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Shared Circles including David Brin

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Activity

Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

15
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7
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518
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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 156

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2015-06-30 17:50:52 (156 comments, 9 reshares, 49 +1s)Open 

We are thinking less like citizens….more like sides in a war.

Most reshares: 34

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2015-07-02 19:00:34 (47 comments, 34 reshares, 78 +1s)Open 

Here’s a cute rumination. You are offered eight different – mutually exclusive – superpower pills. 

Most plusones: 241

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2015-07-21 16:55:34 (37 comments, 25 reshares, 241 +1s)Open 

Niven, Benford and Brin walk into a bar...

Latest 50 posts

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2015-07-29 21:30:31 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

An interesting look back at one of the first-ever widely televised debates, and one that transfixed the U.S. with matters of science, as Edward Teller and Linus Pauling confronted each other over war, peace, and atmospheric nuclear testing.

An interesting look back at one of the first-ever widely televised debates, and one that transfixed the U.S. with matters of science, as Edward Teller and Linus Pauling confronted each other over war, peace, and atmospheric nuclear testing.___

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2015-07-29 17:08:40 (31 comments, 16 reshares, 81 +1s)Open 

Terrific journalism and a real life adventure story! Read this riveting tale of goodguy “pirates” against villain pirates as eco-vigilantes tail and pursue the most notorious, Interpol-listed rogue fish poaching ship. “Industrial-scale violators of fishing bans and protected areas are a main reason more than half of the world’s major fishing grounds have been depleted and by some estimates over 90 percent of the ocean’s large fish like marlin, tuna and swordfish have vanished.” Vividly illustrated, this cat and mouse saga has a dramatic conclusion… and a lesson that we need better law at sea.

Terrific journalism and a real life adventure story! Read this riveting tale of goodguy “pirates” against villain pirates as eco-vigilantes tail and pursue the most notorious, Interpol-listed rogue fish poaching ship. “Industrial-scale violators of fishing bans and protected areas are a main reason more than half of the world’s major fishing grounds have been depleted and by some estimates over 90 percent of the ocean’s large fish like marlin, tuna and swordfish have vanished.” Vividly illustrated, this cat and mouse saga has a dramatic conclusion… and a lesson that we need better law at sea.___

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2015-07-28 22:22:33 (14 comments, 8 reshares, 39 +1s)Open 

The creative benefits of sarcasm. Oh really?

The creative benefits of sarcasm. Oh really?___

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2015-07-28 00:14:33 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

Following the elevated and philosophical tone of my previous posting - about our variable human HORIZONS of inclusion, worry and hope... this new one may seem a melting pot of political rants!  Still, it all adds up. Some of those "horizons" are close at-hand.

Following the elevated and philosophical tone of my previous posting - about our variable human HORIZONS of inclusion, worry and hope... this new one may seem a melting pot of political rants!  Still, it all adds up. Some of those "horizons" are close at-hand.___

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2015-07-27 19:06:03 (35 comments, 21 reshares, 64 +1s)Open 

Technicians have begun assembling the world's largest radio telescope, with a dish the size of 30 football grounds, deep in the mountains of southwest China's Guizhou Province. Yesterday afternoon, they began to assemble the telescope's reflector, which is 500 meters in diameter, compared to Puerto Rico's Arecibo Observatory, which is 300 meters. "Having a more sensitive telescope, we can receive weaker and more distant radio messages. It will help us to search for intelligent life outside of the galaxy and explore the origins of the universe," Wu Xiangping, director-general of the Chinese Astronomical Society said.

Okay fine. But please read the first few chapters of Liu Cixin’s epic Science Fiction novel (and current Hugo Award nominee) THE THREE BODY PROBLEM. That will teach you caution not to press SEND with any “outgoing messages.” Listening is good.

Technicians have begun assembling the world's largest radio telescope, with a dish the size of 30 football grounds, deep in the mountains of southwest China's Guizhou Province. Yesterday afternoon, they began to assemble the telescope's reflector, which is 500 meters in diameter, compared to Puerto Rico's Arecibo Observatory, which is 300 meters. "Having a more sensitive telescope, we can receive weaker and more distant radio messages. It will help us to search for intelligent life outside of the galaxy and explore the origins of the universe," Wu Xiangping, director-general of the Chinese Astronomical Society said.

Okay fine. But please read the first few chapters of Liu Cixin’s epic Science Fiction novel (and current Hugo Award nominee) THE THREE BODY PROBLEM. That will teach you caution not to press SEND with any “outgoing messages.” Listening is good.___

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2015-07-26 22:26:30 (4 comments, 2 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

I debated British METI enthusiast Nick Pope on the Canadian Broadcasting System regarding the wisdom of shouting “yoohoo” messages at the cosmos. It was a fun and lively radio show. You can listen here. www.cbc.ca/1.3161754

I debated British METI enthusiast Nick Pope on the Canadian Broadcasting System regarding the wisdom of shouting “yoohoo” messages at the cosmos. It was a fun and lively radio show. You can listen here. www.cbc.ca/1.3161754___

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2015-07-26 16:43:32 (54 comments, 7 reshares, 57 +1s)Open 

An interesting rumination how mass-shooters, when they are white, are almost always called “mentally ill.”  Take this passage: “We’ve created a world so topsy-turvy that seeking medical help for depression or anxiety is apparently stronger evidence of violent tendencies than going out and purchasing a weapon whose only purpose is committing acts of violence. We’ve got a narrative going where doing the former is something we’re OK with stigmatizing but not the latter.”  Ultimately, though, the author wanders in a circle, having provoked us to think… without himself actually making a clear point. http://www.salon.com/2015/06/18/its_not_about_mental_illness_the_big_lie_that_always_follows_mass_shootings_by_white_males/  
I do know this.  It is time to try my proposal to rename such mass killers. The Greeks had the class to do this.  Read and follow my reasoning.  It’s time to trythis!    http://www.sal... more »

An interesting rumination how mass-shooters, when they are white, are almost always called “mentally ill.”  Take this passage: “We’ve created a world so topsy-turvy that seeking medical help for depression or anxiety is apparently stronger evidence of violent tendencies than going out and purchasing a weapon whose only purpose is committing acts of violence. We’ve got a narrative going where doing the former is something we’re OK with stigmatizing but not the latter.”  Ultimately, though, the author wanders in a circle, having provoked us to think… without himself actually making a clear point. http://www.salon.com/2015/06/18/its_not_about_mental_illness_the_big_lie_that_always_follows_mass_shootings_by_white_males/  
I do know this.  It is time to try my proposal to rename such mass killers. The Greeks had the class to do this.  Read and follow my reasoning.  It’s time to try this!    http://www.salon.com/1999/08/13/nameless/___

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2015-07-25 16:46:05 (28 comments, 10 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

This weekend's posting is a major one that I've worked on for years -- putting together all my thoughts about fear and expanding our Horizons of Inclusion. Some of it was hinted at, in OTHERNESS.  After including this riff in many speeches and talks, it is now ready for you to scrutinize... Brin's fundamental view of human nature.

This weekend's posting is a major one that I've worked on for years -- putting together all my thoughts about fear and expanding our Horizons of Inclusion. Some of it was hinted at, in OTHERNESS.  After including this riff in many speeches and talks, it is now ready for you to scrutinize... Brin's fundamental view of human nature.___

2015-07-24 20:32:53 (39 comments, 1 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

I am not so sure about this… Under the new Chrome feature “Dmail,” email panic or regret can be fixed by clicking the "revoke" button after a message has been sent. When sending a message, users can also decide whether they want the message to self-destruct after one hour, one day, one week or never. This is different from an earlier feature: Google’s "undo send" feature unveiled in June giving Gmail users with email panic or regret up to 30 seconds to take back the offending message. 
 
Should someone be able to send you a hateful email and deny you a record of it?  Weigh in on this.

I am not so sure about this… Under the new Chrome feature “Dmail,” email panic or regret can be fixed by clicking the "revoke" button after a message has been sent. When sending a message, users can also decide whether they want the message to self-destruct after one hour, one day, one week or never. This is different from an earlier feature: Google’s "undo send" feature unveiled in June giving Gmail users with email panic or regret up to 30 seconds to take back the offending message. 
 
Should someone be able to send you a hateful email and deny you a record of it?  Weigh in on this.___

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2015-07-23 16:32:54 (13 comments, 0 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

The final shot from the movie 'On The Beach' is a striking image for trying to avoid apocalypse....

The final shot from the movie 'On The Beach' is a striking image for trying to avoid apocalypse....___

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2015-07-23 00:36:01 (4 comments, 3 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

My Midweek posting is a rundown of amazing biological news.  From nascent telepathy(!) to "quantum biology" to viruses that survive being boiled in acid, to a 5th DNA nucleotide, to the first new antibiotic in 30 years... And we look at the looming menace of ocean acidification.  

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/07/how-biological-sciences-will-transform.html

My Midweek posting is a rundown of amazing biological news.  From nascent telepathy(!) to "quantum biology" to viruses that survive being boiled in acid, to a 5th DNA nucleotide, to the first new antibiotic in 30 years... And we look at the looming menace of ocean acidification.  

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/07/how-biological-sciences-will-transform.html___

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2015-07-22 20:33:32 (13 comments, 9 reshares, 32 +1s)Open 

August 16 will be Worldwide Wave Back at Surveillance Day. An ad-hoc and as-yet wannabe “event.” But hey, in keeping with my ethos in The Transparent Society. Let them (the elites who watch) know that we know they are watching. That we are unafraid.  And “waving” is just the beginning of our determination to look back via “sousveillance.” And if they are nice, innocent little elites? Why then, they have nothing to hide from us!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn1NdG7Ilno&feature=youtu.be

August 16 will be Worldwide Wave Back at Surveillance Day. An ad-hoc and as-yet wannabe “event.” But hey, in keeping with my ethos in The Transparent Society. Let them (the elites who watch) know that we know they are watching. That we are unafraid.  And “waving” is just the beginning of our determination to look back via “sousveillance.” And if they are nice, innocent little elites? Why then, they have nothing to hide from us!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn1NdG7Ilno&feature=youtu.be___

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2015-07-22 16:10:38 (15 comments, 5 reshares, 51 +1s)Open 

The “Gore Sat” – a scientific spaceprobe proposed originally by Vice President Al Gore – is now positioned in a gravitationally metastable orbit about a million miles from Earth, closer to the Sun, allowing it to send home stunning images of the entire daylit face of our planet, every single day or hour. Of course the money was spent for science. Discovr was launched in February of this year on a mission to monitor solar winds. Keeping tabs on space weather helps scientists issue accurate warnings ahead of solar storms that can potentially disrupt telecommunications or power infrastructure. But Gore (whose Senate bill around 1990 freed the internet into the wild and open thing we know) also dreamed that the perfect images of our world might inspire us.  Make it so.
http://www.cnet.com/au/news/nasas-new-million-mile-view-of-earth-is-a-stunner/

The “Gore Sat” – a scientific spaceprobe proposed originally by Vice President Al Gore – is now positioned in a gravitationally metastable orbit about a million miles from Earth, closer to the Sun, allowing it to send home stunning images of the entire daylit face of our planet, every single day or hour. Of course the money was spent for science. Discovr was launched in February of this year on a mission to monitor solar winds. Keeping tabs on space weather helps scientists issue accurate warnings ahead of solar storms that can potentially disrupt telecommunications or power infrastructure. But Gore (whose Senate bill around 1990 freed the internet into the wild and open thing we know) also dreamed that the perfect images of our world might inspire us.  Make it so.
http://www.cnet.com/au/news/nasas-new-million-mile-view-of-earth-is-a-stunner/___

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2015-07-21 16:55:34 (37 comments, 25 reshares, 241 +1s)Open 

Niven, Benford and Brin walk into a bar...

Niven, Benford and Brin walk into a bar...___

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2015-07-20 23:31:46 (12 comments, 3 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

My Monday posting returns to politics... will 2016 feature a Bush vs a Clinton? How about my fave, an all-Califiornian line-up of Brown vs. Schwarznegger! Throw in the Pope and maybe Jon Stewart and you have some gonzo ideas to help get you across those Monday blues. No Crackpot gets Left Behind!

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-crowning-of-hillary-and-pope.html

My Monday posting returns to politics... will 2016 feature a Bush vs a Clinton? How about my fave, an all-Califiornian line-up of Brown vs. Schwarznegger! Throw in the Pope and maybe Jon Stewart and you have some gonzo ideas to help get you across those Monday blues. No Crackpot gets Left Behind!

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-crowning-of-hillary-and-pope.html___

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2015-07-20 21:57:16 (12 comments, 2 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

Of course this was to be expected. Anyone who actually believes promises of confidentiality in this modern era is incredibly foolish…

Of course this was to be expected. Anyone who actually believes promises of confidentiality in this modern era is incredibly foolish…___

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2015-07-20 19:15:47 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

The lonely Sounds of Mars: NASA posted this video of images from the Mars Exploration Rover, which just completed a marathon (26 miles) over Martian terrain. The audio is derived from vibration measurements form the rover’s accelerometer: louder sounds represent rougher terrain; softer sounds smoother terrain.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b1DxICZbGc

The lonely Sounds of Mars: NASA posted this video of images from the Mars Exploration Rover, which just completed a marathon (26 miles) over Martian terrain. The audio is derived from vibration measurements form the rover’s accelerometer: louder sounds represent rougher terrain; softer sounds smoother terrain.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b1DxICZbGc___

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2015-07-19 17:23:58 (18 comments, 8 reshares, 57 +1s)Open 

Yipe, it sure ticked off the snobs at Forbes that Washington Monthly came up with an alternative list of top universities that included only one Ivy League School in its top ranks. Top spot went to UCSD (where I got my doctorate and currently have a resident scholar position), with four more UC campuses in the top ten, along with Stanford, Harvard, Case Western and Ann Arbor.  Of course the criteria are a bit shifted. In addition to selectivity, teaching and research excellence, there are points for using the university to help improve the state, nation and world. All right, that can be mocked as touchy-feely. But the top criteria beloved of snobs – selectivity – has its own recursive illogic. Luring more kids to apply, so that you can turn them down… yeah, that shows how great a college is.  

Yipe, it sure ticked off the snobs at Forbes that Washington Monthly came up with an alternative list of top universities that included only one Ivy League School in its top ranks. Top spot went to UCSD (where I got my doctorate and currently have a resident scholar position), with four more UC campuses in the top ten, along with Stanford, Harvard, Case Western and Ann Arbor.  Of course the criteria are a bit shifted. In addition to selectivity, teaching and research excellence, there are points for using the university to help improve the state, nation and world. All right, that can be mocked as touchy-feely. But the top criteria beloved of snobs – selectivity – has its own recursive illogic. Luring more kids to apply, so that you can turn them down… yeah, that shows how great a college is.  ___

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2015-07-18 22:12:25 (2 comments, 7 reshares, 55 +1s)Open 

As usual, Tom Tomorrow is spot on. If privacy and freedom truly are zero-sum, then we are bound for revolution and it won't be pretty. On the other hand, it can be positive sum. But it requires that light flow in all directions.

As usual, Tom Tomorrow is spot on. If privacy and freedom truly are zero-sum, then we are bound for revolution and it won't be pretty. On the other hand, it can be positive sum. But it requires that light flow in all directions.___

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2015-07-18 17:03:02 (1 comments, 5 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

There’s a whole lot of space in space! A collection of stunning visuals that explore the immensity of our cosmos: Explore! 

There’s a whole lot of space in space! A collection of stunning visuals that explore the immensity of our cosmos: Explore! ___

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2015-07-17 22:00:10 (6 comments, 13 reshares, 43 +1s)Open 

Our weekend posting is about SCALE in the cosmos and twenty sites that help you to visualize the immensity out there... and within our atoms.  We've come a long way since "Powers of Ten!"  These amazing visuals will knock your socks off... and give you a greater appreciation of this amazing universe.  

Our weekend posting is about SCALE in the cosmos and twenty sites that help you to visualize the immensity out there... and within our atoms.  We've come a long way since "Powers of Ten!"  These amazing visuals will knock your socks off... and give you a greater appreciation of this amazing universe.  ___

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2015-07-17 16:24:33 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

The Planetary Resources Arkyd 3 Reflight (A3R) spacecraft deployed successfully from the International Space Station’s (ISS) Kibo airlock and has begun its 90-day mission!  Asteroids hold SO much more potential for human development - in the near future - than returning to the sterile desert of the Moon.  

The Planetary Resources Arkyd 3 Reflight (A3R) spacecraft deployed successfully from the International Space Station’s (ISS) Kibo airlock and has begun its 90-day mission!  Asteroids hold SO much more potential for human development - in the near future - than returning to the sterile desert of the Moon.  ___

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2015-07-17 01:07:37 (5 comments, 15 reshares, 54 +1s)Open 

You’ve seen astronauts create balls of water that hold together with surface tension, till the astronaut gulps it down? Well you can do that on Earth!  It takes a little kitchen chemistry.  Edible water bottles and the strange chemistry of spherification!  

You’ve seen astronauts create balls of water that hold together with surface tension, till the astronaut gulps it down? Well you can do that on Earth!  It takes a little kitchen chemistry.  Edible water bottles and the strange chemistry of spherification!  ___

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2015-07-16 15:49:58 (15 comments, 7 reshares, 36 +1s)Open 

If there is any overlap between my contacts and Jade Helm conspiracy folks, I'd be very surprised. Still, tell your crazy uncle this. (1) To give such Tolkien-level fantasy even a neuron's credence is to insult our own sons, daughters, cousins and fellow citizens in today's military... not ONE of whom would go along with some cockamamie plot. Let along ALL of them. But that's okay! Because Jones is helping seal the already huge flood of sane-decent military men and women fleeing the insane-hijacked GOP in droves.

(2) How many US cities do you think our twelve Army and Marine divisions could hold, even if 1oo% obedient to a tyrant, against the objections of a huge and armed populace?  Maybe two. See it worked out here:  http://www.tinyurl.com/jrifle   Again, you guys are certifiably insane.

(3) This whole thing has one end game.  For Jones to go on the air and claimcre... more »

If there is any overlap between my contacts and Jade Helm conspiracy folks, I'd be very surprised. Still, tell your crazy uncle this. (1) To give such Tolkien-level fantasy even a neuron's credence is to insult our own sons, daughters, cousins and fellow citizens in today's military... not ONE of whom would go along with some cockamamie plot. Let along ALL of them. But that's okay! Because Jones is helping seal the already huge flood of sane-decent military men and women fleeing the insane-hijacked GOP in droves.

(2) How many US cities do you think our twelve Army and Marine divisions could hold, even if 1oo% obedient to a tyrant, against the objections of a huge and armed populace?  Maybe two. See it worked out here:  http://www.tinyurl.com/jrifle   Again, you guys are certifiably insane.

(3) This whole thing has one end game.  For Jones to go on the air and claim credit for stymieing the coup!  "I prevented it!" Moreover, his followers will actually... believe... that.

Jones's aim (assigned by Rupert Murdoch and his Saudi partners) is easy to parse, seeking to distract us from real coup attempts, like the way GOP operatives control every company making voting machines in the U.S.  Still, one can fantasize. Now that Trump has led the way, legitimizing jibbering loony-nasty, throw your hat into the ring, fellah!  Jones (for GOP nominee) in 2016!___

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2015-07-15 22:12:57 (7 comments, 4 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

Those of you with hungry minds -- you might like the online guest lecture series of the Mythgard Institute.  Here's my topic -- "Can Science Fiction Change the World?" Tune in on  July 25 at 6 pm  ET 
http://mythgard.org/academy/guest-lecture-series/

Those of you with hungry minds -- you might like the online guest lecture series of the Mythgard Institute.  Here's my topic -- "Can Science Fiction Change the World?" Tune in on  July 25 at 6 pm  ET 
http://mythgard.org/academy/guest-lecture-series/___

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2015-07-15 17:08:30 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

My latest posting explores an epidemic of myopia, networked monkey brains, bioartificial limbs, new research on autism, a new method for treating Parkinson’s… and much more!

My latest posting explores an epidemic of myopia, networked monkey brains, bioartificial limbs, new research on autism, a new method for treating Parkinson’s… and much more!___

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2015-07-14 19:59:56 (6 comments, 4 reshares, 31 +1s)Open 

See the TRUTH about Pluto, by scrolling down at:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/07/14/new-data-reveals-that-plutos-heart-is-broken/

and playing the very very brief but revealing video...

Wow.

At 6pm tonight on the NASA channel they'll let us know if New Horizons survived the close passage.

Congratulations to all plutonians.

See the TRUTH about Pluto, by scrolling down at:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/07/14/new-data-reveals-that-plutos-heart-is-broken/

and playing the very very brief but revealing video...

Wow.

At 6pm tonight on the NASA channel they'll let us know if New Horizons survived the close passage.

Congratulations to all plutonians.___

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2015-07-14 16:25:09 (4 comments, 14 reshares, 79 +1s)Open 

Meet the HeroRats – trained rodents who sniff out landmines – which remain as a plague on too many war-torn countries. African pouched rats scamper through fields on leashes, and have incredibly sensitive noses which can sniff out bombs more quickly and safely than humans, saving lives. They’re too light to set off land mines and have a long lifespan (8 to 9 years).  You can adopt a HeroRat through Apopo: https://www.apopo.org/en/adopt

Meet the HeroRats – trained rodents who sniff out landmines – which remain as a plague on too many war-torn countries. African pouched rats scamper through fields on leashes, and have incredibly sensitive noses which can sniff out bombs more quickly and safely than humans, saving lives. They’re too light to set off land mines and have a long lifespan (8 to 9 years).  You can adopt a HeroRat through Apopo: https://www.apopo.org/en/adopt___

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2015-07-13 20:21:48 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

Today's posting goes back to space with interesting news about Black Hole holograms and galaxies and Europa probes... but also a Pluto reminder!  Tomorrow is the AWESOME encounter day, when our little robot emissary -- New Horizons -- flashes past the Ninth Planet (of our youth).   Celebrate. Talk to kids about it. See if you can rouse your neighbors and co-workers to feel a flicker of pride and curiosity…

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/07/galaxies-black-holes-supernova-pluto.html

Today's posting goes back to space with interesting news about Black Hole holograms and galaxies and Europa probes... but also a Pluto reminder!  Tomorrow is the AWESOME encounter day, when our little robot emissary -- New Horizons -- flashes past the Ninth Planet (of our youth).   Celebrate. Talk to kids about it. See if you can rouse your neighbors and co-workers to feel a flicker of pride and curiosity…

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/07/galaxies-black-holes-supernova-pluto.html___

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2015-07-13 16:55:52 (24 comments, 10 reshares, 47 +1s)Open 

A fascinating look at Autistic Intelligence Analysts: Wow… here’s one for the Predictions Registry.  In Existence I portray new computer methodologies freeing and empowering folks along the Autistic Spectrum to do valuable work… and this article tells how the Israeli Intelligence Services have carefully nurtured and developed this approach, employing spectrum folks for their meticulous attention to certain types of detail and pattern recognition.  Of course another variant on the theme can be found in Vernor Vinge’s A Deepness in the Sky. 

A fascinating look at Autistic Intelligence Analysts: Wow… here’s one for the Predictions Registry.  In Existence I portray new computer methodologies freeing and empowering folks along the Autistic Spectrum to do valuable work… and this article tells how the Israeli Intelligence Services have carefully nurtured and developed this approach, employing spectrum folks for their meticulous attention to certain types of detail and pattern recognition.  Of course another variant on the theme can be found in Vernor Vinge’s A Deepness in the Sky. ___

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2015-07-12 16:38:29 (30 comments, 13 reshares, 37 +1s)Open 

The Physics of Free Will, a discussion between David Brin, Andrew Friedman and Brian Keating at the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, UCSD, Atkinson Auditorium August 6 at 6 pm. Register at http://freewillphysics.eventbrite.com

The Physics of Free Will, a discussion between David Brin, Andrew Friedman and Brian Keating at the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, UCSD, Atkinson Auditorium August 6 at 6 pm. Register at http://freewillphysics.eventbrite.com___

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2015-07-11 00:11:04 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

Our weekend posting goes back to the Transparency Wars.  News of our coming transparency-related sci fi anthology! And unexpected side effects of citizens filming police. What about info-monopolies and competition? Should Big Brother be limited by the court's standard of "reasonable expectation for privacy?"  Did the CIA use ART as a cold war weapon? And can a video game be a tool for freedom? Lots of cool stuff for you brainy types. Contemplate where we may be headed!
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-era-of-light.html

Our weekend posting goes back to the Transparency Wars.  News of our coming transparency-related sci fi anthology! And unexpected side effects of citizens filming police. What about info-monopolies and competition? Should Big Brother be limited by the court's standard of "reasonable expectation for privacy?"  Did the CIA use ART as a cold war weapon? And can a video game be a tool for freedom? Lots of cool stuff for you brainy types. Contemplate where we may be headed!
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-era-of-light.html___

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2015-07-09 19:56:16 (15 comments, 5 reshares, 66 +1s)Open 

Celebrate the Opportunity rover's completion of a "marathon" having traveled 26.2 miles across the Martian surface on our behalf, doing great science all the way, having lasted more than a decade longer than the originally planned 90 day mission. Here I link to a terrific video showing a time lapse of Opportunity's journey. Be proud of your loyal robots!  

Celebrate the Opportunity rover's completion of a "marathon" having traveled 26.2 miles across the Martian surface on our behalf, doing great science all the way, having lasted more than a decade longer than the originally planned 90 day mission. Here I link to a terrific video showing a time lapse of Opportunity's journey. Be proud of your loyal robots!  ___

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2015-07-09 17:04:32 (7 comments, 6 reshares, 38 +1s)Open 

The cool indie Trek film "Axanar" tells the story of Captain Garth and his crew during the Four Years War, the war with the Klingon Empire that almost tore the Federation apart.  Garth's victory at Axanar solidified the Federation and allowed it to become the entity we know in Kirk's time. It's 2245 and the war with the Klingons ends here. http://www.startrekaxanar.com

And join the Indiegogo campaign! Star Trek is the one major-media sci fi mythic system that builds our confidence, rather than tearing it down. Think about that and give your support.
http://www.startrekaxanar.com/donate/donor-packages/

The cool indie Trek film "Axanar" tells the story of Captain Garth and his crew during the Four Years War, the war with the Klingon Empire that almost tore the Federation apart.  Garth's victory at Axanar solidified the Federation and allowed it to become the entity we know in Kirk's time. It's 2245 and the war with the Klingons ends here. http://www.startrekaxanar.com

And join the Indiegogo campaign! Star Trek is the one major-media sci fi mythic system that builds our confidence, rather than tearing it down. Think about that and give your support.
http://www.startrekaxanar.com/donate/donor-packages/___

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2015-07-08 21:57:01 (4 comments, 1 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

Is Comet 67P alive? What will New Horizons see next Tuesday, when we -- (yes, we) -- swoop past Pluto, and who will get to name all the cool new stuff that living eyes will see, for the first time? And what are those mysterious things on Ceres? And what did the seven robots on or near Mars think see, when they turned glassy eyes toward Comet Siding Spring?  It's the greatest year in solar system exploration since the 1970s!  My mid-week posting shows you just how exciting it all truly is... for those with minds that are aliiiiive!

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/07/its-alive-and-its-in-outer-spaaaace.html

Is Comet 67P alive? What will New Horizons see next Tuesday, when we -- (yes, we) -- swoop past Pluto, and who will get to name all the cool new stuff that living eyes will see, for the first time? And what are those mysterious things on Ceres? And what did the seven robots on or near Mars think see, when they turned glassy eyes toward Comet Siding Spring?  It's the greatest year in solar system exploration since the 1970s!  My mid-week posting shows you just how exciting it all truly is... for those with minds that are aliiiiive!

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/07/its-alive-and-its-in-outer-spaaaace.html___

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2015-07-08 16:43:48 (36 comments, 0 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

The Aeon Ideas site has reprinted one of my better brief articles explaining the Fermi Paradox. The mystery of why we seem (so far) not have seen any signs of extraterrestrial civilizations.

The Aeon Ideas site has reprinted one of my better brief articles explaining the Fermi Paradox. The mystery of why we seem (so far) not have seen any signs of extraterrestrial civilizations.___

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2015-07-07 21:48:56 (18 comments, 2 reshares, 44 +1s)Open 

Steve Mann called it “Brin’s Corrollary to Moore’s Law”… that cameras will keep getting smaller, cheaper, faster, better and more mobile faster than Moore’s Law.  And hence, our only option for preventing Big Brother is to use them (to look back at power), not to hide from them. Now comes Go-Pro , the sports camera maker, with its smallest unit yet. 40% lighter than last year’s best model, easier to use and less expensive. And waterproof. 
And please, all you Jeremiahs preaching safety-by-obscurity? We’re still waiting to see your plan – other than holding out your arms toward a tsunami inevitable light, screaming “stop!”

Steve Mann called it “Brin’s Corrollary to Moore’s Law”… that cameras will keep getting smaller, cheaper, faster, better and more mobile faster than Moore’s Law.  And hence, our only option for preventing Big Brother is to use them (to look back at power), not to hide from them. Now comes Go-Pro , the sports camera maker, with its smallest unit yet. 40% lighter than last year’s best model, easier to use and less expensive. And waterproof. 
And please, all you Jeremiahs preaching safety-by-obscurity? We’re still waiting to see your plan – other than holding out your arms toward a tsunami inevitable light, screaming “stop!”___

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2015-07-07 16:53:27 (1 comments, 8 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

How did the CIA do in its year 2000 forecast for 2015?   Pretty good, in fact.  

How did the CIA do in its year 2000 forecast for 2015?   Pretty good, in fact.  ___

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2015-07-06 22:35:17 (37 comments, 11 reshares, 45 +1s)Open 

Today's posting is an open letter to Paul Krugman - Nobelist and Keynsian, who will be debating right-wing apologist Steve Moore at FreedomFest, Wednesday.  As a former FreedomFest speaker, I know some talking points that really get through to smart libertarians, showing them how foolish it is to associate themselves with the madness that has hijacked the American right. 

 These are BASIC points, about the nature of competition and freedom, that go back to Adam Smith and Robert Heinlein, exposing a truth, that the Fox-ites are puppetting libertarianism. And that leash must be cut.

I hope Prof. Krugman will consider using these ten "judo" points which will help any smart-sane libertarian to realize... that moderate liberals can be negotiated-with, and even share some common ground with you.  While conniving, proto-feudal oligarchs are the ancient enemies of allfre... more »

Today's posting is an open letter to Paul Krugman - Nobelist and Keynsian, who will be debating right-wing apologist Steve Moore at FreedomFest, Wednesday.  As a former FreedomFest speaker, I know some talking points that really get through to smart libertarians, showing them how foolish it is to associate themselves with the madness that has hijacked the American right. 

 These are BASIC points, about the nature of competition and freedom, that go back to Adam Smith and Robert Heinlein, exposing a truth, that the Fox-ites are puppetting libertarianism. And that leash must be cut.

I hope Prof. Krugman will consider using these ten "judo" points which will help any smart-sane libertarian to realize... that moderate liberals can be negotiated-with, and even share some common ground with you.  While conniving, proto-feudal oligarchs are the ancient enemies of all freedom.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/07/dear-professor-krugman-how-to-cut.html___

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2015-07-06 19:52:22 (9 comments, 9 reshares, 38 +1s)Open 

An amazingly cogent, entertaining and totally on-target dissection of one of the greatest motion pictures of all time – GHOSTBUSTERS – by Moviebob (Bob Chipman).  I only rarely see a critic cover every single point that I would have made about a work of art. But Moviebob gets down to it, mailing why this is one of the greatest accomplishments in the history and cinema, and Ghostbusters is more pertinent than ever to our times. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPoILjs6BYI

An amazingly cogent, entertaining and totally on-target dissection of one of the greatest motion pictures of all time – GHOSTBUSTERS – by Moviebob (Bob Chipman).  I only rarely see a critic cover every single point that I would have made about a work of art. But Moviebob gets down to it, mailing why this is one of the greatest accomplishments in the history and cinema, and Ghostbusters is more pertinent than ever to our times. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPoILjs6BYI___

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2015-07-05 21:11:03 (65 comments, 11 reshares, 53 +1s)Open 

Boeing's new Compact Laser Weapon System (LWS) is capable of generating an energy beam of up to 10 kilowatts that can, depending on the power level, be used to acquire, track, and identify a target -- or even destroy it -- at ranges of at least 22 miles. The weapon is designed specifically to track and attack moving aerial targets such as incoming artillery rounds, and low-flying aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles.  Combine this with the new radars’ ability to track-back shells to pinpoint their origin, and we may be witnessing the end of Napoleon’s dictum that artillery is Queen of the Battlefield.  Of course the ones paying closest attention to all this?  Not Boeing’s customers or potential adversaries…. But sci fi authors.  

Boeing's new Compact Laser Weapon System (LWS) is capable of generating an energy beam of up to 10 kilowatts that can, depending on the power level, be used to acquire, track, and identify a target -- or even destroy it -- at ranges of at least 22 miles. The weapon is designed specifically to track and attack moving aerial targets such as incoming artillery rounds, and low-flying aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles.  Combine this with the new radars’ ability to track-back shells to pinpoint their origin, and we may be witnessing the end of Napoleon’s dictum that artillery is Queen of the Battlefield.  Of course the ones paying closest attention to all this?  Not Boeing’s customers or potential adversaries…. But sci fi authors.  ___

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2015-07-05 17:35:17 (6 comments, 1 reshares, 49 +1s)Open 

A couple of pictures from the Westercon 68 Science Fiction convention in San Diego: catching up with Vernor Vinge, and an intense discussion of transparency, accountability and privacy in this panel on The Transparent Society with Larry Niven, Henry Herz, Cody Goodfellow, David Ross and Karen Wilson.

A couple of pictures from the Westercon 68 Science Fiction convention in San Diego: catching up with Vernor Vinge, and an intense discussion of transparency, accountability and privacy in this panel on The Transparent Society with Larry Niven, Henry Herz, Cody Goodfellow, David Ross and Karen Wilson.___

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2015-07-04 15:56:12 (14 comments, 7 reshares, 35 +1s)Open 

My weekend posting is an older article that has never appeared anywhere online till now. It won the best fact article prize from Analog Magazine in 1984 -- "The Deadly Thing at 2.4 Kiloparsecs!" It covers one postulate or hypothesis to explain the apparently cyclical nature of past extinction events on Planet Earth.  (That is, till the cycle got pushed ahead by our own actions in the Anthropocene.) Come have a look at the craziest-yet-plausible theory you've seen yet!

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-deadly-thing-at-24-kiloparsecs-are.html

My weekend posting is an older article that has never appeared anywhere online till now. It won the best fact article prize from Analog Magazine in 1984 -- "The Deadly Thing at 2.4 Kiloparsecs!" It covers one postulate or hypothesis to explain the apparently cyclical nature of past extinction events on Planet Earth.  (That is, till the cycle got pushed ahead by our own actions in the Anthropocene.) Come have a look at the craziest-yet-plausible theory you've seen yet!

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-deadly-thing-at-24-kiloparsecs-are.html___

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2015-07-03 16:23:24 (11 comments, 11 reshares, 54 +1s)Open 

The key point here is not the one pushed by law enforcement or by its civil libertarian opponents, both of whom suffer from technological myopia and “tradeoff disease” – a mental ailment that causes sincere people to make statements like “we must sacrifice a little privacy for public safety” or – alternatively – “we must be brave enough to endure some danger in order to preserve freedom.”  It is the noxious notion of the zero-sum game. That we must choose between freedom and safety for our children.  A choice that I absolutely refuse to make. A choice put forward by simplistic morons.
 
Proof: No people in all of human history have ever been safer than we are right now… and no people have ever been as free. 
 
The tech-myopia comes in when federal agents act as if tools like Stingray can be kept secret over an extended period.  My Gosh, what kind of society dothey think they are livin... more »

The key point here is not the one pushed by law enforcement or by its civil libertarian opponents, both of whom suffer from technological myopia and “tradeoff disease” – a mental ailment that causes sincere people to make statements like “we must sacrifice a little privacy for public safety” or – alternatively – “we must be brave enough to endure some danger in order to preserve freedom.”  It is the noxious notion of the zero-sum game. That we must choose between freedom and safety for our children.  A choice that I absolutely refuse to make. A choice put forward by simplistic morons.
 
Proof: No people in all of human history have ever been safer than we are right now… and no people have ever been as free. 
 
The tech-myopia comes in when federal agents act as if tools like Stingray can be kept secret over an extended period.  My Gosh, what kind of society do they think they are living in?  All they accomplish with blanket and frantic gag orders is to increase the frisson of suspicion aimed toward them by citizens who know that they must be aware of what civil servants are doing, lest freedom vanish.
 
Temporary and tactical secrecy are useful tools for the Professional Protector Caste (PPC).  But technology and society keep moving forward and gag orders will not prevent it. 
 
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-the-big-secret-surrounding-stingray-surveillance/?WT.mc_id=SA_WR_20150701___

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2015-07-02 19:00:34 (47 comments, 34 reshares, 78 +1s)Open 

Here’s a cute rumination. You are offered eight different – mutually exclusive – superpower pills. 

Here’s a cute rumination. You are offered eight different – mutually exclusive – superpower pills. ___

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2015-07-01 22:58:01 (9 comments, 4 reshares, 22 +1s)Open 

My mid-week posting is about Science Fiction: scenarios for the future, ranging from Cli-Fi to Post-human…
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/07/sci-fi-news.html

My mid-week posting is about Science Fiction: scenarios for the future, ranging from Cli-Fi to Post-human…
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2015/07/sci-fi-news.html___

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2015-07-01 19:14:19 (22 comments, 1 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

"Amazon is changing its ratings system. The company will  assign more weight to recent reviews, as well as reviews that have been written by verified purchasers of a particular product. (Naturally, it's probably best to hear about a person's experiences with something when you know, for sure, that they have actually used it.) Amazon will also weigh reviews that have been deemed helpful by other Amazon users" The latter reform has been needed for a long time. And #2 seems reasonable, but will tend to have side effects, e.g. that authors like me will be motivated to want loyal fans to buy via Amazon, so they can also review.  Clever, Jeff.http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2486445,00.asp

"Amazon is changing its ratings system. The company will  assign more weight to recent reviews, as well as reviews that have been written by verified purchasers of a particular product. (Naturally, it's probably best to hear about a person's experiences with something when you know, for sure, that they have actually used it.) Amazon will also weigh reviews that have been deemed helpful by other Amazon users" The latter reform has been needed for a long time. And #2 seems reasonable, but will tend to have side effects, e.g. that authors like me will be motivated to want loyal fans to buy via Amazon, so they can also review.  Clever, Jeff.http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2486445,00.asp___

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2015-06-30 17:50:52 (156 comments, 9 reshares, 49 +1s)Open 

We are thinking less like citizens….more like sides in a war.

We are thinking less like citizens….more like sides in a war.___

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2015-06-29 19:17:20 (26 comments, 16 reshares, 80 +1s)Open 

The Supreme Court in June allowed to stand the independent redistricting commission that the voters in Arizona established, to take rabid partisanship out of the drawing of state and federal districts.  But Republicans who control the legislature say the Constitution gives them the right to draw congressional districts, and they cannot be cut out of the power.  California is the only other state that has diminished the legislature’s role similar to Arizona, but 11 other states have created commissions that have some sort of say about reapportionment.
 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/justices-rule-5-4-that-independent-panels-can-draw-election-district-lines/2015/06/29/c91269aa-1ae6-11e5-ab92-c75ae6ab94b5_story.html
 
I have long railed against gerrymandering, which is only the most blatant of a dozen ways that modern political parties have found to cheat thevoter... more »

The Supreme Court in June allowed to stand the independent redistricting commission that the voters in Arizona established, to take rabid partisanship out of the drawing of state and federal districts.  But Republicans who control the legislature say the Constitution gives them the right to draw congressional districts, and they cannot be cut out of the power.  California is the only other state that has diminished the legislature’s role similar to Arizona, but 11 other states have created commissions that have some sort of say about reapportionment.
 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/justices-rule-5-4-that-independent-panels-can-draw-election-district-lines/2015/06/29/c91269aa-1ae6-11e5-ab92-c75ae6ab94b5_story.html
 
I have long railed against gerrymandering, which is only the most blatant of a dozen ways that modern political parties have found to cheat the voters.  Nothing more spectacularly proved the stunning dogmatic partisanship of justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito more than they way they have blocked (till now) any serious judicial review of these hijackings of sovereign citizen will.
 
The cheating is not balanced and equally distributed.  While yes, there a blue states where gerrymandering creates contorted, illogical and nasty district boundaries – Maryland and Illinois rise almost to the level of creativity of Texas and Georgia – it should be noted that it is in blue states that mostly democratic-leaning populations have rebelled against the practice. Of the 13 states where voters have pushed back against gerrymandering, twelve are blue.
 
“The Supreme Court has largely stayed out of partisan gerrymandering cases, unable to agree on a test that would allow the court to discern when expected political maneuvering rises to the level of being unconstitutional.”
 
But it does not have to get embroiled!  Nor is there even a need for impartial redistricting commissions!  All that is needed is one simple rule, that can be expressed in a single sentence. This one rule would not completely end gerrymandering… but it would render it moot and useless as a rampant method for stealing sovereignty and choice from American voters.
 
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-simple-trick-allowing-citizens-to.html
 
THE RULE: District boundaries shall be drawn in such a way that (1) minimizes the ratio of perimeter to area and (2) minimizes OVERLAP between the districts for the state assembly, the state senate and the U.S. Congress.   
 
What this means is that the state legislature can Gerry assembly districts to benefit the majority party… but all this will do is ensure that the boundaries for state senate and Congress are not optimized for partisanship.  Your state senator will have to consider different sets of neighborhoods and needs and alliances than the assemblywoman, making democracy more thoughtful and prone to negotiation.
 
Above all, this reform does not require a grinding process of establishing one “commission” after another, or “agreeing on a test that would allow the court to discern when expected political maneuvering rises to the level of being unconstitutional.” 
 
Above all, though.  NOTICE which party cheats far more than the other.  Ask yourselves why it’s been arranged that all the companies that make VOTING machines are controlled by rabid GOP partisans.  And why is it that – in red states – there usually is no provision for those voting machines to leave an independent record that can be precinct-audited.  Sure, there are corrupt democrats.  But they have not turned cheating into a passionately-dedicated matter of party principle, policy and disciplined practice.
 ___

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2015-06-29 15:55:38 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Support the next generation of writers... with the Clarion Write-a-Thon. http://clarionwriteathon.org

Support the next generation of writers... with the Clarion Write-a-Thon. http://clarionwriteathon.org___

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