War, on drugs

Beserk! Almost certainly, the superhuman strength and focus was the result of ingestion of hallucinogenic mushrooms. From Asterix and the Vikings, 2006. Photo by Rex Features   Killing people is hard and horrible. No wonder that warriors, from berserkers to jihadis, need drugs to get in the mood by Peter Frankopan  Peter Frankopan is the director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research and a senior research fellow at Worcester College, Oxford. His most recent book is The Silk Roads: A New History of the World (2015). All of Gaul is divided into three parts,’ wrote Julius Caesar at the start of his Gallic … Continue reading War, on drugs

Your Self-Driving Car Will Be Programmed to Kill You—Deal With It

Source: gizmodo.co A recent survey shows that people want self-driving cars to be programmed to minimize casualties during a crash, even if it causes the death of the rider. Trouble is, the same survey shows that people don’t actually want to ride in cars that are programmed this way. That’s obviously a problem—and we’re going to have to get over it. These are the kinds of thought experiments that are taught to Ethics 101 students during the first weeks of class—but now they’re actually being applied to real life. Similar to the vexing trolley problem, manufacturers are struggling to come … Continue reading Your Self-Driving Car Will Be Programmed to Kill You—Deal With It

Women Are Far Happier and Less Regretful After Divorce, but a Lot of Men Fall Apart in Destructive Ways

image edited by Web Investigator  And a larger percentage of women are loath to share the blame for relationships ending. By Kali Holloway / AlterNet Women love four things, according to hack comedians and romantic comedies: chocolate, shopping,  like it’s their job, and marriage. On that last count, we’re told, love rises to the level of obsession: women long to be brides their whole lives and then cling to their marriages when they become wives. But new studies suggest women are less happy in mediocre heterosexual marriages, more likely to call things off and more content with post-divorce life than … Continue reading Women Are Far Happier and Less Regretful After Divorce, but a Lot of Men Fall Apart in Destructive Ways

19-Year-Old Develops Robot Lawyer that Dismisses Your Unjust Parking Tickets

by Vic Bishop, Staff, Waking Times Simply and aptly named, Do Not Pay, the ingenious business of a 19-year-old Londoner has already saved citizens of the UK an estimated £2.9 million in civil fines for unjust parking tickets. Less than 2 years old, the already popular ‘Robot Lawyer’ service has assisted people in absolving some 160,000 tickets by helping users take advantage of the appeals process, which is generally overlooked and underused. “DoNotPay uses a simple chat-based interface to guide users through a range of basic questions to establish if an appeal on their parking ticket is possible. These include queries on whether there were … Continue reading 19-Year-Old Develops Robot Lawyer that Dismisses Your Unjust Parking Tickets

Many Brits believe technology could take over humanity by 2036

Image edited by Web Investigator  AI and virtual reality might even replace doctor visits By Julie Fidler It sounds like the script of a sci-fi movie, but this story is real. New research suggests that many Brits believe that robots will outnumber humans in 20 years and that many people will swap humans for computers when it comes to romance. But this doesn’t just mean we’ll be surrounded by cyborgs as we walk down the street. It means thatcomputers will be doing many of the things humanity depends on itself to do right now. The findings come from a survey of more … Continue reading Many Brits believe technology could take over humanity by 2036

Slavery as free trade

Plan of the French slave ship La Marie Seraphique c.1770. © Château des ducs de Bretagne – Musée d’histoire de Nantes. The 18th-century thinkers behind laissez-faire economics saw slavery as a great example of global free trade by Blake Smith Blake Smith is a PhD candidate in history at Northwestern University in Illinois and the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris. His research, focusing on the French East India Company, has appeared in scholarly journals such as French Cultural Studies and the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, as well as popular media … Continue reading Slavery as free trade

We Have Reached an Age of Disintegration: How Greedy Neoliberalism and Deadly Wars Are Destroying Modern Life

image edited by Web Investigator Seven ongoing wars, ushering in an era of instability. By Patrick Cockburn / Tom Dispatch We live in an age of disintegration. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Greater Middle East and Africa. Across the vast swath of territory between Pakistan and Nigeria, there are at least seven ongoing wars — in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and South Sudan. These conflicts are extraordinarily destructive. They are tearing apart the countries in which they are taking place in ways that make it doubtful they will ever recover. Cities like Aleppo in Syria, … Continue reading We Have Reached an Age of Disintegration: How Greedy Neoliberalism and Deadly Wars Are Destroying Modern Life