23 (19 comments; 4 reshares; 47 +1s; )Open 

Democratic Party leaders seeking to retake the House of Representatives are aggressively recruiting war veterans to run for Congress. Many of the military veterans running for Congress as Democrats have cited Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump as a motivating reason. This article lists ten such recruits to watch…

…and I’m glad my advice about needed a “year of colonels” is being followed in a few places…but nowhere near enough. There should be a thousand such recruits, taking on almost every red state GOP-held state assembly district.
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/06/2018-will-fact-users-strike-back-why-we.html

“If you look at the type of fear-mongering and scaremongering that Republicans do quite often when it comes to national security, quite unfairly, there is a strong patriotism that comes with being a veteran that makes those kinds of attacks fall flat andeven backfire... more »

Democratic Party leaders seeking to retake the House of Representatives are aggressively recruiting war veterans to run for Congress. Many of the military veterans running for Congress as Democrats have cited Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump as a motivating reason. This article lists ten such recruits to watch…

…and I’m glad my advice about needed a “year of colonels” is being followed in a few places…but nowhere near enough. There should be a thousand such recruits, taking on almost every red state GOP-held state assembly district.
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/06/2018-will-fact-users-strike-back-why-we.html

“If you look at the type of fear-mongering and scaremongering that Republicans do quite often when it comes to national security, quite unfairly, there is a strong patriotism that comes with being a veteran that makes those kinds of attacks fall flat and even backfire,” said John Lapp, who was the executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee the last time Democrats’ retook control of congress.

See my 3 parter delineating a dozen reasons the dems should recruit not a few, but a thousand retired officers who are deeply dismayed and disgusted by the New Right’s obsessive hatred of all fact-users. http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/06/2018-will-fact-users-strike-back-why-we.html___

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2017-07-06 01:34:15 (12 comments; 6 reshares; 51 +1s; )Open 

Following up on my post about George Lakoff's "strong father" diagnosis of confederatism... and my own re: hatred of all "fact-people..." let me add that confederates will still admit the primacy of facts in one circumstance... a bet. A wager. And hence, you must corner them carefully, with money on the table!

Try to grasp the fox tactic. When we trot forth a myriad facts members of the alt-right cult deflect them with irrelevant anecdotes and alt-right assertions. So I’ve got something better. Defying the fools to NAME AN EXCEPTION!

If I make a specific accusation, then the burden of proof is on me. But when I challenge you to disprove a General accusation, well, it should be easy for you to do, by finding one exception. And hence, your failure to do so proves me right! No, for the following, the burden of proof is on conservative to show how these sixg... more »

Following up on my post about George Lakoff's "strong father" diagnosis of confederatism... and my own re: hatred of all "fact-people..." let me add that confederates will still admit the primacy of facts in one circumstance... a bet. A wager. And hence, you must corner them carefully, with money on the table!

Try to grasp the fox tactic. When we trot forth a myriad facts members of the alt-right cult deflect them with irrelevant anecdotes and alt-right assertions. So I’ve got something better. Defying the fools to NAME AN EXCEPTION!

If I make a specific accusation, then the burden of proof is on me. But when I challenge you to disprove a General accusation, well, it should be easy for you to do, by finding one exception. And hence, your failure to do so proves me right! No, for the following, the burden of proof is on conservative to show how these six general accusations have any exceptions, any at all. And if you fail, then they are true.

And if they are true, then your movement is not a political party, it is a dangerously insane and incompetent cult.

1-   Can you name for me one profession of high knowledge and skill that’s not under attack by Fox/Trump &cohorts?  Teachers, medical doctors, journalists, civil servants, law professionals, economists, skilled labor, professors… oh, yes and science. Thirty years ago, 40% of US scientists called themselves Republican, now it is 4% and plummeting. They are voting with their feet, the smartest, wisest, most logical and by far the most competitive humans our species ever produced. 
http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-mistrust-of-science?linkId=25842187

And now? The US military and intelligence officer corps! Yes, this is not your daddy's conservatism. When your screeches of hate are directed at every fact-profession... and every fact-checking service is automatically "politically biased" because they keep finding your side "pants on fire" crazy... it has started to occur to us that we do not need to play sumo with you - pushing our web pages against yours.

You are simply crazy. Period. (Oh by the way, how come your cult never offers to negotiate a fact checking service that's non-partisan? Because you know what will happen. It will turn against the confederate cult, because facts hate you.)

Back to those NAME AN EXCEPTION lists:

2- NAME ONE major metric of US national health that did better across the spans of either Bush administration than across the spans of the Clinton and Obama admins.  You cannot. Nearly all such metrics declined - many plummeting - across Bush regimes. Nearly all rose, many of them by a lot, across both DP terms. The record of almost perfect mal-governance would make any sane or scientific-minded person flee the GOP screaming and never trust them again.

Clinton & Obama scored better in every category, including rate of change of deficits and military readiness and every sane conservative desires. Quibbling-wriggling-squirming will not change that.  And Clinton-Obama were sabotaged 3/4 of the time by the laziest and nastiest (GOP run) Congresses in US history.

3- Name one GOP leader between Reagan and Ryan who was even mentioned at the 2016 Republican Convention. Except for Newt, all were brushed under the rug, including both Bushes, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Dennis (friend to boys) Hastert, Tom (convicted felon) DeLay, Boehner. In fact, name a republican between EISENHOWER and Ryan who was even mentioned by the party at the RNC, other than Reagan and Newt! This shows how writhing ashamed Republicans are, of their record at governance. How desperate they are, to double down on the insanity with new heroes, shouting "squirrel!" and pointing offstage at ever-greater hallucinations, rather than face the fact that their side has gone insane.

4- Name one of the dark fantasies about Obama, from black UN helicopters and taking away all our guns, that happened or was even tepidly tried.

5- Name one time when Supply Side (Voodoo) "Economics" made a successful prediction? One? Ever? One time when slashing taxes on the rich led to reduced deficits and to vastly stimulated economic activity, or even much investment in "supply" capital? Once. One time when this cult religion actually delivered?

6- Name one other time in American — or human — history, when an administration spanning 8 years had zero scandals or indictments concerning malfeasance in the performance of official duties. It has happened twice in American — or human — history. The administrations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Name another!

You can’t. Hence you will squawl, shout squirrel!” and point offstage at some assertion or distraction, concocting scenarios and excuses to explain why you cannot answer any of these… or dozens of other… challenges. Watch how he does that, guys! Or slinks away.___

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2017-07-05 22:56:23 (12 comments; 13 reshares; 47 +1s; )Open 

George Lakoff goes into the “Strong Father” explanation for confederatism — the version of American conservatism that has utterly replaced and expunged all others, from libertarian to entrepreneurial to scientific. Lakoff - who predicted that Hillary Clinton’s campaign would fail - explains how deep, inner assumption sets compel Red Americans toward thought patterns that are fundamentally different than their Blue America neighbors.

You must read and understand Lakoff’s explanation! Though there is more, that he leaves out. For example take the one reflex that all Americans share — Suspicion of Authority (SoA) — which is pushed in every Hollywood message myth we imbibed, when young. In some films, the dire authority figure is a government agency, or else a corporation, or an aristocrat… or aliens or a badgering mother-in-law. If we were calm and reasonable, we’d admit thatoppression could ... more »

George Lakoff goes into the “Strong Father” explanation for confederatism — the version of American conservatism that has utterly replaced and expunged all others, from libertarian to entrepreneurial to scientific. Lakoff - who predicted that Hillary Clinton’s campaign would fail - explains how deep, inner assumption sets compel Red Americans toward thought patterns that are fundamentally different than their Blue America neighbors.

You must read and understand Lakoff’s explanation! Though there is more, that he leaves out. For example take the one reflex that all Americans share — Suspicion of Authority (SoA) — which is pushed in every Hollywood message myth we imbibed, when young. In some films, the dire authority figure is a government agency, or else a corporation, or an aristocrat… or aliens or a badgering mother-in-law. If we were calm and reasonable, we’d admit that oppression could come from any and all directions…

…and that very reasonableness — willingness to negotiate and see other points of view — has been the real target of right wing propaganda. Fox and its shock-radio pals have utilized, exploited and twisted SoA, so that confederates (a more accurate term than “Red Americans” or “conservatives) aim outrage and ire at every single fact-using profession, from science and journalism to civil servants and… now… the FBI, Intelligence Agencies and the United States Military Officer Corps.

Why? Why would the number1 aim of Fox etc be to get 40% of voters to hate smart people, who know stuff?

By itself, Lakoff’s diagnosis cannot explain all this, since these expert castes could easily be viewed as “strong parents” — authoritative and easily classified as superior. When injured, a confederate will run to a medical doctor. When abused by some local injustice, he will call an attorney or the nearby newspaper. The propaganda that has whipped these folks into hating all smartypants types had to be pervasive and relentless, across a whole generation…

… and the ground had to be very well prepared, in order to start attacking the last, exempt groups. But that time has come. Military officers and intel agencies and the FBI are now all part of a “deep state” conspiracy, along with every civil servant. Yes, in other words, all of the expert castes who might question or resist full takeover by an oligarchic putsch. A return to feudalism that was always the confederate goal, in every past phase of the American Civil War.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/09/phases-of-american-civil-war.html
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2017-07-05 17:05:06 (15 comments; 7 reshares; 135 +1s; )Open 


There may be 10,000 hypervelocity blue stars that escaped from the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) when their binary companions exploded. That velocity, added to the speed of the LMC itself, could account for their blazing sprints, and why we spot them along a general line leading from the LMC to the constellations of Leo and Sextans. Since blue stars only have shot lives, this means there may be up to a million of their remnants — neutron stars or black holes — speeding along the same general path.


There may be 10,000 hypervelocity blue stars that escaped from the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) when their binary companions exploded. That velocity, added to the speed of the LMC itself, could account for their blazing sprints, and why we spot them along a general line leading from the LMC to the constellations of Leo and Sextans. Since blue stars only have shot lives, this means there may be up to a million of their remnants — neutron stars or black holes — speeding along the same general path.___

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