Saturday, December 28, 2019

Face recognition bans, and an ad-based Internet. Is there no end to foolishness?

There is no more important news, and they hope we won't notice: 'In a free speech ruling that contradicts six other federal circuit courts, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals - based in Missouri... has upheld a district court ruling that says Americans do not have a first amendment right to videotape the police, or any public official, in public.' This is of course a blatant attempt to reverse the most important year for civil liberties in this century, when courts and the Obama administration declared a universal right of citizens to record (and hold accountable) encounters with authority-force on the streets. Make no mistake, this is part of the Roberts Plan to reshape America according to the blackmailers' will. See below for what we must do about this.
== On Surveillance and Facial Recognition ==
Come by for a lively debate among friends on Warren Olney's "To The Point" NPR radio show -- "Surveillance cameras are capturing what we do on the streets, at airports, in stores, and in much of our public space. Facial recognition software is touted as making us safer. But mass surveillance has downsides of major proportions. Kade Crawford of the Massachusetts ACLU is concerned about violation of privacy."
... and she's perfectly correct! So I say in my on-air response, while asserting that the ACLU's emphasis on trying to blind elites is tactically all-wrong, as there's no sign of it ever having worked for long, across human history. Far better to strip elites naked. It is what the bad ones fear most.
It is fast coming on us. China is expected to have 626 million surveillance cameras – or one camera for every two people – in use by 2020. “The country, which has a 1.386 billion-strong population, has also reportedly invested in facial recognition technology to track people’s movements and even predict crime. According to an earlier report, the system is touted has being “fast enough to scan China’s population in just one second”, and can scan the world’s population in just two seconds.”

One can see how this leads to Orwellian Hell. But is there a way out, as non-Chinese cities like Singapore and London hurry to keep pace? 

Now comes: Bernie Sanders announced this weekend that he would bar law enforcement agencies from using facial recognition systems if he’s elected president in 2020.  Not only is Bernie a near clone of my dad. He's clearly technologically clueless.  One thing is certain, attempts to “ban” facial-recognition systems in San Francisco etc. may flow from legitimate Orwellian fears, but the prescription is a sure sign of lunacy and truly cosmic level ignorance. That isn’t the solution.

The cameras and their analytic systems are coming, soon to be like pollen in the wind. But they can as likely be freedom’s friend as its enemy, depending on whether access is limited to controlling elites or spread among a population of confident citizens, who use the flood of light to sousveil the mighty, holding them accountable.

And… The physics professor who says online extremists act like curdled milk. "Hate may be less like a cancer and more like bubbles, says Neil Johnson, who applies physics theory to human behavior.”

== Alternatives to advertising in social media? ==

"Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has quietly rolled out a new social network that is intended to get right what Facebook and Twitter have so far been getting wrong.  The new social network, WT:Social, which Wales announced had 25,000 members on November 6, now has about 78,000 members who are at least intrigued by the idea of a social network that combats fake news."

The site goes against the ad-funded models normalized by Google, Facebook, and Twitter, instead asking users to pay a subscription fee to access information and communicate on the site.  It costs $12.99 a month or $100 a year in the US, or €12 a month or €90 a year in Europe. It's £10 and £80 in the UK. In other words, about the same as a Netflix or Spotify subscription.

It seems a stiff price and a mistake not to do a ramp up, letting folks know in advance that the price will rise from pennies at first.

Meanwhile, Facebook debuts vaccine pop-up windows to stop the spread of misinformation. 

I have a better approach...

== The time has come ==

Keynes said you’ll run out of money (betting against market idiots) long before the markets run out of idiocy. And yes, it applies to me. Way back in the last century, I foretold that it would be loony to imagine that the whole internet would be financed by advertising for much longer. But well, it has, with  countless negative outcomes including the near destruction of many old-line investigative journalism outlets and local newspapers, the convergence of ad dollar flows into a half-dozen trillion-dollar companies, and the massive collection of personal data from almost every person who ever goes online. 

Can it go on? In his most recent Strategic News Service newsletter, Mark Anderson cites dozens of reasons to figure that it can’t, though not the biggest one.  

- 1 in 5 ad-serving websites are visited exclusively by fraud bots (The Verge, 2017)
- For every $3 spent on digital ads, fraud takes $1 
- Click fraud is currently growing at 50% per year
- The click fraud operation Methbot generates $3 to $5 million in fraudulent revenue every day 

Fake news sites have been major perpetrators that clone the look and feel and almost the same URL as reputable sources like ABCNews. Among the myriad are those used to spread financial rumore that manipulate stock markets. Another published a false story claiming actor Denzel Washington endorsed Donald Trump for president. The fictional headline led to thousands of people sharing it on Facebook, a prominent example of fake news spreading on the social network prior to the 2016 presidential election. Then there are real-but-unhinged sites like InfoWars, soon to be wholly owned by the parents of Sandyhook victims. Anderson’s long list of examples is daunting and depressing and just a scintilla sampling…

… and all the more reason we need a savvy counter-attack against lie-spreading methodologies. I offer a dozen or more potentially effective approaches in Polemical Judo… and no, not one of the proposals involves anything remotely resembling a “Ministry of Truth.”

  "I can think of nothing that has done more harm to the Internet than ad tech. It interferes with everything we try to do on the Web. It has cheapened and debased advertising and spawned criminal empires.... Nobody knows the exact number, but probably about 50 percent of what you're spending online is being stolen from you." - Bob Hoffman, veteran ad executive, industry critic, and author of the blog the Ad Contrarian; quoted on

And now the key point. I know why all past efforts to do micropayments have failed. Would you pay a nickel to read a New York Times article, knowing you could get the nickel back, if you thought it inferior? And if it was one-click and saved you having to type passwords to get into a subscription silo?

Then see the "secret sauce" that could offer this alternative to insidiously awful advert-based internet commerce in your information. And part II showing how micropayments could be the alternative that frees us all.

== Defend our right to see! ==

Oh, what to do about the right's effort to re-criminalize recording the police?

The transparency-accountability prionciple still hols outside the 8th Circuit. - "A transparency auditor was photographing a local police station from a public sidewalk. As a result, the transparency auditor was illegally detained for 2 hours. The Colorado Springs Police Department agreed to pay the transparency auditor $41,000 and to update police policy and provide local police with training on transparency and citizen rights." But for how long, if this truly opens a wedge for John Roberts to use against us? (Or to rule favorably, for "balance" while cutting us off at other ankles?)

We need to wage a full frontal assault on every libertarian we know. Propagandized by $3billion spent by Kochs and Mercers/Fox etc, the supposed "freedom lovers" reflexively and automatically deem Republicans less-bad than democrats, and hence represent an important part of the "hold-my-nose" factions staying loyal to the GOP at the ballot box. Despite liberals sharing descent from Adam Smith, being far better on deficits and flat-fair enterprise, blue states leading us out of the Drug War and taking the law out of the bedroom, and EVERY major deregulation that ever made sense.

They will move goal posts again and again, and it is time to corner them and dare them to actually, actually justify joining the putin-putsch to re-establish 6000 years of feudal-inheritance-brat-rule.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Diving into the sun...and ever outward. Expanding our horizons

Taking a pause from Earthly troubles... today we'll look right into the sun! Real-life missions and the big news that we're re-issuing SUNDIVER!  After a several year hiatus, my first novel - a murder mystery with cosmic implications, plunging into the furnace of a star - is available, revised and with a new introduction. See below!

Meanwhile, in other space news... Jason Derleth, head of NASA's Innovative and Advanced Concepts program (NIAC), is interviewed by Fraser Cain on Universe Today. Jason has done a terrific job developing NIAC into NASA's Venture or DARPA center, nurturing early stage concepts, some just this side of sci fi and others that took off skyward. I'm privileged to serve on the advisory External Council. 
     Watch the podcast and consider - do you know anyone who might want to apply for a NIAC grant? We're especially interested in space-related, bold projects in biology!

== Lunar obsessions ==

Many of you know I'm cool to the latest mania for returning U.S. astronauts to the moon's dusty, almost-use less plain. Oh, I am fine with someone keeping that  obsession going. Humanity will go there anyway, as the Chinese, Indians, Russians, billionaires and so on desperate desperately  pursue rites of adulthood we had 50 years ago... their "bar moonzvahs."  I'm also fine with American companies building advanced landers and such to sell! (NASA has put out a call for two different lunar landers, from two different sources.) 

Oh, I'll keep an open mind. Indeed, NIAC is funding concepts in getting that lunar polar water. Even though initial calculations suggest that we can get everything of value - including water - far more efficiently and copiously from asteroids. As Andy Weir makes clear, in his novel Artemis, the Moon is largely of use for tourism.

The absurd “race” to plant US footprints back on the moon’s dusty/useless plain does have positive aspects. I fully support U.S. unmanned exploration missions like VIPER… a lander rover that will do surveys and assays of lunar ice in deep, dark places near the lunar poles.

Still, let me say something nice: I well recall...  Reflecting on the second moon landing -- I remember Apollo 12 so vividly. Earlier, Armstrong & Aldrin almost died, flying almost blind and almost out of fuel. A few months later, the 12 crew glided in so smoothly and easily that they landed within meters of the planned site... less than 80 meters from the Surveyor probe... while joking all the way. The image of both Apollo and Surveyor in the same photo remains one of my top ten exemplars of human competence

With less computer power than we now have in some light bulbs. A nerdy, even impudent competence that only ever appeared in democracies, like Periclean Athens and Florence. And a major reason why enemies of our renaissance are waging all-out war on the fact-using professions. And why no despotism will ever make it to the stars.

== More space news! ==

NASA flew gas detecting aircraft across 10,000 square miles of California from 2016 through2018. Landfills accounted for 41% of the methane emissions it identified, manure management 26% and oil and gas operations 26%. If we were a species worthy of the stars... Seriously, is this what aliens are waiting for, before making contact? A sign we can stop fouling our own nest?

Meanwhile, NASA's first large-scale, piloted x-plane (or experimental aircraft) in more than three decades, the experimental X-59 jet, which could make supersonic commercial travel a reality, has been cleared for final assembly.

Studies of Jupiter’s gravity suggest a density distribution that’s a bit too diffuse to have occurred if the early, rocky core was left undisturbed to collect all the later gases in its giant envelope. One possible explanation, a fairly early collision with a super Earth-sized planet that stirred and mixed the core just right. We get to peer into epochs that we always thought invisible forever. Ah, to do with human hearts.

Okay. Even a space posting can't escape politics completely. “Why the economies of Alabama and Mississippi have suddenly gone in opposite directions.” Well, one reason is the boom around tech enclaves like Mobile and especially Huntsville, where a big NASA center has drawn in talent from all over the nation, substantially altering cultural assumptions. 

== And that Solar News ==

Okay, I promised to get all sunny on you, starting with news that the solar sunspot cycle in at a weirdly deep minimum... but then... tsunami waves blare the harbingers of a transition from one sun cycle to the next.

Interesting results from the Parker Solar Probe as the spacecraft is starting its fourth close orbit around the Sun, edging closer to its scorching target.

Which brings us to...

... we've just re-released the novel that inspired it all… SUNDIVER! Now available as an ebook on Kindle and in paperback -- 

-- with a brand new author's introduction about the personal and scientific journeys leading to my first novel!

You'll come away from this suspenseful, fulfilling and often funny space mystery both entertained and... well... having learned a thing or two. What a deal.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

A tough day. Possible daylight. And what we share below the surface.

The Hannah Arendt Center ran a short piece of mine - Below the Surface - about underlying currents that (especially) most Americans share and how they might help resolve our conflicts. 

Alas, these very traits -- like a reflexive suspicion of authority -- are being used against us, riling us -- right and left -- to see threat only  from directions that our faction dreads, unable to conceive that our opponents share the same instinctive fear... just aimed at different, oppressive elites.

We could use this commonality to unite against the manipulators! If that Arendt piece interests you, come see more extensive discussions of these topics in Polemical Judo: Memes for Our Political Knife-fights.

But yes, as I polish this posting, history is being made. A vote in the popularly elected U.S. House of Representatives that will surely, in January, be cancelled in the unrepresentative Senate, throwing it back into our laps. That is, unless...

== The Secret Ballot gambit? ==

From Politico: "A secret impeachment ballot in the Senate might sound crazy, but it would take only three senators to allow that."  Of course the right-o-sphere reacts to this idea with volcanic fury. But this article points out just three GOP Senators could swing a rules vote allowing secret balloting for conviction.

"Trump and those around him seem confident that he won’t lose the 20 Republican senators needed to block a guilty verdict. But it’s not hard to imagine three senators supporting a secret ballot. Five sitting Republican senators have already announced their retirements; four of those are in their mid-70s or older and will never run for office again. They might well be willing to demand secrecy in order to give cover to their colleagues who would like to convict Trump but are afraid to do so because of politics in their home districts. There are also 10 Republican senators who aren’t up for reelection until 2024 and who might figure Trumpism will be irrelevant by then." writes J. Glover in Politico.

Interesting. As far as it goes.

Only then note (as I do in my book's chapter on "Exit Strategies") that what's required for conviction and removal is 2/3 of those "present," with a quorum being just 50 Senators. Hence in theory, if enough Republicans feigned illness, or proclaimed fear of (nonexistent) death threats, or almost any excuse, those stay-aways could throw all of Mitch McConnell's math out the window.

Let me be clear, I deem the dominionist apocalypse-fanatic Mike Pence to be more dangerous than the jibberer currently roaming the Executive mansion throwing tantrums. Still, if you want to explore a variety of chess moves... some of them you can do, personally... well, the kindle version is really cheap and so is the paperback.

Oh, indicative of how far the mania has sunk. From a recent poll: "Majority of Republicans say Trump better president than Lincoln.” 

Um, duh? What do you expect from confederates? Oh, but it goes farther...

== Putting it starkly ==

"More than half of Republicans surveyed in a 2019 Pew poll said colleges and universities are hurting the country, a drastic shift from how the same group viewed such institutions two years ago. In September 2019, Tennessee Republican State Sen. Kerry Roberts called for eliminating higher education - yes, that - on his conservative radio talk show arguing it would cut off the 'liberal breeding ground,'” writes Justin Wise in The Hill.

There's a lot to this new Know Nothing movement, of course, and I explore the disease in Chapter 5 , as well as this article: “Declining trust in our expert castes: what are underlying causes?Why would the GOP masters be pushing this meme? 

Because an Orwellian hate fest toward fact-people undermines the very ones standing in the way of a re-imposition of feudalism. And of course nearly all fact-folks were influenced by colleges and universities. And the stupidest Democrat failing of all is not making the War on Facts a central, towering grievance to corner them with.

Now comes an exposé in Foreign Policy revealing how alt-righters are savagely attacking the very idea of a career civil service, a campaign accelerating in the era of Trump.

 “Career civil servants often endure stressful working conditions, but in the Trump White House, some of them face online trolling from alt-right bloggers who seek to portray them as clandestine partisans plotting to sabotage the president’s agenda. The online attacks often cite information that appears to be provided by unnamed White House officials or Trump loyalists.”

Want to hear something surprising? I am actually sympathetic with the core pain that propels this inchoate rage toward college educations! 

For a century, "blue" city-university America has done something overwhelmingly hurtful to "red" rural America. Not intentionally hurtful - it would seem a good thing to any rational person - but traumatic, nonetheless. Every September, we steal their children - the best of them, the pride of their high schools - who scurry to our colleges - to Mordor - as fast as they can. And when they return - if they return - they are changed. It is an ancient dread, just as in all those old mythologies of stolen babies and changelings.

We owe no apology. It's all part of a good and wondrous thing! But we do owe it to our fellow citizens, to try and understand. Not only as our duty, compassion and love, but because only understanding will empower us to better resist their volcanic rage.

See it explicated here: Declining Trust; Rising Fear.

== What "our" billionaires ought to do, instead ==

What if Michael Bloomberg truly wants to fight Trump - and be viewed as a hero, not an egotist?

There’s an approach that he - and Tom Steyer - could take that’s cheaper, more dignified and likely far more effective than running for president. Let them - or other civilization-loving zillionaires - offer to pay the legal expenses of anyone who’s thinking about breaking a Trump Non Disclosure Agreement.  

Trump has openly bragged about his Great Wall of NDAs. Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal are just the fluffy crust we see. Breaking through Trump’s mythology of vengefully-enforced coerced silence just a couple of times might shatter the whole edifice, unleashing a tsunami of revelation. 

Note that we don't need a billionaire, to do this. Almost any House Committee could do this by promising immunity from prosecution and possibly civil suits, to anyone coming before them and testifying the contents of an NDA!  Doubt that? Shouldn't we test it?  Then remember this, any lawsuit filed by Trump etc. against NDA breakers would then go before a jury and likely be nullified. That's a three layer defense to lure a tsunami of revelations!

Or see elsewhere my much broader proposals for subsidies for whistleblowers and or repentant henchmen!

== Tidbits ==

For those too busy to read... "tl;dr... this Animated Mueller report from The Washington Post brings it to life and makes clear whether there was "exoneration."

Again, I recommend this cogent and insightful issue of The Atlantic for its sober appraisals of the possibility of US civil war. I think the brilliant authors are myopic and miss much. But in a nation of the blind, the nearsighted are sages, indeed.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Will masks save us?

I'm not gloating, just sad. It turns out the one thing that might save us from the monsters in this looming night... is light. Did I tell you so, 22 years ago? No, make that 29 years ago

Ponder any aspect of the Putin-centered, Fox-propelled, Saudi/Mercer/Koch-financed Trump fiasco, and ask yourself: "What if every single secret were exposed?" Yes, including every secret of every Democrat or pundit or "deep stater." Fair exchange. Why am I confident which cabal would dissolve, like vampires under the sun? 

Because one of them openly raves against every possible type of revelation*, forbidding officials to speak, enforcing NDAs, railing against investigations, begging John Roberts to safeguard all their secrets. Oh, he will. But that won't be the end of it. Oh, no.**

== The dismal reflex ==

To be fair, it's not just the vampire right who declares hatred of light. Or suspicion of it. Some of the very best folks - those who honestly feel they are fighting for the enlightenment - fall prey to the lure of shadows. Take this example:

Can protesters hide behind masks? Recently - protestors wearing head-mounted cameras scanned 13,000 faces in D.C., as part of a protest organized by Fight for The Future. These privacy activists are vigorous and rightly concerned about misuse of surveillance tech. Right problem! They demand absolutely and spectacularly the wrong solution! One that is not only technologically and historically clueless, but that plays right into the hands of every would-be Big Brother.

I debated this very topic on NPR's "To The Point" with Warren Olney. An ACLU attorney - Kade Crawford - was smart, cogent, agile... and she again utterly missed what history tells us -- that it's no use 'hiding' from elites, and that technology does... not... stop still, no matter how hard you denounce it, or even if you pass laws. 

What works -- the only thing that has ever protected freedom and, yes, some privacy -- is when average citizens can maximally see, and thus hold elites accountable.

Why do you think Putin and Trump and Fox desperately seek to preserve secrecy? The sole fallback position of the GOP today always distills to "Don't Look At Us!" Tax returns, staffer testimony, Trump's bragged-about "Great Wall of NDAs"... enemies of the enlightenment are terrified of light! We mustn’t be the ones giving them excuses to blind us, while retaining in secret all the powers we foolishly “outlawed.” Listen to the stimulating debate on NPR.

Ironically, those Capitol steps protesters were doing the right thing. Looking. And teaching others how to look. And rightfully-rapidly criticizing today's perhaps-racially-biased facial recognition systems so that tomorrow's will be better. It's where you see open, knowing criticism that things are working. I worry about where the light isn't shining. 

== More smartpeople foolishness ==

But it goes on, the incredible foolishness of well-intended folks:

This article from The New York Times about "the Privacy Project" shines light on important topics. Alas, like nearly all paladins of privacy, the author yet again dances around the key point, never zeroing in on the blatant lesson. Take the following, excised from her piece: "Sahil Chinoy, a graphics editor for the Opinion Section, built a facial recognition system for less than $100. There are many ways this technology can be abused. San Francisco has banned the use of facial recognition technology by its police and other agencies, but other cities, including New York, haven’t taken any steps to impede its use."

Can it be that a knowledgable person of above average intelligence actually wrote that paragraph, without contemplating the ironic contradiction and conclusion? That banning face-recognition systems -- or almost any type of surveillance-type technology -- is not only futile and hopeless, but actually distracts from the real problem? And the real solution. Seriously. What can be replicated now for $100 will cost pennies, tomorrow.

I have been engaged in this issue for 25 years, having won the Freedom of speech Award for The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? I've been involved in so many Privacy Conferences and I hope the Privacy Project will help spread growing Awareness of the problems we face, especially as we see deployment of "social credit" systems and ubiquitous camera tech. Unfortunately, nearly all these conferences wind up being festivals of hand-wringing, offering no plausible solutions.

There is a way out -- a way we can forge into the future without falling into surveillance hell by governments, corporations and other elites. But it will not come by banning "Orwell Tech." Or hiding from it, or screaming "don't look at me!"

It happens to be the same method we've used with growing effectiveness for 200 years, the method that's responsible for all our freedom. Alas, it seems that it's utterly counter-intuitive to contemporary pundits, who cannot conceive of any solution except prescribing darkness.

Want a better example of transparency/accountability in action? Law enforcement agencies in Dallas and Florida on Thursday became the latest to announce they are investigating allegations some of their employees made offensive comments on Facebook after a watchdog group compiled screenshots of the posts and shared them in an online database.”

This is how citizens can break omerto and corner the good cops into helping cull their ranks of the bad. Most are dedicated public servants. A large minority are former Jr. High bullies who crave the power to instill fear. The answer is simple. Hire and encourage and support the former... if they help rid the ranks of the latter.

 And if they do, then they can be trusted with the new technologies that are coming, anyway. That is, they can be trusted... if we get to watch.

== Worries about deadly drones ==

In “The Real Robot Threat,” Robert Zubrin (otherwise known as a zealous proponent of Mars colonization, asserts that autonomous weaponry — bereft of conscience or human sentiment — could become either police state enforcers or the ultimate doomsday weapons.  To be clear this is a step beyond today’s mere remote-controlled drones, whose operators have been shown to be just as morally cautious — if not more so — as the pilots of fighter-bomber aircraft. Zubrin frets that whole swarms of  robot killers might be dispatched by a single tyrannical decision-maker, and even that entity might not be human.

Of course we’ve all seen the movie. And there’s an interesting thing about such flicks… in a free society, they have often become self-preventing warnings.  In this case, it had better be. Zubrin cites a commission that recommended a worldwide moratorium on development of such tools, along with weapons that find, track, and engage specific individuals whom a human has decided should be engaged within a limited predetermined period of time and geographic region.

== Incantations for aristocracy... on the left ==

Lest it ever occur to you to imagine that dogmatic insanity is restricted to the mad-right, go every now and then to any university campus and attend a lecture on semiotics or post-modernist criticism. Here’s one that defends the power asymmetries that have always given elites control over information flows and thus power over nations, peoples and races… all couched in airy fairy claims to “liberate” us from neo-liberalism: Transparency as Ideology; Ideology as Transparency by Jorge I. Valdovinos

Abstract: Along with the increasing commodification of all aspects of culture and the persistent aestheticisation of everyday life under late capitalism, there is an equally increasing longing for objectivity, immediacy, and trust. As the mediation of our everyday experiences augments, a generalised feeling of mistrust in institutions reigns; the sense of a need to bypass them increases, and the call for more “transparency” intensifies. As transparency manages to bypass critical examination, the term becomes a source of tacit social consensus. This paper argues that the proliferation of contemporary discourses favouring transparency has become one of the fundamental vehicles for the legitimation of neoliberal hegemony, due to transparency's own conceptual structure—a formula with a particularly sharp capacity for translating structures of power into structures of feeling. While the ideology of transparency promises a movement towards the abolition of unequal flows of information at the basis of relations of power and exploitation, it simultaneously sustains a regime of hyper-visibility based on asymmetrical mechanisms of accountability for the sake of profit. The solution is not “more” transparency or “better” information, but to critically examine the emancipatory potential of transparency at the conceptual level, inspecting the architecture that supports its parasitic logic.”

This Orwellian gobbledygook is part of a general shriek of hatred aimed at all flat-open-fair systems of accountability that are rooted in the thing they hate most – the very concept of objective reality. Never forget that our enemy is zero-sum, incantatory justifiers of bullying power. And while today the worst examples work for a powerful "rightist" attempted Oligarchic Putsch, aiming to restore 6000 years of feudalism, there are would be savanarolas and Robspierres and Stalins among our (temporary) allies on the far-left, as well. 

== Transparency-pertinent news items ==

The 15 Biggest Ever Cases of Bank Fraud. Wow, a fascinating recounting of thefts and frauds, showing how much is being stolen by hackers and insiders… and this is probably not a complete list, by far! And the only long term solution is not “security.” It is transparency.

"Stephen Fry has narrated a new animated intro video for, discussing why we need (and may get) much better forums for argumentation and negotiation. The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance… Stephen Fry narrates.

Finally, futurist speaker David Orban offers a video on 21st Century Life Design Skills.



===footnotes ====

* Except for the malignant, spiteful, sadistic and opposite-to-Jesus "Book of Revelation," which the Dominionists worship instead of Jesus.

** When, not if, John Roberts succeeds in demolishing the credibility of the US Supreme Court, it will be up to all of us to stand up for Enlightenment Constitutionalism in our own ways. I offer 100+ suggestions in POLEMICAL JUDO.