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David Brin

David Brin 

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

Occupation: Author, scientist, futurist, public speaker (Futurist, Scientist, Author: The Postman, Startide Rising, Earth, Existence)

Location: San Diego

Followers: 60,954

Views: 79,984,233

Cream of the Crop: 10/22/2011

Added to CircleCount.com: 12/17/2016That's the date, where David Brin has been indexed by CircleCount.com.
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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 87

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2017-01-15 18:47:18 (87 comments; 2 reshares; 21 +1s; )Open 

Ostriches are starting to lift their heads. Conservatives who at last accept the testimony of all facts and reason — that their movement has gone mad. Some, like George “the Worst American” Will, still cling to the mantra incantation that “Yes, well, at least liberals are just as bad! - thereby concocting rationalizations for otherwise-intelligent folks to keep watching hypnotic poison on Fox. Hence it is especially noteworthy when one of the master-poisoners awakens, pulls his head out of the hole of denial, then speaks up for his country and civilization, as — (and I shudder to speak it) — Glenn Beck has done.

And Beck confirmed this - a bit - in his make-up session with Samantha Bee. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuSDfVRGI54 Now, can rising ostriches actually get others to lift their heads. Hold that thought. Soon, I will speak of the Year of the Colonels.


Most reshares: 19

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2017-01-07 05:48:01 (20 comments; 19 reshares; 109 +1s; )Open 

The monstrous supreme liar of the right, and the treasonous worst man in America, is not some screeching troll or white supremacist, but a genteel-sounding intellectual who takes pains to come across as smooth and well-reasoned. Let's be clear, George F. Will tried hard to prevent Donald Trump from becoming the Republican nominee - or president - not for the sake of the nation, but in fear of the train wreck that now looms before American conservatism. No longer the party of Goldwater or Buckley, its plummeting average levels of education and IQ would cause any honest intellect deep misgivings. But then, Mr. Will was key to helping turn the GOP into the New Know Nothings, waging war not only upon science, but every fact-grounded profession in American life. Well, all but four, and shots have already been fired at two of the last-standing.

Case in point, this travesty of sophistry,... more »

Most plusones: 109

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2017-01-07 05:48:01 (20 comments; 19 reshares; 109 +1s; )Open 

The monstrous supreme liar of the right, and the treasonous worst man in America, is not some screeching troll or white supremacist, but a genteel-sounding intellectual who takes pains to come across as smooth and well-reasoned. Let's be clear, George F. Will tried hard to prevent Donald Trump from becoming the Republican nominee - or president - not for the sake of the nation, but in fear of the train wreck that now looms before American conservatism. No longer the party of Goldwater or Buckley, its plummeting average levels of education and IQ would cause any honest intellect deep misgivings. But then, Mr. Will was key to helping turn the GOP into the New Know Nothings, waging war not only upon science, but every fact-grounded profession in American life. Well, all but four, and shots have already been fired at two of the last-standing.

Case in point, this travesty of sophistry,... more »

Latest 50 posts

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2017-01-17 06:10:29 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 

See an extensive blog posting by Stephen Wolfram on developing the alien language for Arrival, and how the alien spaceship might work. Plus see his chart on reasons aliens might come to Earth. He offers much more, actually, like a dissection of some concepts for interstellar travel.


http://blog.stephenwolfram.com/2016/11/quick-how-might-the-alien-spacecraft-work/#more-12379

See an extensive blog posting by Stephen Wolfram on developing the alien language for Arrival, and how the alien spaceship might work. Plus see his chart on reasons aliens might come to Earth. He offers much more, actually, like a dissection of some concepts for interstellar travel.


http://blog.stephenwolfram.com/2016/11/quick-how-might-the-alien-spacecraft-work/#more-12379___

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2017-01-16 23:09:38 (6 comments; 1 reshares; 65 +1s; )Open 

A Scottish newspaper lists coverage of the Trump Inauguration as a Twilight Zone reboot: “The Twilight Zone returns with one of the most ambitious, expensive and controversial productions in broadcast history. Sci-fi writers have often dabbled with alternative history stories… It sounds far-fetched, and it is, but as it goes on it becomes more and more chillingly plausible…”
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-38635518


A Scottish newspaper lists coverage of the Trump Inauguration as a Twilight Zone reboot: “The Twilight Zone returns with one of the most ambitious, expensive and controversial productions in broadcast history. Sci-fi writers have often dabbled with alternative history stories… It sounds far-fetched, and it is, but as it goes on it becomes more and more chillingly plausible…”
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-38635518
___

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2017-01-16 18:06:31 (4 comments; 2 reshares; 26 +1s; )Open 

A fascinating and fun reminiscence by legendary author Michael Moorcock, of his friend Arthur C. Clarke, with insights into the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey. And here, we've established UCSD's new Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, where the sciences and arts come together to explore humanity's most unique gift. (http://imagination.ucsd.edu)

http://www.afr.com/lifestyle/arts-and-entertainment/books/stanley-kubrick-and-arthur-c-clark-the-odd-couple-of-science-20170109-gto50t

A fascinating and fun reminiscence by legendary author Michael Moorcock, of his friend Arthur C. Clarke, with insights into the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey. And here, we've established UCSD's new Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, where the sciences and arts come together to explore humanity's most unique gift. (http://imagination.ucsd.edu)

http://www.afr.com/lifestyle/arts-and-entertainment/books/stanley-kubrick-and-arthur-c-clark-the-odd-couple-of-science-20170109-gto50t___

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2017-01-16 17:47:06 (42 comments; 8 reshares; 63 +1s; )Open 

DT started to get a post election bump - citizens give incoming presidents optimism across party lines. Now, shenanigans leave DT with half of Obama's approval, entering office - 42% - by far the lowest since measurements began. A grownup might have reached out to the horrified majority, and he will offer some inaugural platitudes. But his Koch-selected cabinet shows that two factors rule. Not maturity, honor, pragmatism or science. Rather they are power and ego.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/12/donald-trumps-approval-rating-lowest-president-elect-two-decades/

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/trump_favorableunfavorable-5493.html

DT started to get a post election bump - citizens give incoming presidents optimism across party lines. Now, shenanigans leave DT with half of Obama's approval, entering office - 42% - by far the lowest since measurements began. A grownup might have reached out to the horrified majority, and he will offer some inaugural platitudes. But his Koch-selected cabinet shows that two factors rule. Not maturity, honor, pragmatism or science. Rather they are power and ego.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/12/donald-trumps-approval-rating-lowest-president-elect-two-decades/

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/trump_favorableunfavorable-5493.html___

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2017-01-16 04:47:42 (11 comments; 2 reshares; 22 +1s; )Open 

Honestly, I'm flattered that the latest plans floated by the Seasteading Institute -- for an aristocratic enclave in a French Polynesian lagoon -- appears so similar to what I sketched in EXISTENCE. This concept seems vastly more plausible and practical than their earlier schemes...

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-16/world-first-floating-city-could-rise-in-french-polynesia/8184828

...which I critiqued in detail here.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2011/08/seasteading-some-problems-on-way-to.html

But seriously fellows. My advice has been worth way more than a sandwich.

Honestly, I'm flattered that the latest plans floated by the Seasteading Institute -- for an aristocratic enclave in a French Polynesian lagoon -- appears so similar to what I sketched in EXISTENCE. This concept seems vastly more plausible and practical than their earlier schemes...

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-16/world-first-floating-city-could-rise-in-french-polynesia/8184828

...which I critiqued in detail here.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2011/08/seasteading-some-problems-on-way-to.html

But seriously fellows. My advice has been worth way more than a sandwich.___

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2017-01-16 02:12:16 (11 comments; 4 reshares; 20 +1s; )Open 

Much buzz around the bizarre "conversation" between two Google Home units. It's okay. This will be why the last few humans will be kept around. To talk to each other while AIs laugh! In fact, right now, at this moment...

https://www.good.is/articles/google-home-conversation-ai

Much buzz around the bizarre "conversation" between two Google Home units. It's okay. This will be why the last few humans will be kept around. To talk to each other while AIs laugh! In fact, right now, at this moment...

https://www.good.is/articles/google-home-conversation-ai___

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2017-01-15 21:25:55 (1 comments; 7 reshares; 31 +1s; )Open 

“Terminator and Avatar director James Cameron has signed a deal with AMC to produce a six-episode documentary series, titled James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction. The series will explore how science fiction has tried to answer humanity’s “big questions” throughout history.” I’ve been on a lot of these shows, e.g. Masters of Science Fiction and Sci Fi legends, but I expect Cameron to bring a big budget sensibility and a strong sense of why we are all different from our ancestors. Largely because of a new habit of looking ahead.

http://www.themarysue.com/james-cameron-sci-fi-documentary/

“Terminator and Avatar director James Cameron has signed a deal with AMC to produce a six-episode documentary series, titled James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction. The series will explore how science fiction has tried to answer humanity’s “big questions” throughout history.” I’ve been on a lot of these shows, e.g. Masters of Science Fiction and Sci Fi legends, but I expect Cameron to bring a big budget sensibility and a strong sense of why we are all different from our ancestors. Largely because of a new habit of looking ahead.

http://www.themarysue.com/james-cameron-sci-fi-documentary/___

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2017-01-15 19:29:53 (2 comments; 9 reshares; 40 +1s; )Open 

Snopes verified. “The 1958 television series Trackdown really did produce an episode featuring a "Trump" character who came to town claiming that only he could prevent the end of the world by building a wall. Well well, weren’t the 1950s when America was great?” Read the excerpt!

http://www.snopes.com/trackdown-trump-character-wall

Snopes verified. “The 1958 television series Trackdown really did produce an episode featuring a "Trump" character who came to town claiming that only he could prevent the end of the world by building a wall. Well well, weren’t the 1950s when America was great?” Read the excerpt!

http://www.snopes.com/trackdown-trump-character-wall___

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2017-01-15 18:47:18 (87 comments; 2 reshares; 21 +1s; )Open 

Ostriches are starting to lift their heads. Conservatives who at last accept the testimony of all facts and reason — that their movement has gone mad. Some, like George “the Worst American” Will, still cling to the mantra incantation that “Yes, well, at least liberals are just as bad! - thereby concocting rationalizations for otherwise-intelligent folks to keep watching hypnotic poison on Fox. Hence it is especially noteworthy when one of the master-poisoners awakens, pulls his head out of the hole of denial, then speaks up for his country and civilization, as — (and I shudder to speak it) — Glenn Beck has done.

And Beck confirmed this - a bit - in his make-up session with Samantha Bee. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuSDfVRGI54 Now, can rising ostriches actually get others to lift their heads. Hold that thought. Soon, I will speak of the Year of the Colonels.


Ostriches are starting to lift their heads. Conservatives who at last accept the testimony of all facts and reason — that their movement has gone mad. Some, like George “the Worst American” Will, still cling to the mantra incantation that “Yes, well, at least liberals are just as bad! - thereby concocting rationalizations for otherwise-intelligent folks to keep watching hypnotic poison on Fox. Hence it is especially noteworthy when one of the master-poisoners awakens, pulls his head out of the hole of denial, then speaks up for his country and civilization, as — (and I shudder to speak it) — Glenn Beck has done.

And Beck confirmed this - a bit - in his make-up session with Samantha Bee. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuSDfVRGI54 Now, can rising ostriches actually get others to lift their heads. Hold that thought. Soon, I will speak of the Year of the Colonels.
___

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2017-01-15 07:03:45 (27 comments; 2 reshares; 21 +1s; )Open 

John Lewis is wrong. Just because a foreign power - and Coal Barons and Saudi princes - meddled in the election, that does not de-legitimize DT as president. What DOES delegitimize him is his absolute winner-takes all rejection of even the concept of reaching out to the very clear and very large majority who did not want him. Oh, the inaugural address will contain a few platitudes, but if he were serious about healing...

… then he would offer something tangible, even if small. A gesture with meaning, as I describe here.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/01/honoring-losing-majority-redux-and-what.html

John Lewis is wrong. Just because a foreign power - and Coal Barons and Saudi princes - meddled in the election, that does not de-legitimize DT as president. What DOES delegitimize him is his absolute winner-takes all rejection of even the concept of reaching out to the very clear and very large majority who did not want him. Oh, the inaugural address will contain a few platitudes, but if he were serious about healing...

… then he would offer something tangible, even if small. A gesture with meaning, as I describe here.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/01/honoring-losing-majority-redux-and-what.html___

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2017-01-14 20:12:36 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 10 +1s; )Open 

Weekend posting is on science fiction! Various news items, including an ancient Greek city, newly discovered almost exactly where I portrayed in "The Loom of Thessaly." And you can watch a reading of my winning one-page screenplay! Many announcement. Plus some riffs about 'how apocalypses save us." And zombies! Vampires!

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/01/science-fictional-news-announcements.html

Weekend posting is on science fiction! Various news items, including an ancient Greek city, newly discovered almost exactly where I portrayed in "The Loom of Thessaly." And you can watch a reading of my winning one-page screenplay! Many announcement. Plus some riffs about 'how apocalypses save us." And zombies! Vampires!

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/01/science-fictional-news-announcements.html___

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2017-01-13 22:14:21 (20 comments; 4 reshares; 43 +1s; )Open 

One might imagine it is because they are adults, or else possibly on our side. But no. Nearly all of them answer to the Kochs, and the Kochs are desperate for DT not to wreck the GOP. The Twitterer in chief is not actually calling the shots.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-cabinet-nominees-keep-contradicting-him/2017/01/12/dec8cccc-d8f3-11e6-9a36-1d296534b31e_story.html?utm_term=.75bffc28ec4b

One might imagine it is because they are adults, or else possibly on our side. But no. Nearly all of them answer to the Kochs, and the Kochs are desperate for DT not to wreck the GOP. The Twitterer in chief is not actually calling the shots.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-cabinet-nominees-keep-contradicting-him/2017/01/12/dec8cccc-d8f3-11e6-9a36-1d296534b31e_story.html?utm_term=.75bffc28ec4b___

2017-01-13 18:30:18 (7 comments; 7 reshares; 27 +1s; )Open 

There's a dangerous phishing ploy out there. When you look at the browser's Location Bar at the lower left, watch out for an opening like ""data:text/html," because whatever follows may look legit, e.g. "accounts.google.com" But that is just text used to make you feel secure. The real address is now far, far to the right.

There's a dangerous phishing ploy out there. When you look at the browser's Location Bar at the lower left, watch out for an opening like ""data:text/html," because whatever follows may look legit, e.g. "accounts.google.com" But that is just text used to make you feel secure. The real address is now far, far to the right.___

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2017-01-13 17:30:57 (3 comments; 4 reshares; 17 +1s; )Open 

New York artist John Powers riiffs cogently and tellingly about the recent television sensations Westworld and The Man In The High Castle. And Powers makes some interesting points – e.g. that the producers of these shows ostensibly are anti-oppression an favor egalitarian impulses; but that they wind up undermining their own message with excess respect for the villains’ underlying message.
http://starwarsmodern.blogspot.com/2017/01/cowboys-and-nazis-alt-fanfic.html

“To believe in Westworld, you must believe in an off-screen world dominated by an economic elite that craves the freedoms and privileges of the wild-west, a future drenched in a nostalgia for 19th century Manifest Destiny. - that is a future drowning in 19th century inequality.”

Powers make fascinating points about the unsupportable levels of wealth inequality we are rapidly approaching – a situation thatdoes not ... more »

New York artist John Powers riiffs cogently and tellingly about the recent television sensations Westworld and The Man In The High Castle. And Powers makes some interesting points – e.g. that the producers of these shows ostensibly are anti-oppression an favor egalitarian impulses; but that they wind up undermining their own message with excess respect for the villains’ underlying message.
http://starwarsmodern.blogspot.com/2017/01/cowboys-and-nazis-alt-fanfic.html

“To believe in Westworld, you must believe in an off-screen world dominated by an economic elite that craves the freedoms and privileges of the wild-west, a future drenched in a nostalgia for 19th century Manifest Destiny. - that is a future drowning in 19th century inequality.”

Powers make fascinating points about the unsupportable levels of wealth inequality we are rapidly approaching – a situation that does not bide well for the very same aristocracy that is manipulating for it, hand over fist.
___

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2017-01-12 21:18:10 (7 comments; 3 reshares; 16 +1s; )Open 

Today's posting does politics, but also ponders why Dylann Roof seemed to seek death, caring only about one thing, being ruled sane. There's an alternative to giving these "Erastratos" killers what they want! Also, why we need the crewcut types who share our belief in science and facts. If there's not interesting stuff here, I'll give you a nickel.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/01/economics-in-time-of-trump-plus-dylann.html

Today's posting does politics, but also ponders why Dylann Roof seemed to seek death, caring only about one thing, being ruled sane. There's an alternative to giving these "Erastratos" killers what they want! Also, why we need the crewcut types who share our belief in science and facts. If there's not interesting stuff here, I'll give you a nickel.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/01/economics-in-time-of-trump-plus-dylann.html___

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2017-01-12 20:36:04 (12 comments; 17 reshares; 30 +1s; )Open 

A cool site shows what Earth looked like, at intervals across 200 M years… also the % of land and ice area, indicating that we actually have an anomalous amount of land right now and global warming seems likely to end that phase.

http://phl.upr.edu/projects/visual-paleo-earth/vpe_globes

A cool site shows what Earth looked like, at intervals across 200 M years… also the % of land and ice area, indicating that we actually have an anomalous amount of land right now and global warming seems likely to end that phase.

http://phl.upr.edu/projects/visual-paleo-earth/vpe_globes___

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2017-01-12 18:31:03 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 9 +1s; )Open 

My co-editor of the Chasing Shadows anthology - Stephen W. Potts - has written a "5 books" contribution to the Tor web site, taking you on a tour of (almost) half a dozen great science fictional portrayals of a theme... in this case surveillance. Of course, Chasing Shadows takes it a step farther, with 2 dozen stories and essays portraying how citizens might answer elite eyes... with light of their own.

http://www.tor.com/2017/01/11/five-books-about-surviving-surveillance/

My co-editor of the Chasing Shadows anthology - Stephen W. Potts - has written a "5 books" contribution to the Tor web site, taking you on a tour of (almost) half a dozen great science fictional portrayals of a theme... in this case surveillance. Of course, Chasing Shadows takes it a step farther, with 2 dozen stories and essays portraying how citizens might answer elite eyes... with light of their own.

http://www.tor.com/2017/01/11/five-books-about-surviving-surveillance/___

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2017-01-12 01:44:37 (27 comments; 5 reshares; 46 +1s; )Open 


An F/A-18 Hornet releases a swarm of over a hundred mini drones that swarm with collective intelligence, like birds. Yow.

https://theaviationist.com/2017/01/11/watch-u-s-fa-18-hornets-unleash-swarm-of-mini-drones-in-first-test/


An F/A-18 Hornet releases a swarm of over a hundred mini drones that swarm with collective intelligence, like birds. Yow.

https://theaviationist.com/2017/01/11/watch-u-s-fa-18-hornets-unleash-swarm-of-mini-drones-in-first-test/___

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2017-01-11 23:30:43 (10 comments; 1 reshares; 21 +1s; )Open 

This is a mistake, because Mattis may be the most reasonable and professional of Trump's generals. He is likely to dig in his heels, if DT plans mass (Erdogan style) firings to purge the US Military Officer Corps.

Dems, you need to pick your fights carefully.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/james-mattis-waiver-defense-secretary-233500

This is a mistake, because Mattis may be the most reasonable and professional of Trump's generals. He is likely to dig in his heels, if DT plans mass (Erdogan style) firings to purge the US Military Officer Corps.

Dems, you need to pick your fights carefully.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/james-mattis-waiver-defense-secretary-233500___

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2017-01-11 18:59:41 (1 comments; 10 reshares; 38 +1s; )Open 

Utterly cool image of the Earth –Moon system taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Amazing. We are still - for an other week, at least (as I write this January 10) a mighty and scientific people.

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/242407-nasa-takes-photo-earth-mars

Utterly cool image of the Earth –Moon system taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Amazing. We are still - for an other week, at least (as I write this January 10) a mighty and scientific people.

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/242407-nasa-takes-photo-earth-mars___

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2017-01-11 04:41:03 (9 comments; 2 reshares; 20 +1s; )Open 

This article suggests that “the one connective tissue between all the people (Trump) is choosing, whether it's Flynn or Mattis, or any of these guys. They all want to attack Iran in some form or another, and so do the Saudis.” In some ways, this is just standard republican dogma. The Bush family was little more than a cadet branch of the Saudi Royal House. (See pictures of GWB holding hand with the Saudi King and kissing a price on the mouth.) Yes, the first Iraq War served Saudi purposes to a T. The second, under Junior, had an unexpected side effects, dramatically enhancing Iran and a Shiite axis that’s allied with Moscow. Subsequent GOP saber rattling at Tehran is supposedly aimed at correcting that mistake.

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=18058

This article suggests that “the one connective tissue between all the people (Trump) is choosing, whether it's Flynn or Mattis, or any of these guys. They all want to attack Iran in some form or another, and so do the Saudis.” In some ways, this is just standard republican dogma. The Bush family was little more than a cadet branch of the Saudi Royal House. (See pictures of GWB holding hand with the Saudi King and kissing a price on the mouth.) Yes, the first Iraq War served Saudi purposes to a T. The second, under Junior, had an unexpected side effects, dramatically enhancing Iran and a Shiite axis that’s allied with Moscow. Subsequent GOP saber rattling at Tehran is supposedly aimed at correcting that mistake.

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=18058___

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2017-01-10 23:46:01 (31 comments; 10 reshares; 85 +1s; )Open 

23 years. You had 23 years to come up with a proposed GOP health care plan. Oh, right, the GOP did have one, crafted by the Heritage Foundation, it was the Republican health platform for a decade and Mitt Romney instituted it as "Romney Care" in Massachusetts. You all were behind that plan -- til Barack Obama agreed to it and presented it as a bill... at which point ew! The Kenyan gave it cooties!

Okay then 7 years. You had seven years screaming at "Obamacare" (in fact Heritage-Romneycare) And during that time you spent no effort concocting an alternative? A way not to dump 20 million Americans off insurance? A way to keep health costs increasing at low, single digit rates - as they have under Obamacare instead of the double digits we saw under Bushes?

What, you are starting NOW??????
... more »

23 years. You had 23 years to come up with a proposed GOP health care plan. Oh, right, the GOP did have one, crafted by the Heritage Foundation, it was the Republican health platform for a decade and Mitt Romney instituted it as "Romney Care" in Massachusetts. You all were behind that plan -- til Barack Obama agreed to it and presented it as a bill... at which point ew! The Kenyan gave it cooties!

Okay then 7 years. You had seven years screaming at "Obamacare" (in fact Heritage-Romneycare) And during that time you spent no effort concocting an alternative? A way not to dump 20 million Americans off insurance? A way to keep health costs increasing at low, single digit rates - as they have under Obamacare instead of the double digits we saw under Bushes?

What, you are starting NOW??????

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/republicans-scramble-to-ease-concerns-about-obamacare-replacement/2017/01/09/9991a4c5-f290-4e45-a834-a17fc52b6fcd_story.html?utm_term=.209b65d6a283___

posted image

2017-01-10 22:26:15 (2 comments; 3 reshares; 49 +1s; )Open 

Utterly cool image of the Earth –Moon system taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Amazing. We are still - for an other week, at least (as I write this January 10) a mighty and scientific people.

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/242407-nasa-takes-photo-earth-mars

Utterly cool image of the Earth –Moon system taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Amazing. We are still - for an other week, at least (as I write this January 10) a mighty and scientific people.

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/242407-nasa-takes-photo-earth-mars___

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2017-01-10 18:07:08 (5 comments; 3 reshares; 18 +1s; )Open 

Released today: Chasing Shadows: Visions of Our Coming Transparent World: An anthology of stories and essays about a future filled with light, edited by David Brin and Stephen W. Potts, in collaboration with the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, with stories and essays by Ramez Naam, Bruce Sterling, Brenda Cooper, Robert Sawyer, Nancy Fulda, Scott Sigler, James Morrow, Neal Stephenson, Robert Silverberg, Aliette de Bodard…and more.
http://www.davidbrin.com/chasing.html

Join me and Stephen Potts for a booksigning at Mysterious Galaxy Friday January 27 at 7:30
http://www.mystgalaxy.com/event/david-brin-and-stephen-w-potts-sign-san-diego


Released today: Chasing Shadows: Visions of Our Coming Transparent World: An anthology of stories and essays about a future filled with light, edited by David Brin and Stephen W. Potts, in collaboration with the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, with stories and essays by Ramez Naam, Bruce Sterling, Brenda Cooper, Robert Sawyer, Nancy Fulda, Scott Sigler, James Morrow, Neal Stephenson, Robert Silverberg, Aliette de Bodard…and more.
http://www.davidbrin.com/chasing.html

Join me and Stephen Potts for a booksigning at Mysterious Galaxy Friday January 27 at 7:30
http://www.mystgalaxy.com/event/david-brin-and-stephen-w-potts-sign-san-diego
___

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2017-01-10 02:14:27 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 20 +1s; )Open 

My new posting looks into our politically science-fictional new world of light. Starting with a reminder that my new anthology (with Stephen Potts) Chasing Shadows, is released this week by Tor Books! Featuring contributions by William Gibson, James Gunn, Neal Stephenson, Vernor Vinge and many others -- offering stories and insights into a future when light flows almost everywhere. Prepare yourself! This might be a good start.

Steve and I will be signing copies, along with Scott Sigler, at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego, on January 27!

But go to my posting, if you want some in-depth links about POLICE CAMERAS! Alas, most recent articles and interview shows have been stunningly shortsighted.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/01/perceptive-and-myopic-views-of-our.html

My new posting looks into our politically science-fictional new world of light. Starting with a reminder that my new anthology (with Stephen Potts) Chasing Shadows, is released this week by Tor Books! Featuring contributions by William Gibson, James Gunn, Neal Stephenson, Vernor Vinge and many others -- offering stories and insights into a future when light flows almost everywhere. Prepare yourself! This might be a good start.

Steve and I will be signing copies, along with Scott Sigler, at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego, on January 27!

But go to my posting, if you want some in-depth links about POLICE CAMERAS! Alas, most recent articles and interview shows have been stunningly shortsighted.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/01/perceptive-and-myopic-views-of-our.html___

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2017-01-09 22:30:49 (14 comments; 8 reshares; 64 +1s; )Open 

More and more foxes, hired to guard the chicken coop. “Donald Trump assailed Wall Street on the campaign trail, and frequently criticized his political opponents for their ties to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Now, Trump is relying on a lawyer who has spent his career representing financial firms, and has his own close ties to Goldman, to lead Wall Street’s top regulator. Trump will nominate Sullivan & Cromwell partner Jay Clayton to run the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-01-04/deals-lawyer-said-to-be-a-contender-to-lead-sec-under-trump

Thank God for New York. Their attorney general will be our protector, as happened in the Bush years.

More and more foxes, hired to guard the chicken coop. “Donald Trump assailed Wall Street on the campaign trail, and frequently criticized his political opponents for their ties to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Now, Trump is relying on a lawyer who has spent his career representing financial firms, and has his own close ties to Goldman, to lead Wall Street’s top regulator. Trump will nominate Sullivan & Cromwell partner Jay Clayton to run the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-01-04/deals-lawyer-said-to-be-a-contender-to-lead-sec-under-trump

Thank God for New York. Their attorney general will be our protector, as happened in the Bush years.___

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2017-01-09 22:30:21 (8 comments; 4 reshares; 34 +1s; )Open 

“Rex Tillerson will relinquish control of a quarter-billion dollar nest egg amassed over four decades at Exxon Mobil Corp. to avoid a conflict of interest during his confirmation hearings to become U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of state.” Not mentioned in this article is a humongous capital gains tax break he gets, for cashing out at a time when he is moving into public service. In fact half a dozen of DT’s full or semi billionaire appointees will make out really, really well.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-04/exxon-says-tillerson-to-cut-company-ties-on-cabinet-confirmation

“Rex Tillerson will relinquish control of a quarter-billion dollar nest egg amassed over four decades at Exxon Mobil Corp. to avoid a conflict of interest during his confirmation hearings to become U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of state.” Not mentioned in this article is a humongous capital gains tax break he gets, for cashing out at a time when he is moving into public service. In fact half a dozen of DT’s full or semi billionaire appointees will make out really, really well.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-04/exxon-says-tillerson-to-cut-company-ties-on-cabinet-confirmation___

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2017-01-09 03:33:49 (28 comments; 4 reshares; 74 +1s; )Open 

McConnell: Democrats need to ‘grow up’ and let Trump nominees get confirmed. What stunning-drooling hypocrisy. No US president... no TEN American presidents... have experienced as much stonewalling as McConnell's stunningly dogmatic, hateful and lazy Senate majority has thrown at Barack Obama, even right after his decisive 2012 re-election.

If there is any silver lining to these awful months, it comes from the awakening of moderate and middle-road Americans, that there will be no negotiation with cultists who have rejected every single past offer of negotiation.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mcconnell-democrats-need-to-grow-up-and-let-trump-nominees-get-confirmed/2017/01/08/06f97628-d5c6-11e6-9a36-1d296534b31e_story.html?utm_term=.7b5bbb6fb9c2

McConnell: Democrats need to ‘grow up’ and let Trump nominees get confirmed. What stunning-drooling hypocrisy. No US president... no TEN American presidents... have experienced as much stonewalling as McConnell's stunningly dogmatic, hateful and lazy Senate majority has thrown at Barack Obama, even right after his decisive 2012 re-election.

If there is any silver lining to these awful months, it comes from the awakening of moderate and middle-road Americans, that there will be no negotiation with cultists who have rejected every single past offer of negotiation.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mcconnell-democrats-need-to-grow-up-and-let-trump-nominees-get-confirmed/2017/01/08/06f97628-d5c6-11e6-9a36-1d296534b31e_story.html?utm_term=.7b5bbb6fb9c2___

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2017-01-08 23:20:51 (11 comments; 8 reshares; 46 +1s; )Open 

A new kind of coating… made from banana peels and such… may delay fruit ripening much better, allowing it to be picked later and yet be stored longer. Ripening can even be timed so one banana of that bunch you bought will be ready each day of the week.

http://business.financialpost.com/entrepreneur/1219-biz-nyt-fruit?utm_source=iNews-Readers&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=SNS+iNews+Highlights+for+January+6+2017

A new kind of coating… made from banana peels and such… may delay fruit ripening much better, allowing it to be picked later and yet be stored longer. Ripening can even be timed so one banana of that bunch you bought will be ready each day of the week.

http://business.financialpost.com/entrepreneur/1219-biz-nyt-fruit?utm_source=iNews-Readers&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=SNS+iNews+Highlights+for+January+6+2017___

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2017-01-08 22:41:43 (0 comments; 6 reshares; 28 +1s; )Open 

With just a few days left, the White House has finally released a report outlining the protocols for responding to an Earth-bound near-Earth object (NEO). So far, 15,420 Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) had been discovered. On March 21, 2016, an NEO under 1 LD (lunar distance) from Earth was estimated to be 35-86 m (114.8-282.1 ft) in diameter. If that object had broken through the atmosphere and landed on Earth, the damage and devastation would be immense -- up to ten times the 500 kiloton explosion that injured 1400 people in Chelyabisk in 2013. And there are many others, much larger.

Okay so a responsible overall plan is in place... we'll see if it survives. One drawback - Republicans want to divert all NASA's manned exploration efforts and much of its robotic work to going back to the moon, along with the Russians, Chinese, Europeans, Indians and some billionaires. Pending legislation will... more »

With just a few days left, the White House has finally released a report outlining the protocols for responding to an Earth-bound near-Earth object (NEO). So far, 15,420 Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) had been discovered. On March 21, 2016, an NEO under 1 LD (lunar distance) from Earth was estimated to be 35-86 m (114.8-282.1 ft) in diameter. If that object had broken through the atmosphere and landed on Earth, the damage and devastation would be immense -- up to ten times the 500 kiloton explosion that injured 1400 people in Chelyabisk in 2013. And there are many others, much larger.

Okay so a responsible overall plan is in place... we'll see if it survives. One drawback - Republicans want to divert all NASA's manned exploration efforts and much of its robotic work to going back to the moon, along with the Russians, Chinese, Europeans, Indians and some billionaires. Pending legislation will forbid NASA from looking at the Earth and will downgrade current asteroid projects.

On the bright side -- sci fi worries about deep-impact armageddons might persuade some of them to fund further asteroid searches. To destroy or divert them, of course. All talk of getting rich by accessing asteroidal resources will be quashed.

https://futurism.com/the-white-house-now-has-a-plan-for-handling-an-asteroid-disaster/___

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2017-01-08 05:04:37 (14 comments; 7 reshares; 71 +1s; )Open 

The director of the Office of Government Ethics said Saturday that plans to confirm Donald J. Trump’s top Cabinet choices before background checks are complete are unprecedented and have overwhelmed government investigators responsible for the reviews.

And you expected... what? The confederates have done what they could not accomplish in the 1860s. Taken Washington.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ethics-official-warns-against-confirmations-before-reviews-are-complete/2017/01/07/e85a97ee-d348-11e6-9cb0-54ab630851e8_story.html?utm_term=.c90e132569fc

The director of the Office of Government Ethics said Saturday that plans to confirm Donald J. Trump’s top Cabinet choices before background checks are complete are unprecedented and have overwhelmed government investigators responsible for the reviews.

And you expected... what? The confederates have done what they could not accomplish in the 1860s. Taken Washington.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ethics-official-warns-against-confirmations-before-reviews-are-complete/2017/01/07/e85a97ee-d348-11e6-9cb0-54ab630851e8_story.html?utm_term=.c90e132569fc___

2017-01-08 02:11:35 (11 comments; 1 reshares; 56 +1s; )Open 

Nothing proves that Donald Trump is a Russian stooge more than the fact that he has packed his cabinet with raving Iran haters. Men who never mention Riyadh in their screaming jeremiads, ignoring that every effective-harm that's been done to us via terror was rooted in the Saudis, not the Iranians. Indeed, Americans and Persians had a long friendly relationship that easily 50% of Iranians would love to restore, much to the horror and terror of the mullahs, who would like nothing better than for histrionic saber rattlings to pour from Washington.

When Trump and his team start screeching at Tehran, you can be sure Putin will be chortling with glee, as this helps to eliminate reformers in Tehran and will cement his alliance with the mullahs.

The Saudis have it in their power to prevent this, by one simple means. Stepping up to finance what they prevented for 70 years, peace... more »

Nothing proves that Donald Trump is a Russian stooge more than the fact that he has packed his cabinet with raving Iran haters. Men who never mention Riyadh in their screaming jeremiads, ignoring that every effective-harm that's been done to us via terror was rooted in the Saudis, not the Iranians. Indeed, Americans and Persians had a long friendly relationship that easily 50% of Iranians would love to restore, much to the horror and terror of the mullahs, who would like nothing better than for histrionic saber rattlings to pour from Washington.

When Trump and his team start screeching at Tehran, you can be sure Putin will be chortling with glee, as this helps to eliminate reformers in Tehran and will cement his alliance with the mullahs.

The Saudis have it in their power to prevent this, by one simple means. Stepping up to finance what they prevented for 70 years, peace between Israel and the Sunni Arab world. But, like most inheritance lords, they are much less bright than they believe. They imagine that Trumpists hating on Iran serves their interests. It does not.

Think about the extreme up and downside possibilities. The best we can hope for, from a Saudi alliance is some slight tempering of the Wahabbist propaganda teaching millions of young Sunnis to wage terror on the West. The worst? If we walk away? Nothing. Their era of relevance is over, since America recently achieved energy independence.

What is the upside, if we make friends with the Iranian people and work with them to render the mullahs impotent? Spectacular benefits. But the downsides of turning them back into a raving theocracy are huge.___

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2017-01-07 21:40:05 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 20 +1s; )Open 

Our weekend posting returns to science fiction! First with the release of my new anthology Chasing Shadows. (Pre-order!) And then a scan of some recent (and some older) dystopias. We've got Robinson, Vandermeer and other sobering reads, fitting for our mood! (Though perhaps Chasing Shadows contain's more optimism and hope. Well, you know me.)

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/01/shadows-and-light-from-science-fiction.html

Our weekend posting returns to science fiction! First with the release of my new anthology Chasing Shadows. (Pre-order!) And then a scan of some recent (and some older) dystopias. We've got Robinson, Vandermeer and other sobering reads, fitting for our mood! (Though perhaps Chasing Shadows contain's more optimism and hope. Well, you know me.)

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/01/shadows-and-light-from-science-fiction.html___

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2017-01-07 05:48:01 (20 comments; 19 reshares; 109 +1s; )Open 

The monstrous supreme liar of the right, and the treasonous worst man in America, is not some screeching troll or white supremacist, but a genteel-sounding intellectual who takes pains to come across as smooth and well-reasoned. Let's be clear, George F. Will tried hard to prevent Donald Trump from becoming the Republican nominee - or president - not for the sake of the nation, but in fear of the train wreck that now looms before American conservatism. No longer the party of Goldwater or Buckley, its plummeting average levels of education and IQ would cause any honest intellect deep misgivings. But then, Mr. Will was key to helping turn the GOP into the New Know Nothings, waging war not only upon science, but every fact-grounded profession in American life. Well, all but four, and shots have already been fired at two of the last-standing.

Case in point, this travesty of sophistry,... more »

The monstrous supreme liar of the right, and the treasonous worst man in America, is not some screeching troll or white supremacist, but a genteel-sounding intellectual who takes pains to come across as smooth and well-reasoned. Let's be clear, George F. Will tried hard to prevent Donald Trump from becoming the Republican nominee - or president - not for the sake of the nation, but in fear of the train wreck that now looms before American conservatism. No longer the party of Goldwater or Buckley, its plummeting average levels of education and IQ would cause any honest intellect deep misgivings. But then, Mr. Will was key to helping turn the GOP into the New Know Nothings, waging war not only upon science, but every fact-grounded profession in American life. Well, all but four, and shots have already been fired at two of the last-standing.

Case in point, this travesty of sophistry, condemning US foreign policy, under Barack Obama: "Two seemingly unimpressed nations are Russia, which is dismembering a European nation (Ukraine), and China, which is shredding international law by turning the world’s most important waterway, the South China Sea, into militarized Chinese territory."

Standard GOP catechism, sure, Except, not even liberal journalists or pundits seem willing to ask: "how did Ukraine become a 'European nation'?" One of the charmingly obdurate traits of nearly all Americans is their inability to scan history. But not George Will. He knows that Ukraine was a reliable Russian satrapy or obedient client state until 2014, when popular uprisings and then free elections ousted Putin's puppet, Yanukovich, in the worst disaster to Russian hegemonism since the fall of the Berlin Wall. That was the year Ukraine -- vast Ukraine -- became European.

Moreover, whom did Putin and the Russian press openly blame for this calamity, bringing Europe within a few hundred kilometers of Moscow? Those machiavellian chessmaster-manipulators and insidious cold war fighters, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Just look at a map and view the last few years as V. Putin sees them. Read his actual (yes, actual) statements on the matter and vows of vengeance. His nibble-backs in Crimea and the Donbas, for which the US right kvells in admiration, are trifles. His only counter-move of equivalent magnitude... getting Donald Trump. And yes, I admit that America is an even bigger prize than the Donbas.

Likewise, the US navy patrols the South China Sea with regularity, making clear that a 12-mile radius is all that China has won around each of its stunningly vulnerable, sitting-duck outposts, gained at incredible cost in both money and goodwill.

This is something that symbolism obsessed conservatives never get. What matters is what's actual! No wonder they abolished the Office of Technology Assessment from Congress, banishing facts, as they recently tried to banish ethics.

But George Will knows all this. I never called him a confederate dunce. He is one of the manipulators. Like the main character in Vonnegut's Mother Night, he is a svengali in the cause of an oligarchic putsch whose aim is the permanent replacement of truth with truthiness. The confederacy has taken Washington. And though Mr. Will would have preferred other generals, he will now do his duty by his new caudillo and help to keep it.

Oh, read Will's essay and notice the technique! Proclaim the absurd as a given! For example: "The fact that the world is more disorderly and less lawful than when Obama became president..."

The staggering gall of such proclamations is the power of their madness! One small example: when Obama entered office, not a single major US Army or Marine unite was rated "fully combat ready" and America's reputation was around our ankles. Now 100% of such units are FCR, and show me the foreign-organized terror attacks on our homeland. Show me one.

There are almost no major, attributable metrics of US national health that did not improve (most of them a lot) across spans of the last two Democratic presidencies. And almost none that did not decline or plummet across both Bush Administrations, including even conservative desiderata like military readiness, stock valuations, entrepreneurship and so on.

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

Am I the only observer who noticed that just ONE of the major GOP figures of the last 20 years was even mentioned at the recent Republican National Convention? Neither Bush Senior or Junior, nor Cheney, nor the convicted felons Hastert or DeLay, nor Boehner, McConnell, McCain, Romney was even mentioned! Only the censured serial polygamist Newt Gingrich... oh, such pride! Such a track record!

The whole basis for Donald Trump's recent rejection of the Intelligence Community, for citing Russian interference in US elections, has been "these are the same folks who saw WMDs in Iraq!" Neglecting to mention that that event featured bullying of the IC by one outrageously immature Republican president, exactly as Trump himself is loudly threatening to do.

Elsewhere I show how one can compare GOP and Democratic presidents not by whether they wage war -- all of them do, sometimes in error, though the mostly-beneficent American Pax has been worth fighting for -- but how they wage it. And I show how time and again, Democratic doctrine has been to listen to the generals and apply force as surgically as possible. That approach doesn't always go well! In Somalia, the scalpel was to small and thin, for example. But the bludgeon approach preferred by Republican presidents is a proved failure and further proof they should never again be trusted with even a burnt match.

(Watch as the three generals DT has appointed provide surface cover for a wave of firings and forced retirements, cleansing - Erdogan-syle - both the Intelligence Community and the U.S. Military Officer Corps.)

Oh, there are times when I almost sympathize with this devil. He is a gifted polemicist, as when he concludes: "Soon, foreign policy will be conducted by a man who, although in 2010 he said WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange deserves the death penalty, now seems to trust Assange on the subject of Russian hacking more than he trusts the consensus of the nation’s $53 billion civilian intelligence institutions. Time passes and, we are told, brings progress."

All of it spot on. But then, that is how top level savanarolas operate.

Oh, it's clear Mr. Will is currently in pain. Pain that he so richly deserves, for his endless, clever, deceitful treasons. He knows this will not go well for the Confederacy that he strove so hard to revive. And I nurse no guilt over the schaedenfreude I feel, for this evil man's agony.___

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2017-01-06 03:15:16 (7 comments; 3 reshares; 67 +1s; )Open 

“On January2, the president-elect promised to deliver revelations by the middle of this week about what happened with those Democratic emails, adding that he knew “things that other people don’t know” about the hacking. ‘Here he apparently channeled O. J. Simpson, whose quest to find the “real killers” of his ex-wife and her friend remains unfulfilled, more than two decades later.” ‘ But just like proof of Obama’s Kenyan birth and every other “secret plan” … it just turned out to be hot air.

http://observer.com/2017/01/donald-trump-russia-wikileaks/

“On January2, the president-elect promised to deliver revelations by the middle of this week about what happened with those Democratic emails, adding that he knew “things that other people don’t know” about the hacking. ‘Here he apparently channeled O. J. Simpson, whose quest to find the “real killers” of his ex-wife and her friend remains unfulfilled, more than two decades later.” ‘ But just like proof of Obama’s Kenyan birth and every other “secret plan” … it just turned out to be hot air.

http://observer.com/2017/01/donald-trump-russia-wikileaks/___

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2017-01-05 20:16:30 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 37 +1s; )Open 


Speaking of civilization at sea, shouldn’t we prove we are civilized? By not murdering the smartest, topmost species out there? A steep decline in Orca population in Puget Sound is directly attributable to harassment by whale-watching boats. A modest expansion in a motor free zone next to San Juan Island could let these majestic creatures raise their young and hunt salmon in peace. Learn more at www.orcarelief.org.


Speaking of civilization at sea, shouldn’t we prove we are civilized? By not murdering the smartest, topmost species out there? A steep decline in Orca population in Puget Sound is directly attributable to harassment by whale-watching boats. A modest expansion in a motor free zone next to San Juan Island could let these majestic creatures raise their young and hunt salmon in peace. Learn more at www.orcarelief.org.___

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2017-01-04 23:14:11 (9 comments; 0 reshares; 20 +1s; )Open 

In a midweek political posting, I describe the simplest thing that any incoming president could do, to reach out and mollify the minority (or in this case majority) of voters he just defeated. The gesture is both easy to do and vividly effective... if anyone were to try it. ALSO: I examine the recent attempt of our House GOP to banish ethics and compare it to their successful 1995 banishment of facts. Finally, were you wondering what you could do (yes you) in our civilization's time of need? Got you covered there, too!

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/01/honoring-losing-majority-redux-and-what.html

In a midweek political posting, I describe the simplest thing that any incoming president could do, to reach out and mollify the minority (or in this case majority) of voters he just defeated. The gesture is both easy to do and vividly effective... if anyone were to try it. ALSO: I examine the recent attempt of our House GOP to banish ethics and compare it to their successful 1995 banishment of facts. Finally, were you wondering what you could do (yes you) in our civilization's time of need? Got you covered there, too!

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/01/honoring-losing-majority-redux-and-what.html___

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2017-01-04 21:43:16 (24 comments; 0 reshares; 32 +1s; )Open 

The idea of ‘seasteading’ – escaping the laws, regulations, and taxes of life on terra firma by establishing an outpost in international waters – has long enchanted libertarians. I got to see some of the early plans being touted by Internet mogul (and now Trump adviser) Peter Thiel,along with Patri Friedman and others, whose Seasteading Institute planned a floating 'start-up country' off the coast of San Francisco -- built on oil-rig like platforms in international waters. Back in 2011, I published a critique of their plans, pointing out a number of flaws and ways that they might be improved, and Thiel took deep offense…
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2011/08/seasteading-some-problems-on-way-to.html

… though now it seems that their new venture is taking most of my suggestions into account! Instead of floating or anchoring in storm-tossed international waters, prey toviolent wea... more »

The idea of ‘seasteading’ – escaping the laws, regulations, and taxes of life on terra firma by establishing an outpost in international waters – has long enchanted libertarians. I got to see some of the early plans being touted by Internet mogul (and now Trump adviser) Peter Thiel,along with Patri Friedman and others, whose Seasteading Institute planned a floating 'start-up country' off the coast of San Francisco -- built on oil-rig like platforms in international waters. Back in 2011, I published a critique of their plans, pointing out a number of flaws and ways that they might be improved, and Thiel took deep offense…
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2011/08/seasteading-some-problems-on-way-to.html

… though now it seems that their new venture is taking most of my suggestions into account! Instead of floating or anchoring in storm-tossed international waters, prey to violent weather, pirates and/or mutineers and/or any legacy nation with a Navy and an excuse, they plan to build a floating techno-libertarian city in a French Polynesian lagoon, protected by a surrounding reef and by one of the world’s 200 vested sovereignties.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/02/seasteading-peter-thiel-french-polynesia

In fact, from what I can glean, the plan is almost perfectly cloned from the fictional seastead-resort-refuge that I portrayed in Existence, perched atop the drowned remnants of a fictional Polynesian country called Pulupau. And yes folks, that’s the modern economy. It turns out I am never paid for most of my ideas. Ah well. ;-)___

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2017-01-04 20:23:43 (4 comments; 10 reshares; 93 +1s; )Open 

The start of mass production at Tesla’s massive battery Gigafactory near Reno NV is a huge milestone in Tesla’s quest to electrify transportation, and it brings to America a manufacturing industry—battery cells—that’s long been dominated by China, Japan, and South Korea.

This is how it's done, Don. Not by posturing. By doing.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-04/tesla-flips-the-switch-on-the-gigafactory

The start of mass production at Tesla’s massive battery Gigafactory near Reno NV is a huge milestone in Tesla’s quest to electrify transportation, and it brings to America a manufacturing industry—battery cells—that’s long been dominated by China, Japan, and South Korea.

This is how it's done, Don. Not by posturing. By doing.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-04/tesla-flips-the-switch-on-the-gigafactory___

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2017-01-04 04:24:34 (34 comments; 4 reshares; 63 +1s; )Open 

Yes, some senior officers of the CIA let themselves be bullied by the President (GW Bush) into bending the truth re Saddam's WMDs. There were reforms to make that less likely. Now? DT screams: "They flubbed WMDs so we should pay no attention to all our entire range of intelligence agencies! The CIA, DIA, NRO, FBI... ignore them all if they say something I don't like!" Are... you... kidding me?

Because one GOP president bullied defense officers into lying on his behalf... we want another GOP president to do the same exact thing? Parse this out. It is the opening shot in the Republican war against the last standing group of fact-based professions, the intelligence community and United States Military Officer Corps.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/10/politics/donald-trump-response-russian-hacking/

Yes, some senior officers of the CIA let themselves be bullied by the President (GW Bush) into bending the truth re Saddam's WMDs. There were reforms to make that less likely. Now? DT screams: "They flubbed WMDs so we should pay no attention to all our entire range of intelligence agencies! The CIA, DIA, NRO, FBI... ignore them all if they say something I don't like!" Are... you... kidding me?

Because one GOP president bullied defense officers into lying on his behalf... we want another GOP president to do the same exact thing? Parse this out. It is the opening shot in the Republican war against the last standing group of fact-based professions, the intelligence community and United States Military Officer Corps.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/10/politics/donald-trump-response-russian-hacking/___

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2017-01-03 17:51:53 (5 comments; 4 reshares; 24 +1s; )Open 

Starting the week and a new year, a posting about encryption, cyber dangers, Snowden, hacking, social media lie-algorithms and all that jazz. Yes, I beat some familiar drum tunes... that you are hearing nowhere else, alas. But this is the battlefield.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/01/encryption-is-not-answer.html

Starting the week and a new year, a posting about encryption, cyber dangers, Snowden, hacking, social media lie-algorithms and all that jazz. Yes, I beat some familiar drum tunes... that you are hearing nowhere else, alas. But this is the battlefield.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/01/encryption-is-not-answer.html___

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2017-01-03 07:04:06 (28 comments; 3 reshares; 73 +1s; )Open 

And it begins.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/02/house-republicans-vote-to-rein-in-independent-ethics-office/?utm_term=.bd68e42abbc6

And it begins.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/02/house-republicans-vote-to-rein-in-independent-ethics-office/?utm_term=.bd68e42abbc6___

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2017-01-03 02:15:07 (8 comments; 7 reshares; 61 +1s; )Open 

The second day of January is National Science Fiction Day, an unofficial holiday that corresponds with the official birthdate of Isaac Asimov, the enormously influential and prolific scientist and writer of science fiction.


The second day of January is National Science Fiction Day, an unofficial holiday that corresponds with the official birthdate of Isaac Asimov, the enormously influential and prolific scientist and writer of science fiction.
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2017-01-03 00:59:37 (3 comments; 4 reshares; 19 +1s; )Open 

A cool, fun interview: I answer questions about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and why it is possible that these new, genius offspring of humanity may decide not to treat us badly.

https://gigaom.com/2017/01/02/four-questions-for-david-brin/

A cool, fun interview: I answer questions about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and why it is possible that these new, genius offspring of humanity may decide not to treat us badly.

https://gigaom.com/2017/01/02/four-questions-for-david-brin/___

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2017-01-02 21:18:04 (17 comments; 11 reshares; 65 +1s; )Open 

Exaggerating a bit to make a powerful point, this essay asserts: Tolerance is a Peace Treaty. A powerfully important treaty, yes, that allows us to create far more complex, effective, productive and happy societies. But ultimately one based on pragmatism, which is vastly stronger than any "value system." When tolerance, diversity and all those nice things are called moral-axiom absolutes, that weakens them! Because someone else can shrug and say "I have different axioms." (Like holy writ telling me that your kind are filth.)

Our tolerant, diverse, positive-sum society needs no such axiomatic crutches. In our complexity, we've prospered and achieved more, in a few generations, than all others combined, across all continents and 6000+ years. There are zero positive metrics - from art to fun to prosperity to happiness, to soulful contemplation - in which... more »

Exaggerating a bit to make a powerful point, this essay asserts: Tolerance is a Peace Treaty. A powerfully important treaty, yes, that allows us to create far more complex, effective, productive and happy societies. But ultimately one based on pragmatism, which is vastly stronger than any "value system." When tolerance, diversity and all those nice things are called moral-axiom absolutes, that weakens them! Because someone else can shrug and say "I have different axioms." (Like holy writ telling me that your kind are filth.)

Our tolerant, diverse, positive-sum society needs no such axiomatic crutches. In our complexity, we've prospered and achieved more, in a few generations, than all others combined, across all continents and 6000+ years. There are zero positive metrics - from art to fun to prosperity to happiness, to soulful contemplation - in which this approach has not been rewarded multiplicatively, not arithmetically. When it comes to science and knowledge - gathering the tools and powers of creation - we've been rewarded exponentially.

There are powers who see where this is going. If the Enlightenment thrives for just one more generation, we'll reach a critical mass of bright youths and citizens committed to their own blatant self interest in this positive sum miracle. Those aiming to reinstate traditional human governance styles of oligarchy and feudal-inherited privilege know they have just a narrow window to bring the experiment crashing down. Their chief tool - fomenting frantic, anti-future populism among a fact-averse lumpenproletariat - worked somewhat in 1930s Europe.

It took grit and courage - yes, militance - to face down that last major oligarchic putsch. Indeed, our Great Experiment will only be rescued by determined will and goodwill, as it was from evil empires in the 1860s, the 1940s and across the Cold War. It requires that we view Tolerance as a tool for positive sum outcomes, not a catechism that can be used against us.

Read this piece. Then recall how I have been poking at audiences for decades with a deliberately aggressive call to arms, rousing appreciative, if nervous laughter: "We must go forth and crush every worldview that does not accept diversity and tolerance!"

If that does not wring from you a tense, ironic smile, then you just don't get it. How dissonant, contradictory, yet necessarily militant we are obliged to be, to save the fecund, wondrous peace our predecessors won.

https://extranewsfeed.com/tolerance-is-not-a-moral-precept-1af7007d6376#.5xhzvr8qj___

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2017-01-02 06:07:03 (23 comments; 8 reshares; 65 +1s; )Open 

Even after all their gerrymandering, voting machine tweaks and other cheats, the American people voted by large majorities AGAINST bot Trump and the Congressional GOP. And huge majorities if you weight by education or knowing stuff. These same fellows who now claim a "mandate" refused to even talk to Obama, after he was re-elected in a near landslide.

Face it. They are cheaters and thieves. They will prove it every day. And we, the smart folks, are gonna have to realize that we waffle way to much. It's time for commitment. And to bring our brains to bear.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/claiming-mandate-gop-congress-lays-plans-to-propel-sweeping-conservative-agenda/2017/01/01/9840338a-ceee-11e6-b8a2-8c2a61b0436f_story.html?utm_term=.a968b79b81f0

Even after all their gerrymandering, voting machine tweaks and other cheats, the American people voted by large majorities AGAINST bot Trump and the Congressional GOP. And huge majorities if you weight by education or knowing stuff. These same fellows who now claim a "mandate" refused to even talk to Obama, after he was re-elected in a near landslide.

Face it. They are cheaters and thieves. They will prove it every day. And we, the smart folks, are gonna have to realize that we waffle way to much. It's time for commitment. And to bring our brains to bear.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/claiming-mandate-gop-congress-lays-plans-to-propel-sweeping-conservative-agenda/2017/01/01/9840338a-ceee-11e6-b8a2-8c2a61b0436f_story.html?utm_term=.a968b79b81f0___

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2017-01-01 07:06:57 (17 comments; 1 reshares; 38 +1s; )Open 

The stunning myopia of our news media, kowtowing in obeisance, while neglecting to mention inconvenient counter-facts. Like the gigantic setback to Russian policy that happened when Vladimir Putin's pal and viceroy in the Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, was ousted by pro-western protesters on 22 February 2014, and when he fled the Ukrainian capital city of Kiev.

It was the worst setback to Moscow's hegemonism since the collapse of the USSR, and Putin himself laid that whole event at the feet of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, whom he never called "feckless" or "impotent." Rather he called them clever devils and he railed about the west having "stolen" Ukraine... yet our press made almost nothing of it, playing up Putin's subsequent nibble-backs of Crimea and the Donbas, feeding the calumny that Obama was "feckless" or "impotent." ... more »

The stunning myopia of our news media, kowtowing in obeisance, while neglecting to mention inconvenient counter-facts. Like the gigantic setback to Russian policy that happened when Vladimir Putin's pal and viceroy in the Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, was ousted by pro-western protesters on 22 February 2014, and when he fled the Ukrainian capital city of Kiev.

It was the worst setback to Moscow's hegemonism since the collapse of the USSR, and Putin himself laid that whole event at the feet of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, whom he never called "feckless" or "impotent." Rather he called them clever devils and he railed about the west having "stolen" Ukraine... yet our press made almost nothing of it, playing up Putin's subsequent nibble-backs of Crimea and the Donbas, feeding the calumny that Obama was "feckless" or "impotent."

Go look at a map. Compare Crimea (which was never Ukrainian int he first place) to the huge Ukraine, and tell us your "feckless" narratives.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/putin-won-2016-but-russia-has-its-limits-as-a-superpower/2016/12/31/51c607a2-cec3-11e6-85cd-e66532e35a44_story.html?utm_term=.b52b5e4f6f6a

Without empire, the prospect of a Russian titan, that seems so attractive to Trump supporters, may hit a wall. A demographic wall. "Without remedial action, Russia’s population could shrink to 113 million by 2050, a decrease of more than 20 percent from today’s population of 144 million."

While the picture has grown slightly better, the last two years, Moscow's priorities (according to this report) aim at other perceived problems, like reviving the appearance of superpower status: "Russia is in the midst of a massive military spending boom. Many of the increases in defense spending, the news agency reports, are in the “black budget”: expenditures authorized by Putin but not publicly announced, often due to opaque national security concerns."

"...military expenditures have increased by a factor of 20 since Putin became president 15 years ago, and defense and security now account for some 34 percent of Russia’s budget. That is nearly double the proportion of the U.S. budget."

Well, that is one way to hold onto Siberia, in the face of a resurgent China. Still, it makes one wonder about the cult of Putin idolatry on the American right.

Sure he's smart. And good looking. So? I suspect a trait that no one else seems to figure on. I think there's a chance that he is sincere, and still loyal to the things he swore devotion to, at age 18.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russian-federation/2015-07-08/moscows-baby-bust___

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2016-12-31 19:41:27 (10 comments; 6 reshares; 41 +1s; )Open 

OK SciFi take yer bows. You predicted this! Giant, Man-amplifying waldo robots are here!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rgFtkMiXms

OK SciFi take yer bows. You predicted this! Giant, Man-amplifying waldo robots are here!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rgFtkMiXms___

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2016-12-31 18:41:22 (9 comments; 4 reshares; 36 +1s; )Open 

What kind of whiners yowl that "2016 was the worst year ever!" Sure, America and the West are in danger from a cult of ignorance fostered by oligarchs - exactly as predicted by Robert Heinlein. But we've overcome such challenges before, as did the Greatest Generation before us. Meanwhile, did your press even cover the news of a 100% effective Ebola vaccine? Using government paid methods that should work, now, on hundreds of other potential pandemics?

Or the worldwide plummet in extreme poverty? The drops in infant mortality and domestic violence? Our spectacular advances in science? How about the political silver lining that we'll soon see Supply Side (voodoo) "economics" disproved so decisively that even morons can admit it?

http://capecodtimes.ma.newsmemory.com/publink.php?shareid=381763a86

What kind of whiners yowl that "2016 was the worst year ever!" Sure, America and the West are in danger from a cult of ignorance fostered by oligarchs - exactly as predicted by Robert Heinlein. But we've overcome such challenges before, as did the Greatest Generation before us. Meanwhile, did your press even cover the news of a 100% effective Ebola vaccine? Using government paid methods that should work, now, on hundreds of other potential pandemics?

Or the worldwide plummet in extreme poverty? The drops in infant mortality and domestic violence? Our spectacular advances in science? How about the political silver lining that we'll soon see Supply Side (voodoo) "economics" disproved so decisively that even morons can admit it?

http://capecodtimes.ma.newsmemory.com/publink.php?shareid=381763a86___

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2016-12-31 17:54:18 (0 comments; 5 reshares; 20 +1s; )Open 

We should feel strengthened in our dedication to use the greatest gifts that either God or Evolution gave us, or that we seized for ourselves. Yes, love and compassion... but also curiosity and calm willingness to exult in the holy catechism of science:

"Yes, I might be wrong! Or maybe you are. Perhaps both! Ain't it cool? Let's go find out."

See others from this series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhLxiwW8X6Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9plt6rswdc

We should feel strengthened in our dedication to use the greatest gifts that either God or Evolution gave us, or that we seized for ourselves. Yes, love and compassion... but also curiosity and calm willingness to exult in the holy catechism of science:

"Yes, I might be wrong! Or maybe you are. Perhaps both! Ain't it cool? Let's go find out."

See others from this series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhLxiwW8X6Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9plt6rswdc___

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