“A community made up of American ex-pats deep in the South American hills of Chile – far away from America’s annoying taxes, healthcare mandate, and legal abortions — was supposed to be a libertarian paradise of rugged individualism. Instead it cost many of the people who bought into it almost everything, and now is buried under lawsuits — a reminder that everything that glitters is not inflation-proof, Ron Paul-backed gold.
It seems pretty obvious that basing one’s society on a single work of (poorly written) fiction is folly, but for many adherents of Ayn Rand and her seminal book of Objectivist allegorical grandstanding, Atlas Shrugged isn’t just any book. It’s about as close to the Bible that many libertarians have — apart from the Bible, of course. It’s influenced an astounding number of conservative public figures — from Ron Paul to Rand Paul to Ronald Reagan. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s Rand-loving running mate and probable 2016 presidential contender, said it was his favorite book growing up.”—– Libertarian ‘Utopia’ Styled After Ayn Rand Book Spectacularly Falls Apart Almost Immediately
“Jargon aside, what exactly differentiates “an Alfred” from a plain old personal servant is not entirely clear. Perhaps it’s the fact that “Alfreds” apparently come unburdened by individual names of their own. Which is nice, because real names can be hard to remember and disconcertingly humanizing, like when you go to a fancy restaurant and they serve your fish with the head still on.”—TechCrunch Disrupt SF: Butler app Alfred Club wins best startup of 2014.
A government report released last week surprisingly admits that the honeybee species are dying off at a rate too high to ‘guarantee their long term survival’.
It has been well proven that the primary factor leading to this extinction is the presence of neonicotinoid poisons, of course present in insecticides sold by and/or used by corporations such as Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dupont and their products. A recent study from Harvard, published on March 27th of this year, has definitively confirmed what scientists outside the US have been saying for years: neonicotinoids are the [emphasis added] cause of colony collapse disorder(CCD). The study showed that 50% of colonies populated by bees who had been in contact with these pesticides collapsed, compared to only 1 in 6 who were not in contact with neonicotinoids.
The European Union understands that the death of honeybees is an unprecedented death for human beings and mother earth, as they have banned neonicotinoid poisons.
However, American powers refuse to believe the problem is neonicotinoid insecticides and they continue to be in use here.
These corporations with armies of lobbyists and politicians bought and paid for, like Monsanto, are playing dumb and suggesting that ‘mites’ are the cause for the death rate of honeybees, a problem so bad that it means their extinction if they continue on this path. This is dangerous anti-science rhetoric, borderline scientific denialism from the American agro-chemical establishment.
Well, did mites cause the honeybees to go extinct in the approximate 14 million years they survived here before humans invented neonicotinoid chemicals? Of course not. It seems only things as foreign to Earth as neonicotinoids can cause such a drastic loss of crucial life on our planet and the solution is obvious; inform people that if we keep allowing the honeybees to die at this rate, we will be literally without almost all of the fruits we enjoy. Oh and stop using neonicotinoids.
If we don’t seriously stop this soon, then a corporation like Monsanto would likely take advantage of the lack of bees to pollinate and create fruit, and attempt to monopolize the products of nature because the fruits will then require individual, manual pollination or more complex measures. While this may seem far fetched, in the absence of honeybees and acknowledging that manual pollination is highly labor intensive, micro pollinator drones may be in our future if something is not done to save the bees.
If you are reading this, there is a good chance absolutely none of this information is new. If the bees are not nursed back to health as a species, say goodbye to these things- (unless you want genetically modified, manually pollinated products of Monsanto in the wake of the extinction of the honeybee): Apples Mangos Rambutan Kiwi Fruit Plums Peaches Nectarines Guava Rose Hips Pomegranites Pears Black and Red Currants Alfalfa Okra Strawberries Onions Cashews Cactus Prickly Pear Apricots Allspice Avocados Passion Fruit Lima Beans Kidney Beans Adzuki Beans Green Beans Orchid Plants Custard Apples Cherries Celery Coffee Walnut Cotton Lychee Flax Acerola – used in Vitamin C supplements Macadamia Nuts Sunflower Oil Goa beans Lemons Buckwheat Figs Fennel Limes Quince Carrots Persimmons Palm Oil Loquat Durian Cucumber Hazelnut Cantaloupe Tangelos Coriander Caraway Chestnut Watermelon Star Apples Coconut Tangerines Boysenberries Starfruit Brazil Nuts Beets Mustard Seed Rapeseed Broccoli Cauliflower Cabbage Brussels Sprouts Bok Choy (Chinese Cabbage) Turnips Congo Beans Sword beans Chili peppers, red peppers, bell peppers, green peppers Papaya Safflower Sesame Eggplant Raspberries Elderberries Blackberries Clover Tamarind Cocoa Black Eyed Peas Vanilla Cranberries Tomatoes Grapes
can’t say no one predicted this
down with monsanto
Our food system is extremely dependent on honey bees, if they die out, it’s going to start to collapse. Smash Big Agro before it’s too late.
Reblogging this as if knowledge was the problem. Which it is from time to time, but not fucking often. And not here.
“And then there is the dying. In a rare moment of what may pass for levity Eberstadt allows himself the following chapter subtitle: “Pioneering New and Modern Pathways to Poor Health and Premature Death.” Russians did not start dying early and often after the collapse of the Soviet Union. “To the contrary,” writes Eberstadt, what is happening now is “merely the latest culmination of ominous trends that have been darkly evident on Russian soil for almost half a century.” With the exception of two brief periods—when Soviet Russia was ruled by Khrushchev and again when it was run by Gorbachev—death rates have been inexorably rising. This continued to be true even during the period of unprecedented economic growth between 1999 and 2008. In this study, published in 2010, Eberstadt accurately predicts that in the coming years the depopulation trend may be moderated but argues that it will not be reversed; in 2013 Russia’s birthrate was still lower and its death rate still higher than they had been in 1991. And 1991 had not been a good year.
Contrary to Parsons’s argument, moreover, Eberstadt shows that the current trend is not largely a problem of middle-aged Russians. While the graphs seem to indicate this, he notes, if one takes into account the fact that mortality rates normally rise with age, it is the younger generation that is staring down the most terrifying void. According to 2006 figures, he writes, “overall life expectancy at age fifteen in the Russian Federation appears in fact to be lower than for some of the countries the UN designates to be least developed (as opposed to less developed), among these, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Yemen.” Male life expectancy at age fifteen in Russia compares unfavorably to that in Ethiopia, Gambia, and Somalia.”—The Dying Russians by Masha Gessen | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books
“The solar system is not in the center of the Milky Way galaxy, and the Milky Way galaxy is not in the center of the universe. And in case you are one of those people who think that the edge may be a special place, we are not at the edge of anything either.”—Neil deGrasse Tyson (via whats-out-there)
“Remember the year 2000? In the United States, a pound of bacon only cost $3 and a gallon of gas set people back $1.26. The iPhone was still 7 years away from being introduced. But on September 2, 2000, some hearty adventurers, tired of being tied to an office cubicle day after day, launched Geocaching.com. The adventure to inspire outdoor play through GPS technology began.”—
There were three things that led to asking Frank Lantz if he wanted to start up Area/Code together in 2004. Geocaching was one of them.
I did it that first year, in 2000, with a handheld GPS receiver I had to buy from Best Buy; it took 3 minutes to get a satellite lock. My first experience took me to the northern tip of City Island in the Bronx, where the East River breaks over the rocks. It changed my life.
I knew then that GPS would transform everything — everything — but was most interested in how it would change how we play. If that feels tired, old hat, status quo in 2014, it’s worth remembering that 24 satellites write the world, but what they say is up to us.
“[Algorithms and heuristics] are very important in cybernetics, for in dealing with unthinkable systems it is normally impossible to give a full specification of a goal, and therefore impossible to prescribe an algorithm. But it is not usually too difficult to prescribe a class of goals, so that moving in some general description will leave you better off (by some definite criterion) than you were before. To think in terms of heuristics rather than algorithms is at once a way of coping with proliferating variety. Instead of trying to organize it in full detail, you organize it only somewhat; you then ride on the dynamics of the system in the direction you want to go.
These two techniques for organizing control in a system of proliferating variety are really rather dissimilar. The strange thing is that we tend to live our lives by heuristics, and to try and control them by algorithms. Our general endeavor is to survive, yet we specify in detail (‘catch the 8:45 train’, ‘ask for a raise’) how to get to this unspecified and unspecifiable goal. We certainly need these algorithms, in order to live coherently; but we also need heuristics — and we are rarely conscious of them. This is because our education is planned around detailed analysis: we do not (we learn) really understand things unless we can specify their infrastructure. The point came up before in the discussion of transfer functions, and now it comes up again in connection with goals. […] Birds evolved from reptiles, it seems. Did a representative body of lizards pass a resolution to learn to fly? If so, by what means could the lizards have organized their genetic variety to grow wings? One has only to say such things to recognize them as ridiculous — but the birds are flying this evening outside my window. This is because heuristics work while we are still sucking the pencil which would like to prescribe an algorithm.”—
Stafford Beer, “Brain of the Firm,” 1972.
1972, folks. “This is because heuristics work while we are still sucking the pencil which would like to prescribe an algorithm.”
“The first bit—let’s call it Bit A — was born on the sensor of a Cannon 5D Mark II camera. A ray of light glancing off a black plastic handle of baby stroller in New York City enters the glass lens of the camera and is focused onto a small sheet the size of a large postage stamp. This dull rainbow-colored surface is divided up into 21 million rectangular dimples. The light photons from the white highlight of stroller handle pass through a mosaic of red, green and blue filters in the camera, and collect in the micro-well of red pixel #6,724,573. Outside, when the photographer trips the shutter button, red pixel #6,724,573 counts the number of photons it has collected, compares it to its green and blue neighbors, and calculates the color it has captured.”—
“David Weinberger has taught me that knowledge confined in a book at a single address on a shelf is limited.
And Aaron Swartz has taught me that content must not be the end game for knowledge. Why does knowledge become an article in a journal—or that which fills a book or a publication—except for people to use it? And only when they use it does content become the tool it should be. Not using knowledge is an offense to it. If it cannot fly free beyond the confines of content, knowledge cannot reach its full value through collaboration, correction, inspiration, and use.
“Interestingly, while the Post has, like most mainstream outlets, typically been reluctant to call methods such as waterboarding “torture” when it was practiced by Americans, the paper had no apparent problem calling what ISIS did to Foley “torture.””—James Foley Was Tortured By ISIS Militants Using CIA Techniques
When the Tribune Company recently got rid of their newspapers, the New York Times ran the story under a headline “The Tribune Company’s publishing unit is being spun off, as the future of print remains unclear.”
The future of print remains what? Try to imagine a world where the future of print is unclear: Maybe 25 year olds will start demanding news from yesterday, delivered in an unshareable format once a day. Perhaps advertisers will decide “Click to buy” is for wimps. Mobile phones: could be a fad. After all, anything could happen with print. Hard to tell, really.
“Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?”—
-Sunil Dutta, a professor of homeland security at Colorado Tech University, has been an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department for 17 years.
For those that haven’t met her yet — Lisa is an Alzheimer’s clinical scientist at NYU Medical.
If you or someone in your family is experiencing memory decline — or is concerned about possible risk for memory loss and Alzheimer’s — we’d be interested to talk to you about her research on Alzheimer’s and possible treatments.
Not offering magical solutions. Just looking for genuine feedback on a broad idea for future treatment. Totally confidential and much appreciated.
If interested, drop a note to me and Lisa at email@example.com
“We are a team of libertarian cocaine dealers. We never buy coke from cartels! We never buy coke from police! We help farmers from Peru, Bolivia and some chemistry students in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. We do fair trade! – Excerpt from seller page – Evolution, accessed December 28, 2013
“While I expected that what I saw might change, what I never expected was the impact my behavior would have on my friends’ feeds. I kept thinking Facebook would rate-limit me, but instead it grew increasingly ravenous. My feed become a cavalcade of brands and politics and as I interacted with them, Facebook dutifully reported this to all my friends and followers.
That first night, a small little circle with a dog’s head popped up in the corner of my phone. A chat head, from Facebook’s Messenger software! The dog turned out to be my old WIRED editor, John Bradley. “Have you been hacked,” he wanted to know. The next morning, my friend Helena sent me a message. “My fb feed is literally full of articles you like, it’s kind of funny,” she says. “No friend stuff, just Honan likes.” I replied with a thumbs up. This continued throughout the experiment. When I posted a status update to Facebook just saying “I like you,” I heard from numerous people that my weirdo activity had been overrunning their feeds. “My newsfeed is 70 percent things Mat has liked,” noted my pal Heather. Eventually, I would hear from someone who worked at Facebook, who had noticed my activity and wanted to connect me with the company’s PR department.”—