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Andreas Schou has been at 1 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Nicholas Kristof1,310,140The issue of the moment is Syria, so I'm delighted to host a Google+ hangout in which we'll be able to pose questions to Secretary of State John Kerry about Syria policy. I'll be joined by +Lara Setrakian, a journalist whom I've long admired who specializes in Syria. Andrew Beiter, a social studies  teacher and a regional education coordinator for the Holocaust Memorial Museum, will also be in the Hangout. Most of all, we'll be joined by all of you--so jump into the conversation on this page and leave us your questions. In particular, with this Hangout we want to involve teachers and students, so spread the word in the schools, please, and student questions are particularly welcome!This kind of online interview is something of an experiment, and we're still figuring out how to make it work best. So we also welcome your suggestions and guidance before and criticisms after. Syria: Weighing the U.S. Response2013-09-10 20:00:007015G+

Andreas Schou has been shared in 71 public circles

You can see here the 50 latest shared circles.
If this is your profile, you can check your dashboard to see all shared circles you have been included.

AuthorFollowersDateUsers in CircleCommentsReshares+1Links
Becky Collins13,434Mobile Operator Circle:Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-07-24 05:16:124763112CC G+
Moan Lisa31,837Moan Lisa's All Kinds of People Shared Circle06 June, 2014RESHARE if you want to be includedmoanlisa.org2014-06-06 14:31:022928476102CC G+
Becky Collins10,282Mobile Circle :Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia   #media   #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-05-28 05:03:174777219CC G+
Irina Sadokhina19,423Hello my dear friends!!!This is my weekly #mondaycircle   . This #circle    is very important for me because there are people who were with me last time, commented my funny pics, and just made me happy. Also, there are people who RE-shared my last #mondaycircle  . Thank you so much for this!!! And I would like to ask you Re-share this awesome circle  on your stream, please. If you wanna be included in my next #mondaycircle   . Apr. 21st, just:1) plus2)re-share!!!Thank you. You all have a wonderful week.Make sure you share the original version! #circle   #circles   #circlecirclecircle   #circlescirclescircles   #circleshare   #hyperball   #plusmastermind   #crazycircles   #circleoftheweek  2014-04-14 16:53:094558154121CC G+
Irina Sadokhina18,499Hello my dear friends!!!This is my weekly #mondaycircle  . This #circle is very important for me because there are people who were with me last time, commented my funny pics, and just made me happy. Also, there are people who RE-shared my last #mondaycircle  . Thank you so much for this!!! And I would like to ask you Re-share this awesome circle  on your stream, please. If you wanna be included in my next #mondaycircle   . Apr. 14th, just:1) plus2)re-share!!!Thank you. You all have a wonderful week.Make sure you share the original version! #circle   #circleshare   #circlescirclescircles   #circlecircle   #circlecirclecircle   #circles   #hyperball   #plusmastermind   #crazycircles  2014-04-08 12:47:424927148105CC G+
Irina Sadokhina17,311Hello my dear friends!!!This is my weekly #mondaycircle  . This #circle   is very important for me because there are people who were with me last time, commented my funny pics, and just made me happy. Also, there are people who RE-shared my last #mondaycircle  . Thank you so much for this!!! And I would like to ask you Re-share this awesome circle  on your stream, please. If you wanna be included in my next #mondaycircle . Apr. 7th, just:1) plus2)re-share!!!Thank you. You all have a wonderful week.Make sure you share the original version! #circle   #circlecirclecircle   #circles   #circlescirclescircles   #circleshared   #crazycircles   #hyperball   #plusmastermind   #circleoftheweek  2014-03-31 18:07:204536757107CC G+
Irina Sadokhina16,720Hello my dear friends!!! This is my weekly #mondaycircle  . This #circle   is very important for me because there are people who were with me last time, commented my funny pics, and just made me happy. Also, there are people who RE-shared my last mondaycircle . Thank you so much for this!!! And I would like to ask you Re-share this awesome circle    on your stream, please. If you wanna be included in my next  #mondaycircle   , March 31st. just:1) plus2)re-share!!!Thank you. You all have a wonderful week.Make sure you share the original version! #circle   #circles   #circlecirclecircle   #circlecirclecircle   #circlescirclescircles   #hyperball   #crazycircles   #plusmastermind   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circleoftheweek   #circleoftheday  2014-03-24 18:59:534707753122CC G+
Irina Sadokhina15,346Hello my dear friends!!!HELLO! This is my weekly  #mondaycircle . This  #circle   is very important for me because there are people who were with me last time, commented my funny pics, and just made me happy. Also, there are people who RE-shared my last  #mondaycircle . Thank you so much for this!!! And I would like to ask you Re-share this awesome  #circle   on your stream, please. If you wanna be included in my next  #mondaycircle   , March 17th just:1) plus2)re-share!!!Thank you. You all have a wonderful week.Make sure you share the original version! #circle   #circles   #circlecircle   #circlescirclescircles   #hyperball   #rustyball   #crazycircles   #plusmastermind  2014-03-11 16:53:09467695296CC G+
Константин Вишневский44,825Circle of the Most Active Users of Google+A Very Social CircleКруг наиболее активных пользователей Google+Если вы поделились этим кругом вчера, вы находитесь в нем сегодня. Если вы разделяете его с друзьями сегодня, вы будете в нем и завтра.If you shared this circle yesterday, you are in it today. If you share today, you'll be in tomorrow2014-02-12 15:12:36462483276CC G+
Mikhail Petrovsky64,592Good morning / evening to all.This is a Social Circle of interesting people with an active lifestyle in Google+Это социальный круг общения интересных людей с активной жизненной позицией в Google+You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!#EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2014-02-07 07:45:58497543384CC G+
Mikhail Petrovsky76,199Good morning / evening to all.This is a Social Circle of interesting people with an active lifestyle in Google+Это социальный круг общения интересных людей с активной жизненной позицией в Google+You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!#EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2014-01-15 08:21:34499531881CC G+
Mikhail Petrovsky61,999Good morning / evening to all.This is a Social Circle of interesting people with an active lifestyle in Google+Это социальный круг общения интересных людей с активной жизненной позицией в Google+You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!#EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2014-01-14 04:50:25498451578CC G+
Artur Mashnich43,991A Very Social CircleCircle of the Most Active Users of Google+Круг наиболее активных пользователей Google+Если вы поделились этим кругом вчера, вы находитесь в нем сегодня. Если вы разделяете его с друзьями сегодня, вы будете в нем и завтра.If you shared this circle yesterday, you are in it today. If you share today, you'll be in tomorrow.#Forfriends  2014-01-11 14:37:57478411671CC G+
Mikhail Petrovsky61,336Good morning / evening to all. You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!Это социальный круг / This social circle #EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2014-01-09 04:51:54498392268CC G+
Mikhail Petrovsky59,714This is a Social Circle of interesting people with an active lifestyle in Google+Это социальный круг общения интересных людей с активной жизненной позицией в Google+You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!#EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2013-12-29 11:29:4447830959CC G+
Mikhail Petrovsky73,777This is a Social Circle of interesting people with an active lifestyle in Google+Это социальный круг общения интересных людей с активной жизненной позицией в Google+You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!#EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2013-12-29 11:02:20500341261CC G+
Константин Вишневский39,554Circle of people, with active life position in Google+Simple To be added PLUS the post Share the post and Add the circle. Once you have done this let me know in the commentsКруг людей с активной жизненной позицией в Гугле+Просто быть добавлены PLUS сообщению Share пост и добавить круг. После того как вы сделали это, дайте мне знать в комментарияхIf you agree that this is a great circle, please re-share!2013-12-29 06:03:17464422473CC G+
Vladimir Samsonov23,289Good morning/evening to all. You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!Это социальный круг This is a Social Circle#ForFriends #photo #EarthMyMother2013-12-05 12:35:51501533079CC G+
Константин Вишневский35,785Circle of people, with active life position in Google+Simple To be added PLUS the post Share the post and Add the circle. Once you have done this let me know in the commentsКруг людей с активной жизненной позицией в Гугле+Просто быть добавлены PLUS сообщению Share пост и добавить круг. После того как вы сделали это, дайте мне знать в комментарияхIf you agree that this is a great circle, please re-share!#ForFriends #photo #EarthMyMother2013-11-24 15:07:31464422170CC G+
Jan Havrda20,092Deep Thinkers.2013-11-15 00:06:31141216CC G+
Matteo Pelucchi3,024Circle of #topengagers  1. Plus this post. (Original post)2. Comment on this post.3. Reshare this circle publically to your stream.4. Don’t be a blue head.Have a wonderful Wednesday increasing your #popularityTnks to +Alessandro Folghera and +Rusty Ferguson  #tuesdaysharedcircle   #topsharedcircle   #circleoftheday   #sharedcircle #trustinme  #circlesharing   #circleshare        #circles        #circleoftheday   #sharedpubliccircles     #sharedcircles    #share  #vipsnowballcircle #sharedcircleoftheday        #sharewithyou        #circlefriday   #circlethursday  #followme     #followers #followback#circle #googleplus    #coolpeople  #circleshare #sharedcircles     #sharedcircle  #sharedcircles       #sharedpubliccircles    #circleshare    2013-09-11 07:31:19397441745CC G+
Alessandro Folghera12,080Another special #sharedcircle  to be added among your circlesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircles), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest)      (ex: fashion, photography, seo, social media marketing)3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)If you come accross Google error messages, incorporating my circles, please provide me the error, I'm classifying these errors. Have a wonderful weekend and a better popularityKeep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104   #saturdaysharedcircle   #topsharedcircle   #circleoftheday   #sharedcircle #trustinme  #circlesharing   #circleshare        #circles        #circleoftheday   #sharedpubliccircles     #sharedcircles    #share  #vipsnowballcircle #sharedcircleoftheday        #sharewithyou         #followme     #followers #followback #circle #googleplus    #coolpeople  #circleshare #sharedcircles #afo #myseoissocial     #sharedcircle  #sharedcircles       #sharedpubliccircles    2013-09-07 15:52:43397351953CC G+
Richard Green25,294Engagers Showcase Circle, September 5 2013If you received a notification, it means that you are included in my Engagers Showcase Circle. “Showcase” means that you are invited to leave a comment (on the original post) with a link to one of your own posts, which ideally should be one of your best recent posts.This circle consists of people who have engaged with one of my recent posts in the form of +1s, comments and reshares. Because I ran out of room, some of the engagers on very recent posts will be included next time.As always, reshares are appreciated, and I look forward to seeing everyone's links. Thanks for reading my posts!2013-09-06 01:37:50501254125248CC G+
Brian Wolfe22,328I haven't shared a circle in a long time. Maybe too long.Anyways.. Here is the circle that my browser spends the most time on.   Just in case I become a petulant child and walk away (not that I'm planning on doing so , just in case.)2013-08-22 05:36:251941335CC G+
Daniel Mihai Popescu4,968A circle based on +Richard Green's last creation! Add it to yours, share it! They all have some wonderful spark in them!If you're notified, you're in! Sorry to disturb you with the notification! If you want out, just say so :)2013-06-19 09:59:4539032733CC G+
Steven Krohn1,616The Popular Choice Circle________________________Richard Green originally shared:Here's version 2 of my Popular Choice circle. The members of this circle were nominated for inclusion here (http://goo.gl/vY07d). Anecdotal evidence suggests that this circle is a pretty good one to add: after the last share, somebody that I follow made the comment:I have to admit I have never had so many people add me back so shortly after adding a shared circle.As guest members of the circle this time, I'm including everyone who has created a circle with me in it in the last four weeks, including +Chris Cota, +Steven Krohn, +Marlo Angelo Tito, +Leo Walsh, +Cesare Riccardo, +Michael Bennett, +1212Scenery, +Daniel Mihai Popescu, +Gai Xinh, +Mithu Hassan, +Daniel Stock, +Marino Puletti, +Christy Sandhoff, +Johnathan Yesson, +Roleta Anedotas, +Linda Dee, +Mariusz Zapart, +César Bustíos Benites, +Andrea Orselli, +Katherine Vucicevic, +Networx, +Rome Heels, +Thumb up your Followers ►, +AyJay Schibig, +Zbynek Kysela, +Ewart Corrigan, +Hamilton Carter, +Don Dobbie, +Brian Buckley, +Wajahat Khan, +Crazy Circles, +Laurent Jean Philippe, +Maria Leoni and +Wolfgang Wodeck.  I'd especially like to thank +Scott Buehler, +Ludovic Moreeuw and +Science on Google+: A Public Database for including me in some particularly exciting circles: the Hyperball, the VIIP Circle and the Smokin' Science Circle, respectively.And now the surprise feature: I invite everyone to leave a comment on (the original post of) this circle share containing a link to one of your own posts. Ideally, this should be something that you posted recently and that you are particularly pleased with. (Don't post spam though; I will delete it.)2013-06-18 14:06:1838425937CC G+
Daniel Mihai Popescu4,802I have added version 2 of +Richard Green's  Popular Choice, re-freshed with my nucleus of Invincible circle and brushed of inactive accounts :)If you are notified, you're in, of course :)Thank you for sharing!2013-06-17 10:29:4338924937CC G+
Richard Green16,268Here's version 2 of my Popular Choice circle. The members of this circle were nominated for inclusion here (http://goo.gl/vY07d). Anecdotal evidence suggests that this circle is a pretty good one to add: after the last share, somebody that I follow made the comment:I have to admit I have never had so many people add me back so shortly after adding a shared circle.As guest members of the circle this time, I'm including everyone who has created a circle with me in it in the last four weeks, including +Chris Cota, +Steven Krohn, +Marlo Angelo Tito, +Leo Walsh, +Cesare Riccardo, +Michael Bennett, +1212Scenery, +Daniel Mihai Popescu, +Gai Xinh, +Mithu Hassan, +Daniel Stock, +Marino Puletti, +Christy Sandhoff, +Johnathan Yesson, +Roleta Anedotas, +Linda Dee, +Mariusz Zapart, +2013-06-17 04:33:32384693082CC G+
Christy Sandhoff10,119Richard Green originally shared:Remember the Much Better than the Average Circle circles I used to share?  Well, this circle is much better even than those.  The people in this circle were recommended for inclusion in response to my call for nominations, and there are some really interesting profiles in here.  If you've never added a circle before, this one would make a good Starter Circle.I'd especially like to thank +Dirk Talamasca, +Ed Ross, +Korinne M Jackman, +Nina MJ and +Tim Utzig, each of whom suggested a large number of profiles for the circle.  I think I added everyone who was tagged in the nomination post; sorry if I missed anyone.And here's the circle.2013-06-04 04:14:1033821830CC G+
Richard Green15,407Remember the Much Better than the Average Circle circles I used to share?  Well, this circle is much better even than those.  The people in this circle were recommended for inclusion in response to my call for nominations, and there are some really interesting profiles in here.  If you've never added a circle before, this one would make a good Starter Circle.I'd especially like to thank +Dirk Talamasca, +Ed Ross, +Korinne M Jackman, +Nina MJ and +Tim Utzig, each of whom suggested a large number of profiles for the circle.  I think I added everyone who was tagged in the nomination post; sorry if I missed anyone.And here's the circle.2013-06-02 14:20:43338532176CC G+
AyJay Schibig16,440ECLECTIC CIRCLEFeel free to add  and re-share. this  Eclectic Circle of  G Plussers! Circles I am curating:21ST CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHERS (1&2), ALL KINDS, DISCOVERY, FULL CIRCLE,SOCIAL, ECLECTIC,ENGAGERS, AWESOME, NEW HORIZONS and BOOST#circleoftheday   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlesharingforthepeopleplc   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles  #sharedpublicircles   #circle   #circles   #circlemeup  #awesomepeople   #awesomecircle   #circleme   #sharedpoint   #sharewithyou     #ShareYourCircle2013-04-13 06:43:023024213CC G+
AyJay Schibig15,217ECLECTIC CIRCLEFeel free to add  and re-share. this  Eclectic Circle of  G Plussers! Circles I am curating:21ST CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHERS (1&2), ALL KINDS, DISCOVERY, FULL CIRCLE,SOCIAL, ECLECTIC,ENGAGERS, AWESOME, NEW HORIZONS and BOOST#circleoftheday   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlesharingforthepeopleplc   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles  #sharedpublicircles   #circle   #circles   #circlemeup  #awesomepeople   #awesomecircle   #circleme   #sharedpoint   #sharewithyou     #ShareYourCircle2013-03-02 11:23:44245206CC G+
Mohammad Rahimi2,027I would like to share this circle of people i follow their posts.2013-02-25 05:38:581061928CC G+
Ian Herndon8,223Shared Circle Time! - G+ Community Moderators (4 of x)Re-Share to help moderators easily connect with one another!Now that Google has launched Communities there has been a ton of activity by people to create communities relating to their interests, join ones created by others, and meet other creators in an effort to learn more and more new ways to build and contribute to G+ Communities. +Community Moderators is an example of a page/community dedicated specifically to having a single place where all moderators can join in discussion around just that.I have been hard at work creating Circles that consist of Community Moderators and Owners only. My hope is to be able to help others expand their network of friends to also include like minded people dabbling in the Community space too. In the near future I intend to eventually group these moderator circles into smaller more targeted ones tailored to specific interests. So with that said, here's our circles!G+ Community Moderators & Owners Circle (1 of x) - 12/31/2012https://plus.google.com/u/0/110099838681495349209/posts/ETe6deLAMq2G+ Community Moderators & Owners Circle (2 of x) - 12/31/2012https://plus.google.com/u/0/110099838681495349209/posts/7i2DXeQpknnG+ Community Moderators & Owners Circle (3 of x) - 12/31/2012https://plus.google.com/u/0/110099838681495349209/posts/j1rsi9YGGVgG+ Community Moderators & Owners Circle (4 of x) - 1/12/2013https://plus.google.com/u/0/110099838681495349209/posts/VFUjZcifXPQ#Community   #Moderators   #Owners   #Communities   #Circle   #SharedCircles   #CircleShare2013-01-12 15:28:345005210CC G+
AyJay Schibig13,588ECLECTIC CIRCLEFeel free to add  and re-share. this  Eclectic Circle of  G Plussers! #circleoftheday   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlesharingforthepeopleplc   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles  #sharedpublicircles   #circle   #circles   #circlemeup  #awesomepeople   #awesomecircle   #circleme   #sharedpoint   #sharewithyou 2013-01-10 07:15:50257003CC G+
Nils Tschampel2,828The Cream of the Crop of December 2012What's this?On +CircleCount everyday some very interesting persons are choosen and recommended. These are persons without hundreds of thousands of followers but with a lot of interesting content. You won't find silent people here leading the rankings, but interesting people that are worth to be followed.You can find the Cream of the Crop daily here:http://www.circlecount.com/daily/Past Cream of the Crop circles:November 2012: http://goo.gl/LSQjcOctober 2012: http://goo.gl/ohdceSeptember 2012: http://goo.gl/ie3VNAugust 2012: http://goo.gl/5vUUPJuly 2012: http://goo.gl/oAemEJune 2012: http://goo.gl/YZt1yMay 2012: http://goo.gl/4Tq43April 2012: http://goo.gl/NvbKjMarch 2012: http://goo.gl/3auLoFebruary 2012: http://goo.gl/TWYpKJanuary 2012: http://goo.gl/HBdHbDecember 2011: http://goo.gl/RBCpgNovember 2011: http://goo.gl/x6TJkOctober 2011: http://goo.gl/2xVn92013-01-08 19:52:4728412410CC G+
AyJay Schibig12,717ECLECTIC CIRCLEFeel free to add  and re-share. this  Eclectic Circle of  G Plussers! #circleoftheday   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlesharingforthepeopleplc   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles  #sharedpublicircles   #circle   #circles   #circlemeup  #awesomepeople   #awesomecircle   #circleme   #sharedpoint   #sharewithyou 2012-12-21 06:26:433277010CC G+
AyJay Schibig12,080ECLECTIC CIRCLEFeel free to add  and re-share. this  Eclectic Circle of  G Plussers! #circleoftheday   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlesharingforthepeopleplc   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharedcircleday   #publiccirclesproject   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles  #sharedpublicircles   #circle   #circles   #circlemeup  #awesomepeople   #awesomecircle   #circleme   #sharedpoint   #sharewithyou 2012-12-12 04:23:1442210216CC G+
Zbynek Kysela1,918BEST SHARED CIRCLE - Share, share, share!===================================HOW TO BE PART OF IT: 1) Add this circle to your circles -> Add circle2) Share added circle with option "include yourself in shared circle". Done. You're welcome :) ZbynekMy entire social presence:*****************************http://xeeme.com/bouchac*****************************2012-12-07 20:33:1441920625CC G+
Kurt Smith14,400Thought Provokers Circle Share - Who's Made You Think Lately?Who's Made You Think Lately? Are they in this circle? For me, +Dede Craig King had me really going last Monday, +Lacerant Plainer always gets me thinking, and just a few days ago it was +Randy Hilarski.Here's latest round of the Thought Provokers Circle. This is an #awesomesauce  circle of great plussers who will make you think (we're all trying anyway). The cool thing about this circle is that you had to be recommended by someone else to get in.Add & Reshare so others can discover these awesome people to follow. Current members please update your circle. If you'd like to join in, please suggest 3-5 people and tell why they make you think. #circleshare   #circles   #circlesharing   #circleoftheday   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #sharepubliccircle   #publiccircle   #publicsharedcircles  2012-12-04 15:53:26287703062CC G+
Brunner Nathan0Some people that comment and follow back.Don't forget to give a share and a plus one.#circleshare #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #sharedpubliccircles #circlesharing #publiccircle #circles2012-11-29 18:03:5327515317CC G+
Mj Bedford0Shared Circle Saturday My #peace   #circle  Thank you allI circle people who circle meand I refresh this circle Peace2012-11-11 04:03:07258426CC G+
Kurt Smith6,542Thought Provokers Circle Share -- Plussers Who 'Make You Go Hmm...'Next round of the Thought Provokers Circle. An amazing circle of great plussers who will make you think, well maybe. Here's some of the people and wisdom inside:"And a few of us that make you go "HUH???" from +Bearman Cartoons. " Ummmm.... I suddenly feel like I'm back in grade school again and the entire class is giving me the look... You're going to get your arse kicked at recess!!!! said +Frank Garufi Jr.. Check out and discover some new people - I've met +Dede Craig King, +Susanne Ramharter, +MommyLovesTech.Add & Reshare so others can discover these awesome people to follow. Current members please update your circle. If you'd like to join in, please suggest 3-5 people and why they make you think.#circles   #circle   #circleshare   #circleoftheday   #circlesharing   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles  +Full Circle +Circles +CIRCLES on Google+ 2012-10-31 14:11:37275933482CC G+
Kurt Smith4,603Thought Provokers Circle -- Plussers Who 'Make You Go Hmm...'Round 2 of the Thought Provokers Circle. An amazing circle of great plussers who will make you think! New additions include +Thomas Power, +Bobbi Jo Woods and dozens of others.Add & Reshare so others can discover these awesome people to follow. If you'd like to join in, please suggest 3-5 people and why they make you think.#circles   #circle   #circleshare   #circleoftheday   #circlesharing   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #publiccircles   #publicsharedcircles   +Full Circle +Circles +CIRCLES on Google+ 2012-10-17 13:52:172561193675CC G+
Tim Moore23,874My Go To Circle when I'm using +Google+ from my mobile --- which is a lot!IF you use +Google+ from your mobile device and want GREAT CONTENT, then this is a money circle for you.  All the guys and gals in here are fantastic and post very shareable items.Created for the circle when you want to reliably find and share great content quickly from your mobile!>>> Help your friends who may be new here to +Google+ - share this circle with them.  They will love you forever......... or at least until payday. :) #greatcontent   #sharing  +Shared Circles on G+ +Public Circles +CircleCount +Nothing but Circles  #sharedcircles   #circlesharing   #circleoftheday  +Shared a circle with you +Full Circle  #mobile  2012-10-02 19:10:48484723561CC G+
Kurt Smith3,250Plussers Who 'Make You Go Hmm...' Circle ShareHere's round 1 of the Thought Provokers Circle. Last week I asked who people follow because their posts make you think. The post (  http://bit.ly/WdN9HG) snowballed and here's the result - an amazing circle of great plussers who wil make you think!Add them and check them out, and discover some really cool new people to follow on G+. Please reshare with your followers to expand the thinking.If you'd like to join in, suggest 3-5 people and why they make you think. #circles   #circle   #circleshare   #circleoftheday   #circlesharing  #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday   #publiccircles  #publicsharedcircles  +Full Circle +CIRCLES on Google+  +Circles 2012-10-02 13:37:49218505056CC G+
Alister Macintyre9,520Here is my circle of people who like to (and have demonstrated capability of) having a civilized conversation about Current Events from a Progressive point of view.2012-09-11 06:05:57252533CC G+
Ronald Gainey0+r brett mothershead checked in on Google+ the other day, only to complain that all he saw was something about Britney Spears' uncle. I told him he needed to broaden his horizons and said I could share some circles. I'm actually too lazy and distracted to curate a distinct, public circle of my own, so I'm borrowing this old circle I took from +Andreas Schou. Two slight tweaks to this circle 1) I added Andreas himself to the circle, because I don't think you show up in your own circles, and 2) I was in the original version of this circle, but I think I was dropped for the same reason.  (#2 may well be a reason to discount the judgment of the original curator.)2012-08-25 14:59:2318301CC G+
Circle Plus3,318Circle update: CP-4+Circle Plus#addcircle #sharedcircles #googleplus #googlepluscircles #circleplus #sharecircle #googleplusmembers #plusmembers #page #circles   #circlesharing   #circleshare   #publiccircles  #publicsharedcircles  #sharingcircle  #BestSharedCircle2012-07-28 11:21:35475000CC G+
Andreas Schou3,113It's been a while since I shared this circle. But this is the circle I have turned up to full-blast. In any case, if you're just joining us: my feed is generally more esoteric than the circle which probably sent you here. While I'm interested in politics, I normally don't have a lot to say about the horse race. Most of what you'll get here will be policy, plus economics, law, history, neuroscience, medicine, and large block quotes from late 18th-century documents. I'm also read by a lot of people who disagree with me. I'd describe my general political outlook as 'pragmatic left-libertarian.' But if you encounter someone you disagree with, or disagree with me, then (a) don't feed the trolls, and (b) practice bad-faith good-faith. Pretend you're responding to the most reasonable interpretation of the post you just read. I'll do the same for you, and will expect everyone else in the crowd to do the same.In any case, hi. Who are you and what brought you here?2012-07-17 15:58:5559501CC G+

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2014-08-07 16:16:46 (80 comments, 11 reshares, 67 +1s)

So, it's not often that you'll get SEO tips directly from Google -- but here's one that I'm proud to be associated with: HTTPS is now being used as a ranking signal. 

Most reshares: 188

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2014-08-05 19:10:03 (67 comments, 188 reshares, 187 +1s)

18% of people are following a food trend. Within that 18%, there are two groups: a group of people who have a psychosomatic illness, and smaller group who are sick, but empirically not adversely affected by gluten.

Before this study, there was a single study containing evidence that gluten restriction might help some people with persistent bowel disorders.

After this study, there is no longer any scientific evidence that gluten -- the actual protein -- adversely affects people who do not have celiac disease. The studies demonstrating otherwise come from both ends: both gluten trials against people who think they are gluten-sensitive, and gluten-free trials against people who have bowel disorders of no specific etiology. When the amount of gluten they ingest changes, former group don't deteriorate, and the latter group don't improve.

Of the people whose lives appeart... more »

Most plusones: 187

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2014-08-05 19:10:03 (67 comments, 188 reshares, 187 +1s)

18% of people are following a food trend. Within that 18%, there are two groups: a group of people who have a psychosomatic illness, and smaller group who are sick, but empirically not adversely affected by gluten.

Before this study, there was a single study containing evidence that gluten restriction might help some people with persistent bowel disorders.

After this study, there is no longer any scientific evidence that gluten -- the actual protein -- adversely affects people who do not have celiac disease. The studies demonstrating otherwise come from both ends: both gluten trials against people who think they are gluten-sensitive, and gluten-free trials against people who have bowel disorders of no specific etiology. When the amount of gluten they ingest changes, former group don't deteriorate, and the latter group don't improve.

Of the people whose lives appeart... more »

Latest 50 posts

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2014-08-22 21:14:30 (14 comments, 26 reshares, 36 +1s)

Just go ahead and read this in its entirety.

Just go ahead and read this in its entirety.___

2014-08-22 01:17:27 (63 comments, 0 reshares, 11 +1s)

"If your morality is based, as mine is, on a desire to increase the sum of happiness and reduce suffering, the decision to deliberately give birth to a Down's baby, when you have the choice to abort it early in the pregnancy, might actually be immoral from the point of view of the child's own welfare."

Well, no. Unless the child would live a life of negative utility, of ceaseless and futile suffering, then you can't improve the child's welfare by aborting it. Just the least net good in someone's life, from a welfare perspective, makes killing them wrong.

But Dawkins believes more than that. He believes in increasing the sum of happiness. The easiest way to do that is to make more people. Lots more. At an urban density on par with, say, Paris, we could fit the global population into a few US states. Naturally, this means that the global population could be... more »

"If your morality is based, as mine is, on a desire to increase the sum of happiness and reduce suffering, the decision to deliberately give birth to a Down's baby, when you have the choice to abort it early in the pregnancy, might actually be immoral from the point of view of the child's own welfare."

Well, no. Unless the child would live a life of negative utility, of ceaseless and futile suffering, then you can't improve the child's welfare by aborting it. Just the least net good in someone's life, from a welfare perspective, makes killing them wrong.

But Dawkins believes more than that. He believes in increasing the sum of happiness. The easiest way to do that is to make more people. Lots more. At an urban density on par with, say, Paris, we could fit the global population into a few US states. Naturally, this means that the global population could be a lot higher with people being perfectly happy. I'm sure we could significantly degrade living standards vis-a-vis the OECD and still come out ahead of the happiness sum for a world filled with OECDers.

This is, you know, a well-known issue in utility theory, the Repugnant Conclusion, advanced by Derek Parfit. We'd be aborting Down syndrome children on our 100 billionth person. Maybe. We might actually be able to pack a trillion or two in with standards as low as utility theories will generally allow, technology permitting. Infinite numbers if we can, say, go faster than light for some value of "go faster".

It's good that Parfit is now in play because Dawkins has a further rule: suffering minimization. The problem with suffering minimization is that, globally, the greatest reduction of suffering is achieved by hurtling the Earth into the Sun. Suffering will end rather quickly and not arise around here again, most likely. No people, no suffering.* So we'll need something a bit less absurd but that means crafting a "person-affecting" theory. That is, no suffering is minimized unless it minimizes someone's suffering.

This makes it difficult to kill people to reduce their suffering because we must account the "suffering" of removing all their positive experiences as well. Those no longer occur and this is, essentially, a suffering.** So, really, you only have the first principle but recognizing negative utility.

Overall, then, Dawkins has the moral chops of... a particularly unfortunate 14 year old? I think most 14 year olds are more consistent Benthamites, I remember being perfectly aware of this sort of thing then.

*If the universe has need of a deity to make paper clips of all matter, my schedule is open.

**A fancier objection might point out that killing a person makes them a non-person and so the suffering reduced can't attach to them. They don't exist at the time the suffering is reduced, so killing them is not a person-affecting way to reduce suffering. But that's too fancy for me today, so I can't be sure,___

2014-08-21 19:05:49 (37 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)

It's lunch, and I have found myself without anything interesting to say. What's something you know that other people don't, and which other people might find useful or interesting?

It's lunch, and I have found myself without anything interesting to say. What's something you know that other people don't, and which other people might find useful or interesting?___

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2014-08-20 20:04:30 (5 comments, 3 reshares, 22 +1s)

FACT: +Dan Morrill is a tiny, tiny man.

FACT: +Dan Morrill is a tiny, tiny man.___

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2014-08-20 19:55:58 (5 comments, 3 reshares, 19 +1s)

No, the Perry indictment is still a steaming crock. To see why, let's take a look at the two laws he was indicted under:

First off, Abuse of Official Capacity. This is basically a statute criminalizing bribery and embezzling from the government. That doesn't initially seem on-point, but let's go down through the law and indictment and see how it's applied.

If you're the governor of Texas, you can violate that law two ways: by (a) violating a law pertaining to your office, or (b) misusing any thing of value belonging to the government, but in the custody of the official in question. How do you "misuse" that property? You have to use it in a way which is contrary to a law, contract, or agreement, or the limited purpose for which the property was delivered.

Okay, this isn't a bribery case. So what is Perry accused of here?... more »

No, the Perry indictment is still a steaming crock. To see why, let's take a look at the two laws he was indicted under:

First off, Abuse of Official Capacity. This is basically a statute criminalizing bribery and embezzling from the government. That doesn't initially seem on-point, but let's go down through the law and indictment and see how it's applied.

If you're the governor of Texas, you can violate that law two ways: by (a) violating a law pertaining to your office, or (b) misusing any thing of value belonging to the government, but in the custody of the official in question. How do you "misuse" that property? You have to use it in a way which is contrary to a law, contract, or agreement, or the limited purpose for which the property was delivered.

Okay, this isn't a bribery case. So what is Perry accused of here?

Not of violating a law pertaining to his office -- he's accused of misusing property. As you might expect, vetoing a law is an act expressly permitted by the State of Texas, and even if threatening a veto isn't, it would be a Class A misdemeanor, not a felony. So what "thing of value" did he misuse to rack up a felony charge? The budget of the State of Texas. 

In order to conclude that Perry is guilty, you must first conclude that (a) the budget of the State of Texas is in the custody of its governor, and (b) that it is lawful to veto, but unlawful to threaten a veto or attach conditions to that veto. You would also have to conclude that discretionary actions with respect to the budget fall into the scope of the statute. This runs the risk of making all sorts of routine government processes -- like, for instance, cutting funding to a rogue official -- a serious felony.

How about coercion of a public official? Uh, no. I'll just quote:

(c) It is an exception to the application of Subsection (a)(1) of this section that the person who influences or attempts to influence the public servant is a member of the governing body of a governmental entity, and that the action that influences or attempts to influence the public servant is an official action taken by the member of the governing body.  For the purposes of this subsection, the term "official action" includes deliberations by the governing body of a governmental entity.

In order to convict under this section, you'd have to conclude that threatening an official action is not, itself, an official action. This reasoning is not exclusive to vetos: threatening to fire a staffer unless he completes a particular, legal task also be an illegal act. Does that seem like a likely thing that a legislature would want to make illegal? 

No, not to me, either. ___

2014-08-20 16:06:08 (12 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)

The comments are amazing. No sarcasm; commenters to a conservative website are overwhelmingly against the behavior of Ferguson Police and the general tenor of law enforcement in the US. Look at:

In the exact same way that many conservatives are justifiably suspicious of Barack Obama's IRS and Eric Holder's Department of Justice, many black people are suspicious of predominantly white local police departments.

Isn't it possible that the government skepticism held by both groups - conservatives and blacks - is equally merited and that both groups are actually wise to presume the worst first because far too often, the worst is what is actually the reality?

Possibly, "GABuckeye" isn't a conservative. But I see too many people with stories straight out of Reason for this thread to be swarming with liberals. Defending Nordlinger are a very few active... more »

The comments are amazing. No sarcasm; commenters to a conservative website are overwhelmingly against the behavior of Ferguson Police and the general tenor of law enforcement in the US. Look at:

In the exact same way that many conservatives are justifiably suspicious of Barack Obama's IRS and Eric Holder's Department of Justice, many black people are suspicious of predominantly white local police departments.

Isn't it possible that the government skepticism held by both groups - conservatives and blacks - is equally merited and that both groups are actually wise to presume the worst first because far too often, the worst is what is actually the reality?

Possibly, "GABuckeye" isn't a conservative. But I see too many people with stories straight out of Reason for this thread to be swarming with liberals. Defending Nordlinger are a very few active people, really just two who are involved the most.

We're having a moment.___

2014-08-19 23:54:53 (11 comments, 6 reshares, 28 +1s)

Relevant now that the book itself is out. I'll probably buy it. 

If you're interested in Wikileaks, read this in its entirety; if you're less interested, only read the second half -- it's fascinating how Assange combines deep insights into how states operate with sometimes-shocking naivete. 

A few points which stood out:

(1) Assange contrasts "political" cultures, which in his telling are mostly soft-authoritarian, with "fiscalized" cultures, which in his telling are mostly 'democratic.' Following Chomsky, he seems to believe that the latter operate on a sort of self-generating consensus, and self-censor.

His hope for the future seems to lie with authoritarian states like, because (a) there are technical solutions to censorship, but not to self-generating consensus, and (b) 'political' states have the wherewithal to prevent the development of a self-generating consensus. This explains (or is explained by) Assange's continuing willingness to operate within or alongside states which conduct ongoing, widespread media suppression: he believes he can render Ecuador's or Russia's media immune to suppression, but does not believe that he can change the consensus in Australia or the United States.

At some scale, this is correct.

Political consensus in democratic states tends to fall somewhere within the orbit of elite opinion; in authoritarian and soft-authoritarian states, that relation is not as simple. But he has drawn a strong causal inference where only a weak one exists: elites in democratic states are often those best-positioned to take advantage of whichever political consensus develops, not those strongly responsible for the creation of that political consensus.

(2) Assange is a theorist-of-conspiracies, not a conspiracy theorist.

He seems to believe that for every act permitted or enacted by a state, there is a corresponding intention or document. Thus, by collecting the documentary effluvia of an entire state, he can trace its intentions back to those responsible, or deduce submerged intentions which the media will not publish.

But this isn't precisely correct. Often, however, states develop implicit policies due to feedback loops.

For instance: there were an unacceptable number of civilian casualties in Iraq, which led to an inability to punish soldiers without compromising other objectives, which led to officers ratifying civilian-hostile policies. In Assange's account, intention to kill civilians could be ascribed from the beginning. In reality, the policies which ratified civilian-hostile policies were only ascribed intention during the final phase, when those responsible had to claim intentionality or be accused of negligence. 

The hydra has no heads -- only necks. Assange thinks that by revealing the inner mechanics of the state, he will find the elites who will need to be removed in order to establish a true 'political' democracy. But often the state acts we find most objectionable are generated not by any particular people, but by people fractionally disclaiming responsibility for horrifying outcomes until that responsibility disappears entirely.

And how does transparency cure that?___Relevant now that the book itself is out. I'll probably buy it. 

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2014-08-19 20:18:02 (23 comments, 6 reshares, 37 +1s)

This is a profoundly disturbing editorial. It's an op-ed written by a police officer in the Washington Post, and its message is very simple: 

"If you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?"

I wish I could tell you that this article betrayed a sense of the absurd, or that it was meant in some kind of satirical fashion. It isn't. His argument is simple: you have no idea what's going on for that cop or what the cop isgoing through. The cop... more »

This is a profoundly disturbing editorial. It's an op-ed written by a police officer in the Washington Post, and its message is very simple: 

"If you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?"

I wish I could tell you that this article betrayed a sense of the absurd, or that it was meant in some kind of satirical fashion. It isn't. His argument is simple: you have no idea what's going on for that cop or what the cop is going through. The cop has the right to use whatever force is needed. So if you don't want to get shot, do everything the cop says, never argue, never object. Later, he says, you can "ask for a supervisor, lodge a complaint or contact civil rights organizations if you believe your rights were violated."

To list a few of the exceptionally obvious things which this ignores:

(1) All of the arguments that you don't know what a cop is going through, that this "routine traffic stop" is actually very dangerous for them, and so on, apply just as well to the person being stopped. In fact, especially if you don't look white and upper-class enough, that routine stop is even more dangerous for you than for the cop: the cop doesn't know if you're armed and willing to become violent, but (by Dutta's own admission) you do know that the cop is. Saying that people being stopped need to be respectful and do what the cop says, but that the cop isn't under any such obligation to anyone else, is an invitation for violence.

(2) These post facto remedies which he suggests are incredibly limited in their value. Go ahead and lodge a complaint; it will promptly be filed in the appropriate place. Under the POBOR (Peace Officers' Bill of Rights, a California law) and similar laws elsewhere, you get all sorts of guarantees here: for example, that if a decision is made in regards to your complaint, you will be notified of that decision within 30 days. It does not guarantee, for example, that a decision will actually be made, and in fact it guarantees that if a decision isn't made within a year, the officer will face no consequences from it. The police have a tremendous degree of immunity, and outside of very exceptional situations, are investigated only by an internal system.

(You can read the text of the POBOR here: https://www.cslea.com/legal/pobor . Other states have similar laws, but you should check your own state's laws for the details)

(3) If a police officer does something wrong during a stop, it can have serious consequences for you, which will not be redressed no matter what. As far as the police are concerned, an arrest isn't a "consequence," since the courts can easily throw it out; but go ahead and explain that to your employer when you're telling them why you didn't come to work. Being threatened and harassed every time you walk out the door in your neighborhood isn't a "consequence," because if the cop didn't have a good reason, they wouldn't have done anything.

Knowing that you might be publicly bullied and humiliated, in front of your children, your spouse, or your employer, that you may be searched, beaten, or arrested at any time -- and that such things happen routinely to you and everyone around you -- is something acceptable, in the view of this editorial, because you have the right to file a grievance later with the same organization which has decided that this behavior is, at a baseline, OK.


My purpose here isn't to say that people should be rude or threatening to cops. I'm saying that the obligation of police and citizens is a reciprocal obligation. It is absolutely true that the work of police is dangerous and complicated, and they require certain allowances in order to be able to do their jobs; however, if you translate that to "they must be granted unlimited authority over the citizenry, and must never be challenged, except after the fact and in very limited ways," then the police have been set up to become villains, not heroes. 

Dutta's attitude is profoundly corrupted: he has taken the real and reasonable fears of police about doing their jobs, and expanded it into a notion of the police as being a class above the public, with tremendous powers of force and coercion, and subject to not even contradiction. If you heard this sort of statement from soldiers, you would think you were living in a military junta; if you hear this from police officers, you wonder if they think we are living in a junta.

h/t +Xenophrenia for the link.___

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2014-08-19 18:57:02 (16 comments, 9 reshares, 36 +1s)

Hilariously, a lot of people have decided that this is a conspiracy. An alternative hypothesis, from someone with no actual knowledge of the underlying Translate architecture:

Translate trains on a corpus of documents matched with their translations. From the common words in the "translations" (things like "Iraq" and "business"), it looks like it's learning off of newswire stories. Sources of newswire stories will often put up a "stub" headline with Lorem Ipsum text underneath, and later insert the article text itself. As a result, the model learns weak pairings between Lorem Ipsum text and actual English-language articles. 

And so when you put in randomized Lorem Ipsum text, you get stuff like this:

Tomorrow spectrum for free or concrete sidewalk. Housing and control structure. Prior to that user base and revenue policies. To... more »

Hilariously, a lot of people have decided that this is a conspiracy. An alternative hypothesis, from someone with no actual knowledge of the underlying Translate architecture:

Translate trains on a corpus of documents matched with their translations. From the common words in the "translations" (things like "Iraq" and "business"), it looks like it's learning off of newswire stories. Sources of newswire stories will often put up a "stub" headline with Lorem Ipsum text underneath, and later insert the article text itself. As a result, the model learns weak pairings between Lorem Ipsum text and actual English-language articles. 

And so when you put in randomized Lorem Ipsum text, you get stuff like this:

Tomorrow spectrum for free or concrete sidewalk. Housing and control structure. Prior to that user base and revenue policies. To change the sheets of paper. Just remember, but that takes practice, football on the fringe of the mass. Rainbow is a lot faster now. Over time, the pain is worth it. Unfortunately, there is no picnic. The advantage of a soft economy, and it's just crazy easy life. It's like it was a lake, it is always a lot of life but, manufacturing a wide range of timing. Unfortunately, a lot goes on forever. Need emergency, so that across the country the members of the platform. Marketers do not amazing transformation, but the airline industry. Mid-employee, a lion ice cream importantly, more hatred played by fear, is not susceptible of the mass and it was worth it.

Which is basically a cut-up of Cicero, press releases, and stuff with geopolitical significance -- exactly what you'd expect if the algo were trained this way, but absolute flypaper for conspiracy theorists.___

2014-08-19 16:56:57 (34 comments, 4 reshares, 31 +1s)

Germanistiktrivialkonzeptsäquivalenzverlangen: The desire for a German word for a concept which is trivial to explain in English.

Via +Jasvir Nagra, but ultimately from +Florian Rohrweck.

Germanistiktrivialkonzeptsäquivalenzverlangen: The desire for a German word for a concept which is trivial to explain in English.

Via +Jasvir Nagra, but ultimately from +Florian Rohrweck.___

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2014-08-19 16:27:02 (42 comments, 17 reshares, 56 +1s)

"One common therapeutic strategy [to deal with people who feel as though they are a burden] is to talk about how much the patient’s parents/friends/girlfriend/pet hamster love them, how heartbroken they would be if they killed themselves. In the absence of better alternatives, I have used this strategy. I have used it very grudgingly, and I’ve always felt dirty afterwards. It always feels like the worst sort of emotional blackmail. Not helping them want to live, just making them feel really guilty about dying. “Sure, you’re a burden if you live, but if you kill yourself, that would make you an even bigger burden!” A++ best psychiatrist.

There is something else I’ve never said, because it’s too deeply tied in with my own politics, and not something I would expect anybody else to understand.

And that is: humans don’t owe society anything. We were here first.
If my patient... more »

"One common therapeutic strategy [to deal with people who feel as though they are a burden] is to talk about how much the patient’s parents/friends/girlfriend/pet hamster love them, how heartbroken they would be if they killed themselves. In the absence of better alternatives, I have used this strategy. I have used it very grudgingly, and I’ve always felt dirty afterwards. It always feels like the worst sort of emotional blackmail. Not helping them want to live, just making them feel really guilty about dying. “Sure, you’re a burden if you live, but if you kill yourself, that would make you an even bigger burden!” A++ best psychiatrist.

There is something else I’ve never said, because it’s too deeply tied in with my own politics, and not something I would expect anybody else to understand.

And that is: humans don’t owe society anything. We were here first.

If my patient, the one with the brain damage, were back in the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness, in a nice tribe with Dunbar’s number of people, there would be no problem.

Maybe his cognitive problems would make him a slightly less proficient hunter than someone else, but whatever, he could always gather.

Maybe his emotional control problems would give him a little bit of a handicap in tribal politics, but he wouldn’t get arrested for making a scene, he wouldn’t get fired for not sucking up to his boss enough, he wouldn’t be forced to live in a tiny apartment with people he didn’t necessarily like who were constantly getting on his nerves. He might get in a fight and end up with a spear through his gut, but in that case his problems would be over anyway.

Otherwise he could just hang out and live in a cave and gather roots and berries and maybe hunt buffalo and participate in the appropriate tribal bonding rituals like everyone else.

But society came and paved over the place where all the roots and berry plants grew and killed the buffalo and dynamited the caves and declared the tribal bonding rituals Problematic. This increased productivity by about a zillion times, so most people ended up better off. The only ones who didn’t were the ones who for some reason couldn’t participate in it. [...]

Society got where it is by systematically destroying everything that could have supported him and replacing it with things that required skills he didn’t have. Of course it owes him when he suddenly can’t support himself. Think of it as the ultimate use of eminent domain; a power beyond your control has seized everything in the world, it had some good economic reasons for doing so, but it at least owes you compensation! [...]

As the waterline rises, the skills necessary to support yourself comfortably become higher and higher. Right now most people in the US who can’t get college degrees – which are really hard to get! – are just barely hanging on, and that is absolutely a new development. Soon enough even some of the college-educated won’t be very useful to the system. And so on, until everyone is a burden."___

2014-08-17 17:48:49 (45 comments, 2 reshares, 19 +1s)

The reason I do not generally deal with conservatives is that I cannot stand their use of language. There's this weird cant in which various words are used, essentially, as curses. But there's also this tendency to speak like a degenerate Akkadian, with epithets following or preceding literally everything. It's almost enough for me to conclude that, in the conservative mind, language has magical properties and you may anger spirits if not blessed or attract demons if not cursed.

It drives me nuts.

The reason I do not generally deal with conservatives is that I cannot stand their use of language. There's this weird cant in which various words are used, essentially, as curses. But there's also this tendency to speak like a degenerate Akkadian, with epithets following or preceding literally everything. It's almost enough for me to conclude that, in the conservative mind, language has magical properties and you may anger spirits if not blessed or attract demons if not cursed.

It drives me nuts.___

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2014-08-17 04:42:54 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 26 +1s)

Capsule Review, De Young Museum: Silent Hill's airport has a surprisingly good modernism exhibit. 

Capsule Review, De Young Museum: Silent Hill's airport has a surprisingly good modernism exhibit. ___

2014-08-16 00:59:36 (9 comments, 8 reshares, 61 +1s)

Remember: the central problem is that the police shot someone, hid all the information, rolled out in military gear to "keep order", brutalized protesters when they demanded information, arrested reporters, tear gassed a news crew, confiscated video equipment, and shot at people exercising their First Amendment rights.

Michael Brown could have strangled a convenience store owner to death then pistol-whipped a cop and it still wouldn't justify the chain of events which followed.

Remember: the central problem is that the police shot someone, hid all the information, rolled out in military gear to "keep order", brutalized protesters when they demanded information, arrested reporters, tear gassed a news crew, confiscated video equipment, and shot at people exercising their First Amendment rights.

Michael Brown could have strangled a convenience store owner to death then pistol-whipped a cop and it still wouldn't justify the chain of events which followed.___

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2014-08-16 00:59:21 (19 comments, 8 reshares, 34 +1s)

Fear and loathing in LasVegas Natural News

New-agey news site Natural News is proclaiming, in tones calculated to inspire fear and anxiety, that the US Pacific coast has been "poisoned" by iodine-129 from Fukushima, and that it will remain radioactive for "16 million years, to be exact."  Fortunately, they're talking through their hats.

Let's examine the facts.

OK, yes, there was iodine-129 released from Fukushima Daiichi.  It is estimated that the total iodine-129 release was 8.06 GBq.  That's 1.2kg of iodine-129 (remember that number), most of which ended up in the ocean within fifty miles of Fukushima.

It's also true that iodine-129 has a half-life of ...  well, actually, about 15.7 million years.  (Natural News's "exact" wasn't very exact.)  What does that mean?  It means thatit is ... more »

Fear and loathing in LasVegas Natural News

New-agey news site Natural News is proclaiming, in tones calculated to inspire fear and anxiety, that the US Pacific coast has been "poisoned" by iodine-129 from Fukushima, and that it will remain radioactive for "16 million years, to be exact."  Fortunately, they're talking through their hats.

Let's examine the facts.

OK, yes, there was iodine-129 released from Fukushima Daiichi.  It is estimated that the total iodine-129 release was 8.06 GBq.  That's 1.2kg of iodine-129 (remember that number), most of which ended up in the ocean within fifty miles of Fukushima.

It's also true that iodine-129 has a half-life of ...  well, actually, about 15.7 million years.  (Natural News's "exact" wasn't very exact.)  What does that mean?  It means that it is scarcely radioactive at all.

Let's do the math.  Iodine has a density of 4.94 g/ml.  That means that a standard 5ml teaspoon of pure iodine-129 would weigh just short of 25 grams.  (Remember that number above?  That means one teaspoonful of iodine-129 would be roughly 1/48 of the total iodine-129 released from Fukushima.  Think about that.)  That 25 grams of iodine-129 would contain roughly 1.16 x 10²³ atoms (25/129 x Avogadro's number).  The fact that its half-life is 16 million years means that we would expect half of those atoms to decay in 16 million years.

Restating that, in a single year, we would expect roughly 7 x 10⁵ of the atoms in that teaspoonful of iodine-129 to decay.  Each one will emit a single slow electron and a single neutrino.  Forget about the neutrino.  You only need to worry about the electron.  In radiological terms, it's called a low-energy beta particle.

But remember we said that our teaspoon of iodine-129 represents 1/48 of the total released from Fukushima?  How much, realistically, can we expect to encounter on the US Pacific Coast?

Let's be totally unrealistic and assume that, instead of being concentrated near the source, the entire iodine-129 emission from Fukushima got distributed evenly across the entire Pacific ocean.  The surface area of the Pacific Ocean is roughly 165.2 million square kilometers.  That means that each square kilometer would receive about 7 micrograms of iodine-129.  If we assume that all of that iodine stayed in the top ten centimeters of the ocean, and you went down to the beach and scooped out a liter of water, that liter of water would contain 7 picograms of iodine-129.  That's 0.000000000007 grams, which is about 32 billion atoms.  If you drank that entire liter of water, and all of the iodine-129 in it remained in your body for the entire of the following year (which it wouldn't; the biological half-life of iodine in the body is about 100 days), just over 2000 atoms would decay during that time.

Of course, the iodine wouldn't all stay in the top ten centimeters of the ocean.  The average depth of the Pacific is about 4,000 meters, which means your liter of water scooped from the ocean surface wouldn't contain 7 picograms of iodine 129, it would contain about 175 attograms.  That's 0.000000000000000175 grams, which is about 814,000 atoms.  Statistically speaking, you'd have to wait about 20 years for ONE of them to decay.

Still worried?  Let's look at the worst case.  Let's look at the ocean water column off Fukushima itself.  You probably won't be surprised to hear that the ocean off Fukushima was quite extensively studied after the disaster.  The Japanese Atomic Energy Agency found concentrations ranging from 1 x 10⁷ atoms/liter to 9 x 10⁸ atoms/liter.  Or, to look at it another way, roughly between 1 and 100 times the concentration we just calculated if all the iodine-129 were distributed evenly across the Pacific Ocean ... which we can therefore assume it wasn't.  (If the waters around Fukushima have about 50 times the average concentration, that must mean the rest of the ocean has less than the average, right?  Simple math.)

So how bad is it at Fukushima?  Well, when you take into account accumulation rates in marine life and the average amount of seafood the Japanese consume (which is a lot higher than most Americans), it turns out the Japanese are getting an annual radiation dose from Fukushima iodine-129 of from 67 picosieverts to maybe as much as 5.5 nanosieverts.  That's 0.0000000055 Sv.

What does that mean?  How big is a Sievert?

Well, in the US, the "safe" annual limit for OCCUPATIONAL radiation exposure is 0.05 Sv.  So if you ate seafood from Fukushima — never mind the US Pacific coast — for the rest of your life, you'd have to live roughly ten million years to accumulate the radiation dose your local hospital's X-ray technologist is ALLOWED to receive in a single year.

Well, yeah, but that's occupational exposure.  You probably don't expect to receive nearly that much in your daily life, do you?

Say, how much do you get in your daily life?

Well, about 3 milli-Sieverts — 0.003 Sv — per year, actually.  From deadly dangerous things like ... inhaling air.  Living in your house.  Being on this planet.  Being [relatively] near a star (our Sun).  Having other people near you.  (Oh, by the way, you're slightly radioactive too.  If you stand next to someone for an entire year, they would receive a radiation dose of about 0.00005 Sv from you.)

So how long would you have to eat seafood from Fukushima, at Japanese rates, to accumulate iodine-129 exposure equal to one year of your normal background radiation dose?

About 545,000 years.


Natural News, not to put too fine a point on it, is blowing scary-sounding smoke up your ass.  Whether you attribute it to intentional fear-mongering, or simple scientific ignorance, is up to you.  They have it utterly and completely backwards.  Not only is the concentration of environmental iodine-129 resulting from Fukushima almost incomprehensibly tiny — remember, we are talking about concentrations so low you can actually count the atoms — but it's the long-lived radioisotopes that are the least dangerous ones anyway ... because you have to be exposed to them for so long to get a dangerous radiation dose that you, and your grand children, and your great-great-grandchildren, and your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren, are all going to die of old age first.___

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2014-08-15 16:29:30 (34 comments, 3 reshares, 11 +1s)

Ferguson PD not-so-slyly suggest someone who steals is a dangerous thug who might need to be shot to death:

Ferguson PD not-so-slyly suggest someone who steals is a dangerous thug who might need to be shot to death:___

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2014-08-15 04:41:30 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 25 +1s)

The Missouri Highway Patrol relieved the Ferguson PD today. Captain Johnson, a Ferguson native, is leading the new security. He started out by removing the tactical units, setting up a media staging center, vowed not to blockade the streets, ordered police working crowd control to take off their gas masks -- and marched along with the protesters himself.

(That's not him in this picture, by the way -- Captain Johnson is black. Not sure who the cop in this picture is, but apparently quite a few of the members of the Missouri Highway Patrol marched alongside the protesters today. ETA: Here's a picture of Captain Johnson: https://twitter.com/JRehling/status/500062107971231744 . Thanks to +Don McArthur for the link.)

There's a bunch more in the story below, and I recommend you read it, because it's such an antidote to the news stories of the past few days. It appears thatt... more »

The Missouri Highway Patrol relieved the Ferguson PD today. Captain Johnson, a Ferguson native, is leading the new security. He started out by removing the tactical units, setting up a media staging center, vowed not to blockade the streets, ordered police working crowd control to take off their gas masks -- and marched along with the protesters himself.

(That's not him in this picture, by the way -- Captain Johnson is black. Not sure who the cop in this picture is, but apparently quite a few of the members of the Missouri Highway Patrol marched alongside the protesters today. ETA: Here's a picture of Captain Johnson: https://twitter.com/JRehling/status/500062107971231744 . Thanks to +Don McArthur for the link.)

There's a bunch more in the story below, and I recommend you read it, because it's such an antidote to the news stories of the past few days. It appears that there's one cop, at least, who still remembers what the job is all about.

Captain Ronald S. Johnson: Doing it right.___

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2014-08-14 22:31:58 (23 comments, 9 reshares, 35 +1s)

Citizens have the right to take pictures of anything in plain view in a public space, including police officers and federal buildings. Police can not confiscate, demand to view, or delete digital photos.

Citizens have the right to take pictures of anything in plain view in a public space, including police officers and federal buildings. Police can not confiscate, demand to view, or delete digital photos.___

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2014-08-14 20:00:47 (7 comments, 18 reshares, 32 +1s)

Ferguson, The Crisis of Authority, and The Militarization of Law Enforcement

I have been struggling to find my voice on this issue all day, and through the threads of +Yonatan Zunger, +Andreas Schou, and a few others, I think I finally have; but it is not a kind voice.  It is not as eloquent, or as polished as my normal prose.  It is the voice of a pissed off veteran.

I do not speak for my company, my unit, the National Guard, or the United States Air Force.

I am fucking pissed. And I'm not alone [http://bit.ly/1uSMQCY].

You haven't seen me this angry; God forbid, you never will again. This isn't about the kid that allegedly attacked an officer and was allgedly shot once in self defense and several times after in a panic.  This is about more than this kid - he's a catalyst, a flashbulb, a spark - he's not the causal link.... more »

Ferguson, The Crisis of Authority, and The Militarization of Law Enforcement

I have been struggling to find my voice on this issue all day, and through the threads of +Yonatan Zunger, +Andreas Schou, and a few others, I think I finally have; but it is not a kind voice.  It is not as eloquent, or as polished as my normal prose.  It is the voice of a pissed off veteran.

I do not speak for my company, my unit, the National Guard, or the United States Air Force.

I am fucking pissed. And I'm not alone [http://bit.ly/1uSMQCY].

You haven't seen me this angry; God forbid, you never will again. This isn't about the kid that allegedly attacked an officer and was allgedly shot once in self defense and several times after in a panic.  This is about more than this kid - he's a catalyst, a flashbulb, a spark - he's not the causal link.

=======================
The 'Militarized LEO Complex
=======================

Earlier this week, +Kate Savage asked a question about whether or not two middle class white people who made an app to avoid high crime areas was "right or wrong" (the conversation turned into "racist or not"). I stipulated that high crime areas were unsafe as a result of both high crime and high police officer incidents [http://bit.ly/1nTuX1p].

Me, being a middle class white guy, I said I wouldn't make an app to avoid these places, but they simply weren't safe to be in, in part due to high crime and in part due to LEO activity. Ferguson wouldn't happen in a white neighborhood.

Yes, you read me right. That's a racist-as-fuck statement, but it's also the pathetic truth of America. "Militarized" police forces do not invade middle class neighborhoods, and because of systemic racism, that means (most) white people are safe from this.

It's pathetic, disgusting, and abhorrent; it's also true, and I hate to be the one to vocalize it.  As this article states: America Is Not For Black People. And this is a fantastic article - it should be mandatory read for every American citizen.

However, there are a few issues that  I, a member of (but not spokesperson for) the National Guard feel compelled to address:

[1] Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) are not going through a "military style boot-camp." The military is comprised of four services (Army, Air, Marine, Navy) and three components (Active, Reserves, National Gaurd), and each service has the same boot-camp for all three components and do not vary depending on precint.

The training of one precinct of LEOs is different than the training of another - by definition, that isn't remotely analgous with basic military training (BMT). Most precincts are under-trained for the equipment that they now utilize.

[2] LEOs do not have "drones" or tanks. The military have Unmanned Areal Vehicles (UAVs), and the LEOs have helicopters from Radio Shack.  And LEOs have Mine-Resistant Armored Vehicles (MRAVs or MRAPs), a device developed under heavy congressional resistance in OEF/OIF to protect against IEDs.

[3] All three components of all four services are trained in crowd control.  This training varies in intensity depending on component (National Guard gets a little more) and job duty (military police get more than IT guys), and this focuses a lot on escalation of use of force under something known as Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC).

Now, what does all that mean?

First of all, it means that this problem will never go away.  There is no golden standard that all police officers are adhering to in training that we can say "Aha! Fix that and we're good" - we have to fix it precinct by precinct, cop by cop.  So yeah, it's permanant - get used to this shit.

Second of all, it means that LEOs are not recieving the same training as military personnel inspite of having military equipment (see the picture below, also reference MRAPs and LRADs - loud deafining siren for crowd dispersion). There is not a central oversight committee or command and control structure to allow for a national level shift in tactics, so they will continue employing different tactics based on precinct.

So the predominantly high crime (black) precincts, where the cops who are being punished get sent, are going to follow a different use of force continuum than the low crime (white) precincts.  And again, there's no way to change this.

But what does this stem from? It's not just systemic racism - even your outright bigots aren't going to be smart enough to have given MRAPs and LRADs to high crime areas to further some xenophobic fantasy plot.

It stems from the arms. The act of arming the LEOs to the point of near-military technology has directly caused an escalation in the use of force. Historically, we have seen time and time again that the introduction of weapons into a situation increases violence.

A peaceful protest in the vicinity of weapons cannot remain peaceful. Full stop.

The military teaches its crowd dispersion experts that the mere presence of their force escalates the issue and increases the use of force and incites otherwise peaceful protestors to violence; and violent protestors to deadly ones.

Furthermore, I have spent my entire life in the public sector. So while I may not have spent time as an LEO, I know how deep rooted our need to justify purchasing, keeping, and maintaining a new toy is. It's an obsession. It permeates in every pore of the federal, state, and local government.

Giving precincts the ability to utilize these weapons opens up the need for commanding officers to justify having them; for using them. So whenever an excuse to deploy their new MRAP, LRAD, or Riot Shields comes available - they will use it.

And when they use these new toys, without the proper training, they are prone to make mistakes when they're surrounded by a now incredibly nervous gathering of citizens.

Self. Fulfilling. Prophecy.  Repeat at writ.

The final problem with the current "militarized" (and, I think by now you should know better than to compare these children to the military in my presence) LEO complex is that of mental health.  The military has started addressing the issue of mental health whereas the LEO community can't.

=====================
Specifically Ferguson, MO
=====================

Now, like I said, I'm not going to get into why this protest happened or why it existed.  I want to address one thing, and one thing only: Martial Law.

This isn't martial law; this is criminal.

Martial Law is declared by the govenor and enforced by the military (National Guard); not the mayor and enforced by a militarized police precinct. A mayor should not have the power to declare the area a no-fly zone, and police should not be able to remove the press through the use of tear gas.

They have induced a media blackout; and that should fucking terrify you.

This is a purely academic point though, as if you're going to argue with a mob of officers clad in 3" of Kevlar in front of you, a cloud of tear gas behind you, and a ear-piercing siren going off in the distance.

===================
The Crisis of Authority
===================

As if this wasn't bad enough; as if mayors declaring 'Martial Law' and LEOs with more guns than training didn't terrify you enough, this isn't even the root cause.

Most of you likely remember the riots around the world in the early 2010's (M15, OWS, Arab Spring, Tel Aviv), and what was the unifying factor in those riots? Negation.

People were pissed, and they had a lot of complaints but no solutions - that's why we (those of us sitting at home) mostly mocked them, even as we empathized.  We're all pissed at something, but we can't quite unify under a common cause enough to make a difference in our political systems (Egypt here was the exception, but even there, things aren't going great).

I address this at length in a blog post [http://bit.ly/1IYROc8], but the long and the short of it is: public gatherings and political unrest are likely to increase. The internet has given us, the general public, the ability to see more information than the government wants, and organize far more effectively than ever before.

And where we gather peacefully, LEOs will soon follow; with all the toys they can carry.  For every Treyvon Martin, for every Michael Brown, people will gather in solidarity; and in doing so, they will risk their safety, their freedom, and their lives.___

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2014-08-14 15:57:33 (28 comments, 8 reshares, 49 +1s)

Part of the reason we're seeing so many black men killed is that police officers are now best understood less as members of communities, dedicated to keeping peace within them, than as domestic soldiers. The drug war has long functioned as a full-employment act for arms dealers looking to sell every town and village in the country on the need for military-grade hardware, and 9/11 made things vastly worse, with local police departments throughout America grabbing for cash to better defend against any and all terrorist threats. War had reached our shores, we were told, and police officers needed weaponry to fight it.

Officers have tanks now. They have drones. They have automatic rifles, and planes, and helicopters, and they go through military-style boot camp training. It's a constant complaint from what remains of this country's civil liberties caucus. Just this last June, the ACLU... more »

Part of the reason we're seeing so many black men killed is that police officers are now best understood less as members of communities, dedicated to keeping peace within them, than as domestic soldiers. The drug war has long functioned as a full-employment act for arms dealers looking to sell every town and village in the country on the need for military-grade hardware, and 9/11 made things vastly worse, with local police departments throughout America grabbing for cash to better defend against any and all terrorist threats. War had reached our shores, we were told, and police officers needed weaponry to fight it.

Officers have tanks now. They have drones. They have automatic rifles, and planes, and helicopters, and they go through military-style boot camp training. It's a constant complaint from what remains of this country's civil liberties caucus. Just this last June, the ACLU issued a report on how police departments now possess arsenals in need of a use. Few paid attention, as usually happens.

The worst part of outfitting our police officers as soldiers has been psychological. Give a man access to drones, tanks, and body armor, and he'll reasonably think that his job isn't simply to maintain peace, but to eradicate danger. Instead of protecting and serving, police are searching and destroying.

If officers are soldiers, it follows that the neighborhoods they patrol are battlefields. And if they're working battlefields, it follows that the population is the enemy.___

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2014-08-13 20:42:32 (59 comments, 7 reshares, 28 +1s)

No need to worry about Roko's Basilisk.

If Roko's Basilisk makes you upset, then in all likelihood -- using the same likelihood-of-simulation calculation underlying the hypothesis -- your uncomfortable awareness of Roko's Basilisk is the method by which the far-future utility-maximizing AI has decided to torture you.

(Prompted by +David Auerbach.)

No need to worry about Roko's Basilisk.

If Roko's Basilisk makes you upset, then in all likelihood -- using the same likelihood-of-simulation calculation underlying the hypothesis -- your uncomfortable awareness of Roko's Basilisk is the method by which the far-future utility-maximizing AI has decided to torture you.

(Prompted by +David Auerbach.)___

2014-08-13 20:41:14 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)

It just never stops with them.

It just never stops with them.___

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2014-08-13 20:38:51 (6 comments, 4 reshares, 9 +1s)

If you are at all interested in American history or in understanding its modern politics, you should read this article. Despite what you might think from the title, it's not primarily about the modern Tea Party, but about the history of the Civil War and Reconstruction, both the versions which many of us were taught in school and the versions which rather deliberately weren't taught. 

The article itself is brief, but is richly sourced and links to many other important articles on the subject. One text which it doesn't link, but which I also highly recommend, is Amar's America's Constitution: A Biography, an extraordinary work about the history of how the Constitution has developed from its earliest history to the present day. In particular, Amar's book discusses the rather complex history of the Second Amendment, and how its interpretation changed after the Civil War,... more »

If you are at all interested in American history or in understanding its modern politics, you should read this article. Despite what you might think from the title, it's not primarily about the modern Tea Party, but about the history of the Civil War and Reconstruction, both the versions which many of us were taught in school and the versions which rather deliberately weren't taught. 

The article itself is brief, but is richly sourced and links to many other important articles on the subject. One text which it doesn't link, but which I also highly recommend, is Amar's America's Constitution: A Biography, an extraordinary work about the history of how the Constitution has developed from its earliest history to the present day. In particular, Amar's book discusses the rather complex history of the Second Amendment, and how its interpretation changed after the Civil War, from being focused on "regulated militias" to independent gun ownership as a way for people to protect themselves from things that the government refused to protect them from -- that is, political changes which they could not accept.

Via +Colm Buckley and +Valdis Kletnieks.___

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2014-08-12 21:08:09 (10 comments, 6 reshares, 40 +1s)

Hey, you know that independent study which said that Edward Snowden made al-Qaida stop using its shitty homebrew encryption? Unsurprisingly, it's CIA-funded.



Hey, you know that independent study which said that Edward Snowden made al-Qaida stop using its shitty homebrew encryption? Unsurprisingly, it's CIA-funded.

___

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2014-08-11 19:57:22 (9 comments, 1 reshares, 38 +1s)

Good luck and godspeed, Mikey. The government tech procurement process is ... Byzantine.  On the other hand, this:

Today, the average hiring cycle for IT specialist in the Federal Government is over 100 days. The norm for leading private sector companies is 7 to 14 days.

The idea that Google is a good model for this particular government failing is... uh... what's a nicer word for "hilarious?"

Good luck and godspeed, Mikey. The government tech procurement process is ... Byzantine.  On the other hand, this:

Today, the average hiring cycle for IT specialist in the Federal Government is over 100 days. The norm for leading private sector companies is 7 to 14 days.

The idea that Google is a good model for this particular government failing is... uh... what's a nicer word for "hilarious?"___

2014-08-11 18:31:35 (24 comments, 0 reshares, 11 +1s)

Contra Sumner, the failure of recent graduates to seek job in the building trades is entirely reasonable: 

(1) This is a real-estate-led recession. Employment numbers reflect that. At present, journeyman plumbers have a higher unemployment rate than other traditional "unfortunates" of this recession: it's higher than the rate for both humanities undergraduates and newly-minted lawyers.

(2) Plumbing, electrical work, and associated trades are contingent on large investments in expensive infrastructure. When those large investments fail to occur, tradespeople fail to be employed. That makes those trades recession-sensitive -- and long stretches of unemployment tend to be corrosive to lifetime earnings. It may be that this is not a good choice in terms of lifetime earnings.

(3) The state "failure to find workers" is identical to... more »

Contra Sumner, the failure of recent graduates to seek job in the building trades is entirely reasonable: 

(1) This is a real-estate-led recession. Employment numbers reflect that. At present, journeyman plumbers have a higher unemployment rate than other traditional "unfortunates" of this recession: it's higher than the rate for both humanities undergraduates and newly-minted lawyers.

(2) Plumbing, electrical work, and associated trades are contingent on large investments in expensive infrastructure. When those large investments fail to occur, tradespeople fail to be employed. That makes those trades recession-sensitive -- and long stretches of unemployment tend to be corrosive to lifetime earnings. It may be that this is not a good choice in terms of lifetime earnings.

(3) The state "failure to find workers" is identical to "failure to meet potential workers' reserve price." If there were demand sufficient to drive up the price, then it would drive up supply; since there isn't, there isn't. ___

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2014-08-08 21:30:00 (6 comments, 5 reshares, 17 +1s)

From Defcon, a word of advice from America's security experts.

Breaking followup: experts warn to avoid USB at all costs after Black Hat conference. (Creepy commercial preroll, but worth it)___From Defcon, a word of advice from America's security experts.

2014-08-08 20:41:17 (14 comments, 1 reshares, 23 +1s)

Russia, widely known for its mild winters and long growing seasons, has placed sanctions on US and European food.

Russia, widely known for its mild winters and long growing seasons, has placed sanctions on US and European food.___

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2014-08-08 16:23:53 (21 comments, 7 reshares, 20 +1s)

It is occasionally tempting, faced with a Middle East where lines seem to have been drawn at random, to imagine that they might have been drawn sensibly. Here, for instance, Goldberg attempts to draw the natural, sensible boundaries of a working Middle East. If these boundaries existed (and let's not even consider how we might get there), it might solve the problems now ongoing.

Except that even these borders are catastrophic. Consider these problems: 

(1) Jabal al-Druze, the country in the southwest of Syria, is landlocked and its borders are controlled by its enemies. Also, the Jabal al-Druze is basically a large, upland desert with no natural resources except for too many sheep.

(2) Kurdistan and Shi'a Iraq have all of Iraq's oil. Sunni Iraq has none.

(3) The Alawite country on the coast is surrounded on every side by Sunnis,a... more »

It is occasionally tempting, faced with a Middle East where lines seem to have been drawn at random, to imagine that they might have been drawn sensibly. Here, for instance, Goldberg attempts to draw the natural, sensible boundaries of a working Middle East. If these boundaries existed (and let's not even consider how we might get there), it might solve the problems now ongoing.

Except that even these borders are catastrophic. Consider these problems: 

(1) Jabal al-Druze, the country in the southwest of Syria, is landlocked and its borders are controlled by its enemies. Also, the Jabal al-Druze is basically a large, upland desert with no natural resources except for too many sheep.

(2) Kurdistan and Shi'a Iraq have all of Iraq's oil. Sunni Iraq has none.

(3) The Alawite country on the coast is surrounded on every side by Sunnis, and like the Jabal al-Druze, it doesn't actually have any natural resources -- other than a few of the Dead Cities. Sunnis hate Alawites.

(4) All Hazara lands have been ceded to either Balochistan or Pashtunistan. One problem: the Shi'a Hazara are presently being ethnically cleansed in both places.

(5) There are a ton of Azeris in Kurdistan. Actually, the Azeris don't really have a place to live, and Kurds kind of hate Azeris. 

(6) The world's entire Yezidi population is in Kurdistan. This is fine for the moment, but a dangerous position to be in as a whole: there are serious tensions between Shi'a and Yezidi Kurds.

(7) Greater Yemen is fine. But, uh, the Yemeni government doesn't even exercise control over Lesser Yemen at the moment. Adding more might be problematic.

(8) Lebanon's significant population of Christians have not gotten a state. This is fine, except that they've now been swamped by a very large Sunni majority, including a much larger proportion of Salafis than before.

(9) Now, uh, why did we give the MEK a state in Khuzestan? More particularly, why did we give a cult-slash-organized-crime organization almost all of Iran's oil fields? Just to make sure the Ahl-e-Haqq weren't purged from existence? If we care about that, why not annex it to Kurdistan? And actually, other than the existence of the MEK, is there any sign that Khuzistan is particularly unhappy with being part of iran?

The problem with drawing any borders at all is that absent pan-Islamic or pan-Arab nationalism, the Middle East has no natural state boundaries. Even had the West carved up the Ottoman Empire differently, the real problem is that there have historically been open borders between mutually belligerent states and cultures for as long as the region has existed.

Consider Syria, for instance. Insofar as Syria (and adjacent regions) has ever been ruled successfully, it's been in the context of a larger territory. Over the past three thousand years, Syria has almost always been a colonial possession or a province of another state. The chain of possession goes like this: French, Ottoman, Sultanate of Rum, (very briefly) Mongol, Ayyubid, Fatimid, Abbasid, Umayyid, Roman, Parthian, a series of other Persians, then Alexander, more Persians, Assyrian, Babylonian, Akkadian, occasional Egyptians, and finally hunter-gatherers.

Multiethnic religious nationalist states, or adjacent colonial powers, have always been available to resolve interethnic disputes. Without credible, representative powers for the locals to turn to, things fall apart. ___

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2014-08-08 04:51:19 (6 comments, 7 reshares, 65 +1s)

So, +Sara Anderson's aunt Debbie made this quilt. First, kids are incredibly nerdy these days (which I like.) Second, this is an incredibly great reproduction of the source material.

Good job.

So, +Sara Anderson's aunt Debbie made this quilt. First, kids are incredibly nerdy these days (which I like.) Second, this is an incredibly great reproduction of the source material.

Good job.___

2014-08-07 23:43:26 (63 comments, 0 reshares, 18 +1s)

Dear Someone,

What the fuck is a "quantum vacuum virtual plasma?" Arxiv is no help. Also, how the fuck do you get "quantum vacuum virtual plasma" without -- you know -- an vacuum in which charge separation can occur?

Thanks,
Andy

Dear Someone,

What the fuck is a "quantum vacuum virtual plasma?" Arxiv is no help. Also, how the fuck do you get "quantum vacuum virtual plasma" without -- you know -- an vacuum in which charge separation can occur?

Thanks,
Andy___

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2014-08-07 16:16:46 (80 comments, 11 reshares, 67 +1s)

So, it's not often that you'll get SEO tips directly from Google -- but here's one that I'm proud to be associated with: HTTPS is now being used as a ranking signal. 

So, it's not often that you'll get SEO tips directly from Google -- but here's one that I'm proud to be associated with: HTTPS is now being used as a ranking signal. ___

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2014-08-06 21:33:17 (22 comments, 3 reshares, 24 +1s)

So, in news which is only novel if you have no clue what the "United States" and "Israel" are, our country has been providing an intercept feed to Israel.

This information is used as one might expect: to target Hamas and other, less successful Palestinian terrorist organizations. You might divine that this is the case from (for instance) the fact that our information-sharing relationship with Israel is public, or from the fact that we designate Hamas as a terrorist organization. Or you might publish some primary documents and pretend that this is a new source for outrage.

For people that are outraged, consider the following:

(1) Does the present Israeli government actually care much about the precision of their targeting?

(2) Are Hamas attacks against Israel likely to achieve any particular goal whatsoever,  including Hamas... more »

So, in news which is only novel if you have no clue what the "United States" and "Israel" are, our country has been providing an intercept feed to Israel.

This information is used as one might expect: to target Hamas and other, less successful Palestinian terrorist organizations. You might divine that this is the case from (for instance) the fact that our information-sharing relationship with Israel is public, or from the fact that we designate Hamas as a terrorist organization. Or you might publish some primary documents and pretend that this is a new source for outrage.

For people that are outraged, consider the following:

(1) Does the present Israeli government actually care much about the precision of their targeting?

(2) Are Hamas attacks against Israel likely to achieve any particular goal whatsoever,  including Hamas goals?

The answer to both questions seems to clearly be "no." If we were not providing information about Hamas to Israel, then Israel's attacks into Gaza would be more, not less, indiscriminate. Providing them with information about an objective which we actually share does not result in additional dead Palestinian civilians. It may result in dead Hamas fighters, but that is pretty much what this sort of information is for. 

Similarly, providing information on Hamas attacks saves both Palestinian and Israeli lives: Israeli lives directly, and Palestinian lives due to the likelihood of indiscriminate retribution. Even if you believe that Hamas' objective is valid -- that Israel should be driven into the sea -- present attacks are coming from a place of such profound weakness that they are unlikely to ever credibly threaten to achieve it.

At worst, American intelligence assistance is involving us in a conflict which we would otherwise not be responsible for. But the way in which we are providing covert support mitigates, and does not worsen, the moral danger of the diplomatic, military, and rhetorical backing we are providing for Israel's increasingly deranged foreign policy.___

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2014-08-06 20:45:21 (10 comments, 1 reshares, 11 +1s)

So that was exciting.

So that was exciting.___

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2014-08-06 20:13:54 (20 comments, 8 reshares, 42 +1s)

It isn't "sanctimonious" to demand prosecution of American torturers. It is a fulfillment of our treaty obligations, and an explicit, absolute necessity under both American and international law. We don't get out of our obligation to send torturers to prison just because we don't like the consequences of doing so.

The relevant law reads as follows:

(1) The State Party in territory under whose jurisdiction a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is found, shall in the cases contemplated in article 5, if it does not extradite him, submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution.

(2) These authorities shall take their decision in the same manner as in the case of any ordinary offence of a serious nature under the law of that State. In the cases referred to in article 5, paragraph 2,... more »

It isn't "sanctimonious" to demand prosecution of American torturers. It is a fulfillment of our treaty obligations, and an explicit, absolute necessity under both American and international law. We don't get out of our obligation to send torturers to prison just because we don't like the consequences of doing so.

The relevant law reads as follows:

(1) The State Party in territory under whose jurisdiction a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is found, shall in the cases contemplated in article 5, if it does not extradite him, submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution.

(2) These authorities shall take their decision in the same manner as in the case of any ordinary offence of a serious nature under the law of that State. In the cases referred to in article 5, paragraph 2, the standards of evidence required for prosecution and conviction shall in no way be less stringent than those which apply in the cases referred to in article 5, paragraph 1.

That's extraordinarily explicit. There's no wiggle room: torture and prosecute, or torture and hand the torturer over to a third party for prosecution. ___

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2014-08-06 15:57:56 (11 comments, 3 reshares, 8 +1s)

No; the problem is that the unofficial policy of non-enforcement was the only possible policy. The reality is that the US has large borders and limited capacity to actually prevent people from crossing them. Moreover, since a large proportion of the country is between supportive and indifferent towards immigrants, that situation will persist.

And the situation is familiar: it's what we have with drug laws. There's simply no reasonable policy that enforces those laws and no majoritarian support for the unreasonable policies. Thus you have an inevitable institutional failure.

Enter into this conservative groups calling for the borders to be "sealed", dressing up in uniforms and toting rifles as vigilantes, and a wave of Central American refugees. Our border is now anarchy, or near it, and there is a very real risk of armed conflict. The status quo has now deteriorated... more »

No; the problem is that the unofficial policy of non-enforcement was the only possible policy. The reality is that the US has large borders and limited capacity to actually prevent people from crossing them. Moreover, since a large proportion of the country is between supportive and indifferent towards immigrants, that situation will persist.

And the situation is familiar: it's what we have with drug laws. There's simply no reasonable policy that enforces those laws and no majoritarian support for the unreasonable policies. Thus you have an inevitable institutional failure.

Enter into this conservative groups calling for the borders to be "sealed", dressing up in uniforms and toting rifles as vigilantes, and a wave of Central American refugees. Our border is now anarchy, or near it, and there is a very real risk of armed conflict. The status quo has now deteriorated too far and unofficial policy must become official policy. That law has been defeated by reality and all that remains for the President is to march is from the field in good order. So it begins: because the issue was forced so strongly, we must concede the defeat of our laws.

Salam insinuates about the rule of law but not all laws can rule. Immigration law, like drug law, has proven not just tyrannous but ineffectual as well. It has never ruled.

Admitting that failure is the life, not the death, of republics.___

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2014-08-05 23:38:51 (7 comments, 0 reshares, 10 +1s)

Generally, if you're going to tilt this wildly, your objective had best be windmill-sized. The author heads after a meme as if it were forthcoming in the JEP.

But, anyway, to answer the author's questions:

California has raised taxes on the rich. Have they?

Proposition 30 passed in 2012 creating a phased increase in taxes on incomes above $250,000 -- save heads-of-household, who have a higher threshold. That is, presumably, the tax increase discussed since it is the only one I can find post-recession.

California has its fifth highest job growth & first budget surplus in a decade Oh, do we?

Kansas has cut taxes on the rich. Have they?

Kansas has zero job growth and the nation’s largest budget shortfall. Do they? Again, when?

I have no idea about the first part and I'm not going to trollf... more »

Generally, if you're going to tilt this wildly, your objective had best be windmill-sized. The author heads after a meme as if it were forthcoming in the JEP.

But, anyway, to answer the author's questions:

California has raised taxes on the rich. Have they?

Proposition 30 passed in 2012 creating a phased increase in taxes on incomes above $250,000 -- save heads-of-household, who have a higher threshold. That is, presumably, the tax increase discussed since it is the only one I can find post-recession.

California has its fifth highest job growth & first budget surplus in a decade Oh, do we?

Kansas has cut taxes on the rich. Have they?

Kansas has zero job growth and the nation’s largest budget shortfall. Do they? Again, when?

I have no idea about the first part and I'm not going to troll forever to find it. I have California pegged at 9th highest job growth from 2013 - 2014 with 2.4% and Kansas at 25th with 1.3% using jobs-over-jobs. The highest increases are states which, IIRC, are going through a petroleum boom, like North Dakota with a whopping 4.8% increase.

And, yes, large budget surplus. Probably largest in a decade or so, sure, that's what the news says. Kansas's budget shortfall started in 2012 when Federal stimulus funding ran out. But it doesn't matter: Kansas has been in persistent shortfall since Brownback cut taxes on the rich, dropping their top rate from 6.45% to 4.9%. They've abided by spending the the surplus created by his predecessor, a Democrat. Fun times.

Incidentally, I don't blame the tax cuts for Kansas's economic woes. The fact is that taxes don't matter much to economic growth. They just don't. Repeat it to yourself until you believe it because the growth rates in states which rate "free market" ex government spending match those with higher and lower tax rates. They just don't seem to matter and that only sounds odd if you've been listening to conservatives; there was never much reason to believe it, even in theory.

The author starts on that sort of thing but... meh... watching a man in full battle dress charge a format famous mostly for cats makes me uninterested in continuing to read him. Allow me to explain what's going on in the meme: conservative economics are bullshit.

They are. Just are. What really matters in economic growth is very silly things about the regulatory environment like how easy it is to start a business, close a business, rent space, obtain licenses, build structures, and so on. Though that's just policy. California's endowment of weather and amenities lets it get away with lots more just as New York's immense endowment of business infrastructure does. Nor does the Laffer curve tell us anything important. The revenue-maximizing rate of taxes paid is probably in the neighborhood of 70% as a lower bound. Note that's taxes paid, the Federal government could be three times larger than it is now and still not reach that rate.

That's the point of the meme: the headline concerns of conservatives are counterproductive overall. Jobs don't care about taxes but budgets do and not in the way conservatives think.___

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2014-08-05 23:35:25 (15 comments, 0 reshares, 38 +1s)

Someone mentioned that they were interested in seeing where (the people responsible for) G+ actually are. The correct answer is, "All over the world, including Stockholm and Kirkland and Zurich." 

Narrowly, though, a lot of them are in this building with me. 

Someone mentioned that they were interested in seeing where (the people responsible for) G+ actually are. The correct answer is, "All over the world, including Stockholm and Kirkland and Zurich." 

Narrowly, though, a lot of them are in this building with me. ___

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2014-08-05 21:26:12 (16 comments, 1 reshares, 48 +1s)

The G+ building is infested by egrets. This angry bird was, just a moment ago, trying to get through the window. He's now up in the trees, glaring balefully at me.

I do not want his fish. I do not know why he thinks I do.

The G+ building is infested by egrets. This angry bird was, just a moment ago, trying to get through the window. He's now up in the trees, glaring balefully at me.

I do not want his fish. I do not know why he thinks I do.___

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2014-08-05 19:10:03 (67 comments, 188 reshares, 187 +1s)

18% of people are following a food trend. Within that 18%, there are two groups: a group of people who have a psychosomatic illness, and smaller group who are sick, but empirically not adversely affected by gluten.

Before this study, there was a single study containing evidence that gluten restriction might help some people with persistent bowel disorders.

After this study, there is no longer any scientific evidence that gluten -- the actual protein -- adversely affects people who do not have celiac disease. The studies demonstrating otherwise come from both ends: both gluten trials against people who think they are gluten-sensitive, and gluten-free trials against people who have bowel disorders of no specific etiology. When the amount of gluten they ingest changes, former group don't deteriorate, and the latter group don't improve.

Of the people whose lives appeart... more »

18% of people are following a food trend. Within that 18%, there are two groups: a group of people who have a psychosomatic illness, and smaller group who are sick, but empirically not adversely affected by gluten.

Before this study, there was a single study containing evidence that gluten restriction might help some people with persistent bowel disorders.

After this study, there is no longer any scientific evidence that gluten -- the actual protein -- adversely affects people who do not have celiac disease. The studies demonstrating otherwise come from both ends: both gluten trials against people who think they are gluten-sensitive, and gluten-free trials against people who have bowel disorders of no specific etiology. When the amount of gluten they ingest changes, former group don't deteriorate, and the latter group don't improve.

Of the people whose lives appear to be improved by gluten-free diets, the consensus position is that their gut flora are responding to indigestible sugars common to grains and other foods: the fructans in wheat and rye could be the reason that gluten-restriction appears to help those people. This research substantially predates the gluten-free fad: there's plenty of solid empirical evidence, going back twenty years, that cutting FODMAPs helps people with a wide spectrum of bowel disorders.

If this is the case, the people to whom Whole Foods has marketed illness-as-lifestyle-choice are likely to be made ill by unrelated things like artichokes, eggplant, and mushrooms. For those people, gluten-free diets are a stopgap: for instance, spelt (which makes perfectly fine bread) has lots of gluten and very small quantities of fructans; artichokes contain large quantities of fructans  and no gluten.

As long as people keep insisting that the explanation is gluten, and as long as the evidence continues being contrary, a substantial number of people who are sick will never get any better. This is the problem with letting marketing get out ahead of the research. ___

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2014-08-05 16:07:28 (6 comments, 6 reshares, 12 +1s)

What is your filter bubble hiding from you? The Israeli-Gaza conflict makes a great test case. 

What is your filter bubble hiding from you? The Israeli-Gaza conflict makes a great test case. ___

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2014-08-04 19:56:24 (41 comments, 2 reshares, 27 +1s)

Two years of investigation, and Benghazi has managed to come back around to the same conclusion that they should have arrived at on day one.

Two years of investigation, and Benghazi has managed to come back around to the same conclusion that they should have arrived at on day one.___

2014-08-04 19:18:46 (6 comments, 4 reshares, 28 +1s)

Guardians of the Galaxy was incredibly faithful to its awful, awful source material -- but, by winking at the serious parts and treating the ridiculous parts with absolute, deadpan seriousness, somehow managed to succeed despite itself.  

With the cut-rate production costs of the original material in mind, here's an Easter egg which I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere:

The humanoid aliens in the background of most scenes come in solid, weirdly vivid colors. This actually doesn't come out of the artists' preference for psychedelic color: it's an artifact of the comic book's original cheapo-CMYK printing, which preferred to print characters in solid blocks of cyan, magenta, and yellow to avoid having to dither the color or realign the ink heads. 

Guardians of the Galaxy was incredibly faithful to its awful, awful source material -- but, by winking at the serious parts and treating the ridiculous parts with absolute, deadpan seriousness, somehow managed to succeed despite itself.  

With the cut-rate production costs of the original material in mind, here's an Easter egg which I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere:

The humanoid aliens in the background of most scenes come in solid, weirdly vivid colors. This actually doesn't come out of the artists' preference for psychedelic color: it's an artifact of the comic book's original cheapo-CMYK printing, which preferred to print characters in solid blocks of cyan, magenta, and yellow to avoid having to dither the color or realign the ink heads. ___

2014-08-03 19:08:44 (3 comments, 2 reshares, 26 +1s)

Kontorovich is an idiot.

Bell's argument that Israel is not required to provide electricity and other services to Palestinians revolves around whether: Israel is a party to the relevant protocols, the conflict counts under the Geneva Convention, and so on.

Basically, his fundamental argument is: Israel refused to sign Protocol I and therefore is not bound by treaty to do squat in occupied territory. That's not a terribly good argument. It amounts to "Israel isn't in violation of international law because it refuses to recognize it". That is akin to Cliven Bundy's argument that he doesn't recognize Federal law. It doesn't actually hold up, either. The conventions are generally held to codify, not empower, international law. Slobodan Milošević was tried even though Serbia would not adhere to the Conventions until 2001, for example, simply becausefa... more »

Kontorovich is an idiot.

Bell's argument that Israel is not required to provide electricity and other services to Palestinians revolves around whether: Israel is a party to the relevant protocols, the conflict counts under the Geneva Convention, and so on.

Basically, his fundamental argument is: Israel refused to sign Protocol I and therefore is not bound by treaty to do squat in occupied territory. That's not a terribly good argument. It amounts to "Israel isn't in violation of international law because it refuses to recognize it". That is akin to Cliven Bundy's argument that he doesn't recognize Federal law. It doesn't actually hold up, either. The conventions are generally held to codify, not empower, international law. Slobodan Milošević was tried even though Serbia would not adhere to the Conventions until 2001, for example, simply because falling afoul of the Conventions makes you a war criminal. While it may be that no punishments can attach to Israel, it's not the case that this absolves those who would, in practice, be held responsible.

Secondly, Bell's analysis is defective in its own legalistic sphere. He argues, for instance, that Article 70 would not bind Israel to send power into Gaza because it's not a "basic humanitarian need" and power plants are often targeted during wars. But Article 70 refers back to all prior articles, including 69, which is open-ended with respect to necessary supplies. Moreover, Protocol I governs occupations, not the conduct of war more generally. It is common for power plants to be destroyed during the conduct of war but it is not common for them to be destroyed during an occupation.

Thirdly, Bell demands that targeting civilian facilities is not collective punishment. Bell Asserts that collective punishment under the Geneva Convention refers to criminal penalties. This is manifestly untrue. Article 33 categorically forbids intimidation, terrorism, pillage, and reprisal. Moreover, when the Convention was being drafted, the paradigm cases were mass retributions for resistance or harboring resisters. That sounds precisely like the logic in this case.

So here is what we come down to: since all nations are essentially bound to the Geneva Convention regardless of contract, the question is whether the Gaza Strip counts as occupied territory. That was certainly true in 2001 when the high contracting parties affirmed the status of Palestinian territories as occupied and most nations, the UN, and the US continue to regard Israel as the occupying power. Since all the nations which might hold it account -- that is, basically all of them, period -- deem the territories occupied, they are. 

Conclusion: Israel has to provide power, it also cannot blow up power plants, Bell is wrong, Kontorovich is wrong, that they think they have a case makes one wonder how they are "professor of" anything, let alone law.___

2014-08-03 09:09:37 (13 comments, 2 reshares, 64 +1s)

Capsule Review of Lucy: Once, somebody tried to explain neuroscience to Luc Besson at Burning Man.

It did not go well.

Capsule Review of Lucy: Once, somebody tried to explain neuroscience to Luc Besson at Burning Man.

It did not go well.___

2014-08-02 01:39:35 (2 comments, 10 reshares, 38 +1s)

This came in handy today. In fact, it's a handy enough heuristic that everyone should know it.

Estimating the probability of something that has never happened:  One of my favorite rules of thumb is "the rule of three," which says that if you haven’t seen something happen in n observations, the chances of it happening could still be as high as 3/n.   This simple rule is good for adding a sober note of caution to "we've seen no problems so far" situations. 

To be a little more formal,  3/n is the upper bound of our 95% confidence interval for the probability of the event. The rule can be derived several ways.  Louis (1981) gives a (1 − α) × 100 percent confidence interval for sampling n times from a binomial distribution as [0, pn], pn = 1 − α^(1/n) = S/n,  where S can be thought of as a number of successes in a future experiment of the same n. If we take the limit of S as n→∞, we get −ln(α).  And when α = 0.05, −ln(α) is very close to 3.   We can similarly derive a 99% confidence interval "rule of 4.6" by making α = 0.01 and calculating -ln(0.01) as about 4.6.

We can also use the same rule of thumb in the other direction. If we know the probability of something, we can figure out how many trials we need to see at least one. For example, if 1% of profiles are fake, how many profiles do we need to sample to be pretty certain of getting a fake one?  The answer is 3/0.01, meaning 300 profiles are needed to be 95% certain that there is at least one fake profile in our sample.


Further reading:

Cook, JD. "Estimating the chances of something that hasn’t happened yet." March 30, 2010.http://www.johndcook.com/blog/2010/03/30/statistical-rule-of-three/ 

Hanley JA, Lippman-Hand A. "If nothing goes wrong, is everything all right? Interpreting zero numerators." JAMA. 1983 249(13):1743-5. http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/epidemiology/hanley/reprints/If_Nothing_Goes_1983.pdf

Louis, T. A. (1981). "Confidence intervals for a binomial parameter after observing no successes." The American Statistician 35, 154-154.(Paywalled http://amstat.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00031305.1981.10479337#preview )

#statistics  ___This came in handy today. In fact, it's a handy enough heuristic that everyone should know it.

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2014-08-02 01:35:02 (56 comments, 3 reshares, 26 +1s)

In this somewhat more obfuscated call for Palestinian genocide, the Times of Israel doubles down on its abandonment of all respect for human rights. It's a bit tricky, for those of you who don't know their Bible, but 1 Samuel 15:18 reads as follows:

And he sent you on a mission, saying, 'Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.

Despotic Bronze Age societies like first-temple-era Israel often do this sort of thing. But Israel, despite the best efforts of its increasingly horrifying right wing, has come a long way from being a despotic Bronze Age society. For instance, the IDF's code of conduct reads as follows: 

The IDF serviceman will, above all, preserve human life, in the recognition of its supreme value and will place himself or others at risk solely to the extent required to carry... more »

In this somewhat more obfuscated call for Palestinian genocide, the Times of Israel doubles down on its abandonment of all respect for human rights. It's a bit tricky, for those of you who don't know their Bible, but 1 Samuel 15:18 reads as follows:

And he sent you on a mission, saying, 'Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.

Despotic Bronze Age societies like first-temple-era Israel often do this sort of thing. But Israel, despite the best efforts of its increasingly horrifying right wing, has come a long way from being a despotic Bronze Age society. For instance, the IDF's code of conduct reads as follows: 

The IDF serviceman will, above all, preserve human life, in the recognition of its supreme value and will place himself or others at risk solely to the extent required to carry out his mission.

The sanctity of life in the eyes of the IDF servicemen will find expression in all of their actions, in deliberate and meticulous planning, in safe and intelligent training and in proper execution of their mission. In evaluating the risk to self and others, they will use the appropriate standards and will exercise constant care to limit injury to life to the extent required to accomplish the mission.

The IDF serviceman will use force of arms only for the purpose of subduing the enemy to the necessary extent and will limit his use of force so as to prevent unnecessary harm to human life and limb, dignity and property.

The IDF servicemen's purity of arms is their self-control in use of armed force. They will use their arms only for the purpose of achieving their mission, without inflicting unnecessary injury to human life or limb; dignity or property, of both soldiers and civilians, with special consideration for the defenseless, whether in wartime, or during routine security operations, or in the absence of combat, or times of peace.

It is unfair to point out Israel's catastrophic moral failure while not acknowledging the beam in our own eye. But faced with the grim reality of our hypocrisy, it is important -- at all costs -- to remain hypocrites. There is a perpetual temptation to simply ratify our failures, and defend them in the face of their discovery rather than surrender.

We fail. Terribly. Some countries, mine especially, more often than others. But it is the idea that we are better than this, aspirational even when not actual, that holds back the tide. ___

2014-08-01 20:31:10 (34 comments, 60 reshares, 102 +1s)

It seems to me that the conjunction of (a) perjuring oneself after (b) illegally breaking into Senate computers to (c) cover up an unimaginably brutal torture program is the sort of thing that one might get fired for.*

For those of you that haven't been following the story, a short summary of what happened: 

(1) The CIA, in offering full access to its files on torture, "inadvertently" included a memorandum submitted to Leon Panetta about the Bush-era torture program. That memorandum concluded that torture of detainees was far more widespread, and far less useful, than previous judgments on the subject had noted.

(2) The CIA attempted to cover its tracks by deleting the memorandum.

(3) Senate staffers for the Committee on Select Intelligence noticed the deletion, and somehow sufficiently averted it that they... more »

It seems to me that the conjunction of (a) perjuring oneself after (b) illegally breaking into Senate computers to (c) cover up an unimaginably brutal torture program is the sort of thing that one might get fired for.*

For those of you that haven't been following the story, a short summary of what happened: 

(1) The CIA, in offering full access to its files on torture, "inadvertently" included a memorandum submitted to Leon Panetta about the Bush-era torture program. That memorandum concluded that torture of detainees was far more widespread, and far less useful, than previous judgments on the subject had noted.

(2) The CIA attempted to cover its tracks by deleting the memorandum.

(3) Senate staffers for the Committee on Select Intelligence noticed the deletion, and somehow sufficiently averted it that they managed to produce an incomplete printout of the memorandum. That memorandum was brought out of the SCIF and transported to Diane Feinstein's office to prevent the CIA from further interfering with it.

(4) The CIA began an investigation which included spying on Senatorial staffers' emails and monitoring their usage of that computer. That investigation -- and the attempt at prosecution which followed -- was initiated by the same Assistant Counsel of the CIA that ordered that videotapes of the torture of terror suspects be destroyed in 2005. To make it very clear, this was not a disinterested party: this is a person who might face criminal prosecution if the facts which he was attempting to scrub were not scrubbed.

(5) That associate counsel submitted a false statement to the Justice Department in an attempt to start prosecution against Diane Feinstein's aides. This did not go over particularly well with the Senator.

The CIA and its apologists have attempted to justify this as a routine  classified-materials handling investigation. This is nonsense. The security clearances of Senate Select Intelligence staffers (and the need to know) are granted by the Committee itself, upon nonbinding consultation with the DCI. In other words, the committee overseeing the CIA can grant arbitrary clearance to investigators; they do not need to receive permission from the clearing agency. As a result, clearance itself is not an adequate reason for an investigation: if the Committee says its staffers are cleared, then its staffers are cleared, full stop.

But, of course, all of that is irrelevant, because the CIA may not investigate Senate staffers engaged in their official duties. After Gravel v. United States, it's clear that Senatorial aides engaged in legislative business enjoy the same absolute immunity that Senators do. Even if we presume that classified documents had been mishandled -- and I might suggest that attempting to delete files in order to obstruct a Congressional investigation is mishandling of a far fucking higher order than trying to ensure that the legacy of America's idiotic, brutal, shameful and wasteful torture program was actually brought to light. 

* In a just world, using an intelligence agency to intentionally subvert democratic processes is the sort of thing that you would get hanged for. Democratic traditions are fragile and fleeting, and spending those traditions on covering up crimes is the sort of thing that we should take very fucking seriously indeed. (But which we don't.)___

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2014-08-01 17:57:38 (7 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)

This is pretty much the best music ever to come from a video game. I keep hoping that Jessica Curry gets a better gig than this. 

This is pretty much the best music ever to come from a video game. I keep hoping that Jessica Curry gets a better gig than this. ___

2014-08-01 15:36:26 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 7 +1s)

I have now explained what regulations I think should be introduced into the state in order that every Athenian may receive sufficient maintenance at the public expense. Some may imagine that enough money would never be subscribed to provide the huge amount of capital necessary, according to their calculations, to finance all these schemes. But even so they need not despair.

In which Xenophon -- after discussing the value of slaves leased to the mines, the likelihood of discovering silver, and the creation of a corporation -- proposes a universal basic income for all Athenian citizens upon the principle of state-owned slaves to work the mines at Laurium.

Without further comment.

I have now explained what regulations I think should be introduced into the state in order that every Athenian may receive sufficient maintenance at the public expense. Some may imagine that enough money would never be subscribed to provide the huge amount of capital necessary, according to their calculations, to finance all these schemes. But even so they need not despair.

In which Xenophon -- after discussing the value of slaves leased to the mines, the likelihood of discovering silver, and the creation of a corporation -- proposes a universal basic income for all Athenian citizens upon the principle of state-owned slaves to work the mines at Laurium.

Without further comment.___

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