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Andreas Schou has been at 1 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Nicholas Kristof1,314,775The 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 20:00:007011 

Andreas Schou has been shared in 75 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
Sunny CT2,281Increase your following with our Amazing CirclesNext circles to include only those resharing thisEven if you are included in this circle,  Add me, +1 , comment and share this to be included in next 2 circles (after 12 Hours)Want to grow your follower list? Need more followers? Join my circles now To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps: 1 - include me in your circles 2 - Click add people and create your circle 3 - share the circle (include yourself) 4 - add +1 to the post(Comment on the original post so that I know you have shared)#powercircle #sharedcircle #topsharedcircle #circleoftheday #sharedcircle #trustinme #circlesharing #circleshare #circles #circleoftheday #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircles #share #vipsnowballcircle #sharedcircleoftheday #sharewithyou #followme #followers #followback #circle #googleplus #coolpeople #circleshare #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #sharedcircles #sharedpubliccircles #circleshare #circlesharing #fullcircleshare #powercircle #sharedcircle 2014-09-15 09:05:4950111411
Sunny CT1,994Fresh AdditionIncrease your following with our Amazing CirclesNext circles to include only those resharing thisEven if you are included in this circle,  Add me, +1 , comment and share this to be included in next 2 circles (after 12 Hours)Want to grow your follower list? Need more followers? Join my circles now To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps: 1 - include me in your circles 2 - Click add people and create your circle 3 - share the circle (include yourself) 4 - add +1 to the post(Comment on the original post so that I know you have shared)#powercircle #sharedcircle #topsharedcircle #circleoftheday #sharedcircle #trustinme #circlesharing #circleshare #circles #circleoftheday #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircles #share #vipsnowballcircle #sharedcircleoftheday #sharewithyou #followme #followers #followback #circle #googleplus #coolpeople #circleshare #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #sharedcircles #sharedpubliccircles #circleshare #circlesharing #fullcircleshare #powercircle #sha2014-09-12 13:14:5050111414
Sunny CT1,994Fresh AdditionIncrease your following with our Amazing CirclesNext circles to include only those resharing thisEven if you are included in this circle,  Add me, +1 , comment and share this to be included in next 2 circles (after 12 Hours)Want to grow your follower list? Need more followers? Join my circles now To be added to the Circle you have to do these simple steps: 1 - include me in your circles 2 - Click add people and create your circle 3 - share the circle (include yourself) 4 - add +1 to the post(Comment on the original post so that I know you have shared)#powercircle #sharedcircle #topsharedcircle #circleoftheday #sharedcircle #trustinme #circlesharing #circleshare #circles #circleoftheday #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircles #share #vipsnowballcircle #sharedcircleoftheday #sharewithyou #followme #followers #followback #circle #googleplus #coolpeople #circleshare #sharedcircles #sharedcircle #sharedcircles #sharedpubliccircles #circleshare #circlesharing #fullcircleshare #powercircle #sha2014-09-12 07:07:225017313
Colin Wilson56Increase your following with our Amazing CirclesThis is a super Circle and in it I put together a group of really interesting and active people on Google Plus to add in your circles.If you want to be added to the next Circle you have to do these simple steps:1 - Include me in your circles 2 - Share the circle (Publicly) 3 - Add +1 to the post #circles #shared #share #add #friends #circle #share #sharecircle #circleshare2014-09-08 06:25:20459111619
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 05:16:124763112
Maria Morisot31,837Moan Lisa's All Kinds of People Shared Circle06 June, 2014RESHARE if you want to be includedmoanlisa.org2014-06-06 14:31:022928274100
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 05:03:174777219
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 16:53:094558052121
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 12:47:424927248106
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 18:07:204536655108
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 18:59:534707753123
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 16:53:09467695295
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 15:12:36462483276
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 07:45:58497543383
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 08:21:34499531881
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 04:50:25498451577
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 14:37:57478411671
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 04:51:54498392268
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 11:29:4447830959
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 11:02:20500341261
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 06:03:17464422473
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 12:35:51501533078
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 15:07:31464422170
Jan Havrda20,092Deep Thinkers.2013-11-15 00:06:31141216
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 07:31:19397441745
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 15:52:43397351953
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 01:37:50501254124248
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 05:36:251941335
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 09:59:4539032733
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 14:06:1838425937
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 10:29:4338924937
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 04:33:32384693082
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 04:14:1033821830
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 14:20:43338532176
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 06:43:023024213
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 11:23:44245206
Mohammad Rahimi2,027I would like to share this circle of people i follow their posts.2013-02-25 05:38:581061928
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 15:28:345005210
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 07:15:50257003
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 19:52:4728412410
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 06:26:433277010
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 04:23:1442210216
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 20:33:1441920625
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 15:53:26287703062
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 18:03:5327515317
Mj Bedford0Shared Circle Saturday My #peace   #circle  Thank you allI circle people who circle meand I refresh this circle Peace2012-11-11 04:03:07258426
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 14:11:37275933482
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 13:52:172561193675
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 19:10:48484723561
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 13:37:49218505056

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Most comments: 83

2014-08-22 01:17:27 (83 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 »

Most reshares: 61

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2014-08-29 21:24:28 (17 comments, 61 reshares, 138 +1s) 

So, I hear that ISIS / ISIL / The Islamic State is attempting to commit genocide against the Yezidi. What's a Yezidi?

Uh, that's a good question. The short answer: they're a Kurdish religious minority. Probably.

What sort of religious minority?

Uh. That depends on who you ask. They're either (a) adherents to the Kurds' ancestral religion, (b) a weird sort of Ismaili Shi'a, or (c) holdovers from Zoroastrianism.

Or they're not even Kurds. (This probably isn't true, but some Yezidi believe this, so I probably ought to mention it.)

Wait, what? Why don't we know something so simple?

So, this area of the world  -- northern Mesopotamia, southern Iran, parts of Syria, and eastern Anatolia -- has historically been a refuge for religious minorities. Under the Parthians and... more »

Most plusones: 138

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2014-08-29 21:24:28 (17 comments, 61 reshares, 138 +1s) 

So, I hear that ISIS / ISIL / The Islamic State is attempting to commit genocide against the Yezidi. What's a Yezidi?

Uh, that's a good question. The short answer: they're a Kurdish religious minority. Probably.

What sort of religious minority?

Uh. That depends on who you ask. They're either (a) adherents to the Kurds' ancestral religion, (b) a weird sort of Ismaili Shi'a, or (c) holdovers from Zoroastrianism.

Or they're not even Kurds. (This probably isn't true, but some Yezidi believe this, so I probably ought to mention it.)

Wait, what? Why don't we know something so simple?

So, this area of the world  -- northern Mesopotamia, southern Iran, parts of Syria, and eastern Anatolia -- has historically been a refuge for religious minorities. Under the Parthians and... more »

Latest 50 posts

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2014-09-22 20:14:37 (7 comments, 5 reshares, 63 +1s) 

How to turn a plastic fork into a metal fork.

How to turn a plastic fork into a metal fork.___

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2014-09-22 20:14:08 (24 comments, 2 reshares, 22 +1s) 

How Not to Do Science: A Guide

This Roundup study which claims that glyphosate is responsible for  gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease?  It's utter nonsense.

(1) First off, a niggling little point. Google "exogenous semiotic entropy." It's what the study claims that Roundup sensitivity is a "textbook example" of. That isn't a thing that actually exists. In fact, no textbook provides an example of that, because its only occurrence in the English-language corpus is in this paper.

Its inclusion, however, is not surprising, because: 

(2) Entropy  is not a peer-reviewed journal, and this is not a medical journal. It's an open-access information-theory journal. Including the throwaway reference to "exogenoussemio... more »

How Not to Do Science: A Guide

This Roundup study which claims that glyphosate is responsible for  gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease?  It's utter nonsense.

(1) First off, a niggling little point. Google "exogenous semiotic entropy." It's what the study claims that Roundup sensitivity is a "textbook example" of. That isn't a thing that actually exists. In fact, no textbook provides an example of that, because its only occurrence in the English-language corpus is in this paper.

Its inclusion, however, is not surprising, because: 

(2) Entropy  is not a peer-reviewed journal, and this is not a medical journal. It's an open-access information-theory journal. Including the throwaway reference to "exogenous semiotic entropy" (whatever that is) allows the authors to slip it into a journal with clearly irrelevant subject matter, and to avoid comment by people who actually know what they're talking about.

But why an information theory journal? Simple:

(3) Neither of the authors are medical professionals or biochemists. One is a computer scientist and mathematician. The other is an environmental engineer who primarily works as an expert witness. Neither have any professional experience working in this area.

That doesn't mean they don't know what they're talking about. It's just that there's no independent reason to believe they know what they're talking about. 

(4) So, what about the quality of their work? Unsurprisingly, as neither author has access to the sort of laboratory where one might do experimental work on this topic, no experimental work was done. It's a hypothesis dressed up as a research paper, without any independent work done to prove it. 

This, itself, does not demonstrate that it's wrong. Survey papers and meta-analyses have a long history in science, and they often prove something interesting that the underlying papers do not.

(5) So let's look at the science. The hypothesis here is that glyphosate, an amino-acid analogue, causes disease by binding CYP450 enzymes and damaging the gut microbiome. This is, initially, plausible: glyphosate binds to CYP450 enzymes, and also blocks an aromatic amino acid synthesis pathway which is present in plants, fungi, and most microbes, but absent in multicellular animals. 

So far, so good.

Here's where you first run into problems: CYP450 enzymes are a general-purpose molecular garbage-collection system. They're designed to bind to chemicals which would be biochemically dangerous or disruptive. Most drugs, for instance, are metabolized by the CYP450 system, as are most of the dangerous compounds found in food. CYP450 is (for instance) the reason you can eat blue cheese without having seizures and renal failure. 

In other words, binding CYP450 is evidence that glyphosate has no legitimate metabolic function. Which is true. It is not, however, evidence that it's doing any harm: we produce huge volumes of these enzymes, and present them in our gut wall. Which is where we run into the second set of problems.

Particularly, that we present CYP450 in our gut wall. When we ingest glyphosate, it is continuously degraded by the garbage-collection system in our gut. In short, we can have one problem or the other, but not (in general) both: if glyphosate is binding CYP450 and degrading the quality of our garbage-collection, it is substantially cleaned up by the time it reaches the small intestine, which is host to much of our gut flora. If glyphosate is reaching our small intestine intact, it isn't binding much CYP450. 

But let's say we're eating large quantities of glyphosate, and it's overcoming our garbage collection. Do we still have a problem?

Probably not, no.

The microbicidal effects of glyphosate are well-documented: it inhibits bacterial growth and kills fungi dead. But it's also strongly bound by polar colloids like those that occur in soil. In vitro, glyphosate is strongly microbicidal. In vivo, not so much: once glyphosate starts getting bound up by clay particles or organic colloids, then it stops killing bacteria.

Your gut is full of organic colloids. There's been some evidence that there are effects on chicken gut microbiomes, but (a) chickens eat directly out of weed patches, and (b) our guts are much longer, meaning that you get more glyphosate exposure to CYP450s. 

In other words, it is a perfectly good hypothesis ruined only by the fact that it does not appear to be true. 

(6) So, then, is Roundup awesome? 

No. Are you kidding me? That shit kills plants. It kills rare plants, it kills common plants, and it kills soil bacteria. It encourages monoculture. There are plenty of problems with Roundup. Roundup killing humans is not one of those things.___

2014-09-18 20:38:43 (24 comments, 1 reshares, 7 +1s) 

Because Reasons*, I have found myself in need of a good list of MRA blogs.  Relatively moderate if possible.

I started out by finding the ones I found most objectionable. That's easy. However, I soon  realized that if I were presented with the task of providing a list of feminist blogs with a basically symmetrical -but-opposite knowledge of the subject, I would be hate-reading things  like I Blame the Patriarchy and Shakesville, both of which I dislike even as a self-identified feminist. I would, in other words, turn up things I would consider  strawmen.

Can anyone offer me better suggestions? You can send them in private post if you'd prefer not to out yourself.

(1) These are not the reasons you'd expect.

Because Reasons*, I have found myself in need of a good list of MRA blogs.  Relatively moderate if possible.

I started out by finding the ones I found most objectionable. That's easy. However, I soon  realized that if I were presented with the task of providing a list of feminist blogs with a basically symmetrical -but-opposite knowledge of the subject, I would be hate-reading things  like I Blame the Patriarchy and Shakesville, both of which I dislike even as a self-identified feminist. I would, in other words, turn up things I would consider  strawmen.

Can anyone offer me better suggestions? You can send them in private post if you'd prefer not to out yourself.

(1) These are not the reasons you'd expect.___

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2014-09-18 20:29:06 (15 comments, 4 reshares, 27 +1s) 

I keep banging this drum, but the media never listens: this decision is not at all what it sounds like.

In the course of a lawsuit, the defendant has three opportunities to win. Early on in the case -- before evidence is collected -- the defendant can file a motion to dismiss. The most common basis for such a motion is that even if the plaintiff's claims are true, the defendant's conduct was legal. In the middle phase of the lawsuit, after preliminary motions up to the end of discovery, the defendant can file a motion for summary judgment, claiming that no reasonable finder of fact would decide for the plaintiff. Finally, the defendant can win at trial.

This makes motions to dismiss ugly from a public relations perspective: you have to explain why, even if true, the complaint isn't valid. This leads to outcomes like this, where judges explain that unconscionable conduct... more »

I keep banging this drum, but the media never listens: this decision is not at all what it sounds like.

In the course of a lawsuit, the defendant has three opportunities to win. Early on in the case -- before evidence is collected -- the defendant can file a motion to dismiss. The most common basis for such a motion is that even if the plaintiff's claims are true, the defendant's conduct was legal. In the middle phase of the lawsuit, after preliminary motions up to the end of discovery, the defendant can file a motion for summary judgment, claiming that no reasonable finder of fact would decide for the plaintiff. Finally, the defendant can win at trial.

This makes motions to dismiss ugly from a public relations perspective: you have to explain why, even if true, the complaint isn't valid. This leads to outcomes like this, where judges explain that unconscionable conduct (like manipulating ratings) is perfectly legal. But there is essentially no alternative: if we expected companies to admit the illegality of unconscionable behavior, we'd be creating a huge volume of entirely judge-made law and ceding all borderline cases to the most expansive interpretation. 

The legal system can't work like that. And we shouldn't expect it to.___

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2014-09-18 17:04:47 (7 comments, 1 reshares, 13 +1s) 

On a similar note, another character I've run.

(Thanks, as always, to +Jacob Howell.)

On a similar note, another character I've run.

(Thanks, as always, to +Jacob Howell.)___

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2014-09-17 19:14:39 (3 comments, 1 reshares, 11 +1s) 

Our most popular animal resident turns 19 today!

Our most popular animal resident turns 19 today!___

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2014-09-17 18:47:41 (30 comments, 8 reshares, 41 +1s) 

Exactly this. For a variety of reasons related and unrelated to actual crime-fighting policy, the incidence of most crimes in America have dropped by ~50%.

This is true both of the crimes worried about by the right (robbery, random murder, drug crime) and the crimes worried about by the left (rape, domestic violence, hate crimes.) And yet the rhetoric surrounding crime in America has hardly changed at all. 

It's genuinely baffling.

(Via +Michael Chui.)

Exactly this. For a variety of reasons related and unrelated to actual crime-fighting policy, the incidence of most crimes in America have dropped by ~50%.

This is true both of the crimes worried about by the right (robbery, random murder, drug crime) and the crimes worried about by the left (rape, domestic violence, hate crimes.) And yet the rhetoric surrounding crime in America has hardly changed at all. 

It's genuinely baffling.

(Via +Michael Chui.)___

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2014-09-13 21:05:13 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 27 +1s) 

___

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2014-09-10 20:32:48 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 20 +1s) 

My Planescape character, Inspector X. Thanks to +Jacob Howell.

My Planescape character, Inspector X. Thanks to +Jacob Howell.___

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2014-09-10 19:00:44 (20 comments, 2 reshares, 18 +1s) 

Via +Michael K Pate, a somewhat bizarre article by Jeff Goldberg. I want to focus on one sentence: "Chaos and collapse in the Middle East cannot be solely, or even (perhaps) mainly, attributed to the mistaken or ill-conceived ideas, goals, speeches, and strategies of American presidents"

Across the political spectrum, from Jacobin to the National Review, American authors assume that the United States is an unmoved mover in world affairs. The assumption of presidential omnipotence is so strong that even when rejecting the idea, the writer must deprecate the idea of substantial foreign autonomy. This is utterly baffling to me: while we caused (in some broad sense) the present instability in Iraq and the present government in Iran, the story of Syrian resistance and the Iranian nuclear program would be essentially the same had we closed our borders and maintained strict neutrality since... more »

Via +Michael K Pate, a somewhat bizarre article by Jeff Goldberg. I want to focus on one sentence: "Chaos and collapse in the Middle East cannot be solely, or even (perhaps) mainly, attributed to the mistaken or ill-conceived ideas, goals, speeches, and strategies of American presidents"

Across the political spectrum, from Jacobin to the National Review, American authors assume that the United States is an unmoved mover in world affairs. The assumption of presidential omnipotence is so strong that even when rejecting the idea, the writer must deprecate the idea of substantial foreign autonomy. This is utterly baffling to me: while we caused (in some broad sense) the present instability in Iraq and the present government in Iran, the story of Syrian resistance and the Iranian nuclear program would be essentially the same had we closed our borders and maintained strict neutrality since the early 1980s.___

2014-09-09 19:53:58 (5 comments, 1 reshares, 19 +1s) 

If Alice wants to send email to Bob without anyone else, not an eavesdropper like the NSA, not an email provider like Google, no one else seeing that email, she needs to use end-to-end crypto. She'll use a particular key that Bob has to encrypt her email, so that no one else can decrypt it. This is way, way harder than it sounds.

First off, how does Alice actually get Bob's key? She could just hand it to him for later use, WWII-crypto-style, but actually going places is so passe (not to mention wildly inconvenient) and doesn't scale.

The way the internet as a whole solves this is to trust a bunch of companies called Certificate Authorities to sign certificates saying things like cryptographic key GARBAGEMUMBLE belongs to www.bob.com. This is how browsers know to show the little lock icon when you're using SSL -- they check the key against the domain... more »

If Alice wants to send email to Bob without anyone else, not an eavesdropper like the NSA, not an email provider like Google, no one else seeing that email, she needs to use end-to-end crypto. She'll use a particular key that Bob has to encrypt her email, so that no one else can decrypt it. This is way, way harder than it sounds.

First off, how does Alice actually get Bob's key? She could just hand it to him for later use, WWII-crypto-style, but actually going places is so passe (not to mention wildly inconvenient) and doesn't scale.

The way the internet as a whole solves this is to trust a bunch of companies called Certificate Authorities to sign certificates saying things like cryptographic key GARBAGEMUMBLE belongs to www.bob.com. This is how browsers know to show the little lock icon when you're using SSL -- they check the key against the domain name in the URL. This works exactly as well as you'd expect for a global system that underlies a huge amount of commerce: quite well most of the time, but every so often a security hole or someone making a terrible mistake (often at the behest of a government like Iran) lets someone subvert the system.[1]

Some people avoid this by signing each others' keys in a complicated dance called a web of trust. It's also vulnerable to subversion, but mostly it's complicated, which makes it extremely hard to secure in practice[2]. Seriously, read the directions[3]. It's the best alternative we (currently) have, though. (Gmail even supports it, which makes it a lot easier to use.[4])

There's another problem. What if Alice is a spammer? Mike Hern wrote a fascinating history of the Spam Wars and speculates how it would be different in a world of end-to-end crypto.

Personal stance: I find end-to-end crypto to be really interesting but extremely difficult to make work in the real world. My PhD thesis is even on a corner of this problem. Hard problems are the best problems. ;)

[1] One example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DigiNotar
[2] http://utcc.utoronto.ca/~cks/space/blog/tech/WebOfTrustFailure
[3] http://cryptnet.net/fdp/crypto/keysigning_party/en/keysigning_party.html
[4] http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2014/06/making-end-to-end-encryption-easier-to.html___

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2014-09-09 19:26:04 (30 comments, 3 reshares, 35 +1s) 

The choice between our historical allies in the Middle East and unfreezing US-Iranian relations is not as stark as it seems. Consider the position we're in:

On the Sunni side, you have two basketcase monarchies whose largely-independent royals are given free reign to run their own foreign policies. This notably includes "giving money and materiel to terrorists, radical Sunni militias, and Hamas." The money we pay out in military subsidies doesn't -- and cannot -- buy better alignment with American foreign policy goals.

On the Shi'a side, you have a democracy -- a profoundly illiberal one, but a democracy nonetheless -- which has historically been the guarantor of minority rights in adjacent countries, and whose support is necessary to reign in Shi'a chauvinism in Iraq. Sunni radicalism gives it as much (or more) reason to worry as it does us. Unfortunately, it... more »

The choice between our historical allies in the Middle East and unfreezing US-Iranian relations is not as stark as it seems. Consider the position we're in:

On the Sunni side, you have two basketcase monarchies whose largely-independent royals are given free reign to run their own foreign policies. This notably includes "giving money and materiel to terrorists, radical Sunni militias, and Hamas." The money we pay out in military subsidies doesn't -- and cannot -- buy better alignment with American foreign policy goals.

On the Shi'a side, you have a democracy -- a profoundly illiberal one, but a democracy nonetheless -- which has historically been the guarantor of minority rights in adjacent countries, and whose support is necessary to reign in Shi'a chauvinism in Iraq. Sunni radicalism gives it as much (or more) reason to worry as it does us. Unfortunately, it also has an active nuclear program, and underwrites Hezbollah and the Assads.

This dilemma would be pretty much irrelevant if Iran were unable or unwilling to cooperate. But that's not the case, either.

Immediately after 9/11, the Iranian government reached out to the United States with an offer of assistance. And they followed through: while US forces moved in largely from the north, Iranian special forces and Northern Alliance militiamen moved in from the east, securing most of the Farsi and Dari-speaking regions of Afghanistan. After US and Afghan troops moved in, they retreated back to Iran -- and since that point, they've been relatively quiet, except insofar as they've meddled to secure (majority-Shi'a) Hazara areas of the country against Pashtun interference. 

What fucked that up? In short, we did. Cheney's incessant (and intemperate) saber-rattling against Iran, in conjunction with the nonsensical Axis-of-Evil speech and the Iraq war, returned US-Iranian relations to the pre-9/11 status quo. It's only recently that they've gotten back to the point where they were after 9/11. 

There are still major points of contention -- primarily around Syria, Israel, and Iran's nuclear program -- but there's absolutely no reason to reject cooperation on the large number of regional issues where US and Iranian interests are deeply aligned. ___

2014-09-04 19:52:58 (52 comments, 1 reshares, 20 +1s) 

Hurray! Russia has come up with a seven-point plan to "broker" "peace" with the "Ukrainian" "rebels."  Unsurprisingly, the plan amounts to capitulation and cession of the territory to Russo-Ukrainians, details to be determined later.

Hurray! Russia has come up with a seven-point plan to "broker" "peace" with the "Ukrainian" "rebels."  Unsurprisingly, the plan amounts to capitulation and cession of the territory to Russo-Ukrainians, details to be determined later.___

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2014-09-03 22:30:53 (26 comments, 4 reshares, 37 +1s) 

Here, +Emily Bazelon suggests that we get rid of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. 

Revenge porn is a huge problem. Fixing the problem this way is a terrible idea. Here's why:

Section 230 of the CDA does something extraordinarily simple: protects intermediaries from publication liability. If you didn't write it, and didn't exercise editorial discretion, then you're not responsible for it if it shows up on your site. That's how (for instance) Google can provide you with search results or cached pages without screening absolutely everything it touches for defamation. That's how bulletin boards and chat rooms or Facebook can take in user-generated content without certifying it as defamation-free. 

The process necessary to screen everything for liability risk would be extraordinarily intrusive -- and the necessity of human discretionwou... more »

Here, +Emily Bazelon suggests that we get rid of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. 

Revenge porn is a huge problem. Fixing the problem this way is a terrible idea. Here's why:

Section 230 of the CDA does something extraordinarily simple: protects intermediaries from publication liability. If you didn't write it, and didn't exercise editorial discretion, then you're not responsible for it if it shows up on your site. That's how (for instance) Google can provide you with search results or cached pages without screening absolutely everything it touches for defamation. That's how bulletin boards and chat rooms or Facebook can take in user-generated content without certifying it as defamation-free. 

The process necessary to screen everything for liability risk would be extraordinarily intrusive -- and the necessity of human discretion would mean that actual people would be picking through private content. No one can do that at the necessary scale, and even if it were possible, we wouldn't want it done. 

But there are two quick fixes that could address the problem without requiring an intrusive human inspection regime:

(1) As of today, we exempt all intermediaries from publication liability, including those intermediaries which exist explicitly for the purpose of publishing defamatory material or revenge pornography. The necessary carve-out would be relatively small: if you're explicitly soliciting the sort of thing which would be illegal to publish, then you're vicariously liable when it's published. That means that Reddit or 4Chan (both of which have forums explicitly soliciting this) would have to takedown or litigate, but larger, more neutral forums with incidental exposure could shovel off the liability on the people responsible. 

(2) Detecting important-to-scrub photos is a solved problem. For instance, NCVIP maintains a database of known child pornography hashes. Maintaining and providing a similar canonical database of revenge porn and leaked-nude photo hashes would provide a simple and relatively non-intrusive way of programmatically scrubbing leaked images without exercising human discretion. 

There's no way to solve the problem for everyone, and there's no way to solve the problem infallibly. But there is a better way to combat this sort of abuse (and prevent it from scaling so terribly) without paying the  unreasonable privacy cost suggested here. ___

2014-09-03 19:42:32 (20 comments, 3 reshares, 19 +1s) 

With enough time and effort, a single vulnerability like the Find My Phone bug can open up huge quantities of private user data to access by hostile governments, stalkers, and 4Chan -- and as careful as large tech companies are about design, we can't absolutely insure ourselves against zero-day bugs.

It would be pretty tacky to give away U2F keys in Oscar gift bags, but anyone at risk needs to move away away from a password-only authentication model. These little keys make two-factor authentication much, much easier: when I'm at work, I just enter my password, touch the key, and do whatever what I was going to do before. 

It's as simple as it should be.

With enough time and effort, a single vulnerability like the Find My Phone bug can open up huge quantities of private user data to access by hostile governments, stalkers, and 4Chan -- and as careful as large tech companies are about design, we can't absolutely insure ourselves against zero-day bugs.

It would be pretty tacky to give away U2F keys in Oscar gift bags, but anyone at risk needs to move away away from a password-only authentication model. These little keys make two-factor authentication much, much easier: when I'm at work, I just enter my password, touch the key, and do whatever what I was going to do before. 

It's as simple as it should be.___

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2014-09-03 19:08:14 (14 comments, 25 reshares, 83 +1s) 

This is profoundly dangerous.

As the surveillance techniques available to the police change, we rely on court supervision to give us more (and more general) rules governing their use. This is the reason that, for instance, the police can't use infrared cameras to look through the walls of your house, or use laser microphones to listen: it doesn't matter that the vibrations or heat are technically exiting your house; you have a reasonable expectation that no one will look.

Since the turn of the millennium, there have been enormous advances in electronic surveillance. Information scraped by the NSA can be forwarded on to the FBI or DEA, and fake "repeater" towers can intercept enormous volumes of cellphone calls -- and considering the poor state of telecom encryption, most of that information is in plaintext or close to it. And what sort of oversight have we gotten?... more »

This is profoundly dangerous.

As the surveillance techniques available to the police change, we rely on court supervision to give us more (and more general) rules governing their use. This is the reason that, for instance, the police can't use infrared cameras to look through the walls of your house, or use laser microphones to listen: it doesn't matter that the vibrations or heat are technically exiting your house; you have a reasonable expectation that no one will look.

Since the turn of the millennium, there have been enormous advances in electronic surveillance. Information scraped by the NSA can be forwarded on to the FBI or DEA, and fake "repeater" towers can intercept enormous volumes of cellphone calls -- and considering the poor state of telecom encryption, most of that information is in plaintext or close to it. And what sort of oversight have we gotten?

Essentially none.

American law enforcement agencies have gone to tremendous lengths to scrape together second-source data to cover their electronic techniques, exposing essentially none of their advanced surveillance to courts. As a result, as the sophistication of surveillance increases, the law of surveillance remains fixed in the 1990s -- well before any of the truly terrifying surveillance techniques were developed.

If we intend to remain a liberal state -- and we should -- then this sort of dragnet surveillance must be exposed to oversight outside the executive branch. ___

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2014-09-02 18:55:51 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 36 +1s) 

Bookend added and removed here.

Bookend added and removed here.___

2014-08-29 21:25:24 (11 comments, 1 reshares, 19 +1s) 

There's a familiar line of argument in the Anita Sarkeesian story: it's just assholes, you can tell because men get it, too.

The concept here is that the targets are being needled by assholes, who pick up the most effective tool for the job, whether that's someone's race, gender, disability, whatever. And it's true that, if you do this, you're an asshole.

But it's not as if most assholes are assholes to everyone. No, they have motivations. Assholery is visited on the targets of their rages, insecurities, or whatever complex has given rise to the capacity itself but assholery is not always target-defining. Rather, a person already possesses some special enmity to a person, group, activity, or other thing and then proceeds to visit assholery upon them. While being an asshole may well be 'genetic', it's not a gene which is in constant expression... more »

There's a familiar line of argument in the Anita Sarkeesian story: it's just assholes, you can tell because men get it, too.

The concept here is that the targets are being needled by assholes, who pick up the most effective tool for the job, whether that's someone's race, gender, disability, whatever. And it's true that, if you do this, you're an asshole.

But it's not as if most assholes are assholes to everyone. No, they have motivations. Assholery is visited on the targets of their rages, insecurities, or whatever complex has given rise to the capacity itself but assholery is not always target-defining. Rather, a person already possesses some special enmity to a person, group, activity, or other thing and then proceeds to visit assholery upon them. While being an asshole may well be 'genetic', it's not a gene which is in constant expression for most people. 

If someone is a misogynist asshole, it's because the factors which turn them into a flaming turd of a human being are misogynist factors. This is not so hard to accept. We easily note otherwise normal people who become assholes when driving a car or at parties or to particular people. We've all no doubt heard someone say "if they didn't die in that wreck, I'd have to kill them myself" if we've ridden with diverse enough people through urban traffic. And we certainly know of at least a few strange feuds which turn our friends into aggressive assholes over some minor disagreement years ago. Sometimes people even outgrow it, either ceasing to be assholes or ceasing to feel the emotional stimulus strongly enough.

A misogynist asshole is no different, they're just activated by a situation which implicates their generally negative view of women.___

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2014-08-29 21:24:28 (17 comments, 61 reshares, 138 +1s) 

So, I hear that ISIS / ISIL / The Islamic State is attempting to commit genocide against the Yezidi. What's a Yezidi?

Uh, that's a good question. The short answer: they're a Kurdish religious minority. Probably.

What sort of religious minority?

Uh. That depends on who you ask. They're either (a) adherents to the Kurds' ancestral religion, (b) a weird sort of Ismaili Shi'a, or (c) holdovers from Zoroastrianism.

Or they're not even Kurds. (This probably isn't true, but some Yezidi believe this, so I probably ought to mention it.)

Wait, what? Why don't we know something so simple?

So, this area of the world  -- northern Mesopotamia, southern Iran, parts of Syria, and eastern Anatolia -- has historically been a refuge for religious minorities. Under the Parthians and... more »

So, I hear that ISIS / ISIL / The Islamic State is attempting to commit genocide against the Yezidi. What's a Yezidi?

Uh, that's a good question. The short answer: they're a Kurdish religious minority. Probably.

What sort of religious minority?

Uh. That depends on who you ask. They're either (a) adherents to the Kurds' ancestral religion, (b) a weird sort of Ismaili Shi'a, or (c) holdovers from Zoroastrianism.

Or they're not even Kurds. (This probably isn't true, but some Yezidi believe this, so I probably ought to mention it.)

Wait, what? Why don't we know something so simple?

So, this area of the world  -- northern Mesopotamia, southern Iran, parts of Syria, and eastern Anatolia -- has historically been a refuge for religious minorities. Under the Parthians and Sassanids, it played host to dissident Zoroastrianism. Until the Mongol invasion, it was the homeland of the Sabians of Harran. The strongholds of the Assassins were built here. And other syncretic faiths like the Druze and Ahl-e-Haqq were founded in the same region.

In short, if mainstream Islam didn't approve of it, it was probably invented somewhere around here. And there's been a lot of cross-pollination since. For more about that, see here: http://goo.gl/Ct2lCI.

Can't we just ask them?

Sure! We could do that. For a relatively small, persecuted religious minority, they're surprisingly open about their religion. It's just that... well... asking them doesn't make it clear.

Why not?

From one perspective, Yezidis look a lot like Sufis. They worship at the tombs of Sufi saints. They even maintain some of them. They use Sufi religious terminology (Murids, Sheikhs) to describe their caste system. They have a round of obligatory daily prayers. They claim that their name comes from the Caliph Yazid, who officially sanctioned their religion.

And periodically, the ruling authorities have decided that they're Ismaili Shi'a and decided not to persecute them. 

So, they're a kind of Muslim?

From another perspective, they're ... uh ... the exact opposite of Muslim.

They venerate Satan in the form of a peacock. Their most valuable religious artifacts are brass peacock idols. They tend to pray toward those (or the sun) rather than toward the Kaaba. And they certainly aren't religions of the book: if they actually have a book (and this is unclear), it's in Armenia and no one living has actually read it. 

And they've periodically had prohibitions on literacy, although this -- like most other religious rules -- are not particularly common. 

So, they're Satanists?

Uh. No, not that either. 

You see, after refusing to bow down to mankind, Melek Tawus reconciled with God. He and the other angels are back to being agents of God on earth and in Heaven.Because God eventually wrote off this one little sin, it's not fair to call Melek Tawus "Satan" in the normal sense.

In fact, the angels in Yezidism are really more like the Yazatas of Zoroastrianism -- which is a much more sensible origin than the name of a very unpopular (but perfectly orthodox) Caliph. 

So, they're, what, Zoroastrians?

Uh.

They're nothing like modern Zoroastrians, at least. After going through a very long phase where it was a lot like Hinduism, and a somewhat shorter phase where it picked up Platonist ideas, modern Zoroastrianism ended up with fairly strict dualism and fire temples. In other words, if Yezidism is anything like Zoroastrianism, it's like a type of Zoroastrianism which is very poorly documented.

Then, of course, there's that thing with peacocks.

What thing with peacocks?

In Zoroastrianism, they're a symbol of transcendent evil. After Ahura Mazda creates every living thing, Ahirman creates the peacock -- just to demonstrate that evil can create things of beauty, but that it refuses to. 

It seems pretty unlikely that Yezidi would have gotten another thing about the most common local religion exactly backwards. If their religious dissent dates all the way back to the era where Zoroastrianism was the most common religion, they were likely dissidents back then, too. 

Jesus. They could not have engineered their religion any better to make their neighbors uneasy. At least they're part of the broader Kurdish community, though, right?

Yezidi usually believe they're Kurds. 

Unfortunately, relations between the Yezidi of Sinjar (who were recently stuck on top of a mountain with no water) and the rest of the Kurds are tense. Because Sinjar Yezidi do not by any means believe they're Kurds, and want to remain separate from them. This means a number of things.

First, there weren't many Sinjar Yezidi in the peshmerga. That meant that rescuing Sinjar was a relatively low priority. Second, that meant that Sinjar Kurds had, until recently, been raising a huge political ruckus about getting parliamentary representation separate from the larger Kurdish block.

What can the rest of the world do about it?

Fortunately for everyone (except the Yezidi still in Iraq), there has been a large Yezidi diaspora to more friendly countries. Most of the world's Yezidi population lives in Iraq, but an increasing number are immigrating to Germany and the United States. 

Lincoln, Nebraska has a large Yezidi population, and they seem to be doing fine. In fact, it seems like -- in general -- the Yezidi do fine everywhere but home. And there are only half a million Yezidi worldwide: enough for the West to happily take on as a diasporic population.

Which we kind of owe them.

When the US moved in and conquered the country they live in -- in the process, making it completely unsafe -- a huge number of our translators were ethnic Yezidi. We may not be able to adhere to we break it, we bought it with respect to the catastrophic, immoral war that shattered their tenuous peace, but we can at least adhere to it in bringing them to a safer place. We've done it before, with the Hmong, and we can do it again.___

2014-08-28 19:25:22 (20 comments, 1 reshares, 18 +1s) 

As it happens, a while back I flipped on whether Obama has statutory authority to regulate greenhouse gases. I'm generally against raw use of executive authority, it undermines democracy, I think, especially when it is explicitly done because Congress would never approve.

An argument about this went to reading the law and we discovered that the authority is explicitly contained in the Clean Air Act, which defines "air pollutants" in terms of emissions simpliciter and "effects on welfare" in reference to climate (among other things). These are the terms necessary, in conjunction with emission from multiple sources, for accession to the list of controlled emissions.

We were actually shocked; the debate makes it seem questionable, but the law appears unequivocal. Both of us expected to debate interpretations and hoary legal areas. Instead, I looked up from my iPad,... more »

As it happens, a while back I flipped on whether Obama has statutory authority to regulate greenhouse gases. I'm generally against raw use of executive authority, it undermines democracy, I think, especially when it is explicitly done because Congress would never approve.

An argument about this went to reading the law and we discovered that the authority is explicitly contained in the Clean Air Act, which defines "air pollutants" in terms of emissions simpliciter and "effects on welfare" in reference to climate (among other things). These are the terms necessary, in conjunction with emission from multiple sources, for accession to the list of controlled emissions.

We were actually shocked; the debate makes it seem questionable, but the law appears unequivocal. Both of us expected to debate interpretations and hoary legal areas. Instead, I looked up from my iPad, read the passage defining "welfare" in the act, and said "that's it, they have explicit statutory authority". Then we gave each other a dumbfounded look.

So why the administration has not been saying "go read the law, it's right there" isn't clear to me.___

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2014-08-28 17:07:29 (12 comments, 1 reshares, 24 +1s) 

I would welcome an Asian lesbian cyborg for Australian pm.

I would welcome an Asian lesbian cyborg for Australian pm.___

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2014-08-28 16:55:49 (6 comments, 5 reshares, 11 +1s) 

In a series of experiments, we established internet-mediated [brain to brain] communication by combining a BCI based on voluntary motor imagery-controlled electroencephalographic (EEG) changes with a CBI inducing the conscious perception of phosphenes (light flashes) through neuronavigated, robotized transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), with special care taken to block sensory (tactile, visual or auditory) cues. Our results provide a critical proof-of-principle demonstration for the development of conscious [brain to brain] communication technologies.

In a series of experiments, we established internet-mediated [brain to brain] communication by combining a BCI based on voluntary motor imagery-controlled electroencephalographic (EEG) changes with a CBI inducing the conscious perception of phosphenes (light flashes) through neuronavigated, robotized transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), with special care taken to block sensory (tactile, visual or auditory) cues. Our results provide a critical proof-of-principle demonstration for the development of conscious [brain to brain] communication technologies.___

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2014-08-27 22:16:08 (4 comments, 11 reshares, 36 +1s) 

I found this out a week ago and wittered about it to friends. I still think it's cool so now you get to see it too.

So Mason and Dixon go on an epic quest to build a straight line, sponsored by the King. But being a careful astronomer/surveyor duo, as well as marking their way in one direction, they took back-bearings and recorded the errors.

They expected the distribution in errors in their back-measurements to be a normal distribution with its mean being 0.

It was consistently south of the mark. After some puzzling, they deduce that the line was being pulled by a nearby mountain range.

So they email the Royal Society and say, "Hey, you'll never guess what happened?" and the Astronomer Royal is tickled pink by this. The RS has some dough left over because they scrimped on observing the passage of venus last year. So he decides to take a... more »

I found this out a week ago and wittered about it to friends. I still think it's cool so now you get to see it too.

So Mason and Dixon go on an epic quest to build a straight line, sponsored by the King. But being a careful astronomer/surveyor duo, as well as marking their way in one direction, they took back-bearings and recorded the errors.

They expected the distribution in errors in their back-measurements to be a normal distribution with its mean being 0.

It was consistently south of the mark. After some puzzling, they deduce that the line was being pulled by a nearby mountain range.

So they email the Royal Society and say, "Hey, you'll never guess what happened?" and the Astronomer Royal is tickled pink by this. The RS has some dough left over because they scrimped on observing the passage of venus last year. So he decides to take a year-long leave of absence and go weigh a mountain.

Mason picks out a cone-shaped mountain for him, there being no perfectly spherical ones in sight: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schiehallion

So they measure the perturbation of the gravitational zenith from the astronomical one and, armed with Newton's newfangled equations of gravitation, discover that the mountain is only half as dense as the world. Must be a metal core at the centre, is the conclusion.

To improve on the back-of-envelope -- assume it's a perfect cone -- volume estimates, they employ a phalanx of surveyors to find its volume precisely. They came up with a funky new tool to visualise the mountain: contour lines.

So there you have it. From a petty boundary dispute in the colonies to a metal core via contour lines.

The paper, http://rstl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/65/500 makes for excellent reading: it's clear and written rather like a Sherlock Holmes story. Just remember that the letter 's' is typeset very long and thin so looks a bit f-ish. One lovely feature is that the first word on each page is written on its own on the last line of the previous page.___

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2014-08-27 20:52:55 (22 comments, 5 reshares, 31 +1s) 

This is all a very sad commentary on the modern Democratic party. Remember that it was founded by General Andrew Jackson – “Old Hickory” as they used to call him – back in the 1820s to fight political privilege, on behalf of the “humble members of society,” as Jackson called them. Old Hickory was a straight shooter if there ever was one, and he hated the idea of the government playing favorites.

For God's sake, Fox. 

Andrew Jackson invented the spoils system. He won reelection on the principle that government should play favorites. For 100 years thereafter, the Democratic party was essentially the party of unions, graft, and white supremacy. (The Republicans, on the other hand, were the party of federal overreach, plutocracy, bailouts, and subsidy.)

If that Democratic party weren't dead, I would take it out back and shoot it myself. Disliking Democratsis one thing... more »

This is all a very sad commentary on the modern Democratic party. Remember that it was founded by General Andrew Jackson – “Old Hickory” as they used to call him – back in the 1820s to fight political privilege, on behalf of the “humble members of society,” as Jackson called them. Old Hickory was a straight shooter if there ever was one, and he hated the idea of the government playing favorites.

For God's sake, Fox. 

Andrew Jackson invented the spoils system. He won reelection on the principle that government should play favorites. For 100 years thereafter, the Democratic party was essentially the party of unions, graft, and white supremacy. (The Republicans, on the other hand, were the party of federal overreach, plutocracy, bailouts, and subsidy.)

If that Democratic party weren't dead, I would take it out back and shoot it myself. Disliking Democrats is one thing. But liking the Democrats of 1830, much less the Democrats of 1890, is an almost-unparalleled moral horror.___

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2014-08-26 22:14:31 (17 comments, 2 reshares, 16 +1s) 

I've been quiet recently. The reason? I've spent the last couple lunches writing this. It's got boring ghosts, multiple timelike dimensions, contact with slightly-alternate universes, and the invisible death of free will. 

I've been quiet recently. The reason? I've spent the last couple lunches writing this. It's got boring ghosts, multiple timelike dimensions, contact with slightly-alternate universes, and the invisible death of free will. ___

2014-08-25 16:41:41 (23 comments, 3 reshares, 2 +1s) 

Dalmia tries to argue out of our clear support for larger government by misquoting the survey, arguing that support drops when "higher taxes" are mentioned. But that's not the question the survey asks, the question, with added emphasis, there is: "If you had to choose, would you rather have a smaller govt providing fewer services (with low taxes), or a larger govt providing more services (with high taxes)?"

That's a very different question because "high taxes" for most people means "higher than would be required to deliver programs efficiently". Nobody, not even hardest socialists, advocates that position because nobody ever thinks about a universe where the government levies taxes then literally burns the money. In other articles Reason authors try to argue that this means we don't know what big government is.

No, we do. We... more »

Dalmia tries to argue out of our clear support for larger government by misquoting the survey, arguing that support drops when "higher taxes" are mentioned. But that's not the question the survey asks, the question, with added emphasis, there is: "If you had to choose, would you rather have a smaller govt providing fewer services (with low taxes), or a larger govt providing more services (with high taxes)?"

That's a very different question because "high taxes" for most people means "higher than would be required to deliver programs efficiently". Nobody, not even hardest socialists, advocates that position because nobody ever thinks about a universe where the government levies taxes then literally burns the money. In other articles Reason authors try to argue that this means we don't know what big government is.

No, we do. We disagree with what "high taxes" are. This should be obvious to libertarians, who often argue that current taxes are "high". It's not, naturally, because libertarians are a political minority which skews younger than the national average. But this is expected from their rhetoric alone: to many young people, libertarianism promises a triangulation between the hard left and hard right. However, this has broken down. At this point, plenty of people see someone like Zwolinski as libertarian despite arguing for a welfare state far more expansive than what liberals actually demand. This view, as people have noted for a very long time, sits comfortably with libertarian aims and may even be necessary for them because it moots questions under which regulations are often imposed. 

This should not be a surprising shift. Heritage routinely ends up with ur-socialist states in its top rankings, ahead of the United States. Indeed, of their top ten freest economies nine have a stronger social safety net than the US and all are ahead of it. This is surprising because, as I have pointed out before, Heritage penalizes countries for their taxation and spending. That Denmark, with government spending equal to almost 60% of GDP, beats out the US with that double handicap should say something. Even within the conservative imagination, socialism is compatible with freedom. In fact, given how well socialist countries score, it may be necessary for constructing our freest societies.

Even libertarian bastions like Hong Kong and Singapore operate vast amounts of pubic housing or subsidy programs along with guaranteed healthcare and other social services. Their reputation as "free market" societies comes from the experiences of foreigners, who don't receive the benefits citizens do. For citizens, both places are more socialist than capitalist and their low taxes are a modern take on their old entrepot business. Internally, however, a light hand on business has meant a strong hand holding up the poor and middle class. Even in Europe, which cannot often use an entrepot model to tax a larger base than its population, corporate taxes are low and businesses often easier to start than in the US. 

These facts no doubt influence debate, subtly shifting what values and policies are consistent with "libertarianism". Reason itself often argues from the case of Singapore and Hong Kong, for instance, ostensively including their major government programs by advancing them as examples of how a libertarian state would function. There's no reason not to embrace this rhetorical accident and it seems resisted mostly out of tradition. Inclusion of "simple socialism" -- policies like basic incomes or even traditional light touch but strong support welfare states -- does much for libertarianism's consistency and palatability. "Everyone gets to do basically what they want and no one lives a terrible, impoverished life" is a very good platform. 

What it replaces has disturbing roots as popular policy. A recent result on sentencing and other law enforcement policy is that mentioning other racial groups increases support for harsh treatment. This is reflected in redistributive attitudes as well and people are less supportive of redistribution if it will be received by those not "like them". But the result isn't constrained there. I believe it was Bryan Caplan, who sees this attitude as a bulwark against a welfare state he loathes, who pointed out that people also oppose economic growth for those not "like them". The preference is so powerful that people would rather have 5% growth in the US and 2% in China than 7% in the US and 10% in China. They would lose in absolute terms in order to "win" in relative terms. That same "bulwark against welfare" which Caplan relies on is also a bulwark against libertarian economic policies more generally.

It's also less of a problem going forward. Millennials are less white than their forebears. That means, for one, they see more kinds of people as "like them". But they're also the most accepting generation in modern, perhaps all, history. They're supportive of gay marriage and interracial dating. They're more likely to identify themselves as post-racial. While there is not enough work on the racial attitudes of Millennials, I would suggest that it's a byproduct of the generation's greater diversity. They grew up with children from different racial and ethnic groups in an environment which, as a message if not a mission, was committed to equal respect. Libertarians have been latching onto these attitudes lately because they help increase support for drug legalization and undermine support for brutal law enforcement tactics. Open attitudes may even play a role in opposition to government wiretapping and aggressive foreign policies.

That victory has a price. Writers like Bryan Caplan and Ilya Somin are not wrong about racial attitudes and welfare. Nor are libertarians wrong in the racial dimension in sentencing, law enforcement, or drug policy. However, pulling down the walls erected by prior generations means destroying bulwarks against the welfare state and social justice more generally. But libertarians may yet come out ahead. As noted above, that same bulwark likely impedes policies aimed at increasing economic freedom. It may even be at the root of "liberaltarian" fusionism. Newer libertarians may not only see less common cause with the right, but less aversion to explicitly socialist policies within themselves. I see no reason to expect that these links will not be capitalized on and slowly become integrated into "libertarianism" if they do not see firm opposition.

So far, that opposition has failed to materialize. Libertarians, in general, have been unwilling to chase them out as conservatives have theirs. No doubt, this will lead to shifting definitions in what it means to be "libertarian" and, regardless of what some believe, that tent was always bigger than some insisted. Reason itself if more a "freedom culture" magazine than a purely libertarian one, often condemning purely private but illiberal activities without qualification. That segment of the movement will have a difficult time resisting this change. It may even wish to embrace it. I do not disagree with writers who say that this is a "libertarian moment". It is. But it may not be the moment they expect.___

2014-08-25 16:39:35 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 31 +1s) 

It is interesting how often people with stable jobs, especially stable jobs paying very large sums of money, speak lovingly of "the gig economy". I am reminded, really, of a minor entry in the memoirs or perhaps diary of a Roman patrician. He describes an auctioneer he knows, perhaps a client, he saw leaning against the wall doing essentially nothing. After explaining that no censor had any complaint about him and he seemed well enough fed, the patrician immediately yearns for his job. Oh how wonderful it would be to spend his time idling in the street after the day's auction rather than bustling off to courts and politics and dinners!

But, as we well know, the wages of plebeians was falling for most of Roman history and there were successive agitations against the concentration of wealth in few hands. Nor, we know, did any patrician ever give up his lifestyle, busy as it was... more »

It is interesting how often people with stable jobs, especially stable jobs paying very large sums of money, speak lovingly of "the gig economy". I am reminded, really, of a minor entry in the memoirs or perhaps diary of a Roman patrician. He describes an auctioneer he knows, perhaps a client, he saw leaning against the wall doing essentially nothing. After explaining that no censor had any complaint about him and he seemed well enough fed, the patrician immediately yearns for his job. Oh how wonderful it would be to spend his time idling in the street after the day's auction rather than bustling off to courts and politics and dinners!

But, as we well know, the wages of plebeians was falling for most of Roman history and there were successive agitations against the concentration of wealth in few hands. Nor, we know, did any patrician ever give up his lifestyle, busy as it was claimed to be. Because, ultimately, the patrician yearned for an imagined auctioneer's life; to be an auctioneer as wealthy and privileged as a patrician. He wanted all that he had and idleness, too.

So it is that these people imagine "the gig economy" as some fantastic wonderland of unscheduled freedom through which money flows like the Tiber. It's not. As the people who have worked it for centuries well know, it gives only the freedom to make schedules in accord with others' demands. That is, all the freedom our patricians have but with none of the certainties.___

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2014-08-22 21:14:30 (19 comments, 41 reshares, 43 +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 (83 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, 4 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, 57 +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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