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Jaron Lanier: The Internet destroyed the middle class

Jaron Lanier: The Internet destroyed the middle class
Jaron Lanier is a computer science pioneer who has grown gradually disenchanted with the online world since his early days popularizing the idea of virtual reality. “Lanier is often described as ‘visionary,’ ” Jennifer Kahn wrote in a 2011 New Yorker profile, “a word that manages to convey both a capacity for mercurial insight and a lack of practical job skills.” Raised mostly in Texas and New Mexico by bohemian parents who’d escaped anti-Semitic violence in Europe, he’s been a young disciple of Richard Feynman, an employee at Atari, a scholar at Columbia, a visiting artist at New York University, and a columnist for Discover magazine. He’s also a longtime composer and musician, and a collector of antique and archaic instruments, many of them Asian. His book continues his war on digital utopianism and his assertion of humanist and individualistic values in a hive-mind world. This week sees the publication of “Who Owns the Future? You talk early in “Who Owns the Future?” Right. Right. Related:  Economic Theory and Bits

LASER PHYSICIST F. J. Duarte , Laser Physicist (Optics Journal, Rochester, New York, 2012) © ISBN: 978-0-9760383-1-3 (printed version) ISBN: 978-0-9760383-2-0 (electronic version) Date of publication: May, 2012. Politics in academia.. lasers in the Cold War... the decline of an industrial icon (Eastman Kodak) towards oblivion... ethics in research... perspectives on quantum mechanics and reality... perspectives on morality, mortality, and the big question Laser Physicist provides a first hand account of academic politics at Australia's Macquarie University during the "revolt of the sciences" that led to the reform of its degree structure. Chapter 2: Sydney Soon after I began my presentation, the male Aussies started to smile nervously and then began to laugh… and laugh. Chapter 3: Macquarie In his memoirs, John Ward makes reference to my political contacts (Ward, 2004). Chapter 4: John Clive Ward 4.2 Reminiscences His directness and frankness often got him at odds with managers and administrators. 6.3 Moscow

The State, the Deep State, and the Wall Street Overworld In the last decade it has become more and more obvious that we have in America today what the journalists Dana Priest and William Arkin have called two governments: the one its citizens were familiar with, operated more or less in the open: the other a parallel top secret government whose parts had mushroomed in less than a decade into a gigantic, sprawling universe of its own, visible to only a carefully vetted cadre – and its entirety…visible only to God.1 And in 2013, particularly after the military return to power in Egypt, more and more authors referred to this second level as America’s “deep state.”2 Here for example is the Republican analyst Mike Lofgren: There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. DEEP STATE n. The Deep State, The Shadow Government and the Wall Street Overworld Thereafter

New App Lets You Boycott Koch Brothers, Monsanto And More By Scanning Your Shopping Cart In her keynote speech at last year's annual Netroots Nation gathering, Darcy Burner pitched a seemingly simple idea to the thousands of bloggers and web developers in the audience. The former programmer and congressional candidate proposed a smartphone app allowing shoppers to swipe barcodes to check whether conservative billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch were behind a product on the shelves. Burner figured the average supermarket shopper had no idea that buying Brawny paper towels, Angel Soft toilet paper or Dixie cups meant contributing cash to through its subsidiary Georgia-Pacific. Similarly, purchasing a pair of yoga pants containing Lycra or a Stainmaster carpet meant indirectly handing the Kochs your money (Koch Industries bought Invista, one of the world’s largest fiber and textiles companies, in 2004 from DuPont). At the time, Burner created a mock interface for her app, but that's as far as she got. Follow @Clare_OC

The Rise of Anti-Capitalism Photo WE are beginning to witness a paradox at the heart of capitalism, one that has propelled it to greatness but is now threatening its future: The inherent dynamism of competitive markets is bringing costs so far down that many goods and services are becoming nearly free, abundant, and no longer subject to market forces. While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring those costs to near zero. The first inkling of the paradox came in 1999 when Napster, the music service, developed a network enabling millions of people to share music without paying the producers and artists, wreaking havoc on the music industry. The huge reduction in marginal cost shook those industries and is now beginning to reshape energy, manufacturing and education. Now the phenomenon is about to affect the whole economy.

Privacy on the Line: Security lapse exposes some Lifeline phone customers to ID theft risk Last fall, when Linda Mendez was offered discount phone service through a federal program for the poor, the San Antonio mom thought it was too good to be true. She signed up anyway. (PRIVACY ON THE LINE: Get additional information on investigation - Mendez, 51, works the graveyard shift at a university gym, where she keeps the building clean and stocked with towels. Did you do your homework? Mendez's phone also comes in handy during the day. "I'm always telling my husband, ‘where's my phone?'" "I need it because something's usually happening." For all the convenience afforded by Lifeline, the federal program that subsidizes phone service for qualified low-income households, Mendez now says her initial doubts were justified. Her nine-digit Social Security number, her birth date, home address and the most sensitive details about her family's finances were available to anyone doing an online search this spring . The commission and TerraCom have had previous dealings.

Stop Currency Manipulation and Create Millions of Jobs: With Gains across States and Congressional Districts Six years after the start of the Great Recession nearly 8 million jobs are still needed to return to prerecession labor market health (EPI 2013). Job creation should still be goal number one. Yet prospects for any fiscal policy action to boost jobs have disappeared under the weight of congressional dysfunction, and the Federal Reserve has begun to wind down monetary stimulus (Wall Street Journal 2013). Many of the new jobs would be in manufacturing, a sector devastated by rising trade deficits over the past 15 years. Currency manipulation, which distorts trade flows by artificially lowering the cost of U.S. imports and raising the cost of U.S. exports, is the primary cause of these growing trade deficits. This paper describes the positive effects of ending currency manipulation in three years by estimating the effects of reducing trade deficits on GDP, jobs, the federal budget deficit, and state and local budget deficits in 2015. Exchange rates Effects of exchange rates on trade

Reporters use Google, find breach, get branded as “hackers” Call it security through absurdity: a pair of telecom firms have branded reporters for Scripps News as "hackers" after they discovered the personal data of over 170,000 customers—including social security numbers and other identifying data that could be used for identity theft—sitting on a publicly accessible server. While the reporters claim to have discovered the data with a simple Google search, the firms' lawyer claims they used "automated" means to gain access to the company's confidential data and that in doing so the reporters violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act with their leet hacker skills. The files were records of applicants for the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Lifeline subsidized cell phone program for low-income consumers. The applicants' information was collected for the telecom providers YourTel and TerraCom by Vcare, an India-based call center service contracted to verify applicants' eligibility.

The Math That Predicted the Revolutions Sweeping the Globe Right Now It's happening in Ukraine, Venezuela, Thailand, Bosnia, Syria, and beyond. Revolutions, unrest, and riots are sweeping the globe. The near-simultaneous eruption of violent protest can seem random and chaotic; inevitable symptoms of an unstable world. But there's at least one common thread between the disparate nations, cultures, and people in conflict, one element that has demonstrably proven to make these uprisings more likely: high global food prices. Just over a year ago, complex systems theorists at the New England Complex Systems Institute warned us that if food prices continued to climb, so too would the likelihood that there would be riots across the globe. Bar-Yam built a model with the data, which then predicted that something like the Arab Spring would ensue just weeks before it did. "I have a long list of the countries that have had major social unrest in the past 18 months consistent with our projections," Bar-Yam tells me. So. If not, in other words, the riots will burn on.

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