Archive for 1 de February de 2017


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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is launched from Cape Canaveral. Photo by NASA

Elon Musk and the rise of Silicon Valley’s strange trickle-down science

Andrew Russell is Dean and Professor in the College of Arts & Sciences at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica, New York. He is the author of Open Standards and the Digital Age (2014) and co-editor of Ada’s Legacy (2015). 

Lee Vinsel is an assistant professor of science and technology studies at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. He is working on the book Taming the American Idol: Cars, Risks, and Regulations.

There are good reasons to worry about the future of humanity. Do we have a future, and if so, how much and what kind? For most people, it’s easier to feel these existential concerns for our species than it is to do something about them. But some are taking action. On 27 September 2016, the SpaceX founder Elon Musk made a bold, direct claim: that, in order to survive an inevitable extinction event, humans would need to ‘become a space-faring civilisation and a multi-planetary species’. Pulses raced and the media swooned. Headlines appeared in the business and technology press about Musk’s plan to save humanity. Experts and laypeople alike debated details of the rockets, spacecraft and fuel needed for Musk’s journey to Mars. The excitement was palpable, and it was evident at the press conference. During the Q&A that followed the announcement, Musk said that his goal was to inspire humanity. One audience member yelled: ‘[Musk] inspires the shit out of us!’ Another offered him a kiss.

Musk’s plan to colonise Mars is a sign of an older and recurring social problem. What happens when the rich and powerful isolate themselves from everyday concerns? Musk wants to innovate and leave Earth, rather than to take care of it, or fix it, and stay. Like so many of his peers in the innovating and disrupting classes, Musk prefers to dwell in fantasy and science fiction, safely removed from the world of here and now. Musk is a utopian, in the original Greek meaning: ‘no place’. Repulsed by the world we all share, he dreams of a place that does not exist.

His announcement parallels an earlier moment in the history of spaceflight, the Apollo missions of the 1960s to send American men to the Moon. Musk himself made the comparison, when he described the Apollo missions as ‘probably the greatest achievements of humanity’. The US space program got a major boost from Cold War competition with the Soviet Union, especially the Soviet launch of Sputnik in 1957. The extraordinary achievement of Sputnik pushed US scientists and political leaders to try to re-establish the country’s scientific and technological supremacy. The Apollo missions began a few years later, with President John F Kennedy’s bold declaration in 1961, and culminated with the manned Moon landing of Apollo 11 on 20 July 1969. The program captured the imagination of the nation, indeed the world, and remains an inspiring story of teamwork, wonder, technological achievement and ingenuity.

The lore of Apollo 11 as a Cold War triumph also serves to direct attention away from some of the less glorious aspects of the US at the time. Many contemporary Americans viewed the Apollo program with deep skepticism, and some were even morally critical. One such critic was the Reverend Ralph Abernathy, who became president of the Southern Christian Leadership Council after Martin Luther King’s assassination in April 1968.

Before his death, King had turned his political activism toward the problems of economic inequality and poverty. Abernathy stayed with this focus, and continued to organise people around addressing economic issues for black and white Americans. In July 1969, with the Apollo 11 launch, Abernathy saw an opportunity to keep economic justice on the nation’s conscience. He announced a march to Cape Canaveral in Florida, the rocket launch site. Accompanied by a few hundred people, Abernathy asked for a meeting with NASA. He wanted to win NASA’s support and technical expertise in the fight against poverty, hunger and social problems. Abernathy told NASA officials, as one of them recalled: ‘The money for the space program should be spent to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, tend the sick, and house the shelterless.’ To NASA’s credit, their historian and Smithsonian curator Roger Launius has documented and published on Abernathy’s protests and his dialogue with NASA.

Abernathy’s insight about the priorities of a country that could send men into space while millions of Americans lacked medical care, shelter and food found a new voice in Gil Scott-Heron. The poet and musician, who had cultivated a reputation for his socially charged spoken-word performances, debuted a new piece: ‘Whitey on the Moon’ (1970):

A rat done bit my sister Nell
(With Whitey on the Moon)
Her face and arms began to swell
(And Whitey’s on the Moon)
I can’t pay no doctor bill
(But Whitey’s on the Moon)
Ten years from now I’ll be paying still
(While Whitey’s on the Moon)

But neither Abernathy’s protest nor Scott-Heron’s anthem moved the country’s political priorities from space exploration to the provision of housing or health care. US adventures into outer space – white men in expensive, gleaming white spaceships – captivated popular attention and support in ways that urban poverty did not. Americans continued to send their tax revenues to the heavens…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/is-a-mission-to-mars-morally-defensible-given-todays-real-needs

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by Zen Gardner, Contributor, Waking Times

Question: 

Hey Z, I don’t know if it has occurred to you as well, but the reaction to Trump’s support and presidency is divided by such polar opposites as to be a possible indication of alternative timelines among us.

His vulgarity, misogynist, and racist tendencies have been on full display for everyone to see. Yet, there are those who still think that his populist rhetoric will circumvent all that and keep him on a pedestal of acclaim. I just don’t get it. I think he’s bordering on insanity.

What’s your take on it? – Mark

Answer:

Hi Mark. Great to hear from you. Great points.

I warned people this Trump thing would go sideways right out of the gate. Those pinning hopes of any kind on some new demagogue in the hierarchy of the matrix are incredibly naive and ungrounded. Besides, the system has to fail for the ground to be tilled to bring new life. The old has to go. Why people keep trying to prop it up or fix it or have any faith in it escapes me. The whole paradigm is the problem, giving our sovereignty away to supposed authorities is their cornerstone. It has to be yanked out, as well as the entire foundation. Not politically, but in our own hearts. That’s where the real problems are rooted.

It’s a very peculiar phenomenon that’s happening now. It was brilliant to bring Trump on, no way it was just a groundswell, that’s just part of the narrative. He has that populist crap going on keeping everyone blinded and jacked up and wide open to absolute fascist control, which they’ll never see coming. Mind you, he could put the whole alt press and media on hold like he did immigration, then feel justified for more repression with the outcry. His war agenda is completely berserk as is his abject Zionism, giving Israel carte blanche support. It takes a psychopath to support a psychopath. He’s just another blind corporate mogul thinking he’s getting stuff done when no one else had the balls, completely deluded and very easy for the deep state to steer and to blame things on when they go haywire. A total set up as usual, even if a few things have perhaps gone off the rails for them.

The Unraveling Accelerates – Good!

But I’m amazed how fast it’s unraveling. He’s barely 10 days in and has galvanized public outcry nationally and internationally like no else has, and in an extremely fragile and volatile, fully interconnected, interdependent world. We know it was set up for this but wow, it’s happening fast. Someone said he’s aligning with Russia and perhaps even China to bring on the NWO which could slip into place before anyone knew what happened. It’s totally unhinged and weird so read between the lines as to what’s really going on, but we know who’s behind it and what the end game is. The ramping up of fear and chaos is their signature. And it will get worse and more confusing to the unwary.

Even more impactful for me is the intense spiritual strangeness that’s being unleashed, which is off the charts. I don’t know about you, but it has me reeling. I’m sure any spiritual sensitive will agree. We knew this storm was coming but man, it’s ramping up fast and a lot of strange stuff is swirling around. I’ll be writing something about this soon, very important to identify as it’s throwing people into a tizzy and it can feel very dark and scary, but needn’t be.

Timelines and the Shearing of the Veil – A Total Opportunity

Timeline splits and that kind of stuff? Perhaps. It sure feels that way if you’re a conscious observer to all this madness. There’s definitely a shear in the fabric. This is a massive year of opportunity when this type of foundational disarray happens and people are more open, if the internet stays free. Otherwise it’s going to have to be local and one on one, which is ultimately more effective anyway, again showing this all works for good. Whatever, the physical manifestation we’re witnessing has everyone hopping and in the reactive mode, never a good place to be and extremely manipulatable as these outcroppings of pent-up frustrations surface.

But there’s definitely a huge crack in the psycho-social construct. But again, opportunity knocks as that’s where the truth gets in. A lot of people are going to be trying to make sense of all this and be more willing to shift perspectives and start asking questions and will find the treasure trove of the pre-digested research materials and analyses waiting to be tapped into.

The would-be controllers could be making a big move now seeing how the trend towards waking up is continually accelerating. That’s very feasible but it always backfires. It’s amazing how people thought he was hope and change #2, this time middle Americans that Obama et al crushed and those fed up with political correctness etc., but he’s clearly stacking the deck for the oligarchy and with complete abandon. Remarkable. He’s an extremely dumbed down nut case, already a deluded, basically gambling capitalist real estate jackal cum beauty pageant and game show host awash in and intoxicated with money and influence, not unlike most of the other parasitic charlatans. Great credentials for leadership, wouldn’t you say?

But now that he’s got this apparent power he’s going berserk with it so expect some real shit to hit the fan. And his handlers are having a field day! Nothing like a good crisis – talk about a crisis actor, ha. They’re ringing their hands with glee right now. By the way, as you know this is what the troops on US soil and armed police are for – and if they can get middle Americans to help police whatever draconian jingoist programs he calls for, slam dunk. We could easily see the mirror reflection of the very political correctness they decry with the rise of the reactionary right. They’re all the same as we know, but that’s how the Fabian/Sabbateans play it. Very clever bastards.

But it’s just going to be a mess as everything breaks down. He’s plowing blindfolded into thousands of dominoes and they’re flying all over and about to run their course in expected as well as unexpected, nor always obvious, ways. It will be wild.

Again, a time of opportunity for people to wake up.

Anyway, he’s certainly the man of the hour., ha. You can’t make this stuff up. Trump couldn’t be a more fitting name, gambling and hailing back to the trumps of apocalypse, or a sound of alarm. Should be interesting how this rolls out, but we’ve been seeing this coming for a long time. The mountain range is clear from a distance, but you start venturing in and through the foothills and those big old mountains start towering over you. Perspective is everything. “Stay conscious, my friend”- to paraphrase that Dos Equis beer commercial guy. Ha!

Stay in the Spaces – You Can Move Freely and Hear from Source

“You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.” – Jeannette Rankin

The key is to move in the spaces opening up. Penetrate every opportunity like rain on the cracks of a thirsty desert. And hook up with people locally now. Don’t wait for the shutdown. You’ll be glad you did, now, and then.

They’ve shut these natural conscious “space” channels down completely with tech now. On phones and computers, busy with work and amusements. No time to just be still and listen and learn or do any self work where the real issues lie that are causing all this external projection. That’s why I’m so thankful for this shift in my life. Off the treadmill is the place to be, in every sense.

But all this we’re witnessing is insane, in a nutshell – it always has been, but at least it’s coming out and shaking people up. Hang in there. The fun’s only beginning.

Like Mark Twain said, “When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”

About the Author
Zen Gardner is an impactful and controversial author and speaker with a piercing philosophical viewpoint. His writings have been circulated to millions and his personal story has caused no small stir amongst entrenched alternative pundits. His book “You Are The Awakening” has met rave reviews and is available on Amazon.com.
Like Waking Times on Facebook. Follow Waking Times on Twitter.
This article (Humpty Trumpty and the Shear in the Matrix) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is printed here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zen Gardner and WakingTimes.com.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/01/31/humpty-trumpty-shear-matrix/

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More than half of web traffic comes from automated programs—many of them malicious.

by ADRIENNE LAFRANCE

Look around you, people of the internet. The bots. They’re everywhere.

Most website visitors aren’t humans, but are instead bots—or, programs built to do automated tasks. They are the worker bees of the internet, and also the henchmen. Some bots help refresh your Facebook feed or figure out how to rank Google search results; other bots impersonate humans and carry out devastating DDoS attacks.

Overall, bots—good and bad—are responsible for 52 percent of web traffic, according to a new report by the security firm Imperva, which issues an annual assessment of bot activity online. The 52-percent stat is significant because it represents a tip of the scales since last year’s report, which found human traffic had overtaken bot traffic for the first time since at least 2012, when Imperva began tracking bot activity online. Now, the latest survey, which is based on an analysis of nearly 17 billion website visits from across 100,000 domains, shows bots are back on top. Not only that, but harmful bots have the edge over helper bots, which were responsible for 29 percent and 23 percent of all web traffic, respectively.

“The most alarming statistic in this report is also the most persistent trend it observes,” writes Igal Zeifman, Imperva’s marketing director, in a blog post about the research. “For the past five years, every third website visitor was an attack bot.”

Put another way: More than 94 percent of the 100,000 domains included in the report experienced at least one bot attack over the 90-day period in Imperva’s study.

Websites that are less popular with humans—as measured by traffic—tended to attract more visits from bots. “Simply put,” Zeifman wrote, “good bots will crawl your website and bad bots will try to hack it regardless of how popular it is with the human folk. They will even keep visiting a domain in absence of all human traffic.”

Though bots are interested in websites even when humans are not, bot activity tends to mirror human behavior online. For instance, the most active helper-bot online is what’s known as a “feed fetcher,” and it’s the kind of bot that helps refresh a person’s Facebook feed on the site’s mobile app. Facebook’s feed fetcher, by itself, accounted for 4.4 percent of all website traffic, according to the report—which is perhaps stunning, but not altogether surprising. Facebook is a behemoth, and its bot traffic illustrates as much.

Overall, Feed fetchers accounted for more than 12 percent of web traffic last year. Search engine bots, commercial data-extracting spiders, and website monitoring bots are among the other helpful bots you’re likely to encounter online. (That is, if you consider the collection of your personal data for advertising purposes to be helpful.)

Data-grabbing bots do their work invisibly, while other bots are easier to spot. In fact, bots and people bump into one another often. Spambots show up in comment sections and Twitter bots clog people’s timelines with everything from marketing, to political campaigning, to social activism, to utter nonsense. These sorts of bots aren’t always pleasant, but they aren’t outright dangerous.

For the real villains, we turn to impersonator bots used for DDoS attacks. They accounted for about 24 percent of overall web traffic last year. Top offenders in this category included Nitol malware, a bot called Cyclone meant to mimic Google’s good search-ranking bots, and Mirai malware—a virus that caused mass internet disruptions in the United States in October.

Other bad bots to contend with include unauthorized-data-scrapers, spambots, and scavengers seeking security vulnerabilities to exploit. Together, they made up about 5 percent of web traffic.

And even though the internet is already  mostly bots, we’re only just beginning to see the Bot Age take shape. According to the market-research firm CB Insights, more than a dozen venture-capital-backed bot startups raised their first round of funding last year.

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/01/bots-bots-bots/515043/

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